Friday, June 22, 2007

And a slightly better picture of the Webley

in all its new, black, oily glory.

Finishing up a blade,

and this one I decided to parkerize.

Which, if you're not familiar with it, is a phosphate coating chemically deposited on the metal surface to help prevent rust. A few years back I got a bottle of a concentrate for treating knives and I've still got the solution I mixed up; some are only good for one use, this stuff you can keep using. Nice and simple to use, just bring the solution up to 165-180F(and it's not real sensitive, you can be a bit lower and it'll still work) and hang the clean, degreased steel in. After about twenty minutes, take it out and let it dry completely, then oil.

Here's before:

This one was forged out of a harrow tooth, and the guard is hammered brass soldered into place on the tang. That's a 400-grit finish, which is as fine as I usually polish unless special request/need. So into the bath for 25 minutes, and here's after:

You'll notice a difference in color between the edge and back. Remember the differential hardening I wrote of before? It causes that, the stuff grabs just fine but looks different on the different hardnesses.

It doesn't actually stick to the brass but it does discolor it. A little careful polishing with a dremel and a polishing wheel will take care of that. Then fit a grip and pommel.

When you look in your breaker box,

you do not want it to look anything like this

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bluing, before & after

Last fall I wrote of finally finding a MkVI Webley, a big, ugly .455-caliber revolver. It had none of the original finish left, so I decided to make it my second bluing project. Here's the before:

and here's after:

A very nice, even black over all surfaces. Like the 1911 I did before, no polishing was done. In this case while I wanted to reblue I didn't really want to change the surface itself. Disassemble, spray all needed parts with brake cleaner, then after dry wash with Dawn dish soap. As the solution was coming up to temperature I then dipped the parts in muriatic acid to strip any remaining finish, rinsed thoroughly, then hang on wires and into the bath.

Og mentioned the acid bath for stripping, and a Helpful Commenter sent me an e-mail with some good information which included that a 'pre-pickling' in an organic acid could help lead to a faster, deeper color. I damn sure doesn't seem to hurt.

Second try at bluing

Decided to try it on another couple of pieces the other day. Pretty simple, put the salts & solution in the pot, water in the rinse pot and start them heating while cleaning/degreasing the pieces. At proper temp hang the pieces in and boil for 25 minutes, maybe a couple more(lost exact track). This time everything had a bit of the red 'smut' on them when they came out, but brushing in the hot water cleaned it right off. Oil and let it sit overnight. Overnight's probably not necessary, but actually managed to leave it this time.

I'd heard that bluing salts 'creep', and they do. I'd stored the stuff in a plastic tub with a snap-on lid. When I poured the liquid into the pot I found the salts very thin in the center, very thick in the corner and they'd crept halfway up the sides. Soft, and easy to scrape out into the pot.

One of the pieces I did was another knife blade, I'll post pictures later on(busy evening, bad night, I'll get to it). So far this stuff works really well.

By the way, to the holders of the Human-Caused Global Warmering, 30% my ass. 30% was the chance of some scattered thunderstorms in this area last night. Which means it stormed and rained from about midnight to almost ten this morning. God knows how much rain, my gauge was on the ground so no measure; if I'm decipering the NWS listing they officially show about 1.75". I repeat, they can't predict this crap but they claim they can tell what the weather will be in 50-100 years?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And for a different timeline on earth's history,

take a look:

* 4003 B.C.: Earth still largely molten , Adam and Eve cover their shame with asbestos waders

* 3714 B.C.: The first biotechnologist, Cain, patents cyanobacteria.

* 3554 B.C.: Komatiitic lava floods Earth's earliest crust ; Noah's Ark incinerated.

* 3264 B.C.: Methuselah begins to notice passage of geological time.

* 3124 B.C.: Archaean copper deposits form , kick-starting Bronze Age.

* 3004 B.C.: Y1K crisis averted : Gilgamesh unable to count as high as 1000.

and so forth.

The 3/2 Stryker Cav

A couple of years ago Kim started the Walter & Adam fund to provide equipment for some guys in a sniper unit.

Now he and the Mrs. have set up to give assistance to men of the 3/2 Stryker Cav, info here and here.

