Monday, August 22, 2011

TSB and Back Online

I finally have The Shooters' Bar and back online.  TSB remains the Internet's oldest freely available list of pro-Second Amendment attorneys, having its inception as a post on Fidonet back in 1997.

I had been using for photo hosting and that remains my primary use for the domain, but unfortunately all the links I had to the old site are broken. I used Hostgator's automated tool to install Gallery for my image hosting.  When I was hosting it at home I was using Zenphoto.

The box on which they were hosted -- -- got zapped when lightning struck close to my house last week. I decided that instead of hosting them behind my cable modem as I'd previously done, I'd use a web hosting provider instead. After checking out a few I decided on Hostgator, which seems to offer a good balance of features vs. cost.

It was very handy at times to have a Linux box available via SSH and SFTP. I used it for testing remote access to various sites, an SSH proxy, and the occasional file transfer. I haven't decided if I'll gut the case and replace the innards, or maybe just leave my Windows 7 PC on and accessible via Logmein. Or maybe I'll just bag the idea of having an always-on, remotely accessible system.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Shooters' Bar Temporarily Offline

The server on which I was hosting The Shooters' Bar appears to have gotten zapped by lightning. The site will be offline until I make alternative arrangements.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hoppe's M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner

After reading a recommendation for it as an effective, odorless carbon remover, I ordered an 8 oz. bottle of Hoppe's M-Pro-7 gun cleaner from Amazon last week. This past weekend I gave it a try, and based on the results, I am now a fan.

I gave M-Pro 7 a tough test. I went camping over the weekend and brought two guns with me. The first was my Euroarms Rogers & Spencer black powder percussion revolver. The second was my 1945-vintage M-1944 Mosin-Nagant carbine, shooting some early 1960s-vintage Soviet surplus 7.62x54R light ball ammo.

We shot the R&S with 30 grains of Swiss 3Fg black powder. Swiss powder burns cleaner than Goex, but it's still black powder and leaves behind plenty of fouling. We put about 36 to 40 shots through the gun. Afterwards, no more than 6 patches wet with M-Pro 7 got the bore clean. It was similarly effective on the rest of the gun.

The Soviet surplus ammo we fired through the Mosin-Nagant is some of the dirtiest "smokeless" ammo I've shot, and of course it has corrosive primers. I also put a 5 round clip of Hungarian light ball through the gun. Again, only a few patches wet with M-Pro 7 through the bore got it clean. I followed up with a patch wet with Ballistol to verify that M-Pro 7 hadn't left anything behind, and it too came out clean.

We did our shooting on Saturday, I cleaned the guns immediately thereafter, and then I checked them the following Monday. Neither gun showed any signs of corrosion. I ran a patch wet with Remoil through the Mosin's bore and it came out green, indicating that the residual M-Pro7 and Ballistol left in the bore had been attacking copper fouling.

I am impressed with M-Pro 7. It is odorless with no fumes, not flammable, doesn't require any special ventilation, and according to the MSDS doesn't contain anything especially nasty. After years of using smelly, carcinogenic gun cleaners I think I found my new favorite.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


A main use for my iPad is for note taking in meetings. I've looked at a few applications and have come to like Evernote.  The killer feature as I see it is that it automatically syncs notes via the cloud between my iPad, MacBook Pro, and iPhone.   Your notes can also be viewed online in a web browser.  This way I can access my notes pretty much wherever I am, since I always have at least my phone.  You can also have notes that are local-only, i.e., not synced across the Internet.

Among other things, I plan to start putting my technical reference notes into Evernote so I can easily find them, and so I can access them no matter where I am.

One caveat is that notes are not encrypted, so be careful about putting sensitive data on synced notes. Evernote does allow you to encrypt text within a note, but not the entire note.  Even so, I do not plan on putting online the spreadsheet I use to keep track of my accounts, usernames, and passwords. That will stay inside a TrueCrypt volume.

Another feature with which I'm experimenting is sharing notes.  This can be useful for groups.  So far, the one shared note I've created is Black Powder Revolver Notes, which I've shared with a friend who just picked up his first caplock revolver.

A basic Evernote account is free, while a Premium account is $5/month or $45/year.  Both allow you an unlimited number of notes in your account, but the free account is limited to 60 MB of uploads per month, and the max note size is 25 MB.  The figures for Premium accounts are 1 GB uploads per month and 50 MB per note.  The free version also has some limits on the types of files you can upload. You can see the full list of differences here.

Evernote is a handy program, especially for tech professionals. I recommend giving it a look.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

How to Make a Lockable Ammo Can

I ran across this video on Youtube showing how to make a lockable ammo can, and thought it worthwhile to pass on.