Friday, October 31, 2014

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Happy Halloween with the greatest music video ever made.  With Vincent Price FTW!

Ghosts of Jack O'Lanterns past

I'm not in shape to do my usual pumpkin carving, so here's one of my favorites from the past few years.

Hello Kitty with EYES OF FLAME is about as scary as anything I can think of ...

Where's Your Backup?

When it comes to firearms, there's an old saying, "Two is one and one is none."

If you're reading this, you have a computer. If you have a computer, you need to be doing regular backups. Doesn't matter how much of a pain it is, it's part of owning a computer, same as having the oil changed is part of owning a car. Because there two kinds of hard drives, the ones that have failed already and the ones that are going to fail.

My day job is computer and server support. I see it regularly. I preach it. I preach it to my users well enough that the last couple of major failures the users understood that they had failed to be responsible for their data and that it was gone. Let's consider the possibilities.

1. The hard drive just fails.
2. The laptop gets dropped and the hard drive fails.
3. The laptop has a cup of coffee/tea/water/vodka spilled on it and the hard drive fails.
4. The laptop or computer gets stolen.
5. The computer gets a ransomware virus and every data file gets encrypted.

That last one happened to a user this week and she lost everything.

So, here is some advice. Backup. Here's some detailed advice. Buy a external hard drive large enough to hold three times as much information as all your files. Don't worry about Windows or whatever operating system you are using or the programs. That's easily replaced. It's your files, pictures, and documents you want to save.

The drive you buy may come with backup software, if so and you like it, it may be fine. If not, there is a freeware program called Cobian. I use it. You can set it up to do backups on a schedule, pick what folders and files you want to backup, and pick a location to store them, in this case, your new external drive.

If you want the expanded detailed advice, here it is. Backup once a week, at least once a month, and accept that every day that goes by increases the amount of data you will lose.

If you really care about the data (think photos and video) buy two external drives. Rotate the backups to another location so that if the house burns down you aren't thinking about running in to grab the computer. So that if one of the external drives fails, you still have one backup.

If all of this seems like nonsensical gibberish, it's time to learn more about the technology we all use or pay someone to help you set it up. Because all hard drives fail.

There's an existential question I ask people when I am harping on this topic providing training on backups, "Where does data go when the only copy in the universe is destroyed?"

UPDATE [Borepatch] 31 October 2014 14:31: This is a really, really important post by ASM826. Computers are cheap and easily replaced; data is precious and literally irreplaceable.  He and I were talking on the phone when he brought this up, and I asked him to post about it.  If you do not have a backup plan in place (or heck, even if you do*) run, do not walk to get Cobian or something.  I've never met anyone whose data didn't have any value.  ASM826 does this for a living; I trust him on this.

* The comparison to firearms is apt: two is one, and one is none.  If you only have one backup method, you actually don't have any.

Halloween reminder

No child has ever died from poisoned Halloween candy.

Quick update

I can put socks on all my myself now (just like a big boy!), and I've cut way back on the pain meds: none yesterday, and going to shoot for none today.  Maybe this weekend I'll try driving.

Wolfgang hates it that I can't throw a stick or a ball for him, but he keeps me good company anyway.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Hat tip: Counting Cats in Zanzibar.

The lure of "Sudden Jihaddi Syndrome"

Over at Gormogons, Confucius ponders deeply on the basic failures of the current Western Intellectual "Elites" that are feeding the Jihad mill.  Here's a sample:
First, the secular religion which rules the West is great if you’re at the top of the social pyramid. Not having to worry about the morality or purpose of your life is a manageable problem if you’re vacationing in Vail, drinking really good Cabernet (and getting your legislators to legalize weed for you), and using your new tablet to streaming Cosmos and Bill Maher yukking it up over the rubes back in Des Moines (Like you, Dad! See, I’m in New York now! I’m important!). However, for the folks down the pyramid, a world defined by “lifestyle choices” in which they’re condemned to second- and third-class options—and are acutely conscious thereof—is a cruel, embittering joke.
This is very strong stuff, and you should read the whole thing.

My First Press

When I was first learning to reload, I bought an RCBS RockChucker kit. I still use it for all my single stage reloading. I expect that I could pass it on and generations to follow could use it. It's well built, simple, there's nothing in the press to go wrong. I have loaded thousands of rounds on this press. Everything from 9mm to 8mm Mauser. It's not fast, it's reliable, easy to adjust, and once set up, every case comes out the same.

NotClauswitz left a comment on my Lee 1000 post mentioning an add-on for the RockChucker called a Piggyback II conversion kit. I had never heard of this, but it's an assembly that sisters onto a RockChucker to make it a progressive press. 

Here's the set-up instructions in PDF. Here's what it looks like sitting on the press.

I don't know how easy this would be to set up and use. But NotClauswitz is offering to give me the one he has, so that might be a clue. RCBS has stopped making them, that might be another. 

Anyone else using one of these? Is it trouble or a great way to make ammo?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Looking In Every Case

Steven Kupillas left a comment about preferring a single stage press because, among other things, he's loading one at a time and looking in every case.

I agree with the looking in every case part. You can never just believe powder came out of the hopper. Never. Not with any powder delivery system.

If there were 4 Rules for Reloading,  one of them would be said, "Every case is always empty."

If Moses had gotten the 10 Commandments of Reloading on the mountain, it would be enshrined, "Thou shall look at the powder in every case, least thou have a squib."

I have a small LED lamp with a flexible gooseneck. Whatever press I am using, I set that light to shine in the case where I look into it just before setting a bullet on it. I do this on every case.

If I'm using the single stage and throwing powder into rows of cases in a loading block, I pass them all under a light and look in each one before I set the bullets on them.

To do other is to invite Murphy to go to the range.

Lee 1000 Replies

Your replies were just about what I expected. I have a turret press, currently set up for 5.56NATO and on that I do just what Dave H. suggests. Priming is done away from from the press with an RCBS priming tool like this one. I really like this tool, it's reliable and quick.
I do a coffee can's worth of brass at a time, doing all them one step, then all of the next. Throwing powder and seating bullets done together, of course. This works well and I keep that press set up for that caliber.

Decapping and priming could certainly be done separately and primed cases fed into the Lee 1000 to be sized with no decapping pin in the die. It means handling them 2 extra times, so I'm not sure if that would be faster. I may keep on fiddling with the priming system. Maybe I'll be the guy that comes up with a fix.

