Friday, March 31, 2006

Kansas Nebraska

one of the biggest rivalries in college football, and lookie here, it seems like Nebraska has decide to follow it's neighbors lead and ass Shall Issue CCW legislation today:

Her'es the anti-gun local news take on the issue and the much better NRA press release.

Looks like Jan.1st 2007 is going to be a good day for several states.

As I wrote in the piece linked above, and revised here, now only two states have no issue.

48 Have some type of carry. 10 have may issue, 2 have no requirement for permit, and now 36 have shall issue.

Two states that are counted as shall issue but technically arent are Iowa and Alabama, where there needs to be a good reason to diqualify you, but it’s still at the Sherrifs discretion. Apparently there are some de-facto no-issue counties in Iowa (according to readers).

The two states with no issue are now Illinois and Wisconsin. The two states with no permit requirement are Alaska and Vermont (often Alaska is counted as a shall issue, because though you don’t require one, they’ll give you apermit if you ask, so you can carry in other states).

The 10 states with may issue are:

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

Let's keep that train rolling people. Let's get all those states converted to shall issue; and see if we can't get Wisconsin to come around.

I think the Illinois, New Jersy, New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California are lost causes at this point; but we should still keep up the fight as much as we can. Delaware and Maryland are both looking like they'll go shall-issue in the next couple of years if we can jsut push some more democrats out (2 steps forward, 1 step back), and Iowa and Alabama should be easy conversions.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Recipes for REAL Women - Volume 13, Mel's 10,000 Calorie Butter Cookies

I adapted this from another, far inferior recipe upon Chris's request for butter cookies. So here goes...

Chris here... I didn't exactly request butter cookies, what I said was I don't like sugar cookies very much, but Mel loves decoratable cookies, an she said "Well what do you like then". I said, "Well I like butter cookies". Thus began Mels quest for a butter cookie recipe that would satisfy a REAL man, and a REAL Woman for that matter... a recipe in line with our Recipe Philosophy, why add a little butter when you can add a LOT of butter. And sugar. And Vanilla.


2 1/2 cups unsalted butter (5 sticks or 1 1/4 lbs), Irish butter preferred
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or more to taste)
5 cups flour, sifted (or not)


Cut the butter into small pieces and cream together with brown sugar until it is well combined. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Note, other flavorings could be used, try butterscotch for example; but vanilla is traditional for a basic cookie.

Add in the flour one cup at a time, sifted over the batter (sifting helps it combine more easily, but is not necessary).

Note from Chris: this is a VERY thick cookie dough, and it's real work to cream that much cold butter and sugar together. It might be too much for your hand mixer, so a stand mixer is recommended. You can also use a potato masher and pastry mixer by hand, but you'd need forearms like popeye (ever see Julia Childs arms? The woman had muscles like a gorilla).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or leave ungreased. Roll cookie dough into 1/2" balls and flatten onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle a tiny bit of flaked kosher salt on the tops and a bit of colored granulated sugar, or brown sugar and cinnamon (yes, salt. It sharpens the taste buds).

Bake for about 10 minutes on the second-highest rack of the over. Check the bottoms of cookies after maybe 8 or 9 minutes; if they are starting to carmelize remove from the oven IMMEDIATELY. If the tops of cookies brown they are overdone.

Let them cool completely before serving; residual heat cooks the middle to perfection; and uncooled cookies will crumble rather badly.

The only change Chris would make (and on an occasional basis) is the addition of pecan and praline pieces for homemade pecan sandies. I like them the way they are, and they are very little work for much reward. Though remember to grab some milk before biting into these, they are rich!

The mix makes appx. 5 dozen cookies, and as the title says, it's almost a 10,000 calorie recipe so each cookie is something like 170 calories, assuming no sugar topping.

Note from Chris: My suggestion? Add a little more vanilla, and a bit of coffe extract or tia maria into the dough; then bake some lady fingers with it. Use the lady fingers as the basis for Tiramisu.


And be sure to check out:

Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 13 - Mels 10,000 Calorie Butter Cookies
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 12 - Lard Ass Wings
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 11 - Bacon Double Macaroni and Cheese
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 10 - It's the meat stupid
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 9 - Labor Day Potatos
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 8 - It's a pork fat thing
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 7 - It may not be Kosher...
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 6 - Andouille Guiness Chili
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 5 - Eazza the Ultimate Pizza
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 4 - Two Pound Meat Sauce
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 3 - Highbrow Hash
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 2 - MuscleCarbonara
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 1 - More Beef than Stew

The Cat Dictum

Fuck not with that which you have no understanding of; for it may kill you, and you don't have 8 more lives.

Reader Mike in Austin suggest Schrodingers Addendum to the cat dictum: If I open the box and the cat is not dead, I'm pretty sure I can kill it by closing and opening the box a few more times.

the un-hyphenated

This morning's political cartoon from Michael Ramirez.

In this country there are a lot of people who have problems with "hyphenated" Americans. African-Americans, Indian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, all of the other possible combinations worry some "full" Americans. But I don't worry about hyphenated Americans. I worry about full citizens of other countries.

Chris is an Irish-American, and I take that to mean (as I know it does) that his roots are in Ireland but his loyalty is to the U.S. His family line left Ireland such a short time ago (his father was 13) that yes, it is necessary to note that his family history lies abroad and that's what makes him a hyphenated American.

I am a full American, or American-American really. My ancestors have been on this soil for 3+ generations; I have no "old" country besides this one, and the U.S. is where my loyalties lie.

But even though on my mother's side I have ancestors whose passage predates the Revolutionary War, one on the second Continental Congress, and one rather famous loser of a famous duel (Alexander Hamilton please step up) I have a hard time thinking of myself as anything other than an immigrant. I have just a smidgen of native blood, but not near enough to account for the millenia that the true natives have been here.

That being said, I love my country. I love the ideals, I love the freedoms, I love the innovations. Most of all I love the concept of the great American melting pot, because in all reality that's what my genetics are. German, Polish, Jewish, English, Native American, and a little bit of everything else that immigrated more than 100 years ago; I even have the Ellis Island shortened last name to go with it. I love that cultures find a place here and kind of all meld together, or at least find their commonalities. And in my mind, there are few causes greater than giving asylum to the previously oppressed and giving them control over their own fate.

That cause alone brings many people to our shores looking to immigrate. The U.S. promises tolerance and equality, and most of all opportunity. When people come to immigrate, they come because the ideas of this country resonate with what they believe and they know that as long as they obey the law they can build whatever type of life they like. This alone inspires quite a bit of loyalty, and quite often also inspires them to protect the freedoms they now have.

We live in an area hit pretty badly by the illegal immigration debate. All we have to do is drive down to downtown Phoenix if we want to pick up our own cheap labor. Chris and I are both fans of the 24 hour taco stands nearby, and those are most likely also staffed by illegals, who in all reality are a keystone of Phoenix's economy.

But does that make it right?

It's odd that the media turns this into a race issue, somehow leaving out the part where if Canadians did it, we'd be just as pissed. But for the most part, Canadians don't immigrate here illegally, they either visit or go through the proper channels to immigrate.

The United States has been a nation of immigrants before it was even a nation. But the important part is that once this nation has established its own immigration laws, immigrants FOLLOWED them. They all waited in line at Ellis Island, or came through an appropriate port with all of the necessary paperwork. They knew that in order to set off on a good foot with this country, they needed to follow the laws that allowed them to be here.

Not so with the illegals, and that is the problem.

When someone ignores the laws of the country they move to just to GET THERE, they have shown no respect for the country at all. I don't care if they are coming for work or for family, they need to go through the proper channels. If the immigrations laws are inadequate, it is the duty of the relatives sponsoring them to put pressure on their own legislators to have things changed.

But even more worrisome are those who wish to turn the U.S. into their country of birth. These are the un-hyphenated, those whose loyalty remains to their home country. To them the U.S. is a convenience, a way to get money, a door to survival until they can successfully turn their part of the U.S. into their home country.

Honestly I found all of the recent protests a little ridiculous. To use a right guaranteed by our own Bill of Rights and turn it into a way to change the U.S. into Mexico is blatant hypocrisy. To come here and take advantage of our economy and good will and then try to change us is worse. If you don't wish to become a true American, loyal to the American way of life, what are you doing here?

The hyphenated are not the problem. Honoring your roots is indeed very American, and those admitting to being American, even if they are "new", are at least loyal to the ideals of this country. They all had their reasons for coming here and came here BECAUSE as much as they loved their old country they knew life would be better here.

So for all of the un-hyphenated: while you are here, please take some time to learn some American history. We FOUGHT for our independence and for the country we love. If you are so loyal to the country that you came from, go back and FIX IT YOURSELVES. Over time and with a little help, the people always overthrow their own oppressive governments and rebuild. We did.


