Regular readers (or even irregular ones) will have seen the preceding post regarding the issues I was having with my Kel-Tec PF9 failing to extract spent cases randomly, and then locking up solid. I will answer everyone’s questions in the comments there, but I want to stress that I did not contact Kel-Tec about this problem, and I was planning on taking my torx set to the range and dorking around with the extractor spring screw, as seems to be the generally-accepted way of correcting extraction issues.
Then, this email showed up in my inbox this afternoon from Kel-Tec’s Customer Service Manager:
I understand your having some trouble with your PF-9 we do have a new updated extractor spring to help accept a wider variety of ammunition and help the overall performance of the gun.
-If you can provide me with an address I can get this new part out to you today.
Again, I did not contact Kel-Tec before this email; I was planning on doing so if my “dork around” session did not pan out, but I had not gotten there yet.
I am basically having to pull teeth to get Remington to correct a rusty-assed bolt that one of their firearms came with, but here Kel-Tec is, throwing parts at me without me even asking.
That is customer service, folks.
Now, obviously, I would have preferred if the firearm did not have this problem to begin with, especially since this seems to be a problem PF-9s have been having for years now and one would think it would eventually be isolated and corrected. However, I have no idea when mine was produced, and… well… it is a Kel-Tec after all. I was kind of expecting to have problems.
But when the company goes out of its way to stand behind its product and support it? Yeah, I can appreciate that. This will not make me a Kel-Tec fan-boy, but if the gun ends up working at the end of this, I will be satisfied.
Decided today was a good day to drag the new acquisition to the range, along with that shiny 1903. Things… did not go well.
I was able to put two magazines through the 1903, and at 10 yards it was trivially easy to keep inside of the 10 ring on a standard full-size human silhouette target, and inside the 8 ring at 25 yards. For me being out of practice, and for that thing having functionally no sights to speak of, I consider that a win. And, yes, .32 ACP out of an arguably full size pistol has basically no recoil; if anyone ever wanted to resurrect that platform, I still contend they would make money hand-over-fist.
However, this happened at the end of each magazine:
That little pin sticking up out of the serrations – the one with the hair on it – it should not be sticking up like that. At the end of each magazine, the pin was sticking about half an inch out the left side; in fact, if I slap the side of the 1903 hard enough, the pin pops out all on its own. According to this helpful diagram, that little rod holds the firing pin in place, so I am thinking I should do a detail strip and figure out what else, if anything, might be misbehaving.
So I moved on to the PF9, and, well, this happened so much there is not a lot else to tell:
That is a failure to extract coupled with the slide trying to shove the next round into battery and getting it jammed between the spent case and the feed ramp.
As an engineer, I confess to being fascinated that the cartridge provides enough impulse to cycle the slide without even hardly coming out of battery.
As a consumer, facing one of these failures at least once a magazine (on average – some magazines were clean, some failed every other round) is damned frustrating. I was running two separate magazines through the gun, and both threw the same error; it did not seem to matter how I held the gun; it did not seem to matter how I shot… it just, randomly, would completely fail to extract and then jam itself up. And with that next round being partially out of the magazine and partially in the gun, clearing the jam is a royal pain in the arse.
Unfortunately I forgot to bring my toolkit to the range, and the torx screwdriver they had there was too small for me to get good enough purchase on to really mess with the extractor screw. Additionally, I only had enough patience to put 150 rounds through it, so maybe it will… sort itself out. Who knows? I am going to take the pistol to the range again, along with my toolkit this time, and see if another 150 rounds or so will make a difference, and then I guess it is time to box it up and send it back to its mothership as well.
When it shot, it seemed to shoot well enough – inside the 9 ring and head at 10 yards – but I am sure my… frustration… affected things. The gun had horrible range manners though – spent casings every which-way and burned powder and other crap all the way up to my elbows.
Speaking of messes, I have to confess to being rather disappointed in the state of Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center. Apart from the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center, they are the only indoor range on the south side of Raleigh, and you can tell that they know they have no private competition… the target retrieval system “worked” in the barest sense of the word, ceiling tiles were falling down, their concept of “sound insulation” is old carpet that may or may not have originally been green but definitely is now, and there were literally dead cockroaches on the bathroom floor.
