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Posts by 300winmag

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  • Army wants a harder-hitting pistol

    07/07/2014 11:52:32 AM PDT · 228 of 228
    300winmag to Squantos
    i think you will like it.... the grip is imo perfect as is..... no aftermarket add ons for this one. out of the box perfection.

    Not in the market for anything like a service pistol right now, but I have to admit that "Sig, the next generation" looks mighty comfy and efficient.

    I've come to the conclusion that ergonomics is everything. The worse the fit, the more "pre-stress" that gets pre-loaded into your hand and arm before even firing the first shot.

    In my case, if the handgun has swappable parts to redo grip shape, I get consistently better (and more comfortable) shooting with the grips reduced as much as possible.

  • Army wants a harder-hitting pistol

    07/06/2014 3:14:52 PM PDT · 218 of 228
    300winmag to Squantos; osagebowman
    The vast majority of troops can get full use out of an M4 and M9. We're talking individual small arms, nothing crew-served. Specialized weapons should be serviced at a slightly higher level, because most of the rifles have optical and accuracy requirements that Joe Pipewrench shouldn't touch, even if the basic mechanism seems similar. I ain't taking my Amati to Chester's Bait and Fiddle shop for a tune-up.

    Handguns in other than 9mm (usually .45 or .22) are there for accuracy, stealth, or other special reasons. Maintenance and training should be done at a slightly higher organizational level. Preferably manned by older operators who don't love running up and down mountains any more, but have lots of knowledge that needs to be passed around.

    As far as a cartridge goes, it has to be a world-beater, because it has to overcome the hard-earned reputation of the .45ACP, and the western world's loathing at changing handguns again for whatever reason. Other than a SOF (if they have one), most countries would just issue airsoft pistols, because 95% of them would never be drawn from the holster, and the other 5% couldn't hit anything anyway.

    The PDW was/is an interesting concept, except it requires a unanimous vote among NATO, and would probably be issued in greater numbers than the current carbines.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    06/23/2014 3:17:21 AM PDT · 4,311 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    Wonder how these quiet professionals compared in on the noise meter with the De Lisle Enfield Carbine of WWII fame.... Size aside....?

    I have no idea if there are any surviving DeLisles left. But one old report mentioned that the firing was virtually silent, but the action clattered like an old jalopy when worked. Depending on the situation, that might not have been a problem.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    06/23/2014 12:43:28 AM PDT · 4,309 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    While continuing my futile quest for .22lr ammo, I got word of another model of handgun now discontinued, and never really sold in large quantities when it was in production. The last one at my favorite EBR store sat in the case for six months, and I didn't want to press my luck any further. Luckily, I snaiged it a few days before someone else had the same idea. The Heckler & Koch .45ACP Mark 23 SOCOM, shown with a Walther PPK for size comparison.

    This civilian version differs from the official "agency" model is the lack of "SOCOM" marking on the slide, a separate range of serial numbers, and a "US Property" barcode on the serial number plate. It was designed and built from the ground up with special features for the ultimate in silencing, and shooter-friendly accuracy and handling. My first 12-shot magazine tends to confirm this.

    While the barrel is threaded for a wide variety of suppressors, the H&K wet-and-dry suppressor, designed specifically for the Mark 23, is a special favorite with Marine room-clearing teams. Besides using water to enhance thermal efficiency, it disables semi-auto fire, requiring the shooter to manually cycle the slide for the next shot. A vertical foregrip is added for better handling.

    In actual use, Marines claim this setup works better than any other handgun, SMG, shotgun, or rifle they tried. The only noise when firing is the hammer hitting the firing pin, which is about as loud as an office stapler. The slide being cycled makes a modest "zip-zing" reciprocating sound. The bullet hitting the target is usually very loud, but by then the target has stopped caring.

    The Mark 23 can fire almost any kind of ammo that can safely make it down the barrel, including high-power oddities like 45Magnum. I mixed in some red-hot Double Tap .45 (200fps faster than standard), with no noticeable change in admirable shooting qualities.

    It's like one of those Mercedes super touring cars you see at an important car show (or commercial), something one-of-a-kind with 4000 horsepower, top speed of 280mph, zero-to-sixty in 2.1 seconds, and more electronics than a next-generation manned spacecraft.

    The Mark23 is real steel-and-plastic, was made in "reasonable" quantities, and is zealously maintained and used by civilians and federal agencies alike.

  • The 'Weird' And 'Scary' Open-Carry Movement

    06/11/2014 5:48:45 PM PDT · 26 of 54
    300winmag to Uncle Miltie
    Michigan has always had legal open carry for both handguns or long guns. It just wasn't considered "real" until "shall issue" was passed, and people noticed that open carry had been unrestricted since Michigan became a state in 1837. My problem is that every example of open carry I've seen, the weapon was unloaded, and carried as just a symbol. If I wanted to be that stupid, I could do it for less money with a good airsoft handgun.

    In every case, I saw an empty magazine well, and no indication of ammo carried anywhere on their person. It's an invisible sign that says, "the gun is real, but useless because I won't load it. Respect my rights anyway." If I carry openly (usually only during hunting season), I make sure I have at least 5-6 loaded mags, with the weapon itself locked and loaded.

    That weighs a lot, and is somewhat inconvenient, so I compromise and carry something concealed that is smaller and lighter.

    Open carry can be useful, but only if the person has a loaded weapon. It won't take long for the bad guys to figure out what an unloaded weapon looks like, and avail themselves of free upgrades.

  • Cosmos Finale Takes One Last Shot - "Delusion that We Have Some Privileged Position in the Universe"

    06/11/2014 1:08:17 PM PDT · 17 of 33
    300winmag to wattsgnu
    I remember liking the original Carl Sagan one when I was a kid.

    I thought the original series was pretty even-handed until the final episode, which was very heavy on leftist politics as somehow being "scientific". If anybody connected with the show admitted to studying philosophy or number theory, they would have admitted that their statements required them to "step outside" their cosmos to make observations of what would be unknowable within the system, itself. The same thing applies to faith, although it's generally more openly admitted there.

    So we all enjoy a privileged position in the universe, because we can logically place ourselves outside of that universe to enable us to talk and speculate, right or wrong. Our biggest problem is that we're a single point on an otherwise empty piece of graph paper. We're only now developing the tools to start looking for other candidates that might go on that graph. Unless we get really lucky, we'll have to plod along building new kinds of observatories, and re-interpreting old data.

    But we're already in a privileged position in that vast, uncaring universe. We're just looking for other locations that might have privileged observers looking for us. Perhaps we're on someone else's photographic plate, with hints of our existence there for centuries, but nobody has found the needle in a particular haystack, yet.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    06/10/2014 8:40:26 PM PDT · 4,308 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    Dang, ya shouldn’t have to tweek such a rig to get at the very least a 1 moa group from a bench.

    I agree completely, which is why I just had a quickie offhand shootoff with the AUG, which also has a 1x optic. They were very equal in most respects, with the chief objective being to compare two weapons with user-friendly optics designed for quick dominance out to the critical distance of 100m.

    I've tweaked box-stock AR15 clones to shoot 1 MOA just for the satisfaction of knowing how to do it. Due to old eyeballs, I need a 6x-or-better scope to find that little black dot. Then I go back to a wide-field "fast" 1x form of sight, knowing the rifle itself can easily outshoot the sight I chose for it. Except for the mountains of Afghanistan, most combat ranges still average a max of about 100m. Unless you carry an AK, where thoughts tend towards a battlefield about 25m deep. This gives me a 50-75m "cushion" to engage the enemy before he even thinks about getting his head screwed on straight.

    I can go with a proven weapon for ranges beyond 100m, but just as hunting deer in Michigan, a good field of fire beyond 200m is really hard to find around here. So I want to study "all my tools in the toolbox", including my own skills, to shape the battlefield before a crisis occurs to my personal benefit. I've discovered that if I personally rebuild and tweak a weapon, I shoot it better, and with more confidence. As it says in the Marine "rifleman's creed", it becomes a part of me, and I understand our combined strengths and weaknesses better. That's a big load off my brain, which will be busy with other tasks in a crisis.

    Second, I plan for a defensive fight on my own, known, turf. That means known distances to key features, deception, multiple firing points, and inviting-looking locations for the bad guy, which is really a kill sack.

    Finally, continual practice so I can reach out reliably to the outermost range of my defensive position. I want a high probability of making consistent hits at ranges that seem to the bad guy that the fire is coming from another zip code.

    So I want to engage with my built-to-spec rifle at a long enough range that I don't have to be too concerned about falling back to a shotgun or pistol-caliber carbine. It's like the old, "train like you fight, and fight like you train", with the added advantage of knowing my own 'hood.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    06/08/2014 10:13:53 PM PDT · 4,304 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    A quick progress on the IWI Tavor. It's now closer to its final configuration, with a Trijicon SRS 1x red dot sight, and a PWS super-fancy flash hider/muzzle break. I shot it just enough to get a rough zero at 25 yards, which should also provide a 100-yard zero. Once I got the rounds close enough to the black, I quit.

    I learned enough to order a Timney target trigger for the rifle, and some ambidextrous selector switches to replace the slippery plastic ones currently on the rifle. The trigger pull was stiff but consistent, and felt more like a stock S&W M&P handgun than a strand of spaghetti, which so many bullpups have due to the long control rod that stretches from the trigger to the sear, which is a bit behind the magazine. I have have high hopes that the Timney (which ain't cheap) will improve things even more.

