Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Some Facts About 3D Printed Guns

My G-d there is a lot of utter rubbish being spewed about 3D printed guns in the media over the past couple of days. Some facts:

1. You cannot "download a gun."

1a. On a related note, you cannot legally buy a gun off the Internet and avoid a background check. You can buy a gun over the Internet but it has to be shipped to a local, Federally-licensed firearms dealer, and you need to pass a background check before you take delivery. There is no "Internet loophole."

2. You can download plans, including 3D CAD files for various guns. Think of these as blueprints that can be turned into code for use by a 3D printer or CNC milling machine, which can be used to make a gun.

3. Speaking of which, it has always been legal under Federal law to make a gun for your own personal use. If you want to manufacture them for sale, that has been regulated for decades.

4. Some states do make it illegal to make a gun for your own use.

5. Most 3D printed guns are not undetectable. For example, if you 3D print the receiver for an AR-15 (the part that in the USA is legally the gun), you still need a lot of metal parts to have a functioning firearm. E.g., the barrel, bolt, firing pin, springs, etc.

5a. The exception to #5 appears to be the Defense Distributed Liberator, which is a single shot .22 pistol. Do you really think that a criminal is going to spend a shitload of money on a 3D printer so he can make an untraceable single shot .22 pistol? It's cheaper, easier, and faster to buy a stolen pistol like a Hi Point 9mm or even a Glock on the street.

6. For the most part, this hysteria about undetectable plastic guns is reminiscent of the BS spewed about Glocks in the 1980s. Despite what you heard in "Die Hard," Glocks are made largely of metal and stick out like a sore thumb if you try to pass one through a metal detector.

7. Even after Defense Distributed pulled their CAD files from the Internet in 2013, the cat was out of the bag. If you had a clue, they were not difficult to find. As per John Gilmore, the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

Finally, gun controllers lie. That's what they do. They cannot make arguments based on facts, so they lie. For example, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently gave a speech about undetectable firearms with a picture of an AR-15 next to him. A rifle with a few pounds of steel and aluminum in it is going to be undetectable? Not hardly.

Think about any topic in which you have in depth knowledge. Then consider how the mainstream media covers said topic, and how inaccurate they usually are.

This is just the latest in the American left finding something to be outraged about and stir up shit.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Old Gun Day at the Range

Today was old gun day at the range.

First up was my Wartime Commercial Mauser C96 Broomhandle, in 7.63x25 (.30 Mauser). I wanted to see how it would do at 50 yards when shot with the stock attached.

(The empty clip is in the pistol in lieu of a chamber flag.)

As you can see from the target, it's nothing to shout about. The short sight radius coupled with a front sight that's hard to see hinders accuracy. I fired this 20 shot group with my elbows rested on the shooting bench. (The hole on the right side of the target is from when my kid accidentally shot at my target instead of hers.)

It's nothing to write home about but if I needed to use this gun for defense (which has a probability approaching zero) it would work out to 50 yards.

Next up was my Winchester 1892 sporting rifle made in 1895. It's chambered for .38-40 WCF, which is a nice mild-recoiling round that will work for short-range deer hunting. Ballistics from a rifle are similar to a 10mm handgun.

Anyway, I am seriously considering having the barrel relined. The bore has quite a bit of pitting, and worse, the crown has a lot of cleaning rod wear. No pics of the target, but it was a 10-shot group of about 8". If I have it relined, I'd expect it to shoot as well as my Cimarron 1873, being able to hold the 10-ring at 50 yards.

Vinpok Bolt "MagSafe" Power Cord for MacBook Pro

If there's one thing I hate about the most recent MacBook Pros, it's that Apple replaced the MagSafe power connector with USB-C AKA Thunderbolt 3 ports.

My MBP sits on my coffee table when not in use, and I've been worried that eventually someone would trip over the power cord. It happened with my previous machine but because of the MagSafe connector, it wasn't damaged.

About a week ago I went looking for a MagSafe-analogue that supports the 87W power supply of the 15" MBPs and found a couple. I ordered a Vinpok Bolt USB-C Magnetic Cable on July 15th and it arrived yesterday the 27th, from China.

The magnetic adapter that plugs into one of the USB-C ports:

It adds virtually no bulk. The matching cord that replaces the factory USB-C cable from the Apple power brick:

My first impressions are generally positive. However, it should be noted that the magnets in the Vinpok Bolt are much weaker than those found on the Apple MagSafe connectors. Moving the laptop is frequently enough to dislodge the Vinpok Bolt. The overall size of the Bolt is smaller than the MagSafe connector, so that's to be expected.

That said, as long as it continues to work as advertised, it's worth it IMO to regain the safety feature of the Apple MagSafe connector.

Monday, July 23, 2018

New Sights for the Rossi 92

My 14 y/o daughter wants to join me deer hunting this year so I needed something she could shoot well with mild recoil. The Rossi 92 in .357 Magnum I bought several years ago fits the bill, but I wanted to improve her hit probability, which meant mounting an optic.

As a copy of the Winchester 1892, the Rossi 92 is a top-eject design, which complicates optic mounting. You need to either find some kind of a mount offset to the side or use something with long eye relief mounted on the barrel.

Rossi drilled and tapped the barrel for a scope mount. The holes are covered up by the open rear sight, which must be removed to use them.

NOE Bullet Molds makes a very nice Picatanny rail that fits the Rossi. I ordered one and received it in a few days. Before installing it, I degreased the mounting holes in the barrel using denatured alcohol, and put a drop of thread locker on each screw.

