Katelyn Francis is all of 13 years old, and I have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in admitting that she shot that stage far better than I could ever hope to at the moment.
Of course, that short video also neatly undermines a massive number of arguments put forward by your average anti-rights cultist – "assault weapons have no sporting purpose", "assault rifles have no sporting purpose", "children cannot be trusted with firearms", "high-capacity magazines have no sporting purpose", "no one needs an assault weapon unless they are going to kill people", "no one needs high-capacity magazines unless they are going to kill people", "all gun owners/shooters are old, white males", and so on, so forth. Unfortunately, as I say that, I assume we are dealing with rational people who can comprehend a reasonable counterpoint to their unreasonable claims and thus admit defeat; all evidence shows no aspect of that assumption to be true.
On a somewhat related note, this is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the artificially inflated ammunition market, at least for me: I kept meaning to get into shooting sports like the 3-Gun competition Katelyn was participating in, and now there is absolutely no way I can rationalize throwing that much money downrange. Hell, I have not even been to the range since Christmas vacation, and I do not anticipate going back any time soon… When sending 100 rounds of remanufactured practice ammunition – just enough to get the shooter and barrel warmed up, in my opinion – downrange costs almost $30, how can you realistically spend half a day at the range with anything more than a .22?
This is why I am wholly behind the NRA’s notion to start .22 and airsoft variants of 3-Gun; any kind of trigger time, even if it is simulated trigger time, is better than nothing at all, and maybe it will help transition folks from one community, or no community, into the competitive shooting world.
So the surgery was not too bad. I remember being wheeled into the OR, then nothing until someone was calling my name. A few minutes after waking up, I was coherent, able to stand on my own & hold conversations, and felt pretty awesome (as I described it, like I had two glasses of wine).
Then we got to the hotel room and I took two Lortabs.
The next eight hours were spent wrapped around a toilet to the point where we had to call Oleg Volk and ask for recommendations for ERs in the Nashville area if I kept barfing, out of concerns over excessive dehydration (sorry about that random call, Oleg).
Thankfully, my stomach appears to have finally forcibly ejected the offending substance, and I’ve been able to eat and drink successfully today, so we are going to mark that off the list of drugs I should take and move on. I think next up is Tramadol.
The funny thing is my finger really does not hurt that much, which is kind of concerning on its own.
Anywise, it appears I can type faster on my phone than hunting-and-pecking on the keyboard, so maybe I will write something in addition to the scheduled posts. Probably not. And I promise I will get to your comments, but maybe not until Monday when that massive wrapping can come off. Good times.
One of the few commercials that stuck with me after the Super Bowl was this one by SodaStream, if only because it tweaked my WTF meter:
Apparently they had an even more in-your-face ad prepared that CBS did not allow them to run (you might need to click through to see it):
I have to give them credit for throwing down that gauntlet hard. But, as an engineer, an interesting concept and ballsy advertising scheme will only get you so far with me; does it actually make sense to go this route? Well, let us take a look at how much it all costs.
So, with all of those various prices for all of the various equipment necessary to run this little doohicky logged, what do 2L sodas actually cost me? If I am lucky, my local Kroger runs name-brand Mountain Dew for $0.89 a 2L, and if I am not lucky, their generic brand Mountain-Dew-knock-off is always that price (I do so love not living in Kalifornistan any more), so we will use that as our baseline for cost comparisons.
One carbonator will make 66 (we are fudging a little) 2L bottles worth of soda, which, in turn, will require 11 flavor packets, with the total cost being $239.37 for the Amazon route, $104.88 for the local store / SodaStream online store route. 66 2L bottles of name-brand, on-sale Mountain Dew will cost me $58.74.
Whoops. And that does not even count the initial cost of the Fountain device. That said, a standard bottle of 2L soda would only have to cost you $1.60 (not hard in Kalifornistan with its inflated prices and asinine CRV) for you to come out (slightly) ahead.
