Thursday, January 31, 2008
Just read a news release that STI International, who manufactures some pretty high level guns for competition shooters and also for Law Enforcement, will no longer sell guns in California. When I bought a new Ruger Charger they also noted that it would not be sold in CA. I’m sure that there are other manufacturers that are on the same list and you can be sure that whenever I buy a new gun they will go to the top of the selection. STI was pretty direct in their news release saying that “ We as a company have decided that enough is enough” and that they, “ feel it is necessary to take a stand against irresponsible legislation designed solely to inhibit the American citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.”
The final straw seemed to be California’s new law that goes in to effect in 2010. Basically the law requires that all new semi-autos sold in CA have to micro imprint or engrave any shell casings that are fired in the gun. The imprint has to be specific to that gun, model and serial number, and it has to do it in two places.
Obviously the imprinted information has to be on record with California since the bright idea is to be able to trace that gun thru it’s lifetime and be able to identify who owns it. So each time the gun changes hands the imprint info has to go to the state. At least that’s the theory.
Now the theory is offensive enough but stupidity seems to know no bounds. One of the places for the imprint is from the firing pin when it hits the primer and then someplace on the case either when the action closes or when the case expands in the chamber. When tested, it was found that after about 1,000 rounds the imprints were frequently blurred to the point where at least some of the numbers and letters weren’t readable. Surprise, surprise they also found that the firing pin can bounce or the case comes back after the round goes off and causes a double imprint which makes it unreadable. Of course that still leaves the second mark except that as the round is ejected some barrels rotate, some tilt and even in the chamber, the case slides against the imprinting. All of which can make the imprint unreadable.
Not living in California, I have to admit that in the past when I read about the micro imprinting I tended to laugh at the fools. Didn’t they realize that firing pins break and get replaced as do other parts, not to mention the fact that cases sliding in and out of chambers are going to wear any imprint markings? Well they covered that issue, by definition, any gun requiring imprinting of cases that has parts that do not clearly imprint is considered to be “Unsafe” and cannot be sold, traded or used without violating other laws. Just think if you have to replace a firing pin you will have to order it with the correct imprinting information.
What is really comical is that Law enforcement agencies are exempt from the imprint requirement. I guess that means that CA cops will be carrying “unsafe” pistols. How would you like to be in the position of a cop shooting a perp with an “unsafe” gun. What a lawyer field day!
(Does this mean that anyone shot with a unmarked bullet was, by definition, shot by a cop? ...Mr. C.)
I suppose it will keep any gun ranges cleaner since anyone shooting an imprint gun will have to pick up their brass and it can’t even be put in a recycle bin. Some criminal could pick up your imprinted brass and leave it at crime scenes.
Wikipedia has a pretty good write up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_microstamping. In fact that is where most of the information came from. It is interesting and there are several other states working on similar laws.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Last Saturday night the weather forecast was not good at all, predicting a couple of inches of snow by early Sunday morning. That's not good, as Keewee and I had to be out the door at before dawn to go spend the day in Allyn, Washington, near the South end of Hood canal, installing a computer system in a liquor store, then training the employees on how to run it.
Since the Washington State DOT totally dropped the ball by not ordering replacement car ferries for the Whidbey Island to Port Townsend run several years ago when the money was there to do so, and since the 77 year old ferries that had been used on the run until a few months ago are now in such poor shape that they aren't safe, (so they say, but I think it has more to do with politics than marine safety) the DOT just shut down the ferry run completely. That means instead of a 30 minute ferry ride to Port Townsend and perhaps an hour and a half drive to Allyn, we now must go across the Clinton to Mukilteo ferry, then drive South to the Edmonds to Kingston ferry to get back to the Kitsap peninsula. From there, it's still and hour or so to get to Allyn.
When we got up early Sunday morning at least there wasn't any snow, but the roads were basically wet ice. Great fun to drive on, for sure! If it would have been colder it would not have been so slippery. We got to the Clinton ferry without mishap, only slipping around a little bit. When I fired up the mini-van to drive off the boat and pulled on the lights, the instrument lights wouldn't light. I chose to drive the old highway down to Edmonds figuring it was going to be really slippery either by freeway or old highway, but there should be less traffic and fewer screwballs on the old highway. Other than locking up a wheel or so every so often when stopping at stop lights, we arrived at the Edmonds ferry terminal to find out that the regularly scheduled every thirty minutes ferry would not be departing for an hour and forty minutes. We got to sit in the car for an hour and a half waiting for the boat to arrive.
