RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - DECEMBER 2003
355 - Friday, 5 December 2003: ...Whew.
Busy at work, jumping all over. "Set up ma-chine?" "Fix ma-chine?" "You give tool?" "You make label?" I get it all done, especially as my putative assistant, Tool Woman, is now on reduced hours. Got a whole other machine, formerly crated in the warehouse from a closed facility in Houston, into action besides. Coulda been two but one of those was sent to Mexico, after I made sure it was complete and functional. Also, some of the parts I've been requesting have been arriving so I have some tool-rebuilding to do if things ever slow down. Expect to log $ome overtime next week.
When parts and tools come in, an intranet email is sent announcing it. I don't have intranet access. Some of this stuff lays around for weeks before I find out it's in. What's that saying about the left hand and the right? But it still beats the shampoo warehouse.
These autocrimpers, they quickly apply 2½ tons of pressure to squish a little metal connector onto a piece of wire. Lots of use, some behind-schedule projects, chunkachunka. I pitch in on the production end too, when I'm not charging off to the other end of the production floor to handle something else (and even if I say so myself, I'm one of the fastest there). Anyway it's not unknown for the metal feed strip on which the connectors come to jam in various ways. Nor, unfortunately, is it unknown for the... to be blunt, intellectually inferior, of whatever ethnicity, to just keep stomping on the foot pedal to back up more and ever more mangled connectors in the machine until they get bored enough to ask for help, or more likely until a supervisor notices that something is wrong. Today that happened and one of the precision-machined dies, which squish the connector into the proper size and shape to get a proper grip on the wire, broke. The machine itself is still running, with another applicator module on another project, but this ~$6,000 applicator is now out of action until ~$400 in parts arrive in ~5 weeks. And it's the only copy of that applicator for that particular connector, which is presently one of the hottest items. So they're now doing hunnerds ‘n' hunnerds of ‘em by hand with the one-at-a-time hand tool. Of which there is also only one copy of course.
Then there's traffic, always. The less said about that the better for my blood pressure, or heart or something.
Also there was a sad duty to perform for the mechanic and woodworker, whose large pet goat recently succumbed to a not-uncommon terminal goat illness. I helped dig the grave, last night in the rain and wind. (They set up a canopy, and fed me. Burned my tongue on the steaming-hot mug of tea.) Anyway that's not the physical labor I'm accustomed to and boy are my pecs sore. But the hole is dug, or close enough they can finish it themselves in a few minutes, older and creakier as they are.
Paid today of course, under $200, not paid for either Thanksgiving or the Friday after. Haven't decided yet whether I'll get the Dragoon this weekend or wait ‘til next payday, did not want to drive down there in the dark in Friday traffic with rain and cityfolk. Some cash set aside already for January's rent and Christmas shopping, expect to make some progress there this weekend. The mail-ordered item arrived timely and in good order (I may shop at that vendor myself in future).
Looking ahead, I think, after this Christmas shopping is done, I'll get some of those steel reactive targets - Sportsman's Warehouse carries them, particularly spinners, the kind where when hit they flip over and stop, then you hit the last target to trip a release bar and they all flop down again. These will be training tools for 3-Gun and plate matches and for just plain shooting skills. Also there's that shooting trip planned with the structural-engineer friend in April, I can confidently state she doesn't get much practice, she should benefit from the instant gratification of a target that goes clank and flips over when hit. I expect to.
Surfing the web, found a source for official highpower rifle competition targets, and what look like decent prices too! Especially if I buy just the centers instead of the whole certifiable target sheet, which makes sense to me as, if I'm not hitting the middle part, I'm doing something wrong. I only want them for practice, the match director or club will provide official targets for official scores. But my next four matches are on the friendlier SR-1 targets which Clark Rifles does keep in stock.
Also found a source or two for bumper stickers for my tagline, "Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims, Politicians Prefer Unarmed Peasants." Might also try making some; while surfing, also saw the phrase "Oppressive Regimes Prefer Unarmed Subjects", or something like that, which should make those whiny "Regime-Change-Now" commie pukes' heads hurt.
Too, found a forum discussion indicating the EAA Witness may be alone among 10x25mm pistols in handling the pressure and recoil of a steady diet of that cartridge without cracking or peening or just plain breaking.
And this evening I learned that the apartment I am living in, with the other three units and the property, have changed hands and no one knows what will happen next. Yeek! Got a car, getting a Dragoon, winning shooting medals, of course something bad will happen in my life. The Gods are Jerks.
356 - Saturday, 6 December 2003: The other day I got, from the library, Handguns & Rifles by Ian Hogg and I must transcribe this passage from pp. 24-26:
"...the designers convinced themselves that reducing the caliber and increasing the velocity would maintain the striking energy at a knockdown figure. This led to some spectacularly horrible designs.
"Take, for example, the Mars, developed by a Mr. Gabbet-Fairfax in Britain. To quote a contemporary trade magazine, ‘His ideals wandered in the direction of high velocity and his pistols took on the appearance of young cannon.' The Mars pistol employed the principle of ‘long recoil' in which the barrel and breech bolt, firmly locked together, recoiled for about two inches across the pistol frame. They then came to rest, the bolt was rotated and held, and the barrel ran forward again to the firing position. As it did so, the spent case was extracted from the chamber and knocked free of the pistol by a mechanical ejector. A ‘cartridge lifter' now pulled a fresh cartridge from the magazine - backwards - and hoisted it up into the feedway. By this time the firer had recovered his composure and released his grip on the trigger; this released the bolt, which ran forward, collected the fresh round, chambered it, and then revolved to lock the breech, leaving the pistol with its hammer cocked, ready to fire again. The Mars... appeared in 1900 in 8.5mm, 9mm, and .45 calibers, the cartridges also having been designed by Gabbet-Fairfax and considerably more powerful than anything else in those calibers. Until the Auto-Mag appeared over 50 years later [more like 70], the 8.5mm Mars was the world's most powerful handgun. It was certainly too powerful for the War Office; their testers found it practically uncontrollable and refused it...."
Started Stephenson's Quicksilver the other day and wow. Ben Franklin as Boston street-urchin. Isaac Newton as mischievous schoolboy. The Waterhouses, of course, and the jacket blurb mentions another Shaftoe but he hasn't shown up by page 80 - but it's a thick book. But never mind the window-dressing, there is stuff going on in this story, grinding-of-celestial-gears kinda stuff. And it's only the first of a big fat trilogy, all of which is prequel to Cryptonomicon. I might even finally learn calculus. -I might have to. -Nicely written from a technical and stylistic point of view too, I must say, like what I try for. Putting aside the story and characters, it's skillfully written, the editor-in-my-head isn't getting much work.
Still looking for a crossdraw holster for the GP100. Discovered the Bianchi Shadow II, unlined leather (satin stainless revolver, big deal; suede-lined model $5-$10 more, phooey) for under $50, might order it. For about $20 more, also found a FIST Kydex "Dave Spaulding" model, with quick-release belt-loops, could be handy, but crossdraw is an extra feature for an additional $10 on that model. The nylon Bianchi at Sportsman's Warehouse is a paddle type and I'm not entirely confident in its ability to stay attached to me in a scuffle without actual belt loops. The Shadow II has loops, three of them for use as a "forward-rake" strong-side or behind-the-hip (which I do with the Uncle Mike's holsters I already have, but which doesn't work for driving, for me), or crossdraw depending which two you use, but you have to wear something over all of the above to keep it concealed and I would have to doff it for the shirtsleeve work environment to avoid stampeding a herd and that quick-release Kydex model would give an advantage. Hmm.