So how about something different? Monster energy drinks run about $2 for 16 ounce cans, regular price. There are about 68 ounces in a 2L bottle, so 4.25 cans, which means a 2L bottle of Monster would cost about $8.50. Wow. The Red Bull-equivalent flavor pack for SodaStream costs $6.99 for 12 liters, so running the numbers using SodaStream’s site’s prices gives us $126.88 for 66 2L bottles, or $0.45 a 16 ounce can. Well that is a hell of a difference. Unfortunately, I do not drink that much Monster.
Then there is the craziness that is cane sugar soda – around $2 gets you a 12 ounce bottle, so $11.33 for a 2L. Cane sugar cola for the SodaStream runs $9.99 for 6L (an important distinction), so 66 2L bottles will cost $269.77, or $0.72 a 12-ounce bottle. Why, that is almost rational. Not really.
The upshot of all this is that unless you live somewhere where 2L sodas are obscenely expensive, or you are a health nut who only drinks "natural" sodas, or you consume way too many energy drinks than are good for you, or you are way too hung up on the whole "green" thing and want to seriously diminish your empty bottle output, SodaStreams just do not make financial sense. Which is kind of a shame – the concept of building your own soda flavor profile does have a certain degree of appeal. Obviously your prices can improve if you can figure out how to hook up a restaurant CO2 bottle to the device (just remember you are dealing with pressurized gases which can asphyxiate you), and if you take advantage of the CO2 cartridge exchange service (not sure how much that saves you), but just the flavor packets alone almost cost as much as the 2L sodas would, for me (I understand the flavor packets can likewise be replaced with DIY options, but then the math gets really fuzzy).
See? We do not do just firearms here…
(Note: I do not own a SodaStream gadget nor did the company contact me in any way to write the article. I was simply going to do the math regardless and thought I would share.)
But I say that with the residual novacain and sedative still coursing through my veins.
Anyways, I had a post that was supposed to go up this morning letting you know I was headed into surgery, but apparently the scheduling failed. Here is the aftermath:
The upshot of all that is that my pulley is actually still intact, just “thin”, I had a lot of swelling and fluid on the dorsal side of the proximal interphalangeal joint (both of which were removed), and the doctor was able to get whatever tissue samples he needed for his cultures. Unfortunately, those cultures take about six weeks to process, and we cannot treat anything until we know what it is.
For now, I have lortab, that massive wrap on my hand (which cannot get wet, apparently, and which has to stay there for a week), and the promise of a really interesting scar.
So observant readers will note that posts have been magically appearing here, but I have not been commenting. That is because we have been here:
Doing a lot of this:
We have been home for just over 12 hours and are already prepared to go back.
Unfortunately, we will be going on another trip soon, but that will be to have my finger sliced open, biopsies taken, scar tissue removed, and broken pulleys – if they exist – repaired or replaced. Something tells me this will impact my typing abilities, but I will see what I can do about getting some more previously-written posts in the queue.
So this question came up when we went out to visit my parents, and I could not provide a satisfactory answer: do striker-fired pistols (i.e. Glocks, XDs, M&P9s, etc.) offer any significant advantages over pistols that are able to be carried "cocked and locked" (1911s, etc.), aside from the whole "not having to disable a manual safety" detail?
I was able to explain how striker-fired pistols are arguably superior to double-action / single-action (DA/SA) in that the trigger pull is always the same on the former, while the latter has the long initial trigger pull, and significantly shorter ones thereafter. My father sees the long initial pull as more a feature than a bug, however, given that it is another form of mechanical safety – you really have to want to pull that trigger.
Likewise, I was able to explain the mechanical differences between striker-fired and hammer-fired (namely that the firing system is at something of a half-cock in striker-fired pistols at their resting state), but that is not really an advantage or disadvantage in either direction.
One of the favorite tactics of anti-rights cultists is to loudly point to the differences in murder rates between the United States and once-Great Britain, and proclaim that the latter’s significantly lower murder rate is due to their draconian and oppressive "gun control"… despite the complete and utter lack of any evidence of causality (see "correlation != causation").
This is all good and well… except for the small detail that none of the released murder statistics from once-Great Britain are accurate.
The shortest version is this. We count and report crimes based on initial data. The Brits count and report crimes based on the outcome of the investigation and trial. Yep, that says what I meant it to say.
