I am very happy to announce the official launch of the #FirearmsAreFun IRC channel.
In response to public demand and an apparent need, a group of friends got together and decided to field an IRC channel dedicated to helping the firearms-related community grow by maintaining a friendly, festive environment. This is a public channel, and is open to anyone and everyone – gun owners, people looking to buy their first gun, competitive shooters, hunters, bloggers, commenters, lurkers, reloaders, fabricators… Pretty much, if you are interested in firearms, we would like to offer you the opportunity to hang out with some like-minded folks, in an encouraging, amiable setting.
The full “mission statement”, such as it is, is available here, and we have provided you hopefully-easy instructions about how to connect to the channel. It can be as easy as using SlashNet’s web app, or as not-really-terribly-complicated as going and finding your own IRC client and learning how to connect it to servers.
Additionally, #FirearmsAreFun does have a few rules, but they basically boil down to “‘downrange’ not ‘drama’” – keep that in mind and you will do great. However, please do not be That Guy who necessitates an addition to the rules list; you will not get a challenge coin.
Finally, we have even gone so far as to create a Facebook Page for the new channel – like I said, it is intended to be public and open, so feel free to use any social media method you prefer to spread the word about it.
And, please, stop on by, pull up a chair, and hang out a bit. You might be able to help someone out, and you never know what you might learn yourself.
(Many thanks to Gay_Cynic, Barron, Tango, Lokidude, Oddball, Roguetek, Erin Palette, and Rebecca for their assistance in founding the channel.)
… Or, at least, that seems to be what some of its members subconsciously believe.
A few weeks ago, while someone who claims to be allergic to conflict was busy trying to pick fights in my Facebook feed, Erin Palette hit me up with the following questions:
So another similar question: is the gun community starting to fragment and divide? Or has it always been thus and I’m only now noticing it because I’m still new to the scene?
My response was:
We’ve been doing circular firing squads for years. It’s generally systematic of movements/organizations that are succeeding at their nominal goals and have no significant external threat any more, so at least there’s that.
And it is unfortunately true – history is replete with examples of societies that have no viable, external threat instead turning inwards and self-destructing by creating threats amongst their ranks. The French Revolution, the Russian and Chinese purges, American today, and countless other incidents serve as stark reminders that we are confrontational creatures, and when we run out of things to rail against, by gods, we will find reasons to keep on going.
Now, couple that same sociological failing with Sayre’s Law:
In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.
… and you suddenly have a terribly plausible explanation on why the firearms community has spent innumerable man-years and slaughtered countless pixels in the never-ending and ultimately pointless debates of 9mm vs. 45ACP, double-stack vs. single-stack, revolver vs. semi-auto, polymer vs. steel, etc. etc. etc. I mean, does it really matter, in the end, what a person carries, so long as they are happy and proficient with it? 99% of the time, not in the slightest, but damned if forums have not been rent asunder, friendships shattered, and fighting words traded over something that simply does not matter.
I was recently reminded exactly how confrontational and bitter people can get over irrelevant things by the following IRC conversation from yesterday at #Gunblogger_Conspiracy:
+Linoge: Oh wow. The Ruger rifle happily accepts any .308-compatible magazine. That alone is worth the price of admission.
M110, SR25, DPMS, Magpu, and AICS.
Still not a fan of the high sight axis, though. But it’s unavoidable with their whole "in-line recoil path".
if the recoil path is in line the sight axis remains the same using a high comb
You still won’t have a scope more than 1.5-2 inches above the bore
+Linoge: That’s why I don’t use high combs :).
@daniels: because you’ve never fired a rife with a straight recoil?
+Linoge: Sure I have. Semi-autos, where the high sight axis doesn’t bother me. There’s no excuse for having a 2" sight axis on a bolt action.
+Linoge: *shrug* Then you buy it.
@daniels: especially on a rifle designed for long range precision
EVERY long range rifle has a high sight axis
+Linoge: Mmm false.
@daniels: and I might – the T&E should be showing up shortly
Take your ignorance of rifles elsewhere Linoge
+Linoge: Bless your heart.
—–DanielS kicked me here.—–
Linoge: Oh, how adorable. A temper-tantrum.
It’s hardly my fault that every time you’ve made a blanket statement recently you’re wrong.
theunpaidBill: Dan, when you get one, bring it to Nebraska so I may drool over it
@daniels: I’ll bring to to Blogorado – Nebraska isn’t that far
theunpaidBill: Linoge: Please educate me on the significance of the site axis?
@daniels: waits for the ignorance to pour forth
theunpaidBill: Shit, it might be worth the spouse wrath to come to CO
@daniels: theunpaidBill: I can put you on steel at 1k pretty quickly
Linoge: http://www.riflescopelevel.com/cant_errors.html Pretty good start, though it goes into greater depth on "you’re holding it wrong".
theunpaidBill: I used to be a pretty fair rifleman, but I am rusty now
@daniels: cant errors?
that’s what you’re going with?
Linoge: Mm, no, but thanks for proving you didn’t click on the link.
@daniels: I read the link
I’m familiar with the material
it has nothing to do with having a high sight axis, except for the fact that the higher your sight the better you are able to tell if you have a cant error
Linoge: You read 5k words per second?
@daniels: No, I’ve read that page before
Freiheit: I skimmed it, will this be on the final?
@daniels: no Freiheit
Freiheit: So breaking this down. A high sight axis is neither good or bad, rather its another factor to consider and adjust for
@daniels: which almost all long range rifles do
It’s a fact of the matter when you have a high MOA mount and a large scope
for MPBRs it can be bad
but for shooting 1k or more that’s a non issue
At short ranges you’ll have a sight offset you have to compensate for
at ranges 50yds and out you really don’t have to worry about it once you get the ballistics down for your particular scope and rifle setup
Linoge: And again the goalposts moved. I’ll just be over here giggling.