Been debating myself all day whether to finish off the Dragoon.
Yeahokay. But nothing else this week! Nothing! No Mauser ammunition, no reloading stuff, no holsters, nothing else from this store until next paycheck! I mean it! REALLY!
Mmmm, Dragoooon. Biiig. In a plastic bag within the factory box, well-oiled, not the one all the customers have been pawing.
Hm, not quite what reviews have led me to expect from Uberti - one-piece grip a little too big for the grip frame, sharp edges protruding fore and aft, though it's otherwise a very nice piece of wood. Very slight marring on the forward trigger-guard screw slot, a few small scratches on the lower edge of the cylinder frame where it meets the trigger guard, perhaps even a small chunk knocked off the lower-left-rear corner. Some tool marks. Imperfect fit between the front of the backstrap/butt and the bottom of the triggerguard/frontstrap. Color-case-hardening lovely on hammer and loading lever but disappointing bland gray on the frame. Trigger not too bad, sight picture slightly better than the 1861. Long lock time while the much-bigger Dragoon hammer completes its arc, a teardown and first-cleaning may improve that. Pin safeties between chambers, work better than the same feature on the 1861 reproduction, enough room for the hammer to go all the way down against them. A few small blemishes in the brass grip frame, hope they'll polish out.
What is this, a factory second? Is that why it's $35 below MSRP and $70 below Dixie Gun Works' price? Well, I'll see how it shoots. The grip at least can be carefully adjusted to match the grip frame. Maybe that'll be the fee for letting the woodworker play with it as a technical aid to writing his adventure story.
Not cut for shoulder stock, Dixie catalog says that's a separate model (though the same price). Rammer only goes so far of course, maybe not enough to fully compress a round ball with only 30 grains of powder. (Manual recommends 22 for "target" and 30 for "maximum" but that probably means the common Remington New Army and 1860 Colt, with less-voluminous chambers - 22 grains in a Walker, or even this 3rd Dragoon, without some kind of filler, would leave an horrendous air gap, which by all accounts can turn a blackpowder arm into a grenade. Could use a lot of Wonder Wads I guess; also I've read of using oatmeal or suchlike as filler. DGW's catalog's information pages state the original Dragoon load was 40 grains. Which is a lot, really.)
(Now here's an idea I've had before: sabot loads. How about, oh, a .357 110-grain JHP in a plastic sabot? .454" roundball is only about 142 grains. Sizes would matter in a sabot load, certainly: DGW's product data on the Uberti 3rd Dragoon says .449" chamber diameter, .440" barrel lands and .456" grooves, so I'd need a sabot that would fit properly, be tightly gripped by the chamber but not so tight it raises pressures, yet still be properly gripped by the rifling after jumping down the forcing cone. Saboted projectiles are widely used in (and available for) muzzleloading rifles, to increase performance in the hunting field. SW, G.I. Joe's, Bi-Mart and other places carry such, but these are usually big honkin' .458 or so, 200-300-grain buffalo-slayers in .50 or .54 sabots. Hmm.)
(Ah - DGW's catalog shows Hornady .45 sabots with .357/158 JHPs, a little heavier than I might want, and it doesn't give the exact diameter of the sabot - .451? .454? .457? .44something? Will try Hornady's site. Elsewhere it shows .451" conicals at 180 grains and .457" at 190, so I guess a .357/158 would be all right.)
(Another concern is bullet deformation during ramming, affecting accuracy. And another is whether the projectiles in other chambers would shift in their sabots during recoil - these things are designed for single-shot rifles. Hmm.)
Timing seems fine. Generic percussion-revolver manual says, as a show vendor did, that roundball gives better accuracy than conical as roundball is not so deformed during loading. Cleaning instructions approximate what I've been doing, but more thorough, particularly "Rinse all the metal parts in boiling hot water". (Recently read on rec.guns, or somewhere, that NMLRA recommends cold soapy water, as hot may expand the barrel around the breechplug of rifles allowing stuff to seep in and rust. Probably not an issue with a revolver, with the nipples and all screws removed for proper cleaning.) Definitely need real gunsmithing screwdrivers, i.e. hollow-ground with a good selection of sizes, before I even tear this one down the first time. SW carries a set, B-Square I think, for about $20, will pick it up next paycheck, will also ask their price on a steel-frame .36 1851 Colt, the only ones I've seen there are inauthentic .44. Recent research on behalf of woodworker/author reveals Cabela's wants $147.94 delivered for their Pietta version. Meanwhile will just wipe off the excess oil and sink a couple more vinyl-coated equipment hooks into the wall and gaze upon the Dragoon.
Interesting, both my Colt reproductions, presumably from different manufacturers, have much lighter mainsprings than the Armi San Marco Remington, while the Remington has a much better trigger than either of the Colts.
Hmm, hadn't noticed before, DGW also offers an adjustable powder dipper which they describe as having a maximum capacity of 64 grains-by-volume FFFg (and a minimum of half that). Only $11.50, item QA0820. This might be handy for making Pyrodex shotshells, and paper cartridges for my two larger revolvers - though the Lee powder dippers I already have should be quite adequate, really; the slide-rule says they go up around 53 grains of Pyrodex, and that's got to be by weight as it also says over 60 grains for actual blackpowder (for which volume and weight are allegedly the same), which Pyrodex is lighter than, so I just have to get out the actual volumetric measure and make some notes.
Oh. Maybe I do want a paddle holster, if I'm going to be taking it off and putting it back on more than once a day, that's apparently what they're designed for. Still concerned about retention. Anyway the Bianchi synthetic at SW was $40, and on the web I've learned that Uncle Mike's has a comparable model (the description of which points out what paddle holsters are for, without belt loops). SW carries some UM stuff too, I'll look closer next week. Will likely need a heavier belt, Rugers are beefy.
Of course I am licensed to carry in Oregon and have been for over three years. $50 renewal coming up in February. Of course those who argue that licensing schemes, de facto taxes on Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, are in themselves infringements on the right to bear arms, are correct, but whattaya want me to do, start the revolution? I can only take so many blueshirts with me. There's a lot more of them than me, and some few of them almost know how to use rifles. Been
wanting needing a Washington state license for a while too, ~$60 I think, it's a damned hassle surrendering my right to self-defense every time I cross state lines. (A recent reciprocity effort in Washington failed.) Both sides of the National CCW debate - end the patchwork of laws, vs. avoid more registration and infringement - have valid points in my opinion.
Staring at the color photos in Uberti's print catalog, apparently the Dragoons do come with bland gray-case-hardened frames and more-colorful hammers and loading levers, as do several other models. Looks like the little pocket-models, with smaller frames that react faster and more thoroughly to heat, turn out more colorful. I dunno, whoever made my 1861 made that frame real pretty, like I'm looking half an inch down inside the metal. Somewhat disappointed, hope to make up for it at the range. Will post on the blackpowder lists, try to find out if Uberti is really like this. Will probably take a closer look at SW's display specimen too, see if it's any different. Looking really close at those photos, I detect some other imperfectly-fitted stocks, and the 1847 Walker on the back cover has frame coloration very similar to my 3rd Dragoon - while the ~½-scale miniature right next to it, more than half-again the price, is much more colorful.
At least my Dragoon doesn't suffer from TPTS (Too Pretty To Shoot). I guess.
Oh, I've also discovered the Remington's front sight is loose in its dovetail. Considering solutions, Loctite/Guntite, JB Weld, binary epoxy, or just peen the damn thing. The Colts have staked front sights, and notches in the hammer nose for rear sights of course. The 1861's front sight is brass, the Dragoon's blued steel matching the barrel.
JB Weld, I think, a small amount that won't slop over, after carefully cleaning the surfaces with alcohol. Tomorrow. And that shimming thing with the MojoMauser's trigger, too.
(Back to the sabot loads - DGW's product description for the Hornady .45/.357s recommends 1:48" rifling twist or faster, and product data for the Uberti Dragoon says it has 1:48" twist, so there's that much. Again I strongly recommend Dixie's catalog, which is full of useful data even if you never buy a thing from it.)
Agh, Bill of Rights Day coming up, must make traditional stack of photocopies. May steal some from work. Oh! Cruffler has offered the use of his self-employer's copier (previously, for targets) if I bring my own paper, and the Barberton show is the 13th and he's also telling me about a .308 Mauser he found in a Vancouver pawn shop so there's a couple excuses to go up there- no, the Day is the 15th, I want the copies in the library, and wherever else I can put them, earlier. The 3¢ place is now a 4¢ place but still beats other places, but it's way over on my end of town and closes at 5:30 and I expect to be working ‘til at least 4:30 the next few days, by which time traffic will be even worse. Eh, maybe corporate will deny overtime again. I did get 2½ hours this week.
Also thinking ahead to reloading 7.92x57mm, studying the powder-maker manuals I have so far. Ian Hogg's Military Small Arms of the 20th Century shows the WWII K98k Mauser, with about the same barrel length as the VZ24, throwing about a 180-grain projectile at about 2,400 feet per second. Neither the Hodgdon nor Accurate printed manuals I have list that bullet weight but they do both list 170-grain loads. The new packaging for Federal 8A, using a 170, says 2,360fps at the muzzle and the MojoMauser seems to like that (better than surplus anyway), so I may just duplicate that load, wimpy though it may be compared to what the rifle was built for. Also there are reloading sites on the net, with data (and a bazillion disclaimers). With a load approximating military ballistics - and proven accuracy, rather more important - the MojoMauser should be adequate for elk, which would make me right popular in certain carnivorous circles. Sigh - probably need a chronograph too. Consistent velocity is a significant part of consistent accuracy. Anyway I doubt I'll be reloading for economy, rather for precision, being extra-super-picky about weighing the powder charge, sorting the projectiles by weight, etc. Dunno about loading for the GP100, maybe a low-recoil gamester load, and again for accuracy of course.
357 - Sunday, 7 December 2003: On this day in 1941, the Japanese Empire made what was eventually revealed as the greatest blunder in their military history. Their current government pretends it never happened; their schoolchildren don't know it ever happened. Eek.
Looking through Dillon's Blue Press catalog. Kramer makes a paddle holster with a quick-release belt loop - for $135, and I can't tell if it's adjustable for crossdraw. Nothing else in there appears suitable, mostly forward-rake stuff which works great if I'm not driving or otherwise sitting a lot. Possibly, using the photo of the Kramer MSP as a guide, I can modify an existing, affordable paddle holster to add a belt loop, with a snap to release it without removing the belt.
Reiterating: I disclaim all liability for anyone doing anything I describe here. Imitate at your own risk.
Trying the shim trick on the MojoMauser's trigger. As passed on by Cruffler from others, remove the action from the stock, cock it, flip it over and observe the original military trigger. Slowly apply pressure and observe how, in relation to the sear, the forward part of the trigger creates a gap. Experiment with cardboard, business cards, or something to fill that gap, thus eliminating the first stage of the traditional two-stage Mauser trigger. Now get a chunk of something sturdier, most likely brass, for example a spent case, typically double thickness, like the neck of a .30ish-caliber case hammered flat. Use tin snips or a Dremel to get a piece about ¼" wide by ½" long. I used that .30 Carbine case from the 20-grain blackpowder dipper, which I don't need anymore with the Lee set. Slip one of the long sides into that gap. Depending how thick it is and how far into the gap it goes, this will also decrease your sear engagement, thereby lightening and shortening your trigger pull. Obviously, too thick or too far will prevent the rifle from staying cocked and render it unsafe. Now, with the ends sticking out past the sides of the sear, work this chunk of brass so it wraps around the sear toward the top of the rifle, gripping the sear tightly. Furthermore add Loctite or Guntite to keep it exactly where you want it. This does seem to work, though I am curious whether it will stay put under recoil, even with Guntite. During the process I removed the trigger group from the action and thoroughly cleaned all parts, using alcohol on the areas where the Guntite was to go. Dry-firing does indicate some improvement, though there is still some creep in the second, now the only, stage.
Wimped out on the JB Weld, just used Guntite for the Remington New Army's front sight.
Posted on Yahoo's muzzleloader list, got a response indicating that Uberti is supposed to be better than my Dragoon indicates, will go back to SW, possibly tomorrow night, and look into it.
Found my old Washington County library card! Wonder if it still works. I'm pretty sure they used to have a dialup online catalog like Multnomah does, a web search should turn up something. Meanwhile, picked up a 1991 reprint of a 1935 USMC manual on rifle and pistol marksmanship. Now that should be educational. "The object of rifle training, as well as training with the other weapons, is to teach men the use of the rifle so that they will be able to hit the desired object. This ability once attained has an inestimable value upon the morale of the troops engaged in field service." "An organization commander following the course of individual rifle instruction prescribed in this manual should obtain not less than 80 percent qualification as marksmen, sharpshooters and expert riflemen. This figure, as the minimum percentage of qualification to be expected, is not theoretically fixed as a standard, but is based upon the results obtained with thousands of men and is the lowest figure indicative of conscientious training." (Emphasis theirs) Hmm, they also show the hasty sling but only for the standing position. Good photos of positions, and the use of the military loop sling. They show the six-o'-clock hold with post front and aperture rear sights. I've always preferred the center hold, and with dual-aperture sights it works great. Ah- already found something that should help my rapid-fire score: elbow position. I've been taking my right elbow off the mat to work the VZ24's straight bolt handle (the ‘03 Springfield illustrated has a turned-down handle), and especially the shorter handle and stiffer action of the Mosin, and too often my support elbow gets moved around too. This will require some dry practice on the floor of the hovel. Also need to practice more with the hasty sling, and/or blow $20-$30 and get a military loop type. Uncle Mike's makes one.
But even so I still have two medals in two matches with three rifles, and percentage-wise I'm averaging in Sharpshooter territory, 69.2%, even counting the lousy Mosin relay in the Axis vs. Allies match - on Fred's AQT, Sharpshooter, 170-199 of 250, works out to 68.0-79.6%. 80% or better is Expert, my goal. Ah- how to get into prone from standing! Lengthen sling a couple notches for rapid-prone, as opposed to slow-prone. "The pistol is an emergency weapon and to use it effectively one must be able to fire quickly and accurately. A good slow fire shot who cannot shoot well in rapid and quick fire is a poor pistol shot." I wonder if I can find a copy of this for sale? Lancer Militaria, ISBN 0-935856-07-2.
358 - Monday, 8 December 2003: Finally starting to train Tool Woman on machine setup. Meanwhile she's making adjustments to the tool database, getting more items under control.
Overtime denied! Made surprisingly good time across town, dug out the old version of my printed Bill of Rights with the fonts I prefer from the old computer, printed it, charged off to the 4¢ copy place, made 200, charged off to the library, left about half there on the brochure/public-service shelf, filled up on Regular at $1.499, charged off to Sportsman's Warehouse with the Dragoon and my prettier 1861 for comparison.
