Friday, October 20, 2017

Something I said I'd never do...

When I was packing guns to bring to a recent shooting event, I didn't do my usual thing of tossing an odd mixture of T&E guns and show-off oddities into the case.

Instead, I brought all Glocks, albeit in a variety of calibers. I'd originally intended to dragoon some of my friends into something science-y at the range, but elected to leave the shot timer at home and just make anecdotal observations. With the Glock 19, 32, and 38, you have three substantially identical pistols, the only difference being caliber (9x19mm, .357SIG, .45GAP, respectively). How would that affect people's rate of fire on plates and poppers?

It was interesting. Everybody loved the full-size Glock 37 .45GAP; especially as it had a nice Apex trigger in it. With the smaller guns...? The 19-size platform is docile in 9mm, but splits go to hell with the hotter calibers. It's a downright handful in .45GAP form. There's probably a blog post in there somewhere, but that's not what this one's about.

See, on a whim, I threw a box of 230gr HST .45GAP into my luggage before I zipped it up, along with a Raven Phantom holster for the Glock 37. I don't entirely remember my reasoning.

This past Monday, when I had agreed to do a little shooting coaching for some friends, I didn't know what the gun and holster situation was going to be at the range, and so I wanted to make sure I had both G19's and at least one holster (in this case, my own Dark Star Gear IWB) available for loaners.

So I loaded up the Glock 37 and carried it myself. I've been carrying it all week.

It's not really a whimsical carry choice, I guess. It's a Glock just like the Glock I usually carry. They both even have the same Ameriglo CAP sights. It's as thoroughly-vetted as any Glock I have; my logbook says 2,510 rounds now, making it my third-most-fired G-lock.

But my head is telling me that I'm doing this on a whim, and whimsy and carry pieces don't mix. I don't mind fun guns...heck, the fact that my Luger is in .30 Luger rather than 9mm made me more likely to buy it, not less...but carry guns are srs bsns. You don't want to wind up shooting at a fool with a gun you picked out that morning because it matched your socks. Fool-shooting guns should be selected for fool-shooting utility and nothing else.

"But, Tamara! You said there was no realistic ballistic advantage to the .45GAP over the 9mm and you've given up five rounds and added a bunch of weight for nothing!"

I know, I know.

I'm switching back to the usual dull Glock 19. Tomorrow. I have to, anyway, because who can afford to shoot .45GAP in gun school?
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Public Service Announcement...

Wasted day...

All I did was lay on my back and wait for my head to stop hurting.

And nap.

And surf a little Facebook.


TW: Whining ahead...

This has to be some sort of allergy to some local fauna combining with the dry air that is keeping all my mucus membranes irritated and flowing like rivers.

I have single-handedly killed two boxes of Kleenex and gotten substantial assists on three more.

Time to fall back and start taking the antihistamines instead of pretending the cold medicine fixed everything because the fever and sore throat were gone.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ideological Turing Test

Monday, October 16, 2017

Range time today...

Argumentum ad feces fabricatum...

William S. Lind, an ever-reliable source of military history lulz, dropped another funny one.

After some nattering about warship propulsion* that was incorrect, he wrote...
"What this means, and has meant for centuries, is that most of the time ships and fleets are in their home ports.  Small detachments may be stationed around the world, the gunboats of gunboat diplomacy.  But gunboat diplomacy worked because the gunboat was a reminder of the powerful fleet that could come quickly if the gunboat needed support.  Other than these gunboats and small detached squadrons, the rest of the navy was comfortably at rest in its home harbors.  There was, and is, no need for it to be anywhere else, not only in peacetime but often also in war.  It can go where it needs to when it needs to."
This is a dude who has obviously never heard the term "China Station" or "East Indies Station" or "Asiatic Squadron" or...or...well, all of 18th, 19th, and 20th Century naval history.

* "Because steamships had to coal frequently, they were more dependent on the land than were ships driven by the wind.  The replacement of coal by oil for fuel and then of steam by fuel-efficient diesels for propulsion..." Warships don't use diesel propulsion, generally†, Bill. Well, the Kriegsmarine's pocket battleships did, and knowing what a boner you have for the Jerries, this factoid probably stuck in your mind and you assumed all forward-thinking navies just went on to copy that.

†Following discussion elsewhere, I'll modify "warships" to "major surface combatants of the world's large blue-water navies".

