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

kydex mauser c96 race holster, completed

Yup, you read that right.  The holster for the C96 Broomhandle Mauser has been completed, and every bit of it was made out of kydex (assuming you discount the belt attachment method and rivets, of course).  And to add the cherry to the top of that concept, I even fabricated a clip carrier, just to make everything match. 

Want to see it?  Great.  Come see me at the NRA Annual Meetings – I should not be that hard to find. 

For those folks who are unable to make it to the NRAAM, I am sure there will be pictures afterwards. 

boomershoot 2014 preparations, range test

By now, a positively shocking number of people have seen the deplorable condition my Remington 700 SPS Varmint was delivered in; last night I was able to take it to the range, and here is the end result.

Rifle:  Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint in .243 Winchester.  

Optic Base:  Brownells 20MOA Aluminum Scope Base.

Optic:  Primary Arms 4-16×44 PA416X Mil Dot Scope in Primary Arms 30mm Tactical Rings (2” bore offset at the breech, and about 1.75” at the end of the objective bell).  Optic was left at 16x.

Location:  Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center.

Range:  100 yards.

Altitude:  285 feet.

Temperature:  61°.

Pressure:  30.00” (facility is positive-pressured).

Wind:  Whatever the exhaust system was providing directly aft-fore.

Shooting position:  Seated with rifle on a Harris SLM Bipod on a concrete shooting bench.

Ammunition used:  See previous post.  20 rounds of PPU shot to warm up barrel and sight-in optic, then 20 rounds of each of the six ammo types shot for groups in four-shot strings.  The barrel was swabbed twice with MiliTec during the sight-in strings, but not at all during the group strings (and before the end of the last sight-in string so it would not affect the group strings).

Group statistics:  In no particular order (because I do not remember what order I shot them in), see below.  All numbers in inches or MOA; they are interchangeable at this range.

Ammunition Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Average SDev
Federal Fusion 1.9 2.2 2.2 2.7 1.3 2.06 0.513
Federal Power-Shok 1.8 2.0 3.5 1.6 1.5 2.08 0.817
Winchester Super-X 2.5 1.1 2.0 3.0 1.1 1.94 0.844
PPU 2.1 1.8 1.4 3.0 3.0 2.26 0.719
Hornady Whitetail 2.3 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.9 1.96 0.313
Wolf Gold 2.5 2.9 2.9 1.8 2.1 2.44 0.488
            2.12 0.616

And now for the targets themselves…  The initial sighting in:

SightingIn

And now the group targets themselves.  For every target except the PPU, I started at the center and then moved to the bottom right and shot the corners in a clockwise fashion.  On the PPU target, I started at the bottom right, went clockwise, and ended at the center.  Remember that I zeroed with the PPU and did not change that zero for any other ammunition. Only pay attention to the grouping, not necessarily its actual accuracy.

Federal Fusion: 

FederalFusionGroup

Federal Power-Shok:

FederalPowerShokGroup

Winchester Super-X: 

WinchesterSuperXGroup

PPU: 

PPUGroup

Hornady Whitetail: 

HornadyWhitetailGroup

Wolf Gold: 

WolfGoldGroup

I think I am going to refrain from providing any commentary on the groups (except to say that I guess things are not quite as bad as I had guessed at on Facebook) and just see what people think.

I will say that .243, out of that rifle at least, is a surprisingly comfortable caliber.  The rifle does weigh a fair bit and it does have an inch of rubber on the back end, but I came away from 140 rounds with no bruising at all, which is just as well considering I spent 2.5 hours at a Krav Maga review today, and a gimpy shoulder would not have been any fun.  The rifle did have three kind-of-failures-to-feed, where it simply did not strip the top round off the internal magazine; honestly, I think this was due to me short-stroking the bolt than any actual failure.  Likewise, one time I loaded the magazine (out of 35 total loads), one of the first two rounds’ noses caught on the front of the magazine, and it ended with three rounds all nose-up in the magazine.  I had to dump the floorplate and start over again, but this was, again, probably operator error.

So, all that said, thoughts?

dear remington arms and bud’s gun shop

When I open the box of a brand-new-from-the-factory Remington 700 SPS Varmint, this is not what I expect to find: 

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It is important to note I did nothing to touch up these images – I did not even “I’m feeling lucky” them; all I did was resize them.  The red, remarkably-rust-looking residue on the bolt body was powder of some kind, and wiped off with a cotton swab and Hoppe’s, but that crusty crap on the actual bolt face?  Repeated soakings in Hoppe’s and scrubbing with a brass brush yielded only marginal results.  Full cleaning eventually took inserting an empty piece of brass into the bolt face to basically scour it clean. 

There was similar crud growing accumulated the forward scope ring attachment point, but the store I picked it up from cleaned it off before I could get a good picture of it. 

No, the box did not show any indications of water damage or intrusion, but I suppose it is possible that it was stored somewhere with too-high humidity. 

As for what that crust is?  I have no idea.  But this is what the wipe from the bolt face looked like on just its first pass: 

DSCN1372half

And this is the wipe from the bolt body: 

DSCN1373half

And lest you think this is a localized thing, this it the wipe from the outside of the barrel: 

DSCN1374half

Look, I am not asking for my firearms to be clean enough to eat off of, and, yes, I understand (or, at least hope*) that companies test-fire firearms before sending them out into the world, but there is a world of difference between “oh, that is just a bit of carbon build-up” and “what the flying frak is growing on my gun!?”  Likewise, having cleaned more than a few guns more than a few times, I have no problems with my swabs coming up black, but when they start accumulating that orange-ish shade, I start to get very concerned. 

The good news is that after about an hour of swabbing, scrubbing, and swearing, I was able to get the 700 to a state that I would consider “clean”, much less “operable”, but the bad news is that I actually had to do that. 

Sincerely, 

Someone who very much would have rather used that time writing up a Buy a Gun Day post. 

[1740 Update]  I just got off the phone with Chris from Bud’s Guns and he clarified a few things for me.  First, the firearms are stored in a climate-controlled warehouse, so water intrusion and humidity are not a factor.  Second, Bud’s does not really inspect the firearms they ship out – they pass them on to us, the consumers, about the same way they receive them from the manufacturer.  Third, per their FAQ that I was aware of before picking up the rifle, if I had refused the rifle at the FFL, Bud’s would have been happy to exchange it… except for one small detail – I need the rifle in-hand and sighted-in before I leave on my grand NRAAM/Boomershoot trip next week, and there is just no way they could get me another rifle that fast (I picked it up yesterday).  At the store, I figured I could get that crud off – and I was right – but that disqualified me from an exchange with Bud’s. 

All that said, Chris was absolutely shocked at the condition of the rifle, and promised that Bud’s would get in touch with Remington themselves, both to nudge them into contacting me and to express Bud’s dissatisfaction with the condition of the products they are passing on to their customers.  He likewise said that if Remington wants the rifle back to examine themselves, but is not willing to foot the shipping bill, Bud’s would happily cover it. 

Given that I knew Bud’s policies about returning firearms going into this purchase, and given that they do not inspect the firearms they sell, I am satisfied with their response.  I will update this post again if/when Remington responds to the tweets/emails I have sent them.  [/Update]

(* – I have some significant doubts that any R51s were test-fired before leaving the factory, both based on this video and my own handling of a couple of them.) 

destroying your faith in humanity, one tweet at a time

If there is one thing Twitter is good for (and there may be only one), it is exposing the somewhat filthy, naked underbelly of those who work to deprive us of our basic human rights. 

