Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drive-by crossbowing and other violent and bizarre stories

It sounds to me like this country has come completely unglued. There are so many violent attacks and thievery in the news these days that it makes my head spin; we have this morning a story out of San Diego about a kid shot with a crossbow in a drive-by. We also have widespread and rampant thievery of things like HVAC units, copper pipes and wire, toilet paper, hair extensions; and it's all become a family affair as well.

I've passed on many crazy stories just like that one this week already, but there are so many that are too close to home that I'm getting irritated.

There's this one out of the Fredericksburg, Virginia Wal-Mart where a teenager was beaten into a coma by other teens, and also an armed robbery and carjacking at a gas station right across the street. I shopped at that Wal-Mart with my family this weekend, and I get gas at that station all the time with my kids in the car early in the morning; the idea of a group of thuggish little shits attacking my family or driving off in my car with them makes my blood boil. There was also an armed home invasion where the homeowner was attacked with a baton over some prescription meds.

If anyone wonders why I'm so damned paranoid, this is why. With all the mob-of-disenfranchised-teens beating up folks and robbing stores all over the country, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's on edge.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where did all the music stores go?

I swear, it couldn't have been a year or two ago the local mall had several stores that sell music CDs, and now they're all gone. Sure, there's still Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy if you have the hankerin for an entire case of Lady Gaga or Rihanna, but where do you go when you scratch your Sonic Brew or NOLA CD? Certainly not Target.

Deerly beloved

What's this!?!? Can't feed the deer? Does this mean the Commonwealth can fine you if Bambi is caught gnawing on your azaleas? Can I still feed them 123 grain A-MAXes?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Really this asinine law adds up to nothing considering whitetailed deer are amazingly prolific and can eat pretty much any plant in the state. So what, putting handfuls of corn or apples in your yard is going to bring about famine and pestilence to the whitetail population?

Feeding them can unnaturally increase population numbers that damage natural habitats and can increase unwanted human-deer conflicts.
Human-deer conflicts? Like this kind? If you really wanted to reduce said conflicts, then how about rescinding that other asinine law that says folks can't hunt on Sundays. I bet in two seasons the number of vehicle/deer collisions would plummet. And how exactly does feeding them increase their population? Deer are some of the most fruitful creatures on the planet; I highly doubt saltlicks and C'Mere Deer are going to make them hornier than they already are.

Now lets talk about the "damage [to] natural habitats." Do you really think that DC has at times had 200 deer per square mile because residents feed them? I think the vehicular slaughter and mangled gardens and flower pots should be considered as damaged natural habitat, as it includes both human and deer living space. Maybe something should be done about the explosion of the deer population in highly developed areas before the state resorts to fining grandma for tossing peaches into her yard.

***ETA: I didn't catch this little gem the first time around:

The practice can also be misconstrued as deer baiting, which is illegal.
I side with Ted Nugent in that everything a hunter does to make a kill is "baiting."

Sitting in a stand watching a corn field?


Propped up against a tree on a ridgeline watching the creek?


Waiting for a buck to come back to a scrape?


It's all an illusion made to keep you in a particular mindset. I raise the bullshit flag on this one; if the state cares so much about a healthy deer population, they would shelf stupid laws like this one and let hunters shoot deer on Sundays.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mankind's drive towards flight

Straight up, I want to do this. I love all things fast, and this has got to be the coolest thing I've ever seen.

It's bad ass that there are people who push the limits of technology to do stuff like that! Tell me that you don't see special operations guys using this technology to get the drop on scumbags!! Neat!

Another HST believer

My brother told me about Federal's HST rounds quite awhile ago, and he's having excellent results with the 147 grain +Ps from his Smith and Wesson M&P Pro:

I'm hearing now that they've been pulled off the shelf for some reason or another. I looked at ordering some more this weekend, but can't find them anywhere. Shame on you, Federal.

Hopefully one day Federal will offer the HST bullet as a component for reloading. I know for a fact now that I can get a 147 grain bullet started at over 1,000 fps, and I'm hoping I can get it over 1,110 fps with the right powder.

Come hell or high water. . . .

. . . .the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be guarded by the most dedicated Soldiers.

That's true dedication.

Found it!

The search for a long range load for the Mod 0 is complete.

