how not to design a firearm

22caliberdifferenceTake a look at the image to the left. 

If your semi-automatic, .22LR-caliber handgun can happily feed the cartridge on the right of the image all day long without hardly a hiccup or a concern, but patently refuses to do anything useful whatsoever with the cartridge on the left, you are doing it wrong

No, I have never designed a firearm.  No, I have never really built a firearm; I have, however, assembled a .22LR-caliber rifle, which shot remarkably well, and which required far more fitting and fiddling than I ever would have thought necessary for COTS parts.  But it was about two steps away from being a match rifle, and was intended to be such, and even it has never absolutely refused to use any ammunition I have shoved in it. 

So, yeah, if your pistol – that looks like it was fabricated on the cheapest RepRap 3D printer some elementary school student could afford/build – refuses to fire pretty much any standard round-nose, full-powder, standard-weight .22LR cartridge on the open commercial market these days… you are doing it wrong. 

I will give you one guess as to which company I am referring to, and yes, I borrowed the image from their news release wherein they admit this deficiency in their firearm. 

dreamhost sucks

I think, after the past week, I can say that with some finality. To begin with, their servers were completely unable to handle the load generated by my recent post documenting my experiences with the USFA ZiP. To put that in perspective, on average, this site typically gets about 500 hits a day, give or take a few; on Tuesday, it received somewhere around 4300, and probably would have gotten more if Dreamhost could have been able to keep up. But it could not, and if it cannot even handle that, why am I here again?

To add insult to injury, though, Dreamhost themselves have suffered two system-wide failures over the past week, with a total downtime somewhere between 4 and 14 hours, depending on who you talk to. Even their http presence was offline for those errors.

And then there is the whole problem that I have never been able to get their domain backup system to work… ever… which has been really annoying when I dorked up something on said domain. 

While Dreamhost was a pretty awesome company when I joined up with them sevenish years ago, things seem to have slid steadily downhill, so it is looking like it is time to move on. The sucky thing is that I am paid up through Dreamhost until 13JAN14, and I will lose all of that if I leave them. I know jack-all about doing my own hosting, so I have been looking at iPage, HostGator, BlueHost, and a few other options; anyone else have any favorites I did not list there?

why we win

CSGVBloodDancingIt really boils down to a difference in perceptions.

On the one hand, "gun control" fetishists gleefully dance in the blood of victims and exploit the murder of innocents to further their own, personal, unjust, totalitarian, anti-Constitutional dreams, as documented in the image to the right. (Highlights added to really bring out the crazy in those cultists’ eyes.)

On the other hand, we quite cheerfully and respectfully celebrate the lawful, peaceful defense of civil rights and the restoration of the same to an entire state of people for whom certain aspects of the United States Constitution might as well have never existed.

Now, tell me – to an outside observer, which group of people would appear to be the more rational, reasonable, well-adjusted, and positive? And which would be perceived as being destructive, irresponsible, and negative? Hm.

In other news, I am very thankful I am not the only person who considered the Portland, OR mall shooting yesterday to be remarkably… coincidental… what with it happening on the same day as the decision in Moore v. Madigan being passed down. Obviously I am not hypothesizing that "gun control" extremists keep spree shooters locked in a big pen until they are needed, and then release them into the wild to distract/detract from pro-rights victories; that would require more coordination and intelligence than those organizations are capable of. But I do think the media sees incidents like these transpire on the same day as something major like that court case, and think, "Oh, hey, this would make a great counterpoint; let’s blow this out of proportion!"

After all, more people were murdered in Chicago on the 30th than were murdered in the Clackamas Town Center on the 11th, but the former is the "gun control" capitol of the country, and we would not want to highlight the fact that such policies demonstrably do not work, now, would we?

(And for a dose of humor, that Michael Barkley character at the bottom, whinging about not being supported by his anti-rights cultist ilk? We have discussed him before, and apparently even his fellow fetishists think he is too far out in the weeds to really care about – he admits to coming in "a distant fourth" in his district. Poor baby.)

appleseed hotwash

I promise I will give you all an honest-to-God after-action report, but that will have to come after typing has stopped hurting; until then, you can read the official-ish one here.

Better Half qualified as a Rifleman on Sunday, shooting a 211, 212, and 227, each score with a different rifle due to equipment failures, and hit the Redcoat target shingle every single time; I qualified as a Rifleman on Saturday, shooting a 210, then a 223, 227, and 233 on Sunday, and managed to clear the Redcoat target on Sunday. Evidence will be forthcoming as soon as I take pictures. Commenter Lynn H. also qualified on Sunday, shooting a 222 and 223 as well. Apparently 40% of the shooters qualified, which is either close to or legitimately a record of some type. (Max possible score is 250, qualifying is 210.)

