Wednesday, June 20, 2012

State of the CTone Address

I'm alive.  Sorry I haven't been by anyone's blog in a week or so; life has me tied up right now and it's going to be weird for a little while longer.  Work has me commuting through DC traffic aaaaaaand Baltimore traffic, so I'm averaging six to seven hours in the car on top of a nineish hour workday.  If you see a shaved head dude screaming his head off in traffic, red faced with spit flying out, that's me, and it's best to leave me to my grievance and not make eye contact.

Some great news is I've found a place to live for the time being that's perfect perfect perfect in every way.  God has a way with coming through at the 11th hour with perfect solutions, and He doesn't disappoint.  There's not much to say about it other than it's close to where I am now and my kids better get used to playing outside -- it's about time for that.  Yo Gabba Gabba can take a hike.  To give you an indicator of how perfect this place is, this is me in the back yard several years ago:

My reloading addiction is about to go full tilt!  The local critters better polish up on their camouflage too; there haven't been any coyotes seen there in awhile, but I'm certainly going to find out if there are any within calling range.

I haven't had time to anything with the 338wm project, but I did get to fire my new AR upper.  It's going to need a little tweaking in the rail system, but I think it's going to be good to go.  I had many stoppages within the first twenty rounds or so -- bolt overrides, double feeds, bolt not locking back -- but the bolt was almost completely dry, and with some 10w-40 it was running like a sewing machine.  I did manage to ruin both of the Nevco steel plates; I knew better than to shoot them inside of 100 yards, but they were irresistable and I didn't have much cardboard handy.  I'll eat them up with the 338wm at distance when I get that up and running, and pick up two more for handgunnery.

I'll stop by and say hi when I can.  I hope everyone is having a smashing time with life right now!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Open Carry AR/long gun protest in Detroit

From the ARs in the pictures, I see a POF P415 in the hands of the guy-with-the-flamboyant-shoes.  There's many folks though with ARs and a few with .22 rifles and shotguns, and of course there's one guy with a pistol strapped into a $12 crappy nylon holster.  Why spend $500+ dollars on a quality handgun only to wrap it into such a contraption?  Someone is going to make fun of you, so stop it.

A summary of the protest comes from the arrest of an 18 year old man who was carrying an M1 carbine on his back as the only means of legal armed defense.  From what I've read, the police and prosecutor are bending over backwards to make an example of this guy, who broke no laws, and the locals are showing how they feel about it.  Here's a thread with the details.  Be happy knowing that a new term has been coined out of this: Long Gun Open Carry, or LGBT LGOC for short, as what we definitely need in this world right now is one more acronymn that sounds like so many others.

My take on this is that if you expect the masses to follow statutes and codes to the letter, than you have to expect those who enforce said codes to follow them as well.  It's obvious it doesn't work out that way very often, but as you can see there are some folks out there who take it seriously, and it wouldn't profit to get them all worked up over what will amount to a mediocre funding stream from an 18 year old.  The law of diminishing returns still holds water last I heard.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The little Winchester Magnum that could

This weekend I was summoned to see a man's inherited gun collection that he was selling off.  I'm in a transitional period of my life right now that no longer includes buying firearms for the foreseeable future, so I vainly picked up an almost brand new rifle and pondered the possibilities, knowing I would have to set it back down.  My brother, who's generosity is only outmatched by his big heart, saw the spark in my eye and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat; he took that gun and set it in his pile so that I wouldn't lose the opportunity.  Thank you for that!

The rifle is a stainless steel Remington 700 in .338 Winchester Magnum.  My long range Savage 7mm WSM build is going on hiatus for a long while, but this gun will suffice in its place for a 1,500+ yard bullet launcher.  The reason I'm calling it the little WinMag that could is because this cartridge is generally not on the list of rounds for extreme long range (ELR) shooting; for a cartridge have this potential it needs to be able to drive heavy bullets at high velocities, which the .338 WinMag is not designed to do.  It was created to drive 180 - 250 grain hunting bullets at reasonably velocities, with the 225 grain bullets being ideal, to shoot large game out at moderate to long range.  To make for a ELR target gun, a cartridge needs to drive a 250+ grain bullet at really high velocities.  The .338 Lapua Magnum, for example, used by the US and British military snipers for long range work, drives a 300 grain Sierra Match King at about 2,700 fps, which is 200 fps faster than the .338 WinMag is capable of sending them.  Fortunately for me, I am in the business of making underdog cartridges perform better than they were designed to, and there's a lot of new technology in propellants and bullets that will help me do just that.  From my calculations, I believe I can get Hornady's 285 grain match bullet going fast enough to make hits up to 1,500 yards.  We will definitely see if that's going to work out before too long.