@daniels: You go sit on the shun bench and be wrong in your wrongness
Linoge: As I said, bless your heart.
—–DanielS banned me here.—–
theunpaidBill: I’m sensing some tension between you two. Do we need to hug it out?
—–I /ignore’d DanielS here.—–
Linoge: Nah. I’ll just ignore him. Problem solved.
—–DanielS kicked me here. The ban prevented auto-rejoining, but he apparently cleared it shortly thereafter.—–
My, my, quite the temper-tantrum over someone saying "I prefer X". Seems to be a catching thing these days.
So, in short, a conversation that ended with one party saying, “I’m not a fan of X” ended with the non-op party* being kick-banned. Over a matter of personal preference**. Because THAT is SO important. But I was not respecting an insecure individual’s perceived “authoritay”, and that simply could not be tolerated.
I certainly will not deny that my attitude… degraded… after the kick, but it also became apparent that polite discourse was no longer on the agenda, so I might as well have some fun. Nobody’s perfect. Least of all me.
But, really, did it matter?
Does it matter what scope height I prefer, or why I prefer it, so long as I am happy with the results and the arrangement is not otherwise harming my efficacy? Does it matter if someone else prefers some other arrangement? Does it matter that someone in basically no power at all wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he had some measure of power, however small?
No. Not really. At all.
On the other hand, does it matter that Our Glorious President and his cronies are attempting to arbitrarily and capriciously deny Constitutionally-protected rights to 2.7+ million Social Security beneficiaries?
Or does it matter that the aforementioned morons basically just signed over the keys to the weapons locker to a country run by people who consider chanting “Death to America” to be healthy political debate?
Or does it matter that American “progressives” are attempting to pull an ISIS by clamoring for the destruction of historically inconvenient statues, memorials, and pieces of cloth?
Or does it matter that a self-avowed socialist is pulling up an admittedly long second-place in the Democrat Party nomination?
Or does it matter that a self-proclaimed dropper of “universal rights” “grenades” is openly calling for “eliminating Republicans”, as well as “conservative and centrist parties around the globe”?
Or does it matter that the Republican party is doing its damnest to ignore its constituents and sabotage the very candidate those constituents seem to want (never mind that the candidate in question is little more than a television personality at this point)?
Or does it matter that it has been a week / month / year since you contacted your duly-elected representatives?
Or does it matter that it has been a week / month / year since you pulled the trigger on a firearm?
Those might be kind of relevant to your life, in a meaningful kind of way, yeah.
To put it another way, did I not have any number of more effective / educational / edifying / entertaining / enjoyable /… (I seem to have gotten stuck on “e”s here) things to be doing with my time than angsting over someone flying off the handle over… well, nothing?
Did I not have anything better to do with my time than write this now ridiculously-long post?
Did you not have anything better to do with your time than read it?
So here is what I am doing. I am pulling the plug on my persistent lurking in #gunblogger_conspiracy. Regardless of what it was originally intended to be, that channel is obviously no longer a healthy environment – an opinion that is corroborated by a number of people I trust – and it is time to move on.
In that vein, however, some friends and I are discussing the possibilities of launching a different firearms-related channel / hangout / some-other-real-time-mass-communication-system where the original intent might be resuscitated. There is something to be said for a real-time system where gunbloggers can coordinate posts, answer questions one another might have, and educate newbies if they are interested, but without the “Who can I insult the most today” attitude that has taken over #GBC and driven off at least five different people who piped up on my Facebook feed (I actually had to discard most of the reviews of #GBC on account of the… specific verbiage the people used to describe it. If that’s not indicative of the problem, I do not know what is.). I will post something here if anything comes of it.
I am going to start doing my best to actively avoid infighting, up to and including intentionally limiting what and who I am exposed to. I have already started unfollowing / blocking / etc.-ing certain parties, both because the signal-to-noise ratio was not working out and because it limits my temptation to quibble over the little things myself. I imagine the frequency of that will be picking up the closer we get to the elections, but as I discovered from my days on Twitter, I never really regretted unfollowing anyone.
There is absolutely a need to expose yourself to how other people think, if only to avoid trapping yourself in an echo chamber, but there is no point in doing so by inundating yourself in a wash of non-stop disdain. I guess the pertinent question is, “Is reading this helping me, or am I just looking for an excuse for raising my blood pressure?” with the corollary of course being, “Does this really matter enough for me to get involved?”
I am going to try to be more active in the local firearm-related forums. Ever since I was a forum moderator (and IRC channel operator) for the online game TDZK – back when it was “a thing” (i.e. alive… at all) – the attraction of forums has… waned. That said, they – at least the local-specific ones – are one of the better ways to find nearby, like-minded folks, and a network is always a good thing to have, especially with things like the election looming on the horizon.
I am going to step up my dry-fire practice, which should not be hard considering that it currently consists of… nothing at all. During yesterday’s Wake County Action Pistol match, I managed to shoot the one stage that had a moving target completely clean – no misses, all hits in the “A” zone – but I still ended up 21st out of a field of 55 on that particular stage. Why? Because the guy who took first on that stage (Ben from Triangle Tactical) shot it in less than half the time I did – 4.29 seconds versus my leisurely 8.71, for two shots on each of three targets. I still have not quite been able to beat myself free of the “shoot, look, shoot, look” tendencies from years of “practice” at a range, in a bay, shooting from a stationary position at a stationary target.
The list goes on and on… I am going to finish the various projects I started around the house and never quite wrapped up; I am going to trouble-shoot my last problem-firearms to figure out what ails them and fix it; I am going to see what volunteer organizations in the area could make use of my abilities, etc. etc. etc.
Hell, when you get right down to it, playing video games would have been more constructive than the above blockquoted conversation.
So what are you going to do? Oh, come now, you knew that question was coming.
America’s culture war is very much not over – in fact, it is heating up by every quantifiable metric you care to use – so what are you doing to ensure that the Gun Culture 2.0, or even 3.0 at this point, continues to grow, develop, and learn?
