Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AKs are okay!

I also fired 60 rounds through a new Romanian WASR-10 semi-auto AK yesterday.
I put 30 rounds of basic ball and soft points into 3 inches at 25 yards from the standing offhand position. Another 15 in rapid fire opened the group up to 5-6 inches. I was able to hit rocks and dirt clods of about 6-8 inches size at 100 yards from standing. I nailed a torso-sized flat rock that's set upright at the 150 yard line until it was boring. Aside from mounting an A1-style birdcage flash hider on it, I'm going to leave this one pretty much stock for the time being.
I was able to induce one failure to feed by pushing the magazine from side to side. The round just sat in the magazine, wasn't picked up and chambered by the bolt. I was doing this check because the mag well opening seemed a little, shall we say, generous? But it only happened once in the first 20 rounds and I couldn't induce that failure again. Short of really whacking on the magazine, I don't see how it would be a problem. The mags locked up tight and were securely in place.
Like all the Romanian AKs I've handled it was full of metal chips and grease when I first opened it up, the chips coming from where they ground out the metal to allow it to feed from standard magazines. Brushing and cleaning and lubing it with LSA made it run slickly.
I considered a Saiga SGL10 at much more money, but they require either that you modify the locking lug on your magazines or modify the mag catch. I didn't feel like fooling with it. This will do what an AK does - runs, hits, tolerates abuse.
It might not be purty, but it works. Photos to follow.

Happy Bloggo!

I took the Para USA 9mm lightweight Commander-style LTC to the range yesterday and quickly fired 100 rounds of Winchester white box generic 115 grain ball through it. I like it.

I included the Wilson Combat 9mm magazines in this initial testing as well. They hold 10 rounds, are easy to load and are very well made. They ran without a hitch through the LTC.
I field stripped the gun before going out, inspected it and lubed it with LSA (lubricant, small arms). This isn't a torture test so I'm not going to run the gun dry and see if it breaks. I will run it for awhile without cleaning it to see what that reveals.
I fired one 10 round group at 25 yards of about 4 inches size. I was shooting very casually and when I really held tight and worked at it, the gun laid the rounds right on top of each other. It shot to the sights at both 25 and 50 yards in casual plinking at dirt clods and cans.
The only malfunction was a failure to feed the last round from one of the Para 9-round magazines. I was shooting to see how rapidly I could empty and reload it and carry on. I realized that one round remained in one mag when I picked it up. I then fed it in and shot it, and it locked back the slide as it should. I don't know if it was the mag that locked back the slide, prompting my reload, or if I hit the slide stop or what. There were no other malfs. It could have been me so I don't consider that a failure of the gun or mags. This is not a stringent collection of data, this is an ongoing evaluation of the gun.
Impressions to date - sights are right, trigger is crisp, shoots like it should with generic ammo and no faults found. The Wilson magazines are first rate.
I'm going to have fun with this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First look at the new Para LTC

I was able to pick up the Para LTC from my brother today and get some first impressions of it. I didn't get to shoot it but plan to do that tomorrow.

First, the pistol looks really good. The finish is very dark, a blue so deep it's black. The edges are crisp and the finish on the parts I examined was good. I field-stripped it and gave it a quick look, found nothing to be unhappy about and put it back together.
The trigger is very nice. It has very little take-up and lets off crisply, with almost zero overtravel. You wouldn't guess that it has the series 80-type trigger safety in it just from the feel. I've handled some guns in which you could feel every millimeter of travel of the parts in the trigger mechanism, but not with this one. The first impression the gun gives you is that it's solid and well made. The stocks have a good figure and are properly checkered. I do wish that the front strap was as well. The mainspring housing is very crisply checkered and gives you something to sink your skin into.
The two magazines that come with it have that same look of being properly constructed and finished. They're brightly polished, have extended base pads, hold nine rounds and slide in and out of the pistol smoothly.
The gun came in a very nice locking plastic box. The gun makers all seem to be putting more care into the packaging of their guns now, which is good because it makes them easier to store and protect. It was packed with a bushing wrench and two Allen keys for adjusting the sights and other hex head screws on the gun. They included a lock, of course, and it's going to stay in the bag it's in. There's a basic manual which I'll read at greater length later. It appears that it has a picture tutorial by Todd Jarett in it - nice touch.
The first impression is of a well-made, well thought-out pistol and package. Let's hope that it shoots as well as it looks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An open letter to Mitch McConnell