Europe craters

Remember how people used to say that at least the Germans would make communism work?  Seems they can't make capitalism work, either:
Third, wholly botched energy reforms, wherein Germany abruptly turned away from nuclear power without putting anything economically sustainable in its place (instead touting that some day, somehow wind and solar will make economic sense) has left the country at a permanent, seemingly long-term economic disadvantage that simply cannot be overcome. German energy prices are fully three times as high industrially as those of their American competitors. As I say to my somewhat nervous German colleagues, "You are all talented, but you are not three times more talented than the Americans".
The punch line?  All the other countries in the Eurozone are worse off than Germany.

Via Al Fin, who has some other interesting thoughts.

Link dump

Can you "hunker down" until the police arrive, or outrun an active shooter?  No.

European Union agrees to cut carbon emissions by 40% in 15 years.  Expect more European companies to build factories here in the USA.

UK police overestimate number of firearms lost or stolen:
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register.

The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security.
Security is so bad on "keyless entry" automobiles that they are uninsurable in the UK.  Oops.

Lee 1000

If you reload Because you reload, you know about presses. Whether you have ever used a Lee 1000 or not, you probably know what a Lee 1000 looks like. It's red, lightweight, and generally made up of plastic and aluminum, with a bit of steel to hold it together. It is not a press for someone who wants to just pull the lever and make ammo. It's a cheap press designed for a tinkerer. I am that guy.

I can tolerate it. I keep spares of the plastic gears and cams. I have set one Lee 1000 up to do .45ACP and I don't change it. It stays in .45 with adjustments for different bullets or powder changes being the only planned changes to the configuration. Even so, it is not without it's quirks. It was old when I got it and came to me in pieces in a box.

The biggest issue, the ongoing issue, is feeding primers. If I ever get it where it just feeds primers, doesn't tip them over, tip them sideways, fail to feed them, or jam them up under the shellplate, I will be able to double my production rate. I read the tips in the forums, I watch the videos on YouTube, I keep it clean, I keep it lubed. What I mostly do is load at a slow deliberate pace, and as I see the next case go by the plastic tab that releases the next primer, I pause, seeing the primers move in the feeder before I complete the cycle.

Ideas are welcome. Suggesting that I splash the press off a pier and buy a Dillon is an idea. Paying for a Dillon is another idea. Let's pretend I am keeping the Lee for sentimental reasons and would just like it to feed primers. Any of you have a Lee 1000? That you use regularly? Does it just feed primers and give you no problems?

Here's an interesting video. One of the things I liked was when he turned the camera to show one of the mods and you can see the cases of food he has stored in the background.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oh, crap

Now what do I do?

The thought for today: sunshine and kittens

Because everyone loves sunshine:

And kittens:

UPDATE: more kittens here.

9,650 days

I got married that many days ago.  Today our divorce decree gets finalized.  9,650 becomes the final tally.

This has been quite an odd journey, and looks to continue odd for some time.  But as one door closes another opens.  Possibilities emerge where there were none.  The road whispers*, even if it's just on a Honda ...

* Err, once the bones are done healing ...

Kids these days ...

Abstruse Goose delivers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola Question

I have a question. If ebola doesn't live more than a few days outside the body, why don't they just seal up the houses and apartment and wait a week? Why do they need to rip everything out to the sheetrock and put it in barrels? Hmmmm.

I would be posting a lot more on this topic, but Aesop over at Raconteur Report has been banging on ebola, the response to ebola, and teh stupid being exhibited by all and sundry. He has weeks worth of posts and I don't think he's missed a stroke. One of his latest is worth perusing, he called it "the Daily Beatdown of Reality." Then work your way back and think about it.

Fish for dinner

Seen on vacation.  The heron was like a statue, then lightening fast.

ISIS and the failure of the Western Left

The number of young westerners (especially young western girls) who join ISIS demonstrates the failure of today's left:
I would argue that, even if young people in Europe feel a void, they still wouldn’t run off to join ISIS if leftist rhetoric were different. If our society was still heavily Christian, the predominant view would be that it would be sinful to join such a group. If it were Buddhist, it would be that joining such a group would produce bad karma. Under communism with religion regarded as the opiate of the people, it is hard to imagine anyone joining ISIS. A leftism purged of the nonsense of cultural relativism, multiculturalism, and Islamophilia would also be strongly against a group like ISIS. Moreover, with its general support for underdogs, the left would strongly propel people toward helping the Kurds and not ISIS. It is because the left has the particular character it does these days that young people think that joining ISIS is a reasonable thing to do.
Fortunately this will bite Europe sooner and harder than it will bite us.  Thanks, Euros!

Travel broadens your horizons

Err, or not.

As someone who's relatively very well traveled, all I can say is screw the rest of the world.

Philosopher Kings

House of Lords Drone committee chairwoman is shocked to discover that Google Maps shows a picture of her rose garden.

We can expect the highest quality, well thought out public policy with these fine people in charge ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Picture of the year

White gun nut unrepentant after shooting down minority youth.  #StopTheHate:

Damn Canadian racists ...

Camille Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre

The Dance of Death
Halloween is later this week, which means we need classical music with a spooky edge.  Fortunately, that's not hard to come by - you just have to get a little more adventurous with composer selection.  And quite frankly, it's hard to gt more adventurous than Camille Saint-Saëns, the late romantic French composer.  He was a child prodigy, possessed perfect pitch, and more importantly had the mind of a polymath: in addition to his many musical compositions he published scientific papers on the acoustics of ancient Roman amphitheaters, wrote the first score for a motion picture, and sailed through the newly completed Panama Canal to conduct an orchestra in San Francisco.

This piece is based on a poem by Henri Cazalis, from a very old French superstition.  Each year Death appears at midnight on Halloween and summons the dead to rise and dance while he plays his fiddle.  The piece opens with a harp playing a single note, repeated twelve times: the clock striking midnight.  The E Flat and A violin chords that follow are sometimes called the "Devil's chords".  The piece is spooky and vigorous all the way through until the end, when the music quietens to a pianissimo as the dead return to their tombs as dawn breaks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Allison Kraus and Union Station - Ghost In This House

This is the weekend before Halloween, and so music calls for ghostly and supernatural.  Fortunately this is pretty easy since country music has a ton of great songs on the subject.  This is an old Shenandoah song redone in the usual amazing way by Allison Kraus and Union Station.