What are you doing to attract people to the shooting sports?
What are you doing to make it about “downrange” and not “drama”?
Or do you really think that engaging in figurative or literal measuring contests is how the war is going to be won? Do you really think elitist attitudes will attract people into the fold… or, worse, that we do not need to attract people? Do history’s ideological purges really seem to have worked out on the grand quest of improving a culture?
Guns are fun. Do you not think it should be a bit more about that, and a bit less about who is “right”?
All I know is I will see you on the range.
(* – It is probably worth noting that a few days previous to this exchange, DanielS, who writes over at “Among the Leaves” and is and always has been a civilian, attempted to lecture Tango, a separated Marine, and me, a former Naval officer, on the firearm-related training and experience that sailors may or may not have. His basis for making sweeping generalizations about those sailors? He apparently provided a firearms training course to a USMC Reserve Wing once upon a time. It would literally take me a whole ‘nother post to explain, in detail, all the various ways he screwed up, but that would be as much, if not more of a waste of time than this one. Suffice to say he might have still been a little… tender… over our previous conversation, which could explain how quickly he flew off the handle in this one. I am certainly not excusing his behavior, mind you, but explaining why I probably should have known better to begin with.)
(** – My Savage 11 LRH with a Vortex Viper PST 6-24×50? Presently just under 2” Scope Center Height to Center Line of the Bore, but that is because I ran out of money in the trial-and-error quest for finding the right ring/rail combination height; there is still easily half an inch under the front bell. That said, the rings are short enough and the objective bell is wide enough that it would be impossible to use them to mount the same optic on the Ruger rifle we were talking about, requiring an even higher scope center height… which was my entire point. In fact, an ARs’ sight center height for iron sights is 2.6”, in general, and given that the Ruger Precision Rifle uses AR fore-ends, that’s probably a good minimum number to go with.
To quote Barron, who has more years at Boomershoot under his belt than I can count, “Jebus tap dancing on a pogo stick. Maybe he should walk the line at Boomershoot. Most, if not all the bolt rifles don’t have a high sight axis.” Tango concurs with, “The .308 I take to boomershoot has a 20moa rail and the objective lens is only barely off of the barrel. The scope lens cover is ALMOST (but not quite) touching the barrel.” But, really, it just boils down to what you like, and what allows for a good cheek weld given your particular face geometry. Of course, it also boils down to, as the comic says, me not letting something go, but I am working on it.
If anyone wants to buy a barely-used set of EGW HD 30mm Tactical aluminum rings in 0.990” height, let me know, though. I would love to drop the optic lower.)
In my humble, not-professional opinion, if you intentionally spend money on, or make a trade of any value for, a “ZiP Gun”, you are an idiot. This is not to say that RandoAtReddit “deserved” what happened to him or whatever – far from it, in fact – but I think it is safe to say that the “science is settled” by his situation.
You can read about my own experiences with this “firearm” (and I am using that term very, very loosely) here and here, but these are the two takeaways you will probably most be interested in:
1. I informed Mr. Douglas Donnelly, the President, CEO, and founder of USFA / ZiP Factory and inventor of the “ZiP Gun” that it was possible to release the firing pin of his “firearm” when it was way, way out of battery, as demonstrated by this video. Mr. Donnelly informed me that was supposed to happen.
2. When informed of the catastrophic failure of his “firearm”, Mr. Donnelly essentially blamed both the operator (me) and “dated” ammunition for the failure, and made no attempt at correcting the situation himself; in fact, his recommendations basically boiled down to “just keep shooting it”. The ammunition in question is still being made today, two years later.
In fact, there is even a third takeaway that I have not made public yet, and probably never will, but suffice to say that it, alone, is enough reason for me to never do business, of any type, with any organization Mr. Donnelly is affiliated with on a managerial or higher level.
Again, this is all my opinion, based on my personal experiences. Do with it as you will.
(I am only posting this to close the loop on an ongoing train wreck. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled silence.)
Mauser C96 Kydex “Race” Holster, including Clip Holder – $250
Body: 0.080” “Desert Tan” kydex.
Eyelets: #8-9 1/4” brass finish.
Belt Loop: BladeTech TEK-LOK on the holster, black-coated spring clips on the clip holder.
Ever wanted to carry, or even compete with, an ergonomically-uncomfortable, low-capacity, hard-to-reload, borderline-antique firearm? Now is your chance!
As seen at the 2014 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting and 2014 Boomershoot, as well as on VolkStudio Blog (much better pictures there), TheFirearmBlog.com, and Bending Spoons.
(C96 Mauser not included.)
Tokarev TT-33 / Norinco Type 54 Kydex “Race” Holster, left handed – $100
Body: 0.080” “Desert Tan” kydex.
Eyelets: #8-9 1/4” brass finish.
Belt Loops: DIY Holster OWB Wings.
This particular model is made for a Gun Parts Warehouse compensator-equipped TT-33, but it will holster the gun just fine without it. I could swear Oleg took some pictures of it, but I cannot find them for the life of me. Anywise, you can see how it rides here.
(Type 54 not included.)
Retention on both is remarkably tight, despite the open holster design.
Contact me at “linoge (at) wallsofthecity (dot) net” if you are interested.
Thanks to FuzzyKBP generously deciding that he would pay this year’s hosting fees, “walls of the city” will be remaining online for another year.
Please be advised: “walls of the city” will be ceasing operations as of 01JUN15. All posts, images, and other web content will no longer be linkable. As such, please avail yourselves of the “Download [insert post name here] as PDF” link now at the bottom of every post, as well as downloading any relevant images you want to retain in a full-size state.
