Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Clean A Gun After Shooting Corrosive Ammunition

The question of how to clean up after shooting corrosively primed ammunition came up in an email list that I'm on, and I frequently see the question asked on various gun boards, so I thought it worthy of a post here.

Corrosive ammo leaves a salt behind in the bore and anywhere else the fouling gets to, e.g., the gas system of a semiauto.  These salts are hygroscopic, meaning that they absorb moisture from the atmosphere, which leads to rust.  To get rid of   the salt you need to flush it out with water.  You can use plain old water or a variety of solutions, including:

  • Soapy water
  • Windex
  • A mixture of 1/3rd Ballistol and 2/3rds distilled water
  • Simple Green
  • Old time USGI Rifle Bore Cleaner as found in green cans at gun shows.
If using water (soapy or otherwise) hot water is better, because it will dry more quickly.  However, cold water will work, just be sure to get it all off the gun.

I often use Windex because it has surfactants in it along with the water, which helps it clean fouling.

Contrary to Internet myth, you do NOT need ammonia to "neutralize" the salts.

Just run a few wet patches through the bore and gas system, and   anywhere else you see powder fouling.  Then wipe it out with dry   patches and finish cleaning with normal gun cleaner like Hoppe's No.9   or CLP.  When done lightly oil to prevent corrosion.

Check the gun the next day to make sure you got everything.

Some people seem to think that shooting corrosive ammo is like putting  termites in your woodpile.  Not so.  It just requires a little extra maintenance.

How I Celebrated Earth Hour

Last night along with some friends I marked Earth Hour by engaging in natural activity.

We sat out in my friend's yard around a fire made from natural, renewable wood.  To get it going, we drizzled some diesel fuel made from dead dinosaurs onto paper made from dead trees.  After awhile we got the kids and roasted marshmallows made of natural sugar on natural sticks.  Once the kids were done and back inside, we sat around the fire shooting the breeze while consuming all-natural Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey.  Dunno if it was made from organic corn, but even if not, the artificial fertilizers used to grow it no doubt were dinosaurs at some point.

See, ain't I politically and environmentally correct?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Not Learning From History

People never learn.

Back in the spring of 1998, when Boris Yeltsin was still at Russia's helm, I led a group of global investors to Moscow to find out firsthand where the Russian economy was headed. My long career with the International Monetary Fund and on Wall Street had taken me to "emerging markets" throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and I thought I'd seen it all. Yet I still recall the shock I felt at a meeting in Russia's dingy Ministry of Finance, where I finally realized how a handful of young oligarchs were bringing Russia's economy to ruin in the pursuit of their own selfish interests, despite the supposed brilliance of Anatoly Chubais, Russia's economic czar at the time.

At the time, I could not imagine that anything remotely similar could happen in the United States. Indeed, I shared the American conceit that most emerging-market nations had poorly developed institutions and would do well to emulate Washington and Wall Street. These days, though, I'm hardly so confident. Many economists and analysts are worrying that the United States might go the way of Japan, which suffered a "lost decade" after its own real estate market fell apart in the early 1990s. But I'm more concerned that the United States is coming to resemble Argentina, Russia and other so-called emerging markets, both in what led us to the crisis, and in how we're trying to fix it.

Over the past year, I've been getting Russia flashbacks as I witness the AIG debacle as well as the collapse of Bear Sterns and a host of other financial institutions. Much like the oligarchs did in Russia, a small group of traders and executives at onetime venerable institutions have brought the U.S. and global financial systems to their knees with their reckless risk-taking -- with other people's money -- for their personal gain. 

Go read the whole damn thing.

Why Socialism Does Not Work

Received via email.  Yes, I'm sure it's apocryphal.  Yet it accurately describes real human behavior.

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student, but had once failed an entire class.

The class (students) insisted that socialism worked since no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism."

"All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A."

After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who had studied hard were upset while the students who had studied very little were happy.

But, as the second test rolled around, the students who had studied littlestudied even less and the ones who had studied hard decided that since they couldn't make an A, they also studied less. The second Test average was a D.

No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average grade was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling, all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for anyone else.

