yes, this is a pistol


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… 

i would like to thank the republican party

Regular readers of this weblog are probably wondering if I happened to start partaking of Washington State’s newest commercial enterprise while I am out here visiting my parents, on account of the title slapped on the top of this post, but I promise there is a perfectly reasonable, rational, and sober reason for me to have written it. 

As we all know, Our Glorious President auto-fellated on Tuesday night with an impressive* display of both skill and stamina, and the predicted talking point of, “Screw you guys and screw the Constitution, I’m going to do what I damned well want,” was front-and-center during his performance.  So, that evening and the following day, the Republican Party stood unified in their calls for President Barack Hussein Obama to honor his sworn oath, obey the Constitution, and operate within the express confines of the Executive Branch, right? 

I know this will come as a shock, but not so much:

“We heard the president say this should be a year of action and that is our goal. We join the president in this effort to make this a year of action,” GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers told reporters here.

Crap on a crutch people; Our Glorious President has been promising to close Gitmo since before he was elected, and in almost every State of the Union address he has given – including this one – so you really think this whole “year of action” bullshit is something you should just buck your supposed positions on and jump onboard with?  Yeah.  That will work out well. 

In fairness… 

The letter notes, “Of course, under our Constitution, most action requires the Congress and the President to work together.”

… which is kind of like the high school nerd passively telling the bully that the school rules prohibit the latter from beating up the former and stealing his lunch money… all while the latter is doing exactly that.  Hell, it is even worse than that, considering that the nerd is apparently working with the bully to beat up and rob the other social rejects in the high school. 

So the upshot of the Republican party voluntarily lying back and thinking of England?  My mother has decided to become a libertarian, or at least an independent, and start voting third-party (or, more accurately, second-party**).  I have to admit that is a relatively shiny silver lining. 

Here is to hoping that more people realize the futility of our current not-really-two-party system and find their own way to work around it. 

(* – If you are into that kind of thing, of course.) 

(** – The only difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party is velocity (and, arguably, style); they are both headed to the same destination in the end.) 

what i have learned of news through osmosis

You know, for being a supposed “constitutional scholar / teacher / professor / lawyer / whatever-the-hell-else-he-claimed”, Our Glorious President does not have a damned clue about what his job entails, or what limitations are imposed on it by the Constitution: 

"In this year of action, the President will seek out as many opportunities as possible to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. But when American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer said.


"President Obama has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive action and enlist every American… in the project to restore opportunity for all," Pfeiffer said.

And lest you think this is just the off-the-reservation, exhorting-the-crowd campaign-donation-begging (… oh wait) from one solitary White House paper-pusher, this is becoming a theme:

Obama has pledged to act, saying, “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need.”

"The president sees this as a year of action, to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney told ABC News Sunday.

Allow me to speak plainly, Barry; you have neither the power nor the authority to “bypass Congress”.  Period.  If Congress has to be involved in a process – say passing a piece of legislation – you cannot simply… will… them out of the chain of events.  Unfortunately, the American people chose to elect you President, but note that word: “President”, not “Dictator”.  It would be tremendously helpful if you knew the difference and stuck to the job description of the former, not the latter. 

Here, let me help you out: go here, and scroll down to “Article II”

In similar news, we get this all-too-memorable news report

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole wrote in a memo sent Thursday to federal prosecutors that it will not be a priority to block landmark marijuana-legalization laws in the two states. The federal government also will not make it a priority to close down recreational marijuana stores, so long as the stores abide by state regulations, according to the memo.

In other words, the second-in-command of the federal agency responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States government just arbitrarily and single-handedly stated that it would not enforce the laws of the United States government.  In a just world, the Attorney General would have fired this man about five minutes later, issued a formal retraction, and done his damned job or resigned, but given that Eric Holder is still occupying that particular position, this is obviously not a just world. 

I will, however, disagree with Dr. Milton Wolf

Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny.

Selective enforcement is not the first sign of tyranny; it is just one of many symptoms of creeping tyranny.  I stand by what I said last year; given that Our Glorious President has not been rightly slapped down by Congress for overstepping his powers, given that the deputy Attorney General was not fired, and given that we have a disturbing history of re-electing the same morons in Congress over and over and over again who enable this gos-se, we are getting exactly the government we want. 