Dear Mitch - I hope you win this election. I know that you've been having to work harder than you're used to against this Lunsford boy. It's bound to make you nervous, knowing that for the first time you've got serious competition for your seat.
You should have seen it coming. Watching Ann Northrup get knocked off by that uberliberal in Louisville should have told you something about the mood of the electorate. But I bet you drew the wrong conclusions so let me explain it to you.
You and Ann and McCain and Bush are all suffering from the same problem. You've misplaced whatever conservative credentials that you ever had. You're so busy trying to be everybody's buddy, trying to outspend the Democrats, that the conservatives think you've died and been replaced by clones. You know, like Stepford Republicans who make faintly familiar noises while self-destructing.
Mitch, you can't outspend the Democrats. Ye gods, man, look at how much they've squandered on The Great Society in the last forty years! Sarah Palin spends $150,000 on clothes and the Left goes bats, but Barack NO!bama spends FIVE MILLION on a stage and not a peep! How you gonna keep pace with that, bubba?
As McCain might have learned by now (we're not so sure he can be taught, but that's another column for another day), reaching out across the aisle to the Dems only means you're gonna draw back a bloody stump. Maybe he's been doublecrossed and badmouthed by the guys he thought were his pals enough times in this campaign that he's getting the picture. I have my doubts.
But you're a Kentucky boy, Mitch, and I'm more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, if only not to feel embarrassed for both of us.
There is no compromise with the Dems, Mitch, for two reasons.
One, they want to win this culture war, and they already KNOW that it's a war, while you guys are still waking up. Didn't any of you read about Pearl Harbor in school? You can't win a war if you don't know you're in it.
Two, there is no compromise on principles. You remember principles. I know you do, just close your eyes and think really hard, you can do it!
You had them before you went to Washington, I bet. Now you're so intent on trying to pass legislation, ANY legislation, that you can point to and say "See! We did that!" that you've forgotten that just passing bills isn't the same thing as crafting laws that are based on principles.
Republicans are getting their butts kicked because we don't love you no more. There, I put it in a form that any C&W fan can relate to. We have a lot of those here in Kentucky. I'm not one, but I understand the genre.
We're tired of voting for Republicans only to find out that they're Dems in disguise. (Are you guys lying to us just so you can go to DC and hang out in the gym with your Dem buddies? If that's the case, just go on over the DNC and let 'em sign you up, and quit lying to us.)
When the GOP decides to knuckle down and field candidates that we can point to and say "that is NOT a Democrat!" then you'll see some changes in our support for the GOP. Did you notice how folks got all fired up about Sarah Palin when she came on the scene? Didja hear a lot of "hot DAMN!, I LIKE that girl!" floating around?
We call that a clue, Mitch. You don't have to be frickin' Columbo to see that.
It's time to quit being nice and trying to get along with guys who hate you.
If a pack of thugs was kicking you in the teeth while they were taking your car, and dragging your furniture out the door and emptying your gun safe, would you be trying to shake their hands and kiss their bipartisan butts? Okay, McCain would, but surely you're smarter than that, Mitch? Or did you turn in your huevos at the door when you entered the Senate cloakroom?
To the Dems, to Schumer and Reid and Pelosi, bipartisan means TWO of them jumping on ONE of you. You need to start reading their playbook.
That's what the Dems are doing, Mitch - looting our house. Pillaging our way of life. They're slapping you guys around while you keep seeking approval like a bunch of little boys who aren't sure that their mothers love them, and they're piling all our principles into a heap getting ready for a cultural bonfire.
WAKE UP, Senator McConnell!
The Dems are NOT your friends. They're trying to drag you down, boot you out and they'll dance on your grave when you're gone. They're masters of showing a conciliatory face while their hands are doing a tap-dance with a dagger in your back!
So that's why you're teetering on the brink of defeat, Mitch, and why we're going to grit our teeth and vote for Palin and that other guy and yes, for you - one last time.
We can see what you're doing up there in the swamp and we don't like it. We don't relish defeat and we're not getting a payoff that will mollify us for the screwing that's going to follow this election if the GOP tanks as badly as it seems that they will. You can lie back in your retirement while we foot the bill for your errors and try to hold the Obamabarian horde at the gates.
You may not mind losing a war that you don't even seem to see is being waged but I can assure you that we most definitely DO resent it, sir!
Maybe the only bright side to all this mess is that if you lose, you're gone, and there might be a new generation of Republicans coming up behind you who took notes and learned something from it, and have decided to go for the win, not a draw. Maybe enough people will be sufficiently pissed off at the GOP to start speaking up even more loudly than we have in the past, and not putting their money behind "moderate" clowns.
I hope you win your race, Mitch. I hope NO!bama loses and you have another chance to get back in the Senate and start kicking some Left-wing butt. Good luck - we'll have our eyes on you - Bloggo

