Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Hornady Products

One thing I do like about this time of year is first hearing about new shooting-related products that will debut at the SHOT Show. Today I received an e-mail from the good folks in Grand Island, Nebraska, Hornady Manufacturing, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009.

My atavistic eyes were first attracted to the .338 Marlin Express. The .33 Winchester has always fascinated me since first reading about it in old Elmer Keith articles. It was a .45-70 necked down to .338 by Winchester for the 1886 Winchester. I first assumed the new Hornady release was simply a necked-up .308 Marlin Express. However, the .338 Marlin Express actually stems from the .376 Steyr. Hornady claims it will match the ballistics of a .30-06 with 180-grain bullets out to 400 yards.

The .338 Marlin Express offers nearly the same velocity and muzzle energy at 200 yards as Elmer's .33 Winchester put out at the muzzle. And the 200 gr. FTX™ boat tail will only be 1.2" low at 200 yards when zeroed 3 inches high at 100 yards. The Marlin ain't Great Grandpappy's 1886 Winchester or Grandma's .348 Winchester Model 71.

Hopefully neither the .308 nor .338 Marlin Express rounds will go the way of the .307 and .356 Winchester cartridges. With the release of FTX™ bullets to reloaders, Hornady has taken a huge step in fostering their survival.

I'd say those who use a .45 Colt revolver for self-defense will like the new 45 Colt LEVERevolution® round. Us cold-weather pistol packers will benefit from Critical Defense™ ammunition for the .380, 9mm and .38 Special, which also utilizes FTX™ bullets, that "will expand reliably EVERY SINGLE TIME!" The bullets are advertised as being able to penetrate heavy clothing, even leather, unlike many conventional hollow points. If these puppies test out, Hornady will certainly grab a larger chunk of the civilian self-defense and law enforcement ammunition market it gained through TAP®.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Gun Hugger's Christmas List

It's Black Friday, and so far I've only heard of one death and one injury caused by greedheads swooping down on stacks of Chinese imports at a Long Island, NY, Wal-Mart.

One shouldn't confuse Black Friday with Black Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, which have been part of the national lexicon since the 1929 Wall Street Crash. But there may be traders jumping out windows next Monday and Tuesday if the Black Friday sales results aren't good.

Since I don't venture out on Black Friday, I've been shopping online for stuff on the kids' Christmas lists. Then my inner child kicked in. I compiled a shooting-related Christmas list for Santa, which probably won't do any good cause I've been bad this year.

Santa, here it is:

An EOTech 512 or 516 Holographic Weapon Sight
Para-Ordnance PXT 1911 LTC 9mm pistol
An AR-15 stripped lower
Bulk Winchester or Remington 9mm bullets, 115-grain JHP
Badger Ordnance Gen II tactical latch
Safariland Rapid Light System (RLS)
Stevens Model 200 bolt-action rifle in .243 Winchester

Seven items for a whole week of black days, Santa. Travel safe. Don't drink and drive the reindeer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Future of the U.S.: Two Views

Tuesday I read about Professor Igor Panarin's predictions of the decline and break up of the United States into six parts. He also tackles the dollar, "unsecured by anything", the escalation of the U.S. national debt from $2 trillion to $11 trillion in 10 years, and the possibility the dollar could be replaced by the Amero, a common currency between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

He said, "We must break the strings tying us to the financial Titanic, which in my view will soon sink." Panarin, a Russian Foreign Ministry "info war" expert and political scientist, added that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all."

Thomas Sowell, an economist and Hoover Institute senior fellow at Stanford University, wrote two recent columns, "Jolting" the Economy and Ivan and Boris Again regarding the nationalization of business by the government.

"Politicians who want the power to micro-manage business and the economy know that demonizing those who currently run businesses is the opening salvo in the battle to take over their roles."

Sowell, who studied under Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, was one of Col. Jeff Cooper's favorite reads for good reason.

I'd like to wish any readers a fabulous, blessed Thanksgiving. After the holiday, tune the MSM out and spend some time reading the works of Sowell, Friedman and Cooper. No doubt you'll be more enlightened about the true state of the economy. That's odd of me, someone with a graduate degree in journalism, to write.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Afternoon at the Range

It was a fine afternoon in the Osage Cuestas. It must have been near 60 degrees when I drove to the range south of the house. Yesterday I would have lost the target stands to the wind, but today it was gentle. I did have to capture one TQ-19 silhouette that took off toward the north after slipping six staples.

I stapled up some four-inch circles and some TQ-19s at 50 yards. I shot several groups with the new 9mm AR-15 carbine using the edge of the pickup bed as a rest. I then stood a few feet from the end of the bed and took on the TQ-19s. I didn't want to hunt brass in the midst of rotting hedge apples. They also make it difficult to kneel or go prone unless, of course, there's a bunch underfoot and there are people around to laugh when you fall. The Osage Orange trees make some fine shade in July and August, so I can deal with the apples.

The 9mm brass landed in nice cluster on the bed liner just behind the cab. The tightwad Scot in me is disturbed when too much brass is lost.

After 150 rounds of 115-grain JHPs, the bolt carrier started to operate sluggishly and I had a bit too much practice clearing malfunctions. I assumed fouling was the culprit. I opened the carbine up, took out the bolt carrier, wiped it down, reassembled, and still had problems. I put it away and worked at seven and 15 yards with the S&W 642-2 .38 Special I've carried daily since March.

When I took apart the carbine later to clean it, I noticed the large roll pin near the rear of the carrier that secures the counterweight was protruding just enough to drag against the upper receiver channel. I drove it in and lightly staked it so it won't work loose in the future. I'll take it for another spin tomorrow after I finish the morning chores.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Be True to Your Party or Pay: Kansas Politics

I read this column by Mike Henricks of the Kansas City Star even though I'm not a fan. The head comparing the Kansas GOP to Stalin hooked me.

It details political payback, the branding of traitors by both the Democratic and Republican state leadership. Certain people delete those branded from their smartphones. These traitors cease to exist: no chance of being sent to national conventions, no phone calls or e-mails answered, no invitations to Kansas Day ceremonies at the state capitol every January, and no lovely holiday cards from the powerful. It is worse than being sent to the gulag for a politico. A bullet in the back of the head is certainly more merciful.

I've been a registered Republican since 1979, the Jimmy Carter era. However, I have a strong libertarian streak. I never vote for a candidate who says more "common sense gun safety laws" are needed. Criminals by nature fail to abide by the law. There's plenty of laws on the books that can be used to stop their rampages. So I naturally draw the conclusion those candidates don't trust me or most of my country folk.

If politicians do not trust the ordinary citizens they want to represent, I'm not about to trust them. No matter if they are a Democrat or Republican, why would anyone elect a representative who allowed mistrust to stand between them and their constituents? If sent to any seat of government, they will only answer to party insiders, the big contributors, the lobbyists, and the moguls. The trinkets, junkets, private jets, chauffeurs, interns, hookers, easy cash and power will lure them until they're indicted or voted out of office into a firm of lawyers and lobbyists.

I'm not about to let party loyalty blind me from identifying with the natural and civil rights of individuals. Both parties are bankrupt. There is a reason why the founding fathers, who struggled and made provisions for the preservation of the "inalienable rights of man" did not make a single reference to political parties in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Dear Leaders, the loyalty squad works via a secret ballot at every election. The Stoic philosopher, Seneca the Younger, said, "Every reign must submit to a greater reign." For those who have left the ranks for a position of authority, Seneca's words are good ones to study.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trickle-down Economics, Chicago Style

This Chicago dentist cut down on paperwork such as filing insurance claims and paying middlemen like the U.S. government.

Doc Kimmel, maybe you can pick up some work in prison, and then become a D.C. lobbyist for some bank holding companies, the UAW, or numerous Wall Street whores when paroled. Go legit. There's more money in it--$372,000 is just petty cash when there's billions to be harvested.

Pimps, prostitutes, snitches, FBI wiretaps, a U.S. attorney who will probably be an Obama administration appointee, Kimmel's high-profile defense attorney Joe "The Shark" Lopez, and a money-laundering dentist--who needs to rent old movies when one has free web access to Chicago crime stories?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eric Holder, the Next Attorney General?

Prez-elect Obama has supposedly asked Eric Holder, former deputy Attorney General during the last months of the Clinton Administration, to serve as the nation's Attorney General. The Senate must confirm the appointment.

For those who haven't heard, Holder played a part in the pardon of Marc Rich, a fugitive commodities trader and Democratic contributor. Rich's ex-wife Denise spent some time in the Lincoln Bedroom when Barbra Streisand and other Clinton donors didn't have it booked. Jack Quinn, Rich's attorney and Clinton's former White House counsel, lobbyied for the pardon directly through Holder.