I was able to slip away and test out the last bit of load development yesterday, gusty winds be damned, and I walked away impressed. I was shooting 5 round groups of the 123 grain Lapua Scenar loads using three different primers: CCI BR4, CCI 450, and Federal Match; all of them went in well under an inch, with the first three shots of the BR4s going into one teeny bughole. The fourth shot was pulled out by a big ass gust of wind -- a remnant of Irene -- and the last round was a flyer. See bottom left group (the 450 and Federal Match primer groups are not pictured):

The top three groups were an OCW type test with 123 grain A-MAX and IMR 8208 XBR powder. The tightest group in the middle is the recommended load for the 6.5 Grendel by pretty much everybody, and I suspect that it's at the far end of the accuracy node. I like it because it's got a little more speed than the 123 grain Scenar load - 2,495 fps on average over the Scenar's 2,476 fps. At less than half the price of the Scenars, I'm staking my claim in the A-MAX.

A pro tip for reloaders: virgin brass will never be as consistent as brass that has been fired in your chamber. This has always been my experience with every gun I've ever owned. I don't consider brass to be "mature" and give the best results and tightest groups until it's been fired two to three times. The Alexander Arms brass that I'm using is made by Lapua, and is the most consistent brass I've ever bought. With that said, it's still slightly undersized so that it can load into any chamber, and that means that there will be flyers here and there in your groups. So far I've used new pieces of brass in every load I've tested, and I'm pretty excited to see how much better this gun is going to shoot with resized brass, as in the past there is a marked difference.

I still want to play around with 107 grain Sierra Match Kings and 130 grain Swift Sciroccos, but not for a little while. First thing is to get this rifle locked in with the A-MAX loads on both the scope and irons.

Also of note, I dragged out the SKS to find out what the zero is for it at 100 yards, and I was rewarded with a 6" five shot group, four of the shots going into about 3". Not bad. My brother's girlfriend was holding fantastic groups with it off-hand at 15 yards, and was a real world indicator why rifles are the ticket for getting hits.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

End of the World Dinner Pic blogging

With all the earthquakes and hurricanes poured on us, this is supposed to be the last day we all have on the earth; I thought I would show off my dinner tonight in celebration:

ARFCOM is mandatory. Have a good night!

The Sum of Its Parts, part XXXVII

Minus the OPS Inc 12th model suppressor and Pelican case, this MK12 Mod 0 is done, baby. I was waiting on the ARMS bipod adapter to finish her off. I haven't had a chance to try out the 123 grain Hornady A-Max rounds yet, as mother nature is showing her ass right now, but I intend to as soon as possible.

As promised, here is the build sheet for all the parts I had to order:
Upper Receiver - Les Baer
Lower Receiver - DPMS
Bolt - Les Baer
Bolt Carrier - Les Baer
Firing Pin, cam pin, retainer - DPMS
Gas Tube - Brownell's
Muzzle Brake - OPS Inc 12th model .30 caliber
Selector, Ambi - DPMS
Buttstock, A1 - Fulton Armory
Trigger - Geissele SSA
Lower Parts Kit - DPMS
Scope Rings, ARMS #22 Medium - ARMS
Scope Ring Cap - ARMS
Scope Tactical Ring Rail - ARMS
Scope, 3-9x42 Mil/Mil - SWFA Super Sniper
Charging Handle, PRI Gas Buster - PRI
Pistol Grip - ERGO
Gas Block, flip up front sight - PRI
Handguard, free float - PRI Gen III
Upper Rail, ARMS Peq-2-3 - ARMS
Barrel, .264 LBC-AR - Les Baer
SPR 18" Barrel contour with sight flats cut, 5/8x24" threading - ADCO
Sling mount, H&K loop - GG&G
Sling mount, buttstock H&K loop - GG&G
Harris 6-9" Bipod - Harris
ARMS #32 Bipod Mount - ARMS

Once I got the upper from Les Baer, a quick fit check showed that it didn't fit right on the DPMS receiver, so I called them. I told the nice woman on the line what was going on, and she just told me to hold on one minute, at which point Les Baer actual got on the phone and told me I had to do some fitting to make it work. He mentioned that I could buy some other brand of receiver that would fit without any work, but that it wouldn't shoot as well because it wouldn't be as tight a fit.

Taking his advice, I used a piece of 300 grit sandpaper on a flat of wood to very carefully fit the receivers, and it worked excellent. Here's a couple of phone pics:

Working the bottom of the upper receiver, I would very often fit check on the lower, until I had about 1/8th of an inch before it closed:

I did have to do some fitting on the rear takedown pin hole as well, which Les keyed me in on. No problem whatsoever. Now the receivers are tight as a drum, and I don't have to use an accuwedge.

