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"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

1985 / 1995 rhd v8 land rover defender 90, now on ebay

In an attempt to get the Land Rover Defender 90 I have for sale in front of more people, we have listed it on eBay as well as Craigslist and everywhere else I can think of.  Someone has already bid on it, which I guess is a good thing, but it has to hit the reserve price before we will get really excited… so get bidding!  The worst that can happen is you do not have to spend the money if you do not break the reserve… or you do, and you end up with a pretty awesome truck. 

Anywise, bidding ends next Sunday at 1718 PDT and 2018 EDT, so you have a little time to shake down your couch. 

1985/1995 rhd land rover defender price drop

The asking price for the Rover I have for sale has been dropped to $27,500, and I have relisted it here

Make an offer!  The worst I can do is say no… 

yes, this is still a pistol

IMG_6700

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The full build is as follows: 

 IMG_6695- Stripped, never-built DPMS lower left over from my post-election purchases
DPMS lower parts kit, sans the trigger group. 
Curved Chip McCormick Tactical Trigger Group, since the flat one did not work with my extended bolt release
Phase 5 EBRv2 Extended Bolt Release
Dead On Arms AR-15 Pin-Less Oversized Trigger Guard, in flat dark earth. 
Bravo Company Machine Gunfighter Grip, Mod 2, in flat dark earth. 
KAK Industries Super SIG SB-15 Pistol Buffer Tube.  
VLTOR SASE-2 HK-Style Endplate
Sig Sauer SB-15 Pistol Stabilizing Brace, in flat dark earth (noticing a trend yet?). 
Carbine Length Buffer.
Carbine Length Buffer Spring.
Ares Armor Flat Top Upper*.
Ares Armor 7.5” 5.56 Barrel*.
Ares Armor Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group*.
Ares Armor Pistol Length Gas Tube*.
Ares Armor Low Profile Gas Block*.
Armageddon Tactical GMS-15 Gen 1 Charging Handle.
Samson Manufacturing 7” Evolution Rail, cerakoted flat dark earth*. 
Magpul AFG.
Inforce WML.
Kineti-Tech Muzzle Brake with Sound Director
UTG 5-Slot Universal QD Riser
See All Open Sight
Troy Battlemag, in, of course, flat dark earth. 

* – Assembled by Snake Hound Machine

Better Half had been complaining that all of my firearms were aesthetically boring.  I figure a firearm that technically only has two colors, but where none of the instances of the second color match any of the other instances, is about as non-boring as one can get these days without going full-on Hello Kitty

The angled forward grip may or may not end up staying, but it currently serves two purposes – first, it is there to remind folks that while this firearm might resemble a rifle, it is, in fact, a pistol, and attaching vertical forward grips to pistols is strictly forbidden.  In fact, it magically transforms that pistol into an “Any Other Weapon”.  AFGs on pistols are perfectly ok, just like the SB-15 is… and just like the SB-15, that will last until the BATFE randomly and arbitrarily changes its mind.  Second, it serves as a somewhat necessary hand-stop, and I will be figuring out something to fill that role even if I do en up removing the AFG; something tells me that if I were to grip this firearm too far forward, that would be a mistake I would only make once. 

Hopefully I will be able to hit the range this weekend and make sure everything works… dialing in pistol-length ARs can be somewhat challenging, from what I understand.  Likewise, the See All sight is promising, but only time will tell how it actually performs. 

Oh, and the letter stating that it is legal to fire SB-15-equipped pistols from the shoulder is currently folded up in the cargo compartment of the pistol grip, which is something I would suggest all SB-15 users do. 

And I cannot say as though I really grok any of the memes involved in this, but it was in the package with the handguard: 

IMG_6705

You can get your own here

kel-tec customer service > remington customer service

Everyone remembers the slight hiccup I had with my recently-purchased Kel-Tec PF-9, and how Kel-Tec sent me a part to try to fix the problem, free of charge. 

Well, the fix worked.  The new extractor spring yanked out 50 rounds of Freedom Munitions factory reloads, 50 rounds of American Eagle, and 50 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense without a single jam or problem.  I will admit that 150 rounds is not exactly an earth-shattering test and I would have kept going, except the trigger on that thing blisters the hell out of the inside of my index finger for some reason.  I might look into replacing the trigger with something that does not have nearly as much “wrap” underneath the finger…  or I might just suck it up, since this is not a gun I plan on shooting a great deal (just enough to remain proficient). 

So, let us just summarize here.  Two companies sent me a firearm that arguably did not work out of the box.  After I contacted them, one company requested I send the firearm back to them, failed to fix the problem over the course of a month and a half, and the firearm is now back at their facility again with an indeterminate return date.  The other company sent me the part to fix the problem gratis, and it worked, right off the bat, total elapsed time of about two weeks. 

I am still not a Kel-Tec fanboy, but I will definitively say that their customer service is significantly superior to Remington’s. 

As for the 1903, cleaning things seemed to help, which is about as counterintuitive as one can get.  The firing pin retaining pin still walks out about a millimeter or two when shooting – just enough to notice that it did something – but it does not try to fall out of the gun like it did before.  Considering I have no intentions of carrying it, I consider the problem “fixed”, and will just keep an eye out for affordable replacement parts in the future. 

The Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center (say that ten times fast) does not seem to have changed significantly after its annual maintenance, so it is still the best-condition range I have visited in the immediate Raleigh area so far.  I will say, however, that I really wish they would find some range safety officers who are either not fudds, or not firmly convinced that they are God’s gift to firearm training.  You are there to keep people from being idiots, not give them irrelevant, and arguably bad, “pointers”.  Taking my AR pistol there, once it is finished, should be all kinds of fun… 

fs: one-of-a-kind 1985/1995 rhd land rover defender

The Craigslist ad is live: 

How is this a 1985 / 1995 Defender? Easy – the original, from-1985 2.25L I4 engine that was in the truck when it was shipped over from Great Britain decided to catastrophically connect two of its cylinders, and the fix was to replace it with a refreshed 3.9L V8 from a 1995 Discovery.

All of the work was done by Braddy’s British Motorworks up in Youngsville, NC. The 2.25L was taken out and replaced by the aforementioned 3.9L EFI aluminum-block V8 (on which the lifters, rod bearings, head gasket, etc. were replaced); the ZF4HP22 automatic transmission and 1.22 LT230T transfer case (both from the same donor vehicle as the engine) replaced the manual transmission that was there before; the original, tiny radiator was replaced with one designed for a Defender V8 and an electric fan was added to supplement the belt-driven one on the engine; an all-new exhaust system was fabricated and installed; the front driveshaft was replaced with one from a Range Rover Classic; a secondary, 15-gallon fuel tank was installed underneath the rear bed along with a remote-controlled pollak valve to allow you to switch between the two tanks on the fly; and LED indicator lights were installed all the way around to replace the woefully inadequate original incandescents. The truck does not have air conditioning (it never did), but the compressor is still attached to the 3.9 and blanked off if you want to add it in the future. The right hand drive was retained, as was power steering and power brakes (disc fronts, drum rears), and a custom center console was fabricated to hold the new shifter. The engine has all of about 35 miles on it since the refresh (90k before), though the body has 154,039 miles on it. The refreshed engine and all new parts included in the install are covered by a 12-month, 12,000 mile warranty from Braddy’s British Motorworks, and the transmission, transfer case, and all other used parts are covered by a 6-month, 6,000 mile warranty. No other warranty, implied or stated, comes with the vehicle, though.

This is a bad-ass, go-anywhere, all-wheel-drive-all-the-time, British truck that thinks it’s a tank, and everything else on it is pretty much ready to go. It comes with a hard-top – which can be removed – and a fold-down windshield for the full summer driving experience. All four wheels have desirable Wolf (6.5Jx16x20.6) rims, the lower door frames have been replaced recently, and the frame and body are in great shape. The rear spare tire is being held up by a Mantec spare tire carrier, and the front is protected by a newly-powder-coated and -installed brush bar.

It’s currently set up for "station wagon" configuration with two seats in the front and four sideways seats in the back. The front upholstery has been replaced with Exmoor Trim "Denim Vinyl" and heated elements have been added to those seats.

For those keeping up with the news on Defenders, this one was 100% legally imported, and both its VIN and original British license plate check out as being old enough to import. In fact, you can check for yourself: the original plate is C689 TRT and the VIN is available on request. The truck is currently registered and plated in Wake County, NC, and I have the title in-hand with no lien or loan.

So why am I selling it? This thing has been an ongoing project, and our most-recent discovery is that, despite being a Defender, it left the Land Rover factory with Series gear ratios in the front and rear differentials. So while the V8 may be more used to 3.54:1 ratios, it is actually trying to turn wheels that are hooked up to 4.7:1 ratios. The current ratios are great for off-roading, rock-crawling, cruising around town, and that kind of awesome stuff, but I bought this truck to be a daily driver, and it really does not like highway speeds. The fix is to take the front and rear axles off a Discovery and bolt them onto the Defender, but that’s somewhere north of $2000 that we weren’t planning on spending… and we’ve reached our limit. Braddy’s does have these parts available – from the same vehicle that the engine and transmission came out of – if you wanted to pursue this option. Alternative fixes include an overdrive (maybe?) or figuring out what size wheels/tires make the ratio work out to being nearly correct.

Known issues include a heater core that is jammed on (you have your choice of no blown air or hot blown air), a dash blinker indicator that doesn’t blink (could be due to the LED indicator light installation… could be a blown indicator bulb, haven’t checked), a leaky right-rear wheel hub (a $5 seal and an hour or two of time, or it can be fixed by replacing the axles), a bent door stop on the driver’s side and a missing door stop on the back, one of the LED brake lights does not fully illuminate (faulty part, replacement is in the mail and will be included with vehicle), and the usual sporadic Land Rover surface rust. The rear crossmember was replaced long before it was imported to the States, the passenger (left) side seat box bottom has some rot on it ($100 in parts and some quality time with a rivet gun or spot welder), and the door frames have a little rust at the bottom leading corners on both sides. None of the rust is catastrophic or outside the realm of "normal" for a Rover of this age. Finally, someone tried to fix a scratch on the passenger door using some rattle can paint; it doesn’t exactly match, but it’s not painfully obvious (much less in person than the pictures, actually). The touch-up paint will likely buff off.

Really, it wouldn’t take much for this to be a pretty awesome Rover, but we’ve reached our own personal limits. Our loss, your gain :). And, really, I just wish my commute did not involve interstates… if you want an awesome town cruiser that you can take out on the trails on the weekend, this is definitely it.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Alternatively, the truck is currently parked at Braddy’s British Motorworks if you want to see it in person.

Open to trades of small trucks or SUVs; four doors and 4×4/AWD are mandatory. Current asking price is $28,500, but I am open to any and all offers. Willing to work with shippers on your dime. I have additional pictures; feel free to email or call at eight-six-five-two-seven-five-five-zero-four-four for them.

