Monday, June 30, 2008

Wanted: another of the patented quick reviews

Went to see "Wanted" this evening with Top and JAG, since JAG is PCS-ing to Virginia and I'm unlikely to see him anytime soon. The word is: don't. Despite a couple funny lines and a nice butt shot of Angelina Jolie, the gun stuff was stupid and the movie sucks overall. If you're into guns at all, don't bother. It'll piss you off on so many levels, I can't even count 'em all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Latest pics of Schwaggie: new stuff installed again!

I have generous friends; I am truly a blessed individual. As I posted about in regards to the last range session a couple posts down from this one, I've found that I shoot better without my vertical grip. That created a need not to get burned by my rail, which is known to get hot. Enter my bro M4Guru, who schwagged me the Knight's rail panels you see in the new pics. Now I have good rail coverage to keep from getting burned, and I can still use the rail against barricades and such without undue damage. Yeah, it makes me happy.

In terms of tekneek, what worked, and worked noticeably better for me, was to grasp the fore end just behind where the front sight tower is. My thumb wraps around the top of the rail running pretty much parallel to where the cut for the FSP is on my rail. My index and middle fingers are reaching forward a little bit; I've messed with using my index finger to point towards the target, but I need to experiment with that some more to see if there's any merit or improved performance from it. The one thing I'm trying to do, though, is to grab as much rail as I can, so the gun can be pulled into my shoulder. What I'm talking about is really getting behind and on top of the gun as I can; I find that when I aggressively pull that thing into my shoulder and lean into it, the muzzle hardly moves at all, and I'm getting nice, tight groups with adequate speed. I say adequate because I've never been, in my mind, a fast shooter. Matt E. has a timer that I think I gotta do some work with.

I also added a Magpul MIAD, set up in the fattiest fat fat configuration available. I love the Tango Down Battle Grip; its one of the best designs available. However, I have giant bear paw hands, and that grip is just a little too skinny front to back for me. I set up the MIAD as much like a fat ass Battlegrip as I could. I got the full kit, and would have used the trigger guard option if it didn't have that damnable finger rest on it. At first glance, the nublet on that part is hollow, so if I shaved it or filed it off, it'd probably leave a hole. I'm considering filling it with epoxy or something and shaving it, but it seems more likely that I'll pick up the Magpul aluminum trigger guard, which will solve the problem of the gap at the trigger guard, too. Getting a Gapper would be a less expensive solution, but this is a carbine we're talkin' about. If you don't have a boat, and I don't, the rule is that you spend all that disposable income on the gun. Its just the law.

Another new part is the Viking Tactics padded VTAC sling. I just put that on there, and don't have enough experience with it yet to make a real determination on it yet. It appears that the padding is set back further than it should have been, but I think I still need to mess with the adjustments a little before I decide if that's the case. I like the extra travel due to the longer straps; that seems to be solving my problem rather handily. It adjusts a little faster than my VCAS, but I'm not sure that's as much of an advantage as it appears to be at first blush.

Incidentally, that mark that looks like blue paint on my LaRue M68 mount, is in fact blue paint on my LaRue M68 mount, and the upper receiver. I marked the Troy Battlesight the same way, although the mounting screw is on the other side of the gun, so the mark on the receiver for it is, too. The purpose is twofold: first, it is a quick visual reference to see that everything is still tight, and secondly, if either of the sights get removed for whatever reason, they can be put back in the same place easily. Yet another jewel gleaned from Black Eyes and Green Rifles.

Unfortunately, The Big Johnson is on leave and Top's wife's B-day was today, so we didn't go to the range like we normally would have. I thought about just going and shooting for a bit, but I end up using up more ammo than I intend to when I do that, and I don't have the added benefit of being pushed out of my comfort zone by shooting with guys who are better than me. Instead, I did some more work on building my Intardweb Celebrity. It is a never ending task. Such is the lot of the Online Famous.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Happening: The Quick Review

Just got back home after watching The Happening with Top and JAG. I could have saved eight bucks. I hear about Global Warming all day long, on the radio, in the news, and everywhere else I turn. I didn't need M. Night Shamalyan to make a movie about it.