Impostor Syndrome

I'm pretty emphatic that I make no presumptions of being any sort of firearms instructor, and yet I have agreed to help some friends out on the range today with a few pointers.

I'll try my best, but this is not really my safe space, if you know what I mean.
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Progress!

Not too many months ago, I'd get off my poor tired feet at night and my lower legs would be all narsty and swollen above the elastic of my socks. That doesn't happen anymore. In fact, I can actually see some definition of my calf muscles again.

Also, some time in the first week of October, my belt began taking on a very active role in keeping my current jeans from falling down to my hips, rather than simply being a means of strapping my holster on. Looking like it's time to bust out the next size down when I get home. If I lose two jeans sizes by SHOT, I will be positively ecstatic.
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

In the meantime...

It's getting pretty Sunday afternoon around here right now, that portion of the weekend referred to by the great Douglas Adams as "the long dark tea-time of the soul". In lieu of content, have a kitten picture.

Her name is Shrike, from her hobby of eating wasps.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The backside of the upgrade cycle...

PetaPixel recently had a piece on the things you can do with a cheap DSLR. The writer snagged a used near-dozen-year-old consumer-grade DSLR with a fixed 50mm prime lens for $80 and proceded to go shoot some pictures with it.

The camera in question was a Rebel 400D, known in the U.S. as the Rebel XTi.

It was Canon's 2006-model entry-level DSLR, meaning that in the hothouse world of camera technology, it's eight generations out of date (the current model is the 800D/T7i) and sells for about a hundred and a half used even from online retailers, if you don't want to Craigslist.

Coincidentally, it's the same model camera as the one I bought, also used, five years ago to stick my toe in the DSLR waters...

It's the first DSLR I took to Blogorado or the State Fair.

Come to think of it, a fair number of the photos in my "Favorites" folder were shot with the Rebel XTi.

So, sure, if you want a bleeding edge DSLR, you're going to be out well over a grand, but if you just want to make you some pictures, you can do can do pretty darn good for a tenth of that. The bigger-better-faster-more nature of the electric camera market has morphed it into something very like the computer industry, where the depreciation curve is brutal, with the difference being that you don't need the latest hardware just to play.
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Well, that's embarrassing...

Some of the most fun I have on my annual New Mexico trip is taking photos of roller derby. I don't get to do much sports photography, so this is my yearly chance.

Last night I tried making do with the cameras and bodies at hand, putting the Sony 50mm f/1.8 on the NEX-5T and then getting daring and mounting the old Leitz Elmar 9cm f/4 on the Ricoh GXR body to shoot some fully manually in B&W. If there's anything more hipster than using 1955-vintage German glass on a Japanese digital camera to shoot pictures of roller derby, you'd need to be drinking PBR ironically to find out what it is.

Shooting with the NEX-5T was a breeze. Put it in aperture priority and crank it open enough to where you're still getting ~1/200th shutter speeds, and then trust auto focus and mash the button at the start of each jam, keeping the pack centered in the frame and know that the shutter whirring away at up to 10 frames per second would grab something good.

Using the manual focus lens on the Ricoh GXR was a whole different experience. Having to shoot wide open or at f/5.6 meant that at all but the longest shots across the rink, depth of field issues were a constant worry. I lost plenty of shots to "almost-but-not-quite-in-focus". The lighting was perfect for B&W shooting, though, and even though I had to press the shutter button for each one, I think I wound up shooting more frames with the manual Ricoh than either of the automated cameras.

We got back to the Nerd Ranch and I started throwing stuff from one Compact Flash (the yeoman Nikon D200) and two SD cards onto my laptop.

As I started sharing pics around, everybody was noting that the internet in the house was lagging something fierce. It was noted again when we were binge-watching a few episodes of Rick and Morty later that evening.

It wasn't until I sat down at the computer and checked my email this morning that I realized what had happened, since that's when I got the email cheerily informing me that all my photos had been uploaded to my One Drive account. Yes, I had failed to disable automatic photo uploading for this roadtrip...

It's something I never notice at home, because auto uploading five or ten pictures happens seamlessly in the background. Nearly two gigs of derby pics dumped on the hard drive all at once? That's a bandwidth hog.

D'oh!
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sweet photos...

Jennifer has some awesome pics from this past weekend.
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Asymptomatic now, but...