The ferry ride to Kingston was uneventful, and by now the sun had come up and the road conditions were fine, wet, but not much ice. The install and training went according to plan, and by early afternoon we were back on the road headed home. We stopped for a quick dinner on the way, then to Kingston for the first ferry. We arrived in perfect time and had only a few minute wait until getting on the boat. By now it was getting dark, and I sure would have liked to have a speedo I could see. Fortunately I had my miniMaglight in my pocket so I could check the speedo every so often, kinda like flying an older Cessna with a flashlight in your mouth, since panel lighting on older Cessna's consisted of a single red dome light with a brightness knob that shone approximately in the direction of the panel.
We got lucky with the Mukilteo ferry too ,as we arrived just in time to drive right on to the boat. A fifteen minute ferry ride, a ten minute drive, and we were back in the driveway where we had left in what seemed like two days earlier. It had been a very long day.
The next morning we awoke to two inches of snow. We had timed it perfectly!
Yesterday I checked out the panel lights and found a blown fuse. I also discovered that the tail lights are on the same fuse! (dumb!!) We had managed to drive all the way down and back with only brake lights and turn signals, but no tail lights.
I guess we had a lucky day all around!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Got an email from Mary S:
"I was depressed last night so I rang a suicide hotline.
I was transferred to an out-sourced call center in Pakistan.
I told them I was suicidal...
They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.........."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Castle Completely Update
Not a whole lot going on, but I've dropped back a bit on the hours I'm working for a bit as the schedule was doing me in! I need to do a bit more on the look/feel/design part of the software before I do much more code writing.
The days are starting to get light a bit earlier each week, and I can see it's time to be thinking about getting in some steady range work to try and get competitive for the soon to arrive season. This season I have added Cowboy Fast Draw and Glock match competition to the list of things to try, so I should be pretty busy!
Saturday, February 2nd. there will be a bowling pin shooting seminar at the Central Whidbey range, and the following Saturday, the 9th., there will be a steel challenge seminar. Both will involve some time in the clubhouse followed by some live fire range time. If you've considered giving either of these type of matches a try, here's your chance to get the feel of it without really competing. On Saturday, March 1st. we will have our first pin shoot of the year.
I sure was sorry to see Fred Thompson drop out of the presidential race. The remaining flock are pretty depressing. Ron Paul seems to be the only honest to goodness "Pro-Gun" candidate left, but his naive view of foreign policy scares me. I just don't see him as a strong leader against those folks out there who are trying so hard to destroy this country, both the Democrats and the terrorists.
I guess I better buy up a few of those 33 round Glock magazines while I still can..........
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
STI Steel Master 9mm.
Joe Huffman put this up on his blog and I can see where I could probably find a place for one of these in my collection........
|Frame||STI Patented Modular Steel|
|Grips||STI Patented Modular Polymer with Aluminum Magwell and Drilled & Tapped Magazine Release|
|Slide||Slide 4.15" Unique, Sabertooth Rear Serrations, Flat top, slide lightening on front and back, “gill” cuts on front|
|Trigger||STI Long Curved|
|Barrel||Barrel STI 4.15" fully supported, ramped ONE PIECE bull (Truor) barrel Integrated T1 compensator|
|Safeties||STI polished Stainless Grip and ambi thumb|
|Guide Rod||STI RecoilMaster|
|Sights||C-More Red Dot Scope w/ Blast Shield and thumb rest|
|Competition Approvals||IPSC, USPSA, Bianchi Cup, Steel Challenge|
For more pictures and info check out STI's website.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Dear President bush........
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Cowboy Fast Draw - Watch Out Here I Come!
When KeeWee and I were down in Valencia, California last Summer for the Steel Challenge World Championships, one of the side events was a Cowboy Fast Draw setup. It was run by world cowboy fast draw multiple time world champion Quick Cal Eilrich. The layout was simple. For a few bucks they set you up with a holster a revolver, and fiver rounds of .45 Colt ammo with wax bullets and powered by shotgun primers. The revolver was a virtually stock 1873 SAA Colt replica. The holster was all leather, and looked a lot like the cowboys of yesteryear might have worn. No tricked out race guns, and no radically cut down steel lined holsters permitted at all. The target was two feet in diameter, and fifteen feet away. In the center of the target was a plexiglas window with a yellow light behind it. When the light comes on, you draw and fire at the target. A microphone on the back of the target records your time. That is, if you DID hit the target. Missing it, at that close range, is REALLY easy, since you shoot from the hip!
