Friday, September 25, 2009

Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith

It occurs to me that in the construction of this blog I have omitted (a) an important category of links, and (b) a very important link in that category.

The category is "Other Shooting-Related Resources".

The V.I.L. (Very Important Link) is "The Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith".

I've used this reloading resource page for ten of the 14 years it has been on the Internet, and I have found it very useful. So useful, in fact, that I think I may have written about it before. Some years ago, perhaps. (I have written almost 1,000 posts in the five years this blog has been in existence, and I've only referred to it twice: in an August 13, 2007 "August Blogmeat" article, and in the August 17, 2006 "KaBOOM!" article which is one of the most popular articles of this blog.)

But I have never actually put the link on the sidebar.

Lacking an appropriate category, I have placed it under "Reference Sources". If I find another appropriate link, I will build the new category ... but it seems silly to create a new category when there is a single appropriate website to fit there.

In the Blogmeat article, I compare M.D. Smith's website with the highly respected, and venerable (but sadly discontinued) "Jeff Maas' IPSC Loads List". Jeff discontinued maintenance on his website a few years ago, but it still exists and those reloading specification which were in existence the are still available. I suppose I should combine the two and build the new category (he said, musingly), but I'm too tired to do so tonight and I don't know how useful they will be.

Maybe next week; some feedback here would be helpful.

Anyway, the two Internet Resources are subtly different.

Jeff Maas' IPSC Loads List
Maas was aimed (excuse the pun) at what must be considered a "Niche Audience". Specifically, IPSC competition. And because he closed maintenance on the website before 3-gun competition became popular in USPSA competition, he only provided reloading information for pistols which are appropriate to Practical Pistol. competition. He performed a needed service, and one which has been much appreciated. I have contributed load data to, and used load data from Jeff's website.

The Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith
Smith's contribution serviced a wider interest in the Shooting Sports. He apparently spent a lot of time shooting various firearms and working up loads for each. Have you ever known anyone who seemed so knowledgeable about reloading that you found yourself thinking "I wish I could get a look at his reloading logbook"? Smith has made his available on the internet.

Besides loads for a wide variety of pistols (including, for example, the .380 Auto), he also provides an equally valuable set of reloading information for a large number of Rifle calibers.

His reloading data for a specific caliber and bullet weight (and OAL, powder type and weight, primer, etc.) may not be as extensive and varied as Maas' limited selection of pistol calibers, but it is certainly enough to rifle Reloading Manuals from Sierra, Hornady, Nosler, etc.

But Wait ... There's More!

Besides basic reloading data Smith has included sections dealing with 'stuff' that you just can't find anywhere else. For example, he has a "Powder Burning Rate Chart" (from Hodgdon Power Company) which not only compares "pistol Powders" against each other, be even rates Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle powders all together.

Here's an example of the top ten fastest powders rated:
Burning Rate Chart (Courtesy of Hodgdon Powder Co.)

(Fastest to Slowest)
1. R-1 Norma
2. N310, Vihtavuori
3. Bullseye, Alliant
4. N312, Vihtavuori
5. Solo 1000, Accurate
6. Clays, Hodgdon
7. Red Dot, Alliant
8. N318, Vihtavuori
9. Hi-Skor 700X, IMR
10. N320, Vihtavuori
11. Green Dot, Alliant
12. International, Hodgdon
13. No. 2, Accurate
14. N321, Vihtavuori
15. N324, Vihtavuori
16. HP-38, Hodgdon
17. W-231, Winchester
18. N325, Vihtavuori
19. N330, Vihtavuori
20. PB, IMR
21. N331, Vihtavuori
22. No. 5, Accurate
23. Unique, Alliant
24. WSL, Winchester
25. Power Pistol, Alliant
As you can see, there is no effort made to provide absolute burn-rates, but the comparison of relative powder burn-rates is extremely helpful when trying to select a powder for, say, an Open IPSC gun with a compensator. (This is, in fact, one of the reasons why I chose N350 over N330 for my own pistol, and for SWMBO's. It also helps us to understand why Clay's [#6] and Bullseye [#3] are "problematic" for .40 S&W. Faster-burning powders build pressure spikes faster than slower burning powders.)

Oh, by the way: the Powder Burning Rate Chart includes 107 powders. The ten slowest-burning opowders are those which you will probably recognize as been c0mmonly used large-caliber and/or magnum rifle cartridges. I have loaded 4831 (from both manufacturers) in .30-06 ammunition, as it closely matches WWII military loads.

