RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - FEBRUARY 2007
All righty, some practice. Haven't fired the P35, or any rifle, since 9 December I think. Furthermore I have an excuse for getting whupped at plates last weekend: I was not making my best effort. I hadn't practiced, and with the match to run I wasn't caring as much. I was using up stray rounds and test batches, before switching over to my new 158gr load. Today, I'll use up all those strays on purpose, and get some actual practice besides.
As for rifles, I am inclined to simulate a Garand match - probably on the SR1 at 100, and with the LC72 stuff I bought at the club in September; 40 rounds, exactly enough for the short course including sighters. (Must order some SR-C targets for authentic practice.) Dunno if I'll have time or gumption though.
Okay, cold and wet, wimped out on rifle work. Next weekend, I promise. (Skipping the Lone Oak pin shoot on the 10th.) Burned up some stray .357 rounds, now I can concentrate on one load. Gathered some .45 bonus brass, and some .40.
Email still backed up some. Selective lethargy.
1387 - Sunday, 4 February 2007: Zzzz.
Processing brass. While it's tumbling, to hardware store for 1/8" music wire to replace the missing Z-bar on the second Pro 1000 (clamp in vise, bend appropriately, saw off excess with Dremel cutting disk, install, works) - somehow I have to make room for both of them so I don't have to constantly switch the one between .45ACP and .357 Magnum. Also contemplating ordering the .135" spacer from Midway, to step a .38 die to .357 height. I was going to just make one, but I don't have quite that many tools and it's only a few bucks and it'll give me an excuse to order other stuff, like a Goldenrod electric dehumidifier for the arms locker.
Sis sends MyCatHatesYou.com.
Made another SLED.
1388 - Monday, 5 February 2007: Bleh. Products of public education all the heck over the place. At work, on the road, in stores, on radio - yech.
And then, something happens to restore... some... faith in humanity.
A PayPal donation from a reader in Switzerland! (Actually a German who works there.)
Back when I was in the SCA, I often saw a bumper sticker which read, "If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?" Since this man lives in socialist-occupied Europe and is not (AFAIK) actually a Swiss citizen (they have a service requirement to go with the keep-an-automatic-rifle-in-your-closet-or-you-lose-the-right-to-vote deal - not a bad idea, Alan Keyes suggested it IIRC, but it's way too late to make it happen here, the sheeple are too attached to their big-screen TVs), it's practically impossible for him to have any access to firearms. So he does what he can with the weapons he can lay hands on:
1389 - Tuesday, 6 February 2007: Work. Sigh.
Starting to make an actual emergency kit, way overdue. On my Thanksgiving trip to Everett, a surplus store was selling a meager kit pre-gathered in a .30 ammo can. Not a bad idea and I bought one. Except I need a .50 can. And then, once I have a "proper" kit assembled (even the .30 can I have now, which has already been added to, including food (some meat-stick bits), puts me way ahead of the sheeple), I'll transfer it to some kind of backpack for easier carrying when the Corolla runs out of fuel or gets zapped by EMP or what-have-you. -Water is key. I've taken to carrying my GI surplus LBE in the car, with three 1qt plastic GI canteens. There's also a dollar-store gallon of bottled water in the back seat. I've tried building a kit before but it didn't take, don't know why.
Tucson Tom sends border update.
1390 - Wednesday, 7 February 2007: Yeah work sucks. Sigh. Mandatory overtime tomorrow and Friday, but as I remain a temp with neither raise nor benefits, I keep my Saturdays. Or that's how I and the floor supervisor figure it based on current data.
Shrug. I Can Get Another Job.
On the drive back, Lars, at the big Sportsman's Show, phone-interviews MA Gov. Mitt Romney, a presidential candidate... and doesn't entirely softball him on RKBA. Credit where due. Romney, OTOH, boasts of signing a bill which "makes it easier" for people to get a CHL in Massachusetts (what, only three sexual favors instead of four now?), but also strengthens their ban on "assault weapons." Again to Lars' credit, he did, if mildly, object to the latter. Anyhow RINO Romney will not be getting my vote.
And damn sure not Giuliani. Or McCain. Tancredo? Good on the border, at least in words - the mainstream GOP will probably torpedo him for that.
1391 - Thursday, 8 February 2007: Grunt.
An appalling lack of cerebral horsepower in the workforce. I was losing IQ points by the minute simply by association. I could hear individual brain cells screaming in terror and agony as they expired. Recounting the particulars is beyond my capacity, and besides I'm planning on eating later. Is this worth the ~$13/hour extra I'll net?
On a brighter note, another PayPal donation yesterday! And my car insurance payment seems to have dropped some, I guess since I haven't had any claims. Sometimes the system works.
Also, Bi-Mart has powder and projectiles on sale and I'll be whipping up a batch of Nosler #30150 for the Queen to sample this weekend. Same powder charge as the Hornady FMJBT, 46.3gr IMR4895. (Even on sale the Nosler is near twice the cost-per as the Hornady - but if I can afford it, and if it gives good accuracy, it sure would be nice to have a single all-purpose Garand load for field, match, and battle. Been planning, and 'blogging, this idea for months and now I have the bullets to do it.)
Hey, I didn't know Nosler was here in Oregon! (I'm still escaping to Wyoming someday though.)
Then I phone Sportsman's Warehouse and learn than their regular price on IMR4895, and on the W231 I'm settling on for handgun loads, is lower than Bi-Mart's sale price. Do shop around. The SW nearest me is out of large (4 & 8lb) jugs of both, but the Vancouver store is on the way to the range, and the checkout folks have big signs on their counters reminding them about sales tax exemption with Oregon ID. I'll make a stop after everything Saturday.
Remember the burst barrel back in September? Now, I kid you not, I have been contacted by the TV show Mythbusters asking permission to use the photos. Granted, since they're already all over the net anyway. I have got to start putting my URL in my photos....
