Sunday, July 31, 2005

American troops pulling out

Now that the cause is lost, America is pulling troops out of occupation duty. The foreign policy established by a President that many once considered being illegitimate and has inflamed many countries including former allies to break publicly against the nation, is finally at an end.

has the details.

Hat tip to Cowboy Blob for this one.


Bench blogging

I couldn't think of anything witty or profound to post tonight, so I thought I'd do some bench blogging. Not the kind of bench that's being covered in the Dread Justice Roberts debate.....I'm talking reloading benches. C'mon in and take a look around my reloading room.

This is the view from the entrance. Shotgun reloading on the left, rifle and pistol on the right, workbench straight ahead.

The view to the left...

and to the right.

The shotgun bench:

This is where I've spent most of my free time for the last few weeks. Those are MEC Sizemaster reloaders, 20 gauge on the left, 12 gauge on the right. Wads are stored on the shelf below, empty hulls on the left of the shelf and the box to the right. Shot is stored underneath.

Where I'll be for the next few weeks:

I'm dangerously low on .45 and .223 (only a few thousand of each) and I'm out of .308, so I need to spend some serious time at this bench. That's a Lee Pro 1000 on the left and a Lee single stage on the right. Rifle bullets are along the back of the bench, bulk pistol bullets on the shelf to the right. Spare parts and extra bushings for the MECs are on the pegboard along with bullet molds and frequently used tools.

If ya' shoot 'em, you gotta clean 'em.

The cleaning and maintenance bench. Cleaning supplies and assorted stuff are stored on, around, and under this one.

Inside the cabinets:

Powder, primers, dies, and other stuff.

Here's a couple of shotgun shells...

3,000 20 gauge, 7,500 12 gauge. Enough for about 3 months. I'll have to start reloading shotgun shells by Halloween at the latest.

Empty brass:

Clean on the top shelf, dirty on the bottom. The empty bucket is supposed to be full of clean .45 brass.....looks like I have some cleaning to do before I can start loading over here.

A few magazines:

This is one of six drawers full of the various and sundry impedimentia required to keep 3 shooters occupied. Yes, the '39' visible on the 20 round AR-15 magazine means that magazine is number 39. All of the magazines are numbered so that any malfuctions can be traced and repaired quickly.

The 'working storage' shelf:

This is the 'grab it and head for the range' shelf. Bulk storage is behind the shotgun shells. If you want to see it, you have to move the damn shells.

As you might have guessed, I spend quite a bit of time here. How do I get away with it? That's easy: my wife has a scrapbooking area the same size on the other side of the room. She does her thing, I do mine. Even though we have different hobbies, we still get to spend time together while we enjoy them.

Maybe next time I'll open up the gun cabinets...........


Saturday, July 30, 2005

Open Carry

I just ran across a new site: The forums are still a little thin, but it looks promising.


Friday, July 29, 2005


I'm taking care of my son's turtles while the kids are gone for the summer. There are only two and they are quite small....I can hold both in the palm of my hand. Last weekend I needed to clean out their tank, so I called Nathan and asked how he did it. He thought it was really neat the Dad was asking him how to do something (that's why I called) and gave me an exceptionally detailed list of things I had to do. One of his instructions was to put the turtles in the flower bed while I cleaned the tank. Without really thinking about what I was asking, I said "Don't they try to run away when you put them down?"

There was a short moment of silence while both of us considered the awesome intellect behind such a question, then Nathan hit me with this gem:

"Dad....they're turtles. Even you can catch them."


Lawful commerce in arms

Received via email today:

From: Scott
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005
Subject: RE: Frist statement

Nice appeal by Frist, but unfortunately I’m afraid it falls on too many deaf and dumb (i.e.-idiot) ears in the Senate. Most of the other 98 Senators couldn’t care less about 70 workers in TN.

I love the arrogance of the Papantonio statement that the trial lawyers must replace the legislative branch that’s not working. Granted the legislature of the past couple of decades has little to no gonad presence, but we have had previous legislatures that made pretty good law. As Frist points out there are probably too many guns laws already, we don’t need more. We really need the trial lawyers, who are being used willingly by the anti-gunners and the anti-everything else crowd, to stop trying to “break” the legislature and the existing laws down so they are ineffective.