In January 2008, Holder joined a few other former Justice Department officials including Janet Reno, Attorney General during the Clinton years, in filing a brief in support of the District of Columbia's gun ban in District of Columbia v. Heller. Holder has been the Obama campaign's senior legal advisor since January 2007. He'll follow Obama's lead in viewing the U.S. Constitution as a "living" and evolving document.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reloading for the 9mm carbine

Since last Wednesday's work with the 9mm AR-15 carbine, I've been thinking about reloading for it.

The Rock River Arms upper is built with a 16-inch, 1-10" twist Wilson Arms barrel. It performed well with the handful of reloads using 147-grain Hornady XTPs, 4.2 grains of Unique and Winchester once-fired brass I fed through it. I still have some left, which I'll put to more extensive testing. I'll run some across the chronograph when the wind settles down. If I had to guess, they will probably clock around 1,000 feet per second.

I also have some 125-grain, .355-in. bullets on the shelf, Remington Golden Sabers and Speer Gold Dots, left over from when I reloaded for a Glock 32 .357 Sig.

The handloads with 88 and 115 grain JHPs were charged with Winchester 231 powder. It left much debris inside the fire-control assembly and throughout the upper receiver. I have had the same problems with it in 9mm pistols but thought it might burn better in the longer barrel. I finally gave up trying to brush and swab it out. Compressed air did the trick.

I have two pounds of Alliant Power Pistol and most of an 8-pound keg of Unique left. Both powders will produce higher velocities than the faster-burning Winchester 231.

Most shops don't stock Alliant Power Pistol here. One store about 50 miles usually has some, but they want more than $25 a pound for it. Power Pistol is one of the best powders I've used in .40 S&W and .357 Sig. I also use it in the .38 Special for 125-140 grain jacketed bullets.

Now that gasoline is down to $1.85 per gallon, I'm thinking about driving down to Winfield, Kansas, to Powder Valley, Inc., and stocking up on powder and bullets. It also stocks Zero jacketed bullets, an attractive alternative now that some 9mm bullets are selling for nearly $20 per 100.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

aepilot_jim came home, checked his blog and found he had been infested with a meme. Then he spread it north into the Osage Cuestas, where it bounced around some radio towers the fertilizer company put up so us unenlightened Republicans might enjoy the Internet.

The five people I am required to spread the meme to will wonder if it was a good thing the fertilizer company employees climbed up one of the towers today to fix the lightning-damaged hardware. The wind didn't pick up until after they fixed stuff, which is good because the gusts at that height can rip a pair of Big Smith overalls right off a fellow.

The instructions: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!

element: to hold in high esteem ant despise
appreciation n. 1 a: sensitive awareness; esp. recognition of aesthetic values b: JUDGMENT, EVALUATION; esp. a favorable critical estimate


There you go, Jim. You now know what book is close to hand: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. It was either that or a book of coupons without page numbers. I'll pick five victims tomorrow. It's getting late.

Maureen didn't receive the memo.

Here's a couple of links that will illustrate why the no-longer-mainstream, corporate media are losing revenue, reporting declining audience numbers, and laying off employees.

Maureen Dowd, pictured above while catching up with her reading, witch hunts Sarah Palin in her Nov. 11, New York Times column, Boxers, Briefs or Silks? In a story in the Times' television section the following day, Richard Pérez-Peña illustrates how Ms. Dowd and several other journalists fell for a hoax planted by A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence.

Maureen, the public editor for the Times, Clark Hoyt, should inspect your lingerie stash and all receipts to see if any of it was charged to the corporation or received by you gratuitously. Clark, think about all the fact checkers the paper could hire with the funds it's paying Maureen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Is Finished! 9mm AR-15 Carbine

Dear Barry,

I am clinging onto a 9mm carbine, possess several charged high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, love God, and can't say I'm bitter about it.

Now, you might be bitter. Check your shorts. Maybe Mrs. Obama starched them too much to the point of serious irritation. I read a couple of days ago that you've never fired a gun. Have the Secret Service take you to the range. You need a hobby. Shooting is good exercise, relieves stress, and is fun. Also, you might gain an edge in negotiations with manly heads of state such as Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin. Let's face it, Barry. You're a bit of a girly man. Even Joe, your gun-banning VP choice, has a shotgun for election-year photo ops.

Barry, I have to hang up now. Enjoy those last few days in Hyde Park. No, I won't accept that ambassadorship in Angola. Send the Rev. Jesse. Goodbye. ...

Yes, the UPS guy delivered the Rock River Arms 9mm top end plus a 9mm hammer. I had already installed the dedicated Hahn Precision magazine block in a Bushmaster lower receiver equipped with a Magpul CTR stock, 9mm carbine buffer and spring. The Hahn fit into the Bushmaster lower perfectly.