After trying it a few times Quick Cal could see that another one had been hooked, and he began giving me a few tips to improve my times and accuracy. After several visits to the Cowboy Fast Draw booth, I was starting to get some improvement, finally getting my time down to a .501 second from light on to the wax bullet hitting the target. That's not particularly fast, as in competition the fast guys shoot times from the upper .3's to the mid .4's. In cowboy fast draw one or two tenths of a second is a lot! It was, though ,enough to get me hooked on the sport.
Cowboy Fast Draw has a lot of things in it's favor, and although still small, is growing rapidly. Ammunition is inexpensive, and you can reload your own with your fingers, no reloading equipment needed at all. The pistols are inexpensive, at least as pistols go. In a world where a top end .38 Super race gun can set you back over $4,000 it's refreshing to be able to be competitive for under $400, and with several choices, to boot! You don't need a shooting range to practice, either. A few layers of carpet hanging from the ceiling in your garage or basement will stop the wax bullets just fine.
In a match, there are two targets side by side and you are competing directly with another shooter. The light comes on for both of you at the same time and whoever hits his target first wins the round.
(I'll be next time he won't let Mr. Completely caption the pictures, ya think?)
If you want to know more about Cowboy Fast draw, check out the CFDA Website.
Labels: Cowboy Fast Draw
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Rally Car Aerobatics
Thought you'd enjoy this one!
If you click HERE it seems to play better and in a larger format......
Monday Cat Blogging
I have always enjoyed the "Herman" cartoons as the characters always seemed to remind me of someone I know, and the humor is almost always strange and unexpected. Again, it's the sort of humor where you KNOW it's funny, but you aren't quite sure why............
Thanks to Uncawho, by the way!
When does the fun part start?
I'm still working pretty much seven days a week and until three or four am. programming. Trying to get any code written during the day just doesn't work for me, as every interruption breaks the thought process and it takes me forever to get back to where I was. The only solution is to work during the day on my regular job, and do the programming on second shift, so to speak. The good news is that it is coming along well, and a lot of progress has been made. I keep wanting to get it written even faster, but I have to keep it in perspective as I'm trying to create in a matter of months and working entirely by myself a piece of software that a regular software company using several programmers would probably take the better part of a year to complete.
Not being as young as I used to be, I can only go on these "work binges" for relatively short periods of time before I become completely exhausted and unable to think clearly enough to work at all! Anyway, by The first of March the shooting matches start up, and I want to be ready to go for those!
How's Johnny Appletree? He's growing like crazy, almost double in size compared to his last picture. I'll have to take another picture one of these days. It's fun watching him grow!
Still no word from the judge on if he's going to allow the developer to take some of my property to provide access to his property so he can subdivide and build more houses. It the old days stealing somebody's land got you hung from the nearest tree. Not so today, unfortunately......
That's it for now, so back to the programming...... (sigh)............
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Ruger Charger Review
Ruger has been busy lately, the SP101 is available in .327 Mag, the SR9, the 5 shot Super Redhawk .480 (The question is why, does the six round version weigh too much?), and the Redhawk in 45 Colt (Since I shoot a lot of Cowboy Action I’m kinda partial to 45 Colt). And then there is the deep dark secret that seems to have caught everyone off guard. The first I heard was a little add in the local nickel want adds (in Montana gun adds are pretty common, not like where Mr. C lives where the papers are all constipated over guns. A polite way of saying they are full of ____) .
Anyway, all it said was "Beartooth Gun has a limited number of the new Ruger 10/22 Charger pistol". At first I missed the "pistol" part and was thinking of some new name for the thumb hole stocked target 10/22. Now I’ve owned a number of 10/22’s over the years but a pistol? Sure enough they had one set up on the counter. How cool is that, silhouette style laminated stock, 10 inch barrel and a bipod. It looked great and 10/22’s have always been good shooters sooooo…. It came home with me.
The Charger doesn’t have iron sights but it comes with a scope mount that is set up for both standard Weaver rings or the smaller mounts that are usually on 22’s. All you have to do is clamp on which ever one you have. One of my inexpensive red dots ended up on it. I put some 22 snap caps in and played with the trigger, the pull using a Lyman gauge came out to just under 4 ½ pounds.
The next day we went up to the range, I would have gone right away but it was really dark outside. The red dot is plenty bright but you have to see whatever it is that you try and put the dot on. Even with 30 mph winds and COLD out we were bound and determined. The little 10 round rotary magazine is the same one used on the standard 10/22 and extended mags that fit a 10/22 will work in the Charger.