I had known for a while that most of the crime stats coming out of once-Great Britain counted crimes cleared, not crimes reported; in other words, the people tallying up crimes in the Old Country only care if the perpetrator is found and then found innocent or guilty, and if there was no perpetrator, then there could not have been a crime, right? I did not, however, know that same mathematical hijink extended to murders as well.
Unfortunately, given the flawed and untrustworthy data coming out of that increasingly totalitarian state, there is no way to accurately determine once-Great Britain’s actual crime rate, but as Rick explains, the real numbers – to whit, the actual number of people in that country who died through not-natural means and who did not commit suicide – are at least double what the once-Great British claim they are.
Double. At least.
And this is why one should always demand to see the source data, and specifically how it was gathered. People can claim all manner of anything they desire in "studies", but when your study is built off data that is intentionally and knowingly miscollected… well, the entire study is meaningless. And when that source data is off by a factor of at least two? "Meaningless" is being far too generous.
This is, at least nominally, a firearm-related weblog, but it is worth delving into politics every once in a while.
The topic of homosexual marriages has come up recently – understandable, given the associated Supreme Court case – and the usual useful idiots have crawled out of the woodwork proclaiming that we cousin-humping, gun-toting rednecks universally hate teh gayz.
Y’know, except not.
My position on homosexual marriage is quite simple:
First, adult human beings should be able to enter into whatever mutually agreeable (but not necessarily mutually-beneficial) contracts they so desire, and if the federal/state/local government is going to honor one such contract between two parties, it should honor all such contracts between two parties. That covers civil unions.
Second, if the official representative of any given religion – be it Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – is willing and permitted by his religious authorities to perform whatever rites and rituals are necessary to religiously marry two consenting and legally-eligible individuals, then that is a matter between those three individuals, the aforementioned religious authorities, and their chosen god(s).
Neither my relationship with my significant other nor my religious faith are in any way threatened or affected by two other people exchanging vows or signing their names on the dotted line, regardless of whatever combination of Tab A and Slot B they might possess. If yours are, maybe that is more a problem with your relationships and faith and less a problem with other people’s decisions?
And I say all this as a firearm owner who regularly carries one of those firearms on his person and who will stand up and ardently defend all humans’ rights to self-defense, self-preservation, and ownership of private property.
Speaking of building your own "garage-expedient" firearm, this may just be a trailer for a movie, and thus just a dramatization, but, yes, making a firearm-like device capable of grievously wounding / killing someone really is this simple:
Look at the tools and materials she used: wire snips, a block of wood, a knife, a short length of steel pipe, a file, the pipe end cap, copper wire, a small square of cotton fabric, a handful of screws, matches, duct tape, and some kind of powderized propellant.
Aside from the last item, it is a fair bet that most of the homes in America have the same, or at least similar, items as are what are shown in the trailer, and even if they do not, I can guarantee you that every "home improvement" store worthy of the name does.
Would I want to fire such a contraption myself? Oh hell no. Would I if I had to? Probably. Would I want to be downrange of it? Only if we are talking distances of a football field or more. Would it be lethal? Assuming conversational distances, assuming everything worked, and assuming the screws did not just fly off with reckless abandon, I could easily see a device like that killing someone. Possibly a few someones.
Which just goes to show how futile the notion of "gun control" really is. There is absolutely no way you can "control" wood, steel pipe, basic hand tools, and so forth, and even if you tried to, people would just buy the materials from different stores and you would be none the wiser. Worse, I am fairly certain even I could manage to produce at least one of those contraptions a day (especially if I used better tools than the character in this movie apparently had access to), and with practice, that rate would unquestionably increase, and the functionality – and thus efficacy – of the device would increase over time as well. So what is the point of registering / regulating / restricting firearms again? Is a person somehow less dead if they were killed by screws moving at hundreds of feet per second, rather than a specifically-made bullet doing the same?
[Caution: I have absolutely no idea how a device like this would be legally defined. Given that it does not use cartridge-based ammunition, it is not legally a "firearm" in my understanding of the law, but aside from that, you are very much on your own if you undertake the assembling of one.]
