Monday, April 30, 2012

All's well that ends well

A chase video of a very intoxicated driver.  OK, that one had me winceing most of the way. . . .goodness!

***ETA:  Hit this link for some super-creepiness!  These make me laugh so hard it hurts!

The lust in my heart

The HK handgun picture thread at ARFCOM.  Have I posted this already?

Oh man.  I've got a ton of firearms in my que these days, but I neeeeeeeeeed to make an exception for a USP 45.  Maybe after that SP101 that's now on my list (Thanks MSgt B!).

Also, for your entertainment, check out the Choose Your Weapon at theBrigade.  I'd go with that Mk12 Mod 0 without hesitation (#8. . .be still my beating heart!).  A damn fine rifle.  That Rockstead knife is a honey, too.  I think there's some side-bewb in there for y'all as well, if you're into that sort of thing.

Blog shoot

I got to meet with Andy, MSgt B, David, Nancy and her Sweet Daughter, and AGirl for some range time in on Saturday.  Each of them are genuinely friendly people, and I wish I had the time to hang out with them more often.  Interestingly enough, all of them were armed to the teeth, but yet I strangely feel at peace around these folks!  Who would have thunk it?!?

From the rounds I put downrange, I learned that Sigs are frightenly accurate.  MSgt B's Sig Pro and David's P239 and P226 will stack shotholes on top of each other at ten yards.  The only other Sig I've ever fired in life is my brother's P225, and it's the same way.  I got to shoot a pistol with a red-dot sight for the first time -- Andy's Ruger MkIII.  Saaaaawheeet shooting with a nice trigger.  Also, Imma gonna have to get me a .357 Magnum soon; MSgt B calls his the Snubby from Hell, and I would partly agree: I've shot .357 Magnums on several occasions, and none of them handled as well as the SP101.  Ruger did it right with that one.  The Hell part would be on the receiving end, as the sound and fireball that thing makes is fierce.  Who's going to stand around and shoot it out with you when they hear and see all that mayhem directed towards them?

For fun I brought out the HK P30, a postwar Walther PPK bond gun in the mighty .32 Auto, as well as the Kahr PM9.  I get a kick out of watching people shoot the P30's LEM trigger for the first time. At first they think the gun is broken or something, and it takes a magazine or two through it before they get the hang of it. My brother tried the P30 out yesterday and it took him about a mag and a half to get it down.  For folks who haven't shot the PPK and PM9 combo, it's fun to get them to shoot the Walther first because it's an all-steel gun in a wimpy cartridge that doesn't kick, and then watch them pick up a 14 oz 9mm blaster with a 3" barrel.  BIG difference!  Only about 10% of the people that shoot the PM9 actually like it, and the folks who do are fond of a double action revolver trigger or don't have a lot of trigger time on striker fired guns like Glock or M&Ps.  It's cool to see the advancement in firearm technology by comparing the two:

The Walther is a touch bigger and weighs more, yet fires a smaller round. I do appreciate the machining along the top of the Walther that reduces glare, but it's funny to me that it has such tiny sights.

Unfortunately Nancy and Sweet Daughter had to roll out without getting to shoot; there was some confusion on my part because for some reason I thought they were going to meet back up with us afterwords, but we ended up shooting for over an hour.  I didn't mean to be rude and not say goodbye!

We all went out for coffee afterwords and hung out for an hour or so, and then I went home.  I had been quietly nursing a headache from the moment I woke up on Saturday, and it intensified on the drive back home to the point that I was nauseous when I hit the house.  I downed two Goodies Headache powders and took a 30 minute snooze, at which point I had an allergic reaction to the buffered aspirin in the Goodies, so I downed a bunch of my allergy meds which jacked me up for the rest of the day.  Fortunately I got to take another nap and dream about shooting Sigs and Rugers!  Time to save up!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Okay, this might qualify as a "high capacity" magazine

Browsing the latest wares on ARFCOM's USSOF thread (that's US Special Operations Forces), I found this pic of a MK48 fed by a MK19 ammo can and feed belt that's welded to the frame of a rucksack:

Who really neeeeeeeeds that many rounds of ammunition? That's just begging for J. Q. Public to buy for like $12 from a gunshow (or make in their basement) and use to terrorize places of peace and tranquility! Why are y'all laughing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Torture is wrong