Well, no more fever or achiness and I don't seem to be an endlessly-flowing river of mucus anymore. It's going to take a while to clean out all the distant corners of my sinus and bronchial passages, and my nose is so raw that even the Puffs Plus Lotion feel like 40-grit, but I think I'm coming out the far side.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

That man is in dire need of a Smithers.


I suppose the FCC could do something about WNBC's broadcast license, which would dishearten any Manhattanite cord-cutters out there who don't have broadband internet...
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ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Automotif CXLII...

Vaguely post-apocalyptic-looking vehicle spotted in the vicinity of Los Alamos, NM.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ugh.

Spent the day in bed.

I picked up some sort of bug in Colorado and, by the time we stopped for gas in Cimarron yesterday, my soft palate felt like I'd been gargling crushed glass and I was blowing my nose nearly non-stop.

Today featured a low-grade fever and general respiratory tract ickiness. There's nothing like not having full breathing capacity at 6,000 feet ASL.

Blech.

At least the fever seems to have broken this evening.
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Camera stuff...

I'd intended to shoot this trip mostly with the Sony MILC cameras. I had intended to use the 18-105 f/4 G lens on the Hasselblad Lunar for most shooting, and use the NEX-5T with an appropriate lens for the circumstances as a backup camera.

Unfortunately, I left the Hasselblad, complete with its shiny new zoom lens mounted, lying on a filing cabinet in the office back home.

So this left me with the NEX-5T body, a couple of fast primes (Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and Sony 50mm f/1.8) and the long kit zoom, a 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3, to shoot pics at Blogorado. The prime lenses were intended to shoot pictures of the hanging out and socializing in the evenings, and I would have to try to cover most of the action on the range with the 55-210 zoom.

Things went more swimmingly than expected, until Sunday...

See, Saturday night I'd been shooting in the garage with the camera set on Aperture Priority...and forgot to switch it to my usual range settings when I switched to the slow kit zoom at the range the next day.

Oh, well, at least it's got a fast enough shutter to keep stuff from being completely blown out, and at that shutter speed you get some cool stuff...


Monday, October 09, 2017

Somewhere west of Cimarron...

Snows came early to the high passes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains this year. Raton Pass wasn't bad and the road across Eagle Pass was just wet, despite all the snow in the woods surrounding it, but Cimarron Canyon between them was getting treacherous when we drove through...

Travel Day...

More later.

Oh, happy Columbus Day! Whoever thought that a pretty generic minor secular government holiday would be a reason to argue on the internet?
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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Faces of Blogorado...

Stingray

Kevin
These were shot with my Ricoh GXR, using a 1955-vintage Leitz Elmar 9cm f/4, all at ISO400, f/22, 1/400th sec. This is a lot of fun...
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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Sorry...

I've been otherwise occupied having a good time the last couple days, and the internet is still a roiling sea of goofy speculation dotted with islands of howling retards and the flotsam of some of the most truly goofy conspiracy theories I've heard in a lifetime of collecting goofy conspiracy theories as a side hobby.

I refuse to let this 'tardstorm bum my high.
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Thursday, October 05, 2017

True Fact

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Paging Alanis Morissette...

Right click, save as "thetruthaboutirony.jpg"...
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This is why I'm a misanthrope.

The internet has broken out in the dumbs. The right half of it is spewing kooky conspiracy theory nonsense and the left half wants to...I don't know, wish all the guns into the cornfield or something.

If you're out there rolling around in the toxic stew of these debates, here's a fun conversational grenade to toss into the mix, the way Woo Bum-kon tossed grenades at local villagers.
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Monday, October 02, 2017

Real Talk


Every internet shithead can suddenly make a 500-yd high-angle precision shot with their SIG-brace-equipped 9" .300BLK with a zero magnification dot. Under fire. I'd like to beat that dude about the head and shoulders with his no-doubt-Punisher-skull-festooned AR pistol until he saw wisdom and Jesus.
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Circus Circus

They're flashing the leaderboard on NBC news non-stop this morning. Brokaw, who has made gun-grabbing his beat, has been brought in to chew his lip and tut-tut.

Social media is in a frenzied game of "Pin the Loonie on the Other Party".

The Alex Jonesies are pointing out the similarities between this and the staged stadium massacre opening of Matt Bracken's Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Pepperidge Farm remembers!