97. IMR-4831, IMR
98. XMR-3100, Accurate

99. H-450, Hodgdon

100. H-4831, Hodgdon

101. MRP, Norma

102. N165, Vihtavuori

103. Reloader 22, Alliant

104. IMR-7828, IMR

105. H-1000, Hodgdon

106. XMR-8700, Accurate

107. H-870, Hodgdon

(slowest burn rate)
I have loaded 4831 (from both manufacturers) in .30-06 ammunition, as it closely matches WWII military loads for the Garand. IMR 4350 (#93) and Hodgdon 4350 (#94) are almost interchangeably appropriate for .25-06 and .270, but IMR 4895 (#71) and Hodgdon 4895 (#72) worked very well for .30-06 ammunition loaded for the 1903-A3 bolt-action rifle.

In the late 1950's, my father bought a 200 pound "Crate" (wooden box, double-layered, 4' tall and 2' wide/thick) of 4895 as Army Surplus; it had been surplussed after pulling the bullets from several thousand rounds of ammunition loaded for the Springfield '03-A* (I think 180 grains ... M1 Garands used 165 grain bullets and a different powder). We loaded a LOT of .30-06 ammunition from that crate. In fact, we used it in the .25-06 rifle which my father built for me from an '03-A3 action and an Oregon Rock Maple stock with ... several custom features.

But I digress.

Another "Special Feature" of Smith's website is an extended discussion of exactly why, and how, "Light Loads in Big Cases Can Explode!".

This is information you can get from other Internet sources (GOOGLE "Light loads in big cases can blow up" and you'll probably be directed to Smith's website ... but you may not even think of researching it. Smith gives it to you with no effort.

Bottom Line:
I like, use and recommend M.D. Smith as a valuable reloading information source. If nothing else, it's worth an evening spent browsing all the information available there. You will learn something valuable in the process, and you may even find yourself coming back from time to time for the "general knowledge" and even "entertainment" values.


I've created the new category "Reloading Resources" on my sidebar (right after "Competition Shooting Websites" and have included both Maas and Smith's links.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


In case you aren't already aware of the Nigerian "419" scam, here's a really good example of it:

Essentially, you receive an unsolicited email from someone you don't know. They are from Nigeria (not essential to the hoax) and they ask you to help them send millions of dollars to America. This is made possible (so they say) for some certain legal shenanigans having to do with with Nigerian banking laws, an odd will, or some other device which allows them to skim the money from either the bank or the Nigerian Government ... which cannot be completed without a confederate in another country.

Whichever country you reside in, that is the government which allows this scheme to work.

And "scheme" it is. The thrust of the game is that you, as the greed but unsuspecting victim, will be required to provide some small amount of money at first to pay for "transfer Fees" from their bank to yours. Then there are new fees, tithes, penalties, "good faith deposits" and any other monetary requirement the perpetrator can conceive to encourage you to throw good money after bad. After all, you are believably assured to receive millions in return, so why shouldn't you invest your pension in support of this venture?

You'll get your money back, if you are only patient.

Yeah, right.

Even though the email contact assures you of the soundness of the 'investment', it's a scam all the same. If you receive an email which offers you riches in return for a shady "scheme", from/on behalf of somene you have never heard of before .... walk, don't run to the nearest exit.

You will never receive a tenth of your investment, and most likely you will lose every cent in your City Bonds and 401K Retirement Accounts.

Here is a example of the initial contact letter. Note that it's from nobody you every heard from before, but it is crafted by someone with a very appealing personality.
From Miss Jessica Fatu

My Dear, please do not be upset due to the mail I sent to you, also because we have not met before but I know that we do not meet accidentally, rather I meet you by the special grace of God when I found your profile email address and after praying, I just hand over everything to Gods hand believing that you must be a kind, sincere, faithful and understandable person whom will understand me and assist me in this my current situation.

Let me start by giving you an introduction of my self and my family background. My real name is Jessica Fatu. I was born and brought up in Cote d’Ivoire on 03 September 1988 (am 22 yrs old). Also I am the only surviving daughter parents. My mum’s name is Dr. Mrs. Gloria fatu. My mum died when I was four years old (12th dec 1984) and since then my daddy took me so special. But unfortunately, my daddy was killed last year when he attended a ceremony in the village. He was brutally killed and was shut severally by my uncles on his way back. But he do not die instantly and was admitted in a private hospital here and Before the death of my father in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Three million, seven hundred thousand United State Dollars.USD ($3,700,000.00) left in fixed / suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan,which he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was shut by his brothers (my uncles).So my dear I am seeking your assistance in the following ways:

1) To help me transfer this fund to your country because I have discussed with the bank about my intensions to transfer my inheritance abroad which they have accepted.

