Thursday, January 31, 2013

Primers and Rope

I’ve been working on reloading .223 Remington, mostly because I wanted a 68 gr. bullet.  The theory is a heavy bullet should be a little less prone to wind drift at Camp Perry.  Those 300 meter pop-up targets are hard to hit and I’m blaming the wind.  I found the 62 gr. steel core SS109 works well at 200 yards, but several ranges don’t want you shooting these rounds at steel plates, especially at 10 to 75 yard distances of urban combat.  The 68 gr. bullet in my reloads shot a tighter group at 200 yards than most of the commercial 55gr rounds I had been shooting. 

And in light of the Sandy Hook tragedies and the resulting frenzy of blame (It’s guns!  No, it’s high cap magazines!  No, gunshow loopholes!  No, ammo sales!) it might not be a bad idea to do a little more reloading in general.

I’ve suffered from high primer stick-up.  No, it’s not the price of primers, it’s an inability to mount my primers flush with the base of the cartridge.  It happens to everyone, even to the factory manufactured rounds.

primer extends beyond the case base
High primer in re-manufactured .38 special

This is a high primer in a .38 special cowboy load I buy for my introduction to shooting classes.  I buy them from a customer reloader who I know is careful and precise and leaves nothing to chance.  Still, things happen.  The high primer will prevent the revolver’s cylinder from turning smoothly. 

With rifle it’s a little more important because high primers can cause misfires and jams.  The cure is to ream the primer pocket out.  It’s a time consuming step.  Especially if you have staked or crimped NATO brass.

shows the four deep crimps in the nato rounds
The heavy crimps help prevent the high pressure found in NATO proof rounds from blowing the fired primer out and into the rifle's trigger group.

I wish I could tell you it was my idea, but I got the idea from YouTube.  I bought an RCBS primer pocket reamer head for their motorized reamer and asked a friend of mine if he could drill and tap an arbor for me.  He could and did.  I mounted it in my drill press.

a primer deburer on a shaft or arbor on my drillpress
Pocket primer primper

It took a little fussing with the drill’s drive belt, but I’ve got the speed right and now I can ream out primer pockets like crazy.  I use a clamp lamp to get a little more light on the subject, turn the press on and just lift each deprimed cartridge into the whirling de-burrer and it’s done.  What took hours is now done in minutes.  It’s fast and I get a nice primer pocket.  

Too much wiggle open the primer pocket too much!
I wiggled this one a little too much thinking I had to get rid of all the indents.  Now the primer simply falls out.
I’m no longer getting crushed or high primers and I can’t wait to get out on the range.

Success!  The primer fits like a glove and is flush with the case ready for the range.

I’ve been wearing one of those 'survival' bracelets for about a year now.  There’s about 6 feet of kernmantle cord woven into a bracelet.  That’s not a lot cord, but we tell ourselves that’s enough to secure the main supports of an emergency shelter.  Or enough rope to cobble together an emergency fishing line or…well, you get the picture.

It wasn’t a BIG emergency, but here’s what I found out when I went to use mine.  It’s barely enough to make two shoe laces.

These are shoes and not boots, but I still had to skip the bottom eyes to get them laced up.
They aren't boots, but I still had to skip the bottom eyes to get them laced up.

I’m a little disappointed I didn’t have enough to completely lace the shoes, but it snapped me out of the fantasy that one survival bracelet would make a difference. 

Here’s my take on the tactical side of this.  Make sure your preparations work in practice, and not just as thought experiments.  In Germany thought experiments are known as Gedankenexperiment, which loosely translates as “too-lazy-to-try-it.”   This phenomenon is all too common among armchair experts and blog writers. 

Make sure your options are functional and not just pipe dreams.  I still wear a survival bracelet, but I tuck away another 50 feet of cord in my day pack just in case.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Medina Gun Show Shooting

“Attention class.  It’s time to start the school day.  But first I want to welcome you back to the first day of school after National Gun Appreciation Day which was Saturday, Jan 19th.  Because of that I want to review the basic gun safety rules."

“Who knows the first rule?... Gloria.”

“The first rule of gun safety, Ms. Glockermann, is always point your gun in a safe direction.”

“That’s correct Gloria.  Who knows the second rule, no, someone else this time, Gloria.  You've had a turn.  Timmy, what’s the second rule?”

“Always off trigger …. until you’re on target and ready to shoot.”

“That’s right Timmy, you got it right.  Now who knows the third rule?  Estefan, do you know the third rule?”

“Yes, Ms. Glockermann.  The third rule of gun safety is always keep the gun unloaded.”

“Ms. Glockermann, what’s a zeroth rule?”

“Well, Frankie, a zeroth rule is one so important that it occurs before any other rule can exist.  Sometimes other rules let people discover the zeroth rule, but it existed even if we were unaware of it.  We call it the zeroth rule because it is so important.  Do you know the zeroth rule of gun safety?”

"Yes, Ms. Glockermann.  Treat all guns as if they are always loaded."

“Class that is very good.  I’m very proud of you.   I think you all know how to be safe.  Now if I can only get those chowderhead orifices at gun shows to learn these rules.”

Ms. Glockermann is pissed.  She knows that on Gun Appreciation Day, five people were shot/injured at three different gun shows.   I was at one of the three, the Medina gun show ( and was an earwitness, along with a thousand other people.

What happened?  I really don’t know.  The police were supposed to check everyone coming in for loaded weapons.  The show was much more controlled because of a complaint to the Fire Marshall about narrow aisles and overcrowding.  