Once again, I would like to take a moment to thank all of my readers, commenters, and drop-by-ers for donating, spreading the word, and otherwise getting involved in the recent Honored American Veterans Afield fundraiser I ran here. Despite these being rough financial times and despite tax day being just around the corner, we were able to raise $2190 for that outstanding organization.
At this point, I have been able to get all but one* of the actual prize packages in the mail, and will be working on mailing the DVDs in the near future. After all that is done, since people have been asking, I will start working on the "walls of the city" patches.
However, I would also like to take a moment and thank those companies and individuals who very generously donated equipment, clothing, and other goodies to the giveaway side of the house. In no particular order:
Those are some outstanding folks listed above, and if you ever need/want something they produce, I would strongly recommend giving them a look.
And just to slap a caboose on this feel-good train, here is what the folks at HAVA had to say regarding our success:
Again, many thanks on behalf of the veterans that HAVA serves. This will help as we put our spring and summer events together.
Hopefully the publicity we generated for them will last for a while yet!
(* – Amusingly, the USPS refused to ship a box because it was an “alcohol” box; it was a case of Gentleman Jack (empty, of course), and despite telling the postal clerk that there was no alcohol in it whatsoever, they refused to accept it.)
I hate sitting through a 30-minute video when I could just read something, but I made an exception in those two cases, and I am very thankful I did; PHLster is a very accomplished kydex-smith, and he is not at all bashful about sharing all of the various tricks and secrets he has learned along the way.
However, for those folks who really do not want to watch a video, here is the brief rundown:
- A press. Any kind of "book press" will work just fine; the general premise is you have to have a working area at least as large as the biggest gun/holster combination you want to make, and you want to apply pressure evenly across the full surface of the press. PHLster shows a home-made version in his videos that would not be too hard to kitbash together, but I wussed out and went store-bought. Be advised that the presses with hinges require care to ensure the pieces stay lined up as you close it. ($0 – $85) - Bar clamps. If your press does not have a way of clamping it down, you will obviously need clamps… and, no, that silly little chain on the press I linked to above plus your body weight is not going to be enough. You will be putting a fair bit of pressure on things, so do not skimp here; I got 3 of those exact ones. ($45) - An oven. Kydex needs to be heated to around 320 degrees Fahrenheit to be malleable (at least from what I have read / experienced), so you need to get it there. I use my kitchen oven; pros use purpose-bought kitchen toaster ovens. ($0 – $40) - A ruler. Preferably something long, wide, and clear. I use something like the linked one, but I paid a lot less for it locally. ($5 – $15) - Eyelet flaring dies. I use 1/4" eyelets, so I got the #8 / 1/4" dies. Simple. ($25) - A brad point drill bit. Make sure you get the same size as the eyelets you intend to use. I find the brad-and-lip design makes for cleaner holes through the plastic… most of the time. ($5) - A coping saw. Once you get the plastic formed to the gun, you will want to cut off the extra (and you did initially cut big, right?); this can suffice. ($7) - A utility knife. Score the kydex once or twice along the ruler with one of these, bend it along the score, and, presto, two pieces. I am sure you have one laying around. - A hammer. You have one. Trust me. - Sandpaper. For finishing the edges; you probably have it. - A flathead screwdriver. For any Chicago screws you use; you should have it. - A permanent marker. As long as you only mark on the inside of the holster, no one will know or care.
Nice to Have:
- Cutting mat. All those straight lines make it easy (well, easier) to get things lined up, plus it protects whatever you are cutting your kydex on. ($30) - Eyelet flaring die guides. The quickest way to screw up an eyelet is to try to flare it off-center. This fixes that. ($13) - Arbor press. Even with the guide, trying to set eyelets with a hammer is… challenging. Thankfully, I liberated a press from Dragon Leatherworks‘ trash bin, so it was free for me, and Harbor Freight has them cheap. ($90) - A scroll saw. I discovered that trying to cut kydex using a coping saw or, worse, a little teeny dremel circular saw attachment was… dangerous. $90 for a used Rigid off Craigslist seemed a small price to pay for intact fingers. These can get expensive, though. ($90 – $200) - A belt sander. Finishing/shaping/polishing edges is a lot easier with power behind it. I raided my local Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon in hand. ($50 – $150) - A heat gun. Some people refuse to use them. I find it easier to go back and touch up molding with one, and it is essential for how I make belt loops. ($13) - Greenie meanies. You probably have these hiding under your kitchen sink, but the scouring pads really help with giving that nice, finished appearance on the cut edges of the kydex. - A bench buffer. I do not have one of these yet, but supposedly, when combined with a sisal buffing wheel, they produce beautiful finished edges. ($60) - China markers. Find the kind that wash off; mine do not.