    I played a hunch that the factory flash hider was less than optimal, so I put on the PWS brake/hider on before firing the first shot. The AUG retained its factory-stock four-slot flash hider with a closed front right. The PWS has four fins, and an open muzzle, in front.

    Using GI XM193AF ammo in both, the AUG had a pretty loud bark, and a muzzle flash with about four feet of visible flame. The Tavor had no visible flame from the muzzle, and about a 2" diffuse fireball from the left and right side vents. The side noise was a bit more noticeable if you were close by, but I think shooters in general would appreciate the vastly reduced visual signature.

    To close on a weird note, I found the instruction manual, printed and illustrated in English, to be one of the most useless pieces of documentation short of IBM internals manuals. I gave up trying to find and operate the bolt hold-open latch using the manual, but was able to master it after two hours of trial-end-error. It's simple and intuitive after finally figuring it out. I still haven't figured out how to remove the bolt from the carrier, although I've found the large pin that needs to be "merely" pushed out. I suspect there is an undocumented extra step involved, but I'm not ready to take a hammer to it, yet. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    06/02/2014 3:35:39 AM PDT · 4,303 of 4,311
    300winmag
    Just a quick announcement of an informal face-off between my antique Steyr AUG, and the newly-available (for how long?) IWI Tavor. The Tavor has been under development for 20 years, and is now Israel's official front-line rifle. Somehow, the semi-auto version has been allowed into the US, but this was the first one my EBR store has seen in two years.

    The Tavor was a consignment sale by one of the oldest, richest, and oddest clients of the store. The previous owner bought it, added the nice Nikon BDC variable scope, a half-dozen more mags (standard NATO brands, just like the AUG, which has the Aussie stock for Iraq, so it can use American GI mags, and not the obscenely expensive Steyr ones. The Tavor also had 1600 rounds of ammo as part of the deal, mostly GI and CMP military stuff.

    My first impression is that the AUG has turned out amazingly simple and classic with its styling, compared to newer weapons. Both feature interchangeable barrels, and calibers. The AUG could change barrel lengths, or put in a 9mm conversion unit, all done by the user. The Tavor also has barrel and adapter for the Russian 4.5x39 round, with perhaps other calibers in the future.

    One "feature" of the Tavor is that if the user fiddles with the barrel for any reason, it has to go in to an armorer who can re-verify the headspacing with the proper gauges. The ol' AUG has barrels that can be swapped out with just a push on a small cam, and a 90 degree twist. Any barrel that goes back on is automatically at the proper headspace.

    The Tavor continues the modern trend of providing plenty of space to hang all sorts of goodies on, including ones that haven't been invented yet. Yards of rail space, and the small rail trades places with the charging handle on the opposite side when you change handedness. The ribbed area under the barrel is a cover for some hardpoints to hang a grenade launcher, or ultra-short breeching shotgun or high-power laser designator.

    The Tavor was designed for today's needs and fads, while the AUG remains the champ for elegance and post-modern design. I expect they will both perform well.

    Some day I'll put a FN FS2000 through similar tests as an example of second-generation bullpups, as opposed to first and third generations.

  • CIS: Nearly 8 Million Stem Degree Holders In U.S. Not Working In Stem Fields

    05/21/2014 1:14:23 PM PDT · 32 of 49
    300winmag to Wuli
    what is the H1B visa game actually about

    Not usually mentioned by either side is that Asian H1B workers count as minorities for affirmative action quotas. If they were bankers, lawyers, etc. they'd be plain ol' white people.

    Hiring or contracting in STEM areas, when federal money is involved, require that 20% of those interviews must be some government-approved minority, even if there is only one person in the country that fills the bill.

    One federal agency wanted to hire five PhDs this year for a NOFORN project. My nephew was the only one who even came close to what they wanted, but they still had to interview four more warm bodies to uphold their side of the Kabuki.

    So normally, H1Bs in STEM can be a double bonus if federal dollars are involved.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    05/19/2014 1:33:24 AM PDT · 4,302 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Sorry for the late, late, LATE Saturday Night Gun Pron, but this weekend had several minor, and one major, holiday stacked from Friday to Sunday. Friday was adopted for the unofficial commemoration of Brothers Day, where current and former military slap each other on the back, and tell improbable stories that only someone else who served could appreciate.

    Friday was also a moderately-publicized Peace Officer Memorial Day. I saw no flesh-and-blood peace officers I could personally thank, so I contributed a few "likes" on Facebook instead. It's a tough job that I could no longer even attempt to do, due to the principle of "soldiers make bad police, police make bad soldiers".

    Sunday, May 17, is still Armed Forces Day, even though there was no acknowledgement from the White House. Although there was an executive tweet from the White House proclaiming today to also be "National GLBT.... Appreciation Day". That one sort of snuck up on me, but I'm sure it will be at least up to the status of Cinco de Mayo by next year.

    So how could I commemorate the last-minute observation of expressing thanks for our military, peace officers, and our unofficial "band of brothers"? I went shopping, of course. Based on the so-far-still-viable theory that I may never see another one, I bought one of these to celebrate:

    It's a Beretta Storm PX4 Special Duty in the good ol' Murrican .45ACP. The barrel rotates 30 degrees to lock and unlock from the slide while functioning. All the usual features one now expects on an autoloader, including super-deluxe packaging.

    It is showing good potential for accuracy, with my skill being the biggest limitation, as usual. These were just some break-in shots, but with a 9.5 lb long pull, and 4.5 pounds short, right out of the box, I expect good things will appear quickly. This would be a good candidate for a .45cal service pistol, if the military ever got a measly few millions to test and evaluate modern designs. If you don't have a flagship .45cal weapon in your product lineup, you aren't considered a serious contender, even if the military stays with 9mm.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    05/17/2014 11:25:54 PM PDT · 4,301 of 4,311
    300winmag to g'nad
    I’ll be gettin’ an Ergo...

    One of the add-ons to Murphy's Laws says, "If it looks dumb, but it works, it's not really dumb". The Ergo sure looks dumb, and I should know, since I was an early implementer. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    05/02/2014 2:13:06 AM PDT · 4,296 of 4,311
    300winmag to B4Ranch; Ramius; Squantos
    My BG38 already has a laser on the right-hand side of the frame. I found myself spending more time searching for the red dot downrange (especially against a visually-cluttered background) than getting a decent sight picture and firing. I suspect there is a tighter coupling of eye/hand/brain with regular sights than eye/brain with a laser. At least for me. A few times, when hunting, I've taken snapshots without being aware of the location of sights, or even the barrel. I think muscle memory was used to tell the brain that the other stuff was aligned properly. Again, the universal "YMMV".

    Also in the accuracy department, some results with tinkering with a handgun that is already considered one of the elites in the world of high-end M1911 clone. First, my first shots with the Dan Wesson Classic Commander. For me, this is stuning accuracy for the first rounds out of the barrel.

    I made a few changes just to satisfy my personal preferences. New rosewood thin grips, new magazine release, and a plastic recoil buffer on the recoil spring. Changes that might improve accuracy included a new match-grade trigger with custom fitting via Nano-lube, and titanium firing pin, hammer strut, and hammer spring end cap, just to cut back on moving mass, and satisfy myself that I crossed every "I" and dotted every "T". These are my latest results:

    Still a Ferrari F40 being driven by an amateur, but squeezing out a bit more of the enormous performance that still hasn't been tapped. But it works wonders for confidence and self-esteem. :)

    I also picked up some more information (valid perhaps for me, only) on balance and handling for M1911-type handguns.

    1. An all-steel frame, weighing six ounces more than aluminum, results in a M1911 that feels lighter, and balances better than one with an aluminum frame. The extra weight moves the balance point further to the rear, putting the balance point more over the trigger finger rather than ahead of it, and also shortening the moment arm, resulting in less torque during recoil.

    2. The one-inch shorter "commander" length provides even more of advantage #1, regardless of frame material. Even with six ounces of extra weight, the all-steel Commander feels lighter, and maneuvers with less effort, than the lighter aluminum model. It's weight "well-spent". Save a fraction of an ounce in moving mass with titanium internal parts. It may not be much help, but it won't hurt, and helps keep your OCD "happy" if you're afflicted with that.

    In my case, I suspect some of those "trivial" tweaks added up to enough change to tame some of my tendency to throw out a lot of fliers from a handgun that is far more accurate than my modest skills can utilize fully. Not bad for something I pounced on for the simple fact that it was also a hell of a financial bargain.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    05/01/2014 2:12:46 AM PDT · 4,293 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    A new item that may, or may not, increase the comfort and accuracy of the tiny S&W J-frame revolver, especially the ones carried by women because "it's so small, it will be easy to carry". As someone who carries a .38Spl J-frame, I can attest, "easy to carry, and conceal, might be a real b*tch to shoot". So here are a couple of new items in the area of grips that may be of interest. I cannot attest to the availability of these products in pink.

    Both revolvers are .22s, so I know recoil is not really a problem. They were chosen mainly to model the new grips. On the left is the new, and vey radical Ergo grip. It looks weird, and feels weird for about the first ten seconds. It provides a meaningful grip for all fingers, and aligns the grip with a natural line from your wrist down to the elbow, or so they claim.