To their great surprise all failed. The professor told them that socialism would ultimately fail because the harder people try to succeed the greater their reward (capitalism) but when a government takes all the reward away (socialism)  no one will try or succeed.

....Ok that's enough, stop thinking again...

Its very clear that Socialism is designed to remove the remaining value of property from a country and its citizens. And put a burden on all of its citizens to do with less .  And give it to the poor for their votes.  By force.  When the value is gone and and the burden is still required. The people won't cooperate. The US government won't stop spending money it doesnt have.  Like France. Then totalitarianism is required. To maintain tax revenue.  And it will be implemented.  Once that happens all the Socialist instigators like College professors who realize the errors of their ways. Will be arrested and killed. because they know too much.

Anyone who states Socialism helps those who cant help themselves is full of it.  It helps those who dont want to help themselves.

Or as Margaret Thatcher once observed:

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.


Found this one at, of all places:

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Welcome to March Madness on the Potomac.

Many Americans are so emotionally invested in the Obama presidency that they consider it too historic to fail.

They won't tolerate any criticism of the president or his administration, finding it easier to simply attack critics. And whatever goes wrong that they can't defend or deflect, they just blame on George W. Bush.

But to many of the rest of us, it's clear that President Obama is flunking economics. He is trying to do too much at once, and so he is not doing any of it well. He vows to cut the federal deficit while proposing an avalanche of new spending that will -- says the Congressional Budget Office -- increase it by as much as $9.3 trillion over the next decade.

Full story.  Meanwhile, Karl Rove (I know) penned this piece at the Wall Street Journal:

... it doesn't seem like a time of new politics and new concerns. Many Americans are anxious -- and in some cases angry -- about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama's radical budget, his administration's slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government's size and cost.

In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.


The dynamic he has set in motion could spur the emergence of strong competitors to Mr. Obama in 2012 who take a strong, principled stand against record-setting deficits, debt and taxes. It may also strengthen Republican chances in next year's midterm elections.

Full story.  I just wish that there was a better chance that if the GOP gains control over Congress, they won't spend like drunken sailors, the way they did until the 2006 elections.

Many people from across the political spectrum are getting righteously pissed off.  Obama is not helping his cause by continuing to campaign, rather than govern.  (Note, I do not want Obama's agenda getting passed.  If he succeeds in doing so it'll be the end of the US as we've known it.)

Gettin Edumacated

Last week I got in a couple of DVDs which no educational library for small children should be without:

Seriously, Schoolhouse Rock is for my daughters.  But if you were a kid in the US during the late 1960s through the early 80s, you probably know almost all of the SR cartoons.  This set has all 46 original shorts along with one made several years later to cover the Electoral College.  So far, we've watched ten of them and the girls are enjoying the videos.

And of course The Young Ones set is for me, not the girls.  My brother and I were big fans of the show when it aired on MTV back in the 1980s.  To this day if someone mentions having a movie of something, we'll look at each other and say, "Oh, we have a video?"  So far I've viewed Interesting and Boring.  The video quality looks good but I wish they would've cleaned up the audio a little more.  Still, if you're an old fan it's worth getting the set. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Now Obama Has Managed to Piss Off Even FRANCE

Oh, fergawdsakes.


Obama recently sent a letter to Jacques  Chirac of France, expressing how he's looking forward to working with him.  Only problem?  Chirac is the former president of France.  Nicholas Sarkozy has been President of France since May 2007.


Train Wreck

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trip to Dixon's

Today I took my accumulated spare change up to the bank and got back about a hundred bucks worth of "free" money, then headed up to Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop in Kempton, PA and bought a few things.

I've been in need of a possibles bag to go with my longrifle (pictures).  He had several nice ones in stock and I wound up buying a Leatherman Scout Bag.  I also got a Leatherman Universal Rifle Sling, which fits my rifle nicely.  The bag strap and the sling are made from a cotton/jute blend.  Both items are well made.  To preserve the leather parts and make them more water resistant, I rubbed Sno-Seal into them after I got home.