Those are all the tools. Now for…
- Thermomold plastic. A square foot of name-brand Kydex goes for $5 for 0.06" thickness, $6 for 0.08" thickness, $7 for 0.093" thickness, and $9 for 0.125" thickness. I use the first for holsters and the last for belt loops, and have found a little over a square foot is necessary for compact gun holsters, and almost a full two square feet necessary for large guns. One square foot of the thick stuff makes… a lot of belt loops, depending on how you do it. There are alternatives like Boltaron and Holstex, but I do not know anything about those. - Eyelets. Go ahead and get the #8-10 (or #6-10) variants; they will work on any plastic thickness you will come across, and are downwards compatible. They run $0.17 a piece, and you will use between two and 10 a holster, if not sometimes more. - Chicago screws. You will use these to attach belt loops to your holsters, and thickness matters. I have found that #8 – (0.1875 x 0.250) is just enough to attach one 0.125" belt loop to two sheets of 0.006" kydex eyelet’d together. Figure four a holster, at $0.48 apiece. - Foam. Just like holsters, you will not like to think of it as a consumable, but it is. The press I linked to above comes with some low-density stuff, but if you want really strong definition in your holsters (and I do), you want the "Xtreme Form". $17 equips the above press, but I have no idea how many sheaths you can make before you have to replace it.
Note that most of the consumables get cheaper the more you buy; it all depends on how much stuff you plan on making.
So if my math is right and I did not miss anything, you can fabricate your first holster for anywhere between $106 and $578, depending on how much stuff you already have on-hand and how cheaply you buy or how good you are at used markets. On the flip side, 10 holsters will only cost you about $725, and the price per holster will only decrease the more you make (asymptotically, of course). I figure I have somewhere around $450 invested in the process myself at the moment, and am less than halfway through the materials I have, so it should pay itself off by the time I am done (remember, kydex is useful for more than just holsters).
I recently had the opportunity to attend a screening of Silver Circle in Tempe (11APR13 at Pollack Cinemas). I quite enjoyed it and would recommend anyone with an opportunity to see other screenings check it out.
At the center of corruption is the Federal Reserve who has gained enormous amounts of control over America’s economy, with disastrous effects beginning to show.
Standing opposite, is the band of Rebels who have vowed to take back the freedom they once knew…and they won’t go down without a fight.
Monetary mayhem. Explosions. Romance. Silver Circle plans to take indie animation to a whole other level.
The upcoming schedule is here:
NOW PLAYING Regal Ballston Common Stadium 12 – Arlington, VA
The animation was a little choppy at times, and character movement (walking in particular) seemed forced.
I wish they’d thrown in a few more facts about silver.
I think that would have helped drive home the point of the movie (PMs, silver in particular are a good thing).
I could have done without the love story, but whatever works.
The story itself was pretty good.
The message was spot on. The Federal Reserve is manipulating our currency, and they’re not far from taking over housing (QEx has had them dumping $40bln/month into housing for over(almost?) a year now. The prospect of them getting more involved with housing isn’t that far fetched.
Hyperinflation is a possibility and you have to be prepared for it. PMs are one of the best bets for that.
The screening was cool because they were selling Silver Circle branded rounds before and after, as well as some other merchandise. It was one of my colleagues (who saw the movie with me) first purchase of “real” money in his life. It was interesting watching him react to the weight (both physical, and perceived mental) of what sound money feels like.
They drew names for 3 1/10 oz Silver Circle rounds after the film.
If it’s in your area, you should definitely check it out. It’s probably worth a bit of a drive.