The optic I chose was a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight. Since my Rossi is in .357 I view it as a 75 yard deer rifle. A non-magnified optic is fine for such ranges.

I have a few other TRS-25s and they've all been very good, with clear lenses, a well-defined dot, and rugged. As a micro-dot sight the TRS-25 hardly affects how a rifle feels. Finally, they are low-priced. I got this one for $45 shipped on Amazon Prime. (I just checked Amazon and it's now listed for $43.24.)

Because the NOE rail required removal of the rear sight the gun is left without backup irons if your optic tanks. So, I ordered a bolt-mounted peep from Steve's Guns. When I first bought the carbine I installed one of his safety replacement plugs. I wish I'd just gone straight to his very slick peep sight.

The resulting package is still light and handy with plenty of firepower, but vastly improved low-light shootability.

Last weekend I took my kids camping and my daughter got to put 50 rounds of Fiochi .357 Magnum 158 grain JHPs through the Rossi. Without zeroing the RDS on paper, she was easily able to keep her shots on a 10" gong, shooting rapidly offhand at 25 - 30 yards.

We're hoping to get to the range next weekend so she can get some more practice in and so we can zero the Bushnell.

The final touch to ready the Rossi for hunting season will be to add quick-detach sling swivel studs and a sling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Your Very Own Dictatorship

The following essay was Posted by an online acquaintance. I didn't write it. But I agree with it.

Your very own dictatorship.

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.

That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.

The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.

What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

That’s a civil war.

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat's system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.

If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.

But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has “discretion” to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the “discretion” to reverse him. That’s how the game is played. That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.

When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission. But under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries. The Constitution has something to say about that.

Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.

Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: Professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him.

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them - They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who wasn’t supposed to win won.

Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist professional government.

That is how WARS START from within.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Made a Stropping Block

Today one of my friends on Facebook posted a link to an article on the A.G. Russell Knives website,
How to Make a Finishing Paddle.

Coincidentally, yesterday I put together my first stropping block/finishing paddle with a piece of leather glued to a piece of wood. Even though I've been sharpening knives for close to four decades, I only started using a strop in the last couple of weeks. I immediately noticed a difference in my knife edges.

That's been a real oversight on my part, because a strop can help you get a really sharp edge on a knife, and polish the bevel, which has a couple benefits. First, it reduces drag in the cut, and second, it makes the edge a little more corrosion-resistant because the smooth surface is less prone to retaining moisture.

Some pictures. First, the stropping block before I applied any compound.

Second, after applying the green compound from Eastwood. As you can see, it didn't go on evenly. I should probably have sanded the block to ensure it was as level as possible, and then sanded the leather also. Oh well, it's a learning process.

Finally, what it looks like after a little use. The dark spots are where it removed metal from the knife.

It may not look like much but it helped get a few of my knives really sharp. E.g., my Cold Steel Bushman feels like a razor now.

I made this one from some cowhide I had laying around that was about 1/8" thick, and a piece of a scrap 2x4. The thick base helps provide clearance so you don't hit your knuckles on your workbench.

I may go back and tweak it by scraping off most of the compound, adding some mineral oil to the leather, slightly roughing the leather so it takes the compound better, and then reapplying the compound.

My brother requested that I make him one and I'll use the lessons learned with this one in doing so.

If you don't have the materials for making one yourself laying around like I did, and want to try using a stropping block, you can get one off Amazon, here.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Camillus TL-29 Electrician's Knife

I picked up this old Camillus electrician's knife off eBay for a whopping $11.50 shipped.

Generations of American servicemen have known this style of knife as the "TL-29." They were typically paired with a set of linesman's pliers and leather belt pouch to hold both items. Below is a picture I found on Pinterest, apparently scanned from a US military manual.

Used TL-29s can be found on eBay for little money and newly-made ones are available from Klein and other manufacturers.

According to the tang stamp guide found here, the knife was made between 1960 and the late 1970s.

It showed signs of use and some neglect, but no outright abuse. E.g., it was dull, dirty, and had some rust which I removed by an overnight soak in Evaporust. The blades snap into position nicely with positive half-stops and no side-to-side wiggle. The brass liner lock positively keeps the screwdriver in the open position.

As I received the knife it was very dull but now it's shaving sharp. It took about an hour's worth of work on my DMT fine diamond bench stone and Worksharp Field Sharpener combined to put a good edge on it.

I plan to keep the edge on the screwdriver blade relatively dull for use as a scraper; it was originally intended as such and as a wire stripper. I expect it to throw sparks from a ferro rod rather well.

Worksharp Field Sharpener

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been on a cutlery buying binge. I received a nice Amazon gift card for my birthday at the end of May, and among the items I bought was a Work Sharp Field Sharpener.

The Worksharp Field Sharpener is an impressive little piece of gear for maintaining knives in the field or at home. It comes with coarse and fine diamond plates, a ceramic stick for honing, a small ceramic stick for working on serrations, and a leather strop. Built into the unit are guides to help you set the correct angle when using all of the sharpening bits.

Since receiving the Worksharp I’ve used it to touch up several pocketknives both old and new, and it’s enabled me to put shaving-sharp edges on them while sitting in my recliner.

The overall length is a bit under 7 inches, so it’s best used on smaller knives. Of course, you can use it on larger blades but you’ll need to work on shorter sections of the edge at a time. For scale, here it is next to an old Camillus TL-29 electrician's knife:

I plan to take the Worksharp with me on camping trips as my field edge maintenance solution. I might even get a second one to leave in my camping toolbox.