Thursday, November 23, 2017


Y'all know who you are. I'm thankful for you.

Overheard in the Office...

Me (talking aloud to computer screen): "Do you often find yourself surrounded by a bunch of people and they're all laughing and you don't know why they're laughing? See, on Earth, we have these things called humans, and humans have this thing called humor. Humor is often caused by a discordance between what is expected and what actually happens; we laugh at our discomfort or conf...wait, why am I wasting my time explaining this to you? Go choke yourself."

You could write a bot to post for them.

Straight Talk

If you or any of your friends or loved ones are using this dumpster fire of a "holster", please read and share with them this excellent review by Annette Evans.
"I absolutely cannot recommend this product. In fact, I would encourage anybody currently using the Lethal Lace product to stop using it immediately and replace it with a safer option right away.

Let me tell you why.

The basic functions of a holster are to hold a handgun securely including protecting the trigger, conceal the handgun comfortably, and keep the handgun in a position that allows it to be accessed and used if and when necessary.

Lethal Lace fails every one of these criteria to varying degrees.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hey, look!

More words at Shooting Illustrated.

Range Time Again

Yesterday morning featured a quick range visit at Indy Arms Co with a hundred rounds of Winchester 124gr "NATO" FMJ. The cerakote is unmarred; that's just schmutz oozing out from the frame rails.

I was in a hurry, so this was just stuffing rounds into mags and burning them downrange in mag dumps.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 300 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 1700 rounds to go.

Overheard in the Office

As linked by Unc, some dude in England had his undercover gun stash exposed to the po-po when his house caught fire. Seems the firefighters putting it out caught sight of his gats and all those burly hose-draggers no doubt had to retreat to the fainting couch having been exposed to deadly gun radiation.

Bobbi is perusing the photos of the inevitable junk-on-the-bunk display at her desk...

RX: "Nice looking Sten!"

Me: "You know, I'm not sure I've ever heard those words used in that particular sequence before."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's pretty obscure; you've probably never heard of it.

Mirrorless Musings...

So, it's been coming up on a decade now since modern, mainstream Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras made their debut. Countless pixels have been slaughtered over when they'll completely replace DSLRs, but I think we're a long way from that day, especially for professional and advanced hobbyist use.

I do think that they will continue to erode the sales of low- and midrange APS-C DSLRs, but a savvy consumer (or at least one well-educated by a good sales clerk) understands that buying that cheap Nikon or Canon DSLR with its janky kit zoom lens gives you a camera body that can use a huge variety of lenses. On the Nikon side, the narstiest plasticky entry-level D3400 can use pretty much any Nikon F-mount lens going back to the late Seventies, or even earlier if the lens has been altered to work with newer cameras.

This means that the DSLR still has the advantages of a vast lens library and if you decide to get more serious and buy a higher end prosumer or pro-grade camera, you don't have to pitch your lenses and start over. (Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but we'll talk about full-frame vs. crop-sensor/FX vs. DX/EF vs. EF-S issues in a later post.)

At least two Mirrorless systems are starting to catch up in terms of lens availability, though. There are a huge number of Micro Four Thirds lenses out there, and Sony's E-mount is to the point where there's a pretty respectable lens variety for both crop-sensor and full-frame offerings.

It's interesting looking at the variety of directions different manufacturers have taken with MILCs. The Micro Four Thirds offerings from Olympus and the mid- and upper-end Sonys are very photography-hobbyist oriented, with a ton of manual control available over the picture-taking process and the buttons and dials to go with it.

These are aimed at the photographer who just doesn't want to carry a big camera around with them, and they further leverage the small sensor size to allow them to use physically smaller lenses. I've got a Panasonic Lumix 40-200 zoom here...that's an 80-400mm in 35mm terms...that's the size of the 24-70mm f/4 on my full-frame A7. Bigger sensors need bigger glass.

Nikon's MILCs are aimed very differently. Obviously worried about pillaging sales of its own low-end DSLRs, the Nikon 1 series it marketed toward people who were looking to step up from a compact camera to something with interchangeable lenses, but didn't want to be bothered with knobs and dials and settings and such. Sales have understandably been tepid, and first gen cameras and lenses are at giveaway prices on the used market.