Full permission and authority is granted to any pro-rights or firearm-related weblog to republish, in part or in whole, any post, image, or other content on this site for any purpose that furthers civil, individual, or human rights, so long as all copyrights watermarks are retained and the content is attributed to “Linoge, formerly of ‘walls of the city'”. Organizations or individuals promoting restrictions on ownership and use of firearms, or any other rights, are prohibited from using any content from this site, as is any site/organization/etc. affiliated with Robert Farago.
Last weekend, I had the chance to visit the National Firearms Museum at the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, and let me just say this upfront – if you ever are in the area, you should definitely make the time to stop by.
I am not going to say that I am the world’s leading expert on firearms, but the number of things I saw that I had never heard of before was… impressive, plus I got to add all kinds of items to my “I always wanted to see…” list. For example, I can now say I have seen a Gyrojet Pistol (and Rifle – one of the things I never new existed), a Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, a Dardick Series 1500, a Chameleon polymer revolver, a legitimate “Red 9” Mauser, a variety of Gatling guns, a Harmonica pistol, a Nazi belt gun, more engraved shotguns than even the Robertson clan would know what to do with, and a German wheel lock capable of shooting off 16 rounds without reloading (originally made before 1600… so much for “The Founding Fathers could not even conceive of firearms with ‘high capacity magazines’.”).
Simply put, the museum is huge, occupying the whole ground floor of one of the NRA building’s two towers, and completely worth the time to stop by.
In fact, my visit was only really marred by three things.
First, the “9/11 Revolver” – the Smith & Wesson J-Frame carried by NYPD Officer Walter Weaver – was absent. It was at the Great American Outdoor Show, so I guess I can spot them that.
Second, the firearms were not well-labeled in the cases. Oh, they were all identified… by numbers. Which you then had to remember, go find a computer, try to figure out which case you were looking at (the cases were not numbered, as far as I could tell), and navigate their kludgy and not-very-responsive touch-screen interface, just to get a name. I certainly grant all of the pictures of the items from various angles would not be easily displayed by the items themselves, but they could at least put a name on the number tag.
Third, speaking of pictures, I cannot post any of the ones I took. Before I went in, I actually had to sign an agreement stating that I would not post any pictures I took without first asking permission, though the document did not actually specify who I would/should ask permission from. In credit to the NRA possibly leaving the technological stone age, they did call out “blogs” specifically as somewhere to not post the pictures.
I am not really sure I understand the mentality behind that policy.
According to his Facebook page and now-closed Twitter account, Adam Mermer is 42 years old, a present resident of Boston, Massachusetts, and unsurprisingly single. Predictably, he somewhat vociferously supports the Patriots, though I do not at all understand his liking of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. He used to work at Burque Jewelers a few years ago (which he apparently inherited from his father – only notable on account of how happy he seems to not work there any more), and, oh, by the way, he wants to murder you.
I wish I were joking.
Gun owners are a deadly threat to public safety and their execution should be legal.
… and …
Once again. Gun owners demonstrate that they are a mortal danger to society and their execution is an imperative.
Do not bother looking for the “@Delt72” Twitter account – the coward shut it down once he realized people were screencapturing his tweets and recording them for posterity. Unfortunately, he somewhat neglected to remember to appropriately protect his Facebook account…
Once again. If you support the arming of the general population, you are scum and deserve no mercy for your threats against public safety and common decency.
Do you defend Constitutionally-protected human rights? Adam Mermer believes you are “scum” and “threatening” people.
Yet another reason that firearms should ALWAYS be locked away and their possession heavily regulated.
As well as further proof that those who like guns are dangerous psychopaths deserving of swift and harsh punishment.
Preferably the "capital" kind.
Do you like a hobby that Adam Mermer does not like? Well, you should be punished, and preferably murdered by your government.
Doesn’t the notion that we need more guns to protect us from people with guns seem completely stupid?
Ah! That’s because pro gun people are basically retarded psychopaths
Not one single person has provided a logical counter as to why firearms should be allowed in general circulation or why illegal possessors should be allowed to live. Or why ALL firearms shouldn’t be made illegal.
Do you own an inanimate lump of metal illegally? Adam Mermer thinks you should be murdered. Of course, he thinks it should be illegal to own all inanimate lumps of metal of a certain configuration, so he wants to murder a lot of people.
Can someone explain why "Molon Labe" isn’t considered a statement of terrorism and all who exclaim it to be jailed for inciting violence and treason?
It’s stating that they will murder police and soldiers. If that does t deserve placement in front of a firing squad or a seat in an electric chair, nothing does.
Do you express a willingness to defend your property, your rights, and your life from unjust and unconstitutional attacks? Adam Mermer would like to put you at the head of the line for riding the lightning, even ahead of mass murderers and rapists.
I confess to being easily amused at times, but it is just fascinating how Adam Mermer so vociferously claims to be anti-death and anti-violence and so forth, but then calls for outright murdering anyone who even so much as holds an opinion different than his own. Just as some people do want to take your firearms from you – despite no shortage of claims to the contrary – some people really do want to murder you for the simple act of standing up for your rights.
Why do I carry and own firearms? People like Adam Mermer are just one of the many reasons.
As I grow older, I discover that my political leanings appear to be somewhat approaching those of Professor Bernardo de la Paz of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, in that I am increasingly voluntarist – I do not like the idea of forcing people to do things – but I am willing to work within the current political construct simply because the cost-benefit analysis of bucking it does not end in my favor. Professor de la Paz is, unsurprisingly, a bit more revolutionary than me, as perhaps best summed up by this interchange between he and Wyoming Knott:
Knott: Professor, I can’t understand you. I don’t insist that you call it ‘government’ –I just want you to state what rules you think are necessary to insure equal freedom for all.
Professor de la Paz: Dear lady, I’ll happily accept your rules.
Knott: But you don’t seem to want any rules!
Professor de la Paz: True. But I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Why do I bring this up? Well, the anti-vaccine movement seems to be picking up again, in a curiously bipartisan fashion, and I thought I would provide my two cents on it. I am not going to bother linking to any of the big players or articles on it, simply because you have probably been inundated with all of that already, so this should be all nice and concise.