    Next to it is the new Hogue "bantam" grip for the J-frame. It's designed to provide a decent grip except for your pinkie, which is usually forgotten on all these compact grips. It's better than the original "Magna" grips (second from right), which were touted as an improvement over the original absolute-minimum grips, which extended only as far as the checkered area, and were intended more to protect the internal mechanism, with less thought towards the shooter's hand. Finally, an Ahrend's hardwood concealment grip, designed to function much like the Hogue "bantam".

    For realistic worst-case testing, one of the salesmen at the LGS borrowed one of their scandium 11 ounce J-frames in .357Magnum (yes, they DO exist), and put on the Ergo grip. Common knowledge, validated by painful personal experience, admits the recoil is brutal (and a big deterrent to practice with the weapon, and gain added confidence).

    With the Ergo grips, the recoil was still heavy (muzzle rise about 45 degrees, even for big guys), but not as brutal, because the final "slap" at the end of the recoil movement, didn't happen.

    The Ergo grip does not fit on the S&W BG38, which is a quasi-J-frame, but shot about as well as my Model 60, but weighed six ounces less, which settled it for me. Accuracy, and shooting comfort, were roughly equal, so I retested the pair, the Ergo on the M60, and the new Hogue grips made specifically for the BG38, on the other. What used to be approximately equal results now produced these new results:

    I instantly decided that an extra six ounces of weight was a small price to pay for more comfort and control (recoil still heavy, but manageable for even 50 rounds of practice), and far better accuracy. It was a no-brainer for me, but YMMV.

    Another no-brainer for shooting comfort hit me recently, but I've gotten so used to the idea, I keep forgetting to mention it. First, consider a pair of shooting gloves. I use Surefire leather/nomex pilot's gloves, and they're worth every cent. Also, due to my carpal tunnel in my right hand, a couple of inexpensive terry tennis wristbands keeps my carpal tunnel syndrome from flaring up, especially with heavy recoil.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    04/26/2014 4:41:48 AM PDT · 4,291 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Sorry for the long time between articles, but between wrapping up winter, wrapping up taxes (I hope), and working on dozens of "little" projects, I didn't have a lot of results to show, until now. Each individual project is still tiny, but throw of couple dozen together, and it gets bigger.

    I'll be hitting the highlights, in no particular order. I hope there's at least a nugget of interest in each one. First, say hello to Hans, named after Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), that suave but despicable bad guy from "Die Hard", who set a new high in low-lifes. At least he had impeccable tastes in personal weaponry, if not his line of work. :)

    There are several interesting features about this H&K P7, but straight-out-of-the-box performance like this isn't one of them, it is to be expected. I have no idea what needs improving on this design, so I don't even try.

    However, this hard-chrome model (fairly rare from early in production, along with the seldom-seen nickel-plated version), is from the first product iteration, where it was called the P7-PSP. There was considerable American interest, along with the insistence that the Euro-style magazine catch at the bottom of the grip had to go. That brought about the P7-M8, with a traditional release button, along with some phenomenally rare variations in calibers to entice American buyers.

    This particular weapon was a direct-import from the factory to an individual in the USA, because there are no markings of an American importer on it, as the case would be for ordinary firearms. Also, except for slight cosmetic blemishes from handling, it is virtually unfired. Thankfully, minor cosmetic problems allow me to fire something without the guilty conscience I would have from shooting a pristine collectible.

    Unfortunately, the previous owner wasn't so conscientious about preserving the packaging, with only the original cardboard box surviving (barely).

    I wasn't deterred by the ratty box, figuring there must be empty boxes out there that would look better, and be more complete, than what came with it. There are, but even one as bad as this one had a $100 asking price, while the more durable hard plastic boxes from later production have prices of $150-$200. I decided the best course of action was to preserve what's left of the existing box, and invest in a $12 padded case for actual transport.

    Finally, a quick look at final results of tuning the S&W M&P series, in this case the M&P .45. The $8 plastic recoil buffer can't be seen here, but these things seem to make a handgun more pleasant to shoot, which, in turn, relieves the shooter's hand of the sometimes-painful final "slap" that degrades accuracy (at least in my case).

    That's the result of firing two ten-round magazines, because there are two fliers, the first round out of the mag, my "signature" vice. Other than that, decent performance from a rank amateur in the handgun marksmanship field. I wish my shooting talent could improve at the same rate my craftsmanship and analytic abilities do.

    Also on all three of my S&W centerfire M&Ps, upgraded identically, I installed a new all-steel magazine release button to replace the merely plastic original part. It does nothing to improve accuracy, but works wonders in ergonomics.

    First, it has a genuine grooved button face, so it can't be mistaken for another piece of texture that matches everything else on the frame. An inconvenience when shooting for fun, and a possible source of a fraction of a second of indecision in a serious situation. It also is available in factory-standard length, or extra length (1/16th inch, with the forward edge flaring outward) version. Both are vast improvements for $26, and I went with the extended edition on all three. It makes my non-standard mag-change procedure swifter and surer.

    In future articles, we'll look in more detail at tweaks involving grip shape and size, recoil mitigation, and other ergonomic factors that I've stumbled upon over the last few months. YMMV, but I've found two or three of these of these items per type of handgun have yielded small but noticeable improvements in performance and comfort. And eliminated some subconscious concerns that have always been pestering me, even when it looked like I had everything nailed down properly.

  • Police hunting 'mystery pooper' defecating on park slides

    04/05/2014 2:52:07 AM PDT · 62 of 67
    300winmag to g'nad; Ramius; osagebowman; Squantos; TalonDJ
    Ping for any of you who are familiar with this custom in the US Navy. This squid wanna-be must be enjoying the thrill of the chase if he's been doing it during this brutal winter, and often. Of course, he may have a pre-packaged payload in a plastic bag, and just drop or toss it during a casual walk-by, like a spy working his dead drop in broad daylight. :)

    I was terribly disappointed that this was only happening in Ypsi, Ann Arbor's no-class (as opposed to low-class) neighbor. Still, this could be one of America's elite, getting in training for Occupy-Something-Ritzy, which leaves out all of Michigan.

    This has been kept a secret all this time, but warmer weather makes things harder to keep covered. Maybe this sudden publicity will inspire copycat poopers, or this guy may randomize his attacks to make it look like more than one person, and confuse the scent.

    However, under no condition should this be done anywhere near a mosque. Two summers ago, a dhimmi tossed out a bag of ripe pork offal, obtained as a treat from the butcher for his dogs, that he forgot for a week in the bed of his pickup. It was 3AM on a dark and twisty Oakland County back road, and he figured he'd at least give the woodland vermin a treat.

    Unbeknownst to him, a few feet away was an almost-invisible gravel path that turned into a well-manicured, prosperous mosque on prime lake shoreline. And his bag of critter-treats landed on the property line between the putting-green-lawn, and the trashy lot next to it.

    The groundskeeper discovered the surprise before any critter did, the next morning as he started his Friday morning mowing. It became front page news in print media, and lead stories online, all over Michigan by dinner time. It also had about seven different police jurisdictions, media types, FBI, DHS, State (federal, not East Lansing), community leaders, and several unidentified brands of community leaders wringing hands, or flaming away, on both sides of the cameras. Although there was no further hard evidence being released, there were prominent front-page blurbs for several days reminding Michigan about it, including the imminent formation of a federal inter-agency task force to catch the criminal or criminals involved. "Tea Party" and "Republicans" were the only "usual suspects" mentioned by name.

    Around next Thursday, Joe Pickup, who was livin' the good life in Michigan by working three part-time jobs, managed to catch the daily search update. He thought the description of the countryside sounded familiar, since he took that road often. Then it dawned on him that HE was the perp, and kill-on-sight orders had already been given through the FBI to any sheep-dipped SOF or contractors, who would have been the "federal advisers" that didn't have names, and nothing to do but hang out in generic OD green BDUs with generic body armor, and vey high-end weapons and electronics.

    Joe Pickup didn't want to be Ruby-Ridged, and hoped they hadn't been able to task any armed UAVs yet, so he arranged a very public, and media-accessible, surrender in a suburban park close to major civilization. The on-site federal command authority even had all the streets and intersections around the park blocked off to allow good camera access for ground and air crews.

    After telling his story consistently over a dozen times, and with dozens of character witnesses, and another bag of fresh(er) pork leavings for his dogs that he picked up from the butcher, everyone laughed and proclaimed it a silly misunderstanding, and everyone left to turn in their rental cars and aircraft, or their agency airlift assets.

    In the print version of the wrap-up, an unnamed spokesperson for an unnamed federal agency admitted that everyone enjoyed a good, harmless laugh at the end, with no hard feelings. And this was a "teachable moment" to show how smoothly and intensively government agencies would work together had it been the "real thing".

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    03/30/2014 11:53:20 AM PDT · 4,289 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    I believe those grips are “spalted” maple friend..... Very nice shy of what appears to be some sand in the finish. Smooth grips are desirable for me...

    "Spalted maple", eh? I took a wild guess at some sort of maple, but the only kinds I'm remotely familiar with are birdseye and fiddleback.

    It looks like the grips have a tactical half-stippling on them, but it's hard to tell under a gallon of clear plastic. But they are serialized to the gun, so I'll be keeping them, if not using them.

    I want a similar style of grips, but finding them in a thin wooden style is a bit tough right now. I may have to settle for a standard-width in a "tactical checkering" on more conventional hardwoods while I keep looking.