Tragic Consequences

Saw this from a Pennsylvania police department this morning:

First thought: What is up with a cop not locking his doors? Like Greg Ellifritz has observed on multiple occasions, the vast majority of thefts come from thieves wandering right in through unlocked doors. And as an IMPD detective I know points out, most private citizen in-home defensive gun uses aren't violent home invasions, but rather "meeting engagements", where a burglar encounters a surprised resident in a home the burglar thought was empty or only contained sleeping residents.

I don't know all the details, but I'm betting one thing saved that drunk dude: The officer was almost certainly trained in the use of a flashlight to identify a target, rather than shooting at shadows. There's so much gun store claptrap about "Well, ah lernt to shoot in the Army, and a light will give away yer position!"

You know what'll really give away your position? Killing a loved one.


Ninjas are not coming to kill us. We know a cheap and readily-available solution to this problem:

Or, you know, if you don't have a flashlight handy, you could turn the light switch on. Or if the power's out, you could try asking "Who's there?" Target ID is a thing.

In conclusion (or "tl;dr" if you prefer):
  • Lock your damn doors, people.

  • Ninjas are not coming to kill us.

  • Target identification is a thing. It's right there in the Four Rules.

  • Your house is not a free-fire zone.

Excuses...

I seem to have gotten all caught up in Saturdaying, and so here's a bit of linky in lieu of thinky:

First: A post from Mark at Growing Up Guns on "The Universal Draw Stroke". There's a way to get your gun out of your holster that doesn't point your gun at yourself. If you do it all the time, it's the only draw your hands know. This might be a good thing for you. Personally, I draw to a hard 2 even when I'm putting the gun away at night.

Second, a video from Caleb on the banes of the gun store shopper's existence:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lack of Judgment

In the throes of a crime wave of national-news-worthy proportions, Baltimore is grasping at straws to try and get things under control.

Are they considering letting victims shoot back? Oh, hell no. That would be horrible! Letting the rabble arm themselves in their own defense? Perish the thought!

No, instead they are grasping at that tiredest of legislative straws, the Mandatory Minimum Sentence.
"Yet this month in Baltimore, the city council voted 8-7 in favor of establishing a new mandatory minimum penalty for individuals caught carrying an illegal gun. The proposed legislation originally would have imposed a one-year jail sentence on first-time offenders caught carrying a gun within 100 yards of places like churches, schools, and parks. After public protest, the bill was weakened to add just a $1,000 fine to existing state law, which already imposes a one-year minimum sentence on second-time offenders. The legislation (in both its original and final form) was backed by the city’s police commissioner, Kevin Davis, along with Mayor Catherine Pugh and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby—who all also advocated unsuccessfully over the last two years for new statewide mandatory minimums."
The problem with mandatory minimums is that they remove judgment from judgments. Further, this adds a mandatory...no mens rea required...penalty to an activity that's legal barely more than a half-dozen Interstate exits away.

Those of us who live where the state boundaries are farther apart have less of a worry about this, but get out toward the East Coast and up to the Potomac and points north, and you can go from Constitutional Carry to a ban on even having spent brass without a license in one overshot exit ramp.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Speaking of Hugh Hefner...

The articles really were good. And the interviews were nearly mandatory. The CIA archives have the Playboy interview with William Colby downloadable in .pdf format.

Turd World Living Conditions

They told me that when I quit smoking, I'd get my sense of smell back. What they didn't tell me was how much of the world smelled like hobo piss.

Actually, while Broad Ripple does have its small platoon of vagrants, known locally as "Bridge Kids" for their habit of congregating around the bridges over the canal and guitaring at passing strangers for pocket change, they probably aren't the majority of the culprits. Most pee smells one runs across in the alleys and passages of the village are likely from someone who couldn't wait until they got in their car and went home after leaving Chumley's or the Vogue at 0300 on a Saturday.

This is completely dwarfed by the problem San Diego is apparently having with its vagrant population, whose urban outdoor pooping has caused a mini-outbreak of hepatitis A, leading to the city needing to pressure wash its downtown with bleach and water biweekly.
"Health authorities in San Diego have ruled out contaminated food, beverages, and drugs as the source of the outbreak. Instead, they believe the primary drivers of the outbreak are person-to-person contact and “contact with a fecally contaminated environment.”

San Diego’s mayor Kevin Faulconer is now moving forward with a plan to have crews use a bleach and chlorine-solution to pressure wash streets and outdoor surfaces that may be contaminated with feces, bodily fluids, or blood. The sanitary washes started this week and will occur every other week.
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This is why we can't have nice things.

