Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fishing; not skill, but finding the 'right spot'

Fishing at it's best. @ ExplorOz Forum

Fishing is NOT about skill; it's about finding the right spot, at the right time.

(H/T: G-man)

STI under "New Ownership"

As announced at the 2011 SHOT Show ....
Dave Skinner has retired as CEO and President of STI. The company is now "Employee Owned".

New CEO/President Tim Dillon says he is going to move the company away from the "Competition" market toward the "Self Defense" market.

This would certainly support STI's International "Police and Military" market, and I'm just hoping that the support for Competition pistols will not be undermined by STI's New Vision.

See the video for more details.

On the Brian Enos Forum
Letter from Tim Dillon on STI Website
You can also (as of March 29, 2011) see the Video on the STI Website

Finally, Dave Skinners December 2010 "Skinnergram" also announces (among other items) Tim Dillon's new assumption of leadership .... the Skinnergrams are directed to their dealerships, but are also an excellent (early) source of information about new programs and directions for STI.

IPSC Loads - Loads for USPSA/IPSC Practical Shooting Competitions

I was drooling over guns on the STI Guns website today and I noted that some of the competition-type pistols listed the link to "Jeff Maass' IPSC Resources Page" on the specifications.

So I followed the link, and instead of Jeff Maass, I found:

IPSC Loads - Loads for USPSA/IPSC Practical Shooting Competitions

This use to be the "Jeff Maass' IPSC Resources Page", but Jeff eventually got out of the business of trying to keep up all of the 'new' loads that were being reported to him (and I suspect he was beginning to worry about liability issues), so he quit updating the website. After a couple of years, he took the website down.

I was disappointed at the time, because this was one of the best reloading data resources available on the internet. His published loads were real-life loads designed specifically for IPSC competition. The premise is, these are loads which will (within defined parameters) "probably" be "pretty close" to something you can run in your gun and make major power. If that's an issue for you ... especially if you're shooting Open with a compensated pistol in .38 super or 9mm Major ... then this was probably the only available central clearing house of useful information.

Now I see that the data has been made available again, but published by (one of the guys who use to regularly post on the Unofficial IPSC Mailing List), whom I met once at the 2005 "Shirley Skinner Annual Make-A-Wish Charity Match" at Waco, Texas. I won't mention his name, because if he wanted his name associated directly on the website he would have entered it himself. I will say, though, that he and his wife have run shooting-training classes for several years and as far as I know, they still do.

Anyway, I'm going to return the link to my sidebar under REFERENCE SOURCES and the name Jeff Maass' IPSC Loads List. (Here's the link again.) If you are trying to work up a new load, this is one place you might check to get at least a 'reasonable starting place'.

(NB: When working up a new load, ALWAYS start with a powder charge at least 10% lower than cited, and be sure to pay CAREFUL attention to (a) the Over-All Length of the loaded cartridge and (b) check the NOTES column on any individual load to ensure that your firearm has a configuration similar to the cited gun ... that is to say, if it's a compensated gun, don't use this load in a Limited gun!)

In other words, take the cited loads with a grain of salt and ONE TWO grains less powder!!

And as you develop your loads, fire each round over a chronograph to insure that you know when the velocity of the bullet falls within the acceptable range for the power factor which you require. And always keep an eye out for signs of excessive pressure. These signs are, among others:
  • Flattened primers
  • Firing-pin indentations have a 'rimmed crater'
  • Smearing of the primer material across the base of the case
  • The base of the case is so flattened that you can't read the caliber
  • The firing pin is jolted loose
  • Your gun goes KaBOOM! when you pull the trigger, and you experience a searing pain in the palms of your hands when the exploding cartridge flashes hot gas through the magazine and the trigger-slot of the frame.
(Hopefully you will not wait until the gun self-destructs, although that IS always a sure sign of an overload, or a bullet seated too deep.)

Obviously, since I had no part in either developing the original loads or publishing the data, I cannot be responsible for the safety of any load. For example, in the entire list of .38 Super loads, there is not one which uses the bullet-weight and powder combination I have developed for my own use.


The original page includes many useful links. Among these are:
  • Competition Reloading Videos
  • "Burn rate" chars for various powders
  • Reloading Component Manufacturers Links
  • Reloading Equipment Links
  • Reloading Component Dealers

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Will Make You Lose Your Lunch

This Will Make You Lose Your Lunch

Neutrition Comic (no, I am NOT making this up!) demonstrates just ONE way that the American Busybodies have been working diligently to ensure that the American Nanny-State emulates the oh-so-helpful BRIT Nanny-state.

Some years ago, my fellow comedian Tim Slagle and I produced short comedy bits for a libertarian talk show. In one bit, the health-care police arrested a man for sneaking coconut oil into a movie theater to put on his popcorn. (I’ve embedded it at the end of the post.)

The trouble with using comic exaggeration to make fun of nanny-state busybodies is that reality keeps catching up. What starts as parody ends up sounding like a straight news report some years later.