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A journalist speaks out against his own profession

Let's face it, the mainstream media are so obviously supporting NO!bama, rooting for NO!bama and doing all that they can to help him be elected that it's stunning to behold!
In this piece in the Pajamas Media this writer speaks about his intense embarrassment over the blatant partisanship of the media, not just in this presidential election but in many other major stories that he's covered.
There are also links to stories about illegal campaign contributions to NO!bama in the comments at the bottom of the page that you should follow and read.  Frightening.
More than anything else, all this is being played out in plain view, with virtually no shame, no contrition on the part of the players.  The Left apparently has decided that this is their hour, their time to seize the day and make their big move for power.
I can only sit and read and wonder when the big push is going to get pushed back by the majority of us who don't accept this corruption.


Iowahawk nails another one, in his inimitable style, lampooning the socialist hypocrite and NO!bama lover William Ayers in this piece.
I wish I had this guy's talent for satire.  Pure genius.  What's scary is that he's only pointing out what the world knows about this little slime toad, and the world that supports the Chosen One doesn't care!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Excellent interview about taxes, trade and wealth

An interview with the CEO of FedEx, Fred Smith, where he makes a lot of sense.
Read it here in the Wall Street Journal Online Opinion page.
It's hard to argue with success and we should be listening to a man whose company is doing so well. If the government was half as efficient as his company we'd be in clover. Worth reading just to make you wonder why all of this isn't obvious to a lot more people. But then, a lot of people don't think, they emote - and they back NO!bama.

Fred Thompson unmasks the Obamination

He may not have run the best campaign this year, but when Fred's working from a script he's hard to beat.
Here he gives an excellent exposition of what to fear from a NO!bama presidency with a congress full of lackeys along for the ride. He delineates many of the things that the Left is dreaming of doing to this nation, and what the damage would be.
(I would like to have embedded the video but don't know how to yet. If you have info on how to do that please leave me a comment about it, thanks!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Para LTC 9mm is here!

Or rather, it's at my brother's house where it was delivered since he has the FFL. And he's out of town at a gun show. And I can't get it until Monday. Damn.

Oh well. I've waited this long and I can wait a little longer. There's ammo in boxes in the hall, two of Bill Wilson's 9mm Wilson Combat magazines for the 1911 in the safe (thanks, Bill!) and lots of time before the snows come to wring out this puppy and see if it's as good as Kerby says it is.
This is the gun that Kerby Smith of Para USA, Inc., whom I've known since I used to work as a Safety Officer at the IDPA Nationals, promised at the NRA show this spring to loan to me for T&E. I'd seen one of their little bitty LDA 9mm carry guns that Michael Bane's told you about the previous spring at the Jeff Cooper Memorial in New Mexico. I told Kerby that most of the folks who I knew were very interested in a Commander-sized 9mm for practice and training and instruction. So Kerby, being the generous soul that he is (or just plain nuts, you decide) agreed to send me one. Some delay and several emails later, which must have had Kerby pulling his hair and debating the wisdom of ever agreeing to do this, here it is. Or, here it ALMOST is! Nearly. Kinda. Sorta.
Not much longer now. Be still, my heart!

The Pack

I keep talking about dogs, and this is, after all, the Dog Boy's blog. But I haven't yet really written much about them.
Time to fix that and to introduce the 4th Street Irregulars.

(all photos by Julia Riggs 2007)

I don't just have a dog or two, I have a pack. Whether humans understand it or not, even if you have only one dog, to that dog you and he and whoever else lives with you are a pack. Knowing this is the start of understanding how to live with your dogs and to teach them how to live with you.

My oldest dog, Lucie, is a Husky mix who came to live with me 10 years ago when she was four. She'd been in Husky rescue and was being bounced out of yet another home when the kids who had her passed her on to me. She's the alpha bitch in the house and she lets everyone else know it. She has a really sweet face and is such a socialite, making sure when we go out that everyone knows that she's there, making the rounds and demanding her due of attention ("yes, I am here, you may adore me now."). At fourteen she's starting to slow down just a bit, but she hasn't lost her absolute sense of her own role as the queen of the pack, second only to me in the hierarchy.