Take, for example, this friendly chap

ConstantGreekThunderdome@ConstantGeek:  Or, maybe rather than build a border fence w/Mexico, we build a Thunderdome-style fence for retrogressives. #MadMax #politics

Of course, by “retrogressive”, he means anyone who is not a progressive, and we all know how the Thunderdome was a fight to the death…

Sadly, wishing death on their ideological opponents is not something uncommon for “progressives”

zeitgeistghostdrones@ZeitgeistGhost:  Too bad we can’t use drones on our homegrown #Tealiban #Terrorists @JBurt73 @wallsofthecity @HarrisburgU_F

In fact, “kill them with drones” is becoming a theme (this particular tweet was deleted by its author, but this one is close enough to count): 

HarrisburgUnderFireDroneStrike@HarrisburgU_F:  Looks like I need to start submitting a few more #insurrectionists for the #gulag. If only Twitter could devise IP-based #dronestrikes. 

For those unfamiliar, “gulag” refers to malicious abuse of the “spam-block” feature of Twitter in order to get accounts suspended; this is a favorite tactic of anti-rights cultists.  Speaking of, though, I happened to ask one such individual what could have prevented the shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City; his response?  Somewhat predictable

HaroldItzkowtizBanGuns@HaroldItz:  @wallsofthecity banning private ownership

He seemed somewhat unfazed by numerous people pointing out the small, insignificant fact that this is illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral.  But remember: no one wants to ban/take your guns.  Of course, little facts like the Constitution, or even numbers, get tossed aside when there is the chance to attack law-abiding Americans

TXLiberalDarlingCounting@LiberalDarling:  1 word can tweak a gun nut: ASSAULT WEAPON. note: Words aren’t deadly, bullets are. #gunsense

How can you take someone seriously when they literally cannot count to two?  A problem grasping simple numbers seems to be a common failing as well, given gun fetishists ignore the FBI saying that violent crime has been dropping for years when they have an agenda to push

co_kmaldonado4FBI@co_kmaldonado4:  @deaf_erin @citizen_salty @wallsofthecity not dodging the question I don’t care what the FBI says we need sensible gun control laws!!!

In this specific case, though, it rapidly became apparent that I was dealing with someone who did not have a blessed clue what she was talking about, though (this tweet was also, sadly, deleted): 

co_kmaldonado4AutomaticRound@co_kmaldonado4: @jrk1089 @deaf_erin @citizen_salty @wallsofthecity by reducing the number of automatic rounds a person is allowed to own

The question she was responding to basically amounted to “what good would ‘gun control’ do in X circumstance”.  Despite being asked by numerous interested parties, she could never explain what “automatic rounds” were or even where to procure them; the current hypothesis is that they load themselves into the magazine for you. 

However, she was an absolute rocket scientist compared to this gem

elliswinninghamwind@elliswinningham:  @CarryWisely The point is that any outside force, (human, wind, earthquake, animal, vibration) can act on the firearm and discharge a round.

Did you know that the wind can cause your firearms to go off?  As Lucas from Triangle Tactical said, maybe that explains the idiotic ban on carrying firearms during a hurricane that North Carolina used to have

And lest you think you are safe simply sitting back and laughing at these nimrods, remember that they vote, sometimes repeatedly, and that their individual voices matter just as much as yours in our not-so-happy little not-so-republic.  Still, with my next post probably amounting to copious quantities of me venting my spleen, I figured you needed something to laugh at, regardless. 

Boomershoot 2014, an analysis of Linoge’s ammunition

First off, I’m way behind on posting.  I’ve had a post in my head for the past month and moved beyond it before I was ready to post.  That being said, ammunition analysis has been near and dear to my heart for weeks and I’ll take Linoge’s Ammunition post as an opportunity to add some hopefully helpful information.

I’ll discuss more and provide citations in an upcoming post, but it isn’t enough to hit a target at Boomershoot, you need to hit it with velocity. Specifically, you really want to have a bullet moving 1700 fps at the target. Otherwise you’re getting into serious risk of not setting off a target even if you can hit it. Targets at Boomershoot run from 375 to 700 yards. The plot below shows the various loads Linoge mentioned. I used .3 for the BC of the Wolf ammo in lieu of a published number, I’ll update if a real value becomes available.

velocity

Horizontal is distance from the muzzle, you can see a vertical line placed for the start of targets, which run out to the right hand side of the chart. You’ll also see a horizontal line at 1700 fps, you really want the bullet to stay above this line. Where it crosses represents an approximate upper limit for effective boomer detonation range.

Note that the assigned .300 bc for Wolf may be unrealistically low, but it’s likely not much, if any, better than the other rounds that start at a similar velocity.  The Federal Power-Shok is the clear winner for effective range, followed by the Hornady American Whitetail.  As the lightest round the Power-Shok will probably also keep Linoge’s bruises to a minimum as well.  The real question, of course, is what the particular rifle handles well, which remains to be seen.

Drop can be calculated for a known range and I consider it a mechanical matter associated with making contact rather than a planning matter for bullet selection.  That being said, winds can apparently be fickle in Idaho, so wind drift can be important for round selection.  As such, here’s a plot of wind drift for the same rounds over the same distances.  Note that the vertical “boomers start here” line is present again at 375 yards.

windage_short

Power-Shok and American Whitetail are also the winners for windage, so here’s hoping they group well in that rifle.

Again, more to follow about plots and methods in an upcoming post which will include reference rounds and discussion of effectiveness at range.

boomershoot 2014 preparations, the ammunition

So we have already covered the caliber (in depth), rifle, and optic options I have available to me for this year’s Boomershoot, now it is time to delve into the little pieces of metal I will be sending downrange to hopefully detonate those boomers. 

Given the timeline I have, and the fact that I have on reloading equipment whatsoever, I am going to be sticking with COTS ammunition just to simplify things.  After talking things over with fuzzyKBP and running simulations through various programs, we concluded that the order of importance for the ammunition is “grouping, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity”.  Without the first, you are not going to hit a blessed thing; without the second, the wind will win or you will not maintain enough velocity (not really a problem with .243, but just in general); and the last is kind of obvious. 

The unspoken fourth part of the equation is “what can I get on short notice”, which brings us to this happy little selection below: 

DSCN1363-001

DSCN1364-001

Federal Prvi Partizan Federal Wolf Hornady Winchester
Power-Shok Fusion Gold American Whitetail Super X
Price $27.99* $13.77** $24.99* $17.38** $22.99* $22.99*
Bullet Type Soft Point Soft Point Fusion Soft Point InterLock Power-Point
Weight 80 90 95 100 100 100
Ballistic Coefficient 0.365 0.333 0.376 ???? 0.405 0.356
Muzzle Velocity 3330 3100 2980 2969 2960 2960

* – Purchased in a physical store, so tax should be added to that price. 

** – Purchased from an online retailer, so shipping should be added to that price. 

What is really interesting, though, is that the sticker price I paid in a physical store is up to $8 more than the same company is asking on their webpage.  Granted, they are out of stock on their webpage, and granted, their shipping eats up $5 of that difference, but it is still annoying. 