A few years ago I acquired many thousand rounds of misc. 22 LR in a trade deal, everything from straight lead to copper wash and hollow points. That’s what ended up going into the Charger so it is obvious that real precision shooting was not on the program card. Of course with the wind and cold it was tough to really be precise anyway. Like the 10/22 rifle, the Charger gets "A" marks for reliability, it ate whatever we put in it. No misfeeds or jams and these were really old rounds. The bipod is really nice. It is very steady, at 25 yards both of us were able to put a full magazine of shots inside the area of the target that was covered by the red dot in the scope. That is about 1 ¾ inches on the target with my red dot. Every once in a while there would be a flyer but that had to be either the wind or a shiver from the cold.
The trigger pull is a bit heavy but it was quite crisp. It wouldn’t hurt to put in a good trigger kit like a Volquartsen or Jard system. Maybe when we get a warm calm day I’ll get some fresh ammo and try it without handicapping the pistol. If you want to shoot it without the bipod the legs flip forward but it feels kind of awkward. Fortunately the bipod attaches to a sling swivel mount with a pin and comes off with the turn of a thumb screw. My shooting buddy like Mr. C is a lefty and even people who shoot with the wrong hand find the stock comfortable. He didn’t even get hit with the ejected brass. He said that was a plus and claims that brass hitting the forehead is somewhat distracting and affects accuracy.
Both of us were really pleased with the new Charger, and it looks just as good in person as it does in the picture.
More importantly it is fun to shoot.
A big "Thanks" to Damiphino for writing this for the blog.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Ruger Charger - Best Kept Secret!
In December Ruger released their new target pistol, the Ruger Charger.
Basically it's a Ruger 10/22 receiver with a 10" barrel on a very cool silhouette style stock. Better yet, the price is somewhere around $375.
Friday, January 04, 2008
About a month ago I was enjoying an apple, and the thought occurred to me, I wish I had an apple tree that had apples this good growing next to the house so I could enjoy these on a regular basis. Actually, I DO have an apple tree next to the house, right outside the kitchen window, but it has apples that are rather tart, but KeeWee makes some of them into wonderful pies. Not too long ago we had two apple trees, but while moving a ton of wild blackberries away from the trees they were trying to engulf, a small guidance error with the backhoe reduced the number of apples trees to only one. Fortunately it was a very old tree, not in the best of health to start with, and it was long past apple bearing age. It was almost covered by the blackberries, and when I bladed out the berry bushes, I got the tree at the same time.
Anyhow, after finishing the apple that I was talking about before I wandered off, I got to thinking that all you need for an apple tree is either money, and go buy one and plant it, or grow your own. Money is a bit short right now, and I DID just so happen to have an apple core in my hand with apple seeds in it. hmmmmmm.....
I grabbed a plastic water glass, filled it with some rich looking potting soil, and planted five of the seeds. A couple of weeks later I was somewhat surprised to see a small white shoot starting to rise out of the soil. It's rate of growth was amazing, as you could see the difference from morning to evening. After three days it had reached the level of the rim of the plastic glass. Soon the two small leaves appeared, followed by two more. It's now growing like crazy, it's little stem is getting sturdier by the day, and it looks like leaves number five and six are just starting to appear. It's now sitting on the kitchen table where it can get what sunshine we are lucky enough to get this time of year.
I don't think it's quite ready to produce apples yet, but I'll do my best to be patient.
I wonder how long it takes for an apple tree to get big enough to have apples? Anybody know?
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Gun Blogger Rendezvous News
Even though the next Gun Blogger Rendezvous isn't until next October, believe it or not, planning and organizing starts in late January. The exact date has not been set, but it will probably be the second or third weekend of October.
It was a highlight of last year's Rondy to meet with some of the NRA folks, and I hope that will be possible again this year. The NRA was in Reno at the same last year for some other events, too, and I would like to schedule GBR-III to make it convenient for them to attend again this time.
We all had a grand time last year, and you might want to circle those weekends on your calendar with a question mark to keep you reminded.
I've attended a lot of events over the years where there are attractions, or speakers, or whatever, and the attendees are basically the audience. At the GBR the attraction is the bloggers themselves, and they are the reason to attend. Yes, we do also have a guest of honor, and we do try to raise some money for a good cause, but the main reason for the Rondy is to get the chance to spend some time with some of the brightest, quirkiest (in a good way) and most interesting people you could ever hope to meet.
Of course, a day at the range and all the guns, and Reno itself are attractions, too...........
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