Thursday, September 29, 2016

Musings of a Formerly Cigarette Smoking Woman

From a thread discussing new media gun and gear reviews that morphed into a gun media thread in general...
If I get asked "So, what do you think of the Blastomatic 2000?" when I'm only three or four hundred rounds into my time with the gun, I get cranky.

Some things are easy to form an opinion of pretty quick: "The sights on this gun blow goats and whoever thought they were a good idea needs to die in a crotch fire."

Others take at least a little bit of familiarity: "This magazine release works great if you run it with your trigger finger, but that takes some getting used to."

And still others might require a largish data set to suss out: "Every single malfunction this gun had over the last 3,200 rounds was with standard-velocity 115gr JHPs using Sierra bullets."
Someone wrote that they feel like they know their gun well enough to review it after firing 50k rounds through it...
While I appreciate that level of dedication, I'm usually feeling pretty comfortable with my opinions on an individual gun after a case or two of ammo and a couple months of dry practice and poking around in the innards.

Speaking of which, a good class where you shoot five hundred or a thousand in various drills, from the leather, sometimes on the move, at differing ranges and types of targets, will tell an observant user a lot more about the gun than 2,000 rounds standing flat-footed on Joe Youtuber's backyard plinkin' range.

EDIT: And if at all possible, let other people shoot the damn thing! Recruit 5'2" friends and 6'7" friends and novice friends and your USPSA B-class buddy...get feedback from folks with differing grip strngths and hand sizes and skill levels.
There's a difference between a long-term test, a review, and some initial impressions. Some people have a hard time making that distinction. "Here's a review of the gun I got to fam-fire at a manufacturer's dog & pony show" is not a review, while "2,000 rounds through the Blastomatic in a month and a half" is not a long-term (or torture) test.

Oh, and my pet peeve crops up:
My personal pet peeve is the little ammo manufacturers or distributors who reach out to bloggers/YouTubers/whatever by email and ask "We'd like you to evaluate our ammo and do a review of it on your site. We're not asking for a favorable review, just an honest writeup. We're willing to send you a box of..."

I'm tempted to print these out for the added tactile satisfaction of balling them up and tossing them in the trash can when I get to that line. It would be so much more rewarding than just clicking "delete".
Seriously. The idea that you can "review" ammo with a box or two is silly. Further, if it doesn't involve chrono data and shooting benched groups (and, in the case of defense-oriented ammo, terminal ballistics testing against some consistent standard) then it's not a review, it's just "initial impressions". I appreciate that some companies want to get their name out there and that some people are willing to do it for a box of BBs, but it's just tawdry...

On the O.G. Dead Tree industry back in the day versus Digital Intertubecasts & Bloggery today:
I will say that the barrier for entry is oddly both lower and higher now.

Lower, since you don't have to even convince an editor or publisher that you have the faintest clue what you're talking about; you just need to be able to set up a WordPress site, FaceBook page, or YouTube channel and spread your links around. If you get the eyeballs coming, desperate vendors will start sleazing up to you via email with enticing offers of free stuff. And some New Media types don't look at this free stuff and think "You know, I'd throw that away if it fell out of a gumball machine I hadn't put a quarter in." At least someone writing for another entity can claim they were doing it for a paycheck and not for a free $10 Chinese pocket knife.

Higher, because you have to get the eyeballs, and a lot of savvier industry entities are a whole lot more gun-shy of raw FaceBook likes, pageviews, or Instagram followers, since all that stuff is easy to game for the unscrupulous. Some now have their own social media people to counsel them on how much reach and buzz a person generates. This has no correlation, positive or negative, with the person's actual level of clue; just how much exposure they can give the manufacturer's product. 

Critical Defense and Critical Duty

Got to see Hornady's 135gr +P Critical Duty fired into ballistic gel while we were out at FTW Ranch...

The +P stuff did dandy out of a small auto, even through the panoply of barriers dictated by the FBI's ammunition testing protocol.

Penetration was 12"-14" across the board. No jackets stripped off by sheet metal or auto glass.

It was my first chance to see the .44 Special 165gr FTX bullet fired into anything more scientific than a water tank, too. Through denim, shirt, & tee shirt, the bullet expanded just dandily...

 ...but the penetration was less impressive. Intellectually, I was prepared for this, since the bullet has the sectional density of a dime, but it was still a little sad-making to see with my eyes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Will we have an endless surge/drawdown/surge cycle?

Gun School Thoughts...

D.W. Drang of The Clue Meter went to a MAG-40 class this summer. He's written a post sharing some of what he learned and why you might want to look into going yourself.

Apparently we are all entitled to our own facts.

Tonight at 8PM...

...on the Outdoor Channel, Michael Bane's Best Defense show will be airing a special on mass casualty attacks that looks to be interesting from the previews.

Same Planet, Different Worlds...

So, as half the planet knows by now, Glenn Reynolds got his Twitter account briefly yanked for this tweet the other day:

In one parallel universe, it's a cold-blooded exhortation to run over people peacefully protesting the cold-blooded, racist extrajudicial murder of an innocent man armed only with a book.