(The transmission in the bed has been sold. The other parts back there are leftovers from the 2.25L conversion, and can be yours or scrap, as you like.)

HDR1halfIMG_6537IMG_6544IMG_6545IMG_6548IMG_6554IMG_6555IMG_6563IMG_6564IMG_6568IMG_6570IMG_6571IMG_6574IMG_6585IMG_6590IMG_6605IMG_6632IMG_6636IMG_6639IMG_6654IMG_6668IMG_20140831_160833654LicensePlateCheck

For those keeping score at home, the brake issue has been resolved by way of a colder thermostat on the engine keeping the cooling system on for longer, and keeping the engine at a lower operating temperature.  I still strongly disrecommend long-term, or really any, highway driving, but the brakes work, and work quite well for their age.  Drop me an email at “linoge (at) wallsofthecity (dot) net” if you are interested, or point people at the Craigslist ad if you know anyone who might be interested.  Thanks! 

time to exit, stage left

It is kind of impressive how functionally all of the problems a vehicle is having can come down to one, little thing. 

In addition to the brakes failing, the Rover was also having a difficult time maintaining highway speeds as well as cooling its engine.  Defenders lack a lot (well, all) sound and heat insulation, but even through the bulkhead, I could feel – and especially smell – that the engine was getting really, really warm. 

Well, as with the last post, there is a reason for that.  For all of that, actually. 

Land Rover did a, frankly, shitty job with making changes to their vehicles.  Improvements were gradual, often spanned models and year changes, and were really, really poorly documented.  All of the documentation I read on Defenders indicated that all D90s had 3.54:1 differentials front and back, removing the need for an overdrive, and making them highway capable.  On the other hand, Series Rovers (i.e. I, II, IIA, and III) all had 4.7:1 differentials on account of the anemic 2.25L I4 they were built with – great for torque, not so much for top speed. 

Remember what engine my Defender originally came with?  A 2.25L I4.  Not so shockingly in retrospect, that means my Defender came with 4.7 gears. 

So, basically, the 3.9L V8 was having to literally work 1/3 again harder to maintain highway speeds than it was “expecting”, and those high RPMs (mind you my truck does not have a tachometer, annoyingly enough) were overheating the engine.  That excess heat was probably affecting the vacuum hoses or master cylinder in such a way as to cause the brakes to fail (at least, that is the working hypothesis of the shop at this point). 

The “fix” is to remove the front and rear axles of a Discovery (basically the same vehicle as a Defender, just with a different body and, conveniently, 3.54 gears) and bolt them into my truck.  All of this will “only” cost another $2000, on top of the more-than-I-was-planning-on-spending costs I have already sunk into the vehicle – a lot of which, mind you, were due to oversights of the shop working on it, including this one. 

Better Half and I have concluded that it is probably time to pull the ripcord.  It is going to be three weeks before the shop can get to the truck, so we are going to list it on Craigslist, Defender Source, and this site (look for the post tomorrow, probably), and if it sells in those three weeks, great.  If it does not… we will figure it out then.  The good news is those 4.7 gears will make a rock-crawler or other off-roader very happy… but are basically useless on the interstate or for commuters like me.  And the additionally good news is that the brakes can probably be fixed without swapping out the axles; it will just involve rerouting conduits and/or heat shielding and/or something else.

Well, that was a year of my life I will never get back, and a not insubstantial amount of money to boot. 

behold, the rover

IMG_20140829_185151119

Nope, that is neither my driveway nor my garage. 

There is, unfortunately, a reason for that. 

So Better Half and I drove up to the shop and we went through the whole pre-hand-off inspection, including a test drive, checking all the lights (one of the LED arrays has gone bad, but I am going to have to talk to the people who sold me the bulbs, not the shop), making sure everything still works the way it is supposed to (the blinker indicator on the dash does not flash any more, but that could be due to the LED conversion), throwing all the switches and levers to ensure they are still connected (apparently the heater core may be jammed “on”), and so on, so forth.  The V8 barely fits in the hole left behind by the I4, and all kinds of parts had to be shoved in random corners throughout the engine bay just to get everything to play well with one another. 

Anywise, we signed off on it, and settled up on the bill (which was about 1/3 higher than we were expecting, which was a whole separate problem), and I started to drive it home with Better Half tailing behind me to ensure nothing fell off or looked bad.  The engine felt and smelled stupidly hot – the temperature gauge was useless since it is set up for the old I4, not the new V8 – but it is going to run warmer regardless, and the smell was probably just a rebuilt engine breaking in (the shop only put about 20 miles on it). 

Thankfully, we were planning on stopping off at a mall on the way home, otherwise all of this could have gone sideways on the interstate. 

It got up to highway speed just fine (though the speedometer is about 10mph slow – apparently Rovers run the sensor to the transfer case, and different engine + different transmission + slightly different transfer case = whacky speedometer), and I pulled off the highway to start winding our way to the mall.  I made one turn just fine, and then made another turn to line up on the final turn into the mall’s parking lot, and time… got a little wibbly-wobbly. 

I was about six to seven car lengths from two cars ahead of me in the turn lane at the stop light, and there was traffic to the right of me and more cars in another turn lane to the left of me.  And that is about the time I realized that the truck was doing about 25-30, my right foot was flat on the floor, on the brake pedal, and the I was not slowing down. 

At all. 

