31 May 2010

PRK

Tomorrow morning I will have my corneas reshaped by a frickin laser beam.

What was science fiction a generation ago has become a routine outpatient procedure.

Technology rocks.

28 May 2010

Memorial Day

There is an old story, it goes this way.

After a long four day firefight in Vietnam the choppers came in to pick up the dead. A Major and a Sergeant Major took the first flight in, and the Major went up and down the rows of dead soldiers looking at dog tags.

"Only18, so young" the Major lamented. He continued. "Only 20, only 19" He turned to the Sergeant Major, "They are all so young."

The Sergeant Major replied. "They are dead sir, it doesn't get any older than that."


It is a morbid little story about the value of life, the disconnect of senior officers from the reality of combat, and the grim resignation of enlisted men.

But this Memorial day it is time to remember those who will not get any older.

Erin McLyman
Todd Selge
Jordan Shay

26 May 2010

Brass prep

I came across some once fired Lake City 7.62x51 brass and I've been prepping it for reloading.

Tumble for a bit to clean off the crud, anneal to soften the neck, lubricate, run through the full length resizing die, remove the primer crimp, trim to length, and deburr.

It is a pretty long process from start to finish. Once I get a tumblers worth of brass through the annealing part I quit for the night. The next couple of nights I will finish off that batch. For what it's worth a tumblers worth is somewhere shy of 150 cases.

Tonight I finished annealing the second batch of brass. So tomorrow night if all goes well I'll add another fifty rounds of completely prepped brass to to current pile.

25 May 2010

Return

When a soldier returns from a deployment there are some adjustments to be made.

I've been talking with other soldiers who have come home and it is tough getting used to the wife and kids again. Sure you love them, but you haven't had to deal with everything for a while.

I thought being home would be relaxing, but it is not. It is just a different set of stimuli.

22 May 2010

Fun show

The Centralia gun show was hopping for the brief time I was there this morning.

I'll probably bring another gun and a couple hundred rounds of 8x57 since all my 7.62x54r went today.

19 May 2010

Educated Redneck

Having met Mr. Huffman I can say that he is a highly intelligent and educated man who would be completely at home at a demolition derby.

The first time I was called "an educated redneck" was at Ranger school. Having grown up out in the sticks I picked up all the usual tricks, sharpening knives and tools (although I've never really got the knack of hand sharpening a wood saw), operating heavy equipment (tractor, bulldozer, forklift), and the usual sort of farm work. I really was a Boy Scout once upon a time.

None of that stopped me from going to college, and it has helped me immensely in my military career.

You know who else could be described as an "educated redneck"? Most of the founding fathers. George Washington was a farmer. Very few of our founding fathers were "urban elite".

So tyrants beware, there are still "educated rednecks" who cherish liberty living among us. Lord Baden-Powell lamented the decline in the fitness of British youth to military service over a hundred years ago and started the Boy Scouts to help correct the deficiency. Redneck boys simply call it "recreation".

17 May 2010

Appleseed

I took advantage of "local" Appleseed event and came away a better trained shooter.

This is mainly because I've never been to a shooting clinic where the sling was emphasized. When I went through basic training (twelve years ago) we were told not to use the sling. When I went through SDM training with the AMU we were shown how to use a hasty sling, but never used a hasty sling. We used a bipod instead, which is much easier to use.

Appleseed is not a long range rifle clinic, it is not an advanced rifle clinic. You won't learn how to read the wind or calculate your dope.

Appleseed is a basic rifle marksmanship course that emphasizes sling use. It is well worth it to attend an Appleseed clinic. You'll get better marksmanship instruction than I received in basic training.

12 May 2010

Worlds apart

I think that the "ATF" should be a convenience store. The VPC thinks that the ATF is way to lenient.

c Federal law requires that any firearm proposed to be imported into the United States havea “sporting purpose” (with exceptions for police or military use). However, the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms is notoriously lax in its administration of this requirement and has clearlyallowed the import of military sniper rifles under other names.

And the VPC thinks that the ATF is "notoriously lax in it's enforcement".

In short, a sniper rifle by any other name is still as deadly. A sniper rifle is bestrecognized by how it is made and what it is capable of doing—whether it is “purposedesigned”and “purpose-built” for sniping. This firearm is set apart from others notprincipally by language, but by its exceptional accuracy, range, and power.