Just call me Mel, everyone else does.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I was over reading MadOgre, and he mentioned that FBMG just got the Tromix breching conversion on a Saiga 12:

Tromix Entry gun -- Take a Saiga 12ga, cut the barrel down to 8" and add a breaching stand-off, side folding stock and relocate the trigger pack and this is what you get. Individuals are subject to the $200 tax.

Lesse, 10rd box mag, short barrel, bulletproof semi-auto action, LOTS of stock and grip options... yeah I can do that.

Mel likes the looks of it too; when she saw it she said "I want one too". Yeah $580 + $200 to the ATFU, but still, I can't think of a better cross the room/down the hall gun. Actually I'd love to see a patterning comparison between the 8" and 12" barrel at say 10 yards to see if theres an advantage to the 12, but other than that...

I have no qualms about using a Class III weapon defensively BTW; if a DA is going to charge you, he's going to demonize you no matter what weapon you're using. I live in AZ which is one of the biggest Class III states in the country, AND we have a sancturay law with castle doctrine so as long as I'm justified I'm not worried.

Now if only someone would come up with a safety conversion for the AK so that the safety doesnt suck/is usable.

Over My Dead Body

And I mean that very literally.


Align Center

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

UNless its Blue Mountain or Kona Gold I prefer Real Cream but...

In the SPIRIT of things

Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin Street, a gentle Irishman mighty odd
He had a brogue both rich and sweet, an' to rise in the world he carried a hod
You see he'd a sort of a tipplers way but the love for the liquor poor Tim was born
To help him on his way each day, he'd a drop of the craythur every morn

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

One morning Tim got rather full, his head felt heavy which made him shake
Fell from a ladder and he broke his skull, and they carried him home his corpse to wake
Rolled him up in a nice clean sheet, and laid him out upon the bed
A bottle of whiskey at his feet and a barrel of porter at his head

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

His friends assembled at the wake, and Mrs Finnegan called for lunch
First she brought in tay and cake, then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch
Biddy O'Brien began to cry, "Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see,
Tim avourneen, why did you die?", "Will ye hould your gob?" said Paddy McGee

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

Then Maggie O'Connor took up the job, "Biddy" says she "you're wrong, I'm sure"
Biddy gave her a belt in the gob and left her sprawling on the floor
Then the war did soon engage, t'was woman to woman and man to man
Shillelagh law was all the rage and a row and a ruction soon began

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

Mickey Maloney ducked his head when a bucket of whiskey flew at him
It missed, and falling on the bed, the liquor scattered over Tim
Bedad he revives, see how he rises, Timothy rising from the bed
Saying "Whittle your whiskey around like blazes, t'underin' Jaysus, do ye think I'm dead?"

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner around the flure yer trotters shake
Wasn't it the truth I told you? Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake

Double Major AE/CS with a Math minor

You scored as Engineering. You should be an Engineering major!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Enemy of My Enemy

Tony Blair recently delivered two speaches which you can read here:

Foreign Policy Center Speech: A Battle for Values

Australian Parliament Speech: Anti-Americanism is Madness

On everything other than the GWOT, I think he’s a loathesome statist socialist prick. In 9 years he has managed to turn the UK into a near police state. There are cameras on every corner, most everything is under government regulation of the most pernicious variety, and they have initiated non jury trials and non-judicial imprisonment through behavioral orders.

Overall they are really approaching V for vendetta territory, only from the left instead of from the right as Alan Moore envisioned in the 80s.

On this one subject however, he gets it right.

Who Needs MacGruder...

When you can have FoxTrot:


A friend of mine asked a question, "should I go for 10mm, or just use the +p .45acp". That's a pretty good question, and it prompted me to update my "Lies, Damned Lies, and Ballistics" post below.

I love the 10mm. I’d buy a 10 if I found a gun I liked in the chambering for a reasonable price. Hell, I’m lustfully looking at the Ed Brown 10’s, and I’m wondering real hard about the Dan Wessons.

Then there's also the fact that 10mm ammo is expensive, even reloaded (as compared to .45 brass) and the guns wear out pretty fast. Well at least they’ve mostly resolved the frame cracking issues; for which we can thank Glock. They built a 10mm pistol that you just couldn't break, which forced all the oterh manufactures to fix their 10mm designs from the fragile 1911 conversions. The customer base just wouldn't tolerate broken guns now that someone showed you could do a reliable 10mm.

Given this, my personal choice now is to buy hot hot .45 loads, or to handload up to max safe pressure levels; and shoot them in guns that are rated for .45 super. Of my six .45acp guns, only one isn’t rated for .45 super, and it’s a baby Glock; which would be pretty painful to shoot in super.

As to loads, my commander likes the 185gr and 200gr gold dots about equally, and the higher pressure the better. It’s also happy with the 185gr and 230 gr CorBons, and the 185gr HydraShok, but it doesnt seem to like any 165gr load.

The HK USP compacts (I have two) seem to like everything I throw at them, but especially the 200gr gold dot, the 165gr hydrashok, and the 165gr cor bons. They don’t seem to care for the 230gr loads all that much except in standard ball (which I s'pose is what they were originally regulated for); and as with the commander, the higher pressure the better.

I was hunting around for a load the G36 liked for a while, and I just couldn't find one. My groups were averaging 4” at 10 yards (off hand, but not much better from a rest), and I really started looking at the gun funny. Then I tried some +p+ loads with the 200gr hornady XTP (a hunting hollowpoint), and it was like a miracle. I started getting sub 2” groups immediately, and 1” or so off a rest at 10 yards. The gun is really too small for long ranges, but I’m very confident of it’s performance at 10 yards. I haven't chronod the load yet from the g36, but from a 5" 1911 it specs out at 1150fps for 590ftlbs.

I hate to say it, but I’ve only had the 625 out to the range three times since I picked it up last October, and I haven’t found a load it likes yet. Of course my first attempt was to run a bunch of everything my other guns like through it; and with all of them my groups were pretty mediocre. The gun has great sights, and a great trigger, so I though I was doing something wrong, but two other shooters got the same results, so I figure it must just be load selection. Since the same barrel is used for .45lc models of the pistol (theres about a 3/8” frame gap at the front of the.45acp cylinder), I would think it would like a heavier bullet, but 230gr hardball at standard pressure was jsut as mediocre as the rest. I’ve been meaning to ask Kim what he fed through the thing , because I’m reasonably certain that with the right loads this will be a 2” gun off the rest at 25 yards.

Of course that doesn't particularly matter since it's my bedside gun.

Now as I said, almost all my guns are rated for it, so I COULD roll my own .45 super, but as with 10mm, that brass aint cheap. Plus for my carry guns, there’s really no point. You really need the full 5”; or even better a long compensated barrel to get the most out of it; and all my .45s are carry guns with around 4” barrels, except the 625, which I keep as a bedside gun.

With a 4” barrel, all I’m going to get with the super is an extra 25-50 fps, and a HELL of a lot more recoil and muzzle blast, plus more wear on the gun, and less accuracy. I COULD go to an ultrafast powder to try and squeeze more from the shorter barrels, but how safe would that be?

Now if I had a longslide, or the 625 wasn’t a bedside gun (say I wanted to go hunt some javelinas with it or summat), I’d be rolling up some .45 super right now. In fact next time I head up to the mountains, I'm probably going to do just that.

This is of course one of the advantages of the 10mm, in that a 4” or 5” gun see more benefit from the extra power than a .45 super would. I guess that’s what comes of duplicating magnum revolver ballistics; because the current loadings of 10mm seem to have been designed almost with a 4” revolver barrel in mind. Of course a 4” revolver barrel is actually the same length as a 5” auto pistol barrel because auto pistols are measured from the breech face, whereas revolvers are measured from the forcing cone.

Anyway, the point is that a 4.6" Glock barrel does more with the 10mm than a 5" 1911 does with .45 super. Actually quite a bit more...

Thus the continued lusting after one of those Dan Wessons...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Ballistics - Updated

NOTE: This is updated from the original post to include some new and revised numbers, and a bit more detail in some sections. Oh and I spell checked it. The damn spell check took over an hour because bloggers spell checker is incredibly stupid - which is why I never use it.

Lets talk about ballistics, and numbers. In particular I want to talk about alternative chamberings to the big 3 (9mm, .45, and .40s&w) in service and defensive auto pistols, the numbers they push out, and specifically how the external ballistics relate to terminal ballistics.

First I want to talk about a couple "super calibers", the .357SIG, the 10mm, the .45 super, the .460 Rowland and a couple of others. The commonality between them is that they are all near the limit of what an automatic pistol of reasonable size and weight can chamber.

I specifically recommended that we adopt a sidearm capable of chambering .45 super in "The Right weapon for the Job" and "Getting Down to Specifics", because a .45super chambered weapon can also chamber .45 acp, and because it offers excellent performance against soft body armor at short range with hard penetrator loads.