Anywise, some interesting points not covered by the above table: 

– The Wolf Gold ammunition’s cases were actually stamped “PPU”.  I do not know if they simply buy Prvi Partisan ammunition and rebrand it, or if they use PPU brass, but there it is.  Both came in identical cardboard packaging inside. 

– The Federal and Hornady ammo used plastic holders for the rounds, and Winchester used standard white foam. 

– “Fusion” is a bit of an odd ball, claiming it has a “molecularly-fused jacket” and that the core and jacket simply cannot separate.  “InterLock” is basically a soft point bullet with nifty rings inside the jacket that are supposed to hold the lead core and copper jacket together.  “Power-Point” looks like a standard soft point, but Winchester differentiates them for no reason I can determine. 

Obviously I have not shot these yet – the rifle is supposedly in transit – but the general plan is this:  1.  Get the rifle laser boresighted in a little low at home, at 30 feet (farthest I can do in the house), just so I am generally in the ballpark.  2.  Go to the range and confirm laser boresight there at 50 yards, and then 100 yards (one advantage of an indoor range is that you can use laser boresights).  3.  Get rifle sighted in with cheapest ammunition available (PPU), hopefully expending no more than 10 rounds and warming up the barrel.  4.  Once sighted in, proceed to shoot five four-shot groups of each ammunition without re-sighting in.  5.  Go home, break out the calipers, and compare groups.  All shooting will be done from a bipod and whatever rests I can jury-rig up or rent from the range. 

No, I do not plan on changing the zero between each ammunition tested – I am only concerned about the grouping, and if I decide to go with another ammunition than the PPU I used to zero in the rifle, changing zeroes is easy.  I will just keep aiming for the bull’s-eye and squeezing the trigger. 

Now I just need the rifle… 

(And, yes, since numerous people have pointed it out, I am aware of Remington’s massive recall of all Model 700 and Model Seven rifles made between 01MA06 and 09APR14.  Given I put in my order with Bud’s on the 7th, it is entirely likely I have a rifle that needs to be recalled; however, after concluding this has to do with “the gun can go off when you take it off ‘safe’” problem that 700s have had for decades now, I am going to address the recall after Boomershoot.  Given the sheer number of rifles affected, there is no conceivable way I get the rifle back to Remington, have them do whatever it is they are going do to it, and have it back to me in time for it to be useful, but given that I do not generally mess with manual safeties and Boomershoot’s range safety consists of “cased” xor “hot”, this should not be a significant problem.) 

boomershoot 2014 preparations, the optics

I may have sorted out my caliber and rifle for Boomershoot, but that is only half the equation – to hit those targets, I first have to see them, and that is where optics come in. 

There are two big take-aways from the Boomershoot information pages

A 10 x or greater scope is desirable although some people get by with a 3 or 4 x scope. The closest targets and easiest targets are 4"x4" at 375 yards. Most of the more distance targets are larger, 7"x7" inch squares, but the increased distance makes them more difficult to hit.

… and…

Whichever rifle you choose you will need some quality optics on it. 10x or greater is recommended. You will want target turrets on it as well. Mil-dots are a nice to have but not required.

… which pretty much leave a world of options available to you. 

So, first, let us iron out some of the terms and features commonly talked about when discussing optics.  When you are shopping, you will commonly find descriptors like “4.5-14×50 30mm”, or something like that.  What exactly does that mean

Well, “4.5-14x” is indicating the levels of magnification you can achieve with that optic, which basically means an object in your scope will appear to be 4.5 to 14 times closer than it actually is.  More magnification, though, is not always strictly better – through the same optic, something at 14x will appear darker than something at 4.5x, and likewise your field of view will be significantly smaller at maximum magnification.  For things like Boomershoot, that probably does not matter, but there are situations where it can. 

So what is that “50” hanging around on the end for?  That describes the objective lens size – the size of the opening facing your target – in millimeters.  As with some other things, bigger is generally regarded as better, simply because the larger the opening, the more light can pass through it.  You will eventually run into problems fitting massively huge objective lenses over your rifle barrel, but we get to that later on. 

Alright, so what is the “30mm” talking about?  That describes the actual diameter of the main optic tube, and you will generally find either 30mm or 1 inch diameters.  Does it really matter?  For everything except your mounting solutions, not really, no.  30mm tubes can be stronger and have more light transmission through them, but there is not a lot of actual evidence to support this; what is definitive, though, is that they generally allow for more internal adjustments.  Either way, just be sure you get the right rings for your optic. 

What else should you be worried about?  “Eye relief” basically determines how far away you can hold the optic from your eye and still have a clear picture, which can be pretty handy when you are shooting high-recoil rounds.  The ability for a scope to adjust “parallax” basically means that if you were to move your head back and forth behind the scope, the reticle and target will not move accordingly – often scopes are locked to be “parallax-free” at certain ranges, or have an adjustment knob specifically for this.   And, obviously, you want to be sure to pick an optic that can actually withstand the recoil of the firearm you are firing. 

Finally, you need to understand how the optic adjusts itself.  You will never be so lucky as to take an optic out of a box, mount it on a rifle, and have it line up exactly to the rifle’s point of impact, so you will need to dial things in.  Most rifle scopes are adjustable in either “MIL”s or “MOA”, which brings us to another round of “what the hell does that mean?” 

“MIL” is short for milliradian, which does not tell you a lot either.  Those who remember their high school geometry will remember that a radian is an arc of a circle with the same length as the radius of that circle, which means a circle’s diameter is 2π radians, or somewhere around 6.28318 radians.  Since “milli” means “one thousandth”, a milliradian is 0.0063-ish the diameter of a circle.  Now, look around you – you can perceive the world in basically a circle, with your head at the center of it, and that circle can be subdivided into radians, and then milliradians, and then farther, since most optics are adjustable at 1/10th of a milliradian. 

The same basic principle applies to “MOA”, which stands for “minute of angle”.  You certainly remember that circles are subdivided into 360 degrees of angle, and then those angles are further subdivided into 60 minutes apiece.  Therefore, a minute of angle is 21,600ths of the overall circle, and those subdivisions are generally broken down into 1/4 MOA on optics. 

mil_dot_reticleShiny.  So what does all that mean to a shooter?  Assume your target is 100 yards away.  If the target is one MOA wide, that means it is 1” wide.  Conversely, if the target is one MIL wide, that means it is 3.6” wide.  By the same token, a 1/4 MOA adjustment moves your point of impact 0.25”, while a 1/10 MIL adjustment moves it 0.36” – basically an indistinguishable difference.  On the flip side, if you are more used to measuring in the metric system, if a target is 100 meters away, MIL suddenly works the same way as MOA does in imperial units – if your target measures one MIL, that means it is 10 centimeters wide. 

For the purposes of adjustment, all this means you should simply be aware of what system your optic uses when trying to dial in your optics, so you know how to change the adjustments.  Aside from that, which should you use?  It really does not matter

It gets a bit more complicated when you factor in the reticles optics use.  Modern reticles – especially the “tactical” ones – come with cute little lines or dots to indicate how much of the circle a target is taking up, and those dots can either be one MOA apart or one MIL apart.  It makes life significantly easier (unless you like running 1 MIL = 3.438 MOA conversions in your head) to have both the reticle measurements and the adjustment measurements to use the same system. 