But I've been getting up at 4am for months now, and now I'm getting back to the hovel just a couple hours before (adjusted) bedtime. Expect email to back up again.
1392 - Saturday, 10 February 2007: Not entirely the range session I had hoped for. First, I hung out for a while at the Barberton show chatting (bought two speedloaders for sis and an older box of Nosler .30/150gr Ballistic Tips). Arrived at the range about noon and burned up some .357 rounds; also had one somewhat acceptable performance from the P35, with the new 15rnd Mec-Gar magazine, which works:
Nothing else photo-worthy. Eventually I did finally get down to the lower line with the Queen, trying to get sight settings for 100, 200 and 300 yards, with CMP/GI surplus, my Hornady FMJBT handloads, and the Noslers. The Queen wasn't at her best today, or more likely I wasn't, but I was taking notes. I also discovered that the rear sight was shifting in elevation in recoil; of course I always carry a gunsmithing screwdriver kit in the range bag now, so that was easy to tighten, though now the windage adjustment is very stiff - but at least I know it won't move.
Then the weather hit, wind and rain, and I packed up. But I did get some rifle practice today! And I need more. I must get an early start, a stack of targets, a heap of rounds, and spend the whole day working with the Queen. -That's it, when the overtime pay is direct-deposited on the 15th I'm stopping at Sportsman's Warehouse after work and buying a $70 Chrony F1 chronograph. Dangit. It's past time I had more data on my loads.
(Oh yeah, mandatory overtime until further notice. Grump. Poor planning on some officecritter's part, or gross incompetence throughout the workforce, should not constitute an obligation on my part. The money will be good but the hours will kill me, and the Saturday issue might cost me this job. Shrug.)
(And another thing: gross workforce incompetence came up in conversation with Cruffler and knifemaker Ray Cox. I gave forth with the "appalling lack of cerebral horsepower", to which Cruffler responded with "operating on battery power and starting at half-charge", to which Ray added "NBFU - Natural-Born F***-Ups". Is Atlas shrugging yet?)
Next Saturday, pins at Wolverton. Must load some .357/158.
If you are an informed member of the Culture, you know that NYC mayor Bloomberg has been hassling dealers in other states, blaming them for his own inability to stop New Yorkers from murdering each other. In Virginia, they're not taking it lying down. Again the Virginia Citizens Defense League is on the front line slugging away.
On rec.guns, this humorous exchange, and I quote:
Ordered some parts from Lee, taking advantage of Cruffler's generously-offered C&R FFL discount. With two Auto-Disk powder measures, and now all the other parts I need (i.e. .45ACP powder-through-expander die), I can dispense with the wooden stand I built to position an RCBS measure over the Pro 1000, and that makes room for the second Pro 1000 to be clamped to the Dangerously Disorganized Reloading TableTM! Now I can leave one set for .357 Magnum and the other for .45ACP (for the 1911 I don't have yet), and switch one or the other for .223 Remington with the other other parts I also received.
No, I still don't own a .223, nor have any immediate plans to get one, but it is a JBT-standard cartridge and I have a large quantity of it - watch Back to Bataan and contemplate the philosophy of guerilla warfare, using an enemy's weapons against him. (Hey - do you know your way around an AR? Why the heck not?) Now I can process it, especially with the Hornady One Shot spray case lube. Sized, deprimed brass in a popular chambering should be highly barter-worthy. I even have the necessary pilot and collet for the old Forster case trimmer, and a Small primer pocket brush. Picked up an Auto-Prime shellholder a couple weeks ago too. Now I have everything I need to not only load, but progressively load .223. -Except the Lee Factory Crimp Die, as I use for .30-06 for the Queen. The old RCBS .223 dies I have should do a roll crimp but Sportsman's Warehouse carries (some) FCDs including .223 (though they were sold out when last I was there).
This may be the impetus needed to finally organize my reloading operation. Which would shock sis on her next visit. :)
The range is awash in spent .40S&W, which I haven't always been bothering to pick up. Lee's charts say it uses the same shellplate for the Pro 1000 as for 9x19mm, already have that. I'll keep an eye out for .40 dies, preferably Lee carbide with PTE.
I should disassemble and thoroughly clean the Lee Perfect powder measure, the plastic one I've been disappointed with. It seems to have helped with the Auto-Disks. The Perfect does work smoothly with IMR4064, the powder I've been using for Mosin loads, and would, I suppose, work more smoothly than the RCBS with IMR4895, for Garand loads, but accuracy was lacking last time I tried that measure. What would be swell is one of those electronic powder dispensing systems, but the cheapest I've seen is $200. …OTOH, with all this overtime pay….
1393 - Sunday, 11 February 2007: Zz.
Once again plunging into the dreadful thicket of backed-up email! Yuri sends Free Wayne Fincher webring; Cruffler sends WashingtonCeasefire.com, not to be confused with the sniveling cowardly anti-self-defense traitors.
More data from New Orleans:
Hm, looks like my ISP's server is clogged, email not going out. Should clear up later.
1394 - Monday, 12 February 2007: No overtime! Today. "May change at any moment." I'm tired, and am now fully in don't-like-overtime mode.
Processing brass from last Saturday, preparing to make more .357/158 for pins this Saturday. Not making any more .30-06 until I have a chronograph to further examine what I've already made.
1395 - Tuesday, 13 February 2007: Finally finished We the Underpeople. Not a bad read, historically important to the SF world, much ground broken, but not my usual fare. Speaking of, next is Exodus by Steve White & Shirley Meier, a continuation of the Stars at War saga with David Weber.
1396 - Thursday, 15 February 2007: Work sigh. Visual aid.
Email is wonky, apparently at the ISP end - I'm getting stuff dated one or two days previous, seeing list replies before original posts, even one a day or two ago telling me to disregard a previous message I received today.