This post is about torture testing of firearms.  Andy has a post that links to a video where an AK47 is placed in a mud puddle and then picked up and fired as a way to showcase its reliability.
"It seemed that dirt simply didn't affect this weapon."
That is one of those perpetuated myths that keeps making rounds, much like the one the man says right before it that the M16 in Vietnam wasn't as reliable because -- he implies -- the rifle has tighter tolerances during machining and thus was built for accuracy and less for reliability.  Andy accurately points out that one little pebble could very well have ended his non-scientific reliability test of the AK, which is true of any similar test of any man made device that is built with complications.  Sure, his single example of a rifle fired just fine during the one test, and to give a hat tip to the AR family of rifles I could offer a similar but more in depth anecdotal test.  The thing about it is that it's one rifle put through a one series of tests.  Who's to say how many failures you would have if ten of the same rifles were put through the same series of tests?

The mud/sand/dirt/ceracoated-water-beetle tests are usually done on gun forums to show the AR fanboys that the AK family of rifles is more reliable in "dirty" environments.  I mean, AK rifles are used in dirty deserts by dirty people all over the world, and that's why they're so reliable, right?  Well, the reason AKs are used in poverty stricken countries is because they're so cheap to buy and easy to manufacture, not because they're any better than any other family of battle rifles.  I don't bother qualifying that claim because there's nothing to qualify: you won't find dirt poor militants fighting other dirt poor militants with FN F2000 rifles in dirt poor countries because they cost like $2,800, not because you can't bury one in dirt and expect it to fire.  Who buries their rifle in dirt, anyways?

Did you know that the M16 has a dust cover over the ejection port to prevent sand/dirt/mud/throwing-stars from getting into the action?  So does the AK-47.  Weird.  Now considering that, take a looksie at the receiver of a M-14 or M1 Garand.  Oooooo, there's no dust cover.  Do you think you could sling mud over the top of the action and have it fire without jamming?   Maybe it'll fire once or twice without jamming, but sooner or later it's going to.  Oh, CTone, everyone knows about the hell-and-back reliability of the Garand and M14!  Nothing can stop them!  I'm telling you that if you introduce foreign matter into a firearm's action -- any firearm -- it will not fire for long without a stoppage.  Likewise if you throw firearms out of airplanes; just because your gun survives a fall doesn't mean that it is airplane-drop-proof, it only means that it didn't hit the basketball sized rock six inches beneath the grass, and nothing more.

Wanna guess why military training and CONOPS don't include any procedures for running over or burying weapons in sand/dirt/mud or freezing them in a tray of mashed potatoes?  Because it's universally accepted that it will probably induce a malfunction when the weapon is fired.  I've never browsed an AK technical manual, but I doubt it will tell you that the gun is immune from jamming due to sand/dirt/mud/3/4" ball bearings, and I would bet a shiny nickle that it will tell you to keep the action clear from any obstructions, to include water.  Internet fanboys love pictures of SEALs, Rangers, and Recon Marines with painted faces coming up out of the water with their rifles at the ready, but what's not well known is that unless the gas tube of any rifle is clear of water, it will blow to smithereens if it's fired.  I bet there's a technique for not getting that to happen.  And sure, I've seen Elite Team Fighters dunk their favorite brand of rifle in a bucket of fluoridated tap water and then fire it without issue, but curiously I've never seen one of them pop out of a submarine in 50 feet of water and swim two miles to the shoreline, at night, while submerged, and then fire it two seconds after breaking the surface.  I just haven't.

Don't get me wrong, I love to see weapons tortured to see how tough they are.  But being a realist, I don't put much money on tests that try to show some resistance to foreign debris being forcefully transported either directly into the action, or right on the entrance of it, and then firing without a jam.  I also don't place faith in tests where an AK is fired out of a cannon.  You're basically only showing the favorable part of statistics.  The torture tests I like to see are ones like this, where an off-the-shelf production pistol is subjected to a lifetime of ammunition over several months, and lives to tell about it.  I can tell you that the only malfunction I've ever had in an M16 or AR type rifle combined was shooter induced.  I've actually found that as long as an AR rifle stays reasonably lubricated it will run like a sowing machine without cleaning for a long long time.

Me personally, I like to keep the nastiness out and off of my weapons.  They run better that way.  I don't clean them as often as I used to, but I make sure they stay lubed up with 10w50.

On that day. . .