I have five .45's (of the six that I own) that are rated for .45 super. I don't bother with it because it doesn't seem to give me enough advantage over my +p acp in the barrel lengths I shoot, but I load high performance hollowpoints or frangibles. In a military application where we are limited to hardball, or penetrator loads; or with ANY load in a carbine or SMG; the difference in stopping power could be huge.

I figure the .45 super is the most sensible up-powered option for a .45 frame, and more importantly to my current thinking, for a pistol caliber carbine or SMG.

Just for versatility, I really like convertible firearms; in addition to my two .45 supers, up until a month ago when I sold it, I had a SIG P229 in .40. One of the best thing about that gun; a simple barrel and spring change, and its now a .357.

Of course the starting point for the .357 SIG, was the .40 s&w, and that in turn was based on the the 10mm auto. Unfortunately most people found full powered 10mm a bit unwieldy in most of the weapons chambered for it, so the .40 S&W was developed by cutting the length, reducing the charge, and lightening the bullet (basically its a compromise cartridge, with a standard .40 performing about the same as a +p 9mm, and a +p .40 performing a bit better than a standard pressure .45acp).

I really like the 10mm as a cartridge. Its a powerful and efficient design, that allows for more cartridges in the same space as the .45 acp, and can be comfortably downloaded to the same power levels as the .45, or comfortably uploaded into .41 magnum territory.

I have a 1911, and had Glock 21, either of which could be converted to 10mm with an upper change (slide, barrel, springs) and some new magazines, as the G21 and G20 use the exact same frame, and the 10mm OAL is within range to feed properly in a ramped 1911. 10mm is also very well proven in SMGs and carbines, and is in fact the most powerful chambering currently offered in the MP5 platform.

The wildcard of the group I listed above is the .460 Rowland. The only thing I know about this caliber is the numbers, which are pretty impressive, and that it will feed in a standard 1911 frame, and is a bit shorter than a .45 win mag.

Some would also include the .400 cor-bon, but honestly I just don't find it interesting. It seems to offer no advantage over the .45 super, and very little over .357 sig. 10mm and .460 on the other hand, are both serious magnum level calibers (or can be when loaded properly).

Here's some numbers from Winchester, Federal, Cor-bon, Black Hills, Triton, Doubletap, and Buffalo Bore who offer a full range from low pressure practice loads, to about the hottest factory loaded ammo you can generally buy in most places (that said, there are .41, .44, and 10mm loads at up to 50% over the standard factory energy numbers listed here - only doubletap and buffalo bore load close to maximum for those calibers).

All numbers are from either 4.5-5" automatics and 4" revolvers to be comparable. Typical magnum revolvers gain or lose appx. 50fps per inch of barrel length. Most auto pistols gain or lose somewhat less, because they are generally loaded with faster burning powders.

So here's the baseline, a +p .45 acp

45 ACP +P Factory Ballistics
165 grain at 1250fps 573ftlbs
185 grain at 1150fps 543ftlbs
200 grain at 1050fps 490ftlbs
230 grain at 950fps 461ftlbs

And a couple of magnums and common revolver chamberings etc... for comparison. The very heavy factory loads here are from Buffalobore or Doubletap, who offer the hottest ammo on the market. Most of it exceeds max SAAMI spec, but it is all definitely safe, at least in modern well constructed guns.

.45 COLT
200 grain at 1100fps 537ftlbs (Standard pressure. There are loads with twice this energy or more)

.357 Magnum
110 grain at 1500fps 555ftlbs
125 grain at 1400fps 544ftlbs
125 grain at 1600fps 710ftlbs (max pressure load)
140 grain at 1300fps 525ftlbs
158 grain at 1400fps 688ftlbs
158 grain at 1500fps 790ftlbs (over max spec but still safe)
170 grain at 1425fps 765ftlbs
180 grain at 1400fps 785ftlbs

(switching to a 6" barreled hunting revolver will add appx. 100fps to these numbers)

.41 MAG
170 grain at 1275fps 614ftlbs
170 grain at 1650fps 1030ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)
230 grain at 1450fps 1075ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)
265 grain at 1350fps 1075ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)

.44 MAG
240 grain at 1260fps 848 ftlbs
240 grain at 1350fps 971 ftlbs
240 grain at 1450fps 1120ftlbs (Doubletap +p+ load)
250 grain at 1450fps 1170ftlbs (Doubletap +p+ load)
270 grain at 1450fps 1260ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)
300 grain at 1150fps 879 ftlbs
300 grain at 1300fps 1125ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)
305 grain at 1325fps 1190ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy load)
320 grain at 1250fps 1110ftlbs (Doubletap +p+ load)
340 grain at 1400fps 1480ftlbs (Buffalobore heavy +p+)

200 grain at 1450fps 934ftlbs

Finally here's the calibers we're interested in:

.357 SIG factory loads
115 grain at 1560fps 621ftlbs
115 grain at 1650fps 695ftlbs (I think this load is over max spec, but safe)
125 grain at 1350fps 506ftlbs (the default standard spec load)
125 grain at 1480fps 608ftlbs (max spec pressure load)
125 grain at 1525fps 645ftlbs
135 grain at 1320fps 522ftlbs
145 grain at 1180fps 448ftlbs
145 grain at 1250fps 503ftlbs
147 grain at 1350fps 595ftlbs
147 grain at 1050fps 360ftlbs (this is a heavy compressed tungsten subsonic frangible for use in aircraft)

10mm (in theory the full power loads, but they seem light)
135 grain at 1400fps 588ftlbs
150 grain at 1325fps 585ftlbs
165 grain at 1250fps 573ftlbs
170 grain at 1360fps 698ftlbs
180 grain at 1220fps 595ftlbs
200 grain at 1200fps 639ftlbs

.45 Super
165 grain at 1,400 fps 718ftlbs
185 grain at 1,300 fps 694ftlbs
200 grain at 1,200 fps 639ftlbs
230 grain at 1,100 fps 618ftlbs

450 SMC
165 grain at 1,450fps 770ftlbs
230 grain at 1,150fps 675ftlbs

.40 Super
135 grain at 1,800 fps 971ftlbs
165 grain at 1,600 fps 938ftlbs
200 grain at 1,300 fps 750ftlbs

460 Rowland
185 grain at 1,550fps 987ftlbs
200 grain at 1,450fps 934ftlbs
230 grain at 1,340fps 917ftlbs

.400 Cor-Bon
135 grain at 1450fps 630ftlbs
150 grain at 1350fps 607ftlbs
160 grain at 1200fps 543ftlbs
165 grain at 1300fps 619ftlbs

.38 Casull
124 grain at 1,800fps 892ftlbs
147 grain at 1,650fps 889ftlbs

One thing is certain, most of the loads listed are pretty potent, and even the "weakest" of the high performance calibers have better numbers than the strongest of the standard pressure .45 ACPs (400-450 ftlbs depending on load) and most of the +p's.

It surprised me that the 10mm and .45 super loads were so close. I thought for sure that the 10mm would be loaded much heavier, but at right around 700ftlbs, both max energy loads I listed are supposed to be max pressure loads (meaning you cant load them to be more powerful without exceeding the spec - more on this later).

The .460 Rowland, as I said before, is pretty impressive, at least according to the numbers. There's some serious energy in those cases; and from what I understand the .460 is basically a slightly shortened and downloaded .45 win mag, so that's not surprising.

It also surprised me how much energy the .38 Casull and .40 super are, in theory, delivering; but the fact is, at those 16-1800fps velocities, those lightweight bullets will probably be disintegrating on impact.

Also, it's kind of pathetic how mild the standard factory .41 and .44 magnum loads are. I've listed heavy .44 loads at over 1200ftlbs here, and .41 loads at over 1000ftlbs. These lower level loads are far below the peaks loadings that have been offered in the past, but major ammunition companies are wimping out on liability. They really just don't want someone blowing their gun up and suing them.

More on that: It seems that the 10mm loads listed are a bit watered down, and there are hotter commercial loads available, but not from the majors because they are all apparently exceeding, or at least bumping real hard on the max SAAMI spec.

Winchester offers a 175gr load at 1290 fps and about 650ft/lbf, and that's about the highest energy full weight load (there are some ultra lightweight 10mm's loading 125gr and 135gr bullets which are loaded to insane velocities) that the major manufacturers are pushing out.

Small companies like Doubletap Ammo, and Buffalo Bore are going a little hotter, and apparently exceeding SAAMI specs. That doesn't mean they aren't safe, (SAAMI is full of pansie asses) just that the SAAMI spec is low. The same could be said of the .45 super (the only one of the other uprated calibers that is a SAAMI standardized offering); and of the .357SIG. The manufacturers of .357 SIG pistols are already going to SAAMI with a much higher pressure spec than initially adopted because the pistols and the cartridge can be uprated by as much as 20% over the current "max" spec loads without any excessive pressure issues.

