Monday, November 30, 2009


From the Timesonline via Instapundit:
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based. It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The issue is not a long-term temperature increase over the last 150 years. 150 years ago was the end of the Little Ice Age, so no one really disputes that temperatures have increased since then. The real issue that has been deliberately obfuscated is (1) how warm the Medieval Warm Period was and (2) whether the divergence of temperature behavior from historical trends over the last 50 years is the result of how the historical data has been subjected to a moving average while recent data has not.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Six months after putting General McChrystal in charge, the news this morning was that President Obama has finally made a decision about Afghanistan. No idea what that decision was as the White House will not divulge its actual content for another week. Is the man such a lightweight that merely having meetings and deciding something is national news?

What's next? This just in, after intense discussions with the highly trained White House chef corps, the President has opted for Cheddar instead of Swiss on his turkey club. The effects of this change on the Presidential Gastronomy should be known early next week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Expensive Deer Hunting

And a deductable later...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Week's Gunblogger Groupthink Is...

The 5.7x28mm round used by the Fort Hood shooter is no more powerful than a .22 rimfire magnum. It's crap. Why? The 40 grain 5.7 is blazing down range at 1750 fps from a pistol. The 40 grain rimfire mag is moving at more like 1200-1300 fps from the same barrel length. The 5.7 has 80% more muzzle energy than the .22 mag. That's a lot people. Now maybe they'll both through and through with similar terminal performance, but you can't just dismiss that level of difference.

Is the 5.7x28 round a copkiller? No. There are no instances of it being used to actually kill cops. For that matter the civilian legal ammo isn't even particularly dangerous to people in common police body armor. At least no more dangerous than 7.62 Tokarev.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New Look

Ever since Blogrolling went down and then came back with crappy popups, I've been looking to rework my layout. I've been running this one for long enough on the test blog (and using the test blog for my regular blogsurfing) that it's time to put it on here. I don't love it, but I've decided it is a 90% solution. Unfortunately that means the demise of haloscan comments for the time being.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Loving Midlength

I think a discussion of AR-15 gas system lengths deserves it's own post and this is it. The big issue here is barrel length and port pressure needed to cycle the gun. As the gas port move closer to the gun's chamber (and away from the muzzle), the port pressure goes up and the gun cycles harder. This is good in that it is more likely to cycle, but bad in that too hard will break things.

Rifle length systems are about 12 inches long. As they are the longest, they are also typically the gentlest of the gas systems. But if the barrel is too short, then they won't cycle properly because the gas port pressure will drop too low after the bullet leaves the barrel. Because of this they are typically used on guns with barrels 20 inches or longer like the M16.

Carbine length systems are about 7 inches long. There are shorter lengths (like the pistols), but for most people this is as short they want to go. These cycle the action quite hard. Hard enough that Colt had to make changes from the M4 to the M16 to beef up some parts, alter the feed ramps, and use a heavier buffer to slow the bolt down. These are typically used on guns in the 14.5 to 16 inch range like the M4 carbine. However civilians can't have barrel lengths below 16 inches without a special tax stamp, so most people with carbine length gas systems have 16" barrels or 14.7" inch barrels with longer pinned flash hiders to meet the 16" legal requirement.

Midlength systems are in the middle and are about 9 inches long. These shoot softer than carbine, but harder than rifle. It's a happy medium and works very well for 16 inch guns. Since I have a 16 inch gun, this is what I bought. The disadvantage is that this is a purely civilian length gas system and has less support than the rifle and carbine lengths in the aftermarket. Until recently only one company made a free float tube for it. About the only accessory my midlength can use that a carbine can't is a standard military bayonet.

And for the record, I think the 14 inch barrels that are pinned to 16 inches are silly. The 5.56 round need all the barrel it can get to tumble and fragment for proper lethality. I also think the stepped barrels on 16" guns are silly. Military carbines have that feature so you can mount M203 grenade launchers on them. Civilians can't own those either.

Shiver Me Timbers

I heard an interesting rumor on the internet. (And with a source like the internet, you know it must be true.) Rumor has it that the US Coast Guard has started reissuing boarding cutlasses for some drug interdiction searches. Evidently a sailor making a standard drug search was attacked and forced to defend himself with a fire axe. You have to wonder what his sidearm was though.