Jun 30, 2010

Brain Dump

The gutter company showed up around 4:30 this afternoon. I figured maybe they'd do some quick and easy pieces and come back tomorrow to finish. Nope. They did the whole house and the garage in a hair over three hours. Woo, we have gutters! Unfortunately, with that comes "writing the balance due check to the contractor". Ah well, it was worth it.

I ordered a few things from Amazon early this week, and the first box arrived. One of those things was a spare flashlight in case my current EDC light goes toes-up. Leatherman no longer produces the Serac series (the S2 is my light), so I got the current iteration of it - the "Monarch 300". It's non-dimmable, single-AAA battery, with a claimed 16 lumens and 2-hour run time. I took it out of the box and the first thing that leaped out at me was "MADE IN CHINA". Damn.

Quality doesn't feel as good as the S2, either, although I can't pinpoint why. It feels bigger and clunkier, but when placed side-by-side, they are within about 1mm of each other in all dimensions.

Beam quality is good, with a faint green cast to it, and a much more focused hotspot than the S2.

I've been having some issues with the Palm Pre lately. Specifically, when I turn on the mobile hotspot (my internet access at home) it drops the 2-3 bars of 3G service to two bars of 1X service. Not ok. On top of that, it gets hot enough to make touching it very uncomfortable. I went to the local Verizon store today and talked to a tech there. He nodded, said they had had a few reports of heat issues, and the phone was going to be replaced under warranty - and it should be here tomorrow. I am pleasantly surprised - I expected I'd have to argue. Nice.

Stopped at Lowe's while downtown to speak with the manager. I've been in there a few times looking at doors and door-related stuff, and the guy I've talked to has always been attentive, pleasant, helpful, and not pushy. I know managers usually only hear complaints, but this guy was worth a compliment.

Came home and made mac'n'cheese from scratch. Used this recipe, but up the cheese: 1/2lb each of sharp cheddar, pepper jack, and swiss, added 1/4c. butter, and a head of broccoli florets. The butter was unnecessary, but the swiss and broccoli were excellent. More bacon next time, too.

I think that wraps it up for tonight...

Jun 29, 2010


In comments over at Jay's and a post over at Borepatch's, New York is referred to as "May Issue". In fact, it's even listed as "May Issue" over at handgunlaw.us.

Arguably, though, we fall somewhere between "Shall Issue" and "May Issue". New York City is definitely "may". The rest of the state? The process is slow, onerous, can be invasive, and expensive ... but a licensing officer (often a county judge) has to provide "good cause" for denial of a pistol permit.

Now - once you have the permit, many counties will place administrative restrictions on the permit. In my previous county, my permit was stamped no less than five times, "FOR HUNTING AND TARGET USE ONLY".

Here's the thing:
There is no basis in law for that restriction. Judges started using it on their own, and no one challenged it in time to prevent it becoming a de facto restriction.

Now, you can still carry a pistol on a restricted permit... there is no criminal penalty for doing so. The most serious outcome possible would be for an officer to get wild hair and take the time to contact the issuing judge and recommend a suspension or revocation of the permit. *Most* officers won't go that route, but I suppose it's a possibility. A judge could plausibly say the permit holder was showing poor judgment by ignoring the restrictions. If that happens, you'd lose all your pistols - hopefully to a friend or on consignment in a gun shop, but still...

Other counties (usually the more rural ones) are very gun-friendly and essentially rubber-stamp an unrestricted permit if you don't have any disqualifying items.

It creates a hodgepodge mess of permissions, but a permit (and most counties are lifetime permits) is valid statewide (outside NYC), so once you get that "Carry" permit, you HANG ON TO IT.

So, is New York "shall" or "may"?


Never one to rest on his laurels...

Mr. Gura is at it again.

The Second Amendment Foundation on Monday filed a federal lawsuit in North Carolina, seeking a permanent injunction against the governor, local officials and local governments from declaring states of emergency under which private citizens are prohibited from exercising their right to bear arms.

Go baby go!

Jun 28, 2010

Gun maintenance

Now that most of the hardware is in the big safe and easy to get to, maintenance becomes a bit less of a challenge. There had been a few things on my to-do list that I finally got done.

Last time I was at the range with the AR and the 1911, they were both having issues. The AR was refusing to strip rounds from the magazine, and the 1911 was stopping the slide about 1/8" out of battery.

