If I were doing this for the money, I wouldn't be doing *this*

As my military career came to an end, I was noticing problems with memory.  Forgetting meetings, not having a clear head for them, and tackling low-hanging fruit instead of going after the big, meaningful, change-agent kinds of things. 

Now, it seems my memory is sound.  I remember names, faces, situations, problems, solutions.  There's still plenty of keyboard time, but none of it spend interpreting a regulation or explaining my actions to dim second-guessers. 

My work keeps me on my feet and in front of people.  I didn't realize that's what I needed.  

I may also be losing weight.  Now for putting the garage and the radios back in order . . .


Update: Yaesu back on the air

Citizen Jed helped me find an Elmer willing to do the surface-mount work on my Yaesu. After some email exchanges, he inspired me to go back through the relevant circuits, and that reminded me of some work I had done in the power supply.  It had developed an intermittent between the transformer and the rectifier.

The power supply was not putting out DC.  When I went back in, I found that joint had broken again. 

I cleaned up some soldering on the aftermarket RC battery pack also. 

We're back in business. 


SCOTUS transcript is up

Transcript of SCOTUS hearing on NYS Rifle and Pistol Association versus New Yawk is at Dave Hardy's place.  

One observation of my own:  New York seems OK with the prospect that 'continuous and direct' will be shaped by litigation---premises licensees being prosecuted and spending money defending themselves---rather than clear definitions beforehand that licensees can read, understand, obtain advice of counsel, and train to each other.  How, and where in the court hierarchy, does Petitioner lodge that complaint?  

Is there not a Constitutional principle that people can know what conduct is lawful before engaging in it?  If one accepts that certain conduct requires a license, that license should include that sort of clarity.  Those who argue that firearms should be licensed like automobiles owe it to explain just what time, place, and manner restrictions that license will prohibit. 

Also:  Petitioners' Counsel missed an opportunity to distinguish premises licenses from carry licenses, though I'm not sure it would have helped Petitioners' case.  "We're not talking about the right of Petitioners to carry on person with a round in the chamber (yet), just the right to transport lawfully-owned property from one lawful place to another lawful place."  


Adventures in retail

SMDH:  a young woman in hospital scrubs visited Wednesday night while I was working my way back through paints, solvents, and abrasives.  She said her patient, an elderly gentleman, wanted some sandpaper to sharpen his teeth, and needed my recommendation of what grit. 

Though I asserted firmly that this recommendation comes best from a dentist, not a hardware store cowboy, she persisted.  We settled on 220 grit after she touched the 3000 grit Wetordry and thought that her patient would think it isn't real sandpaper. 



We have this year ceased to serve Uncle Sugar.  Said Uncle having quantified in dollars the future value of our past Service to him, and our decision to no longer serve him, we have taken the Summer of 2019 quite 'off.'

A trip or two on the side have been taken, namely to the Mecca of Brownell's and a return to the sweet, sweet humid Central Wisconsin of 2003 or thereabouts.

Now we have accepted a position in retail, serving a new Uncle who hosts big-box home improvement operations.  It appears to be, if not 'recession-proof,' at least 'recession-resistant,' and the new Uncle's Roth matching contributions are surprisingly generous.

What we would truly like to find are:

1) a skilled hand at surface-mount soldering, to repair a blown fuse in the battery charger circuit of our cherished Yaesu FT817 transceiver;

2) ranchers in the vicinity of Wheatland, Wyoming, who will host itinerant riflemen to cull their antelope.

3) parts kit to create an AR15 upper that will reliably chamber and fire 7.62.x25mm Tokarev ammunition, including handloads up to 150gr. The term in vogue is 'Moscow Match ammo.'  Gotta burn up those tracers

Strangely, (1) is the choice where we have no progress.

Come on, world.  You can do better.

USAF Airman Battle Uniforms do quite well in this terrain and vegetation for (2) given that one launders that uniform in some detergent and equipment that do not deposit UV dyes on it.  Though we admit that we see the world through eyes other than those of antelope or whitetail.  The whitetail were none the wiser.  

also:  re point (1):  a surface-mount fuse? are you fucking kidding me??? Ask me for an oxymoron, and this one is about 4th down the list, after Braille street signs. 



MICT is the continuation of lawfare by other means. 


resizing bottleneck pistol cases

all the cool kids say to resize rifle brass such that the shoulder is set back .001 to .003" for bolt rifles, and .003 to .005" for semiautos.

does the same guidance apply to pistol cases with shoulders?  One assumes they headspace on the shoulder just like a rifle cartridge. 

Asking for my Tokarevs. 

deactivating M25 tracers

We have a boatload of M25 tracer bullets.  Sounded like fun and during the bugger-all of certain parts of the Obama presidency, there were no other milsurp reloading components to be had (at prices I was willing to pay).  The tracers were priced attractively for the time, and everything is cheaper by the boatload.  They weigh in the range of 138 to 142 grains. 

Unaltered M25 tracer bullets, showing cavity and copper cup in tail. 

To render them safe(r) for regular range use, they must be deactivated. One intert00bs writer suggested hot glue to fill the cavity in the tail.  That writer might have had tongue in cheek, thinking that the hot glue would ignite the tracer compound.  Nah, another writer said you really have to nail the cup with a prolonged propane torch to set them off.  We filled about a hundred tracer tails with hot glue without incident. 

Note:  these aren't truly deactivated for purposes of range safety.  We expect them to not ignite when fired from our rifles.  But beat a few of these into the berm and leave them there, and somebody else can hit them with their bullets, and they'll start the grass fire that we didn't.  So, not good enough. 

