• Category Archives Shooting
  • Word of the Day: Techniguess

    Was attending Powerpoint briefings all day today, and was presented with your next Word of the Day (misspelling of the plural of “technique”):



    An highly technical opinion presented by a Subject Matter Expert. Ranges in accuracy somewhere between a Wild-Ass Guess (WAG) and a Shitty Wild-Ass Guess (SWAG)
    OTOH, life has been busy, between working on the house, the car, the Zombie truck, the RV, and work in general. Am healthy and reasonably happy. Just can’t wait till after Election Day, to see which way our Country shifts politically.
    And Fool on the Hill is slowly healing after getting triple-bypass surgery.
    Also, Appleseed training was a real blast. Highly recommended. I didn’t do great, what with an unproven rifle and scope. Planning on doing again in the near future. Do it! (Appleseed Info). No, I’m not getting compensation for this…
    Finally, I’m overdue on book reviews, though book reading time has been cut considerably, I hope to take care of that this weekend.

  • 2016 NRA AM After-action Report

    Well, I survived one day of the 2016 NRA AM. That was enough for me, I was pooped and back was hurting after just five hours in the exhibition hall. But walked all 11 acres and saw lots of neat stuff. So here goes:

    Entering the Expo Center, after hours of waiting to get onto the grounds, then waiting to park. But nobody got nasty or obnoxious. FYI, note the two silhouettes on the roof. There were several helicopters hovering as well, including one old Hughes NOTAR:


    These guys had the right idea for traversing the Expo: Electric bar stools! Converted convenience scooters, they modified the steering mechanism and added bar stools as seats. Gives them an eye-level rather than belly-button level view of their surroundings and easier get-on/get-off:


    Magpul had tons of gear on display. Look online or in any good gun store to see what they make and sell. But what I really wanted to see was their converted bus. Too many ideas for the RV, none very practical though. It was pretty crowded and these are the best of the few that I got.

    The in-bus bar:


    And the in-bus arsenal. Now, I need a compartment on the RV that’s accessible from both inside and outside, that I can thoroughly reinforce…


    Some toys I’d love to get if I a) won the Lottery, 2) had time to go shooting more, and III) didn’t live in Maryland.

    IWI x95. Follow-on to the Tavor. Improved ergonomics, trigger pull, rails, etc.:


    Semi-auto SAW (M249). Good way to pump bullets downrange. Not necessarily for long-range targets, but fun none-the-less:


    Several cool armorer/shooter tools. The one on the left is a general-purpose weapon-maintenance tool with tips for small fasteners, push-pins, very small allens (on the other side), barrel bushing, etc. The right hand tool is AR-specific, with cleaning scrapers, file, and a bunch more attachments. Wanted but didn’t spring to buy at the moment:


    Did not necessarily want to buy, but definitely gawk at: Arsenal AF-2011 double 1911. Big, heavy. Dunno why other than it looks crazy. Would be better serving as a movie prop, otherwise I absolutely cannot think of a practical purpose. But it does exist in a number of calibers and finishes:


    Very heavily modified Arctic Cat 4-seater. Would be great to play with given the off-road area to do so:


    And the final word in tacti-cool: a tactical-T-Rex. Fitted with the latest in NVGs and LBE. Cute, very cute. Right up there with “Sharks with Friggin’ Lasers” cute. The ultimate “I’d hate to meet this in a dark alley”. Though I’m trying to figure out how he’s going to handle a weapon. It’d be real easy to “stay out of arm’s reach” with this guy…


    Tons of other stuff on the floor to go with the above pictures. AR-based parts out the wazoo. Some very nice antique rifles and pistols on display. Lots of accessories, and just about as many businesses selling partially or completely finished weapons. Hunting safaris, classic weapons, safes, you name it, someone probably brought one (or three) to put on display.

    Two benefits of driving the Zombie Truck to the show:  the number of folks wanting to talk about it at the show and the campground that we stayed in, and people letting me change lanes/enter queues ahead of them, because it was unique. Thanks all! Even to the point that someone, I think the owner, of Outlaw Precision Weaponry, LLC, stopped me to give me a sticker while I was in line to get out of the parking lit. Good luck to them and thanks for saying “Hi”.

    Very relaxed atmosphere, wish I’d had more time and other folks to travel with. But OldNFO was late getting in, The Shekel was in training all Friday, a handful couldn’t make it, and others had schedules that didn’t work out. Oh well, there’s Atlanta next year!


  • Louisville NRA AM First Report

    In spite of terrible traffic complications, I had a good time today at the NRA Annual Meeting. I’d left my drivers license at the RV and couldn’t do the Press area. Oh well. Still got to enjoy a few minutes outside visiting with OldNFO after he finally made it to the show, many hours later than planned. But that’s his story, not mine.