Ghost In This House (Songwriter: Hugh Prestwood)
I don't pick up the mail
I don't pick up the phone
I don't answer the door
I'd just as soon be alone
I don't keep this place up
I just keep the lights down
I don't live in these rooms
I just rattle around

I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse, I haunt these halls
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
And took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

I don't mind if it rains
I don't care if it's clear
I don't mind staying in
There's another ghost here
She sits down in your chair
And she shines with your light
And she lays down her head
On your pillow at night

I'm just a ghost in the house
I'm just a shell of the man I was
A living proof of the damage heartbreak does
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
And took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse, I haunt these halls
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
And took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

Friday, October 24, 2014


Vacation was pretty fun, looking at the pictures.

Who'd a thunk it?

Thank you, Grammar Nazi


Sears is Closing Another 100 Stores

This is just the latest in a series of store closings. It looks like inevitability and I feel for anyone losing a position in these closings, but it is going to happen. All they are doing is liquidating and shutting the company down.

Sears was a huge presence in America for many decades. The company was at one time the largest single retail employer in the country. Sears is where we shopped when I was a boy, and when I got married, getting a Sears card seemed like part of growing up. We bought our kids their clothes there, bought appliances, went there for family pictures. I can still remember getting the Christmas wish book every year. But that Sears is already gone and has been for years.

I would still be a customer if they hadn't thrown me away. I'll only tell my final story. I bought a kitchen faucet. It was Sears branded and had a warranty. A few months after getting it the faucet started leaking. Not dripping, but more like a small steady stream. I turned off the water and took it out and went to the store. The same faucets were on the shelf, the warranty plainly printed on the packaging. I was told that, in spite of the words my lying eyes could read, I would have to accept an o-ring kit and rebuild the faucet.

So back to the parts department. Then back to the sales floor to get the SKU off the package since they couldn't be bothered to look it up. Back to the parts department. Oops, that parts kit is out of stock, we'll order you one. This, while my kitchen sink is apart, and since it was an old house without cut-offs, the water is shut off at the meter.

Back to the sales floor to find a manager. We talked of costs, storeroom overhead costs related to the stocking of spare parts, whether or not my expectations were reasonable, store policy, yadda yadda. Eventually I got past him and found myself talking to the store manager, about a fifty dollar faucet, about two hours after I walked into the door. He was resistant, but eventually honored the warranty I showed him on the box, giving me a new faucet, and parting from me with these words, "Here's a new one, don't bring it back."

I agreed to these terms. When the new one started leaking less than a year later, I went to Lowe's.            

The Sopwith Camel, the Hawker Hurricane, and the Harrier jump jet

What are airplanes from the company founded by Sir Thomas Sopwith.  If you are a military aviation nerd, you will love this in-depth article at The Register.

Adobe ebook reader spies on you

Adobe has tweaked its Digital Editions 4 desktop ebook reader to now encrypt the data it secretly sends back to headquarters detailing a user's reading habits.

Previously, this information was not encrypted, allowing anyone eavesdropping on a network to intercept it.

The software collects detailed records about the books the user has been reading, such as which pages were read and when, and sends this intelligence back to the server. There is no way to opt out of this short of deleting the application.

Now that information is transmitted using HTTPS, apparently.
There's a whole lot of not getting it wrapped up in that last bit.  Those of you who use Adobe's ebook reader might want to choose an alternative.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Years Ago

241 Americans on a U.N. peacekeeping mission, mostly Marines, died on October 23rd, 1983. It was the most Marines killed in one day since Iwo Jima.

Four month later, the U.S. started withdrawing from Lebanon.

It was one of the worst policy decisions in our nation's history. A strong response then would have precluded much of what followed over the ensuing decades. We knew little then and we have learned little since.

Isis is currently calling on all believers to attack with whatever means they have. Here's their action plan:
"Hinder those who want to harm your brothers," the ISIS spokesman said. "The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American or from any of their allies."
Civilians should not be exempt from brutality, he said. "Do not ask for anyone's advice and do not seek anyone's verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war."
"Oh Americans, and oh Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe," the ISIS spokesman added. "It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price.
He gave specifics on how to attack Westerners: "Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads. Do not let them feel secure. Hunt them wherever they may be. Turn their worldly life into fear and fire. Remove their families from their homes and thereafter blow up their homes."
War comes. It is always so. It came to Canada yesterday. And to Queens today. 

Lee-Enfield rifle finally being phased out by Canadian Military?

Maybe, maybe not.
The Canadian Rangers — a component of the armed forces reserves — conduct sovereignty patrols and assist search and rescue missions in the Far North and in remote coastal regions across the country.
And the red-shirted Rangers — made up largely of aboriginal volunteers — have been using Lee-Enfield rifles little changed from the First World War version since the group was first established in 1947.

“The Rangers were not issued this weapon to fight an enemy, they were given the rifle because they are operating in one of the harshest environments in the world,” says Capt. Mark Rittwage, officer commander of the 3rd Canadian Patrol Group, Northern Ontario.

“And . . . the predators that are there, polar bears, wolves, even bull moose during rutting season, can cause a danger to our Rangers,” Rittwage says.
It seems that the Canadian military is putting out a bid for replacement rifles to equip the Rangers, but it also did this in 2011 and withdrew the tender.  Certainly I'd prefer to have my Enfield than many (most?) semi-autos in -20°C weather.  Err, if I were to venture out in -20°C weather ...

It only hurts when I laugh

Shamelessly stolen from Chris Byrne's facebook page ...

Garand Cycle of Operation

Here's the mystery opened up and explained.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Environmental Science: reduced carbon emissions are actually increased carbon emissions

One of the benefits of fracking has been a substantial reduction in the cost of natural gas.  This has caused a lot of coal fired electric generating plants to shift to natural gas which has substantially reduced carbon emissions.  Now I don't much buy into the whole ZOMG Greenhouse Gasses are killing teh childrenz thing, but you'd think that people who do believe this would think that this shift would be A Very Good Thing Indeed.

Alas, no.  Because cheaper energy leads to increased energy use which leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions.  Because Science!
A new study published in Nature has revealed that switching to cheap Natural Gas will not reduce CO2 significantly, because all that cheap energy will stimulate the economy so much that we will all use more energy.

According to the abstract;
If these advanced gas production technologies were to be deployed globally, the energy market could see a large influx of economically competitive unconventional gas resources. The climate implications of such abundant natural gas have been hotly debated. ... Here we show that market-driven increases in global supplies of unconventional natural gas do not discernibly reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions or climate forcing. Our results, based on simulations from five state-of-the-art integrated assessment models of energy–economy–climate systems independently forced by an abundant gas scenario, project large additional natural gas consumption of up to +170 per cent by 2050.
Because computer models say so. 