So, a couple weeks ago, some dude in Tennessee was carrying his loaded, holstered Chiappa rimfire Peacemaker clone around in a sack. This was legal, because dude had a Tennessee HCP, but as news stories show, just because he was legal doesn't mean he was smart.

Apparently he was unaware that you don't carry a live round under the hammer in Peacemaker clones, because he dropped his sack o' gat and it discharged, putting a round into his abdomen and sending him to the emergency room. ("Lifeflight helicopter"? "Critical condition"? I thought .22's were just bee stings?)

He's lucky, though. Ruger's single action revolvers gained both the transfer bar ignition system and the paragraph of lawyerese on the side of the barrel off of some dude who dropped a 3-screw Blackhawk in .357 Magnum and accidentally offed hisself.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I have great hopes...

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

This is something I've wanted to try for a long time... (And that Voightlander is a Leica M-mount in case I suck it up and step up to a serious rangefinder.)
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

That worked, too...

Having used the TulAmmo to successfully function the Glock 34, I took another hundred rounds of it to Indy Arms Co. along with the P320C and the X-Carry. I wanted to see if they would share the HK P30's distaste for the weaksauce lot of ammo or if they'd eat it up like the Glock.

The answer was the latter. Incidentally, I need to drift the rear sight on the P320C to the right some.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Go, underdogs!

As September draws to a close, so does the annual Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraising competition. As usual, we* have tardily waited to throw the Official VFTP Endorsement to an underdog.

This year it's Team Lonely Mountain. Go to the Kilted to Kick Cancer page and make your donation in their name and we'll see if we can't nudge them in the standings some...


*The editorial "we", which I guess refers to me and maybe Rannie the cat?
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Sunday, September 24, 2017

I was not surprised...

Poor Man's Roland Special: X300U-A and RM08G on a 34. Do note that the RM08 and a WML go together like pickles and peanut butter, since the light will wash out the tritium-lit triangle without providing enough splash to illuminate it via the fiber optic. This sight is really useful outdoors only.
I took a hundred rounds of that TulAmmo to Indy Arms Co. on Friday morning along with my Gen4 Glock 34 MOS to confirm my suspicions...

Suspicions confirmed. The 34 ate that stuff up like popcorn, without the weird ejection pattern (or, I should say, with an ejection pattern no weirder than normal) which I assume can be attributed toward the P30 being more sensitive to lightly loaded ammo.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

So that's an upside...

Remember how one of my pastimes on this blog was whingeing about lower back pain? Turns out that the best medicine I could take for that was 25 pounds of Fatbegone.

Oh sure, I still can get some soreness started up with enough stoop labor, but it's not the near-crippling levels of pain that it was just six or eight months ago. Also, I haven't needed a Tums since the middle of July when before I was going through a bottle of sugar-free antacid tablets a week.

Maybe there's something to this reducing the carbs thing.

I'm about a month away from ECQC and hope to be in a lot better shape for it than I was last year.
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Automotif CXLI...

Well-maintained E30 325i ragtop encountered on a recent walk to The Gallery Pastry Shop. An '85 or '86 model, judging by the extended aluminum "diving board" bumpers required by NHTSA regs (shorter, body-colored units came about in the '87 facelift.)

These things vied with Porsche's 944 for being the Cabbage Patch Kid of automobiles of their day. Miss Christina probably drove a 944 because "325i Cabriolet" didn't rhyme with "pores".

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Tab Clearing...

Autumnal Equinox...

Wunderground says the high around here yesterday was 92°, measured at IND. I know I saw "95°F" on the Zed Drei's thermometer as well as the one in Bobbi's RX300.

It was humid, too. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, too hot to put the top down on the convertible. Dew point at the airport was 69°, and probably 70° in town.

Now, that's what they call "Tuesday" in the coastal South (or all of Florida) but when you've lost your acclimitization to the stickiness, it just sucks. Sweat doesn't evaporate when the air's already full of water, and you sweat copiously in bright 90+° sunshine. I was wiping sweat out of my eyes with the tail of my gun burka and being thankful I hardly ever wear eye makeup anymore.

Bobbi and I walked over to Twenty Tap for dinner, and the joint was already jumping by 6:30, so rather than wait for a table, we sat outside, which was made tolerable by being in the shade and frequent ice water refills...

