Wednesday, November 16, 2011
- Lord Acton, from letter to Bishop Creighton
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
That all has the potential to be true, as long as I know the definition of politics. Well, at least this disclaimer is halfassed.
I'm concerned that the leading defenders of our Second Amendment rights are painting us into a corner. Our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms are actually our natural rights. And that appears to have been the view of the original representatives that debated the inclusion of Bill of Rights in the Constitution to be ratified by the states. Many of the representatives felt the Bill of Rights were not needed, because the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were self-evident natural rights that every person was not "entitled to," but owned outright. The Bill of Rights was included to limit the power of government, not to entitle citizens privileges.
By treating our rights to keep and bear arms as a legislated right and therefore a privilege, we lower our moral platform to the level of the misguided statist socialists who are attacking our natural rights.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
One fun area is ballistics. There are endless arguments and comparisons about downrange effectiveness. But how many people are going to actually shoot someone - or get shot. What percentage of the population has dropped something on their feet? 100%? I dare say.
A few weeks ago I reached into the fridge and a dinky little can of baking powder fell out and landed on my bare foot. It hurt a lot - figured I might have bruised a bone - and, not to be dramatic, but in the interest of full disclosure, I had trouble walking for a week. I didn't break out a pair of crutches and start calling for my wife to get my beer, but I noticed it every time I took a step.
I couldn't curl my toes all the way for a couple weeks, and the bones in my foot still hurt. I was amazed at how such a little thing falling such a short distance could cause so much distraction over a protracted period of time. So I did some calculations on line (Force, gravitational acceleration, etc.), and then I quadruple checked the calculations.
The can fell more than 5 feet (I used 5 feet to calculate), and I entered a generous half inch deceleration distance. When the can hit my foot it generated 239 ft-lbs of force. That bests most .380 ACP rounds!
Of course the force was spread out over a larger area compared to the maximum frontal area of an .380 ACP bullet, but maybe not a fully expanded hollowpoint!
Did I apply the fun I've had with ballistics? Yeah. Will I apply the fun I had dropping a baking powder can on my foot? Well, a .380 ACP doesn't fully expand until it has penetrated something, usually. So I won't be traded in my 9 mm ammo for a case of baking powder.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I owned a 2" SP101 .357. Great gun. Well balanced, loud, fun. I owned a 10/22 with several "high capacity" mags. They are the Hotlips design, so I quickly destroyed the feed lips on one. I sold those guns when I moved to NYC. I wished that I had stored them with a relative instead, because I really miss them.
Since I moved to the relatively gun-friendly state of North Carolina, I bought a P95. Though I have problems with the grip, I really like it, too. The only reason I didn't also buy a Ruger shotgun is that they don't make a pump action. And of course the Remington 870 is "legendary."
Am I Ruger fanboy? I doubt it. I might be a Ruger loyalist, or a Ruger enthusiast. But if they don't have the tool I want or need at the price I'm willing to pay, then I'll get it somewhere else.
Friday, July 1, 2011
I have mixed feelings about gun reviews. I love and hate the following parts and qualities of gun reviews, and I love and hate when they are missing: technical evaluations, ergonomics, concealability, range reports, photos, and, subjectivity. And that's the problem.
Gun reviews take into account so many subjective and "mission critical" factors that the reviewer often loves, hates, or grows to love or hate the same gun based on his (her) changing experience, skills, and the company he keeps. This parody of a Nutnfancy "Tabletop" comparison of a couple guns is a good illustration:
As I have stated, I like subjectivity in gun reviews - or I hate it. But a review of the Wilson ADP a few years ago in American Handgunner magazine was a good example of how objectivity can somehow get ridiculously lost in subjectivity.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
UPDATE: I don't have to worry about the blades flapping around anymore, because they fell out. I guess that a little tool maintenance would have prevented that, but I never thought I would have to tightened the screws on a "pocket knife." Lesson learned - even more!