And so we see that the Environment Science establishment is not interested in reducing impacts, it is interested in ending economic growth.  OK, then. How many children and elderly must freeze in the dark to satisfy the computer models?  The World wonders ...

There's Bubba'd and Then There's This

This is sporterized, not bubba'd. Now maybe you think that he shouldn't have, but he did was done extremely well. From CalGuns, an example of what can be done with a K-31 Swiss if you have about 3 months and some money to spend.

Most of the original stock is under there. In the pictures you can see how they milled parts of it flat and then added what you see here.

 Then here's the write-up and lots of pictures, including several of the finished rifle. And finally a quote explaining why he did it.
"...this was a hell of a fun project and its now a one of a kind K!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oooh, shiny!

Apple to Fanbois: All your data are belong to us

If you use OS X Yosemite, your laptop sends data to Apple even if you disable this in System Preferences:
Having read DuckDuckGo's privacy statements, you might decide to switch Safari's default search to DuckDuckGo. If we enter a new search in Safari, we can then search the logged data to see who the search terms are actually sent to.

The logs show that a copy of your Safari searches are still sent to Apple, even when selecting DuckDuckGo as your search provider, and 'Spotlight Suggestions' are disabled in System Preferences > Spotlight.
It would be interesting to see what breaks if you put network Access Control Lists to block access to *  I'd think that it might effectively brick your laptop.

No mention at the article as to what (if anything) Apple does to fight National Security Letter snooping.  My guess is little or nothing.

Remember, Linux is free.

Buying Used

Buying used guns can be a joy. It can also be a good way to get a winter project box full of parts you will never use because you don't trust them. Tam wrote an article on the topic of buying used for Shooting Illustrated. It got me thinking about the ones I've bought used and what I wished I known before I got my wallet out. After you read what Tam has to say, here's a few more articles that offer good tips.

Here's advice from The Truth About Guns.
Don’t be afraid of used guns, but maintain a clear head while shopping. Depending on where you go, you’ll get to see and experience all sorts of nonsense. I’ve heard blatantly wrong information and occasionally dangerous advice. I’ve seen absolute junk marketed as new-in-the-box. I’ve also bought good pieces at good prices, so can you.

And another from, with advice that goes double for non-LEOs.
Buying a used firearm for duty or off-duty carry can present liability issues. If you have an accidental discharge or shoot someone in the line of duty, you will have to answer some very probing questions about the gun. Was the trigger worked on? Was the safety tinkered with to make it easier to use? You get the drift.
And from, which offers a great piece of modern advice and has some interesting comments below the article.
We live in the age of information. There’s no reason to start shopping for used guns without some idea of what a reasonable price looks like.
I'm also not afraid to get experienced help in assessing a possible purchase. Even someone who doesn't have an armorer's certification can put another set of eyes on a gun and help decide if you really want this particular example or you want to keep looking.

H/T to SayUncle.

Thank you

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.  The discomfort is less than it was, based on how much I've been scaling back on the meds.  I'm back at work which is interesting since it's not easy to type with limited use of my right hand.  I find that I get tired very easily (still) which is very frustrating - this is the first time that I've had to convalesce for more than a day or two, and it's very annoying that I still need help getting dressed.  Bah.

But I'd like to thank all of you who left comments expressing encouragement - that's some powerful medicine right there.  I've been really quite dreadful about replying to emails, and will try to catch up.  Thanks to everyone who sent a note.

And a HUGE thank you to reader Tony, and also to Chris Byrne for offering to come down to Florida and trailer my bike back to the ATL.  I'm speechless at the generosity you showed.

Lastly, it's hard to express just what a relief it's been that this blog has been in the capable hands of ASM826 while the meds have had me orbiting Mars.  His daily dose of bloggy goodness has removed a real source of discomfort from me, letting me put down the keyboard for what's really been two full weeks (!) without letting things go dead here.  Thanks, brother.

And this is really, really funny.  Courtesy of Miguel:

Monday, October 20, 2014

The American War for Southern Independence*

It was not about what you think.

* The "Civil War" for those of you who went to public schools.

Tiffany Guns

Between 1880 and 1905, Tiffany did silver engraving on guns. Mostly for the manufacturers to take to shows, but also for wealthy individuals. Here's one.

Here's the link to the full article and more pictures. Some examples are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and can be viewed in the on-line collection.

Be that guy



Went to the movies and saw Fury on the big screen. A WWII tank movie done over the top, characterization is thin, some of the deaths you can see coming, there's no good guys, just "us and them", etc.

So, um, I liked it. It's well done. It's hard to watch, lacking even the hope that Saving Private Ryan offered. An in-your-face movie that takes place late in the war during the final push into Germany. I don't want to post spoilers, so here's the trailer.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bryco 380

Tony Tsquared inherited them. At least he didn't buy them...

I inherited 2 Bryco model 38 in 380ACP - one is black and the other is chromed. One will shoot it's mag all the way through. The other will FTF/stovepipe on every bullet. Switch magazines and I have the same results. On both guns if the target is more than 15 feet I cant get a bullet on the paper. They both will have a light strike with the firing pin once in a while. These are close up, Saturday night specials that may or may not fire when you squeeze the trigger.

Tony apparently was feeling generous when he wrote this, other things I find are much more cruel.
Here's a review at and a quote that raises the snark level:
 Would I recommend this pistol to you? No. My local gun shop sells the Jimenez .380 for about $145 and though the gun ran fine for me, I would not recommend it unless you had no other options. And I mean, kitchen knives, baseball bats, or an angry housecat should be considered above this in terms of defensive weapons.

Red Flags Ignored

 Raptor ignores the warning signs on a Sig P232. A search for Sig P232 problems was interesting, but when it's your problem, there's nothing fun about it. After you read what he says about it now, I would like to direct you to Raptor's blog and the hopeful words he wrote when the gun first got back from the factory. It's that wanting to like a gun that makes these issues so painful.

SIG P232 that I bought used from my favorite gun shop. Red Flag #1 should have been that it was the only gun in the used case with "AS IS" written on the tag. Red Flag #2 should have been that it didn't want to field strip. But I ignored that uneasy feeling in my gut and bought it anyway.

Turns out that the takedown lever was busted, so the locking block wouldn't rotate down far enough for the slide to retract far enough to clear the guide rails. If I'd done due diligence and actually researched the gun before I bought it, I would have learned that busted takedown levers seem to be very common with modern P232s. Something about SIG switched making their small parts from forged steel to MIM components.

Oh, and the magazine it came with was buggered up too: the feed lips were cracked, so it would only feed FMJs, no HPs of any kind.