Tucson Tom sends the official portrait in the Clinton Library:
Reader inquires as to a replacement bolt for a Stevens M52. Numrich fails. Can anyone help?
Yuri sends report on Washington legislation and activism.
Reader sends word that English Pit is "working toward" re-opening this Spring.
PIG tentatively scheduled for 9 June, AvA for 17 November. No bowling pins for me those Saturdays!
Spent Money at Sportsman's Warehouse. Went there for one thing, but while there also got another box of 125gr Xtreme .358", the old plate projectile - will make milder loads for sisters. I note that the contour and cannelure placement appear identical between the 125gr and 158gr, so I won't have to change my seat/crimp die. I'm using 5.6gr W231 for the 158gr for a pins/plates load - the same charge should be appropriate for a mild plate or subversion load under the 125gr, so I won't even have to change the Auto-Disk. Making small batch to test (i.e. for ignition problems), considering stopping at Clark Rifles after Wolverton pins this Saturday.
But what I went there for is the Chrony F-1 chronograph, $69.99. (Also, Sportsman's Warehouse has Customer Appreciation Days through Sunday, 5-10% off everything, and that helped.) Mounts to standard photo tripods! Anyhow I already knew how a chronograph worked - I actually have an electronics degree, not that it's ever done much for me - and back when I still had my books and tools I might even have been capable of designing & building a very crude one. The F-1 is the base model, affordable as such things go, and upgradeable. Dunno when I'll have a chance to really sit down with it though - maybe not 'til the 3rd.
Monday off! I need to work on the hovel's shower… after sleeping in, naturally….
1397 - Friday, 16 February 2007: Work.
Whatever happened to firing incompetent people? Every day I spend the first quarter-hour or more cleaning up after swing shift and finding all the tools and fixtures they hid. Or, evidently, that they hurled at each other like monkey poo. But noooo, no, you don't dare say anything, we wouldn't want to offend anyone, we might hurt someone's feeeeelings. Product fails in testing? A spike in customer returns? Expensive tools and equipment out of service or missing altogether? Nothing done on time? Aw, that's too bad, but hey, at least the worthless wretches who "built" it have their SELF-ESTEEM! And the new people - SLOW! GODS they're slow! Of hands, feet and thought SLOW they are! Sometimes it's all I can do to avoid trampling them as I go about my daily tasks. Find the Dilbert for 24 August 2006 for a visual aid. -There was a recent radio news story about some state initiative to "improve the skills of the workforce" or some such feel-good uselessness. Throwing my tax dollars at it ain't the solution (and before you support Gingrich for President, whatever did happen to the Contract with America and his promise, when he was Speaker of the House, to abolish the Department of Education?). And it's not just where I work! It's throughout the company; it's at my friends' and acquaintances' jobs; it's in line at the store; it's all around me on roads and freeways. People who can't do the simplest, basic math. People who can't control their screeching unwashed brats. Cars newer and more powerful than mine whose drivers can't climb a hill or negotiate a curve without slowing to a ridiculous crawl, on a bone-dry super-wide superhighway (and of course they have to do this in the left lane, oblivious to the fifteen cars stacking up behind them). People who CAN'T READ A THREE-METER SIGN THREE KILOMETERS IN ADVANCE AND HAVE TO SUDDENLY SLICE ACROSS THREE LANES OF TRAFFIC BECAUSE THEY'RE TOO BUSY FIDDLING WITH THEIR MUSIC DISCS TO PLAN AHEAD FOR THE CORRECT EXIT!
Yes, I've read "The Marching Morons". Kornbluth, was it? Years ago but I do remember. "PopProbTerm"….
Meanwhile, Portland mayor Tom Potter (the terrorist sympathizer who withdrew from the FBI's joint anti-terrorism task force, and whose predecessor had an Islamic terrorist wannabe working in her office in city hall) has, to alleviate the problem of homelessness, spent my tax dollars on steel benches to be installed around downtown, for the bums to sleep on instead of the (cold, heartless, and, doubtless, eee-vil Republican) sidewalk. -So the city is encouraging vagrancy, welcoming unsanitary panhandling bums (there have even been serious proposals to build (tax-paid of course!) housing projects for the chronically homeless). And the meth-heads will steal the benches for scrap-metal money, you just watch. I… am disturbingly close to overloading the Corolla and driving to Wyoming to start the heck over. (But like the Union captain in The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, what I lack is the guts.)
Pins tomorrow, packing. Canby show this weekend, Sunday I think, used dies and such, maybe a visit to the Miwall/OMC tables, I'm nearly out of Winchester Q4204 and Bi-Mart doesn't put it on sale anymore. Range open Monday, range session if I get the shower fixed first.
White & Meier's Exodus is zippier than the Cordwainer Smith stuff, but the plot may be a bit forced.
Getting fonder of the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure (which only works with a Lee powder-through-expander die (there is also a non-expanding rifle die available, ".22 Hornet through .308 Winchester", and I have one)). The swivel attachment is also a plus. Thinking ahead to .45ACP loads - Sportsman's Warehouse stocks the Xtreme copper-plated 200gr semiwadcutter, which ought to do well on pins & plates. Looking at my accumulated load data, I'm beginning to get the idea that a single charge of a single powder - 5.6gr W231 - may work in all three of my loads, one current, one in development and one putative: .357 158gr pins, .357 125gr reduced plates/subversion, .45 200gr non-fighting.