UPDATE: HOLY CRAP! While on my Independence Day weekend camping trip, all of the other tools fell out of the other side of my multi tool. And that side was tight before I left for the weekend. I'm glad I took my Swiss Army Champion as backup - the original multi tool.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
My favorite size difference is between Service and Tactical pistols. Springfield has made the most cut and dry division between the two, in my opinion. A Service XD has a full-size grip, a double-stack magazine, and a four-inch barrel. A Tactical XD is the same but with a five-inch barrel.
But what is "Service?" "Police Service?" What is "Tactical?" "Police Tactical?" So a police department's Tactical would be a military's Service, and a military's Compact would be a police department's Service. Uh, well, I'm not sure!
First of all, does Springfield really label their XDs that way, or am I getting delusional trying to make XDs fit my own thought process. Excuse me while I check out their website ... Yes they do.
I am prone to insane classification systems. I want everything to have its place. And because I want everything in order, it might be in my imagination that the terms "service" and "tactical" are used for the above distinction outside of Springfield Armory. STI has a Tactical model in 4.15" and 5" barrel lengths, so they are not following that rule. They apparently define tactical as having a double-stack mag and a "tactical" rail. And I think I'll dump revolvers in this mix, since revolvers can apparently be tactical too. GunBlast.com included a picture of the Smith & Wesson 8-shot "Tactical" revolver in their 2006 SHOT Show coverage.
It looks like I have much to investigate. But first let's look at a
2" concealed (bodyguard/detective/chief)
3" concealable power
And since I got so caught up in the barrel-length distinction, I totally forgot about the overall size and weight issues of handguns. I guess STI hints at the overall size issue with its double-stack Tactical models.
Gotta go read up!
A few definitions:
"Using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront"
Wikipedia describes a service pistol as any pistol (including revolvers) issued to military personnel in their "Service Pistol" article.
Google provides the following definition of "Service Pistol" attributed to the above Wikipedia article:
A service pistol is any handgun (revolver or semi-automatic) issued to military personnel, or in some contexts, law enforcement officers.But that article does not contain Google's definition.
Uncle Mike's Inside-the-Pant Nylon Holster with Retention Strap is a budget holster. You can find it from about $11-19. I paid about $16, because I was combining Amazon shipments and saved overall on shipping.
I bought a cheap holster, because I wanted to experiment with different locations of carry: hip, between hip and lower back, appendix, and cross draw. I had looked at other makes, including Crossbreed, Blackhawk!, Bare Asset, and Bianchi. I was real close to purchasing a Crossbreed, but I could not commit to any carry location.
First, I tried between hip and lower back carry. It felt fine, but I think I would need a heavier untucked shirt than the t-shirt I was using to test concealability. No matter how I canted the gun, the butt kept catching my shirt.
Second, I tried appendix carry. It was the best for concealability. The gun did not print at all - as long as I was standing. Sitting was impossible. The gun dug into my leg, and half the time the gun and holster started to pop out of my pants. Canting the gun had no positive effect.
Third, I tried cross draw carry. The butt printed no matter what I did, so I quickly gave up on that location.
Fourth, I tried hip carry. It made me look like I had gained 20 lbs on my right hip.
While trying different locations to conceal my gun I was also testing how well I was able to draw the pistol. It was an UNMITIGATED disaster, except that it was the first time I was attempting to draw with a new holster. Every time I drew, the holster came with the gun. The plastic belt clip is just not strong enough to keep the holster in place, even when my pants were cinched down tight. With the retention strap in place the holster might not come off the gun at all. The retention-strap is NOT a thumb-break design, so you have to fiddle with it to keep it out of the way of your draw. The Velcro tends to restick once you've opened the strap. I intend to practice a two-handed draw, but really don't want to tie up both of my hands getting my gun unholstered. I was able to get the retention strap to fold inside the holster, and with the P95 the strap still helped to keep the gun from sliding around.
