Friday, September 08, 2017

RIP Jerry Pournelle

Instapundit reports that Jerry Pournelle has passed.

Ever since I was able to join the Daynotes Gang I've felt priviledged to be included in a group of writers with Jerry at the masthead. I had several great email exchanges with him.

We are diminished.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Range Day with the Kel-Tec RDB and Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

Today I was off and was able to get to the range with the Kel-Tec RDB and my Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle.



The IOR Valdada 3x25mm scope on the Kel-Tec needed to be zeroed, along with shooting the rifle for the first time. Due to limited time, I was only able to get the scope zeroed at 50 yards, and put only 60 rounds through the rifle. The ammo I shot was 20 rounds of Federal American Eagle .223 55 grain FMJBT and 40 rounds of Prvi Partizan 5.56mm M-193 Ball (55 grain FMJBT, but loaded hotter than .223-spec rounds). I fed the rifle from the Magpul Gen 3 20-round P-Mag that was included with it, and a Gen 1 20 round P-Mag.

The Kel-Tec's manual states that it comes from the factory with the gas system setup to function with M-193 spec ammo. I tested this by initially loading one round, to see if it would lock the bolt back after firing. It did so, and thereafter while I was sighting in, I loaded 3 rounds per magazine.

Sixty rounds isn't anything more than a basic function check but the rifle did work perfectly. The RDB has a 1:7 twist and doesn't seem to care for 55 grain ammo, however. Groups were about 2" to 3" at 50 yards, reminiscent of an AK. I plan to try it with 69 to 75 grain bullets to see if it shoots them more accurately.

The recoil impulse of the long-stroke gas system reminded me of an AK. Unlike an AR-15 or AK, I got absolutely no gun-schmutz in my face, since the top of the action is sealed.

Ejected cases fell at my feet.

Again, 60 rounds isn't much of a test but I was curious to how much fouling got into the gun. When I field stripped it, what fouling that existed was concentrated at the face of the piston and the gas head. (Part 156 in the diagram in the owner's manual. PDF document.)

After getting the RDB zeroed and finishing up 60 rounds, I turned my attention to the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, which is chambered in .308 Winchester. I'd mounted a Leupold 1.5-4x Intermediate Eye Relief scope in low Warne QD rings on the factory rail back in April, but today was the first time I got to try the combination.



Yes, it's a lefty, the picture ain't reversed.

I put one 20 round box of old Hansen (made by Prvi Partizan) 147 grain FMJBT through the rifle to zero it, and a few shots of Prvi 165 grain JSPs through the Ruger. I was very pleased to see that the scope was almost on right out of the box.

Ruger GSRs have the reputation of shooting 165 grain and heavier bullets better than 150s or lighter. At 50 yards the 165s were all touching.

I especially like the Leupold IER scope. It permits mounting it far enough forward to allow plenty of space for bolt manipulation while not suffering as much from the annoyances of a long eye relief scope, such as limited field of view or susceptibility to glare if the sun is behind you. It's also mounted quite low to make quick acquisition easy.

I definitely need to get both rifles back to the range for final zeroing at 100 yards, and of course to see if the RDB continues to function well. I'll be carrying the Ruger this year for deer hunting.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kel-Tec RDB Field Stripped

This afternoon I took a few minutes, field stripped the Kel-Tec RDB, and took some pictures. The rifle's design is different enough so that I think you'll find them of interest. Clickenzee to embiggenate.



Slightly closer view of the barrel and bolt groups:



Bolt, bolt face, and extractor. Note the dual ejector plungers on the bolt face.





Piston head. It's a little hard to see but there is a weld blob on the top of the piston. Some earlier rifles left the factory without the weld, which leads to malfunctions.



The gas system.



Bottom of the handguard, showing the molded-in M-1913 rail. I have a Rogers Rail Light mounted.


Disassembly to this stage requires you to push out three takedown pins, plus one pin in the bolt carrier group. If you take down the BCG be careful. The firing pin is spring loaded and if you fail to contain it, it will launch itself several feet. (Yeah, it happened to me the first time I stripped the BCG.)

Scoped the Kel-Tec RDB

Yesterday I decided to move a scope I already owned over to the Kel-Tec RDB I bought Friday night. My Colt AR15 6721 has been relegated to backup status and was wearing an IOR Valdada 3x25mm CQB scope.