Today is supposed to get to 91°F, which is within striking distance of the record high for the date of 93°F, set back in 1895 or so, and daily highs in the low 90s are supposed to continue at least through the weekend.

I'm officially ready for autumn.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Peace? I hate the word..."


I had a dream last night in which Trump sent Dennis Rodman over to act as an envoy to Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un, apparently overestimating Rodman's importance as anything other than an answer in the Jeopardy category "'90s Pop Culture", took Dennis hostage and staked him out on a giant bullseye painted on a mortar range, threatening him with execution by 120mm mortar fire. This was broadcast on live TV, like something a Bond villain would do.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Issues...

So, I've run something like four or five cases of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ through various handguns, both personal and review guns, over the last year or so. I've had surprisingly good luck with it. Oh, the Canik and Steyr didn't like the hard primers, sure, but Glocks and 320's ate it up. The XD-E ran 175 rounds of the stuff in testing and the FN 509 saw 300. About the only issue it caused in the Glocks and striker-fired Sigs  was a light strike every few hundred rounds.

I assumed it would function fine in the P30L, so I ordered a case from Lucky Gunner and headed to Indy Arms Co. with two hundred rounds yesterday morning.

This case lot...let's just say that this case lot didn't exhibit quite the same consistency as the last four or five. Where the 10-round chrono string through the FN 509 had a SD of only 10.77fps, this stuff's wildly inconsistent ejection suggested that velocities were rather more varied.

Some rounds ejected normally over my right shoulder while some barely dribbled over the forward left corner of the ejection port to land on the range tray; probably a third arced straight back toward my hat brim or face. Some didn't even have enough oomph to clear the port entirely before the slide closed again...


"Limpwristing!" Yeah, technically I guess this malfunction wouldn't have occurred if the pistol had been hucked up in a machine vise.

At the end of the day, there were three failures to eject and one failure to feed (the gun stopped slightly out of battery, but fed the round successfully when it was reloaded into the magazine.) 

Personally, I'm chalking this up to this lot of ammo, but I haven't gotten a chance to chrono it yet.

The HK P30L has now fired 1700 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with three failures to eject (#1,568, #1,578, #1,606) and one failure to feed (#1,664). 300 rounds left to go.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I felt a great disturbance in the Force...

...like thousands of hoplophobes crying out in panic and then suddenly silent.

Behold what Silencerco hath wrought:

What you are looking at is an integrally-suppressed .50 caliber rifle that is not a firearm, is fifty-state legal, and can be ordered right off Silencerco's webpage right here.

That sound you hear is Diane Feinstein's teeth grinding and Bloomberg's distal sphincter slamming shut. Glorious!
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Bizarre ad meme?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Three Quarters Done

Took the HK P30L and a hundred rounds of ammo to Indy Arms Co on Friday morning. My last fifty round box of the Winchester NATO ball (time to reorder!) and a box of standard pressure 124gr Federal HST. I also brought along my freshly reconfigured carbine to get an idea of how much work we were going to have ahead of us zeroing the scope.

The pistol was shot at seven yards. The carbine was pretty close to POA/POI at fifteen, just hammering the trigger in big, goofy three- and five-round strings because WHEEEEE! That Spühr Team Noveske mount is probably overkill for this gun; you could use it to hold up a highway bridge, let alone keep an optic from wiggling under the titanic recoil forces generated by 5.56x45mm ammo.

I'll take the carbine to Atlanta Conservation Club on Tuesday or Wednesday and get it dialed in.

The HK P30L has now fired 1500 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 500 rounds left to go.
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Saturday, September 16, 2017

iUpgrade

Since I paid off the 16GB iPhone 6S that I've been using since last April, and since Apple just released the iPhone 8 and the magic super-duper iPhone X, I figured it was time to upgrade...

So while I was riding in the passenger seat of Bobbi's car today, I used my carrier's app on my phone to upgrade to...a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Again Marko and Mike Grasso were bad influences, just like with the watch. But watching both of them use theirs, I realized that it was still (albeit just barely) shirt pocket size on my gun burkhas and, more importantly, it solved my biggest issue with the cell phone camera: The second lens means I have both a wide-angle (28mm) and a normal lens (56mm) equivalent.