And speaking of reticles, one often-overlooked feature of scopes is whether or not they have a first focal plane (FFP) system or a second focal plan (SFP) system.  More often than not, scopes have SFP reticles, meaning that as you zoom in and out on the scope, the reticle appears exactly the same – it does not scale with the zoom.  If your reticle is set up for measuring – be it MIL-dot or MOA – it generally only really “works” at full magnification (unless you have run the conversion numbers already).  On the other hand, FFP means the reticle will scale with the zoom – an object that that is two dots wide at 10x will be two dots wide at 5x too.  In general, FFP is more expensive (often much more expensive) than SFP. 

Ok, so now that I have completely buried you in details, let us wrap back around to the mention I made before of mounts and objective lenses.  Basically, mounts come in three primary sizes – low, medium, and high.  What do those words mean in actual measurements?  It depends.  No, seriously – even for the same product, the measurements for those three settings can vary, sometimes wildly.  So what height do you really want?  Basically, as low as you can get away with, and, honestly, that may result in you getting a set of rings and then having to get another one when you find out you were too low / high.  Keeping the optic as low as you can minimizes the vertical offset (duh) which makes ballistic trajectory calculations a lot easier, while generally resulting in a more comfortable cheek-weld on your stock (obvious exceptions are things like ARs, but I am not going to get into that right now). 

Alright, so I think those are all the high points, or at least all of the high points I can keep track of at the moment – I do not know about you all.  The optic I decided on is already here, but that will be a topic for another post. 

the die is cast

BudsOrder

Now to see if I can find any .243 in stock.  It was decently available a week or so ago, but the stocks seem to be diminishing as we speak – is it hunting season or something? 

Speaking of Holsters

I was recently lucky enough to be randomly selected out of listeners of the RoadGunner Podcast to win a carry kit from Jason Christensen of Concealment Solutions.

Jason and I emailed back and forth a few times to determine exactly what I won (had my choice of a holster, an accessory, and a kydex lined belt), and I ended up with the following:

I’m working on pictures, but they’re coming at about the same pace as my SIRT bolt and pistol reviews…

 

Overall, I’m quite impressed with the quality of all three items.  My old belt was a double leather belt from Crossbreed Holsters that I’ve worn with good luck for the better part of 4 years.  The kydex lined belt is considerably thinner than my old belt and seems very solid.  I’ve only tested it with OWB holsters, but the level of support it provides is great, and the quality of the belt tells me it should last for several years.

 

The holster is nice so far.  I haven’t spent much time wearing leather-backed holsters lately, and it is squeaking considerably more than I’m used to.  Aside from the squeaks, the fit is good, and it provides solid retention through friction out of the box.  The gun didn’t go anywhere through two rolls or while hanging upside down from monkey bars while at the park with my son (I am such an operator).  The leather feels fine against my skin, and while I need to practice my draw a little more with it, I don’t see any issues with the holster in that department.  In retrospect, I probably should have asked for the model with the thumb break, but hindsight is always 20/20.  I’ll try to remedy the squeaking with some talc powder or some of the many other options out there, but I think that if I had purchased this, I’d be a little disappointed that it wasn’t treated at the shop.  Again though, well made holster, and that should be an easy fix.

The mag carriers seem like pretty standard mag pouches, but are well made and retain my magazines well so far.  I don’t have any complaints on them, and I’m not creative enough to comment on them other than to say that I would definitely buy another carrier from Jason if I ever needed it.

 

I want to thank Chaz at RGP and Jason at CC for having the giveaway.  Jason makes solid products and will be getting money from me in the future for more of his products.  Try coupon code “chickenhammer” at checkout for whatever discount Chaz has with Jason at this time.

 

 

Other news on the Skas front: I *really* need to make more time to go do some practical shooting.

 

NB – Yes, I’m aware that through the magic of Facebook and listening to RGP you could probably figure out who I am.  Hi.

 

FCC Note: I won this as randomly as possible.  Chaz knows I blog here, but Jason doesn’t know me from Adam and in no way shape or form was I given this stuff in exchange for this review.

kydex broomhandle mauser clip holder – completed

And, yes, Broomhandle Mausers do use clips.  See, here is a picture of it: 

IMG_20140402_140902

Oh, sorry, that was something of a late, mean April Fool’s joke on my part – you still do not get to see the Broomhandle Mauser kydex stuff until the NRA Annual Meetings.  But you do get to see my shiny compensated Tokarev “race holster” back on my hip, courtesy of some replacement OWB Wings from DIY Holster

IMG_20140402_141016

It turns out that the home-made clip-on-belt-loops I made still managed to fail, despite being made out of 0.125” kydex; apparently this is not an uncommon problem, but I was hoping I had found a work-around.  The wings do not have nearly the same flexibility as the clips – especially since the hole through them is exactly 1.5” tall and can sometimes catch on riggers’ belts – but hopefully they will hold up better. 

And that brings me to one of the few times I will impart a genuine piece of advice, rather than just observing the events and letting you all decide. 

200px-Drill_tip_spur216px-Drill_twist_1If you use a hand-held drill rather than a drill press, I strongly recommend against using “lip and spur” drill bits when working with kydex / plastic (as pictured to the left), and instead recommend using a standard twist drill (pictured to the right). 

Some places sell the lip and spur drills with exhortations of how the pilot tip helps, and how they make clean holes in the plastic, and while both of those may be true, there is also a third effect of those drill bits – once those two outside points get a really good “bite” on the plastic, the whole drill bit is going to try to auger into the plastic whether you want it to or not.  If you do not happen to have the thing you are working on clamped down, or very well held into place, that thing can suddenly start spinning around about as fast as your drill spins, resulting in uncomfortableness like this: 

IMG_20140403_113355

You cannot easily tell from the pictures, but the cut is about as deep as it is wide, and came courtesy of the lip and spur drill bit getting a good bite on one of those OWB wings before I realized what was going on.  I was not wearing gloves at the time, and, true to form, bled like a stuck pig. 

I know, I know, it is a poor craftsman that blames his tools, but the truth is that I can get the same kind of clean holes using a twist drill (specifically these) as I did with the lip-and-spur drill, and the former simply shaves off the plastic in cute little corkscrews rather than trying to auger straight through it.  Of course, you need twist drills in good condition and with sharp edges, but that rather goes without saying… and one of these little “automatic center punches” will solve the “pilot hole” problem post haste. 

Using proper clamps can avoid the whole problem, but I find it somewhat challenging to clamp small / dimensional things when trying to drill through them.  Likewise, wearing gloves might have helped, but I generally dislike small pieces of plastic flailing at me at a few hundred RPM, just on principle. 

Anywise, the clip holder for the Broomhandle is done; I need to work on the retention – it really does not want to let go of the clip right now – but it came out about as well as I imagined it.  Now to see if I have similar success with the actual holster. 

moms demand better memory holes

I am sure all of my readers are familiar with the immortal quote that the internet views censorship as damage and routes around it. 

I am also sure my readers are familiar with the concept of “memory holes”. 

And, finally, I am sure my readers are familiar with noted anti-rights legislator Leland Yee recently being arrested on charges of, among other things, illegal arms trafficking

With all that said, this should not come as a surprise to you: 

MomsDemandLelandYeeFull

That is a Wayback Machine archive of a page that no longer exists, specifically:  “http://momsdemandaction.org/in-the-news/tough-gun-control-laws-linked-to-lower-death-rates-los-angeles-times/”  I have done Moms Demand Action the favor of reprinting the article, in its entirety, below: 

January 4, 2013 By momsdemandaction

Tough gun control laws linked to lower death rates – Los Angeles Times

It is a fact that strong gun laws work and weak laws result in the loss of innocent lives.

— Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)

A San Francisco-based policy center on gun control laws has produced a report that says states with strict gun laws have the lowest gun-related death rates. In contrast, it reports, states with the highest per capita gun death rates have “weak” gun laws.

“Clearly, there is a direct correlation between common sense gun laws and fewer gun-related homicides.”

The study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is touted by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) as support for his own legislation tightening California’s current assault weapon ban. The bill, SB47, would prohibit semiautomatic weapons from having devices that allow them to carry high-capacity magazines or easily be reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition. A similar version of the bill failed to pass in 2012.

“It is a fact that strong gun laws work and weak laws result in the loss of innocent lives,” Yee said.

Yee notes that the law center cited low per-capita gun death rates in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — states that the law center identified as having some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

Read the entire story in the Los Angeles Times.

As for the picture that is missing from the article, it is, of course, of Leland Yee himself: 

MomsDemandLelandYeePicture

And yet despite this desperate scramble to shove any mention of Leland Yee down a memory hole, neither Moms Demand Action nor any of its official mouthpieces have made any statement regarding him and his alleged law-breaking.  Just imagine if a Republican legislator had been faced with similar charges, or an NRA official, or even just you or I – MDA would have EXPLODED in official condemnations, finger-wagging, and general-purpose convicting-before-the-trial-had-even-happened. 

But since the accused is a Democrat, and specifically one MDA has cited in the past… *crickets* 

Behold the hypocrisy of the “gun control” / “gun sense” movement.  Behold the abject failure that comes of trying to delete anything already on the internet.  One would think a “PR expert” like Shannon R. Watts would know better. 

boomershoot 2014 preparations, the rifle

Well, now that I have a lot to think about in terms of caliber, and might possibly have made something approximating a decision, what am I going to be launching this round out of? 

For me, this entire exercise has turned into something of a “Boomershoot on a Budget” drill, and the question becomes, “How little do I dare spend?”  To put it simply the budget is “as little as possible”, but certain requirements have to be met. 

First, I want actual, honest-to-God sling swivels.  A lot of companies (Remington, Mossberg, etc.) have started using sling “swivels” that are actually molded into the stock, and I have heard nothing but bad things about those; I will either be using those for a hasty sling or a bipod, and in neither case do I want them cracking or breaking.  Second, I want a free-floated barrel.  If there is one thing that can help a rifle’s accuracy, especially when shooting from a sling / bipod / rest position, it is that.  Third and finally, I want a rifle with a decent amount of aftermarket support.  It is not that I do not love my Walther PPS and Baby Eagle and all the rest of those oddities, but you find holsters, grips, and spare parts for them; it is likely I will build off this rifle as time progresses, so accessories are good. 

The rest is fairly negotiable.  I have no strong opinions about safety placement or design, adjustable triggers (I am sure some company already makes or will soon make a replacement that is better), magazines vs. floorplates, number of lugs, rifling types, or whatever else… but if you do, feel free to chime in. 

And with all that said, time for more tables: 

boomershootrifles

The sorting is purely alphabetical. 

One thing to bear in mind while you are looking at that image, though: barrel twist.  Both the .22-250 and .243 have ideal twists for certain bullet weights, and the wrong twist can really screw up your accuracy.  For .22-250, I will quote Accurate Shooter

For all-around use, including 500-600 yard ground hog matches, we like a 9-twist. That will let you shoot some pretty-high-BC bullets at long range without “choking” the lighter bullets too much. If you don’t plan to shoot at long range, a 12-twist barrel will do the job. The slower twist will give you a bit more velocity, and minimize the risk of jacket failure at high rpms. That’s one reason why the majority of factory .22-250 rifles are sold with 1:12″ twist barrels.

(Emphasis in the original.)  Now, look back at that spreadsheet – all of one rifle comes off the shelf with a twist faster than 1:12”, and that is, oddly enough, the Ruger American.  On the flip side, you do not seem to be able to buy any cartridges that load a bullet heavier than 64 grains commercially off the shelf, and even those are absurdly expensive, so it makes a certain degree of sense.  I have neither the time nor the budget to get into reloading now, so this alone may seal the deal for .22-250. 

For .243, I will unfortunately quote Wikipedia, since they are the only ones that discuss it in similar brevity: 

Twist rate of barrel is the major deciding factor in which bullets to use, 1:10 being the most popular as it is sufficient to stabilize up to 100-gr. bullets. However, for VLD (very low drag)-profile and bullets heavier than 100 grs., a 1:8 or 1:7 (for 115-gr. VLD bullets) is necessary.

Aaaaand back to the spreadsheet.  All the twists are between 1:10” and 1:9”, with the Ruger American again being the fastest.  I can only easily buy .243 up to about 105 grains, though, so this is not a huge deal. 

So many [expletive deleted] details, I swear.  Anywise, from the top we have: 

Howa 1500 Hogue:  Basically their bottom-end rifle.  I know next to nothing about the brand (except that the receiver/action seems to be something of a clone of Weatherby’s, given aftermarket stocks for one can generally fit the other), but they were recommended by a friend.  It does have a two-stage trigger, which I am honestly not a huge fan of, but that is the only big point I can see. 

Howa 1500 Hogue Heavybarrel Varminter:  As far as I can tell, it is identical to the previous rifle, just with a heavier profile barrel (though not strictly a bull barrel) and the ability to accept detachable magazines with their conversion kits.  Note it does not come in .243. 

Remington 700 SPS Varmint:  700s are either the benchmark of bolt-action rifles or an accident waiting to happen, depending on who you talk to, but it is pretty much undeniable that they are basically the AR-15 of the bolt-action world – everyone makes pieces for them.  The two forward studs is a nice touch, though one of my friends says he has never seen a 700 that did not have feeding/chambering problems, while another said he has never had problems with his. 

Ruger American:  By now, you probably know everything I know about these – stupidly cheap, 100% made in the USA, and surprisingly accurate for the money. 

Savage 11 Trophy Hunter:  My understanding is that these occupied the “bottom rung” of Savage’s line until the Axis came along.  Still, for the price, you get an included Nikon 3-9×40 BDC optic (generally useless for Boomershoot, but I can put it on something else) and optic bases already installed. 

Savage 12 FV:  Seems to be a heavier-barrel variant of the 11, though note it does not come in .243. 

Savage Axis:  Arguably the rifle that inspired Ruger to develop the American – stupidly cheap, generally accurate, and perfectly functional.  Its trigger does, however, suck; I give them credit for a single-stage, but the actual trigger weight was positively absurd. 

Savage Axis II XP:  I would honestly prefer if this came in a non-XP variant – the Weaver Kaspa 3-9×40 scope is even less useful to me than the Nikon – but it does not, so there we are.  The only other distinction between it and its little brother appears to be the addition of an AccuTrigger, and for the $90 price difference, you can probably find an aftermarket which works just as well. 