Very soon I'll finally have a local place to shoot rifles at long range -- out to a mile I hope.  For that purpose I've started down the road towards my next build: a 7mm WSM built on a Savage action, which I'm just getting started on.  There's nothing picture worthy just yet, but maybe soon I'll show the build process.

To celebrate the hope of long range shooting, check out this picture thread of precision rifles.

More mob violence

This dude was beaten almost to death by a group of guys in Alabama.
Owens' sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on."

And the media did the country no favors for their works in inciting a race war.  Good job.

I'm going out on a limb and suggesting that this sort of behavior is going to get much much worse in the coming months, and when it does it will be everywhere.  This wasn't a savage beating in Chicago or North East DC; it was in frickin Mobile Alabama.  All cities have their rough spots, but the hatred of man is going to start pouring out from every crack and crevice, so be prepared in your daily life.

Ultra high velocity

And how do I get me some of it?
It turns out that tearing through the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound is bad for the skin, even if you're a super high-tech aircraft developed by the government's best engineers at its far-out research agency.
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, has made public its best guess about what might have caused its unmanned arrowhead-shaped Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) to suddenly lose contact and crash in the Pacific just a few minutes after slicing through the sky at Mach 20 last August: it was going so fast its skin peeled off.

Hmmm. . . .must not have had a J-4 copper jacket.  Thinking about it, most rifle cartridges struggle to break the Mach 3 barrier, and they're saying this classified flying thingy was going almost seven times that fast!  And that's only what DARPA will publically admit to!  Fantastic.  Now, how do we get this technology to Hornady?  I think it would be great to not have to dial in elevation on my scope to blast a doe at 3,698 yards.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Nothing like that anywhere in the world"

He's very right -- this is from an episode of Epic Drives where they take a ZR1 Corvette to 200 mph on the Autobahn. Nowhere on earth is there a place that I'm aware of where you can casually drive topped out in a high end sports car for miles and miles without a worry in the world. Several years ago I was cruising as a passenger in a BMW M3 with a friend on our way to Zurich, and he kept the car safely pegged at 155 mph for nearly an hour; the only concern we had was keeping an eye out for faster traffic, as 190 mph Porsches are as abundant in Germany as Civics are here, and I saw one Ferrari F40 and several assorted Lamborghinis drive by in downtown Mannheim. And unlike here in America, "regular" traffic stays to the right for the most part, so there's not miles of cars backed up in the passing lane.

"Ohhh. . . . I was almost there!"

In a 630 horse Corvette, I would have been!!

***ETA: I just clicked through some of my Germany pics and found this one of a Testarosa that drove by in Mannheim:

I remember hearing it from far off like a pissed off grizzly bear coming my way, the sound ecoing off the buildings. Also, 4-wheelers are tagged and legal to drive on the street. One morning on the Autobahn outside of Mannheim we were passed by this guy on his quad while he took the exit ramp. . . . we were doing 90 mph in a crappy rental car at the time and he blew right by:

Germany is a way cool place.

Mission impossible

I love these. I used to be the dick that sent the FNGs out to various places to pick up grid squares, six gallons of rotor wash, the keys to the drop zone, squeegee sharpeners, cordless extension cords. . . .you name it. You know who you're clicked with too when the FNG's mission is perpetuated by your buddies who quickly send them over to the S-4 for a bottle of K-9P lubricant, which as we all know you have to fill out a ID-10T form to get.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Flex those muscles!

Countless F-15 Strike Eagles sitting on the flight line looking like they're about to go kick an invading alien army's ass!

Sometimes you've just gotta show the other dweebs in the gym who's boss.

Monday, April 16, 2012

To infinity and beyond your target

This weekend I was able to sneak out at nap time for a little shooting therapy. I did some load development for my mom's Ruger LCP which went well; I tested out my ammunition weatherproofing skills which also went well, and I started to do some weak hand only (WHO) drills because I hadn't done them in a long time, but that part came to a screeching halt due to safety concerns.

