My Latest Obsession

(from the top, clockwise) S&W Jerry Miculek 625, 45 ACP; Taurus Tracker M44C, 44 Mag; Ruger Redhawk, 44 Mag; S&W Thunder Ranch 325, 45 ACP; Ruger SP-101, 357 Mag.

I came to double-action revolvers late in life -- too late, if you ask me. My first handguns were a 6-1/2" Ruger Single Six and a 7-1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk, both purchased NIB in my late-teens. Single-action: I knew what I was getting into and I could deal with that. I conceded to their "slowness" since my reason for owning them was to hunt the wiley wabbit and whatever big-game animal was stupid enough to blunder into Darwin range. (Which, given my skill level in those days, was probably under five yards...)

As my handgun tastes became "refined" in my 30s, I lusted after the 1911. These were the days before the internet -- remember those?? -- and I researched as much as I could given the resources I had. I plopped down $500 for a "standard-grade" Springfield Armory with no amenities and an awful trigger. But I loved it and I never looked back. Over time, the handgun quiver filled with Glocks and CZs and more 1911s. I had the original S/A worked on by a competent gunsmith and now it's a wonderfully reliable defense and IDPA piece. I even went to Gunsite and learned how to shoot the damned thing. I do OK.

But I'd never acquired a taste for the D/A wheelgun. Sure, somewhere along the way, I picked up a 3" SP-101 in 357 Mag, mostly because I was horribly over-paid at the time and prolly didn't know what else to do with all that extra $$$ I was bringing home. I fired a box of 125-grain 357 Mag HPs thru it, put it back in the safe, and spent two weeks regrowing the skin on the web of my hand. Not really a good noob experience.

Then over the years I stumbled across the writings of three folks whom I came to respect and admire: Tam, Marko, and Clint. All are serious wheelgun aficionados. And neither seemed handicapped by their choice of weapon. If they can do it, so can I. Time for TCM to reevaluate the D/A wheelgun.

I worked my way thru a series of 41 Magnums -- Taurus Tracker, Ruger Redhawk, and S&W Model 58 -- before I realized the limitations imposed by such a small pool of apologists and the resultantly small 41 Mag market. I (sadly) divested myself of the oddly chambered revolvers, but not until I'd garnered some measure of proficiency with the D/A wheelgun.

The first replacement was the new 4" Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag. Nice gun. Built like a Merkava tank. But also heavy and sorta' bulky. The stock grip sucked so I put a Hogue on it. It gets fed one of three reloads I developed, handling each one with aplomb. The first is essentially a 44 Special "+P" load using a 240-grain SWC for 875 fps / 400 ft*lbs. It's an easy load to shoot all day long and very accurate. The second load is what I call my "working load", or "44 Mag Light". Again, using the 240-grain SWC but now doing 1100/650. Very nice! I figger' it's good for just about anything up to 400 pounds. The third load is my answer to bear spray: a gas-checked 310-grain flatnose at 1200/1000. Hurts like a muther to shoot but I imagine it'll work on everything I'd run into in the CONUS.

By this point, I'd seen revolvers at several IDPA matches and thought that'd be neato. I'd also been on the lookout for a good nightstand revolver; something that I didn't need to worry about rotating mags for or having grease dry up inside it, gumming-up the works. (In hindsight, the latter's not much of a concern since my "main shooters" aren't afforded long vacations from the range...) Then I stumbled upon the S&W 325 Thunder Ranch, which had the bonus of a detachable light rail. I already had an Insight laser/light that had been collecting dust so that seemed to be the way to go.

I managed to secure a copy for myself -- dayum, those things are spendy!! -- and proceeded to the range. O-M-G!! Where had this thing been all my life? What a nice piece: a wonderfully smooth trigger pull, great grips, and sights that live up to their advertising. I quickly went to work at the reloader and came up with three loads, all using a 255-grain SWCs: 800/350, 900/455, and 1000/560. The first load is my practice/IDPA load, the second is my "wave of zombies" load, and the last load for the off-chance I'm carrying the 325 in critter country. At one point I was drawing the 325 from the holster and doing D/A "double-taps", keeping 90% of 100+ rounds inside a 6" circle at 10 yards. And those moonclips recharge the revolver quickly!!

One of my favorite sayings is, "two is one and one is none". Not satisfied with just one 45 ACP revolver, I hunted down another one. That one was a S&W 625 Jerry Miculek model. Again, the stock grip sucked so I put on a Hogue that is identical to what the 325 wears. The JM has the same gold-dot front sight and the same to-die-for trigger action. The trigger itself is grooved -- which I don't care for -- so I filled it in with some silicon sealant. It too shoots great but, being all stainless, it is heavier than the 325. I can conceal it easy enough, though, and I even have a Blade Tech IWB that's quite tolerable.

[Side note: This seems like a decent place to mention a problem I found with my 45 ACP SWC reloads. Not an insurmountable one, but certainly a time-consuming one. Of the aforementioned wheelgun loads, I loaded 800 of the 800/350s and 600 of the 900/455. (Thank God for the Dillon 650XL...) I loaded all these before I got the 625; they were "tested for fit" in the 325. They worked great in the 325 but the first moonclip loaded into the 625 bound-up the cylinder at the recoil plate. Hmmmm...... I could get them to work if I mashed down on each cartridge with my thumb. Not really what you wanna' do in a gunfight!! So, on a whim, I grabbed a dozen or so rounds and re-seated the bullets down another 0.01". That did the trick. Somehow, the cutting band of the SWC was butting against the "headspace rim" (or whatever it's called) inside the 625's cylinders. I'd read somewhere that the 325 and 625 headspaced differently and that the 325 often wouldn't fire cartridges without the moonclips. Well, I had my proof. In order for all of my 45 ACP reloads to work in both revolvers, I needed to re-seat all of the bullets. All 1400 of them. I've finished the 800/350 loads -- a process which also involves removing a small ring of shaved lead from the crimp groove (a major PITA) -- but I still have the 900/455 loads to re-do. Meh...]

Which leads us to the Taurus Tracker M44C. This was an impulse buy and I got lucky. Like my old 41 Mag Tracker, it's a 5-shot. It will accept any speedloader designed for the Charter Arms 44 Bulldog, which is a nice feature. It has a 2-1/2" barrel, even though Taurus says it's a 2". It's been "crowned" nearly down to the ports so maybe that's why they're cheating their advertisers out of a 1/2-inch. Supposedly, Taurus only made a handful of these. (Maybe 250? I don't know...) The trigger isn't quite as nice as any of the other revolvers and the sights are fixed. The red "fiber-optic" front sight thingy works great in sunlight, though. POI is good horizontally but about 2" high at 10 yards. It digests very nicely both the low- and mid-range 44 Mag handloads I created for the Redhawk. With well-placed shots, I suspect either one would be pure poison against two-legged goblins. The stock grips are very comfy and I can't think of any reason to replace them. The M44C had some infant mortality issues which Taurus fixed at no cost to me. I'm awaiting holsters for it and I'll try my hand at CCWing with it.

And yet, there's something lacking in all this. What, you ask??

Simple: a 3", medium-frame, 5-shot 45 ACP revolver. Stainless steel cylinder and frame, maybe the latter in scandium. Fixed sights. (Driftable rear?) Moon clips, too, and good ones. Compact grip, but not too small.

All you revolver manufacturers pay attention. This could be done on a S&W L-frame or possibly Ruger's GP100 frame. I don't think an N-frame is necessary, given the low pressure of the 45 ACP and the fact that I'm thinking a 5-shot. The 5-shot cylinder is only a bit smaller in diameter than a 6-shot cylinder but the extra frame needed to hold it means more bulk and more weight. We're talking small and concealable. Why not take the S&W 396, stretch the barrel an inch and chamber it for 45 ACP?? Why not??

So, come on S&W, Ruger, and/or Taurus. Build it and they will come buy. Or at least I will.




I no longer have a use for any of these. There's a box somewhere for me to drop these off so perhaps they can be fitted to somebody else.

I'm another satsified customer of the USAF Warfighter Refractive Surgery program.

Now, the two pair of combat spectacles (upper left and lower right) are available to my readers, there's a third pair not shown. If you are OK with having lenses cut for them to your own prescription, email or comment to me. If I don't hear from anybody about them in about a month they're going on eBay. The frames are size 50-22.

The frameless ones, shown lower-middle, are for Army M-40. Tell me if you want 'em. There's a second pair not shown. The hoops to mount them in the M-40 are trashed.

A challenge to Radley Balko and John Lott

If dynamic entries are like cockroaches, there are hundreds more that Radley Balko is not aware of, for each one he has reported on. Even he suspects the same.

But that ratio of unknown to known is troubling. Just how many are there? Do they rise to the point that the average Joe is more likely to suffer a dynamic entry than, say, be struck by lightning or die in a plane crash?

What really are the odds that you will have your doors burst open by the cops?

This has a real-world practical aspect to it. Are you more likely to have your home invaded by real home-invading criminals, or by police executing a warrant, legit or not?

What increases the odds? Gun owner, CCW holder, income bracket, dog owner? Assuming that one is already leading a lawful life, what reasonable and lawful means can one take to decrease the odds?

Unfortunately, this is the sort of information our servants in government would rather we not know nor find out. So it will take some teasing and some statistical skill, neither of which I possess. But between Rad and Lott, a one-order-of-magnitude first pass should be possible.

