Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why You Should ALWAYS Wear Eye Protection When Shooting

Over on THR, Dave McC. posted pictures of a side by side shotgun which suffered a catastrophic failure.  Luckily, the shooter suffered no permanent injuries.  He was wearing eye protection.

Thankfully, I've never suffered a similar event.  I have had empty cases, backsplash from indoor and outdoor backstops, and gas shot into my face, however.  Shooting right handed guns from the left shoulder, I regularly find my glasses with oil droplets on them, AAMOF.

You only get one set of eyes.  Protect them.

Coming Hyperinflation?

Even though we've been experiencing deflation of consumer prices lately, many economists and your truly are concerned that this won't last.  As the Federal government has increased the money supply, it's started a chain of events with a very real possibility of a hyperinflationary result.

Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, said George Santayana, the philosopher. But this familiar maxim is being ignored this week by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill this week as they complete action on the chief executive’s proposed 2010 federal budget. With its unprecedented deficit approaching $2 trillion, this budget proposal is a certain prescription for hyper-inflation. So every senator and representative who votes for this monster $3.6 trillion budget will be endorsing actions that will turn America into the next Weimar Republic. For those too young to remember, that was the period in Germany in the years between the two world wars when people needed wheelbarrows full of money to buy a loaf of bread.

Note this this trend started under the Bush administration, but has greatly accelerated under Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

I recommend taking some time to read through FerFAL's Surviving in Argentina blog, to see what it's like when a modern, developed country experiences an economic collapse, including hyperinflation.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schumer: "All Those Little Porky Things" Cut

The "Porky Things," cut from the stimulus package, according to Senator Charles Schumer (D-Mordor), included Federal funding for combating pandemic flu.

"Scum" is too kind a word.

{H/T} Red State.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter Finally Defects to the Democrats

Senator Arlen Specter (RINO-PA) announced today that when he runs for reelection in 2010, he'll do so as a Democrat.  The only loss to the Republican party that this represents is that if he wins reelection, it will get the Democrats one vote closer to a fillibuster-proof majority (assuming they don't lose any other seats).

Despite the verbiage of Specter's announcement (see above link), IMO the real reason is that he'd likely get spanked by challenger Pat Toomey in the Republican primary, according to this latest poll.


CNN has a good story on this here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Google Map Tracking Swine Flu Cases

Via Foxnews, here is a Google Map showing suspected and confirmed cases of swine flu.

Norinco model 84S Range Report

Yesterday I made it out to the range with the Norinco 84S that I picked up a couple of weeks ago.

The Norinco 84S is a Chinese made semiauto-only stamped-receiver Kalashnikov rifle chambered in 5.56x45 (.223 Remington).  They were imported for about two or three years, with imports cut off by the 1989 import ban imposed by Bush I.  Like other Kalashnikovs, it's operates by means of a long stroke gas system.  The chamber and bore are chrome plated, as is the gas piston.  The furniture on my rifle is black plastic.  Other Model 84Ses came with wood furniture, and some underfolders were imported.

There is no heat shield in the front handguard.  The butt stock holds a typical Combloc cleaning kit and there's a cleaning rod stowed under the barrel.  (My rifle was missing the cleaning rod but I had a spare laying around.  Unfortunately, the threads do not match the cleaning jag or brush.)  The muzzle is threaded and wears a birdcage flash suppressor.

Sights are typical AK: a post front that's adjustable for elevation and windage with the correct tool, and an open leaf rear sight that's adjustable for elevation.

When new, the Norinco 84S came with three 30 round magazines, a sling, oil bottle, cleaning kit and rod, and a bayonet.  Unfortunately, mine came with only one magazine and the sling.  I've since managed to acquire five more 30 round mags and one 15 rounder.  The magazines are unique to this 84S; other .223 AK mags do not fit.  They are similar in construction to other Combloc steel AK mags, made from heavy gauge steel with reinforcing ribs.  I can't see ever wearing them out.

Side note: On, Rifle Dynamics' Jim Fuller mentioned that his colleague modified an Norinco 84S to accept Bulgarian plastic "Circle 10" mags, as used in the Arsenal 5.56mm AKs.  This required milling out the front of the mag well and trunion.

I brought a couple hundred rounds of .223 with me, 120 of Wolf 55 grain JHP and 80 Federal American Eagle XM-193 5.56 Ball.  Due to time constraints I only shot 100 rounds of Wolf, which worked flawlessly.

All my shooting was done at 50 yards at an SR-1 target.  With the Wolf ammo it'll hold the 10 ring.  Not impressive accuracy but I've yet to find a rifle which gives good accuracy with this ammo.  However, it goes bang and functions fine in my .223 AKs, Mini-14, and Colt AR-15s, so it's OK for practice out to around 100M.

