Central AZ Blog Shoot AAR

Well, I think everyone who showed had a good time.  I think there were about nine of us all told, unless I didn’t meet some people.  Lots of lead went downrange.  I shot the half-inch rebar support for the 100 yard steel swingers.  Twice.  My AR-15 Olofsoned on me because the hammer pin walked loose.  (It is disconcerting when your semi-automatic AR-15 rips off a three-round burst.)  I guess a loose hammer pin qualifies as a machinegun these days.  (Hey, if a shoestring can…)  I discovered that my 180 grain .40S&W loads don’t group, they pattern.  But my 155 grain handloads work pretty damned well.  That’s good, because I was prepared to sell the Witness until I managed to whack the 50 yard plate six times out of ten with the 155s.  (I could barely frighten the plate with the 180’s.)  I learned that a front-stuffer charcoal-burner actually doesn’t make that much smoke if you load it with Blackhorn 209 powder.  I learned that the action on a Swiss K-31 really is very, very smooth.

I’ve got some pictures up for you to peruse.

Got to do this again next year.

Last Call for the Central AZ Blogger Shoot

If you’re going, it’s tomorrow at the Elsy Pearson Public Shooting Range just outside Casa Grande.  Take I-10 to I-8W, exit at Trekkel Road.  Turn South on Trekkel to W. Arica Rd., left on Arica to Isom, right on Isom at the Casa Grande Trap Club, and you’ll see the range on your left in about a half mile.  The first range you come to is the police range (not open to the public), but right next to it are the five bays of the Public Range.  We’ll be on the long one, which is 300 yards.

Range opens at 0700. Bring eye & ear protection, and something to sit on – the range has benches, but no chairs. The shooting line is covered, but sunscreen is still advised. Bring target stands if you have ’em. You won’t be shoving anything into the ground out there, it’s like concrete. If you want to shoot up cans or other junk, be prepared to clean up after yourself. I’ll be bringing steel AR500 plates that anyone can shoot.

We’ll be tailgating it for lunch. Bring (non-alcoholic) beverages, and something to eat. I’ll have a small gas grill. I’m bringing six rifles: my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Ted Brown M14, my target AR-15, 1917 Enfield and my Remington 700 5R. I should have at least 100 rounds for each of them.  I haven’t decided which handguns I’ll be bringing.

Hope to see you there!

5 Most Wanted

Robb Allen asks,

What 5 firearms would I purchase, should price nor practicality be an issue?

Well, I’m a practical kinda guy, but here’s my list:

1) Single-shot falling-block type rifle. For me, this is a tossup between a Ruger No. 1 in a varmint caliber, or a Shiloh Sharps .45-110 Quigley. (Or, in AR15.com tradition, BOTH!)

2) A semi-auto combat-style shotgun. I’m not a shotgunner and I don’t follow 3-gun so I’m not really sure what’s hot right now, but I have only one scattergun in my safe at the moment – a Mossberg 590 pump. I’m open to suggestions on this one.

3) A 4″ barreled Colt Python in Royal Blue with the roller-bearing action job. (Did anybody ever make a 5″ version of this revolver?)

4) A really nice full-custom Browning Hi-Power, like this Cylinder & Slide Peerless Grade. After all, price is no object, right?

5) Uncle wants a full-tilt G.E. Minigun. OK, I can see that. But I think I’d really like something similar, but not as big. Lakeside Guns makes firing miniature replicas of 1917, 1919 and M2 Browning belt-fed machine guns that fire the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. I’d like a six-barreled 6,000 round-per-minute mini-minigun that shoots the .22 – complete with backpack power supply/ammo hopper so it’s man-portable. I want to carry it and to be able to shoot it like Jesse Ventura in Predator.

Damned Hughes Amendment….

I Know it’s Fiction, But . . .

…sometimes there’s truth in there.

One of the few television shows I watch with any regularity is ABC’s Castle.  I started watching it because the title character is played by Nathan Fillion, Firefly‘s Malcolm Reynolds.  I like the guy.  Turns out, it’s an entertaining show – and I still like the guy.

Anyway, for whatever reason – solar storm, falling stock market, Newt winning South Carolina, my DVR screwed up and didn’t record part of the latest episode, so I went to the ABC website to watch it there.