I remember a few distinct things after that point.  First, I tried the pedal again, you know, just to be sure.  No dice.  Then I remember thinking, “Well, [deleted], what the [deleted] do I do now?” almost simultaneously with, “I just picked this [deleted] thing up and I’m going to [deleted] wreck it on its first drive.”  And then I hit upon the correct answer, or at least a correct answer, and cranked the bejesus out of the truck’s parking brake. 

For those unfamiliar with the platform, Defenders’ parking brakes are also part of the transfer case, and, predictably, all four tires locked up.  Solid. 

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I dorked with the colors and contrast in the above image enough that, if you look at the closest turn lane, you can see the right hand tracks left behind by the truck entering before the arrow to the left, and exiting off the right side of the image.  You cannot quite see the left hand tracks, but, by God, I kept the bloody thing in its lane.  The noise inside the cab was pretty impressive, and Better Half, who was still driving behind me at that point, tells me the smoke plume bordered on “epic”. 

At least, that is what she told me once she calmed down. 

IMG_20140829_185457508

Once we calmed down enough and called one of the guys who worked on it, we checked, and there was no fluid leaking out from underneath it.  Given that I could pump the brakes back into very brief life, it seems likely that something in the master cylinder failed. 

Good times. 

So now I am about to head back out again and meet the gentleman so he can flatbed it back to the shop where it has been for the past 9 months. 

At this point, I am almost wondering if I should just get it running and sell it.  Of course, by now, I have almost replaced everything that can be replaced, so… yeah.  As someone recently said on Facebook, if it were not for bad luck, I would have no luck at all. 

yes, “gun control” supporters want you dead

… All for the damning reason of daring to exercise your Constitutionally-protected rights. 

By now, everyone has heard about the incident in Arizona where a firearm “instructor” paid the ultimate price for his own negligence.  It is unfortunate that someone is dead, but it is doubly unfortunate that a nine-year-old girl now has to suffer with the knowledge of having killed someone for the rest of her life. 

Make no mistake – I believe just about everything about that situation was wrong, but “more laws” certainly is not the answer when faced with basic human irresponsibility. 

Predictably, however, the “more laws” crowd is out in force, happily dancing in whatever spilled blood they found, along with some even worse ghouls.  Consider this particular… piece of work: 

BostonSnobLaughing @BostonSnob:  I can’t stop laughing at that girl blowing away her gun instructor. I just hope he didn’t procreate. Hey, @NRA, congrats! #2a #gunsense

Yup, you read that right.  This… individual… is, quite literally, laughing at this situation.  The unfortunate, if negligent, death is a source of amusement for “Cranston Snord” there, while he simultaneously congratulates / blames the NRA – an organization that has basically nothing to do with NFA-regulated items such as the Uzi in question. 

Anywise, I screencapped that particular tweet and then posted it as an example of a member of the “gun sense” movement celebrating the death of a firearm owner, and, well, I guess I should have expected this: 

sk45202MoronicRightWingers @wallsofthecity:  If anyone tells you #gunsense doesn’t celebrate "gun deaths", they’re lying. #guncontrol #everytown #notonemore pic.twitter.com/vE4YAaVVZH

@sk45202@wallsofthecity so what? pic.twitter.com/2Hllw5Rw7x

@wallsofthecity:  So you’re saying the senseless deaths of innocents should be celebrated? I just want you to be clear. @sk45202

@sk45202@wallsofthecity if they are moronic right wingers, yes.

I even gave sk45202 there a chance to back out, but he just doubled down on his murderous bigotry. 

Make no mistake, it positively infuriates me that small-minded, ignorant, intolerant people are incessantly trying to find ways to restrict, limit, regulate, or outright abolish the rights of law-abiding Americans, but I have never once wished death upon any of them, nor would I celebrate their deaths if that were to happen.  Disagreeing with people is all well and good, and animated disagreements are certainly to be expected, but I cannot say as though I have understood or will ever understand the mentality of wishing death upon those you disagree with. 

I guess the “good” news is that some anti-rights cultists do not want you dead, they just want you to shoot yourself in uncomfortable places: 

maroofieShootThemselves @maroofie@wallsofthecity @SadieCitrus only if more gun nuts would shoot themselves in the nut: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/alaska-man-accidently-shoots-crotch-article-1.1919048

Yup, Maruf Khan there wants “more gun nuts” to shoot themselves in their genitals. 

And here I thought the “gun control” / “gun sense” / “Moms Demand” / etc. movement was about reducing shootings?  Silly me. 

Of course, if you really want to chill the debate, you allow yourself to realize that Maruf Khan is espousing a position not far removed from straight-up eugenics.  After all, it would appear as though he would prefer that people who value their rights and freedoms would not procreate and pass on those values to their children.  Granted, such values are not genetic in nature, but it is not like humanity does not have a long and sordid history of trying to destroy a belief system by killing off or breeding out those who support it. 

And to wrap us back around to the beginning, laughing at firearm owners being killed is not an isolated incident: 

widemanSenseofHumor @wideman:  9 year old girl kills her gun instructor with a Uzi 9mm. The universe has a sense of humor :-) #NRA #GunSense

@tazcat2011:  .@wideman You find that incident amusing? #gunsense

@wideman@tazcat2011 I am trying not to chuckle about this. I wonder is SNL will touch this incident?

No, I am fairly certain Saturday Night Live will not touch a nine-year-old girl shooting her instructor to death; even they, unlike most anti-rights cultists, do have some standards. 