In the past I've used .490" patched round balls in my .50 caliber rifle.  These are accurate but after a couple shots, hard to load.  I noticed that Dixon's had a few boxes of Hornady .480" balls, so I grabbed one.  I'm hoping that accuracy will be acceptable out to 100 yards, while being easier to load into a fouled bore.

Finally, I also picked up a pound of FFg Goex black powder.  It's up to $20 per pound so I winced a bit when Greg Dixon told me the price.  I load from 70 to 80 grains of powder per shot, so that gives me 86 to 100 shots per pound (7,000 grains per pound).

On a side note, if you've been paying attention to the news since the election in November, you're aware of the surge in gun sales, along with the resulting shortages.  The gun shortages were not in evidence at Dixon's, which specializes in black powder and antique guns.  While there were plenty of guns in stock I did notice that his selection of reloading components was a bit sparse, though he actually had some primers behind the counter.

In Response to Talks of Pay Caps

Over at Ry's Blog, a copy of a post by a hedge fund manager ("Austrian") on Arfcom:

I currently manage a medium sized hedge fund (long/short equity).
The current populist uproar is absolute insanity. I don’t know how else to say it. You are never going to legislate away greed. Period. It is part of the human psyche. That’s all there is to it. You can either fight it, or use it. Incentives work. This is why.

Let’s step back a minute and think about why and how this happened:

Read the whole thing.

Make no mistake, if the current mania for capping the executive pay becomes law, the US is going to see a brain drain the likes of which we have never seen.  It will doom us to becoming a socialist hell hole for generations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Geithner Pushed for Bonus Guarantees

Via Karl Denninger's Market Ticker:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that he takes responsibility for knowing the stimulus legislation had a loophole that would allow bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.

In an interview with CNN's Ali Velshi, Geithner said the Treasury Department did talk to Sen. Chris Dodd about a clause he put forth that would have strictly limited executive bonuses.

So Dodd was telling the truth - he was pressured by Treasury, and apparently, Geithner didn't bother to tell his boss (the President, of course) about it up front.

One of the primary reasons we have bailout mania is because of the incestuous relationships between Congress, the executive branch, and big business.  The purported outrage that we've heard from Washington this week is complete and utter bullshit, amounting to the protestations of a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Besides, what's a piddling $160M in bonuses compared with over a trillion dollars that Congress has voted in the past month or so to spend?  Can you say "misdirection?"

Not one of these parasites cares one whit for the impact of this mess upon the American people, except as it impacts their own ability to remain in power.  Unfortunately, when busted, they resort to populist rabble rousing as we've seen over the past few days.

Meanwhile, the Fed just voted to monetize national debt by purchasing additional long term treasury securities, which brings this year's total to about $1.25 trillion.  Washington appears to have adopted Mugabian economics.  We've seen how well that works.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Example of Antigun Hype

This picture is a good example of the antigun hype that the Obama administration and its toadies in the media have been spewing, e.g., that Mexican drug cartels are being armed with weapons purchased in the US and smuggled south of the border (click the thumbnail for full asized pic).


How can I tell that this is propaganda?  A few reasons:

  1. The round topped cylinders in the front of the picture are 40mm grenades as used in the M-79 and M-203 grenade launchers.  You cannot go into a gun shop or go to a gun show and just pick these up.  They are regulated as "Destructive Devices" by the National Firearms Act of 1934.  Acquiring either a launcher or a single grenade requires you to fill out an application with the BATFE, pass a background check, and pay a $200 transfer tax on each item, over and above the purchase price.
  2. The cylinders in the left background are either smoke, tear gas, or white phosphorous grenages.  Smokes are legal to buy without any paperwork, I'm not sure about the tear gas or WP grenades, though they may be similarly unregulated on a Federal level.  Either way, it's not like they're bombs.
  3. Finally, the real telling piece, is the group of the circular objects with a little cylinder sticking out of the top, most numerous in the picture.  What are these dastardly devices of mass destruction?  Why, they are Combloc-surplus OIL BOTTLES.  I have several which I acquired along with AK or Mosin-Nagant rifles.
Of course, to the unfamiliar, those deadly oil bottles look like grenades.  Politicians and liberal antigun media types practicing dissimulation?  Naaaahhhh.

