Friday, October 31, 2008

Better Late Than Never (I Can Hope)

This is the most important post you will read this weekend.

(Via The Other Side Of Kim)


Hey, you bitter clingers out there in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky... and here in Utah, too, actually. Uncle Barak has plans for coal.

Go, watch, and be amazed. Yet more important stuff.

Make sure you vote in your economic interest on Tuesday. Uncle Barak says so!

What? You already early voted? Man, that sucks. If somebody in media had told you about this when the statements were made over a MONTH TEN MONTHS ago, maybe you might have done something different.

What do you call a job killed by the coming socialist economy. It gets choped!


Time is short. Class is almost out and there is going to be an exam.

The study question is this: More ammunition for semi auto rifle, or a backup semi auto rifle, both in a caliber I already own?

I've already procured spares kits for my two primary "evil" rifles. But my only AR is definitely a carbine, and I'd like a full size model for range/varmint/Wolverines!!!11! work.

(That "Wolverines" is for Lisa over at Protein Wisdom, which just so happens is in the middle of a fundraiser.)

I'm looking at rack grade A2 AR platforms, but it appears that idea already occurred to a few hundred of my neighbors. I know of at least two ROMAK Druganov clones in fair shape and do have a grundle of that caliber on hand already, even if the vast majority of it is corrosive. I have also heard mixed reviews on these rifles.

I don't know who is going to win on Tuesday. I am going to vote today to prevent any tension in getting off work and then making it down here from Salt Lake to vote - during the storm already forecast for then.

The test isn't scheduled, but will happen soon after January 20.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking Ahead

Looks like the Dow had a good day today. Yahoo shows it up almost 900 for the day, at around 9065 points.

I think it will bottom around 6500 before lunch next Wednesday, myself.

We'll be down there for a bit.

Get ready for some hope and change.

UPDATE: I have a job interview at 0630 tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Almost Forgot


I have no words worth printing this year; too much politics and too much anger.

Semper Fi, brothers.

The Long War continues.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I have spent a few hours spread over the last week to inventory and organize my on-hand ammo components, and to knock out some test lots of .30'06.

I went to the Provo public shooting range this evening to put some groups up out at a hundred yards to find out which loads worked better than the others. When I arrived I found that I had packed some light (125gr TNT bullets) loads I had assembled years ago. After I shot my test groups I decided to see where the old varminter loads were landing and loaded up three rounds in the Remington.

Bang. Feh; I was hitting about an inch right of my aiming point all night, and it was me, not the scope. I spent a few hours this week swinging a hammer for a surveyor friend and as a result it was awfully hard to get a good, relaxed natural point of aim working for me. Bang. Another shot two inches high, about an inch right, maybe a half inch from the first round. *click*. Pause. Open the bolt, see the case sliding back on the end of the bolt, then ejecting onto the table. Pick it up, inspect the primer and find it properly punched. There's no projectile... but there's no soot marks in the neck of the "expended" brass case to show it was recently fired. I pulled the bolt and looked up the bore into... blackness.

I've experienced my first squib load since I began reloading my own metallic cartridges in 1987. This happens when you get clumsy and skip charging a case and seat a bullet on top of a primer only. It's good that it happened at a range and in my hunting rifle. If I'd been shooting my M1 in the field the same situation might have turned out much uglier. I might well have been blasting away and experienced a failure to function and then executed "immediate action", which in the M1 simply means "rack the operating rod to the rear, let fly, and attempt to fire". Firing a round on top of a squib will blow up any rifle, and most pistols, too.

Tonight, the squib bullet was forced about six inches into the bore by the detonation of the primer. I don't carry a sectioned cleaning rod in my range bag, just a few bore snakes in my calibers. That's going to change. I didn't want to bug anybody else so I just packed up and brought every thing home. It took about a minute down in the Temple of Bang to tap out the projectile and then punch the bore with a brush soaked in solvent.

Lessons learned. PAY ATTENTION. Geeze, maybe that's how we get to mid October with a Communist running for the president, for the Democrats.


