Saturday, September 01, 2007

On the subject of weather forecasting,

I have to note that Hogboy had a piece on the horrible, we're all gonna DIE! very quiet hurricane season so far, and in the comments you'll find this:
I work for a company that produces Long Range (i.e. 12+ months forecasts) based on Solar cycles and past weather along with some proprietary software. We've done well on some things, not so good on others. All you need to know about my faith in the process is that I haven't used it to plan my vacations.

That about says it.

.30 Carbine loads Pictures added

One of the things that gets said a lot about the ammo for the Carbine is that it's weak. And in comparison to the M2 Ball for .30-06 or 8mm Mauser, it certainly is: a 110-grain bullet at 1900fps compared to a 150-grain at about 2900 comes off as Niles Crane standing next to Clint Eastwood.

However, the big thing in the .30 Carbine's favor is short, light & handy. Try putting something like a .30-06 in something that light and you'll fire it once. Twice if you're a masochist. Three times if you're a sado-masochist: you get to hurt yourself and make the people around you cringe at the look on your face. So the usual thought is to buy some softpoint ammo.

I dug around and found softpoints by Winchester, Remington and Federal. All of them run about $35/box of 50(Federal comes in boxes of 20, works out about the same), which is just a bit pricey. So I decided to find some suitable bullets to try. The standard bullet is a 110-grain FMJ. Remington sells their 110-grain softpoint, and Speer sells a 110-grain flat-nose hollowpoint, so I gave those a try.

From the left: GI ball, Reminton SP, Speer**, Sierra.

The Remington, with the same powder charge/type as ball gives about equivalent accuracy, but hits a bit to the left. The Speer bullet was very tight at 50 yards, but opened up a bit at 100.* Realistically, either should work quite well in a emergency situation, as repelling boarders at the house or protecting yourself/your group as you get out of Dodge isn't generally done at very long distances. However, on general principles I like to have the best accuracy I can get. So a while back while I was digging through the Midway site I checked for .30-caliber bullets of 110 grains and ran across these: Sierra Varminter, a 110-grain hollowpoint spitzer. A nice, efficient shape with a design that ought to leave a serious mark if you had to use it in a social situation. AND they were on sale, so I got a box.

The one problem with a nice, pointed bullet like this is that in the same weight it's longer than a round-nose. So I took the load I use with ball and the Remington bullets and dropped one full grain, then seated the bullet just a fraction(0.001 by my caliper) below the maximum length the manual shows for the cartridge. The lighter charge because you always work up with a new bullet, and also because it looked like the base of this bullet would sit a bit further into the case. As it works out the base, with the bullet seated at max length, is pretty damn close to the depth of the ball, but I'd rather work up anyway.

From the left, standard ball, Sierra Varminter, and one of the cast-bullet practice loads I make.

I've put 20 rounds of this load through so far. The first ten were at the indoor range, mostly to see if they'd function properly, to check brass for any signs of excess pressure and to see where it went on paper. They fed flawlessly, no signs of high pressure that I could tell and they hit about the same point of impact as ball. The second ten I was going to shoot over the chronograph the other day(you know, the day I found the dead battery and my spare gone?); if the velocity was over 1900 I figured I'd need to back off on powder just a touch. So I went ahead and shot them for accuracy at 100 yards: identical point of impact as ball and nice grouping. As in a touch under 2" with two five-shot groups. Which is damn good for this little beast, and I'm very happy about it. But I still need to check velocity, so I just loaded ten more for the next trip. I just wish I could set the chrono up at the indoor range I use, it's a lot closer and easier to get to, since if I'm going to the outdoor I plan on spending at least a couple of hours making noise and enlarging my carbon footprint.

Right now I'm about to crash, so tomorrow I'll try to get some pictures of the different bullets posted with this.

*By 'opened up a bit' I mean about 4" groups or a touch over, which is well within minute of goblin.
** That's actually a .32 caliber 100 grain Speer: I remembered I'd used all the 110-grain .30 caliber. The 110-grain is a bit longer, bullet shape is identical, though.

And from the ADS* people of France,

we get this:
Though, one woman adds sternly, it won't last forever: ''We threw out the Germans, we'll throw out the Americans, too.'' Asks the interviewer in astonishment: ''The French threw out the Germans?'' Well, the Frenchwoman replies airily, ''you Americans helped a little.''

Among other things, they should never have talked Churchill out of whacking De Gaulle back then.

And be sure to check out the peace racket, too.

*America Derangement Syndrome

And I hope it does

cost them dearly

Found thanks to the Geek.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ah, the tolerance and caring of the left

Gay Democrat Leader Laments Inhofe Near-Miss

A homosexual leader of the Oklahoma Democratic Party makes it plain in an Internet blog posting that he wishes the military airplane carrying Senator Jim Inhofe, three other members of Congress and a full crew had been shot down over Iraq.