Counting the lower receiver, this project took me over 3 years. I didn't really get serious about it until the beginning of this year. Since the .264 LBC cartridge is a mild cartridge, I hope the barrel lasts for 10k rounds or more. I'll post a range report again once I get a chance to shoot it at range.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ebony and Ivory

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar:

The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.
Where do ya think you're goin with that thar woodwind, boy!?! You got any papers with that?

This article is very telling. On one hand, you have over zealous government officials conducting raids in the name of draconian environmental regulations, and on the other hand you have musicians - who do more than there share of concocting said draconian regulations - whining and reviling over the injustice of the same regulations. Hmmm.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Postman cometh

I've been on a steady spending spree here recently at both Brownell's and MidwayUSA. I tend to hit up Brownell's on strictly gun related parts, and MidwayUSA when I have a variety of random needs.

Yesterday evening I heard the unmistakable sound of a 22"x 15" x 10" cardboard box softly hitting my porch, and when I opened it I saw the beauty of the MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag. Holy boni fide bargains, batman!! That's $40 very well spent.

There's the bag itself, which has a ton of room and a bunch of pockets, and then theres a smaller tote for your ammo, two zippered and lined pistol carriers, and a little bag for brass. The whole thing is foam lined, which makes the bag stand up all on its own. I love it. I've been rough on range bags, and haven't had one last but for a year at a time; if this one is anything like the MidwayUSA Drag Bag that's pictured in the top, than I know I'll be happy. The drag bag gets high praise from me as well, and it's stood up to two years of decent abuse.

Also included in that order were 100 Hornady A-Max bullets in the 123 grain flavor. I usually don't get carried away when ordering bullets, as I like to shoot a box before I commit to buying them in bulk. They're shorter than the 123 grain Scenars, and I've loaded some of them for testing (hopefully today).

I have the Scenar load just about wrapped up, and am now testing different batches of primers. From what I've read, the CCI BR4 primers are not as hot as other brands of primers, and going to a magnum primer will probably give me more velocity. Time will tell, and I'll have a shiny new range report to follow very soon. I mark all my handloads in various ways with a Sharpie; the F is for Federal Match primers, and you can take a guess at what 28.7 means. Once I settle on a particular load, I color code the bullet and case to tell me what bullet weight, and how many times the case has been loaded. While the finished rounds are sitting in the loading tray like little ICBMs, I'll run the Sharpie along the bullets and then the case walls. It only takes a few seconds and will make sure that when you find your kid sitting in the floor in a pile of cartridges, you will know what they are.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bersa making stun guns now?

I find this funny as hell, even though I have more respect for the .380 ACP cartridge than that.

Creeeeeeeepy!! And where the hell is Ruckersville?

I'm reading this thread at ARFCOM about some mall ninja pervert who stalks dirtbike trails, and they link to this YouTube video where some 13 year olds in a race run his sick ass over in the middle of the woods because he's buried himself in leaves.

I honestly have no advice to give on this one. Unless you have your Little Johnny competing in races with a cut down Winchester 1887 strapped to the side of his bike, there's nothing you can really do to totally prepare your youngster to defend against all the sick shit that mankind can come up with. You can only cover so many scenarios.

***ETA: From the discussion at this forum, the guy has been seen all over the place during dirt bike races and such. He carries the ninja outfit with him into the woods in a backpack, and dons it before burrying himself in leaves or dirt. Whenever anyone confronts him, he doesn't speak and quickly walks off. Weird.

Here's the video:

Nostradamus is my middle name, baby

Hey Vincent, what's shakin'?!?! I know, I'm hilarious.

I had to point out this headline fail; when something exciting happens, the media goes full retard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bringing sexy back

I always loved the Woodland camo BDUs in my Marine Corps days; it was only at the very end of my active service that the new digital MARPAT uniforms were coming about, and they were extremely hard to get a hold of.

I think the Marine Corps did it right with the new uniforms. Wearing them is like wearing pajamas in comparison to the BDU, and I've been told that the IR signature of the MARPAT wearer is reduced. Technology rocks.

Over at KitUp!, there's an article about Marine Special Operations (MARSOC) adopting the Crye Precision uniform (the folks that made Multicam), and the pattern depicted is Woodland. In comments, many people have elevated blood pressure over it considering that their tax dollars went to buying MARPAT for the Marines, which works excellent, and now there are Marines wearing $200 pants in Woodland. I think the thing to consider here is that these guys are MARSOC, and are probably trying to blend in with the Afghanistan military on top of blending in with the terrain. That, and Woodland works very well as a camouflage even today, and I wouldn't think twice about wearing it in greenish environments.

