Jul 29, 2009

In Preparation

I have been invited to the 2009 Northeast Bloggershoot. I managed to finagle the time off work to actually attend, and MrsZ decided to stay home to study.

I'll be driving up Saturday morning after doing the last-minute truck loading (guns will be the last thing loaded, for obvious reasons), and have been offered bed space from none other than The Munchkin Wrangler. Hopefully I'll arrive at their place at a reasonable time; construction in New Yawk is anyone's guess.

Sunday morning, we'll likely be carpooling together with another shooter (Libertyman?) and heading down to the range, with what I expect will be enough firepower for a small infantry (platoon) action.

Actually AT the range will be enough boom to arm a small village... including, I am told, some full auto and possibly some silenced items. Goodies like these are *illegal* in my home state of New Yawk... the only NFA items I could possibly buy are those classified as "Any Other Weapons" - which includes, notably, the Serbu Super Shorty. High on my list of WANT - with the 870 receiver, as I am a diehard BigGreen Shotgun guy. Yes, it's an expensive toy. However, I digress.

I've been eyeing the safe contents and debating which arms to pack and bring along, as well as seeing what the other folks are bringing. I've narrowed my selections down to five long guns and five handguns, and probably a whole bunch of ammo. I may have to stop by the local big-box sports store for an extra gun case - down to one soft case and one hard case, and that's not enough.

I'm excited. VERY.

Also need to remember the camera and the video camera... there's going to be a lot of photo-worthy stuff on this trip!

Jul 22, 2009

National CCW

As most of my readers know, the national concealed carry reciprocity bill didn't pass the Senate - by two lousy votes. I'm annoyed but have some hope; that's a very close margin.

Over at CentristPundits.com, JC has some commentary. I haven't congealed my opinions together for a response of any kind yet, but be assured, one is forthcoming. Meantime, go read, and comment.

Jul 17, 2009

Country Living

As mentioned previously, we just acquired a house. It's in what may charitably be called "The Boonies". Doing work around the house the other day I heard one of the neighbors up the hill shooting what sounded like a .22.

Today I was cleaning up some stuff from painting and noticed a woodchuck out in the yard... it took me about three seconds to decide that (A) woodchucks are now fair game again, and (B) no one calls in complaints for shooting around here. It took me significantly longer to find a magazine and a few rounds of .22 for the Savage... perhaps 45 seconds.

I chambered a round, opened the bedroom window, and, carefully checking my backstop (shooting down, into dirt, good to go!), squeezed off one shot. Woody flipped, twitched, twitched some more, and expired.

Years of hunting actually made this a less-clean kill than I might have preferred. Animals are shot in the chest cavity - the desired intent to disrupt the function of the heart and/or lungs. It is not necessarily a *quick* kill (as anyone who has blood-trailed a deer will testify), but it is an *effective* kill. A neck or head shot is far more likely to produce an animal with a non-mortal wound, and no ethical hunter wants that.

At this range, particularly with a scoped .22, a headshot should have been quite possible... but the last time I shot this rifle, it was zeroed for 100yd, not the 25yd I normally use. So - instead of a one-inch vital area (head), I took the three-inch vital area, and that was that.

The carcass was heaved over the embankment into the weeds; fodder for the crows and 'yotes.

I finished cleaning up around the house and headed off to work - and there was no parade of police cars and SWAT vans arriving in the meantime.

Ah, gracious country living. :)

Jul 14, 2009

Gun Nuttery

... or, How To Make Sarah Brady Cry.

JayG recently wrote a post about "you might be a gun nut if..."

High on my list is this:
- if it's gun related and makes you giggle or Sarah Brady cry, you're probably a gun nut.

MrsZ and I have been packing and moving to our new house recently, and today I cleaned out the ammo closet and cabinets and shelf and loaded it into the truck.

Things like this:


Make Sarah Brady cry.

Admittedly, I have a smaller truck, and it's not filling up the WHOLE bed... but in those crates and ammo cans, neatly labelled, are Winchester 9mm, Wolf 9mm, 12ga galore of various flavors, and a fair pile of 20ga as well. And some .270Win. And more than a few bricks of .22LR.