My picture is a little blurry, but as you can see it looks just like any other Remington 700.  The main difference is that you can drop a standard #2 pencil right down the bore.  In Virginia, having a bigger bore than .30 caliber is very rare, as anything larger than that is overkill.  The deer around here aren't much bigger than a fat coyote, so 100 grain 6mm bullets is really all you need (unless you plan on smacking targets at range).  This gun is going to be on an extreme budget, and I'll of course show my dear readers how it all goes together.  I haven't had a chance to fire it yet because of the extreme amount of corroded copper fouling that was in the bore, but I did manage with much effort to make the lands and grooves shine like a new nickel.  I doubt that the barrel has seen an entire 20 round box of ammo in its life so far, so it has some mileage left on it.

My brother's reward in all of this is a .22 rifle that shoots bugholes, some other really cool longarms and handguns, and this beauty that he got for a price so low that I don't dare mention:

It shoots great!  As far as I know, he hasn't done any extensive shooting with it to find out what ammo it likes the best, but I can say that I would carry it without hesitation.  I can also see why the snub nosed Colt was favored so much, as it's a joy to shoot. 

It was a great weekend, and I am truly blessed.  Things may be hit or miss around here for awhile, as my family and I are looking to find and move into a bigger house.  We've been fighting to stay in the same tiny little house that we bought when we were first married and didn't have any kids, and to tell you the truth I'm well past tired of putting up with it.  I'm over being bombarded by boxes and stuff that falls out of every cabinet, with random things piled on top of every nook and cranny, and it's high time we went somewhere else.  If the good Lord spares my life, I'll be hung up with this and that for the next couple of months, so if my posting falls off please come back and see me from time to time.

Friday, June 8, 2012

That's not a gun. This is a GUN!!!

Known on US Navy ships as the Close In Weapon System, or CIWS (or Phalanx), in Iraq somebody had the totally awesome idea to mobilize them and use them at ground facilities for. . . . . wait for it. . . . shooting down rockets and mortars!  Wicked!!  This version is goes by the much cooler name of Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar, or C-RAM.  Other countries have 30mm and 40mm versions, but the US CIWS/C-RAM is a 20mm gun.

Rate of fire for the latest system is reportedly 4,500 rounds per minute, and doing the math shows that to equate to 75 rounds per second!  That's nasty.  I guess it has to be to be able to shoot football sized objects down from several miles away while they're traveling at 3,000+ feet per second.  I didn't have this system where I was at, so all incoming rounds just landed wherever, but I would have been glad to have this beast shooting stuff down.  Now I wonder how much each round costs so that I can calculate how much a four second burst costs.

ETA:  And another one that shows thermal imaging where you can see the actual mortar taking hits and blowing up from the 20mm rounds. 

This one's even better!

ETA:  All right, so apparently this concept is way more high tech than the CIWS/C-RAM system.  The Germans have a 35mm "Revolver" that is way cool at shooting down incoming threats.  Hang in there towards the end of the video to see what the rounds do to missiles and such.  Awesome!

For the AR geek

M4 flash suppressor shot glasses.  This is what you get for the man who has it all!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OWB Holster for "the outdoor woods"

A little throwback to Over the Hedge there in the title if you didn't catch it.  Yes, I watch too many kid's movies.

Anyways, this past weekend was the annual river float trip that friends and family faithfully take, and since I've missed the last two I made sure I was there.  In preparation, I made a kydex OWB holster for the P30 because rowing a canoe for two days with a pistol tucked down by the crotch didn't sound like it would make for good times.  This type of holster is super easy to make -- without the given interruptions in my house it probably took just under an hour total:

Retention is excellent, and there was no need for a strap, snap, or other retention device. In light of a friend's previous river disaster, I did attach a BLACKHAWK! pistol lanyard so that if the gun or gun/holster came loose for any reason I would have a way of not losing it for five years. Unfortunately, a gigantic thunderstorm made us give up on going to the river, and instead we went to a remote campsite on private property on a nearby reservoir. That turned out to be a smart decision because the night the storm hit the river rose six feet in four hours.

I did manage to end up on the wrong side of the canoe's gunwale close to the bank, and wading around in silted water showed the inferiority of the beach-sand-torture-test, as the insides of the P30 were thoroughly coated in it. I don't know if the gun would have fired or not, but it certainly was hard to rack the slide. I did have a cleaning kit and SLIP 2000 to make her smooth again. Overall though the holster held well and protected the gun from bumps and bruises. I'm really enjoying this holster making stuff!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A waste of perfectly good armor

Pictures from an abandoned Ukrainian armor repair depot.  That's a bunch of tanks, and one can only imagine how many other abandoned facilities there are out there.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A great way to get shot

One kid has the right idea and tries to peg him in the head with a basketball. Around here in my town, I'd give this jackass a solid 13 seconds before somebody runs him off with the muzzle of a Glock.