Also like the interesting point that breaking down the gun manufacturing industry also hurts our law enforcement and military community. Of course I’m sure the libs would love to see that “armory” come under the control of the government so that they could decide what type of firearms are made available to law enforcement and the military so they could in effect disarm them also.

The 2nd Amendment lobby, of which the NRA is the lead player, needs to use the liberals own argument that they spew for every issue against them. Libs are always preaching that “education” is the key to long term solution to all our problems. Teach kids how to use condoms and we’ll stop unwanted pregnancy and STD’s. Teach people how bad fast food and tobacco use is and we’ll end the health care crisis. Warning labels everywhere and school programs funded by taxpayers. Well the NRA needs to go back to its roots of education. Teach people what guns are to be used for, how to properly use them and how to keep those that improperly use them and are ignorant about guns away from them. Teach folks that guns are not the problem, ignorance about guns is the real problem. The vast majority of gun “accidents” are caused by people that are ignorant about the firearm that caused the accident or complacent in their handling of firearms. Education will fix that and build support against the ridiculous scare tactics and rhetoric that the emotional libs use against guns and every other product they hate.

Now, as I step down from the soapbox…



July 27, 2005


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) delivered the following floor statement today regarding gun liability reform legislation. The bill, which is currently pending on the floor of the Senate, is designed to stop frivolous lawsuits against gun makers:

“This Congress is taking a stand against frivolous lawsuits, including class-action, bankruptcy, asbestos, medical liability and now gun liability.

“Earlier this year, Senators Max Baucus and Larry Craig teamed up to introduce the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This bill is designed to stop frivolous lawsuits against gun makers and place responsibility for the criminal use of guns where it belongs: on the criminals.

“Many people believe that the gun manufacturing is a large and profitable industry. In fact, the gun industry is relatively modest. In 1999, it made less than $200 million in total profits.

“Added all together, the nation’s gun manufacturers don’t even make the Fortune 500 list.

“More important than size, however, are the hard working people on the factory floor. Gun makers provide valuable jobs in rural communities where jobs are needed most.

“I’ve toured gun manufacturing facilities. I’ve shaken their hands. I’ve looked them in the eye. They’re hard-working, law abiding citizens who deserve our attention.

“In many small communities, they’re the biggest employer in town. That means ruinous lawsuits don’t just threaten gun makers, they threaten whole towns and American families.

“Anti-gun crusaders insist that the firearm business, one of the most regulated industries in America, should be responsible for the criminal acts of others. They believe that it’s okay to use lawsuits to circumvent the democratic process and legislate from the bench.

“How do I know? They say so themselves.

“One trial attorney claims that, “What has happened is that the legislatures have failed. . . Lawyers are taking up the slack.”

“Another anti-gun trial lawyer, Michael Papantonio, says that trial lawyers are “the new arm of government” replacing the legislative branch, “that’s not working anymore.”

“These trial lawyers believe they are above the voters and the legislative process.

“I don’t agree. Most Americans don’t agree. Most Americans think there is too much litigation in this country.

“Legislators in thirty three states have passed laws to preempt frivolous gun lawsuits. They recognize that our Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, 53% of America’s households own a gun.

“Still the anti-gun crusaders, aided and abetted by powerful trial lawyers, charge ahead. They know that all it takes is one successful lawsuit. As one chapter of the United Steelworkers of America points out, ‘we are just one defeat way from bankruptcy.’

“Since 1997, more than 30 cities and counties have sued firearms companies in an attempt to force them to change the way they make and sell guns. Firearm manufacturers have already spent more than $200 million in legal fees to defend themselves.

“Meanwhile, most of these cases have been dismissed.

“As the Supreme Court of New York put it, ‘[The] courts are the least suited, least equipped, and thus the least appropriate branch of government to regulate and micro-manage the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of handguns.’