I cleaned rust preservative out of the top end and applied a bit of Tetra Gun oil and grease, put a spring on the 9mm hammer, installed it in the lower, mounted the top on the lower, and ventured out into a sunny, but extremely muddy, day.

I sighted in the carbine with some 115-grain JHPS at 50 yards. I didn't need to adjust elevation. The ARMS #40 rear required two clicks to the right. Then I tried a few 147-grain Hornady XTPs on top of 4.2 grains of Unique. Six rounds went into 1 1/8". The 115-grain Winchester USA ball ammo grouped between 3 to 4 inches as well as some reloads using 115-grain Remington JHPs and Winchester 231.

I ran 163 rounds through the carbine. There were four malfunctions during the first three magazines. The first round chambered would not eject once fired. Two of these malfunctions happened with some reloads using 88-grain JHPS I had left over after trading off a Walther PPK in .380. They haven't worked well in any 9mm pistol I've tried them in except for a Browning Hi-Power.

The remaining 88-grain stubbies fed through the carbine flawlessly. I blew up a couple of dozen hedge apples with them and some 115-grain JHPs in honor of Barry. All of the 20 and 32-round CProducts magazines locked the bolt and dropped free without fail.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Standing in the Gap

This is the f'irst Veteran's Day I've spent without my father. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953.

An electrician with Flour Corporation and one-month veteran of marriage to Mom, Dad figured he would wind up in Korea. The Army put him in the Signal Corps and sent him to West Germany. He was one out of hundreds of thousands of Cold Warriors who, from 1945 to 1994, waited near the Fulda Gap and the North German Plain, the most-logical routes of a Soviet invasion that never took place. Then there were the thousands of Army and Air Force personnel who served in encircled West Berlin.

My friend, Chris, served in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Vietnam and in Germany. The Blackhorse was based in Germany three times: 1944-1948, 1956-1966, and 1972-1994. During the last period, its headquarters was at Downs Barracks in Fulda, where this Blackhorse memorial remains.

On this Veteran's Day, we shouldn't forget those who quietly stand in the gap: Marines at U.S. embassies, Coast Guard boarding teams, flight crews of Air Force refueling tankers, the men and women buried deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, the crews of Aegis guided missle destroyers and subs, the members of reserve units, those along an remote, fortified border with North Korea, and countless others past, present and future.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two bright spots in the economy

McDonald's same-store sales rose 8.3 percent in October, beating its own estimates. Most other restaurants reported declining sales.

Every vendor I've checked are out of stock of Magpul polymer, 20 or 30-round AR-15 magazines and 30-round mil-spec aluminum magazines. And the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports firearms sales are 10 percent higher this fall compared to the last. October sales are 15 percent higher than October 2007. Ammunition sales were up 14.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008 despite price increases caused by a global metals shortage.

Trial lawyers, one of the major blocks of the Democratic Party, have long waged wars on fatty food and guns. I don't see McDonald's and the firearms industry faring too well this time next year. Neither will find love when seeking federal bailouts unlike Detroit's no-longer-big-three automakers and AIG.

In the meantime, the Change Administration is going retro. Obama isn't a socialist--he's a monarchist. He's going to be a king, according to his spokesperson , Valerie Jarrett, who appeared on Meet the Press yesterday.

Ms. Jarrett is "the other side of" President-elect Obama's "brain", believe it or not.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

9mm AR-15 Carbine update

I received an e-mail from Steve at Adco Firearms today. He finally received some complete 9mm Rock River Arms CAR A4 uppers. I ordered one through him in September. He shipped it to me Friday along with a RRA 9mm hammer.

So next week, I should be able to assemble the carbine and give it a whirl. I have a ARMS #40 rear sight to mount on the flattop. I'm going to keep it simple for now. The shelves are loaded with 9mm ammunition, and it doesn't cost near as much to replace as .223 Remington.

I'm glad I ordered the parts, top end and CProducts magazines before Nov. 4. The NRA-ILA offers this note of explanation. Of course, the original page referred by the NRA-ILA,, "is not available right now."

A scrap of an old poem, "Pop"

Pop takes another shot, neat,

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and

Makes me smell his smell, coming

From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem

He wrote before his mother died,

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shrink, my

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause

I see my face, framed within

Pop’s black-framed glasses

And know he’s laughing too.