Our oldest male is Fooss, probably a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix. We originally spelled this in the correct German way, 'fuss', the word for 'foot' since the size of his feet was remarkable at first meeting! But Americans didn't catch on to that so we went the phonetic route. Mr. Fooss was about a year old when he wandered up out of the woods at a friend's house in the country where someone had dumped him, came up on Jeff's porch and sat in my lap. Julia picked ticks off of him, I scratched his ears and Jeff fed him bologna. He looked around with an expression of "Thank God I found you guys!" and he never left. As big and intimidating as he is, he's as sweet and considerate a dog as any alive. But he takes no guff and when a local thug-wanna-be leaned over too close to me one day, running his mouth, Fooss slid in between us and made it plain that he wasn't having any of that without having to say a thing. He's a good boy. Learning how to work with him was how we were introduced to a new way of thinking about dogs and training, kind of similar in principle to what the dog whisperer on TV does. At 100 pounds, he still likes to sit in my lap whenever possible.

Sunny, our other female, about 65 pounds and probably a Husky/shepherd mix, came to live with us in 2003 when she was 2 years old. She'd been dumped in a pound by some folks who decided that an active, intelligent and affectionate dog was too much trouble. They'd probably also smacked her around a little, but today she's the live wire in the pack. I'd just lost Sergei that winter and I was still sore at heart about it, so our friend Liz Norris, the dog trainer who taught us how to "speak dog", told me I needed her and she needed me and that's how it was going to be. Sunny is the spark plug in the pack, the one who gets things going and who raised Churchill when he came to us as a puppy, teaching him about tussling and being a big dog. She also made it plain from the start that she wanted to be alpha bitch, which led to some confrontations with Lucie and required that I actively referee them for some time until we finally sorted out their place in pack. But she's still keeping an eye on Lucie, and waiting for her chance to move up. She's smart and manipulative and never slows down, always scouting the terrain.

Churchill is our baby. Yeah, he's three years old now and 86 pounds at last check, but he joined the pack as a puppy picked up as a stray and to us he's still the baby in the bunch. I got an email from the Shamrock Foundation dog and cat rescue in Louisville saying that they were desperate for a foster home for "Big Puppy" - and that's what he was! Brought him home and fell in love and here he stayed.
He's some kind of mix of mastiff or Labrador or boxer or pit bull or some such, who knows. He has a head the size of Texas, a soft heart and more teeth than a piranha, but what he loves most in the world is to cuddle up next to you and flop his head down on your arm and go to sleep. He recently had an injury that required him to wear a plastic collar for a week, and he bore it with a stoicism and acceptance that I would never have believed had I not seen it. Loves to play, leads the pack on its runs through the field, is a serious scent hunter in the woods and has the goofiest, happiest expressions you've ever seen.

Seamus also came to us through the Shamrock Foundation rescue group in Louisville. We agreed to take him in to foster him after he'd been picked up as a stray, and like the other big boys, he never left. At 120 pounds he's the largest lad in the crew and he lets the world know he's here with his huge voice. But he's so soft to train, so eager to please and if he thinks you're ticked off with him his brow furrows, he drops his head and he just melts. He's the classic gentle giant, the perfect example of what I love in large dogs. Not sure what he's mixed with, probably Rottweiler and some kind of hound, but it could be Labrador, or it might be bloodhound, all of which would give him his substantial size. He's infatuated with chasing a ball or stick or anything thrown and can't wait to bring it to you to show it off. But he doesn't like getting into the water at all and that makes me wonder about the part that might or might not be Lab. Who cares! He's a happy boy!

Bodi joined up with the Irregulars last year after being picked up running loose. We were told that he'd been abused by his previous owner. Things like that make me crazy. He's so gentle and sweet and eager to please, so desirous of your attention and praise and affection that it's impossible to understand why anyone would abuse him. And he's so happy to be alive, each and every day, every hour of the day, so good with every other dog and with every human he meets that it's hard to believe that he ever was abused. His sweet demeanor is a testament to the resilience and basic good nature of dogs. Do what you like to them, abuse and mistreat them, but give them a chance to bounce back and be loved, given a job and a pack to belong to, and all the past and all the hurt just goes away. Bodi is certainly the embodiment of that. Seeing that he's likely a Ridgeback mix and 100 pounds of solid hard unstoppable muscle it's a damn good thing that he's so good natured, or he'd be hell on wheels!

Some day I'll tell you about our departed friends, Sergei the Noble, and Vanya the Crafty Fox who was Julia's favorite dog. We lost Sergei in 2003 after a long bout with seizures. But Vanya died unexpectedly only last year, and my heart still aches every time I look at her empty crate. I keep it closed with her toys in it, can't bring myself to let another dog sleep in it yet. Maybe soon. Maybe another dog will need a home and a K9-Krew to run with and a crate, and we'll add them to the pack. God knows we don't need another dog, but when the right one shows up, head cocked and ears squared and gives you that look, that special look, how can you say no?

One down, now where to go?