And, honestly, I am not even going to bother transcribing this screencap from @goingprorogue, but instead I am just going to let it stand on its own (remember you read from the bottom and work up): 

goingprorogueHilarious

I do not even know what to make of that.  Yes, the account does seem to be dedicated to ridiculing some Canadian politician or another, but, even so, it takes a particularly sick individual to joke about people “deserv(ing) to die”. 

And yet individual like these – individuals who want us murdered for daring to exercise, much less defend, our Constitutionally-protected human rights – are the same people who cannot fathom why we would own and carry firearms.  On the other hand, their desires to disarm us and leave us defenseless make perfect sense in light of their desires to murder us. 

*sigh* 

Now that I may have potentially ruined your Thursday afternoon by exposing you to the sick, twisted underbelly of the “gun control” movement, I give you two cats, one shelf: 

IMG_20140803_172209-001

remember, people like @_NIKD_ vote

Occasionally, I am flat-out astonished at the mind-boggling ignorance of anti-rights cultists.  For example, take this gem:

NikDMutuallyExclusive @_NIKD_: @Bloviate_Barbie @tazcat2011 @GH719 @wallsofthecity @Tomfreeusa | No, not necessarily. And robbery =/= assault. Mutually exclusive.

The person went on to rationalize that s/he was trying to make the argument that not all robberies include assault, but that is definitely not what s/he said.  Furthermore, to that point, I would argue that all robberies do include the threat of assault – after all, what exactly is the robber going to do when you say, “No, I’d rather hold on to my cash, thanks.”?

Interestingly, the UCMJ – the only law I am really familiar with – does include “assault” as a “lesser included offense” of “robbery”, meaning that the military, at least, does consider all robberies to also be assaults.  On further research, though, this concept is not limited to the military; Wikipedia (for whatever it is worth) indicates that in the common law of crime, “robbery” is “larceny” plus “assault”.

In other words, NikD there was not just ignorant, s/he was astonishingly ignorant… and wrong to boot.  

Unfortunately, when useful idiots like NikD there are led around by morons like Jonathan Lowy, director of the Legal Action Project of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, ignorance is to be expected:

"There’s still justification to have some delay before somebody can accumulate an arsenal," even if they already own a weapon, Lowy said. "Courts should not be second-guessing the judgment of the Legislature."

(Emphasis added.)  Apparently this blithering moron failed the “checks and balances” portion of his grade school civics class.  Now, in fairness, we are talking about the government of Kalifornistan, rather than the United States as a whole, but that particular state’s system was modeled almost exactly after the Fed’s system, including legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and the predictable ability for the judicial branch to tell the legislative branch that they overstepped their bounds.

The good news is NikD obviously will not have a hard time securing employment at the “Brady Center To Prevent Gun Ownership”, but the bad news is that s/he and Jonathan there both vote and both may procreate, or, worse, may already have.

It is important to remember that education is entirely wasted on people like these, but it can be quite useful for fence-sitters or other undecided folks who might encounter them.  Superficially, their claims may (or, hopefully, may not) make sense, but once confronted with the cold, hard facts of the situation, the anti-rights agenda completely falls apart.

that is not me driving it

But at least it is driving: 

You might have to click through to see the video if you are reading this on an RSS reader. 

No real estimate on when it might be done, but this was the first time it has been out of the shop in nine months, so I guess I should take what I can get. 

“gun sense” is a protection racket

Triangle Tactical brought my attention to this Facebook comment: 

JodyAverillDestructionofProperty

… and does a wonderful job explaining how this action is a punishable misdemeanor – either Class 2 or Class 1, depending on how much property was destroyed – in North Carolina. 

However, another thought came to my mind. 

The entire “gun control” / “gun sense” / Moms Demand / Everytown / Bloomberg’s-tax-write-off movement has turned into nothing more than a protection racket

Oh, no, the “moms” in question are not showing up at these businesses in cheap, oversize suits and delivering some line of, “My, it’d be a shame if something happened to your business… why don’t you pay us to keep it safe for you?”  These “activists” are not big on actual face-to-face confrontations with the people whose minds they are seeking to change.  Instead, they are taking to the internet, and literally threatening to destroy Kroger’s property if Kroger does not ban open carry on their premises. 

And lest you think this is an isolated idea, it is not:

kommonkatCart 

…and: 

BlueNationUntdLeaveTheCart

Hell, the concept is not even limited to grocery stores: 

My proposal is as follows: we should all leave. Immediately. Leave the food on the table in the restaurant. Leave the groceries in the cart, in the aisle. Stop talking or engaging in the exchange. Just leave, unceremoniously, and fast.

But here is the key part: don’t pay. Stopping to pay in the presence of a person with a gun means risking your and your loved ones’ lives; money shouldn’t trump this. It doesn’t matter if you ate the meal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just received food from the deli counter that can’t be resold. It doesn’t matter if you just got a haircut. Leave.

I am not going to link to the original source of that quote, you can Google it for yourself if you like, but make no mistake – University of North Dakota professor Jack Russell Weinstein is endorsing fraud, civil fraud in all cases, and criminal fraud in some, depending on jurisdictions.  And, predictably, this suggestion was taken up by the anti-rights cultists and paraded around the internet as the authoritative answer to encountering an open carrier in a private establishment. 

“My, it would be a shame if I had to get up and leave without paying, after eating my meal, just because you allow the peaceful exercise of a Constitutionally-protected right on your premises… why don’t you stop that, mmkay?” 