Anyways, brought it back to the shop, and they sent it back to SIG, covered all the costs too. Put less than 1000 rounds though it before the lever broke again. So I sent it to SIG myself and got it fixed again, than brought it back to the shop a few weeks ago, where I traded it towards a brand-new Springfield Range Officer Compact. The gave me $100 less than I'd initially paid for the gun.

Between repairs, new grips, three new mags, and a full holster/belt/mag pouch combo, I don't even want to think about how much money I wasted on that POS.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The National Anthem

Somewhere in America...

Jimmy Buffett - Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Be wise, be truthful, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes
to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have already fled:
seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next day. 

- Horace, Odes
Life is not what you plan, it's what you live.  Two weeks ago I rode off on a motorcycle adventure, one where the plans did not include a stay in the Intensive Care Unit.  The ancients knew what a fickle goddess Fortuna was, and how to mentally prepare for a fickle world.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a dream; our world is now. 
Carpe diem, seize the day.  Even now envious time has fled.

As someone who has spent much of my time on this good Earth living in either the past or the future, this has been a subject of much meditation  lately.  I've wondered if I've watched two thirds of my life pass by without actually living it.  Life, and love, and family - all make life worth living.  All can change in the blink of an eye.

Seize the day.  Life is now.

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On (Songwriters: Jimmy Buffett, Matt Betton)
I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says now
Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And If I have trouble the warranty said
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, we've seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain leaking through the door, tides at war

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead
It will make you strong
Don't try to explain it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain buried the 9th Ward to the 2nd floor

According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Don't try to shake it just bow your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Friday, October 17, 2014

Remington 597

ZerCool starts us off hatin' on his:

Remington 597, which was the first gun I bought myself. It had an out-of-battery discharge and left its extractor/plunger combination somewhere in a cornfield and a handful of powder freckles on my hand. I had a 'smith fix it, but it never worked right again.

Failures to feed, failures to fire, on and on. I tried every tweak and tune I could find online (changing tension on guide rods, new magazines, thorough cleanings, etc) and it still refused to work right. I finally put the thing on a classified ad, cheap, with a full disclosure of what had happened and what it was doing, and sold it down the road to be someone else's problem.

This is Remington's alternative to the Ruger. A fairly popular little rifle in .22LR, it was offered in .17HMR but had to be recalled and discontinued. ZerCool doesn't mention the chambering of his gun, but .22 is the the common one. You can get one used for about $125.00.
Here's a video review. (nice range, btw)

Updated because it needed updatin'.

The Carcano

Reading through the comments on the junk gun post, I realize I will not be able to do separate posts for each one. I will be sharing the best of them, with pictures when possible. These stories are really about heartbreak and perseverance and would truly be best told around a campfire. As always, thanks for the comments, comments are The Precious to a blogger. Below the break is my junk gun.


If someone says the word Carcano junk gun, I can only think of this gun. It was given to me by a guy who said it was given to him. A roughly made Italian bolt action carbine with stamps that, when interpreted, told that it had been manufactured in the XVIIth year of Mussolini's reign. It looked like the one in the bottom of this picture, only more abused.

I looked it over. The bore looked okay. The front sight/bayonet lug was loose on the barrel. The trigger was set at about 15 pounds and was as smooth as a New England logging road in early spring. The sights were rudimentary, with the appearance of being an afterthought. Working the bolt took both strength and determination.

As you can see, the rounds had to be loaded in a clip (yes, a clip, I said clip, it is a clip). I had no such clip. Nor did I have any 6.5 Carcano ammo. Or dies and bullet moulds for 6.5 Carcano.

I took it, because free, and took it home. Put it in the safe. Looked at at, researched it, and decided to fill the barrel and hang it on the wall in the shop. I should have done that. It had been given away three times without anyone loading a round. That might have been a clue. Instead, after telling another friend about it, he said he wanted it, wanted to shoot it, because history and WWII. I gave it to him.

He hates me now and thinks me evil.

He bought ammo. Some WWII Italian surplus, some newer commercial. He bought dies and a bullet mould. Started reloading for it. Invited me to the range. At 25 yards, the purchased ammo would mostly stay on a paper plate. The reloaded stuff would tumble and keyhole. The trigger did not help, nor did the sights. Best effort by shooters that have some skill with rifles, bedded into sandbags and working at bringing the trigger back smoothly resulted in targets that made us laugh.

It sucked. As a test, I cut off some of the cast bullets, making them both lighter and shorter. At least they stopped keyholing. So he milled down the mould and reattached the sprue plate, so he could make a shorter bullet. Paper patching was tried. Different powders and recipes. We stopped before we got to moonlight sacrifices and runes.

Time was spent. The Carcano became one of the guns he kept taking to the range, always hoping that this time was the time, the problems would be solved. It wasn't hard to shoot, it was a lot like an M-1 carbine in size and recoil, so "one more try" became the mantra. In time and money, he could have bought a nice used rifle in some common caliber and been happily reloading and shooting. Instead, he was trapped, frustrated, but not quite willing to give up.

Finally he gave up. He still has it. It lurks. I think he thinks about what else he could try. Maybe he thinks about convincing me to take it back.

I had never really questioned the Warren Commission report until I shot this Carcano.

What a piece of junk.

History is destiny

Europeans think that 100 miles is a long way.  Americans think that 100 years is a long time.
- Unknown
This is the smartest thing I've read since, well, this.  Why is it impossible to heal the Red/Blue state divide?
Conflict wasn't baked in to the American experiment because one side wanted slaves and the other didn't. That's naive "I can look back 150 years; I'm a scholar!" thinking. Conflict was baked in to the American experiment because the continent was settled by two peoples who have despised each other for a thousand years and committed the worst atrocities imagineable on each other every time they got the chance.
Go read it all.  It's a millennium of ancestral hatreds pushing the current political landscape.  And since history is destiny, this is obligatory:

UPDATE 17 October 2014 15:43: There's a good discussion of in-group vs. out-group dynamics and 800 year hatreds here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


It's what we call cars that just won't function. Sometimes it's right off the lot, sometimes it's a used car that looks good and seems solid on the test drive. It might be just that one, or there may be design flaws, but whatever the cause, it's a perfect storm of problems. Sometimes you get out early, sometimes you double down. It's when you dig in and think you want it fixed that it really bites you.

American auto manufacturers went through a design flaw phase starting in the mid-seventies. Plastic parts where steel should have been, smog controls that gave you acceleration that could measured with a sundial, and reliability issues that defy belief.

