Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dem Rep Lets the Cat out of the Bag

In this video, Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky openly admits that the Democrats' end goal is not just an assault weapons ban, but a ban on handguns. So, for those of you who insist that "nobody is trying to take away our right to bear arms," or that they "respect the Second Amendment," how do you explain this?

This is why opponents of gun control cannot compromise and we will fight infringements of our rights tooth and nail. The collectivist gun banners have been using incrementalism for decades in their quest to disarm the American people. Thankfully, the Internet has given us a powerful tool to circumvent the mainstream media and expose their agenda.

We won't be the frog in the boiling pot.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You have to start somewhere

Last night I used my new milling machine for the first time. Since I'm new at this I am starting with the basics. I cut a couple inches off the end of a scrap 2x4 and milled it so that the adjacent sides are perpendicular and opposite sides are parallel.

On the way home from work last night I picked up a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum, and a piece of 1/8" thick hot rolled steel. If I have time tonight I'll look into making a flat square and/or slots in the material.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Follow Up on the DIY Speedloader for .22 Tube Magazines

Back in January, I posted about the speedloaders I made for my Norinco ATD. I finally got the chance to try them on Saturday night. They work well as long as I held the rifle almost vertically, with the muzzle down. There appears to be some roughness inside the loading port on the rifle's stock which can interfere with dumping rounds into the mag. Once I fix that, the speedloaders should work better.

New iPhone 5, and iPad Follies

I had an Apple iPhone4 since the end of April, 2011. It was a great cell phone -- really a pocket computer -- but lately I've noticed that it's been getting slower and slower, and I was feeling cramped with the 16 GB of storage space. I have been eligible for an upgrade since December, so this past weekend I decided to take the plunge and got a 32 GB iPhone 5. No doubt,  Apple will now introduce the 5S or 6 next week.

So far it's a noticeable improvement, speed-wise. I haven't tested the LTE connection, since where I spend most of my time Verizon's network is 3G-only, or I'm near a wifi access point.

The iPhone 5's larger screen is nice while not being obnoxiously large, like some of the Android-based smartphones available today. (Hey, if you like having something not much smaller than a tablet as your phone, more power to you. They won't fit in my pockets comfortably.)

The major downside with the change to the new device is that I had to setup my Gmail account using IMAP, not using the Exchange ActiveSync protocol, because Google discontinued ActiveSync for new device access for free accounts.  Syncing Gmail works better via ActiveSync. For one thing, contacts are synced without having to create a separate CardDAV account on the iPhone.

On the way home from the Apple Store I plugged the phone into my old USB car charger, using the new USB-Lightning cable. It worked with the old charger, so I ordered a couple USB-Lightning cables from Amazon which should be waiting for me at home today. I don't have any docks, radios, or other devices with the old Apple Dock connector, so I don't need any other adapters. I do wish, however, that Apple would get with the program and use Micro-USB connectors on the iPhone and iPad. Fat chance, I know.

Since my data plan changed with the phone upgrade, I figured that I'd just add my iPad2 to it using either a shared plan, tethering, or adding the iPad as another line on my account. As it turns out, it is actually cheaper for me to just keep the $20/month prepaid plan that I've been using with the iPad. Of course, I figured this out after I discontinued 3G service for the iPad, so I had to go back in and set that up all over again. Derp.

Monday, April 08, 2013


I decided awhile ago that metalworking would be a good set of skills to pick up. A couple friends have some metalworking skills and one has been doing some CNC work. We're planning to build some AR15 lowers from aluminum bar stock (perfectly legal for our own use, we're not planning on selling them).

The last time I did any metalworking was back in junior high school shop class in the early 80s, when we did some sand casting, forging, and soldering. I looked into taking some classes at my local community college but they are not offered on a schedule that works for me, so I'm going to take the same approach that allowed me to change careers from law to IT, and teach myself.

Aside from books and just trying things out, there are a lot of instructional videos that are available online for free. For example, I've been watching a series of videos from MIT Tech TV.

I downloaded them to my iPad and have been watching them during my commute on the train. Along with this I read through Audel's Machine Shop Basics.

After doing a lot of reading and subscribing to the Yahoo 7x12 lathe group, I ordered a Grizzly G8688 last week from Amazon (at the time it was $30 cheaper through them vs. ordering direct). It won't handle big stuff like a friend's lathe that weighs in at 1800 lbs., but this will actually fit in my shed and I can cause less damage with it.

I also got a copy of the book Metal Lathe for Home Machinists which has a bunch of exercises to do to learn manual lathe operations, some which are tools to improve the lathe itself.

Once I have some practical experience with a lathe under my belt I  eventually may build a .22 rimfire suppressor on a Form 1.

I got my order today from Grizzly Industrial. However, somebody up in Muncy, PA got confused because they sent me the G8689 Mini Milling Machine instead of the G8688 Mini Lathe that I actually ordered. This was not evident until after I opened the shipping crate and the delivery truck had already left.

After I opened the shipping crate I called Grizzly to inform them of their error but that I would keep it. The CSR I spoke with told me that he'd have to talk to a supervisor and then call me back so I could pay the extra $30, but it's been several hours and they haven't called back.

I'm actually not really upset. When I first got interested in taking up machining my first inclination was to buy a mill. After some online research I changed my mind to getting a lathe first, but thinking I'd get the mill later. No big deal if I do it in reverse.

I do need to get a milling vise and end mills now. A friend has some end mills that he's offered to me to get started.

Here's a pic of the mill sitting on the new bench I built this weekend to hold the lathe and my drill press:

I cleaned off the packing grease with kerosene, but it still has to be shimmed level and bolted down. It weighs 101 pounds, and getting up on the bench was a cast iron bitch (pardon the pun).

Naturally, I'll be doing different kinds of project on the mill vs. a lathe. An HDPE AR-15 lower receiver comes to mind. I’m also interested in doing some kind of a single shot rifle, perhaps in a caliber like .38 Special or .32 S&W Long, either of which would easy and cheap to load for, and be good for small game.

The mill and a lathe should be complementary. It remains to be see, however, if the mill will render my benchtop drill press redundant.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Some Data on the Current State of the Panic

Surplus City Guns in Feasterville, PA is the shop that I've bought most of my guns over the past 10 - 15 years. Yesterday afternoon, they put this on their Facebook timeline:

This is got to be a record for our store for one caliber ( 5.56/.223 )
13,360 rds in bulk in under an hour today
50,000 rds in bulk in under 3 hours Wednesday
21,000 rds in bulk in under 2 1/2hrs Tuesday
and another 2000rds sold by the 20 rd box sprinkled thru-out the week
The crazy part is we could have easily sold 2 to 3 times that amount if we had it......Thank you for your patronage and we will do our best to keep you supplied at a reasonable price . Keep an eye on Facebook for any upcoming announcements .

Surplus City isn't some huge store. It's your average sized gun shop. Now imagine this going on at every gun shop in the country. This points out a few things, IMO:

  1. DHS contracts are not solely to blame for the ammo shortage.
  2. This is just 5.56/.223. Other calibers like 9mm, .45 ACP, and .22 LR are flying off the shelves as fast or faster. Ditto for reloading components and magazines.
  3. A large part of the American people are arming themselves to the teeth. They are stocking up on guns and ammunition. Kind of like 1775 or 1860.

Anyone with two neurons to rub together knows that the current crop of politicians in Washington -- whether Republican or Democrat -- is incapable of or unwilling to address the problems rending this country in two. In fact, they and their willing accomplices in the mainstream media are doing everything in their power to feed the divisions.

This will not end well.