The Auto-Disk (with swivel adapter) pops from one PTE die to another in seconds; the PTE die with Auto-Disk can be positioned in, conceivably, any station but the last; the Auto-Disk with PTE die, appropriately adjusted, would work with nearly any standard-thread press, single-stage or progressive. -This is the older spring-loaded model, not the bulkier (but larger-capacity) Pro model with ball-chain pull-back. Haven't tried the latter since I cleaned it, having too much fun pumping out rounds with the older version. Changing disks is easy, though some finger strength is required on the spring-loaded model - but that older model is faster and easier to remove and replace, as there's no return chain to detach. A micrometer-style adjustable charge bar, instead of the disks, is also available, and I have that too, and a double disk set for larger charges, i.e. rifle rounds (I know I can't do .30-06 on the Pro 1000, not tall enough, but it's looking like I could do .308 and I already have all I need for .223). And, one piece at a time, it's all very affordable.
1398 - Saturday, 17 February 2007: At risk of life on twisty country roads, made it to the pin match on time. Must get earlier start next month!
Did not place. Furthermore the award I won last month (2nd Place Revolver) was not available as the person who makes them, didn't. I'll whip up my own for the wall, the photo of which is three awards short as I type. Also offered to do the same for that event - working on upgraded awards certificates for plates next weekend, converted from cruder Windows Paint .BMPs to more-easily updateable MSWord files (should have improved print quality too, but I have to disassemble the computer and boot off a whole other drive to get the printer working at present (the digital camera's memory card makes one heck of a "floppy")).
After the shoot, struck by wanderlust, impulsively went for a long country drive through the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest and environs - this was somewhere on the north side of the Swift Reservoir on Forest Road 90:
Then I came back to the hovel, in the city, and got kinda depressed by the contrast. Not least 'cause I passed some realtors' signs 'way out in the wilderness. One even said "20 acre parcels". Sigh.
On second thought, not going to the Canby show this weekend, not least 'cause I'll probably be dragging sis to the Vancouver show next weekend (and OAC too, theme Engraved Arms). I'll work on the hovel's shower tomorrow, I know the hardware store is open Sundays, and go to the range on the holiday.
1399 - Sunday, 18 February 2007: Some fireworks on Gun Talk and chat - Jim Zumbo of Outdoor Life magazine put both feet in his mouth when, a couple days ago on his 'blog, he pulled a total Fudd and condemned ARs as "terrorist rifles" unfit to share his sacred hunting field with his politically-less-incorrect Remchester. Now, amid a flurry of cancelled subscriptions, he's scrambling for damage control but for the folks on TFL, THR, AR15.com and elsewhere, it's a leetle late. Gun Talk host Tom Gresham goes all weaselly too - kinda out of touch with his audience, or at least the Elves of the no-longer-official chat room.
Reader sends bad cop in Tennessee. And the blueshirts wonder why we fear and hate them. To the department's credit, this one actually got fired… but you watch, he'll have a different badge and a shiny new pair of jackboots waiting for him just across a county or state line.
BTW, the Zumbo thing - since Remington is one of his sponsors (for the moment...), many have called for a boycott of Remington. Remington, very much to their credit, are standing on their corporate hind legs and officially protesting. Add this to Para Ordnance's NRA-ILA pistol models and I'm encouraged to see the industry waking the heck up (in contrast to Ruger's and S&W's antics during the Clinton years).
1400 - Monday, 19 February 2007: An incompletely satisfying range trip. Did adequately with the GP100, the 5.6gr W231 125gr load works (though there may still be a first-round ignition issue) and now I have a .38 load properly developed (4.5gr W231 under 125gr plated, no ignition problems in the smaller case). I fired exactly 20 rounds from the Queen, and would have fired 30 if I had remembered to pack the GI rounds for comparison to my handloads which was the whole point of the trip. Well. The chronograph works great, nothing wrong there. Here's the data:
|Round #||Hdy FMJ||Nos BT||Notes (Nosler)|
Slower than I expected - but that's why I bought the chronograph. And here's the groups, 100yds from the bench:
Note that with the exact same bullet weight, powder charge, and sight setting, the Hornady FMJBTs go high and the Nosler Ballistic Tips go low. Same primers too, but different cases, Remington for Hornady and Federal for Nosler. This requires some pondering. Kicking self over leaving the GI rounds behind; without that data, this data is insufficient. The bulk of the groups are right about 2MOA, which is acceptable, but I can't account for those flyers. Interesting that the worst flyer corresponds with the greatest velocity variation. Thinking more of an electronic powder dispenser system - Sportsman's Warehouse stocks Lyman and RCBS, ~$230. The old Uniflow does sometimes bind and shear on the IMR4895. It's also worth noting that I made the Hornady rounds months ago, and the Noslers - when was that, less than two weeks. More testing required before making more '06 rounds.
(Oh, the Vancouver SW is out of .223 Lee Factory Crimp Dies too. Well, I can always order it.)
(I do have a single tray of Small Rifle primers, 'cause I grabbed before I looked, and even some .224" 53gr JHPs left over from the old English Pit deal that started me reloading - they didn't sell at the club picnic.)
Positioning of the chrono is critical, duh. Not only to avoid destroying a $70+ piece of electronics, but also to get accurate readings - the instructions recommend a placement something like this:
Too close and the muzzle blast, especially with lower-velocity rounds, may trigger the sensor before the bullet does. Depending on light conditions the shields may not be necessary, or may need to be augmented with artificial lighting - see instructions. The line of fire should be a particular distance above the sensors. And, though I haven't done it yet, I repeat the tip I've read, of replacing the metal shield rods with wooden dowels so that if the rod is struck you're less likely to destroy the unit.
Cold and wet and icky and this was not the Full Day of Rifle Study previously mentioned. But I know the chrono works and I got some bonus brass, even a few more .30-06. (I think I'll start processing .223 soon too - close to three gallons now.)
Word on the net is that Remington will officially fire Zumbo tomorrow.