Hunting around online, I found a chart listing these 10mm loadings. According to the site, all are over SAAMI max pressure specs, but still appeared to be safe in a G20.

165 grains at 1400 fps 718 ftlbs
150 grains at 1476 fps 726 ftlbs
220 grains at 1335 fps 792 ftlbs (yipes)

Here's the loadings Doubletap is offering.

135grains at 1600 fps 767 ftlbs
155grains at 1475 fps 750 ftlbs
165grains at 1425 fps 744 ftlbs
180grains at 1330 fps 707 ftlbs
200grains at 1270 fps 715 ftlbs

On the extreme end, some lunatic worked up the following:

13.4 gr blue dot, 155gr Hornady XTP at 1618 fps 900ftlbs

which is heading into .44 magnum territory, but which apparently produces no signs of excessive pressure from a Glock 20 (which because it is the most common 10mm pistol in public hands, has become the standard testing pistol for the caliber).

The original "proof" load for the 10mm (which is supposed to be the maximum load used to test the gun to see if it will blow up) was 170gr at 1400fps and 740 ftlbs (though it never actually hit 1400 from a real gun, that number was from a pressure barrel ), which was the load that SAAMI set their original max by backing down 10% from.

That's plenty stout for any human target, through a car door and heavy clothing, which is why the FBI loved it (by the numbers anyway).

Personally would think 13.4gr of blue dot behind a 155gr from an unsupported, and relatively loose chamber (in a G20) would be pretty close to suicidal, but the guy says that after testing to max pressure, it's what he backed off to, to the point where there were no signs of excess pressure. Also he was using a 24lb recoil spring, a tungsten guide rod, and a titanium firing pin.

In that same realm of slightly insane loads, here's a fun load out from a 5" .45 super

255 grains at 1180 fps 788 ftlbs

That is by far the heaviest load I've seen for .45 super, and I don't think I'd want to push that far, but there are a bunch of loads right around 700ftlbs that I would be comfortable with.

What's real fun though; is when you scale up from a 5" barreled pistol, into a 10-12" barreled SMG, or a 16" barreled carbine. From a 16" barrel, that same 255gr load is pushing 1650 fps and 1540ftlbs. The 185gr max velocity load listed above, will clock in at 1940fps and 1545 ftlbs.

Okay so I've been throwing around a lot of numbers, but what exactly are they, and what do they mean?

First, they were derived from the standard energy calculations:

Energy = Mass in grains * (velocity in fps)e2/450400

Here's an online calculator

Unfortunately, while muzzle energy is easy to calculate (as are retained energy, and momentum), they don't necessarily mean very much. They are just numbers.

You would think that given the amount of raw data available, someone would be able to write a computer simulation of terminal ballistics that had relevance to killing power, and more importantly to stopping power, but we still haven't figured that one out.

An aside: Not only is muzzle energy not a useful measure of stopping power, but muzzle energy isn't even a reliable indicator of recoil, because there are quite a few factors determining how much recoil is felt. Just off the top of my head, the weight of the bullet, the composition of the powder, the hold (or mount), the grip or stock shape and material, the total energy, the speed of the recoil impulse, the length of the barrel and the weight of the gun all are major factors in felt recoil.

As an example of how these factors interact, the 500 s&w is the heaviest recoiling standard pistol cartridge out there, even at the almost 5 lb weight of the gun. Out of a 7 lb carbine, the same cartridges recoil is comparatively mild.

Historically the .357 magnum is the best manstopper out of a carry pistol, but its energy levels are a lot lower than some other calibers with worse stopping records. Penetration, bullet construction, expansion etc... are all important considerations.

These things are just too complicated for anything other than real world experience, and maybe high end computer modeling. Of course the problem with that is, you have to have good data, and know how to weight each factor etc... and we just don't know how to weight things.

The best numbers we have are from Marshall and Sanow, and while their methods were sound by actuarial standards, they certainly weren't scientifically sound.

My personal favorite numbers only solution is that preferred by the mad ogre (a reader of this site)...

Defensive Power Factor

Bullet Weight in Grains, Times Caliber, Times Velocity, Divided by 1000 = Defensive Power Factor or DPF for short.

For 9mm and such you of course use its actual measured Caliber .355 or what ever your bullet is actually sized at. 10mm is .40 cal etc.

A 230 grain .45 load: 230*.45= 103.5 *900/1000 = DPF 93.15

It has no real scientific basis, but it generally ranks loads known to perform well, in about the same the same order as the real world data.

Actually, I really badly need to qualify that statement. I said it would rank loads in about the same order as real world data; this is only true when the velocities are close to each other.

Let me calc out some examples to show what I mean:

Calculating the DPF of the superhot 10mm load listed above comes out like this:

200gr * .40 caliber * 1778fps /1000 = DPF 142.4, 1404ftlbs

The .30 carbine come out like this:

110gr * .30 caliber * 1990fps /1000 = DPF 65.67, 967 ftlbs

Okay that looks like it's probably pretty close to the real world effectiveness of the two by comparison.

Where things get interesting is when velocity differences are more than a few hundred FPS.

MadOgre suggests scaling rifles by 100 instead of 1000, but that's not really all that useful. There's no scientific justification for the arbitrary scaling factor, and even from rifle to rifle its not that useful. The problem is that energy is an exponential function of velocity. When there are relatively small differences in velocity the disparity is relatively small, but when you are talking about 1000+ fps differences in velocity, the energy differences are pretty huge.

Lets take the standard M193 5.56 NATO, and M80 7.62 loads as an example:

55gr * .223 caliber * 3250fps/1000 = DPF 39.8, 1289 ftlbs

147gr * .30 caliber * 2700fps/1000 = DPF 119.07, 2380ftlbs

I don't think anyone would argue that the .30 carbine was 50% more effective than the 5.56 NATO, as the DPF would indicate, nor would I argue that the 5.56 was 50% more effective than the .30 carbine.

I also wouldn't try to argue the 7.62 NATO was 3 times as effective as the 5.56. I might, say twice as effective, but not 3 times, and no-one on the planet would say that a 10mm carbine would be 20% more effective than a 7.62 NATO as the DPF would indicate.

Oh and you might note that 9mm pistol rounds at 147 grains are a little over 1/3 the velocity of the 7.62 nato, at about 1/6th the energy; and I'd still rather be shot in a vital area with 3 or even 6 147gr 9mm pistol bullets than one single 7.62 rifle bullet.

Sooooo, how do we deal with the disparity?

Okay here goes.

Neither muzzle energy or the DPF listed above have any useful proportionality across great velocity differences. They either weight caliber too high, or they rate velocity too high.

So let's factor both energy AND caliber. Since energy already takes into account mass and velocity, adding caliber covers all the ballistically significant factors (other than bullet construction).

We'll call it the WAG Power Factor, or WPF for short.

The loads for comparison are as follows:

9mm: 147gr .355 caliber at 1050fps = DPF 54.8, ftlbs 360, WPF 127.8
9mm+p: 124gr .355 caliber at 1250fps = DPF 55.02, ftlbs 430.17 WPF 152.7
.45ACP: 230gr .45 caliber at 800fps = DPF 82.8, ftlbs 338, WPF 152.1
.45+p: 165gr .45 caliber at 1250fps = DPF 92.81, ftlbs 573, WPF 257.85
10mm: 170gr .40 caliber at 1350fps = DPF 91.8, ftlbs 698, WPF 279.2

Jump to carbine and rifles here

.30cb: 110gr .30 caliber at 1990fps = DPF 65.67, ftlbs 967, WPF 290.1
10mm: 200gr .40 caliber at 1778fps = DPF 142.4, ftlbs 1404, WPF 561.6
5.56n: 55gr .223 caliber at 3250fps = DPF 39.8, ftlbs 1289, WPF 386.7
7.62n: 147gr .30 caliber at 2700fps = DPF 119.07, ftlbs 2380, WPF 714

Hmm, looking at those numbers, I get the feeling that it might actually be semi-useful. The proportionality might not be quite right, but based on my own experience the order of effectiveness comes out the same as the WPF lists.

Guess it's not a totally Wild Ass Guess, just mostly.

An online associate of mine know as Toad (don't ask) responded to this idea with this:

Hmm, my $0.01 on this is that the caliber should have a non-linear effect, since the frontal area goes up by the square as does the energy. Simplifying I get this for approximate areas. A = Pi (D/2)squared

5.6mm - 24.3 square mm (.22)
7.6mm - 45.4 square mm (.30)
9.0mm - 63.6 square mm (.356)
10.0mm - 78.5 square mm (.40)
11.4mm - 102.1 square mm (.45)
12.7mm - 126.7 square mm (.50)

Between 5.6 and 7.6 the area increases by about 87%

Between 9mm and .45 the area increases by about 64%

That would dramatically increase the weight of caliber in the equation.