I was shooting next to my brother's fiance' (WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!! Congrats, y'all!!!), ringing the Nevco steel target while shooting with my left hand when I noticed someone walking along a path on the top of the hill from my target. All I could see was from his jaw up, and he didn't seem to have any idea that two people were blasting away not 150 yards from him. The hilltop is part of what used to be a massive dairy farm surrounding my parent's property, but has recently in the past few years fallen into the hands of the Historical [Hysterical] Society; they made it into a Civil War historical thingy where there's a pathway a couple of miles long with information plaques every quarter mile or so. You can't do anything with the land that I know of except walk along the path, and that path happens to take you along a 15 degree angle above the place where I've been shooting for 25 years. It's a rare occasion that anyone actually walks it, but this weekend it happened. We packed up and quit shooting for the day because I couldn't tell where the guy went.

Thinking about it, I've had this very thing happen to me on four other occasions over the last 8 years or so:

- Once while shooting on a friend's private property in the middle of 25 wooded acres, a buddy of his jumped on a 4-wheeler with my friend's 6 year old daughter and went trail riding, and the trail brought them directly behind the dirt backstop we were shooting into. They knew we were shooting before they took off, but they didn't know where they were when they were behind the backstop. My friend called a cease fire and we quit for the day.

- Same friend and I were shooting rifles at 300 yards on a gas-line in the middle of a big piece of property in another county. I was in the middle of a string of fire from a .300 Winchester Magnum when some kids on three 4-wheelers drove into the woods about 200 yards behind the target. I was on the scope and couldn't see them, but my friend called a cease fire and we quit for the day because we couldn't verify where they went.

- Again, same friend and I were shooting on a big piece of privately owned property that was going to become a subdivision one day in the near future. We were shooting rifles at a 350 yard target, I was on the scope touching off 308 Winchester rounds when my buddy called a cease fire. Some curious moron with his young son drove his truck onto the property and drove right up to the target to see what was going on. His truck appeared from behind a hill about 100 feet to the left of the target. They sat in the truck for awhile and then drove off. It just about gave me a heart attack.

- Shooting on a power line on a huge piece of property in the middle of nowhere, I was spotting bullet trace for a buddy of mine while he was shooting a 30.06 at a big target at 650 yards. Right before his 3rd shot, I saw a man's face appear at the top of the target in the distance -- it was four men riding on two 4-wheelers, and they were about another 600 yards behind the target. I yelled cease fire right at the shot, which went low and into the dirt in front of the target. The men rode past us a few minutes later, but we still decided to quit for the day.

Keep in mind that these events happened over the course of about 8 years, and represent only a fraction of a percent of times when I've been shooting and nothing happened. One theme all of them have in common is that the backstop we were shooting into was certain, but the people who appeared were in the direction of fire. Rule #4: Beware of your target and what is beyond it -- this rule is really two rules in one; and unless you break it and another safety rule, you won't shoot anyone. It does help to have someone not shooting to be a general lookout so that if there's a safety issue it can be dealt with quickly. It pays to be observant!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Neat article on Infamous Weapons

Half of these I knew about. What I didn't know is that DC's stupid gun laws almost had Jack Ruby's Colt destroyed; the same one he used to smoke Oswald. Weird.

Also from Neatorama: Cheesecake stuffed strawberries! Awesome!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Here's a fun meme!

I see this meme at Excels at Nothing and I remember now that I didn't get around to the last one, so here it goes:

The most scared I've been on the road:

This is an easy but tough one. There's only one clear choice and it surprises me considering that it was low speed and uneventful compared to a past life I had with automobiles. In my youth a was a wee bit troubled and I took my frustrations out every night in sports cars at very high speeds, treating each nightly run like a video game where I had unlimited lives. In my first four years as a young driver I had wrecked so many cars that DMV would send threatening letters every couple of months telling me that I needed a dealer's license if I intended to buy another ride, and I rarely totaled one in the first few tries. Also in that time I had wallpapered two and a half walls of my bedroom floor to ceiling with various "moving" violations, and until I learned legal defenses I was a productive revenue generator for several counties.

More than once I've crawled out of the remnants of a car scattered an eighth of a mile down a dark highway, the wheels sheared off and the frame lying plumb on the pavement, blood on my face and laughing hysterically. All of my dogs may not have been barking, but I was having a good time just the same. During those times I could afford to play the odds because I was the only one playing the game. That all changed when I had kids. . . .