The “pro shop” section was at least well-kept, and their inventory is fairly impressive, but… I doubt I will go back, even when the Wake range is closed again.
(Speaking of, Coal Creek was closed maybe two weeks for the entire five years I lived in the area, but the Wake County Range has to close for a month every year for “maintenance”? Admittedly this is a range used by every police department in a who-knows-how-many county radius, and they probably shoot all kinds of interesting things into the backstop… but still.)
I used to think we owned our house free-and-clear now that we paid off the mortgage.
Then our property tax statement arrived.
Bonus: our house’s tax appraisal is somewhere around 20% more than we paid for it, reappraisals only happen every eight years, the last one was in 2008, and you can appeal for a reappraisal, but “Any inflation, deflation or other economic changes occurring after this date do not affect the county’s assessed value of the property and cannot be lawfully considered when reviewing the value for adjustment.”
It is funny; our Founding Fathers placed massive importance on land ownership, up to and including requiring it for suffrage. Now, none of us can own real property – after all, if you are still paying for it, you do not actually own it.
So I had the opportunity to hit up a Raleigh-Durham gun show today, and I cannot say as though I was disappointed.
I was, however, heartily amused at the security theater that took place on the way in. You walk up to a ticket both, hand the nice lady your money, and she hands you a ticket… which you hand to a gentleman not 10 steps away. Then, the police officers manning the show tell you to empty your pockets and hold the items in your hands as you walk through a metal detector… which was very clearly off. After you do that, you can go on your merry.
These shows are very much “no loaded firearms allowed”, but if the police, or anyone else for that matter, thinks that level of “security” is going to stop anyone from carrying into the show, they are sorely and sadly mistaken.
And speaking of theater, there were easily 10x as many, if not 100x as many people at this local gun show than were at the “MOMentum 2014” shindig the “Moms Demand Gun Control, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Bloomberg” held in Denver this weekend, which was apparently a nation-wide gathering of their “leadership”, or somesuch nonsense. Hell, I would go so far as to say there were more women actively shopping and buying firearms at the gun show than there were at the anti-rights cultist box wine party; I personally witnessed a handful of women filling out 4473 for carry guns, and even more shopping for one. I even heard a dealer disrecommend a snubby revolver as the a first carry gun, which indeed warmed the cockles of my little heart.
Anywise, I saw KSGs ($1000), UTSes ($1400 – hah), a fairly standard Saiga-12 with the trigger group moved forward for $1700 (thank you Obama), Tavors ($1400), an actual PMR in the wild ($600 – I really wanted it, but survived the temptation), plenty of AR lowers in the $50-$75 range, and all kinds of magazines back around $10-15… and I very nearly bought one of these, just for the giggles of it.
I did bring back a few more .50 caliber cans (because you can never have too many), some .32 ACP for that 1903 I procured but still have not actually shot, a no-name AR15 armorer’s wrench which will hopefully hold up well enough… and this little guy:
Yes, that is the first Kel-Tec I have ever bought – a PF-9, to be specific – and while I would never go so far as to say it is a “good” gun, it is a good value, especially for what I have planned for it… but more on that in a later post.
It did not, however, come with rust on its slide face, so it already has that going for it.
Easily the highlight of the show, however, was a gentleman from Ed’s Gun Shop asking me if I was Linoge while I was browsing their wares. Apparently he has been a long-time reader of the site, and one of Oleg’s pictures gave me away… plus I was wearing a hat with a “walls of the city” patch on it, as well as my “I R SRS GNBLGGR” t-shirt*, so that probably helped too.
I guess I am officially Famous on the Internets.
(* – One dealer asked about the shirt, on account of his not getting on the first reading. He did not really get it when I explained it to him either, but that is ok; inside jokes are like that.)
So y’all saw the letter I sent to the Director of Sales at Remington Arms; his response was added to the post, if you missed that.