Given the above explanation, it should be no surprise that I am wookie-suited enough to believe that vaccines should not be mandated by the government, and should be an individual choice of the families in question. The very notion that a government is capable of forcing – and I do mean that term literally – a parent to inject their child with a substance is… beyond distasteful.
If you do not vaccinate your children, you are a goddamned moron.
Furthermore, and – dare I say – consistent with my aforementioned wookie-suited-ness, all businesses, enterprises, corporations, organizations, groups, and so forth where children regularly congregate – up to and including public schools and the like – should be capable of denying access to you/your children unless you can provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations. After all, business owners have rights too, and among those is the right to deny access to a walking, talking weapon of mass destruction*.
If that means I have to carry around a notarized vaccination card for a hypothetical child in the future, I will make that sacrifice so you can have your choice.
To be a goddamned moron.
And, really, if you sincerely believe it to be acceptable to return this hellish experience to “commonplace” in order to assuage your objections to a functionally non-existent risk, there are a whole host of words that would be more-accurate descriptors for you and your behavior.
These folks use some of that accurate language; you have been warned:
(* – No, I am not using that term lightly or facetiously. “Weapons of mass destruction”, as defined by the military, are “nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons”, and the idea of using smallpox as a weapon is not exactly a novel one.)
Apparently Robert Farago of The Truth About Guns recently tried to refer to Mr. Colion Noir as the “James May of guns”, or so a friend of mine recently brought to my attention. Honestly, I do not watch Top Gear, and have not watched many of Mr. Noir’s videos, so I am not going to wade into what amounts to a schoolyard “he smells bad!” screaming match*, but my friend provided this counterpoint:
Is Robert Farago the Piers Morgan of gun blogging? Yes.
Yeah, that seems about right.
(* – In retrospect, “match” is rather the wrong word, as I highly doubt Mr. Noir cares in the slightest what Robert thinks of him, so this is more of a “crazy nut-job screaming at a brick wall ‘match’”. Oh well.)
In that I did manage to give myself a procedural error at last night’s Wake County Action Pistol Match.
One of the stages ended with proceeding down a short hallway, stopping at a foul line, and engaging four targets hiding behind no-shoots and barrels. By the time I took care of the targets and was preparing to show safe and clear, I suddenly realize that I had both feet well over the foul line in question.
I certainly was not the only one to make that particular error, and no one got hurt, so it falls under “Live and Learn”. The good news is that I was able to shave 4 seconds off my total score, which bumped me from 37 to 29 on the match ranking; the bad news is that I seem to have done that by simply moving faster, at the cost of accuracy. Some of that loss of accuracy is entirely my fault, in that once the fans come on in the range there is a constant ~5mph breeze of outside air, which was at a brisk 30° or so last night. While I did learn my lesson from last week’s shoot and while I did wear more layers, it apparently was not enough. By the time I got to the final stage and had to do headshots at 20+ yards, my body was vibrating enough that I completely shanked them.
Note to self: dress for the conditions, and even though the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center is “indoors”, that is only relevant from the “precipitation” angle.
Anywise, I can only repeat myself from last week – if you are in the Raleigh area and want to get some trigger time doing things that might actually be useful in a self-defense scenario, take a look at the Wake County Action Pistol Match. They shoot twice a month, it is a good group of people, and more trigger time is always a good thing.
Yup, I still have it, and yes, I would still very much like to sell it. Changes from the last time it got posted include better differential gear ratios (3.54:1 versus 4.7:1, which means the V8 can maintain highway speeds all day long without any heat problems), the heater core works now, and all of the exterior lights are 100% good to go. The Craigslist ad is live, and it is reproduced here:
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 spontaneously 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 professionally done by Braddy’s British Motorworks in Youngsville, NC, as seen in the attached invoice.
– 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.
– A custom center console was fabricated to hold the new shifter.
– 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 and rear driveshafts were replaced with ones from a Range Rover Classic.
– The front and rear differentials were replaced with more V8-friendly 3.54:1 gears (rather than the 4.7:1 that were in before).
– 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.
– A battery cut-off switch was installed for added security and peace-of-mind.
– 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). Thanks to the new-to-the-truck engine, transmission, and differentials, the truck can cruise at highway speeds all day long without any trouble. Heck, it even has cupholders now! The engine has all of about 204 miles since the refresh (about 90k before), though the body has 154,208 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, the front grille is protected by a newly-powder-coated and -installed brush bar, the original Land Rover jack is included, and it’s currently wired for stereo (though the person who sold it to me lost the faceplate for the existing one). 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.
So why am I selling it? Honestly, the project took a lot longer than we were planning on, and my family’s vehicular requirements changed drastically over that time. We would love to keep the Rover around, simply because it is an awesome truck (I mean, it’s a *Rover*) but we just don’t have the garage space to do so right now.
For those keeping up with the news on Defenders, this one was 100% legally exported and 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.
Known issues include 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 bent door stop on the driver’s side and a missing door stop on the back, and the wear and tear of being a 30-year-old truck along with 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 outside the realm of "normal" for a Rover of this advanced age.
Right now, it would make a great daily driver, grocery-getter, shop truck, farm truck, or a mostly-daily-driver-that-you-don’t-feel-bad-about-taking-off-road… and with the RHD, it would be a truly attention-grabbing promotional vehicle. Really, this is a pretty enjoyable truck as it sits right now, buty it would not take a lot more to make it a truly impressive vehicle… We’ve just run out of steam and a place to keep it. Our loss – literally, we are asking less than we have invested already - your gain :).
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
Current asking price is $26,000, but I am open to any and all offers. Willing to work with shippers on your dime. I have additional pictures; please to email or call.