Shooting the Norinco was a pleasure.  Recoil was mild, the impulse similar to that of my Arsenal SA M5.  The flash suppressor seemed to work well as I didn't notice any fireballs.  The rifle got pretty warm and the lower handguard kept me from getting burned, but it does get warmer than the Bulgarian handguards with steel heat shields.

Due to the limited supply in the US, the Norinco 84S has fallen primarily into the collector's item category.  However, they are well made, durable, reliable rifles fully suitable for serious use if you like the idea of a Kalashnikov chambered for 5.56x45.  The biggest hurdle to face for serious users is obtaining an adequate supply of the proper magazines.  The previously mentioned mod to allow the rifles to accept Bulgarian magazines could be a viable option, especially if one were to acquire an 84S in "user" condition.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swine Flu Outbreak in Mexico

It's not time to panic but this is worth keeping an eye on:

Dozens of people have died and hundreds of others have been infected in a viral outbreak in Mexico suspected to have been caused by a strain of swine flu.

The World Health Organization thinks the virus may be behind 60 deaths in Mexico since mid-March. 

Full story.   They even went so far as to close some schools because of the outbreak.

I still remember the swine flu scare of 1976, including standing in line to get vaccinated.  Here's hoping that this outbreak is not the beginning of an epidemic, but it serves as a reminder why you should prepare to bug in for awhile if necessary.

Edit: Here's another link on

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Roof Fixed

Last night I disconnected the AC power to the attic fan so that the roofers wouldn't have to.  They were appreciative -- apparently not everyone even bothers to turn off the appropriate breaker when they have similar jobs. They arrived at 0725 this morning.  By 0910 they were finished, cleaned up, and drove away.

Afterwards I reconnected the fan and cleaned up some splinters and nails which fell into the attic.  I also took a few items I no longer need out to the trash: an old Dell 15" CRT monitor, the packaging from my old Compaq Presario 710US, and the packaging from an SMC Barricade I haven't had in years.  Now I have more room for newer junk.  :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good News About My Roof

The roofing contractor called me and they'll be out first thing tomorrow.  We're scheduled to have good weather for the next few days so this is a good time to get it fixed.  It'll take quite a load off my mind when it gets squared away.

Cyber Security Bill Would Grant Unprecendented Powers Over the Internet

From eWeek earlier this month:

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 introduced in the Senate would allow the president to shut down private Internet networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access.


According to the bill's language, the president would have broad authority to designate various private networks as a "critical infrastructure system or network" and, with no other review, "may declare a cyber-security emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from" the designated the private-sector system or network.

Typically, the bill fails to state just which networks are "critical" to national security, leaving that decision up to the executive branch.  The same branch that runs the network just reported as having been penetrated by crackers seeking info on the F-35 program.

Not only is Federal competence at issue here, of greater concern is the potential for almost certain misuse in stifling dissent.  Not even 100 days into the Obama administration, DHS released a report warning of nebulous threats from domestic right wing terrorists, including a statement that returning veterans are especially susceptible to recruitment.  While the President is busy kowtowing to foreign potentates and apologizing to the rest of the world, his administration is engaging in propaganda warfare against American citizens.

If this law is enacted, how long until dissent is regarded as sedition, and online communities which disagree with the administration are shut down?

It is facile to say that the Internet recognizes failure and routes around it.  It generally take awhile for a site to develop a following.  If the Feds shut it down it is disruptive to ongoing conversations.

You've probably read of the current domestic ammunition shortage and surge in gun buying, driven by fear of the administration's gun control agenda.  And of course, you're aware of the Tea Party phenomena of productive Americans fed up with Washington going off the reservation with spending.  If this cyber security bill gains any traction, we're going to see an upsurge in alternative means of communication driven by fear that the Obama administration will curtail freedom on the Internet.

The statists in Washington seem hell bent on driving this country apart.  Keep pushing, you won't like what you get.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Looks like the roof repairs my house needs aren't going to be too bad.  The contractor who came out to look at it yesterday called me today with an estimate: $427.  That's less than the deductable on our homeowner's insurance.  This contractor before previously installed our gutters and soffets, and IIRC the new windows we got in 2005, so I put down a deposit to accept their offer.

Hopefully, their scheduling manager will call me back tomorrow so we can work out when they'll do the job.

A Few More Thoughts on Nordyke

Now that I have had the chance to read the 9th Circuit panel's opinion in Nordyke I have a few more thoughts.

The narrow scope of the opinion is not really surprising.  Although the court incorporated the Second Amendment against the states and local governments, it declined to specify a standard of review.  The court appears to want to leave that up to the Supreme Court ("SCOTUS").

Regarding's Nordyke loss on the point of being allowed to hold gun shows on county property, states and municipalities have historically been granted more leeway when acting in the capacity of landlord, as here.  As such, unless and until SCOTUS determines the standard of review this sort of restriction is probably not going to be forbidden.

