Saturday, September 14, 2002

This post about the correct ammunition for old guns has prompted todd to ask a question......

"Do you know of any .44 practice ammo that will cycle my Desert Eagle? I'm stuck using American Eagle self defense ammo and that means I can't shoot inside. I have to go way out to the Angeles Crest range."

Ummm, no offense meant to you, todd, but I have no idea where that is. I had to do a Google search to find out that there's 2 ranges in the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles. I hope that's what you mean.

todd goes on to say.........

"I can't use the self defense hollow point rounds inside because they splatter on impact and can cause injury. I'm looking for practice rounds that will cycle my .44 but I have been unable to find them anywhere locally."

todd is very, very smart. Point of impact, noise and flash levels, recoil and even the weight of the gun will change with different loads. It's important to practice every so often with the chosen defensive round so there's no surprises when you have to use them in the gravest extreme. But the self-defense loads are expensive and most of us aren't rich enough to use them regularly. An alternative that isn't as hard on the wallet has to be found.

Let's get back to todd's question. I can see four solutions to his problem.

The first is to just keep doing what he's doing now. It's expensive to use the defensive ammo and a pain to drive out to a remote range all of the time but it does have the advantage of working. Something tells me that he wouldn't have asked the question in the first place if this was an acceptable choice.

The second solution is to buy ammunition in bulk, and many sources can be found at this web page. A disadvantage with this is that, to get the real savings, you have to buy in huge quantities. This takes a big pile of cash up front, and it's difficult to tell right off if the ammunition is what you want. You could spend a week's pay only to find out that you have bought all of this ammunition that you can't use.

Another disadvantage with buying bulk is that very few companies will ship to the Los Angeles area. Take a look at this website offering discount ammunition. Notice that they state up front "AMMO NOT SOLD IN ALASKA, HAWAII AND LOS ANGELES AREA". To get around this I'd suggest that todd drive to another city like Carlsbad or San Diego. Rent a mailbox at one of those places that will accept packages. Then just have the ammo shipped there. Sure it's even more money, but it's one solution.

The third solution is to get some money in hand and then scour the gun shows in your state to find a deal. This website is particularly useful because it provides calender pages that can be printed and hung around the house to remind you of the event. A very similar service can be found on the official NRA website. This isn't a perfect solution because of the time and trouble of all of that travel, and the large amount of cash needed up front.

The fourth solution is for todd to reload his own ammunition. Buying the reloading equipment and supplies will take about $150.00 or so. After that todd can reload around 1,000 rounds depending on the type and quality of the components. After his initial 1,00 rounds it should only take about $75.00 for each additional thousand.

The pros to reloading is that todd will be able to experiment with different bullet weights and powder sharges and develop a specialty load that's the best for him. The disadvantages are that it takes some of your free time and many indoor shooting ranges won't allow reloaded ammo. Still, it's the best solution that I can think of.

So there you have it. Todd can buy a big load of ammo in bulk through the mail or at a gun show, start reloading his own, or keep doing what he's doing now. If anyone else has a suggestion then please feel free to make your voice heard.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Thanks to The Comedian for tipping me off to this photo spread of a fashion shoot.

I dunno why people think this starved look is sexy. I think it's alarming and pathetic. I mean, take a look at the hips on this woman. I figure we should call in a forensic anthropologist to try and make a positive ID on the skeleton.

This model is smiling, probably because she's thinking of eating three lettuce leaves and a slice of lemon when the show's over. This one looks like an exhausted refugee from a famine ridden country, and the last time I saw legs like these there was a message tied to them.

Hey, here's one who just spotted someone in the audience who's eating nachos! And this girl's so thin that she'd look like a zipper if she stuck her tongue out.

One thing's for sure. If anyone who looks like this shows up on my doorstep they're going to get a massive emergency transfusion of cheesecake.

Time to look over what's new at James Dunnigan's military analysis blog.

According to this item the proliferation of unencrypted wireless cameras are a boon for people who want to spy on others. It's no joke. The technology is omnipresent, relatively inexpensive and easy to install. People must be buying this stuff due to the huge number of companies that sell the equipment.

The regular army staff in Afghanistan just don't seem to get the whole Special Operations idea.

The regular army commanders might not be enthused about Special Ops but the Marines certainly are. Scroll down to the article on the bottom of the page. It asks what the U.S. can do AFTER conquering Iraq.

The U.S. Army is trying to develop a light, air mobile self propelled gun for use in remote theaters. Click here to get a look at a cool picture of the prototype during a test firing. Looks like a good design from this angle.

StrategyPage just posted the last of a really cool 4 part series that discusses how military science fiction has lessons for today's real world military. If you're interested in this stuff then you will want to read the whole thing. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

James Dunnigan, the Man Himself, has written an article that discusses 10 real world reasons why people oppose the invasion of Iraq. It isn't very flattering to those who do oppose the invasion.

Want to see some dramatic footage of a KF-16 going down in flames? The pilot ejected after aiming the plane at a remote field, no one was hurt.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

One of the more famous bloggers out there is Ken Layne. He's a really nice guy and he writes pretty well, too. Yesterday I read this post where he was talking about what he did on 9/11. A passage stuck in my mind....

"I was much more worried about my beat-up old revolver and its 15-year-old ammunition."

A reasonable fear, that. So I Emailed Mr. Layne and offered to supply some ammunition to him. Mr. Layne very kindly replied, stating that the gun belonged to his grandfather, who was a railroad cop way back in the day. He also said that it was a .38 S&W so I asked him to check to make sure that he was using the correct ammunition for the gun.

