Quote of the Day – Education Edition

Very few people complete a math or engineering major without learning a lot of math and engineering, but it’s entirely possible to major in the humanities and never learn to read, write, or reason with any rigor. The problem isn’t inherent to the subject matter, it’s a symptom of professorial self-indulgence and laziness, together with the lack of external scrutiny, a problem that is much, much worse in humanities than in STEM.Glenn Reynolds

OK, So I Wanna Build an AR

I put my order in today for a “Fill Your Hands You Son of a Bitch” York Arms stripped AR-15 lower, and I want to build a .50 Beowulf .458 SOCOM on it.

I’ve never built an AR.  I don’t have a bench vise, but I can pick one up from Harbor Freight fairly cheaply.  I know Brownell’s or somebody had a series of videos on building your own AR, but I haven’t been able to find them.  I’ve checked both Brownell’s and Midway and they are out of stock on AR-15 lower parts kits.  I don’t want to buy an Alexander Arms complete upper, I’d like to build an upper based on this 18″ AR-Stoner stainless barrel. I’m going to buy a Rock River complete upper.

I have a stock wrench and standard hand tools. So what other tools will I need?

UPDATED:  I’ve decided to go .458 SOCOM instead.  Thanks for all the suggestions and recommendations!

Dallas Blogshoot AAR

Sorry I’m late with this, but here it is.

I left Tucson Thursday afternoon about 4:30 with the intention of stopping in El Paso. I got to Deming, NM before I decided I’d better stop. That was about 8PM Mountain Time. I left Deming the next morning about 6AM, which put me in El Paso just in time for rush hour.

Aaand there was an accident on I-10 East. I spent 45 minutes to go two miles. Oh well.

I got to Arlington, TX about 5PM Central time, and met up with US Citizen at his palatial abode. I took the family out to dinner. We went to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. I’d never been to one before. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, but for a restaurant, this place was HUGE. And FULL. The food was excellent, as was the company.

We discussed the Super Secret Shootin’ Location, and I was concerned about whether the Mustang would possibly get stuck going in. There had been a significant amount of rain on Thursday, so there was some concern about the condition of the access road. So when we got back to the house, I transferred my firearms, ammo and range back from the trunk of the Mustang to the already overloaded Traction Control SUV. Then I went and got a hotel room and got some sleep.

The next morning, I waited for US Citizen to pick me up. I called him at 9:00 and he said “I’m waiting out in front!” but when I went to the front of the hotel, no SUV. He was in front of the La Quinta. I was staying at the Quality Inn. Once we got that worked out, we were on our way to the blogshoot. When we arrived at the prearranged meeting point, there were already a half-dozen people waiting. We introduced ourselves, and got acquainted around waiting for others to arrive, which they did over the next thirty minutes or so. Best line of greeting: “Are you from the internet?” “Yes, we’re from the internet, and we’re here to help you.”  To the best of my knowledge, a total of seventeen people turned out for the shoot.  A partial list:

And there were more whose names I did not get. “Blogless” was one of them.   Chime in in the comments if I missed you.

About 10:15 we headed off to the range.  I’m pretty sure I would have had no problem getting the Mustang in and out.  Apparently the worst of the storm missed the range site.  Oh well.  What a beautiful place to go shoot!  Sixty-five acres on a branch of the Trinity River, about 100 yards across to the opposite bank, and there’s a flat area about 500 yards downriver from the shooting area.  Oh, and in Texas they have these huge tall wooden things with these “leaves” that block the sun!  Imagine that, natural shade!  I wonder if we can get those here in Arizona?  We could not have ordered more perfect weather.

So, the obligatory photo dump.

I got to shoot a semi-auto M1 Thompson, and a .50AE Deagle.  I’d already shot US Citizen’s Kriss SBR.  The one gun I wish I’d taken a crack at was Southern Belle’s SVT-40 “Natasha.”  What a beautiful piece!  As mentioned previously, I brought four rifles; my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, LRB M25 and my M4gery.  I managed to break the M4gery.  The first couple of (blurry) photos in the slideshow are of the missing extractor hook.  It shot well for two or three magazines, but then started failing to eject.  It was failing to eject because there was no extractor hook.  Oops.  Gotta fix that.  Several people shot the Garand, and uniformly loved it.  It’s cosmetically beautiful and functionally perfect, but a bit worn.  It is, after all, a Danish rack-grade return from the CMP, but it’s still a lot of fun. When I finally run out of milsurp .30-06 on en bloc clips, I may just have to break down and have it rebarreled in .308.

We shot until after 3:00PM, and then packed it up for the day.  The only thing I’m bummed about on this trip is that I wasn’t able to join the rest of the crew for dinner.  I was riding with US Citizen, and we were headed in a different direction from the crowd.

So I took vacation, drove about 2,000 miles round-trip and spent three nights in hotels to make this trip.  I think it was worth it.


I pulled out of the hotel parking lot at 8:15AM Central time and pulled into my garage at 8:20PM Pacific Time – 14 hours and 5 minutes and 957 miles later. That included three stops for gas and one for food. Actual time on the road: 12 hours 52 minutes.

I’m beat. Blog Shoot AAR tomorrow. I’ve got the day off.


Jim of the blog Smoke on the Water (where he doesn’t post much these days) has re-written the lyrics to that classic ditty How Much is That Doggie in the Window? and has allowed me to premier it here first at TSM:

How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
The one with the chicken-fried-tail
How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
I loves me a fried doggie tail
On Air Force One to Indonesia
Vacationing far from my home
But they’ll serve me dog, yes I’ll eat some
I’ll chew it clear down to the bone
How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
The one with the chicken-fried-tail
How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
I loves me a fried doggie tail
I know that my party are robbers
Who love to keep folks in the dark
So I’ll have me a plate of some doggie
Halal or haraam but no bark
Don’t fry me a bunny or kitty
I don’t want a bird in a wok
I don’t want a plate full of fishies
I just want some fried dog, not dog talk
How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
The one with the chicken-fried-tail
How much is that doggie on the menu? (arf! arf!)
I loves me a fried doggie tail

Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger!