Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Krylon critters strike again. I recently received an M1 from the CMP, covered with some kind of preservative. It looks a hell of a lot nicer than this. I think this pattern is the same one my GI Joe had on his camo unform back in '75. I'll give the artist credit, he actually took the time to take the stock off before digging into the spray cans. At least it's not pink.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Geezers At The Gun Range

Went out to the range today to provide an initial orientation to a new member. The range I belong to has membership on an annually paid basis, with orientation required at the range for new members. We review our policies in detail during the process, and walk the range so new members become familiar with the layout, and are able to ask questions from an experienced member. Besides safety, this process is also intended to make the new member feel welcomed to the club.

That said, what happened today is a fine example of how to give the impression that the membership consists of pissed off old cranks:

Sit in your van and eyeball people for half an hour;

Walk up to two people reviewing the distinctive club SOP books, one of whom is explaining to the other the intent a paragraph, don't introduce yourself, and demand, not ask, "who are you", immediately followed by, "are you a member?" in a pissed off tone, ignoring the club issued name badge on his chest. Turn to the board of directors member giving orientation, and immediately ask the same questions in the same tone;

Maintain accusatory tone while asking if the two people trying to complete the orientation know the membership status of the people on the firing line thirty yards away that he just spent the last half hour glaring at from his van;

Interrupt the next several attempts by board member to continue orientation by interjecting questions about new member's work history, family members, etc;

Ask what they think about those semi-auto military rifles used to kill all those people recently;

When told that the questionee would buy one in a second flat if he had the money, act surprised and ask why you would want one;

Abruptly get up and leave without saying anything like "nice to meet you, glad you joined, hope you enjoy the range", etc.

To that member, I'd like to say: thank you for being a rude, inconsiderate, boorish, unwelcoming, parochial pain in the ass. I also thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a teaching moment for the new member after you left, in which I explained how important it is for different shooting disciplines to cooperate and tolerate each other, as clubs and ranges die due to ignorant boobs who would love to ban guns that they don't own, attempt to keep membership low so that there aren't "too many people using the range", believe their way is the only way, if it's new it's bad, and can't see how minimizing the total number of gun owners impacts their niche in sport.

Lastly, in your honor, I will be on that same range tomorrow with my bastardized FN-FAL, 20 round military surplus magazines, and a lot of 7.62 FMJ. If I'm lucky, you'll be there, gritting your dentures.


For a day off, it's been fairly busy. Had a series of continuing education classes today, most of which were fairly interesting. One of the topics was prostate cancer, which becomes more relevant to me as I get older. One of the good things, so to speak, about prostate cancer, is that timely treatment is very effective. On the other hand, with the surgical treatment comes a significant risk of impotency. Which in your fifties or sixties, can be a major impact. Plus other wonderful risks like chronic leakage, or the reverse, scarring of the urethra, resulting in diminished flow, lots of trips to the bathroom, or even a lifetime of nephrostomy drains. Our speaker, a radiation oncologist, addressed brachytherapy, a method that has become highly effective as computers have progressed allowing planning for physical location in relation to radiation dose to become much more precise. While all this was very interesting, the delivery method really gets your attention. Is there a man out there who hasn't had a sympathy cringe when another guy takes a baseball/golf club/ woman's shoe to the groin? Now, what do you feel when you see this going into a man's perineum? He mentioned people do have some swelling after the process......

Afterwards, you end up with a nice little collection of radioactive seeds in your prostate, that look like this on an x-ray. Reminds me of some shotgun injury films I've seen. And those little seeds are effective. So effective you're supposed to stay away from pregnant women and small children for a period of time. Really.

Just one of the many joys of living longer in the modern age.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Love The CMP

My Danish M1 Garand arrived yesterday. I'd originally ordered a Greek, but the ran out between the time I sent the order and their receiving it. After several episodes of phone tag with a remarkably patient and pleasant lady at one of the southern offices, I was offered a Danish substitute in "good condition". I accepted and hoped for the best. Less than a week later the big cardboard box in the kitchen was waiting for me when I came home. Inside was a Springfield Armory rifle with metal in very good condition, and wood with nice figure, and some handling ding acquired over the years. More than worth the cost and wait. I still need to get some of the storage goop off it, but I'm definitely happy. Now if those back-ordered 148 grain bullets from Dillon Precision would show up, I could get down to business....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dogs on 'Roids

The vet tells me my Golden Retriever is having an a particulary bad allergy attack. How he gets an allergic reaction in just one ear I don't understand, but whatever. It's bad enough that the inside of his ear looks like a college wrestler who's never worn headgear in his senior year. Now he gets a week worth of prednisone, and a high pressure water injection in two weeks to flush out the ear canal. I have a hard time getting 91 lbs of Golden to come out of the truck for his annual check-up now; we'll see how he reacts to the vet after having a plastic nozzle jammed into the side of his head while he's pinned to the exam table.

