Monday, May 24, 2010

PA to Vote on Castle Doctrine 5/25/10, Plus Three Antigun Bills

Courtesy of PAFOA:

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Castle Doctrine legislation – a move we’ve been waiting on since November 19 when they held a hearing! However, it comes at a price.

In addition to the vote on the important self-defense reforms, the committee is planning to vote on three anti-gun bills on the same day!

Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee today. Tell them that you want their support on HB40 – the Castle Doctrine bill. This specific Castle Doctrine bill will ensure that law-abiding gun owners can feel safe knowing that they can defend themselves from attackers whether it is inside or outside your home. It also protects citizens from the expense of fighting civil lawsuits filed by criminals or their families when self-defense was justified.

But tell them that they must vote down the three gun control bills:

* HB1043 which would create a “Firearm Trafficking Czar” and lead to another bureaucratic agency looking for ways to restrict gun sales in Pennsylvania.
* HB1044 that would end preemption and allow cities to create their own gun bans and carry rules, and
* HB1045 that would arbitrarily ban certain semi-automatic firearms in the Keystone State.

Self-defense reform should not come with a price that includes gun bans, wasteful spending on a new government-funded anti-gun leader, and gutting our state’s gun laws.

Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee today. Based on the response to Castle Doctrine in other states, we know that gun control groups will get involved in this fight, making it seem as if we will have gun fights on every street corner. As we know, such dire predictions have yet to come true. Make sure you voice is heard! Call, e-mail, or even tweet – just make sure your voice is heard!
Go to PAFOA's site for links to email the House Judiciary Committee members.

Amazon Sales on Swiss Army Knives

FYI, Amazon is heavily discounting Swiss Army Knives. No emergency/survival kit is complete without one.  (Yes, that's an Amazon Associates link.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wheelgun Night at the Range

Last night I had a good time at the range with my dad.

Not feeling like chasing brass, but feeling that it was too long since I shot it, I brought my Smith & Wesson Model 28-2 .357 Magnum revolver.  As always, I also had my Three-Screw Old Model Ruger Single Six in .22 LR.

Because my dad's gun club doesn't allow .357 Magnum on their indoor range, I shot .38 Specials in the big Smith.  They were Winchester-Western 148 grain wadcutter target loads, which are very mild in a K-Frame, much less an N-Frame.  The Model 28 of course ran like a top and shot these loads very accurately.  I have a 35 shot group fired pretty quickly double action from 7 yards which can be covered by the bottom of a soda can.

I bought the Model 28 back in the mid-nineties.  I traded an Astra 75 9mm towards it, plus maybe a little cash.  It has a four inch barrel and Herret's Shooting Star stocks which came of my dad's six inch Model 28 (He didn't like them, I did.  Go me.)

Smith & Wesson Model 28-2

Click the thumbnail for a larger picture.

N-Frame .357s are the bee's knees IMO.  I really want to get a Model 27 with a 5" barrel but they aren't exactly growing on trees.

I ran only about 24 rounds through the Ruger, single action, one-handed.  My group was about two inches.  The gun might shoot a bit better with target ammo but I keep a box of Federal high speed bulk pack .22 LR in my range bag along with the gun. (I still need to snap a good picture of the Ruger.)

Dad brought along his S&W Military & Police 9 autoloader.  I put 10 rounds through it.  It's a nice pistol but I'm happy that I got my Springfield XD-9 instead when I decided I wanted a plastic 9mm.  The XD fits my hand better.  Dad also brought along his five inch S&W Model 625, an N-Frame in .45 ACP.  I have an older 625 and it's probably the most accurate handgun I own.  I've used it to reliably hit old rotten green peppers and apples from about 20 yards when shooting double action.  Here's a picture of my Model 625:

S&W M-625 & Becker C/U-7

(The knife is a Camillus Becker BK-7.  The clips are RIMZ synthetic moon clips.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mac OS X to Droid Tethering Over USB

I occasionally find it handy to tether my laptop to my Droid for Internet access.  I've used PDANet for this in the past but due to some kind of an update, USB tethering to my Mac broke and I have not been able to fix it.  Blutetooth tethering works but it's slow.

Today I did some googling and ran across these instructions for tethering using free software.   It requires a more involved setup than PDANet but it works and the speed is pretty decent, about 1.5 Mbps down x 0.45 Mbps up.

I noticed that when I terminated the tethering session, before I could reconnect I had to physically disconnect my phone from my laptop and restart the azilink program on my phone.  That's a bit inconvenient but  I'm willing to put up with a little quirkiness when dealing with free software.

Edit 5/23/10:

I'd call this pretty darn acceptable:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review: A Frozen Hell

Recently I finished reading A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940
by William Trotter. I'd rate this as one of the best books on military history that I've read.

Trotter does a very good job of covering the background to the Winter War, explaining both the then-recent history of Finland and the geopolitical situation in the months leading up to the war. He also provides a good background on Stalin's motives as the aggressor.

Notably, Trotter devotes an entire chapter to Marshall Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, Finland's military commander. Mannerheim was an interesting character. Born of Swedish-speaking Finiish nobility in 1867, he served in the Tsar's army from the 1880s through the end of World War I, until Finland's independence. He was a bit of an anachronism, but for Finland, he was the right man at the right time, though not without his faults. For example, during the Continuation War (1941 - 1944) he had a problem with micro-managment which may have lead to his being surprised by the Soviet 1944 Karelian offensive. Being overly focused on minutae lead to his missing larger developments.

The Winter War is a classic David-and-Goliath story. This is true not only because of the disparate sizes of the belligerants, but also because of the disparity in armaments. The Finns held on against the gigantic Soviet onslaught for over three months not only in spite of incredibly lop sided numbers, but also lacking any significant armor, minimal artillery, and hardly any airpower. Even looking at weapons organic to infantry units, the Finns were ill-equipped. Supplies of anti-tank weapons and ammunition were low. It was a combination of the Finns' sisu (guts/grit/intestinal fortitude), excellent leadership, and mind-boggling Soviet incompetence which enabled the Finns to hang on against staggering odds and dish out far more than they got.

The Soviets' poor performance can be ultimately blamed on poor leadership. Much of that can be blamed on Stalin, whose purges gutted the Red Army's officer corps during the mid-1930s. Political reliability was valued more than military competence. Thus, unrealistic, idealogy-driven assessments of the Finns lead to unrealistic military goals, insufficient planning, and hampered battlefield decision making, since tactical decisions had to be approved by unit political officers. Political correctness took precendence over reality. One might not that we could learn something from this in confronting the social and economic issues of 2010 America.

If you're looking for a good recounting of the story of a war with which too many Americans are unfamiliar, pick up a copy of A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SCCSFA June Muzzleloading Rifle Match

The Southern Chester County (PA) Sportsmens' and Farmers' Association will be holding a muzzleloading rifle match on June 24, 2010.  Full details including directions to the club can be viewed here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Not Dead

Long time, no post.

While waiting for me to come up with something of interest for this site, you might be interested in my review of the Safepacker holster from The Wilderness, over on Survival and Emergency Preparedness.