Friday, September 30, 2011

New Combat Tourniquet

In the form of a Giant zip-tie.  Given the cost and complexity of some of the current combat tourniquets out there, this one should be one to watch.  Hopefully it proves just as effective as some of the current designs.

New TSA Shirt.

Hey Robb, think you could get one out to Napa in time for a Monday morning flight?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rock

Only about 600 photos... I'm surprised.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


There's a few people out there making firearms related jewelry (I've got some .45acp cufflinks for my tux from Bullet Designs Inc., and they're awesome.)

To fully round out the blog, here's a coffee ring.

It's for sale in Etsy for about $50.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dead Six is Available

It officially hits shelves today!

Co-written by Larry Correia (of Monster Hunter fame) and Mike Kupari (an EOD Tech currently serving in Afghanistan, and a Yooper to boot.)  Larry's asking for help in boosting sales to kick this one up to best seller status, especially since Mike is a bit busy and unable to help push sales of his first novel.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crazy Tech

In preparation for the weekend (primarily after deciding to go to The Rock on Thursday) I decided to pick up another memory card for the camera, and finally take the plunge for a 1TB external hard drive to dedicate to photo storage.

Bare in mind all of my actual traditional photography training was back in the day when a D-SLR was a remote "coming soon" product and 35mm film reigned king.  My first "real" camera was a Nikon FM10 and being young and low on cash, I had to be real careful about taking pictures (film = money.)

Now I have a Nikon D40, an FM10 level D-SLR, that uses HCSD memory cards for storage.  I can get about 1000 photos on an 8GB card.  Even using 36 exposure rolls, that would be 28 rolls of film.  28 rolls of film compressed down into something that takes up about the space of a quarter.  I know I'm not that old, but it's still really cool to me.  (Really!! I'm under 30, I swear!)

There's even bigger cards out too, up to 32GB, but the 8GBs are available for less than $20, and I'd rather have two 8GB cards instead of one 16GB in case I decide to drop it in a puddle or something.  I've got far fewer pictures from Afghanistan due to an equipment failure (shattered the lcd screen on my first digital camera during a convoy...)

The side effect of this is that now with digital storage, for the price of a pack of film, I have the above amount of space on board my camera, and I don't have to pay for developing it.  That means I tend to take a lot of pictures.  The four "daily photos" last week were out of around 300 taken that range trip alone.  If I can get out of Alcatraz Thursday and not have 1000+.  I dont' even want to think about what the total will be after the weekend is over, especially with a wedding in the middle of it.

Going on the same note, I got a 1TB Western Digital Passport to dump the photos on.  The thing is the size of my wallet, and I carry a small wallet (no wheelbarrows full of cash around here.)  I don't even know how many photos that'll hold, but it should take a while to fill it up.  All in a space much smaller than what the equivalent in negatives and proof sheets would take.

Lets not even get started on Photoshop compared to an actual darkroom...

Sunday, September 25, 2011


"Your order of Dead Six has shipped."

The non-stop flight from WI to CA will now suck a bit less.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Busy times...

Working 24 of the next 48 hours or so, plus the twin nephews birthday tomorrow, and packing for California (crap, that's Thursday already! Running to Napa for a few days for a wedding.)  Forgive me if the next week or so are a bit sparse around here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Daily Photo

Therapy Edition.

Had a math exam yesterday, so I came home and put an AR lower together to feel better.  Only took about a half hour though.  Now I just need the other 2/3 of the rifle...

Polymer Cased Pistol Rounds Coming

TFB reports Extreme Polymer Research is planning to bring polymer cased rounds for .380, 9mm, .40s&w, and .45acp to market next year.

Unlike other polymer cased projects, these are not metallic based, but full polymer.  The major advantage is a lower price than traditional brass (6 - 8 cents per case.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Daily Photo

Underfolders look cool, but are less than comfy...

This shot really demonstrates how the slant-brake works by directing some of the gasses up and right, driving the muzzle end down into your support arm.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daily Photo

Cro trying out the 20ga 870

The short stock and minimum length barrel make for a great little gun to run quite aggressively, especially with the lighter recoiling 20ga chambering.  I need to spend more time with the little thing.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Today's blogger meme comes from Neanderpundit- 

Take the knife out of your pocket and take a picture of it, and post it. Or post a picture of the same knife from a brochure or whatever.
No, not your favorite knife, or your prettiest, but the one that never leaves your side. Mine’s a Schrade 897 Uncle Henry, made in USA, from when they still were made in the USA. it’s stainless because I can’t find carbon steel ones anymore.
I'm sure it's been done before, but hey, I'll play.