The single most objectionable statement from the O!during the last presidential debate was about taxes:

“If I can answer the question. Number one, I want to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Now, it is true that my friend and supporter, Warren Buffett, for example, could afford to pay a little more in taxes in order…”

This is the mindset that destroys freedom, liberty, and justice. You cannot steal from the rich for any meaningful length of time; the numbers don't work. Commenter Ric Locke put up an elegant essay on this subject here, on a comment thread at Protein Wisdom.

History. It comes, it bites you on the ass, you totter on down the trail… and the next morning you walk the same trail at the same time.

Quite a bit of repetitive reporting on O's! insurmountable poll lead. I don't buy it. We'll all know November 5th.

It occurs to me that an I.D. requirement at polling places coupled with a flat tax would kill the Democrat party deader than Lenin, wouldn't it?

Call Me Joe

(Hat tip to commenter "Neo" on Protein Wisdom)

UPDATE: I can't get trackback to work... but go here and read Iowahawk. I found this after putting up this post this morning.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Back from hunting.

I had intended to write a lengthy, chatty post on the beauty that is the north slope of the Uintah Mountains, the camaraderie of new friends, and the fulfillment and worth of time well spent enjoying the beauty that is our world.

But I returned home yesterday just in time for the mail.

Here's some pics:

This is a pocket lake. The gentleman in the picture is pastor of a new Baptist congregation that meets over in American Fork. His service in the Marines overlapped mine by just a small bit. He served in Gulf War I and it was there that he received his calling that led him to ministry. We shared camp and hunted the high ground for three days. Here's another one:

If you look very carefully at the center of the photo, you can just make out the three point buck that Oldest Goddess and I were looking for last week. There were two deer there, but the second one beat feet before I could get my phone out.

Shucks. Here's one with me smiling:

Sure wish I was up there now.

You got near the same news about your investments and retirement plans as we just did. This catastrophe is an equal opportunity destroyer of dreams and futures. We were positioned "conservatively"; including the girls' education funds.

I cannot speak with my wife of politics any more. I cannot bring myself to argue the same lines on the same forums with the same audiences. I grieve for what was once a great nation as it slides to the abyss.

Let what may come, come. I was pretty impressed when I watched the wall come down in '89. I read today that the G8 and the UN are marshaling their forces to respond to the crisis.

I can't remember when it was ever a good idea to buy more gasoline while you were on fire, but then I'm just an unemployed surveyor in Utah.

Our government has spent more money in the last two weeks attempting to "rescue" this economy than FDR spent in his first term for the New Deal. The regulations requiring lenders to make crap loans with the full understanding that those loans can then become investment instruments that will then eventually end up in the ledgers of Fannie and Freddie haven't been touched.

And our choices for president are Angry McOldguy or the criminal lead character in an unsalable political conspiracy/thriller movie pitch. Somewhere in Hell Vladimir Lenin is laughing, but his cackles are as nothing to the howls coming from the Ayer's residence in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Good luck. Thanks for stopping by. I do not know if or when TRB will be updated again.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Like a Horse, But With Handlebars

It's the 2008 General Elk Season here in Utah and I've got an Any Bull tag. Posting will be sporadic for the next week or so.

I will be on the North Slope of the Uintahs, or north of the Soapstone Basin. We've had a front through since the muzzle loader hunt so hopefully there may be some elk lower down.

Have a fine one.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Thunderous Flapping Of Pig Wings

Go here.

Hang tough to at LEAST 1:55.

Well said, Mr... Baldwin.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd say that. Or link to video with Bill Maher, Christine Amanapour, Alec Baldwin, and Gary Shandling.

It's the End of Times!

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's Going To Be Obama

The radio news just flashed that the House has passed the bail out.

Republicans, you are a ship of cowards and fools and deserve the time you are about to spend in the wilderness.

Democrats, history will judge you harshly. You have fooled the nation for thirty years. You have gutted the spiritual core of what America should be. It took no ability to cajole the Republicans into their own destruction this morning.

You've killed a nation. What challenge a mere party, then?

UPDATE: Cannon voted for the bailout. Bishop and Matheson against. Cannon leaves congress in disgrace, Bishop did the right thing, and Matheson got permission from Pelosi to vote against. He probably reminded her what happened to Bill Orton in the aftermath of the Grand Staircase Affair.