This subject is near and dear to my heart because there are no classification of firearms that are not powerful. The Israeli's used the lowly 10/22 as a "sniper rifle" for very specific missions. The Remington 700 was not purpose designed by Remington to be a sniper rifle, the Marine Corps CHOSE the 700 action when they spec'd what they wanted for their sniper rifle from the best available components of the era.

Here is what the VPC has to say: As an example, we know the Marine Corps M40 rifle,developed for the Marines during the Vietnam War by Remington Arms,was not originally intended to be a SWAT or varmint (animal type) rifle.However, it was soon brought out as the “Varmint Special” and later the“Police Sniper Special” or PSS. Today’s current police model is labeled the Remington 700P. Somehow they forget that the Remington 700 was originally designed to kill animals, and that humans ARE an animal.

The base assumption that the VPC has is this, there are "evil" guns meant solely for killing people, and then there are "not so evil" guns (like the 30-30 carbine) which nobody in their right mind would use on elk or big bear.

The idiots forget one simple truth. In US history we have never had a firearm specifically designed as a sniper rifle for the US Army. The M107 was first a civilian sporting arm, the Rem700 was first a civilian sporting arm, the Winchester M70 was first a civilian sporting arm, the M110 (aka SR25) was first a civilian sporting arm, even our in house sniper rifles such as the M21 and M25 (based on the M14 platform) were using National Match civilian parts.

Without a civilian shooting community WE WOULDN'T have a real military sniping community.

Remember, when someone starts talking about "evil guns" that need to be banned, it is just an attempt to divide and conquer. As Col Townsend Whelen said a century ago, "Only accurate rifles are interesting".

And the VPC is only interested in making all guns illegal.

11 May 2010

Tattoo

Been thinking about getting a tattoo.

Crossed muskets and Molon Labe?

Lightning bolt?

Suggestions?

09 May 2010

Compost

Composting is just allowing organic matter to rot. My wife bought two different models of composting bins. One is a bin style, the other is a tumbler style that we loaded with it's first load of grass clippings and moss today.

I truly believe in lazy composting, basically pile it on and let it rot. However, sometimes a good turning is in order to break up the clumps and redistribute fuel from the outside in.

Turned the bin, wetted it down with the hose to bring the moisture content back up. Getting a good mix between well rotted and dry material will speed up the finished product.

Gotta start saving hair to add more nitrogen and sulfur to the compost pile.

Hero/anti Hero/Villain

A hero is someone who did the right thing when the need arose.

I've worked with real heroes, and each one of them describes it as "doing what they were trained to do" or "I didn't think". Adversity is where character shines.

This is why the Army has invested so much time and effort into the "Seven Army Values".

Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

Without a moral background there is no hope of heroes rising to the occasion.

When there is nothing more important than the self, then self preservation is the highest priority. When there is something more important than the self, then even death is an acceptable price to pay.

Possibly the most noble of all human emotions is the love and comradeship that forges men and women to the cause of freedom.

In our culture the "anti Hero" has become a cultural icon. The lone cowboy, the good assassin, the criminal who does good, Snake Pliskin. Heck the "Jack Reacher" novels are a good example. The only problem with this is that anti heroes are just not believable. No one is so disconnected from humanity that they take up the cause of the downtrodden.

On the other hand, a villain is a much murkier character. A gangster can be greedy but also kind, a doctor can ease suffering but also be abusive to his family. The mixture of good and bad qualities makes believable villains. But you can count on a villain to do what they think is in their own best interest.

08 May 2010

Sharp Shooter Supply trigger

I installed a Sharp Shooter Supply trigger on my "new" 300 Win Mag.

Much better than the stock trigger in terms of safety at low pull weights, and offers pretty much the same adjustable features as the Timney trigger I used on my last "sniper" rifle.

The Timney was easier to install, the SSS trigger has more travel (which is a good thing for some shooters). The SSS trigger can be adjusted down to break like a glass rod, but I left maximum engagement (which equates to most trigger travel) for safety.

I like the simplicity of the Timney, but I like the the feel of the SSS just as good.

Bottom line up front? Between Timney and SSS buy the one you can get for cheaper.

07 May 2010

CPL Craig Harrison's Record Breaking Shot

There has been a lot of internet buzz about the long shots in Afghanistan by CPL Harrison of the British Army.

My analysis is as follows.

2,474 meters between shooter and target.

338 Lapua. 3,071 fps, 250 gr Lapua Lockbase with a 0.662 G1 BC.

Scope, Schmidt and Bender PMII 5-25x56. The only specs I could find list 56 MOA of "up" available from zero on a two turn model (there are different versions, single turn, double turn, moa/milrad adjustments) but 56 MOA is what I am assuming CPL Harrison had available to him through the optic.