    I'm staying away from the anodized aluminum grips in all those colors and bad-ass graphics on them. I'm not building a barbeque gun. However, if I could get Whyle E. Coyote grips, I might give it a second thought. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    03/30/2014 3:01:08 AM PDT · 4,287 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman
    DWs are a bit of rare breed in these parts.

    We aren't exactly overrun with them, either. Especially a "new used" one. And this was one of their economy models.

    I also learned that plug-and-play pretty much ain't on a Dan Wesson. Even something as simple as a new mag release required hand fitting, and breaking-in, on my part. The original had the usual banged-up takedown screw for the button, and the new one had a slightly different button face that I'm starting to like a lot. So even the opening for the mag release button was tighter than standard commercial parts specs.

    I was stuned that the new part was too fat, and asked myself, "self, whoever heard of a M1911 generic magazine release that needed hand-fitting?" Some parts are fit with almost invisible seams.

    The Hogue micarta grips should have been a no-brainer, but Murphy's Law showed up, and turned them into a two-hour project. First, one of the thin grip bushings for the thin DW grips seized inside the rubber grips. When I unscrewed it, the bushing came out, jammed into the back of the grip. And me with no spare thin bushings.

    The other three bushings were properly staked to the frame, and even the use of the proper esoteric bushing remover wouldn't remove them. So out came my broken-screw tools, which worked easily because I just wanted to remove a thin sliver of threaded steel, and not the main bearing bolts of an engine.

    Being otherwise properly prepared, I took the special tap that's needed, and cleaned up the threads in the frame before screwing in new stainless steel standard-size bushing for what was now going to be standard-thickness grips. I even took the specialized bushing tool, and staked the new bushings in place, just like Browning intended.

    However, I read the specs on the tap, and it appears Browning had a specialized non-standard tap made for that job. The only place in the US military this thread is used, and he couldn't just go to the tool bin and design around something that used a standard threaded part known all over the world? For a pair of grips?

    Actually, I'd love more "simple" projects like this, just for the learning experience. The successful completion of a simple task that takes two hours, including analysis, and hunting down specialized tools most M1911 shooters (and most gunsmiths) don't even know about, brings some smug satisfaction after I think about all the nerd trivia I can lay on someone else. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    03/29/2014 3:16:46 AM PDT · 4,285 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    One fairly big deal did pop up last week. One of their other "regulars" buys really high-end stuff, forgets about it for a few years, then decides it's just an expensive dust collector. He then sells it back at the Blue Book price for that condition. The choice items don't last long in the used gun case. I snagged this one 15 minutes after it was put out, with other guys eyeballing it. I was just the only one who dove on it like a loose fumble. :)

    It's a 2007 Dan Wesson Classic Commander bobtail. Built like a custom platinum Rolex for a chicom billionaire, it was like finding a late-model BMW performance car in the back of a Hyundai used car lot.

    I stopped shooting before I went through half a box, because I wanted to preserve enough of the black to show that those are real bullet holes, and not me just using scissors.

    I already gave it a nanolube treatment, but as I expected, it didn't need it. Without spring pressure, the parts just move under their own weight if you turn something around. It's like running on air bearings, like air hockey.

    Modifications will be minor, and mainly so I can brag that I did a couple of things myself on it. Titanium firing pin and hammer strut. An ultra-light short match trigger from my own parts stash. Maybe a tungsten recoil rod and end cap, if I modify it myself, since a lot of this stuff is terra incognita for a chopped bobtail.

    The grips are some sort of wood, but I couldn't swear they're of terrestrial origin. The serial number is laser engraved on their inside surfaces, but I have no idea what that scribble means, so I took a picture to see if anybody has a SWAG about what it might mean:

    The most visible change will be the grips, and it may take me a while to find the perfect ones to convert. "Bobtail" grips are few and far between, but this is a full-sized frame, so full-sized grips can be modified using just hand files in less than 30 minutes, checking for a perfect contour as I go.

    I'll take it back to the store to let the guys try it out. Some of them had their eyes on it too, but their rules are they can't buy anything on display until after the store closes.

    Oh, and this Dan Wesson is more accurate and easier to shoot for a .45ACP duffer like me than my beloved CZ97 BD from the Motherland. Of course, CZ owns Dan Wesson, so the word went out to DW to make whatever they wanted at whatever price they can get away with, as long as it was the best humanly possible. Perhaps that's why only "economy model" DWs sell for just under $2000, and people wait like vultures to pounce on $5000-$7000 competition models as soon as they come off the assembly table.

    I'll just get quiet satisfaction from my plain-looking bobtail as soon as the hideous grips are gone, and something classy but more normal replaces them. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    03/29/2014 2:00:43 AM PDT · 4,284 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Sorry for the long intervals between Saturday Night Gun Prons, but I let myself get caught up in dozens of little projects, which moosh together and become one big one, with little detours, problems, and derailments. Little upgrades of little performance parts on a fairly large number of CZs is one example. So are swapping out springs for different weights on a number of handguns. Or finding nicer grips.

    My 1952-vintage Colt Officer's Elite .22 was an economy version of the Masterpiece, which wasn't selling even in those far-off years because it was so costly. So they put the little "service grips" on a big, heavy target gun to keep prices down.

    Nothing wrong with the concept, except, in my acquiring weapons that were factory-new internally, they all had some amount of external cosmetic wear I couldn't explain. But I had a virtually new collector's item, with just enough wear that I could shoot it without feeling I was destroying collector value (and at far lower than genuine pristine collector prices).

    My 1957 Colt Python was another "mystery Colt", unused (as even stiff) internally, about 5% wear on the bluing (somebody must have liked carrying it around in a holster, but never shooting it), with about 10% wear on the full-size target grips.

    Since I treated the Python to a gorgeous set of Hogue exotic hardwood grips, I had the originals sitting in a drawer until inspiration hit me yesterday. I took off the heavily-worn "service grips" from the Colt Elite, and put on the moderately-worn target grips from the Python. These were the same type of grips used on the target .22 in the late 1940s, and would have made a nice factory upgrade if bought back in 1952.

    And to my amazement, the moderate wear on both bluing and walnut made it look like they had been together for sixty-some years.

    Now, the Elite looks and handles the way the gnomes of Hartford had intended, before the beancounters interfered with their masterpieces so long ago. It looks and handles like a fine old target revolver now should.

  • Connecticut halts plans to round up firearms after finding most cops in the state are on the list

    03/08/2014 4:23:26 AM PST · 13 of 34
    300winmag to expat1000
    The comments at the site imply it is satire and also there are varying opinions as to whether LEOs/active military are exempt from this law or not.

    Best thing is to do it the same way NYS did: "We know we're illegal under this law, too, but we won't enforce it against ourselves or our friends. Who's gonna stick up for your side, just because law and logic are on it?"

  • One Katy [Texas] Man Really Lives by the Sword

    03/04/2014 9:52:45 PM PST · 42 of 42
    300winmag to Billthedrill; Ramius; Squantos
    The Japanese made the wakizashi for indoor use. Practical folks.

    They were also polite folks. The katana was their main battle weapon, as far as swords went. It was neither polite nor respectful to pay a social call on a neighbor (or superior) all tricked-out in full battle-rattle. Not a good way to show your proper samurai training in the finer points of culture and good taste, or show respect to your host's duty to provide reasonable security to honored guests.

    I was brought up to only bring a discreet handgun and backup blade to most social events. The new resin-reinforced "hard" laminated Class III ballistic armor is thin and light enough to provide decent protection from handgun-type rounds without making me look like the Michelin Tire Man. :)

  • Cigarette Smuggling Still Rampant in Michigan, Nation

    03/04/2014 12:34:39 PM PST · 22 of 23
    300winmag to varyouga
    Are you saying I wouldn’t be able to get a refund in Michigan if I bought them in NY? How would they know?

    The scanners can't know. All they do is scan for a valid UPC, and then check if that particular store handles that item. If yes, it's good to go. The state government admits that 1/3 of the containers returned are "illegals" from other, cheaper, states. To fight this rampant lawlessness, the state has made illegal can return a felony, to be used selectively against someone they can get an easy conviction against.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/21/2014 3:20:31 AM PST · 4,281 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos; osagebowman; g'nad; JenB; hiredhand; B4Ranch; ExGeeEye; Ramius
    A couple more "rescues" just popped up. Maybe they're just seeking me out like feral pets. ;)

    First, a 2001-vintage CZ527-M1 "American", in .223. It already has genuine CZ rings, and I picked up a upper-grade NIB Nikon scope during their 100-off sale. Mainly needs a tune-up, and some more mags. Shown here with my nearly-identical CZ527 "micro carbine".

    The wood is CZ's run-of-the-mill base-level Turkish walnut, compared to the you-got-lucky-this-time walnut on the micro. I brought them both back to my LGS to show the difference between my nanolube-treated micro, and the yet-untouched new guy. With the muzzle pointed at the ceiling, the bolt on the micro will slide all the way back under its own weight when unlocked, while the M1 tries, but is really asking for a bit of a hand. Just shows the difference between a nice CZ bolt action, and another nice CZ bolt action that I also busted my ass on. :)

    My other "rescue" are two of my own handguns, in padded cases, that were on the floor when 1/4 inch of melt water seeped into that part of the basement. Everything else was above the "flood plain". The vinyl-coated cases kept the liquid water out, but the foam absorbed some of the water, and then coated everything inside with condensation, like a fogged-up windshield does.

