The cure for Black Rifle Disease

savage-sm

A few years ago I had a case of Black Rifle Disease. It’s not deadly, but it’s expensive, harmful to relationships, and just generally detrimental to your overall well-being. When you have Black Rifle Disease, it is really hard to think about anything other than the Next Black Rifle. Except of course how you could improve your existing black rifles, how you could (or should) have done things differently, what parts you “need” for your black rifles, how to get your wife or significant other to let you buy more black rifles, black rifle parts, ammo, etc…

Well, I may have found a cure for Black Rifle Disease – Precision Long Range Shooting. Unlike Black Rifle Disease, which requires you to keep getting more STUFF all the time to satiate your hunger, Long Range Precision Shooting pretty much mandates that you only have one rifle. After all, the concentration is on learning a single platform and learning to shoot it REALLY WELL. Of course, there is a little experimenting to do… should you get a Savage rifle? If so, which one? A Model 10, which is better quality, or an Axis, which is less expensive and more tempting to modify (because of the low price)? Maybe a Remington 700 would be better. They’re popular with police tactical units and lots of gunsmiths know how to work on them, but you need a lathe and lots of knowledge and skill to do a barrel swap, so maybe a Remington 283? Or maybe a gun built on a custom action…

Then there is caliber to consider… 223 is good to 600 yards or so, but that’s kind of pushing it and most bolt guns in 223 come with a 1:9 twist barrel that won’t stabilize the heavy (77 gr and up) bullets that work best at the longer ranges. Maybe 308? Very popular, but kicks hard. 243 Winchester? Less kick than the 308 but eats barrels pretty fast. The various 6.5 chambered guns kick less than the 308 and are easier on barrels, but which one – 6.5 Creedmoor or 260 Remington?

Then, what bullet? What brand of brass? Powder? Primer? Who makes the best seating die? Maybe need to try a couple and see… What about powder measure? Case trimmer, run-out gauge, and some way to measure cartridge length – OAL and head spacing? Single stage, turret, or progressive press?

Yep, I’ve discovered the cure for Black Rifle Disease…

Fall is here and I love it…

I didn’t realize it when I woke up this morning, but today is the first day of fall and I’m loving it. We’ll have more hot days yet this year, but today was cool, cloudy, it even rained – well, sprinkled – a little bit. Work is going well, and I have a new rifle on the way – a Savage Axis II in 223. Also parts to convert it to 277 Wolverine in the future…

My older son is taking a ceramics class at community college and my younger son just got glasses today. I’m kind of sad he needs glasses at only 11 years old but happy he can see really good now and he’s excited about getting them, so I guess it’s all good.

We got half of the duplex that our ex-tenants trashed finished (finally!!!) and a new tenant in place, the other side should be done by the end of the month and we have a tenant lined up for that side too.

The best news is my wife is buying a new car this month, so that’s wiping out most of the money we’d saved up for the down payment on another rental house. YIPEE!!! I _SO_ need a break from working on houses…

So next 3 or 4 weeks will be really busy finishing up the duplex and getting my wife a new car. After that, well… I’ve got some vacation time saved up at work, hunting season starts at the end of October, and I’m getting back into a hobby that I used to love but haven’t had time for in many years. I take back a previous statement. It’s not all good. It’s fantastic. Have a wonderful autumn:)

EAA Arms Witness – a working man’s gun?

cz75-clone I really need to stay away from sites like Tombstone Tactical… the good deals are going to break me. The other day while looking for something that is NOT a double stack wonder-nine, I stumbled across the European American Armory (EAA) Witness P pistol in 9mm, nice FDE polymer frame, and what look like low-snag sights (dare I say Novak-like???) for less tan $300. Hmmm…

I’m not a fan of 2-speed (aka double action) auto pistols, but supposedly this is a clone of the CZ75 which can safely be carried cocked and locked. For less than $300 I think it’s worth a look so I ordered one today. I told my FFL but haven’t told my wife yet…