James Nimmo, treasurer of Central Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats and a representative to the Oklahoma Democratic Party's Central Committee, posted a wire service story about the C-130 being attacked as it left Baghdad with the headline, "So close yet so far...Inhofe plane fired on in Iraq."

Full post here

Infantry combat is "young man's work"

That's the damn truth. Found a link to this at Q and O, and it reminded me of something. In the article Mr. Smith notes:
So, a 5’11’’ Marine weighing 175-180 lbs., weighs about 250-280 lbs. in full battle kit. Yet with this added weight, he must remain strong, fast, agile, able to withstand long road marches in extreme temperatures and capable of fighting another man of equal size and weight in the often-close quarters of an urban environment.

That brought to mind a passage I posted once before, taken 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."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gee, another couple of sorry, two-faced hypocrite actors

Who'da thunk it?

A study that will give GFW's the vapors,

and delight the rest of us.

Now, THIS is more like it!

Last week I was going through the Midway site for a couple of things, and looked at the red dot sights they stock(there's a LOT of them). Midway for three reasons: lots to browse through, customer ratings, and if there's a problem they're real good about taking care of it.

I decided to look at
Below $100,
Only those with four stars or above.
The latter really cut down the list. Several with four or four-and-a-fraction, then I hit this one. I'd heard about Millet before, generally good things, and there were no bad points in any of the reviews. So I added that to the order. And, Midway shipping being what it is, I had it four days later.

Nice, solid unit, came with rings and mounted easily. Good things:
Windage and elevation are solid click adjustments.
Brightness settings are solid clicks.
Nice, sharp dot(3moa instead of the usual 5).

Bad things:
Nothing so far. This is a 1" tube instead of a 30mm like a lot of others, but the diameter doesn't bother me in aiming, and the smaller tube puts the dot a bit lower than the 30mm I once tried, and I like that.

Yesterday I took time from stuff I was supposed to do to hit the range; after the Pentax crap I wanted to find out quickly if this thing worked. It does. Once adjusted(very easy with proper adjustments), it held zero with no shifting around. I put about 100 rounds of various ammo through the Carbine, and this thing just sat there doing the job. And I like the 3moa dot better than the 5 for a rifle.

100 rounds isn't a real trial, it's just a start, but already it's lasted longer than the Pentax, and the adjustments are a huge improvement. I'll be shooting it when possible the next while and watching the thing for any problems, so far it looks promising.

I was going to shoot the current postal match while I was out there, but by the time I finished up with the rifles the pistol range was pretty full. There's a gun show this weekend, I'm hoping after it on either Saturday or Sunday I can hit H&H and shoot it. If I do, I'll take the Carbine and run a few more rounds through. Oh, and just to cover it:
Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

*Added: this was not one of my better days. I forgot the spotting scope, and when I set up the chronograph to check some .30 Carbine loads I'm testing, the battery was dead. And the spare I thought was in the truck, wasn't. The loads are shooting very well, but I'd really like to check velocity for an indication of pressure.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More on Haditha

Blackfive has another post on this, which includes links to previous important posts. I'd suggest you go through the comments; there's a guy throwing in every "The Marines messed up, the Marines lied, the Marines should be in jail!" line that's been come up with, and Grimmy takes them apart.

And we're still waiting for that sorry bastard Murtha to say something about the people he wronged.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I just had to note this before I go to bed

Go here, and read. Take note of this in the update:
Obviously Joe Huffman has never lived off the grid without A/C,
refrigeration or phone service. I have, and must confess I prefer life
without all the amenities.

Well, I'll tell you what, dumbass: I have lived for years without A/C, and in Oklahoma summers it flat sucks. When it's 80F at 1am, and the humidity is 60%, you can't lay down without breaking a sweat and a fan barely helps. Oops, I forgot, you said 'off the grid' so there's no fan either.

I have no idea where you live, and I don't care, you're just one more smug BS artist telling other people how they should live. You go ahead and do without power, without refrigeration to keep food and without telecomm to talk to people(including calling for aid in an emergency); I'll keep on using power to stay cool when it's hot and keep food fresh and stay in touch with people.

I note that you say 'I have', not 'I am', AND you're posting using a computer which causes me to conclude you're a true, first-class jackass of the 'do as I say' type.

These people SHOULD voluntarily become extinct.

Something that John Effin' Kerry never wanted to hit a courtroom

isn't a threat anymore. Because you know there's no way in hell he'll give people a chance to drag his whole record, ALL the documents, etc., out into the light.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Range report (Star BM) and cleaning notes Picture added

I'd written about the Star BM 9mm pistol before(here and here); well, a guy picked one up a couple of weeks ago and wanted to try it out, so to the range we went("You want me to help you test it out? However will I screw the yard, let's go!find the time?")