And when the President, deputy Attorney General, and, by extension, the Attorney General have all stated that they are going to ignore existing federal laws, how can you be surprised at news articles like this:  Connecticut recently registered 50,000 “assault weapons” and 40,000 “large capacity magazines”.  Ignore, for a second, the complete and utter stupidity of the arbitrarily-defined concept of “assault weapons”, ignore that the magazines being banned are, in fact and truth, normal-capacity magazines in the overwhelming number of cases, and ignore that registration of firearms never ends well for their owners; instead, just pay attention to the numbers.  By all definitions I am aware of (including Connecticut’s), an “assault weapon” involves a removable magazine.  Do the morons in Hartford really believe that 10,000 “assault weapon” owners somehow do not have magazines for their firearms?  And that the remaining 40,000 “assault weapon” owners only have one, single, solitary magazine for them?  And this is all without considering the “large capacity magazines” that are made for handguns… 

Are Connecticut politicians that stupid?  Well, they are politicians, I suppose. 

ThoreauDisobeyApparently the last speculative accounting of “high capacity magazines” and “assault weapons” in the state of Connecticut numbered them in the “tens of millions” and somewhere around 400,000, respectively.  To describe what is going on in the now-atrociously-mis-nicknamed “Constitution State” as “massive” civil disobedience would be something of a massive understatement. 

So what is the politicians’ solution to their employers informing them exactly what those employers think of the politicians’ idiotic laws?  Why, the state is going to offer an “amnesty” period for people to continue registering their firearms.  *headdesk*  While there may be one or two folks who got their paperwork in an hour late at the post office, I can guarantee you that the overwhelming majority of people who did not register then are not going to register now. 

We have a President – a representative sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” – saying, unequivocally, that he will ignore that document whenever he finds its restrictions inconvenient.  We have the deputy Attorney General – a man charged with upholding federal laws – telling his subordinates that they should instead ignore those federal laws.  And those are just the most-recent, big-ticket examples. 

Is it any great wonder that, with examples like those, the American people have decided that now is as good a time as any to start disobeying unjust laws?  Here is to hoping that more people find their own way to freedom

… *sigh*  There is a reason… actually, a lot reasons why I do not read news sites or newspapers or even watch the news on TV.  These three stories are simply things I stumbled across as my parents told me about news they had read recently and while I caught up on my comics reading.  And, no, I will not be watching Our Glorious President pontificate tomorrow on how allowing him to transition his Presidency to a Dictatorship-in-Everything-But-Name is better for everyone and especially him.  While that is in fact one of the very few things a President is supposed to do, quite frankly I have more important things to do… like getting my Torchlight 2 Outlander up to level 50. 

(“Disobey” graphic borrowed from Jack Daws.) 

are you surprised by this?

I will freely – and proudly – admit that I did not watch Obama’s pontificating to the American public this morning.  I may be unemployed, but I definitely have better things to do. 

I will likewise admit that I have not read a great deal of aftermath recapping or reporting… and my blood pressure thanks me for that. 

That said, from my admittedly limited point of view, it would appear to me that Our Glorious President has arbitrarily and whimsically decided when, how, and even if he is going to enforce a law passed by Congress and signed by him, despite there being no Constitutional provisions for such a decision

It is an inconvenient truth that the American society has always had a nagging, lurking, siren-like desire to return to an autocratic form of government – after all, it is easier to let our “betters” tell us what we need to know, and tell us how we should act, and tell us what we should do.  Thinking for yourself is hard. 

I am no political scientist or anything, but I dare say we are dangerously close to getting what none of my readers want, but what America has been driving towards for about… well, somewhere around 237 years. 

joe biden is an imbecile

A lot of people whinge about how useless Twitter is and what a waste of time it is, and, generally, they are probably right; however, personally, I have been using it as an exercise to try and condense my normal, verbose writing style, with occasional success. For example, I never would have written something nearly as concise as this on this weblog:

Apparently Vice President Joe Biden thinks women are too stupid to use a firearm liberals want to ban because it is too easy to use.

(Exact verbiage changed a little to help flow and remove hashtags.)

Sure, it may not be the most graceful of sentences, but I dare say it adequately sums up this bout of verbal diarrhea from Our Glorious Vice President:

If you want to protect yourself get a double barreled shotgun. Have the shells, a 12 gauge shotgun, and I promise you… I told my wife; we live in an area that’s wooded and it’s somewhat secluded. I said Jill, if there’s ever a problem just walk out on the balcony put that double barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever is coming in is not going to… you don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.

Of course, it is also worth noting that break-action 12-gauge shotguns have significantly stronger recoil than .223 rifles, warning shots are, by and large and possibly universally, illegal, discharging a firearm at a target without first identifying your target is inherently unsafe and can also lead to criminal charges, and discharging a firearm into the air is also generally illegal and patently unsafe.