Four days later, a ticket was created in Remington’s customer service system and I got an email about it.
Three days after that, a hardcopy set of a Service Request, a mailing label, and instructions on how to send the firearm back to Remington were snail-mailed to me, and I received them a few days ago.
This time around, the “reason for return” section of the Service Request has both “D_V010 – Barrel – Rusty” and “B_V032 – Bolt – Poor Finish” filled in already. At this point, given the service department completely ignored the paragraph explanation I provided on the last one, I am not going to bother trying to provide an explanation; if I had to make a wild-assed assumption, I would guess the service department does not even look at the hardcopies, but instead only listens to whatever their computers tell them.
So, back in the mail it goes.
At this point, though, I would not count on a lot. Between repeated cleanings and putting somewhere around 500-750 rounds through it, there is not a lot of the “original” rust left on the bolt, except tucked in the corners between the face and the rim, and beneath the extractor. Will the service department notice this? Dunno. Will they write it off as me not cleaning the gun, or something like that? Would not surprise me.
But, hey, they are footing the bill for the shipping, so I might as well give it a shot. At this point, a Remington 700 is going to rack up more frequent-flyer miles than an average Taurus, though…
(For those not familiar with the whole story, see here.)
By now, you have probably heard the outstanding news that the District of Columbia’s outright ban on carrying a firearm outside of your home has been struck down as unconstitutional, but the absolutely awesome part of the ruling, in my opinion, is this section:
Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
I am not a lawyer, of course, but those people who are lawyers have indicated that this sentence means that DC now has permitless, Constitutional Carry, and will until such time as the DC city council enacts some sort of Constitutional carry permitting process.
It is almost worth it to make the drive up to the Mall and quietly do a loop around the reflecting pool while carrying, but, personally, I do not want to be the test case.
Since my last “SWO Life” post was such an educational hit, I thought I might expound upon a somewhat related point that, even to this day, throws Better Half for loops.
Hopefully all of my readers are aware of this, but sleep is hard to come by in the military, and the Navy is certainly no different.
When ships are in port, life is fairly easy; Officers’ Call is at 0700 or 0730 every morning, depending on the ship’s Executive Officer, and work proceeds from there until… well, until the day’s work was done or your Department Head says you can go home, which, for me, ranged from noon to 2300, depending on what was going on and who my Department Head was.
Underway… well, life gets a little more complicated. As you can probably imagine, certain tasks on the ship have to be done on pretty much a 24/7 schedule – navigating the ship, keeping an eye on the tactical situation, and running the ship’s propulsion and power plants, to boil it down to the three biggies. To keep the first two areas manned*, ship’s watch rotations generally look something like this (though there are always deviations for a number of reasons):
Watch 1: 0700-1200
Watch 2: 1200-1800
Watch 3: 1800-2200
Watch 4: 2200-0200 (Generally called the Mid Watch)
Watch 5: 0200-0700 (Generally called the Rev Watch)
In all cases, you were generally expected to arrive on watch 15-30 minutes ahead of time to get a grasp of the situation before taking over your post yourself, and you were definitely supposed to arrive shaved, showered, and otherwise presentable, which could require 5-50 minutes preparation, depending on the person.
On larger ships, or if you were lucky, you were part of a four-watch rotation, meaning three other people did your job on a rotating schedule with you. On smaller ships, there were three watches.
So, best case scenario, starting from the top, you would stand the following watches: 1, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 again.
What does that actually mean? Well, let me lay some ground rules first. In addition to whatever watch you stood, you were still expected to accomplish whatever “work” you did on the ship, whether that was turning a wrench or pushing papers. Work days on the ship ran from around 0730 or 0800 to 1700ish, but if it was a particularly busy day, or if you stood watch in that window, you were expected to finish whatever you needed to in whatever time it took. While it did depend on my CO, both ships I served on frowned on sleeping during the day, regardless of what watch you stood and regardless of whether your work was done, and two COs outright forbade it. Also, of interesting note, bridge watches consist of standing the entire time, while CIC watches are almost entirely sitting, and Engineering watches depended on whether you were in the engineering spaces or in the Central Control Station, as well as depending on what went wrong that day.
