26 January 2010

New Idea for a powder dispenser.....

So I was laying in bed and not sleeping, and began pondering the art of reloading...

Normal men would find such a mundane chore infinitely boring and fall fast asleep. I began designing a powder measuring device based on volumetric fill by using spent brass....

Accuracy is best maintained by loading bullets with a charge that delivers similar results to a slightly higher and lower charges. Usually this "sweet spot" will be over 90% case fill. Using a spent brass as a dipper seemed like a smart way to automatically get that proper measurement. Simply braze or solder a wire handle on it and use like you would a "Lee Dipper".

Now the human hand isn't a precise movement, so in order to increase precision I figured, why not attach the new dipper to an axle? One side of the axle will have a weighted string around a rim and the other end a tensioning device to adjust speed of the dip. And if the powder bowl happened to resemble a capped half pipe, so much the better....

It seems like a good weekend project to make something that does exactly what I do already, but in a cool "homemade" bells and whistles sort of way. Remember kids, all that metal and powder moving together can build up static charge, so remember to build in a grounding system.

24 January 2010

Slaughter vs. Butcher

1 : the act of killing; specifically : the butchering of livestock for market. 2 : killing of great numbers of human beings (as in battle or a massacre)

1 a : a person who slaughters animals or dresses their flesh b : a dealer in meat
2 : one that kills ruthlessly or brutally 3 : one that bungles or botches

On my mother's side there is a long line of butchers. To not pull punches there has also been a long line of drinking problems as well. My Grandfather told me "stay out of the beer halls" when I joined the Army. It was good advice, and if you happen to know anyone joining the military, pass that bit of wisdom on to them. Soldiers get in trouble for three things; money, drugs/alcohol, and women.

Yesterday my father and I slaughtered a goat. I looked up the definitions because I wasn't sure if it was "butchered a goat" but that would bring up thoughts of screwing up the job of slaughtering the goat. My experience with this kill was much better than my last, I used a 1911 at close range to the back of the skull. One shot caused the flop and twitch. A second shot for insurance may not have been needed, but it made me feel better about ensuring a painless kill.

First off, I'm proud of myself for not vomiting. I have been involved several times in the butchering (as in dressing the meat) of already dressed and skinned carcases. The job of trimming meat out of the bone, fat, and sinew isn't difficult or distressing. The beginning part of the process, turning a living animal into a dead animal, removing the guts and skin, that was the part where I was in danger of losing my rather light lunch. I guess the job could get easier with time, the more you do the harder you get, but I think it is always harder to kill a domestic animal than a wild animal.

Deer are a prey animal where being hunted is a part of their life. Somehow the simple relationship between hunter and hunted is easier on me than the more complex relationship between farmer and livestock.

I am glad that I've finally completed the circle of turning an animal into food. It's a skill that when you need to have it, you need to have it. And experience is something you want to have before you need it.

17 January 2010

Blackberry woe

The .gov issue blackberry does fine for email, until today when that application froze, not allowing me access my inbox.

I've tried the whole "turn off, then on" thing. Might need to do a hard reboot....

On a more positive note, I've got 99 sized, trimmed, primed and deburred 5.56 brass ready to receive powder and bullet....

15 January 2010

Ubuntu 9.04 upgrade

I backed up my files and clicked the button to upgrade Ubuntu 8.10 to 9.04.

Once again the only manual device configuration was the atheros wireless card.

Pretty nifty when an OS upgrade works so smoothly.

14 January 2010

Cooling, Warming, Climate Change

40 years ago it was "Global Cooling"

15 years ago it was "Global Warming"

Now it is "Climate Change"

I'm betting the next thing people will be protesting is "Climate Stagnation".

Just for the record, I think I'm ahead of the curve on this one....


My time this week has been eaten up by a memorial service for a soldier who died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

We rehearsed the ceremony on the two days leading up to it, and twice on the day of, but there was no way to stop the emotions that come when the family sat there in front of us.

I knew the kid, we had served together for almost a year. I never suspected that he harbored any suicidal tendencies, and the pathology report may yet confirm that this was an accidental death.

Behind the scenes there was drama on how to honor a soldier who died of an apparent suicide. Guidance from echelons above reality is that we will honor all our dead in the same manner. At the unit level there are those who feel that honoring those who die by their own hand cheapens the memory of those who die in combat.