Lets look at the example of the standard .45. 10mm, 5.56, 10mm carbine and 7.62 NATO:

.45acp WPF 152.1
10mm WPF 279.2
10mm carbine WPF 561.6
5.56 NATO WPF 386.7
7.62 NATO WPF 714

If we change our criteria from caliber to surface area we get the following:

.45acp 34510
10mm 54793
10mm carbine 110214
5.56 NATO 31323
7.62 NATO 108052

It would seem the surface area numbers weight caliber too highly, putting the standard .45acp as more powerful than the 5.56, and the 10mm carbine load as more powerful than the 7.62 NATO.

By these same numbers a .454 Casull would be more powerful than the 300 win mag.

Toad came back with...
Yes it would, but anecdotal evidence seems to weigh bullet diameter a little higher that the straight diameter formula. To a certain extent a larger bullet of the same weight and velocity is going to transfer energy and make a bigger hole than smaller one. Of course a .22 bullet that weighed 230 grains would probably tumble through like a buzz saw. If not an increase by area for a factor then perhaps an a linear add to the bullet diameter. Say just Pi times diameter?
(Notice folks I'm trying to get Chris to do all the hard work on this)

Hell I don't mind. I do numbers like this in my head for fun, and it's nice to exercise the engineering and math degrees every once in a while.

There's a reason why I'm an insomniac.

There's a huge logical hole in Toads suggestion there. All the results would still be proportional.

Okay lets run the numbers again as an example.

45 acp would go from 34510 to 478, which is 3.14 times my original WPF number of 152.1

7.62 NATO would go from 108052 to 2242 which is 3.14 times my original WPF number of 714

Clearly the size hole made is important, and yes there are substantial differences in area vs caliber proportionality.

Some maxims:
  • Killing power increases as the velocity of bullets of the same caliber and mass increases.
  • Killing power increases as the mass of bullets increases at the same caliber and velocity.
  • Killing power increases as diameter increases at the same mass and velocity.
So there are three independent factors which will increase killing power.

Leaving out bullet construction and shot placement here, and assuming a bullet doesn't fail catastrophically, how do we figure out what is the most important. How do we weight them?

We know that bullet energy is a real measurement of power derived from mass and velocity, but that it is not directly indicative of killing power.

A higher velocity load at the same mass and caliber will have significantly higher in killing power (I.E. .38spl vs .357 magnum).

A higher mass load at the same velocity and caliber will increase killing power, but not all that much unless the animal is extremely heavily structured. The heavier the animal, and the more penetration required, the more important mass becomes. Lets assume we are talking about a human.

A higher caliber load, at the same mass and velocity (thus the same energy), will have more killing power than the higher mass load, but its non deterministic in relation to the higher velocity load.

So mass would seem to be the least important factor, but how do you rank the others?

Well if we take a look at the .454 and the .500 S&W, and we load both to the same mass and velocity, the .454 would have more killing power due to it's higher sectional density, rather than the .500 with its higher caliber, though the differences would be pretty small.

That would seem to indicate velocity is more important than mass, however it requires a larger proportional change in velocity vs caliber to produce a proportional change in killing power I.E. a 25% increase in caliber at the same mass and velocity will produce more killing power than a 25% increase in velocity in the same caliber and mass.

Oh and to physics folks, yes I know that momentum and impulse are more relevant, but most gunnies aren't used to talking in those terms, besides which momentum is a derived dimesnion from velocity and mass anyway.

That means the curves cross, possibly at multiple points, and cant be figured with simple arithmetic, though we may be able to estimate it.

I'm just not sure how to do that, and neither is anyone else, though it will never keep us from trying (and then from writing, or bitching about it at the range, and in gun shops and hunting camps).

The Mortal Coil

Interesting question on the NoR today, what do you want done with your remains when you die.

I'm one of those folks who thinks that once your dead, your body doesnt matter much, and I don't think the body should matter to others either.

You aren't your body; you are your mind, your soul, and the impression your life leaves on others. Your body is just meat.

Just as long as there isn’t a body to fetishize I dont care how it gets disposed of. That said, I don’t particularly feel like being planted in a sealed environment just to liquify; and have my family pay through the nose for the privilige. If I'm going to be buried, I want to be buried in a shroud and a cardboard box. I'd rather jsut the shroud but most places no longer allow that; REQUIRING you be buried in a CERTIFIED casket.

That's jsut so much bullshit from the funeral industry; who has amanged to elevate the avareage cost of a funeral to that of a decent used car; and who's high pressure lying sales tactics are rougly equivalent to the worst of THAT business.

Personally, I'd rather jsut be cremated. No body, and anyone who wants some of my physical remains to remeber me buy can have them if they want. I think I'd like to give an ash vial to everyone who wants one, then have the rest disposed of. Scattering the ashes in a politically incorrect way seems appropriate.

Also, no funeral for me. I want a bigass wake were everyone pretty much gets plastered and exorcises the grief; and then that’s it. I'm Irish, it's a tradition, and a damned good one for a reason.

I tell this little joke:

The Motrocyclists Prayer

Now I lay me down the sweep
I pray the road it's traction keep
But if I die throw me a wake
Where everyone gets fully baked

Of course I didn't mean that in the 70s and on sense, but in the classic sense. Baked and Stone used to be words for happily drunk til near comatose; and they should be reclaimed as such.

One thing though, if I don’t manage to get out into space before I die; I’d kinda like some of my ashes shot up there.

I have a horrible confession to make

I sing along to Gordon Lightfoot songs on the radio.

I know, it's a sickness what can I do.

At least I'm not this insane:

I did however use my wifes napster account last night to download literally EVERY Gordon Lightfoot song. Napster makes it too easy to listen to music you wouldn't otherwise pay for.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Some Notes on the Walther P-22

I've mentioned my P22 a few times before, I think it's a generally excellent training weapon, it's an ideal platform for a suppressor, and it's just generally a fun gun to shoot.

Hell, Tuesday my friend Ben and I went and taught a new shooter to shoot with it, then broke out the suppressor. It's always fun making grown men giggle with delight experienceing a new toy... and no you sick bastards, not in that way.

Seriously, I can think of no better pistol to begin training a new shooter on. Most .22 pistols have odd looks, or ergonomics that have nothing to do with full sized centerfire pistols, but the P22 was designed from step one to be a trainer; it's very similar to the Wlather p99 service pistol. The only other pistol I can think of that's jsut as good at replicating a full sized centerfire auto pistol (other thn .22 versions of said pistols of course, some of which are great), is the SIG Mosquito, a pistol I plan on buying when funds permit.

Well anyway, Alan over at Blogonomicon has a detailed P22 review up, and I thought I'd share a few points anyone who owns, or wants to own a p22 should know.

First things first, takedown. Alan uses the little plastic rod that comes with the pistol as it is intended, to guide the recoil spring rod into the small hole.

Everyone else has already lost their little plastic rod, so they do this little trick: Compress the recoil spring sliding it down the rod, then slip the front of the rod through the guide hole, and grab it from the other side. Pull the rod tight, and position the slide onto the frame, guiding the rod end into the hole for it in the barrel lug.

It's more complicated and difficult to write it than to do it.

Now, three important notes on the P22.

1. The safety will loosen up and come on by itself over time. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the screws that hold the safety levers onto the safety barrel. This will split the levers, AND reduce the tension on the barrel making the problem worse. Find the right tension and loctite the screws there, but check them every one in a while.

2. Cleaning... Get yourself some plastic safe but otherwise very strong solvent, a solvent safe container to submerge the gun completely, and a can of compressed airto blow the solvent out again. Trust me, it's the only way to clean the crud out of the little spaces that you can't get to. You literally cannot diassemble this gun far enough to clean it completely.

If you have access to an ultrasonic jewlery cleaner that will fit the frame of this gun, I HIGHLY recommend them. Actually that goes for any gun really. The cheapo plastic department store ones won't do the job though, you need a decent quality one, and they arent cheap.

Once you've dunked and blown, reoil the gun VERY LIGHTLY, because too much oil just invites more crud; and .22lr is some of the dirtiest ammo on the planet.

3. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE BARREL NUT. The barrel shroud is heat treated steel, and will actually peen down the key in the aluminum barrel lug mounted in the frame. This is not a replaceable part. Also, try and torque the barrel the same each time. The barrel is held under tension, and varying the tension will vary the barrel harmonics. Yes in a 3" pistol barrel it doesnt make much difference, but hey, every little helps right?

Dont let these points scare you off, or suggest I don't love the gun; I do. It's a great little pistol, and everyone should own one. You just need to know those particular idiosyncracies.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

January 1, 2007

Thats the date Kansas gets concealed carry permits.

Congratulations to Kansans for becoming 37th on the list of states to have a shall issue license or unrestricted carry law.

This is even more critical than most states, because prior to this legislation there was no legal way for Kansans to defend themselves outside of their homes, without special dispensation from law enforcement, as Kansas isn't an open carry state, except on rural property. They technically were not even a may issue state, because there was no legal permit, and the ability to carry required extraordinary circumstances (or political clout)to obtain a dispensation from the state (death threats weren't sufficient).