For clarification, I have absolutely no problem with boycotts; not giving your money to a company or organization you disagree with is a time-honored method of expressing that disagreement.  I did it myself, just this weekend.  But there is a massive difference between “declining to do business with” and “intentionally and maliciously destroying and/or stealing property”. 

It has been a long-held opinion of pro-rights activists that “gun control” / “gun sense” supporters are largely comprised of criminals or people with criminal tendencies; after all, rendering their potential victims defenseless is only “logical”.  While the various and sundry rap sheets of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns certainly indicates that is the case for the leadership, these examples show the rot may indeed be systemic and pervasive. 

on ferguson

When the only immediately-apparent difference between police forces and military units is the word “POLICE” emblazoned across their backs: 

FergusonPolice

… our country has a problem. 

Or, to put it another way: 

AdamaPoliceMilitary

In fairness, we are not using the military as a police force in this case (though I understand the National Guard has been mobilized), but when you start giving the police retired military gear, and you train them in almost identical fashions, you get a certain amount of “monkey see, monkey do” no matter how hard you try.  And this is all without even addressing the side-effects of repeatedly teaching cops that they are above the law

I mean, seriously, remove the velcro ID patches from the cops in the first picture, and they could be troops on the ground in Mosul or something equivalent. 

On the other hand, when did it become a good idea to loot countless businesses, burn a convenience store to the ground, and violently riot for ten damn days in response to a perceived injustice?  An insufficient amount of data has been released about the shooting that sparked off this parade of idiocy, so I am not going to comment on it, except to say that the reaction, on both sides, has been wholeheartedly wrong.  Of course, when you make every attempt to burn a part of a city down, the police are, naturally, going to take a… particular interest in you and your compatriots. 

So, yes, while the riots have provided us a unique glimpse into the side effects of encouraging our police force to behave like a small, internal military – something our Founding Fathers hated and our laws actually prohibit – the riots themselves are wrong, on every count. 

In this case, everyone loses, especially the people of Ferguson. 

speaks for itself

In general, the anti-rights cultists have largely abandoned the lie of “only wanting to compromise”, which is just as well; it was always a lie, everyone knew it was always a lie, and it convinced no one. 

But, occasionally, you find a useful idiot who did not receive the memo: 

comebackshaneCompromise@comebackshane: @Soldier1eaODGrn Reasonable should be determined by an equal number of representatives from both sides. Compromise.

@wallsofthecity: The pro-rights community has been "compromising" for over 80 years. It’s time to reclaim our rights. @comebackshane @Soldier1eaODGrn

@comebackshane: @wallsofthecity @soldier1eaodgrn Compromise is a continuous thing. It doesn’t go away. You can’t just go, "Fuck it, I’m done!"

@wallsofthecity: Actually, we can. "Compromise" requires both parties to give something up. #guncontrol never hass. @comebackshane @soldier1eaodgrn

@comebackshane: @wallsofthecity @soldier1eaodgrn OK…you can own a semi-automatic military style weapon…after a proper background check and training.

compromise_v21Yes, that was Shane Ross’ – aka @comebackshane – notion of “compromise”: he will “allow” you to continue owning your “semi-automatic military style weapon” so long as you submit to his demands. 

Now, just so everyone is on the same page, the definition of “compromise” is “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.”  What concession did Shane here make?  Oh, right, he “allowed” you to go on exercising your rights to keep and bear firearms, own private property, and tend to your self-defense.  These mental midgets literally believe that respecting basic human rights is a “concession”. 

As the title says, that speaks for itself. 

Of course, this is the same useful idiot who could not define “assault rifle”, and managed to define “assault weapon” as “semi-automatic firearms with a detachable magazine”… and that was it.  I shit you not.  Yes, this individual wants to restrict, if not outright ban, something he cannot adequately or properly define.  As I am fond of noting, “gun control” supporters seem to exhibit the Dunning-Kruger Effect with… shall-we-say above-average frequency. 

By now, everyone should be familiar with Lawdog’s famous – or, perhaps, infamous – dissertation on “compromise” in the “gun control” arena, but please refresh yourself on how much we have surrendered for absolutely nothing in return. 

Should I “compromise” with someone looking to murder me?  No?  Then why should I waste my time “compromising” with someone trying to deprive me of other rights, especially when the “compromise” itself is naught but a bald-faced lie? 

sylvester stallone is riding his hypocrisy all the way to the bank

In general, I try not to let actors’ political positions and opinions from coloring my perception or reception of their work.  After all, they are entitled to their own opinions as much as anyone is, I am paying them to entertain me, not for their own personal opinions, and if I really threw a flag on every statist actor, I would not have much left to watch.  For example, Nathan Fillion is vocally anti-firearm, and Brent Spiner supports Our Glorious President. 

But, sometimes, I am willing to make an exception.  I was going to go see Expendables 3 this weekend, until I saw this: 

SylvesterPansy

Let me get this straight, asshole… you make millions glorifying and glamorizing the wanton and destructive use of firearms, and then turn around and have the nerve to tell the American people that respecting basic human rights is equivalent to “living in the Dark Ages”? 

Vaffanculo, jackass.

And lest you think I am overreacting to a Twitter meme, Stallone did say these things, sufficiently far back that I should have known better.  Of course, to make matters even more hypocritical, Stallone has applied for, and received, a carry permit, so he wants firearms – and even understands the most-prevalent use for them today – but does not you to have firearms.  How generous of him. 