I started with the AR, and scrubbed/oiled the bolt assembly very thoroughly. It now seems to feed just fine and I need to take it to the range to run a mag or two through for function.

Once that was back together, I field-stripped the 1911 and scrubbed all the waxy buildup off the feed ramp, frame rails, and the inside of the slide as best I could, then oiled and reassembled. It's running a lot smoother, but doesn't feel 100% yet. I need to run a few mags of ball ammo through it rapid-fire and then strip it and wipe it out while it's warm... and buy better cast bullets next time around. (These are either over-lubed or the wax melts at too low a temperature - the insides of the gun just get coated with gunk.)

Most of my S&W's are still pretty clean; I left them alone for the day but need to detail-clean the 242 soon. Last time I dry-fired it there was a bit of oil seeping out of the sideplate, and there are some sticky bits of old oil under the stocks. A good hosing-out with GunScrubber should do the job nicely.

Jun 27, 2010

Gun safe, part 2

After a very little bit of fiddling with the cracked shelf, and a judicious application of Elmer's Wood Glue, the safe is back together and should be fine. A stop at Home Depot yielded some extra shelf brackets, and more important, an LED rope light.

The safe has a handy-dandy "electric pass through" - fancy talk for "an outlet in the safe" so the lights and a Golden Rod Dehumidifier can be installed without trying to drill through a safe wall.

I installed the lights this afternoon, and they work wonderfully. Best of all, they're cool enough and low-draw enough that I don't feel the least bit concerned or guilty about leaving them on all the time.

Here's what it looks like with the door closed (note golf bag/clubs on right for scale):

And door open, with the lights in place:

I'll be ordering a GoldenRod soon, installing that, and then cleaning up the wiring so the bottom space is functional.

Blogshoot 2010

It's fast approaching, kids!

I started knocking out some more ammo for the event, and pruning the list of what to bring. I won't be repeating last year's "move in via Marko's van" approach... I spent more time running back and forth from the line to the gun cases than actually shooting or chatting, and that's silly!

So, without revealing what-all I'm going to bring, if you want to shoot my hardware, I'll have some ammo, but bringing a bit extra might be a good idea. Calibers to bring:


I'm starting to get excited!

(Jay: will there be after-shoot malt-beveraging?)

Side note: I have some extra .380 ammo occupying space that I wouldn't object to parting with, as well as a gun cabinet (Sentry sheet metal 10-gun dealie) ... if anyone is interested in either, drop me a note, and delivery to the shoot could be arranged.

Jun 26, 2010


As most of you reading this know, a knife of some sort is just part of being dressed. Sure, there have been times I've been knife-less over the past ten or twelve years, but more often than not I've had a blade of some kind with me. Most of the knives I've acquired over the years are still in my possession. Not all, but most.

The *first* knife I was given was very similar to this one. Basic Cub Scout knife. One blade, a screwdriver/bottle opener, and an awl. Mine had blue scales, though. Lost by a fifth-grade teacher who confiscated it from my desk and promised I could have it back at the end of the week.

Sometime in junior high, I was given a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. I don't recall what model, but it was very similar to the Huntsman, lacking only the hook. Lost that one on a scout camping trip.

In high school I was given a sheath knife - a gift from my great grandmother. I still have it. Not sure of the brand, but the blade is etched "Pioneer". It's gone hunting with me once or twice, but otherwise lives on a closet shelf.

Before I went to college I was given a Leatherman PST. This is, IMHO, the perfect balance in a pocket tool. Enough things to be useful, but not so large as to be unwieldy. It now lives in the console of my truck and still sees occasional use.

At some point after college I acquired a Wenger Swiss Army Knife; the traditional executive-style knife with a penknife, file, and scissor. Lost somewhere along the line.

When I started doing tech stuff, I always had a small blade with me, usually a Gerber Mini Paraframe. Nice size, sturdy, inexpensive, but wouldn't keep an edge for crap.

On business trips (systems installations), work provided us with a Leatherman Supertool 200. It's a brick - but it's got everything. I still have one floating around; I think MrsZ has appropriated it into her garden toolbox.

When I joined the fire department, I put a Gerber AR 3.0 in my bunk gear. Great knife - until it walked away one day. I wasn't willing to drop the change to replace it with another one, so I bought a Gerber Paraframe II and it's been around ever since.