Pro 1000 #2 set up to resize/deprime .223 brass! Tested with one case, all seems well. Yay Hornady One Shot spray lube. -Something about that inspires a mua-ha-haa. But I don't even own a .223, much less an eee-vil AR! Crap, there's another thing to save up for, not least because Zumbo and Brady don't like them.... I have been considering an AR, low on the wish list for financial reasons but higher because it's this nation's standard-issue design. I'm thinking -A2 all the way, 20" barrel, fixed butt. Probably 1:9" compromise rifling, there's still a lot of 55gr surplus out there. The direct impingement gas system still offends me (along with the aluminum receiver and Ridiculously Tall Sights), but that's how our guys in the sandbox get it, and one of the new piston models will be far more expensive, and those aren't standardized for spare parts anyway. Hider and lug, goes without saying. No real experience with the A2 rear sight, but it looks good, properly adjustable (the Queen has completely spoiled me for rifle sights).
Hm, maybe an NEF Handi-Rifle... no, those usually don't come with sights of any kind and I don't much trust scopes. I've also heard of headspace problems with the break-actions. No, not a Mini-14. Supposedly the new ones have improved accuracy but it's never really been a fighting rifle without another couple hundred $ in add-ons, and magazines are a lot harder to find than for the AR. Build an AR, pieceing it together as budget permits? Plenty of instructions on the net and in books & files I already have, hm....
1401 - Tuesday, 20 February 2007: Work phooey.
Official Remington press release firing Zumbo. And, on the Outdoor Life site for Zumbo's 'blog, dated yesterday:
Finished White & Meier's Exodus, good, more obviously on the way. Starting Weber's Off Armageddon Reef, the first David Weber book I know of published by someone other than Baen (Tor in this case) - I hope this doesn't signal an end to or disruption of the Harrington saga, or the Prince Roger series with Ringo! Weber's also been in the 1632 and Posleen universes, but the former is now a self-sustaining creative chain reaction and the latter… Ringo could leave as is, with the hints dropped in The Hero (with Williamson) and Watch on the Rhine (with Kratman). Or not: Yellow Eyes, Ringo & Kratman, on hold.
Beginning to mass-process .223/5.56mm brass! This may take some time:
More force needed - C-clamps won't do for mounting the press, time to drill holes in the table and buy nuts & bolts at the hardware store. Some fine-tuning of the case-feeder is also indicated, but for the most part this is working.
And then I'll have to sort all those headstamps… some of the primer pockets will need swaging too.
1402 - Wednesday, 21 February 2007: I am FIRED!
Here's my side of what happened. Yesterday, an employee, who happened to be Latino, dropped a board - on purpose, I think - and made a loud noise. I objected, as any civilized person might reasonably do. The objection was objected to and huffs were walked off in.
Now here's my theory, guided by the lamps of experience and observation: the Latino employee embellished the tale until I was some kind of homicidal racist monster who started the whole thing and the upper management, fearing a lawsuit, canned the white guy. -And they wanted to get rid of me over the Saturdays thing anyway.
Now, my immediate supervisor was kinda of the same opinion, though neither of us put it in words at the time - he's never been the problem. He has a problem now though - there's only one other guy there who can read and write and count in English, and few others who can in any language. Visual aid. It's like I'm living in Atlas Shrugged!
Contact temp service, back on their active list. But… I really don't want to work, especially in this decrepit workforce. As for money, even without using the 1911 fund I'll be okay for a week or three and I know I can get a job somewhere by then - the problem now is motivation, so don't nobody be sending no PayPal donations just 'cause I'm unemployed again!
Eh, that 5am starting time was burning me out anyway.
Speaking of Wyoming, sis sends this story on sex offenders congregating there because of less-strict reporting laws. Note that the republican legislator wants to track sex offenders as other states do, while the democrat is concerned for the perverts' privacy. -Now a libertarian argument could be made that statutory rape, that is, otherwise-consensual intercourse with a minor, is nowhere near morally equivalent to child molestation. People, even young'uns, should be judged on their individual capabilities and intellects instead of simply by having a pulse for an arbitrary number of years; there are 12-year-olds I'd trust behind me with live grenades, and 40-year-olds I wouldn't trust in front of me with a plastic spork. And to his republitarian credit, the republican in the article hinted in that direction - he's not just jerking his knee.
Yep, even the Cowboy Action folks are stomping Zumbo. And they're not alone: 1, 2.
Having at the .223 hoard. Pro 1000 #2 bolted to table (wing nuts for quick release to empty primer reservoir, washers to prevent table splintering, a couple bucks at the hardware store; cordless drill/drivers can be had for under $20 some places), case-feeder adjusted, running quite well except sometimes the feeder double-feeds the last two cases in a tube, or a case tips over if I run the ram and linked pusher-block too fast, big whoop. This could take weeks, by which time I'll probably have another half-gallon. I'm thinking 300-400 pieces per tumbler session, running 3 hours (with, well, old dirty media) while I'm (theoretically) away at work. Trimming, chamfer/deburring, and pocket-swaging where necessary; then, some big Ziploc bags, maybe 200-250 pieces each, sorted by headstamp, and I'll have heaps of ready-to-load and, I imagine, quite barter-worthy brass. Since I don't own a .223, and since I'm hesitant to buy empty brass with unidentified primers in it and I imagine others feel the same, I'll not bother priming any of this unless I have a reason to.
I'll need more Hornady spray lube….
I think I might be able to size .30-06 on the Pro 1000 using the same technique, though a seated bullet would make the cartridge too tall to cycle through the press (and I think even the empties are too tall for the case feeder, but the linked pusher-block would still work to semi-automatically feed them); I'm morally certain I can at least size .308/7.62x51mm, possibly even making full rounds. I'm pretty sure Lee makes a shellplate for the Pro 1000 for 7.62x39mm too, but I don't have a weapon for that cartridge at present. In theory 7.92x57mm can be done on this too, at least partly, as it uses the same shellplate/shellholder as .45ACP, .30-06, .308, etc.