So my phone bill's not going to change...unless I decide to add my old iPhone 6S as a second line. Debating the pros and cons of that.
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QotD: Be Real Edition...

This deserves fleshing out into a whole post, but I'm going to drop it here so I can remember it...
"short of natural disaster or civil disorder it is extremely unlikely that they will either need (nor want) to wear armor, a chest rig, and carry a half dozen magazines for the rifle. After all...if you empty one 30rd mag in civilian world USA you are going to be on the news.....if you empty TWO you are going to be in the encyclopedia......" -Randy Harris
...which in turn echoes the famous SouthNarc quote:
"Personally I think that if a man is naked and is standing in a locked room with ten other naked men, and can't keep at least half of them from raping him, then the last thing he needs is a carbine course." -Craig Douglas
I know people who take butt-tons of carbine classes because, face it, running and gunning with an AR or AK, especially on targets in the 7-to-50 yard range, is fun as hell.

Which is not to say that there wasn't a ton of value in what I spent last week doing, because any time you get a chance to have to think on your feet while armed and move safely around other armed people and make decisions with a gun in your hand is time well-spent. Working tactics in the house is a different animal altogether from doing marksmanship stuff on the square range.

That, and quality low-light training is something I will jump on any chance I get. Especially if there's a force-on-force component.



Do note that both Forge Tactical and Sentinel Concepts offer classes that will let you work in the house with just the pistol in two-person teams. Do you have anyone in your life who carries a pistol also? Do you often find yourself in the same building with each other? Do you know how to move around each other and solve problems safely with loaded guns in your hands? Might this be a valuable skill? I think so, too!
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Triggered!

So that my morning's discussion elsewhere won't be completely in vain...

A lot of Glock aftermarket triggers get sold by the manufacturer claiming "It has a stock (or polished/plated) Glock trigger bar" with the unstated presumption that this leaves all the factory Glock safeties intact.

But that isn't the case.

Now, here are two examples of quality triggers in my own guns that are both using factory Glock trigger bars. Both Glocks are fitted with a Striker Control Device from Tau Development Group. I have used both guns in classes and would carry either one.

This Gen3 Glock 19 has an SSVi Tyr trigger in it. The gun is "cocked" (hold your emails about how Glocks are really only about 7/8th's cocked, Glock nerds.) Note how the Striker Control Device lies flush with the slide as intended.

Here is my Robar'ed Gen2 Glock 17 with a TAC trigger from Overwatch Precision in it*. Notice how the SCD stands just ever slightly proud of the slide. This is because, despite having a stock trigger bar, the shoe of the TAC provides just enough pretravel that the tail of the trigger bar is lightly contacting the SCD.

Now, the ZEV Fulcrum trigger, which I'm not providing a link to because it's garbage and if you use it you should feel bad, also uses a "factory trigger bar". But if I put the Fulcrum in one of these guns, which I'm not doing right now because I'm in a hurry, the SCD would be pushed WAY out. And if you looked up the magwell with the Fulcrum in the gun, you'd see that the trigger bar was so far to the rear, even with the trigger at rest, that the firing pin safety was disengaged.

With that trigger in your gun, your gun is not drop safe. And I don't mean "not drop safe" in the "if you drop it on a hard enough surface at just the right angle from the right height while holding your mouth right" sense, I mean that the gun will discharge with surprisingly little jarring.

I feel bad for ever having that trigger in a gun. I didn't know. Now I do. And so do you.

Fulcrum trigger: Not even once.


*That trigger was sent to me for free for T&E. I liked it enough that I paid retail for a second one.
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Depends what you consider "retro"...

So, there's a running joke on Facebook where Caleb will post a picture of one of the issue M4's from work and I'll crack wise about the Air Force issuing "retro" guns.

Mind you, they're pretty standard M4's, it's just that the guns found out in the non-SOCOM parts of the armed forces are, by the standards of the current state-of-the-art, kinda old school. You know, the way guys in line units during OIF were clearing houses with Maglites hose-clamped to the handguards of their A2's while cake-eating civilian me here at home had a Surefire M500 on her ban-compliant house gun.

Some of his fellow airmen didn't get the joke, though. "Those aren't retro! Those are standard issue!" Yeah, so are birth control glasses...

David Merrill over at RECOIL is the sort of AR geek who can tell you pretty much when a rifle was put together with remarkable accuracy just by the configuration of gun and accessories.