Oh, and this was only the third time Better Half has ever fired a rifle, and the second time she was behind her rifle. No one is "too" inexperienced for Appleseed, though knowing how to run your rifle is kind of a necessary requirement (they just do not have the time to cover it).

Kilts are wholly unacceptable attire for spending eight hours outside in <60 degree weather and >10mph winds. I am very thankful WizardPC brought emergency pants.

I got in WizardPC’s pants.

Testing your rifles beforehand by shooting ~500 rounds of the ammunition you use at Appleseed in no way guarantees that the rifles will actually work on the firing line.

Yes, both our rifles failed. My homebuild consistently refused to strip the second round in the magazine (we would load, make ready, aim, fire, and then I would go click, have to re-cycle the slide, and everything was peachy after that; I am running a Wolff extra-power spring), occasionally had the bolt stick back after shooting, and occasionally nosed a fresh round into the bottom of the chamber, binding things up; while Better Half’s Magnum Research… well, it found pretty much every failure it could. Stovepipe, failure to extract, double-feed, double-feed with stovepipe, bend the bullet 30deg off the casing while trying to load it, bend the bullet 30deg off the casing while in the magazine. I assume replacing the extractor might fix some of that, but it is not like the existing extractor is that old, and I do not believe MR uses stock Ruger extractors. I wonder if this is warranty-claim-able…

These repeated failures were tremendously frustrating, but you cannot let it get to you, otherwise your shooting will go to hell.

Know which target you are shooting at. It does not matter how well you shot your neighbor’s target, and your neighbor might be a bit annoyed.

Get a good sling. This can be hard, and does not include most slings found on Amazon (it did not include mine), so hopefully your shoot boss will bring some to sell like ours did.

Make sure your optic is set up to be usable at both standing and prone positions; hint: your head will be in different positions on the stock.

Keep trying. Better Half shot every single Army Qualification Test and Redshirt target, and progressively improved on every one, despite having rifles drop out.

Take a lot of padding. The shoot took place in a (thankfully) covered firing line with a concrete floor, and not only was said concrete hard, it was quite cold. We took remnants of carpet large enough to stretch from past our elbows in prone to past our knees, and then some cheapie $7 sleeping bag mats from Wal-Mart. It was not enough; thanks to a mild case of pectus excavatum, the bottoms of my left ribs are about ready to kill me, and Better Half’s arm joints are no happier. I cannot imagine how WizardPC (on a comforter) and Oddball (on a fleece blanket) survived.

A huge "Thank you!" to all the orange- and red-hats and the green-hat responsible for this whole shindig.

If you have not been to an Appleseed event yet, you are cheating yourself out of a lot of good instructing and an interesting look at the instigating actions and decisions of the founding of our nation; it may be a bit like trying to drink water out of a firehose, but eventually some of it will sink it, and you will become a better rifleman.

And that is what it is all about.

Wizard has his own write-up up

be smarter than the equipment you use

So far, we, the American people, have spent somewhere in excess of sixty billion (yes, with a "b") dollars on a "security" farce that results in mind-bending idiocy such as this:

The TSA’s bungling reached a new low yesterday when a JFK Airport terminal had to be evacuated and hundreds of passengers marched back through security screening all because one dimwitted agent failed to realize his metal detector had been unplugged, sources told The Post.

The stunning error led to hours of delays, two planes called back from the runway and infinite frustration for furious passengers.

“The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence,” a law-enforcement source said.

Apparently TSA agent Alija Abdul Majed is even stupider than your average employee of that particular disaster of a governmental agency – which is no mean feat, given their long, long list of failures and not a single "success" to their names – and somehow managed to not realize that his metal detector was not plugged in.

Seriously.

confusedmalHow can you be that stupid and remember to breathe? I have seen the backs (and fronts) of metal detectors, and while I cannot say as though I spent a great deal of time examining them in tremendous depth, I can say, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, that all metal detectors not only have lights indicating whether or not someone has metal on their persons, but also lights indicating whether or not the bloody thing is actually on. Simple lights. Lights that would be on if it were plugged in. Lights that would be off if it were not.

This is not rocket science folks. This is something that damned near every electronic or electrical device has and has had for about as long as we have had electronic and electrical devices. And the morons the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters hire are so moronic they could not even figure that out.

In some other situations, this kind of idiocy would be cause for a hearty round of pointing-and-laughing, but given that (a) Alija almost unquestionably will not be fired, (2) arguably millions of dollars was lost in terms of people’s time, aircrafts’ time, fuel expenditures, and the efforts necessary to evacuate an international terminal of one of the busiest airports in America, and (iii) this is not exactly unusual job performance for an "agency" that has become the laughing-stock of the world… Well, it is not so funny any more, is it?

