Thursday, October 29, 2009

Being Too Niche a Market

I own an AR-15. This is not uncommon. It uses the 9 inch midlength gas system. I prefer that length for a 16 inch barrel, unfortunately very few AR parts makers tool for it. Lots of them only do rifle and carbine length. If I wanted to free float my barrel, I could go to Rock River for a tube or YHM for rails or cut down a rifle length part or spend a lot of money. I even asked several parts shops at small arms conventions I attended in May whether they were planning on supporting midlength. Several hemmed and hawed, but surprisingly it was the guy at the UTG/CAA booth that felt my pain.

UTG now has an aluminum midlength free-float rail. Not sure I want UTG parts on my gun, but I don't think I mind them putting some downward pressure on the market. More importantly Hogue is now making midlength free float tubes for less than $50. Now that's something I might pick up and put on my gun.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ammo Sales

Looks the like the ammo rush is really over and the suppliers are starting to meet inventory in earnest. While shopping with Amy yesterday, I picked up 200 rounds of 55gr .223 at Dicks. Not only did they have it on the shelf, but it was on sale for $8/20 rounds. That should be my range needs for a few trips at least.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boom Headshot!

Seasonal hostage situation resolved.

I Concur

Sebastion points out that covering your car in NRA bumperstickers isn't a good idea. Guns are one of the major targets of property crime. Criminals want them and so there will always be a black market for firearms. Criminals especially like to know where you store them, because they don't want to rob an armed man or woman, but they love to rob unoccupied houses or vehicles.

When you put an NRA, pro-2nd, or pro-carry sticker on your car, what you're saying to criminals is "this car might contain guns, rob me when nobody's around." This is also true for anything on the outside of your home.

In a slightly related concept, you're not really concealed carrying if you're wearing overtly pro-gun gear. Some of the esoteric logos might be fine, but anything else calls attention to yourself and makes people take a second look. Not a good idea.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Steam Punk Rock

Note to self: While Jeph Jacques was kidding about the Society for Creative Rock Anachronism, there are actually steampunk bands like Abney Park and Vernian Process. The hard part is going to be finding out if their music is any good without spending money on it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Habitat for Humanity New Castle County has announced their 2009 fundraising Christmas tree ornament: Blue Ball Farm. You may now giggle like an adolescent. But not for too long.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sometimes Complaints Show More about the Complainer

From this article criticizing the M4:
"My weapon was overheating," McKaig said, according to Cubbison's report. "I had shot about 12 magazines by this point already and it had only been about a half hour or so into the fight. I couldn't charge my weapon and put another round in because it was too hot, so I got mad and threw my weapon down."
360 rounds in 30 minutes through your rifle and your gun became unreliable? Wow I would have never guessed that if you overheat a machine, it becomes unreliable or breaks. Ditto the other soldier who ran 600 rounds through his M249. If you want to avoid overheating, you can change out the barrels on machine guns for a reason.

More telling for me is the opener of the piece:
In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.
If someone is trying multiple types of weapons and none of them work, that isn't a criticism of the weapon. If none of the guns work, the only systematic element they all have in common is the soldiers tasked with maintaining them. And there is no magic rifle design that won't fail without proper maintenance.

This isn't to say that everything is hunky dory with US small arms. The SAW in particular is not a very good gun, something the newer lightweight versions of the weapon only make worse. But the M4 is, by all accounts, a decent weapon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hitting the Usual Suspects

Amybear went to a bridal shower today so I was left to my own devices. I was planning on making a trip to Ommelanden, but just as I was getting dressed it started to rain. The doppler map of the area showed that it was going to last a while, so instead I made a survey of the local gun shops.

The result? Miller's has a lightly used Sig P6 for under $400. It was a reasonable piece at a reasonable price. Patriot had a used Heritage Rough Rider with both .22lr and .22 rimfire magnum cylinders. I have a hard time spending big money on a .22 and that seemed like a nice little gun. The also had a Pietta 1858 Navy model converted to .38sp. Great gun except that the bore of a .36 cap and ball is larger than a modern .38 so you can't feed it any old ammo off the shelf.

Patriot is also stocking EAA's Windicator model of .38 and .357 double action revolvers. Good trigger, very nice grips, and all steel so I'm not too concerned about them. They're a lot of gun for under $300 and seem well worth the price.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I just finished reading the Twilight books. Pretty good in spots, but not without their faults. The most annoying thing is how emo Bella Swan is in books two and three. She's the first person narrator for 90% of the novels so you can't really get away from her either.

Friday, October 02, 2009