In the front seat is a crate o' reloading stuff - brass, powder, and bullets. Primers (a large box full) have already been relocated.

In the back seat are three shotguns, a rifle, a muzzleloader, and an evil-looking assault bow (Oneida Black Eagle, also known as the Uncle Ted Special).

Oh, and a magic blue briefcase of joy on the front seat (a S&W box - currently empty, but I have things to put in it).

And a gun vault full of .45 goodness.

Rolling doom, baby, rolling dooooooom!

Side note: ran through the Mart of Wal last night for some home sundries. Stopped by the ammo counter on a whim. They had, no kidding, WWB .45, .40, 9mm, and bricks of Winchester HV .22. MrsZ said I had to leave it all there.

Jul 7, 2009

Currency currents

This article in WSJ (originally found from Uncle) is worth a close read. Short form: several large banks have decided to stop accepting California's state-issued IOUs.

Now, a brief lesson in currency. The US currency is the dollar. Various pieces of linen paper and chunks of metal represent multiples and fractions of that dollar. Each piece of paper or metal, however, is backed ONLY by the "full faith and credit" of the US Government. This is known as "fiat" currency. Beyond the intrinsic value of that piece of paper or metal, it is worthless. Once upon a time (yeah, this is a fairy tale) that slip of paper represented a piece of gold in a vault somewhere. In the 1930s, that ended...

Now, present day California has this to say:

State officials said they were disappointed by the banks' decision. Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for Mr. Chiang, said: "We don't want anybody to suffer who can't redeem them when they need cash."

California's bond rating has already been reduced from A- to BBB. This is the lowest of the "investment" grade bonds, and one step above "junk" status. California is disappointed that banks aren't willing to assume the credit risk for a state whose financial rating is one step over "junk"?

Economics is a simple process, really: if you have revenues/income of "X", you have to spend LESS than "X" in order to remain solvent. Spending more than "X" is known as "credit" and involves someone else risking their own financial solvency on you. These banks have just been slapped hard by the federal government for taking risks beyond reason and "causing" a "collapse". Now California is whining that the banks won't extend them credit? I don't think so, Tim.

The interesting potential here - what happens when a large enough group of these folks gets together and files a class-action lawsuit for fraud? These IOUs are being issued for tax refunds and other state liabilities.

California is sliding down the spiral; my home state of New York probably isn't too far behind. I think it's time to adjust my tax withholdings to the minimum necessary to cover liability; I won't take an IOU.

Jul 4, 2009

IDPA July 09

Match results won't be up for another day or two. Shot the match this morning after a poor night's sleep and felt wonky the whole time. Rhythm was off, etc. First stage I got dinged by splash from a plate, leaving a nice crease on my left forearm. By the fifth stage my gun was refusing to go into battery consistently; I'm inclined to blame the wax on the cast bullets I'm using. It seems to gum up the action pretty quickly. Next batch from someone else...

Ran a couple cylinders through the 647... tack driver. Almost zero recoil. Just a pleasant gun to shoot.

Jul 2, 2009

Gun Porn!

I finally had a moment to snap a few pictures of the latest acquisitions. I'm in some hot water, but it was worth it. (As always, click to embiggen.)

Winchester Model 1894 .30-30. There are multiple flavors of these out there. "Pre-1964" is considered the most desirable and commands a price premium. "Post-64" is still a nice rifle, but due to less expensive manufacturing techniques, isn't as sought-after... and last is versions with a cross-bolt safety. This version is a post-64, pre-safety. The bluing is in fair condition - there are a few speckles of rust here and there and it's thinned out a little on the receiver. The bore is shiny and smooth - *no* visible throat damage or erosion. The classic "carried lots, shot little". Only one picture because time was short:


Second, and perhaps more interesting:
Smith & Wesson 647 .17HMR. I've already discussed the model at length, so on to the porn!





For the record - that's a Government 1911A1. The 647's barrel alone is as long as the entire 1911.

A cartridge comparison, .45ACP 230gr JHP next to a 17gr V-Max .17HMR.


No range report yet - time has been at a premium as we prepare for a move. Hopefully Saturday morning I'll have some free time at the match to run a couple cylinders through.

(I know, Oleg I am not ... I'm way out of practice too.)