They did offer to send it back, saying it would take about six weeks. Got a number to call Uberti direct, may try from work tomorrow. The display model had the same color in the case-hardening but was better-fitted and had fewer dings and scratches; they had no other Dragoons in stock. Customer service varied from bored to sympathetic-but-powerless.
While I was there, looked at (and compared the Dragoon to) a Pietta 1860, better fit than my Uberti Dragoon, frame colorfulness somewhere between that and my 1861, loading lever dull gray like the Dragoon's frame. Steel backstrap, brass frontstrap/triggerguard, cut for shoulder stock (I think all the 1860s were). $179.99, Cabela's works out to $172.94 delivered. With the .44 Remington and Dragoon, and the swoopy-graceful 1861, in-hand, an 1860 has slipped down the list. Also a Pietta 1851, slightly better color all around, about the same fit as the 1860, $149.99 but this was inauthentic .44, they don't carry the correct .36, if I decide to get one I'll likely order it from Cabela's. Don't recall if theirs was cut for stock. Traditions percussion single-shot pistol kits, "Kentucky" $99.99, "Trapper" with double triggers and rifle-style sights and big fancy triggerguard, $129.99. No flintlock handguns, kit or otherwise. Lyman Great Plains Hunter percussion rifle, .54, 32", 1:32", $339.99, acceptable quality I guess but I'd likely get a CVA Bobcat .50 for less than half the price. Navy Arms M1803 flintlock rifle, Lewis & Clark commemorative, ~$650, ugly gouge in stock at the wrist where a pin holds the rear end of the triggerguard, like they weren't using the right tool. Handed free copy of Safari Club International's Hunt Forever magazine on way out, contains equal parts hunting tips and -rights activism. Feature article on elk hunting, and what to do with it once it's dispatched. "The heaviest object in the world is a dead elk." "Generally, packing out an elk requires three or four trips." Uh, didn't look at muzzleloading sabots, eh, I'll be back.
Dunno if I want to bother calling Uberti. This Dragoon is well below everyone else's prices, I'll probably just give up and keep it, and have woodworker fix the grip. I might try that myself but it is a nice piece of walnut and he's much better with wood than I learned to be from him. Maybe I'll email Uberti. Probably will order that Pietta .36 1851 from Cabela's in, oh, a few months, if I'm not homeless and/or unemployed by then. (No news on the landlord front.)
359 - Tuesday, 9 December 2003: So there's this applicator module for the autocrimping machine and I ordered a replacement set of dies, as the crimp results suggested the current set was worn. So the die set arrives and I start rebuilding the applicator - you have to replace the whole set at once, to take into account wear on each part of the set, replacing only one piece would skew your results.
So there's this piece in front against which the metal feed strip is sheared off by a plunger thingie through which the feed strip passes. This piece in front, probably a ~$50-$100 piece of precision-machined steel, has this little ~5¢ roll pin stuck through the side, which engages a notch in the plunger thingie so it doesn't pop out under spring pressure.
This pin is missing from the new die set. It doesn't even show up on the drawing. So I call the manufacturer and have it looked into. They're all like that. Every time I order a replacement die set (@~$400) for this brand of applicator, of which there are about a dozen (@~$6,000), they will not include this little ~5¢ pin and will therefore be non-functional. I could send the piece in question back to the manufacturer and have them install one, if my company pays shipping both ways.
This is insulting to anyone who's ever taken apart a firearm, or anything mechanical, and put it all the way back together again. I would expect this replacement die set to be complete, that all I would need to get an old applicator running like new is a set of hex wrenches and maybe a touch of grease, but nooooo, no, they'll send me $400 of precision components and skimp on a 5¢ pin!
Ranted to manufacturer's tooling guy on phone, cc'd to my workplace's boss in person. Meanwhile, going against my life-compartmentalization principles, I'll just take the drift-punch set and brass hammer from my gunkit to work tomorrow and recycle the thrice-damned pin.
Then I was going to get some overtime, but it all ground to a halt as all the QC people left and nobody can start a production batch until their first piece passes QC. Snarl!
Victor Boc ranting about last election's new Multnomah County income-tax, not related to the other huge statewide tax hike on which there will be a referendum. Nothing has been withheld for this brand-new income tax - which makes three taxes on my income, counting state and federal - so everyone who lived in Multnomah County during 2003 will end up owing an estimated average of $350, due by 15 April, forms in the mail this week. I repeat, I only paid $400 for my car, and that took months to save up.
I loathe and despise the treasonous socialist Democrat and so-called-Republican scum who keep raising my taxes. I hate those filthy thieving bastards! What's that line from Mark Twain? "They are wasted upon the earth. They should be beneath it, inspiring cabbages." One caller suggested enclosing a tea bag with the check, as a reference to the Boston Tea Party. I'm considering taking a picture of my Finger, printing it out big, and wrapping that around the check.
Oh yeah - speaking of tax protests, while malling (shudder) a couple weeks ago, I learned that Harry's War does not exist in Suncoast Motion Picture Co.'s database. There, somebody, get me a copy of that for Christmas.
Insurance bill in mail, my monthly payment has in fact dropped from $103.66 to $84.42.
DGW 50th Anniversary sale flyer in mail, prices good through 2003. The Lyman rifle I saw at SW for $340, only $410 at Dixie, $420 for flintlock. Palmetto, whoever they are, 1847 Walker repro, $245 - nah, I don't think I'll get a Walker unless I win the lottery, it wouldn't fit any re-enactment persona I have in mind, and the 3rd Dragoon is only slightly less huge and powerful. Remington pocket model, five-shot .31, $135 brass (authentic), $165 nickel-plated. ¼-scale USN carronade on ship's carriage (i.e. for woodworker's sternwheeler), 1.5" smoothbore, $1,350. Um, woodworker has two big lathes and blacksmith knows how to use them, they could make their own cannon barrel, and carriage. Though reading the description and recalling how big the lathe is, they probably wouldn't get above about 1/3 scale. Alternatively, they could make one heck of a full-scale swivel gun. Uberti 2nd Dragoon, $225, Uberti 1848 Baby Dragoon .31, $195. Uberti 1861 Navy, steel grip frame (mine, brass, is prettier), $185(!), regularly $270(!!). Got mine for $100 at a show.
Here's something I think should be shared:
Please send any contact info to me at this email addy:
Vice-President and National Spokesperson
Second Amendment Sisters
Press toll-free 877-797-4857
Message waiting, woodworker wants my help on a cabinetry project this weekend, yeahokay, it'll get me out of bed. Fortunately he's not a morning person either so I'll get some sleep.
Vehicle registration renewal notice, $54 for stickers, after DEQ which may be another $20 or so, I don't recall. Due 5 February. CHL renewal 16 February, $50. Yeesh.
Received permission to leave stack of BofR in the break room!
While at SW, eyed some muzzleloading sabots. Bulk, empty sabots, Hornady .45/.357, $5.50/50, Knight .45/.40 the same, exact diameters not given for either, and the bases do not look particularly friendly for loading in a percussion revolver. Also the sabots are generally long and may simply not fit in a typical percussion revolver's loading port. Bianchi's Accumold #18806 paddle holster, $39.99, is the only item on display that seems to meet my needs (they have Uncle Mike's Kydex paddles but not for a GP100), other than the leather Shadow II for about twenty bucks more, and which cannot be as easily removed. Almost bought the paddle. Hodgdon's Triple7 muzzleloading powder, "cleans with water", $17.50/pound, 3F or 2F. "Warning: not to be used in cartridges." Pyrodex, $12, that competes with Bi-Mart.