Meanwhile there should be a Federal civil-rights nexus, and a police funding nexus, that Constitutionally empower the Feds to require all States to collect the statistics so we no longer must guess.



"our courts are subject to fallibility no less than any of man’s institutions"



I hoping they grok my email

My treasured iRiver multiple-codec jukebox is gone missing. After many sniped heartbreaks on eBay, I have thrown in the towel on replacing it with precisely the same or a more capacious model.

I dropped back and punted on a Hong Kong shipped 8GB player that obviously knocks off the smaller iPods. Hey, twenty bucks and make sure the antivirus and firewalls are in place, what's the risk, right?

But it has a spontaneous-reset problem. I've been corresponding with the merchant, and it's obvious their command of English is weak.

But this article gives me pause: which English? Mine, or the language that the non-native speakers are turning it into? We native-speakers are no longer in control of where English is going. A consequence of its success?

I now find myself struggling not to write English clearly in the way I was taught as a native speaker (throw more words at the problem and watch syntax, grammar, spelling) but to compose these emails with a more, uhhhh, emergent syntax that may be more instinctive to the ESLer. Number and person of verb be damned. Word order seems to be more important, as does careful choice of verbs.

Full disclosure: sainted wyffe Barbaloot just finished a community college course in Sign Language, and we've had some late-night breeze-shooting sessions on how American Sign Language has evolved, over the 20 years or so she's been using it, from a signed dialect of English to its own language that merely borrows some English words as cognates.

Dumbing down, or getting across? What say you?


100-point meme

Ok ok.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. Does $1k to Carla Howell's campaign for Gov of Mass count? Screw that, Barbaloot's support for our church beats that, 6 years running.
7. Been to Disneyland. (The old original one.) For work, no less.
8. Climbed a mountain. Mt Washington in New Hampshire. I get out of bed at a higher elevation than that though.
9. Held a praying mantis. As seen here.
10. Sang a solo. Teach Your Children Well, to a theater class.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train. Rome to Pordenone.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. Gimme a frigging break.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Doha, Qatar.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise. 90-foot boat on 10-foot seas in Alaska's Inside Passage.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. My inlaws live there.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community. And swerved my car out of the path of their buggies.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke. Soul Man. Richmond, Virginia.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. Aviano AB.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud. Again, gimme a break.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater. Are they so rare now?
55. Been in a movie. Does newsfootage for a local TV station count?
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class. And given them, and stretched them out.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching. The cruise.
63. Got flowers for no reason. What precisely constitutes 'no reason'?
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter. Over Chambers County, Texas, after Hurricane Ike.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar. Flying fish roe, as sushi.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone. My own, or someone else's?
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. Do user manuals count?
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. Spelling bees.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone. Please.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day. Ayn Rand's Anthem.

My counters:
Lawfully draw a weapon in reasonable apprehension for your life?
Buy an automobile with a credit card?
Start an IV?
Enter a building on fire?
Write your Congressman or Senator?
Dispute how your employer used your Social Security Number?

My 2¢ on the Bailouts

Use headphones if you're at work or have kiddies nearby.


Please allow me to (re-)introduce myself

So said the Stones.

It's The Cabinet Man again, known to his (few) friends as TCM. I secured permission from Fuze to continue my posts. Those posts will certainly be different than Fuze's writings. We're both libertarian gun whores but most of the similarities end there. He tends to be, well..........., a realist. I, on the other hand, have idealist leanings and get wrapped around the axle when The Obvious Solution to the Problem at Hand® appears to be seen by me only. Don't look to my writing for deep-rooted pithiness or cola-thru-the-nose snark. I can be monosyllabic and knee-jerk with the best of them.

As a way of introduction, I'll continue the meme I found on Brigid's site. Here goes:

1. Started your own blog. (Nope. I stole borrow one started by someone else.)
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. (Bass guitar. I wanted to play lead but I wasn’t good enough.)
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. (No. But if 'charity' was my 19-year-old stripper girlfriend – half my age at the time – then, yes.)
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain. (This is Colorado! Who hasn’t?)
9. Held a praying mantis. (Not in this lifetime.)
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped. (No fookin’ way.)
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (From the shore. TCM doesn’t do large bodies of water.)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (Cabinetmaking. Yes, it’s an art…)
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train. (From Rome to Milan.)
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked. (Once. I would have kept walking but it was bear country – Alaska.)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon. (I’ll assume that pedaling my Litespeed for 175 miles in 10 hours counts. If not, then pedaling from Virginia to Oregon should!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice. (It was raining when I was in Venice. And there was water.)
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run. (Two in one game!)
32. Been on a cruise. (Large bodies of water. No thanks.)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. (Creepy. Very, very creepy. And there was water.)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (Norway. Someday…)
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. (Morse code and 'C'. I maintain fluency in both.)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (Are you kidding?)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa. (No, but I’d love to!)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. (Only because they ordered me to do so. And E-4s know how to follow orders.)
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. (Once. Caught a lot of fish but I’ll never do it again. There was lots of water involved.)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. (Oh hell no!!)
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie. (I’ll assume that an Air National Guard recruiting commercial counts for points.)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business. (Two of them. It’s a lot of work…)
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia. (Nope. One word: gypsies.)
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching. (Water.)
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. (Only because they ordered me to do so. And E-1s know how to follow orders.)
65. Gone sky diving. (Yeah, right…)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades. (Water…)
75. Been fired from a job. (For wearing a paper hat on which I’d printed, "The Buck Stops Here".)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone. (Arm, leg, and five ribs – all on the right side. Three different accidents, fortunately. Or is that unfortunately?)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (Suzuki TL1000S. 165 MPH on the display, ~150 when corrected.)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. (I’m working on it at a glacial pace.)
81. Visited the Vatican. (Cool. Very, very cool. And I’m not even Catholic!)
82. Bought a brand new car. (Three of them. Not all at once, though.)
83. Walked in Jerusalem. (No, but I’d love to!)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible. (I even got thru Numbers.)
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury. (I’d love to but being a libertarian, I’d probably be disqualified.)
91. Met someone famous. (Barry Goldwater.)
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. (Water.)
97. Been involved in a law suit. (My attorney told me I was, but I was never served.)
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee. (A wasp once, too – ouch!!)
100. Read an entire book in one day. (Chewed thru The Da Vinci Code in two days. I’m a slow reader. 400-level math and engineering textbooks will do that to you.)

Well, if you're not yawning yet then there's hope. I have a few posting ideas for the future. I'll try to get one written once a week or so.

Until then...



interesting AK mod

SayUncle points me to a refit parts kit that puts the charging handle of an AK on the left side. Interesting. A commenter asks why not give it the L1A1 treatment, making the charging handle fold down and not reciprocate with the carrier?

I'd rather come up with a parts kit that replaces the whole gas tube and upper handguard with an assembly that provides:
1) a left-side charging handle out front
2) that folds flat when not in use
3) and bears against the rear shoulder of the gas piston, or the front nose of the bolt carrier when unfolded,
4) allowing you to use the existing bolt carrier---maybe just maybe with a replacement piston, especially if you want or need . . .
5) a forward assist to bump the bolt carrier forward.

Just a thought.


Further serializing the Grendel

Grendel continued

This is a KT lower that I got before ATF shut KT down. I'm applying the serial number by pasting a print of the number on the side. Then I'll electropencil over it.


Asimov saw this

"That was and is our job – to manipulate you (the electorate) and the media (we already had them months ago). Our goal is to create chaos with the other side, not hope. I’ve come to the realization (as the campaign already has) that if this comes to the issues, Barack Obama doesn’t have a chance. His only chance is to foster disorganization, chaos, despair, and a sense of inevitability among the Republicans. It has worked up until now."

The Mule?

Weird conspiratorial quote HT DailyPundit.


this one was not in the corner of my eye

because he clearly would not fit. He needed nearly the whole damned eye.

We met today at about 15R UN 3688 3270.

He was not pleased to be in salt water. I got as close as I dared without obviously annoying him further. After a few photos I was on my way.


out of the corner of my eye

this guy was watching me from about 30 paces.

This was at about 15R VP 16 13.


Wish me luck

I may be on my way into Ike's wastes. I want to go, and right badly. We all do.

If bandwidth is available, I'll post.

Update: I'm here in East Texas. The Home Depot parking lot has about one tree in three torn out. Hotels are still cleaning up to open, many restaurants have reopened, and there are car insurance claims tents sprung up all over.


Definitely not

Definitely not an instant winner.


Put me down for one, maybe

One of my lingering unrequited loves is for a VW bus, 1969 or so. I actually owned the shell of one, with all the parts and no small amount of rust, just waiting for me to build an engine for it. It was mine for the hauling away. Never got around to it, and my father buried it to be rid of it after I moved away.

VW of America hints at the breadbox's return, albeit on a sedan chassis.

Sorry, it isn't the same unless the front wheel is directly beneath the driver's ass. But if it's priced like their other models and wears a TDI badge, I could get insanely excited about it.

Almost Kelmark GT hard-on excited. I had a Ghia body pan waiting for (the 7,500 circa 1979 dollars needed to buy) one of those too.


Donkey schwag

Donkey schwag


consider the cat belled

Several more Blackberries have been added to my organization, including one assigned to Yours Truly.

I appreciate its power, and the expense to give this power to me. However, I don't cherish being the office boy at this outfit. Becoming a 24-hour office boy I like even less, and that is what this device portends. It enhances reaction, which means it will inhibit proaction.