Kershaw Ken Onion designed Leek.

I got the black one so it blends with my work uniform, and the non-serrated version since it's easier to maintain and I don't cut rope on a daily basis (I do have a serrated version for days I'm doing climbing stuff though.)  Speaking of climbing, I fell in love with the spring-assist concept when I was teaching climbing and rappelling on a daily basis.  Fast, trouble-free one handed opening rules when 30 feet of the ground and clinging to a rock.  And at about $40 I'm not heart broken if I loose (another) one.

Plus that last little bit of text on the blade gives me a warm-fuzzy.


Lest ye forget, it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Daily Photo

Cro with the M&P9.
Brass in the air, pistol already on target.  Sweetness.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Belated Caturday

Got a fisheye adapter for the camera.  While these photos don't really show the effect off, they're still pretty good.

Simon enjoyed himself.

Gun Show Results...

Aside from dealers apparently smoking crack when pricing things (at least one honestly was marking things up $1-200 more than they have the same gun in the shop...) I decided to pass on some really nice classic S&W Chief's Specials simply because I didn't want to drive halfway across the state in a couple days to actually take possession of the guns.

On a positive note, we picked up a significant amount of ammo for relatively good prices, especially factoring in not paying shipping.  Also snagged a couple AR parts for a current build.  Overall, actually a pretty successful show.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today's Gonna Drag...

Cro has returned from the rocky, dusty middle-east, so we're hitting up the gun show in Waukesha tomorrow.  It's supposed to be a pretty good sized one, so even though I'm not looking for anything in particular, there should be plenty to look at.

It's also going to be MandaFern's first gun show.  She's looking forward to it and will probably be keeping an eye out for a decent deal on a 10/22.  I don't know if she realizes how awesome that is...

More P64

A little more in-depth look at the little pistolette now that I've had it out to the range and fondled it a bit more.

It is a nice looking little gun-

Good clean markings too-

The first shot out of the little gun smacked dead on point-of-aim, not too shabby considering the mediocre sights.

The single-action pull is incredibly light, and the solid connection between the barrel and the frame make for real tack-driver potential.  The double-action is a little on the heavy side still, but more manageable with the reduced hammer spring than it was "new."

The only problem I've had so far is that it's not to friendly to big hands.

I did have a nice little red mark after 50 rounds from getting pinched under the hammer...

Possibly hitting up a show tomorrow, and if so, snagging a case of 9x18 hopefully.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Helping!

Photo "assistant" Lila hard at work.

I Agree

The advantages of .40S&W aren't that much better than 9x19 to justify the price.  I've never even given any thought to owning anything chambered in fo'tay, I've always figured for the price I may as well just shoot .45acp.  Modern 9mm bullets and loads are much much better than the virtually archaic FMJ loads that spawn the horror stories of nine failing to stop bad guys.

Apparently Rob Pincus agrees, and he's pretty smart.  Also SayUncle, and he's a pretty credible source as well.

Right now I've got 34 rounds of 124 gr. +P jacketed hollow points... if I can't take care of the problem with that, I should have gotten my ass to a rifle 17 rounds ago.  Not to mention I can actually afford to shoot it on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miller Gave Me Beer!

After seeing Windell Middlebrooks stealing beer from pretentious drinkers and giving said beer to Vets for years and wondering where mine was, last night it finally happened.

IAVA and Miller gave a dozen or so Vets tickets for a fully catered suite at Miller Park for the series opener against the Rockies.  Private balcony, food, beer, great view, and a game that stretched 11 innings finally ending with Braun smashing one out for a game winning homer.

These were the second set of tickets from IAVA I've gotten for the Brewers, last time being 5th row right next to the Crew's dugout on July 4th, but there wasn't any beer included that time.

If you're a Veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, and not signed up with IAVA, you're missing out.  Jump on that stuff, like one of the other vets said last night, "it's nice to finally get something back."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Blog

Worked till 7am, class till 3, and now in the car rolling to Milwaukee for the game. (IAVA Rocks.)

Back tomorrow.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Sharp & Cheap

Markdowns on best-selling sharp and pointy bitz at Amazon.

Armed Man Rescues Madison Woman

"He saw the suspect standing over the woman, stomping on her head," DeSpain said. "He yelled for the man to stop but his pleas fell on deaf ears." The man went back to his apartment to get his cell phone so he could call 911, but he couldn't find the phone and grabbed the handgun instead.
Sounds like someone else called the police to report him holding the guy at gun point, thankfully he remained calm and cooperative when they rolled up, while the suspect swore at the police and threatened them.