2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 21yrs old.

3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.

Moreover, my dear I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your Effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas.

Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within fourteen (14) days you signify interest to assist me.

I am looking forward to your hopeful respond and may God be with you.

Yours Sincerely,
Jessica Fatu.
What a bunch of merde.

School kids taught to praise Obama

YouTube - School kids taught to praise Obama

Sorry, I have NO idea what these kids are chanting. This is among the worst audio contro of any YouTube video I have seen.

I perceive that I'm suppose to be outraged (according to 'other sources')by this, but the truth is ...
... I have NO idea what these kids are chanting.

Make of this what you will.
It's better to know, than not to know.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mayors Against Illegal Guns - NOT!

Shooting Wire ... has an article up which documents that several mayors (especially in Ohio) have been found to not actually be the current mayor, or do not espouse the anti-gun stance supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns".

DELAWARE, OH - As a growing number of mayors in Ohio and around the country resign from Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control group, new evidence suggests some of their names have been added to the member list and used to promote Bloomberg's political agenda without their knowledge or permission.

"Mayor Robert Shiner" (Mentor, OH) was listed in a letter from MAIG to Congress in June 2009 opposing reforms to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), as well as in a full page advertisement opposing nationwide reciprocity of concealed handgun licenses.

However, Council President Shiner hasn't been Mayor since November 2008. His office says he never agreed to be a MAIG member. Despite requesting to be removed from MAIG's membership list in July, Shiner was still listed by MAIG as the Mayor of Mentor, and as a member of MAIG, until just a few days ago.

Mayor Keith Hoffman (East Berlin) said his participation, which began about a month ago, resulted from a misunderstanding of the group's objectives, and he is currently trying to get his name off the list. "It was a mistake really," he said. "They swindle you in and then put your name on the list."

Mayor Dale Strasser (Brunswick, OH) found his name used in MAIG advertising when it was actually the Brunswick city manager, Robert Zienkowski, who signed up for the group.

According to the NRA, at least 28 other mayors have appeared on the MAIG membership list despite the fact they were not mayors of the localities as advertised:

Hmmm ... "Mayors Against Illegal Guns". That doesn't sound so bad. If someone who shouldn't legally be in possession of a gun is found to have a gun, then they should have it taken away, right? After all, most states forbid convicted felons and crazy people from having guns. Just sounds like good sense to me. What do you think?

But wait! There may be a Catch-22. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's like Justice Stewart's definition of Pornography: "I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it".

To understand the philosophical, logical and legal position of MAIG, let's look at the third post on MAIG's website, dated March 18, 2008:


Joint Statement from Coalition Co-Chairs New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino on the introduction of the Firearms Information Use Act of 2008.

The bill strikes the Tiahrt Amendment “a rider that restricts the access of cities and states to aggregate crime gun trace data“ from appropriations legislation

"This bill would erase the soft-on-crime Tiahrt restrictions from federal law. We applaud Senators Menendez, Clinton, Feinstein, Kennedy, Lautenberg, Reed and Schumer for putting forward a bill to restore access to the aggregate trace data that police officers, prosecutors, and others use to identify illegal gun trafficking patterns. This bill is exactly what criminals are afraid of: police officers with better information and leads. We hope the Senate takes it up - and passes it - this year.

"Last year, our bi-partisan coalition of mayors waged a campaign on Capitol Hill that resulted in the removal of some of the Tiahrt restrictions and the release of more trace data. This bill (S. 2769 [2008]) goes further, removing the Tiahrt restrictions entirely.

See: S. 2629

(* yes, similar bills were proposed in both 2006 and 2008, and Schumer either initiated or co-sponsored both bills.)

Uh, wait a minute. Isn't this sort of like the National Instant Check System rules stating that NICS data can't be used by Law Enforcement? (In fact, it must be deleted immediately if a firearms purchaser is found to be authorized to legally purchase a firearm.) It seems to me that there have been several protests against governmental (both Federal and State) abuses of this system.

And what the heck is "the Tiahrt Amendment"?

Most folks who don't have to ask this question generally acknowledge this much of a statement by the NRA-ILA:

For more than five years, cities suing the gun industry and anti-gun organizations have sought access to confidential law enforcement data on firearms traces. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) compiles these records when it traces firearms in response to requests from law enforcement agencies.

Every year since 2003, the U.S. Congress has passed increasingly strong language to keep this information confidential. The legislation—a series of "riders" to the appropriations bill that funds BATFE—is widely known as the "Tiahrt Amendment," after its sponsor, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.).