(Yes, that middle rack was my bed, once upon a time. Imagine a 6’2” person trying to get into that thing, much less get a good night’s sleep once he was in it. If I was on my side, my shoulders just about maxed out the vertical clearance. )
So, starting from the top… get up at about 0530 to get yourself presentable and feed yourself, stand Watch 1, go to bed at maybe 2000 (Taps is technically at 2200, but we will fudge a little here… as long as you can sleep through the 1MC announcement that is.), get up at 0100, stand Watch 5, stay up through the whole day, maybe catch a catnap at 2000 again, stand Watch 4 until 0200, then go to bed until Reveille at 0600 to work, stand Watch 3, get a decent night’s sleep (assuming nothing goes wrong), stand Watch 2, catch up on the work you missed during the day so get a touch less sleep, and start all over again.
For two nights, you scored a grand total of 10 hours of sleep… total. Awesome. Then for two nights, you might have gotten 8 each… if the XO did not need a report, or if the oil-water separator didn’t throw a bearing, or if you did not need to work on your Surface Warfare Qualification… or… or… or… Rinse, lather, repeat.
What about the worst case? 1, 4, 2, 5, 3, 1.
Get up at 0530 again, stand Watch 1, maybe catch a catnap, stand Watch 4, go to sleep until Reveille, stand Watch 2, hit the rack at 2000, stand Watch 5, stay up through the day doing your work, stand watch 3 until 2200, get up again at 0530 for Watch 1.
~5 hours of sleep, ~5 hours of sleep, and then ~7 hours of sleep. Again, assuming all is well in the world.
And Navy crews do one of those two scenarios 7 days a week that the ship is underway, no days off, all while still somehow managing to do their “normal” jobs on the ship as well.
Is the need to have positions on the ships manned 24 hours a day completely understandable and reasonable? Of course. Is it also reasonable to conclude that this sleep cycle tends to wear on a person over time, and may contribute to situations where US Navy warships get t-boned by tankers weighing orders of magnitude more?
I am certainly not trying to excuse what transpired on the Porter, but I am trying to explain an aspect of the situation a lot of people might not be aware of. Sleep deprivation behaves much like intoxication, and we do not allow intoxicated people to operate heavy machinery, though we seem to have no problems putting people with limited amounts of sleep in charge of multi-thousand-ton warships. Again, the 24/7 watch requirements of warships is completely reasonable, but allowing people to get the sleep they need to maintain that over time is also completely reasonable.
(* – Engineering spaces often have their own watch rotations on their own schedules, often due to requirements about how long you can stay in a given space at X temperature.)
So over the weekend I happened to learn that the individual who thoroughly shafted me on my Land Rover D90 purchase has fallen on some hard financial times. I will not say this news makes me particularly happy, per se, especially since he has a family and a couple of small kids, but I will say that it could not have happened to a nicer person.
On a somewhat related note, if you are in the market for a Rest-Of-the-World Land Rover 90/110/Defender (not to be confused with the North American Spec versions), please be very careful who you purchase one from and please do all of your due diligence about the VIN and its authenticity. Jalopnik has a brief summation if you do not feel like crawling through that thread, but the even briefer story is that a jackass was importing less-than-25-year-old-Defenders with older-than-25-years VINs from a variety of vehicles, and the Feds finally noticed. The jackass in question is facing charges, but the real bummer is that the people currently in possession of the illegal vehicles are going to lose those vehicles, permanently, and then get to sort out reparations from the jackass.
Vehicle laws in the US are damned near as stupid as firearm laws.
These three VIN checkers all agree on what my Defender is, and match up to the documentation I have from Land Rover themselves, so I tentatively recommend them for idiot-checking purposes.
Remember, vehicles – meaning the actual frame, body, engine, etc. – that do not meet NHTSA/EPA standards can only be imported if they are 25 years or older, and they must be imported in their original configuration. Now, once the vehicle is here in the States, you can do as you please with it, but you had better have the documentation to support that the changes transpired after it crossed our borders. And, regardless, slapping a new/different VIN on the vehicle will not change that, and will only lead to a world of hurt.
