Thursday, August 05, 2010

Loading with the XL650 ... sort of (Part 1)

I had expected to allow the Continuing Story of Dillon and The Geek lay fallow for a while, hoping that I could eventually segue directly into the good news that the XL650 had been completely repaired and rejuvenated by a Factory rebuild.

That is, I had hoped so until friend Antipoda piped up this weekend asking “…how did your match go? Did you make a respectable showing? Did you have enough ammo? Have you solved your primeing problems? Have you considered selling your 650 at the next gunshow, and buying a 550b?


Okay, I can’t afford to ignore the Compleat Contrarian.

Weekend before last, I stayed up until midnight trying to load enough ammo for the match. It took me roughly four hours to load 176 rounds of ammunition (some of which were later rejected when I examined them for flaws). I should have quit earlier, but sheer stubborn determination encouraged me to preserver when a more realistic man would have just borrowed ammunition from a friend.

The new parts for the XL650 did not solve the problem. If anything, it was worse. The primer disk wouldn't advance, because the primer arm didn't retreat to pick up the next hole in the primer disc and rotate it so the next primer was in place. I had to manually move the primer arm up and allow it to grab the next primer disk hole. I loaded about 100 rounds that way, and decided that if this wasn't enough ammunition to complete the match, I would just stop when I ran out of ammunition.

Then I spent another hour getting my gear together. It had been 9 months since I used the Open gun in competition, and I had to switch magazines, etc. I was sure it wouldn’t get done if I left it to the morning. In the end, I couldn’t find the extension which allowed me to use the same race holster for both a limited and an open gun (longer because of the compensator), so I decided to fake it.

Fortunately I had cleaned the gun thoroughly last time I used it, but I grabbed a bottle of solvent and ran a wet rag thru the barrel anyway. No spider nests, clean rag, good to go. Ran an oily rag thru the barrel, checked the sights (yep, battery still good) and put it all back in the gunrug, and that into the range bag with my 176 (+/-) loaded rounds.

I got to bed around 1 a.m. and then couldn’t get to sleep until around 4:30 a.m. which made me very groggy when the alarm went off at 7:30.


Quick shower to wake up, threw on jeans, shoes and the match shirt from the 1999 Limited Nationals at Las Vegas. My first National shirt, maybe it will bring me luck. I can use all I can get.

Stopped at Burger King for a breakfast sandwich, milk, stinky/greasy potatoes.

Then stopped at Dutch Bros for some hot coffee. I have to stay awake!

I ate the greasy/stinky potatoes on the drive up, drank a bit of milk, and ALL of the coffee!

When I go tot the match, it had already started. It's haying season in Oregon, and combines were moving from one field to the next over the country road on which I was traveling. Traffic gets backed up for miles behind combines which travel at 20 mph, tops. So it took me an hour and a half to make the drive which usually takes an hour.

It's worth mentioning that the range was entirely unfamiliar to me. CVSC (the Dundee range) had learned at the beginning of the summer that their neighbor, a grape vinyard, was expanding its growing acreage. The range would no longer be able to shoot to the West because that's where people would be working. It's a tall berm, but not definitively safe when people may be working the vines on any given day.

CVSC has spend between $40,000 and $50,000 according to Evil Bill to re-contour the land on the range, pointing the down-range configuration on the most uphill 4 bays to point South, rather than West.

Right now the bays are gravel-topped with a lot of very tall berms. No way of knowing now how well it work when the rainy season comes; I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the water runs downhill and fills Bay 4. But for now, it all works fine.

My first stage was in Bay 4, which is about 20 yards wide and deep. (Measures are a guess, so don't take this as gospel.) I found The Hobo Brasser there, and shot the first stage which includes a 6-target plate rack and four US poppers. I had trouble knocking the small targets down. Hobo Brasser made fun of me, saying "you're suppose the put the red dot on the steel and squeeze the trigger!" He thought I had forgotten how to shoot an open gun. Not true; I had forgotten that I should not drink coffee before a match, because that red dot was bouncing all over the target ... on and off, and my job was to figure when it was going to dance over the steel and time that with my trigger so I hit the steel. No, I didn't do really good on tight shots, but I was doing the C-More Shuffle for most of the day.