The TSA is a product of the fears and phobias of the American people, and it will remain in place, screwing up everyone’s lives and molesting elderly women, until such time as we, the American people, decide we have had enough and inform our duly-elected representatives that it is time to get rid of this waste of money and space. Unfortunately, even with incidents such as these becoming more common, I do not see that happening any time soon…

microcosmic observations

You have all already heard of the grounding of the Costa Concordia, I am sure, and the positively shameful fashion in which the evacuation of that doomed ship was completely and totally botched up:

She said: ‘I want everyone to know how badly some people [aboard the sinking cruise liner Costa Concordia] behaved. It was a nightmare. I lost my daughter and my grandchildren in the chaos.

I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls. It was awful. There was a total lack of organisation. There was no one telling people where to go.

And when we finally got into a lifeboat, people, grown men, were trying to jump into the boat. I thought, if they land in here we are going to capsize.

[…]

‘We fled with only the clothes we were standing in and my poor wife lost her shoes. We’ve lost our passports, £500 cash and my credit cards, which were all in the ship’s safe.’ Mr Rodford said the officers were no help. ‘The people who served us our dinner were the people who helped us get on the lifeboats and were manning the lifeboats. I didn’t see captains’ jackets and things like that. It was the staff who had served us dinner.

Given my Navy history, I could probably annihilate thousands of innocent bytes explaining just how the spineless scum masquerading as "officers" onboard that particular cruise ship completely and totally failed their crew and passengers (and said failure started long before the puddle of piss sporting captain’s bars pulled the "Screw y’all, I’m outta’ here" maneuver), but to save my keyboard from "death by pounding", I am going to go a different direction today. However, do keep in mind that no one I am quoting is trying to excuse, mitigate, or rationalize that failure of the captain and his crew, and neither am I.

On the one hand, consider this:

This was not so much predictable as predicted. Women have methodically attacked the concept of male duty and honor through every possible means for the past ninety years, and now they are whining that they don’t get special treatment simply because a ship happens to be sinking. Why, exactly, should any man "prioritise women, expectant mothers and children"? On what grounds can they be reasonably expected to do so, those outdated traditional grounds that the schools teach is hateful, sexist, and bigoted?

Those big, burly crewmen shoving aside women as they prioritized their own escape should have been wearing t-shirts that said "this is what a feminist looks like". Enjoy the crash.

"Feminists" have been demanding "equality" for decades now, and imposing it by governmental, bureaucratic, or policy fiat wherever and whenever they can. In a world where "equality" reigns supreme, "women and children first" is a completely meaningless, semantically null concept, at least when it comes to the women. Whoops. (I, personally, make something of an exception for children, given their marked inequality with adults, but, then, I would be pushing women into a lifeboat before me anywise.)

And just to tie this back to being a gunblog, this is the world the "gun control" extremists would force upon us – one where the larger and stronger gets what the larger and stronger wants because they are larger and stronger, while the smaller and weaker are lucky to survive… if they survive at all. On the other hand, by allowing a 120-pound-soaking-wet woman to authoritatively and finally decline the undesired proposal of sexual activities offered by a 300-pound ex-convict, a firearm ensures the thin veneer of ‘civilization’ remains intact and prevents the creation of another victim.

On the other hand, consider this:

And I mean that. For two generations, Europeans have been coddled by their governments – asked to do ever less (other than support their Ruling Elite) while the Governments do ever more. We saw the result of that, in the icy waters of the Mediterranean, as society went feral and it was sauve qui peut.

Again, from my Naval background, and my generally inquisitive nature, I know how to deploy most forms of lifeboats – do you? Would you learn how to before/after boarding a vessel? Would you even know where the boats/rafts were located? Think more generally… do you know how to handle alfa, bravo, or charlie fires? What about deltas? Do you know what those are? Think even more broadly… how long could you and your family deal with a loss of power in your house without outside assistance? Water? Internet?

Odds are, most of my readers are probably capable of handling those kinds of scenarios… but what about your neighbors? What about the "average" American, much less the average human?

We have successfully created an entire population of people who are entirely dependent upon other people for pretty much everything, up to and including direction in their lives. When faced with an emergency situation, do you think they will immediately spring into action with a well-formulated plan in hand, or do you think they will stand around, waiting for directions, and blaming someone else for not "saving them"? Yeah. Me too.

And on the gripping hand, I will leave you with this: your life is your responsibility, and your responsibility alone, unless another of-age adult voluntarily accepts responsibility for it. The captain of a ship does exactly that – accepts responsibility for his crew and any passengers onboard – every time he orders his sailors to cast off, and the captain and officers of this cruise liner disastrously failed in their responsibilities, orders, and obligations. However, that failure does not absolve you of your eternal responsibility for your own life, and the cold reality that when the chips are down, the odds are very good that no one is going to save you but you.

Me, I am going to take the steps I see as necessary to improve my chances at success. How about you?