In the other parallel universe, Glenn was blurting out what to do when bonfire-setting, truck-looting rioters were blocking the interstate ahead of you and converging on you and your loved ones in your car.

In that first universe, George Zimmerman chased down and shot an innocent teenager while playing wannabe cop, Michael Brown was gunned down like a dog in the middle of the street while his hands were raised in surrender, and Alton Sterling was murdered for selling CDs.

In that universe, people who've never been punched in the nose and wouldn't know use-of-force policy from a hole in the ground sit in cool judgment of actions taken under pressure in the blink of an eye while discounting any physical evidence that doesn't fit their narrative.

The problem is plainly obvious to anybody with two functioning brain cells to rub together, but I have no clue what the answer is, here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Overheard in Front of the TV Last Night...

One or another of the candidates is talking over the moderator, again...
RX: "Lester Holt needs switches."

Me: "Damn skippy. I'd cut them for him myself and bring him fresh ones when they broke."

RX: "I meant microphone switches."

Me: "I meant letting him hit the candidates with a stick. Imagine how much people would pay to watch that shit on Pay-Per-View. You could pay down the national debt."

Tale of the Tape...

So, CapArms had sent me some ammo for evaluation purposes. Five hundred rounds of their 9mm 147gr RNCB Match/Target ammo packed loose and a hundred rounds of their 147gr XTP Duty/Carry load in the retail 20-round blister packs.

I ran three hundred and some-odd through the Glock 17 at the Citizens Defense Research class in Ohio with no malfunctions. When I got home, I put the remainder of the Match/Target ammo, save fifty, through the Gen3 G19 during a range trip before leaving for Texas. There were no malfunctions on that outing, either.

The remaining fifty were saved for the purpose of chrono testing and shooting some benched groups. To that end, I went to MCF&G and set up the chrono yesterday morning...

The first shot of the day, shooting off the bench, was the very first shot through the brand-new P320C, and a reminder about what powder-puff match loads require:

With the loose grip on the benched pistol, the first round failed to eject properly. The remaining nine, with a firmer grip on the gun, dribbled out of the ejection port, with most of the rounds landing on the table by my elbows.

The consistency was outstanding. Frankly, most small ammo companies don't have outstanding consistency in the velocity of their loads. I've seen multiple lots of Nosler Match, for example, turn in velocity spreads that looked more like East Bloc steel-cased fodder. Generally, for consistency in factory ammo you wanted Hornady, or premium ammo from Federal or Speer.

The numbers on the CapArms Match/Target, however...
LO: 814.7
HI: 839.3
AV: 826.5
ES: 24.68
SD: 7.74
And as good as the ball ammo was, the Duty/Carry XTP hollowpoints turned in an even better performance:
LO: 896.2
HI: 914.2
AV: 905.4
ES: 18.00
SD: 5.74
Ejection was firm and consistent, dropping all the brass neatly over the shooter's right shoulder.

The only downside to these is that the XTP bullet is a little behind the state of the art and not as insensitive to intermediate barriers or heavy clothing as more modern designs like the HST or Hornady's newer Critical Duty.

While there, I also chrono'ed a string of 230gr Federal HST through the Hipster Bulldog Glock 39:
LO: 842.3
HI: 867.0
AV: 854.7
ES: 24.73
SD: 8.88
So that's a 30 foot-per-second drop in velocity moving from the full-size Glock 37 and its 4.48" barrel to the stubby 3.42" tube of the little Glock 39. Jello testing to follow...

As usual...

...we are very late in throwing the official VFTP endorsement in Kilted to Kick Cancer month to a worthy underdog. Go support Team Guns & Coffee for that warm, plucky-underdog-supporting glow.

If you're in it for a chance to win some swag while kicking cancer's ass, Team Dragon (if KTKC had dynasties, they'd be one) has gone out and gotten some of Dennis's excellent holsters autographed by some luminaries:
"For every $10 donated you get one entry towards a holster that you want to try to win. Multiples of $10 can all go to one rig, or be split out among several. The holsters are my signature line of Valkyrie paddle rigs, as follows:

Tanburst, 1911 5", autographed by Dean Cain (actor who played Superman in the 1990's TV show Lois and Clark.)

Tanburst, 1911 5", autographed by Jesse James of Monster Garage and West Coast Choppers fame.

Greenburst with lime gren Ostrich Skin and embossed with the MHI logo, autographed by Larry Corriea.

Greenburst with green Kangaroo skin ALONG WITH Mahogany-trimmed Saddle Brown Crocodile skin, autographed by the Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent. He signed TWO!

Folks can see the holsters on my website here:

At the bottom of said page is a link to the KtKC donation page, with instructions on how to forward they PayPal receipt to me so I can enter them in a drawing."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Missed Opportunity...

Hillary went on at length about the dangers of state-sponsored cyber-encroachment on our nation's computer infrastructure and how it was a bad thing...