Woodland is good stuff.

Looking at the Marine on the right in the picture, I notice that he has the new Leupold Mark 8 riflescope, which I got to fondle at the Modern Day Marine Convention last year (advertising helps!). Here's a picture of my buddy holding the Mark 8, if you want a closer look, and go here for sticker-shock if you want to buy one. Looking closely, the Mark 8 is mounted in a reversed one piece scope mount and base, probably a quick detach type such as Bobro, GG&G, or Larue tactical, with it attached to the forearm vice the receiver. That will no doubt make some people cringe, as a forearm is not as robust of a mounting platform as the receiver, but that Marine looks like he's doing fine with it.

A G-thang you would understand

The G-3 rifle in the hands of world armies, at

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So many millimeters

I'm watching Dealiest Warrior right now, the episode that versus Saddam Hussein against Pol Pot, and I notice that Saddam's Republican Guard carried some serious firepower:

The RPK must have ferocious recoil from firing a round like that! They also state that the Tokarev T-33 pistol that Pol Pot's warriors used is chambered in 9mm which is incorrect; it's chambered in 7.62x25mm. Fortunately, the Browning High Power won out over the Tokarev.

Overall, the show is pretty cool. In this episode, they have a former Iraqi General who defected from the army after he had reservations about murdering unarmed people to death with chemical warfare agents. It was a good call on his part, and America swooped him up gladly. I'm still watching it right now, so I'm going to get back to it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Livin' in a Reloadah's Paradise

I learned to reload when I was about ten years old. Granted, I mostly pulled the press handle and watched my father reload, but it didn't take me long to make my own rounds. I've had a hiatus here and there, but I've been reloading with seriousness for close to a decade after my last one. In that time period I have made lots of mistakes and learned a ton. As a matter of fact, it surprises me how much I am still learning every time I pull the press handle. It's a constant learning curve.

When I decided to get back into reloading I was fresh off active duty in the Marine Corps. I bought the Lee Anniversary kit - probably the wisest purchase to start cranking out rounds. It contains a great deal of the equipment needed to make ammunition, and I still use basically all of that equipment today. Some of the more pricey kits from RCBS or Hornady are good to go as well, but the Anniversary kit comes in right at $100.

If you are thinking about how to get into reloading, I'll give you a place to start. If you pick up a reloading kit like the one I bought from Lee, not counting ammunition components like powder, primers, brass and bullets, you will need to order dies for the caliber(s) you intend to load for, some shell holders if they do not come with the dies, and with that you can start making ammo. There are other items that are very important to have though, with the first one that comes to mind being a good set of calipers. For making the most accurate ammo, I use a comparator guage set with the calipers in order to measure seating depth more accurately, but they are not needed to start out. You will find that you can pick special items up here and there as you buy bullets and stuff.

For the most part, any of the kits that you buy will come with a reloading manual, which are indispensible for making safe ammo. If you have about $150 lying around, the best single tool that I have ever bought for reloading is Quickload. If you don't want to buy it, you can still make ammunition that is as accurate, but it will most likely take you more time. Be advised that Quickload is responsible for most of the divorce rate amongst handloaders, as husbands have been known to sit on their ass for countless hours gaming different load recipes on the computer until the wee hours of the night.

It can be overwhelming to find a place to start, so my advice is to start with the bullet for the particular cartridge you want to load for. I'll give the .308 Winchester as an example. Say you want a bullet for target shooting out to 600 yards or so, as that is the maximum distance you ever plan to shoot, but you also want to be able to shoot Bambi's baby brother if the oportunity arises. Most hunting bullets these days are not far from match grade, so pick one that will work for deer sized game -- I recommend the 165 grain Sierra Game King.

Next you need to pick your case. Usually this is limited to what you find on the shelves, but for the .308 Winchester specifically I recommend Winchester cases. As a general rule, and one I note for safety, once you develop a load for a particular cartridge, stick with the exact components and don't deviate from them; this is especially true for the case. All cases are not equal, and the capacity varies greatly by brand. If you develop a handload that is close to maximum pressure, and you switch say from a Winchester case to some Lake City cases that your bestest buddy gave you, the loads you make can damage or destroy your gun and injure you. Buy a notebook (I use the green monster books like the Marines use) and log the components of your chosen round in there with the date, seating depth, and how many you made. This will save your ass in the future. I promise that.