It even sucks as a plain telephone. What I really wanted, and dared to ask for, was a service plan and cable to run EVDO over the existing plain-jane mobile phone. Ohhhh no, we have to get you a Blackberry, cheaper in the long run.


'nuther Quote for the Day

"You cannot have a smoothly functioning animal kingdom without the predators."


Quote for the day

"I very much doubt that the highest and best use of ALMOST EVERY American for a year of his or her life is to spend it in a government program."

Jim Lindgren at VC


What is meant by this? My CCW good?

Update: James Rummel says 'no.' This is the same as Texas's law allowing businesses to post against CCW on their premises if they so desire.


End of Iowa




Even without Heller this should be interesting

and not in the sense of, "may you live in interesting times."

Once again we prepare for the Eastward hajj to worship at the shrines of our ancestors.

The pilgrimage takes us through various states whose legislative attitudes towards the right protected in DC v Heller vary from "please bring your girlfriend" to "you better be just passing through, Son."

Some places Wyff and I will be tempted to open-carry. Shall we document with digifoto?

Heller thoughts

Glad I've been kicking a few dollars to IJ all of these years. Though Heller wasn't strictly Institute for Justice's case, several of Heller's lawyers are from IJ. IJ deserves some credit. And if Kelo v New London gets under your skin, send IJ some dollars. That fight isn't over either.

I have to disagree with many bloggers who see the glass as half empty. In spite of my lack of a sports chromosome, I will reach for a sports analogy. This is the second point we've scored since halftime, and the game has been running since about 1934.

I think everything is there for us to enjoy a genuine strict-scrutiny individual right. But only if we keep blocking and tackling. That will require patience and a positive attitude. It is too much to ask for one case to yield one ruling that restores that right in all of the aspects.

There is a visible path to 14th amendment incorporation. There's a visible path to eliminating the Hughes amendment. But it takes time and determination and money.

K-VAR puts it right in their email ads celebrating the DC v Heller win: "restoring the individual rights" to KBA. The rights are on track to be restored, because for most purposes those rights had been lost. We had a disastrous first half. But the game is not over.


It exists!!!

Nutella in single servings!

Would be groovy in MREs.


Gone and done it

Had to pull the plug on the old template. Enetation stayed awake last week long enough for me to download all of the comments from day One.

There was too much legacy junk in WUTT!'s template to allow a new commenting service to offer a place for them to go.

I'll roll the other features of the template into this new one as time allows. There may be some color changes and such also.

Meanwhile, I sat on the flight deck of a C-17 for a landing along the Columbia River yesterday. Very nice. Any readers in Benton or Franklin Counties in Wash state?


Stimulus, part two

Reloading dies for 6.5mm Grendel.


just the anime

Barbaloot and I catch SciFi network mostly for the anime, though I'd like to get her into BSG. We'd have to start at the very beginning too, cuz I've probably seen fewer whole episodes than I own 10mm pistols. She sees BSG ads and thinks it's just soap opera.

But as we watch SciFi and see what non-anime programs it offers, it reminds me of Aaron Magruder's observations of Black Entertainment Television. Few blacks, very little entertainment. BSG looks like the only real SF that SciFi has to offer. They'll need a hell of a lot more SF to offset the ghost hunting and crossing over and yeti junk they carry.


Recluse RIP

We regret to note the passing of our oldest cat, Feathers. Renal failure, over the last few months. Only last week was it visible in her behavior. We euthanized her before any indications of pain or suffering.

What we've done with the stimulus rebate, part one

Since Uncle Sugar has borrowed money for all of us bitter God-fearing masses to piss away:

6.5mm Grendel, Wolf Gold, 123gr soft points, 20 rds per carton, 25 cartons. Exactly fifty cents per round delivered. This is about all the money that will go for anything manufactured outside the US.

IJ will be getting some help, as well as some legal funds for folks trying to get or stay out of jail because of ATF abuses.


If a red giant bursts in gamma rays, and there's no sentient life to observe it, is it a Great Filter event?

Instapundit points to an article whose author hopes, almost wishes, that there's no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. If there were, it would somehow mean to him that a cataclysmic event, of sufficient scale to eradicate humanity, hasn't happened yet, which for him is a cause for concern.

I apologize for failing to follow the logic. It seems that a man holding the directorship of something called the Future of Humanity Institute should be more optimistic about humanity and its future, but this fellow is a downer:
For example, it might be that any sufficiently advanced civilization discovers some tech­nology--perhaps some very powerful weapons tech­nology--that causes its extinction.
The Universe abounds with so-called Great Filter events that have utterly nothing to do with the inevitable self-destruction of sentience, fashionable though that assertion may be. Gamma-ray bursting stars, asteroid impacts, ice ages for crissakes, any of which would roll back the calendar on our species if not obliterate it outright.