The decision as to which AR to buy has been made and in the end, as it should, quality won out over quantity.
I've always believed in getting the best quality firearms that you can afford, but in today's market there are so many choices that it's hard to sort out the wheat from the chaff, and cash is limited. The AR industry has so many manufacturers making rifles and carbines now that it's very difficult even to know who's making them, let alone what models they have and which features those models possess. How to decide what's really necessary, what's hype and what's dangerously unreliable in the long run?
The Noveske brand of ARs has many admirers among the people who really care about such subjects, so I ended up ordering the Noveske N4 Light Recce basic carbine that you see pictured here.

There were some other contenders for the best AR, notably Lewis Machine & Tool and Colt, as well as the mid-range guns by Rock River Arms, Bushmaster and our own Kentucky boys at Double Star. But I haven't forgotten that Colt's management betrayed gun owners when they stopped sales to civilians during the Clinton era, even though many in the gun owning public are willfully amnesiac on this point in their slavish allegiance to that brand and their perception of its superior qualities. And I simply don't see that the Colt, which offers virtually nothing in the way of options or modernizations in its stock form, is better than the other top brands like LMT or Sabre Defense. Of course, I did have a high dollar mark that I simply couldn't afford and that ruled out those super-fancy versions that easily exceeded $2000 in price. With even the collapsible buttstocks now ranging from $100 to over $300, it's easy to load a carbine up with options and optics and price it through the roof.
Finally, I ended up with the Noveske because it features a mid-length gas system in addition to all the primary features that I required.  I knew about the Noveske guns but not their mid-length system until I read something about it written by John Hearne, another Gunsite alumnus who also builds and sells his own reactive steel target systems.  If you shoot for play or for serious social reasons, you should investigate his DVC targets.
So what, you may ask, is a mid-length gas system and why is that to be desired?
There are presently three major types of gas systems in use in ARs (we'll avoid getting into pistols and super shortys and all that) and those are the standard rifle length as found in the M16A4 with the 20 inch barrel - then the carbine or CAR short version that began with Colt's CAR and XM177E2 guns in the Vietnam war as the barrels were shortened to make the guns more handy and compact (ranging in different models from 11.5 inches to 16 inches) with the current issue M4 most often seen in the photos of our troops now in the field having a 14.5 inch barrel plus flash suppressor (seen here with the addition of the Aimpoint red dot sight, picatinny rail fore-end and a sound suppressor) - - then on to the newer mid-length system that's configured in between those two and is most typically found in AR carbines with 16 inch barrels. I'm not sure who originated it but the first manufacturer that I saw with a mid-length gas system in production was Armalite. Now there are more, though some gun builders with whom I've consulted still don't believe that it offers any advantages and don't make them.
The major problem with all direct-gas-impingement systems such as that used in the AR is that the propellant gases are vented into the receiver in order to provide the propulsive force for the bolt and mechanism. This is what leads to all the carbon fouling inside the receiver and it was this excessive fouling in the very early M16s in use in Vietnam that caused the malfunctions that were notorious at that time.
Modern ARs are substantially less prone to stoppages from carbon due to changes and improvements in the design, as well as user awareness of the need for regular cleaning and maintenance, but the reality is that the gas still goes slamming into the receiver super-hot and super-fast in the carbine-length guns. This accelerates wear on the internals and has caused the development of a different set of parts for the M4's bolt versus what's used in the M16A4 full length rifle
The mid-length carbine addresses this by moving the gas port, where gas is tapped from the barrel into the tube that ports it to the bolt carrier key, further up the barrel toward the muzzle. This in turn slightly reduces gas velocity, temperature, the recoil impulse and the wear on the internals.
My thinking on this topic is largely influenced by the fact that at one time several years ago I had what was called the "Dissipator". It was made by Bushmaster with a 16 inch barrel (which appeared to be a cut-down LMG barrel with a REALLY heavy contour!) but outfitted with full-length handguards and a sight tower at the end of the barrel for a rifle-length sight radius. It also had a longer gas system and the combination of those elements gave it a balance and feel that I liked a lot. I made the mistake of trading it in for a mock-M4 made up for me by Jesse Starnes at Double Star in order to get a flat top, since it had a fixed carry handle. Should have kept it but didn't. The only people making anything like it now are CMMG. The other companies now producing what they call "dissipators" use the long hand guards but employ the short gas system underneath them, which defeats the purpose to my mind.
I still believe that the future of the AR platform is a piston system of the sort found in virtually every other modern military firearm, going back to the FAL and AR18, carrying on today to the Heckler & Koch G36 that Germany issues.
The US Army recently evaluated a piston system prototype, the XM8 based on the G36, but dropped it for the usual arcane political reasons. Now, however, they're being forced into re-evaluating piston system guns by reality and some members of Congress, ac
ting on end-user complaints from the field. This is in part because of the success of the H&K 416 that's been used by the Spec Ops community, and partly because the new FN SCAR rifles are piston driven, which leads some to ask why we would shouldn't go that route with all our guns in light of the known failings of the direct gas ARs?
At this time, which of the currently made and sold commercially available piston systems - POF, LWRC, CMMG, Adams Arms, et al - is the one to use, the one that will last and be available in the long run is still very much up in the air. So for now I've opted for what I believe is the best compromise. I still get a very handy carbine with a 16 inch barrel and all the good features like a flat top with rail for mounting optics and sights, combined with the mid-length gas system in a high-quality basic gun.
Later I can retro-fit a piston top end to this gun, but that's a luxury that can wait for now. It's more important to look next at which AK to get (another Romanian WASR utility type versus a semi-civilian spec Saiga SGL10 from Arsenal?) as well as which magazines to buy for both carbines, and how much ammo I can afford versus how many pistol magazines to try to work into the budget, and that's on top of continuing to pay off a certain young lady's college loans and doing maintenance on the house as winter comes creeping in. And then there's another Aimpoint with a Larue mount, and maybe even a suppressor - woohoo!
There's always something to spend the bucks on, even if you're not looking over your shoulder and worrying about the Obamanation lurching and slouching toward D.C.
Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mah baby LOVES me!