Now you have a bullet and case. Next you need to pick your powder. Look in your handloading manual(s) (it's best to have more than one) for the powder that gives you the velocity that you want for your chosen weight of bullet. Handloaders are living in the Promised Land of reloading nowadays; there are so many powders and components to chose from that it will blow your mind. For this post's theoretical round, I am going to recommend Hodgdon's Benchmark, as it will give you consistent velocities across the different temperatures that you will encounter in the deer stand and on the rifle range, and is known for extreme accuracy. The manual will tell you what the recommended maximum load is; start out about 10% less than the maximum charge, or whatever the manual recommends.

I find that reloading manuals from bullet manufacturers will give you the best place to start for their particular brand of bullet, and the reloading manuals from powder manufacturers to give you the best place to start for a given bullet weight. It's good to have both. You can also find reloading data online, and even order free loading manuals, like from Alliant Powder, which I highly recommend. My go-to manual is Lyman; they publish good loads that aren't too conservative and are sane.

For primers, you really can't go wrong with any of the brands out there, but I shoot CCI mostly. Magnum primers are best for magnum cartridges, but they are also useful for ball type powders and for loads that will be fired in the cold. Magnum primers often increase pressure, so know that before you start loading and work your powder charges up from there.

Here's some pro tips about buying powder and primers: ordering either one online will incur a $25 hazmat fee on top of the shipping charge. That pretty much spoils buying one pound of powder or a case of 1k primers. If you have to order, by a bunch of both to make up for the extra cost. Consolidate your order with other shooters for even more savings; online gun forums like Sniper's Hide,, and Virginia Gun Forum have even been known to do mass buys at times, which can net even more savings from such a large order. What works for me though is to get in good with a reloading merchant who has a table at the local gunshow, and give them a call in advance with the powder you want so that they can order and bring it for you.

Yes, I have a powder dealer.

Once you find the powder that works best for your gun, buy a keg or two of it so that you have a stash that's from the same lot. You have no idea what kind of bender Ol' Valtteri Hämäläinen had last night before starting his shift at VihtaVuori plant, or how bad his multiple sclerosis has effected how much diphenylamine he can pour, so powder can change significantly from lot to lot. I had a hell of a time with Varget for awhile, and I wasn't alone.

Now that you've picked your components, head back to the manual and find out what your starting load should be. How to go about testing the right charge and seating depth for your gun is an article for another day, and is best explained by others. From my experience, it's best to find a powder/load recipe that works across the environment where you will be shooting, and the Optimal Charge Weight method has been successful for me multiple times. For those who use Quickload, take a look at the Optimal Barrel Time theory -- I've taken this information and used it to predict a handload before I even started to assemble the cartridge. It works, and will save you a bunch of time and components.

Benchmark powder is one of Hodgdon's Extreme line of powders, so it will work well throughout a broad temperature range. As you shoot loads with more and more charge, pay close attention to pressure signs (read your reloading manual for details), and your gun will tell you what it likes.

There is an abundance of reasons why you should start reloading: accuracy, economy, zombies, hoarding, for fun; these are only a handful of examples. Last weekend I seated my first batch of 9mm handloads for the purpose of hot-rodding 147 grain bullets in my Glock 17. It's hard to load economically for the 9mm, but turning it into a .357 magnum light should be fun. My kids now fight over who gets to pull the press handle, so I'm breeding a new generation of handloaders that will hopefully advance the art further than I can.

Notice me

Virginia drivers have deplorable driving skills, and one of the things that pisses me off are drivers who do not use their turn signal.

Understanding that Notice is part of the basic principles of Contract, as well as giving Value to get Value, using a turn signal gives other drivers Notice of your intent; the other drivers get Value from knowing what you plan to do so that they can act accordingly, and the signalor (industry term) gets Value by not having the other drivers smashing into the ass end of their vehicle. Don't bother to argue with that as Contract has been well settled over thousands and thousands of years, and is way more proven than opinion.

And yes, brake lights are Notice of sorts, but they do not indicate intent. Like this morning for instance; I had no way of knowing if Incompetent Driver's BMW brake lights were an indication that there was a squirrel or other fuzzy faced creature poised precariously on the side of the road; that there was an emergency vehicle entering traffic; that the driver hit the brake pedal accidentally while scratching her overstuffed leg and will continue on or about at the same speed; or that the driver, having determined all at once that she wanted to stuff her filthy face with McDonald's latest wares, was coming to a full on stop, and had to wait to cross oncoming traffic. Without knowing that a driver is going to come to a sudden stop, it can be very easy to hit someone. That's why you're supposed to show intent.