Besides, one application for these tracers is in 7.62x39, but the M25 bullet is some 6mm longer than a 147gr FMJ, and that cavity full of glue takes up space that is needed for propellant. IMR4198's starting-ish charge of 24.5gr won't fit with the glue-filled bullet seated to magazine length. 

We poked holes in the copper cups of another hundred with a masonry nail, and immersed the bullets in mineral spirits to contaminate the tracer compound.  Some pale gray powder popped out of some with the nail.  More was found washing around in the mineral spirits after the bullets were taken out.  They air-dried for an hour then tumbled in clean walnut. 

These fit with 27-plus grains of H4895 (compressing?), and plenty of room for 27-plus grains of WC844, in the x39 case.  Two charge-weight ladders are ready for next range day. 

L to R, unaltered M25 tracer, tracer with glue-filled cavity, tracer with punctured cup and oil-wet tracer compound. 


Idea number 4024, pickup safari rack

The Family Truckster---'01 Ford F150 SuperCrew---has a bed so short as to be nearly useless. 

Its uselessness is compounded by a fabric tonneau cover stretched over it, with aluminum tube staves that brace it across the bed from side to side.  When rolling the cover out of the way, the staves get off track and tangle. 

I've also wanted some structure that extends above the bed, for lengths of lumber or a place to attach an enhanced HF antenna. 

So how about a rack that normally rests on that same surface where the tonneau and staves sit.  One at front and one at rear, on hinges.  Roll the cover out of the way, and hinge the two racks upward to form a rigid steel frame.  Two braces pop in between the two racks for front-to-back stability. 

There's almost enough room for these two racks to extend above the line of the cab and still fold flat, facing each other. 


Good idea #728.3

After having gotten a good look at the M-Lok attachment standard, it occurs to me that handgun makers should be abandoning the trend of putting Picatinny rails on pistols, and adopting M-Lok slots on them instead. 

They look less obtrusive.  If you don't want to rail anything on your pistol today, the slots won't get in the way, and will more cleanly conform to holsters, compared to the Pic. 

And tomorrow, if you want to put the weapon light or the laser on your 1911's dustcover, you can.  And when that doesn't work out the way you had hoped, the accessory comes back off and the pistol returns to its original envelope. 

The accessories themselves would be a bit lighter and less clumsy too. 

A 1911 or Gloock dustcover with slots would be barely noticeably larger than a dustcover with no doodads at all.  Best if these slots were blind so all the junk in the world will not pass through them and interfere with the pistol's operation.  Or the pistol ships with rubber slugs for each slot, which pop out with a screwdriver. 

The standard slot seems to be about 32mm long, which could be hard to fit on a compact pistol.  Maybe an abbreviated slot length could be had, if the accessories' toggles were closer together to match. 

Hey Polymer80, get on this willya? 


Savage Scout 11FCM and MEN milsurp NATO ball

not bad.  Now I need to download some Android app that can measure a photo of a shot group and pull out the group size. 

This is a five-shot group at 60 yards.  Flyer lower left.  The rest of that ragged hole was cut by 4 bullets, not three.  The group was shot with no defined point to shoot at, just my attempt at "center of the paper plate" using a Vortex Crossfire II Scout set at 2.5 power.

the tears in the paper plate are from spalls thrown from Grendel bullets hitting steel about 6 feet away, lower left.  Ignore them.  There's a story behind that steel I was pounding with Grendel but that story is for sometime telling in September. 

Lest one think that there's another flyer hidden under the nickel, same plate with the nickel moved:

Ammunition is MEN military surplus, 147gr NATO ball, lot MEN16E0836.  That ammo was priced very attractively about 2 years ago.  Shots were 2583, 2598, 2602, 2602, and yes, 2602 fps.  PACT chrono.  The widest extreme edges of that group (hole at 12 to hole at 3 o'clock) come in just under .750". 


Stripper clips and guide for 6.5mm Grendel

The case head dimensions for the 6.5mm Grendel cartridge are close enough to those of the 7.62x45mm Czech that their stripper clips work.  7.62x39 clips won't because they're curved to follow the tapered case body.

One or two eBay sellers had the stripper clips.  They're 5-rounders.  For a 25-round magazine (C-Products in this photo), 5 clips fill it. 

The GG&G stripper clip guides for 5.56mm ammo can be modified to take the Czech stripper clips.  Bend outward slightly the rails that attach the guide to the magazine, bend outward a bit more the rails that hold the stripper clip to the guide.  Your mags will get a little scratched. 

The Czech clips have bumps that stop the clips from entering more than about .500" into the guide.  The first clip will strip into the mag OK but not following clips, because there's too much gap between the end of the clip and the top of the magazine.  The cartridges pile up instead of schmoozing on into the mag.

Your Dremel, with a cutting wheel, can carve open a slot on each side of the guide to let those bumps in so the clip seats deeply into the guide.  The slots need to be long enough so there is barely enough space for one cartridge case head between the top of the mag and the end of the clip.  The bottom round of the clip should be almost touching the follower.

The slots will be the width of about two thicknesses of cutting wheel, to accommodate the bumps.  See the red markup on the photo.  A needle file down the insides of the clip guide rails will help the clips to slide in squarely. 

Wirebrush the slots to clean up your work.  If you're obsessive, degrease the guide(s) and reparkerize or zotch them with teflon/moly.

I think a rub or two of paraffin on the clips themselves will help the cartridges slip out of them.