Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bullet Design and Semi-Auto Pistol Reliability

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Some emails that I receive pertain to pistol reliability problems. This is one of the countless topics where I have opinions but no expertise. Of course, there can always be a mechanical problem with a pistol or its magazine, but the overall cartridge length and bullet shape can be contributory. Some pistols are forgiving while others are finicky. What you feed them can make a difference.

CLICK HERE for the best article I have yet read on the subject.

Although posted on his 38 Super website, this Brad Miller article is NOT specific to the .38 Super; it addresses issues pertaining to semi-automatic pistols of all calibers. It is well worth the read for any pistolero.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Survival of the fattest, a game of ounces and inches; my summer 2010 diet progress

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Other than the minor detail of my inside the waistband holsters being far more comfortable to wear, this post has nothing to do with guns. Since my stature only casts a short shadow in any light of day, excess weight is an unattractive accessory for me to leave hanging on my frame.

While still far from svelte, I can now comfortably wear pants with a 34’’ waist; down from the 36’’ waist pants that I wedged and wiggled into when weighing between 215 – 240 lbs (at some point during the upper end of my weight gain I should have moved up to 38’’ waist pants but I was too vain). Progress has been slow. I have only managed to drop 15 lbs from the 210 lbs on March 1 to my current weight of 195. Even losing that small amount has made quite a difference in my stamina. Breaking through the 200 lbs barrier was stone cold torture, but having successfully maintained 195 lbs for just over a month makes me believe that I am safely beyond that quagmire. In retrospect, dropping from 240 lbs to 220 lbs was much easier. For years, my doctor and I were both happy with my staying at or just below 220 lbs, but my advancing years with the added inactivity from being retired has made corpulence and good health mutually exclusive; there is a huge difference between being “fat but fit” and just being “fat.”

The diet plan I am on is nothing exotic, simply to have a minimum number of active hours per day and avoid rich food. If it tastes good, it is food to avoid. Ye gads, I am sick to death of salads.

If I ever again weigh 175 lbs, I’ll declare victory but achieving that goal could take another couple of years; I didn’t put on all of this weight in a rush so I don’t expect to lose it any faster than I gained it. From here on out it will be a slow grind. To return to anything near the form I had over a quarter-century ago, I’ll need grudgingly to dust off the barbells, unwind my jump rope, and pound the heavy-bag as I did in the old days, although the arthritis in my right hand makes weight training and boxing near insufferable. Regardless of my methods, somehow I need to move my activity up to a higher level if I hope ever to drop another 20 lbs.

One promising sign is that I am no longer preoccupied with food. I don’t have the same appetite and cravings that plagued me for years. In an earlier life, after recovering from the poverty caused by a divorce-settlement, eating became a celebration of success, a declaration of independence. I was making a bold statement to myself that I could afford to eat and drink whatever I wanted whenever I chose to. My body suffered from the indulgences; it turns out that what I could afford to eat my body could not afford carry. Now I just eat a small meal whenever I get hungry; I no longer eat on a schedule.

No cigars, no alcohol, and no satiating food; the old axiom is spot on, "Getting old is not for sissies."

EDIT:  IWB holster by Del Fatti Leather

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Win 1,000 rounds of .380 ACP at The Firearm Blog

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Attention all of you bloggers floating around Al Gore’s Internet. Our ever benevolent friend, Steve, over at The Firearm Blog is running an ammo giveaway contest for Lucky Gunner. In exchange for posting a link to Lucky Gunner (and to The Firearm Blog contest post) Steve will enter you in a lottery to win 1,000 rounds of .380 ACP (Military Ballistics Industries 95 gr FMJ). The contest runs until the end of July.

I won’t be entering the contest, which slightly improves the odds for y’all. Good luck!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

U.K. Constabulary has over 100 negligent discharge incidents in 3 years.

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According to London’s Daily Mail, “Police marksmen have fired their guns more times by mistake than when responding to threats in the last three years, an investigation has found.”

Some incidents had dire consequences. Dean Speir at The Gun Zone Blog has the link and offers his thoughts.

Does gun-handling familiarity foster bad habits? I don’t have an answer. Click here for a PDF file, “Why Are We Killing Ourselves:” A look at accidental shootings of police officers by police officers.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Snubnose revolver training in Hellertown, PA on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 2010

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Snub revolvers are handily concealable and their function is relatively easy to understand, making them ever-popular choices for concealed carry and home defense. Learning to shoot a snub well enough for self-defense may take a bit of coaching for a new shooter. Mr. or Ms. Average Snub Shooter may feel a need for some coaching in order to put the odds more in their favor. Advanced shooters may benefit from taking a refresher course from time to time.