Where I discovered that one of the characters – Det. Ryan – has his own blog.

Oh how cute.

Except the latest post on that blog caught my attention: Ryan on his Glock. Let me excerpt:

It’s 22.04 ounces unloaded, add another 9.87 when it’s got all the rounds in there. It’s got a synthetic polymer frame to cut down on wear and tear – still sets off a metal detector though, don’t worry. 17 round capacity, 7.32 inches long, 5.43 inches high and with 5.5 pounds of pressure to the trigger it can change from a symbol of authority, to the last thing someone sees in this life.

Straighforward, technical. Interesting. Next paragraph:

Now imagine that strapped to your hip. It’s not comfortable. I see people on the subway shifting around, trying to keep their keys from digging into their leg and I think they have no idea how bad it can be. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every time my Glock digs into my side, every time my hand bumps into it, heck, every time it makes my pants sag, I’m reminded of what it means. Its weight on my hip is a reminder of the weight I have on my shoulders. The city of New York has entrusted me with the right to take the life of another.

My emphasis.

No. No it hasn’t. But honestly, that attitude I think explains a lot of things. It explains why places like New York refuse to allow their citizens to exercise their right to arms. It explains why individual members of police departments all across the country, and some full departments do the things that Radley Balko writes about on a daily basis.

They think that by carrying a firearm they’ve been given a right to kill.

No, they’ve been entrusted with the power to kill only in the defense of self or others. But if they believe they have the right to kill, well…

Chained dog lunges at you? Kill it. You have the right.

Want to beat up an old man? Hey, you have the right to kill him! Why not?

There has been story after story of individual officers, SWAT teams, and groups of cops dealing out violence, often lethal, without sufficient cause. Part of it, I think, is the belief that the gun, the badge and the uniform confer upon them the right to kill. If you’ve got that, anything less than lethal must be OK too, right?

Read the rest of the piece. When the author starts talking about bullying, I just stopped reading. Today the bullies wear uniforms, badges and guns.

Update: Like these Connecticut cops.

Here’s another, via Uncle.

Love and Self-Worth

Back when I wrote What We Got Here is …Failure to Communicate, I quoted Thomas Sowell extensively from his magnum opus A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggle. One of the excerpts dealt with the differences in the way his two defined ideological groups deal with “new knowledge” and its effect on past decisions:

All social processes — whether economic, religious, political or other — involve costs. These costs are seen very differently by those with the constrained and the unconstrained visions, just as they see differently the kinds of attitudes needed in these processes — sincerity versus fidelity, for example. These costs may be due to time or to violence, among other sources, their corresponding benefits may be apportioned justly or unjustly, and their recipients may be free or unfree. All these aspects are assessed differently in the constrained and the unconstrained visions.

The passage of time, and its irreversibility, create special decision-making difficulties, social processes, and moral principles — all of which are seen quite differently by those with the constrained and the unconstrained visions. Both recognize that decisions made at one point in time have consequences at other points in time. But the ways of coping with this fact depend upon the capabilities of human beings and especially of human knowledge and foresight.

Accretions of knowledge over time mean that individual and social decisions made under conditions of lesser knowledge have consequences under conditions of greater knowledge. To those with the unconstrained vision, this means that being bound by past decisions represents a loss of benefits made possible by later knowledge. Being bound by past decisions, whether in constitutional law cases or in marriage for life, is seen as costly and irrational.

In the unconstrained vision, there are moral as well as practical consequences to intertemporal commitments. Gratitude, as well as loyalty and patriotism, for example, are all essentially commitments to behave differently in the future, toward individuals or societies, than one would behave on an impartial assessment of circumstances as they might exist at some future time, if those individuals and societies were encountered for the first time. Where two lives are jeopardized and only one can be saved, to save the one who is your father may be an act of loyalty but not an act of justice. Thus, in behavioral terms, gratitude and loyalty are interteporal commitments not to be impartial — not to use future knowledge and future moral assessments to produce that result which you would otherwise consider best, if confronting the same individuals for the first time. From this perspective, loyalty, promises, patriotism, gratitude, precedents, oaths of fealty, constitutions, marriage, social traditions, and international treaties are all constrictions imposed earlier, when knowledge is less, on options to be exercised later, when knowledge will be greater.

All of those things … loyalty, constitutions, marriage, etc. … have been lauded and revered by those with a constrained vision. The process costs entailed by intertemporal commitments depend on (1) how much more knowledge, rationality, and impartiality human beings are capable of bringing to bear as a result of the passage of time and (2) on the cost of accepting the disadvantages of moment-to-moment decision-making.

Got that?

Now, go read THIS.  (h/t Vanderleun)

There are other rewards for loyalty, promises, constitutions, marriage etc. that are honored that sometime aren’t factored in to the calculations. And costs when they are not.

Quote of the Day – Astrology Edition

From (who else) Tam:

I do share a birthday with Hadrianus Augustus, Frederick the Great, Edith Wharton, Ernst Heinkel, Generalfeldmarschall Model, Oral Roberts, Warren Zevon, John Belushi, and Natassja Kinski. (Oral Bob and Bluto Blutarsky on the same day? That should tell you everything you need to know about the predictive power of astrology.)

D’OH! Forgot to add: Happy Birthday, Tam!!


The Central Arizona Blogshoot will be Sunday, January 29 at the Elsy Pearson public shooting range just off Trekell Road and I-8, just West of I-10. The range opens at 7:00AM. There are no rangenazis rangemasters. There are no chairs – bring something to sit on. The firing line is covered and there are concrete shooting benches, however.

And the city has porta-potties out there on a permanent basis now, so we don’t have to rent our own (but bring your own TP just in case.)

The rules are pretty simple:

No explosives, no .50BMG rifles, clean up after yourself, don’t be a dick.

ETA: In comments, ExurbanKevin advises:

A coupla item of note: The ground there is reinforced concrete disguised as sun-baked clay/ Fugetabout any target stand that needs to stuck into the ground, it ain’t happenin’. Steel and targets that don’t need taping are best. And the benches are funky-shaped. Regular camping chairs are marginal, stools are better.

Yup. I bring folding chairs, I have a 2″ PVC target stand, and a half-dozen steel swinger targets. End edit.

I plan on being there when the range opens. We’ll shoot until noon or 1 o’clock, then pack up and have lunch. I can’t remember the name of the place we went last year, but there’s a fairly well-ranked restaurant just up the road called the Creative Café, or we can bring grills and meat and bread and chips and tailgate it right there at the range, or others can suggest someplace else to eat in the comments. I’m open.

BUMPED: OK, looks like about 13 of us say we’re going, and the vote is 10-4 in favor of tailgating it at the range for lunch. I can live with that.  Anybody else?  The more the merrier!

Final bump.  I recommend you bring:  water or other non-alcoholic beverages (no alcohol on the range), sunscreen, ear & eye protection, (ladies, don’t wear anything low-cut or open-necked.  Yes, I’m sure it looks lovely, but you don’t want to catch hot brass down in there), something to SIT ON (folding chairs recommended, but a 5 gallon bucket upended will work in a pinch), something to eat (enough to share would be nice, but not necessary), a roll of TP just in case the porta-potties are low.  OPTIONAL:  Something to shoot with, and something to shoot AT.  I imagine most of us will be bringing multiple firearms and lots of ammo, but if you don’t, well, I’m willing to let people shoot my stuff (with my ammo), and I’m willing to let them shoot at my targets.  We gunnies are generous that way.

If you’re a reader or a non-gun blogger interested in coming to a off-the-cuff funshoot, please come on down!  Hope to see you there!

Quote of the Day

For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve. Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare.

Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory.
When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.
The Chinese plant got the job.
“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive.
“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”
An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.
That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.
The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

That’s not QotD, though I strongly recommend you RTWT. I quoted that so I could quote you this, from an AR15.com thread, “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard a professor say?”:

Yesterday, I had a professor who was born and raised in China try to give a lecture about how offshoring hurts China. Yeah, you read that right, American offshoring hurts China.

He went through a power point presentation showing environmental problems (dead fish in streams, sand storms, etc.), and I just sat there. He held up a dry-erasable marker and said “Chinese workers only make 100-200 dollars per month making things like these.” He kept emphasizing how little they made and how hard they worked.

I couldn’t take it any longer. I respectfully raised my hand and asked “how much were these workers making before offshoring was prominent?”

You want your iPhone, iPad, Macbook AirJordans and $7 quilted winter coats? Offshoring is the cost.