Suprise Day Off

Went into work for a 0700 meeting today, and was told that I could head home when it was done. So now I have a window to try to sell my old beater Jeep, get my dog's ear checked, register my new Jeep, clean my M1891 Mosin-Nagant, lube up some cast .45 bullets, read/respond to two weeks worth of email and finish painting, fitting, and nailing up trim in my upstairs bathroom.

But first, coffee with chicory. I was first exposed to chicory during x-ray school at Fort Sam Houston, TX in the early '90s. I loved that stuff, but wasn't able to find something similar once I was sent up to Ft Lost In The Woods, MO. Sometime later I ran across French Market coffee at a HyVee store. Now it's the only coffee I drink at home, although I'll drink day old gas station coffee away from home it that's what's available. I like mine black, and light shouldn't be able to see more than 1/4 inch below the surface of the coffee. Four mugs of that, then I start on the chores.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Long Week

I have over 60 hours worked this week, so posting has been non-existant. Hopefully it'll slow down soon, so I'm doing something besides working or sleeping.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

You know, I hadn't originally intended to have this fascination with pink rifles. Actually, I don't have a fascination with them, they're just so fugly that they rise to the top of the visual repugnance barrel. Why, why, why. What kind of man would do this to a rifle? I understand that some women may want to "accessorize" their weapons to be more feminine, although I still find that visually unappealing. But this was done by a man....

This used to be a Hakim rifle. Here's one that's, unfooled with:

(click on image to enlarge)

Three things about Hakims:

1) They're worth having as an example of the early attempts to have a semi-automatic rifle capable of handling a full-power battle cartridge;

2) There's not a whole lot of them around;

3) They're actually a well made, accurate rifle, which is amazing in itself considering they were fabricated in Egypt, even if the machinery was Swedish;

Thus, why turn one into some kind of metrosexual truck gun?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Heroes: PVT Stephen C. Sanford

I was reading Kim Du Toit's article on the MSM's lack of coverage on contemporary heroes. Well said, and unlikely to change in the near future. However, there are sources that do report our modern heroes, such as the Army Times and the Dept. of Defense website.

Marine Gen. Pace awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Army Pvt. Stephen C. Sanford of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, for displaying extraordinary courage during the evacuation of casualties from a home in Mosul while under intense enemy fire, according to Army officials. Although shot in the leg during his squad’s initial assault attempt, he still accompanied his squad during its second assault. Once inside the house, Sanford provided a heavy volume of suppressive fire while the casualties were evacuated. He continued to engage the enemy while escorting wounded soldiers from the house, according to the award citation. Sanford returned to the house a second time to provide covering fire for the final withdrawal of casualties. When the last soldier leaving the house was shot in the neck, Sanford began performing CPR. Sanford was shot twice more in the back while trying to revive the other soldier. He returned fire and killed an insurgent while receiving two more potentially fatal gunshot wounds, the citation stated. He continued returning fire while helping his wounded comrade until he was incapacitated by his own loss of blood.

I've never heard of him. And that's a shame, because his actions are an example of a soldier at his finest. He was medically retired. To earn that discharge, your injuries are bad enough that you will have to work around the damage every day, the rest of your life. I hope there's a daily block of instruction during Basic Training on these events to instill the idea of what one Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman is capable of. These individuals are an inspiration to me; I wish they had more of an opportunity to do the same for the rest of the public.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

“If a black talk show host said it, there wouldn’t have been any controversy whatever.”

Racial remarks: Double standard?

Well hell no, I would've never guessed there's some kind of double standard unless the media had posed the question. Lord knows, I've never seen anyone who's not white use the term "nappy" ( except for it's use in the movie "Barbershop", where it's in the name of Ice Cube's main competitor, and mentioned frequently, by several non-Caucasian folks, without consequence, 'cause that's OK, since it's satire, blah blah blah..... ). An when it comes to the word "ho".....seriously, the impression I have from the media, especially in entertainment, "ho" is damn near a term of endearment, instead of an insult that should at least earn the issuer a five-fingered imprint on his/her face. I called an ex-girlfriend a dumbshit in a bar once, and got my head snapped around so fast I never saw it coming. If some guy, any color, called The Wife a "ho", he'd be a lot better off if I got to him first.

Yeah, Imus (who I managed to watch on MSNBC once for five minutes before turning it off, since I didn't see the point of watching what appeared to be a ninety year old woman in a cowboy hat mumble into a microphone with two sycophants nodding along with all the mumbling) did something stupid, rude, and offensive. I don't care if he gets fired. I do care about the fact that it's OK to be black and say crap like this, but nobody other than Bill Cosby thinks twice about it. If you think it's alright to denigrate your own ethnic group publicly, for entertainment, in music, movies, and personal actions, I could not care less if you're offended when someone outside your ethnic group does it. If you don't exhibit respect for yourself, you're sure as hell not going to get it from me, especially when it's a common behavior. Tough shit. Go cry to someone else.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holy Crap!