Reported holdover of "about six feet" which is equal to about 2.5~3.0 MOA.

Assumed elevation of about 5,000 feet.

If CPL Harrison maxed out his scope to bottom, and then held an additional 3 MOA over the target, that gives him a drop of 59 MOA. Which is equal to about 1,750 meters of straight level distance with that particular 338 Lapua load.

This means that CPL Harrison had to be shooting at about a 45 degree angle. When calculating the dope for a shot at an angle, you multiply the distance by the cosign of the angle. 2,474 times cos45 = 1749.

A 45 degree angle has equal horizontal and vertical components, which means that CPL Harrison was not only just over a mile away from his target, but a mile above his target, giving a straight line distance of 1.54 miles.

NOW, this is simply my analysis based on what I do know, plus one assumption based on equipment and one assumption based on elevation. I have no real clue what the real world conditions were, and this should not be taken for gospel.

But any way you slice it, that was some amazing shooting. Way to go CPL Harrison.

300 Winchester Magnum

I recently purchased a used 300 Win Mag "target" rifle.

You know how to tell a "target" rifle from a "sniper" rifle? The paint job. The "target" rifle I bought has a stainless steel barrel and shiny laminate wood stock. A few cans of krylon and it will make Nanny Nancy soak her panties and Bitch Boy Bloomberg go into full PSH mode.

I'm debating whether to slap a 2.5-10x42 IOR that I have on top, or get a 4-16x50 or 6-24x50 Vortex.

05 May 2010

Potential

Guns are a polarizing issue only because people do not trust other people. Nothing is inherently wrong with not trusting other people until you decide that your lack of trust needs to infringe on the rights of other people. For the children of course.

I was reading through guidelines to determine if a child was in danger. Listed were a lot of common sense things, such as "cleanliness" and "broken glass on the floor". But also listed was "loaded gun in the house".

WTF? I asked myself. It wasn't "loaded gun where a child could get it" or "loaded gun not in a safe or security cabinet" it was simply "loaded gun".

As if having a loaded gun in my car would somehow be inherently more safe?

Note to liberal busybodies everywhere, children are still seven times more likely to drown in a family swimming pool and three times more likely to die falling down the stairs than be accidently shot. But are "swimming pools" or "stairs in the home" listed under "environmental hazards" on the checklist of child neglect? No.

Why do people have guns? For sport and recreation. Why do people have swimming pools? For sport and recreation.

Clearly we need to get rid of swimming pools. For the children. Think of the added "green" bonus in reduced water and chemical useage.

Act now, contact your congressperson to close the dangerous residential pool loophole.

03 May 2010

Sanding

I've been getting back into gun tinkering, this time doing some stock work.

A well fitted stock is a joy to use. I can't wait till the bottom metal pieces show up to finish the Savage Mk1.

02 May 2010

Illegal Activity

Pro-illegal demonstrators conduct illegal activity...

Heh, they worry about us having guns because they lack self control. People with guns and no self control are already in prison, or on their way.

Military Theme Music

Army
Rangers, "A Walk Through Hell" by Say Anything
Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, "Ridin' Dirty" by Chamillionaire
Heavy (Mechanized) Brigade Combat Teams, "Heavy Metal Thunder" by Saxon
82nd Airborne Division, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls
Field Artillery "Boom Boom Pow" By the Black Eyed Peas
Transportation Corps, "Locomotive Breath" by Jethro Tull
Chemical Corps, "That Smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Special Forces, "Nowhere Man" by The Beatles

Non Branch Specific
EOD "Cars that go BOOM" by L'trimm
Snipers "Click Click Boom" by Saliva
JAG "I fought the Law" Green Day version

Air Force "Fly Away" By Lenny Kravitz

Navy,
Surface Warfare "In the Navy" by the Village People and "I'm on a Boat" by The Lonely Island w/ T.Pain
USMC, "Hit the Beach" by The Swingers
SEALS, "Into the Ocean" by Blue October

Anybody else have some theme songs in mind?

01 May 2010

Survival

The more I think about forming local political groups to deal with a survival situation the more sense it makes.

Sure I could hole up and kill people who try to take my beans and rice, but it would be much more beneficial to me to work in a farming community on a barter system. There is strength in numbers, and a local community with access to water and soil can become pretty much self sustaining. Not a whole lot of excess for a while, but at least not hunter gatherer levels of starvation.