And all that said, if there is one post in the Defender Source thread I would recommend reading, it is this one from someone whose Rover was confiscated, partially quoted below:
Doug and I met yesterday, and as he stated above and numerous times previously, the DHS does follow this forum. The same agent also remarked to me about how they were watching this thread the day these vehicles were seized. Though this is only my opinion, he actually seemed quite pleased with response this event had caused.
If I were to ask anything of the members of this forum, it would be to be mindful of the fact that the Department of Homeland Security is reading your posts. Also bear in mind that DHS conducted surveillance on the vehicle owners in the weeks and months prior to their seizures. I would ask how you would feel if you found out the government had been watching you at home while playing in the front yard with your kids, or watching you at work, or even watching your parents house?
Yes, DHS agents did, in fact, go to the parents’ house of a Defender owner – an address where the vehicle was not registered, mind you – in order to confiscate the vehicle, when they could not find it at the owners’ residence. The surveillance only makes sense, given that. However, “makes sense” is uttered with the sarcasm and disdain appropriate for the very notion of surveilling law-abiding American citizens who have not committed a single crime and are, in fact, the victims in this sad turn of events. Welcome to the police state.
Sadly, no, I do not have my Rover back yet, and no, I have not decided if I am keeping it long-term after I do receive it, but things like this certainly dampen my enthusiasm.
(For clarification, the title refers to the first paragraph. The rest of this post is just pure suckage for those involved, and I extract nothing positive from it whatsoever.)
If you have a See All Open Sight:
… and attach it to a UTG 5-Slot Universal QD Riser:
… you will have about as good a co-witness situation as you can hope for:
Another happy coincidence is that since you are looking over the See All, rather than through it, an Inforce WML can happily coexist on the same rail plane as the sight, and not block your picture in the slightest, meaning that if all you want is a sight and a light, you only need the one rail segment.
In other news, I love having a DSLR again. That picture, imperfect though it is, took forever to set up, but would have been completely impossible with a normal point-and-shoot.
The riser is a bit of an odd duck – easy to use and install, but once you tighten the adjustment screw far enough to keep the riser from sliding on the rail, it pretty much is no longer “quick-detach”. The detent holding the lever closed is so tight at that point, my pansy little fingers cannot get it loose. Oh well. It puts the sight where I want it, so I am not going to complain too much.
Speaking of the sight, I have no had a chance to shoot it yet, so no significant comments on it. It does seem well-built, but I would note that, like many other light-gathering optics, the brightness of the optic will be based on the light around you, not the light around your target.
Unfortunately, the AR Pistol build is currently on hold on account of technical difficulties with a Troy Alpha Rail. Initially, it refused to slide over a mil-spec barrel nut, so I ground the teeth down a touch to make it work. Now it is refusing to rotate into place (it slides on about 5 degrees off top dead center, and rotates back to lock on), leading me to believe that Troy did not account for the FDE finish on the forearm changing the overall dimensions. I have a phone call scheduled with Troy’s technical support team bright and early on Monday, so we will see how things go.
Oh, and Remington, take note – this phone call with Troy came after I posted a mere two tweets indicating that Troy’s instructions are… shall-we-say lacking and that I was having trouble with the rail. I did not have to file a support ticket, I did not have to out them on the intertubes; they actually listened to their customers, and when their Twitter operator could not handle my questions, he arranged for me to be passed off to someone who could.
That is customer support. Granted, the situation is not resolved, and it can still go sideways, but that is at least one order of magnitude better than y’all achieved.
I just sent this letter to Mr. David Hollinger, Director of Sales at Remington Arms:
We last spoke on 24APR14 regarding a Remington 700 I received, new from your factory by way of Buds’ Guns, that had rust crusted all over the bolt and receiver; specifically, this rifle, serial number RR97####: http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2014/04/dear-remingtonarms-and-budsgunshop.html
I put that rifle in the mail on 21MAY14, it made it to Remington on 27MAY14, and Remington acknowledged receipt on 28MAY14.