My dad had been a Ford man. Fords as far back as I can remember, and Fords before that in pictures that I have seen. I remember a Galaxy with a 351, a '69 XL fastback with a 390 (0-60 in 9.7 sec), a station wagon that probably got 9 miles to the gallon, a gigantic LTD that must have weighed a couple of tons. Those cars all had something in common. They ran. They were running when he traded them.

I think it was the LTD he traded for the Grenada. Gas prices were up, we were in the first belt tightening as the USA headed into decline. He bought a brand new 1975 Grenada, six cylinder, smog control. It had 75 horsepower. When it ran.

It wouldn't start, I think from the first week we had it. It spent more time behind the tow truck than it did moving on it's own. And it accelerated faster while being towed. My girlfriend at the time had a Chevy Vega, It would do 0-60 in about 15 seconds , the Grenada took 21. (I looked all the numbers up)

I drove this car. It was so slow it was scary.  Highway ramps were a challenge because you needed to be going merge speed at the bottom of the ramp, you were not speeding up later. Pressing the pedal down made things noisier, it did not influence your velocity in real time.

It drove like a pick-up, noisy and mushy, transmitting the road to the steering wheel like a feature.

The front end wouldn't stay true, so it pulled, and wore the tires. 

I was in school so sometimes I would go with the tow truck to the dealer. The dealer would get it started, replace some part, tinker with the carburetor, and give it back. After the first dozen times, no one thought it was fixed, just that it was running. Once while I was sitting around the shop waiting, I went out and looked at used cars. I tried to talk my dad into trading it for a 5 year old Torino. I still believe to this day he'd have been much happier.

In the end, it broke him on Fords. He traded it for a Chevy Monza, which was worse on the front end and tires, but better because it started reliably in the morning and it would do 0-60 in 12 sec (he bought the V-8).

My first car was Japanese.

I thought of this car as I looked at the comments on the previous post, and began to think about what I would say about them. There were things about that Grenada that were design flaws, the lack of power, the front end issues, the way it drove. There was something extra wrong with that particular car, the underlying problem was that kept it from starting, and it ruined the car completely.

The Next Campfire Question

Okay, so we've all shared our stories about the grail guns, Glen Filthie has brought us back to reality with his observations. The fire starting to die down. The bottle gets passed around again. Borepatch shifts his arm in the sling a bit and winces.

Someone pokes the fire with a stick then looks up and offers, "Okay, here's another gun question. What the biggest piece of junk gun you ever owned? Or fired? Or tried to fix? What was it and what did you do with it?"

As before, I'll look them up the best I can and you'll see them featured in the coming days. Just give me your worst one and don't be shy. I have one and I'll share mine as well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No surgery for now

Hurts like crazy but the collar bone looks like it might heal in a sling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Glen Filthie's Observations on the Grail Guns

To close out the Grail Gun series, I want to post Glen Filthie's observations:
"I spent my life as a gun slave in search of the grail. Unlike most I found it. Several, actually.

Springfield M1A match gun
A Uberti 1876 in .45-75
A Uberti 1860 .44 Percussion
His & Hers CZ .22's.
A 20 bore SxS by El Cheapo in Spain

Probably got about 20 others that are all grails too. I ain't buying anymore guns. Except maybe another AR... But that's the last one, I swear!!!!

The best gun, boys, is the one you have. Get out and use it. Take the family. Have fun.

There's a Youtubing Texan out there who shoots up his back yard with new and vintage guns and then proudly proclaims 'Life Is Good!'. The man is a philosopher king. Wish I could recall his name."
"The best gun, boys, is the one you have. Get out and use it." That's my Zen for the day.

The UN Weighs In

From SkyNEWS comes this report from the UN commissioner for ebola. The UN is predicting we have 60 days to get on top of this outbreak or it will cascade beyond any hope of control.

It isn't just the disease. It's the chaos, the disruption of food and fuel delivery, and in the end, the mob. A couple of cases Three cases in Dallas have already cost millions. How many ebola infected patients can the system care for before there aren't enough trained health care workers to care for them? What happens after that? Just tell them to go home and stay there?

As an single example, Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman is an American physician, author, and broadcast journalist. She served as a medical correspondent for ABC News for 15 years, and since 2006 she has been the chief medical editor for NBC News. She accepted a voluntary quarantine after one of the news crew she had been working with in Liberia came down with ebola. A smart, educated physician, capable of understanding the risks and maintaining a high standard of isolation to protect the community? Not so much. Now her quarantine is mandatory because she decided to go get take-out at her favorite restaurant.
But forget about the nominally smart, first-world  U.S. for a moment. What happens if when it reaches Mumbai, Hong Kong, Rio, Manila, Mexico City or any and all the other overcrowded cities in the world?

Here's what Dallas is saying about what they have done so far. Can they keep it up? Can they afford to? Can they afford not to? Meanwhile flights are arriving. Here's what the worldwide flight map looks like every day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

KelTec PMR-30

weaponoffishdestruction wants a pair of PMR-30s with sequential serial numbers. I left this as the last grail gun I would cover because it is in many ways unique in the series. It is new, it is a plastic gun, and it's readily available. Of course, none of that matters when it's your grail gun.

The PMR-30 is a KelTec pistol, steel barrel and rails, aluminum frame, and nylon just about everywhere else. It weighs 20 ounces loaded, shoots .22Magnum, and holds 30 rounds. Here's American Rifleman's review of the gun.

Lightweight, low recoil, it comes across to me as a gun that would be a lot of fun for plinking at the range, training a new shooter, or even, as suggested, carrying on a hike. I don't think of the .22Magnum as a strong candidate as a self-defense round, but it is better than the "no gun at all" you might have if you had to choose whether you were going to carry a 4 pound pistol or leave it in the safe. From the other end of the muzzle I can also see that .22Magnum is right there on the list of rounds I would not want to be shot with (along with all the others).

I did find exactly what weaponoffishdestruction is looking for, a matched pair, sequential serial numbers, at the buy-it-now price of $1,250. That auction ended before this posted and the actual sale price for the pair was $911.00. This one might be attainable without that mythical uncle and his money.

Mindset and Awareness

Brigid has a new post on self defense. Not just with firearms, but empty hand, martial arts as well. It's not about the weapon, it's about mindset and training. You've already read it, of course, because you check her blog every day, amirite?
Your choices for protection are yours. I won't preach to you further on why you should carry... But I will tell you that there is no mind set, no background that will protect you if you do not look, be aware of your surroundings, and practice. --Brigid

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ma Deuce

rinfanti wants a pair of .50 caliber M2 machine guns , and a B-17 to fly them around. Let's talk about the guns first.