Just over two years ago I was driving home from my sister's house about five miles away from where I lived. I was in my XTerra with my at-the-time two children in the back. It had been raining hard for over a week and everything was soaked; it was early October if I recall and it was in the middle of the day not one mile from my doorstep. Coming up on a mild left-hand curve on a 45 mph road, an oncoming car "missed" the curve and was going to hit me head on. I didn't have or need any time to react as there was only one course of action: steer hard right and hit the ditch. I'm always consciously aware of an escape outlet for times like these, so it was really kind of casual. When I got scared was when I was past the ditch, drifting sideways in the soaked grass and mud trying not to hit the line of trees parallel to the ditch head-on; the branches were tearing down the right side of the truck and I could see in the mirror that my kids were leaning to the left, away from the doors. I'll never forget the sound. I was praying quietly that the glass would hold and that the body of the car wouldn't snag on one of the trees.

All went well and I got control of the car and got it stopped. My kids were screaming in terror and I did my best to calm them down. What floored me the most was when another car stopped to help, and for the first time in my life I couldn't even begin to form a sentence to talk to them. I have a feeling it was just a long clump of cuss words that I spoke. I was shaking, nauseous, pumped chock full of adrenaline, and scared as hell. This is from a guy who used to laugh at the "metallic thud" sound my car made when I hit something solid at speed.

As it turns out it was the oncoming driver's very first week on the road, and I have a suspicion that she was paying attention to her phone and not to curve ahead. She was really torn up about it and bawling her eyes out, but I told her that for her inaugural car accident, when nobody is bleeding and in pain that it's a good day. My brother and brother in law came and transferred my kids to their cars and took them home since there was no "collision" and no need for medical attention. The ditch I hit was substantial, and even with all the replacement parts the girl's insurance company bought for my XTerra it was never the same again, and has since died a slow death over the last two years.

I definitely think the contributing factor to me being scared and shaken up was the fear for my kids. I still don't get shook up at close calls when I'm by myself on the highway, but if you were wondering I drive like an old man these days. My reckless race car days are long gone.

Which one of you made this video?

Own it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Casting bullets before swineflu

I have successfully come back to the land of the living now that the sickness has released its grasp, so to celebrate I thought I'd show off what I was doing on Saturday, which was during the worst of it. I felt like a pale, clammy, fever-filled fireball casting oh-so-beautiful boooolits in the backyard!

Actually, I was mostly casting lead ingots using my wife's muffin pans:

If you buy wheel weights from the scrapyard, you would be surprised at how you can turn three mostly filled buckets of lead, steel clips, razor blades, and dried up dip balls into lead pucks by melting them all down in a iron pot. Just know that when you melt down what you put in it, don't try to dump any more into the hot melt or molten lead will literally explode all over the place; the melt doesn't like anything cold or wet to touch it.

Afterwords, it's best to not use the muffin tins for food, or even bring them into the house again. Tinseled muffins may look delicious, but it really settles into the bottom of your stomach!

Here's a pic of me warming the shiny new Lyman 9mm mold that I got:

Yes, my gloves are flashing gang signs.

I sorted the bullets last night that I had made on Saturday and only about a third were good. There's a couple of reasons for this, the first being that new molds take some time to "learn;" and second, I was paying more attention to casting ingots. I had a couple of buckets of wheel weights sitting around, and now I have one bucket full of clean lead pucks that fit nicely into my LEE 10lb melter. Being able to grab a handful of lead ingots when making a batch of bullets is way easier than trying to melt individual wheel weights in your casting melter, and makes the mass production of target bullets a snap. Now that I think about it, I'm going to start looking for either a 115 grain or 124 grain semi-wadcutter mold for mass bullet production. I'll save a ton of lead that way (pun intended).

In other news, my Concealed Carry Concepts Shaggy holster came in the mail yesterday:

It has excellent fit and finish, but sadly doesn't have a lick of duct tape. Here you can see the "wedge," which is much better done than the one I did:

I'm thinking he must have a die or something to make the wedge so clean. I really dig the leather backing on the holster; it should make high round count range sessions a lot more comfortable.

I was also able to redeem myself Saturday night by making my brother a serviceable holster for his Walther PPQ. I was embarrassed that he was walking around with the one I had made the other night. I still haven't been out shooting for some time, which is unfortunate because I've got all sorts of things going on that I need to get done. For one, I've started reloading some quality .380 acp ammo for a Ruger LCP for my mom, as promised to her; I've got some more ammunition weather proofing tests to do; I've got a full sized Mosin Nagant to sight in, and I want to nail down a target load for the P30 with my new 147 grain cast bullets. Too many irons in the fire!

