Friday, November 21, 2014

They hear me trollin', they applaudin'... -- Guns & Gun Shops

So, this post and this one, and this gun:
Photo from Gun Nuts Media, which you should totally go visit, or I wouldn't have linked the article already. Don't read the comments.
I visited two local gun shops today, one to sign up for an upcoming class and the other to buy some ammo for said class.

At both shops I asked if they had the Taurus Curve in yet.  They could probably tell from the way I said it and the expression on my face that I was needling them, but they didn't know why...

...until they looked it up, and saw the splendiferous derpitude for themselves.

Hooray, me!
Speaking of signing up for a class, they had this flyer up in the range area:
In case you or someone you care about is from around here and wants/needs some training. Highly recommended.
From the "Seriously?" department:
I ordered some spare mags for Mrs. Drang's Elsie Pee early in September.  They just arrived. Annoyed...

How dost thou annoy me? Let me count the ways:
  • The people refuse to get enough training to understand that dropping the mag does NOT mean the gun is unloaded.
  • That the herp-a-derps who need the reminder will try and load the mag with the sticker attached.
  • That the Herp-a-derps who do that will ask for my gun advice and ignore it.
Mind you, I really believe that, before the end of 2015, Ruger will bring out their own version of the Curve, and it will almost certainly be a decent option for self-defense. 
At work the other night one minion overheard a conversation about guns, about the Taurus Curve, in fact. "I need to get a gun."

Asked what she was getting, she said "I really want a snubnose. So-and-so says I should get a .357..."  So-and-so being other minion. She also said she plans on practicing weekly.

The fact that Minion So-and-so is mostly a rifle and shotgun shooter, that he was giving her "Gun Culture Gen 1" advice, and that she normally responds to any advice or feedback at work by saying "I know this job as well as any man!" caused me to react, well, not very respectfully.  (Mostly to her citing a non-pistol guy with whom she does not get along very well1, but that was obvious to no one.)

Guys.  Really, Stop that.

No, really. STOP THAT!!!!

A double action revolver has simple, easy-to-master controls for the non-enthusiast, and a full sized (4+") barrel six+-shooter can make an excellent general purpose sidearm, but a snubnose revolver is a specialists tool; as a concealed carry gun for the neophyte it sucks out loud.
  • The sights are as vestigial as those the Army had John Moses Browning (pbuh) put on the 1911. 
  • Or worse.
  • In those rare cases where the sights are OK, the sight radius is so short as to be laughable.
  • With that short a barrel, you need to select ammo carefully.
  • And the recoil is going to be a beast.  NOT good for newby non-enthusiasts.
  • That's in .38 Special; a snubnosed .357 magnum has reduced grown men to tears. 
A hammerless model can be useful as a pocket gun; as Tamara has related that she sometimes carries one in an outer pocket of her winter coat in addition to her regular defensive piece, as she can get to it faster when dressed for Fimbulwinter. (Fortunately, it rarely gets as cold in Western Washington as it does in Indiana2...)
1. Yes, I wonder if he was trolling her.
2. Because if it did, Mrs. Drang would make me relocate to Arizona or someplace.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I can just imagine the initial briefings...

"We're gonna go do an FTX in an abandoned nuclear reactor..."

JBLM soldiers take over abandoned Satsop nuclear plant — but it’s only make believe | Military News | The News Tribune

"Battlefield Surveillance Brigade".  Because "Military Intelligence Brigade" sounds too geeky.

For those of you "not from around here", this "abandoned" nuke plant is a legacy of the notorious financial failure of the Washington Public Power Supply System, appropriately known as "Whoops". (Apparently, they're still aruond as "Energy Northwest"; who knew?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Down With The Cro-Magnon Collective!

So, Bill linked to this article, in which a boffin is explaining the discovery that genes linked to advanced intelligence, things like advanced mathematics and the like, originated with Neanderthal Man, and "modern humans" didn't pick them up until inter-breeding with their heretofore-assumed-to-be-less developed predecessors.  What Cro-Magnon man brought to the party was social skills.

I will say that the writer, despite working for Nature magazine and presumably having some grasp of science and the scientific principle, is honest and straight-forward about being unable, or unwilling, to face the implications.  "I don't know how you'll survive when our genes are gone."

Maybe now all those people whingeing about being introverts will start bragging instead. 

I'm gonna get me a new t-shirt.  On the front it will say "Neanderthal and proud!"

On the back it'll say "Don't crowd me, Cro-Mag!"

UPDATE:  For those who never read the comments, I should point out that this turns out to have been a piece of fiction. It reads like one, but I ass-you-me'd that Nature magazine wouldn't publish fiction, at least, not on purpose...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Best Veteran's Day Post Ever

Some punk at work was chortling about working today "because Holiday Pay!"

I can pretty much guarantee that the only uniform this kid ever wore involved the equivalent of flippin' burgers and dippin' fries, So the great Mike Royko would have approved of his working on November 11th, although he would probably have been disgusted by the thought of his getting "holiday pay."

So, without further ado, The Greatest Veteran's Day Article Ever:
Mike Royko's Veterans Day Column, 1993

I just phoned six friends and asked them what they will be doing on Monday.

They all said the same thing: working.

Me, too.

There is something else we share. We are all military veterans.

And there is a third thing we have in common. We are not employees of the federal government, state government, county government, municipal government, the Postal Service, the courts, banks, or S & Ls, and we don’t teach school.

If we did, we would be among the many millions of people who will spend Monday goofing off.
{More after the break  --DWD}

Earworm, 11/11 Edition

This popped up on the satellite radio "40's" station on the way home from work:

One thing that impressed me was that it was correctly labeled "The Duckworth Chant."

Here's a period recording of the Duckworth Chant, recorded at the post where Private Duckworth made it up; it included a lengthy intro.