Four hours overtime this week, that should help.
Several coworkers exhibiting or claiming flulike symptoms. I've been taking a multivitamin every morning for the past several months, and I'm off caffeine and soda altogether and my diet is somewhat healthier than it used to be, I feel no worse than usual.
361 - Saturday, 13 December 2003: Four hours work installing a cabinet set, for which the woodworker would traditionally pay me $40, but I easily convinced him to work on the Dragoon's grip - possibly tomorrow - instead, also to make replacement, smaller, grips for the GP100, for seducing others into the gun culture. Frankly this would be more than $40 work on his part but he also gets to play with the Dragoon, of which he is writing, and learns something about making firearm stocks, which he may be interested in doing for a hobby and/or side business.
Ugly weather! Heavy Oregon rain, which of course is wetter than rain in other states. Trust me on this. Wrapping the cabinets in plastic sheeting, wrasslin' them into woodworker's small truck, sticking other stuff in my little green hatchback, convoying to the site barely able to see the road, wrasslin' the stuff - pounds heavier with water accumulated in the plastic - out of the truck and into the house. At least one of those four hours was spent loading and unloading. Good thing I've taken to wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Groped our way back to his place. On the way down there I had brought all my percussion revolvers, my gunsmithing screwdrivers, the GP100, and another library book on handguns going back to wheellocks (with a nice exploded diagram of a lock which I shall have to wrassle into my scanner - though the mechanic, the woodworker's mate, may wrassle it into hers instead, which is of a more accommodating design). Broke for dinner at a Chinese place (yum) with some books, spoke of many things (including handguns).
Fortune cookie says "Your principles mean more to you than money or success." Spooky.
Returning, finally did the first teardown of the Dragoon with woodworker (and mechanic) watching attentively ("Oh, that's how they do that!" "Yeah, ain't it cool?"). Will probably go back tomorrow with the GP100 and/or Dragoon for grip work.
Learned that reproduction internal parts for the Dragoon are not interchangeable with the reproduction 1861, though I understand that many of the smaller repro models, like the ‘51 and ‘61 Navies and 1860 Army, do use much the same guts.
Rain mixed with snow on the way back. Either that or the gods were hawking loogies on my windshield.
I do endorse the B-Square gunsmithing screwdriver set, though it could use a fine-ground 3/16" flat bit - I seem to have two medium-ground in that size, possibly this is a result of the factory hiring from the public education system, will take a close look at another set next time I'm at Sportsman's Warehouse. Sigh. Doesn't anyone make anything nice anymore?
362 - Sunday, 14 December 2003:
Actually yesterday morning American time. Excuse me while I have a fit of nationalism:
I say, give him to the Kurds.
Woodworker started on spare grips for the GP100, using a nice chunk of curly walnut. He's rising to the challenge: "Hey, this is fun." So I don't feel guilty about getting more than $40 work from him. He also expects no difficulty smoothing the Dragoon's grip but nothing happened on that tonight.
363 - Wednesday, 17 December 2003: Four and a quarter hours overtime this week so far. The other day, my immediate supervisor praised my work and essentially promised a raise at my six-month review - then was shocked to realize I'd only been there two months. It ain't perfect (!), but this is probably the best job I've had yet. It's a good match for my capabilities and I have a sense of getting things done.
From JPFO, got the Bill of Rights in several languages (not least Spanish), printed & copied them and left them in the break room. No complaints. JPFO needs to get this in Vietnamese. Really. Also need to get my computer running Cyrillic and make a Russian version.
Got the engraved metal things! Entirely satisfactory. $20 (plus shipping to where it's actually done) to have a ~one-inch graphic design, in .BMP format, laser-etched on a little chrome thing. This beats $40-$150 at every other place I tried. Creative Resources, Beaverton, OR, (503)641-2845. I'll go back after all this Christmas stuff is done and get me a Gadsden rattlesnake on something for myself. I can feel my subconscious working on activism possibilities here.
Sonuvagun! My car's coolant really was low. It's somewhat overfilled now.
364 - Friday, 19 December 2003: -But that cursed little orange light is still on. DEQ instructions specify that no such light may be lit during testing. If I can't figure it out by February I'll pull the cursed bulb.
Payday, and resisted urge to get another box of Federal 8A, I've enough for practice and the match and still have Christmas shopping to do. Did some, more over the weekend.
Agh, should begin planning my becoming-traditional fireworks show. One of my tricks is linking fireworks, so that one lights the next. The crackling ropes, for example, as close as socialist-occupied Oregon can get to firecrackers, make dandy fuses. Ground bloom flowers used to come with a little twisted loop of firecracker-style fuse, I would simply open up the loop and thread the crackling rope through it - as it crackles it lights the flower. But they've switched to small-diameter green cannon fuse on the flowers so now I just tape it on. Actual cannon fuse is also useful, and available at many sporting-goods departments that also carry gunstuff, especially if there's a blackpowder/muzzleloading section, and you can find it at shows too. Anyway every Independence Day and New Year's for the past several I've been scrambling, often in the dark and sometimes in the cold, to assemble these things on-site and I want to set a new precedent and get them ready ahead of time this year.
Big Expo show tomorrow, not going. Just can't afford it if I want to get all the cool stuff I have in mind for gifts. A coworker is expressing interest and has requested my services as native guide at a future show.
Meanwhile, big potluck/party thing at work today, I brought a shrimp-and-imitation-crab platter from a supermarket and it didn't last long. I was planning to get another for the usual SCA circle's party and now I think I'll get extra shrimp. Then there was a drawing for various management-supplied goodies and my name was pulled out of the bowl for the Great Big Basket of Stuff! Including an entire smoked salmon and a bunch of other high-end gift-food things. These also will be going to that party. I am discovering that when I have money I'm somewhat generous with it. At least, where certain people (or causes) are concerned.
Oh you have got to see this. That's what I want for Christmas.
365 - Saturday, 20 December 2003: Looks like Cruffler's not going to the Expo show either, he's rather disappointed in the $14 combined fee for parking and admission. "Priced themselves out of the market."
Did about $100 of Christmas shopping today, eek. Most gifts wrapped, but some items will have to wait for the last minute on Wednesday, after I get my next paycheck from the temp-service lady. On the bright side, work lets out at noon.
366 - Sunday, 21 December 2003: Woodworker did some more on the GP100's grips today, and started on the Dragoon's too.
Phooey, will have to return Quicksilver by the 23rd, not allowed to renew as lots of others have put it on hold. Barely half done, will have to put it back on hold again myself.
A little more Christmas shopping done, and what I had planned to get for a couple people turns out, on asking their daughter, to be less than ideal, so there's at least two places - Bi-Mart and Harbor Freight Company - I have to hit at the last minute on Wednesday - unless I dip into the rent a little on Tuesday.... Oh well, at least the items I did get, I can add to my own emergency equipment, like a couple small Faraday flashlights with LEDs. Will pick over the recycling bin at work for likely-looking boxes to wrap things in.