The surprising part is that the man will not be charged with anything, which makes me wonder if Chief Wray is throwing a little temper tantrum in his office and calling for the shift Sgt's head... 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tired, Sore, and Burned

But the mission continues.  Not much to say past that (other than I really need a shower and a beer.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

That Time of the Month

Things'll be quiet around here, I'll be out doing Army stuff for the weekend.

THE Smile

If you haven't watched it yet, head over to New Jovian Thunderbolt's place, and watch the video of Breda shooting the Drilling.

Back?  Did you see that smile right after she touches the round off?  That's why taking new shooters out is fun (either new to the sport, or just new to the gun.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guess I'm Old...

The number of college kids sitting in the basement coffee house in our equivalent of a student union that are enjoying a beer at 1300 is simply mind boggling.  I know it's the season opener for the NFL, and it is Packers territory, but it's not unique to today.

I know it's slightly hypocritical of me, as I do enjoy a fine dark beer, but I think the cup of black coffee I have will be a better aid in my math class in a half hour than any lager has any hopes of...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Wolff springs showed up for the little P-64, about 10 minutes to install and reassemble the thing, and the difference is like night and day.

I went with the 18# hammer spring, right in the middle of what Wolff offers (they have 17, 18, and 19#.  For reference, the factory spring is 22#.)  The double-action pull has gone from 10% of the time I can't even pull it to not being bad at all.  Some take-up and no noticeable stacking; it feels like a heavy two-stage now.  Single action is very light with some stacking.

Being a semi-auto, the hammer spring does actually help slow the cyclic speed of the gun, so to help balance it back out, I also installed a 22# recoil spring (factory spring is 18#.)  This should help slow the slide down a bit and keep it from beating itself up too much.

Now I just need to get more 9x18...

No More Custom Guns for Sniper Comp

Snipers from around the world will soon shoot against each other at Fort Benning, Ga., but this year they’ll have to leave their fine-tuned rifles and high-powered optics at home. For the first time in the eleven-year history of the U.S. Army International Sniper Competition, all competitors will use the same sniper rifle and optics of equal power.
The new rules are designed to “level the playing field, so it isn’t so much an equipment race,” said Capt. Daniel Wilcox, who overseas Army Sniper School at Benning as commander of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment.
 (H/T KitUp)

Personally, I think it's a good idea, or at least worth trying for a year.

7 Scientific Ways Coffee Gives You Super Powers

From Cracked.

Unfortunately one of those isn't "invulnerable tongue..." I just burned mine on some.


Was out of town most of Monday, and working overnight, followed by the first day of my (hopefully) last semester of college.  Most of the sleep this week looks to be coming in about two hour chunks... should be fun.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

If It Ain't Rainin'...

Went to the range after work yesterday, just in time for a monsoon.  I had checked the radar before hand, and it looked like a quick storm that would be over before I even made the 20+ minute drive, but instead it lingered over the area just as I got there.  Thankfully I found a paperback buried in the car and decided to wait it out.  After an hour or so it had died down to a dribble and I grabbed the pistols I'd brought and the steel target and a "raincoat."

At least two things were learned.  First, said "raincoat" was not, in fact, waterproof.  Just a little water resistant.  Thankfully it was warm out, so hypothermia wasn't an issue.

The other, and more important thing, is that M&P9 magazines are dang slick when you're hands are wet.  I'm rather proud that I only fumbled one reload because of this, but one's enough to have me wondering if only carrying one reload is good enough.

I never would have noticed this had I simply given up and went home.  Now, I don't usually go out of my way to shoot in the rain, actually I kind of hate it.  If I hadn't gotten the little Salute Products target I wouldn't have yesterday either (as it is, I still didn't get to pattern the 20ga for buck yet.  Cardboard and rain don't mix well.)  However, once in a while it's good to get out and shoot in that crap, and find out how your stuff works.  I know Cane & Derby will be getting an order from me soon as well after yesterday, and I'm going to do some thinking on the magazine issue.

On a positive note, the little P-64 went through a full box of Brown Bear FMJ without a single hickup.  It's snappy, as expected, and the Wolff springs can't get here soon enough.  I fired one shot double-action, and my hand was so tense from that, the next shot broke almost instantly (nearly felt like it practically bump-fired...) that needs to be fixed.  Also, Brown Bear still smells like crap.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Could Use Some...

Worked an overnight last night, crashed hard when I got home.

This looked to be good information to know though.

Just to clear up any confusion.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Know Your Roots

Dirt Rag magazine posted this video from the early days of "klunkin," which would evolve into mountain biking (you may recognize the name Gary Fisher among the guys in the clip.)