Canon is...I don't know what Canon is trying to do with the EOS M. Like Nikon, they are obviously loathe to poach sales of their own EOS Rebel entry-level DSLRs, so they initially launched a largely button'n'dial-less offering. However, succeeding models were offered with more controls and bigger numbers on the price tag, essentially becoming slightly smaller Rebels, only more expensive and without as many lenses available. Which may explain why I don't think I've yet seen one in the wild. Maybe they're popular in Japan?

Since it's winter and I have big coat pockets available, I'm happy to toss an Olympus PEN E-P5 in a coat pocket as my walking-around camera. Sure, the Micro Four Thirds sensor is small when compared to an APS-C or Full Frame, but it's positively ginormous when compared to the tiny sensor on my usual Ricoh GXR pocket cam.

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Tale of Two Sonys...

Sony Mavica FD-88, a 1999-vintage 1.3 Megapixel camera with a 1/3" CCD sensor (Actual dimensions and explanation here.) Shooting in the highest resolution mode, you got three images like the above on a 3.5" floppy drive, and it takes a couple seconds of gronking and chortling to write to the disc after each shot.

Sony A7, a 2013-vintage 24.1MP full-frame mirrorless camera, with a sensor the same size as a 35mm negative. The A7 had an MSRP of $1699* when it came out, which is considerably more than the $999 the Mavica cost, and the A7's price is just for the camera body, so figure another few hundred for even a basic 50mm prime lens. Then again, the FD-88's price was in great big 1999 dollars and not tiny little 2013 ones...

Of course, the differences amount to a lot more than just the pixel count on the sensor.

*They just released the latest A7R III, which means that new old stock A7's are about the cheapest way into full frame these days...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Range Trip No.2

So, after the last range trip with the CZ75, vacation intervened and the gun sat unused either locked in the trunk of the Zed Drei or cased up in my room at the cabin until Friday, when I got it to the range along with a hundred rounds of Winchester NATO 124gr FMJ.

Fifty rounds in the 8" circle, not really pushing speed, but fast-ish. Then a magazine of eighteen rounds fired at the 3x5, still at seven yards. Then a mag of fifteen rounds at the three 2" circles, again still at seven yards, shooting right-left-middle DA/SA/SA for five reps. Then I brought it back in to three yards and ran a magazine of seventeen rounds, shooting DA from the press-out at the 2" circle in the top right followed by a single action shot on the 1" square above it, repeated until I was out of BBs.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 200 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 1800 rounds to go.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The dude literally cannot keep his mouth shut.

Not trending on Twitter this morning? Worried people might start thinking you're a little low energy, a little sad?

Hey, I know! Why not try and remind everybody about the awkward allegations of Campaign '16? Can't let Al and Roy grab all the squicky headlines, now.

Next test is underway...

Coming off the DA/SA HK P30L test, I figured I'd stick with a theme and try the CZ75. My local gun store, Indy Arms Co, had a used CZ75 in the showcase. specifically a CZ 75 B Ω Urban Grey Suppressor-Ready version. Actually, like most "used" guns it was more "pre-owned" than "used". Does anybody actually shoot their pistols? Judging from the almost total lack of wear on the various bearing surfaces, if this thing had more than a couple boxes of ammo through it, I'd be shocked.

On Monday the 6th, I field-stripped the pistol, lubed it to spec with Lucas Oil Extreme Duty Gun Oil, and took it to the range, where I purchased a box of Winchester 124gr "NATO" FMJ and a box of Sellier & Bellot 115gr FMJ.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 100 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 1900 rounds to go.

Spelling is tricky...

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

I can't believe I stuck the landing on "Lacedaemonian" on the first try, but flubbed "Amenhotep". Too much Tolkien probably causes me to get my Egyptian and Sindarin confused.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Today's No Context Required Quote...

"I keep getting the government my next door neighbor deserves." -Me on the Bookface

Double Standards?

What I found interesting was how many of my internet acquaintances... the same ones who lose their minds if a model in an ad has her finger on the trigger or some n00b makes the grievous error of calling a magazine a "clip" in earshot...were absolutely silent when Roy Moore whipped a J-frame out of his pocket, handling it like a can of corn, and then muzzled the entire audience stuffing it back in his trousers.