Based on the M1919 machine gun, the M2 was the big brother. The cartridge and the gun were designed simultaneously. It's another Browning design, although the finished product required work that was completed after JMB's death. The result was a machine that has been in continuous service since it's inception and is in use by the U.S. military today. My son rode behind one in the turret of an MRAP in Afghanistan. Those young men in the picture above were behind the same gun 70 years ago.

The history, use, and variants can, and have, filled volumes. But the basics look like this.

It weighs about 85 pounds, it's putting out 450-600 rounds per minute, and it's accurate out to about 2,000 yards. They can be had, there are some transferable models around. I didn't find any currently for sale, but $40,000 might get you one. Then you have to feed it. .50 BMG in belts. About $3.50 a round, and did I mention 450+ rounds a minute?

Just to touch on the other part of rinfanti's wish list, there are about 45 flyable B-17s left. The cost of the plane and the guns might be doable with that 50 million dollars, but getting the permission to mount a pair of these guns in firing condition to go flying would be about as likely as finding the Holy Grail.

Borepatch Update

I spoke with Borepatch on the phone this afternoon. He's sore and not able to get around like he'd like to. He wants to post his own update in the next day or so, and I don't want to presume to speak in his place, but for those of you that had expressed your concerns, he is alive and kicking whining.

Life isn't just happening to Borepatch. He and I talked about Keads over at Another Day..Another.... Keads has a battle he can only watch. Someone very dear to him is facing breast cancer and had a double mastectomy last week.  Say a prayer to whatever God you worship and then drop by his blog and offer him what words you have.

Colt 1900

hightecrebel is looking to own a series of guns. The developmental steps, expressed in steel, that John Moses Browning created on his way to the 1911. Even with a lot of money, you wouldn't buy them all at once, so I get to assume he would try to buy them in order.

That makes the Colt 1900 his first grail gun. You can see it as a Browning design.

Chambered in .38 ACP, with a unique safety built in to the rear sight, it can be seen today as a quirky old relic or you can see it as an evolutionary step, worth having for it's place in the history of pistol design.

There were only 4,300 of them made. Here's one of them. It's in good shape, the sight safety is unmodified, and it can be yours for $7,450. Once you have that one, there's the 1902, the 1905 (now in .45 ACP !), the 1907, and ending with the first 1911 model.

I think you could get the set for $20,000 pretty easily as long as some bare steel and pitting didn't worry you, but putting together this set in excellent condition might take some time and nibble up a lot more money.

Consider this 1911, S/N 33. Assembled in December of 1911, during the first week of production, it has that deep blue finish that only Colt could do, and it looks like it was made last week. It sold for $95,000. I guess you could start there and work back to the Colt 1900, at least you'd know you'd established a standard for your grail guns.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Browning SA-22

Weetabix wants a Browning Sa-22. Since we're looking at grail guns, let's look at the SA-22 Grade VI. This one is still available new and in the top grade, it's at the pinnacle of what you can do with a .22 rifle, high gloss wood, beautiful bluing, and gold inlay in the engraving.

It is a rifle with a history, too. It was designed by JMB himself and the current design is based on a patent issued in 1914. It's semi-auto, uses a bottom eject design, so there's no brass or gas in the face of a left handed shooter, and it's a takedown design, coming apart essentially like a shotgun.

Weetabix wanted an old one, though, so here's a work of art, built in 1959 and engraved by Angelo Bee. Absolutely beautiful, from the grain in the wood to the details in the floral filigree work on the receiver.

It's available now for $6100. I 'd never considered a Browning SA-22, but the old ones sing the song that Weetabix is hearing, "You want me, you could do it, it's just another .22, you should buy me."     I must resist the song...

Update: And I definitely need to stop looking at the ones for sale on Angelo Bee's website. Just stop.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Granddad's Gun

Archer, like Sherm, has a grail gun in mind that has no duplicate. It doesn't matter if they made millions of them, the one he wants belongs to his Granddad.

It happens to be a Colt 1911. That's all he told us about it. Here's one of the testing prototypes. All the 1911s and most of the semi-auto pistols that came after this owe something to Browning's design.

But only one of them belongs to Archer's Grandfather.

There's a concept I learned about in Aikido, called Wabi, or more correctly, Wabi-Sabi. It is the idea that a thing can have a rightness to it, in it's place. Like an old barn on a hillside, a small white church with a steeple that you see on a country road, or perhaps an old gun, well used, with a history to it.
Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.
From an engineering or design point of view, wabi may be interpreted as the imperfect quality of any object, due to inevitable limitations in design and construction/manufacture especially with respect to unpredictable or changing usage conditions; then sabi could be interpreted as the aspect of imperfect reliability, or limited mortality of any object, hence the phonological and etymological connection with the Japanese word sabi, to rust. 
(bolded text for emphasis)
I know this term, think I understand it and I would absolutely apply it to the Archer's grail gun.

Because I know what it means to him. I have my Granddad's Browning designed pistol. The one he carried every time he went hunting, worn and well-used. It is not a 1911. It's a Colt Woodsman, one of many thousands made and yet there is only one. He's been gone for a lot of years now, but I remember him every time I take his pistol to the range.

This grail gun is both priceless and attainable. It will not depend on money, it is just time and chance.

Keeping Evil Spirits away

Lord Rutherford discovered the structure of the atom. He was a pillar of the rational Victorian scientific establishment, and so it came as quite a surprise to his fellow scientists when they saw that he had a horse show nailed over the door to his laboratory (pointing up to catch the good luch, 'natch). When asked if he believed in all that rot, he replied, Of course not. But I am assured that it works whether or not I believe it.

Those new to the motorcycle community may find themselves similarly mystified as Rutherford. Many motorcycles have small bells mounted on them, bells that catch the evil spirits and bad luck. As someone trained the same rational scientific world view as His Lordship, I was skeptical.

Well, I'm here to report that it works whether you believe in it or not.

The bell gave its all for rider and bike. Got a new bell now. Don't know if I believe in this sort of superstitious rubbish or not, but it appears to work whether I do or not.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 10, 2014

Browning 1910 FN

Sherm want a true grail gun. One specific gun, the one that was used to assassinate  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, 1914  The pistol in question was a Browning Model 1910 FN. There's a story, maybe several stories, but the one that seems to fit the facts is that the gun was given to the priest that gave the Archduke his last rites. He kept it, planning an unrealized museum, and it was found years after his death in the possession of his Order.