Edit 3/21/09: Well, this post seems to have drawn some interest from a couple of other blogs.  Welcome!  Please look around.

AIG Bonuses Specifically Protected by the Stimulus Package

None other than Senator Chris Dodd inserted language into the Stimulus Bill to protect the bonuses due AIG executives.  For Congress and the White House to make a stink about them now, after legislatively protecting them, is pure hypocrasy.

The mendacity emanating from Washington is deafening.

Update to The Missing Sync

When I got my Verizon Blackberry 8330 back in October, I first tried to use the free Pocketmac software from RIM to accomplish syncing it with my MacBook Pro.  That worked a couple of times then blew up, taking my calendar and address book with it. (Luckily, I had backups.)  Shortly thereafter, I bought The Missing Sync for Blackberry from Mark/Space and it's worked OK for the most part.

Yesterday I tried to sync and there apparently was a corrupted record in iCal and on the Blackberry, which kept causing the process to hang.  Eventually, I downloaded the Blackberry Desktop Manager software for Windows on my Dell PC at work and used it to clear out the calendar on the Blackberry.  (The Missing Sync cannot do this, which is a PITA.)  I also made the mistake of clearing my work calendar which syncs to Entourage, which wiped out my work calendar.  After an OH SHIT moment, I was able to restore my calendar entries by going through my Entourage folders and reaccepting meeting invites and manually readding some events.  Not ideal but I'd been lax in backing up my Entourage identity, something I subsequently fixed.

Anyway, last night I went to Mark/Space's website and noticed that they had a free upgrade from v1 to v2 for folks who bought TMS between 11/1/08 and 2/9/09 available.  I installed it this morning and was able to sync pretty smoothly.  One nice feature that v2 added was syncronization via Bluetooth.  Previously, it was USB-only.

What I'd really like to see would be for Apple to add Blackberry support directly to iSync, which is part of OS X and which some apps, including TMS, rely upon.  I was able to use iSync to maintain the contacts on my Motorola RAZR V3m and it worked pretty well.

DLA Brass Destruction Policy Reversed!

Sebastian has the scoop.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Vanguard 1

On this day 51 years ago, Vanguard 1 was launched.  It is still in orbit, making it the oldest man-made object in space.

How cool is that?

Obama Himself Supports Making Wounded Vets Pay For Their Care

I knew he was a classless, arrogant, Marxist, but this?  The mind boggles.

"It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

 The good thing about this is that whatever support Obama has within the military is going to evaporate.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update to The Shooters' Bar

This afternoon I updated The Shooter's Bar to add Keith Grube of PA, and updated Warren Redlich's (NY) listing.

DLA No Longer Selling Once Fired Brass as Surplus

You may have read about the email recently sent out to purchasers of once fired military brass indicating that the supply is about to be shut off.  This is going to exacerbate our current ammunition shortage.  I sent the following email to my Congresscritter.  Please feel free to copy and send it as your own.

I am writing to ask for your help in overturning a recent, extremely wasteful policy change by the Defense Logistics Agency ("DLA"), which now requires all once-fired brass cartridge cases to be destroyed (AKA "demilled") before being sold to taxpayers as surplus.

Military surplus brass cases have for decades been purchased by US taxpayers and reloaded to make usable ammunition for sport shooters, hunters, and law enforcement agencies.  Currently, there is a shortage of ammunition in the US civilian marketplace and this action will exacerbate that.

Just as bad, this is costing the Department of Defense serious money.  The DLA can sell once fired brass for about $2.00 per pound.  On the other hand, demilled brass is only worth about 35 CENTS per pound.  So not only does the DLA have to expend resources to demill the brass, the demilled brass sells for well under one fourth the price it would otherwise get.  This makes no financial sense in a time when the US government is incurring an unprecedented deficit.

To reiterate, the DOD has been selling surplus brass on the US civilian marketplace for DECADES.  One has to wonder if this is a back door attempt at gun control by the Obama administration, one which it can effect without getting the cooperation of the legislature or the courts.

Please work with the DLA to reverse this policy.