Have done no serious dry-practice of any kind for the Foul Weather match on the 3rd, but still have a live-fire practice session planned for the 27th or 28th. Haven't got round to making an elevation knob for the Mojo sight yet either but the four Foul Weather matches are all at 100 yards, so I won't have to switch out to 200 or 300 like the PIG or the Axis vs. Allies. Still a trace of the first stage in the MojoMauser's trigger, may still invest in an aftermarket unit. Hope to have at least twenty rounds' worth of practice before each of these matches. That's three boxes a month, $45, of Federal #8A "8mm Mauser", until April! But I'll end up with a good supply of good brass to start reloading.
I'm somewhat apprehensive about taking my scruffy old MojoMauser to a "sporting rifle" match, as "sportsmen" with ~$700 Remchesters might be unkind to me and my eee-vil $70 military rifle ("It has a bayonet lug! DIAL 911!!") that looks like mice have chewed on the stock for the past 60 years. But, the SR-1 target at 100 yards? That's just not very challenging after those squinty little MR types at twice or thrice the distance. I also have a feeling some of my competitors will be folks who don't get a lot of practice. The event copy kinda sells it that way too. Both previous matches I did much better than I expected so my confidence is high. If they laugh at my ugly Czech which has no ‘scope... "Shooting well is the best revenge." :) Anyway I have the course-of-fire and I'll have a better idea of my chances after practice.
367 - Tuesday, 23 December 2003: Tool woman did not come to work yesterday, did not come to work today, informed supervisor she will not be coming to work tomorrow. Supervisor relates this to me as to leave the Unmistakable Impression that my job is secure.... (Also got a high-scoring two-month performance review via the temp service.)
Sat down in the library to complete Book Two of Quicksilver and had to turn it in with a couple-few hundred pages left. Put it back on hold. Glancing around, noticed a video on making Damascus steel! Blacksmith has done something like that, but there are many techniques called "Damascus". Even money whether he'd learn anything, there's pictures of some of his stuff in the trade magazines and I've seen him work, so there may be nothing on the tape he doesn't already know.
Also picked up another video on "Rifle Shooting Tips and Techniques," Crown of Slaves by Weber and Flint, "Beginning a New Series in the Universe of Honor Harrington," and In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Turtledove, a whole new alternate reality in which the Third Reich won. Flint, et.al.'s latest, 1634: The Galileo Affair (I thought it was going to be The Baltic War), on hold.
Meanwhile, starting Given Up for Dead by Bill Sloan, about the Siege of Wake Island. Leafing through it, pp. 243-244:
"To hell with gallant last stands like the Little Big Horn," Poindexter said later. "The Marine Corps had taught me that the only way to accomplish anything is to take the offensive. If we were going to fight ‘to the very last man,' we might as well die on the attack."
Within minutes, the Japanese - who hadn't bothered to dig in because they thought they were on the offensive - were retreating in disarray....
Later, pg. 245:
"A few of the civilians had no weapons to bring with them, but they lugged bags of grenades and as much extra ammo as they could carry. Others sported a weird assortment of hunting rifles, shotguns, target pistols, and .38 revolvers retrieved from the ruins of the Pan Am Hotel...."
Gawd. Must- put- book- down. I'll be reading it on purpose later!
So I sent a check to The Liberty Committee and I forgot to write out the amount on that line and they sent it back and I fixed it and put it in the pre-stamped envelope they provided and clipped it to the prong beneath the mailbox on the porch and those worthless imbecilic Federal employees in the United States Postal Service did not pick it up. This is not the first such incident. They don't even look unless they have something they have to put in the box. And you know it's almost impossible for those utterly useless incompetents to get fired once they get a government job. Snarl!
368 - Wednesday, 24 December 2003: Paid as expected. Off work at 11 instead of noon, to start the first of two consecutive four-day weekends.
Met with Software Engineer, mutual friend of Structural Engineer, to view Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It certainly had its moments. At the Battle of Pelennor Fields, noted more than one action-sequence similarity to The Empire Strikes Back, i.e. the Battle of Hoth. Must admit to the best giant-spider sequence I've ever seen.
I'd be really hot for Princess Eowyn except she was played by some probably-commie Hollywood actress who in the real world would likely never touch an actual weapon, as she would too-much "value the personhood" of whatever was attempting to rape and/or murder her infant children. The other day, when I heard about the recent fair-to-middlin' earthquake in Commiefornia and that damage was minimal, my first thought was, Damn, Hollywood's still there.
Being politically aware and active, I don't like movies much anymore. If there's a recent one I have to see I try to find it at the library, to avoid further filling the enemy's coffers. But the trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was uncomfortably interesting, and about half this SCA crowd is trying to get me to see Master and Commander, which also gets high marks from the gunfolk lists.
Finally got all the Christmas shopping done and wrapped and everything! Software Engineer didn't think she was going to make it to the regular gathering tomorrow so I brought her gifts to the theater: a certificate redeemable for a shooting trip with me, and a Zippo laser-etched with her SCA device. See, her and Structural Engineer are frequent attendants at my traditional Independence Day and New Year's fireworks shows, and this year I brought spare lighters so folks could touch off their own - and, having timing difficulties, neither of them could operate the ubiquitous butane variety, so I got them both Zippos and got them both etched with their SCA devices and they shouldn't have that problem next year. Unfortunately Structural isn't coming up for Christmas and possibly not New Year's either. Nor does she check her email very often! I've sent notice she's got a cool gift waiting (besides the Zippo). May have to browbeat her phone number out of Software.
Gawd, it's gonna take me an hour to load the car tomorrow! And I have to set the extra shrimp in the ‘fridge to thaw before I sack out tonight.
While waiting for film time, reading Given Up for Dead. "Alamo of the Pacific" is no exaggeration. Sixteen Days of Glory! Jacket blurb says the author is working on a story of another little-known WWII Pacific battle.
Wake Island is "little-known"? I've heard of it before. But then I'm an American, as opposed to the sorry excuses for citizens we've got these days. For example, on pg. 19:
Airline officials even tried to utilize Wake's boisterous, burgeoning rat population as a form of entertainment. Clipper passengers were given a pamphlet called "Welcome to Wake," which invited them to pick up air rifles at the Pan Am office and join nightly rat-hunting expeditions....
More than 150 civilians, some of them military veterans like [Pan Am construction superintendent Nathan Dan] Teters himself, had been training voluntarily to work and fight alongside the Marines in case of emergency. Now Teters offered to round up all these volunteers and put them at [Marine garrison commander Major James P.S.] Devereux's disposal....
Library has the 1942 film, put it on hold. What the hell has happened to this country? We've degenerated from a nation of Heroes to one of SNIVELING WORTHLESS COWARDS!
369 - Thursday, 25 December 2003: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah (Software Engineer is Jewish) and anything else that might offend the Politically Correct!
Gave out a load of good stuff, the high points being a night-vision device for Woodworker to bolt on the bridge of his sternwheeler for nocturnal privateering; another laser-etched heraldic Zippo for Blacksmith (‘cause the two I was having done for Software and Structural were such a cool idea, and he fixed my car), with a bigger bottle of fuel and spare flints as he smokes and will actually use his; a great big cast-iron Dutch oven for his wife, with on-topic cookbook; and a two-story collapsible fire-escape ladder - their bedroom is upstairs - for both of them, along with two (filled) five-liter fuel cans like mine. Also many certificates for shooting trips, and some for physical labor (as many of that crowd are, well, old and creaky). The NVD was a big hit, gonna have to get Blacksmith one, and another myself. Big 5 has at least one of about a dozen models on sale every week, and easy layaway terms.