It was a well-designed, and balanced match, but by the time we got to the 3rd stage I was feeling the effects of the heat and the sun. I worked as RO for the first 5 shooters on that stage, but then I had to hand off the 'brick' (the timer) and let someone else RO. I was feeling faintly nauseous, and that's the first indicator of Heat Exhaustion. (Heat Stroke is something else, often hits without obvious warning signs, and is a killer.)

When we got to the last stage, we gained the benefit of being the smallest squad in the match, with 8 shooters. Everyone had to work, but we got though stages quickly. Having arrived late, I was the last in my squad to shoot the first stage. But I was the first shooter on the last stage, so I may have been the first shooter to complete the match.

I didn't impress anyone, but by virtue of my late start and early finish I probably spent less time actively competing of all the nearly 60 shooters.

The Hobo Brasser and I had planned to have Lingquica pizza at Abbey's Pizza in Newberg, so we were eager to get off the range. But HB was responsible for posting scores on the internet, so we waited for over an hour for the other squads to finish.

Finally I grew tired of waiting, so I hopped into my truck and went down to where the last two squads were trying to finish the match. One squad had 2 shooters to go, the others had 4 shooters. I grabbed their completed score sheets and ran them up to the make-shift stat's shack. so the StatsMistress could enter them into the computer.

Then HB and I bailed out. Evil Bill agreed to email him the final scores for publication. I didn't care, I was tired and dirty and hungry (although happy!) and I just wanted to get my lunch.

As far as I was concerned, the gun had run reliably and well, I had completed the match, and I actually had a full magazine left over. Darn, if I knew I would end up with that much ammunition left over, I could have got to bed an hour earlier last night!

(Completed below under "Loading with the XL650 ... sort of (Part 2)" below.)

Loading with the XL650 ... sort of (Part 2)

After we left the range, HB and I made tracks directly to Abby's Pizza and a small pitcher of Heffeweizen.

Everyone else had either already left the match to go home, or they had only just finished the match and were waiting for the awards ceremony. HB and I have both attended hundreds of Awards Ceremonies, and while we usually stay to honor the winners, we had more important things on our mind: food and drink!

After the pizza and beer had been served, we talked about the match. HB related the story that on the last stage of the match, while I was shooting, one of the squad members commented that I had managed to shoot the whole match without a malfunction. (This was strikingly different from the last time I had shot the Open Gun, last October in Dundee, when a weak recoil spring had forced me to deal with a gun which would not return to battery ... one of the longest videos --- and most embarassing -- I have ever posted to YouTube.)

No sooner was the comment made, but the gun jammed. I pulled the trigger, gun went [click!] instead of [bang!] I think it was a high-primer, because I needed only perform the "Tap/Rack/Bang" drill and the gun performed flawlessly for the rest of the stage. Probably that would have happened even if nobody had mentioned that I was shooting a trouble-free match.


But under any circumstances, it was clear that I had not the clear advantage of reliable reloaded ammunition.

By this time, it was clear that my Dillon XL650 was one sick puppy, and I was unable to use it to load ammo for competition. I mentioned my firm intent to sent the press back to Dillon during the coming week, because I was unable to fix the problems.

The Hobo Brasser chose this moment to offer to load 1,000 rounds for me on his own press, so I could send my 650 back for factory maintenance. He didn't want me to miss more matches than necessary at the dwindling end of the Summer Shooting Season. (In truth, I suspect he wanted me to shoot so that I would add an element of "Comic Relief" to the matches.)

Faced with this extremely generous offer, I hemmed and hawed around for about half a split-second and accepted his help.

The next weekend (now Last Dunday) I showed up on his doorstep with 300 rounds of new Winchester .38 Super brass, 1200 CCI Primers, and 4# of VV N350 powder. I also had a half-dozen rounds of loaded ammunition (so he could confirm the correct Over-All Length) and the range of power load for each cartridge, which was 8.0 - 8.6 grains. I also included an STI .38 Super magazine, which allowed him to make a final check on OAL: if it will fit within the magazine, it's not too long a load!

During the past week I have contacted Dillon via phone and got a Return Authorization Number, dismounted the 650 and sent it (including the shell-plate and the entire primer feed assembly, along with the 1050 handle) to Dillon via UPS.