It isn't a Great Filter, it's thousands of calamities, randomly scattered across space and time, and we haven't been whacked by one yet but we still can be. Only microseconds ago in geologic time have we become aware of the potential for these calamities. It will take real geologic time for us to move a significant number of ourselves sufficiently far away to be spared the greatest of these calamities.

It may be that there are hundreds or even thousands of other spacefaring civilizations out there, dead before they got out of reach of the nearest GRB. For each of them, there are millions of other extinct civilizations buried under kilometers of ice, then ground to silt when the glaciers retreated, through a hundred cycles of glaciation and thaw.

I'd be surprised to find there are more than 3 interstellar races anywhere in the Universe at any one time, but then I haven't done the math.

Arguing that we're doomed for, or safely past, some single inevitable culminating point in the development of sentience is itself a form of observation selection effect.


drycleaning gets the smoke smell off the blazer

There's this:

" . . . the whole game is idiotic. Parties are supposed to pick their own nominees, and the idea ought to be for the guys on the inside who know what they're doing to come up with whoever they think has the best chance of winning the general election . . . "
Is this so far from what I wrote here?

Though he and I use "activist" somewhat differently.


I'd vote for a black man

it just has to be a black man who identifies himself by his belief in the content of one's character, rather than an accident of birth. Say, Ward Connerly, or Thomas Sowell. Shelby Steele.

Ironic that the charge of bigotry so easily erupts from the mouth of people who cherish the diversity of appearance but insist upon uniformity in, even blind obedience to, dogma.


greetings, visitors from Snake River Brewpub

Yup, I was just there.

The ribs were a bit too clove-y but overall quite good.


kick the FMG-9 up a notch

All the hullaballoo over a folding machine pistol in 9mm, we just don't get it. 9mm seems to be the caliber of choice for weird guns you can't find a mission for.

Now if MagPul chose to crank these out with a 7.62x25mm chambering and 8 inches of barrel, I'll dutifully lust for one.


Getting warm but not quite there

"We are very proud of our heritage, we are proud of who we are. We are not frustrated. We are not bitter. We turn to our faith because we believe, and we hunt and fish because it is part of our culture and we enjoy it."

We own all of the terrible implements of the Soldier that we can lay our hands on, because our Republic's founders had to. They did so because their erstwhile legitimate government had taken such arms up against them.

If that makes me a rube, a hayshaker, a gaptoothed hillbilly in some circles, so be it.

it gets better

Lunch was possible at Stubb's on my final day in Austin, thanks to broad frigging daylight. It was good but still not as good as Ironworks.

The courtesy driver at my hotel agrees.

After dark, a burger at Hut's.


Austin can stay weird just fine on its own

At Brother Scott's suggestion, I tried Stubb's. Rather, tried to try it.

Couldn't get in because Sister Inoxidable was with me (a charming photo of her on the right, "From My Cold Dead Fingers"), and Stubb's doors were plastered with the big red "51%." Too bad their website, extensive and informative as it is, doesn't mention that, or we wouldn't have walked the whole way to 8th from this shabby little hotel on the river.

So we ambled back, eyeing all the front doors to every joint from there back to Cesar Chavez, until I gave the hell up and went once more to Ironworks.


Keep Austin weird

here for bidness this week. Ironworks Barbecue two or three times already.

On the minus side, while I'm on foot in Waterfront/Warehouse/Convention Center area, I'm being hit up for "something to eat."

Once, in fact, by a fellow with a sandwich in his hand. "Can you help a guy find something to eat?"

"You've got something to eat. Right there in your hand."

He stopped for a moment as I walked past him, then called out, "'preciate it."


neener neener neener

Six years ago, my blood showed triglycerides over 200. My weight was in the low 180s. I was counseled to give up the red meat and cheese. I did not. Only a daily fibrate brought the trigs below 200.

Yesterday I mentioned in passing to my team's PA that I am following an Atkins program. He responded harshly and insisted on a fast and labwork. It seems that he has seen some people who either stay in induction far too long, or who yo-yo in and out of induction, rather than following the program and finding a maintainable carb level.

After 8 weeks of Atkins, the trigs are below 45, so low that LDLs cannot be reliably measured. Weight went from 185 to 165. No adverse numbers of liver function. Urine pH of 6.0, trace proteins, no ketones.

My PA took a look at the numbers and flipped me the bird.

All you really need to hear about DC v Heller in a nutshell

The word "hunting" made only four appearances.


blasting bleg

What is the maximum .308" bullet weight one could safely handload for a plain-jane M1 Garand?

For elk, if you have to know. And yes, the McCann gas system modification is an option.