The soldier packed his gear to deploy. He tried to deploy every month, and the doctors wouldn't clear him to go for a skin condition he had. It was just after being told "no" by the docs for the sixth time that he died.

How do you honor someone who tried three times to join the Army, asked for the Infantry, and tried month after month to join his unit at war before becoming so discouraged that he chose to take his own life?

We did our best.

Different cultures treat suicide in totally different ways. Japanese ritual suicide is seen as honorable while Catholic Dogma treats it as a mortal sin. A fellow officer described suicide as "selfish and cowardly". I can't think that a soldier who was stuck in the rear detachment where his job was to push soldiers forward or out of the Army could only demoralize him as he tried each month to get on the plane to go to the big sandbox.

In the end he got out of the Army on his own terms. Maybe he preserved some personal honor by refusing to be medically separated. I hope so.

10 January 2010

Mauser Flag Safety Breakage

An anvil might be more reliable than an M98, but nothing is indestructible. The photo taken by iPhone isn't the greatest, but the problem started at manufacture time. The break shows evidence of improper heat treating in very large granular structure in the steel with corrosion on half the break.

The safety came from a Yugo remarked late war manufacture k98. Not bad for rifle manufactured over sixty years ago. The break happened during rapid action cycling.

09 January 2010

Smartphones and Mausers

My life is not very exciting right now, but I get to carry around a government provided Blackberry...

Which is the equivalent of having a little electronic leash chaining me to my job.

And comparing a Blackberry 8330 to an iPhone? No comparison. I've been told that the newer versions of the Blackberry are better, but for now the iPhone pretty much wins hands down. Have heard good things about the Droid, but no personal experience.

Picked up a Ramline synthetic stock for a large ring Mauser at Cabelas on sale. Fitted a Yugo scrubbed K98 to it and only lacking a Bsquare scout mount and LER scope to have a nice lightweight hunting rifle for those long trips through the hills.

04 January 2010

Women are better shoppers than men....

My wife contacted the Target general manager, her name was Terry and she sold us the floor model.

The floor model is working perfectly.

On a side note my Mother also contacted Target Corporate and was put in touch with Terry.

What can I say, an Airborne Ranger can't buy the stereo he wants, but Lord help those that stand in the way of the women in my life.

03 January 2010

Target customer service FAIL

I don't have a "home theater".

I have a 32" LCD TV that displays up to 720P and that is more than good enough for me. That TV has a computer hooked up to it and various game systems. One of the cool features on my old microcomponent shelf system was the two "auxiliary inputs" in the back (old RCA jack style) that allowed me to route my stereo out from the TV into the stereo system to get full sound.

My wife wanted to upgrade to a stereo with MP3 capability so that she wouldn't have to change out CD's all the time with the rug rat running underfoot (the proper place for rugrats, just ask them).

Finding a stereo system with both MP3 capabilities and auxiliary inputs is kind of a challenge, after finding two models at Target by RCA that had those features I gleefully paid my moneys and took it home.

I opened it up only to find that the "product and features may vary by store" clause meant that the model in the box lacked the auxiliary inputs of the model on the shelf. Hell, even the model features listed on the website list auxiliary inputs http://www.target.com/Micro-Stereo-System-iPod-Dock/dp/B0013VHCHE/ref=br_1_17?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=1&searchView=grid5&searchNodeID=10222851&node=10222851&searchRank=salesrank&searchPage=1&searchSize=30&id=Micro%20Stereo%20System%20iPod%20Dock

Call me crazy, but I returned the one that didn't meet my needs, fully expecting to be able to get the one that DID meet my needs, even if it was a floor model. The clerk wouldn't sell it to me, the Electronics Section manager wouldn't sell it to me, and I called Target's guest relations to find out how to get the flipping product that I want and the only thing they could say is that it was up to the store manager to decide whether or not to sell it to me.

That is a customer service fail.

02 January 2010

Contacted Larry

I was feeling guilty for playing around in Larry Correia's MHI world without his permission. So I did what any good fanboy would do, contacted Larry and got his "it's all cool" permission to run amuck through the world of MHI.

Well, not in so many words, but Larry does encourage fanfiction.

On other notes, I've placed orders with Numrich and Sarco for Mauser parts. Any wagers on who gets the parts to me first?