FNH MK20 combat sighting

On the US SOF thread at ARCOM, page 47, is a picture of some SOF dude with a MK20 just like I oogled at the Modern Day Marine Convention two years ago. I hope it's doing well as a combat weapon.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The enemy within burns bright

This past Friday I got home from work and all was well, and within a half an hour timespan the sickness crept up on me and took me down like an old sick deer. Saturday and Sunday found me alternating between the chills and burning fever, with super swollen tonsils and eardrums. Having a fever Saturday morning worked out well for me though: I spent the morning outside in the 55ish degree weather in a T-shirt, sweat pouring from my face as I cast 147 grain flat-nose bullets. Even with that, it's been complete agony the past few days, and unless there's a break in the pain, tomorrow isn't looking so well either. I haven't been sick on a level like this in a long time. I have some fun filled pictures from Saturday to post, and maybe I'll get around to that tonight or tomorrow morning some time.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Repelling boarders

Finally we see what a few guys with AR rifles can do when pirates try to board their vessel. It's a frickin' turkey shoot.

They even gave the pirates the courtesy of warning shots and they still tried to take the ship. Just after the 2 minute mark you can hear incoming rounds from other pirates.

The devil on your shoulder

I received a text yesterday from my brother asking if "any reasons come to mind as to why I shouldn't go buy it [a Walther PPQ]?" Hmmmmmm. . .what to do. . .what to do. What would I do in his situation? Firearms being a major investment and all, and spendy at that, I knew I needed to give this question my complete and total consideration, so I allotted a good .087 microseconds out of my not very busy day to respond in favor of the acquisition of said pistol. I mean, there's no way I was going to give my own flesh and blood bad advice. Truth be told, I had already read lots of forum threads and reviews on the gun and all of them held it in high regard. It's a sexy looking handgun too.

It's virtually the same size as the P30, with a .15" longer barrel. The grip feels a scootch shorter than the P30, but still retains a 15-round magazine capacity.

Holding the gun, there is almost no discernable difference between the feel of the grip between these two pistols. The angle and size are the exact same, with the P30 feeling more scratchy with its texture and the PPQ feeling a little more sticky. I think the PPQ's grip alleviates the main complaint of the P30's: the P30's grip tears and scratches the skin, making you wear an undershirt to prevent it.

The striker fired PPQ has a gorgeous trigger. I agree with the reviews I've read calling it a much improved Glock-like trigger; it has not a lot of takeup before the sear engagement, with a clean and predictable break without much or any overtravel. Reset is short, crisp, and tactile. Since the gun is brand new, there's a touch of grittyness in the takeup, but I've read that that goes away. The takeup is not heavy, but it's not light either like the HK's LEM trigger. I think that Walther did it right with this one.

While my brother was over, I made a trashy holster for it with the sparse materials I had lying around. With the last little piece of .093" kydex I had left, my intent was to make a riveted IWB/OWB holster with belt slides for OWB carry and pull-the-dots for IWB carry, but I didn't have enough material to do it. I ended up turning the abomination into the worst looking AIWB holster I've ever made, with the promise that when my kydex shipment comes in hopefully today or tomorrow I'll make a better one. He still needs to put a gizzilion rounds through it and test out some carry loads anyways, so we have time.

This whole ordeal is not the same as, but not quite unlike buying your spouse a Benelli shotgun or something and then innocently trying to tell her that one day she'll warm up to it, and until then you'll just keep is safe and maintained. My brother has a keen eye and is very informed when it comes to firearms, and putting myself in his shoes told me that I would request his council to give me that last 5% that I needed to commit to a gun purchase in a heartbeat. He wasn't asking because he didn't know if it was a quality piece; he was already writhing on the hook and wanted to see if I would pull him off for any reason. So if you look at it that way, I'm not really an enabler. He did tell me that I need to come over and shoot it most ricky-tick. Oh the things I put up with to appease my brother. . . . !!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


It seems that the US military makes lots of noise on its bases while practicing the art of killing people and breaking their stuff! Shocking, I know. As far as I've heard, there's not a suppressing device to quiet 155mm artillery rounds when they detonate, and the suppressors for the guns themselves is a no go. Also, when you close bases and transfer personnel to other facilities, there ends up being more vehicles and noise. Again, shocking.