There are now 47 states which allow for some form of concealed carry, including two states that require NO permit whatsoever (Vermont and Alaska).

The holdouts? No they aren't New York, Massachusetts, or California; those states all have may issue type licenses (though getting one isn't easy). Even Hawaii and Maryland have CCW laws, though getting a permit has proven to be impossible without political clout.

The ten states that allow concealed carry, but are not shall issue are:

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

Alabama and Iowa are technically may issue, but the policy is effectively shall issue in most counties (lets get those laws changed folks).

Nope, the holdouts are surprising for many

1. Illinois
2. Nebraska
3. Wisconsin

Yes, Illinois I understand, it IS dominated by chicago after all, but Nebraska and Wisconsin? These are prime hunting country states; heavily rural population, heavily republican population outside of the college towns...

Well I'll tell you why carry was originally banned there, racism and big business. It was to keep guns out of the hands of blacks, and unionists.

So why are they still screwed up?

Lincoln, Madison, and Milwaukee that's why. Those three cities dominate the politics of the states in question, and they are solidly lefty. Hell both Wisconsin senators and most of the congressional delegation are democrat, even though the majority of wisconsinites are pretty conservative. Wisconsin is one of the last midwestern/prairie democratic holdouts from the new deal.

Nebraska is a more difficult nut however. The state itself is solidly republican, and on national issues votes that way; but the local democratic machine is so strong, and so over represented, that they have still controlled the in state legislative agenda.

Well this year it looks like that's going to change, because there's more than 50% support for a CCW bill in the next session of the legislature later this year.

Wouldnt it be nice to see that number go to 38, with a 48 total...

Oh and from what I hear the Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, and Delaware shall issue activists are making progress as well, so heres to 39, 40, 41, and 42.

Now if only that national reciprocity bill can make it through...

Good little socialists...

I have a beef with children's programming.

Actually, to be more accurate, I have something against children's programming, movies, dvds, and music as a whole. I am one of those parents who pre-screens all of their kids' media input because I want my kids to be KIDS. While I believe in instilling responsibility and integrity at an early age, there are certain things (like cursing, sex, and violence) that are better left until they are old enough to understand facts vs. fantasy. Of course this leaves me with children's programming (via PBS and Noggin), Disney and Dreamworks-type movies, kids dvds, and KidStuff on Sirius.

Anyone who talks with me at length knows about my inherent beef with the Disney Princesses and other traditional fairy tales. I don't particularly agree with the story lines. I don't believe in teaching any little girl that they need someone to save them, so there goes Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. I can't stand Ariel, because she essentially leaves her family behind for a man she meets ONCE. The only one I really like is Belle, because she at least is smart and solves her own problems. I've noticed a lot of the older movies and stories are like this, and I've taken to screening all of them for the messages they might impart. After all, I've seen enough women who believed their "prince would come and rescue me". After all, I've seen enough women who believed "my prince will come and rescue me." Yes, it happens sometimes I'll admit, but not every woman is Grace Kelly, and even her recognition came before she became royalty. And in the end it is just a fairy tale, unfortunately one believed by way too many women.

But that's my beef with the more "traditional" kids movies. Now I have a whole different problem.

Do any other Gen-Yers remember shows like She-Ra, Rainbow-Brite, and Strawberry Shortcake? Or even My Little Pony? Yes, they were incurably girly, but I am a girl after all. I had all of the dolls and all of the accessories and used to play for hours on end. I'll admit that all of the above was unrealistic and in at least one case incurably annoying. I still enjoyed them because the good guys(girls, really) always won, and the villains always got what they deserved.

Now I've heard Chris complain (at length) about how the current school system indoctrinates kids to believe that all people are equal in ability and intention to the detriment of actual hard-working students (i.e. social promotion, lack of advanced classes, and the abolition of grades in many elementary and middle schools). In that world, as long as you put in an effort you succeed and no one is made to feel "bad" about sub-par performance. And discipline? Well forget about that, though that's another post...

He also has the same diatribe about children's television, which I thought was harsh for quite a while.

When I took my kids out of Canada and started living with my parents in a rural town (2K people) our lack of any television signal whatsoever precipitated many trips to the video store. Sure, we could have always bought dvds but the store owner was a friend of my mom's and we didn't mind helping support her business. She had all of the old videos of Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears, and My Little Pony which were quick favorites among my kids.

Well, Rosie has a Strawberry Shortcake fixation at the moment so I (of course) had to buy one of the "new" Strawberry Shortcake videos. Bad idea.

I never thought there was a true socialist revolution until I saw what they did to poor Strawberry Shortcake. The villains have been removed and been replaced with storylines about campfires and competitions where everyone wins. What the hell did they do to my childhood classics?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Simple. They "PC"ed them. They are so politically correct that every race is represented (not that it wasn't on the original but now it's obvious) and everyone does everything together and when something goes wrong, it's no one's fault. Nobody ever hurts anyone and nobody has to stand up to injustice.

And it's not just in the "new" versions of classics. Once I started looking more closely at what my kids were watching I realized there is absolutely no moral teaching left on kids' tv. Yes, there are all sorts of lessons about equality and that everyone is special and that if you screw up it's okay. But nothing at all about making right decisions or any kind of injustice at all. In fact, the only kind of injustice really mentioned is when someone has "more" than someone else. No working hard, no pride in something well done, NOTHING I was taught at all. And no villains, or even people who mean to hurt other people.

I'm sorry, but villains are a necessary part of kids' stories and teachings. In fact, anyone doing anything wrong at all is a necessary part of teaching a child to survive in this world. Because unfortunately there are people out in the world who want to hurt us, and it's not our fault that they do! There are people interested only in power, people who don't care anything about anyone else's "feelings" or ideas, and people more than willing to take from everyone else. And what's the proper response to this that our kids are not learning?

To fight. That the good guys, when teamed together or even alone, make a difference and can make things right. That's what tv shows and movies gave to my generation, the idea that when faced with injustice you make things right and you make the world better by working against those who would like to see it crumble.

NOT by taking into consideration the feelings of those wronging you, because they are misguided, hurt, or because you did something wrong. Not to make them feel as if they "belong". Belonging to a society and surviving in it is something that is a privilege, not a right, and while you can fight for it you can't necessarily assume it is there to begin with.

I do wonder what will happen to all of these other kids without parents such as myself and Chris, who are parked in front of the tv for 5 years and then handed to the public school system. Will they ever learn right or wrong, or what's worth fighting for? Because there's only one thing between these kids and a future as good little socialists, and that's parents who are actively teaching them what it means to be human and free.

To all the parents out there: Are you doing your job?


Just call me Mel, everyone else does.

The Government We Deserve

What’s that old saw, in a democracy people get the government they deserve...

There are quite a few straw polls out there these days with slates of republican candidates; and honestly none of them hold much real attraction to me.

I mean I wouldn't mind Tom Tancredo, or George Allen, but I think they have about as much chance of being elected as I do; and I'm constitutionally barred from running for five more years (and then, then I will show you all mwahahahahahaha).

Then there's Bill Frist... yeah no. He can't fight the democrats effecitvely with a senate majority, how's he supposed to do it as president?

The focus of media attention has of course been on Condi Rice, Rudi Guiliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain.

I have the utmost respect for Rudi, but basically he's a conservative democrat; which is about as Republican as New York politicians can be. He's anti-gun, pro-abortion, pro-statism in general. Besides, Rudi really shouldnt bre president; nor should he leave new york.

I'd LOVE to see him kick hillary out on her ass, but failing that he should absolutely destory Elliot Spitzer in the governors race.

Romney... Honestly he's the governor of my original homestate of Massachusetts, and people say he isn't a real conservative because during his watch he's allowed more gun control etc...

Folks, he's the governor of Massachusetts; it's all he can do to hang on, and you've got to pick your fights. The state house can override him any time they feel like it and he knows it.

Anwyay, he's a lot more conservative than people give him credit for.

Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with why he can't get elected. Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and he makes no bones about the fact that his religion informs on his decisions.

I'm not sure if you all know this, but there is a HUGE streak of anti-mormon (and anti-catholic) bigotry in this country. The chances that a mormon are going to get elected president in this country are somewhere around the same chances that Arnold Schwarzeneggar will... and oh yeah theres that whole barred by the constitution thing in the way there again.

I'd love to see Condi run jsut to make the media turn itself inside out trying not to look like bigoted hypocrates; but it's not going to happen. One, she won't run. Two, even if she did, she's never held any kind of elected office, and regardless of her other qualifications, and challenges (like being a black woman for example), those folks jsut don't get elected.

THeres a reason for that, they have no record by which they can be judged. Condi may seem like a great somewhat libertarian conservative now; but who knows how she would handle the executive office.