That said, the Nordyke would probably provide the basis for a challenge to things like California's assault weapons ban, due to Heller's protection of the right to keep and bear arms "in common use" by the American people.

In a related vein, the 9th Circuit relied on Heller, which was very narrowly tailored towards the RKBA in one's home.  Likewise, the Nordyke decision was very narrowly tailored as well.  It'll be up to future decisions to expand the scope of the right.

In general, I'm in favor of courts issuing narrowly tailored decisions which address only the issues presented to them. When courts promulgate broad, sweeping decisions which go beyond the facts of a particular case, they improperly step into the legislative realm.

We lost our RKBA incrementally.  We'll regain it the same way.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Ninth Circuit Just Incorporated the Second Amendment!!!

The Ninth Circuit just handed down its decision in Nordyke v. King.  I haven't read the decision yet but according to Volokh, the court incorporated the Second Amendment against states and municipalities under the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause.

Unfortunately, the court also held that the county not allowing Nordyke to hold a gun show in a county facility.  Apparently the level of scrutiny (strict or intermediate; Heller pretty much ruled out rational basis scrutiny) was also left up for future decision.

Click here for a PDF of the decision.

Working From Home Today

Today I get to hang out at home and wait for an insurance adjuster to inspect some water damage we have on our roof.  It looks like during one of the recent rainstorms with high winds we had water blow in through our attic fan, soaking the roof decking, which is now delaminating.  We found the damage last Wednesday but today was the first day an adjuster could come out.  I'm just hoping it's covered and we can get a roofer out ASAP.

Since I was going to be home today, we also scheduled an appoint for an exterminator.  We have a contract with a pest control company to come out every six months or so to keep the bugs in check.  The tech who services our account is a great guy and if I'm home during an appointment we always wind up shooting the breeze for a bit.

One thing he mentioned today was that he's seeing a lot more husbands home during his visits.  Not surprising, considering that men have borne the brunt of the job losses in this recession.

Edit: Shit.

According to the adjuster there is an exclusion in our policy for the particular kind of damage we had.  I've called a roofer to come out so I can get an estimate to get it fixed.  Looks like it'll require a sheet of plywood and one or two bundles of shingles.  I am considering having the attic fan removed to prevent a recurrence, but that'll drive up our utility bills during the summer.

Why Carry a Second Magazine?

Tam explains why.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lexington and Concord

Two-hundred thirty-four years ago today, the Shot Heard 'Round the World was fired at Lexington.  The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolution.


And what was the final spark to war?  The British attempt at confiscating arms stockpiled by the Colonial Militia.

In other words, gun control.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tea Party Pictures Link

I uploaded the photos I took today to a Picasa album for easier veiwing.  There are many which did not already appear in this blog, since I took them with my camera instead of my Blackberry.


Submission Accomplished

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Protest dog ;)

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Pat Toomey

... Coming on now. He'll be challenging Arlen Spectre for US Senate.
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Toss tea not money

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Atlas Will Shrug

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Tea Party Has Begun

As you can see from my past few posts, the Philadelphia Tea Party has started.  The turnout is at least several hundred folks on Independance Mall.  Male and female, black and white.  The first speaker is on now.

I will have better quality pics up later, setup in a Picasa album.

Now, time to hoist my own flag.


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Heading downtown

Waiting for the train, further updates once I've arrived at the rally.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Philly Tea Party Reminder

I have my Gadsden Flag ready and I'm charging the batteries in my Blackberry, MSI Wind netbook, and my digital camera.  Technology permitting I will be live blogging tomorrow's Tea Party in Philadelphia at Independence Hall.

Check back for updates.


Faces of the Revolution

Xavier has some great photos from a Tea Party on Wednesday.  Far from being the nutjobs that the left would have you believe them to be, they are flks just like you and I.

Check 'em out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Email pic test

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Testing post by email setup.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Couple Thoughts on Taxation and Government Spending

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

-- Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author. Source: "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat (1848)

"So low and hopeless are the finances of the United States, that, the year before last Congress was obliged to borrow money even, to pay the interest of the principal which we had borrowed before. This wretched resource of turning interest into principal, is the most humiliating and disgraceful measure that a nation could take, and approximates with rapidity to absolute ruin: Yet it is the inevitable and certain consequence of such a system as the existing Confederation."

-- William Richardson Davie (1756-1820) Governor of North Carolina (1798-1799), North Carolina delegate to the 1787-88 Constitutional Convention Source: speech in the Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of North-Carolina, Convened at Hillsborough, on Monday the 21st Day of July, 1788, for the Purpose of Deliberating and Determining on the Constitution Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, the 17th Day of September, 1787: To Which is Prefixed the Said Constitution (Edenton, N.C.: Hodge and Wills, 1789).