At this moment I have about 26 rounds of (probably usable) .38 Super ammunition left over from my last match. I have also ordered another 1,000 rounds of Winchester Brass from Dillon, and when it arrives I will forward it to The Hobo Brasser. Along with the 1200 primers, that should be sufficient components for him to load 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Not to put any pressure on but this year's Croc Dundee "You Got Bullets?" match has been replaced by a "Monster Match" at Albany Rifle and Pistol Club over the Labor Day weekend.

This match will require a minimum of 400 rounds, and I very much want to shoot it.

One of the problems with the Croc Match in the past has been the very tight schedule, which didn't allow shooters to pick up their brass after having shot a stage. This match announcement states that shooters will be allowed to brass at the end of a stage, as long as it doesn't delay the match. I REALLY don't want to dump 400+ rounds of once-fired brass on a range and lose it. Especially since the brass costs something like $200 for 1,000 rounds, including shipping.

So that's where I am right now. I checked the UPS Tracking Number on Friday last (August 6) and the 650 had got as far as Phoenix, Arizona. I assume it will be in Prescott sometime Monday. I don't know how long it will take them to fix it and return the press, but at lest due to the generosity of The Hobo Brasser, I won't have to sit out the rest of the 2010 competition season because I don't have ammunition.

Now all I have to do is relearn how to shoot the Open Gun.

Monday, August 02, 2010


From the Shooting Wire for Monday, August 2, 2010 (Jim Shepherd's editorial).

[click here to subscribe, if you haven't already.]

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), an organization for independent over-the-road truckers, has filed suit against the state of California for a law scheduled to take effect in 2011. AB-962, if enacted, will place what the OOIDA calls restrictions on the delivery of handgun ammunition.

In fact, the law would criminalize the delivery and transfer of handgun ammunition in anything other than face-to-face transactions. It would also require the shipper to determine if the recipient of a package containing handgun ammunition is covered by any exceptions in the law before delivering handgun ammunition in California.

The National Rifle Association, California educational and lobbying group Calguns, the Folsom Shooting Club and two Claifornia-based truckers and OOIDA members, Erik Royce and Brandon Elias agree, and have joined OOIDA in their lawsuit.

The suit alleges the law is unnecessary, being preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization act of 1994. The FAAA, the suit says, regulates the "routes, rates and services utilized for shipping and delivery or sale of ammunition to a person in California" because the provision "purports to regulate from whom and to whom carriers may make a delivery of ammunition in California."

Under the proposed California legislation, handgun ammunition would be clearly labeled . OOIDA says that law places unreasonable demands on carriers and drivers. Under the law, delivery drivers would be required to obtain a signature from the packages' addressee, determine the caliber of the handgun ammunition, and in some cases, even perform identification verifications.

That's not all. The law states that "transfer of ownership of ammunition may only occur in face-to-face transactions with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity from the purchaser or other transferee."

The independent drivers organization raises the argument that many drivers don't know enough about ammunition to know what's handgun ammo- or not. And the requirement for a face-to-face transaction means the drivers - normally on a schedule- must coordinate delivery times rather than maintaining their work schedules.

And, the organization alleges, the labeling requirement places additional burdens on all involved parties. Ammunition, currently shipped under the federal label ORM-D (Other Related Materials-Domestic) isn't the only using that designation. Perfumes, aerosol cans, beer and other commodities also carry the ORM-D label-meaning drivers don't always know what's in the boxes they're hauling.

In other words, they might be breaking the law without even knowing.

The organization says it's seeking a permanent injunction from the law being enforced on "motor carriers and air/ground intermodal carriers and otherwise legal recipients of ammunition."

The "otherwise legal recipients" would cover virtually anyone reading this story.

"This isn't about firearms or ammunition," says Jim Johnston, OOIDA president, "We cannot allow California to subject our members to criminal liability where the state has no right to meddle."

Johnston is referencing a 2008 Supreme Court decision in which the court struck down a similar law in Maine regarding the delivery of cigarettes to Maine. In the Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport case, the Supreme Court ruled- unanimously- that states cannot interfere with a carrier's rates, routes or services.

We'll keep you posted.

Editor's Note: You can read the complaint from the OOIDA by clicking here

I can never equal, let alone improve upon, Jim Shepherd's editorials. However, I can offer the observation that this is just one more step taken by The Peoples' State of Kalifornia in their ongoing attempts to disarm the law-abiding citizens of their state. And I wonder, parenthetically, why the heck they are so afraid of their citizens. Could it be because so many of their citizens aren't .... citizens? And whose fault is that, eh, Mayor Gavin Newsom?