The IOR scope is built with Schott glass from Germany, has very clear optics, and a nice reticle. The 3x magnification works well from close-up to my club's longest range, 200 yards. It's also built like a brick shithouse, so I am not going to worry about BUIS.



Range report to follow as soon as possible.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kel-Tec RDB Rifle

I did some trading last night at Surplus City and came home with a Kel-Tec RDB 5.56mm bullpup rifle. (I actually went there with the intention of ordering an FN PS90. Maybe next time.)  SC was asking $950. I traded in my CZ-52, Bulgarian Makarov, Ruger SP101, Pietta SAA, and Springfield XD-9, none of which I'd fired in years. He gave me $1000 trade in value, so I also got 500 rounds of CCI .22 Short HV to run through my Remington 550-1.





Kel-Tec gives the OAL as 27.3" with its 17.3" barrel. The weight unloaded is 6.7 lbs. The barrel is 1:7" twist. There's a long, T-marked M-1913 Picatinny rail on top but it comes without any sights. I am debating what kind of optic to mount, but it will probably be something along the lines of a 1-4x variable, not just a red dot.


The RDB is a new design, although the bolt itself is very Stoner-ish and it takes AR15 magazines. It came with one 20-round MagPul P-Mag, an owner's manual, and a sling.

There are numerous sling mounting points for the hook-style attachments. In the pic above I had it mounted as a 2-point sling but I later switched it to a single-point using the swivel located in front of the middle takedown pin.

It's a long-stroke, gas piston design. The gas is adjustable to account for variations in ammo or the amount of crud in the gun. However, reviews I've seen state that very little fouling gets into the action. Empties eject out the bottom, through a port behind the magazine well.

The action is very simple and breaks down with only something to drive out the takedown pins. (They may loosen up over time.)

As a southpaw, the best part to me is that it's totally ambidextrous except for the HK MP5-ish charging handle. It can be reversed without tools. All I had to do was field strip the rifle and then put it in the other way when I reassembled. My initial impression of the rifle is that the ergonomics are outstanding.

Because of the long linkage between the trigger and the rest of the firing mechanism, most bullpups have lackluster trigger pulls. Not so in the case of the RDP. It's actually pretty good with some takeup but it's only around 5 pounds.

Between the adjustable gas system, the lack of fouling in the action, and having the ejection port on the bottom of the rifle so gas gets vented downward, it's supposed to be an awesome suppressor host.

In typical Kel-Tec fashion, they are scarce as hen's teeth, though. Kel-Tec announced it a few years ago but they just started shipping in 2016. They are still really hard to find in shops although there are a bunch on Gunbroker.

MAC posted a nice, in-depth review of a pre-production sample on YouTube in 2015:



I should be able to take it out in the next week or two and will post a follow up after I am able to shoot it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nazis vs. Communists: Who's Worse?

In the wake of the protest/riot last week in Charlottesville, I am seeing a lot of condemnation of the Nazis and people denying that the Antifa counter-protesters are just as bad.

How about we look at some history and numbers?

First of all, we need to understand that Antifa are avowed communists. Let me repeat that, they are COMMUNISTS. You know, the people we fought the Cold War against. We allied with the Soviet Union during World War 2 against a common enemy, but let's not delude outselves that they were any better than the Nazis. The numbers doesn't lie.

The top five murdering governments of the 20th Century were:

1. People's Republic of China (1949 - 87): 76,702,000
2. USSR: (1917 - 87): 61,911,000
3. Colonialism (1900 - ?): 50,000,000
4. Nazi Germany (1933 - 45): 20,946,000
5. China under the Kuomintang (1928 - 49): 10,075,000

So yeah, communists are not just as bad as Nazis when it comes to people killed, they are actually worse.

But, the Nazis are racist!!!!! No shit. So were a lot of communists. Google "Holodomor," the Soviet genocide of Ukrainians in 1932 - 33.

If you're wearing your hipster cool Che shirt, you're wearing the face of a racist, homophobic, murderer who helped establish a dictatorship on your chest. Knock that shit off.

Look, does it really matter if you were murdered because you were Jewish or gay or if you were a member of the bourgeoisie? YOU'RE STILL DEAD.

Nazis are scum. Communists are scum. When they are fighting, stand back and avoid aligning yourself with assholes on either side.