I'm not that good, but I can get within a few years. I showed the below picture of my previous house gun (taken in Marko's driveway a couple years ago) to one of the Surefire reps at the class in Alliance last week and he said "Man, that looks like an EAG class gun from '08 or '09," and he was pretty spot on. That gun had been built at the end of 2012 and its configuration had been heavily influenced by Pat Rogers' articles in SWAT over the previous several years.

But hardware trends are definitely a thing. A lot of them start in 3 Gun competition shooting and percolate into the tactical world. An example of that would be low-power variable optics. Once magnifying scopes rugged enough to take a whack became a thing, it was only a matter of time before they became the choice of serious dudes.
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Grinding away...

At Indy Arms Co. again yesterday morning with the HK P30L and two hundred rounds of ammunition. I had the pistol bay to myself, and so I was able to break the speed limit with impunity without worrying about setting a bad example for other customers.

I was experimenting with grip and seeing the effects at speed. Todd Jarrett's lesson about aiming at the top third of the target paid off a few times, obviously.

The HK P30L has now fired 1400 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 600 rounds left to go.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Dozen Hundred.

I took the P30L up to Atlanta Conservation Club with Mike Grasso yesterday to continue the 2k round test. A hundred and fifty rounds of the Winchester NATO FMJ and fifty Federal Premium HST 124gr +P jacketed hollow points went downrange.

The center circle was a hundred and fifty rounds at seven-ish yards. The lower right is where I let Mike fam-fire a box of fifty through the gat. The other circles were him working with the Romeo optic on his P320 X-Five.

The HK P30L has now fired 1200 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 800 rounds left to go.
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QotD: Reach Out And Touch Edition...

"If you're not a shooter, that might not sound like a big deal, but hitting a target more than a quarter mile away with no optical magnification and eyes no longer young — that's something."

Flicks I Want To See...

Apparently there's a movie out now about the incident that earned Ted Kennedy the nickname "The Evel Knievel of Chappaquiddick". If this is showing at the local art house cinema, I'm down to see it.
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Random musing...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Death of Cameras...

The stunted photography section at the local Meijer's superstore is illustrative of the market.

The camera selection was small when the store went in about a year ago and has shrunk even more since. When fully stocked, it has an entry-level DSLR kit from each of the big two, and a small assortment of point-and-shoot cameras of various types and prices. Usually there's a superzoom "bridge" camera or two, a couple ruggedized waterproof adventure cams, and then a smattering of generic Canikolympus in a few price tiers between <$100 and about four bills.

Film clings on like grim death in the form of disposable cameras or 4-packs of FujiFilm 200 or 400 ISO 35mm. Instax is apparently pretty popular.

I wonder who buys the disposable 35mm cameras?

The reason for the decline of cameras is apparent in the photography accessories section, where half the accessories are selfie sticks or little tabletop tripods for your phone. Even with that, they can't fill out the aisle, and so the last third or so is padded out with emergency radio receivers and FRS handhelds.

Back to the Grind...

Back from gun school in Alliance means back to the range to build the round count on the HK P30L. I brought the last hundred rounds of 147gr Speer Lawman along with a hundred rounds of Winchester 124gr NATO FMJ.

The two magazines that came with the pistol have been joined by a pair from CDNN. I feel a lot better having four mags for the gun.

The bottom hundred rounds were fired first, at seven yards, followed by the upper grouping at ten yards.

The HK P30L has now fired 1000 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1000 rounds left to go.
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Idiots rejoice!


I'm expecting a lot of stupid on gun fora right now. Suffice it to say, I'm not running out for any Gadsden Flag or Punisher slide cover plates for my G-locks.

People don't understand why stuff like this is dumb, and it's not because the prosecutor even has to necessarily call the jury's attention to it. He should have kept his cakehole shut and just let them look at the alleged murder weapon and form their own opinions.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are directed to forget that the defendant has 'BORN TO LOOSE' tattooed on his neck in Gothic lettering and not allow it to have any bearing on your verdict."

 
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Overheard in the House...



Fixing to breach a door in the house:
Me: "You have do this with a gunwriter. Sorry."

John: "That's nothing. You have to do this with a YouTuber."

Me: "Why you gotta do that to me?"

Saturday, September 09, 2017

That was fun...

Class wrapped up around midnight last night. Time to catch up on sleep! I'll write up the festivities tomorrow or Monday.
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