He does a decent job pretending to be a door-kicker, but something tells me he does not have the spine necessary to put his anti-rights dreams into practice, personally. 

home gunsmithing

Well, tinkering, at least. 

The promised parts from Kel-Tec arrived, and that seemed like a good time to do some work on the 1903 as well. 

The new extractor spring is actually different from the old one – it is about 5mm longer.  The angle in the metal is identical to the old one, and the metal itself seems similar, but it seems like it will apply more force to the extractor itself, and thus the case I am trying to extract, than its predecessor.  I would have taken a picture of it, if it were not for my dead smartphone and the fact that all of my other cameras are currently over in Europe with Better Half and her mother; however, if you look at this picture, and see how the spring (the piece of metal on the outside) does not go all the way to the end of the extractor?  Now it does. 

Obviously I have not been able to hit up the range yet, but I have some limited hope this might solve my problem. 

As for the 1903, I knocked out the pin that tried to fall out on its own previously, and then took a look at the two-part firing pin and its associated spring.  The 1903 is “hammerless”, in that its actual hammer is hidden inside a shroud on the slide, so the firing pin has to be in two pieces to be removable.  Both parts seemed in good condition, though the actual tip of the firing pin was interestingly more rounded than pointy, and it seemed that way by design.  The spring seemed, well, springy, and ran almost to the tip of the forward pin, so I have to assume everything is pretty much as it should be. 

I am hoping just taking things apart, cleaning them, and putting them back together was enough to correct whatever issue there might have been.  If not, I will just have to get some replacement springs and possibly a new firing pin retaining pin, and go from there. 

Obviously the man does not need my praise, but I am eternally impressed at the… “simple” is the wrong word, but perhaps “elemental” nature of John Moses Browning’s designs.  There is not a lot on his firearms that does not need to be there, and they work in perhaps the simplest possible way.  I am certainly not planning on putting the 1903 into carry rotation, but a mid-size, all-metal handgun in .32ACP seems like a perfect introductory firearm for anyone who has not had the chance to shoot something before.  If only its sights did not suck… 

Anywise, regardless of whether the replacement extractor spring works or not, Kel-Tec has already beaten Remington’s pants off when it comes to customer service.  Hell, Remington’s first “fix” did not work either, so Kel-Tec may come out ahead in the end after all. 

catching up on technology

And boy has phone technology leapt ahead and two years.  Anywise, the consensus from the intertubes appears to be that my old Galaxy S3 is dead on account of some variety of hardware fault, and is probably unrecoverable.  As such, here is the short list of possible replacements so far: 

PhoneComparison

A few clarifications… 

“Pure” indicates whether or not the Android operating system is left unmolested by manufacturers or carriers trying to do their own thing with it. 

“User serviceable battery” is kind of misleading; for example, the Nexus 4 battery can be replaced, but it is a non-trivial exercises compared to simply popping off the back cover and replacing it. 

Dimensions are in millimeters, weight is in grams, release date is approximate. 

The S3 is included simply for a reference point of where I am coming from; given its cost, I see no reason to go back to it, even though all of my accessories could carry over.  The good news is Better Half also has an S3, so she will still be able to use the cases/batteries.  The S5 is likewise included as a reference point of being “the best” smartphone on the market at the moment (according to The People Who Decide These Sorts Of Things); there is no way I can rationalize its cost, though.  And speaking of cost, the Blackphone is right out on that detail as well, but is still an intriguing concept.  Yes, the OnePlus One costs more used than new, but that is because getting it new requires some asinine invitation system, and invitations are unsurprisingly in short supply.  And, finally, the Blu phone is included as a curiosity, but not a lot more. 

It is looking like my desires for a clean Android OS and a user-serviceable battery may be somewhat mutually exclusive.  Hell, getting a pure Android with an external card slot can be a challenge, but that is a side effect of Google apparently wanting all of your data in one spot. 

Anything I am missing? 

the hits just keep rolling in

So, I have a Samsung Galaxy SIII originally locked to T-Mobile but since unlocked and running an AT&T SIM card.  It was rooted almost immediately after I received it (talk about bloatware…), and has been running the most-current, stable install of Cyanogenmod ever since (10.2.1, currently). 

I will not lie and say it has always been easy to keep it updated and running smoothly, but today takes the cake. 

I used the phone to make two calls this morning and take one picture around lunch.  About 1530, I picked it up to make another call, and it was not responding to the power button (it was locked, not off, last I saw it).  I held the button down for a while, mashed it a few times, and then gave up and disassembled its armor and removed and reinstalled the battery. 

Now, it will not boot past the “Samsung Galaxy SIII” screen. 

It will not boot into recovery mode, at all. 

It will boot into download mode, but ODIN refuses to recognize the phone’s existence when it is plugged into a desktop, and Heimdall cannot communicate with it. 

From reading around the forums, at this point, it is sounding like I am hosed, but I want to see if anyone out there has any other tricks or secrets up their sleeves. 

My alternatives seem to be sending the phone off to these guys – an idea I am not entirely thrilled with – or buying a replacement on Swappa and seeing if anyone will buy this thing from the boneyard – not exactly my favorite plan either. 

