Saturday, December 10, 2016


From a conversation elsewhere...
"I love the way people get so invested in internet arguments. Is he still at it? What a way to spend a Saturday. You get 3,640-ish Saturdays in your life, and a certain number at either end are spent gurgling nonsense and shitting yourself. Why would you waste one of the good ones in the middle arguing with a perfect stranger on the internet?"

Lessons from ECQC...

I've been to classes before that really changed my shooting. I'd say that the first Aim Fast, Hit Fast class with ToddG and last year's Advanced Tactical Pistol Skills class with Ernest Langdon were pivotal moments in my skill with shooting a handgun.

ECQC changed my life.

For instance, since ECQC I've finally started practicing something I'd long preached and began carrying a can of Fox Labs OC around with me. It's become more important to me to have a solid middle ground option between "harsh language" and "bust a cap in someone's ass".

It's made me think a lot more about deescalation, how persistence does not automatically equal threat, that presenting a weapon (or even revealing its presence) without the space or time to employ it correctly can cause a lot more problems than it solves. Letting a guy who's within a dozen feet of you know you have a gun doesn't necessarily deter him; it just lets him know you have a gun. It's up to him whether that's a deterrent or not.

Physical fitness has become more important to me, too. All tangled up under someone who's beating your ass and about to pull your gun out and shoot you with it isn't the time to find out you're completely out of breath, too.

That gets me out the door every morning, and I'd about ready to look into adding some simple calisthenics to what's already become a routine mile walk. Baby steps, but I'm already healthier now than I've been in years.

Lots and lots more in this vein, but I just wanted to dash some thoughts off this morning.

Friday, December 09, 2016

It must be masochism...

I had a 200-round pack of Winchester USA .380 ammunition lying around and before I could think better of it, loaded it into my range bag to take to Indy Arms Co. to fire the Bodyguard 380 and Ruger LCP II head to head again...

...this time firing a hundred rounds through each gun in one sitting. It was easier with the BG380, since I had seven magazines for it, while I only had the two mags for the Elsie Pea Too. Further, because they hadn't gotten any LCP II magazines in yet at IAC, the second magazine is an original LCP magazine. The two are supposedly interchangeable, with the only real difference being that the original LCP mags won't lock the LCP II's slide open on the last round.

It turns out there was another difference...

Apparently there's just enough difference in the geometry of the follower or feed lips that the 95gr round-nose flat point FMJ rounds would stall out on the feed ramp in a classic failure-to-feed. This happened with the second and third rounds in the LCP mag twice before I realized what was causing it, and so for the rest of the range session I loaded the LCP II mag with the full six rounds and only four in the LCP magazine and the problem never reoccured.

I've been using that magazine for hundreds of rounds of other ammunition and never noticed it, so it's obviously some combination of cartridge overall length and bullet profile that triggers it.

The Bodyguard 380 had a failure to extract on round #26 of the day (#1,429 through the gun). I will note that, while the gun has needed to have the trigger pulled twice to set off some primers (9 out of 100 times on this trip), this is the first FTF or FTE to occur in almost a case and a half of ammo. To say that this exceeded my expectations for an inexpensive plastic pocket pistol with a MIM barrel is an understatement.

The Ruger experienced the aforementioned four Failures-to-Feed, although I wouldn't necessarily count them against the gun, due to the fact that they occurred with a magazine that is not even really for this pistol. There were also four instances of failures to return to battery, on round #20, #55, #91, and #99 of the day (#816, #851, #887, #895 of the test.)

At this point, I am going to give the LCP II at least a cursory cleaning and lubrication. Pocket pistols are not designed with the sort of rigors in mind that service pistols are. It's interesting though, because running bone dry is something a pocket pistol is very likely to have to do. There are literally hundreds of thousands of LCPs in the pockets, purses, and sock drawers of America, coated in dust bunnies, that haven't been lubricated (or fired) in months or even years.

For the LCP II, this makes 896 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with eight failures to return to battery (#128, #158, #245, #600, #628, #630, #697, #704, #816, #851, #887, #895) and one failure to feed (#540), plus four failures-to-feed-with-an-asterisk out of the LCP magazine (#798, #799, #809, #810). 1,104 rounds to go.