...and Trump did not immediately lead off his rebuttal with "Well, maybe if we didn't keep our vital national security servers in our bathrooms at home..."

Seriously, that was a hanging curve ball belt-high across the plate and he didn't swing at it. Mediocre!

False Start.

So, before the FTW Ranch trip, I tried to get a start on putting the Glock 39 through the whole 2,000 round rigamarole. The gun seemed pretty clean, with only the soot from the first fifty rounds I'd fired in it. I put a new recoil spring assembly in the gun prophylactically, added a drop of Lucas Oil to all the factory-specified lube points, and went to the range with fifty rounds of S&B 230gr FMJ and fifty of Speer Lawman 185gr FMJ.

Something was definitely off. The gun experienced one failure-to-feed and three failures to fire, the latter all showing a light, off-center primer strike. Normally this would be the sign of an extremely filthy gun with an old recoil spring, but the gun was clean and sported a brand new RSA. Another possibility would be a too-tight extractor, so I scrubbed the area between the claw and the breechface with a toothbrush and then checked extractor travel and tension. It looked good.

I went back the next day with a hundred rounds of the Sellier & Bellot and experienced ten of the light, off-center FTFs over the course of the range session: One round in ten. Something was definitely wrong.

I PM'ed a Facebook friend who works at Glock and asked for some suggestions. In addition to the Armorer's Manual suggestions of "Clean Gun, Replace Recoil Spring", he noted that I might want to detail strip the slide and make sure everything looked good in there, and try a different trigger bar as well.

I just so happened to have the complete trigger assembly from my Glock 37 handy, since it was currently sporting a ZEV trigger, so I tore the little 39 down to have a look inside and swap the trigger while I was in there.
The tar-like sludge in the striker channel can't be helping. Did the previous owner not know to not lube that shit?
Me: "Jesus, all the small parts are tacky...the slide lock, the firing pin safety, the striker spring...feel like they've been lubricated with the Pepsi and popcorn butter from a theater floor. I mean, look at this trigger bar... Here's the trigger bar that came out of my G37 after the 2,000 round test. It's kinda gray and sooty, but it hasn't been cleaned. Now here's the trigger bar from the G39. It's covered in a sticky layer of black cack, and I guarantee it hasn't fired no 2,000 rounds. It's like the gun's been lubricated with..."

RX: "Crisco. Congealed vegetable oil."

Me: *eyes widening* "Holy shit you're right." *spins chair to keyboard*
It was exactly like you see on guns that have been stored a long time with the plant-based oils on them, and they'd gotten that stuff on every small part in the gun. They would hardly be tackier to the touch if someone had spilled a Coke in there. In the picture above, the trigger bar I'm holding is the one that came out of the 39: That buildup of soot and cack is from ~250 rounds of shooting. The gray trigger bar in the gun now is the one that came out of my G37 after 2,000 rounds. It hasn't been cleaned, other than whatever fingers have knocked off it from handling.

I'm going to hit the gun with some synthetic-safe Gun Scrubber to degrease it good, re-lube it properly, and then we'll start shooting it for realz, yo.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Post-Racial America

So, as I surmised, the initial identification of the at-large suspect in the Cascade Mall shooting as "Hispanic" was incorrect. We've had hoofbeats all over the place lately, and guessing horses is more often right than guessing zebras.
"Some questioned how describing a suspect as “Hispanic” could be meaningful, when it’s a linguistic, rather than racial, distinction."
Well, the suspect was at large, and they needed a descriptor for folks to be on the lookout for, and people would have lost their tiny little minds at "swarthy", "dark-skinned", "olive-complected", "dusky" or dozens of other quaint descriptors for "dark haired and not pasty white, but not a black dude, either". None of those are neutral terms for people's Pantone hues anymore; they've all been loaded with a full charge of powder in this era of racial healing.
"More than 15 percent of the population of Skagit County describes itself as Latino or Hispanic.

Most major news outlets, including The Seattle Times, mention race or ethnicity in relation to crimes only if the crime is considered racially motivated or if an armed, dangerous suspect is on the loose."
See? They couldn't describe the gunman who'd just fled the mall as "He looka like a man."

Overheard in the Hallway...

RX: "I had the strangest dream. I'd won one of every Stanley screwdriver ever made."

Me: *laughing* "That is the Bobbi-est dream ever. You could fix all the things!"

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #149...

The Sig Sauer P320C 9mm I won at the Friends of the NRA banquet, now sporting a Boresight Solutions frame. (Which I had on hand and was the reason I picked the P320 off the Wall of Guns.)

I need to decide on some sights and get a Gray Guns Carry Action Package, just because. Come 2018 or 2020, when I move away from the Glock, this is probably the direction I'll head.

Late Start...

I rode the snooze button express for nearly an hour this morning.

Going out for a Broad Ripple breakfast with Shootin' Buddy and then to the range to bust some caps with the new Ruger. I'm trying to get it into a bunch of different hands.

More later.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Morning Thoughts...