Barry Obama, 1981

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oxford's list of the 10 most irritating phrases

Researchers at Oxford University scanned the Corpus, the university's database of phrases used in print, broadcast and internet media. and have now released a list of 10 communications faux pas. They were published in a book, Damp Squid. The phrases are:
1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science
With all due respect, I think a few, fairly unique phrases should be added at this moment in time such as: "awesome", "retard", "gun violence", "very" preceding any modifier, "building a bridge to" anything, "common sense gun safety legislation", "cutting the pie", "The War Against" anything, "assault weapons", "large-capacity ammunition feeding devices" or "clips", extremists, liberals, conversatives, "bitch slap", "ho", "I feel your pain", and "breaking news".

It's a 24/7 nightmare of mass proportion. Absolutely.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ABA names "Lawyers Who May Run America"

The 408,000-member American Bar Association plays a non-governmental and little-noticed role in the process of filling vacancies in the Supreme Court. You can read more about the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary here.

The ABA Journal cover story for November is The Lawyers Who May Run America. Today it published an article by Martha Neil, Obama Announces Transition Team; Lawyers Proliferate. The stories are filled with names of Obama's fellow Ivy-League attorneys, and the current dean of Harvard Law, Elena Kagan, will possibly be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court during the next four years. Seth Waxman, a Yalie who 88-year-old Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens once said was the most brilliant young lawyer he's ever heard, may be nominated to replace Stevens.

Here's the members of Obama's transition team "triumvirate": Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta, old Chicago hands, and Pete Rouse, Obama's Senate chief of state and a former staff member for ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Rouse has worked continously on Capitol Hill since 1971 and has been called the "101st Senator."

Podesta was the fourth and last chief of staff for the Clinton White House. He's the author of a book published earlier this year, The Power of Progress: How America's Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, and Our Country.

Three other attorneys on the senior staff are Cassandra Q. Butts and Chris Lu, both classmates of Obama's at Harvard Law, and Michael Strautman, Obama's general counsel in the Senate.

Here's some of the faces of change, those who will restore the American Dream. They've promised to "restore our Constitution to its proper place in our government and return our Nation to our best traditions."

Attorneys will run America. We the servants should know our leaders. Lawyers are people, too, so I guess one could argue the Obama Revolution is still people powered.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Teaching and equipping the next generation

Jerome, who attends high school with my two kids, came by for another reloading lesson. He assembled 120 rounds of .223 Remington ammunition using bulk 55-grain Hornady FMJ-BTs and H335 powder.

He recently joined the National Rifle Association. His parents didn't pay for the membership. Jerome works for a retired teacher who has a large farm. He's squared away and welcome here any time. Last summer he worked at a Boy Scout firearms range.

There are definitely more youth out there like Jerome than the wacko, teenage killers prominent in news coverage. It's just too boring and not deemed newsworthy to report on responsible youth using firearms safely while having fun. Shooting is a strengthening discipline, good exercise that will help ward off obesity, and will enhance a practitioner's mental ability and relieve stress.If you haven't already, introduce a young person to the shooting sports. Encourage them. Guide them. Set good examples.

The kids who kill are ones who have been ignored and isolated--expected to raise themselves and viewed as an inconvenience. They become visible through their cold rage and murderous acts. Maybe if a responsible adult had taken them turkey hunting or coached them in marksmanship, they could have been saved. Zero-tolerance policies, gun buybacks, gun locks, and more restrictions on firearms ownership are simply acts of closing a gate after the herd has escaped.

Jerome, it was a great afternoon. Thanks for visiting. Bring your rifle next time and come earlier.

What to do with pumpkins?

Brigid and other talented cooks can turn Halloween-surplus pumpkins into pie, soup, casseroles, pumpkin bars, etc. But judging by the different methods of pumpkin disposal on YouTube, many lack culinary inclinations.

This video illustrates the Bill Ayers method. There's something about a good ... pumpkin.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yes We Can ... be out of touch with reality

Peggy Joseph knows Barry will help her out if she helps him. He does look good up there before the masses, talking about redistributing wealth and changing the country and the world.

When Barack is in the Big House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Peggy, 95 percent of us won't have to worry about changing the oil and rotating tires, either. We'll just drive our free cars into the free Jiffy Lube on the White House North Lawn. The newly nationalized Exxon Mobil convenience store dispensing full-service gasoline across the street in Lafayette Square, will be staffed by servants of the people, convicted Republicans on work release.

If you live too far away, like in Chicago, Big Brother Barack will send an Air Force C17 Globemaster III to pick up your whole fleet of free rides.

No charge, Peggy. That's what friends are for.