Two days ago, I received that rifle back, and was remarkably disappointed by what I found.
As the attached Repair Document indicates, absolutely nothing was done to address, check, or even, so far as I can tell, examine the rusty bolt that my 700 came from the factory with. Part of the problem, I am sure, stems from the Service Request form I received from your Service Department, also attached – as you can see, the form mentions "Barrel – Rusty", but says absolutely nothing about the bolt being rusty.
I noticed this discrepancy before mailing the rifle and took the time to hand-write a comprehensive explanation that it was not, in fact, the barrel that was rusty, but instead the bolt, and that I was concerned over the structural integrity and finish of the bolt. Apparently your repair technicians completely disregarded my annotations, and, unsurprisingly, found absolutely nothing wrong with the barrel – because there was nothing to find.
When last we spoke on the phone, you assured me that the Remington technicians would thoroughly examine the bolt, sign off on whether or not it would be safe to continue using it, and repair or replace it as necessary.
What do I need to do to ensure that actually happens?
This was the second draft of the letter I wrote; Better Half would not let me send the first one.
[Update] Mr. Hollinger responded:
[Linoge] I apologize for the mishandle. I forwarded your message you should be hearing from someone in the near future.
I understand this just went in the mail to wind its way towards me:
Many thanks to Owen at Snake Hound Machine for handling the ordering (from Ares Armor no less… yes, that Ares Armor) and assembly, as well as my incessant and occasionally stupid questions. Once I throw on my hand guard and muzzle device – both to be revealed in good time – I think that will top this off quite nicely, no?
You can thank Fuzzy for this:
For those who do not get the reference (and I did not), I point you to here.
That is how long Remington took to send me this email:
This is to provide notification that your firearm/part has been shipped. We are committed to being the best in our industry at providing fast, personalized customer service — and we hope we have exceeded your expectations.
Of course, it could still be a week or so before it shows up on my doorstep.
Unfortunately, mine is probably not a good baseline to consider for the whole “replacing the trigger” problem, given how many other things were wrong with my rifle, and given how much of a stink I raised. I will be curious to see what, if anything, they did about the rusty bolt…
But, regardless, 43 days to replace a modular trigger assembly and a bolt that literally slides out? That is pretty damned pathetic, Remington.
So now that I have an income once again, it is time to consider replacing my now-six-year-old Dell XPS 630I, especially after the video card scare a few months back. So, I have built this parts list through PC Parts Picker – a far too handy site that not only finds you the best price for parts, but also the best combinations of MIRs, combo sales, and so forth.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core $219.99
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M 86.2 CFM Liquid Combo or $44.99
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 $99.99
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Combo or $88.99
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" SSD $109.99
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280X 3GB Black Edition Double Dissipation $279.99
Case: Corsair Graphite Series 230T Black ATX Mid Tower $49.99
Power Supply: EVGA 650W ATX12V / EPS12V $64.99
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 – 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) $94.98
Total: $1040.90 (This does not match the summation of the prices on account of the CPU Cooler / RAM combo.)
The general idea was to do as good as I could for ~$1000, but there were a few other constraints:
It has to be able to play Star Citizen, when/if it ever comes out. Unfortunately, they still have not pinned down exact hardware requirements yet, so that is still shooting in the dark.
It has to be able to deal with living inside of a cabinet. My computer is up with the cats, and they have a wonderful habit of chewing on things. As such, my box lives in a special-built cabinet to keep its wires and such away from their happy teeth; the cabinet has vents and an exhaust fan, but it is still less ideal than the box just sitting out on its own.
On a similar note, the case has to have filters. I blame cat hair for the death of my master video card, and would rather avoid that in the future.
It has to be somewhat expandable, whether that is more DIMMs, or another video card Crossfire’d to the original, or so forth.
It has to support the inclusion of up to 3 1TB hard drives I have on hand, as well as a DVD-RW drive. I would like for it to support the media card reader I have, but finding 3.5” external slots on cases these days is bloody hard, and replacing it with a 5.25” version will not be expensive.