Incompetent Driver did not give me Value, so by all means I should have blared the horn at her stupid ass, and by that I would have been giving her Value as she may have learned to use that stem thingy hanging off the steering column and avoid preventable collisions in the future. I would probably have received Value indirectly, as my children in the back seat would not have to hear me swearing nasty things, thereby parroting them in company of my wife.

I don't make it a habit to stomp on my brakes and come to a full stop every time I see brake lights. I'm not asking for y'all to come over to my house and mow my lawn; just give me some fucking Notice.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Even the ladies are doing it

Video footage of a group of teenage girls savagely attacking a woman in Philly. It seems that city has seen the most use of the teen mob attack.

My takeaways from the half of the video that I was able to watch are: 1) the victim noted that she heard the attackers coming up behind her, and said that she is vigilant about being aware of her surroundings; 2) By the time she turned around, the attack was already initiated; 3) She was on the ground immediately.

To address the first takeaway - being aware of your surroundings is paramount to your safety. The consensus is that picking up on an attack and avoiding it is the best option, and will have a better outcome than a fight and/or shooting your attacker(s). With that said, you cannot count on vigilance to always win the day, so be prepared.

On the second takeaway, even if you spot an attack before it happens, you may not be able to prevent it regardless, so be prepared.

Third takeaway - learn to fight on the ground. Most physical fights end up on the ground anyways, and I am as guilty as any about doing my practice shooting while standing. Most of that has to do with where I shoot; I can shoot safely with a handgun or rifle from a bench, but not up at a target while I'm on the ground. Shooting school is where you would learn the techniques. I would imagine that it's difficult to get a gun into play while a group of people kick you in the head while you're on the ground, but it's a probability that could happen, so be prepared.

Also, just because attackers are female does not mean that they aren't capable of inflicting severe or fatal injuries. A girl can end your life just as easy as boy or man, especially when you're on your ass in a parking lot and there's six of em'.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A history of sword violence

"We've arrested him on two different occasions. Once in June where he had another sword, which is in evidence. This is not the same sword. He cut his grandmother on the foot with it that time," Miller said, according to CBS Atlanta.
Sounds like the county failed to properly intervene here and put this teenager where he belongs by using the full extent of the law. Is it that hard to keep little scumbags behind bars/glass?

I post this story like I do all the other sword attack stories to point out that despite our advanced society we are not that far separated from history. A sharpened piece of steel is easy to come by, and can inflict fatal wounds without the need to reload.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Be careful answering your door

It's disgusting that there are people in this world who do not posses an operational conscience, but considering the state of the economy and how desperate citizens are right now, it's a good idea to harbor some paranoia and take a looksee outside before throwing the door open to whomever knocks.

Jon Stewart on Ron Paul

I avoid politics like the plague these days, and to be honest I don't really care what's going on on the presidential battlefield at the moment, but yeah, it hasn't been lost on me about how Ron Paul is completely ignored. Ron Stewart does a great job stabbing at the media on the Ron Paul blackout. Funny.

***ETA: Jon Stewart; not Ron Stewart. Long night.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Smells like teen angst

There's a whole lot of good quotes in this article, despite the content being as unsettling as it is. An example:

“We can’t expect that imposing a curfew is going to stop some 15-, 16-, 17-year-old from bringing a gun to anywhere,” he said at an afternoon City Hall news conference. “On the other hand, we should be able to expect parents not to have their 13-year-old children on the Plaza getting shot.”
That's the Kansas City mayor talking. I don't know anything about who he is or what he stands for, but I think he's right on the mark as far as where the root of the problem lies: parents, get ahold of your kids.

The shootings occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday near 47th and Wyandotte streets. When shots rang out — witnesses reported hearing five or six — James was about 50 yards away. His two bodyguards pushed him to the ground and drew their guns.

“They basically forced me into the flowerbeds by the Cheesecake Factory,” James said.

He was uninjured. But two boys and a girl — 13, 15 and 16 years old — were wounded. A bullet grazed the girl’s face, and the two boys were shot in their legs, police said. None of the injuries was life-threatening. James said all three youths were in stable condition on Sunday.
The mayor got an up close view of what I am now considering to be modern teen violence. As a parent, I would not allow my teenage kids to be wandering about at night in the middle of a plaza crowded with unruly kids and known for violence.