My birthday was last week and Julia came through in stellar style, like she always does!

I got a package from her, straight from France, that was full of chocolate bars of all kinds, some Bretagne-style cookies and other good stuff.
Have to ration it so it doesn't run out too soon, and so I don't pass out in a sugar-induced coma on the kitchen floor.
And NO, I ain't sharing!
Lessee, what're we gonna munch on next?

NO, Churchill, you can't have any!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What to buy, oh my, oh my!

With the prospect of an Obamination looming large on the horizon, the consideration of what to start buying up is on my mind and those of a lot of other gun owners.
As much as I want Sarah Palin to win this election (and drag McCain along with her, sigh) I'm realistic enough to know that it might not come to pass. So I'm looking at what to put down some money on, figuring what's most likely to be embargoed if the Chosen One gets his smooth-talking ass elected.
Of course, magazines of all types are high on the list, particularly those for the nasty "assault rifles" that drive the Left into a lather. Anything over 10 rounds capacity is on the must-buy list. Ammunition can wait for now, since that's going to be harder for them to legislate against (though they'll be trying as hard as they can, those little shites) and pistols are another item that can be put on hold for the nonce.
So the NEXT big ticket item is those semi-automatic carbines that the Brady Bunch have managed to misname "assault rifles" in the minds of their journalistic allies and the unwitting public. But what to buy? An AR? An AK? How much to spend? What type to get? Is this the time to get one of those new piston-system ARs that are coming on strong to replace or supplant the traditional AR direct-gas-impingement system, or is it better just to get a quality AR and hope to get the piston top end at a later date?
Hard to decide. The best ARs are judged by most to be the Colt, the Lewis Machine & Tool, the Noveske or the Sabre Defense, among others. Other brands are also front runners, but controversy over what constitutes "milspec" makes selection problematic. Do you get the $2200 LMT or three of the DoubleStar carbines at Centerfire Systems, and upgrade the top ends at a later date? Are the lowers up to snuff? Seems most of the controversy revolves around the uppers and the bolt groups, so that's the part that could be purchased later on. It's also the part that's free of transfer restrictions for now, since the lower receiver is the serially numbered and restricted component. I almost hate to mention it, since that could change if some Obamanite gets wise and manages to get that legislated away from us as well.
It's a quandary, that's for sure, and while I continue to pull for Palin the latent survivalist in me says "GET THAT GEAR NOW!!!" in tones too strident to ignore!

Filth and sickness on the Left

One of the most significant reasons that I gave up on the Left and my liberal tendencies many years ago was the absolute viciousness and hypocrisy that I encountered among those left-leaning folks.
(Yes, Virginia, I was once a starry-eyed liberal lover of the perfect vision of the world. Then reality got in the way.)
They purported to want fairness and love and justice for all, but they were brimming with hatred for those who opposed their point of view. They were absolutely filled with rage. I was pretty pissed off myself, but the hard core lefties were just plain unhinged.
Now that hatred and venom has found full flower in the current campaign of slander against Sarah Palin. Witness -