Well, the local rag has posted the annual "the US Army base is loud and disruptive" article, and it's just like all the others that have been posted since Fort A.P. Hill opened in 1941. To put this into perspective, it would be like me moving in right next to a farm and then writing the local paper because the air smelled whiffy.

"Calling Captain Obvious! Come in, Captain Obvious. . . .do you read me, over?"

"Gunny, I can't get him. There's no response."

I admit, I do whine a bit about all the traffic and morons flooding into this area, but I would sooner see the roads clogged with HETs and MTVRs than Camries and Explorers. And while I have no idea why all these folks would want to live here, I do understand exactly why Soldiers, Marines, Airman, and Sailors would want to have 75,000 acres of their very own to practice shooting their unique weaponry.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write a letter to the paper to get whatever idiot(s) that keep putting yellow dust all over my cars and stuff to stop.

If it's broke, fix it

I'm a rather strange cat in that I can be completely calm and collected after crawling out of the smoldering wreckage of a car accident, but then lose my mind when I can't get the lid off a mayonnaise jar. I know it's backwards, but whatever. That being said, one of the little trifling things in life that agitates me to no end is watching two of my small children struggle to buckle their seat belts in the back of the van.

In this day and age, we have minivans with more horsepower than the V-8 sportscars I had in the 80's and 90's; we have sensors that tell you when your tires are running low; there's sensors in cars that can tell if you've been in a collision and will route a telephone call right to your upside down vehicle; there's rear facing backup-cameras, FLIR cameras, bluetooth, navigation systems. . .etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. But for some frickin' reason we can't make inertial locking mechanisms on seatbelts to allow kids to pull the needed slack to buckle up unless every stinking millimeter of belt is first fed back into the reel. I mean, the car isn't running, hasn't moved in days, and is sitting calmly in the driveway, so why oh why does the seatbelt insist on staying locked!!! Do you have any idea at how wonderful it would be if my kids could buckle their own seatbelts?!?! Oh, the time it would save me not having to crawl to the back of the minivan to un-jam the least sophisticated safety device in the car!!

This technological blunder drives me crazy because I thought mankind could do better. It reminds me of this picture:

For all our alleged intelligence, it's a marvel mankind is still at the top of the food chain.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Appendix Carry Illustrated

AIWB threads pop up in forums here and there and it's unfortunate that internet cowboys with no knowledge or experience feel the need to throw in their two cents, muddying the water. To counter this I decided to make some simple, yet creepy, illustrations to show my dear readers the mechanics of how this form of carry is supposed to work.

Before we get into the pictures, the first thing to clear up is: Why? What does appendix carry (AIWB) have to offer that other modes of carry do not? The main answer is concealability. If you haven't noticed, there's an arms race amongst the firearm manufacturers to make the smallest and lightest blaster chambered in the largest caliber they can reasonable cram into it. The reason to go small is so you can conceal it, and thus not draw the ire and shame of your fellow Wal-Mart shoppers while browsing hemorrhoid cream. The only problem with that is that smaller guns are hard to shoot, are chambered in sub-calibers, hold limited ammunition, generate tons of muzzle flash, blast, and recoil, and with their small grips and frames can be more difficult to draw. A solution is to carry a larger gun, but they're harder to conceal. This is where AIWB comes in; I'm of average height, weight, and frame, and I can carry and conceal a Glock 17 -- a service sized pistol -- with absolute comfort all day long. Dropping down to Glock 19 or HK P30 size is no sweat, and now you have a gun that is reasonable in size, carries a standard payload of ammunition, has a full sized grip, and with its reasonable sight radius allows one to actually aim it instead of merely pointing. Second to that is draw speed approaching that of a USPSA Grand Master (a little bit of embellishment there, but lots of speed, none the less).

The main thing that the morons on gun forums chant is their squeamishness at pointing a holstered handgun at their twigs and berries, or femoral artery. First off, unless you're carrying a J-frame or short slide auto way off your centerline, you're not going to be aiming at your femoral artery, as I'm going to demonstrate. Second, get over the gun being pointed at your crotch; if it's in a serviceable holster, then the trigger is covered and there's nothing to be concerned about. If you have concerns that your gun will spontaneously discharge in your holster then carrying a firearm in any fashion is not for you. Have you ever tried pocket carry? Carried in a shoulder holster? If you have then your loaded albeit holstered handgun has been pointed at everyone: kids, grandma, the guy at register behind you at the liquor store; that's why you don't buy shitty holsters, so that when you snap your gun into that sucker it becomes just another inert object that you carry around with you.