    Easy enough to wipe off the water, and let the equipment air-dry overnight before checking again tomorrow. But all the thoroughly-soggy paper stuff is currently sandwiched between layers of paper towel on a marble table top, while big, heavy books, with full ammo cans holding them down are providing more pressure. Wrinkles are the biggest threat.

    Not the end of the world, but it looks like I now have to get around to the storage changes I had been postponing for several years. I'm taking this seriesly, now. St Barbara does not need to use a 2x4 on me.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/19/2014 2:01:03 AM PST · 4,280 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos; osagebowman; g'nad; B4Ranch; JenB
    Well, I adopted another "senior classic" that was traded for something newer and sexier in weaponry. Nothing wrong with new and sexy, these older weapons were that once. I was "newer" once, too.

    This is a Colt "Officers Match Special", 1952 vintage, in .22lr. This is another one of those oddities which have noticeable cosmetic wear on the outside, and virtually new-pristine-from-the-factory internally.

    This is a heavy handgun at 43 ounces, but it looks much more massive than its direct competitor, the S&W Model 17-3, which weighs 41 ounces. Both designs go back to the early 1900s, but Smith seems to do a styling refresh every 20-30 years or so. The result is that the Smith looks slimmer and trimmer, probably due to the tapered-but-heavy barrel, and the weight added by the top rib. Between the design, and the modern grips, the Smith is definitely more comfortable, with a center of gravity lower and closer to the hand. The big, fat, untapered barrel on the Colt has plenty of weight, but poorer balance, IMHO.

    The action on the Colt is tight, but after finding the threads on the cylinder detent screw rusted in place, I'll have to open it completely and check for rust or gunk before retiring it alongside Lady Di.

    The heavy wear of the blued finish at the muzzle, and front and rear edges of the cylinder (the widest part of the revolver) suggests it was carried a lot in a holster, even if it was virtually unfired. The walnut grips are heavily worn, especially on the right side. This seems consistent with carrying in a holster with a flap that covers the right-side grip, but also rubs against it.

    The original grips must have never been removed, because not only had the wood shrunk to where it wasn't even as wide as the frame, but the sand-blasted blued finish stuck to the wood, leaving the grip area bare. Fortunately, this is the same Colt medium frame revolver as the Python, and the standard grips from the Python snubbie are still a perfect fit, leaving the entire revolver looking less worn. The first picture shows the new grips, which aren't perfect for the purist, but a purist would never touch this revolver, correct grips or not.

    Doing a bit of research, I learned that the "Special" replaced the "Masterpiece" to lower costs. The Masterpiece, with its super-fancy "royal blue" finish like the Python had, was not selling at all in that economy. They decided to cut costs on the Special by using the standard finish like their other "working" handguns had. A standard polishing was used for the barrel, and the flat areas of the frame. Everything else received a coarse sandblasting. It no longer looked as elegant and precise as before, but it shot just as well.

    The mystery of who would carry this expensive target .22 in a holster for quite a long time, and yet left it basically unfired, remains a challenge to my detective skills. Theories and speculation are welcomed.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/11/2014 2:22:59 AM PST · 4,278 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    what are your suggested sources for springs ? Wolffe ?

    Wolff is the only way to go for springs, although a lot of other dealers may carry some of them, only the online Wolff store will have all the different combinations, including the little springs Brownells or Midway don't bother with.

    I bought one complete factory-stock replacement set of everything, along with reduced power recoil, hammer, and firing pin springs from 16-12 pounds. Cost about $70, but I don't have to sweat springs any more, at least for the PPK. They won't be getting any cheaper.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/10/2014 11:56:18 PM PST · 4,276 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    Yep Interarms .... But stainless.My PPK education continues. From 2002 to now, all are made under license by a small machining company, whether they're marked "Walther/Interarms" or "Walther/S&W". Stainless steel, being vey difficult to machine, resulted in lots of knife edges inside the frame. I'm using a diamond knife sharpener to knock off as many "knives" as I can reach. Normally, if you don't tear it down all the way, you wouldn't have to do it. However, if you take off the grips, which you will if you change hammer springs, at least break the edges where the parts, and your fingers, will go.

    Nanolube reduces friction a lot, which has got to help trigger pull. The dual sears, conveniently fixed to the hammer, now operate easily, meaning you're not adding more pressure to the trigger to get them to move properly. Removal of the ejector, and the hammer pivot pin, is easy, and you can access every part, whether still in the frame or out, with your Nanolube. I have to admit, I've been using the 5W Nanolube a lot, because it gets into even smaller spaces. The good thing is a little goes a long way, because it seeps just about everywhere. It's how I got those sears working so easily in just a few minutes.

    I broke the edges slightly on the bottom of the slide after discovering the tiniest of slide bites next day. Didn't even break the skin, just a series of tiny red dots in a line along the top of my hand. It was like a tiny rash, and went away in one day. No bleeding gash, this time.

    With the slide stripped, I've been honing together the frame and slide by applying Nanolube, and work the two parts together. First I press both sides together to work-in. Then I pull them apart (while still on the rails) to get the other surface. I noticed quick a bit of new slickness after doing that. I also did the same procedure while pressing the two parts on the left, then the right. I'm not seeing much polishing, but where it occurs, the results are positive.

    FYI, there was a massive recall of all PPKs made from 2002 to 2009. Unknown how many actually had the problem, but after reading a number of S&W PR pieces, I could tell they were tap-dancing around the details. Finally, one mentioned that a faulty weapon would fire when removing the safety. That told me they had random brittle safeties scattered throughout the product line. Drop the hammer, and safety drum cracks and lets the hammer continue forward to contact the firing pin. My guess is they replaced every single safety, rather than test to see if they met spec. So they required every PPK/PPKS made of stainless steel to be returned for the fix. Probably so they could document which handguns they laid hands on, and "cured".

    This was a problem with military P38s made by slave labor. Just heat-treat a small batch of super-brittle safeties (that still might function for years), and slip one in every once in a while. If you have no docs that yours was fixed, a call to S&W will probably tell you whether your serial number was worked on, or even needed work.

    Amazing little machine, and really gunsmith-friendly for something so tiny.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/10/2014 9:48:07 AM PST · 4,274 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    Does it have an American importer's name (Interarms?) on it? If it does, it's probably a pre-GCA68 import. I assume it's blued, and not stainless?

    Right now, my project involves a complete teardown, breaking a lot of sharp edges internally, just so I don't rip myself up if I work inside again. Then some nanolube, and experimenting with spring rates.

    In your case, a couple of teardown steps beyond basic field-stripping will expose enough of the critical components for an application of nanolube.

    Then shoot a box of ammo with your present spring rates to work in the nanolube, and see how much has changed. A rule of thumb I got from the CZ Custom Shop was that brass should be ejected only about six feet. The standard 17-pound spring weight is overkill, so they suggest trying for 13 pounds with equal reliability. Their recoil springs go down to 8 pounds, but that's for target guns and target loads.

    My own theory is that most European handguns are sprung for red-hot, hard-primer military rounds, or at least the ones from that era. For CZ, the spring rates assume sov block ammo. That's the way they're sold in the the USA. But a custom firing pin, .002" longer, will get the job done with a much lighter firing pin and hammer spring. Those heavy spring rates not only affect trigger pull and return, but also put larger random mechanical stresses in all the other parts, too.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/09/2014 12:34:43 PM PST · 4,271 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman
    What load were you shooting in this one?

    Plain ol' Winchester white box 95gr FMJ, the cheapest stuff of the limited inventory they had. I'm getting a case of it from ammoman.com, just so I don't have to sweat future shortages.

    Defensive ammo will require some testing, but once I have a couple of brands selected, they won't be bought in large quantities.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/09/2014 11:41:36 AM PST · 4,270 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos
    Great project I HAVE to follow... Thanks !

    Tell me a bit more about your Walther, so I can see how closely our two projects track. Right now, my first bit of tuning will be galling, and the extremely tight machined fit. Even though it's almost all investment-cast (Ruger built an empire on that), the cleanup was very well done, and the fit is almost airtight. If you don't know what you're looking for, you'd never find it.

    Out-of-the-box trigger pull is 12 and six pounds, not great, but comparable to most commercial DA pistols. That gave me hope, but it was that first group, and the comfortable shooting, that convinced me. One of the salesman will be bringing in his Walther PP in .380, because he says that one kicks like a miniature mule. One working hypothesis is that by cutting off some barrel, slide, and frame, the center of gravity has been moved down and to the rear, closer to the center of the hand. Even just holding a comparable PPK/S in the store, the PPK sat better in the hand.

    I'll experiment with spring weights until I get something that is barely 100% reliable, then up everything by one pound. My rule of thumb says that change of one pound of spring rate yields about a half-pound change at the trigger. But it also lessens all the different vibrations and off-axis forces that are always bouncing around in a weapon. Those are invisible thieves of comfortable and accurate shooting, IMHO.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/09/2014 2:08:53 AM PST · 4,267 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    I stumbled another gem the other day, and this one seems to be a natural-born champ. What else except the compact handgun that started it all, the Walther PPK?

    Because of all the twists and turns of the GCA68, German PPKs cannot be imported into the USA. But this one, made under license by Smith & Wesson in the free state of Maine (take that, MA), is available to the American market in the free states, but is still hard to find, and pricey, because of vey limited production.

