Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gun show

at the Fairgrounds this weekend. Not one of the biggest ones, but a fair amount to look at. And, wonder of wonders, my favorite two ammo vendors were both there.

So I have a bag of stuff, and I may go back tomorrow; trying to decide about that. I'm tempted to stock up on a couple of things, because the prices of ammo are not exactly stable lately; and they almost always go up.

Also, my #1 vendor was low on a lot of stuff that he did have, and out of a few things.

If only it weren't true...

Stolen without a second thought from STD.

Carnival of Cordite #68 is up

Again at Gullyborg. Hot chicks with guns, hot guns and various information. And ladies, you REALLY need to check out the contest:
Next week I'll be announcing the FOR WOMEN ONLY incredible Barrett .50 BMG 1000 yard shooting class, complete with a FREE .50 BMG Barrett from SHOOTING GALLERY and Barrett Rifles... Barrett is running a For Women Only class at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM, on November 7-9. SHOOTING GALLERY, because we love our viewers, will be giving away an expense-paid slot in that class; the lucky winner — who must be a woman...and I mean it! — will also get a Barrett Model 99 .50 BMG to take home for CONTINUED PLINKING.

I mean, damn, that's almost worth trying a sex-change.

I said ALMOST, leave me alone.

If it's not there already, (updated at the bottom)

put Hornady on your list of good places to do business with.

I've had several pieces of their equipment for reloading over time, and it's all worked well. With no problems, no need to find out about customer service.

Until now

My own damn fault, I was depriming/resizing my .45 brass from the last trip to the range and didn't notice there were some .380 cases mixed in, and one was inside a .45 and when I tried to deprime...

So I said words, then figured I'd get a new pin the next day or two. Except that the decapping rod had the pin set in permanently, no way to replace it. So I looked up the Hornady site looking for the rod assembly. Not listed. So I sent a message to their customer service asking about it. Next day, I had a response saying "We'll replace it at no charge with the new Zip Spindle for your 45 ACP die set. The Zip Spindles are designed with the pins separate from the spindle. What is your address?"

That was on the second. It was in the mail today; the new zip spindle which includes the new collet nut AND a spare pin.

Can't ask for better support than that.

Update: I just remembered one other time I had to contact Hornady. I've got one of their priming tools(put in the correct shellholder, dump primers in the tray, snap on the cover and start squeezing), and a couple of years ago I broke it. Got a little 'enthusiastic' taking the cover off and the split pin that holds it in place broke one leg off. As I recall I sent to them asking "do you have it, can I get one, how much?" and once they'd made sure of the piece in question simply sent "We'll replace it under warranty, what's your address?"

Again, my fault, they made it right. Quickly. Service like that is a Good Thing.
(especially when you do things like this...)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

We're getting some rain, finally

and I'm wondering what my son is doing tonight. Sleeping now, or running some exercise? No idea.

I haven't received any phone calls along the "Papa(or "Sir,"), something really bad happened", so I figure he's fine. He was really looking forward to it when he left, and since he had some idea of what was coming- far more so than a lot of the others, I imagine- I doubt he's lost that. One thing I did tell him was some stories I'd heard about what happened to people who, upon being issued a rifle, made the mistake of calling it a 'gun' where the DI could hear them, so he should avoid that.

I am looking forward to hearing from him when he's finally allowed a call/letter/e-mail, although as I mentioned before it's liable to be "Not enough sleep, not enough time, and I want some REAL food".

One of the things I really like about Oklahoma is that so far, if his joining up comes up, it's followed by some combination of the following:
What branch?
When did he start?
God bless him, and I'll keep him in my prayers.

I don't know if prayers help; I do tend to believe in God, but sometimes I'm not too fond of Him. But this makes me feel good.

Ah well, I need to figure out a design and get that shirt made.

Among the reasons why gun licensing is bad

Being my usual organized self I can't remember who linked to this, but it is very worth reading and passing around. It's a very good account of the costs, time, bureaucracy and runaround involved to some extent in EVERY gun licensing scheme. Be sure and check the comments for more.

God-cursed nannies strike again

Heading out to take care of some things this morning I heard one of the most irritating, scare-mongering commercials ever on the radio.