“The Florida Third District Court of Appeals agrees, adding that, ‘The power to legislate belongs not to the judicial branch of government but to the legislative branch.’

“Some cases, however, are still pending and threaten to go forward. Thus it’s critical that we act now.

“In California, former Governor Gray Davis signed legislation explicitly authorizing lawsuits against gun makers. Because the firearms business is relatively small, one substantial verdict could bankrupt the entire industry. In California, this is a real possibility.

“If the gun industry is forced into bankruptcy, the “right to keep and bear arms,” will be a right in name only.

“Even if some gun makers are able to hold on, the prices for firearms will be so high that owning a gun like a hunting rifle will be a privilege only the wealthy can afford.

“And there’s another important and little recognized aspect to this issue. America relies on private gun manufacturers to equip our soldiers and law enforcement officers with the arms they need.

“The guns our police officers and soldiers carry are made here in the United States by hard working Americans.

“The main manufacturer of guns in my home state, for example, supplies important small arms to the military.

“So far, the mid-Tennessee company has not been sued. Tennessee passed liability protection back in 1999. But if they were sued and put out of business, the military would lose an important supplier – and 70 Tennesseans would lose their jobs.

“We all agree that guns should not be in the hands of criminals. That’s why we have countless laws and regulations to stop illegal gun sales.

“But we also cannot allow frivolous lawsuits to strip our police officers and soldiers of their side arms. We cannot allow unfair litigation to cripple our national security.

“Our sympathies are always first and foremost with crime victims and their families. No one deserves to be harmed by a criminal wielding any kind of weapon be it a gun, or knife, or anything else.

“But we must place the blame where it belongs, at the feet of the violent individuals who commit these crimes and threaten our communities. They are responsible. They should be held accountable.

“Blaming gun manufacturers misses the real problem. It punishes law abiding gun owners and undermines our constitutionally protected rights.

“And even if litigation managed to bankrupt law abiding gun manufacturers, it wouldn’t stop criminals from getting guns elsewhere.

“I urge my colleagues to help stop frivolous gun litigation.

“A vote for reform is a vote for security. A vote for reform is a vote for common sense.”


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nightstand meme

As everyone else seems to be responding to the nightstand meme, I suppose I should show my independence and go along with the crowd. What's in my nightstand?

Nothing! I don't have one!

I do have a double dresser that gets used as a crap catcher and a place to put my alarm clock. There is too much junk on top to list, but that's not what you're here for, is it? You're more interested in the Series 1 Kimber Compact CDP .45 in the top right drawer. Ammo is Winchester 185 gr Silvertips. Magazines are Wilson. Knife is Kershaw. There's a 4 D-cell Maglight on top of the dresser next to the clock, the cellphone, and the collection of stuffed frogs.

A little closer to hand is the backpack next to the head of the bed. It contains a Series 1 Kimber Classic .45, a Bianchi belt, an Alessi holster, 2 extra Chip McCormick mags in Milt Sparks carrier, 2 more McCormick mags in Galco single mag carriers, a Smith and Wesson HRT knife, 2 extra Surefire batteries, and a Surefire G2 flashlight. Ammo is Winchester 185 gr Silvertips here also.

Why two guns, two knives and two flashlights? Am I that paranoid? Nope....It's very simple: my wife sleeps there also. She hates being left out.


The ultimate weapon?

According to this guy, the ultimate personal defense weapon is a Taurus PT22 loaded with his "special" ammunition. I ran into him at the range last Saturday. The special ammunition appears to be some form of Aguila hollowpoint .22 LR.

Here's what I know:

- He arrived at the range carrying his own targets in a manila folder.
- I did not see the targets before he shot them.
- I did not see him actually shoot the targets (I was coaching at the time)
- He only appeared to be carrying the Taurus .22. I did not search him for other firearms.
- There really were .32 to .38 caliber holes in the targets he shot.
- There were marks on the target backing that looked very similar to the spalling seen on a steel target after it has been hit with high velocity rifle bullets.