So, am I overlooking anything? Is my money better-spent in other ways? The Intel chip was chosen because apparently they have better single-core performance than the AMD octocores, and most games these days use, at most, two cores. The 280X was chosen simply because, based on the comparisons I have seen, it seems to spank comparatively-priced NVidia cards. Everything else was more-or-less chosen to fit in the budget (I mean, there are little wins like the power supply being 80+ gold and modular, but nothing as a hard-and-fast constraint).
I came home today to this email from my congresscritter’s office, which was passed on to his district counsel from the State Department:
I have been advised by our Verification Division that [Linoge] received a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) because his passport record reflected “pending” in the Department of State’s system at the time of the verification inquiry. Verification placed his case in “continue to process”, and sent a request to the Department of State to confirm the passport was valid. The Department of State responded today and confirmed the passport is valid, and [Linoge]’s record has been updated to reflect the passport was updated appropriately. [Linoge] was verified as Employment Authorized on 6/26/14 (this morning). In this particular case, he should not have been referred to the Department of State and we regret any confusion.
Do note that I received my passport in 2005, and I have travelled out of the country on three separate occasions since receiving it; why it was still “pending” in some system somewhere I have no idea.
I pinged my employer to see if they had heard anything, but no word yet. I guess the situation is about as fixed as it is going to be.
Remember this fun story? It has gotten better.
Shortly after penning up that post, I faxed the Department of Homeland Security a copy of my still-active US Passport, per their request, and under the impression that doing so would allow the situation to be cleared up in “about 24 hours”, to quote the customer service representative I spoke to.
I called back 24 hours later, and was told that they had received my documents but nothing else had transpired.
I called 48 hours after that, and was told that the package was awaiting supervisor approval, but he was out of the office at the moment.
24 hours after that, I gave up and contacted my congresscritter and spoke to his district counsel. She was tremendously confused why my employer was processing me through E-Verify (I honestly have no idea why they would do so, but I imagine it starts with “C” and ends with “YA”)*, and indicated that they probably could not do much, and certainly nothing on the short term. She still wanted me to email her the appropriate documentation necessary for them to look into the case, along with another copy of my passport (I thought making copies of passports was illegal?), and said that she would do what she could. I expressed that even if they were unable to really help the situation any, I would still like to file a complaint through the Representative’s office regarding the DHS’ handling of the situation and general inability to confirm that I am a US citizen.
The district counsel laughed at me. Literally. And then proceeded to tell me that would go nowhere.
So, in fairness, the counsel emailed me back today, and indicated that their liaison at the DHS was looking into it. Out of curiosity, I called up the DHS’ E-Verify line and inquired as to the status of my “tentative nonconfirmation”.
Apparently my case has been passed off to the Department of State. I asked the customer service representative why, and he literally had no idea. He did give me a phone number to a call for further questions, which turned out to be the National Passport Information Center, who were very confused why I was calling them, and were, through no fault of their own, no help at all.
For those keeping score at home, the Department of Homeland Security just officially gave up in their attempts to confirm that a natural-born United States Citizen who served in the US Navy and maintained secret and top-secret security clearances is, in actuality and fact, a US Citizen, even after the aforementioned citizen forwarded them a copy of his still-valid US Passport.
I would try to say something witty here, but I am officially at a loss for words.
(* – [Update] After doing my homework, it would appear as though a bill was signed into law in NC in 2011 requiring all employers to E-Verify new employees. That answers that. [/Update])
It amuses me that none of the “flat dark earth” parts actually match. The total build is as follows:
Some lessons learned from my second build…
Buying a lower parts kit from the same manufacturer as the lower alleviated the problems I had with things not fitting, and hopefully purchasing from a “name” manufacturer will prevent exciting problems in the future.
I love that Chip McCormick triggers have abandoned spring clips to hold their trigger pins in place, and instead have moved to torx screws on both sides. I have some concerns that the screws might back out, but Loctite will handle that, and I am much less likely to mar my rifle’s finish with these than with fighting with those bloody clips.