On fire calls, I found myself looking for hand tools on a regular basis, so the Gerber was supplemented (not supplanted) by a Leatherman Core. The Core seems to be the evolution of the Supertool 200, and is a great multi-tool. Sturdy as hell, nice lock mechanism, and has everything.

At some point along the way I had misplaced the aforementioned Leatherman PST and wanted a multitool for daily carry. I picked up a Leatherman Kick for about $25, which is the current (lighter) version of the PST. It's now my daily-carry multitool. The plastic liners are slightly melty from being dropped into a charcoal grill, but it still works fine.

I also carry a pocket knife with me - the Leatherman is a great tool, but it's not a great knife. For a while it was the Mini Paraframes mentioned above, then a Leatherman c301. That knife lasted me quite some time, until I found a SOG Twitch II. Knife love. Light, slim, assisted-opening, sharp as hell, took an edge easily, kept it a long time... just about the perfect knife. I lost it tromping across a field to retrieve a ground blind that blew off in a wind storm.

I replaced the SOG with a CRKT Point Guard for a while. Not a bad knife, but was much thicker than the SOG. Next stop was a CRKT Bandera, which I'm still carrying. This knife is almost right... it's slim, the blade profile is great, it takes and keeps an edge nicely... but the back edge of the blade points UP in my pocket, and is SHARP. I've nicked the back of my hands more than once reaching into my pocket for change or my phone. I need to grit my teeth and cough up the money for a new SOG.

... And that's just the daily-carry stuff!

When I go hunting, I usually have at least two and sometimes three knives with me. For a while it was the previously mentioned Pioneer sheath knife, which is too big to be a great hunting knife, IMHO. After a bit of shopping, I ended up replacing it with a Buck Diamondback Guide. This is, in my opinion, the perfect knife for small- and medium-game hunting (up to whitetail size, in other words). Profile is perfect for opening an abdomen without puncturing the gut, and the size is such that I can put my whole index finger along the spine to guide the cut. Shaving-sharp out of the package and takes an edge easily. It gets sharpened again each time I dress a deer with it. (The rubber grip doesn't get too slippery in cold and blood, either.) I've got a spare one living on the shelf in my closet and a third one in my truck console.

I've also taken to carrying a Buck 110 when hunting. It's handier than the Diamondback for finicky stuff, and narrow enough to make it easy to cut around the anus when dressing a deer. EVERYONE should have a Buck 110. $30-40 depending on what store you visit, and worth every penny.

Of special note, for the hunter who has everything: Buck now offers one-off 110s with engraving etc. A bit pricey, but a heartfelt gift for the right recipient.

The one knife I am currently missing is one to have with dressier wear. I need to find a Schrade or Case with stag scales for my nice pants...

Jun 25, 2010

Gun safe

I finally got around to upgrading my gun storage.

Several years ago, I got one of those inexpensive sheet-metal cabinets for my guns. Good for keeping small fingers out, or annoying a smash'n'grab burglar, but no real protection. It filled up a long time ago, and my closet was beginning to show the effects.

I got a smaller safe for my pistols - that filled up much faster than expected as well. (Funny how that happens...)

I had replaced the closet door with something a bit heavier, and put a deadbolt on it, then put a home-made rack on the wall in there. That got things a bit more organized, but was still leaving my collection relatively unprotected.

We finally got around to getting a fire safe. I'd looked at options at Dick's, but didn't really like what they had for the money. Lowe's had a few, but all smaller than what I wanted. Over at Tractor Supply, they had Cannon safes, which were fire-resistant, well-built, had an internal outlet, and much better finished than the other stuff I'd seen.

I was going to go for the 21-gun safe, which would hold my collection with a bit of careful packing. MrsZ pointed out that the collection is bound to grow, so I might as well get the "wide body" gun safe and have room for it. Then she saw the "tall wide body" and realized that would give us room for the miscellaneous small important things we have.

TSC mailed us a ten-percent-off coupon this week, and I used it today. Basically, it saved us tax. I took down the trailer, and they loaded up this bad boy. I very carefully drove it home, with a stop at Uhaul to rent an appliance dolly. When I got home and opened it up to take the shelves out, I found that one of them had broken on the drive. I'll be calling TSC and Cannon tomorrow to see about a replacement.