Torque monster

A diesel engine with ladders in the crank case so you can go inspect the innards. Each cylinder has a bore a little over three feet and a stroke of, like, eight and a half feet. Being that undersquare, you know it's got a low redline...

Thursday, December 08, 2016


Doing a little straightening up around the house yesterday, I came across a balled-up plastic grocery sack that clanked when I picked it up. "Was ist los?" I wondered, and dumped it out to find a few Bodyguard 380 magazines and a complete BG380 top end with XS Big Dot sights that Marko had given me on one of my visits up there.

So, hey, here's a chance to put the gun together and see how it runs heads-up against the LCP II, heir apparent to the previous sales champ of this class of pistol. So I grabbed a box each of Armscor FMJ and Speer Gold Dots (courtesy of Lucky Gunner) and headed for the range.

When we left off the BG380 test at 1,335 rounds, it was having light strike issues. Since then, it had fired three magazines of the Armscor in an attempt to track down why that ammo was giving the P250 fits.

In firing 25 rounds of Armscor, the Bodyguard experienced four light strikes. All four popped with a second pull of the (true Double-Action Only) trigger. The 25 rounds of Gold Dots, with their softer CCI primers, went off without a hitch. Even after 1,405 rounds, the trigger pull remains too heavy for my RCBS fish scale to measure, since it only reads to eight pounds.

The Ruger's trigger, on the other hand, breaks at 4.5# now on the same scale. It fired all fifty rounds without any malfunctions of any kind to report.

The difference between the sights on the guns was night and day, pun only moderately intended. While I'm not a huge fan of the XS Big Dots, since there are much better high-visibility solutions on the market now, they were still perfectly adequate for dropping in solid hits at five yards. The sights on the Elsie Pea Too, while an improvement over the ones on the original, are still kinda small, and were lost against the all-black target in a black-on-black-on-black muddle.

For the LCP II, this makes 796 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with eight failures to return to battery (#128, #158, #245, #600, #628, #630, #697, #704) and one failure to feed (#540). 1,204 rounds to go.


My head snapped upright from dozing at my desk. I was sitting in front of my computer in the dining area of the apartment. It was December. Everybody was still in a tizzy from the recent election and had been internetting furiously about it.

I started to turn my chair around to face Marko's desk and say "Dude, I have had the freakiest, most detailed dream about the next sixteen years. You will not believe..."

And then I woke up in my bed here this morning.

That was just some freaky Inception-type stuff right there. I was disoriented for the first fifteen or twenty minutes out of bed, that dream felt so real.

Day Thirty-Eight:

Woke up five minutes before the alarm. Got out of bed and did not wait for alarm. Loitered watching local TV news to see if it would get warmer. Time/temperature reading in the corner of the screen dropped from 24°F to 21°F during that time.

Ate slice of bacon and downed small can of Spicy Hot V8 and headed out. Swaddled my noggin in the shemagh John Shirley brought me from A'stan. Shit got anaerobic pretty quick with mouth and nose covered in shemagh, so I risked nose/lip frostbite for the final two laps and contended myself with keeping my ears warm.

1.00 miles in 17:20 at an average heart rate of 133bpm.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tuesday morning at the range...

So, like I wrote in the previous post, I decided to bring the Sistema along to the range on a lark. I had work to do putting rounds through the Mk.IV, and I figured why not see if the Sistema would run? So I grabbed a couple 1911 magazines from my Box o' 1911 Stuff...

...and forgot them on the kitchen counter.

When I got to Indy Arms Co., I asked if I could borrow the magazine from the rental 1911.

It turned out to be a tired factory Metalform whose feed lips were so badly spread that if more than five rounds were loaded, you couldn't get it into the Sistema's magwell.

Still, it managed to fire ten rounds without any malfunctions, even with the godawful mag. ("You guys need to pull a 47D off the shelf for that rental gun, dudes; this thing's shot," I informed them on returning it.)

I need to get some sights on that gun and Cerakote it.

The Loctite has cured the sight screw problems on the Mark IV, and there were no issues in the hundred rounds of mixed .22LR I fired yesterday.

