Sunday, May 12, 2013

It has been a long time. Glad to be back. More to follow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

So when my Father-in-Law (FIL) comes to visit, we head out to the range. Usually, the womenfolk stay at home and we re-group for dinner. However, since my wife started going to the range I had hopes the range trip would be co-ed this time.

To my surprise, this time my Mother-in-Law (MIL) said she wanted to go along. Now once, years back she shot a rifle and did well, but overall has not been interested in guns even though there are loaded handguns in her house and my wife grew up around them as a kid.

So when she asked to come along and shoot pistols I was surprised. I quickly agreed. Sadly we could not get a babysitter in time and in the end my wife had to stay back and only send her P22 to the range without her.

So off we went, and as luck would have it, we got the range all to ourselves. Now we had a bunch of guns with us: our P22, Glock 23, PT1911, 642 and my FIL's Glock 26 and S&W 380 pocket gun.

So the MIL did really well right out of the gate scoring repeated x ring hits with the P22. So we moved the target back and she still did really well. After a few mags she wanted to try something bigger and tried the Glock 23. "WOW!" she yelled and kept going. She then moved back to the P22 and in between mags told me "This is Fun!"

For 2 hours she tried each of the guns but gravitated back to the P22. She hated the 642 and did not really like the Glocks too much (a Glock 17 might have been best). My FIL tried my Glock and wants to take his from a NY trigger back to stock (which is funny cause I want to take mine from stock up to NY trigger).

As we were winding up, I asked if they minded me switching to the rifle bay as I had a rifle I needed to cycle some rounds through. "Can I come?" asked the MIL and I happily agreed. Now, keep in mind, she is a vociferous (her word) Obama fan and one that until this trip to the range had no use for firearms. So I was happy to introduce her to my soon to be "trunk gun". And she took me up on the offer.

Nothing makes smiles like a new shooter and a eastern european rifle:

FIL in law also took a turn:

I almost took the opportunity to play the "Now that you had fun, guess which of the firearms you shot today would likely be banned by Biden if given the chance" game. But did not want to push to hard. (If you plant a seed and pound it with hard water, it will wash away instead of it taking root).

I wish my wife could have come, but it was great regardless...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An NFA Day Review:

I was looking forward to NFA day for weeks for several reasons: getting to meet forum members, shoot machineguns, and experiment with several different SBR's as a way to better decide what I want to do with my first SBR. I was surprised by the NFA day offer itself as I had heard again and again from fellow shooters that NFA owners do not like to let others touch their guns since they are so expensive and the only chance I would ever get to do anything NFA would be to go to Knob's Creek and pay out the nose for it.

I loaded up the car the night before, but still had to round up stuff on the day of the event and somehow even managed to leave my digital camera at home (which would be my only regret of the day).

The directions to Lovemywood's house were great as was the ride. And just as I feared I might get lost, there was an official NFA day yard sign to guide me. Before I knew it there was a beautiful house overlooking a serene lake and warm faces welcoming me. They even had name tags with avatars and an ATV to run our gear down the steep slope to the range.

While I was unloading, I found out the fellow member that wanted to buy ammo from me on NFA day was standing next to me and had parked beside my car. With three heavy ammo cans full of lead, that was convenient as it gets.

Soon we were all down at the range and joined by our three NFA "guides"/range officers who passed out NFA forms and ran through the basics of the day. We would be running two lines - one with paper targets & bowling pins, the other with water bottles, hanging targets, even watermelons. After a brief safety review, we started.

The guns were laid out on a table like some EBS (Evil Black schmorgesborg). All you had to do was pick an appropriate mag, load it up, get in line, and when it was your turn the owner would bring it to the line. Where else could you get valet SBR service? Each owner acted as RO, and they were obviously experienced. There were even radios for calling the line cold as people needed to run up and down the hill. Lovemywoods runs a high tech range.

22lr's were first with a long line for the 22lr AR machinegun. I jumped into the short line for the suppressed Ruger. It was nice! Quiet, sleek, nicely balanced, and accurate. The zombies never heard the headshots before dying yet again.

Then it was the AR's turn and it was a hoot. It took some getting used to and did have the usual 22lr issues, but when it burped there was nothing like it. And even with supersonic ammo, the suppression was impressive. I could spend many afternoons digging through paper, melons, dirt, whatever with that.

Now the exact order that followed was rather a blur. The Serbu came out early and seemed like some kind of bad bet. And for the bet to be worth it, BigCraig was egged on to load it with 3" magnum slugs. And being the man he is, he loaded them up.