On a related note, the CMC Flat Trigger is completely incompatible with the Phase 5 EBRv2 Extended Bolt Release, or vice versa, depending on how you look at it. The bolt release is far enough back in the trigger well, and the flat surface of the trigger is far enough forward, that I can just barely shove my finger between the two, but would end up with beastly blisters on both sides of my finger tip if I actually fired it. I will be making use of Brownells’ Forever Guarantee to send the trigger group back and replace it with an identical one with a curved trigger – removing the trigger group is easier than removing the bolt release, and I am not sure any other extended bolt releases would not have similar problems.
And speaking of, the Phase 5 EBRv2 was a pain in the ass to install. Since that big armature is permanently attached to its right side, you cannot really use pliers to squeeze the roll pin for the bolt catch into place, like you can with “normal” bolt catches. I figured this would be a more solid assembly, and I was probably right on that count, but I think I will be going with one of the add-on type levers in the future, just to make installation simpler.
On the other hand, the Dead On Arms pin-less trigger guard was as stupid-simple to install as they advertise it to be. My only qualifier on heartily recommending their product is that it rattles slightly when installed.
You can never have too much tape on the pair of pliers you are using to squeeze the bolt catch roll pin into place. Good I have a touchup pen for black finish…
Now I just have to decide what upper to drop on it. I am thinking something chambered in 5.56 with a 7.5” barrel and enough of a forearm to cover the entire barrel up to or slightly past the rear end of a muzzle device that does its best to direct what will probably be copious quantities of muzzle blast forward. I like that the industry is trending away from cheesegrater hand guards, but I do want the ability to at least mount rail segments that can support an AFG, light, and possibly a forward sight if I do not end up with some other receiver-mounted optic. Looks like I might have to get someone to build something for me, from the looks of the COTS market.
And then I will have a 100% legal AR-15 pistol… that just happens to have a funky little device hanging off the back end of it which works pretty well when I hold it against my shoulder and do not blade my body…
Especially when they are so vociferous about it.
I could kind of look the other way when James Grant arbitrarily proclaimed, based on his own limited, purely-anecdotal experience, that all “teabaggers” (his words, not mine) are racist, while simultaneously proclaiming that the movement is universally comprised of old white people, because sometimes people cannot help themselves from being jerks. But watching him tell veterans that, unless they are active duty, they should “sit the fuck down, have a coke, and shut the fuck up” if they do not agree with him about not going back into Iraq… well, that sealed the deal for me*.
So Failure to Fire – a webcomic loosely dealing with firearms, for those not in the know – is officially off my reading list. There are plenty of funny webcomics out there that do not see a need to repeatedly club you about the head with their assholery, and I recommend you look into reading them instead.
And, no, I am not going to give links, because I see no need to drive traffic his way; if you are morbidly curious, though, look to the post and comments on 17JUN14 for the most-recent example of the former incident (there are lots of others, but I am not going to waste my time digging for them) and the post and comments on 18JUN14 for the latter.
On a related note, since John Scalzi all-but** called me a misogynist for being a fan of Larry Correia, and said Larry “looks like a rapist excusing asshole” while callling him a misogynist outright, I see no reason to continue buying his books new. John is a decent enough author, but if he honestly believes the headline of “The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not To Rape” is actually “excusing” rape, he is a blithering moron; Michael Williamson goes into a thorough explanation of why, but the simple summation is this: sociopaths exist, and teaching people how to defend themselves is far superior tactic than trying to teach sociopaths to not be sociopaths.
Anywise, John has already made it clear that he does not care if I buy his books, so who am I to argue? Just means I will have the funds free for a signed copy of Nemesis, which is shiny by me.
(* – For the record, I, a veteran who spent time in a war zone, do not believe we should go back into Iraq, but that is entirely secondary to the point.)
(** – John seems to lack the necessary spine to actually say almost anything, instead relying on innuendo and “interpretation”.)
Hopefully everyone else got theirs today too.