S&W Model 1905, 4th Change

Over at The Arms Room, Tam posted a S&W Model 1905, 4th Change as her Sunday Smith.  It's a beautiful example of a pre-War S&W wheelgun.  S&W made its most significant change to the design shortly after WWII, with the introduction of the short action.

Later, when S&W started assigning model numbers to their guns, the M1905 became the Model 10 (before the model numbers were formally assigned, the M1905 was simply known as the Military & Police. M1905 is a modern collector's designation AFAIK.)

Anyway, I own a variant of the M1905, 4th Change.  I picked it up the day before my 30th birthday when a local FFL had several guns in from a recently deceased collector.  Several were tempting but I could only afford one, this M1905, 4th Change with target sights:

S&W M1905 4th Change

Unlike modern adjustable rear sights, this one has no clicks.  The front sight is a McGivern bead, which makes it more visible in low light.  Going by the factory original grips which lack the S&W medallions, this is one of a couple thousand made during the mid-1920s.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gun Springs

I've mentioned in past posts both here and on my Survival & Emergency Preparedness Blog that having spare parts for your go-to guns is important, especially if you have only a few.  Among the spares you should have are springs.

Semiautos have a few springs that can wear out if you shoot the gun much.  E.g., hammer or striker spring, ejector spring, extractor spring, recoil spring, and magazine springs.  Springs aren't expensive, don't take up much space, and don't have an expiration date.  So, it's prudent to keep some on hand.

This morning I took my own advice to heart and ordered some spare springs for my M-1 Carbines from Wolff Gunsprings.  Specifically, I ordered one kit which includes all replacement springs for an M-1, except a mag spring, plus a pack of two recoil springs.  The spring kit will go into storage while the two extra recoil springs will be installed in my 1943 Rock Ola and my 1944 Underwood.  I haven't replaced the recoil springs in either rifle and nobody knows how many rounds each Carbine has shot.  It's a cheap form of preventive maintenance.

Beyond the Pale

I've known from the outset that Obama is an America-hating leftist.  But this goes beyond what I'd thought him capable of:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

What. The. Fuck.

A true patriot, no matter what his political stripes, would have shot this down immediately.   But according the VA Secy., it's still under consideration.

Another possibility exists: It's a flag thrown out to gauge public reaction to the lunacy coming from the Whitehouse.  Throw enough outlandish ideas out and then the real agenda, which isn't quite so bad, looks more acceptable in comparison.

Either way, it's despicable.

Obama Official On Leave After FBI Raids His Old Office

More Hope! and Change! from the Obama administration:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An aide to President Barack Obama is on leave from his White House job after the FBI raided his old District of Columbia government office Thursday, arresting a city employee and a technology consultant on corruption charges, a White House official said.

The charges were lodged against the two men at a federal court hearing as the FBI finished searching the city's technology office, which was led until recently by Obama's new computer chief, Vivek Kundra.

Full story.

Meanwhile, I found a new picture of the Obama administration:


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some Common Sense From Across the Pond

From the Telegraph:

The deranged shooting dead of 10 people in Alabama, followed closely by a further 16 murders in Germany, will almost certainly be seized upon by gun control campaigners in the United States to further their agenda. In this they will find a willing ally in Barack Obama who, despite his weasel words after the Supreme Court outlawed the handgun ban in Washington DC (which he previously supported), has a record as a board member, for eight years, of the Joyce Foundation, which funds gun control groups, and as a long-time supporter of anti-firearms legislation.

While cool logic suggests that a gun is only as good or bad as the character and purpose of its owner, the anti-firearms fanatics opportunistically seize upon public revulsion after serious gun crimes to press for blanket bans, without pausing to consider that, if a victim has his skull crushed with a golf club, we do not call for the outlawing of golf.

Any American citizens who are tempted to go down the road of prohibition might be advised to consider the experience of Britain. Our handgun ban in 1997 was enacted with a fervency that went beyond rationality....

The success of this politically correct initiative can easily be measured. In 1997, the year of the ban, there were 2,636 handgun offences; in 2007 there were 4,175. In England and Wales there are now 28 firearms offences committed every day. Gun crime is now one of the most formidable challenges to law and order.