The cleaning note is this: I don't care if it's new in the box from the factory or an old, used whatever, take it apart and clean & lube it before you shoot it. If you don't know how to break it down or there's no manual, buy or borrow one of the Assembly/Disassembly books or find someone who can help. Not only do you need to make sure the bore is clear, etc., but it will almost certainly need lube. I have no idea how many new firearms I've seen that, when opened up, were dry, no sign of oil or grease anywhere. Which is not good. Manufacturer doesn't seem to matter, though it seems to be worse on revolvers; most semi-autos seem to at least have some oil on the rails.

Back to the range. Since the guy wanted to know both would it shoot well and would it make a good carry piece, we tested it with a variety of ammo. James wrote a while back on a Star Super B he owns that will NOT reliably feed anything but ball ammo, and wanted to make sure that was not the case on this BM.

The group below(in the X & 9 ring) is a total of 50 or 60 rounds, all shot offhand at about twenty feet

That is with a mix of handloads(124-grain cast ball), CCI Blazer ball and Gold Dot 124-grain hollowpoints. Two of the magazines were random mixes of all three, and no failures of any kind. It went through it all without a hitch.

At the end I loaded one mag with the handloads and fired it one-handed at about fifteen feet:

I'm a fairly lousy one-handed target shooter, and I wasn't taking any particular pains on breath control or timing, just 'line up the sights and squeeze', and got this.

This is the third one of these I've had the chance to shoot, and I really like them; I wish they were still being manufactured, they're a damn good pistol, well-made of good materials. This one had a trigger a target pistol would be proud of, was totally reliable with all ammo tried and is more accurate than I am. All three have eaten everything fed to them without a bobble, handloads and different brands of ball and hollowpoints.

I have to wonder if, since the Star BM's imported were originally issued to the Spanish Civil Guard, they may have been throated to handle hollowpoints? Or maybe it's just a bit different design than the Super B. In any case, it works.

The other thing I shot was that Sistema 1927 I reblued. I went through the 'Poor man's trigger job' instructions posted at the forums in the tech section and wanted to try it out. Also, after bluing it, I've been carrying it some and shooting it to see how the finish holds up. The finish is doing well. And the trigger was much better; the original was clean but fairly heavy, now it's clean and lighter(I need to rig up or buy a trigger scale).

Clayton Cramer brings up something interesting

in the mess with ATF and Red's Trading Post:
As I have stated before ATF DIO Richard Van Loan has stated that he would have never revoked our license if we had purchased a computerized system.

Read the rest, it goes downhill rapidly from there. Unless there's some specific thing in law about it, ATF has no privilege or power to demand someone pay for a computerized system. And the BS- Yet the ATF has now deemed this system before our judge, that is so widely used and touted...inadequate.- does make you wonder what they're up to. In the case of Red's, they're probably willing to drag out any dancing pig they can find to get around what they tried to do and got caught at, so the question becomes are they trying to do this to others? And is there something to Cramer's theory:is it possible that some sort of corrupt deal has been made by some ATF bureaucrat to require a particular software vendor's system? If you don't buy a system from a particular vendor, you get extra special scrutiny, and then get closed down for trivial errors on paper forms?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Medical kits come in handy

Remember I mentioned nearly falling out of a tree? Scraping up my leg? Turned out I had no gauze pads or anything else in the house. However, a few months ago I'd turned to Doc Russia for advice on a first-aid kit; he had links to suggestions for basic, intermediate and full-blown emergency kits. I used a cheap buttpack somebody gave me to put together a basic, which was in the truck, which had gauze and wrap and so forth.

Which I now need to replace. Over the last few days used most of the gauze pads and wrap on the two bad areas of the scrape, which is sore but doing much better. Looks like hell but no signs of infection.

A: Get at least one kit put together, preferably two(vehicle and home).
B: Get extras of everything.

Now I need to find someplace with better prices than Wally World or the drug stores for the elastic wrap and such.

That fish

with the big teeth? Tigerfish, from Africa. Rob C says:
"Found in the Okavango, Zambezi... can somtimes be persuaded to jump into your lap by using a dollop of C4 in a coke can. These blighters can usually only be caught by using a stainless steel lead on the hook, normal line is no match."

Jeez, with those teeth I don't doubt it. I'll have to take his word on it for the C4 method, having no familiarity with it.

Heard about the ol' boy caught using dynamite to fish? Game warden heard what sounded like a blast and went up the river a bit, found this guy anchored and scooping fish off the surface with a net. Looked into the boat and saw two capped & fused sticks and said "Jason, you damn well know you can't do that. I'm gonna have to write you a ticket and arrest you on top of that!"

Jason picked up a stick, lit the fuse and tossed it to the warden. Warden caught it and was standing there in shock when Jason said "You gonna talk or you gonna fish?"