Saturday, March 22, 2003

When I started shooting I was puzzled when people would talk about "shotgun ckokes". What the heck was that? Did they mean that I had to hold it differently, like when you choke up on a baseball bat?

A shotgun doesn't work the way that a rifle or handgun does. Instead of a single bullet that fits snugly in the barrel, a shotgun is designed to fire a shell packed with loose-fitting pellets (click on the ZOOM button to see the pellets).

This means that, instead of a single bullet scraping it's way down the barrel and travelling in one direction with a great deal of accuracy, the pellets in a shotgun exit in a cloud of gas. As soon as it exits the barrel the gas starts to expand, which means that the pellets start to drift apart. So how do you keep them close together to increase the punch downrange?

About a century ago, a gunsmith came up with the idea of pinching off the end of the barrel. This way, so the thought goes, the edges of the gas cloud will be deflected towards the center. This will keep the cloud from drifting apart for a few yards after it exits the end of the barrel, and so the pellets won't drift apart as fast with the expanding cloud. (Some people insist that it doesn't really work this way. Whatever. The results are the same even if the details are different)

The "choke" increased the range and effectiveness of a shotgun, which means that the situations where a shotgun would be useful also increased. The main problem has been that you needed to buy a completely different barrel for each choke you needed. This has changed in recent years with the development of screw in choke tubes.

I WAS going to list all of the different chokes and discuss which situations they would be suited for, but there's so many that it would be best if you simply asked the guy at the gun store. Remember, as far as self defense is concerned just about any choke will do.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Everybody who is interested in reducing Iraqi casualties should go here and dig deep.

Being interested in self defense, I've long realized that the media will resort to outright lies in order to further their political agenda. Now it would appear that The Command Post has proof.

(Link via Prof. Reynolds)

Blog goddess Natalie Solent has some choice words for the direction the pro-European movement is taking. She notes that it is less about being pro anything and more an anti-American knee-jerk reaction.

I'm with Natalie on this one. Such hatred won't get them what they want, and it might just spoil any chance they have of being taken seriously at all.

Megan McArdel has a link to some really funny stuff. Go read.

Prof. Reynolds has a great link that really puts the anti-war movement into perspective.

I've included The Monkey in the ol' blogroll. Mike doesn't post often enough in my opinion, but he comes up with some really good ideas.

Something tells me that Mike's leaflet would make many Iraqi soldiers consider giving up (heck, I would if I was them after seeing that). I hope they surrender immediately as well. They can't possibly win, and I really want to see as few lives lost as possible in this. Even if they are the enemy.

Mike from Feces Flinging Monkey has just sent me Email pointing out that the ads at the top of this page are for Women Against war in Iraq and Stop the War Machine.

The Women don't have any pics up, which is probably good unless there are a few Playboy models in the organization. (WARNING! Don't open the Playboy link if you're at work!)

The Stop the War guys sell pins to fund their anti-war efforts. Some of those pins are real professional. They look a lot better than most fan pins I see. But I have a problem with this pin. My pets aren't against war at all, and the pin sellin' anti-war types would know that if they saw what the dawgs did to that squirrel they caught in the woods last weekend. I can't blame them, though. The squirrel crossed the perimeter and then ran when challenged.

I was thinking of bitchin' a bit, but I am using a free service. The guys at Blogger are probably hoping that I'll decide to pay to advertise myself just to get rid of the links. They can't seriously expect too many anti-war types to read this shite, not to mention the rather remarkable lack of wimmen who drop on by (against war or pro, very few wimmen). So the people who paid for the ads are wasting their hard earned.

That's why I'm not going to complain. Anyone want to slip me some cash I'll put a link to your site in every post.

Looks like Swen the Coyote thinks the UN should be abolished because of rampant anti-Semitism.

Been saying something similar for about two years now, but I want to abolish all of Europe.

Thanks to Prof. Reynolds we have these words of wisdom to ponder.

