Monday, November 30, 2009

Trip Report

Well, ye olde Savage is now certified. Went out hunting white tail with my father in law Thanksgiving Day. Bagged a flat-top buck at about 40 yds using 150 gr Remington Core-Lockt ammunition.

We first got eyes on him on a hill side about 75 yds away. Couldn't quite make him out as my tag was for any anterless deer (relax, it wasn't until we started cleaning him out that we discovered our 'doe' was a slick top buck; and besides, the regs said any male or female deer without antlers) and I wanted to verify what I had. I started moving towards him and he turned and walked down into a creek bed.

Thinking he might get away, I started moving towards the creek. Next thing I know, he's 40 yds away looking right at me. At this point I could clearly make out there weren't any signs of horns on his head. I slowly knelt down and assumed my shooting position: kneeling, supported off of one knee and waited for him to turn either left or right so I could get a clean kill shot. He turned to my left and it was all over with but the crying.

Shot went in through the front part of his left shoulder and exited behind his right shoulder and down he went and didn't take another step.

When it was all said and done, I got about 30 lbs of meat out of it, not including heart and liver, which are all bagged up, intact, in my freezer as we speak.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Yorkers View On Us Little People

There are soooooo many things wrong with this article I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll start out at the beginning and go from there.
Our New Yawker starts off with what seems like a tribute to veterans and then devolves into the War on Terror (clue to Mrs Rubin, there's no more War on Terror, it's an overseas contingency operation, didn't you get the memo?) and telling everyone the NRA is in the midst of it's own 'War of Terror'. I'm sorry, did you just assert that a specifically enumerated Constitutional right is the source of 'terror' in the United States? Did I read that right?
"This Veterans Day, above all, has demonstrated that the US War on Terror and the NRA's War of Terror have consequences."
Yup, I guess I did. She then goes on to equate being a veteran with being a mass murderer. So I guess, myself and the MILLIONS of men and women who have served this country for periods from 2 yrs to 40 yrs are now murderers in the making. I mean Timothy McVeigh was a vet right? So was the DC Sniper. I guess that seals it, doesn't it.
Then we find out that on any given night, 130,000 veterans are homeless. After going from the Iraq/Afghanistan war to all veterans is a bit of a stretch. I'm pretty sure that most of the personnel who have deployed in support of OIF/OEF are not homeless by any stretch of the imagination. But hey, if it helps get your point across, who am I to get in the way, right?
"At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been charged with a killing after returning from the war.
On any given night says New Jersey Senator Menendez, 131,000 veterans are homeless, of which 10,000 are in New York City and northern New Jersey. Indeed, one-fourth of all homeless in America are veterans "home" from the war."
But now we get to the meat of this hit piece. See, we can't blame the Muslim terrorist who shot the hell out of Ft Hood, no we have to blame everything and everyone else except the turd who did the shooting. See, it can't be his fault because he had 'secondary post traumatic stress disorder' From Charles Krauthammer:
"After all, secondary PTSD, for those who believe in it (you won't find it in the DSMR-IV-TR, psychiatry's Diagnostic and Statistics manual), is known as 'compassion fatigue'."
It seems Mrs Rubin thinks this shooting was the result of a failure of policies, namely 'gun control'.
So the shooter walked into a gun store, after the investigation of him by the federal powers-that-be decided not to investigate him further, and bought a Fabrique-Nationale Herstal 5.7x28mm pistol. Which is still a perfectly legal action in every state in the union (although it's becoming a major PITA in some, namely New Joisey). A pistol, our intrepid editorialist assures us is a 'cop killer'. Never mind that not one single cop has been killed with it, that the ammuntion that made it a 'cop killer' is not legal for any civilian to own, and the 5.7x28 is ballistically comparable to a .22 mag, but the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership says so, so it must be true. Don't believe me? Just ask them, they'll tell you.
She also goes on to draw the line that this bloodbath would have been averted if that stupid George Bush and that dastardly Republican congress hadn't allowed the 1994 assault weapons ban to expire. Because as we all know, the pistol used by the shooter would have been illegal, right? Well, maybe the 20 round magazine would have, but not the pistol itself. According to her, all these mass shootings since 2005 can be laid directly at the feet of the expiration of said ban.
The rest is typical screed from tired old talking points. At this point, I've given more attention than I probably should have to begin with. If you want, go on over and check out the rest. But I'm warning you, don't have anything light and easily throwable or had anything to eat. You're liable to throw something or lose your lunch after you read it.