He claims to be getting 1750 fps out of the .22 LR bullets in the short barreled (2 inches maybe) PT22. He also verbally claimed that these same bullets were able to penetrate a gallon jug of water and 10 inches of wet phone books. His website reads a little differently on the penetration, but the 10 inch figure does pop up there also.

I have some major issues with this guy. First, he doesn't really understand enough about internal and external ballistics to properly explain the affects of excessive heat on ammunition.

At one point in the class we were told to never leave your weapon or ammo in a vehicle in the Phoenix area due to, the gun can be stolen out of the vehicle and the ammo can build up pressure in the casing and push the projectile enough to cause a hang fire. The instructor went on to say that he has seen it happen. The shooter would be firing and instead of a loud bang the firearm made a small “pop”, and the projectile was stuck protruding at the end of the barrel.

What he has just described is not a hang's a shell without any powder in it. After reading the rest of his site, I'm of the opinion that most of his "knowledge" is simply repeating what he has heard from others or read on the internet. I live in Phoenix. I leave ammo in my car all the time. Unlike some, I have actually tested hot and cold ammo over a chronograph to see exactly how much difference it makes. The answer (for my guns with my ammo over my chrono) is 'a little, but not much' difference. Ripping through half a dozen 30 round magazines and then leaving a round in the chamber is going to subject that round to more heat than leaving it in a car.

He's also discovered a way to make hollowpoints expand and then get smaller as they penetrate.
That told me that once hitting the harder surface first it squeezed the projectile as
it penetrated.

Perhaps he learned his terminal ballistic theory from reading about the "magic bullet" that killed Kennedy. I'm not quite ready to call total bullshit on this because I've seen some weird shit happen to bullets as they penetrate different mediums....but it does sound rather odd.

I am very interested in finding out exactly how he managed to create a .38 caliber hole in a paper target with a .22. Some theories that were batted around the range on Saturday and the office today included: expansion in flight, excessive velocity causing the bullet to melt in the bore, an oversize bore and very sharp rifling "peeling" the bullet as it exited the barrel.....and outright fraud.

In the interest of science, one of the other RSO's and I are going to set up a series of experiments to try and find out exactly what causes the oversize holes to appear in the targets with this firearm/ammunition combination. I'll post an update after we have some data to work with. the way......does anyone suppose that the BATFE would be interested in knowing that this guy is advertising his intent to do business as a firearms dealer without an FFL?


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Blogger fatwah

Chris at The AnarchAngel claims to have had a fatwah issued against him for his desecration of the Koran. Having never met Chris I cannot attest to the veracity of his claim, but in true blogger fashion I do have a few comments:

To paraphrase one of my favorite movie lines: I came here to eat bacon and kick ass.....and I'm all out of bacon. Put that on your fatwah.

P.S. I've been told that I'm an insensitive prick for making comments like the ones above. I'm working on that. Hopefully I'll soon be upgraded to an unreasonable asshole instead.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Satire with a message

The good folks over at TAotB posted this gem a while back:

Satire with a message

Henceforth, the First Amendment will be interpreted to apply only to state-owned newspapers. When the First Amendment was written, nobody envisioned computers, high speed presses, and the internet or television and radio news. There is no individual right to become a reporter, especially a freelance journalist. Only reporters employed by state-owned print media outlets have a legitimate reason to own laptops or personal home computers.

Read the rest. It's worth the time.


Used guns

Anytime you buy something used you should ask the seller why it’s for sale. Remember that nobody ever sells something because it works too well. Case in point: One of my students bought his first trap gun at the Prescott shoot I mentioned earlier. (Ok, his parents bought him the gun since he’s only twelve, but close enough). It’s a Remington 1100 classic trap with a Simmons barrel and a no-name adjustable stock. The barrel is a work of art….backbored to .740, ported, lengthened forcing cone, high rib, interchangeable chokes, extra high rib….all the goodies.

But it wouldn’t feed from the magazine. It was a single shot gun.

I recommended that the young man's parents still buy the gun for a number of reasons. 1 - Remington's are easy to work on. 2 - The barrel work was worth the asking price of the gun. 3 - 1100's are easy to work on. Last weekend at the range I did some "tailgate gunsmithing" and got the gun running the way it's supposed to. The culprit was a bent, shortened, weak magazine spring. A $6 part and some diagnosis time is all it took.