Meanwhile Pro 1000 #1, the donated machine, remains set for .38/.357, and I've finally juggled my dies & turrets sufficiently to fully process either without adjusting any die, just exchanging them. I would consider going into the reloading business, but the liability is too much (and above a certain level, government demands a piece of the action). Barter is good though.
I note the .223 section of the Sierra 2003 load manual has a sub-section for the AR15, which eases my mind regarding pressure curves, the gas system, powder selection, etc.
I expect I'll have to update the reloading pages.
Aaand about the 200th case the RCBS sizing die's decapping pin breaks. 5-packs (the new headed style, which this is) in stock at Sportsman's Warehouse.
-The Barberton show, which I try not to miss, is on the 2nd Saturday of every month; as is the pin shoot at the Lone Oak club beyond Longview. I'm already shooting pins once a month at Wolverton now, so I'll probably skip the Lone Oak pins. No word yet on Lone Oak's Garand matches.
Tom Gresham responds to me personally and on his site more generally. Very commendable. In part:
Still, in this case, I was wrong. That's not what was going on here, as I discovered when I got off the air. To listeners who took offense, I do apologize. The outrage by gun owners is completely understandable. To put it in context, Zumbo's comments came only days after we saw the introduction of a bill in Congress to bring back the Clinton Gun Ban (the so-called "assault weapons" ban). The final nail in the coffin was when-- Sunday afternoon -- the Brady Campaign (the leading group working to restrict gun rights) posted Zumbo's comments to several places on the net, saying, in effect, "See, even the top hunting writer says these rifles have no legitimate use."
At that point, it was all over for Jim Zumbo.
At that point, it was all over for Jim Zumbo.
1403 - Thursday, 22 February 2007: Zzz.
Hey, no direct-deposit for last week's pay! Grump. I still have the timecard. Haven't sent this week's two days in yet either, there was a mob of cityfolk in line at the Fred Meyer store's customer service island (99¢/page fax) yesterday. -Ah, they changed payroll providers and direct deposit is on Friday now, very well.
Later, temp rep calls: possible job making small batches of semi-custom motors, $10/hr, a step down but a typical $1-$2 raise when hired permanently. Sending resume for possible interview.
Except… aside from all the other expenses and emergencies and funds and such, I've somehow managed to sock away some meager resources and I'm SO SICK of cities and stupid co-workers that I'm considering taking an hiatus, to consist of an exploratory expedition to Wyoming (likely with first sis, possibly to include a pilgrimage to the Browning museum in Utah and/or a visit to the Elmer Keith museum at the Cabela's store in Idaho), as a possible precursor to relocating there to Start the Heck Over. The expedition alone would take, I dunno, at least a week (driving of course; I'll not fly commercially until after the Glorious Counter-Revolution). So do I start a job with decent prospects, only to walk off it in a few months or weeks? Do I tell the temp service to stop looking?
I hadn't quite realized how much .223/5.56mm brass I've picked up over the last year or two. I'd say at least 2,000. It'll take weeks, between work and/or other activities, just to size and tumble it, never mind trimming and sorting and swaging primer pockets.
Speaking of other activities, prize certificates for the plate match done; next month's printed but not yet framed; MSWord documents used as templates for more for the Wolverton pin shoot, under development. Computers are powerful tools and so many people never use them for more than games and internet porn.
Hm, club is open tomorrow, might be a good time for more chronograph work, and/or to preposition some stuff for the plate match the next day (sis coming down Saturday morning). I'd also like to chrono some of my handgun loads. Increasing the 125gr W231 load from 5.6 to 6.0gr to eliminate perceived ignition problem, small test batch. -Apparently 5/32" wooden dowels are not widely available, but 1/8" are, got one, cutting to lengths; certainly want to switch before firing handguns over the chrono.
Actually I'm not updating for a couple days 'cause I don't want to feel guilty if people send me money. Email backing up a little too.
And then, my ancient Compaq PII has several consecutive senior moments and the modem goes away and I have to shut down, physically remove the modem, reboot, shutdown again, physically reinstall the modem, and reboot again before the Plug'n'Play gets its act together. Burn in Hell, Bill Gates! BURRRNNN!!! I have got to get a newer machine! (Cruffler recommends craigslist.)
Latest news, Outdoor Life has fired Zumbo (according to the magazine, he resigned), and his TV show has been cancelled.
1404 - Friday, 23 February 2007: Zzzz.
Direct deposit as advertised, rent check on the way.
Range day dammit, though a late start. Light snow at that elevation, not sticking. (Sunbreaks later.)
Very Cold and some wet. Mostly a chronograph session, starting with the Queen. The 13 remaining rounds of LC72 averaged 2,647fps; another string of my Hornady handloads, made months ago, 2,636, so my charge of 46.3gr IMR4895 is about right, or it was half a year ago. But a string of the same powder charge, under Noslers, made more recently, averaged 2,538. For comparison, I tried another ten rounds of the Federal red-box, which doubles when used as a repeater and may be too hot for a Garand's gas system anyway. The box says 2,910fps, and the chronograph gives a ten-shot average of 2,902. More consistent velocities than either batch of my handloads, or the LC72, and a tighter group too, though way high at 100yds.
Got some bonus .30-06 from an R/O! (LC and PS.) Also found several more pieces .300 Win. Mag., I must have well over 100 of that with assorted headstamps. In the R/O shack are two 5-gallon buckets, each more than half-full of (mud-encrusted) mixed .223 and .40 (probably blueshirt-generated); someone else can have it, I have more .223 than I know what to do with and I repeat, .40 doesn't excite me.
At the other end of the line, another Garand shooter with the same model chronograph was having an even longer session and we shared data. He was using something over 47gr of the same powder, IMR4895, under some Winchester-made 147gr FMJBT, and he was getting about 2,550fps! Furthermore he tried some KA7x, of which I have a heap, and that was in the neighborhood of 2,450.