I would like to take a moment and thank Brownells for being an amazing corporation. In addition to generously supporting the recent HAVA Fundraiser, I also emailed my contact there with a somewhat random question this morning, and he had amazingly comprehensive answers from two of the gunsmiths there to me before lunch. Given how busy you and I both know Brownells must be at the moment, what with the ongoing buying panic/craze, that kind of turnaround on a question that had basically nothing to do with their products was greatly appreciated.
Likewise, I would also like to thank Winchester Ammunition, Federal Premium Ammunition, and CCI Ammunition for similar turnarounds on similar questions; despite making it clear I was not talking about their products specifically, they took they time out of their unquestionably busy schedules and helped me with my quandary.
That level of customer service – when I made it clear I was not even a paying customer this time around – has helped ensure I will continue to purchase those companies’ products in the future.
On a completely dissimilar, but related, vein, I would like to announce that I will no longer be doing "test and evaluation" reviews at this site. Any further product / material / equipment / etc. review you see on this site written by me will be of a product I bought and paid for using my very own money. I cannot speak to my guest authors, but I am done T&Eing things, for reasons that may be expressed in the future, and may not. I will still accept advertising for this site, and some of the payment for that advertising may be in the form of barter (speaking of, the site’s sponsorship by Coal Creek Armory elapsed today, so if any other companies are interested…), but I will no longer be accepting products exclusively for the purpose of reviewing them.
This year, on account of some mathematical fumbles on my part, we unintentionally gave the federal government one hell of an interest free loan. Coincidentally, there is no penalty to you or the government if you overpay your taxes, but if you underpay your taxes enough, you can bet your ass there will be financial repercussions involved.
That disparity rather says everything about our current taxation / representation situation, does it not?
In any case, most of the money we recovered from the government will be going towards funding a much-needed vacation in the near future, but we also received our first raise in three years recently (one just has to love company-wide pay freezes), and money from that helped pay for my first "correct" Buy A Gun Day purchase… ever.
Oh, and in case you missed the memo, Tax Day is, in fact, Buy a Gun Day – what better day is there to remind our federal government that we, the people, have rights and intend to exercise, and keep, them as we see fit?
Anywise, a good friend of ours is in something of a rough financial situation at the moment, so he is selling off some of his fine collection of firearms, and while I was not really in the market for anything new-to-me at the moment, having shot some of these, I could not let them slip by:
Yup, that is a BAG Day three-fer. And, yes, I do know who designed all of those guns.
From the top, we have a Browning Auto-5 Light-12, built sometime in 1967 in Belgium. The "Light" refers to the gun’s ability to only chamber 2.75" or smaller shells, and the fact that they somehow shaved somewhere around a pound of wood and metal out of the body. However, to make up for that, I am already shopping around for some kind of magazine extension. Because. On the flip side, an SBS’d Auto-5 looks like it would be hilarious, if the long recoil action would be amenable to the concept. Do not worry, though; the original gun and parts will be left intact regardless of what I do.
Next up is a Norinco-produced Winchester Model 1897 12-gauge in "trench gun" configuration, with an action job by Coyote Cap. Do not worry, the bayonet came with it, the seller just has to dig it up. And, again, do not worry, the only thing I plan on doing with this one is equipping it with some shell saddle or another. Personally, I know jack-all about Cowboy Action Shooting or Coyote Cap, but this has to be one of the smoothest shotgun actions I have ever felt… to the point where you hardly notice when it skins your thumb’s knuckle if you grab the stock wrong. Hardly.
Amusingly, this shotgun is a perfect example of the stupidity of modern firearm laws. Given that it was produced sometime probably in the 1960s, it is legally a firearm in every way according to the BATFE. However, if I were able to turn up an original Winchester ’97, actually made in 1897, it would not be legally a firearm (on account of being made before 1898), and thus could be transferred to anyone – including felons – without paperwork or a background check. Both guns would shoot the same ammunition, and could be used to kill clays and people just as dead, but one is regulated and the other is not. Because that makes sense.