Growing up in the '70s and '80s, cults were in the national conciousness a lot. There was coverage on various types of cults, clues to what indicated a cult, deprogramming, etc. One of the traits that I recall is a maniacal devotion to absurd behavior patterns, along with punishment of members for questioning the rules. Dymphna at the Gates of Vienna has an interesting post on one of the world's foremost cults here. Anal retentive doesn't even begin to sum it all up.

Monday, April 9, 2007

What The Hell

was this guy looking for? Then again, I don't want to know.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Enfield No. 4 MkI Caliber .303 British:

This is a professionally sporterized Enfield that has had a lot of gunsmithing done to it. It had a Wolff bolt spring installed, barrel shortened to carbine length, fiberoptic blade front sight installed......

Here' what a proper No. 4 Mk I looks like:

as in the one on the bottom.

Yes, that's quite an improvement. Some kind of recycled plastic formed into a stock, a bobbed barrel, original ten round detachable magazine reduced by half, and that lovely primer-grey new parkerized finish.

The thing is, you can buy plastic stocked, all weather finish brand new rifles for less than the cost of this conversion at Wal-Mart, Fleet Farm, and a hell of a lot of mom & pop gun shops.

Which would leave more hand-made and hand-finished rifles for those of us who appreciate what went into them:

Apprentice training, Royal Small Arms Factory, 1947.

Assembler's bench, Royal Small Arms Factory

Friday, April 6, 2007

Weekend Fun

Apparently it's going to be in the 40's Sunday. In exchange for ripping out fifty year old linoleum and and the plywood underneath in my bathroom, I'm rewarding myself with a large helping of .30 caliber goodness until my shoulder wears out. Then it'll be time to dirty up one of the 1911A1s. Now if I could just get that range rule about no steel targets changed, I could really have some fun. I'm to the point I'm near ready to buy a little piece of the crappiest land I can find/afford, and put every piece of steel I own on it. Nothing satisfies like lead on steel.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

No Rifle Practice Today

The temperature is 30 degrees, with 30 mph winds, leaving a wind chill that takes the temp down to 14 degrees. I don't care much about the actual temperature, but I hate wind. Beyond the discomfort, trying to keep everything from blowing around or over is a pain. I'll have to try to weasel out some time this weekend, if it's any better.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Started assembling loads for the M1 last night. I shot my first Garand match this past winter, and would like to make another 2-3 matches this summer. My current load worked well for last summer's practice conditions, but didn't reliably cycle the bolt in the middle of winter (not fun to find out during a rapid fire match). I'll be evaluating the current load for actual velocity vs published expected velocity, then working up to a little higher pressure load for enhanced reliability in cold weather. I'm considering tracking temperature variations effects on my standard load across the summer season also. Which means relearning the operation of my chronograph I haven't run in 5+ years, along with getting more familiar with my computer's spreadsheet programs.

I'm also looking forward to the mini Palma matches scheduled for our range this year. I've never shot one, but the descriptions sound interesting, and gives me more excuses opportunities to play with my old Winchester 52B. I'd considered taking the 4x-24x scope off this summer, since 10x was the most I found useful during 50 ft four-position competition this winter; with shooting at 200 yards, I'm thinking that the higher settings will see more use. I'll at least be learning some lessons on reading the wind with the little 40 grain bullets practically coasting out to the targets, compared to my 22-250's velocities.

Off to the dungeon to organize for a practice session tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Now I Know.....

who owns the rifle I posted on Sunday:

The Easter Bunny likes M-14s!

(h/t to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Range Wimp

Oriented two new members at our range today. I thought I'd take the opportunity to take out one of the 1911A1s and get in some practice afterwards. Drove onto the range, and noticed that the west wind was extra pleasant today, as it tried snatch the door off my truck. Given that, practicality and an old case of frostbite made me decide to wait in the temporary clubhouse, aka the construction site trailer. Passing one of our storage sheds on the way up, I notice a strong smell of skunk. Very strong. Someone will have an interesting time trying to evict him, but since he's living under a shed less than ten feet behind the 50 yard firing line, upwind 90% of the time, I don't think we have much of a choice. But not today, and not me.

Finally got up to the trailer, and notice a significant crunchiness when I stepped in. Once my eyes adjusted, I could see the nice wall to wall carpet of dead flies. Wonderful. Between the cold and the flies, I chose the flies. The new members, one military recruiter and one obstetrician, showed up shortly thereafter, experiencing the joy of Springtime in Iowa. Got them through the paperwork, walked the range to familiarize them, and sent them on their way.

Looked around at the mud I was standing in, wind blowing through my coat, I considered running through a couple of boxes of .45 ACP that I brought with me. And decided that trying to hang targets in high winds, loading mags with numb hands, and picking up brass out of mud puddles (I'm a cheap bastardreloader, rendering me physically incapable of leaving usable brass on the ground) just didn't sound that fun. Weenieism wins today.

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

I sincerely hope, given the hat, that the owner is a twelve year old girl who just happens to like 7.62 rifles. Otherwise, I have an image of a militant hippy with bad taste in hats, hunched over the bench in his matching tie-dye field gear.