Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gettin' My Edjamacation On

Forgotten Weapons is a new-to-me site that I've been looking at today and have added to my feedreader/blogroll. From their "About" page:
We believe that one of the best things that can be done to improve the community of technical firearms enthusiasts is to make information as freely available as possible. Most information about firearms development remains on paper and microfilm in inaccessible collections. We want to publish as much as we can, to prevent this information from being lost forever. So, we created this site to be a repository for everything we can unearth – trials reports, details photographs, original manuals, and more. It is all available completely free of charge, and will always remain that way.
Photo courtesy ForgottenWeapons.com
They also manufacture their own replicas of many of the firearms they research, which is just awesome. I particularly liked reading about the Garand Carbine (pictured right), which I knew existed, but have never read much about or seen more than a thumbnail photo. Cool stuff!

So if you're interested in the technical, often obscure, and sometimes weird branches of firearms history, you should check these guys out. If you are someone or know someone who can contribute to their project, you should get in touch with them; spreading knowledge will benefit us all.

h/t to Les Jones

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What The Internet Was Made For*

Ever need to check the owner's manual to find out how to do something to the old discontinued Marlin or pristine Colt Woodsman you just picked up in a loophole sale at a gunshow? Or that used, recently overpriced Sig you just bought because OMG!Team Six! maybe/definitely/probably uses them?  Or that Jennings .22 you picked up? OK, not the Jennings. Nobody who buys those ever feels the need to look at a manual. Forget I said that. That was stupid. 

Anyway, if you do need to look something up for your firearm, there's a good chance that this website has you covered. They have hundreds of manuals as PDF's; even airguns. I discovered this site while on some hunt for information about some esoteric, rare, extinct firearm or another, and though I can't remember what kind of brain food I was stalking or why I was stalking it, I thought someone else might be able to use it.** The guy who created it really did the gun owners of the 'net a good service. Good luck! 

NOTE: The HK owner's manuals contain nothing but "You suck and we hate you" typed over and over again in various languages. Weird, but that's the way they came from the factory. 

*Well, other than porn. 
**OK, I was just looking for a rather prosaic GLOCK Armorer's Manual, but whatever. 

Never Got Out Of The 6th Grade

I can't help it, I laughed. Actual headline:
Horse herpes outbreak forces rodeo queens to ride stick ponies
Mmmm. . . That's good euphemism!

Mark Zuckerberg Kills His Own Meat

Friday, May 27, 2011


"You just said that, didn't you Joe?"
"Yeah, I did. Sorry Barry."
Via one of my favorite horror/thriller/sci-fi/whatever writers comes an hilarious example of why I don't blog too often, or well, for that matter; other people do it WAY better. Funny stuff:
Joe Biden and Bud Light presents: teh bestest president EVAR!
Also, the only reason they let Joe Biden out to speak unsupervised is because people would notice if they locked him in the basement of the West Wing and fed him a steady diet of Valium.

Why Tornadoes Scare Me

NPR has a great bird's-eye before and after view of the destruction in Joplin, MO. They also have a page up showing before and after street views, which is just as sad and chilling. Freaky stuff. Have a reaction plan and post-disaster plan people!

If something as bad as what happened to Joplin happens to you, well. . . your life will still suck, but with plans and forethought, you can mitigate the amount of suck. Don't wait for the bad to happen and then wait for someone else to alleviate the bad. Be proactive, be prepared.

Yes, the tornado in Joplin did that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good News, Convenience

From the local fish wrap:
Indoor shooting range approved by county
A proposed indoor shooting range has received the blessing of Coweta County.
The Coweta County Board of Zoning Appeals and the Coweta County Board of Commissioners have approved a conditional use permit for an indoor shooting range and retail space on 4.4 acres on Amlajack Way, in the Shenandoah Industrial Park.
This is the first permit requested under the county's ordinance regulating gun ranges, which was approved in December 2009. The ordinance includes extensive requirements for safety and lead abatement, including compliance with all recommendations of the National Rifle Association. The property is currently zoned M-Industrial, as are all surrounding properties.
Gary DeGeorge plans to build a 20,625-square-foot building, with a 5,000-square-foot retail space and a 15,625-square-foot shooting range.
DeGeorge said plans are for 24 shooting lanes that "we may open with 16 and go to 24."
There will be guns available for patrons to rent, or they can bring their own.
"Good luck with it," said Chairman Rodney Brooks. "Maybe we can put pictures of commissioners' faces" on the targets," Brooks joked.
As the location in question is about 5 miles from my house, I'm pretty hopeful they can get this venture off the ground. It would be nice to have an indoor range close by for rainy days and casual practice; the range to which I usually go is about 25 miles away. It's close enough to be convenient for a "formal" range day, but a little inconvenient for a quick trip to pop off some .22's. Same goes for outdoor ranges around here and another indoor range a little south. Having an indoor range so close by would probably increase the amount of time I practice, which is never a bad thing. Heck, I might even be able to find the time to join a league.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thinking things through

Well, this is just a horrible overreaction and these vigilantes should have simply called the authorities and awaited the swift response of the. . . Nah, I can't do it.
FayObserver.com - Police say two men beaten, stabbed and shot in botched robbery attempt

Two men who police said tried to steal a woman's purse early Monday got more than they bargained for when as many as 15 of the victim's family members and friends rushed to her aid and then severely beat, shot and stabbed the suspects.