Finally, we have third product from the mind of John Moses Browning (PBUH); a Semi-Auto 22, this time from Japan, rather than Belgium. The nomenclature for Browning’s guns was always… functional, but you really have to admire that one. You do not, however, have to admire the internals of that thing; having broken it apart and given it a very thorough cleaning, I can honestly say that Mr. Browning was a genius, but good Lord some of his designs are positively nightmarish. It is like he had brokered a deal with Cthulhu and some mechanisms of the firearms exist in extra dimensions; Larry Correia, I blame you! Whinging about internals aside, the gun has two redeeming features: first, with the flick of one slider and the twist of the barrel, it breaks down into an easily storable package; and, second, it is one of the most-accurate .22 rifles I have shot (plus, it is ambidextrous if that matters to you, with its back-feeding-downward-ejecting design). In fact, once I slip a scope mount and rings onto it, I would be sorely tempted to take it to an Appleseed… if it were not such a pain in the arse to reload (tube-fed, through the stock, with the requirement you have to partially remove the tube/spring before reloading).
Oh, and the best part of these BAG acquisitions? All three were purchased in a parking lot, using cash, with absolutely no paperwork or background checks. We both know each other, we both have handgun carry permits, and we both are fairly sure the other is not a nutcase about to embark on a shooting spree, so why bother paying in excess of $50 to transfer the firearms from one person to another? Or, more importantly, why should I have to beg permission from a nameless, faceless bureaucracy to lawfully exercise my rights to engage in free trade, own private property, sell private property, and/or bear arms?
So, aside from being annoyingly out of focus, what do you make of it?
Ok, that one is a freebie – it is a pile of the first eight HAVA fundraiser boxes to go out. Now, if I screwed anything up (and I am fairly sure I did), please let me know. I already know I shorted someone a duffel bag strap, so if you end up with a bag without a strap, email me, and I will send it to you. Also, if you did not get your DVD(s), email me. It is no excuse, but there is a lot going on here these days. The next batch will go out as soon as I can get it out.
Secondly, I dare say this one is self-explanatory:
And finally… well, now you get your first actual unanswered question: identify this gun.
It will not help you any, but it was recently added to my collection this afternoon, along with another two fine firearms… courtesy of a cash transaction that transpired in a bank’s parking lot with no paperwork, no background check, and nothing but two friends shaking hands. That, my fellow Americans, is freedom.
I did not get the chance to shoot the Little Badger, but I kind of want one now… if it were made by any other company, I would already have one. It is just the most elemental gun I have seen in a very long time, and everything about it trips my giggle switch. Functionally, the downward break on the action makes it easier to reload, but the handguard runs into the trigger guard, making it impossible to fold past a narrow V. Likewise, the wire stock’s profile makes using the iron sights… challenging, and it has this silly not-quite-Picatinny rail segment right behind the trigger guard that could have been a nice spot for an AFG or something, but since it is not to-spec, it is useless.
But, still, at $170? That is almost a toy. And it is light and seemingly durable enough to be tossed into a range bag just for the fun of it, and would make a great trainer rifle.
The sight, though… I am unimpressed, and at a $1600 price tag, I know you can do better. I think we had one of the IR models, so I cannot judge the laser, but the holosight was nothing to write home about, and that silly cable attached to a massive pressure switch that seemed to turn off the red dot… when you pushed it. Let go of the switch, and the holosight comes back on. How does that make sense?
(Original image property of Oleg Volk. Used and abused with permission.)
Highlight of the Weekend: Having three separate people – and gunny folks at that – ask me at three separate times where I bought this holster. Oh, and I got to shoot another .50 BMG rifle, which brings my Lifetime Total Rounds Fired Through a .50 Caliber Rifle to… two. Plus about 20 rounds through a Ma Deuce.
After having my whole right hand in a compression glove and my pinkie finger in a compression wrap for the past two months, he has concluded that the pulley is a "red herring", to use his terminology, and may not actually even be ruptured (the MRI report reads "There is palmar dislocation of the flexor tendon, the distance between the middle phalanx and flexor tendon is 7mm. There is disruption of the A2 pulley best seen on axial series 3 image 24 and sagittal series 4 image 5." and two other doctors disagree with him on that point). In any case, despite that month of compression and physical therapy, the swelling in my finger has not gone down, and he is unwilling to operate on it when it is swollen.