    But with the first magazine of six shots, I was able to produce this decent group with the .380ACP cartridge. One nice "figure 8" by the "5" on the target, and one enlarged hole consisting of two rounds overlapping by about 50% on the "7" ring. Even the two "flyers" were better than I've done with some out-of-the-box handguns.

    After I finish my limited tinkering, this will be my EDC weapon, with my faith resting on always having it on me, the accuracy and comfortable shooting of what is usually a nasty, bitey caliber in tiny handguns, the wonders of modern bullet design, and the overall genius of Carl Walther. My custom CZ75B Compact-L is a wonder of accuracy and easy shooting, but I wonder how much I'd appreciate it if I was carrying at all times that I have a pocket on me? The gun writers may sneer at "poodle guns", generally anything under .40 caliber, but this toy Doberman isn't lacking anything except a lot of powder to launch the bullet.

    Because my list of mods, at present, is so small, the most time-consuming item will be 200 rounds of break-in with ball ammo, and choosing the best defensive ammo after that. The hideous grips will be replaced by earlier plastic ones, or checkered walnut custom ones. The extra-large beavertail was not present on the originals, but seems to appear only on models for the American market. A bit homely, but it will save my hand from slide rash.

    And I have to go around everything with a fine-tooth eyeball to see where I have to break the "razors" that come from machining stainless steel. There's a reason razor blades are made of stainless having nothing to do with rust resistance. Unlike other steels, where chips are heated and tempered as they're cut off the workpiece, stainless can withstand the temperatures and stresses of machining, and leave finished parts with an invisible "razor edge" that the eye can't see, but the hand can sure feel.

    Finally, I'll have the fun of matching custom spring weights with my chosen defense ammo, because the factory 20-pound springs are just "over-spring" for this weapon, even as a blowback.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/05/2014 12:46:07 AM PST · 4,265 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman; B4Ranch
    by the by, what, pray tell, is ‘a mong’?

    I still don't know, but if the government is protecting us from weapons mongers, it would be nice to know the size of a single "mong". A recent official training memo for one DHS fusion region identified a total of seven weapons as a "cache", so we're starting to make some progress in decoding federal terminology. I still don't know if quantities involving cache, hoard, stockpile, arsenal, etc have any overlap, or if some weapons count as more or less than one in determining the count. But we now know that in at least one DHS security region, you can be arrested for having a "weapons cache" that totals seven firearms.

    The media throws these terms around very sloppily, but in this instance, even though there was no prosecution, an authorized DHS contractor sent out an official training memo to the whole region, confirming that seven weapons are officially considered a "cache".

    As far "home defense" goes, I have some form of blunt instrument within reach at each door, hidden in the folds of a drape. If that fails to curb their enthusiasm, I can produce a high-speed crowd pleaser in less than thirty seconds. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/04/2014 11:08:47 AM PST · 4,262 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman
    Nice collection of CZs you have. More good stuff than I’ve seen at our local ‘stocking’ CZ dealer.

    Considering my "stocking CZ dealer" has never had more than two models of CZ on hand, if that, at one time, that represents a lot of trips over a couple years time. It just looks like a "collection" when you see them all in the same picture. However, I believe BATFE considers it a hoard, or a mong.

    Considering I carry specialized, less-than-full-house ammo already, specialized .380ACP should work well. I have no intent (or reasonable expectation) of engaging in armed combat with a handgun beyond about 20 yards anyway. That's why rifles were invented. My most important requirement is that I can carry it consistently, and have a high degree of confidence of success according the parameters I have set for it.

  • Healthcare.gov Contractor (and Close Russian Ally) Belarus Built Malware RIGHT INTO Obamacare Code

    02/04/2014 3:58:24 AM PST · 12 of 27
    300winmag to Reaganite Republican
    The hackers and government (both probably one an the same) should have some high-security, high-performance back doors built in for their own convenience. They shouldn't have to wade through piles of phony code when they have serious stealin' to do.

    I guess this is just another way Barry "spreads the wealth". You can bet the actual code will be as secret as his "BC" ("before Chicago") life.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/04/2014 2:27:46 AM PST · 4,259 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; Squantos; osagebowman
    I have 3 .357’s but alas, no Python. A regret, now that they’re harder to find.

    I saw my first Walther PPK, a pre-1968 in .32ACP, just a few months ago. I have no use for one, I have no need for one, as I alone determine my needs. But it was sure cute and classic, and I would have bought it just for that, but someone else beat me to it.

    So today I was told that a special-order Walther PPK had finally come in after three years. Whoever ordered it had since died, so they offered me "first look" privileges.

    Again, I have no use for it, since I don't even own anything else in .380ACP. I don't NEED it, but again, it was appealing. So despite all the down-checks, I bought the little darling.

    Due to BATFE "scoring" rules, a German-made Walther PPK has not been imported into the US since 1968, except for government uses. But those rules don't apply to ones made in the USA. Since Walther and Smith & Wesson have such a close working relationship now, this PPK is made under license from Walther in a S&W factory located in the free territory of Maine. Another well-earned poke in the eye for Massachusetts. :)

    There are some visible differences, aside from the stainless steel construction. Most noticeable is the much larger beavertail at the end, which is more effective protection from hammer or slide bites compares to the original, although it knocks a bit of nostalgia off. The plastic grips have some changes, and the lanyard loop on the bottom of the frame is gone. With a bit of luck, I can retrofit a vintage set of grips and lanyard loop.

    The Walthers were expensive even back in their early days in Germany. This modern version has some MIM parts, and the slide and frame look like investment castings, although the cosmetic work looks vey good. Cheaper to make, but still pretty expensive compared to the $200 .380s that so many people demand. :)

    So I now have a nice, useless gun that I hadn't even dreamed about until today, when the owner's son brought this out for my viewing pleasure from the hiding place underneath the counter.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/04/2014 1:48:32 AM PST · 4,258 of 4,311
    300winmag to B4Ranch
    That spur hole and smooth grips are two things that turn me off when examining a handgun.

    I agree, although there are several ways around those problems. The top of the round hammers on the CZs are serrated for grip, just like a regular hammer. And the aluminum grips have 70-grit skateboard tape inserts where most of the palm and fingers grip the weapon.

    My polished stainless steel CZ75 is so slippery I had to put wrap-around rubber grips on it just so I could get enough grip to rack the slide. Too slippery for serious defensive work, but it looks good when I take it plinking.

    I've also shot handguns with composite grips like G10, and the "grip" was so coarse it felt like I was running a belt sander across the palm of my hand. YMMV, but there's a wide of assortment of better or worse choices for every preference.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/03/2014 11:51:33 AM PST · 4,256 of 4,311
    300winmag to B4Ranch
    Whose idea was it to put a hole in the hammer spur?

    The concept goes back over a hundred years. First, the spur was rounded, to make it easier for the cavalry to cock the hammer by rolling it against a canvas strip on their britches. And the hole was added to reduce weight, and speed up lock time. Hard to say who thought of it first, but lots of manufacturers started doing it, or at least making it available as an option.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/03/2014 3:18:21 AM PST · 4,253 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius
    I've never done better scoring the old collectibles. I think that's because people are either trading in "old" stuff to pay for that AR15, or are dying off, and collections are being disposed of. But I steer clear of online stuff, or big-box stores because it's either over-hyped, or Wally World won't touch it.

    That means working a regular "trapline" of genuine gun stores that do a good business, and don't try to BS you. I think it takes mutual respect so that they know you're a solid customer, know your tastes, and hold the stuff you like so you can get first look before it goes on sale.

    I do business with a dealer who doesn't dicker on prices, but doesn't screw anyone, either. Except for big-ticket items like guns, where he tries to do business at 90% of MSRP, everything else is list price, because he won't dicker over a couple of dollars. OTOH, he didn't double or triple his magazine or ammo prices. What was on the box when it went on the shelf was still the same price months later. He didn't go around raising prices once a week like a lot of other dealers did. What he has to pay the next time he gets a delivery will depend on his prices then. His philosophy is to not screw the customers in tough times, so they'll remember to come back in the good times.

    I can't explain it, but the current president has kicked out more older pieces, along with increasing sales of new stuff, than anyone else. When I was a starving college student, I saw Pythons, Model 66s, Gold Cups, and all sorts of other classic and high-end weapons, but could never afford them. Now I can pay just about the same price, UNadjusted for inflation, as they cost in then-year dollars. A very few are NIB, but I've gotten quite a few in the 95% range that lets me shoot them without fear. I also know that this time will probably be my last time, or anybody else's, to see them on the same "used" shelf as a Lorcin or Jennings. Guess which one I'll pick. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    02/03/2014 1:41:58 AM PST · 4,251 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Not much happening in my neck of the world, except digging out from a couple of polar vortices, which I never heard of until a couple of weeks ago. While waiting for the promised new goodies from the SHOT Show to trickle in, I embarked on a (hopefully) systematic set of upgrades for my growing CZ handgun herd. Based on published, and observed, mods that Angus did to the CZ 75B Compact-L, each one is getting, where possible, the following upgrades:

    1. Replace 16-pound recoil, hammer, and firing pin springs with more reasonable 13-pound weights.

    2. Replace any plastic recoil spring guides with metal ones.

    3. Replace soft firing pins and hardened firing-pin roll pins with harder, .001" longer firing pins, and softer, solid retainer pins.

