Monday, June 20, 2011

Hitchens on Mamet

Christopher Hitchens' review of David Mamet's The Secret Knowledge on the Dismantling of American Culture had this to say:
This is an extraordinarily irritating book, written by one of those people who smugly believe that, having lost their faith, they must ipso facto have found their reason.
That's funny because the same could be said of Hitchen's own book of atheist evangelism God is Not Great.

From Ace of Spades.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Shooting Memorium

Stephen Camp died a few weeks ago at the age of 59 after a sudden brain aneurysm rupture. Camp was one of the foremost online authorities on the Browning Hipower and being fan of the gun, I had the pleasure of corresponding with him a few times about holsters and related gun accessories. He was a great, helpful, and humble guy. The gunblogosphere was much quieter about this than I expected. I'm guessing this is because Stephen was a gun board fixture not really a gun blog fixture.

Accordingly my hipower joined my buckmark at the range yesterday for my going-to-be-a-father's day shoot. I shot competently. That's the general word I'd use to describe most of my shooting. At 8-10 yards, I can easily cover the group from a single magazine with my hand. Unless it's the buckmark, then it's more like my palm. Not exactly precision target shooting, but not bad.

I wish I could say that inspired by Stephen Camp's memory, the 9mm was a veritable paper slaughtering deathray. Not especially, no. Having two different grain weights of ammo going through a fixed sight gun probably didn't help either. But I'm going to be naming the hipower Stephen nonetheless.

Constitutional Responses

According to the New York Times, Clarence Thomas is breaking with judicial ethics guidelines by supporting Federal historical conservation efforts related to the Gullah/Geechee peoples of the coastal south. Thomas is himself a member of that group. Althouse and Instapundit mention that the proper response to a Supreme Court Judge with inappropriate behavior is impeachment not passive aggressive editorials.

To put it bluntly, Democrats don't want to use the I word. Not when Obama is violating the War Powers Act in Libya. Obama's defense is that it's not a war. The Libyan's military is so inferior to our own that they are no threat to us. Try not to thing about that one too hard or you might wake up your pregnant wife in the next room yelling things like "Then why are we there in the first place!" at your computer monitor. You know, like I did.

Instead they're putting a bipartisan group together to sue Obama in federal court. Really? Look if he's breaking federal law and you think it's important, impeach him. If you don't want to impeach him, then pass a bill that revokes the funding appropriation for activities in Libya. Then dare him to cross that line. If you don't have the votes for that then make political hay. Just don't think that the last one is really doing much of anything.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Light Blogging

So I haven't written anything here in a few months. There are many reasons for this. My wife is expecting our first child in two months. All of the meaningful parts of Blogger's backend is blocked at work. I can't even comment on Blogger blogs. I've also changed teams at work so that I'm actually working with military systems I like, which greatly restrains what I can actually post on without causing myself problems. But attempts to restrict gun rights in a misguided attempt to reduce domestic terrorism over at SayUncles roused me from semi-retirement.

I've already covered why restricting an enumerated right using the no-fly list is a bad idea on this blog. My uncle-in-law basically doesn't fly anywhere anymore because his name is common and therefore guaranteed to be on the list.

But more importantly, the whole logic is flawed. Terrorists everywhere basically start with guns. They did in Iraq. They did in Afghanistan. In Iraq they quickly moved to explosives. Things appear to be going the same way in the 'Stan. Why? Because when they start shooting at our soldiers, they expose themselves to US Troops. Then our soldiers kill them. The US military is rather good at it.

The way to get the terrorists to stop shooting people is to make it possible to easily shoot them back. Which means letting their future targets, Johnny and Jane American, both keep and bear arms. It's a strategy that is even written in our earliest founding documents. Perhaps help them get training in how to use these arms and how to recognize these threats. Is this the plan the left is proposing? Of course not. We must restrict constitutionally enumerated freedoms and have nothing to show for it. Thanks lefties.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Street Samurai

Cutting the cucumber in half lengthwise is pretty cool. Doing it to a soybean is amazing, especially when consider that is sword is wider than his target...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The 1911 Obsession

SayUncle is linking to an almost completely uninformed criticism of the 1911. I'm not going to direct link because it's honestly so poorly thought out it might be a gunblogosphere troll. I will quote his two major theses though:
It’s a 100-year old design. It needs tools to disassemble. It has unreliable magazines. It is finicky about ammo. And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.
100 years old? Ok as if age really meant anything. In general a gun being in use 100 years after it was designed is proof of value not proof it is rubbish. I am reminded of one of my first blog posts back in 2004.

Tools to disassemble? No it doesn't. Field stripping most 1911s requires no tools. Detail stripping the 1911 can be done with tools the gun itself provides during the process. It is possible to screw this up with some manufacturers full length guide rods, etc.

Unreliable magazines? There are 100 years of mags out there for the 1911. Some of them are bound to suck. Any gun can have unreliable mags and any automatic will be unreliable with a bag magazine including Glocks and Sigs.

Finicky about ammo? Maybe. The original wasn't designed to feed hollowpoints. You need a 1911 with a modern feed ramp geometry that fixes this. The original had a steel frame and so making the feedramp integral to the frame isn't a problem. If you buy one with a softer aluminum frame, get a ramped barrel so the feedramp is still steel. But I've met a lot of modern guns that still prefer one brand of hollowpoint to another.

The last bit about safety is crap. I would gladly take the 1911 with it's many redundant external safeties to the Glock with it's single non-redundant trigger safety. Yes you have to train with the 1911. But you have to train with everything so that 1911 is not special. The 1911 also has a great consistent trigger almost entirely because it is single-action.
Why does a reliable 1911 cost so much, and need so much gunsmithing?
Because it was designed before CNC machining became the dominant firearms technology. You can still get good cheap 1911s (~$400), they just have to come from cheaper labor countries like the Philippines or China. And they largely won't be target guns, they'll be ordnance grade guns.

The very expensive 1911s are because of people wanting everything. With cars you can have only have two items from this list: acceleration, handling, low cost. With guns the list is different but the concept is the same: accuracy, reliability, low cost. If you tighten up the tolerances to get accuracy, you lose most of the clearances required for reliability. Which means you need someone who knows what they're doing to keep both so you're paying for their expertise. For ordnance grade guns, you're typical getting reliability and service level accuracy for not much money.