Most any new shooter can take a snub revolver and readily hit a stationary target the size of a cantaloupe out to a range of a couple of feet or so beyond arms length. Move Mr. Melon back five feet and a few of those same new shooters might start finding it harder to score hits 100% of the time. Mr. Melon becomes ever safer from the snub-shooter as the distance grows to ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and beyond. If the evil Mr. Melon is smart enough to duck in and out of cover or move from side to side, he may just run the snub-shooter out of ammo; how fast can you reload a revolver under stress?

Michael de Bethencourt of SnubTraining.com has his Secrets of the Concealed Snub and Mastering the Concealed Snub classes returning to Hellertown, PA on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 2010. Michael notes that the classroom and range exercises for both the Secrets of the Concealed Snub and the Mastering the Concealed Snub classes has been improved and expanded. The new drills were tested in Bridgeport CT and Kittery, ME and both classes were an overwhelming success.

Additionally, Crimson Trace, LaserMax, Surefire, and BobMacs.com have also updated the supply of loaner laser stocks, tactical lights, and custom snub holsters.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Will Amtrak survive when the federal government starts slashing budgets?

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Of all of our government’s inefficiencies, I have a soft spot in my heart for Amtrak; I dearly love to travel by rail. Someday our cross-country passenger rail system may disappear. Before that happens, take a ride on Amtrak if you ever have the opportunity. Rail travel offers some great adventures and the memories last a lifetime.

Syd Weedon has a post about the Iron Horse and includes some of his great photo-art.

On September 11, 2001, all of the air transportation in the USA came to an abrupt stop. For around one week nobody traveled anywhere in this country via air. The thousands upon thousands of stranded travelers were on their own to find a way to their destinations. Amtrak was a readymade answer for many travelers during this crisis, moving vast hordes across the nation, proving itself an integral part of our national security.

It seems there are relatively few politicians that feel Amtrak is worthy of continued subsidy from the federal government. Without subsidies, Amtrak would vanish, as would our interstate highway system and our airports. In the deep green sea of federal spending Amtrak is but a drop, but each new administration eventually views the death of Amtrak as a key part of their fiscal mission.

Passenger trains helped build this nation and IMHO passenger trains continue to help keep this nation strong. Face it, not everyone can fly or drive. A substantial number of Americans need Amtrak to get them to where they need to be. Let us hope there is never another national emergency like September 11, 2001. Let us hope Amtrak continues to exist to serve us all in case there is.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ah, nuts!

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I may be getting one of those red-light-camera traffic tickets in the mail soon. This afternoon at Buckley Road and Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville, I drove a full car-length past the white line before stopping for the red light and then making my right-turn on red. The white line at most of these intersections is set too far back to see anything so many of us have gotten into the habit of driving past it to a point where we can see the traffic. I pretty much broke myself of that habit but this afternoon I had a mental lapse. Durn it.

EDIT:  SPRINGFIELD — Traffic tickets from much-despised red-light cameras will be a little easier to fight next year under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The new law gives motorists more leeway in filing an appeal to a red-light citation and requires independent verification of an alleged violation before a ticket is issued.

The measure bans the city of Chicago and suburbs from tacking on a fee to the standard $100 fine if a ticket is appealed, a common practice that can deter a motorist from fighting the charge.
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Thank you for your long and enlightening email. I am very sorry for offending you. Hereafter, I will no longer use the terms “Illegal Immigrant” or “Illegal Alien.”

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Seriously, from here on out I will make every attempt to be more sensitive to the feelings of others.



Better?
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EDIT:  I did all kinds of searches on this only to find that the CORRECT LEGAL TERM is ILLEGAL ALIENCLICK HERE for an example.  Please disregard my apology. 

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The state of Illegal Immigration, America’s 51st state

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The numbers are real; currently there are 12-million illegal immigrants in the USA. That is roughly equal to the entire population of Pennsylvania. I can find no consensus on what this costs our society but I will speculate that the dollar amount is significant.

Republicans have failed to secure our borders. Democrats have failed to secure our borders. Some say that secure borders are impossible. I offer that many elected and appointed public servants deserve dismissal for not doing their jobs.

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