Philadelphia Tea Party April 18, 2009

Details here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

CNN: Support for Gun Control Plummets

From CNN:

Now, a recent poll reveals a sudden drop -- only 39 percent of Americans now favor stricter gun laws, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

The gradual, long-term decline in support for gun control from the early 1990s to 2008 coincided with a decline in the murder rate. But this year's sudden drop seems to be influenced by politics, namely the Obama administration.

While CNN seems to want to pin lowered support for gun control on the Obama administration's anti-gun tendencies, there's more too it, IMO.   Increasing numbers of Americans have recognized that the arguments put forward by gun control supporters are bogus.

Moreover, more Americans are cognizant of the fact that the government will not always be there to protect you.  As the saying goes, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

Which ties into something else: Even as hunting has been on the decline, the numbers of people buying guns for self protection has increased.  IOW, the Second Amendment ain't about duck hunting.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Norinco Type 84S AK

Last weekend I took a drive up to Seneca Arms in Green Lane, PA and saw that he had a preban Chicom AK in 5.56x45mm (.223 Remington).  Yesterday I went back and asked to take a closer look, and found that it's a Norinco Type 84S, a pretty rare bird.  Even better, it was unfired, as evidenced by the lack of any carbon on the piston end and bolt face.  After a little bit of haggling it came home with me.

Norinco Type 84S

(Click thumbnail for full size pic.)

While unfired, the rifle came with only one magazine and was missing the factory box, manual, cleaning rod, and bayonet.  It did have the cleaning kit in the buttstock.

The Type 84S was imported for only a year or two in the '80s, with imports being cut off by Bush I's 1989 ban.  The rifle has the original factory black plastic furniture, a relatively heavy barrel with a 1:9" twist, and a chrome lined bore.  The length of pull is a bit longer than most Chinese AKs, my guess is that it was designed with American shooters in mind.

The magazines for the Type 84S are specific to this rifle and due to the low number imported, aren't all that common.  I've posted WTB ads on several web forums and should be receiving a 20 rounder in response to one of them.  (Email me at davemarkowitz at if you have any you're looking to sell.)  After doing some research, it looks like AK-74 mags should work with some tweaking, and I'm going to try some ProMag .223 AK mags, which I've read will work OK for range use.

Based on my experience with my Arsenal SA M5 5.56mm AK, the Norinco should be even smoother shooting and have less recoil than either of my AR-15s in the same chambering.  A range report will follow once I've shot the rifle.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Busy Saturday

This morning I stopped over at a client's house to fix his wireless network.  It was working the last time I was there but at some point in the last week it died.  All it turned out to be was that his Linksys WRT54G2 needed a reboot.  Once we did that his wireless clients came back online.  Since he's a good repeat client and I was there for only about 15 minutes and he's only a couple miles away, I didn't charge him.

BTW, I do NOT recommend the Linksys WRT54G2 wifi router.  He bought it when his old Linksys WRT54G died after several years of use.  The G2 is a different beast and frankly, it's a POS.

After that I drove over to Harbor Freight to pick up a broken screw extractor kit.  Last week I bought a 2 gallon Campbell-Hausfield air compressor at Wal-Mart, and managed to snap off the tank drain valve through being stupid.  I ordered a couple replacements from C-H and they arrived in a few days, but I needed something to get the remnants of the old valve out.  It's a brass fitting that screws into the tank and allows you to drain out accumulated water (which condenses from the air as its compressed into the tank).  With the broken screw extractor kit I was able to get out the old broken valve without too much trouble.

With that fixed, I played with the girls for a little while then took a drive up to Seneca Arms in Green Lane, PA.  It's a nice, old fashioned gun shop where I've picked up a couple guns over the years.  John, the proprietor, is also one of the top High Power match shooters in PA.  He had some interesting pieces* but nothing I really wanted to drop money on now.  If I wasn't worried about the economy I might've snagged a Savage 23D or Winchester 43, both of which were in .22 Hornet.  I noticed he had a good supply of Brownells 30 round AR-15 magazines for about $17 each, plus some 5.56mm ammo from both Winchester and Prvi Partizan.

* One of the most important guns for any person who is preparing for emergencies should have is a good .22 rifle.  They are good for small game hunting, vermin control, marksmanship practice, and can be pressed into service for self defense, though they aren't ideal for that.  John had several used .22 rifles made by Marlin, Mossberg, Remington and Winchester in stock, in semiautomatic, bolt action, and lever action varieties.  All were reasonably priced at from $120 to $180 (a couple of the Winchesters were more).

Tonight I'm going shooting with my dad.  I'm bringing the Springfield XD-9 I bought a few weeks ago along with 200 rounds of Brown Bear 9mm 115 grain FMJ and 50 rounds of CCI Blazer Brass 115 grain FMJ loads.