"Even though he wanted more time for inspections, Blix said yesterday that he didn't know if he could ever be sure that Iraq wasn't hiding the illegal missiles.

"I could not guarantee that we would come to clear conclusions even after some months more," he said."

So even the head UN inspector is admitting that the inspection process was a waste of time. Worthless. A failure.

I'm waiting for all of these "The US is a terrorist nation because it should have given the UN more time!" people to eat their words. I don't expect it, though. Even with incontrovertible proof staring them right in the face.

Erica goes undercover to get the skinny on whether or not Wal-Mart is discriminatory! And she has pictures!

So I'm reading Anna Bunny's blog (do it at least once a day), and I see that she's posted this post (if the link takes you to a post about a bunny shelter, then Blogger's acting up again. Since Anna doesn't believe in the Great and Effective Blank Post, then we'll just have to wait until she posts something else to get the links working right).

Anyway, the post is the usual "Arsenal of Democracy", but this time she profiles the American troops instead of a robot. This is what she says about our gun-totin' boys (and gals) in uniform...

"Listen Mr. Tikrit Mafia: you and your folks are toast. Listen: rest-of-world, your dreams of racial superiority are nullified by a mongrel mob thrust forth from the United States, and full of kill-crazy, wealthy, well-trained, smart folks who will Americanize your butt. This is the face of the Arsenal of Democracy!"

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

But there's a few who disagree. They decided that they didn't want to voice their opposite view in measured and respectful debate. No, they decided to hide behind aliases and get all snarky on our very own bunny.

Go on over to Anna's and leave a comment or two. If you don't agree with her, or if you think that she hasn't thought her position through, then just let her know. Debate is encouraged. Bile is idiotic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

War is just a few days away, maybe just a matter of hours. The Blogospere is heating up about it, plenty of posts. I'm worried about our servicemen and women, even though I'm sure (absolutely sure!) that they'll do us proud and act with courage, grace and morality.

But life goes on even though History is in the making. Math final tomorrow morning. Then I'll have time to actually read some of the fine posts my fellow bloggers are writing. I might even have a few minutes to pen one or two myself.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

I think you should go here and take a look at the picture. It was taken at an anti-war rally in Montana.

According to this news article on the Yahoo! server, Saddam warns the United States that the Iraqis will unleash a can of global whoop-ass if we DARE to invade.

I'm thinking that we're gonna have to sift through the rubble of Saddam's bunker for intel (receipts from French arms dealers, say). The first intelligence officer who prys open the twisted doors will have to beat Saddam's tongue to death with a stick. It's just too darn stupid to die.

I was just mainlining my nightly Lileks fix. He tallked about spooky movies. What the heck, good a topic for a post as any.

I'm not afraid of the same things most people are. Serial Killers? Burglars? Bad people who want to creep into my home and knife me in my bed for the money on the nightstand? Can't say that I'm too afraid of them.

But I'm afraid of things that other people don't think about, or even notice. Will I be able to deal with the shooting, after? Will I go broke paying for the lawyers I'll need to defend myself from the civil lawsuits the dirtbag's family will bring against me? Will the anti-gunners gain political power, and strip me of the tools I need to defend others and myself from violent attack?

But that's not the worst of it. The A Number One Grandaddy of all fears is: Will I be cowardly and think only of myself while the lives of others are lost?

I'm certainly not unique in this. Everyone who is interested in self defense thinks the same things. Every parent thinks those same thoughts, too, except they usually only think of their own children.

So there was this here Eat An Animal for PETA Day on Saturday. Davidmsc had a big ol' hamburger. Fuze had a pork grill-out. What did I do?

I was invited over to a mutual friend of mine and Jack Burton's. This fellow wired his basement with network connections, and about ten people brought their computers over for a day of extreme virtual violence. Jack deep-fried about twenty pounds of chicken wings with his own home made sauce. Deee-lish!

I figure that Jack is about to get on PETA's 10 most wanted list. If the anti-carnivores send over some protestors, then I want Jack to know that I'll be right there to show my....ur, support.