Then I also chrono'd some .357 rounds through my 4" GP100. I think I still have a first-round ignition problem, where recoil shifts the powder and subsequent rounds have a different performance. 6.0gr W231 under 125gr plated lead averaged 941fps, but there was over 100fps difference between slowest and fastest. Still, that load seemed more consistent than the other, 5.6gr W231 under 158gr plated lead, which showed 80-100fps difference between the first shot in the cylinder and subsequent rounds. That batch averaged 814fps, with the highest 887 and the lowest (and the first round in a cylinder) 698.
Pleasingly more consistent was 8.0gr W231 under a Speer 110gr JHP, though the first-round effect was still evident:
Note that the 1st and 7th rounds, the first fired in each of two full cylinders, are significantly lower than the following five in each cylinder, which in turn are relatively consistent.
Hm, didn't think to chrono some .38 loads. Another time.
Now, for comparison to that, here's the data for six rounds of UMC yellow-box 125gr JSP, with surprisingly harsh recoil:
No first-round effect evident there, but it was only six rounds. Significant variation even so though. Now, if that weren't enough of a head-scratcher, here's my old favorite factory load, Winchester white-box #Q4204, 110gr JHP, with relatively mild recoil comparable to my own JHP load:
Note the two slow rounds. One was the first in a cylinder… the other was the second in a cylinder. And again, significant variation for the other ten, surprising for a factory load.
Finally, six rounds of Federal "low recoil" 130gr Hydra-Shok, which kicked about as hard as the UMC 125gr:
Consistent at least, and accurate when I wasn't flinching, but if that's "low recoil" I'd hesitate to touch off one of their "regular" rounds, and if it's being marketed to women who aren't accustomed to shooting, they might be in for a shock. -I'm recoil-sensitive, I admit it. But this Federal load, and the UMC above, make even a Ruger buck and roll. The Winchester 110gr I could run all day - that's a much better choice for a low-recoil factory fighting load, and much cheaper per round too, but I'm surprised by the velocity variations. My 110gr handload, as I thought the first time I tested it, is very close to Q4204.
Okay, the chronograph was worth the $70. I'm getting More Data. Unfortunately the metal shield rods are 5/32" and that size wooden dowel doesn't seem to be available; and the 1/8" is too flimsy to hold the shield. (The Queen's muzzle blast knocked the first shield off even the metal rods on the second shot; I had to put it back on two or three times for rifle testing. The solution is to put the chrono further from the rifle but that's not always feasible. Some bad readings with low-velocity handgun handloads, though the higher-velocity factory stuff was detected flawlessly.) Fortunately I'm a good enough shot to at least avoid hitting the rods.
Temp word, interview at the motor place sometime next week. Apathy, though I expect my professionalism subroutine will be triggered when appropriate.
Yuri sends story on a lefty freak invading a home and assaulting Republicans. Didn't I tell ya!
1405 - Saturday, 24 February 2007: Match day! And I have to run it. Struggling to overcome looming depression and attendant lethargy brought on by the observed futility of existence.
Good match. And I'm not just saying that because I took 1st Place in the Revolver division (roughly tied for 3rd overall). Dreadful wet cold weather, everything and everyone soaked, but the tournament trees and so on ran relatively cleanly and everyone seemed satisfied with the outcome. What didn't hurt the latter any was seven awards available, and only one award per person, so one third of the 21 entries took home a framed certificate:
I think this constitutes enough of a victory to switch back to the P35 for next month's match (though I'll continue to use the major-caliber GP100 on pins, not least because I have a functional holster for it). With which I'll probably get whupped 'cause it's just not as accurate as the GP100. My qualifying runs with the GP were spectacular - on five targets, four 8" disks and a bowling-pin shape at 12 yards, starting from low-ready at the beep, I fired 26 rounds for 25 hits. My worst run was 4.95 seconds, my best 3.62; the others 4.29, 4.36, and 3.97, for the top qualifying time in a field of 21, including both of Jim Breen's entries. However, in head-to-head, at one point something went terribly wrong and I had to reload twice - yet I still beat my opponent, one of the regulars who with her husband were a tremendous help running the match, because a) I've practiced my reloads even more than she has (though she has greatly improved there this month) and mainly b) her revolver's chambers are badly fouled and/or the cartridges her husband makes aren't sized quite right, terribly slowing that greatly-improved reload. If she hadn't had genuine mechanical difficulties she'd've had me! Then, in the final pairing of the Revolver division I was of course against Jim Breen, with his own GP100. My qualifying time was little more than half of his for that weapon; but head-to-head I choked a little and he had me, though it was close and it took all three (best 2 of) runs. It sure wasn't my GP100's fault! (Might also be the loads - more chrono work and load development ahead.) The way the trees and finals shook out I claimed 1st Revolver after Jim took 1st Overall. Some fine-tuning of the trees may still be indicated, especially where numbers of entries other than powers of two are concerned. I don't want to turn people away to make things come out evenly….
The wall is now four awards behind, 'cause I haven't time or gumption to rearrange the wall (moving hovel junk to get at it) and one of the awards I haven't printed yet.
Email is backed up! My sister's in town, I'm running the match, there are two shows this weekend and I kinda hafta attend the monthly club meeting tomorrow evening. I'm busy!
1406 - Monday, 26 February 2007: Zz.
The aforementioned meager resources allow me to not immediately freak out about my unemployment. But I'm kinda expecting a job interview this week anyway.
As expected, Gun Talk was almost entirely about Jim Zumbo and included a long interview with Ted Nugent, with whom Zumbo intends to go hunting with ARs… but with a Brady Campaign 'blog trumpeting Zumbo's original foot-in-mouth I don't think even The Nuge can rehabilitate the man's credibility.