"Gun Control isn't about Guns; it's about Control"

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Oregon CHL Privacy Rights ... or Wrongs?

I recently received a forwarded email from friend Marc, which seems to have originated from "The Jacobe Group" (an Oregon "Firearms Training" organization).

While I know little about the "group" (I have met Jim Jacobe) and I have not researched the bill referenced, I'll present the email "as received". I'll have a couple of comments at the end.

Note that all links and references were embedded in the original text; nothing has been added. Nothing has been removed or deleted, either, except the Jacobe Group banner which was included at the end of the original email. The intend here is NOT to recommend or denigrate individuals or organizations.

{Politicians fit in neither category.}

Before we start, here's the summary for HB2727:

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.
Prohibits public body from releasing information that can be used to identify holder of or applicant for concealed handgun license. Authorizes disclosure for criminal justice purposes and pursuant to court order.
Relating to records of concealed handgun licenses.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
SECTION 1. A public body as defined in ORS 192.410 may not disclose records or information that can be associated with the identity of a current holder of, or an applicant for, a concealed handgun license unless:
(1) The disclosure is necessary for criminal justice purposes; or
(2) A court enters an order in a pending civil or criminal case directing the public body to disclose the records or information.
(Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? Ten lines, no waiting.)

Here is the April 24 version, which I take to be the 'amended' version. Not 10 lines, but 11 pages ... includes the entire text of a CHL application, and 'exceptions', starting out with the proviso that it amends ORS 192.502 . In fact, it contains the entire text of the existing law, as ammended by this bill (look for the 'bold face' text). Essentially, it 'exempts from public disclosure' a plethora of public records, specifying exactly what information is and is not protected. Not a list of names, but details. Thankfully, at least Social Security Numbers are protected from exposure -- except in certain circumstances. The part which applies to CHL starts at the bottom of page 6.)

This appears to be the change in law, in the amendment proposed by Steiger:
(35) Records or information that identify a person as a holder of, or an applicant for, a concealed handgun license issued under ORS 166.291 and 166.292. This exemption does not apply if the party seeking disclosure:
(a) Requests records or information pursuant to a subpoena or court order; or
(b) Shows by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest requires disclosure in the particular instance. In making this determination, the custodian shall consider any information provided by an affected holder of, or applicant for, a concealed handgun license.
Comments about the changed text appended at the bottom of this page. But you'll have to search the contents of ORS 192.410 for yourself. The main difference seems to the wording in the second clause, which changes from "a court order" in "a pending criminal or civil case" (original text) versus "Public Interest".

But what is a legitimate "Public Interest"? Aye, there's the rub. And what does it mean that "the custodian shall consider any information provided"?

Here is the text of the email:



Please help us retire Judy Steigler and elect Jason Conger.

As you may have heard, the Jackson County Sheriff has lost his battle to protect the private information of concealed handgun licensees.

The Medford Mail Tribune has demanded, and now will receive, the names, addresses, phone numbers and occupations of license holders in Jackson County. They may also demand this same information for the entire state, as can anyone, "newspaper," "reporter" or thief. (Many applicants included their Social Security numbers. It is not at all clear if these will be avalable as well.)

This info was demanded so the Tribune could "out" as many teachers as possible after the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation funded a lawsuit to protect the rights of a Medford teacher.

Most sheriffs have taken steps to safeguard this information from future snooping, but those efforts have not yet faced legal scrutiny. So for now, if you are a license holder, your privacy is very much in jeopardy.

There is no reason this information should be available to the public. These are not records of "government activity" as has been falsely claimed by the "Tribune" and the ACLU. These are records of private information, extorted by the state in order for Oregonians to exercise what should be a right. There is no more a need for this information to be in the public domain than should be your tax records.

In 2009, House Rep's Kim Thatcher and Jeff Barker introduced HB 2727 to make this data private. The bill had broad bipartisan support and seemed to be a sure thing, until House Rep Judy Steigler (D Bend), stepped in to torpedo it. Later Steigler blamed voters who strongly supported the bill for its failure! Steigler was also responsible for the death of a bill in 2009 that would have had Oregon recognize other states' concealed handgun licenses, a bill that was strongly supported by the Oregon Sheriffs Association.