Give if you can.

And Kim? My profound apologies for not getting this up sooner.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I have to agree with Tim,

these people are freakin' insane.
Home Office statistics suggest that there are 12 such murders each year. However, according to research, the true figure is much higher. At a conference in Southampton last week, police chiefs revealed that they are re-examining 2,000 deaths and murders between 1996 and 2006 to establish whether they involve honour killings. So far, 19 have now been found to be honour killings. A further 20 involved some element of “honour violence”.

I include in the 'insane' part both the islamic murderers and the British politicians and officials who've had a big hand in things getting this far. Do you really think they'd be having these problems, at least at these levels, if they'd started stomping on it when it first cropped up?

Hell, no.

But a bunch of politicians- which I guess would include the appointed and hired officials in, for instance, law enforcement- who'd rather be called a child molester than insensitive to islamists- kept making excuses for the swine, and threatening and abusing those who yelled about it, and now they're here:

A team of 20 prosecutors are to be based in London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Each one will be trained by a number of different agencies including the police, the government’s forced marriage unit and the independent victims group, the Southall Black Sisters ...

Nazir Afzal, the CPS lead on honour-based violence, said that such crimes are often elaborate, pre-planned and can involve many suspects.

One in nine honour killings in the UK is carried out by hit men, he said. It is also common for the youngest member of the family to carry out the murder, with the others playing a lesser role.

And let us also note Tim's update, wherein the islamists once again become the victim of something done for someone else:

Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said the decision to praise the “apostate” showed Islamophobia among British officials ...

Mr Hosseini told a press conference: “Giving a medal to someone who is among the most detested figures in the Islamic community is ... a blatant example of the anti-Islamism of senior British officials.

Freakin' bozos have indeed taken the PC attitudes into account: paint yourself a victim, no matter what, and the idiots will make excuses for you.

"Those people are nuts, boss"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Got some old cartridges

from Dad, stuff he'd picked up/found/been given over the years. Some I recognize, some I have no idea what they are. I'm going through the box and doing some cleaning, mostly headstamps so I can read them. Thought I'd post a few of them here.

First up, some rifle ammo:

The first two I don't know. #1 has a paper-patched lead bullet of about .44 caliber, #2 a lead bullet of .427" at the case mouth.

Here's the headstamps:

#1, the central portion of the head surrouding the primer is raised, then the head narrows to the rim. It has a 'D' at the top, '11' on the left side and '87' on the right and '*' at the bottom.
#2 has 'A' at the top, a 'S' on the left and '5' on the right(looks like, and they're laying on their side; hard to read) with '78' at the bottom.
#3 is REM-UMC at the top and '30 USA' at the bottom, which I think makes it .30-40 Krag.
#4 is W.R.A. Co on top, .30 U.S.G. at the bottom, another .30-40 Krag.
#5 appears to be .303 British softpoint, 'R', then an Brit broad arrow, then 'L' at the top, going clockwise the date 1939, then 'G II'.
#6 is .30-06, 'Western' at the top and '1917' at the bottom.

There's also a bunch of pistol cartridges, here's a few of them:

and headstamps:

#1 is a .455 Webley, 'K42' at the top, 'VIZ' at the bottom.
#2 appears to be a .45acp blank, 'REM-UMC' at the top and '1906' on the bottom. Which, since I think the cartridge was developed by John Browning in 1905, makes it pretty early indeed.
#3 is .45acp, 'REM-UMC' at the top and '18' on the bottom.
#4 is a .45 Auto Rim, 'REM-UMC' on the top, '45 AR' on the bottom.
#5 is a .38 Colt, 'REM-UMC' on top, '38 COLT NP' on the bottom(NP for New Police?)
#6 is a 9mm blank, 'R-P' on top and '9mm LUGER' on the bottom.

The last two(for now) are interesting:

The first is(I believe) a 9mm rimfire shotshell. I've seen them in all-metal cases before, but not a metal/paper case. The second is a rimfire, and appears to be a heeled bullet like a .22 rimfire with external lube grooves. Which would, I think, make it produced in the 1800's. Bullet is .376" diamater, overall length is 1.39". Headstamps:

There's a WHOLE bunch of other stuff in this box, I'll be posting more pictures as I have time and get them cleaned up enough to see what they are.