So what am I expecting? For $287.44 I’m expecting a duty sized clone of the CZ-75 – a kind of famous Soviet-block pistol in 9mm. The originals had a steel frame, but this clone has a poly frame which will be nice for carry use. Other than that, not expecting much but it will be fun to check it out. I have a range pack (350 rounds) of 9mm Blazer brass case, and it will be a lot of fun to see if it will digest all of it with no (or very few) malfunctions. The size means it’s more of a home defense gun, not a CCW, but they also sell a compact model for only $261.72. Wish I could afford both…

Check them out here…

Things I learned at my CCW class…

glock_xd_smTook my CCW class yesterday – finally:) It was more interesting than I thought it would be, here are some thoughts on the class in no particular order…

  1. You will learn enough in the CCW class to know what is legal or not when it comes to drawing or shooting your weapon. You WON’T learn enough to be a competent shooter or to survive a deadly force encounter. If you really want to CCW, getting the permit is only the first step. You MUST commit to training so you don’t kill an innocent bystander or get yourself killed.
  2. My gun handling skills suck. I’ve been shooting since I was 10 or so and figured I had the gun safety thing all figured out. Still is was hard for me to remember to take my finger out of the trigger guard every time it needed to be out of the trigger guard.
  3. I actually shot better than I thought I would. My first 15 shots were all within the 9 ring but fairly evenly patterned – more like a tight pattern than an actual group. After a bit of coaching the second 15 shots all went into a ragged 3 inch hole. Target was at 7 yards. I’m no Wyatt Earp, but now I know I can learn to shoot.
  4. With my body build it’s going to be tough finding a holster that’s comfortable and conceals well. Time to lose about 15 lbs…
  5. Some discussion came up about Glocks, and how they seem to have more negligent discharges than other pistols. This seems to be related to the fact that they have no safety other than the trigger safety, and if something (car keys, a worn out holster, etc) protrudes into the trigger guard, it WILL press the trigger and fire the gun. The instructor mentioned the Springfield XD is a (potentially) safer carry choice because it has a grip safety in addition to the trigger safety.
  6. Springfield XD’s are SERIOUSLY ugly. Our class was held at the local Scheels, so I checked them out while on break. They look like they were either designed by 4th graders or were a proof of concept that never got updated before going into production. Having “GRIP ZONE” molded into the grip??? Really??? How stupid do they think their intended market is? Plus, about $10 more than a Gen 4 Glock, $80 more than a Gen 3.
  7. After thinking about it, the “less safe” Glock might actually be safer for me. Knowing that the gun requires extra diligence to avoid shooting myself in the ass means I’ll be extra-extra careful. The “safer” XD would probably make me complacent, which is never a good idea with guns.
  8. The “reset feature” on the Glock trigger is very cool. After the instructor showed it to me, shot-to-shot was much faster AND my shooting was more accurate.
  9. I need a target stand. The range is too crowded, too formal, and too far to drive.
  10. I wish I could get a 22LR Glock to practice with. 10 cents per round is hella cheaper than 25 per round for 9mm.
  11.  I’d forgotten how much fun it is to shoot. Need to spend a lot more time shooting 🙂
  12. For now, I don’t think I’ll carry. Maybe after I get a lot more comfortable with the idea. I won’t mind not paying the $25 background check that I have to pay without the permit.

Related Link:

Glock vs Springfield XD

Guns in the Age of “Progressives”

glock vs springfield xdProgressives hate guns. Some might claim they don’t, but the vast majority of them do and they’re on the brink of electing a president – Hillary Clinton – who has promised repeatedly to appoint justices to the US Supreme Court who will overturn previous SCOTUS rulings that validate an individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Just in case that’s not bad enough, she wants an outright ban on so-called “assault weapons” even though they are used in less than 1% of gun crimes in the US. She wants gun manufacturers to be held liable for crimes committed by criminals who use a product that is legally manufactured by one of the most highly regulated industries in our country. She has supported a national sales tax of 25% on all gun purchases and onerous taxes on ammunition. She supports national gun registration, which has led to gun confiscation in just about every country that’s done it – most notably in Australia, a country whose gun laws Clinton has expressed admiration for.