The thing that's not scary about this flick is that nobody gets murdered. Suicide is not all that scary, and it should have started in Europe, rather than ended there. They're figuring out that Global Warming is hogwash (HA! When was the last time you saw that word on a blog?), since they've been taxed to death over it already, and its getting worse, according to those who make money on it. Recent polls show they've had enough of it. The movie shoulda killed them all off first, before America finally understands that its all hooey and people like Algore (who's mansion in TN is using 10% more power with all his eco-friendly upgrades and replacements than it was originally) are making BIG MONEY off of it.

Save your money; skip the latest Global Warming Movie.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another myth: the lining up of the gas rings.

The gas leak from "the aligning of the gas rings" on an AR bolt thing is an old wive's tale that's been going around and around, and repeated by gun writers to the point that it's become fact without proof. Seems to be more proof that most gun writers don't know as much about guns as you do.

The gas rings act a bit like an "o" ring would if one could be used in that location. When the bolt is in the retracted position, or is out of the bolt carrier, the rings are relaxed, and as such, have gaps in them. The reason for that is that the rings need to compress as the firing cycle takes place. They couldn't do that very well if they couldn't be collapsed, could they? Think about it. When the rings are working, THERE'S NO DAMN GAP!!! Alignment of the gas ring's gaps, in that case, don't mean anything, because they're not there when the rings are working.

What you need to know about gas rings is that if one of them is working properly, the gun will work. If all three are worn to the point that they don't work, the gun will choke, even with a proper amount of oil on it. The test is to push the bolt into the "closed" position in the carrier, and hold the bolt inverted. If the bolt moves to the "open" position under the weight of the bolt, your gas rings are worn and need to be replaced. Install some new ones and test. If the bolt doesn't move to the open position, your rings are good and you need to get on with wearing another set out.

Do yourself a favor and take what gun writers say with a grain, on up to a brick, on up to a shipping container, of salt.

Hey! More parts to test at the range today!

Since I can't afford 5.56 ammo anymore, I apparently just buy parts for the gun instead of shooting the heck out of it. ;) I just can't shoot that carbine as much as I'd like, given the price of ammo, but I'd rather shoot 20 or 40 rounds at the range than none at all. I shot through almost all the ammo I had on hand, though. Luckily I still have about 400 rounds of the case of 9mm I picked up a while back. I can get a hook up on PMC, which seems to work pretty good...but it still ain't free.

I had a few new parts to verify: a Magpul MIAD, Buffer Tech extractor upgrade kit, sand paper grip tape for my G-Lock 19, and a VTAC sling. Short answer: they all worked, and a couple were exemplary.

The decision for the MIAD was because the Battle Grip I was running was just too thin for my big hands. Problem solved. I just wish the "trigger guard" front strap piece didn't have the finger rest. I would have used it if it didn't have it. I'm not sure I can shave it off, but I might try that later. If there's one thing I'd change about the MIAD, its that I would have the front strap modified to cover "the gap" between the grip and the trigger guard, which the Battle Grip does by design. If that proves to be a big deal, I'll pick up a Gapper for it, but I kinda doubt it'll be an issue.

The extractor upgrade kit seems to work as advertised; all the cases extracted and appeared to be going about 400% further than they had been. I dunno if that's the truth or not, but that's what the description at Brownell's said. At any rate, they were going a bit further, although the extractor was never a problem before. I just didn't like having the stock buffer insert being blue when it should have been black. I don't think it really mattered, but I have piece of mind, and new parts. Its the journey, not the destination, I guess. :)

The sand paper grips made a huge, huge difference. As both the readers of my blog probably already know, my hands are large. Glock 19's aren't large. I needed something to be able to hang onto that thing without constantly readjusting my grip, and that was the ticket. The kit comes with a couple pieces for the slide; one for the front of the slide, and one for behind the grasping grooves. I took the smaller one and put it on the frame as a leverage point for my support thumb, now that I have adopted (or am adopting; I'm still not 100% there) the "even more modern than modern technique" of thumbs forward isoceles. I'm sold; its faster and steadier.