Or not. I'm heading to the range this afternoon, rain or no.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Glimpse (Updated)

Coblenz, Germany
July 18, 1919

Dear Jay,

Just received your letter of July 14 and shall answer at once, as I know Uncle Sam never moves very quickly and you may still be in Brest...

Neatly typed words on this sheet of paper:

This is a letter from Frank Stewart, a son of Price, Utah, to his brother, who was awaiting transport home from France after their Army service in World War One.

The Mormons have a very active church welfare system, and one of the key components of that system is the Deseret Industries chain of thrift stores. These facilities serve as employment centers for unskilled workers, locations for job training and job seeker networking, recyclers on a massive scale of unwanted and gently used household products, and oh by the way are nothing short of an adventure if you are into treasure hunting.

Last year I picked up a mint first edition of Tregaskis' "Guadalcanal Diary" at the Provo store. It still smelled of printer's ink and had a flawless dust jacket. The closing paragraphs of the book were poignant; since they were written in 1943, the cost of victory, if not its certainty, was very much in doubt.

Common to most thrift stores, there is a section of locked cases set aside for higher value items. Today, in the Provo store again, I found a battered steamer trunk with a hand drawn sign that said "World War One Memorabilia $1500" inside one of the cases.

One of the key carrier ladies let me remove the trunk (very carefully) and said I could look at the stuff, but under no circumstances was I to "unroll anything".

How would you like some history? How about a Yank Army newspaper, with front page stories about American success against Bolsheviks, and German negotiators signing preliminary peace terms? Okay - here's your issue of "The Duckboard" from July of 1919, and I apologize for not writing down the date. I really must get a real camera, because my phone just doesn't get the job done:

The trunk is full of brownie photographs of scenes from Mr. Stewart's service. By full I mean they are jumbled in loosely between the twine-bundled stacks of letters and postcards, the old newspapers, the French/English phrasebook, the LDS devotional books printed for the war, and the three tubes containing what must be either class or unit photographs. The trunk itself is roughly a foot wide by eighteen inches long, and eighteen inches deep. The lid is hanging on by the remnants of one hinge, and the bottom metal has worn away, leaving what feels like a paper thin sheet of mahogany plywood as the last bit of protection for the contents.

I intend to go back tomorrow at the opening with a better camera and spend some time trying to put together a package sufficiently persuasive to get a local museum to pick up the collection.

Were the times not so tight, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It looks like a battered old box.

But it's really a time machine.

Update 0900 3 Oct: I have just gotten off the phone with the Reference Librarian of BYU's Library Special Collections section. I started to explain what I'd found at DI and she exclaimed "Oh, I saw that, too!"; the price tag influenced her to pass it by. She is passing my description of the contents on to the Documents and Photo Archival curators and expects they will be down to look at the box this morning. There is great interest in Saints at War - there is an entire section of their exhibits based on it, actually.

Desert Industries opens at ten; I'll be there, too, for a closer look.

Update 1200 3 Oct: Here are a couple of the pics I took this morning:

After looking through top portion of the trunk for a bit, I realize that most of the photographs don't have much historic value. The little two inch snaps were sold by photographers to soldiers as souveniers. There are many of them in the trunk, though. No journal that I could see, but I didn't disturb any of the envelopes or bundled letters.

I was contacted by one of the BYU folks on my way back home. He was on his way out to look at the exhibit. I hope he finds the collection worthwhile enough to acquire for the school; perhaps DI will bargain.


It all makes sense after this:

(via the PW Pub)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Go watch insanity here:

I fear for my country.

(found at the PW Pub)

Range Report

I picked up another Mosin 91/30 retired PU sniper on Monday. This latest example is a '43 Izhevsk manufacture that appears to be sitting in its original sniper stock; there are very good repairs to the left side of the receiver where the scope mount base used to be, and there are brass shims present on the bearing surfaces inside the stock. Original crown on the barrel, good rifling (more on this below), and a long, heavy, but sweetly breaking trigger. It has a matching number straight bolt of Tula manufacture that works remarkably smoothly.