    Found lots of neat stuff that I want, but either can’t afford, don’t have a real reason to purchase, or simply cannot own in the communist state of Maryland.

    Flash note, good deal: if you go to the Appleseed booth and register for a training course, the $60 fee is waived. So I’m signed up for an Appleseed event in my local area in a few months. Read up on the Appleseed program and think about saving a few dollars, and help defray the price of your ammo.

    Met lots of nice folks, everyone was friendly in spite of the parking situation. Lots of interesting weapons, accessories, clothing, and info available. Electric bar stools, a tactical Tyrannasaurus Rex, the double-barrel .45 in various incarnations, and a few other oddities.

    Internet service is slow here and I’ve got to transfer photos off the phone. Leaving for another destination tomorrow (Saturday) and with all of the driving, may not get pictures and more extensive writeup done till late next week. So be patient.

    Also, hat tip to our neighbors in the campground. Ken with the FJ, and Dennis and his wife (who’s working at the Barrett booth). Enjoy the rest of the show, sorry we couldn’t spend more time visiting.

  • Worst Traffic Evar

    I’ve dealt with lots of traffic over the years and thought I’d seen some terrible traffic. Up till now the worst was several incidents in Arizone, when the Highway Patrol shut down I-10 to investigate the numerous fatal collisions. Have been caught several all times when the Interstate was shut down for hours.

    But events today take the cake. It seems that the city of Louisville, KY either doesn’t know how to handle a crowd like the NRA Annual Meeting, or intends to make the meeting the most frustrating experience possible for those who support the Second Amendment and shooting sports.

    My first attempt early Friday morning to get onto the Kentucky State Fairgrounds had me sitting in the Zombie Truck for over an hour still on the Interstate 1/2 mile from the exit to the Fairgrounds. After an hour of sitting and only moving 100 yards, I gave up and drop over back to the RV. Picked up the Wife and hit a local Goodwill, got some more pants.

    A couple of hours later I made another attempt. Our next-door neighbor in the campground gave me a recommendation that saved me an hour of waiting to get into the Fairgrounds. But it still took 45 minutes to get from the entrance to finally parking in B.F.E.

    At 6pm when the exhibition hall closed, the situation was reversed. Took 45 minutes to travel the length of the parking lot, onto the main road and out the exit to the Interstate.

    Nobody was directing traffic to speak of. Amazing. Thank goodness the crowd was composed of people who are not predisposed to fits of anger and stupidity!

    Nashville was nowhere as bad, hope that Atlanta won’t be either.

  • Traveling Again

    I normally don’t post about leaving town in advance, but I’m going to be at the NRA AM, Friday-only. Got another engagement on Saturday to attend.

    Just curious: For those 2-3 readers of this humble blog – I haven’t seen as much traffic this year as there was last year.

    Wasn’t able to get Press credentials, I’m not high enough on the food chain for that either. Oh well.

    But if folks are planning on getting together, or meeting at a time/place Friday, holler in some fashion.

    If I don’t hear, I’m still hoping to run into some of the old gang!

  • Tennessee State Weapon

    Must laugh. I grew up in Middle Tennessee and love the area. Very cosmopolitan, lots of things to do there. Great schools, museums, lots of history, beautiful scenery, and fantastic growth potential. Several auto manufacturers have moved into the state in the last 20 years, Dell Computer is now there, and Beretta is moving to the state.

    But one weapons company has them beat: Barrett. Barrett started in Murfreesboro, just a few miles outside of Nashville. Been there years, started with their .50 BMG rifle and progressed from there. Now reviled by leftists and the Media (yeah, I know, one and the same). I’ve shot one round from one at one of Lagniappe’s Lair‘s blogshoots, and it was a “blast”. Huge weapon, not something someone would easily carry around. Also, one can see an early Barrett M82 in the original Robocop movie, dolled up as the Cobra Assault Cannon. In 1987. That’s at least how long the .50 has been around.

    So now, the Washington Post/Bird Cage Paper is breathless and beside itself now that the Barrett .50 is now the Official State Rifle. Found the note on Instapundit who linked to the paywalled WPO story. Congrats to the State of Tennessee for poking the eye of the anti-gun crowd!!!

    Also from Glenn’s post, the WPo notes that “it can destroy an airplane”. As Glenn notes, just about any rifle can do it when hitting the right location. But of more fun, LL of Virtual Mirage, in his book Bloody Mexico: A Novel of Cartel Wars (reviewed here), LL posits doing just so: Taking down an airliner with a .50. Who’da thunk it? Prescient or prior planning… I don’t want to know the answer to that.