The NRA-ILA statement makes several points defending the Tiahrt Amendment:
  • Releasing the information serves no useful purpose;
  • Traced guns aren’t always "crime guns".
  • Trace information remains available for law enforcement use.
  • Both BATFE and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) oppose release of trace data
  • Even the current language has allowed too many disclosures of sensitive information.
That last segment was predicated on the proposition that the NRA would be the "Right-Wing" argument in favor of the Tiahrt Amendment.

The next segment, referencing "ProtectPolice.Org" was originally intended to represent a "neutral" argument in reference to the Tiahrt Amendment. Unfortunately, after I started looking at the context, I noticed that the website is "©, 2009, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund". That is to say "ProtectPolice.ORG is wholy funded, produced and maintained by MAIG.

Which hardly makes it a "neutral argument", but let's see what PPO has to say, anyway.

In regards to the Tiahrt Amendment:
1) Request Denied
Tiahrt blocks state and local authorities from full access to crime gun trace data.
2) Records Destroyed
Tiahrt Requires FBI NICS background check records to be destroyed within 24 hours
3) No Evidence on File
Tiahrt Prevents ATF from requiring gun dealers to perform inventory checks to detect lost and stolen guns
Well, that was refreshing.

It seems naive to go to the MAIG website to see what their talking points are, so let's see what MAIG's Fellow Travellers have to say. A third party (The Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner) (January 30, [no year provided; but since the Obama Administration didn't take office until January 20, 2009, we may assume the article was written in 2009] ) has a few words to say about the Tiahrt Amendment and the opposition there-of:
Last month, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sent their proposals for reducing gun violence to the Obama administration. The number one item on the list was repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, which they say...
...severely limits the authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") to disclose crime gun trace data to the public under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), bars admissibility of such data in civil suits against the gun industry, and restricts disclosure of the data to law enforcement.

The first two claims are true, the third a flat out lie. This is the relevant text:

That no funds appropriated under this or any other Act with respect to any fiscal year may be used to disclose part or all of the contents of the Firearms Trace System database maintained by the National Trace Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or any information required to be kept by licensees pursuant to section 923(g) of title 18, United States Code, or required to be reported pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (7) of such section 923(g), to anyone other than a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency or a prosecutor solely in connection with and for use in a bona fide criminal investigation or prosecution and then only such information as pertains to the geographic jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency requesting the disclosure and not for use in any civil action or proceeding other than an action or proceeding commenced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or a review of such an action or proceeding, to enforce the provisions of chapter 44 of such title, and all such data shall be immune from legal process and shall not be subject to subpoena or other discovery, shall be inadmissible in evidence, and shall not be used, relied on, or disclosed in any manner, nor shall testimony or other evidence be permitted based upon such data, in any civil action pending on or filed after the effective date of this Act in any State (including the District of Columbia) or Federal court or in any administrative proceeding other than a proceeding commenced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to enforce the provisions of that chapter, or a review of such an action or proceeding
The data in the Firearms Trace System database is clearly available to law enforcement. In fact, that was what it was created for.

What it is not for is to let anti-gun politicians use this information for their own agendas. The trace data is only useful in direct conjunction with a criminal investigation. Any other use would not yield viable results because of the nature of the data.
(Colored Emphasis Added)

The entire quote from The Examiner makes the definitive answer that proves the lie. The Tiahrd Amendment was enacted to make firearms records available to law-enforcement polities, with the intent to solve crimes. However it is cunningly constructed so as to prevent the exploitation of this information for political purposes.

That is the reason why the Tiahrt Amendment is a continuing source of irritation to the Anti-Gun coalition.

And that is the reason why the Tiahrt Amendment is a reliable indicator that those polities (such as MAIG, as well as the more obvious "Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence" aka Handgun Control Incorporated [HGI]) ... which rail against the Triahrt Amendment are definitively against private firearms ownership by otherwise legal firearms owners in any context.

The Tiahrt Amendment is the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test of Gun Control.

The Tiahrt Amendment in no way restricts LEO access to Firearms Trace Data; it only disallows politicians or "non-LEO" individuals from using that data for purely political purposes.

I see no down-side in the Tiahrt Amendment. However, if you are an anti-gun political person, you are probably outraged by the restriction on your ability to use the law for political gain.

Essentially, any time you run across an opinion article which effectively proposes that the Tiahrt Amendment is "A Bad Idea" because it prevents Law Enforcement Officers from Doing Their Job (eg: tracking down Bad Guys), you may be excused from immediately assuming that the author has a Hidden Agenda. Specifically, the author isn't trying to solve crimes; he is trying to keep firearms out of the hands of honest citizens and is attempting to use the Firearms Trace System database as an (illigitimate) tool to impose his own personal civil-rights bias on YOU. Personally.