If I were flashing or rooting or updating or something, I would at least understand why this happened, although the “what” is sometimes confusing.  But this time, it was just sitting on my desk, minding its own business, and… *splat* 

It is good that I am finally off the drugs that precluded alcohol consumption, because this has been one hell of a month, and it is only half over.  Of course, the cloud around that silver lining is that the pain will start coming back now… 

kel-tec is winning at customer service

Regular readers (or even irregular ones) will have seen the preceding post regarding the issues I was having with my Kel-Tec PF9 failing to extract spent cases randomly, and then locking up solid.  I will answer everyone’s questions in the comments there, but I want to stress that I did not contact Kel-Tec about this problem, and I was planning on taking my torx set to the range and dorking around with the extractor spring screw, as seems to be the generally-accepted way of correcting extraction issues

Then, this email showed up in my inbox this afternoon from Kel-Tec’s Customer Service Manager: 

Hello Sir,

I understand your having some trouble with your PF-9 we do have a new updated extractor spring to help accept a wider variety of ammunition and help the overall performance of the gun.

-If you can provide me with an address I can get this new part out to you today.

Again, I did not contact Kel-Tec before this email; I was planning on doing so if my “dork around” session did not pan out, but I had not gotten there yet. 

I am basically having to pull teeth to get Remington to correct a rusty-assed bolt that one of their firearms came with, but here Kel-Tec is, throwing parts at me without me even asking. 

That is customer service, folks. 

Now, obviously, I would have preferred if the firearm did not have this problem to begin with, especially since this seems to be a problem PF-9s have been having for years now and one would think it would eventually be isolated and corrected.  However, I have no idea when mine was produced, and… well… it is a Kel-Tec after all.  I was kind of expecting to have problems. 

But when the company goes out of its way to stand behind its product and support it?  Yeah, I can appreciate that.  This will not make me a Kel-Tec fan-boy, but if the gun ends up working at the end of this, I will be satisfied. 

well that sucked

Decided today was a good day to drag the new acquisition to the range, along with that shiny 1903.  Things… did not go well. 

I was able to put two magazines through the 1903, and at 10 yards it was trivially easy to keep inside of the 10 ring on a standard full-size human silhouette target, and inside the 8 ring at 25 yards.  For me being out of practice, and for that thing having functionally no sights to speak of, I consider that a win.  And, yes, .32 ACP out of an arguably full size pistol has basically no recoil; if anyone ever wanted to resurrect that platform, I still contend they would make money hand-over-fist. 

However, this happened at the end of each magazine: 

IMG_20140809_132737

That little pin sticking up out of the serrations – the one with the hair on it – it should not be sticking up like that.  At the end of each magazine, the pin was sticking about half an inch out the left side; in fact, if I slap the side of the 1903 hard enough, the pin pops out all on its own.  According to this helpful diagram, that little rod holds the firing pin in place, so I am thinking I should do a detail strip and figure out what else, if anything, might be misbehaving. 

So I moved on to the PF9, and, well, this happened so much there is not a lot else to tell: 

IMG_20140809_124423

That is a failure to extract coupled with the slide trying to shove the next round into battery and getting it jammed between the spent case and the feed ramp. 

As an engineer, I confess to being fascinated that the cartridge provides enough impulse to cycle the slide without even hardly coming out of battery. 

As a consumer, facing one of these failures at least once a magazine (on average – some magazines were clean, some failed every other round) is damned frustrating.  I was running two separate magazines through the gun, and both threw the same error; it did not seem to matter how I held the gun; it did not seem to matter how I shot… it just, randomly, would completely fail to extract and then jam itself up.  And with that next round being partially out of the magazine and partially in the gun, clearing the jam is a royal pain in the arse. 

Unfortunately I forgot to bring my toolkit to the range, and the torx screwdriver they had there was too small for me to get good enough purchase on to really mess with the extractor screw.  Additionally, I only had enough patience to put 150 rounds through it, so maybe it will… sort itself out.  Who knows?  I am going to take the pistol to the range again, along with my toolkit this time, and see if another 150 rounds or so will make a difference, and then I guess it is time to box it up and send it back to its mothership as well. 

When it shot, it seemed to shoot well enough – inside the 9 ring and head at 10 yards – but I am sure my… frustration… affected things.  The gun had horrible range manners though – spent casings every which-way and burned powder and other crap all the way up to my elbows. 

Speaking of messes, I have to confess to being rather disappointed in the state of Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center.  Apart from the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center, they are the only indoor range on the south side of Raleigh, and you can tell that they know they have no private competition… the target retrieval system “worked” in the barest sense of the word, ceiling tiles were falling down, their concept of “sound insulation” is old carpet that may or may not have originally been green but definitely is now, and there were literally dead cockroaches on the bathroom floor. 

The “pro shop” section was at least well-kept, and their inventory is fairly impressive, but… I doubt I will go back, even when the Wake range is closed again. 

(Speaking of, Coal Creek was closed maybe two weeks for the entire five years I lived in the area, but the Wake County Range has to close for a month every year for “maintenance”?  Admittedly this is a range used by every police department in a who-knows-how-many county radius, and they probably shoot all kinds of interesting things into the backstop… but still.)

we are all serfs

I used to think we owned our house free-and-clear now that we paid off the mortgage. 

Then our property tax statement arrived. 

Bonus:  our house’s tax appraisal is somewhere around 20% more than we paid for it, reappraisals only happen every eight years, the last one was in 2008, and you can appeal for a reappraisal, but “Any inflation, deflation or other economic changes occurring after this date do not affect the county’s assessed value of the property and cannot be lawfully considered when reviewing the value for adjustment.” 

It is funny; our Founding Fathers placed massive importance on land ownership, up to and including requiring it for suffrage.  Now, none of us can own real property – after all, if you are still paying for it, you do not actually own it.