The VTAC really needs no introduction; not having heard of it at least in passing means that black rifles aren't your thing. Besides, this sling will probably be getting swapped off tomorrow. My bro Jon told me he's got a padded one to give me. I need to weasel some rail panels out of him, too, because I found out one more thing today: I shoot better without the vertical grip. This was not a revelation that I wanted to come to; I like the vert grip. I had to give a solid shot (so to speak) to working without it, and found that I can control the carbine better, meaning its more steady and my groups are smaller. We were doing some non standard response drills (any number of rounds between, say, 3 and 7, or some other numbers) and I was just ragging a hole in the target. I can get a grip on more gun and really get behind it. Like I said, I didn't want to come to that conclusion, but the proof is in the...something other than pudding. The proof is in the peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, which I'm going to get right after I finish this.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my progress. I think I'll go into some particulars of the drills we did at a later date; they were excellent for a couple of reasons. First, we weren't just shooting bullseye targets, which I find a good way to "break the tunnel vision" of just shooting ten rings. It changes your mindset, and gets you to thinking about shooting something other than paper...i.e., critters, humans, and zombies. Second, any time you can move around and shoot, that's a huge plus. There's limited value in standing in front of your target from a known distance and doing the same thing over and over. I heard an interesting comment at the range, too-what can I say? Comtacs rule! The range is split into a pistol range and a rifle range. The rifle shooter was talking about distance combat shooting, saying something along the lines of "when are you going to have a long range shot (I think he was talking about a hundred yards) in a tactical situation?" I looked over after he said that to see him shooting his AR off the bench. I just chuckled and continued on my way.

So, to finish up this post-I didn't mean for it to get so long, but it did-I'm gonna show some more current pics of Schwaggie. I'm gonna have to shoot some more in a day or two, since the Ace sling mount will likely be further out, probably at the end of the rail, and it should have some new KAC rail panels and a padded VTAC sling. In the end, its all about supplying more fodder to post about. Here's some more pics! I hadda add the one of Top because its such a great shot of the "more modern than modern technique".lol

Another twist on the Nigerian 419 Scam

Got yet another variation in my e-mail. They're definitely branching out with their attempts to find suckers. When I thought about it a bit, I came to the conclusion that it seems as though the scammers have been a little slow on the uptake to hit up the religious folks, since most, if not all, of the world's major religions call for giving and taking care of the less fortunate. At any rate, here's the latest:

From Mrs Susan Morgan
N�[38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan,Cote d'Ivoire

I am the above named person from Kuwait. I am married to Mr.Abram Morgan, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.

Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.

Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.

The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence i know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.

I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.

Contact me on the above e-mail address for more information’s, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs susan morgan"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull..uh...what?

Just got back from seeing Innyanna Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. was corny, but at least it didn't make a lot of sense.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Need For The Perfect Target

Paul J. and I went to the range again yesterday. He was zeroing his new custom built Remington 700 sniper rifle. I wish I had my camera with me; that gun is really impressive. He has, by far, the largest diameter barrel on that rig that I've seen. Its gotta be at least .900, and might be thicker than that. I'll find out and get some photos. Paul really can shoot, and was getting sub-MOA groups out at around 250 or 300 yards. Without an electronic range finder, I couldn't tell, but it was further by quite a bit than I typically shoot.

One thing Paul and I are on the Quest for is the perfect target. This perfect target needs to have some specific characteristics, though:
  • needs to be a free download
  • black and white is better
  • Must be realistic
Now, there are plenty of free targets out there that fit the bill, and quite a few more that have two of the three. Plus, there's one more that is critical: its gotta be a Zombie target. We may see civil unrest as gas prices continue to rise, and we may see another terrorist attack on these shores. However, the threat posed by Zombies is clearly the soft white underbelly of America. That being the case, the perfect Zombie target is needed. It has not yet been located.