Another Educated Idiot

From the stately confines of the University of Indiana comes Josh Kraus, critical thinker extraordinaire and future something-or-other.

Young Josh's editorial in the student paper seems to indicate he's in total lockstep agreement with all the other anti-gun zealots in that he doesn't think his fellow students are trustworthy enough to protect themselves with the effective tools available because, as he states so eloquently "college campi are special places where hormones rage, academic demands loom, and substances beckon."

What our intrepid editorialist has conveniently forgotten is that these same hormone infested, stressed out, and drunk classmates of his can do what he advocates against after they cross some magical boundary that divides the real world from his 'special place'.

Fact is, with forced disarmament on college campuses around the country, it's not hard to find examples of crimes committed against students on campus either by fellow students or total strangers not affiliated with the college. Virginia Tech is but one example.

Now, nobody is advocating that ALL students be armed, but get real. There are hundreds of students at any given campus who are CCW permit holders who, given the chance, would carry to and from class on a daily basis and no one would be the wiser. I don't know how many times I've had to get in someones behind because they were just sure that when a gun law was loosened, there would be blood in the streets or people getting shot for asinine things like parking spots.

Reality is, those things that have always been predicted when gun laws are loosened have turned out to be wildly overstated fantasies of those who did the predicting.

Perhaps young Josh should concern himself with getting a good education and stop worrying about lawful people carrying lawful concealed weapons. He'll sleep much better at night.

Oh Boy, Here We Go...

From across the pond comes an interesting item. Seems the folks at FN Herstal over in Belgium have developed a tattle tale for your gun. The version they talk about appears to fit in the grip of a standard AR platform, but can be adapted to any gun.

Now, your local constabulary can stop you and plug your gun into their little "reader" and be able to tell exactly where you've been, what you shot, where you shot at, and what you had for breakfast for the last 3 days (ok, I made that last one up).

This ought to give you pause. As is hinted at in the article, the limits to this technology are scary. This is what they've been waiting for. Smart gun technology. The only thing missing is the remote off switch so if you don't have 'permission' to use your weapon, you won't. You can bet it won't be far away.

Custom Delta Elite Part II

Took the Delta out yesterday (Sunday) to make sure everything functioned. Had some issues with the manual safety and the trigger was giving me fits at the range.

Got her home, completely shucked her down to the frame and made sure everything fit correctly. In doing this, I fixed the issue with the manual safety and the trigger.

The last thing to do was to ensure the tang blended correctly with the grip safety and make sure the right side of the manual safety wouldn't dig into the web of my shooting hand. Man, it didn't break the skin, but it sure hurt like hell.

The last thing mechanically I've got to do is knock the tops off the hammer and sear pins to ensure the right side of the safety sits flush to the frame and do a little more custom fitting so that manual safety doesn't get me any more.

Then for the aesthetics, I've got a set of Night Hawk grips coming for her to finish her off.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Little Custom Work

Last spring, I restored a 1944 Remington Rand 1911A1 to its former glory as a warrior's pistol.

This got me to thinking about maybe tackling something a little more complex. Well, last month I got a Colt Delta Elite in 10mm. One thing I don't like about standard Colt 1911s is the grip safety. The way it's configured doesn't lend itself to my shooting style, which is to get as high as a grip as I can and then some. I tried this grip style on my RR 1911 only once, and I've got the scar on the web of my left hand for the effort.

Obligatory before pic
This is what led me to make my first attempt at customizing a 1911. I got the parts from Ed Brown (no paid advertising or anything here FCC) last week and set out today to make my project come to life.

What I got from Ed Brown was:

Beavertail grip safety w/memory pad
Commander-style hammer
Sear and disconnector
Flat checkered main spring housing w/mag well
Ambidextrous safety
Main spring

The trigger is from STI and is polymer. It required a little bit of custom fitting to make sure it cleared everything. This was the very first thing I did when I started. I figured I'd start easy and work my way up from there.

The one part I was most worried about was the beavertail grip safety, as this required firing up the old Craftsman bench grinder. I took me a couple of minutes to make up my mind if this was what I really wanted to do. It was, and I did.

Roughing in the grip safety

Following the instructions included with the jig I bought, I got the grip safety roughed in, then spent the next hour working with various jewelers flat files to get everything to fit right. The one thing that guided me in this part was the fact I didn't want to take too much material off and ruin my project before it ever got off the ground. In fact, I was downright paranoid about it.