It is currently on display in the Vienna Military Museum, along with the automobile the Archduke was riding in, and the uniform he was wearing. Here's the weapon in it's current display.

There are a lot of these pistols around, here's a fairly nice one with a buy it now price of $675.00.

The one Sherm wants is unique for the role it played in 20th Century history. I'm not sure how much the museum would want to part with it, but there is no way to price it and it's not currently for sale.

Firearms, hospitals, and Dilaudid

Because the hospital wasn't in the People's Republic of Massachussets but rather in the United States of America, they were easily able to handle my concealed carry pistol.  As a matter of fact the ICU nurse cleared the chamber.  He also rides a Fat Boy.  Cool guy.
But handling the pistol was no fuss, no muss.  Security has clearly done this a lot.  They kept it safe and I signed to get it back.
But it's locked in the back of the SUV now.  They have me on some righteous pain meds, the ones that effect your judgement. No doubt Nanny Bloomberg is adding this to the list of things to ban.  To keep teh Childremz safe from injured Borepatches.

The Spencer Rifle

LoFan John opted for a Spencer Rifle. Before we go any further with the rifle, let's mention this story from the inventor.
Although the Spencer rifle had been developed as early as 1859, it was not initially used by the Union. On August 18, 1863, Christopher Spencer walked into the White House carrying one of his rifles and a supply of cartridges. He walked past the sentries, and into Abraham Lincoln's office. After some discussion, he returned the following afternoon, when Spencer and Lincoln were joined by Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War and other officials, and the group then proceeded to walk out on the Mall. Near the site of the Washington Monument, they engaged in target shooting.
 Okay, after I digested that,  here's the history of the Spencer. Tube magazine fed, it was a leap forward in firearms. Capable of sustained firing, the Spencer rifle so far outdid the muzzle loaders it was replacing that the tactics of the day didn't figure it in.

LoFan John also mentions a replica, so he'd have a shooter to go with his grail gun. So here's a video of a replica (in the carbine size) being fired and the parts and functionality explained. The rate of fire is impressive.

 Looks like a nice original can be had for $5000 and a replica for about $1200. A pair of rifles to fulfill both a collector and a shooter.

Borepatch Update

Borepatch called me last night, They kept him another day in the hospital. Not sure if it's because they are concerned about anything or if it was mostly for pain management. He is scheduled to be released today to travel back home. In our conversation he mentioned how surprised and moved he was by the overwhelming response of all of you.

Sometime in the coming days he will have surgery to reduce the collarbone fracture and install a plate. He said he expects recovery to take six weeks. As an old guy myself, I expect it more likely to take months.

The bike is on a trailer, he has a rental car and a driver, and he has promised to keep us updated. He seemed  oriented and coherent more like himself* and asked me to post this update.

** Here's a video. It seems to be slightly different than the story Borepatch has been telling us.

*Updated based on concerns expressed in comments
 **Updated to include Dirk's video of the accident

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ithaca 1911A1

Zercool wants a 1911A1. Not just any old beater, either. His grail gun is an Ithaca 1911, with U.S. markings, all correct and in good shape.

This one came in some variations, here's a link to some of the different models Ithaca made during the war. Zercool wasn't specific, but perhaps this one would fit the bill.

I don't have the impression this would be a shooter, this is one he wants for the wanting of it. He talks of watching the used racks in gun stores and pawn shops, perhaps hoping to find the holy grail unnoticed and forgotten in a dusty cabinet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Detonics Combat Magnum

Raptor wants a Detonics Combat Magnum. In .38 Super. Here's Pat Yates' back story on the development. This gun, in various configurations, is a step forward in the history of 1911s. Several patents were issued, this is not just a cutdown, this is a rethinking of the 1911 to make it in a smaller size. Some of the innovations you see on small 1911s today started with the Detonics.

They were expensive though, sometimes selling for twice what Colts were were selling for at the same time. There aren't many, they are all collectable, and the number that were chambered in .38 Super is very low.

I don't know what the price would be for a 1980s era Detonics 1911 in .38 Super. I couldn't find one for sale. They are discussed in forums. People claim to have seen them. Apparently they are passed between collectors like pieces of the True Cross. Detonics fans have a quest to own them all. Here, in his own words, is what one collector had to say:
The link has more pictures and some discussion of variations, British proof marked Detonics, Detonics with no sights, and more. An interesting grail gun, rare, desired, and unusual.

Quick update

7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung. I was lucky that the lung didn't collapse or get punctured. They had me in the ICU for almost 24 hours. The guy in the next room didn't make it this morning. I guess it could have been worse.

We were riding along route 98 getting ready to turn left to cross the bridge to Navarre beach. Traffic was stopped at the light.

Construction was under way, and the turn lane had had the blacktop ground down, ready to be resurfaced. There was a lip in the road top which I was watching.

What I didn't see were the craters under the old blacktop, and my front tire dropped into a valley that wouldn't let the wheel turn. The bike wrenched down, hard. On me.

It was nice that almost instantly there were a half dozen people around helping. One guy lifted the bike off my leg. A waitress from Waffle House put a towel under my head as a pillow.

I had only been going 10 MPH coming up to the light. I think that going either slower or faster would have let me keep control.

I didn't do an inspection of the bike but it looks like it's OK other than the windscreen which was busted up. Maybe there's more wrong but that will have to wait.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Ebola Vector

From CBSNews in their coverage of the Spanish nurse that contracted ebola while caring for a patient:
 Authorities said in a statement Tuesday that available scientific knowledge indicates there's a risk the dog could transmit the deadly virus to humans.

Makes you wonder how many dogs walked down that sidewalk outside the apartment in Dallas in those days before they finally cleaned it up.

Borepatch Took a Spill

Our host and primary author broke 5 ribs and a collarbone in a motorcycle accident. He is currently hospitalized. He was awake and conscious enough to be able to send me that information. I don't have anything else right now.

I will provide updates and details as soon as they are available.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

African Mauser, .404 Jeffery

Goober wants an African Mauser, in caliber that begins with 4, that was used in Africa during the safari years. They exist and are more accessible than some of the grail guns we've looked at recently.

I went auction hunting, and found one I think fits his wish. Everything but being owned by a famous hunter, I think, and available for about $5000. Made in 1912, it was brought out of Tanzania, and it's chambered in .404 Jeffery.

I understand this one being a grail gun. It's not necessarily a practical hunting rifle in North America, it's pricier than most people want to spend just to have something, and yet it sings of long ago hunts and experiences in the bush that most of us will never have.