This BTW is the same reason we dont like to elect senators and representatives. Since the civil war most of our presidents have been governors, because they have an executive record they can be judged against.

While I can’t imagine a worse candidate among the realistic slate than McCain, and I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a conventional republican (I’m a minarchist who votes republican because there is no other less distasteful alternative), at least a McCain presidency (or any other republican) would have a republican administration and most likley congress to go with it.

It's funny, I used to have great respect for the man. He's one of my senators, I've met him several times; I even worked on his campaign in 2000. The party though, they went and screwed him hard in carolina, and he's been doing everything he could to screw them back ever since. He's quite frankly gone nuts.

Of course McCains much vaunted press relationship would disappear the second he was hurting the deomocrats more than the republicans, but he’d also still probably get more middleground voters than Bush. Also I trust that McCain would do the right thing in defending this country from without. What he would do from within is another story entirely, and his willingness to stifle free speech and political expression; as well as his clear willingness to use the authoritarian power of the state… yeah those are worrisome.

Actually the same applies to any republican nominee really. When you vote in a president, you arent just voting for the man, you're voting for an entire administration. I LOATHE the general principles, and the proven actions of the democratic party and I will NEVER vote for them under any circumstances, even if the republicans put someone as clueless as McCain up for president, and the democrats put up a Zzell Miller/Joe Lieberman ticket (which if it werent for the whole democratic adminsitration thing would be GREAT). At this point I will vote for any republican ADMINISTRATION over any democratic one without regard to the presidential candidates themselves .

At least that is, until someone can actually put up a minarchist candidate that can beat a republican and a democrat. Of course I suspect that would require the disintegration of the democratic party, and a reformation of a libertarian party coalition with the conservative wing of the democrats and the liberal and libertarian wings of the republicans.

Yes, I think that's a realistic possibility within the next 20 years, especially if the republicans keep getting more statist and the democrats keep losing more elections.

Until then, I'm voting republican, even if it is for idiots like McCain, because we can never trust the democrats in power again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How not to have your life ruined by the ATFU

A reader on the NoR forums asks:
"What is the deal with these AR 15 pistols made by Armalite and others? Are they classified as a pistol because there is no butt stock? I do not know how it could be legal with a 7 inch barrel."
Which is a pretty good question if you'd like to avoid being shot by JBTs; and wouldn't we all like to avoid that?

First things first, I am not spouting internet BS, or third hand knowledge. I am a former armorer and instructor for a Class III dealer, and have dealt with the ATF extensively for years. This is, whether it's blackletter law or not (sadly, the ATF tends to ignore or mangle the law whenever it feels like it) how the ATF interprets its rules.

There's a few legalistic definitions we need to get into here. First, there are four different classifications we need to deal with:

1. Pistols
2. Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)
3. Short Rifles (SR)
4. Any Other Weapon (AOW)

The "Any Other Weapon" classification is the ATFU catchall classification for anything they want to regulate more stringently than normal firearms, but can't really come up with a justification for. For example, pen guns, some smooth bore pistols, and even wallet holsters (so long as the weapon can be fired from inside the holster without drawing first) are all AOWs. AOW's require the standard NFA paperwork, fingerprints, signatures, background check etc... but the tax is only $5, unlike the $200 tax applied to machine guns and short barreled weapons.

A pistol is a weapon originally designed and manufactured to be no longer than 26” in it’s longest operable configuration, having no provision for fitting a butt stock, and having a no more than 18” rifled barrel. Barrels in between 12” and 18” are however special cases, and MAY be classified as an AOW. Generally speaking the ATFU will look funny at any pistol barrel over 14" in length (the ATF classifies a Thompson without a buttstock, which has a 14.5" barrel and a foregrip - not just the vertical foregrip, but also the stock forend - as an AOW)

A short barreled rifle (SBR) in comparison is any weapon with a rifled barrel shorter than 16” AS MEASURED FROM THE BREECH FACE, with a fixed, folding, telescoping or detachable butt stock as part of it’s designed and manufactured configuration.

Additionally, the ATF has gone back and forth about vertical foregrips on pistols as to whether they constitute a short barreled rifle, an AOW or not. The current advice is that they do, so leave them off, HOWEVER if the weapon was not originally designed and manufactured with a foregrip but one is added as an accessory, then the federal courts have decreed it is NOT an AOW, but in fact a pistol.

Also, the ATF has decided in the past than any semiautomatic weapon with a rifled barrel and a manufactured weight of over 50oz is automatically not a pistol. Unfortunately, this ruling has not been consistently applied; and is pretty much a throwaway at this point, because the 14” barrelled desert eagle almost doubles this weight restriction (the 14" barrel is no longer manufactured). In fact even the 6" barrled version is over the limit at 76oz. There has been another ruling from the ATF that the weight restriction only applies to weapons where the magazine well is outside the grip frame, but that hasn't been tested in court yet; if it does end up there it will almost certainly be tossed out. I have also heard that since the AWB sunset this ruling is no longer in effect. In any case there are several models of rifle actioned pistols that exceed this weight and have no problem currently.

A short rfile, as distinct from an SBR, is any shoulder weapon (having a fixed, folding, telescoping, or detachable buttstock) with any length rifled barrel, having an overall length of less than 26” in it’s shortest FIREABLE configuration (that includes stocks folded or collapsed, if the weapon is fireable in that configuration).

This is not a separate classification under NFA '34; but the ATF interprets any weapon modified from a rifle, (rather than originally manufactured as a pistol) which meets the criteria for short rifle or short barreled rifle, as a short barreled rifle OR as an AOW (with seemingly no logic or justification between them), even if the barrel to breech face length is over 16".

SBR and SR are usually classed together; because in order to be a short rifle, you generally need to have a short barrel, though this is not always the case as some receivers are quite short. The ATF has over the years sometimes classified rifles under 26" as short barreled rifles (even though their barrels are longer than 16"), and sometimes as AOWs.

For example, the krinkov pistol is the shortest AK variant I know of, and it’s just under 20” with an 8.5” barrel (including flash suppressor). Bringing it to 26” would give it a 14.5” barrel, still well in SBR territory.

Similarly, there is an equally inconsistent issue about the phrases used in weapon classification "designed to be fired in one hand",  and "designed to be fired with two hands" (that I address in other posts); where the ATF sometimes classifies weapons with vertical foregrips as AOWs and sometimes does not.

There were at one time various takedown and folding rifles that had legal length barrels, but could be fired while folded and had a folded length of under 26", so most of them have been classified as short rifles and thus are subject to a tax stamp. This of course halted their manufacture, as very few were willing to go through a background check and pay $200 for the privilige of owning a $100 rifle.

The new KelTec SU16c is a folding design that CAN be fired while folded (though it is not recommended), and has a folded length of 26.5" with a flash suppressor attached to it's threaded barrel. They may run into problems because without the flash suppressor, the rifle is .5" too short when folded.

Oh and various bullpup designs can be considered short rifles, even with well over legal length barrels; because the minimum length of action and stock behind the breech face for a .22 for example is only about 2”. The Walther G22 bullpup for example has a 20” barrel in order to maintain minimum legal length (it has a detachable butt pad and spacers up to 2” to reach it’s overall length of 29.5” but detachable spacers don’t count towards legal length). If the weapon had a 16" minimum length barrel, it would only be 25.5" long WITH the spacers, which don't count towards it's legal length.

One should note, as Randy Weaver found out much to his detriment, shotguns can also easily have legal length barrels and still be a short shotgun. Many shotguns have quite short actions, and an 18” barreled side by side with a 9” length of pull (a standard youth length) can get your family killed by overzealous law enforcement.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Trackback Spam

So I've had several hundred trackback spams in the last few days, all originating from blogger sites that have been created in the past few weeks, and of course have their reporting flag removed.

I would report them and complain to blogger, but I think we all know how responsive their customer service has been.

I'm using haloscan, which HAS a spam filter, but like any filter theres only so much it can do. Maybe there are more solutions in the fhaloscan forums, but for now its manual deletion.

Oh and worse, theres no way in haloscan to bulk delete these things, to its an individual click each time. Oy.

The "Revolution" will not be televized

Fanboy Alert

Anyone who is a comic, or comic move fanboy MUST read this interview with Alan Moore (who if you AREN'T a fanboy you should know was the creator of "Watchmen", "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", "From Hell", "Constantine", and "V for Vendetta").

Read the whole thing, but here are some great quotes:
"Alan Moore, the king of comics, is at his home in Northampton, England. He's been working on a new story called "Lost Girls." Actually he's been working on it for the last 16 years, but now it's done and due out this summer as a graphic novel, illustrated by his fiancee, the artist Melinda Gebbe. It's a wild tale, even by the 52-year-old Moore's standards: Three heroines of classic children's literature — Alice from "Alice in Wonderland," Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" and Wendy from "Peter Pan" — meet up in London in 1913 and realize that their respective stories are actually metaphors for sexual awakening. Very erotic. Or, as Moore prefers to think of it, very pornographic.