Yes, you read that right. I have a completely unissued, unfired CZ-52 (more accurately known as a vz. 52) pistol for sale. How, you ask? The good folks at CzechPoint stumbled across them a few years ago, and I will let them tell the story:
How are these unissued vz. 52 pistols made available? While opening boxes of ‘very good condition’ pistols that were sold previously, CzechPoint discovered a very limited quantity of unissued pistols. We put these pistols to the side and are now selling these last few remaining ones. It is ‘first come, first served on these unissued pistols.
Pistols are unissued, but some have more handling and storage marks than others (after all, these pistols are 60 years old!). Further, some pistols will exhibit patina on the slide and/or frame and possible dings in metal or grips from handling by Czech armorers. These pistols were stored in wooden vz.52 pistol boxes and you can see this wooden storage box in one of the thumbnails. Pistols were wrapped in plastic, and every five to ten years, were removed from the wooden boxes and plastic bags and completely inspected/function-checked by Czech armorers. Holsters are in very good serviceable condition. Just to confirm, vz. 52 pistol holster leather varies so the holster you receiver may not match the photo (there are light and dark color holsters in addition to different types of texture). Further, lanyards differ in material so not all lanyards will look like the one in the photo.
The magazine included with the pistol had been inserted and removed a number of times, so the finish on the magazine will be worn. In addition, the magazine included with the pistol had been used to remove the barrel from the slide during inspection by Czech armorers. Therefore, you’ll see cosmetic wear on magazine floor plates. The pistol shown the in the photo is a good representation of our current unissued inventory.
The ‘CzechPoint’ import engraving is on the frame and can only be seen when the pistol is turned upside down. A 19 page color instruction manual is included – written by CzechPoint. We may be a little partial, but we feel it is the best manual written on the vz.52.
I snagged two when they were available, shot one, and held on to the other until I wanted the investment for something else, and here we are.
The gun comes with its original plastic shrink wrap (complete with the cosmoline I have not cleaned off), a magazine, a holster, a lanyard, a cleaning rod, and the aforementioned instruction manual. And, yeah, it has not been fired, as far as I can tell. I will the pictures tell the story.
Asking $450 or best offer for the whole kit. A little steep, I know, but it is something of a collector’s item, what with it being unfired, and it is doubtful any more in this condition will hit the market any time soon. Feel free to ping me if you have any questions. Sold.
As with the previous ad, the funds from this will go towards something worthwhile, if that helps your decision (and, hey, I would just be upgrading from one CZ to another).
… And not because of people disqualifying themselves either.
So regular readers will know that I have shot in all of two competitive shooting events since first taking up firearms – that shindig at Gunny’s Range in Tennessee where I managed to walk away with a shotgun, and a demonstration of Caracal pistols at ORSA (though I have heard rumors that Caracals are dead in America for the time being). Not exactly a stunning resume, I admit.
Honestly, one of the biggest hurdles to getting into the competitive shooting sports, for me, at least, is all of the stupid rules – your gun has to fit in this arbitrary box, you have to hold on to any magazine that still has a round in it, you have to engage targets in a certain order, you have to keep 57.376% of your body behind this wall, you have to stand on your head while reciting the alphabet backwards…. and so forth. Yes, I know that once I had a few rounds under my belt, I would get the hang of the rules and just run with them. And, yes, I know that in any competitive environment people will try to find ways to give themselves an edge, so rules like that become necessary over time. Still, I would rather spend my time shooting rather than keeping up with some hundred-page rulebook.
Anywise, I found out about the Wake County Action Pistol by way of Triangle Tactical, and took a gander at their rules. The summation? “Be safe, and have fun.” Well, hell, I can do that.
So I showed up yesterday with my Baby Eagle in its leather paddle holster and a few magazines, and did exactly that. I ended up scoring 37th out of a field of 56 shooters, which is not exactly amazing, but I probably cost my self at least 5 positions by very nearly giving myself a massive procedural error. Instead, I took the time to recover, which probably cost me less in the end.
The folks who attended ran the full gamut of genders, skin tones, and ages, and were fielding the full range of firearms, all the way from fairly stock .22s in Fobus holsters to custom-built-and-tuned race guns in dedicated, ready-to-go-out-of-the-bag competition belt rigs. Semi-autos did rule the day, but when individual stages required 20 rounds, a revolver would have taken a while.
I would like to especially thank the Range Officers at the match last night; their efforts in setting up interesting stages, and their patience for newbies like me asking admittedly stupid questions, is definitely appreciated. Also worthy of note is that PractiScore is a pretty nifty piece of software; all the ROs had tablets and were recording scores to a central database as we were progressing through the matches. The scores were posted online basically by the time I got home from the range.
Take-aways from the shoot? Pay attention to when the rules tell you that you have to reload. Practice draw strokes… a lot. Slow down a little – I was twice as slow as the top scorers, on average, but also had 30% more penalty points. Dropping those down will not help my position too terribly much, but accuracy always beats speed. And, I kind of hate to admit it, but it may be time to start moving away from my Baby Eagle.
Yes, it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but hear me out. The Baby Eagle was the first firearm I ever purchased, and it was bought with one goal in mind – to provide a trainer for the M9 I was having to carry in the military at the time. Well, I do not carry an M9 any more, and never will again if I have any vote in it, and I have concluded I dislike both slide-mounted safeties and Double-Action/Single-Action triggers. Unfortunately, I do not have any other full-size, semi-automatic handguns, and I do not want to have to start up another logistics train.
So, in the interest of not having to acquire another stash of magazines, I am vaguely looking at a CZ 75 SP-01. I would like to get away from manual safeties entirely, but I cannot find a striker-fired handgun that takes CZ magazines, unfortunately (feel free to point one out if you know of one), and this arrangement at least allows me to carry “cocked and locked” with the safety on the frame where it should be. Plus, finding holsters for the SP-01 is basically trivial, while a holster for the Baby Eagle took a custom job from a friend… or shipping one in from Israel.