We've been using the headshot target from Zombie Hunters and it's worked quite well. However, we agree that we'd like it even better if it were more realistic looking, and would be a better training aid if we had some forward-facing and full body shots as well. The advantage of the full body shot is that it acts as a long range, unknown distance target. Since headshots are all that count, shooting at the rest of the body is little more than a waste of ammunition. You might be able to knock one off its pins, but that doesn't stop it. I'm sure you all remember the aftermath of the hyperbaric bombing run at Yonkers in World War Z. What would completely destroy the living does just about nothing to the ambulatory un-living.

But I digress. I think what I'd like to see, and what I don't have the computer art skills to do, is a series of targets. We need headshots of a few different angles, some full body images, and one or two of what I'd call the bum's rush target: a representation of a group (or gaggle, herd, or stick) of Zombies that you can yell "They're comin' right for us!!" before you start surgically picking them off. That may be the best training aid of all: proof to the shooter that carbines are individual projectile weapons, not room brooms or spray and pray ammo-wasting units.

At any rate, the search continues.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Sling War may have been won!

I've posted before, both here and all over the Intardweb, that there are only two slings: the VCAS from Blue Force Gear and the VTAC from Viking Tactics. I think I narrowed down which one is the sling for me. When Matt and I were working on doing reloads today, I found that the VCAS is just not quite long enough for use on my carbine where I want to have the sling mounting points. I couldn't get it adjusted quite long enough.

The biggest part of that issue is that I'm a big, big dude. I'm 6'6" tall, and I weigh a lot. Turns out that the VTAC can adjust a whole lot longer. Naturally, the one I got handed to me is the skinny one rather than the cool padded wide one. LOL! I don't mind that much; its not like I have to haul that rifle and a ton of gear around the world. I've already started to think about designing a pad that would be simple to make and integrate with the sling. I have a couple ideas that I need to explore some more.

I think the next range session will be the proof of concept. At least it'll give me something else to blog about; I've been posting rather sparsely of late!

Range time: learning some things

Went to the range again today with Matt E. and his trained chimp, Sar'nt Johnson, or as we sometimes call him, The Big Johnson. Don't let the name calling fool you, though. TBJ is a gunfighter. He's who you want on your side in a fight to be sure.

I didn't shoot a whole lot of rounds, but I got some good training out of the ones I did fire.
Matt taught me some of the things he's been taught via several different classes. He's studied under the Magpul Dynamics guys, Larry Vickers, Pat Rogers, and has been to Midsouth as well. He's pretty dang good with his standard techniques. We went over clearing a couple of the most common malfunctions, speed and tactical reloads, and reinforced sight offset. Most of my rounds were low because I kept sighting into the middle and upper middle of the target, instead of holding on Osama Bin Laden's turban to drill 'em into his face.

I think I'm still in the Kyle Lamb school on the topic of tactical reloads. He uses the tactical reload when there's time to take out a partially used magazine, put it away, and reload with a fresh magazine, and rearrange the gear as necessary. Matt showed me a simple, quick way to do it that involves handling both mags at once. Basically, you have a magazine in the gun. You then make an "L" with a fresh mag against the bottom of the one in the gun, and grab both. Then you release the one in the gun and turn the hand 90 degrees to replace with the new one. Then you put the old one away, or in a pocket, or whatever ya gotta do. Its somewhat more simple than it sounds, and its fast. As I said, I'm not sure I want to use that method, but its another tool in the toolbox.

There's a vid of Matt at the Magpul Dynamics class at Camp Ares (we really need a separate website for the training facility, but I have no control over that) doing a speed reload. He's smoother than the vid makes him appear due to low resolution.

I did some more work on my Glock 19, too. I've been transitioning to more of an isosceles stance and away from the Weaver I've been using for a hundred years or so, and to a thumbs-forward grip. That's been difficult for me, since my hands are pretty dang big for a small-ish gun like the 19. I'm not as fast and accurate as I'd like to be yet, but I'm getting much better. If you wanna get good at shooting, actually bustin' primers is the best way to do it...and the most expensive. LOL!