Some clown was speaking of the horrors of playgrounds. "In too many playgrounds there are sharp corners, there are hard surfaces to fall on, THERE IS NO ADULT SUPERVISION!!" and so on.

This is one of the kinds of BS that Acidman used to go off about. There are people out there with budgets to do radio campaigns- and probably tv in some places- about how playgrounds must be redone and ALWAYS have an adult around. Generation after generation grew up using playgrounds without a smothering adult watching over them, with dirt and grass to fall on, and they survived, but no, that's no longer good enough. Childhood must be made without risk, or it will scar the little children, emotionally if not physically.

This is such a load of crap it's scary. And these clowns would have had shrieking fits if they'd seen how I grew up, and my kids for that matter. Out in the woods, at the park, in the yard with tools and dogs and cats and dirt. When they were about 8 and 6 they decided they wanted to be elves, and elves needed spears. So I made two spears(throwing darts for adults) and they used them in the yard, and carried them when in the woods and had a ball. Nobody died or bled, but of course that doesn't count; such things shouldn't be allowed for children(and preferably not for adults according to the nannies).

This did lead to interesting things, like the time when daughter was thirteen and, at Med Fair, said she was going to wander around, picked up my spear(seven feet long and sharp) and headed out. Some guy asked me if I really allowed her to carry that, and I replied that I trusted her not to stick it in somebody unless they really needed it. The look on his face was priceless; he couldn't decide if I was serious or kidding and was horrified either way.

She doesn't carry a spear for everyday, of course; a 9mm and Gold Dots is much easier to carry around for general use.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New grips, and a range report

A while back the Pistolero noted having put Hogue wraparound grips on a couple of pistols, a Ruger and a Kimber. I'd thought about this, but never having fired a pistol with this type grip I'd held off.

About a week ago, while wandering through a local store, I remembered to look at the things, and they had an Officer-size set of Hogues for a good price, so I broke down and bought them. After I put them on, did some dry-firing and draws, and they felt good.

Yesterday I took it to the range and put about 75 rounds through, mix of 230-grain handloads and 185-grain Gold Dots. And I wish I wasn't so damn cheap and had bought these a long time ago. They give me a much more stable grip during a fast draw, and more control during rapid-fire doubles. They were worth every penny.

Some of you who've been reading this for a while may remember that I reworked an old B-Square mount so I could use it on a WASR10 for a forward-mounted red dot sight. I've fired it twice before this, both times with the same damn problem; due(I think) to the crimped sides of the gas tube, the mount would start rotating to the left after a few shots. I thought I finally had this figured out so put about forty rounds through it yesterday. First, the mount did not shift on me, and second, I like this setup. Much faster to pick up in low-light conditions, and easier for accurate fire than the factory sights. Next time I make it to the outdoor range I'll settle in at a bench and test it properly, so far it looks promising.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And for a more direct source on Africa,

commenter Keith has a blog, The Weather in Latin Africa. Go take a look, gunny stuff and the local people and fauna.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I hate buying factory parts

for cars. The tailgate latch for my truck? One arm of the handle broke, which means the tailgate won't open. So I call Ford to see if they have them and how much. Yes, says the parts lady, they have the handle only, and have one in stock. $40.



After that I got out the epoxy, took off the inside cover of the gate, open it, take out the latch and handle, epoxy the handle together and clamp. Then find the drill and some loooong #6 screws, and after the epoxy has cured drill a hole through the broken arm across the break, front to back of the handle, and put the screw in. Then do the other side.

It's back together now, and working. If this doesn't hold, I'll hit the salvage yard for an intact handle, but damned if I'll pay Ford that much for the thing.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Anyone have any idea why they wouldn't get very big? I've got the same kind my dad grows, Arkansas Traveler, and he gets humongous tomatos, but the biggest mine get is two to three inches across. Mind you, they've got a flavor that absolutely blows away what you buy at the store, but they just don't grow very large.

More about lions and people-munching

A while back I posted some of a e-mail I received on the subject of lions developing bad table manners. The subject of what happened to Joy Adamson of 'Born Free' fame came up, and I finally remembered to dig up what I'd read before.