Long story short: next time I buy a safe, I'm paying the money to have in-home delivery. It took me, my father, and the neighbor to get this thing into the house, with helpful commentary from MrsZ, my mother, and one of MrsZ's teammates. Next time, let the guys with the right tools do it. Seven hundred pounds is nothing to play around with, and we're lucky no one got hurt in the process.

It's in, though. Once we've cleared out the den and I've put a floor jack in the cellar, it'll move in there - but that'll be an easier sliding move instead of the headache we just dealt with.

In other news, some digging revealed that two LR44 batteries can be used in place of one DL1/3N cell. I grabbed some at Walmart this morning and found that the free Aimpoint works just fine. Now to figure out which gun to put it on! The Marlin is a leading candidate at the moment...

Jun 24, 2010

You shook me...

Apparently there was an earthquake up in Canada today, and it caused some swaying/rolling around here. I didn't notice it.

What I *did* notice was a doe running full-bore into a state highway looking like the hounds of hell were behind her. I hammered on the binders and swerved, just missing her by a matter of inches. Left a nice streak of my tires on the road in the process.

I had just chalked it up to deer being weird - and running full-bore into a highway at two in the afternoon in mid-summer is weird for deer - until I got home and was working on the door with the radio on. A "breaking news" bulletin announced the earthquake had occurred at 1:41pm...

I checked the receipt from the gas station where I'd grabbed a six-pack on my way home. 1:39pm. I'd nearly hit the deer about 1.5 miles down the road. Coincidence? Not likely. That doe was running from the earthquake!

Speaking of working on the door:
The storm door from kitchen to deck has been increasingly stubborn about opening easily or latching properly. MrsZ griped at me about it last night; I responded by taking the handle/latch off the door and saying, "Fine! Problem solved!"

This morning I got up and took the old door out completely, then pried off the Z-bars around the edge, and used a knife to peel off as much of the old caulking as possible. I stopped at Lowe's after my stop at the gun shop and picked out a new door. The selection is staggering, but I ended up going a bit higher in price than I'd originally planned and getting a Larson Tradewinds door. I'll get 30% of the price back as a tax credit next year, since it's an energy-saving improvement. The roll-up screen is very slick, as is the touch-hold on the bottom closer. It was a BIG step up from the other model I'd been considering - better sealed, better features, just a much nicer door overall.

Got that home around 2pm, and spent the next four hours carefully installing it, sealing around the edges, and then cleaning up. I hadn't read the reviews on Lowe's web site about this door before buying it, and might have been turned off if I had. Lots of negative commentary about how hard the install was, primarily due to the fact that the door is not pre-hung, and therefore has to be drilled for the latchwork.

They provide a template for the drilling, but it is, admittedly, not for the faint of heart. Eight separate holes - four per side, two each of 3/8" and 3/4" - and they have to line up through the door perfectly. After drilling the first couple my cordless drill crapped out (tired battery and I'd already been using it hard for driving screws), so I switched to the big corded drill. Much better.

In any case, the door is up, the closers are adjusted, the glass is cleaned, the Z-bar is caulked, the trim is on ... and MrsZ seems to be happy with it. Of course, she hasn't seen the receipt, either... ;-)

Gun Shop Report

MrsZ surprised me last week with a couple gift certificates to a gun shop in the next city over. I hadn't been there before, but with gift certificates in hand, it was worth checking them out.

I headed over this morning and decided to take the Bersa along to see if he was interested in a reasonable price on trade. Found the shop (tucked in the back end of a strip mall with a small sign) and it was ... sparse. The front half of the store was taken up by a couple folding tables covered with blue guns and snap caps - I think he does Basic Firearms classes there as well. Racks of long guns wrapped the back three walls, perhaps 50-60 in total. Two cases of pistols with an emphasis on Taurus in the new case.

Asked about the Bersa - he wasn't interested in my asking price and didn't counter offer, but did offer to put it on consignment for me ($35 flat fee). I decided to do that, and if it hasn't moved in a month or two I'll jam it back into the safe and eat the $35.

Looking over the offerings, one thing struck me:
A used-in-good-shape S&W 34 snub (.22LR), nickel, with Pachys - $700.
A Ruger 10/22 International, stainless/laminate - $495.
EAA Bounty Hunter .45LC Single-Action wheelie ("You're going to leave here with that gun today!" he told me) - $495.
Generic .380 FMJ - $46/box of 50.