Gun control results in unilateral victim disarmament, not crime control.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama Folly Coming Home to Roost

Over at American Thinker:

It's only been 7 weeks since the man whose resume fits nicely on the back of a postage stamp became the most powerful human being in the universe.  As Presidents go, Barack Obama has proven at least one thing true:  change is like the flip of a coin.  Change can bring the best of times; change can bring the worst of times.  And anyone over the age of twelve ought to have known that.  Instead, 52% of the American electorate has run around like a bunch of howling ninnies for the past year chanting like a horde of Jim Jones' followers, who can't get enough of the poison kool-aid.

So much for progressive enlightenment.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Idiot's Guide to Destroying the Economy

In 12 easy steps:

Think destroying the mighty economy of the United States is too big a job for you? Relax. Anyone can do it. A friend sent me a handy-dandy no-fuss 12-step program for wreaking financial havoc among even the world’s most advanced economies. I adapt it below for your edification. Your congressmen probably already have a copy. The White House certainly does.


The Banking Crash Explained

I wish I could take credit for this, but I received it in an email.  It's too good to keep to myself.

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin . In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar.

Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed. Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager (subsequently of course fired due his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

However they cannot pay back the debts.

Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.

The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied on the non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Day at the Range

Today did not start out well.  As a matter of fact, I had what I call a "Four Advil Morning," due to pain and stiffness in my back.  About an hour after taking 800mg of Ibuprofen I was able to walk without wincing and I was reasonably limber, so I packed up a couple guns and headed down to the range.

I brought with me today my S&W Model 18 .22 Combat Masterpiece and my Savage Mark IIGL bolt action, also in .22 LR.  Unfortunately, the pistol range was packed so all I got to shoot was the Savage.

My normal choices in .22 LR ammo are CCI Subsonic Hollowpoints or Mini Mags.  However, they are relatively expensive, and I wanted to see if the Savage will shoot cheaper bulk pack ammo well.  I had in my stash one brick each of Remington Golden Bullets and Federal Champions.  Both are high speed hollow points, though the Federals are more of a "dimple point."

One thing to note is that when switching from one kind of ammo to another in a .22, frequently you'll probably have to put at least 10 rounds through the gun before its point of impact settles down with the new load.  The Savage had been zeroed with CCI Subsonic HPs the last time I shot it.  It'll put five shots under a nickel with that load at 50 yards.

I tried the Remingtons first.  Once the gun settled in with the new layer of bore fouling, it grouped into 1.5" to 2" at 50 yards, about an inch low.  After about 20 or 30 of the Remingtons, I switched to the Federals.  POI was about the same but I noticed that due to the slightly pointer bullet shape, they fed more smoothly.  Again, groups hovered around 1.5" at 50 yards.

I was not suprised to see the bulk ammo shoot much larger groups than the CCI Subsonics.  CCI rimfire ammo is among the best sold for hunting use, when it comes to accuracy, consistency, and reliability.  In contrast, the Remington and Federal ammo I was shooting today is mostly intended for plinking.

One thing that I suspect contributes to the bulk ammos' lackluster accuracy is that it's very dirty burning.  At one point I pulled the bolt from the rifle and looked through the bore.  I found it lined with a considerable amount of unburnt powder.  In contrast, the CCI ammo I normally shoot burns much more cleanly.

That said, the Remingtons and Federal would do OK in the Savage for small game or varmints out to about 50 yards.  I have a couple of other rifles to test them in -- a Winchester 9422 XTR Classic and a Ruger 10/22.  Additionally, I have the S&W Model 18 and an old model Ruger Single Six in which I want to try them.  If the other guns shoot reasonably well with the bulk ammo I'll pick up a few more bricks.

I'll also note that in comparison with some Winchester XPert .22s which I bought at WalMart about five or six years ago, the Remginton and Federal stuff was practically match grade.  The XPert .22 was absolutely the worst rimfire ammo I've used for accuracy and reliability.  I'd expect it to come out of some Third World hole, not an American factory.