The most chilling thing I've read all week

And it's only Monday:
Assuming the gender gap is real ... , China is facing a sizable and growing population of young men who have no prospect of marrying and settling down, a situation conducive to crime and political unrest—which, as far as the Chinese government is concerned, are one and the same. In August China Daily quoted Chinese officials and academics who blamed “an increasing crime rate, growing demand for pornography, and illegal [forced] marriage” on the disproportionate number of young, single men.
"Thank Deng Xiaoping for Little Girls," Reason, December 07.

If this dynamic takes the same form as that found in the Middle East---a disproportionate number of young single men frustrated by the prospect of always being single and frustrated, in this world at least---China will be only too happy to export that unrest rather than deal with it domestically; in fact the unrest will export itself. We have enough of that 8@7sh17 already in the Arabic 72-virgins flavor.

Ordinarily, I'd take reassurance from Thomas P M Barnett about the relative threat posed by China compared to other US national security threats. The generational aspect shown here, though, makes me reconsider.


"Blessed are the cheesemakers?" "Well, my dear, that can be taken to mean any makers of dairy products"

A post at Volokh Conspiracy seeks to employ evolutionary psychology to explain the infidelity of New York's disgraced resigning Governor. Wayyyy too much work.


Lithuanian 7.62x51mm Ammunition: Range and Bench Test

Hey, folks, it's The Cabinet Man. After a long hiatus, I'm back again, stealing space on Fuze's blog for my own purposes.

Today I want to post about some Lithuanian 7.62x51mm ammo I recently purchased from Ammoman. There didn't seem to be a lot of info on the 'net about this stuff so I figger'ed I'd Give Something Back.

Let's get started.

The ammo arrived in a nicely-constructed, well-marked 60 lb wooden case:


Inside the case are five 200-round battlepacks. The plastic material appears to be very strong, much like the South African battlepacks. Unlike the So-African battlepack, though, it lacks a "pull tab" to aid in opening the package. Each battlepack contains ten 20-round boxes:


The ammo is very clean: brass cases with copper FMJ bullets. Neither the bullets nor the cases attract a magnet:


In homage to Carteach0, let's de-construct this ammo; I sacrificed 5 rounds to this test. [sniff...] The powder is "semi-fine spherical" (with grains of varying sizes) reminiscent of H335 but with slightly larger grains:


The charges measured as follows:

CartridgeCharge (grains)

That's pretty consistent charging!!

The bullets are FMJ with exposed lead on the bases:


There is a black, tar-like sealant on the bullets that's not visible until the bullets are pulled. When I dumped the powder onto the scale, a few grains adhered to the sealant that still remained within the case.

The bullets measured as follows:

BulletWeight (grains)LengthDiameter

The cases are boxer primed and, thus, reloadable. There is thin primer sealant. I'm not 100% sure if the primers are crimped or not.


The cases measured as follows:

CaseWeight (grains)LengthNeck DiameterBase Diameter

Well, that's all fine-and-dandy but how did it shoot??

OK, here's the backgrounder:

Rifle: DS Arms STG-58A FAL, 21" barrel
Scope: IOR M2 w/ Dragunov reticle
Range: 100 yards from a bench, 10 rounds


As a comparison, I also shot some other ammo at the same time: Australian mil-surp, Black Hills Match (168-grn HPBT), and South African mil-surp. All the conditions were the same and the firing was done in a circular fashion: 5 rounds of Lithuanian, 5 So-African, 5 Aussie, 5 BHM, then back around again. Here are the other groups.

Aussie (my long-time, personal favorite!!):


Black Hills Match:

BH Match

South African:

South African

For some reason, the BH Match only groups really well in my bolt guns. None of my MBRs seem to appreciate it. Needless to say, I don't feed them the prime rib!! And I've never really had good results in any of my rifles with my one batch of So-African and I'm somewhat glad I didn't stock up on it.

One of the web-sites I frequently lurk upon had a question about the weight of the Lithuanian brass and how it compares to other mil-surp brass. So I fished a couple of spent Aussie and So-African cases from the recycle bucket and here's what I found:

South African (marked B81):

CaseWeight (grains)

Aussie (marked AFF '89', or '68' -- I can't tell which...):

CaseWeight (grains)

Now mind you, these are fired cases and the Lithuanian cases I weighed are unfired. In all honesty, I'm not sure what difference it would make but it might make some.

Well, that's enough for now. I'm tired of typing and fighting with Blogger's table formatting. I hope this helps anyone who's trying to make up their mind about Lithuanian 7.62x51mm ammo. Good luck!!



"But I thought it was Federal law"

I had business in a local grocer's today, and there at the entrance was a gentleman offering either the Denver Post or the Rocky. I took the moment to say that I will never buy either newspaper, because their parent organization, the Denver News Agency, refuses classified ads to sell firearms among private parties.