Wll Ferrell's Opinion on "The Public Option"

Opposing Views presents a satiric video (click on article title to see the original) featuring Will Ferrell, and several other comics (none of whom I recognized, which just goes to prove what a Neanderthal I am). The intent is to convince you to contact your congress-critter and demand a "Strong Public Option". I know that's true, because it says so at the end ... just before it tells us that the video was produced and paid for by

You can also see the video here.

I know you think that stand-up comics, actors, and similar leaders of public opinion should help us decide how to manage our lives, so this should be a great benefit to us all.

WARNING! If you are among the one-in-ten people who don't recognize satirical arguments, do not watch this video. It will confuse you. As will the comments on the Opposing Views page.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On a Wing and a Prayer

So there I was, sitting around at home when I heard a great commotion outside. It was a roar like a hungry Lion, and my first thought was: fast mover!

I've heard jet fighters before, albeit it was over forty years ago in Viet Nam, and the plane was an F-4 Phantom overflying the 1st Infantry Division NDP (Night Defensive Position -- a.k.a. "base camp) and the jet was within hundred of yards of the ground. That time it scared the pants off me as I sat leaning against the sandbags of a bunker on the perimeter.

This time I was safe at home, and I knew I was safe as houses.

But the adrenaline was rushing through my veins because it felt like I was being attacked.

I rushed to my window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sky warrior. I was rewarded by the sight of an F-15 Strike Eagle as he egressed the city limits, and kicked in the afterburners.

My camera was not handy, and although I rushed to find it and put it on the window ledge so it would be handy if the arrogant (and lucky!) SOB chose to overfly Corvallis again.

No such luck. I heard the engines pulsing in the sunny Indian Summer skies several times, but he never actually overflew this small PNW college town again.

Bummer, dude.


I love airplanes, and I particularly love Military Attack Planes. As a teenager I dreamed of becoming an Air Force Pilot, experiencing the thrill of thousands of horsepower kicking me in the seat of my pants as it booted me into the sky. I was much too young, and far too shy, to have ever experienced sex. If anything, I thought it would probably be a slightly less rewarding experience than flying a military jet in air combat.


In my adolescence, my priorities changed, and somehow I never got around to learning how to fly in an airplane. Instead, I went to college; I was drafted into the Infantry, and somewhere in that progression I got married.

Still, something in that experience triggered a need to determine that yes, I had indeed correctly identified the F15, and to find out more about this war-craft.

During my search of F-15's I discovered this video from YouTube which illustrated the robust nature of the aircraft.

I was entranced by the concept of a jet fighter which could not only survive the daage, but landed safely lacking a wing.

In my continued search, I found videos which purported to depict non-jets which had survived the loss of a wing, including this one (which, after some examination,
Among the most spectacular videos available. I found this one, where a sports competition airplane (prop-driven) seems to lose a wing and still land safely.

Unfortunately, there is some controversy about the validity of the video.

This video blatantly declares it a sham.

This video takes almost ten minutes to, supposedly, examine the "Speed Racer Loses a Wing and Still Lands Safely" concept ... in great detail. (Note: Most of the original video is included here.)

Since the rebuttals referenced "Knowledged ,Not Generally Known, I spent a little time researching RC ("Radio Controlled") airplane flying.

This video seems to support the proposition that small-scale radio-controlled airplanes are able to sustain flight modes which, in a large-scale ("Military Jets") mode would be non-viable. And, for the pilot in a full-size situation, would present counter-survivable conditions.

Here is the full-length (almost 10 minutes, in French with sub-titles) video which purports to explain in all detail why a speed-racer may njot have sur4vived a wing-and-a-prayer one-wing landing my not have actually occurred, but also why it was promulgated.

And again here is how rhe stunt may bed perforfmed with a Radio-controlled flyer:

I'm not qualified to decide whether the original non-jet "wing and a prayer" video is accurate and untouched. I only offer this sub-segment for your entertainment. You have to decide for yourself whether you accept the thesis.

However, in support of the anti-thesis, here is a video which demonstrates how versatile small-scale airplanes can be. In a word, when it comes to unbelievable maneuvers, small-scale "RC" (Radio Controlled) airplanes cheerfully ignore the Laws of Nature to which full-scale airplanes must conform.

This video demonstrates how easy it is to stall a "Radio Controlled" airplane: well, it isn't easy, but it can be done by a Master RD flier

After all, isn't this the concept which seems to have been proved by the original F-15 Strike Fighter Video?