Anywise, just a thought. If you are in the Wake County area, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Action Pistol shoots. There is another one coming up next Wednesday, and they explain how to register on their Facebook page; at the very least, they let you practice two things most ranges do not let you touch – drawing from a holster and shooting while moving.
As I said in a previous post, there are always workarounds for governmental idiocy:
To give you a better frame of reference, here are the “before” pictures of my AR pistol.
In a beautifully coincidental turn of events, a package from Thordsen Customs arrived in the mail the same day the BATFE reversed their previous decisions and concluded that shouldering the SB15 is a Very Bad Idea™. In any case, the SB15 came off and was replaced by one of Thordsen’s “Enhanced Buffer Tube Cover Kits”, on which I also mounted a CAA Saddle, courtesy of a Saddle Adapter Kit.
There were no real problems with installation; the only slight catch is that the Buffer Tube Cover is designed to go over a “normal” buffer tube and use the stock key on the bottom of the tube to center the cover. Since my tube lacks that feature, I just had to eyeball it and go. It is worth noting that Thordsen sells keyed buffer tubes without stock detents milled into them, so you can have both the advantage of not having to worry about centering and not having to worry about some overzealous BATFE weenie claiming you “intended” to install a “real” stock on your pistol. In any case, the Buffer Tube Cover worked just fine with the KAK SB-15 Pistol Buffer Tube, so no worries on that count, and it gives me a little more clearance so my monkey arms are not all bound up.
My only real complaint is that the CAA Saddle is… well, crap, which tends to correlate with my other experiences with that brand. It gets the job done, sure, but the amount of flashing on the plastic I had to scrape off one way or another was absolutely atrocious:
If I had known for certain that an MFT E-VOLV would have fit, I would have bought one of those instead, but I was not sure if it was compatible with the necessary Adapter Kit to get it to mate up with the Buffer Tube Cover. Oh well, the CAA thing works just fine, but it solidifies my inclination to shy away from that company.
The only other change is that the previous end plate was swapped out for a rather interesting Damage Industries QD Thin Profile end plate – basically it allows a quick-detach plug to be inserted into the divot in the lower receiver directly beneath the buffer tube. The QD gadget is then rotation-limited by the buffer tube, and happily ambidextrous to boot, which works out pretty well when coupled with a Single-Point Sling from the same people.
The intent – which has been tested with dry-fire at home, but not live-fire at the range yet – is to adjust the single-point sling appropriately that the saddle is perfectly positioned for cheek-welding when the sling is taught, and then use my right hand on the pistol grip to push out on the firearm and the sling to pull back to create something of a dynamic tension, with my cheek stabilizing the whole thing (kind of like the middle image here, but definitely not like the bottom image). Obviously this is an AR pistol, just like it always has been, so it is not exactly going to be the most accurate thing in the world, but it will work just fine for entertainment purposes. My only slight glitch is that the single-point sling has a rubber strip on the inside, which complicates repositioning it; not the end of the world, though.
Better Half asked why not just cheek-weld on the buffer tube itself, and the answers are pretty straightforward – the bare metal is uncomfortable, the recoil spring inside is loud when not dampened by surrounding material, and most AR sights are optimized for having material on the buffer tube. Basically, this all comes down to user comfort.
As folks on the Book of Faces have noted, the Thordsen rig is not immune from the BATFE whimsically changing their minds in the future (Thordsen posted the current letter they have from the BATFE), but I figure it has two things going for it. First, it is not a “stabilizing brace” or “arm brace”, and thus does not fall under the purview of the recent bout of F-Troop idiocy, and, second, it does not have the “foot” of a actual stock, and thus the likelihood of idiotic people ruining a good thing by bombarding the BATFE with “clarification” letters is markedly diminished. Yes, I do believe that they would have eventually reversed their “shouldering it changes nothing” decision, just because even the imbeciles at the BATFE would eventually realize how badly that was endangering the validity of the NFA*, but I have absolutely no doubt that idiots looking a gift horse in the mouth and bombarding the BATFE with “mother, may I?” letters accelerated that process precipitously.
So, for the love of God, shut up and stop asking stupid questions you do not really want the answer to.
(* – I am not a lawyer and all that, but before this most-recent “clarification” letter I could totally see an argument being made along the lines of, “So, DC v. Heller mentions that firearms ‘in common use for lawful purposes’ are protected by the Constitution. Y’all at the BATFE have indicated that shouldering a pistol with an SB-15 is lawful, in that it does not change a firearm into an NFA-regulated device, and given the number of SB-15s in circulation right now, they are certainly ‘in common use’. So if shouldering something that looks like a stock – but is not – is ok, why is shouldering something that is a stock not ok?” Obviously, this is no longer valid with the most-recent letter, especially given how they called out and “revoked” the previous letters, but I have to wonder if this thought occurred to them. Only their underwear will ever know.)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Screwing Up a Good Time decided to go ahead and make itself clear regarding “stabilizing” “arm braces” on pistols. The takeaway you should take to heart is as follows:
The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock, and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor has changed the very function of the item. Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.
Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.
Or, to put it another way, if there is a picture of you firing a pistol with your SB15 or equivalent item braced against your shoulder, and the BATFE gets their grubby little mitts on it, you could be facing up to and including 10 years in prison.
I particularly like how they specifically call out the previous letters and “revoke” them. I wonder if the people who wrote them still have their jobs? Given the state of “civil service”, I would wager yes.
Of course, the fact that anyone at the BATFE still has a job is a damning condemnation of “civil service” if there ever were one.
(Originally brought to my attention by WizardPC.)
A little while ago, I posted this quote on the Twitters:
Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit: occidentis telum est.
To which Robb Allen responded:
That quote was from the National Sword Association, bought & paid for by the swordsmith lobby!
On the surface, that is an all-too-appropriate characterization of how anti-rights cultist treat any argument that boils down to “blame the person not the tool”, but think about the larger concept for a second.
