Sunday, December 4, 2016

Musings, 1911

So, there seem to be two schools of thought about the 1911-pattern pistol:
  1. It's an archaic jam-o-matic, or 
  2. It's Certain Death for Evildoers.
The truth, of course, is that it's neither.

Here are some facts*:
The M1911 was designed by John Moses Browning (pbuh) to US Army specs.

The story is well known, the Army went from the Single Action Army revolver in .45 "Long" Colt¹, to a double-action revolver in .38, which proved less than adequate in the Philippines.

At the time, semi-automatic pistols² were just coming into use, and the Army included features that seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • Things like multiple safeties, since it was expected that most of the Army's pistoleros were going to be on horseback.³
  • And lanyard rings, ditto. (Including on magazines!)
  • And sights that are nearly vestigial, since the art of combat marksmanship as envisioned by the military at the time didn't really go in for sighted fire as we know it.
  • Also, of course, it was made of steel because what else was there?
  • Oh, and keep the tolerances somewhat loose to allow for minimal maintenance under field conditions, not to mention so that it will cycle ammunition loaded "kinda sorta" to spec under wartime conditions.
Jump ahead fifty years or so.  A bunch of guys have been exposed to the 1911 and the .45 ACP round but, largely because of Army pistol marksmanship instruction, don't really understand it. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, of officers and technical specialists have been handed a big chunk of metal and told "go qualify", but not really told how to do so. Once again, the #2 pencil is the greatest tool for making sure the unit's numbers come out right... But what the hey, we won, right?⁴

But the war's over, and a bunch of guys are getting together to invent a new sport involving pistol shooting. And it turns out the M1911 is a pretty good tool for that.

Well, this is dumb

It is currently snowing in the 98003, but I can't find anyplace to report it on any of the weather sites, even ones I have a login for.

They all say it's raining....

Monday, November 28, 2016


#trudeaueulogy - Twitter Search

So, Canada had to elect their own SCOAMF, and now he's a world-wide laughing stock because he failed to realize that nil nisi bonum doesn't mean you should praise the evil dead.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Well... darn!

I have mentioned the local beer store, 99 Bottles, a couple of times.
The Clue Meter: Breakfast of Champs
The Clue Meter: Kudos!

Plus, a lot of the beer I've mentioned was purchased there. They introduced me to the concept of buying a growler and taking it home.

I started wondering if they could last when you started being able to buy craft and micro brews at the local Safeway.

Then we voted to get the state out of the booze business (sort of: that thumb is still on the scale, covertly), and booze super store opened on town, and the writing was on the wall.

So the latest "Weekly Brews" email newsletter announced that they are closing the doors forever on  December 10th, and they are selling everything.

Damn it.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Seen at Instapundit:

A Qualified Defense of U.S. Soccer - Washington Free Beacon

I mean, I'm not all that big a fan of US Sportsball -- any of the three versions -- so Eurosportsball  is, well, icky.

But, still...
... imagine living in Ghana. Literally the only thing you have to be proud of in your dreadful, giraffe-free nation is the fact that your ragtag band of brothers has managed to lay low the Great Satan in the World Cup two outings running. You love soccer so much that the government was literally rationing electricity to ensure that you had enough power to watch the game. You’ll have been looking forward to this day for months, if not years.
And America ruined your shit yesterday.
This is what it means to be a global superpower, the hegemon of hegemons, the big bad bully on the block. We don’t even care about soccer and we still manage to field a decent team. We’ve appeared in the World Cup 10 times; only 12 nations have appeared more frequently than us. We haven’t missed a World Cup since 1990; only a handful of squads can say the same.

The hardest part of writing this post was trying to decide if I should start a tag for "sports", or maybe "sportsball." I decided, if I wasn't going to do it for the local American Sportsball team winning the Sportsball World Bowl, or whatever it's called, then Eurosportsball certainly didn't qualify.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Odds & Ends

  • New rule: No gun stores the weekend before a Presidential Election.
    • Addendum to new rule: Especially if a Shooting Legend is going to be there.
    • So I guess I'll pass on meeting Jerry Miculek  for this year.
  •  WA went to 100% mail-in ballots. King County sets up drop-off boxes around the county; I dropped mine off on the way to not meet Jerry Miculek.
    • The only debate, for me, is whether this is more or less subject to fraud than electronic ballots.
    • {Rant about voter fraud/posthumous voting/no ID required deleted}
  • Among items on the ballot is an initiative for "extreme protective orders" which would lead to anonymous callers having one's guns confiscated "temporarily".
    • This thing is written so poorly that the ACLU has taken a stand on a gun control
  • Always fun  to see the political parties claimed by th denizens of Seattle.
    • The "Revolution and Liberation Party" is a new one on me.
    • Sad the see the Karmic Flying party has disappeared.
    • Sort of. 
  • Started a new position in The Salt Mines this week, my first desk job in ages.
    • When they brought me on, passing mention was made to emergency planning, mostly in the context of amateur radio...
    • One week in, and yesterday they dropped all emergency planning in the state in my lap.
    • I have a week to revise everything.
    • I can barely remember how to get to the new office; IT still hasn't granted me access to all the web sites I'm supposed to use.
  • Go home, State of Washington, you're drunk:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ernest Langdon Tactical Pistol Skills AAR, Take 2

The Kent, WA, Police Department hosted Ernest Langdon for his two-day Tactical Pistol Skills course at their indoor range on October 24th and 25th. (And again on the 26th and 27th.) 

Unusually for a class sponsored by a law enforcement agency, it was open enrollment; after securing authorization from the CFO I signed up. (And almost had to cancel, but the Salt Mines decided they didn't need me to help clean up after Hurricane Matthew after all.)   

There were twelve students in the class: 2 Kent PD officers, 3 Federal Way PD officers, and one each from Auburn, Seattle, and the King County Sheriff's department. Most or all of the cops were firearms instructors, SWAT team members, or both.

Besides myself, the "civilians" included a Microsoft engineer, a heavy equipment operator in the logging industry, and a gun 'riter.

10 of the students were shooting Glock 17s or 19s; Rick (logger) was shooting a 1911 in 9mm, which meant That Guy was the only one shooting a full-size 1911 in .45 ACP.

At least 3 of the SWAT officers had RMRs on their Glocks.

The Kent PD's indoor range is located at the Kent Fire and Emergency training complex; I was surprised, because despite the fact that I had done my CERT training up there, had been a member of the Kent Emergency Communications team which meets up there, and Mrs. Drang and I helped the Kent PD's Public Information Officer teach a Refuse To Be A Victim class there, and I no idea there was a range on the premises.

It is a pretty impressive facility, for all that it's unassuming on the outside; the soundproofing is excellent, so that those who usually double-up on ear protection in an indoor range didn't need to. The air system was also over-built ( I believe they told us to three times what is required) and the filters are changed every three months.

The range is set up with six firing position at the"near" end, but they are built to easily open up and provide minimal obstruction, making one large open bay; the target system seems to use the newer digital controls so that you can precisely control the range. The range is a full 25 yards long, allowing meaningful training with rifles and shotguns.

Unfortunately, health and safety rules completely prohibited food and drink inside the building, which made staying hydrated awkward, to say the least.

Course Description from Langdon Tactical's website: