Archive for May, 2007

Memorial Day Range Fun

May 30, 2007

With what, you ask? Why, the Kimber 10mm and more real 10mm ammo, what else?
Saturday morning I sat down and took my last batch of once-fired brass and loaded it, a little bit hotter than what I’ve done before, and Monday morning it was off to the range. Once again, the specs:

Case — Remington nickel-plated
Bullet — 155-grain Hornady XTP
Load — 14.8 gr. Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer — CCI large pistol

The load was 0.5 grains higher than the minimum in the Accurate Arms data sheet. I think that’s about as high as I’d be willing to go with the once-fired; anything higher and I’d rather go with virgin brass just to be safe, at least at this point. And right now it’s more about load development than anything else; I usually set up the target at the 7-yard mark and set up the chrony at the 3-yard mark, and this week was no exception. So I started blasting, and the results were quite impressive, as they’ve been so far with my particular components.
The average velocity was 1371 feet per second, with an extreme spread of 58 fps and a high of 1399 fps and just over half the shots running between 1360 and 1380 fps. So we’re running just about on par with the Georgia Arms 155-grain Gold Dot at 1375. And the Kimber ate every one. I must admit, that was a concern of mine initially, that I would be doing something wrong and have problems with jams, especially with the Kimber’s tight tolerances. So far my fears have been unfounded, and the load was very comfortable to boot. No doubt it’s different with a heavier bullet, but I’d have to say that particular combination would be just about the perfect middle ground between the 9mm Parabellum and the .45acp. And every time I shoot it, I am that much more mystified as to why the .40Short&Weak overtook the 10mm as the accepted middle-bore autopistol cartridge. It works, but still, it’s such a shame that the 10mm was relegated to niche status.
Before I go any further, though, the gun will get some stiffer springs and a Shok-Buff — at least a recoil spring, maybe a mainspring as well, and a flat-bottom firing pin stop. (I’ve heard those help with cutting down on standard deviation, too.) I’d really rather not be posting here some horrible day about cracks in the frame or that sort of thing…

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Only in Illinois

May 30, 2007

Only in the fascist state of Illinois would someone who fancies himself a man of God say something like this and have it get little to no attention…

During an address at an anti-gun rally in front of Chuck’s, Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, exhorted the crowd to “drag” shop owner, John Riggio, from his shop “like a rat” and “snuff” him. Rev. Pfleger went on to tell the crowd that legislators that vote against gun control legislation should be “snuffed” as well. As many know, “snuff” is slang for especially violent murder.

Once again, I find myself absolutely speechless. How someone like this could sit there and call for the violent murder of someone they disagree with is just completely beyond me. The only consolation is that this creature will answer one day for his advocacy of such evil.

Remember the Fallen

May 28, 2007

An Open Letter to John P. Hansel

May 26, 2007

Welcome, visitors from A Keyboard and a .45! Make yourselves at home! Main page is here, I hope you find my commentary worth coming back.

In response to this:

Dear Editor:

The response to my recent Letter to the Editor has been overwhelming. It proves that there is a growing sentiment to ban the manufacture of repeating arms of all types – rifles or pistols.

People don’t care whether we call them “assault”, “automatic”, or “semi-automatic”. They want to see the manufacture of repeating arms stopped and we ought to get that message to the NRA.

There is no question that some target shooters would like to have the convenience of repeating arms but that convenience is far outweighed by the potential destruction those weapons can cause. After all, our young people see it on TV every day.

NRA has claimed, since it’s founding, that we need this personal armament to protect ourselves against our government. I believe the last time that need arose was the rebellion by the army shortly after the Revolution in 1776 when they threatened to march on Washington if they did not receive their back pay.

Isn’t it time to tell NRA this claim is an embarrassment to the average gun owner?

Thanks again for your letter.

Sincerely,
John P. Hansel – Keene, NH

Dear Mr. John P. Hansel:
I saw this letter, and your previous one, and I thought I’d take the time as a gun owner to respond. Think of it as another letter from one gun owner to another.
To be honest, I really don’t know what to make of what you’ve said in this letter — or, for that matter, the first letter you sent out. First it was the banning of all semi-auto rifles and now the banning of all semi-auto handguns too? It would seem to me from what you say, it’s a safe bet you don’t even see self-defense as a viable reason to own a gun — unless, of course, you would prefer we carry single-shot rifles instead of, say, Kimber .45s. Surely you’re fully aware that at least one gun manufacturer — Smith & Wesson — makes a seven-shot revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum, which as you may be aware is one of the most effective cartridges out there for defensive purposes; arguably its only equal in autoloading pistol cartridges in terms of ballistics is the 10mm Auto. And as for the seven rounds the revolver in question will hold, that is exactly how many rounds that the Government Model 1911 — probably the most famous autoloading pistol ever made — will hold. As far as the lethality of a semiautomatic pistol versus a revolver, that would seem to me to be a moot issue, all things considered. You don’t have to be a Jerry Miculek to do some serious damage with a revolver. With all due respect, it seems to me you’re willing to sell out the entire gun-owning community to save your own guns, which to me is incredibly short-sighted, not to mention disgustingly selfish. Do you honestly think those who would disarm the people are going to stop with the revolvers, autoloading pistols and autoloading rifles? You really believe they’re going to let you keep that long-range sniper rifle you take deer with?
As for taking up arms against the government — it’s not a pleasant prospect by any means, but it’s one that should always be kept in mind. Governments of men are made up of men. There are those who argue that man’s natural state is one of violence, and the actions of governments against the governed prove this — right up to the turn of the 21st century. Few of us gun owners argue that the presence of arms in the hands of citizens is all that is needed to deter tyranny — but on the other hand, how comfortable would YOU feel going into the woods to hunt down a bunch of good ole boys from Texas or Tennessee with bolt-action Remington 700s in .30-06 who have, in addition to an ironclad determination to retain their freedom and control of their destiny, plenty of experience taking their four-legged critter of choice from hundreds of yards away and a much better knowledge of the terrain than you? They might not be able to stop a government bent on tyranny, but the smart money says they would surely be able to make it a fat lot more costly to the agents of said tyranny. You might think such a position is an embarrassment to average gun owners, but I read something not long ago that makes me think otherwise
(see http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2007/05/guest-editorial-resistance-is-futile.html):

“I have spent a lot of time since the early days of the Clinton Administration considering the Founders’ concepts of the deterrence of tyranny by the armed citizenry from the perspectives of philosophy, history, strategy and tactics. The catalyst for all this reflection was, of course, the twin menaces of the increasing Clintonista proscriptions of firearms rights (Brady and the Assault Weapons Ban) and the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco. The subsequent failure of the Republican congress and the courts to do anything substantive about either threat– legislative tyranny or rogue bureaucracy– led many of us to conclude that we had now entered a time when we could only count on ourselves to maintain our liberties.
“The Law of Unintended Consequences decreed that there would be two unexpected results of this Clintonista constitutional misbehavior. The first was the importation and sale within a few months of several millions of semi-auto rifles (principally SKS and AK-variants) into the U.S. This was in anticipation of, and defiance of, the so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban.’ Indeed, this was more rifles of these types than had been sold in the previous TWENTY YEARS. And it was in a political climate where it was fully expected that the next law would call for the confiscation of such weapons. Why, then, did this massive arming take place? Were we buying these rifles merely to turn them over later? When the Clintonistas realized that we were not buying these rifles to turn them in, but to turn ON THEM if they became even more threatening to our liberties, it gave them considerable pause. I am told the analysts in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover building were particularly impressed.”

Say what you will, but Mike Vanderboegh, the author of the piece, makes a valid point. I know I would surely not lay down hundreds of dollars for a firearm in anticipation of a confiscation order without preparing some kind of resistance, and there is little doubt that I am not the only one. Whether those who were buying those SKSs and AKs constitute the “average gun owner” of which you speak is really neither here nor there. What really matters is what such actions show, which is that there are still more than a few of us who still believe there are things worth fighting and dying for. And personally, I would think the real embarrassment to the average gun owner is the positions of people such of yourself who naively assume they’re not going to take your deer gun. I think the words of gun blogger Geek With A .45 are just about right here:

“If you own a duck gun or a deer rifle, and see nothing wrong with the ‘Assault Weapons Ban’, I remind you that the Second Amendment is of sober and serious purpose that is not about your trivial right to entertain yourself with sports shooting.
“When they come for your duck gun, my battle rifle and I won’t be there to help you, because at that point, I either won’t have a battle rifle, or it’s shards will have been buried with me.
“And if that came to pass because you were sitting on your ass, you won’t deserve any help either.”

Something to think about, Mr. Hansel, the next time you so willingly throw fellow gunnies under the bus in a selfish attempt to save your own “trivial right to entertain yourself with sports shooting.”
As far as this “growing sentiment” to ban semiautomatic firearms — with all due respect, have you been hiding under a rock? You’re probably an outdoorsman — does the name Jim Zumbo ring a bell? You remember, the Outdoor Life writer who ended up losing his job for calling AR- and AK- type rifles “terrorist rifles”? Do you know just WHY Zumbo lost his job, Mr. Hansel? Because more than a few people who owned those “terrorist rifles” were made aware of his remarks and told his sponsors — Remington Arms, Gerber, Hi-Mountain Seasonings, Mossy Oak, and Cabela’s — and Outdoor Life that if they didn’t dump Zumbo, they would be facing a boycott. Remington was the first, and two days later, Zumbo resigned from Outdoor Life after some 45 years as a hunting writer. Impressive indeed — but even more so considering that Zumbo penned the offending blog post on the Friday afternoon of President’s Day weekend, when most of the folks in the offices of his sponsors were out and wouldn’t be back until probably Tuesday morning. As it turned out, though, Remington ditched Zumbo on Monday morning, President’s Day, with the others following suit in the coming days. Honestly, I haven’t a clue where this “growing sentiment” of which you speak is coming from, other than the halls of Handgun Control, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center and other like-minded imbecilic organizations. Which is really to be expected, I guess, but in any event, I’d like to think that if you call the NRA and tell them we should push for another Ban on Weapons That Look Scary, they’d collapse in fits of hysterical laughter just before they hung up. Which is just as it should be.

I Got yer Spin, Right Here…

May 25, 2007

From this morning’s Chronicle:

AUSTIN — The names of people licensed to carry concealed handguns in Texas are no longer available to the public.

Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that he signed into law House Bill 991, which seals state records showing who is allowed to carry a gun in public. Only law enforcement agencies will have access to the information.

The law took effect immediately upon its signing Wednesday.

Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, put forth the legislation. Rose said it was needed because “the steps that law-abiding Texans take to protect themselves and their families should be issues of private concern.”

Similar versions of the bill failed in previous sessions.

The newspaper industry had urged Perry to veto the bill, saying it was an open-government issue, not a gun issue.

Anyone can check on information about other state-issued license holders, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, real estate agents and barbers, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and Texas Press Association said in urging a veto.

The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains concealed handgun records.

Since the state’s concealed gun law was enacted in 1995, the public has been able to find out whether someone has a license to carry a concealed weapon. The requester had to provide the name of the person in question.

Let’s see here. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, private citizens licensed to carry sidearms, real estate agents and barbers. “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…”

We all know how the media likes to spin things; the folks on the Chron editorial board actually tried to spin the fact of open CHL records as a property-rights issue, as you might remember. Well, how’s this for spin:
I don’t know if the editorial boards at the state’s major newspapers ever stopped to think about this, but in opposing House Bill 991, they were effectively saying that stalkers, rapists, abusive spouses/significant others and other ne’er-do-wells had a right to check and see if their potential victims were armed, thereby putting every woman who resides within Texas’ borders in a little more danger — and in some cases a LOT more. Funny how the media likes to think of themselves as “progressive,” supporting civil rights for women, minorities and others, yet here they were, actively undermining perhaps the most fundamental civil right — the right of effective self-defense. I guess supporting civil rights only goes so far for some folks.

One of those, "Aww, YEAH!" Moments

May 25, 2007

On the Walton and Johnson show just now, from a conversation with a female Texas CHL holder, and Army vet:

Billy Edd Hatfield: “What kinda haaandgun are you operatin’?”
Caller: “A Smith and Wesson .45 1911.”

My kinda lady, no doubt about it. I wonder if she’d have a problem with my Springfields and Kimbers. 😉

Some Good Reads…

May 22, 2007

…or, all-linky-no-thinky, as SayUncle would say…

First up, the man whose page is the first thing I see every time I crank up Firefox, the great Bill Whittle, slams another one out of the park:

Cheating in class (or getting a diploma without passing the required tests), cheating by crossing the border illegally, cheating by committing crimes and not paying for it, cheating by bribery and corruption, cheating in general rewards Screw the Other Guy as a social strategy and makes chumps of the people who need a level of societal trust – they need retaliation against Screw the Other Guyin order to continue to cooperate. Society needs to retaliate against cheaters because not to do so flips the coin from cooperation to betrayal. And that’s the end of everything we have worked for and cherish.
And – and – you don’t need to be a master of game theory to know this in your bones. Because if you are offended by cheaters, it is because you are being betrayed into – you are in fact forced into – becoming a cheater and betrayer yourself. Aways-cooperating dies quickly: if you never betray and the other guy always does, he goes free and you get 20 years every time. (In other words, he’s out getting high while you work to support him.) Sooner or later, even the most dense moralist gets the message.When a tipping point is reached – when enough people are allowed to cheat – the system swings to a different stabiltiy mode (the default mode) and Screw the Other Guy becomes the only rational choice.

The rational choice. Think about that for a moment. Does that make you angry? It damn well better. And if it does then you are not alone.

*snip*

You are in a relationship. You are nice, forgiving and non-envious. You may think it is loving and kind not to retaliate when you are treated unfairly, but you’d be wrong. Anybody with any self esteem knows that if you are being wronged, you cannot just continue to take it. You must punish behavior that tries to take advantage of your good nature, in order to maintain the self-respect and reputation you need in order to be treated well. Failure to retaliate will lead to more and more abuse. Failure to retaliate makes Screw the other Guy the optimal position for the other person: they can behave as selfishly and recklessly as they like with no consequences – what’s not to love?

That, friends, is just a taste. You owe it to yourself to go and partake of the entire feast.

Next up, more goodness from Mike Vanderboegh at David’s place

Are you concerned about gun confiscation? Its a fact of life in Mexico. Big government intrusion on private free enterprise? Can you say PEMEX? Worried about campaign finance and political corruption? The Mexicans have a word for the endemic bribery that characterizes their government: “mordida”– the bite, and they expect to be bitten by every official at every level. No matter what issue concerns you, the undeniable tidal wave of a deliberately imported third world culture is about to swamp it.

Let’s face it, the only reason we’ve been electorally competitive this long is that the liberals have been murdering the children within their wombs for the past 35 years. Well, they’re going to be importing those wombs now to finish the job.

These folks, God bless ’em, are used to nationalized industries, gun control, soldiers walking the streets dispensing their own rough “justice” with machineguns, identity-grievance politics and, above all, the undefeatable evil synergy of crooked politicians and drug lords controlling events. They are used to being ruled by a godless oligarchy of the privileged rich who know what’s “best” for them. You know, they’re Democrats.

You may ask anyone familiar with Mexican history since 1912 what the rule of law means south of the border. Or, for a modern example closer to home, take a look at some of the seamier La Raza-dominated suburbs of LA. These millions of newly minted citizens will toil upon the Democrat latifundistas’ political plantations as indentured servants for the next fifty years and gradually, in the end, the American Republic will be as dead as its Greek and Roman predecessors. If, that is, it doesn’t catastrophically collapse in the next decade or so in a welter of racial warfare and Balkan “ethnic cleansing” that will make the former Yugoslavia look like a kindergarten at play. The devil will walk abroad in the land and our children’s children’s children will curse our folly.

Once again, Read The Whole Thing. And via JR, comes a few signs that our country’s no longer free

You know your country is no longer free when the ATF goes to the homes of people who are trying to legally purchase firearms at a gun show and they ask whomever answers the door and the neighbors “Why would they want to buy a firearm?” as happened in Richmond VA.

Or when Class Valedictorians cannot say what they wish to say during “graduation”.

Or when you need a passport to visit friends in Canada, but commercial traffic can go right through the border.

Or when you can no longer just use your middle initial on your drivers “license” full name only please..