I ended up buying three boxes of Hornady LeveRevolution .44Mag. 225gr FTX, the box claims 1400fps and 993ft-lb at the muzzle. Should be a nice boom from the Dragoon. $21/box of 20, which is a bit higher than Midway ($20/box) but without shipping it all works out. I expect I'll use the balance of my gift certificate on ammo as well, and probably never spend another dime in the store.

Good to know he's there, and I wish him well, but his pricing is VERY optimistic and his sales technique is ... aggressive.

ETA - one plus in his favor. I was waiting for my credit card to process, and picked up an older Aimpoint he had lying on the register. I started fiddling with the knob, and he said, "No batteries. The guy who dropped it off said it works, though. You want it?" I looked up. "How much?" He kinda shrugged... "I haven't bothered to find batteries, but if you want it, it's yours."

So I've got an Aimpoint 1000 (discontinued in 1991!) sitting in the truck, and I need to find a DL1/3N battery to see if it actually does work. Then find a gun to put it on!

Jun 22, 2010

Brain Dump

At work last night, we received and put out a BOLO for a murder suspect from a couple counties over. The story is in today's paper.

25-year-old mother and her 3-month-old infant son stabbed to death. She had a protective order against the killer. She called 911 when he showed up at the house. They arrived and found bodies.

Many of the gun bloggers lambaste the Brady Bunch for "dancing in the blood" when a scumbag uses a gun to kill someone. I'm conflicted when I find us wrapping ourselves in the bloody mantle of righteousness and say, "If she had a gun, she'd be alive."

Miss Clayton may have had a hell of a lot better chance with a gun, no doubt... but that's not what this is about. Send a good thought, a quiet prayer, light a candle - whatever you do - for an innocent woman and infant murdered in cold blood. These things shouldn't happen.


I read through a "news" piece somewhere recently about gun laws. Typical MSM nonsense, predictable commentary. One comment, though, stuck out, and I paraphrase: "I hate guns. My [relative] was killed by a gun."

Your relative was not killed BY a gun. Your relative was killed BY a scumbag who USED a gun. You cannot blame the tool for the action. We sing the praises of Michelangelo (the Renaissance artist), not his paintbrush or chisel.


Over at Second City Cop, there is a post noting the rumored loss of their 100-round-per-year practice ammo allotment. If you read comments on other posts, you'll note a theme of frustration and just trying to stay out of the line of fire, but this sums it up:

I am in some serious self-protective mode out there. My intention each day is just to get to the end of my tour unscathed and untouched by scandal or the possibility of added liability through arrest etc.

You have to be damn insane now to go put your hands on someone and put them in jail. Won't happen with me, this police career is over, finito, done. The paychecks will continue for a few more years however, just like before, just a lot less stress.

What have we done to our officers when they are more afraid of doing their job than they are of not doing it?


I had an inquiry on the Bersa last week, which I replied to. The seller didn't get back to me. I got six emails from him this evening, roughly summarized to, "I'm still interested, let me know." I wrote back yet again, and asked him where he was, and to confirm that he has a New York pistol permit. He replied to this one.

to answer your question my main residence is Queens and my summer home is right outside Hunter Mountain in upstate N.Y. I just finished filling out the gun permit form because Queens is still considered to be the same as "the city", they take 6 months to hand you a permit unless you know someone. I have seen your listing if you still havent sold your Bersa and you would consider me I would like to outbid anyone else if it is as good as it looks,and performs and if we do a complete private sale including your copy to have my fingerprints,my copy having yours and notarized. Everything that would ensure neither of us breaking the law. In the meantime the firearm can stay in my family summer home. Thanks


The list of idiocies here is staggering.
(1) Main residence is Queens. Queens is one of the Five Boroughs. It is New York City, not "considered to be the same as".
(2) New York City does not issue carry permits unless you have (a) money or (b) connections. They VERY OCCASIONALLY will issue a "premise" permit - but I guarantee it takes longer than six months.
(3) The firearm can not stay at your family summer home until you have a NY pistol permit. You would be guilty of violating Section 265.01 of NYSPL, "Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree" - a Class A misdemeanor. *I* would be violating Section 265.11, "Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the 3rd degree", which is a Class D felony, thereby eliminating ALL of my firearms and several other civil rights that I rather enjoy. Like doors that I can unlock, access to alcohol and tobacco, voting, and an un-stretched rectum.
(4) Fingerprints on a bill of sale? What crack are you smoking?
(5) It's not a frickin' auction, Skippy. It's "for sale". Prix fixe.