  • Flash Thought

    The US GOV has agencies whose responsibility is to audit computer systems and ensure that they meet security and operational requirements. Why isn’t there a Tiger Team to go in and fix those systems found deficient? As posted recently, Department of State FISMA ratings have been dropping for years. Why not hold the budget (wait, what Budget) and redirect money from projects to the Tiger Team to fix these problems instead of depending on the good will of that agency’s management team to push the issue along.

    Take away from their operational budget, fix the darn problem.

    Where I used to work (a few of you know), if you had poor ratings or failed your inspection, you were SHUT DOWN till you got it fixed. No questions, no “mother may I”. Shut down. Denial of Approval to Operate, DATO. And then we would send a team out to put a microscope where you didn’t want it, looking to see what else you failed to do correctly. Why isn’t this happening here?

    Deny, obfuscate, shift the blame…

  • L1A1 Specifications

    Following the lead of my hero, OldNFO, here’s some specifications for your ponderage (new word).

    The L1A1 is the British variant of the Fabrique Nationale FN-FAL rifle. The original FN-FAL was based on metric measurements. Of course, the British Empire would have none of that, and modified the rifle to comply with their Inch Pattern. During the original FN-FAL design, there were a number of calibers tested, including .270 and .280, but finally settling on the 7.62×51 NATO round.

    My rifle (this is my rifle, this is my gun…) is a bastardized Century Arms model made mumble-years ago. Century Arms was not known at that time to put together a great set of parts, and mine is one of those. I’ve gotten it pretty well beaten into shape and enjoy pushing a large round downrange semi-automatically. The action soaks up  a large amount of the recoil, unlike a bolt-action rifle, and makes for a pleasant firing. Now, if there were a better trigger…

    OK. The specs, courtesy of Blake Stevens’ “UK and Commonwealth FALS” (Collector Grade Publications, 1987):

    Calibre: 7.62mm (.30 in)

    Length of Rifle (with normal butt): 1143 mm (45 in)

    Length of barrel  533.4 mm (21 in)

    Number of grooves: 6

    Pitch of rifling:  1 turn in 304.8 mm (12 in)

    Twist of rifling: right hand

    Type of operation: Gas

    Weights –

    Rifle only:  4337.4 gm (9.56 lb)

    Rifle and full magazine: 5074.4 gm (11.19 lb)

    Magazine full: 737 gm (1.6 lb)

    Magazine empty: 255 gm (9 oz)

    Magazine capacity: 20 rds (standard)

    Sights –

    Fitted, Rear:  Aperature

    Fore:  Blade

    Sight Range:  200-600 m

    Sight Radius:  55.37 cm (21.8 in)


    Ammunition: (source Wikipedia 7.62×51 NATO)

    Parent case .308 Winchester (derived from the .300 Savage)
    Case type Rimless, Bottleneck
    Bullet diameter 0.308 in (7.82 mm)
    Neck diameter 0.345 in (8.8 mm)
    Shoulder diameter 0.454 in (11.5 mm)
    Base diameter 0.470 in (11.9 mm)
    Rim diameter 0.473 in (12.0 mm)
    Rim thickness 0.050 in (1.3 mm)
    Case length 2.015 in (51.2 mm)
    Overall length 2.750 in (69.9 mm)
    Rifling twist 1 in 12 in (30 cm)
    Primer type Large Rifle
    Maximum pressure 60,191 psi (415.00 MPa)
    Ballistic performance
    Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
    147 gr (10 g) M80 FMJ 2,733 ft/s (833 m/s) 2,437 ft·lbf (3,304 J)
    175 gr (11 g) M118 Long Range BTHP 2,580 ft/s (790 m/s) 2,586 ft·lbf (3,506 J)
    Test barrel length: 24 inches (61 cm)
    Source(s): M80: Slickguns,[1] M118 Long Range: U.S. Armorment[2]

    Next up, MSAR STG-556 (if I can find the specs). If not, then the Steyr AUG that the MSAR was cloned from.

    Suck it, ITAR!

    Enjoy, and see y’all at the range!


  • Shooting Ranges 1.0

    Done a little shooting lately, which is a lot more than normal for me (Maryland sucks for shooting ranges).

    So while in Nashville for the NRA AM, I took a college friend and his son to the Nashville Armory for an hour of blasting away. Used my own weapons, but they had a nice selection. Good place.

    And several weeks later in Salt Lake City went to Get Some Guns for more entertainment with family. Didn’t have any guns with me this time, so splurged, spent $25 for the “all you can eat” rental option. Was worth it. Nothing says F.Y.T. (fsck you too) like a suppressed FN-X .45. Dad and son had a great time too.

    Nothing like showing a new generation proper handling and shooting procedures.

    (Disclaimer: I got nuttin’ in compensation for the above recommendations. Cost me a pretty penny, in reality, but worth it)