    4. Ream firing pin channels to ensure there are no microscopic burrs that can hinder firing pin travel.

    5. Install drop-free magazine brakes and lanyard-loop hammer spring end caps on all handguns.

    6. Replace, where possible, the standard slide release with the longer type from the CZ75 SP01, making for easier "reach".

    7. Replace the generic-but-uninspiring factory rubber or plastic grips with the much flatter and thinner aluminum "gunfighter grips" to aid in reach-reduction and overall lessening of width.

    With the exception of the grips, most of the changes are internal, and don't show up in a photo.

    For anybody still reading this, a bit of explanation. First, the aluminum grips come in other anodized colors besides basic black. With grips going out of stock frequently, I bought what I could, including one spare set of both compact and standard sizes.

    The handgun in the upper left is the .45cal CZ97 BD, which uses the "moose" frame exclusive to it. There are aluminum and plastic grips for it, too, just not in stock as of right now. Also, while the CZ fans complain about the lack of CZ P07s and P09s, most consider the 97B and 97BD to be figments of someone's imagination. "They see you rollin' with a 97B, they be hatin'." Take a low(er) production weapon that outperforms other brands costing $300-$400 more, and you have the beginnings of a cult following. I can see how this could be possible, but I know I can quit any time I want. :)

    My dad's original CZ75, top center, is basically pristine original externally, except for the Hogue cocobolo grips. The soviet-style cold-war plastic grips, and packaging, were just too embarrassing to leave on such a noble weapon once it arrived in the USA. It's earned a bit of free-market finery, especially since it likely won't be needed for serious duty, although it remains as perfectly capable of taking care of business as its younger descendants.

    And on a serious note, if you're ever in the market for a defensive handgun, give serious thought to something from CZ if there's one on the shelves. There are other fine brands out there, but CZ is THE sweet spot where price and performance shine.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/25/2014 10:54:05 AM PST · 4,249 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman
    Not much accomplished this week, except survival. However, the cocobolo grips from Hogue finally arrived, and my two Python safe queens look a bit more regal than in the cheap wood that even elite Colt handguns had to put up with in that era:

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/20/2014 3:11:42 AM PST · 4,247 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman
    Excellent diagnosis and correction on the venerable old Smith.

    I learned a few other things during this project. I don't know if they can be put to use, but I cherish hard-won knowledge, even if others consider it trivia.

    The parts of that revolver were machined from steel, and hardened somewhere along the way. Then they were fitted by hand just well-enough to provide the performance called for in the design specs. But while I had all the pieces out, I decided to refine the fit-and-finish of the parts that nobody will ever see, except for a gunsmith who opens it up.

    As the parts were fitted together more finely, the sound of them functioning changed. Improved sear surfaces made for shorter, crisper engagement time. Less time for one part to drag along another, transferring unneeded forces back and forth. "Smoosh, clack" became "click, click" with less force imparted by me. Expensive mechanical watches are made with micron tolerances in some designs because the complexity leaves no margin for tolerating slop or drag. The parts are so tiny, and the mass so small that even the wrong viscosity of lubricant is like filling it up with maple syrup.

    Factory tolerances are, by design, acceptable. To go beyond that, to approximate something like the first hand-built prototype, takes you into different territory. The sounds and forces are crisper, shorter, and have their own independent resonances once engagement is broken with the other part. Each part behaves like a tiny tuning fork in those situations. None of this means anything when you're in a firefight, but if you like to ponder the imponderable, it's a worthy effort.

    A reasonably-talented designer could take a modern weapon, and grasp all the operating principles in less than an hour. Hand him the drawings and list of materials, he'd say "how the hell do I build this, and what are some of these materials listed? This must take tools that are beyond my imagining."

    The same thing would happen if you could send the M1917 back in time to 1817. A brilliant gunsmith could grasp the final product, but have no idea of the scientific or mechanical principles needed to make one, or millions. The same applies to everything we make that has more moving parts than a rock.

    I saw this first-hand when I put a super-frictionless finish on the cylinder stop, an oddly-shaped part in the very front of the frame. Normally, cycling the action just "makes it work", but by tuning it, I was able to operate the action much more slowly, and watch the odd dance the part does, as the single blur of motion resolved itself into about a dozen discrete steps that I could "freeze" and study any step along the way. There was no "power" inertia that requires one to put a large amount of mechanical effort just to start the system, and leave it with enough remaining power to get all the way through its cycle. And then you get the excess thrown back at you in the form of unwanted vibration, noise, and other wasteful stuff.

    I put the M1917 up against my ear as I worked the action, and hear a tiny minuet played by a chamber orchestra. Something out-of-the-box, regardless of quality, sounded like a mosh-pit band, complete with three seconds of reverb after the mainspring had completed it's work. Of course, different tools are designed for different tasks, although there can be some overlap. But I wouldn't use a fresh surgical scalpel to split firewood, and would hope nobody asks to borrow my pocket knife for some ad-lib brain surgery. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/19/2014 3:32:11 AM PST · 4,243 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    The SHOT Show is just about history now, and all the major manufacturers swear that they have truckloads of warez ready to ship. It's all supposed to arrive in February (probably Feb. 28, which was IBM promised things). Meanwhile, little items are leaking out onto the web.

    If you're a fan of S&W J-frames, this item from the Ergo people might amuse you.

    An obviously new concept in grips for snubbies, it's supposed to automatically position the revolver perfectly, so you're looking down a perfect sight picture, no matter how you draw your weapon. It's also supposed to give you a secure grip, no matter what.

    As Murphy's Law says, "if a thing sounds dumb, but it works, it's not dumb". I can afford $20 to try one out, but I thought I'd give everybody else an early warning to be on the look-out in case one ever appears in front of you. :)

    Meanwhile, my rehabilitation efforts with the 90+ year-old S&W M1917 have paid off. After staring at its innards for two days, the problem, and solution, hit me in the face like a wet salami. The total overall length of the extractor assembly was about .001" inch longer than the allowable maximum. This forced the extractor assemble to bend ever-so-slightly at each position of the cylinder, but also transmitted weird off-axis forces throughout the inner workings of the revolver. Removing about .001" from the knob on the end of the extractor rod brought everything into spec, and allowed me to do my usual nanolube break-in, because there were no off-axis forces trying to push all the parts out through the side of the frame. That old warhorse turned out to be a 90-year-old stud colt that is just starting to show his inherent talents after one box of ammo.

    Disclaimer: I put on some modern rubber grips on the frame before firing, because the old-time stuff, especially with heavy recoil, tends to slam the back of the trigger guard against my fingers. But for photo purposes, the originals went on. Trigger pull is within spec at 11 and 7 pounds DA/SA, and it might go a pound lower when things start to break in. Only now are drag marks starting to appear, because only now are the parts fitting like they should.

    The equine equivalent would be taking a nail file, make a tiny pass over a tiny part of a hoof, and curing everything. When I recognized the problem, and the fix, my face-palm reverberated through throughout the basement for several seconds. I wonder how many people looked at this weapon over the last 90 years, including the S&W and Army inspectors who officially blessed it, and then just set it aside? The S&W craftsman, the final seller, and probably several armorers glanced at it during those decades, only to put it on some out-of-the-way shelf or drawer. Unintentionally, they put it into stasis, leaving me with a brand-new 90-year-old revolver that should be good for at least another hundred years. I'll have to look up the inspector's marks so I can discover their names, and give them some belated thanks for their unintentional foresight. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/18/2014 12:25:26 PM PST · 4,242 of 4,311
    300winmag to JenB
    Huh, that’s not a bad pink.

    This is the official CZ "factory pink" treatment.

    When you see one in a store is another matter. Some versions were announced three years ago, and nobody will admit to even seeing one, much less having one for sale. It's not that CZ produces vaporware, as some companies do, but whatever they make gets snapped up so fast, not many people get a chance to see it, and verify that it exists.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/16/2014 1:32:02 PM PST · 4,239 of 4,311
    300winmag to g'nad
    yer CZ fetish is wearing off on me...

    I do my part to help. Anything I can help with? So far, most of my experience has been with their handguns, although rifles and shotguns are now slouches, either. And it's not a fetish to like one of the highest-performing weapons out there for the most reasonable price. To be honest, a CZ Custom Shop or Sphinx is a real fetish for me, but so much worth the money, when I have it.

    While that's an aftermarket pink finish, CZ is now offering their own official CZ 75 SP01 Shadow with black frame, and pink everything else. Pink is not usually a "guy color", but if TheWife or TheGirl like pink, it might make the purchase of your next regular-color CZ that much easier, and much less likely to be borrowed. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/12/2014 2:41:04 AM PST · 4,236 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Continuing to fill in blank space until the upcoming SHOT Show allows an opportunity for spouting some fresh hot air, let me present some tentative theories on what exactly the CZ Compact-L is, in addition to being a fine handgun.

    It is roughly equivalent to the CZ 75D Compact in 9mm.

    CZ has a lot of mix-and-match parts that can be combined into new variations. But one thing unique to the Comp-L is the aluminum frame. The dust cover is slab-sided, and extended right to the muzzle. This allows just enough room to add a short rail with a single cross-sight, for light or laser. The CZ compacts have a shorter grip with two fewer rounds in the magazine, shorter barrel and slide, and no rails, all in the effort to make a shorter, lighter, handier weapon for people who desire those qualities.