I've got some acquaintances in NYPD. I'll be passing along this character's info.

Jun 21, 2010

I call it home

I complain about New Yawk in general and my hometown specifically quite a bit. Usually with good reason.

Today was a rare exception. I left work and picked up MrsZ downtown, we had breakfast together, and then dropped my truck off at the shop owned by folks I grew up two doors from. We walked to the bus stop a block away, dropping off a library book on the way. She got on the bus and went on up the hill to work. I walked three blocks to Starbucks for a froofroo frozen thing. Another two blocks and i'm in the shade in a small park. It's just shy of seventy and very sunny.

Sometimes upstate Noo Yawk isn't so bad... I call it home.

"A lot for a one gun sale"

As regular readers know, I've been looking to sell my Bersa .380 with goodies. I've posted it hither and yon looking for a taker, so far unsuccessfully.

I posted it on Armslist, and got this email today:

Him: "will you sell a box of ammo" [sic]

Me: "I would sell ammo separately if someone wanted the pistol without it, but not otherwise. .380 is so hard to find that I wouldn't bother trying to sell a gun without it."

He replied: "thanks any way i just thought you might sell a box seems like you have a lot for a one gun sale" [sic]

I've listed the gun with ~280 rounds of 95gr WWB FMJ range ammo and one 25-round box of Hornady Critical Defense. I don't think that's excessive by any means. If you practice with your CCW every time you go to the range (and you should), 280 rounds would be 40 full magazines. IMHO, that's enough for about 20 range trips, or a six-month supply of practice ammo. With .380 as hard to find as it is, if I were in the market to buy one I'd be scrambling to find as much as I could.

If you're going to carry, you have to practice.

Jun 19, 2010


I've had some thoughts kicking around in the back of my head about tweaks and mods I'd like to make on several of my guns. Some minor, some major. The next step is to find the fundage, prioritize, and start doing this stuff - while continuing to grow the collection.

What mods, you ask?
By item:
Savage .17 - new stock (laminate thumbhole, possibly wide fore-end), new scope
AR - swap A2 upper for A4 upper, add scope
870 20ga - put on youth or adjustable stock, run it through a couple hundred rounds to work in the action
28-2 - convert to round butt, red insert in front sight, refinish to mirror blue
242 - magna stocks, tritium front sight
5946 - night sights, Hogue stocks

I'm sure there's more, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. And before someone screams "heretic" for doing major mods to a 28-2, it's already been tinkered with (nickel finish), and they are not uncommon guns.

In the vein of growing the collection, I've reached the point (financially speaking) where I'm getting picky about what I buy. I still appreciate utilitarian, but I can also start looking for utility with nice touches... instead of a Willys Jeep, I'm looking for a Humvee with leather. :-) The basics are covered, now I can look for luxury.

On the list of guns to acquire:
- a semi-auto 12ga. Likely an 11-87 or 1100.
- a double-barrel 20ga. I'm very interested in the Stevens 612 but want to put hands on one.
- a better bolt-action large-game rifle. .270. Probably the Savage 114 "American Classic".
- a dedicated target rifle in .223. Savage Model 12 is a leading candidate.
- a polymer bottom feeder. XD9 or M&P9 are the likely options, but I'd consider a .45 as well.
- a S&W .22 wheelie
- an NAA Mini
- finish an AR into a tacticool M4gery (VFG, light, optic)
- S&W 296 (because I have to have the big brother to the 242!)
- correct Ithaca 1911A1 *GRAIL GUN*

Doubtless, some of these will be things I trade for, in part or in full. To that end, I've picked up inexpensive things to keep around as trade fodder/sweeteners.

I also need to get around to buying and setting up a progressive reloading press - when a 45-minute range trip can burn 100 rounds of .38 without rushing, doing it single-stage gets old.

Jun 17, 2010

File under "U"


Listening to the magic talking man in my dashboard on the way home this morning, I caught a little tidbit that made me cringe for society, and forced me to start looking for verification when I got home.