In other words, Vice President Joe Biden is an ignorant, misogynistic imbecile, and in so being, he remains what he always was – assassination insurance for Our Glorious President.

it is just as well i am no longer in the military

… Because I could not and would not bring myself to obey the orders of a Commander-in-Chief who has decided he can arbitrarily murder American citizens without benefit of due process, trial by jury, or any other quaint, Constitutionally-protected rights.

I am quite serious about that. Were I still active duty today, I would be drawing up my resignation paperwork and submitting it for the earliest date my contract would allow.

And lest you think I am overreacting, consider this news report, courtesy of Say Uncle. As you can see from the comments at his post, there is some disagreement as to the meaning of "targeted", and whether or not the drone(s) in question are armed or whether or not those behind the control of those machines have any intention of employing them as weapons platforms against the supposed Los Angeles cop killer, but given the Department of Justice white paper, it obviously is not outside the realm of possibility any more.

I dare say use of armed drones, without benefit of even so much as a kangaroo court trial, against American citizens on American soil – should such a thing come to pass – well and truly takes Obama far beyond the mere title of "tyrant".

Read the white paper for yourself – it is not short, and the author(s) very carefully couch their language in all manner of mealy-mouthed legalese rationalization, but the intent is more than clear. Granted, this is simply one symptom of the overall decline of our American experiment, but it would count as my own personal Rubicon.

Of course, this news report, courtesy of my father, would count as another Rubicon, if it is true:

Even discounting the numerous – and completely intentional – limitations on using United States military forces within the country’s borders, the fact that such a question is (supposedly) being seriously asked anywhere in the military is indicative of a very serious problem within its command structure and our government itself.

For now, all of these various datapoints are hovering at the very border of "believable" and "conspiracy theory", but there is an interesting aspect to the latter phrase that people always forget – just because you have a theory that there is a conspiracy does not automatically mean it is not true. The phrase "conspiracy theory" has developed a lot of negative connotations over the years, but conspiracies do and have happened, and theorizing about them is the first way to discover them. Is there a conspiracy going on right now? Hell if I know. But I do know that a country that has purchased in excess of 1,790,154 firearms in the past month alone is not a country gearing up to turn all of those firearms back in…

…Neither is it a country preparing for a particularly peaceful future, either. 

dear white house: kiss my ass

So apparently the White House has gone and released a photo of Our Glorious President, Barack Hussein Obama, allegedly shooting some skeet; no mention was made of whether or not he actually managed to hit them.  Whatever.  Given Obama’s long and sordid history of being anti-firearms, this is rather like a racist individual claiming to have black friends, and in that vein, I never would have even bothered to comment on this… 

… If it were not for this disclaimer to go along with the picture

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

I would like to take a moment to introduce the White House to 17 United States Code § 107 (a document that residence probably owns countless copies of… all with perfect spines), specifically: 

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

(Emphasis added.) 

And given that this is an “official White House” photograph, I would like to introduce the White House to the copyright terms said photograph is published under

A United States government work is prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person’s official duties.

It is not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work. Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws:

  • reproduce the work in print or digital form;
  • create derivative works;
  • perform the work publicly;
  • display the work;
  • distribute copies or digitally transfer the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.

For clarification, Pete Souza, the man behind the lens for the skeet photograph, is the current “Chief Official White House photographer” and the “Director of the White House Photography Office”, and, as such, an “employee of the United States government” taking pictures of the President “as part of that person’s official duties”.  In other words, this picture was taken by a public servant, of a public servant, using taxpayers’ money.  I dare say we can do with it as we please. 

With all that in mind, I am sure the warped 4chan minds (link defintionally NSFW) behind these derivative works were merely criticizing or commenting on the quality of the photograph or the subject contained therein:


















Like I said, I created none of those, and I lack the imagination or motivation at the moment to try my hand at it myself, but I do believe in preserving them for the time being. 

Given that idiotic disclaimer, though, I would imagine this is only the tip of the iceberg. 

(On a note unrelated to the White House being staffed by imbeciles, however, I have only been shooting clay pigeons once, and my shotgun was never pointed that low… but I do no know if I was shooting skeet, trap, or whatever.  According to what I am reading, though, the target point skeet are launched at is an altitude of about 15 feet about 27 yards 0in front of the shooter.  I think.) 

(And on a second unrelated note, it is worth observing that the firearm Our Glorious President was discharging is significantly more powerful than an AR-15, and will either leave a single massively larger hole in the target, or 8 to ~300 holes of varying size.  This just goes to show how idiotic the notion of “assault weapons” really is.)