(The Wikipedia article about the Duckworth Chant quotes that page; it has more info on cadences in general, though.)

I am impressed that the brass seem to have been OK to references to Jody from the start...

My favorite renditions:

At one time I had quite the rep for knowing all the good Jodys. 
Here's some more info: Cadences

Monday, November 10, 2014

Earworm 11/10/2014

I've heard some say this is such a lovely song. It is--until you listen to the story, and it makes me sad.
Just me, maybe.

Edit: Stupid mobile app won't let me embed stuff. Will fix tonight after work.Fixed, embedded.

Happy Birthday, Jarheads!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

GOAL Alert 4-2014

(Sorry if the thing showed up in your feed with crap as the title, I forgot and left it blank, that always has a weird effect.)

FROM: GOAL ( {Joe Waldron}
TO: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: GOAL Alert 4-2014

Election update 9 November 2014       

  • I-594: WHAT NEXT?
  • WARNING!!!

Tomorrow, 10 November 2014, is the 239th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.  Happy birthday to all of my Marine brethren and to our "FMF Corpsman," the highest calling in the Navy.  Right after "Semper fidelis" comes "Corpsman up!"    (The devil made me put that in GOAL Post.)

47% of the registered voters in Washington took the trouble to return their mail-in ballots this time around.  Shame on any gun owners who failed to vote.

For gun owners, the passage of I-594 will no doubt dominate the discussion, and I'll get to that next.  But there is a silver lining in the election.  My biggest fear the day before the election was that I-594 supporters would use their $9 MILLION bank account to conduct a massive get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaign.  Without question that would have had a spillover effect on the legislative elections.  But apparently they didn't -- and it didn't.

The overall result of the legislative elections was a net plus for Republicans.  Former Democrat Representative and now Republican Senator-elect Mark Miloscia (R-30-Federal Way) won his bid to replace retiring Democrat Tracy Eide, giving Republicans clear majority control of the state Senate, 25R-24D.  Add to that the fact that nominally-Democrat Senator Tim Sheldon beat off an attempt by Party loyalists to run a Democrat challenger, Irene Bowling, against him.  No doubt with a lot of help from Republican voters in the 35th, Tim won his election, and will no doubt continue to work with Republicans in the Majority Coalition.  (And congratulations to WAC Honorary Life Member Pam Roach (R-31) for her victory over a Republican challenger.)

On the House side, the GOP picked up four seats, and a fifth seat awaits a recount vote.  Welcome Representatives-elect Lynda Wilson (R-17) (also an NRA-certified firearms safety instructor), Melanie Stambaugh (R-25), Michelle Caldier (R-26) and Dan Griffey (R-35).  All four defeated incumbent Democrats.  That gives us a House make-up of 51Ds-47Rs, not a Republican majority, but a lot closer.  All but one of the pro-gun Democrats also won reelection, so from a purely gun rights perspective, we should be in good shape.

Immediately following the election, in press conferences crowing about their initiative victory, I-594 supporters promised an aggressive gun control campaign in the next legislative session, looking at things like "assault weapon" bans, magazine capacity limits, mandatory safe storage, etc.  At least theoretically, a Republican-controlled Senate and a pro-gun majority in the House should bring all such designs to a rapid halt.  But politics doesn't always work that way, especially in the House where control still rests with Democrats, and leadership decides which bills move and which bills die.  There is no doubt gun control advocates believe momentum is on their side, and they'll attempt to exploit it.

As for I-594, at this point there are more questions than answers.  Given the ambiguity of many provisions in the initiative, it's going to boil down to a question of interpretation, followed by a decision of what will be enforced, in which way.  Without doubt you can expect full enforcement of background checks at gun shows and for any other permanent transfer (sale) of a firearm.  While a strict reading of the provisions for loans, etc, would call for background checks here, too, that's going to be difficult to enforce, and it remains to be seen what guidance will be given to police.  This should all be hashed out before the initiative takes effect on 4 December, a day before the WAC gun show in Monroe, coincidentally!
 {More after the break}

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ammo thoughts

OK, so, anent my previous  post, light blogging only...

Tam has range notes up from her current new-pistola evaluation project; go read, and if you are gun shopping, or likely to be asked for input by those who are, remember the lesson.  View From The Porch: Wednesday Range Notes, Part One...

Oddly enough, I had an ammo issue at the range myself yesterday. On my last range trip I had observed some issues shooting the Colt Rail Gun, which I suspected were due to the (apparently) minor differences between it and how the Combat Commander, which I've been shooting for nigh unto 30 years now, are assembled. (Especially, a curved mainspring housing on the Commander versus a flat one on the Rail Gun, resulting in a slightly different positioning of my left thumb, resulting in my intermittently activating the slide stop, preventing the slide from locking back on an empty mag.)

Anyway, I was able to stop that, and also tested some new magazines. (Wilson Combat ETMs, good additions to the Pachmeyrs I have, but which are sadly no longer produced.)  I put a total of 6 magazines of Fiocchi 230 grain hardball through the gun with the new mags, settling on a "12:30" hold at 10 yards, when the Fiocchi ran out.

I pulled a box of Herters 230 grain hardball out of my range bag.

Holy cow.

Now I know why that stuff is so cheap.  I was getting barnside size groups. Maybe if I'd had a Ransom Rest I could have brought that down to minute-of-cow. Plus, there was so much smoke I thought maybe I had the mythical .45 ACP black powder loads.  (The Fiocchi was clean, no visible smoke on the indoor range.)

So, remember, kids, cheap ammo is cheap, and you get what you pay for. And sometimes not-so-cheap ammo is also not a good choice for your gun.

No heavy blogging today.

Not only is this seat taken, but Sparrowbane thinks I should put down the phone and tell him what a wonderful tomcat he is.