Let’s call the shooter Henry.  Henry bought a Taurus semi-auto from a third party and at some point the gun became loaded.  Did the police at the door miss it?  Did the third party sneak it in?  Was it reloaded after it passed through security and if so who was the asshole who loaded it?  All unknown to me.  

Henry stated in his police statement he knew it was loaded (!).  He pulled back the slide and the gun went off.  The 9 mm ricocheted off the concrete.  His friend was seated next to him at the table and was struck in the thigh and arm.  

A doctor at the show was able to apply immediate first aid to control the bleeding and the victim was taken to a local hospital and then choppered to Cleveland.

The Medina Gun Show threw Henry out and banned him from attending in this life and the next future incarnation.  I don’t know what the police have done or will do.

Every NRA rule designed to keep us safe was broken.

  1. The gun was loaded.
  2. Henry had his finger on the trigger.
  3. It wasn’t pointed in a safe direction.
And, the gun wasn’t treated as if it was loaded.

Children get this.  What’s wrong with some of us?

Tactical Content:  None.  If you can’t be safe, you’ll never be tactical in anything you do.  Move to a deserted island so you will only hurt yourself.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brain Dead in Medina County

 I’m so, I’m just so…  I can’t find a word for it.  Pissed, stupefied, incredulous, I simply can not find words to describe my feelings. 

At a time when the entire country, maybe most of the world, is focused on the tragedy of Sandy Hook and the resulting shit storm, two cretins in Medina county decide they need to drink and shoot.

What do they do?  Head to a range?  Oh no, they put up a paper target in a backyard and start blasting away with a 30 cal rifle. 

One looks at the other and sez, “We don’t need no stinkin’ backstop.”  The other sez, “Here, hold my beer and watch this!”

Mark was shooting with out a back stop
Mark Bornino   Doesn't this picture say it all?

the other nunbnuts shooting with out a back stock.
Daniel Volpone  What could I say that you haven't already thought?

Mark Bornino, 53 years stupid and his buddy Daniel Volpone, only 43 years stupid, were sending rounds downrange and shot up two houses 500 yards away.  

Honest to God, I wish they had decided to simultaneously shoot whiskey cups off each other’s head, like Mike Fink, "King of the River Boats."  At least that problem would have been self resolving.

Fortunately nobody was hurt.  The police arrived and quickly found these two morons and put a stop to the shooting activities.  All the damage was to property.

The police confiscated an AK47 ASSAULT RIFLE, 9mm hand gun, a .380 and a .22 revolver and a bunch of matching ammo.

Beer cans and guns
The beer cans weren't the targets. 
Just what American shooters need, another black eye.  I can’t wait to see the editorials in the newspaper about these two brain dead orifices!


Tactical content:  Know what is behind your target.  Alcohol and guns never mix.  Don’t hang around with orifices.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New York Assault Weapon Restrictions / Ban

Well, New York state is on a roll and has beaten everyone to the gun control punch.  No surprise here, everyone expected it.  What’s in the New York assault weapon control bill? (My ranting is in italics!)

Unfortunately nothing that will truly help.  There is one possible provision that might help.  But it’s very scary.

  • It requires a therapist to report anyone under their care who makes a “credible” gun violence threat to report them to a “mental health director.”  That person would report them to the Department of Criminal Justice.  The weapon may be seized.  I don’t know if anyone knows who seizes the weapon and what can happen to the person.  I’m not sure I want police to be able to arrest someone before they commit a crime. 

  • NY has redefined an assault weapon as having a single ‘assault weapon’ feature.  Previously it was two features.  These features include flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, pistol grips, folding grips or detachable magazine.  This could include pistol grip shotguns.  It’s interesting to note that this list is about rifle furniture, nothing about function.

  • Mandate a police registry of assault weapons.  Of course you know what follows on the heels of registry, don’t you.  Confiscation without due course of law.
  • State registry of all private sales and require a background check through a FFL for a fee.
  • Requires stores that sell ammo to register and requires a background check and to keep a electronic data base of all bullet sales.  What?  Are they serious?  As a reloader I’ve got to ask, do they mean bullet or cartridge?  I also wonder if the feds can comply with it?  The background check is for firearms so can BATF legally run a check for a cartridge?
  • Restrict magazine size to 7 rounds from the national standard of 10 (Huh! National standard of 10?).  Anyone found with 8 or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.  Really?  Do you feel safer if someone is pointing a five shooter at you and not high capacity Glock?  And if you do feel safer, are you really rational?
  • Increased penalties for gun violence.  We execute people for homicide and people still kill.  Do stricter penalties deter criminals?  I remember when speeding fines in Pennsylvania made it cost effect to not only speed, but to greatly exceed the limit.  See, 1 to 10 miles over the limit cost you X dollars a mile.  But 40 miles over the limit cost us only a third X per mile.  They finally changed that law.

Of course I believe that to stop violent crimes during their commission, you need a person with the right tools.  Nobody ever stopped beating someone because a third person recited state and federal laws to them.

I would suggest gun and ammunition manufacturers boycott NY.  US manufacturers should refuse to sell guns, magazines and ammo to any New York state or city agency unless they abide by the letter of the law.  No police officer should have more than 8 rounds in a gun at any time and each officer should pass a new ammunition background check every time they need ammo.  No police officer needs an assault rifle as defined by New York.  It’s back to lever action .30-30s for them!  All security, private or public, entering the state should be subjected to the same rules.  Let’s see how the rich, famous and powerful react when they find out their security is provided by someone with a sling shot and a toothless dog.

Of course, this will never happen.  Too much money is being made on gun and ammo sales to NY police and security.

I think of NY and I’m seeing a continuous barbed wire fence surrounding the state.  Remember what your mother told you: Don’t go where you’re not wanted.