Thompson/Center Dimension:  If there were an oddball in this group, it is this rifle.  Basically, if I were to buy it in .243, I would eventually be able to shoot .22-250, .308, and 7mm-08 out of the same receiver, at a cost less than half that of the original rifle per new caliber.  It also carries a 1MOA accuracy guarantee, but, on the other end of the spectrum, was subject to the recall that struck all T/C bolt action rifles

Thompson/Center Venture:  Compared to the previous T/C, this one is pretty mundane: the same 1MOA guarantee, the same 5R rifling (an interesting idea that puts lands opposite grooves, rather than lands against lands), and subject to the same recall. 

Tikka T3 Lite:  Sako rifles are unquestionably awesome, and Tikkas are basically their economy cousins, with the T3 being the “entry level” for them.  Aside from being crafted by Finnish elves in remote mountain fortresses, there is not much to set it apart from the pack. 

Weatherby Vanguard Series 2:  Weatherby has been making the core of the Vanguard series for quite some time now, and so it should come as no surprise that is the one other make/model that offers a 1MOA guarantee.  It also has a two-stage trigger, but one of the larger internal capacities. 

So… what are people’s thoughts about the list, or the products on it?  Am I missing any make/model I should add to the list (bear in mind the prices already there before suggesting something)?  Have you had any experience with anything I mentioned?  Any considerations I have overlooked? 

A journey of a thousand miles

As you know, Linoge and I are planning to attend Joe Huffman’s Boomershoot this year. After years of watching and almost going last year (ammunition and reloading shortages were a bit of the problem) this is the year. While powder and primers have been hard to find, it has been possible to find components piece by piece.

So while the Trollsin couldn’t hang last weekend, my 6BR did just fine.

6mm BR

In fact, if a 5-shot group under a minute at 100 yards is all you need then it seems just about ready to go to Idaho. The shooter may, however, need more practice and there’s definitely a lot more that goes into it. In the next few weeks I’m hoping to talk about rifles, explosives, and perhaps a few more items under the purview of the ATF.

6mm BR group (100 yards)

Of course, the 6BR doesn’t have a name to even begin to compare to Trollsin, and that needs to be fixed.

boomershoot 2014 preparations, the caliber follow-up

So the one consistent piece of feedback I have been receiving both on the last post and on the Facebooks / Twitters is that I should go larger – put a wider-diameter (and generally heavier) round down-range. 

At first glance, that seems reasonable – I am attempting to combat wind and ensure a bullet maintains velocity at distance, and denser things do that.  In firearm parlance, “denser” generally (and I do only mean “generally”) lines up with “bigger caliber”, so let us at least consider the possibility. 

If we operate on the same assumption as last time and consider .308 Winchester as being the stoutest round I can comfortably shoot over the course of a three-day shooting event, as well as confining ourselves to generally-available ammunition fired out of generally-available rifles, the three obvious larger options are .260 Remington, .270 Winchester, and 7mm-08.  For the sake of not simply burying you in more pretty charts and graphs, we will just present the findings as a basic table.  Basically, I will compare each of those calibers to .22-250 and .243 individually, and notate the winner in the appropriate column; “cost” is based off what I can find on GUNBOT as of this post, and drop (less is better), velocity (more is better), and drift (less is better) are all at 500 yards, again with the Theory Ballistic Simulator.  All conditions are assumed to be the same as in the last post. 

Caliber 1 Caliber 2 Cost Velocity Drop Drift
.260 .22-250 .22-250 Tie .22-250 .260
.260 .243 .243 .243 .243 .243
.270 .22-250 .270 Tie .22-250 .270
.270 .243 .243 .243 .243 .243
7mm-08 .22-250 7mm-08 .22-250 .22-250 7mm-08
7mm-08 .243 7mm-08 .243 .243 .243

Ok, so the two ties listed in the table are not strictly ties, but it is close enough to be labeled as such. 

Well.  That is somewhat interesting.  I honestly would not have thought that .243 would have come that far ahead in total number of categories, but there it is.  Now, do you want to know where .260, .270, and 7mm-08 excel?  Energy at the target.  .270 had over two times the energy at the target than .22-250 did, despite running at nearly the same speed – that is what a 55 grain bullet versus a 130 grain bullet will do for you.  But Boomer targets do not care about energy, while my shoulder does. 

So what does all of this mean?  Unless you are going to step up to positively beastly cartridges like .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Lapua or any of those other cartridges that positively hate your shoulder for reasons you do not fully comprehend, it is looking like .243 Winchester may be the happy middle ground… which seems to be the argument the folks over at Accurate Shooter are making.  No, it is not suitable for elk-hunting, or even boar hunting, apparently, but I do not hunt, so I do not care.  What I care about is having fun, which consists of hitting boomers, and walking away from the experience without looking like the left over boomers took me out behind the shed. 

boomershoot 2014 preparations, the caliber

So it looks like I am going to Boomershoot.  After somewhere north of seven years of, “Damnit, I really should…” I am getting up off my arse and actually doing… mostly because fuzzyKBP is going to drag me whether I want to go or not.  It certainly does not hurt that he is already planning on bringing the majority of the accessories that make Boomershoot a pleasurable experience. 

So what exactly is Boomershoot?  The simplest explanation I can think of is “explosive targets arranged between 350 and 700 yards away from a firing line”, and if that does not sound like fun to you, there is something seriously wrong with you.  It is a multi-day evolution involving one core day of shooting targets, and then two lead-up days where you can attend a precision rifle clinic (fuzzyKBP and I will be doing so on Saturday), shoot at steel targets, or just hang out with folks. 

All this, of course, raises the question of what I plan on bringing.  To run down my rifle inventory, I have… 

- Three .22LR rifles of various configurations.  These might be useful for the “High Intensity” and “Cleanup” portions of Boomershoot, but for any real shooting… yeah. 

- An M1 Carbine.  Basically the same problem as the .22LRs. 

- A .45-70 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine.  While it would be hilarious to shoot Boomershoot with that caliber – and arguably possible, given modern loadings – that rifle is wholly unsuited for the task, even though its ladder sight goes out to 1100 yards. 

- Trollsin.  7.62x54R is certainly a Boomershoot-able round, but ~3MOA is an unacceptable accuracy.  It is possible we could improve on that, but there is no guarantee. 

- B.O.M.B.E.R.  .223/5.56 is generally considered to be a suboptimal round for these events, except at the bare minimum of the ranges, and who wants to be limited that way? 

- M1A SOCOM II.  So this is pretty much the closest thing I have to a Boomershoot rifle, except for a few small details.  First, 16.5”, non-match barrel.  There are some interesting studies out there about how barrel length affects velocity and accuracy (*.pdf warning), with the upshot being it might be possible, but that brings us to the second problem.  Mounting optics on this thing is hard (and, in my opinion, unsafe as hell), or requires really expensive glass.   Finally, it shoots .308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm, which I find to be a remarkably stout round, especially out of a steel-butt-plated battle rifle.  Sure, it is a heavy rifle, and I could get a pad for it, but sending 300-500 rounds through it over five days?  Well, we will get to why that might be a bad idea for me. 

So assuming I have one marginal rifle, what are my options, assuming I have a remarkably limited budget… because I do?  Well, we might as well start from the ground up at calibers – I do have a pile of .308, but it is all milsurp, and its accuracy is anyone’s guess.  While we were over at Dennis’ last weekend, Better Half brought up the possibility of .22-250, mostly because one of her former coworkers really liked it as a long-range varmint round, and partially because the thought of a .22-caliber round exiting the barrel at around 4000fps gives us both a raging case of the giggles.  So how about we look at the two rounds side-by-side? 