    But, for CZ-USA only, the factory in Brno makes the Comp-L, and ships it to this country like any other of their products, complete with the usual final exam papers. But from there it goes to CZ Custom Shop, where their resident Scottish mad scientist, Angus Hobdell, puts them through more transformations, resulting in a second certificate, showing the improvements.

    Visible changes include the longer SP01 slide release, Hogue aluminum "gunfighter" grips, and even further refinement of trigger quality. But the biggest change is accuracy, which changed from the usual CZ "not too shabby" to "OMG!". It's then packed back in the American BATFE-compliant packaging, with Angus's smiling face added to a sticker to make the box stand out from the other CZ inventory.

    That was the extent of our analysis until Friday, when professional gun writer James Tarr came in to pick up his almost-secret Glock evaluation guns. He was stuned to see that last of the five CompLs still in the box, waiting for the owner to take it off of layaway. Looking at it, he recognized it as the production version of Angus's custom piece that he'd been carrying for over two years. For all we know, which still isn't much, those five may be the first ones allowed outside and into the real world. He griped that nobody called him to let him know they came in, and left with new owners, about a month ago.

    To which Mike, the owner's son, said, "well, if you came in more than once a month, rather than jetting all over the world getting paid to shoot someone else's guns, you could have had one. But we had no idea they were in that last shipment, and still no better idea when we looked at it, trying to figure out why it existed. Now you know to squeeze Angus for more answers, and probably get paid to write an article on it if we ever see another one". Tarr had snagged the first-and-only CZ P09 in 9mm when it got to the store, while I beat him out to the first-and-only (at that time) P09 in .40S&W. He just doesn't know that it was me, and I'm not going to volunteer. I'm already under surveillance by a couple of wealthy old Colt collectors for beating them out on those two Pythons.

    Sometimes it pays to work in the rice paddy every day, because on rare occasions that makes you the early bird that gets the worm. :)

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/11/2014 10:05:41 AM PST · 4,235 of 4,311
    300winmag to Squantos; osagebowman; g'nad; hiredhand; B4Ranch
    Oh, and another byte of news left over from yesterday.

    Smith and Wesson will debut their new L-frame-based five-shot revolver in .44 Magnum at the SHOT Show, too. For people who feel that a .38 snubbie revolver isn't quite big enough, they're stuffing a big V8 engine into a Ford Fiesta for you. :)

    No mention of scandium frames, or 2" barrels, but I wouldn't put it past them for some time in the future. While I won't buy one NIB, I have the feeling there will be a few near-new ones in the used-gun case once novelty wears off, and the recoil effects start to kick in.

    That's one of the benefits of patiently panning for gold every day. Every once in a while, you get a real streak of "color" in your pan. :)

    Coming later today, no definitive answers, but some really informed guesses about the mysterious CZ Compact-L

  • The Five Worst Fighter Aircraft of All Time

    01/11/2014 10:05:19 AM PST · 40 of 128
    300winmag to 98ZJ USMC
    He sure did and the 102 was NOT a easy or forgiving aircraft for dopes.

    Of the 500+ F-102s built, about 20%, or over 100, were lost in peacetime operations, usually taking the pilot with it. It never saw any actual combat, just flying in it was a danger. But they had pilots standing in line, maybe not very happy, but still ready to fly it.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    01/11/2014 3:59:00 AM PST · 4,234 of 4,311
    300winmag to Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
    Welcome to Saturday Night Gun Pron's expanded coverage of the upcoming SHOT Show next week. Since none of us here are privileged (as far as I know) to attend, we will be studying speculation and intel analysis with others in the same boat we are.

    First, let me say that I'm up so early/late because the igniter on the furnace cracked after eight years, and the house is stabilized at about 60 degrees (it's a balmy 44 outdoors right now), and I've been waiting for my 20-minute call-back from the tech for over four hours now.

    What we're seeing new this year is the tendency of some companies to dribble out samples of new product, or at least literature, to select dealers. Fortunately, my LGS is one of them, and I have a real physical copy (they sent 5) of the 2014 CZ product guide in my hot little hands. Vendors need tons of reading material, along with free food and booze, to hand out at Las Vegas, so it takes a while for the leftovers to make it out to the unwashed masses. In fact, the LGS just got in a half-dozen boxes of the 2012 CZ catalog. And it's not just them, most companies are like that.

    Among the good news was the arrival of several physical samples of real warez. Remington sent out five boxes of new .45ACP defensive ammo, which I scored a couple of. A very nice Ruger GP100 done up in a deep blue that externally resembles the quality finish of the S&W "Classic" series. Other new variations of existing weapons from other companies. Not a lot, but at least something physical for potential customers to look at, once all the publicity from the show makes it to the mortal realms.

    I was present when the local semi-famous professional gun writer stopped in to get his evaluation copies of two new Glocks that we weren't supposed to see until Glock announced them at the show. Fortunately for everyone, another writer posted pictures and details online already, so that bit of suspense is now shot to hell. Everybody will be deluged with details and opinions (so of them informed) next week, so these are just random snippets.

    A number of companies are promising a trickle of sample items that will appear in stores right after the show. Remington will release their new R51, a modernized version inspired by Pederson's Model 51, but beefed up for 9mm +P, rather than his elegant .32 and .380 blowback versions from the 1910s and 20s.

    The store owner has already paid Remington for an initial order of 50, and hopes to see 5 or 6 this year, which is how things work in today's world. Further down the line in Remington's plans are to produce the R53 as the modern equivalent of their Model 53, which was a .45ACP weapon that could have provided a significant challenge to the Colt M1911.

    The Marines had been on the Navy's case about getting them more M1911s, but the Army had all the productive capacity tied up in their own needs, which is was one reason the M1917 revolvers from Colt and S&W were produced as a stopgap. Remington quietly built two modified M53s for low-key, informal testing by the Navy and Marines, with one of them quietly vanishing into the mists of history, or into someone's vault. The Navy had no problem finding enough Marine volunteers to put over 6000 rounds through the other without a stoppage, and without even cleaning it. Not totally scientific, but a good indication of what it could do.

    Colt and the Army were invited to an informal plinking session, and asked to bring some NIB M1911s to make it interesting. At this time in the 1911's life, there were problems with barrel bushings cracking, because World War One could be considered "advanced beta testing", with hundreds of millions of rounds still needed to be fired to make sure the deeply-hidden flaws were all flushed out.

    The Marines took the filthy M53, and proceeded to shoot rings around the Colt, including turning in groups that were consistently half the size the Colt was capable of. There was an uneasy silence as everybody contemplated broken rice bowls, with a final agreement that everybody was better off swearing that this never happened.

    One final anecdote to finish off my trip to the LGS today: as I walked in, a couple were being told that the AR15 they bought from the trunk of some guy in the parking lot of a gun show was not an AR15, but a commercial version of the Colt M16A1. The man insisted that the seller told him the "extra stuff", was just there for looks, but the store gunsmith took the lower half of the weapon, and gave them a crash course on what the "happy" setting on the selector really did. The two halves were wrapped up, and given back to them, and six burly and heavily-armed sales bubbas escorted them to the door, and advised to find the "nice man" from the parking lot to take back the assault rifle before BATFE or some local police started looking at their $300 "bundle of joy".

    A properly-papered version of that weapon would be worth about 100x what they paid for it, so what they had was really no bargain, just a ticking time bomb. :)

  • Remington Announces New R-51 Pistol

    01/03/2014 9:14:43 AM PST · 21 of 26
    300winmag to osagebowman
    Hey guys - a new Remington, guess we’ll see it at our LGS this next year.

    I would like it more if it looked more like the original style. A couple too many gratuitous swoops on the slide. Still, with a low bore axis, it might be a real sweet shooter. With only a grip safety, I'm predicting a lot of NDs when morons try to holster it. Not that they need any extra special features to screw things up. The real proof of the design will be how easy it is to enhance performance.

    As far as politics go, Remington still has a couple of fingers poking in the gun-grabber's eye. NY is getting TAXED to keep a GUN COMPANY in a state that they don't want in that state. In the Obamaconomy, the few jobs Remington could take out of state does not match the $80 million the state paid to keep them there. That's $80 million that could have been used for something even more harmful to New York than keeping an arms-maker producing nifty handguns, even if New York does not recognize most of the Bill of Rights.

  • The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

    12/29/2013 5:24:44 PM PST · 4,232 of 4,311
    300winmag to osagebowman; Squantos; hiredhand; B4Ranch; g'nad; JenB; Ramius
    Sorry, all anybody had to do was to go to www.czub.cz site, where it was all spelled out in black and white:

    Model CZ 75 BD Police je standardně vybaven vypouštěním kohoutku, výstražníkem, otočitelnou zádržkou zásobníku, závěsným poutkem, drážkováním přední a zadní části rukojeti a rýhovanou spouští.

    Can't get much clearer than that. (Don't worry, they also have decent English captions, too.) Plus, in Europe, if a government permits you to own a handgun, stuff like a suppressor, folding stock, vertical foregrip, etc. is just purchased as an accessory, like we'd buy a new set of grips, here.

    However, scouring the CZ.cz web site turns up nothing with a slide marking "CZ 75 B COMPACT L" that I got from the CZ-USA custom shop in AZ. The combination of features on this gun are a mix from different standard models, but none matching this exact same configuration in the web site, and no special slide markings. So it's a definite CZ "Polecat Works" product, as opposed to the "POLICE", which is just a seldom-seen variation here in America.