In 2011, CHL privacy legislation will almost surely be reintroduced. But we need to do all we can to make sure Steigler is not around to kill this important bill. That's why OFFPAC is asking that you do all you can to help return Steigler to private practice and replace her with someone who respects gun rights.

Frankly, Steigler has done more to damage progress on gun rights in Oregon than even Ginny Burdick, whose efforts to attack gun owners have been almost exclusively failures except when she had millions in out of state money and the help of John McCain. (2000's Measure 5)

If you live in Steigler's district, obviously, you can vote against her, but no matter where you live, you can help her opponent Jason Conger.

Remember, the laws are made by legislators whether they are in your district or not. We believe substantial progress would have been made in 2009 except for the actions of Steigler and we hope you will help us replace her.

Conger has answered our survey 100%. OFFPAC is asking that you consider the most generous donation you can make to help send Judy home and elect Jason Conger. You can contribute directly to Conger's campaign here.

Comments on the content:

Personally, I don't see a lot wrong with the amended version. Again, I haven't checked the referenced ORS 192.410 and in law, context is important. Still, the differences may be more significant than they appear on the surface. Unfortunately, I can't parse the difference because I am not a lawyer. (My folks raised me better.)

When I followed the links provided in the original email, I noticed that most of them referenced the "OFF" or Oregon Firearms Federation. I know little about them; what I do know is 2nd hand, and not worth relating to you here.

But I did pay special attention to one post on that website, that which was referenced in the phrase "... Steigler blamed voters ..."

(I don't know much about Judy Steigler, either, except what I find on her legislator page.)

While I have to admit that Steigler's comments, if accurately quoted (and I have no reason to think that they were not), seemed dismissive of the person to whom she is replying -- and I don't have the text of that communication, either -- the tone of the purported email doesn't sound likely to have been composed by a staff which is concerned with the possible re-election chances for their boss.

On the other hand, I have no idea whether Rep. Steigler has a 'staff', or if they are sufficiently competent to protect their boss, or whether Steigler is the actual author of the purported email.

If she did, in fact, write the email it doesn't speak well for her judgment. But as I said, I don't know and I have not yet found a disclaimer on the Internet or on Rep. Steigler's website.

Steigler mentioned that the bill (to protect the privacy of Oregon CHL holders by legally refusing to list their identities to anyone, either a private person or a 'public' organization, such as a newspaper) "... didn't have a chance of passing even one chamber of the Legislature ... ". Truth or fiction? I have no way of knowing. I am not a politician (my folks raised me better) and I haven't been following the bill (HB2727).

The crux of the story seems to be this: Steigler seemed to think that voters who adamantly refused to allow public release of the information available from the office of Sheriff of the individual counties, relating to the people in those counties who have applied for and received a CHL (Concealed Handgun License ... or permit to carry a concealed handgun) ... were not only being unrealistic, but also obstreperous at a minimum -- and probably "part of the problem" rather than offering a solution which was acceptable to CHL holders.

In expressing her opinion, Steigler unfortunately used such phrases as " ... your caustic remarks ...", "... rather than solving a problem, you sacrifice the legitimate concerns of the vast majority of CHL holders to move a political agenda ...", " ... it is the efforts of citizens themselves which often keep anything from happening ..." and (perhaps most insulting) "... it is folks such as yourself that have doomed this bill ...".

In other words, citizens who have strong opinions should keep those opinions to themselves rather than to make their feelings known to their legislative representative. Apparently, knowing that a voter cares enough about the output of farm animals and legislators to actually speak their objection ... is objectionable to their representative. Or their farm animal, I guess, except that a farm animal has market value.

Would that we could say the same for our legislators.

On the other hand, we don't vote for farm animals, we buy them. Our legislators ... hey, maybe they aren't that different after all!

I hadn't planned for this to be a diatribe ending the same way the email did, but if we can't buy our legislators (the same way Unions and Newspapers can), maybe we should seriously consider voting the rascals out?

Politicians and Diapers have this in common:
They should be changed frequently, and for much the same reason.

Just saying ....

Ultimately, the question boils down to 2 points:
  1. What are the real differences between the second clauses of the two versions; and
  2. What is it with this State Representative of The People, who finds it so fulfilling to deliberately insult her constituents?