Then I spent the next couple of hours (ok, more like 4 or 5) getting everything to fit right. The only thing I really had any problems with was getting the new ambidextrous manual safety to fit. I think I disassembled and reassembled the guts of the Delta Elite about 35 or 40 times checking fit and cussing when things wouldn't go back together the way they were supposed to.

The finished product
After all that, I finally got everything finished, put back together and function checked. Man, I'm good. This turned out way better than I had any right to expect. I look at her and I almost don't want to shoot her. But shoot her I will, probably tomorrow. I can't wait to check out that STI trigger. Just dry firing a couple of times for function, it's wayyyyy better than the stock job. I can't wait.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A New Addition

Gots me a new member of the family today, a Colt Mark IV, Series 80 Delta Elite 10mm. Picked it up for a song via Gunbroker last week, if you call $800 for an early model 4 digit serial number Delta Elite a song, and she arrived at the funstore this morning.


Took her, and my wife, out this afternoon to test fire the new pistol and expose my wife to shooting large bore semi auto handguns.

First, the Delta Elite. Shot to point of aim at about 60 ft, no issues with feeding or ejecting. Matter of fact, ejection was pretty, shall we say energetic. Unlike my Ultra Raptor which seems to hit me 3 times out of seven somewhere on my head with dead brass, this one was up and over my head and out about 10-15 ft behind me to the right. I didn't put out any paper, as this was a shakedown cruise, just to feel her out. In the coming days, I'll be upgrading some things on her like grip safety, mainspring housing w/mag well, trigger, hammer and sear, ambidextrous safety, main spring, and disconnector. I'll post how things go as I go.

Now Mrs Hazmat. This being her first time shooting large bore semi autos, I was worried, but not too terribly, as she's done excellent with her Mosquito, my CZ 50, and the two .25 ACPs she's shot. I don't know why I was even worried in the first place, as everything she's shot that had a little kick to it rifle-wise she ate right up. But she ponied up to the bar so to speak, and shot my XD .40 sub compact, the Ultra Raptor, and the new Delta. Of the three she shot tonite, she didn't much care for the XD as it had too much muzzle flip for her tastes. I think maybe a 9mm or a standard sized .40 might be a better fit for her in that department. She didn't much care for the Delta, as it had a little too much snort for her. She did, however, take a substantial liking to the Ultra Raptor. I'm thinking that there may be a compact .45 in her future, that way she won't be running off with the Raptor when I'm not looking.

The next thing we're going to work on is getting her CCP. Fortunately, here in South Dakota, it's not too much of a hassle. $10 and a trip to the county sheriffs department and she'll be all set.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Little Soul Searching

With all the hoopla over what happened yesterday at Ft Hood, I've held off commenting on the incident out of respect for the families of those who were casualties of the shooting.

But the more I read about it, the more I can't help but wonder why this doesn't happen more often. I mean every US military installation in the world is a "gun free zone". The only people who are allowed to 'carry' weapons on base (besides the base cops [civilian and contractor] and resident OSI/CID/NCIS special agents) are those who live in base housing, and only then they are allowed to 'carry' it from their house on base to the range or wherever they're taking the weapon and back. There is no concealed carry on base. Did I mention that everyone who lives on base must resgister their weapons with the base?

I found this out the hard way as one time I was going on base and had forgotten to remove my regular concealed carry piece from under the drivers seat of my truck. As luck would have it, I got stopped at the gate for a random vehicle search, and they found it for me. When I handed them my CCP, I was politely, but tersely told that my permit was not valid on base.

Now, I can bring a firearm on base, but it must be unloaded, cased, and the ammunition cannot be stored close to the weapon in question. Which kind of negates the whole defensive firearm aspect of concealed carry, don't you think?.

My initial reaction to what I was told was not for my defense while on base, but for the time I spend commuting to and from the base. I make a couple of stops coming and going from base and it's at these locations that I get nervous about not having my carry piece on me. I never dreamed (although I should have) that I may need it on base. This whole mess has me rethinking my threat-based decision-making paradigm.

That's not to say I haven't done it in the past. I teach foreign weapons familiarization and when transporting $25k worth of firearms, I'm not going to do it unarmed. It's the same mindset that goes with transporting military arms. When you have so many, the courier must be armed. I'm the same way. There's no way I'm going to give up $25k worth of firearms without a fight, I don't care who you are.

So this has me thinking, just how far do I want to push the issue?