Fayetteville police officers arrived at the scene of the melee in the Cambridge Arms apartments about 12:45 a.m. and found two men lying on the pavement of the parking lot with multiple stab and gunshot wounds. Police found a group of the woman's relatives walking in the parking lot covered in blood.
You idiots! Going into a Salvadoran neighborhood where your intended victim's entire family both lives and is angry about the crime problem, as a self-identified member of the Bloods, does not exactly get you into the gangsta hall of fame. It will however get you a little swift karmic justice:
Guevara's family members then ran after the two, caught them and disarmed them during a struggle, Davis said.

"Both suspects were shot during the initial struggle, with the suspect's gun, and then the family severely beat, stabbed and cut both suspects," Davis said
The best part? The loyalty of their compatriot:
The third man had the car doors open and was yelling for the men to get back inside, but he drove off after realizing his accomplices were outnumbered, Flores said. Police identified that vehicle as a silver Buick.
Maybe a little critical analysis of their plan would have prevented their ass-kicking. Maybe I'm too optimistic of the general intelligence and humanity of humans.

Expect a retaliatory drive-by at some point.

Unicoi Lake, Unicoi State Park

Beautiful place and where I spent my honeymoon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Things That Aren't Supposed To Happen, But Do

My father and I were at the range last Friday for our normal practice and stress relief session, just plinking away with .22's. I was shooting Remington 36 gr. Golden Bullets, and had shot about 75 or 80 rounds when, during a string of rapid fire noticed the bolt had, for lack of a better term, a stutter at the end of it's cycle on the second or third round of five in the magazine. Golden Bullets aren't the cleanest or most reliable cartridges in the world, plus I'd put approximately 400 of them downrange the week before and hadn't cleaned the gun since. So my brain sees the slide move into battery a little slower than usual, chalks it up to DIRTY GUN, LAZY SHOOTER, gets a good sight picture on the target, and decides to pull the


Then my brain says "What the HELL was that!?!" as smoke explodes, FAST, out the sides of the gun where the barrel/upper receiver meets the frame, and WAY more smoke than usual explodes out of the chamber. My second thought, after the initial shock, was that a Kaboom just occured. My left thumb, which was held alongside the upper receiver in a high grip, right on the loaded chamber indicator, immediately begins throbbing, which I took to be a good sign. After all, if the loaded chamber indicator had blown off/out of the gun, I might have lost a chunk out of my second favorite thumb. Which would suck. I immediately safed the gun, put it down on the table pointed in a safe direction, and inspected my hands. Other than quite a bit of carbon fowling all over both hands and a quickly appearing, oddly loaded chamber indicator-shaped, reddish bruise on my thumb, all was well.

Next I checked the gun. I am not a gunsmith, engineer, etc., so this is my laymen's take on the situation. After the Kaboom, the bolt appeared to have cycled almost properly. It picked up a cartridge out of the magazine and moved it forward, but failed to load it into the breech. I dropped the magazine and cleared the unchambered round. I quickly looked at the chamber, mostly just to confirm that there was no live ammo in the pistol. Locking the slide back, and telling my dad what I was about to do, I looked down the barrel and saw this:

You don't want to see this when looking down a barrel. 

"OK, so I won't be shooting this particular firearm anymore today." I kinda expected that to have happened, so didn't look at the gun any further and stowed it away. I knew I could probably run a cleaning rod down the barrel to clear it, but honestly, I didn't want to mess with it. We had other guns with which we could keep shooting and I didn't know if there was any other damage to the firearm. Best to take it home and give it a thorough inspection in the armory, aka, the garage.

Later, I took the bolt out and, under a much brighter light than those at the indoor range, saw this:
Yes, I know how dirty the chamber is. It's quite clean now. 

I was NOT expecting that. My inspection at the range mostly consisted of clearing live rounds out of the gun and checking the barrel. My initial diagnoses at the range was that a squib round (Rd. #1) failed to exit the barrel, causing Rd. #2 to cause the Kaboom. I was wrong. What I think might have happened is that the case on Rd. #1 failed and ruptured on detonation, sending the bullet downrange, but weakening the case enough to allow the extractor to rip the rim off the case. This is borne out by the fact that there was a keyholed bullet impact extremely low on the target, very far (24" +) from any other holes. Rd. #2 then, when the bolt picked it up from the magazine, partially pushed it's way into the case of Rd. #1. which explains the slow cycling I noticed, and seated just enough to allow me to complete a trigger pull, send the firing pin forward, and blowing most of the propellant gases out the sides of the gun and into the barely opened chamber. The bullet on Rd. #2 did not have enough energy to exit the barrel and thus ended up 1/2" from the end.

I sprayed some oil into the barrel, let it set for a bit, then gently tapped the bullet back down the barrel toward the chamber with a cleaning rod and mallet, only encountering resistance when the bullet met the chambered case. A sharp rap of the mallet popped both out of the breech and onto the work table. I continued field stripping the gun, cleaning and inspecting each part: no damage that I could see. Frame looked fine, as did the chamber area and barrel. After a thorough cleaning, reassembling and hand cycling the pistol revealed no loss of function.

I guess I'll find out soon, as today the big white FedEx truck of love brought this to me:

Again, the gun looks fine and I'll take precautions when shooting for the first time, but I can't wait to get back to the range.