I sold the High Command (Mrs. Tmj) on the purchase by pledging to sell two of my less-favored milsurps, specifically my Swiss K31 carbine and my Savage-manufacture SMLE No4mk1 (plus whatever rounds for each that I have on hand). I may possibly put up one of my standard 91/30's as a price leader. All of these weapons shoot "minute of Nazi" or better with decent ammunition.

They will be up on classifieds by the weekend.

Yesterday I headed up to the Provo range to check out the new Mosin and generate some targets to include with the adverts for the rifles I intend to sell. Sighting conditions were marginal and deteriorated as the lowering sun was shined low across the firing line from right to left. I arrived with one and a half hours in which to shoot groups for three rifles.

I fired between ten and twenty shots each from the K31 and SMLE, starting with a throw away barrel warmer dumped into the dead paper on a target at 50 yards and then an initial sighting group at the bull on that 50 yard target. Then I fired for representative groups at a standard NRA small bore rifle 100 yard target, holding at six on the bull. The light by this time was sleeting across the genuinely marginal sights on these rifles and I had to dig my pirate patch out in order to lessen the eye strain I was experiencing trying to achieve good sight picture/sight alignment with 47 year old eyes.

Everything ended up on the paper, though, with both rifles:

I am selling off these particular weapons because their ergonomics (specifically the sights) don't match my preferences, because I need to knock back on the number of calibers for which I have to stock or make ammunition, and to allow me to concentrate on my (sad, shameless, and growing) Mosin addiction interest.

And now a bit on the new Mosin. The first four shots were fired at the 50 yard sighter target, with an opener to warm up the barrel aimed at the center bottom edge of the target and three aimed in earnest at the bull center.

It looked like this:

Lo, the Bulgarian Light Ball functioned well, the bolt did not stick, and the three rounds fell under a fifty cent piece even with Mr. Twilight seriously screwing up the sight situation. And it was good.

There was a moment of comic relief: The target holders at the range don't line up all that well with the firing points. The gentleman one firing position to my right didn't know that I was shooting at both 50 and 100 yard distances and he had hung an orange scope sighting target in the center of one of the three paper targets I'd put up on the 100 yard holder. I fired my first shot from the Mosin at that target, and wrote off the difficulty I had in getting a good sharp looking bull over the front sight post as a byproduct of the failing light. The other shooter asked if I was indeed shooting at that target, and I said yes and explained why, and he apologized for having made the mistake in hanging his paper.

He had run out of the load for which his 300 mag was sighted for with his last shot just prior to me putting my first round on the target. (His last two good shots are in the four quadrant of the sighter target he put up.) He spent the rest of his night trying to zero with another brand. I watched through my sighting scope as he tried to put any more bullets on the target, but in vain. Those hyper-velocity .30 cal rounds vary hugely in point of zero between different loads. After he was done firing his scoped, bedded, muzzle braked rifle, I fired three more rounds at the target. This is what it looked like:

Those are my four in the black, quadrants 1 to 3. With open sights. At a hundred yards. At twilight.

And it was better than good. Lo, yea, verily, zounds, etc, etc, etc....

Now to the rifling: I haven't yet slugged any of my barrels, but the common thread between all my Mosins is that they seem to have been rifled with a plow. Seriously. The lands may appear less than razor sharp but you could plant potatoes in the grooves. I did my preliminary cleanup of all three rifles last night, to include boiling water down the bore and over the bolt of the Mosin in order to counter the corrosive qualities of the priming compounds in the surplus ammo. Then I brushed hard with a poly brush and bore cleaner, and then punched with alternating wet/dry patches (bore cleaner) until I started seeing mostly-clean flannel.

This morning I pushed a CLP-soaked patch on jag from the breech to the muzzle on each of the three rifles. The K31 and Enfield patches came out almost white. The Mosin patch came out blacker than truck stop coffee, with stark green lines indicating oxidized gilding material still embedded in the rifling. So out came the Barnes copper/lead/powder solvent out and I followed the label directions for almost twenty minutes. The bore might be clean now... but I won't know until I punch it tonight or tomorrow after it has had a further chance to soak in CLP.

The more I shoot Mosins the more I appreciate the engineering elegance in the base design. This elegance survived and excelled even after decades of Soviet influence on the production of the weapons themselves.