The first notable occurrence was on April 10, 2010, when as many as 900 youths, some as young as 11, converged on the shopping and entertainment district that Saturday night. Police responded to reports of vandalism and assaults. One group of teens robbed and beat a couple from Grandview. A girl in a prom dress was shoved into a fountain. Fights broke out.
In my experience, large groups of teenagers wandering about on their own program will find trouble to get into. When I was a teen, my friends and I would hang out in the woods by a bonfire or at a lake, and it was not uncommon for a police officer to stop by and make sure we weren't causing trouble. I can't recall a time when they were not fair to us, it being a minor inconvenience, and looking back I would expect the cops to make ensure nothing bad was being done.

Circo, the mayor pro-tem, was at James’ side on Sunday as the mayor acknowledged that while more youth activities would give kids more things to do, it was not the city’s responsibility alone. Churches, schools and businesses, also, need to get involved, he said. But most of all he blamed parents for allowing their children to roam unattended late into the night at the Plaza and other gathering places in the city.

“We have a youth problem on the Plaza, but first and foremost we have a parent problem,” he said.
Yes. I agree one hundred percent. If parents really are dropping their kids off into this situation and aren't heeding the blatant notice that city officials are giving to take control of the situation, than they deserve whatever outcome the city decides. If you do not control yourself, you will be controlled - a maxim of law.

There may be more underlying problems that didn't make it into this article, but to me it sounds like the city government is placing the proper folks on notice to get their act together or the city will do it for them. When little Johnny comes home with tales of being violated by the cops while mobbing at the plaza late at night, you can bet the parents will be outraged. Another consideration is that while teens around the country are robbing and assaulting en-mass, armed folks are taking notice and it's only a matter of time before a large group of kids tries to lay hands on the wrong victim.

Checking out that video, the cops are putting people on notice that if their kids are part of the trouble makers, they could be shot by an average joe. Now I think it's deplorable Captain Rhodes calls being armed against violence being a "vigilante", as that is petty statement. As for his cellphone vs handgun comment, and "which one are you going to chose", how about stuffing a cellphone in your holster, sport, and then go about trying to stop a violent scumbag. Not going to work out so well, is it?

He is letting the populace know though that average people are carrying guns and are scared of these mobs of teens. Teenagers are generally not smart enough to see the danger they are putting themselves in, so it's up to their parents to have a sit down with them and tell it like it is. Your kid may be good and all, but things may change when he or she gets into the company of other teens.

***Update: Another Gun Blog has a link to a video/news article about a home owner in Kansas City who was threatened by an angry group of teenagers, and they fled when he came out of his house with a Mosin Nagant in hand. No actual force necessary.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Range Reporting in

Whoa there, I've been busy as I can be, but twice now I've been able to make a strategic naptime range session to test the waters of the Mod 0.

Since the .264 LBC is still a new cartridge, and on top of that I'm using very new powder types, QuickLoad is only marginally helpful. Also, this gun leaves little ejector marks on the cases on every load, which is usually a sign of overpressure, leaving me to doubt and pull the first few bullets as I thought they were too hot.

To start, I shot a small OCW test using three loads in IMR 8208 XBR. The only bullet I'm using for the time being is the 123 grain Lapua Scenar. My starting charge was 27.9 grains and I intended to work up to 29.1 grains but chickened out; I only went to 28.5 grains.

Click on these to make them bigger if you want the details, and also heed my disclaimer that I am an advanced reloader and you should start your loads 10% what your reloading manual states and work from there. Do not try to duplicate my handloads: if you blow yourself or your gun up, do not point the finger at me.

Next up was Hodgdon's LeveRevolution powder. I've heard that it is well suited for the Grendel/.264 LBC cartridge, so I gave it a whirl. I went from 28 to 32 grains, and you can see the breakdown with velocities here if you're so inclined:

The LeveRevolution didn't put out the velocity that I was looking for, and on top of that it's a temperature sensative powder and it was 95 degrees today. The XBR got me right close to 2,500 fps, which should keep me out of transonic out to 1,000 yards. It also dialed in a .332" three shot group which gives me some hope.

Today also gave me the chance to dial in the iron sights on my AR15-from-DPMS. Since I now have a 6.5mm coyote blaster that can lob bullets out to long range, I took the scope off the AR15-from-DPMS and let it be a lightweight carbine equiped only with a flashlight. I had to dial in those Yankee Hill Machine flip up sights with my chosen handloads - 69 grain Sierra Match Kings in Winchester cases over 24.5 grains of Varget - and here is the result:

The top 3 round group circled was the first, at 100 yards, and I dropped it down on the front sight post to the bottom left group. After 7 clicks right, I got the bottom right group which was too far. 3 clicks left put me dead on. Next was a group at 25 yards to see where it would hit at close range:

That's three rounds there at 6 o'clock on the orange dot. Who says you can't shoot groups with irons? That would be a bone-stock pencil barrel from DPMS. I'm impressed.