One thing I was not pleased with was functioning in the Savage.  I had several problems with failures to eject and misfeeds, even after cleaning the bolt face and extractor.  The Savage definitely functions better when one works the action briskly.  It also has a tight chamber which gums up after about 50 to 100 rounds if I run waxy ammo through it.  This leads to failures to extract until I clean it.  The tight chamber no doubt contributes to the rifle's accuracy with good ammo, but is a PITA in long shooting sessions.  I normally don't have the ejection or feeding problems with CCI Subsonics.

Since I'll probably go back to the CCI ammo in the Savage, after I was finished shooting I ran a patch with Hoppe's No.9 on it through the bore, followed by a squirt of RemOil, with the excess removed using a Hoppe's BoreSnake.  This will ensure that the worst of the gunk will be absent the next time I shoot the rifle, so the number of fouling shots needed will be reduced.

But all in all, it was still a good day, even with the functioning issues.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Inflation Nation

This is something I've been increasingly worried about, with the trillions of dollars the Feds are pumping into the economy.

First, take a look at this graph from the St. Louis Fed of the US monetary supply over time, with indications of when we were in a recession.

Then-candidate Barack Obama bemoaned those simple-minded rural folk in Pennsylvania who "cling to guns and religion" in response to economic despair. Since Obama's election, however, Americans have clung to guns like never before. With hyper-inflation looming, a catastrophe initiated by Bush and continued by Obama, guns are thriving and religion may follow suit.


This may be an economic tsunami rolling toward us with little warning. The new money has no nexus whatsoever with the country's economy, which is comprised of the goods and services produced, bought and sold by humans. As this money supply has grown, the economy has contracted. This means the value of cash can only plummet. George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki, who specializes in economics, explained on his blog that consumers haven't felt the inflationary effects of the inflated money supply only because of hoarding, brought about by economic fear.


"Presumably because the ‘velocity' of money has remained low - people and banks are hording money, rather than spending, borrowing, and lending it. Assuming velocity rises again, however, we may be looking at an inflationary spiral like we've never seen before in this country."

Now, go read the whole piece.


The meltdown explained in pictures, so even a big government Democrat can understand it.

The Greatest Dangers to Liberty

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”

--Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Friday, March 06, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Crazy Idea

A crazy thought occurred to me this morning:

What if the current financial crisis was concocted by a group of  productive people ("strikers") tired of supporting a bunch of  parasites ("looters"), as a way to reset the system?  Alan Greenspan was a disciple of Ayn Rand.

Who is John Galt?

Edit: This is post number 1,000 for Dave's Blog O'Stuff.  Go me!

Meanwhile, Near Hoboken...

The mayor of Hoboken got tarred and feathered, though only in effigy.

This happened in New Jersey? Things are getting interesting, in the Chinese sense of the word.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Setting the Fox to Guard the Henhouse


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's Treasury secretary says the administration will unveil a series of rules and measures in the coming months to limit the ability of international companies to avoid U.S. taxes. 

I guess they're operating on the theory that it takes a crook to catch a crook.

{H/T InstaPundit.}

A Couple More Results from Google Trends

Following up on my earlier posts about keeping an eye on public mood via Google Trends, today I pulled up these two tidbits:



Objectivism (Ayn Rand's philosophy):


Both searches were limited to results from the US.  I find it interesting that even though the US just inaugurated its most left-wing president ever, there is an increased interest in two related political philosophies which emphasize individual rights over collective interests.  I think it probably reflects a reaction to not only the Democrats' victories, but also the increasingly big-government actions of the Republicans.

While Obama won about 52% of the popular vote, only about 56% of eligible voters bothered to show up.  Sure, a lot of this can be attributed to laziness, but much of it is due to utter disgust with the choices from which American voters get to pick.  E.g., would you like socialism or socialism lite?  For many people there just isn't a compelling difference between the two parties.  Those graphs above tell me that people are interested in an alternative.

Ten Ways to Help Prepare for a Depression

Ideally, we would all have prepared for a possible depression years ago.  That said, if you're just getting started it's not too late to take steps now which will make your life easier as the economy continues to circle the drain.