For the purposes of this comparison, I am using the cheapest “match-grade” ammunition I could find in-stock on GUNBOT as of 27MAR14.  In the case of .308 Winchester, that looks to be Hornady’s 155-grain Boat Tail Hollow Point Steel Match round (found on Sportsman’s Guide for $0.78 a round), and for .22-250, I kind of had to stretch the concept of “match-grade” and went with HSM’s 55-grain V-Max loading (found on Selway Armory for $1.00 even a round).  The latter is strictly a “hunting” round, but apparently there are no “match” rounds for that caliber, so I went with the first thing I could dig up enough ballistic data on.  Sue me.  On the flip side, I have never heard of steel-case ammunition as being “match-grade”, but, what the hell – I am cheap. 

A rough breakdown of their pertinent details is below: 

Caliber Weight Ballistic Coefficient Muzzle Velocity
.308 168 .405 2610 (24” barrel)
.22-250 55 .255 3610

Atmospheric and geographic conditions are assumed to be Boomershoot estimations – 3000 feet, 55° Fahrenheit, 29 inches of mercury, and 50% humidity.  Both calibers are assumed to be zeroed at 100 yards – as far as I can easily reach in/around Raleigh – with the optic being 1.5 inches over the bore (a random-assed guess on my part). 

All data and charts are generated by the Theory Ballistic Simulator developed by Frank Clarke. 

[Update]  Graphs have been adjusted after Davidwhitewolf accurately pointed out that I had to compensate for the M1A SOCOM II’s 16 inch barrel, versus the 24” test barrel used by Hornady.  Based on information I have read, I subtracted 200fps from its muzzle velocity and reran the graphs accordingly.  Disregard anything struck through.  [/Update]

So, let us start with the easiest comparison – velocity drop over distance: 

velocityoverdistance

1500 feet per second is generally considered the absolute minimum necessary to detonate a Boomer, and you can see how .308 starts to dip under that right at 650 550 yards.  That is kind of immaterial to me, given I doubt I can hit anything past 500 just on my own merits, but it is good to know.  That is something of a concern for me, given that I figure 500 yards is about my maximum, personal engagement distance. 

Next up, what about drop? 

dropoverdistance

65 inches at 500 yards will equate to about 13 minutes of angle (generally abbreviated MOA), and it is interesting to see how the 1000fps difference in muzzle velocities plays out. 

By subtracting 200fps at the barrel from the .308 round, its drop went from 65 inches to “holy crap”.  Interesting. 

But now the real clincher – what about wind drift?  Assuming a 10MPH wind at 90 degrees off (something of an average case, from what I hear)… 

driftoverdistance

Ouch.  But, surprisingly, the .22-250 is not as much more “ouch” than the .308 than I might have thought the .22-250 is no more ouch than the .308 out of the SOCOM II.  I went ahead and checked the numbers generated by this program against those created by Modern Ballistics (which happened to have been built by Joe Huffman, the proprietor of Boomershoot)*, and they are close enough that I am comfortable with them – 26.1” at 500 yards from the former versus 25.7” from the latter. 

At this point, I can see no reason to go with .308 over .22-250. 

But those are all the ballistic properties of the rounds… what about things on the operator’s end?  Thanks to this handy table from Chuck Hawks, we learn that .22-250 creates about 4.7 foot-pounds of energy at 6fps out of an 8.5 pound rifle.  On the other hand, .308 Winchester creates 18.1 foot-pounds at 12.5fps out of a 7.5 pound rifle.  Now, that is huge for me. 

Why?  Let me show you something: 

bruisedshoulder

Yes, I am a hairy bastard.  No, I am not shaving my chest for you.  But that picture was taken Wednesday night, after I sent approximately 20 rounds of 7.62x54R and 10 rounds of Trapdoor-safe .45-70 downrange on Saturday and another couple .45-70 rounds on Sunday, plus a smattering of 6mm Bench Rest and .243 Winchester across the weekend.  The first two rifles had plastic or metal butts, while the last two had rubber pads.  Interestingly, according to that table I linked above, x54R has less recoil energy and speed than .308, and .45-70 is right even with it. 

Granted, I am not going to buy any rifle that does not have or cannot support a mother of a rubber pad on its back end, but still… I need to be able to use my arm after that. 

On a similar note, the .22-250’s light recoil would be fairly handy for Better Half to use as a medium- to long-range rifle too, so that is a not-insignificant consideration. 

If we are trying to balance wind drift, velocity at target, and overall recoil, what about the seemingly natural middle step between .22-250 and .308 – the .243 Winchester?  It seems you can land some Federal Premium 80-grain Power-Shok for about $0.90 a round from SGAmmo (again, this round does not have a “match-grade” option, so work with me), with a ballistic coefficient of 0.365 and a muzzle velocity of 3330.  Time for the charts: 

velocityoverdistance2

dropoverdistance2

driftoverdistance2

Interesting.  So in exchange for a 75% to 100% increase off .22-250’s recoil, you get a round that retains its velocities better at the ranges I am interested in, has much the same ballistic path, and is a good 30% more resistant to wind drift – in fact, it is more resistant to wind drift than the .308 we examined above, which honestly kind of surprises me.  .243’s recoil still comes in at about half that of .308’s, but having shot fluffyKBP’s .243 last weekend, I have to wonder about either the accuracy of that table… or how he loads his rounds. 

Given that it is tremendously likely that this rifle will finally propel me into reloading, how do the three calibers line up there?  The Hornady .30 caliber 155-grain BTHP bullets run $29 for 100 ($0.29 each), Hornady .22 caliber 55-grain V-Max bullets cost $40 for 250 ($0.16 a shot), and Hornady 6mm/.243 caliber 80-grain FMJ rounds (I do not know what Federal Power-Shok is equivalent to) is $23 for 100 ($0.23 per).  I am figuring the powder costs are “in the noise”, and while that is not strictly accurate, run with it for the time being; I am too lazy to do all of the necessary conversions. 

Granted, reloading is something I am not going to get into until after Boomershoot, but it is something to consider now.  When it comes to Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS, since that acronym is surprisingly not common) ammo, .308 is clearly king in both selection and cost, with .243 next and .22-250 trailing the pack. 

So what do you, the readers, think?  Suck it up and go with the .308 and maybe unable to help drive back cross-country afterwards?  Have a blast with a round that seems to defy the laws of physics?  Or drive right up the middle? 

We will talk about actual rifles during a following post, but the good news is that, in most cases, the same rifle model can be had in all three rounds, which makes sense, considering they all trace their lineage back to the venerable .30-06. 