If Mrs. Clinton is elected and is able to implement her anti-gun, anti-liberty agenda you have a few choices. One, you could just get rid of all your guns – not a good option in my opinion. Two, you could bury them in the back yard and hope the government never finds them. Another horrible option, because what good is having guns if you can’t use them. The third option as I see it is to switch to guns that don’t draw quite as much attention as an AR-15 or a Glock. This isn’t perfect either, but until enough gun owners (and others who value our Bill of Rights) pull their heads out of their butts and vote for pro liberty candidates, it’s all we’ve got. In fact, just voting isn’t enough – we’ve got to advocate for pro-liberty candidates, educate family and friends, and call out the “progressive” media and others on the left when they spread their lies – but that’s another blog post…

In the mean time, what kind of guns am I talking about? Well, guns like the ones you might have had as a kid. 22 rifles. Revolvers. Pump action or even single-shot rifles. Muzzle loaders.

Bishop – twice in two weeks – week two

The first trip was going to be the only trip, but after packing and cleaning for two days mom decided we needed to make one more trip before the estate sale. This trip was better and worse. The first time she griped about the way I drove, so this time I followed her down, and she stayed when I came back to Reno so I could set my own pace coming back. This time we left on a Saturday and I came back on Monday. Since the Monday was Robert’s first day back at school after Easter break, the kids stayed home this time. That was good and bad – since Mom was content to hang out at the motel (I guess she gets sad hanging at the house and getting ready to hand the keys over to someone else) I got to have a lot of alone time that I needed. OTOH, I missed the kids, and Robert got really upset Sunday morning when his mom was late getting home due to working 4 hours of overtime on her shift.

Unlike the first trip, I got to spend some time over at the lot. Very depressing looking at the two dry creeks. They ran continuously from at least 1975 when my parents bought the lot all the way through 2012. I’ve caught many fish in them, and since they had the bigger creek dug out it’s deep and wide enough to float in – if it had water. Now it’s just dry, with mud at the bottom every time it rains or DWP decides to let a little water down. Depressing.

Mom found some more things she wants to bring to Reno that wouldn’t fit in the back of my truck so in a few weeks I’ll be renting a U-Haul and making another trip. I also decided to get as many of Dad’s lave rocks while I’m there since I’ll have a big, almost empty truck.

I took my camera this time but didn’t bother to take any pictures. In some ways Bishop is the same as it’s always been, but in other ways it’s changed and for the worse in my opinion. Lots of areas I used to hunt, fish, fly rockets, ride my BMX bike, etc. are now fenced and posted “No Trespassing” even though the land is still empty. Hardly any local businesses left but more people. Down town is dead at night. It’s hard to believe that the year I graduated from high school, Bishop could support an 18 lane bowling alley, FOUR grocery stores, three hardware stores, Radio Shack, four or five sporting goods stores, a Baskin Robbins, four or five liquor stores, three bars, and lots of other small businesses. Now the bowling ally is closed and used as a warehouse, there are NO liquor stores, Basking Robbins is gone, no more hardware stores, no Radio Shack, only one bar, two grocery stores, and lots of the little gift shops and whatnot are closed. The ironic thing is the population is 10 or 15% higher than it was when I lived there – more people supporting fewer local business.

I hope the next trip is a little happier.

Bishop – Twice in two weeks – week one

I was lucky enough to go to Bishop twice in two weeks. Both were quick trips though and bittersweet. The first trip was to help my mom get ready for her estate sale. Drove down on a Saturday and back on Monday, me and my two kids in my truck and mom in her car. We didn’t have time to do much except pack and clean. Staying in a motel in my own town sucks, but at least they had a good breakfast bar. I feel sorry for my mom. She used to be so… I don’t want to say “smart” because she’s still smart, but now she gets confused easily, “remembers” things that were not the way she remembers them, says something then forgets she said it, and she takes EVERYTHING so seriously now. Like a joking comment by me on my need to lose a few points getting a half hour dissertation on the importance of proper nutrition, what I “really to do,” etc. Since I didn’t like hanging out at the motel I spent as much time as I could at the house. It was kind of sad, realizing it’s probably one of the last times I’ll get to be there.