BOOOM! -laughter- BOOM! -laughter- BOOM! -laughter-

The dang thing was so rediculous in a perfect way that everyone was laughing and slowly lining up to get a turn. And the funny thing is that each person's main reaction was to laugh after each BOOM! And I saw that each time a new shooter broke into laughter, it only made BigCraig laugh more himself. Soon the line was long to get in on this "inside joke" with the "big punchline" and left everone digging in their bags for all the 12 gauge ammo they could find in boxes, piles and bandoliers.

The SBR's were also very impressive, both 9mm and .223. I loved getting the chance to run them at various lengths and both suppressed and unsuppressed. As I expected, suppression is exactly that, suppression not silencing. But there were things I did not expect. I was surprised that they suppressors did not add much weight to the weapons or greatly effect balance. Second was the amount of gassing that was brought back to the user from the silencer, particularly the smell. That was different. Finally, the length of the suppressors and how that would effect the choice of the initial barrel on any SBR build was something that I was glad to be able to both experience and talk with BigCraig about in person. Meaure twice and all that...

Then, of course, came the machineguns. I really was looking forward to the M16 unsuppressed, especially with the old school upper that was available! And it did not dissappoint. I ran a couple of mags through it and it was fun, controllable, and easily addictive. At the same time, the big surprise for me was the M-11. While the long mags were a pain to load (made far better after someone showed me how to use the loading tool), the gun itself was amazing. The rate of fire was fast, but not so fast that you missed your fun. The recoil was not only controllable, but easily workable both in controlled bursts and in moving around a full auto run. The balance was at the right grip and the weight light. I can see now why these are so popular (in addition to price point reasons). I burned many, many boxes of 9mm quickly.

There were also longarms on the show table. And I kept returning to the the AK. I am very partial to AK's, but get frustrated by their inaccuracy at times. This AK was different in firing a lighter round, it was easy to keep on target and make many little holes into one large one. Very, very easy.

As the day wore on, it was time to take a break and head up for a huge dinner. I had an amazing burger and way too much cherry dessert. But even better was getting to sit around and chat on Lovemywood's deck with people I have never met in person, all 30 or so open carrying firearms and feeling right at home.

After gorging, we went back down to eek out what daylight we had to put more lead in the berm, er... targets... Some people happened to have firearms from home and those got to have some fun, even a nice M1 carbine. My STG finally got some rapid fire and introduced me to it's "smoking handguards" that taught me something new about it's vented gas tube (i.e. that it is vented)! Ha!

Glocks, Sigs, P3AT's, Bolt action rifles, and a slug gun all had some time before the light ran out. Then the ATV's again hauled gear, and a couple of shooters, back up the "exercise slope" and many a winded shooter was ready for the trip home.

But first, VUPDblue was ready with more Form 1's just in case.

As sometimes happens in the countryside, I drove home behind a truck that was being towed, in the dark, at 25 mph for a long time. But I did not get at all frustrated because I had had such a great day, it just did not matter how long the drive was going to be.

Thanks everyone, but especially to:

Lovemywoods for hosting such a gathering, not to mention hosting such a shoot. Your willingness to open your land, home, and private range to us was a kindness that is very rare.

Shooter521, VUPDblue & Bigcraig for sharing your babies with us and spreading the word about how fun and available NFA is to all shooters. Bigcraig, your fun is especially contagious and I hope to join the bandwagon soon. VUPDblue, thanks for making a goal of spreading the truth on NFA firearms. Shooter521, maybe I will be able to listen to some of your advise and skip a few more mistakes along the way.

To the cooks, all of you, Yumm! That was good eating.

To the fellow shooters, you were a great bunch to shoot with both for fun, but also due to the atmosphere of courtesy and camaraderie.

To the camera crews, thanks for making the fun last even for those who could not be there. And thank you for putting up with the torrent of requests for copies that are sure to come.

Lastly, to the wives and families of the shooters and hosts. Thank you also for helping us all get out and play. Many a wife took on all the kids alone to make it happen, and who knows what other burdens were taken on to make the day go. So thanks to you who weren't even there.

It was a good day.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


For those on other forums, sites, etc. who need to get me an APO/FPO, please either reply to this diary or email me at and I will add you to my supply lists.

Thank you all for your service!

Pictures of some of those already on the list:

Acts not Words: Supporting the troops

Thanks to the internet and our amazing post office, it easy to help our troops. This is a great opportunity for many of us who do not have family in the military to help our kids understand what is really going on and what we can do to help.

Recently I met a family whose son is serving in Iraq in a bleak, desolate area of mountainside. The troops are doing well and are strong, but do better when they have our emotional and material support. So instead of thinking about how much they appreciate my philosophical support, I would send them some actual goodies.