I got a digital caliper, highly appropriate as I just barely didn't get one for myself yet; Duel Between the First Ironclads, a book on the Battle of Hampton Roads (USS Monitor vs. CSS Virginia, March 1862), just the kind of book I would buy, or at least check out from the library; and a handmade glass vase - green - by and from Blacksmith and his Artist daughter, very cool. Artist got a gift certificate to her usual glassblowing studio, by the way, and an introduction to my GP100.
Fuji got a double ration of crabcake cat treats, and extra lap time. :)
I also got a Borders Books gift card, and earlier while I was getting another such for Artist's husband I noticed a few items I might spend it on - there appears to be a book on the Horten IX, aka the Gotha 229, a flying-wing fighter flown only in prototype by the Third Reich near the end of the war. It was also, either by design or coincidence, the world's first stealth aircraft, with a low radar cross-section, engines buried within the airframe, radar-transparent plywood construction and, as I seem to recall reading, the plywood was bonded with radar-absorbent glue. I believe one of the prototypes is at NASM's storage facility at Silver Hill, Maryland. Scale models are available, and it was featured in some History Channel programs and an ancient LucasArts combat flight/strategy simulator, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. But probably I'll leaf through that book, take a few mental snapshots and put it back on the shelf, and get a fresh Gun Digest, or another part of the Firearms Assembly and Disassembly series if they carry it. Maybe the 2004 Standard Catalog or something on reloading or gunsmithing.
370 - Friday, 26 December 2003: Zzzz....
Laundry done, some groceries, now packing range bag for a practice session tomorrow. Muffs; overglasses, which I probably won't use; jerky; 36 rounds Federal #8A, 16 in old and 20 in new packaging. 150 rounds of .38 Special, the mild stuff I got at the Salem show, to see which will be most friendly toward beginners - i.e., Artist - for training with the GP100.
Argh! Given Up for Dead is due Sunday and already on hold for someone else so I can't renew!
Getting the fireworks show together. Holy crap, I've got more stuff than I know what to do with! Oh, I know what to do with it, but there is rather more than I was fully conscious of, left over from Independence Day. So much the better. Blacksmith's wife's birthday is around New Year's and this stuff will be burned up at her place, so she gets a personal show for a present. A little tape, a few Crackling Ropes, some cannon fuse from the blackpowder department....
Crap! My VCR is officially dead, now that I have a big stack of videos from the library. To replace it, maybe a combo VCR/DVD, but separate units might make more sense tactically, so if one part goes down I still have the other section while the failed part is off being repaired. Meanwhile my checking balance is $31.38 off, not in my favor, and I can't figure how it got that way, and my next two paychecks will likely be short as I haven't yet qualified for holiday pay. Sigh.
Guess I'll just keep reading. Page 246:
...ENEMY ON ISLAND. ISSUE IN DOUBT.
About 7:00 A.M. Wake time [the morning of 23 December 1941], with the issue still very much in doubt, CinCPac ordered [Rear Admiral Frank Jack] Fletcher's Task Force 14 to reverse its course and return to Pearl [Harbor]. On the flight deck of the [aircraft carrier USS] Saratoga, Marine aviators beat their fists against the wings of their planes, and some wept openly. On the bridge of the cruiser Astoria, Fletcher's flagship, some of the admiral's staff pleaded with him to disregard the order and push on. Rear Admiral A. W. Fitch found the talk so mutinous and himself in such total agreement with its tone that he had to excuse himself and leave the bridge. Aboard the seaplane tender Tangier, replacement Marine ground troops cursed the "chickenshit" Navy for "selling out" their comrades.
I haven't seen the film in years but obviously much propagandistic license was taken with it. Page 252:
Simply stated, the Marines on Wake were smarter, tougher, and more capable than their commander realized. Contrary to what Devereux believed, Potter's defenders were actually on the attack and moving forward - as was every other major American unit on Wake proper and Wilkes [a smaller island to the west, separated by a narrow channel] at this moment. [The Japanese landing on Wilkes Island was wiped out, "The Victory Nobody Noticed," by a counterattack led by USMC Captain Wesley McCoy Platt on the morning of 23 December.]
I highly recommend this book and will keep an eye out for Bill Sloan's next work. You couldn't cram this into a two-hour film, or even a three-and-a-half hour one, this is more like a full-season "mini"series, and then Hollywood would screw it all up anyway, unless they did like Mel Gibson in The Passion, with a quest for authenticity, genuine directorial control and all-unknown actors so the audience could concentrate on the story. But Hollywood was trying, as I understand it, to suppress that film, which Gibson apparently made largely out of his own pocket. I haven't seen the film and am not religious enough to want to, but reviews and discussion are on the patriot lists, with which there is much crossover with Christian lists.
In the thoroughly-researched history book, for which the author interviewed both American and Japanese survivors, the Japanese invaders bayonetted captured civilian construction workers in the testicles, in the hope that their screams would cause the defending Marines to reveal themselves. Hollywood would probably have Ben Affleck doing the stabbing on some mild-mannered Japanese medic or company clerk. There'd probably be some oppressed native population and idyllic environment laid waste too (Wake has no native inhabitants and, starting in 1568, the first several mariners or explorers to discover or rediscover the place declared it "useless"), suffering the brutality of nasty ol' Amurican whitey.
Yes, I really have it in for Hollywood. They spew out things like Falling Down and Runaway Jury and Mystic River, and creatures like Michael Douglas and George Clooney and even, recently, Harrison Ford (I may never watch Raiders of the Lost Ark again), portraying and denouncing all my kind as even more evil and despicable than their kind, whattaya expect me ta do, kiss ‘em? That scum should hang, and anyone who buys tickets to their films are giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy. ["Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort...." -U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3]
Nuke Hollywood! Osama won't do it, he'd never attack his staunchest supporters....
371 - Saturday, 27 December 2003: Zzzz....
Wimped out on practice, will try tomorrow. At worst, will run up to the hills on Friday and try something there (Clark Rifles is open Saturday and Sunday only, until April). Actually I'm quite confident the MojoMauser is still sighted-in at 100 yards, and that the new packaging for the ammunition contains the same load and the same ballistics as before - and there are sighting rounds for each of the four stages, and the hex-wrench is in my wallet. Added that reprinted USMC manual to the range bag, duh. Have to dig out my old M65 field jacket, I don't think the black trenchcoat would be appropriate for Sporting Rifle rules, i.e. what one would normally wear in the hunting field.
Given Up for Dead, pp. 322-3: Sub-Lieutenant Shigeyoshi Ozeki by all accounts did much to alleviate the suffering of the American prisoners after the controversial surrender, and was probably directly responsible for the survival of PFC Wiley Sloman, who suffered a gruesome head wound on the final day of the siege, 23 December. The book also contains a photo of Sloman and Dr. Ozeki at a 1995 reunion. Captain Morita Matsuda of the Japanese propaganda corps is also mentioned for his efforts to allow the prisoners to send letters home. "There are princes and curs in every folk and nation."
But some nations have them in different proportions. Reading about the POWs' four-year ordeal is enough to start the war all over again. "Many of the food packages shipped to the POWs by the International Red Cross were confiscated by the Japanese...." "Letters and packages from the States were routinely pilfered, destroyed, or held in limbo for months...." This is besides the regular beatings, torture, starvation, disease, deadly slave-labor, and occasional beheading, of course. And let's not forget the hundred-odd civilian construction workers left on Wake as prisoners of Japan's garrison there. Most of these civilians were massacred with machinegun fire on 7 October 1943, on orders from garrison commandant Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, who confessed that he also personally hacked to death the sole survivor of the massacre. (Sakaibara was later tried, convicted, and hung.)