He said that DNA did so only to obey Federal law.

Hmph. I took the time to explain to him that there is no such Federal law. Depending on the State, private citizens can sell directly to one another, and that certainly was the case in Colorado at the time I left it for blessed Wyoming. Federal law does not prohibit advertisement of privately owned firearms for sale.

Some of the answers he was offering sounded like he was deliberately uninformed, or deliberately uninforming. He was, however, aware the DNA accepted no private classified ads for guns.

Either way, it was proved to me again that a lie can march around the world before the truth can pull on its boots. Especially if it is the lie's march is abetted by an ordinary Joe selling newspapers.


Agreeing Israeli-style

A sighting in the wild of an expression that I use fairly often:
" . . . that essential, Israeli trait: the ability to argue with ANYBODY, including one’s doctor, even if the doctor is a neurosurgeon who might be called upon later to do very delicate surgery on one’s face."


This is my keyboard. There are many others like it but this one is mine.

Staff meeting on Monday: we're sending too many emails to all of the Soldiers, instead of distributing some kinds of information down through the chain of command. OKfine. We'll start sending some information directly to section leads and platoon sergeants, and counting on them to get it downward to the Soldiers, and to funnel their questions back up through those same middlemanagers.

Wednesday: one of our Soldiers is home from the hospital, doing fine, won't be on duty again for rest of week. First Sergeant grabs me, tells me to send an email to all the troops to let them know.

"Top, we were briefed to start using the chain to distribute more kinds of information."

"Just send an email."

"Top, this is getting out of hand. Do you have a typing profile?"

"OK, we'll involve the chain of command. The Commander told me to tell you to send an email to all our Soldiers, telling them that Munoz is out of the hospital."

"You mean the same Commander who has a Blackberry on his hip? That commander, who can send email while he's on the shitter?"

"Get out of my office and send the email."

Friday: "You forgot to say he'll be back on duty next week."

"Correct, Top, but I did say he was off duty for the rest of this week."


She will be named

My Grendel will take the name of the wife of a good friend of mine.


QFTD, New Hampshire Primary edition

[Fred Thompson]’s flailing because he is running his campaign the way people say they want to see a campaign run, not the way they actually do. (In-depth policy positions, not sound-bite politics). The American people are like the chick that says she wants a nice guy but invariably runs off with the womanizing prick.
Yu-Ain commenting at Jeff Soyer's place.

Not an original observation, necessarily, but succinctly and balefully put.


a feature, not a bug

John Fund:
The caucuses are run by the state parties, and unlike primary or general elections aren't regulated by the government. They were designed as an insiders' game to attract party activists, donors and political junkies and give them a disproportionate influence in the process.
He makes it sound like a bad thing.

We nutcase Libertarians thought we were doing the rest of the world a favor by holding a nominating convention instead of primaries. We spared the gummint the expense of helping us select our candidates. We suffered the divisions and defections that come with nominating a controversial candidate. And to the extent possible we aired our dirty laundry among ourselves.

Despite it all, we kept nominating people we thought had their heads in the right place.

Some disadvantages we suffered, or could have, such as a well-financed but philosophically crippled candidate who flooded the convention with his people (the annoying example of Howard Stern in NY). Mitt Romney is doing little different, but through a government-sanctioned primary process that culminates before the convention. Not much left to do in Minneapolis but get hammered and make the back rooms smoky.

Attracting party activists and donors and giving them a disproportionate influence was a feature, not a bug. If it mattered enough to you to send yourself and bring money, you had a place and a voice. People who tacitly disagree with you from the comfort of home need not be counted, rational ignorance keeps some people out of the caucus or convention, and some people to whom it genuinely matters still won't make a showing for whatever reason.

Libertarians do not consider money an 'evil' but a badge of accomplishment, so donors didn't automatically evoke images of hook-nosed financiers chomping cigars.

I'll concede that weird rules of conduct of the caucuses, such as standing in a corner to be counted, seem to be skewed to make their outcome favorable to party hacks. But every human institution, large or small, seeks to manipulate the processes toward a given result chosen by insiders.

It comes with the territory, it is a flaw inherent in all public dealings. State Libertarian parties tend to be too small and too poor, and probably too quarrelsome, for such a thing as "party insiders" to emerge and take power over them. Lucky us.

I'd rather see fewer primaries and more quirky local processes wholly in the hands of parties, than the spectacle of States trying to preempt one another by moving primaries earlier.

If anyone criticizes the Iowa caucuses, do so over who's running them and how, stressing the importance of ground rules to the perceived fairness and efficacy of the process, and perhaps shaming their party officers into adjusting them. Don't criticize them for failing to have a primary---though it
carries the imprimatur and regulation of the government, it is just as fallible.