After I tried all those locations for IWB carry, I figured that the holster was worthless for it - between the gun printing (And as I've mentioned, I still intend to try a different shirt.) and coming out with the pistol (And as I've mentioned, I still intend to practice a two-handed draw.). So after one of my attempted draws, when I pulled the gun WITH the holster and the retention strap securing the holster TO the gun, I just shoved the whole lot in my front pants pocket. Hmm! It printed a little bit more that all the crap I carry in my pockets (e.g. cellphone, keys, change, pens). And with a shirt untucked it was barely noticeable. And that was while I was wearing run-of-the-mill dress pants. Then I tried cargo shorts. I had to cant the pistol forward to completely conceal it, whether my shirt was tucked or untucked. Food for thought: Full-size "service" pistol pocket carry!?!
I have decided to forget about reholstering a firearm while the holster is still in my pants. This holster completely collapses. I am afraid that I would shoot myself. Reholstering was ALMOST a nonissue for me. If I have to defend myself I would not care about reholstering. But I want to compete in IDPA with the holster I'll conceal carry. I doubt this holster will fill those two roles.
PACKAGING: The holster comes in a nice plastic bag with a ZipLok-style closure that broke when I initially opened the bag.
DOCUMENTATION: Still haven't read it. But when I bought the pistol, Uncle Mike's size chart on their website said it fit full-size autos with 4-1/2 to 5" barrels. I bought a slightly "larger" size than was specified for my pistol, because I wanted to make sure the pistol sat as low as possible. But the packaging insert said it fits 4" autos. What should I trust - the website or the packaging?
ERGONOMICS: Felt fine IWB. It helped distribute the weight of the gun, especially with the suede-like grippy texture on the outside. The retention strap didn't work for me. It just got in the way. If anything, I'll tuck it inside - and with my gun it helps hold the gun in place. My opinion is that the only holster that should ever try to get shot off your gun is a pocket holster.
MANUFACTURER'S/CATEGORY'S INTENDED USE: Why manufacturer's and category's intended use? Because sometimes individual manufacturers bow to their lawyers and say a wolf is a lamb (e.g. firearms makers saying that you should never carry a loaded gun until you are about to fire, even though they manufacture concealable defensive guns.). It meets the minimum need of having a holster. But I don't think anyone would accept an IWB coming out with the gun.
MY INTENDED USE: To have a holster? Yes. To have a functional holster? Partially. To have a duel-use holster? No.
COST: Though this is one of the cheapest holsters you'll find, the quality is cheap. I got what I paid for.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
UPDATE: Looks like the dictionary definition of wildcating (Wikipedia) is that cartridge and barrel (chamber) are custom. So making a wildcat with out a change in chamber is the lazy gun enthusiast’s way?
Friday, May 27, 2011
In a mildly heated discussion in a job seekers group on LinkedIn, one career expert commented that the number one reason people leave jobs is their FORMER BOSSES.
That doesn’t jive with what you are expected to say in a job interview, when asked why you left a job: “I am searching for a better opportunity to utilize my skills.” Or “Looking for more responsibility.” And you are expected to never say an unkind word about a former boss, but a new employer wants you to be “completely honest” with them.
In the end, does this really matter? We want former employers to, at the very least, not damage our future prospects. They want us to keep up their images in the marketplace. It’s the nature of social interaction: you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. And that’s why your prospective employers don’t want you to be completely honest. They expect that you will honor this social convention with them, too.
That got me thinking, so I emailed Bob:
I love your phrase "a 1000 round trigger job." When I first got my latest handgun (also my first centerfire semiauto), I really questioned whether I got a lemon in the first 50 rounds. After a good lube, a little research about limp-wristing, and a couple hundred more rounds, I am willing to give the gun a fair shake. And you have inspired me to do the next 700 rounds.So, my grand plans of modifying my P95 are going on the back burner. Well, I'll see - maybe a grip sleeve, or a little grip trim, index pad? Gotta get to the range.