Just look at what the nanny-staters have been up to lately. First, a councilman in New York City proposes banning toys from Happy Meals that don’t meet his definition of “healthy.” Some commenters on the blog suggested I find a picture of that councilman. So I did:

No, I'm going to let you go to the link and catch the punch-line.

All I can say is ... 'Ya'all oughta be freakin' ashamed of yourselves!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lead Issue Heating Back Up | Shooting Wire

Lead Issue Heating Back Up | Shooting Wire:

Jim Shepherd of the Shooting Wire notes that the effect of lead ammunition on animal toxicity has been revised by Animal-Right organizations (and wildlife conservators):

"Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition from the American Bird Conservancy and a group of animal-rights based organizations asking that the EPA broaden its mandate to outlaw lead as a component of ammunition. It is not in the EPA's purview to regulate ammunition, but the petition had suggested the EPA use its authority to ban lead as a component in both ammunition and fishing tackle.

In the end, the EPA denied both components of the petition, citing several reasons, including a lack of comprehensive evidence to support the petition.

On Friday, the American Bird Conservancy issued a press release outlining a new survey announced at the Society of Toxicology's annual meeting in Washington. That survey, the ABC contends, points to lead ammunition 'as a primary factor limiting the survival and recovery of one of the country's most imperiled birds, the California Condor.' (Editor's Note: You can read the ABC release here)."

Reading the whole article, and the original release, might lead one to ask questions about the validity of the claims, and the over-all effect on society whether or not the clams are indeed valid.

For example, a study comparing the lead toxicity of "Free-Flying" California Condors vs those which were reared in captivity apparently shows that those birds which were not raised in a protected environment were found to have significantly greater amounts of lead in blood samples. Since Condors are both predators and scavengers, the assumption is that they they they acquired their food supply from animals which had been shot, but not removed.

No way of proving that assumption, of course, but it seems intuitively acceptable as a talking point.

Also, venison (Deer, Elk, and other game animals) donated to Food Banks were often found to have lead fragments in their meat. Several tons of donated venison were rejected due to tests on the meat.

I can personally attest to developing a distaste for Pheasant, because I kept biting into shotgun pellets at dinner. However, all of the venison I have personally consumed ... must be a ton or more of the critters in more than at half-century of People Eating Tasty Animals slain with a gun ... has failed to support this argument. Very few Deer or Antelope in my experience were heavy enough to even slow down a .30-30, .25-06, 6mm-284, 7mm Remington Magnum or .30-06 bullet on the way to splash against a cliff-face on the far horizon. In Oregon, it's illegal to hunt 'major game animals' with ammunition of less than .25 caliber. Could this be the answer to at least part of the problem.

As for the Condor Problem, perhaps this is largely due to having small game (including rodents and varmints) hunted by sub-caliber ammunition, most likely .22 rimfire, or shotguns. Both of these firearm types are typically more likely to not completely pass through the bodies of the critters.


I note that lead shot is forbidden in many states in bird hunting, both upland and especially waterfowl. Instead, steel shot is the best obvious replacement since tungsten is too expensive for shooting birds on the wing. There is a "down side" on this, as the lighter steel shot is not as effective as lead shot beyond a relatively short distance. This results in more wounded birds; but at least when they eventually die and are eaten by scavengers, there is zero chance that lead is re-introduced into the environment from which it came (although, in nature, not ordinarily introduced into the bodies of carrion).

The attempt by these 'conservancy' types to eliminate the use of lead bullets, though, seems to be "Industry wide", and here is where my resistance starts.

That would not necessarily restricted to ammunition used to take game, or kill varmints.

it would apply to ANY ammunition, even those calibers used for non-hunting purposes.

Self defense ammunition would necessarily be less powerful: not previous comments on lowered lethality on game birds.

Target shooting ammunition would necessarily be less accurate at other than very short range.

And it's as likely that whatever metal used as a substitute for lead would be more expensive.

Further, in the context of IPSC-type competition, using bullets with a steel core would put the entire concept of engaging steel targets (e.g. plates, pepper-poppers, US poppers, etc.) would be impossible. Steel-core ammunition destroys steel targets for the purpose of competition with as few as one single shot either dishing or penetrating the target ... rendering it useless for competition.

"Hey, I hit the plate"
"(No, you didn't; it would have gone down or left a mark.)"
"Sure I did, I guess the bullet went through the bullet hole!"

Economic and Competition Consequences:

Based on the millions of rounds fired annually just in the USPSA competition matches every year, the cost of competition would rise exponentially; especially when one considers the cost of retooling for bullet manufacturer which will be passed on to the consumer.

Actually, although there may be a legitimate point in this effort to eliminate lead in bullets which are fired at game, in fact it is an exercise which will make shooting so expensive that the people who shoot the most rounds (competition) will bear the greatest burden, and will be most negatively affected.

Meat Hunters will be affected marginally, in economic terms. Sure, they will lose some meat due to reduced effectiveness and accuracy at distance, but their usage of bullets will be numbered in the hundreds.

Competition shooters, who do NOT demonstrable contribute the the cited problem, often fire tens of thousands of rounds per year. There is no documentation, in the literature alluding to this "Free Lead" movement, which suggests that there may be a waiver in the case of ammunition which is used in competition.