Airgun safety

Most gunnies get that you should keep your firearms away from small children (when you're not out shooting with them) or from kids who are not mature enough to be trusted with them while you're away, but consider that your firearm policy should also include airguns.

I was several years younger than these kids and I had access to both airguns and firearms whenever I wanted, but never went out shooting children with them.  It wasn't even a consideration.  Wow!

Firearm training for women

For ladies who are interested in taking some firearm training, go to A Girl and Her Gun for a chance to win funds and ammo towards a shooting academy in the US.  Awesome!

MMmmmmm. . . vintage!

The M16A2 is now old enough to be considered vintage, right?  ARFCOM has an A2 picture thread going to show all the plastic handguard haters what old school looks like!

I know all the M4 types love the look of the carbine in all it's CQB glory, but back in my day a "battle rifle" wasn't limited to 300 yards or less.  600 yards isn't a big deal for the A2 with serviceable sights, and the Marine Corps still to this day shoots out to 500 meters.  Despite the flood of optics, lights, lazers, and doodads that adorn the AR type rifles these days, I still think the good ol' A2 rifle is sexy.  I can remember a certain day in Kuwait while waiting on a trip to the airport, some Soldiers were snickering at my M16A2 with its well worn and shiny receiver, sans an optical aiming device.  They all had M4's, and a couple of them had the M16A4, which I didn't even know existed at the time.  Each one had a $500+ optic sitting on top of it, which was a marvel to me that the Army had the coin to buy every Soldier an Aimpoint, from cooks to high-speed infantrymen.

On my list of guns to get is an A2 style AR, but it's going to have to wait for a few years.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Well, that stinks

A university police chief leaves his issued sidearm on the pooper for his students to find, photograph, and report to the local media.  Good times!

ETA:  Here's the article.

I love it when a plan comes together

Some Brits and Afghanis were saved from Taliban execution this weekend by British SAS and US Navy SEALs.
The soldiers moved into the darkness shooting dead the kidnappers with silenced weapons. Several were dispatched with a “double tap” the preferred method of killing - two bullets in the centre of the forehead.
The US special forces cleared and secured their target, killing seven kidnappers in the process but no hostages had been found.
For an instant commanders faced the dreadful possibility that the four aid workers had been moved. Seconds later, however, the tension was broken when the SAS team commander’s radio crackled into life, reporting that all four hostage were alive and well, before adding that a further four kidnappers had been killed.
Sounds stealthy.  I imagine the hostages felt a good deal of relief when they were set free and flown back home.  I'm glad to hear that they were all good to go.

Kids and guns

There are several tails attached to this beast, and I'm seeing that they're being addressed in clever ways these days.  When it comes to this topic, I have several questions.  How do you introduce firearm safety to young children?  My meaning here is not only one of having children shoot so they know how to control it, but also one of avoidance for the younger children.  How do you provide access to older kids so that they can become part of home defense?  Can you safely provide access to an older kid, but also keep younger kids away from them?

Some of my kids are still too young to even sit down with them and give them an Eddie Eagle talk, but two of my kids are old enough for instruction, but are not really ready for live fire.  In my day, my father and/or some of his trusted friends would give me firearm safety instruction, followed up with some .22 rimfire shooting.  That was safe and effective, but the airsoft and pellet gun sounds like it's overall the best way to get kids trained on firearm safety.  Some gun bloggers you may have heard about did just that, and provided an environment with many children at one time learning gun safety and how to shoot.  Perfect!  I missed out on the opportunity, but I plan on having my kids involved for the next one.

On the other end of the spectrum, having a well thought out plan for your older kids to defend themselves or the house while you're away is priceless.  Here's a great example of a well executed plan that fortunately didn't include gunfire.  Having a codeword that is only used during a no-B.S. moment of danger is good policy, and having your children disciplined enough to be trusted alone with access to firearms is what you want the end result to be.  I have a long way to go before that happens in my house, but I pay close attention to those with older kids and how they do things.

Ultimately, you have to have some sort of plan.  It's reckless and irresponsible to have firearms in the home and not tell your children about them.  Most of the friends that I have grew up with guns in their house, and none of them had any accidents or injuries, and none of the guns were hidden.  I can guarantee that you can't hide a gun from a kid for long.  Education is the only way to fly, you just have to start.