I thought I would post a few pics from our first mail out:

Kids wanted to be sure to get stuff for Nick's doggies:

The littlest member of the requisition team got sleepy near the end:

Back at home base for stage 2:

Tools at ready:

Boxing up the supplies:

Getting tired, it is getting late at night:

Letters included:

This was a big deal for the family and especially the kids. My daughter worked hard drawing something in her card that looked like a long squiggly line. I asked her what it was, and she said it was, "A map for them to get home safe."

That comment summed it all up. Thanks again to our troops and the families left behind..

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Liberty Trainer" Rifle

Month after month the price of ammo goes up and with it goes the cost of practice. The nice people at the (Apple Seed people) have come up with a superb solution to the situation and have christened as the "Liberty Trainer" (they believe in the link between firearms/training and the protection of liberty -- imagine that!).

I was so impressed with the simplicity and cost savings of the model that I built one of my own.

Parts consist of:

1x Ruger 10/22 Rifle (new or used) ~$120-200
1x Set of Tech Sites$60
1x Extended Magazine or Original Magazine with Extention piece $10
1x Improved Mag release (not visible in pictures) $10
1x Box of 500 rounds Ammo $10

So this is what mine looks like:

Note the transparent magazine which helps the trainer keep an eye on the rounds left for safety reasons.

The Tech Sights mimic M1/AR15 aperture sights and even have separate flip up sights as well.

Finally, the sights just look really cool!

The only thing this rifle is lacking is a sling, but I hope to fix that soon. There are tons of after market stocks that would let us choose any number of ways to configure the rifle and some are extremely close to an AR configuration, but I am a sucker for wood and think that a traditional rifle setup is a better choice for beginning and experienced shooters. Plus, I really like wood.

Anyways, given the best price on ammo is $0.24/round for .223 and rising, the $0.02/round cost of .22LR is very economical. Additionally, the 22LR makes a far better starter round with it's zero recoil not to mention the .22lr can be used if needed for small game.

Oh, and did I mention that it is more accurate than my AR15?

What a beauty.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Nanny State for Your Child?

From the California Nanny State Battlefield comes this gem:

Cries rise over bill banning spanking in California


"The California Legislature is about to weigh in on a question that stirs impassioned debate among moms and dads: Should parents spank their children?

If legislation being drafted by a Mountain View lawmaker is approved, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from swatting their toddlers."

Oh, boy. The nanny state is at it again. The article points out that child raising experts are split on whether spanking works or not. Lawmakers point out that the law would be unenforceable. Parent point out that the legislature is "crazy".

But what is great is the logic behind the law:

"Why do we allow parents to hit a little child and not someone their own size?" asked Nazario, a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. "Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence, so where do you draw the line? To take a child and spank his little butt until he starts crying, some people would define that as physical violence."


Logic : I think => Some think => All people must agree by statue of law.

Add to that: Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence...

Another person sure of their safety and ready to extend their fantasy to you and yours, by rule of law.

So what makes the lawmaker behind the law such a child raising expert?

"For the record, Lieber said, she does not have children and says she was not slapped as a child. But she does have a cat named Snoop, which her veterinarian told her never to hit."

How could I have guessed?

Friday, January 19, 2007

No More AK: Go AR15!

Well, so much for the AK. I got a call from The Exchange. They said that they had looked at my AK and compared it to all the others there and mine was the best after all. "What can you expect? It's an AK!" they said. They kindly helped me and after much consideration I went with an AR Carbine. And it seems to be a good move.

I picked it up today from my FFL, traded in my AK ammo for some stuff I could actually use, and looked over the new carbine. Let me first note two key things: it is straight, and it is light. The first is no surprise. The second is. I mean, this thing is 2.5 pounds lighter than the AK underfolder. You can feel it. Also, the stock is fully functional in the collapsed stated and is no more troublesome than the collapsed AK. EXCEPT YOU CAN UNFOLD IT WITHOUT USING YOUR RIGHT HAND! Sweet...

Maneuvering in tight quarters looks easy with it, and even thought the barrel is very short on it, accuracy should be better than an AK (we will see).

I do have to note here that I will miss my AK's and am reluctantly "switching teams". I like the AK mechanisms and the sloppiness of function that leads to the superb reliability of the whole system. I also like the larger round. (The latter could be fixed with a larger barrel/upper if I wanted to go to a 6.8mm setup later).

So, frankly, while I have betrayed Team AK and now have an AR, I have been forced to do it due to poor manufacture and limited funds.