When kmart asks for ID before you can buy a pocket knife

And that was just from the first page…finally, tonight, Rachel Lucas, the lady who got Bill Whittle into blogging spreading his pearls of wisdom far and wide, who I see is also from Texas. She’s a firecracker indeed. I read her for a little bit before she gave up blogging…and if you’re reading this, Rachel, good to have you back! I’ll be registering at your site before too long…

more thinky from me soon, I promise…

Now Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

May 20, 2007

A big tip o’ the hat goes to David Codrea for this.
Just a sample:


RINO collector cards. Now why didn’t I think of that? And the great thing about these is, these quotes don’t really seem to be taken out of context — they all have quotes on them that perfectly sum up the respective candidates’ Republican In Name Only bona-fides. Perfect, just absolutely perfect. Collect them all, indeed!

Bit Elitist, No?

May 16, 2007

I’ve heard of Professor Stephen Bainbridge but don’t know much about him, really, but he comes off here as being more than a little bit of an elitist…

Haven’t We had Enough Good ol’ Boys For a While?

Dean Barnett conjures up a terrifying picture (albeit not one that scares him):

Now imagine what a candidate could get done if he achieved fluency in pop culture. Picture a candidate who could effortlessly segue from paying homage to Dale Earnhardt’s #3 to saying how much High Noon has always meant to him. Conjure up a contender who could unashamedly admit that if owning every George Strait record makes him a square, so be it, and then quickly pivot to the many times tears welled in his eyes when sports heroes like Curt Schilling or Willis Reed rose above pain to perform in an almost super-human fashion.

That’s not pop culture. That’s rural Southern culture. Nascar. The opiate of the good ol’ boy masses. Gary Cooper. A great movie, but hardly au courant. George Strait, gawd help us.

I suppose I can see his point, but it’s been said before — the appeal of things like NASCAR and George Strait these days goes far beyond the Mason-Dixon Line. Even just a casual look at Strait’s sales figures even now and NASCAR’s race schedule is proof of that. Beyond that, though, the attitude’s just a little bit patronizing. I wouldn’t mind so much a president who smoked cigars or didn’t fish or hunt (although a president who had a gun collection with at least one 1911 and AR-15 would get serious bonus points), but I have to wonder of the professor ever stopped to ask himself why these “Good Ol’ Boys” have such high approval ratings. You think it might be the perceived lack of authenticity from the Northeastern bluebloods? Hell, just look at their opinions on gun control. Who’s the more authentic one here — NY’s Rudy Giuliani mouthing support for the RKBA, MA’s Romney becoming a life member of the NRA last August, or Tennessean Fred Thompson’s full-throated attack on the gun-grabbers’ twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment?
Seriously, I think the most important thing is the candidate’s willingness to protect the Constitution from all attacks foreign & domestic, but I still find Bainbridge’s commentary to show him to be little more than a patronizing jackass.

Monday Music Musings: Steve Wariner

May 14, 2007

I was driving home from work Saturday listening to the radio, and Steve Wariner’s “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” came on. Probably one of the more sappy songs to come out from any country artist, but I always liked it anyway…
But something hit me as it was playing…it’s been almost ten years since that song and cd was released. I remember it like it was yesterday…1997 and early ’98 was a bit of a time for renaissance for the Christmas baby from Noblesville, Indiana. Two No. 1 hits to his credit as a songwriter in 1997 (Clint Black’s “Nothin’ But the Taillights” and Garth Brooks’ “Longneck Bottle”) and a third to come in 1998 as a singer with a duet with Anita Cochran, “What If I Said.” Steve got signed to Capitol Nashville sometime in late 1997 or early 1998 partly because of that resurgence, and “Holes” was the first single from that first Capitol Nashville album, Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down. I remember that cd very well…I bought it the day it came out, and I was just absolutely floored. If you’ll remember, Wariner’s hits from the ’80s mostly had a very strong adult-contemporary feel to them, with not that many exceptions — “Life’s Highway,” “What I Didn’t Do” and “Some Fools Never Learn” come to mind. (In fact, that last one’s actually my favorite song of all time…) But “Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down” was a world away from that, with some great old-school honky-tonk, guitar-driven country-rock and even a little Western swing with the title cut (which was actually another duet with Garth Brooks). Quite honestly, I never thought Steve actually had it in him to do an album like that, but boy, was I ever wrong. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend you change that…