Don't be afraid of used guns, but if it doesn't work make sure it's something that you can fix.....or afford to have fixed.


Turning money into noise

I finally went out and did some shooting of my own a few weeks ago, spending the weekend in Prescott and shooting at the Prescott Trap and Skeet Club. Prescott is much nicer then Phoenix this time of year, with the highs only in the high 90’s. I shot 2 singles events on Saturday, scoring back to back 94/100’s. Sunday I shot one doubles event, scoring 93/100, and one handicap event scoring 92/100. I’m not quite back to my old level, but then again that old level was when I was 19 years old and shooting twice a week. Now I’m 35 and shoot once a month if I’m lucky.

The reflexes aren’t quite what they used to be.

Never fear though…..age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill. It’s become apparent that it’s time to step the equipment up a notch and take advantage of the technological advances of the last 20 years instead of relying solely on my personal ability. I’m still shooting the same BT-99 that I was using in the late 80’s – no backboring, standard forcing cone, non-ported, fixed choke, straight comb. Typical 1985 tech. I’m not going to run out and buy a new Kreighoff, but I think it’s about time to send the old Browning off for a little work to help the old man along. I’ll let you know what I decide to do.

I’m also going to start making time for myself to practice after the kids shoot each week. That will probably help more than anything.


Quit moping

A few days ago I received an email from Kirk at Fun turns to tragedy! telling me to get off my dead ass and post something. Kirk…’re right. I’ve been wallowing in self pity all summer and haven’t gotten much done at all.

So, here I sit, "Fade to Black" blasting in the headphones, wondering where to start on catching up.

"Emptiness is filling me, to the point of agony"…… Even my choice of music has gotten maudlin this summer. A quick check of the playlist reveals the following uplifting choices:

.45 by Shinedown – "Swimming through the ashes of another life"
Broken by Seether – "Because I’m broken when I’m lonesome"
When I Call Your Name by Vince Gill – "Nobody answered when I called your name"
In Pictures by Alabama - "It hurts me so, to watch my girl grow up in pictures"
They Rage On by Dan Seals – "She’s lost her youth, and he’s lost his dreams"
The Bluest Eyes in Texas by Restless Heart – "The bluest eyes in Texas are haunting me tonight"
Prayer by Disturbed – "Living just isn’t hard enough, burn me alive inside"
At the Sound of the Tone by John Schneider – "At the sound of the tone you’re on your own, goodbye"
One by Metallica – "Hold my breath as I wish for death, oh please God wake me"
The Road to Nowhere by Ozzy Osbourne – "Could it be a dream, the road to nowhere leads to me"
Close my Eyes Forever by Lita Ford and Ozzy – "If I close my eyes forever, will it all remain the same"
Cemetery Gates by Pantera – "I guess you took my youth and gave it all away"
Hallelujah by Rufus Wainright – "Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah"
Outside by Staind – "Inside you’re ugly, ugly like me"
Angel by Sarah MacLachlan – "Everywhere you turn there’s vultures and thieves at your back"
That’s My Job by Conway Twitty – "Everything I do is because of you, to keep you safe with me"

Jesus…..listening to stuff like that it’s amazing I haven’t thrown myself in front of a bus. Turn that shit off and write something.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Summertime blues

It's summer time, and Daddy is groggy and lethargic again. I've really gotten to where I hate summer. Not because it's 110 degrees outside......mostly it's because my kids aren't here. I have custody of the kids during the school year and my starter wife has custody of them during the summer.

So, here I sit without my usual partners, and there they sit being used as babysitters. Every time I talk to them they tell me how boring it is where they are, and I respond by telling them how boring it is here without them.

It's not just blogging that I can't seem to get my mind around - I haven't even been surfing the net. All I seem to be able to do is reload shotgun shells and watch DVD's. I've got almost 10,000 shells loaded so far and I've damn near worn out my $20 DVD player.

This sucks. I want my partners back.


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