You know that people – not the tools they happen to be using at the time – are responsible for their own actions. I know this. Any sane person knows this. But we still have people, even to this “modern” day, who blame the object, not the wielder.
And, as Seneca the Younger there demonstrates, this is not a new concept – after all, apparently it needed to be said, even back around 50 AD.
Think about that for a second; nearly 2000 years have elapsed since Seneca last picked up his pen, but we are still saddled, both legislatively and culturally, with the positively bizarre notion that objects are to blame for people’s actions, or objects cause people to act in certain ways, or so forth. For all that we consider ourselves modern, our society certainly has not matured very much past fetishists being terrified of little clay idols.
So I have had a Cannon gun safe (basically what turned into their Scout Series before it was actually named that) for a number of years now, and I have been planning on exploiting their ethernet/USB-pass-through features for almost as long, without any easy way of actually accomplishing that. The safe was always too far from the router for an ethernet cable to be anything but a trip hazard or eyesore, homeplug-style hardware works, strictly speaking, but I have never found it to be terribly reliable, and shoving a full computer in the safe did not exactly seem… well, safe, on account of heat build-up.
This past Christmas, Better Half provided me a solution by way of getting me a Raspberry Pi. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Pis are really, really small form-factor computers that can run basic Linux distributions (among other operating systems, but those are the big ones). They have no hard drive to speak of, and no real heat source, but they have USB connectivity, which is all I really needed for my little project to work.
I started by installing Raspbian by way of the NOOBS install package, which was about as painless an OS install as one can get. After turning on SSH (by way of the command “raspi-config”), I did not need to have a keyboard or mouse plugged into the Pi any more, and to keep things simple and always know “where” the Pi was, I had my router assign its MAC address a permanent IP address (I initially tried to have the Pi handle its own static IP, but that proved beyond my limited Linux abilities). Better Half also got me an Edimax EW-7811Un nano USB wireless dongle, and while there are instructions on how to get it set up and running from the command line, I will admit I was never able to get those to work… so I gave up and used the GUI interface inside “startx” which was about as painless as getting the adapter to work on Windows would have been.
After that just came the question of mounting an external, self-powered (or hub-powered – the Pi does not have massive USB power output abilities) hard drive and installing/configuring samba, and I now had a network-accessible hard drive that I could put basically anywhere in the house.
So I did.
Above, on the left, you can see the Pi resting on top of a Seagate 2TB external hard drive. Yes, it is that small. In the middle, you can see the inside of the safe’s power / USB / ethernet pass-through – the top two plugs are for the Pi and the hard drive, with the bottom plug being for the dehumidifier rod Better Half also got for me. Obviously the safe is a very large metal box, so wifi signal inside of it will not be optimal, if available at all (do safes count as Faraday cages?), so I had to use a male-to-male USB jumper to plug the Pi into the safe’s pass-through, and then a male-to-female USB extension to get the dongle on top of the safe, as seen in the right picture. Better Half also included this case with the Pi, which I still need to install.
The only other big thing I did was told my home router to refuse any and all incoming and outgoing traffic to/from the Pi (after updating it thoroughly, of course). The Pi and its hard drive are providing a tertiary backup to the RAID’d hard drive in my home computer, so there is no need for it to even know the internet exists.
Once that was all set up, I went into SyncBack and changed the destination of its nightly backup routines, and I was done.
Now, the Scout series is only good for 1200° for 30 minutes in fires, by which Cannon means the interior of the safe should not exceed 350° within that timespan given that exterior temperature. That is all good and well for paper and wood, but I have no idea how temperature-resistant external hard drives are. Still, that beats having the drive just sitting on a desk, and that is, of course, the bare minimum of most fire ratings these days – Cannon has pass-through-capable safes running all the way up to 90 minute fire ratings, and other companies claim fire resistances of even higher temperatures for as long or longer. Plus the safe offers a degree of physical protection for your data as well, in the event of a theft or other break-in.
I will not lie, you should at least be aware of command line interfaces before undertaking this project, and we definitely checked and rechecked everything before plugging a hard drive with backup data already on it into the Pi. But, all said, it really was not that bad, and gives some degree of security to those those 63,000 pictures I somehow managed to accumulate.
[Update] I had to implement this change in order to prevent the wifi connection from going to sleep. [/Update]
In case you have not heard, 12 people were murdered today by a couple of undereducated, over-indoctrinated, violent radicals who got their lace panties in a twist over a couple of cartoons depicting their chosen messiah in less-than-flattering ways.
And even without me specifying the religion of the attackers in that sentence, I bet you can figure out which one the murderous assholes adhered to without clicking through the link. Which is part of the problem.
Anywise, I had originally made this graphic to address anti-rights cultists who were demanding that I surrender my rights/property/etc., but it seems equally applicable to religious radicals who demand I surrender my rights/speech/etc.:
This variation is my current Twitter header:
(Original photo by Oleg Volk.)
Finally, there is a (graphic – you have been warned) video of the terrorists shooting a police officer begging for his life in the street. Assuming that video was taken with a cell phone, and assuming that cell phone’s field of view is anything like mine’s, a shot on those terrorists would not be difficult for a decently-practiced individual with a handgun, much less an actual carbine or rifle. At the very least, unexpected return fire from an elevated position would have distracted the terrorists and possibly saved the police officer’s – and others’ – life.
As I said on the Book of Faces and Twitters earlier today, just imagine if everyone with a camera or cell phone recording the shooting had a firearm – along with the training and will to use it – instead.
Or, as someone with a little more first-hand experience once stated:
Feel free to use these as you like, but remember that far better artists than me are risking their lives to express themselves. For some particularly disgusting individuals and groups, simply holding to or verbalizing a position different from theirs is sufficient cause for them to want to murder you; what is your planned response should they decide that you are next?
Me, I do not plan on going home in a body bag, and thus I will equip and train myself accordingly.