The gun now has 1,100 rounds through it with one failure to eject (#714).

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #153...

The Sistema project gun I pretty much abandoned ten years ago. I decided on a whim yesterday to take it with me to the range...

Time flies like an arrow.

December 7th, seventy-five years ago...

From conversation elsewhere, an observation...

"The percentage of people doing special snowflake Open Carry march RKBA cosplay who sport special snowflake "Look how different & unique I am!" guns is telling.

 I pity the unit armorers for the 165th Mom's Basement Ranger Battalion; keeping all those Tavor and Kel-Tec and aftermarket Mosin replacement parts in stock come the revolution is going to be a bitch."
Yeah, I'm feeling more than just a little catty this morning.

I'm sore and grumpy from my walk. I need to look into some nice, cushion-y specialized walking shoes if I'm going to be pounding out my walks on pavement. Keep the shin with the steel in it from hurting so much. Spread the wear from my fave pair of wintertime Asolos, too.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "I'll tell you what, it doesn't take long with a voice controlled appliance that you start resenting ones that aren't voice-controlled."
I mean, to change channels on the television I have to find the remote control and mash buttons like some primitive savage with a bone in my nose.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

I can typing!

Because I do this to entertain you, not me, apparently:

Reader RJC writes to say that he doesn't like the free ice cream these days. In an email entitled "no fun", he opines:
"Used to look forward to seeing pictures of nice beer and some fancy dish.  Now all I see is the amount of miles you walked."
Here, RJC. Instead of writing the post I was going to write before going to the range this morning, I made this handy infographic for you so you don't miss out on any of those food & beer pics:

Click to Embiggen

Bangers, no mash.

Bobbi asked if I wanted one of the bangers she was cooking for breakfast. I said "sure", and decided to wait to take my walk until after I'd eaten.

On a not totally unrelated note, "Let the Greasy Meat Settle" is the name of my group's next album.

Imperfect world...

The Ruger Mk.IV and the Honor Defense Honor Guard 9 went along to Indy Arms Co. yesterday morning, the latter for a forthcoming Shooting Illustrated piece. Before I started shooting, I secured the rear sight set screw on the Ruger Mk.IV with some Loctite.

The HG9 had been shooting to the left for me, and the reason became apparent yesterday...

One of the nicer points about the HG9 is that it uses Glock 43 sights, piggybacking on that gun's popularity for a wider range of aftermarket sight availability. But Glock front sights have a threaded post for a base, secured by a little nut inside the slide.

If not adequately provided with threadlocker compound, this nut will work loose and allow the front sight to wiggle. If the front sight gets too wiggly, it'll shear off under recoil. Fortunately I caught this one before it got that bad, and a little blue Loctite will fix it right up.

 Neither handgun experienced any malfunctions. The rear sight held steady on the Ruger. This makes 1,000 total rounds through the gun with one failure to eject (#714).

I did notice that the pivot at the front of the frame had started to walk. We'll just be tightening this down.

Monday, December 05, 2016


I'm using you for accountability.

Day Thirty-Five:

Woke up very sore. Probably would have completely malingered if it weren't for the fact that I have to post my morning proof-of-undeath photo.

1.01 miles in 17:22 at an average heart rate of 129bpm.

Oh, hooray!

Bobbi has full lyrics for "I Want An Australopithecus For Christmas" up!

Here's help for singing along...

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Overheard in the Office...

Deuce Deuce

Dropped in at Indy Arms Saturday about lunchtime to pop off some more .22LR Remington Golden Bullets through the Ruger Mk.IV.

It was as boringly reliable as you'd expect a rimfire Ruger autoloader to be. This is probably the most popular and successful line of .22 self-loaders, and for good reason.

This example had screws that wanted to back out securing the front and rear sights. We Loctited the front one at Blogorado and it held. I tightened the rear set screw yesterday before heading to the range, but by the time I'd fired off a hundred rounds of ammunition, the rear sight assembly was drifting in its channel again and could be slid back to center with thumb and forefinger alone. Time for Loctite there, too.

This makes 900 total rounds through the gun with one failure to eject (#714).