Author figures that enemy combat fatalities during the siege outnumbered American deaths by thirteen to one. I believe the Alamo only claimed three-to-one. Included in that 13:1 figure are two Japanese destroyers and one submarine sunk, two destroyer-transports blasted to scrap ("not technically sunk") after deliberately running aground to deliver troops, at least five other ships disabled or damaged, and 21 to 29 enemy aircraft destroyed. Japanese sources, known for under-reporting their own losses, indicate about twice that number of aircraft lost in the siege. Perhaps most exasperating is the fact that Admiral Kimmel, scapegoat of Pearl Harbor, had a relief force en route which
could would have arrived in time to make the difference. Author suggests Kimmel has been mistreated by history, I may have to look into that.
Probably won't enjoy the 1942 film as much, now.
I really miss the History Channel.
$igh - squeezed a new VCR into the budget, $42.88 at Bi-Mart. Good thing I get paid weekly. -Watched Bad Day at Black Rock, MGM 1954, and was reminded of the- Nisei? Nikkei? Japanese-Americans, particularly the 5hundredsomething Regiment which earned a pile of American medals fighting Fascists in Italy. And didn't they come charging to the dramatic rescue of some other American unit in at least one battle? There was a film about them too, right? And books I'm sure.
"Princes and curs in every folk and nation." See, there's differences. Sakaibara was a mass-murdering imperialist, Ozeki is a decent and compassionate human being, and those guys in Italy were Americans. Ya gotta judge people by what they do. -Which is why I'd like to see a meteor obliterate the State Capitol in Salem, or everything south of Sacramento slide into the Pacific....
Speaking of people doing things, a lot of people in this country don't like the idea of right and wrong or of being held accountable for their actions. Tammy Bruce - lesbian, Democrat, former president of NOW, "classical liberal" - is guest-hosting the "republitarian" Larry Elder talk-radio show through the New Year and one of her books is The Death of Right and Wrong, may have to look for it. It also shows up in banner ads on some of the non-commie websites I visit. Also Goldberg (Bias) has a new one, Arrogance. I begin to hope a backlash is rising against Political Correctness and the treasonous racist murderous collectivist scum who call themselves "liberal".
Speaking of Tammy Bruce - if she's so busy denouncing the current Democratic Party's bigoted commie platform, why is she still with the party? I mean, she says right on the air that today's Party does not stand for Democratic Principles, what does she think she can accomplish by staying in? Especially as those selfsame so-called "liberals" are busily denouncing her in various tones as a traitor to their ideology? -I'm not expecting her to join the GOP - I left that party as they no longer represent Republican Principles - but c'mon, put your vote where your mouth is! Eh, I'll see if the library has her book anyway, it won't cost me anything.
Except in the taxes I pay to run the place....
372 - Sunday, 28 December 2003: Zzzz....
Departing for Clark Rifles about 11am.
Okay, 11:15, still had to hunt down field jacket. Ground mat, stored in leaky car, is damp, I'll just confirm my sights from the bench today.
Arrived about 11:45. Lower range, where the match will be, closed due to fog obscuring 300 yard targets. "Light" but soaking rain, zillions of little tiny drops, and some snow. About an inch of standing snow.
Lane 1, far right, 100 yards, SR-1 target. Percussion muzzleloader to my left in Lane 2, no brass issues. (He was having ignition problems though, and maybe something was wrong with his double-set triggers - looked like the hammer wasn't always falling when he wanted it to.) Starting with the old packaging, 16 rounds remaining. First shot, not bad, 8 ring at about 1:00. Fouling shot? Let's find out. Second shot- can't see it, so either it went through the same hole (unlikely), I missed the 21-inch-square target sheet (not bloody likely), or it's in the 6¼" black.
Okay, four rounds, somewhat like a stage in the match next weekend. -Definitely four hits in the black, two 9s and two 10s (one of those touching).
Ten rounds in the old packaging left, let's see if the new stuff has the same point of impact. Wastefully fired five rounds of the twenty available. About 4MOA but way low and left! Yikes! The new packaging does have different ballistics. Should have fired pairs to conserve it. Good thing I practiced before the match! 15 rounds left, fresh target. Found my second shot, low in the 9 ring near one from the four-shot string.
To business. ½ turn up, ½ turn right, two rounds. -Windage nearly there, 10 ring at 4:00, 8 at 7:00. ¼ turn up.
Two rounds. 9/8:00, 8/5:00 but I may have flinched. Another ¼ up.
Two rounds. Recoil well under control. 9 ring high, 11:00 and 1:00. An eighth turn down on the elevation screw.
Two rounds. Trigger has improved but not much, may still get a low-end Timney. 10 ring! 10:00 and 3:00.
Leave sights where-is, two rounds. 10/5:00, 9/7:00. -I'll take it. ~12:30, to handgun range.
Just getting a feel for the mild .38 loads I got at the show. Starting with CCI Blazer full-wadcutter, non-reloadable aluminum-case, on steel swingers at 10 yards. Recoil mild enough but still more than I expected. Some hits, I think it's going high. Not much striking energy, the plates barely move, but that's not what these are for. Try some on paper.
Quite a bit high actually, hmm. Let's try a different flavor, Miwall copper-plated wadcutter reloads. -Also high, and a touch right but that might have been me. Should have brought the .357/110JHP for comparison. Miwall wadcutters seem a touch milder than CCI.
Now some Miwall 158 "round nose", big honkin' meplat looks more like a semiwadcutter. A bit more recoil, again way high like the wadcutters - I think. Clark Rifles allows bench shooting of handguns but I'm standing today. GP100 has click-adjustable rear sight, a more leisurely session should produce sight settings for different loads.
Brr. But not today. MojoMauser is in the 10 ring with the same stuff I will use in the match, the wadcutter stuff is about as mild as I'd hoped for training beginners, packing it in about 1:30.
Returned about 2pm. Now I have to get ready for work tomorrow (ick, but not near as icky as the warehouse - I hate the commute more than the work), and for the New Year's party. Must continue preparing my fireworks show and get it all ready to travel, and find a supermarket on the west side where I can buy a seafood platter instead of having it sit in my fridge - I don't want to fight my way across metro, twice, to my apartment and then to Blacksmith's place in Wilsonville, on New Year's Eve. Could put it in the fridge at work I guess.
Clark Rifles has a plate match, action handgun, every fourth sunday according to their site. Planning on trying it in April, in better (or at least warmer) weather. Dunno if I'll have a semiautomatic by then but revolvers can play too, I just need practice.
373 - Tuesday, 30 December 2003: Picked up Tammy Bruce's The Death of Right and Wrong, in the queue. Starting Weber & Flint's Crown of Slaves, tasty. Viewing Damascus, a 90-minute video featuring Bill Moran doing fascinating things with lumps of metal, will loan it to Blacksmith.
Mostly packed for New Year's, just have to put the boxes in the car in the morning - but the weather forecast is a Winter Storm Warning, eek. Shoulda got chains months ago. Interesting commute yesterday in actual snow. No real difficulty yesterday and even less today (except for scraping the ice off before I left) but tomorrow should be interesting indeed. Wonder if I can make it up the hill to the match on Saturday?
Lovely! Two inches of snow this evening. At my elevation. Work is higher, and the route to it is higher still. And after getting that new VCR I can't afford chains until I get paid tomorrow anyway! This is a learning experience. ...Well, I really did want to get cool gifts for those people. If I can muddle through the next week or three I should have everything in hand.
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