At this point, he guesses it might be a fungal infection of some type, courtesy of a rather nasty cut I received to the proximal interphalangeal joint – the one closest to the A2 pulley – about six months before my finger really started hurting. I braced my pinkie on the edge of a pull-top can lid, came away with about a dime-sized semi-circular cut, washed the crap out of it, bandaged it up, and was told by a PA that I did the right thing and there was nothing else they could do. X-rays have shown no infection, and if something showed up on the MRI, you would think they would notice.
They drew blood for the usual tests, but given that the finger is already swollen, the doctor does not figure it will not tell us anything we do not already know. The only way to prove it is a fungal infection is actually to slice the finger open and take internal biopsies from the top and bottom of the joint, and then wait six weeks for the cultures to come back, and even then the doctor considers that entire idea an improbable "long shot". Apparently a bacterial infection would have consumed that joint and moved on by now if it were that.
For now I have given up wrapping the finger – the doctor indicated it was pointless, and the mobility is about he same regardless; the finger swells without it, but the wrapping keeps it from flexing much anywise. And by "keeps it from flexing much", I mean "in neither case can I get the tip of my pinkie finger past the distal interphalangeal joint of my ring finger… on a good day". I cannot make a fist, I cannot properly grip a pistol, typing is still a bitch, and the PIP joint is bigger than any joint on my middle finger.
Oh, and the real kicker in all this? The doctor telling me, emphatically, that I can "live with it". His exact words were something along the lines of, "If it is not something we can mechanically fix, or some kind of disease we can treat, you can live with it." That is all good and well, except we literally do not know what is wrong any more, apparently.
And that is… well, that. Doctor 3 was the last driveable doctor who appeared to be any good and would bother conversing with me from a distance, and it is simply not feasible for us to fly out to another doctor for a diagnosis, fly back for a consult, and fly back again for the actual surgery. Yeah, I will stop whining now and crawl back in my hole.
As I said on the Facebooks and Twitters a few days ago, one of the fun advantages of making your own holsters is the ability to do crazy things you would never actually ask someone else to make for you.
And, sometimes, they work:
Obviously this is not an everyday carry holster, but I contend that neither is that an everyday carry gun (though a friend tells me they are increasingly popular with folks on account of their affordable price (both the gun and the ammunition) and ease of use). Once the new-production Zastava M57s (with their actually usable safeties, unlike the POS I still need to remove from mine) start hitting our shores in greater numbers (I actually saw one at the last gun show I went to), I might change my opinion though (especially if they start importing the 9mm variant).
Enough parentheses? Shiny.
Flat gun, flat(-ish) holster. I actually heated up the back sheet of kydex and put it on top of a couple folded t-shirts in my press, rather than straight on the metal or not forming it at all In retrospect, I should have used the cheapie low-density foam that came with the press for the top sheet, rather than the high-density foam I prefer for its better definition, but it still came out ok.
Well, mostly ok. I made a few glaring errors – which you will have to pick out for yourself – but this is all part of the learning process, right?
Oh, and why did I spend $50 (at least when I bought it; the price has gone up) to put a silly-assed muzzle brake on a $200 gun?
Also, the brake/compensator does actually help with perceived recoil and post-shot recovery… but, really, fireball. I am taking my high-speed-video-capable new toy to a shoot this weekend, so maybe I will have some better pictures of the effect soon…
1. HAVA Duffle Bag 2. Carrying in Style 3. HAVA Duffle Bag 4. Ultimate New Shooter 5. HAVA Duffle Bag 6. Preparedness 7. HAVA Duffle Bag 8. Bacon 9. Citizen Marksman 10. EDC 11. Organized New Shooter 12. Zombie Apocalypse 13. Gunny Gamer 14. Normal Apocalypse 15. Motte 16. Bailey
I have to admit, that is not at all the order I was figuring when I assembled the packages. But, hey, if y’all are happy, I am happy.
I am still working on the best/fastest/cheapest way to get this stuff out the door, so bear with me. It will get to you, I promise.