And this particularly disgusting little gem, with smirking twits sporting the latest in casual hate-wear -
Wow. High intellectual fodder for insightful discussion, huh? You betcha!
For a more reasonable discussion of Palin's achievements during her tenure as governor of Alaska and her qualifications to serve as our vice-president, consider this article by Rich Lowry in the National Review Online edition.
Much more reasonable and informative, and much more adult than the ugly crap that the Left's serving up in this campaign season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To the little nasty "anonymous"

This week I got a comment sent to me for moderation from someone posting anonymously which was vicious and filthy.  It was in response to the question I posed about why McCain wasn't hammering on NO!bama's racism as evidenced in his books.
It wasn't as bad as some of what goes on at the Daily Kos and other founts of leftist dementia, but it was a surprise to me.  Didn't think that I attracted such louts to this page.
But yes, that's why I have moderation on comments activated on this blog, and will continue to do so.  I don't have time to come here every couple of hours and weed out the crap that such little nasties and cowards as this one would put on here if they were unimpeded.
A message to "anonymous" - your comment reveals you as a disturbed and vicious person.  I would guess that you've been told this before, and that you've had problems controlling your personality and your rage in the past.  Or it's possible that, being the true sociopath that you are, you've managed to conceal it well enough to avoid being revealed completely.  In any case, you won't get your comments published here.  You'll just have to keep on reading and writhing in your own waste.  Tough.

ACORN's rotten core

Wow!  Imagine that!  Another Weatherman radical shows up in another organization that supports Obama and breaks the law!
Investor's Business Daily comments on how ACORN is finally being investigated for their illegal activities in signing up non-existent voters by the thousands all across the country.
And, wonder of wonders, the founder of ACORN is also a former member of the Weather Underground and associate of the radical William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn!
And still the mainstream media are sleeping and ignoring this.  You can bet that if it were a right-wing organization that they'd be digging as hard as they could go to find ANY association between them and whichever nut jobs they could.  Say, if the KKK were behind something the RNC was supporting?
But as long as it's their golden boy, NO!bama, that stands to gain from their silence, their deliberate obliviousness, then mum's the word!
Bigger question is, what's it going to take for the GOP and McCain/Palin to come out with a comprehensive attack on ALL of this information instead of nibbling at the edges and dealing out sound bites?  Just hammering on Ayers won't get it, they need to give the public the full broadside about ACORN and Soros and all the Weather Underground activity in Chicago, and all the rest of it.  Throwing out nibbles and bits won't sway the electorate, but dropping a large info-bomb of the entirety of NO!bama's dirty past just might.
Bits and pieces allows the left to play tit for tat with the GOP, which dilutes the arguments and the tires the listeners.  Hitting them with a broadside might be just what it takes to wake everybody up to this socialist and the threat that he poses!

Monday, October 13, 2008

As time goes by .......

This week I celebrate my birthday.
Fifty-ish years of watching the world go by, seeing the changes. While they haven't been as overwhelming for me as they were for my father, who watched the world go from horse-based transportation to hybrid cars, and saw the end of smallpox, they've been pretty amazing nonetheless.
In the fourth grade, I did demonstrations in our grade school of the new Telstar satellite that was capable of handling thousands of phone calls, bounced from the Earth out into space and back again. Now we have thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth, routing billions of bits of data per second, taking pictures and processing signals, some handling what seem like almost mundane tasks. You get in trouble in your car, and a signal from a satellite goes to a call center from which help is dispatched. Make a call to France, watch cable TV, use your GPS. Satellites.
Smallpox is still essentially dead, but more than that, hepatitis-B is preventable and more diseases are being controlled all the time. What seems beyond the reach of science is human behavior, which accounts for most obesity and heart disease and other preventable problems.
Too many transformations to name or list, too many changes to ponder on one day. All that today is going to be used for is to goof off and read as many Robert Parker books as I can.
A couple of drinks, prime rib for supper and maybe a movie to celebrate on the day - nothing fancy, but also nothing to cause me to have to work too hard.
The only thing that would top it off would be to spend it Julia and Jared, but distance and reality prevents that so we'll leave it on the wish list.
It would be great to say how much I've learned over the years and how much more of this or that that I knew or blah-blah-blah, but I don't have that kind of feeling about it all. It's a hot and slightly muggy Indian summer day and should be like that all this week, good for lazing about and being intellectually lazy.
Time to watch the news but not to be wrought up about it, and to turn it off when it annoys me enough.
I'm shopping for scope rings and bases, getting the dogs' car worked on (yes, they have their own car - more on that at another time) and giving Capstar to the critters to control a sudden outbreak of fleas that's had Yoshimi racing around and scratching like mad, but work? Hard thinking? Creative and stimulating writing? Not for a couple of days.
Dinner and perhaps watching my first episode of "Dexter", that series a friend has been telling me about for over a year. Then, ala Samuel Pepys, "and so to bed" all the first of this week.
Easy. Simple. Lazy.
Y'all take care.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why isn't McCain hammering on this issue?