Here's the source for my numbers above: https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Mossberg 500 Super Bantam Shotgun

My 13 year old daughter wants to come hunting with me this year and needed a suitable shotgun. Today, we went to the local Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up this 20 gauge Mossberg 500 Super Bantam for ~$325 + PA's 6% sales tax.


I actually had her try out the Mossberg 510 youth model in .410 bore but she's already outgrown it. That's good because the 20 gauge will throw significantly more shot and 20 gauge slugs are adequate for deer.

Both the stock and forearm are synthetic. The stock is currently setup with a 12" length of pull but it included a spacer to increase it to 13". If she needs a longer LOP it will accept adult-sized stocks. The stock has a good, thick recoil pad on it.

The 22" barrel is threaded for choke tubes. It came with the modified tube in place. Using the included wrench, I swapped that out for improved cylinder. It also comes with a full choke tube. The barrel is topped with a white bead up front and a brass middle bead.

At 5.25 lbs. unloaded it won't be hard for her to carry afield. Heck, that weighs less than her school bag on most days. The stock has a place to attach a sling swivel but the gun didn't come with a stud for the front. So, I found one on eBay and it should hopefully be here by the end of the week. It will thread into an existing hole on the barrel mounting screw. I also ordered an inexpensive sling with swivels and an Outers cleaning kit.

The magazine came plugged so that the only way to load it was singly through the ejection port. The manual states that once your new shooter learns gun safety you can shorten the plug (a dowel) to 9", to allow up to two shells in the magazine. I did so, since my kid is not new to shooting. (Frankly, if they aren't safe to handle a manually operated gun with 3 shells in it, they aren't safe to handle a single shot.)

The unplugged magazine capacity is six 2-3/4" shells. I have some Federal 20 gauge #3 buckshot with which I'll pattern it. It would make a nice home defense shotgun.

Aside from hunting, this will be a good shotgun to introduce my daughter to trap and sporting clays.

Of note, Mossberg has a similar gun in their economy-oriented Maverick line. However, spending more money on the 500 was worth it to us because the Maverick uses a right-handed cross-bolt safety instead of the Mossberg's ambidextrous tang safety. I'm a lefty and my kid is left-eye dominant, and hence shoots portside.

I'll post a follow up after we get the chance to shoot it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Did A Little Air Rifle Shooting Yesterday

Yesterday I went to my friend Nick's place, outside of Pottstown, PA to do some shooting. Nick owns about 8 acres and we're able to shoot pistols, shotguns, .22s, and airguns without disturbing the neighbors.

After running some buckshot and slugs through my home defense Mossberg 500 Mariner, we changed over to air rifles. Nick has an RWS Diana Model 50 .177 underlever that he bought when we were in high school or college, 30 - 35 years ago.

The Diana Model 50 is a really nice shooter. It cocks via an underlever and you load the pellets via a rotating tap at the breech. Nick used to have a peep sight on it, but now that we're both closing in on 50 irons aren't nearly as easy to use as a scope, so he put a Hammers airgun rated scope on it. It has a mildot reticle and the optics seem decent, but as a cheap scope I'll be interested in seeing how well it holds up. I shot the Model 50 a little and once I determined where it was hitting for me, I was able to plink empty 12 gauge hulls from a rest at about 30 yards.

I brought along my RWS Model 34 .177 that I got in the mid-90s. It came as a combo kit with a POS 4x32mm RWS scope. I had replaced that with a Bushnell Trophy 6-18x50mm scope but was never really pleased with the combination. With the big Bushnell installed it's a heavy beast. A year or two ago I'd zeroed the rig for about 28 yards, the distance to my back fence when shooting out the window from my dining room table. (I had a problem with birds eating the grass seed on a bare patch in my yard. They needed discouragement.)

Anyway, when shooting yesterday my rifle was shooting really low and when I tried to raise elevation it didn't seem to work, so I'm thinking the scope may have bit the dust.

Last night I went to Amazon and ordered a UTG 3-9x32mm Bugbuster compact, air rifle rated scope, along with a UTG 11mm rail to Weaver adapter that compensates for barrel droop. The rail is intended for the RWS 34 and has a part that hangs over the front of the factory rail, to prevent rearward movement.

From reading reviews of the scope on Amazon and Pyramid Air it looks like it'll work out well, and the rifle will handle a lot better without the ginormous Bushnell mounted on it.

I should have them this week and hope to go back out to Nick's to try it next weekend.