Now that that's out of the way, here's some pics:

This is me with a Glock 17 carried appendix style:

The gun is close to my centerline, but not actually on it. I'd say it was at my 1 o'clock. This is what the gun looks like in relationship to my femoral artery:

Not pointing at it, huh? Amazing. Well now the next thing people whine about is how uncomfortable it "must" be when sitting. I say "must" because these folks have never tried to AIWB, or at the very best they pulled some canted IWB holster out of a box and gave it a try for ten minutes before passing judgment, and just assume that it's uncomfortable. I'm here to tell you that if you have a holster that lends itself to AIWB carry, it's as comfortable or more so than carrying on your hip. Here's why:

Yes, that's a creepy mannequin picture; get over it. Try googling "sitting mannequins" to get a sense at how disturbed this world really is, and then get back to me.

Anyhow, take notice of the crease of the hip meets the leg, and how the holster or muzzle avoids jamming into the thigh area. It really shouldn't touch it at all. Also notice that the gun and holster are sitting upright, so the back of the slide is not pushing into the abdomen. This picture depicts the gun at 12 o'clock, right on the centerline. If you want to move the gun further from the centerline and more towards your pocket, you need to either raise your pants or shorten the slide:

Some people still prefer to carry smaller guns like a J-frame revolver, and if you do then you can probably carry it directly over the leg, as the barrel is short enough to allow it. Doing that does make the gun point at the femoral artery, but if you have a serviceable holster then this is moot. The closer to your centerline the gun is, the longer slide/barrel length you can get away with. Go back to the first mannequin picture and see how much room you have for the muzzle. This is how people get away with carrying a full sized 1911. The only danger here is that with a long slide, you have to sit down on hard surfaces carfully, or you could smash a nut under the muzzle of the gun. So be smooth. Also, a gun with a longer slide/barrel will help to keep the grip tucked towards your body; where your body pushes out against the muzzle makes the gun see-saw against the belt, torquing the top of the gun in.

The other thing you can do is reverse-cant the holster:

This works fine as long as there's enough room to get your fingers wrapped around the grip; you don't want the grip to be sitting right on your belt unless you don't care if your draw speed is slowed down.

From what I gather, the belief about the gun being uncomfortable while sitting stems from the idea that the back of the slide, where the hammer is, will jam into your guts. If it is jamming into your guts then you have the wrong holster. . . period. It shouldn't happen. If you're sitting with a straight back, the gun should be straight up and down too. If you're reclined, the gun should be parallel with your spine. When you sit up, the gun should slide over your abdomen and rest vertical; wearing an undershirt helps this because it keeps the gun from grabbing at your skin and belly hairs. If you're going to experience discomfort, it's going to either be under your belt where it rides over the holster, or it's going to be in the crease of your crotch where the muzzle is. Concerning the former, loosening your belt a notch will usually fix the discomfort; and I highly recommend pants that have elastic sewn into the waist which will allow some "give" for when you get back into the car after eating two triple pounders with cheese. Regarding the latter, that's caused by your oversized guts pushing out on the back of the slide, using the belt as a fulcrum to tilt the muzzle into your body. A daily regime of exercise to lose your gut is one remedy, or you can go up one waist size for your pants. If you have a large gut, moving the gun away from your centerline will get it out of the way.

Hopefully this helps stiffle the yayhoos who don't know what they're talking about. I learn well from pictures, and showing the mechanics of what's involved can be helpful.

OWB concealment for the ladies

This teeny lady shows how easy it is to conceal a Glock 19 with two spare mags wearing jeans and a cover garment. It can be done!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lights, camera, action

I've got a whole lot of nothing for you this morning except this clip from the movie Proof of Life starring Russell Crow and David Caruso. ***NSFW Warning: Language, gore, bad-guy-getting-his-throat-cut-out-with-a-multitool, hostiles-getting-massacred-with-a-M249***

The tactics are pretty realistic, or I should say much more realistic than most militaristic action scenes out there. I found the clip in an ARFCOM thread and thought I'd pass it along.

There are various Colt M4ish carbines, an M203, an M249 SAW, some decrepit AKs, a LAW launcher, some M67 grenades, and my favorite - what looks like a Colt officer's 1911. Enjoy.