Contemplating building an AR. At a show after the match Saturday, I saw some stripped A2 lowers for under $150, and Cruffler says ArfCom has all the information I could possibly need to assemble a complete rifle from a heap of parts. Also it appears that an AR is much easier for the home-hobbyist to build than an FAL, which requires far more in the way of tooling and gauges and such. I'll keep an eye out for AR bits, starting with the lower.
Processing more brass, hoo-aah. I'll take my time with the mountain of .223, 50 here, 100 there, months. Possibly a single loading block's worth whenever I have another batch of something, like .357 or .30-06, to also run through the tumbler.
Also attacking backed-up email again.
Not going to have time to finish Weber's Off Armageddon Reef before it's due at the library! Haven't even started Flint & co.'s Grantville Gazette III. At least I can go back to McCullough's John Adams, no one seems to be waiting in line for that.
More data on Zumbo, from Ted Nugent. Personally I'm uncomfortable with the Nuge being chummy with law enforcement, but he is an RKBA absolutist and One Of Us.
Okay folks, many of Us are, rightly, concerned about privacy. I recently acquired a Tracfone prepaid cell phone for $14.99 on sale at Bi-Mart. I paid cash and activated it online (there's also a toll-free number to dial and I'm sure that could be done from a pay phone) and did not give any personal information during that process. It appears that airtime cards can also be bought for cash anywhere that sells the prepackaged phones, and the code from those cards can be added to your phone the same way the phone is activated - anonymously.
Nifty. And at $15 (on sale; the Fred Meyer chain has the same model, a Motorola C139, plain but wholly functional, for $20) one can afford more than one - if you're really apprehensive, and it's worth it to you, they've reached a cost point where they can be used once and discarded. Something useful might be done with SIM card shuffling too.
We have enemies. This is a Culture War. "They" are in fact out to get us. (Waco, Ruby Ridge, KT Ordnance, Kenyon Bellew and thousands more in fact; Unintended Consequences, The Black Arrow, A State of Disobedience, The Road to Damascus in fiction.) A less-traceable means of communication is appealing. And there are emergency-preparedness considerations for when you want to be found (I also have FRS and CB handhelds in the car).
I know, some knee-jerk totalitarian who claims to be a tolerant inclusive liberal privacy advocate will then say that terrorists can use these phones. Remember that by that kind's definition, anyone who smokes a cigarette or eats meat qualifies as a "terrorist," and real terrorists are "misunderstood agrarian reformers" who follow the "religion of peace." Government has always been the true enemy and, as our founders said in as many words, at best a necessary evil. -I don't want to get into a long political/partisan thing, it gives me indigestion, no emails please. I know where I stand. I just wanted to point out a useful thing for privacy- and/or preparedness-minded folks.
Yes, I know that some phones can be tracked even when turned off and that some users remove the batteries when not in use. A little piece of candy-wrapper between battery and contacts serves the same purpose, yet the battery stays in the phone instead of getting lost.
1407 - Tuesday, 27 February 2007: Zzz.
Cell phone and voicemail all set up and working. Took some hours for the activation to go through but the package said up to 24. 15-20 bucks, nifty. Need more airtime units though, it only comes with 20 minutes and a 61-second call counts as two minutes. Still, very affordable (it's the airtime that costs, they might as well give away the phone) and pleasingly anonymous. When activating online it asks for personal information, but there's a button to skip that step. (And remember you can also get online at most public libraries these days, though mine has you login with your library card number. There are internet cafes all over too.)
Job interview this afternoon at the motor place. Surface professionalism, internal apathy. Trim beard, better-than-usual shirt, less-faded jeans - it's a mechanical job, not office work. New shoes (the usual hikers) recently. -And that's another complaint against the current degenerate workforce, slacker brats showing up in rags, what are they thinking?
Reviewing chronograph data for handgun loads. Magnum primers? I have some WSPM - must try, though I'm still not clear if magnum primers are really "hotter" than regular or if they're actually toned down because the extra energy isn't required to ignite a more-full cartridge case; the light loads I make leave more empty space, which I theorize is causing my now-observable ignition problems and velocity variations. -Again I sing the praises of the Lee Auto-Disk, which makes whipping out a batch of something far less of a Major Logistical Undertaking. Test batches, changing only the primer:
Hm, while I'm at it, the same batches with CCI #500. My usual .38/.357 primer is WSP, in Winchester cases. More Data. -And more of the same loads with WSP, made at the same time under the same conditions, for comparison. Now how much .357 brass do I have ready, divided by nine… and projectiles….
Reader points out that, duh, I can shave down a 3/16" dowel to fit the chronograph to replace the metal rods.
Recently I watched the Olivier version of Henry V. Branagh's is much more polished and better suited to jaded modern audiences, but in 1944 Olivier hit the mark as it was then. Interesting to see how each director differently streamlined Shakespeare's original play (which I have in fact read), what they cut and what they kept. In either case, as Ringo's protagonist said in Unto the Breach, "bad history, good play, great propaganda."
Well... crap. Looks like they're hiring me. Put me right to work assembling widgets and invited me back tomorrow. 8am-5pm, more sleep, worse commute, less shopping time after. However they don't work weekends, I asked.
And I was starting to look forward to a Wyoming expedition with sis this spring. They want someone long-term and that damn professionalism subroutine just kicks in. I haven't the guts to just take the plunge and take some months off, though I could technically barely afford it at the moment.
Added a Tracfone card, 60 units, $20, anonymous cash.
1408 - Wednesday, 28 February 2007: Subpoenas for the 19th. How long will this farce go on? Corrupt and parasitical defense attorneys who paint victims as criminals, incompetent totalitarian prosecutors who threaten force if their career ambitions are not complied with, degrading and ultimately useless security procedures, the whole perverted system paid for with coercive taxation… it all makes me sick.
Any suggestions? A lawyer I can't afford.
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