Skeet? Trap? Bulls-eye? IPSC? Speed Steel? Cowboy Shooting (SAS)? Gallery Rifle? Bench-rest? Wimbledon Cup and other Long-Range Shooting?

ALL of these competition firearms activities would be negatively impacted by a ban on Lead Bullets. Between the economic impact and the affect on stability/accuracy on long ranges of the less dense material, all of these forms of shooting competition would be either so expensive or so disheartening in the resulting accuracy degradation that the Shooting Sports would effectively disappear.

The effort is perhaps well meant, and it may even (if enacted reasonable) be acceptable ... if meat-hunters and varmint shooters are willing to accept that their kill ration will decrease significantly. That is to say, if they're willing to let wounded animals live, although tortured by not-quite-fatal wounds.

No hunters, and no varmint shooters that I know are happy about leaving a wounded animal to be lost, to die in pain after an experienced period of time.

And no competition shooter I know is willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money for ammunition which may or may not reliably be expected to consistently hit The Elusive "Perfect Double".

Sunday, April 10, 2011

20 life lessons they don’t tell you about | View From The Cop

20 life lessons they don’t tell you about | View From The Cop:

March 31, 2011, was Lt. Steve Rose's last post on "View from The Cop" Steve is a member of the Atlanta, Georgia, Police Department. I guess he's got other things going (go to the link and check out his "other blog offerings" from the AJC .. maybe he's not there).

I just discovered Steve's almost-daily blog last year, and while I haven't been the most faithful of daily readers, I'm glad I found him before he found it no longer viable to continue the blog.

As a farewell Gift, Steve wrote about 20 life lessons. Here are just a few of them.

Wise man, our Wild Irish Rose. I shall miss him.

11. If you have a gun, clean it and go practice with it. If you can’t do that, sell it to someone who will.

12. Don’t give crooks credit they don’t deserve. They’re morons and have no honor. They steal from you, me, their own families and anyone who leaves the opportunity for them to commit crimes.

13. You will NOT make millions from a land baron in a small foreign country. Banks will not request you send personal info on your email to keep your account from suddenly being frozen. Read up on scams.

14. Be politely skeptical. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, but do buy the Girl Scout cookies — no questions asked.

15. Call the police when you see something suspicious. Most arrests are a result of a suspicious resident making a 911 call.

Gun Talk TV

Tonite I subscribed to Gun Talk TV.

This site bills itself as "The #1 Online Resource for Gun Training". When I first became aware of it, I went to the website and noticed that they had a LOT of short (under 5 minutes) videos which discussed shooting-related issues. The first one I watched, for example, explored the question "Why attend a Gun Fighting school?"

Uploaded with
I thought that was a good start, and I was impressed by what Cory Trapp of Gunsite had to say ... essentially, that the root word in "Gun Fight" is not "Gun", but "Fight". There is a difference between "pure marksmanship" (going to the range and shooting the center out of the bullseye every time), and "fighting with guns". The "Combat Triad is Marksmanship, Gun-handling, and Mindset ... and the last part is Marksmanship."

Incidentally, there was an amusing event in this 2:49-minute video where Trapp is demonstrating that the gun-handling response to a malfunction of your rifle is to immediately go to your pistol. He simulated a malfunction of his rifle, drew his pistol, and engaged the target: the pistol went *CLICK*! He recovered by racking the slide, thus chambering the first round and allowing him to effectively ... but slowly ... engage the next target. Then he went along with his lesson plan, safing and holstering the pistol, and continuing to discuss the priorities of Gun Fight Training.

I thought this obviously inadvertent error added a degree of verisimilitude to his training point, even though it didn't speak well for his supposed tendency to ALWAYS be prepared when going into a Gun Fight. Or a Training Example, but we know that these things happen during training. Still, he wasn't rattled and his recovery was immediate and appropriate; and that's part of what he was trying to train, although I doubt he would have chosen this particular method; it was what I choose to call a "Teaching Moment".

But I digress.

I thought that the ability to access interesting videos was an important part of the Basic membership, which was my initial option. After I spend some time on the website, I will decide whether it is worth splurging my pension money on a $5.95/month "Premium Membership". And if I upgrade, I will let you know when, and why.

For now I was delighted to learn that this resource was available online. I understand that these sequences are part of a regular television show ... but they are not available to me because I don't have a Cable TV subscription. The only way I can access these resources are via my cable internet connection, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to at least evaluate it at an "entry level" to decide whether it will provide useful information, if only potentially.

My first impression is that the internet link will give me a greater body of reference for my own attempts at firearms training. The "Introduction to USPSA" class is a monthly 3 hour opportunity to teach the elementary parts of, not only competition, but gunhandling (and yes, safety). Here, as on GunTalkTV, "marksmanship" is a tertiary emphasis; it's up to the student to develop his or her marksmanship skills.

That is to say, we don't really care whether the student hits the target, as long as no safety rules are violated ( "gun-handling") and the student understands what is expected ("mindset").

I've already learned something from this first exploratory step, and I'm sure there is much more to learn.

We'll keep you posted. Maybe.