Apparently, this particular idiot in question injured her shoulder last month while walking her German Shepherd. I'm sympathetic to that to a certain extent; I've injured both of my shoulders over the years and they tend to hurt like a sonofagun and take a while to heal, and unless you have actually torn something, there just isn't a whole lot modern medicine can do for you. (R.I.C.E. is the usual advice!)

Regardless, this lady had been through a month of suffering without seeing appropriate care - because she has no health insurance. (Obviously she doesn't have the numbers for AD or MedicMatthew handy.)

So, like any logical person would do, she decided to force the issue. By shooting herself in the injured shoulder. Seems she figured an ER doc would be able to fix the shoulder while patching up the bullet hole.

Now, first, see above, about painful and slow to heal. Now add in a fast-moving hunk of copper and lead through one of the more complex joint and muscle arrangements in the human body, and you've got a pretty good start on a permanent disability. (I was going to say "permanent handicap", but it's obvious she's already got one of those.)

The bit on the radio this morning said she did this bit of self-mutilation with a .25. Not particularly noted for its effectiveness at - well, much of anything* - this must have been a factory error, with a double charge of powder or something ... because it went through-and-through. And somehow managed to miss every major/vital structure along the way. I'm truly mystified at how it's possible to shoot yourself at point-blank range - in the shoulder - and not hit something important. All I can guess is that she flinched when she pulled the trigger and somehow grazed the deltoid or bicep or something. (I wonder if she wore proper eyes'n'ears?)

Regardless, the doc tossed in a few stitches and released her shortly thereafter (probably via a long talk with the on-duty psych doc). To add insult to self-inflicted injury, the DA is considering charges for discharging a firearm within city limits.

And, all that said, the money quote:
"Myers says she wouldn't do it again and now is searching for a specialist who will accept a payment plan she can afford."

Maybe - just maybe - you should have considered this option BEFORE SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE BLINKING ARM?? But don't worry, folks - she will be provided for soon, thanks to The Won. After he's done kicking some ass. After he decides what ass to kick. Eventually. Maybe.

* - when a thug is more scared of your hot coffee than your .25ACP, it's a good sign that a larger caliber might be in order.

Jun 16, 2010

Range Report: 67, 242, 642

I decided to steal an hour of free time today and go to the range. Not a long trip, not taking oodles of guns, but some smoke and noise.

I decided to make it a .38 day. I took the 67, 242, and 642, and the 22/45 because it always goes.

It was an enlightening day.

67 is, as always, pleasant to shoot and phenomenally accurate. 50-foot double-action and I can pretty much chew the center 3" out of the target.

642 continues to impress me. It fits my hands just right, points naturally, and is nearly as accurate as the 67. Worked on some draw-and-fire from my holster, which I haven't practiced nearly enough. The first shot is kinda slow but they all stay center-mass. Tried a cylinder with the range lights off and using my EDC flashlight for illumination. 4/5 center-mass, one off-paper, and the light isn't bright enough to be effective until about 6-7 yards. Then I tried the old IDPA trick of "shooting while moving"... not so pretty. I think I got one on the paper. More practice necessary!

242... It's got potential. I don't like the sights - the black blade just disappears too easily. Another reason to replace it with a tritium dot. The grips are horrid. I knew they didn't feel right, but actually shooting the gun emphasized it. My pinky is kind of half-on/half-off the butt, and it doesn't point right at all. I felt like I was forcing the sights to the target all the time. Definitely time to find some L-round magnas or maybe some boots. Anything without the fake Tyler-T. Aside from those quibbles, the gun is eminently shootable and should be a great carry piece. Sorry, Jay. :-)

Six or eight mags through the 22/45 for cheap fun, and two boxes of .38 later, I was in a MUCH better mood... and now I've got a couple guns to get cleaned up.

No pictures of targets because they weren't anything worth bragging about.

Jun 15, 2010

Bad Gun Nut...

... no cookie*.

I've had that lovely new heater in my safe since last week, and have yet to get it to the range.

A small part of it might be due to the fact that I've spent the last four consecutive days up and down ladders to my roof, stripping off the old one and laying down a new one.

Friday: 0730-2115
Saturday: 0730-? (The day was a blur - it got so hot and humid that the contractor and I both knocked off early afternoon and both of us got sick that night.)
Sunday: 1200-1900 (Rain all morning.)
Monday: 0730-1430, 1600-1930 (Rain interruption.)
Today: he should be here within the hour and we're going to shingle another section.