Also, I shot some of the Federal 147 grain +P HST through my Glock 17, and turned in an average velocity of 1,025 fps and an extreme spread of 26 fps. That's top of the line. I will be switching fully to it once I run a few more boxes of it through each of my Glocks.

My next move is to go back to IMR 8208 XBR and see how tight I can get the Mod 0 to shoot.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

F35 Joint Strike Fighter photo thread

This plane is supposed to become the replacement of many aircraft in our arsenal, as well as for many NATO countries. It sure is beautiful.

Flash mob attacks gaining popularity

And not in a good way:

Similar attacks are also being investigated in cities likes Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, where 30 people were arrested after alleged mob attacks erupted at the Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 4. At least 18 people were injured in or around the grounds, including seven police officers, authorities said.
Attacking cops; fractured skulls; this goes beyond simple robbery. Many are asking when the US will have riots like Britain, but I think we've had them for some time now. The natives are pissed off, and they're acting out against whomever they encounter on the streets. I don't care if it's racially motivated or not; a group of thuggish kids cracking skulls for any reason is a deadly threat.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guns, Cakes, and things

Sorry I dropped off the face of the planet. Life has kept me very busy lately with family visits, doctor's appointments, and multiple birthdays including my own. My awesome sister even gave me a Glock 23 for my birthday:

It's a cake made of chocolate that she made from a mold of my Brother in Law's Glock. Really cool. It was a little melted when I took the picture. We had a small birthday party for my daughter complete with a ton of kids running around, and that cake was sitting on the kitchen counter. Every time I would glance down I would immediately reach for it, as if to place it high up somewhere to keep it out of the kid's hands. It looks that real at first.

I am 98% done with my MK12 Mod 0 build; the OPS Inc. muzzle brake came in the mail yesterday, and I had to fabricate a washer from a brass disk to make sure it was properly timed. The Harris bipod and sling mounts are in the mail, and I still need to get an A.R.M.S. #52 quick throw mount for the bipod.

The caliber of my Mod 0 is .264 LBC AR, which is Les Baer's take on the 6.5 Grendel. They are basically the same thing, and my Lapua brass is stamped 6.5 Grendel on the case head; dies are also Grendel. I did some handloading for it, so hopefully I'll get an hour or two to burn at the range this week.

Building this was slow and painful. Very few barrel makers are licensed to chamber in 6.5 Grendel, as Alexander Arms keeps an iron grip on that Grendel name. Because of that, several cartridges have been spawned that differ in name only. I originally tried to go through Satern Machining for a barrel, but they didn't know the specifications for a MK12 barrel. I tried for two months to work with them, but they are very busy cranking out barrels and I wasn't getting any where, so I called Les Baer. He helped in the development of the Grendel, and in the wake of the licensing he made his own cartridge called the .264 LBC AR.

I ordered Les' 20" heavy barrel, and when I got it I sent it to ADCO Firearms to have it cut to 18" and turned down to a SPR profile that matches the MK12. It's got cut rifling, which I insisted on, and it's all stainless, so I coated it in Brownell's Alumahyde II in Dark Parkerizing Grey. It looks awesome. Here's the barrel hanging from my ceiling after I coated it:

Assembly was relatively easy. This gun is very close to spec for the Mod 0, with only minor infractions keeping it from being perfect. I still want to get a Storm or Pelican case with cut foam for it, and also the suppressor. I have to get the .30 caliber version though because the OPS Inc 12th model in 5.56mm obviously will not work.

Also for my birthday I got a box of Federal's 147 grain HST +P. I had 15 minutes to spare the other day, so I shot 20 of them or so out of my Glock 26 to see how they would do. In the scorching heat under the ticking clock in my head I managed a 3 1/8" five shot group at 25 yards, which is nothing to sneeze at from the subcompact blaster. I did a few draws to make sure it was controllable, and got velocity of 975 fps on average. This ammo rocks, and will be what I am going to chamber my Glock 17 in soon. The 25 yard group is the middle dot:

That's about all I have for today. When I get the bipod and A.R.M.S. mount I'll do some glamor shots of the Mod 0, and also a range report. I should also do up a build sheet to capture all the parts and effort I put into this thing.