On the plus side, I think my 10 year old really enjoyed being there. His older brother is finally getting over his need to constantly be present so me and Robert got to spend some time alone together. He has a pretty funny sense of humor – when I said one of the nice things about Bishop is there are no bad guys, right away he piped up with “So what do they do, pay the police to sit around and do nothing?” then spent the next half hour making up jokes about cops in a practically crime-free town. I got a kick out of it.

Like I said though, it was a very bittersweet experience. The creeks at the lot still don’t have water for the third or forth year in a row. Almost all the stuff mom is keeping is already in Reno, everything left in Bishop will be sold at the estate sale and what doesn’t sell will be donated to a local charity. Dad’s beautiful grape arbor will stay in the back yard.

I wish there was a way I could find a job and move to Bishop. I love it there – the slow pace of life, the wide open spaces, friendly people (but not “fake friendly” like in a big, liberal city), and the way you can get just about anywhere in 10 minutes or less. Oh, and the lack of bad guys…

Porter Cable PCE141 – First Impressions


I bought my Porter Cable PCE141 based on two things: low price and a large number of positive reviews. My main concern was – how can such a cheap drill offer “hammer” capability and be even somewhat reliable? The positive online reviews (and very few negative reviews, 3 year warranty, etc) kind of eased my worries so I decided to give it a chance. Besides, I wasn’t even buying it to drill holes with… I needed something that would spin a wire brush fast enough to clean the rust from cast iron frying pans without wasting a lot of time. To do that I wanted at least 2500 rpm and a side grip. It turns out the PCE141 is the only affordable drill I could find that meets those specs.

First impressions are that it seems light, balances really nice, and is easy to hold. PC calls it single speed, but I guess that refers to the hammer function because drilling speed is definitely variable – the more you pull the trigger, the faster the motor spins. I like the keyed chuck since it gives way better holding power than any keyless chuck, and the side handle is easy to adjust and gives a lot of stability. I just wish it wasn’t made out of plastic.

On the down side, the chuck has noticeable runout when spinning, the electrical cord has a 2-prong plug instead of a properly grounded 3-prong plug, and the motor is freakin’ LOUD – not exactly confidence inspiring. It does have a 3 year warranty though, so we’ll see…

Making lemonade

There is a saying that when life gives you lemons, make lemonaid. So today, life gave me lemons so I’m making lemonade.

I’m taking vacation this week, and I had big plans… lots of stuff I want to do around the house and more important I wanted to get our rental property ready to go after a bad tenant trashed it and skipped out owing us two months rent. So, today I wake up to a foot of snow on the ground. Yesterday the high was 67. Go figure. On top of that, the property manager we had an appointment with this morning didn’t show up, I guess because of the snow. Go figure, more lemons I guess.

So… no yard work because the yard is covered in snow. No work on the rental because the heat is turned off and it’s fricken COLD. No clean up in my garage because, well, it’s fricken cold. Heck, I can’t even drive out in the desert and spend a few relaxing hours looking for cool stuff – because all the cool stuff is covered with snow.

Then I remembered – I have 4 old cast iron frying pans that are covered in rust and gunk. I vaguely remember reading about how to restore cast iron pans using the self cleaning cycle on a gas oven. A quick Google search and I find a web site that explains how to do it. Verify that my oven does indeed have the self cleaning feature, put in two pans, close the door, press the write button, and… I’m making lemonade.

In a few hours I should have a couple of (mostly) rust free cast iron frying pans. A little clean up work and some seasoning and they’ll be ready to use. The lemonade part is that it’s cold, so running the self cleaning cycle on the oven is making the house nice and warm. All in all, what could have been a wasted day is turning out to be a pretty good day.

Moral of the story is, when life gives you lemons, don’t waste your time and energy complaining, use your time and energy for making lemonade.