Better than 60% of the shingles we bought have been applied. There is one section that's about 10x29 that we haven't touched yet, and the kitchen roof (two 16x8 surfaces with two skylights) has been covered with ice-and-water underlay but no shingles yet. We'll be shingling at least half of that tonight.

It's been an interesting experience. I *detest* heights without a rail. One story roof? Tolerable. Two stories? Depends on the pitch. The above-referenced 10x29 is a two story roof above a grade, so it's better than 20 feet from eave to ground... and it's probably an 8- or 9-12 pitch with nothing to hang on to. I'm probably going to suggest to the contractor that he hire a hand for a day to do that piece. I'll carry stuff up and down to him, no problem, but on and off the roof and working on the slope won't turn out well for me.

* - as a slight cookie, I did order a holster for the new gun, from the gentleman who owns Lobo Gunleather. He's a fellow S&W Forum member, and looks to do some grade-A work, particularly for the price. I ordered the IWB with two sets of loops (1.25 and 1.5 inch) and a 7-shot dump pouch, in cordovan. $80 shipped. Folks tell me to expect a 3-5 week wait. Phenomenal!

Jun 9, 2010


Last week I dropped a few hints on a pistol I'd stumbled into. To the best of my knowledge, only two people correctly identified it (JayG and LokiDude).

Here are the posts I was originally referring to:
Tam posted its big brother.
JayG lusts.

I quite literally stumbled into this one. A fellow had posted on the S&W Forum that he had seen one at his local shop in "pretty good condition", but was having trouble finding any solid information on it. I grabbed my SCSW3 and checked that, and posted a reply suggesting he buy it ASAP. The next day, there were eight or ten more replies of a similar ilk, and I took a chance. I asked him to pass along the shop number if he didn't buy it.

He emailed me the next weekend and said he'd been in there again, the shop still had it, and he wasn't going to buy it. I called them the next day after the aforementioned negotiations with the CFO, and the first answer was, "We don't ship guns to New York." I talked with the owner some more, and he decided he could ship to my dealer after all. Paid with my credit card, my FFL sent down information, and it was shipped out.

All of this sight unseen by me. Yes, I took a chance, but the model and price were worth the risk, IMHO. I picked it up this morning. Looks like it was "carried lots, shot little". Rifling is crisp and clean, cylinder is clean, finish shows some minor nicks and scrapes and shiny spots. I'm already considering modifications - VERY high on the list is replacing the front sight blade with a tritium dot - either an XS, or a Meprolight, or possibly Trijicon, depending on who actually makes one to fit.

So, without further ado, the latest addition to the Z collection:


A Smith & Wesson 242Ti. Produced for about six months in 1999, there just aren't that many out there. L-frame, titanium cylinder, sleeved 2.5" barrel, and seven shots of .38 Special +P.


Shown here with my 642, which is a J-frame 5-shot .38. The extra two shots and the switch from steel to titanium carry a weight penalty of about 2oz, along with an extra inch or so in length and about 1/4" in cylinder diameter.


And last but certainly not least, the family portrait. From left to right:
21-4 .44 Special, 4", nickel, with S&W laminate combat grips. N-frame.
28-2 .357 Magnum, 4", nickel, with S&W "football" target grips. N-frame.
242 .38 Special +P, 2-1/2", alloy/Ti, rubber grips (Uncle Mike's). L-frame.
67 .38 Special, 4", stainless, Ajax grips. K-frame.
642 .38 Special +P, 1-7/8", alloy/steel, rubber grips. J-frame.

Obviously I need to work on acquiring an "I" and an "M" frame...

Jun 3, 2010

Teaser, Part 2

There are a few folks who know now, but I'll address the comments and drop a few more hints.
Loki: It is not a PM9.
Weerd: It is not a 1908.

New hints:
- it is NOT a current-production model.
- it WAS made in Massachusetts.

Jun 1, 2010


I got a hot tip on a new (used) heater.

I did some wrangling with the CFO and got approval.

My FFL has been contacted with their information.

Hopefully I'll have it by this time next week.

Guesses are accepted, with the following hints:

- Tam has posted it's big brother in the past.

- JayG is lusting for one.

- It is *not* a six-shooter.

Ready? GO!