Found a couple of good columns

from a guy named George Jonas up in Canada. Couple of good bits:
Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens pose little danger to public safety. (Less danger, to be statistically precise, than unattended swimming pools.) In fact, from the point of view of public safety, the worst combination is armed criminals confronting unarmed citizens.

Yet this is all our current gun control laws can possibly achieve: Armed criminals confronting unarmed citizens. The 1993 Brady Bill was no exception. It could do nothing but add some annoyance and red tape to the life of a law-abiding person who wished to purchase a gun.(from here)


I visited the home of a police chief in the 1970s. He lived in a big house outside metropolitan Toronto, and had a gun in every room of his home. He also had four or five healthy Dobermans that roamed the grounds freely at night.

"Gee, Chief," I said to him, "look at all these guns and dogs. Why don't you just run a direct line to your merry men?" "They can't fly," he replied, "as fast as a bullet."

I didn't blame the Chief for wanting to hang on to his life or to his silver, but it irked me that he didn't like the rest of us having similar ambitions.(from here)

Found through a link from the Relapsed Catholic

Sometimes 'Mythbusters' makes me want to scream

and yell at the screen. Other night had the chance to see an episode where they tried some firearms stories and a 'can hammers break each other' . Usually I wouldn't go into this, but there were a couple of things that I have to comment on(No, I'm not going to their website and posting on it; I'm sure the points have been brought up, except for maybe the last).

On firearms, they tried to shoot through a scope with another rifle from 100 yards, I think(missed the first minute or two) trying to duplicate that one scene in Saving Private Ryan. They repeatedly hit the scope, but no shot made it all the way through to hit the head of the 'shooter'. I didn't hear them say what caliber the rifle they were shooting was, or what kind of bullet used. The one case of this happening I've read of involved Carlos Hathcock firing at a VC sniper using a 91/30 Mosin Nagant with a PU scope. Hathcock was using a .30-06 firing a 172-grain match bullet; the PU scope has a fairly heavy steel tube. I'd like to see the test done with that setup.

The thing that irritated me here was when their sniper 'expert' said that WWII was the first time scoped rifles had been used in war. Which would be a real surprise to the German and British and other snipers who used them in WWI.

I'll throw in something on ballistics that made me groan in the SPR scene: the distance of the shot. The guy with the Springfield said the German sniper was about 400 yards away, which meant there's no damn way he could have shot lengthwise through the scope to hit the man. As we all know, a bullet travels in an arc from muzzle to target and that arc gets higher over distance: the arc of a .30-06 bullet over 400 yards would mean that- at best- the bullet could hit the eyepiece of the scope on the trip to his head.

On hammers, the question was could a hammer head fragment explosively if struck with another hammer? That testing was fine, but at the end they decided to try to make the hammers as likely to break as possible, so they decided to heat them 'as hot as you can get them without melting' and quench them in used motor oil- "...which is full of carbon..." because that would 'put more carbon in to the hammer head and make it more brittle' and kept referring to it as case-hardening.

I know, I'm being picky, but that's so damn stupid(especially coming from people with something of a science background) and it pissed me off enough that I had to write about it.

When you heat steel that hot, you enlarge the grain structure(bad) and when you quench it you do harden it, but how much depends on the carbon content and the alloy in the steel. A medium-carbon steel, especially with some alloys, will harden but not become brittle. Big thing here, though, is that no matter how much carbon is in the oil it doesn't 'go into' the steel. You actually lose carbon from the surface when you heat above about 1500F, but you cannot raise the carbon content by quenching in dirty oil. The steel cools below the point at which actual case-hardening is possible almost instantly and with in an open atmosphere the carbon has no chance to penetrate.
And I'm even more pissed on this because a: people will believe this crap because Jamie of Mythbusters said it and b: they had already talked to a blacksmith about hammers and he could have told them the facts. So could a lot of others(machinists for example).

The last was when the cast some minie balls for a test involving Civil War-era rifled muskets. They were pouring the lead into the mold and then dipping the mold in water! BAD! BAD Adam!