Interesting piece by Phyllis Schafly online in the World Net Daily about Obama's rampant racism, as repeatedly described in his book "Dreams from My Father".  Judging by the excerpts that she quotes, the man is a seething cauldron of rage against white Americans.
Yet this material, these views are nowhere to be found in the public discussion about who he is, nor in the discussions of his views and philosophy?
Are McCain and the Republicans determined to run yet another campaign to nowhere?  Why are we not screaming to the skies about this man's naked hatred of white people and his loathing for this country?
You can bet that any white person who expressed this kind of bigotry would be justifiably roasted over the coals for such virulent views, but Obama's still getting a pass, sliding along under the radar.  This is making me CRAZY!!! 

Monday, October 6, 2008

KC3 and a new blog

Since I'm working with KC3 again, and we're getting ready to re-vamp our web page, I've started a blog that will allow us to give out current information in a timely fashion to our members and friends.
You can find "The Pulse of KC3" at - all my personal points of view on the world and the issues will continue to be posted here, and that blog will be strictly for KC3's business.
I may have some things to say in future about some folks who abandoned KC3 and did their best to drive it into the ground before they left, but that will be on this page, and NOT on the KC3 page!

New printer, tough decision

I finally got completely fed up with the failures of the Epson printer that I got with the new eMac computer last year and have bought a new Canon Pixma MP470 to run with.
The Epson was a piece of crap from the get-go. Alignment problems, driver problems and ink cartridges that seemed to have very little capacity. There is no excuse for a printer to be this much trouble to use in this day and age, for God's sake.
Now I have to figure out what to do with it - take it to the range and blow it to smithereens, or donate it to Good Will and take the tax break?
I know what I WANT to do with it!!!

Bidin' my time

We're still waiting for the Para LTC to arrive.
Not sure why it's not here yet. Maybe Kerby doesn't think I'm working hard enough on this blog. Maybe they're selling so many guns they don't have time to send one to me.
We still have the brand-new Wilson Combat 9mm magazines to try out in it, and 500 rounds of 9mm ammo of various types to run through it. Still have the targets and the people to help us shoot it to get more impressions of it.
Don't know when it'll happen. You'll know as soon as we do. Stand by.

Boy, do I feel old............

I recall the time that I was talking about music with some young guy and the impact that it had on our lives, and I said something about the Beatles "White Album" - and he said "huh?".

He'd never heard of it.

How could you NOT hear of the "White Album"? Ye gods.
In the years since then there have been several such conversations. It's still a shock to me sometimes what music some people have never heard. Last night it was a young nurse in the ICU I was working with, and she asked me what song it was that I was singing. I told her it was from Cream, off the astounding "Wheels of Fire" album.
She'd never heard of it.
Oh. My. God.
Never heard of CREAM? Never heard of the first power trio, the first superband, the first band to combine three giant talents and pioneer the long extended improvisational music form that had previously been the realm of jazz bands? The band that showed the way for the Grateful Dead and Phish and other later pretenders to the throne like Rush?
Even though she hadn't been born when they were still together, their music is on the radio and music lovers who pay attention to history have to know about them.
I gave up on asking her if she's ever heard "Freak Out" by the Mothers of Invention. I didn't want to cause her permanent damage.
I'm gittin' old, Margaret. Go out b'hind the barn an' dig me a hole to lie down in.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My favorite time of the year

Some people are invigorated by the spring. I personally love the Fall more than any other time of the year. The feel in the air, the smells, the entire sense of things evolving and the temperatures changing gets to me, makes me feel more excited. Don't know what it is but I like it!

Yesterday I ambled out into the glorious warmth of the autumn day and saw the new movie "Appaloosa", made from the Robert Parker novel of that name.
It is, quite simply, WONDERFUL! It's in limited release right now, and fortunately for me it's in Kentucky.
It may very well be the new benchmark for western movies. The acting is superb, the photography is intelligent, the sets and the whole of the look of the movie is authentic and the visual impression is sumptuous. It is as good as it gets, for any movie, not just a western. It never once screams out "LOOK AT ME! WE'RE BEING CLEVER!!!" like some films do. And it has not ONE slow-motion sequence in it! It occurs in real time, just like real life!
When it comes to your town, go see it, you'll love it!
Oh, and of course, I should mention that the gun-handling is extremely well done, too. There's nothing about this movie not to like!