The sex-filled "Lost Girls" may be a little too scary for Hollywood, which has heretofore adored Moore's work and turned three of his creations (the graphic novels "From Hell" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," as well as the supernatural investigator John Constantine) into very bad movies. "
I can't even tell you how disappointed I was with LXG. It was a GREAT book, and a horrible movie (though Peta Wilson was YUMMY and Sean Connery was well... Sean Connery).

An extended quote from Alan:

"I met Terry Gilliam, and he asked me, "How would you make a film of 'Watchmen'?" And I said, "Don't." I think he eventually came to agree with me that it was a film better unmade.

In Hollywood you're going to have the producers and the backers putting in their ... well, I don't want to dignify them by calling them ideas, but ... having their input, shall we say. You're going to get actors who'll say they don't want to say this line or play this character like that. I mean the police inspector in "From Hell," Fred Abberline, was based on real life: He was an unassuming man in middle age who was not a heavy drinker and who, as far as I know, remained faithful to his wife throughout his entire life. Johnny Depp saw fit to play this character as an absinthe-swilling, opium-den-frequenting dandy with a haircut that, in the Metropolitan Police force in 1888, would have gotten him beaten up by the other officers.

On the other hand when I have got an opium-addicted character, in Allan Quatermain [in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"], this was true to the [original] character — he showed a fondness for drugs on several occasions. But Sean Connery didn't want to play him as a drug-addled individual. So the main part of Quatermain's character was thrown out the window on the whim of an actor. I don't have these problems in comics."
And another:
"V for Vendetta" was specifically about things like fascism and anarchy.

Those words, "fascism" and "anarchy," occur nowhere in the film. It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. In my original story there had been a limited nuclear war, which had isolated Britain, caused a lot of chaos and a collapse of government, and a fascist totalitarian dictatorship had sprung up. Now, in the film, you've got a sinister group of right-wing figures — not fascists, but you know that they're bad guys — and what they have done is manufactured a bio-terror weapon in secret, so that they can fake a massive terrorist incident to get everybody on their side, so that they can pursue their right-wing agenda. It's a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives — which is not what "V for Vendetta" was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about [England]. The intent of the film is nothing like the intent of the book as I wrote it. And if the Wachowski brothers had felt moved to protest the way things were going in America, then wouldn't it have been more direct to do what I'd done and set a risky political narrative sometime in the near future that was obviously talking about the things going on today?"
Why is it that all my favorite comic book creators are raging leftists... anyway, he's at least a SMART and funny and passionate guy; and what he says about comics in the movies is brilliant.

Plus, "The Lost Girls" sounds like a frikking brilliant idea. Can't wait to see it on paper.

HT: JohnOC

My worship of Chris Muir Continues

This is especially funny to me, because my gun club features a lot of first time over/under dressed desperate housewives/the OC type shooters (it's a high end facility in a high end neighborhood). They walk in in a pushup bra, tanktop, short shorts and flip flops to shoot.

Almost without fail,within minutes you hear the screams as hot burning brass meets overtanned enhanced breastflesh.

Monday, March 20, 2006

What a pistol

A new reader at the NOR asks this common question:
How effectively can a pistol grip shotgun be aimed at home defense ranges? What is the best way to fire a pistol grip shotgun (from the hip or raising it to eye level)?

As I said, a common question; mostly because the vast majority of folks out there get their ideas about guns from TV and movies.

Actually the question isn't as simple as it seems. For one thing, there are quite a few different kinds of "pistol grips" out there. What most people think of as a conventional shotgun stock already HAS a pistol grip, it's the curved part of the stock between the reciever and the comb/cheek of the stock; and it's called a conventional pistol grip, as pictured on this Mossberg 590 above.

The alternative full stock type is called a straight grip stock, and it's just like it sounds, a straight piece of wood from the reciever to comb. Most folks associate the straightgrip style stock with winchester lever action rifles; or on double barreled shotguns

What most people are thinking of when they say "Pistol Grip" though, is a protruding pistol grip, either with a stock behind it (straight pull, dropped comb, or folding) similar to a modern military rifle;

or on it's own (conventionally called a "cruiser grip"). Here's that same Mossberg 590 equipped with a cruiser grip and a cycling strap.

In this particular case, I'm thinking the quesitoner has Stallone: Cobra in mind (when he pulls the two cruiser gripped shotgnus out of his trunk). Personally I like the parody of that scene in Beverly Hills cop II better, but hey that's just me.

Honestly, it does look kinda cool, but the commenter has the right question in mind; how effectively can this configuration be used?

The answer is, not very. The advantage to a cruiser grip is that the weapon takes up less space inside a vehicle (why it's called a cruiser grip); but it doesnt really take up much less space when it's being used, because of natural body positioning.

Firing from the hip is where the gun would take up the least space, but it's poor bio-mechanics in this situation, never mind likely to result in a miss (unless you are highly practiced in hipshooting).

The fact is, firing a cruiser gripped 12ga AT ALL is very difficult, never mind firing accurately. Assuming you have the arm strength (and believe me you need it), the best bet is to stand at a sharp angle to the target, have your support hand fully extended at shoulder level, and your shooting hand with a firm grip on the weapon, arm cocked in a v and tucked into your body to absorb recoil. Your final shooting position will be something like if the weapon had a full stock on it.

DO NOT LOCK YOUR ARMS, or you will break something.

Now as to actually doing it in a defensive situation, don't. If you like a pistol grip, get a pistol grip and full stock. I personally recommend the Knoxx SpecOps stock; which gives you and M4 style collapsible stock and pistol grip, and has a recoil reducing mechanism built into it:

If you like the way a pistol grip looks, but have no idea as to it’s function… well gun masturbation is fine, just don’t risk your life on it. I personally like a full stock with pistol grip as above, but a conventional will do me just fine.

Why do I say “dont”? Well first, using a pistol grip only is mostly just macho gun fantasy posturing. A shotgun has a hefty dose of recoil, and unless you live in a submarine, or MAYBE a doublewide, there is no reason not to take advantage of a shoulder stock. There is really no advantage to the cfruiser grip unless you are storing the gun in a car; and even then I HIGHLY recommend you get a folding or collapsing stock for the gun, and deply that stock before use.

Second, shooting with just a pistol grip generally requires mongo arms to do it effectively, and without major pain or injury.

Third, even if you CAN shoot it effectively, it still wont be as effective as a pistol grip and full stock; or a convetional stock You wont be as stable, as accurate, or be able to recover from a shot as quickly.

If you absolutely MUST have that silly grip; then I STRONGLY recommend you look into the KNoxx Breacher grip; which has the recoil reducing mechanism of the SpecOps stock, in a pistol grip only configuration.

I've never fired a gun with it on myself, but I've seen the videos, and it appears to be quite effective. I KNOW the spec ops stock is since I've fired a 12ga with it, and this uses the same system (though less effective), so maybe it will save you a sprained wrist. They call it a breacher grip, because really the only situation in which a pistol grip only stock is all that useful, is in breaching a door (using special compressed powder breaching rounds).

My recommendation? Get a pistol grip with a full stock, and a sling; and learn how to use them effectively. Leave the cruiser grips for the movies, or at most for your trunk gun.

Quest for water - one month on

About a month ago I wrote this:
"Speaking of cold water, I've got three women with me who don't drink enough of it, and as a result they are all perpetually dehydrated. I actually pretty much have to force Mel to drink two bottles of gatorade a day.

I'm trying to teach her the cardinal rule of hydration "If you don't gotta piss, you gotta drink"; but it just doesnt seem to be sticking.

My long term solution to this problem? Powdered drink mixes (gatorade, fruit punch, and iced tea) and a water service.

I've just signed on with O Premium waters, because they offer an electrolyte added water that's distilled and reverse osmosis filtered ("spring" water sucks unless you are looking for a specific mineral flavor. It's no good for coffee either), and an all the water you can drink plan for the same price as all the others 30 gallon plan. Better, you own your own water cooler, AND get maintenance and replacement as long as you have service with them. All in all not a bad deal, and I hope it will encourage my loved ones to stop dehydrating themselves."

A few hours ago we got our second water delivery. The verdict? We've used 55 gallon in three and a half weeks, we're all much better hydrated, our coffee and tea are a lot better, and we've bought almost no soda in the last month.

Now considering we're a family that usually buys two 2 liters a day; that's a pretty big change. Since the service is a bit under $40, and we're not spending $3 a day on soda; I'll call that a bargain any day.

Also cutting lots of sugar and/or nutrasweet out of our diet doesnt hurt either.

Oh and the fact that I've got 55 gallons of perfectly purified drinking water (with added electrolytes) is an added bonus; to accompany the months worth of canned and dry food we've got, and the fair bit of ammo. Now I just need a generator.