Tuesday, February 09, 2016


I've been seeing a lot of older people suddenly deciding it was time to buy a gun to start carrying. The stereotype of the demographic is "In their sixties or older, 5'4"-5'8", a hunnert 'n' somethin' pounds, two thirds of them women."

And the new crop of small single-stack nines is the Cabbage Patch Kid of guns for this demographic. Glock 43s, Smith & Wesson Shields, Sig Sauer 938s...they're selling like hotcakes.

Thing is, these guns of necessity all have fairly stiff recoil springs. Further, they have small slides that are hard-to-impossible to get a whole-hand over-the-top grasp on, meaning that getting these new shooters up to speed on the manual of arms is frustrating for them and for their teachers.

Then there's the elephant in the room...

I was shooting on the range after work the other day and a gentleman was on the lane to my right, shooting the Glock 43 he'd recently purchased. He called me over three times "Miss, my gun has jammed." And I'd clear the stovepipe or double feed and explain that he really needed to get a death grip on the gun. He was about 5'5", in his late seventies, and obviously playing through some pain in his hands.

I explained recoil operation, and how the gun needed a stable platform to work against, but really, the mild-shooting Federal RTP or CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ ammo is running right at the ragged edge of having enough ass to cycle that gun. It's running a light bullet at probably 1,050fps out of that stubby barrel and is probably barely at the limit for reliable functioning.

Thing is, how many of the people buying these guns are then being turned loose with Hornady Critical Defense Lite or Federal Personal Defense Low-Recoil personal protection loads that have barely enough steam to run the gun if it's held in an ideal two-handed grip?

("Just get 'em a revolver!" says the person in the back, who apparently thinks arthritic fingers work better with a 12-lb double-action trigger than they do with a heavy recoil spring. If there's a bigger disaster than an untrained shooter with elderly eyes and hands being handed a lightweight revolver with a heavy trigger and vestigial sights, I've never seen it.)

Monday, February 08, 2016

More shooting...

Sunday morning before clocking in, I ran another fifty rounds of Remington UMC 230gr FMJ through the Glock 37...

There were no malfunctions to report.

The Glock 37 has now fired 1060 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 940 rounds to go.

That's festive...

On the upside, I've got a check showing up soon for a feature article in a magazine.

On the downside, I went out to the garage the other day and the battery in the Zed Drei was as flat as the driver's side rear tire. The battery was because I'd left the GPS on while the car was garaged for a week while driving the Subie, but the tire...

It's had a slow leak for a while, but it had recently gotten much worse. I charged the battery and used the cigarette lighter air pump to put thirty-five pounds of air in the tire and was rewarded with a quietly audible leak.

I can't see a nail, so unless we find one when we get it up on a lift, that's probably two cracked rear rims. (The passenger side rear has a very tiny leak as well.) So it looks like that check is going to spend very little time in my bank account before being re-deposited at Tire Rack for wheels and tires.

Sunday, February 07, 2016


My latest addiction is the game World of Tanks...

It's full of hypothetical "paper tanks" that never left drawing boards in real life, like the French "AMX-40" above.

The AMX-40 is pretty heavily armored for a light tank, but armed with a popgun. In the picture above, I just rammed a T34 out of frustration after bouncing round after round of 47mm off its glacis from 100-0 meters. It pushed me backwards through a whole village of mud brick buildings as I continued to fire ineffectively at muzzle-contact distance until one of its shots knocked out my gun.

Meanwhile, its buddy, the M5 Stuart, circled around a back alley behind me and finally put me out of my misery...

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Today was a sick day.

Should have gotten a flu shot this year, as two separate varieties have been carried up into the store and I got hit by them both, just weeks apart.

A day's bed rest seems to have turned the corner on this latest episode, but it was still three days worth of feverish misery.

Friday, February 05, 2016

It's got electrolytes!

Magazine rack...

GPS magazine storage bag. I keep it clipped to the outside of my range bag. (No Clown Shoes patch on the flap.)

Orange is G22/35 .40 cal, yellow is G17/34 9mm, blue is .45GAP, white is 10mm G20, silver is G19 9mm.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Halfway Point

I ran fifty more rounds through Project Whimsy after work yesterday. I was a little wild on that first magazine, but settled down okay. There were no malfunctions to report.

The Glock 37 has now fired 1010 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 990 rounds to go.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Mixed Feelings...

From comments at a post elsewhere...
I have a love for beautifully-done interwar and early postwar sporters on K98, M1903, and M1917 actions.

Conversely, I see current hack jobs on Finn Mosins or Argentine ’91s and feel sad. I lament the fact that I will likely never be able to spring for a nice, intact 33/40(t) since Cooper groupies scouterized 99% of them in the Eighties and Nineties.

It’s easier for me to understand the person who chopped a 10-year-old used car into a hot rod than it is the person who did the same thing to a car when it was one of the last intact survivors of the breed forty years later. But in both cases, if it was their car, it was their right to do with as they pleased, even if what they pleased was dumb.

(And yet I find myself completely callous to the fate of parts kits like the M16 upper in the post. Once the receiver’s been torched and the thing parted out, someone may as well have fun with the parts, I guess?)
I understand buying a gun just to tinker with. I mean, I still have that Sistema I bought for the express purpose of using it to learn how to mess with 1911s, right?

Sistema Colt

A nice Argentine Sistema is a valuable and appreciating piece of history now, and I'd look askance at chopping one up. The one I bought, heavily pitted and re-arsenalled who knows how many times and with exactly 0% of the original finish remaining, featuring a garish import rollmark as a final indignity, was relatively worthless as an historical artifact, and so...

Overheard in Front of the TV...

Man in the TV: "...only clinic to offer robotic hair transplant..."

RX: "EWWWW! Who wants robot hair?"

Me: "Robot hair would be cool!" *makes 6 Million Dollar Man sound effect* "If you had to get somewhere in a hurry, you could turn yourself upside down and run on your hair!"