Every so often a new student will show up for the course with an old family heirloom. Those are the best guns to have, since your placing your hands on and putting your confidence in the same gun they relied on. It's like shaking hands with those that were here before you. But sometimes what to feed the old timers can be confusing.

I've seen it all. People cramming .22 cartridges in a .25 auto, .380 auto cartridges in a 9mm autoloader (or vice versa). Heck, I even once saw a guy try to shoot .45 Auto Rims out of a Webley .455 (don't ask me where he found the .45 Auto Rims).

The point is that an extra bit of attention has to be paid to those delightful old guns. Every so often the tolerances will slip, something that isn't supposed to fit in the cylinder will, and a ruined gun is the result. This is particularly hard if the gun has had an interesting history and the markings stamped on the barrel have worn to the point where it's difficult to make them out. When that happens the only safe thing to do is to take the gun to a competant gunsmith and have them measure the dimensions of the chambers and barrels. In fact, the only safe thing to do is have the whole gun checked out by a gunsmith to make sure that it's in working condition. This should be done before loading the first round at the range.

Another problem is the fact that gun manufacturing is getting more sophisticated. The metals that were used to make a gun 100 years ago are weaker or more brittle than the steel used today, even though an older gun might well look exactly like a newer one. For example, please look at this ballistics table for the 9mm Parabellum. When the 9mm was first introduced the bullet didn't deliver a great deal more than 320 ft/lbs, a decidedly weak load compared to some of the defensive rounds available today. This means that you might have a brand new, never before fired gun that was made around the first World War which comes apart after 100 rounds or so of the newer high velocity ammo. Care must be taken or else we might put more pressure on these old warriors than they can take.

So far as Mr. Layne is concerned I'm sure that he knows what he's doing. I'm just overly cautious from all of the newcomers to the sport who weren't properly informed.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

From the Yahoo! news server comes this story about a nutbag that was foiled from doing.....something.

A man was in the James A. Rhodes Building. When asked by an office worker what he was doing he replied "I'm here to install a bomb." The man was taken in to custody while dogs at the loading dock responded to the scent of explosives around a parked van.

Thanks to blog goddess Natalie Solent for pointing the way to this news item about a man who was convicted of manslughter charges after killing a career criminal who had broken in to his home. The Tony Martin she mentions in the title is a Brit farmer who, while in his own home, killed one burglar and wounded another. For his efforts he was jailed and convicted of murder (later reduced to manslaughter).

I wonder what the Bobby on the street feels about all of this. Police here in the U.S. are cautioned to be non-political, and I'm sure that the same is true in other countries. But all I hear is a ringing silence from law enforcement in the U.K.

There's a bunch of events scheduled around the world to remember 9/11. At most of them they're playing music. Mozart's Requiem is the most popular passage at these events. You can hear a version of it here.

I've heard it done better but this version is free, quick and easy. Give it a listen.

Found a poster from World War II. I had to look at the date twice, just to make sure that I got it right.

I was reading Lileks last night. Excellent as always. The post starts with the following.....

"After watching the horrors all day, there was nothing left to do but leave the house, head north, and vote. We had a primary election on Sept. 11, and I’ve never seen the polls so packed for an off-year primary; the mood in the room was somber and hushed, yet focused and electric - as if this simple act of choosing candidates for the Park Board was somehow a way to strike back. And of course it was. This is what we do; this is what they would forbid. Everybody got that."

Yeah, this is what we do. We vote. One person, one vote. Sex doesn't matter, creed doesn't matter, how rich you are or how influential you are or how many titles you have doesn't matter. Go ahead and make your voice heard. And never is there a mullah trying to force us to do what he thinks Allah dictates, unless he's the distinguished looking gentleman with the beard quietly waiting his turn in the booth. Coercion via ballot box, that's the way we do things 'round here.

I can't think of anywhere else I would want to be.

Want to see a really cool picture? Read the text that goes with it.

I got the picture while reading Reynold's blog. He got it from Craig Schamp. Mr. Schamp has a link on his blog to John Weidner's blog, that explains about the WWI battle that the warship in the picture is named after.

This is why I love blogging. Click on the links. See cool pictures. Learn stuff.

Monday, September 09, 2002

I was looking over the news stories on the home page of the Yahoo! server when I saw the headlines "U.S. VIOLENT CRIME RATE DOWN, MURDER UP". Thinking it was a very odd headline I clicked on the link and read this article.

The headline over the story just read "U.S. VIOLENT CRIME RATE DECLINES", something completely different from what's displayed on the front page. After reading a few paragraphs I found that the 2001 National Crime Victimization Survey reported a 9 percent drop in violent crime. The article also mentions that murder is not one of the crimes that are tracked.

So why did Yahoo! place the blatantly false headline on their home page? Beats me.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Thanks to the Guardroom for this article from a New Zealand news org. It seems that some N.Z. youth are sporting fake but realistic looking plastic guns (they think it looks cool). At least one of them was shot and killed by police after pointing a fake gun.

"Police shot dead Auckland father-of-two Eddie Leo near Helensville in July 1999 after he brandished a fake Glock pistol at them.
Believing the gun to be real, a policeman shot Leo three times in the arms and chest after he adopted a two-hand grip, crouched and pointed it at the officer. Afterwards, police warned that anyone who pointed a fake gun at armed police could expect to be shot."

Well, DUH!

Even though one of their own has died, and died stupid, the rest of them seem to be turning a deaf ear to this wake up call.

"Although dealt with by police youth aid, the teens, all aged under 17, failed to learn from the incident, he says."