Here's a non-comprehensive list of things you can do to help prepare, in no particular order.
  1. Analyze your spending habits and reduce unnecessary expenditures.
  2. Pay down debt.  Debt is a tool and can be useful, but be careful that you're not incurring debt for the wrong reasons.  For example, taking out a loan to buy a boat right now is probably not a good reason for going into debt.
  3. Diversify your skills.  Employment during  a depression may not be easy to come by.  Make sure they're economically useful skills.  I suspect knowing how to weld, do carpentry, or fix computers will be more valuable than how to write mortgages or sell homes.
  4. Build up your personal and professional networks.  The more people you know the easier it'll be to find someone with a needed skill, and the easier it'll be to find a new job if you lose your current employment.  Social networking sites are potentially a great aid to this.  Look into LinkedIn, Plaxo, FaceBook, and Twitter.
  5. Look to the safety of you and your family.  When the economy goes down, crime goes up.  Take a class in self defense.  Learn your jurisdiction's laws on the use of deadly force.  Learn how to shoot if you don't know how.  See if there are things you can do to improve your home's security: motion sensor lights, a video intercom for the front door, solid doors, etc.
  6. Stock up on non-perishable consumable items.  Canned food, toilet paper, ammunition.  Having stuff like this stored is a hedge against future scarcity and against inflation.   This is something you should do discreetly, lest you get labeled a "hoarder," with all the negative implications that carries.
  7. Start a garden.  Plant a fruit tree.  Raise chickens if you have the space and time.
  8. Consider that if the economy tanks enough, there may be a run on banks.  If there's hyper inflation, paper currency will lose value quickly.  Acquire currency made from precious metals -- silver or gold -- in denominations small enough to be useful for typical transaction.  E.g., gold Soveriegns may be good investments but using them at the supermarket is likely to be an exercise in frustration.
  9. Look into barter arrangements as a way to stretch your money.  You can barter goods and services.
  10. If you have any outstanding health problems, now is the time to get them fixed.
If you have additional ideas please post them in the comments.  (Spam will get deleted with extreme prejudice.)

Oh Boy

As we've seen over the past few months, whenever Obama or Geithner open their mouth, the market takes a dump.  Message to Dear Leader: If you really want to help Wall Street, STFU.

Meanwhile, today I ran across the following stories which give more cause for concern:

First, "Dr. Doom" Nourel Roubini, an economist who's been bearish longer than most, is now saying the economy is even worse that he thought.

In sum, Buffett and much of the rest of humanity are just now coming around to Nouriel Robuini's way of thinking, the economist known as "Dr. Doom" is upping the ante on his longstanding bearish views.

A year ago Roubini was forecasting an 18-month recession with a U-shaped recovery; now, he's now expecting the downturn to last at least 24 months and possibly 36-months. He also sees rising risks of a Japanese-style L-shaped stagnation, i.e. a prolonged period with little or no economic growth.

Next, is this piece from Karl Denninger at

That's a snapshot of today's volume for June GE $2.50 PUTs.

That's over 52,000 contracts traded today, controlling 5.2 million shares.

They were purchased for about 30 cents, which means that the price has to be under $2.20 for them to go "in the money".

This is a bankruptcy bet on General Electric by the third week of June.


General Electric is a stalwart of our financial and industrial system. A bankruptcy by GE would be catastrophic for our economy and capital markets. The follow-on damage with suppliers and customers would be even worse.

IMHO, if you are not preparing for a long term economic downturn, even a repeat of the Great Depression, your head is in the sand.  It may not come to pass but so far the chances for a near-term recovery -- not that I think we'll ever get back to where we were -- are grim.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow Day

We're getting hit by the Nor'Easter which is going up the East Coast.  There are about four inches on the ground now and it's still snowing, with the expectation of getting 2  to 4 more inches.

I am finally going to get to use my snowblower.  w00t!


I just got back in after going out to clean off my truck and J.'s van.  Looks like we got only about 3" but it's sleeting.  Yuck.

Later Edit:

We ended up with about 5" or so.  When I went out to fire up the snowblower, I saw that the left tire was flat.  Again.  I'd checked it recently but I guess it popped off the rim during one of our recent cold snaps.  This is a major PITA, so I think I'm going to get inner tubes installed.  That way if a tire goes flat I should be able to reinflate it easily.