It's in Peter Capstick's book Maneaters. He mentions that he'd first heard of it in a news article in the Miami Herald of January 5, 1980, which I'll excerpt:
NAIROBI, Kenya- Joy Adamson, who's born free awakened millions to her beliefs that "once wildlife is gone, it is gone forever," was mauled to death by a lion, it was reported Friday.

Friends said that Mrs. Adamson, 69, had taken her customary evening stroll tThursday night in the bush outside her tent camp in a remote area of northeast Kenya, and came across a lion chasing a buffalo.

The lion turned and killed her.
"The lion is still at large, but we have tracker teams out looking for it," a police spokesman said.

Pretty cut & dried. Except:
"...Seems that all those tracker teams spooring up the lion that killed Mrs. Adamson must have been mistaken. Apparently, the mention of a buffalo was all wrong, too? From an apparently confirmed story of death by lion, the "official" verdict was now that Mrs. Adamson had been murdered by a human since some of her belongings were missing.

You may have noticed that you never heard much more- if anything- about the matter. That, in itself, is as weird to me as the abrupt change of cause of death....I guess the murder of a famous authoress in the midst of the African bush just wasn't interesting enough for the press to pursue. Don't you think?"

Capstick specifically says he didn't know, but he suspected that there was something of an agreement among various news types and officials to let the story go away, because it might be seen as a bit embarrassing for such a famous saviour of beasts to have been whacked by one of the big cats. It wouldn't surprise me.

In other of his books Capstick noted various incidents of people-munching by various African critters that were noted in local papers, but never made big news. Including the lion that jumped into a photo safari tour bus and dragged a man out. Or the leopard that snuck up on a bunch of people taking pictures at a watering hole at night and killed the guard and dragged him away without anyone noticing the kill; someone heard a slight clatter that turned out to be the guards rifle hitting the ground, but it was a minute before he wondered what it was(happily, that man had a rush of intelligence and herded everyone back into the bus and straight back to the lodge to report it).

Ref that last; I've always wondered, did the guard just happen to be a bit away from the others and the lights so he could see better? Or did the cat recognize him as the only threat in the group?

Simple fact is, there are a lot of critters in the world that will happily have you for dinner if you cross their path at the right time. Or they're hungry and you look easier to kill than their usual prey. Or you just happen to irritate them by your presence so they kill you.

On the last, years ago I read an article in an old magazine of my grandfathers'(Sports Afield I think) about a group visiting Yellowstone. They'd been having an argument about whether grizzly bears attack unprovoked, ever. They found an old ranger who'd been in the park for many years and asked him. "Never unprovoked" he said. But when one of the group said "I told you so!" the ranger added "One thing you have to remember; YOU don't decide what 'provocation' is, the bear does. And you being there might be it."

I've mentioned him before, but you can't mention him too much: if you like stories about hunting and fishing in various places in the world, go to the library and find any of Peter Hathaway Capstick's books. Death in the Long Grass was the first, followed by Maneaters, Death in the Silent Places and a bunch of others. Then you'll need some money, because you'll want to buy them. How could you not like a man who wrote that elephants and Cape buffalo voted him "the one who got away"?

On the subject of 'microstamping' fired cases,

the gentleman at mAss Backwards says it pretty well. Summed up by a future conversation:
"Hi, is this Mr. Bill Johnson, of 149 Elmwood Drive in Albany?"

"Yes it is. Who's this?"

"This is Detective Schifferbreins with the Boston Police Department. We recovered some shell casings at the scene of our city's latest homicide, and we traced them back to the Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handgun you reported stolen five years ago."

"Wow, that's amazing!"

"I know. It's this great new microstamping technology that made it all possible."

" were able to catch the bastard who broke into my house, raped my wife, and stole my guns while I was out of town?"

"Well, um...not exactly."

"Oh. Well, did you catch the shooter from the homicide you're investigating?"

"Um...not exactly."

"But, you have a good idea who it was, right?"

"Um..not exactly"

"Oh. Well, did you recover the gun?"

"Um...not exactly."

"Oh. Well, when you do, can I have it back?"

"What are you, retarded?"

What else is there to say?

While you're over there, check out his other stuff, in particular on the idiot-level messed-up project known as the Big Dig. Start here. When I first found his site, one of the first posts I read was on his experience with this project early on. And it gave me another reason never to go to Massachussetts.