I have read over and over again that concealed-carry holders (and home-defense nuts) need to shoot often. The "1000 round trigger job" is a good way to get started.
Update (3-15-12): What is a 1000-round trigger job? It is simply firing 1000 rounds through a firearm. Why is it a trigger job?
Two reasons. First, it gives the shooter a chance to get used to the trigger of a firearm. Second, it breaks in the trigger of the firearm. Also, the shooter gets used to the basic operations of the firearm, such as its recoil impulse. Between the shooter becoming accustomed to the firearm, and the firearm's trigger becoming smoother (hopefully) with use, the owner replaces a gunsmithed trigger job with a use-and-familiarization "trigger job."
About two years ago, I bought a Ruger P95 (KP95PR15). I had done some research and settled on the P95 for a sometimes-house, sometimes-carry pistol. I wanted a traditional DA/SA, because my wife was familiar with the type and not as interested in guns as I am. Also, I wanted the second-strike capability. I preferred a polymer frame with a stainless slide. I liked the price, and I like Rugers.
I had looked at many other pistols with the original purpose of getting a weapon for concealed carry. What I ended up with is a compromise. I settled on a “service”-sized pistol, not a sub-compact- or “tactical”-sized pistol.
My last handgun was a .357 Ruger SP101. I loved shooting .357s in that almost-little revolver. But then I did a little reading, and understood that semi-autos need a stable platform to cycle the slide.
The next time I went to the range, I got through a mag and a half before problems. I removed the slide, put additional oil in the slide where it meets the abbreviated rails that are integral to the polymer frame, and did not have another hitch. Except that my hits were center of mass to start, then progressing toward the lower left with every mag, unless I regripped the pistol. The P95 is slick, so I considered a rubber, slip-on grip sleeve. But I have another problem – I have small hands.
I recently read an article and was reminded of a proper grip – center of the backstrap high in the web of my hand. But I really have to struggle to maintain that grip. My hand slides around to something like this:
Well, actually this:
So I decided on some modifications.
Next Post This Topic: Ruger P95 Modifications II
Jump To Some Real World Progress: Ruger P95 Modifications IV
Monday, May 16, 2011
The general consensus seems to prefer shotguns. And that was the opinion on artofmanliness.com in their article, “Best Guns for Home Defense.” http://artofmanliness.com/2009/07/23/the-best-guns-for-home-defense/#ixzz0zwolMCOk It is a basic, cautionary article with a rating system for different types of guns. But my favorite part was in the comments section:
5 Pieter July 23, 2009 at 4:46 am: The best weapon for home defense is a phone. If bad people try to get in: call the cops. The biggest bonus for the phone is that your kids can’t pick it up and blow their brains across the wall with it.
Guns are tools that can be dangerous. Of course the safety of children is a concern. But reasonable caution and education can greatly reduce risks. I found the following in David S. Markowitz’s article, “Selecting a Home Defense Gun:”
I cannot stress enough that one of the worst things you can do is to hide the presence of guns in your home from your kids. Prohibition breeds fascination, especially in children. As gun guru Massad Ayoob says (approximately), “You cannot gun proof your home, but you can gun proof your kids.” As soon as your kids are able to understand, you should instruct them in gun safety rules. If they ever ask to see your gun, treat that as an opportunity to reinforce safety rules. If you let them see the gun under your supervision, they are a lot less likely to go looking for it while you aren’t around. The National Rifle Association has a good program to teach gun safety to kids called the “Eddie Eagle” program. (Also check out “Gun Play”, by David Kopel, to see the potential disaster that can happen when a “sheltered” child gets exposed to firearms for the first time in the absence of adult supervision.) Even if you choose not to have firearms in your home (unlikely if you’re reading anything on my websiteEducation over hysteria. Responsibility over abdication.
) you should still make sure your kids know about gun safety. They may go to a friend’s house where there are guns, and be exposed to them that way.
NEXT IN SERIES: Best Guns for Home Defense II