(* – The only reason I am using Ballistics Tables rather than Modern Ballistics is that the former allows for the creation of those handy comparison charts, while the latter does not.) 

dwayne cassius pride’s holster and dragon leatherworks

As some of you may have seen last night, it looks like NCIS may or may not be spinning off to a new story location; namely, New Orleans.  In any case, the Big Easy’s branch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is apparently headed by Dwayne Cassius Pride, who goes by “King”, and who happens to be played by none other than Scott Bakula – you know, Quantum Leap, Chuck, and some Star Trek thing that I heard never really existed.  It would appear as though Mr. King has a particular… style… best represented, perhaps, by his holster, which received a full-frame, nearly-five-second spot during the first of his two, possibly pilot episodes: 

DwayneCassiusPrideHolster1

Green “Afghan Brown”-dyed crocodile, oxblood leather, all holding a Sig 228 and made by – you guessed it – Dragon Leatherworks

Here it is in all its glory before it got shipped off to the prop department: 

DragonLeatherworksValkyrie

So if you want a holster just like the one Agent King wears on NCIS, call up Dragon Leatherworks and ask for the “Valkyrie”.  Just remember that the paddle is supposed to go inside both your pants and your belt; it looks like Scott might have missed that memo. 

paradigm shift

As I mentioned previously, I have somewhere around a decade of experience with various Asian martial arts and various versions of some specific ones, and sometimes that old muscle memory exerts itself in annoying fashions. 

Last night’s Krav Maga class mostly focused on ground work – wherein my partner and I demonstrated that tall men should do everything possible to avoid ending up on the ground – but it started with a general warm-up session involving working on the standard front punches.  Being an idiot, I had forgotten my gloves that evening (Krav Maga seems to really like target shields that are on the stiffer, firmer side of the spectrum), and I was trying to pull my punches to avoid the bloody knuckles from my first class.  The instructor saw me, and said, “There are no jabs in Krav Maga.”  She went on to explain about how to twist your hips to provide maximum output for punches, but that comment stuck with me. 

As I am understanding things so far, Krav Maga (hereafter abbreviated as “KM”, because I am a lazy bastard) is not about teaching you how to fight, but rather about how to end a fight and get away.  I will not go so far as to say that karate and kung fu and tae kwon do and all the rest of those are teaching you how to fight, per se, but there definitely is a “sport” aspect to all of them – “sparring” consists of scoring points to win, which boils down to being as fast as you can, and convincing your opponent to lower or change his guard.  Enter the “jab”, among a variety of other moves. 

This exhibits itself in other specific ways too; my muscle-memory fighting position is one with my left foot pointed at my target, my right foot pointed 90 degrees off the target, and my entire body turned sideways.  This presents the smallest “target area” to my opponent, but naturally results in any attack from my non-dominant hand or foot being weaker than an attack from my dominant side.  KM’s fighting stance is with your torso and hips squared off to the target, your non-dominant foot a natural step forward, both feet pointing at the target, and your dominant foot up on its ball.  This presents a somewhat large target area, but also affords you the ability, through the use of your hips, to make your non-dominant strikes almost as strong as your dominant. 

But it all depends on how you define “target” – in karate, your back was generally not considered a scoring target area, but for some jackass with a knife, he is going to try to stick that in whatever part of you he can reach.  In that case, “blading” your body nets you no benefit, but gives you on hell of blind spot where engaging/responding to attacks is a challenge.  Granted, if someone sneaks up behind you in either case, you are rather hosed, but there is not a lot of point in pointing part of your back at the opponent you know about. 

Paradigm shifts can sneak up on you when you are not looking, and at the end of the day, the question really is what you are trying to accomplish, and how.  Generally, the means to win a scored match are different than the means to stay alive, but by the same token, the means to bring in a paycheck can sometimes be radically different than the means to further your career.  Stay flexible, and be willing to learn new things, or you might not achieve any of the goals you have set for yourself. 

i guess introductions are in order

So Better Half and I wandered back to Knoxville this past weekend, her for work stuff and me to hang out with some friends.  While there, I got to handle something I never thought I would see in person, much less touch: 

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That is a positively beautiful 12 gauge / 12 gauge / .30-30 WCF Drillings made for Charles Daly by J.P. Sauer and Sons, before Sig joined the game, and let me tell you, if I had the money, I would.  I have no idea what I would use it for, but the engraving on the side is lovely, and, damnit, it is a drillings.  Amusingly enough, Dragon Leatherworks also has another Drillings on the wall from “The Three Barrel Gun Company of West Virginia”; I honestly did not know drillings were made in the States. 

Also this weekend, we proved that my Trollsin is not Boomershoot-able, in its current condition: 

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The grids and black dot are 1”, and this was at 100 yards.  3MOA just is not going to cut it, and I honestly do not know if cutting and crowning the barrel would make a blessed bit of difference.  The Limbsaver Deresonator I shoved on the barrel might or might not have helped with the barrel whip that pencil-barreled Mosins tend to suffer from, but even that is a guess at this point, and I am not sure I want to or can spend the money to make this thing capable of reliable 1MOA fire.  But darned if it is not good for a giggle. 

Now, if I could find an affordable Finnish Mosin, and preferably one with a removable front sight (do any Finns even have that?), we might be talking, but, even then, I am not sure my shoulder would tolerate three days of shooting 7.62x54R. 

Sadly, I do not think I came away with any useful high-speed video from this weekend, but I need to go through it more-carefully on my desktop before I make any final determinations. 

All that said, you may have noticed that “walls of the city” also managed to pick up a new author this weekend – fuzzyKBP.  I will let him decide what he wants to share with you all – and he may end up sharing more than you care to learn – but his credentials include “computer nut”, “gun nut”, and, well, “nut”.  He is currently prepping to take himself and his 6mm BR rifle to Boomershoot, and figured that if he was going to sit down and document the process, he might as well share the information with the world.  Apparently I am willing to let darned near anyone have an account here, and here we are. 

So give him a warm welcome and brace for… something. 

Hello, World!

Linoge says ‘say yo’.

So ‘yo’ and hello.

said elsewhere

I recently wrote this somewhere else, and it was sufficiently amusing for the audience there that I thought I would share it here: 

Just when I thought he could not be a bigger tool bag, he went and hit up Sears. 

In retrospect, though, that was later downgraded to “Harbor Freight”.  In any case, the context is unimportant, and so is the person in discussion for that matter, but I figured it was giggle-worthy. 

On a somewhat related point, I am reminded of this marvelous quote by Robert A. Heinlein, as vocalized by the inimitable Lazarus Long: 

Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so.

When you combine that with the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, you end up in a very interesting place indeed. 

Speaking of somewhere elses, the Twitter feed for this site is once again live, this time at @wallsofthecity.  I would not expect a great deal out of that account, but for those of you who were following the site there, rather than on an RSS feeder or on Facebook, that option is once again available to you.  ‘Cause, y’know, I post so much, and it is so hard to keep up with me…  (This site’s syndication to Facebook has been having issues of late as well – Jetpack is being cranky, for some reason – but I think I have corrected them.) 

Although, when it comes to content, if something truly catastrophic does not happen this weekend, I may have some high-speed video of some fairly interesting firearms being fired.  I guess if something truly catastrophic does happen I might have high-speed video of that, too, but we will just go ahead and hope I do not.  Being an idiot, I forgot my tripod, so I am not sure how things will exactly work out, but I will see what I can do. 

And to bring us back around to kind of where this post started, I give you this quote, with the presentation courtesy of some folks who happen to make some really good beer: 

DogfishHeadRalphWaldoEmerson

Seriously.  If you should ever find yourself in/around Milton, Delaware, Dogfish Head gives an outstanding tour of their impressive and unique operation, and then they let you sample their tasty beverages – for free – afterwards.  In fact, if you time it right, you can hit happy hour (1630-1830 M-F) at the end of your tour, and enjoy half-price pints and brats at their on-site bar.  Win. 



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