Sunday, August 12, 2018

Shooting a Smith & Wesson Model 2

In this video, I shoot a Smith & Wesson Model 2 revolver, made in the 1870s. It is chambered for the .38 S&W round, not to be confused with .38 S&W Special. The ammo was from Buffalo Arms and was loaded with black powder.

Shooting it well was very difficult, because the sights are terrible. Still, it was really fun to play with this bit of history.

The revolver belongs to my father, who got it from Simpson, Ltd.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review Video

Sunday, August 05, 2018

CAD Files for 3D Printing and Machining Guns

Chaga Tea

As I write this I'm on my second cup of chaga tea, made from the stuff I got from I had to do some googling to see how to brew it, since the packaging was entirely in Russian, which I don't speak.

To brew the tea, I put about a tablespoon in a tea infuser, put it in my mug, then poured boiling water over it and let it steep for about 10 minutes.

The taste is very mild, maybe a little earthy. It would be pleasant on a cold day out in the woods.

Here's an article on potential health benefits of chaga.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

There's Russian collusion in my kitchen!

On July 26th I placed an order with (located in Brooklyn) for a few items:

  • Bulgarian Brand "Filet Yelina" dry-cured pork tenderloin.
  • Jewish Brand salami.
  • Kharcho or Harcho soup mix.
  • Hungarian style smoked pork fat back AKA salo.
  • Chaga tea.

The order arrived on July 31st.

The dry-cured pork tenderloin is reminiscent of prosciutto. It would go really well with some cheese and crackers. My wife already told me that I should order more when it's gone.

The salami is excellent. I don't think it'll last long, either.

I tried the kharcho soup mix for dinner with some rye bread. It's quite good and spicy. It reminds me a bit of the broth in my wife's crab soup which uses a lot of Old Bay seasoning. I'm going to have to try it mixed in with buckwheat, a la Lars.

This morning (Saturday, 8/4) I tried the salo/fatback. As I understand it, because it is cured, in Eastern Europe salo is frequently consumed without cooking it first. However, the packaging warns to thoroughly cook it, so I sliced off four pieces and fried them up like bacon until the edges were browned and crispy.

Damn it was good. The inner, unbrowned parts just melted in my mouth, while the browned edges were crunchy. The paprika seasoning was mild, while the pork taste was subtle. I can see why Ukrainians love this stuff.

I still need to try the chaga tea, which I'll write up in a separate post.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Some Facts About 3D Printed Guns

My G-d there is a lot of utter rubbish being spewed about 3D printed guns in the media over the past couple of days. Some facts:

1. You cannot "download a gun."

1a. On a related note, you cannot legally buy a gun off the Internet and avoid a background check. You can buy a gun over the Internet but it has to be shipped to a local, Federally-licensed firearms dealer, and you need to pass a background check before you take delivery. There is no "Internet loophole."

2. You can download plans, including 3D CAD files for various guns. Think of these as blueprints that can be turned into code for use by a 3D printer or CNC milling machine, which can be used to make a gun.

3. Speaking of which, it has always been legal under Federal law to make a gun for your own personal use. If you want to manufacture them for sale, that has been regulated for decades.

4. Some states do make it illegal to make a gun for your own use.

5. Most 3D printed guns are not undetectable. For example, if you 3D print the receiver for an AR-15 (the part that in the USA is legally the gun), you still need a lot of metal parts to have a functioning firearm. E.g., the barrel, bolt, firing pin, springs, etc.

5a. The exception to #5 appears to be the Defense Distributed Liberator, which is a single shot .22 pistol. Do you really think that a criminal is going to spend a shitload of money on a 3D printer so he can make an untraceable single shot .22 pistol? It's cheaper, easier, and faster to buy a stolen pistol like a Hi Point 9mm or even a Glock on the street.

6. For the most part, this hysteria about undetectable plastic guns is reminiscent of the BS spewed about Glocks in the 1980s. Despite what you heard in "Die Hard," Glocks are made largely of metal and stick out like a sore thumb if you try to pass one through a metal detector.

7. Even after Defense Distributed pulled their CAD files from the Internet in 2013, the cat was out of the bag. If you had a clue, they were not difficult to find. As per John Gilmore, the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

Finally, gun controllers lie. That's what they do. They cannot make arguments based on facts, so they lie. For example, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently gave a speech about undetectable firearms with a picture of an AR-15 next to him. A rifle with a few pounds of steel and aluminum in it is going to be undetectable? Not hardly.

Think about any topic in which you have in depth knowledge. Then consider how the mainstream media covers said topic, and how inaccurate they usually are.

This is just the latest in the American left finding something to be outraged about and stir up shit.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Old Gun Day at the Range

Today was old gun day at the range.

First up was my Wartime Commercial Mauser C96 Broomhandle, in 7.63x25 (.30 Mauser). I wanted to see how it would do at 50 yards when shot with the stock attached.

(The empty clip is in the pistol in lieu of a chamber flag.)

As you can see from the target, it's nothing to shout about. The short sight radius coupled with a front sight that's hard to see hinders accuracy. I fired this 20 shot group with my elbows rested on the shooting bench. (The hole on the right side of the target is from when my kid accidentally shot at my target instead of hers.)

It's nothing to write home about but if I needed to use this gun for defense (which has a probability approaching zero) it would work out to 50 yards.

Next up was my Winchester 1892 sporting rifle made in 1895. It's chambered for .38-40 WCF, which is a nice mild-recoiling round that will work for short-range deer hunting. Ballistics from a rifle are similar to a 10mm handgun.

Anyway, I am seriously considering having the barrel relined. The bore has quite a bit of pitting, and worse, the crown has a lot of cleaning rod wear. No pics of the target, but it was a 10-shot group of about 8". If I have it relined, I'd expect it to shoot as well as my Cimarron 1873, being able to hold the 10-ring at 50 yards.

Vinpok Bolt "MagSafe" Power Cord for MacBook Pro

If there's one thing I hate about the most recent MacBook Pros, it's that Apple replaced the MagSafe power connector with USB-C AKA Thunderbolt 3 ports.

My MBP sits on my coffee table when not in use, and I've been worried that eventually someone would trip over the power cord. It happened with my previous machine but because of the MagSafe connector, it wasn't damaged.

About a week ago I went looking for a MagSafe-analogue that supports the 87W power supply of the 15" MBPs and found a couple. I ordered a Vinpok Bolt USB-C Magnetic Cable on July 15th and it arrived yesterday the 27th, from China.

The magnetic adapter that plugs into one of the USB-C ports:

It adds virtually no bulk. The matching cord that replaces the factory USB-C cable from the Apple power brick:

My first impressions are generally positive. However, it should be noted that the magnets in the Vinpok Bolt are much weaker than those found on the Apple MagSafe connectors. Moving the laptop is frequently enough to dislodge the Vinpok Bolt. The overall size of the Bolt is smaller than the MagSafe connector, so that's to be expected.

That said, as long as it continues to work as advertised, it's worth it IMO to regain the safety feature of the Apple MagSafe connector.

Monday, July 23, 2018

New Sights for the Rossi 92

My 14 y/o daughter wants to join me deer hunting this year so I needed something she could shoot well with mild recoil. The Rossi 92 in .357 Magnum I bought several years ago fits the bill, but I wanted to improve her hit probability, which meant mounting an optic.

As a copy of the Winchester 1892, the Rossi 92 is a top-eject design, which complicates optic mounting. You need to either find some kind of a mount offset to the side or use something with long eye relief mounted on the barrel.

Rossi drilled and tapped the barrel for a scope mount. The holes are covered up by the open rear sight, which must be removed to use them.

NOE Bullet Molds makes a very nice Picatanny rail that fits the Rossi. I ordered one and received it in a few days. Before installing it, I degreased the mounting holes in the barrel using denatured alcohol, and put a drop of thread locker on each screw.

The optic I chose was a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight. Since my Rossi is in .357 I view it as a 75 yard deer rifle. A non-magnified optic is fine for such ranges.

I have a few other TRS-25s and they've all been very good, with clear lenses, a well-defined dot, and rugged. As a micro-dot sight the TRS-25 hardly affects how a rifle feels. Finally, they are low-priced. I got this one for $45 shipped on Amazon Prime. (I just checked Amazon and it's now listed for $43.24.)

Because the NOE rail required removal of the rear sight the gun is left without backup irons if your optic tanks. So, I ordered a bolt-mounted peep from Steve's Guns. When I first bought the carbine I installed one of his safety replacement plugs. I wish I'd just gone straight to his very slick peep sight.

The resulting package is still light and handy with plenty of firepower, but vastly improved low-light shootability.

Last weekend I took my kids camping and my daughter got to put 50 rounds of Fiochi .357 Magnum 158 grain JHPs through the Rossi. Without zeroing the RDS on paper, she was easily able to keep her shots on a 10" gong, shooting rapidly offhand at 25 - 30 yards.

We're hoping to get to the range next weekend so she can get some more practice in and so we can zero the Bushnell.

The final touch to ready the Rossi for hunting season will be to add quick-detach sling swivel studs and a sling.