Monday, December 31, 2012

Mag Advice

Jerking the Trigger has some good advice on how to go about backordering PMags and actually getting them this decade.

I may order some soonish just to have a stash waiting when I get home.  Not that I need more, but I like having spares.  Mags are expendable.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cancer Sucks

My uncle finally lost the fight this morning (home time, not "here" time.)  Not unexpected, but no less rough on everybody regardless.  He introduced my parents years and years ago, so I am a little worried they'll take it hard.  The Army isn't as willing to hand out emergency leave for extended family, and I'd likely not make it back in time for the funeral anyway,  so I guess the best thing to do is drive on with the mission.  I did get kicked out of the TOC for the rest of the day though... Sergeant-Major's orders.

I'm a bit off and on right now, not the first time we've had to deal with cancer in the family, but Grandma's too damn stubborn of an old Polish woman and thoroughly kicked its ass.  If there were any others, I was too young to really know what was going on.  Anyway, just another reason why I'll be getting a couple more kilts for next September.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dirt Pusher's Journal: Post Holiday Day

Dirt Pusher's Journal: Post Holiday Day: Amazingly had some down time for Christmas, spent it playing D&D and watching Serenity , and the bad guys were kind enough to refrain from l...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Swedish Rifle in Egypt

Guest post by Cro

Ever since I came back from Iraq in 2005 I have been interested in middle eastern history. My post war college education was History with an emphasis on middle east. I learned that the history of that region is full of so many fascinating stories. Some of them being the Egyptian military rifles. Egypt went through many rifles after WW2, and prior to adopting the AK, some examples are the Hakim, the FN 49, and the Rasheed. The Hakim is a 8mm version of the Swedish AG-42 Ljungman The swede was originally 6.5 mm which must have been a sweet shooting package. The Hakim fires a big 8mm Mauser cartrage.

Prior to taking my Hakim to the range I gave her a good cleaning to inspect everything and make sure it does not have any major issues.  The Hakim is a DI system with an adjustable gas block and familiar looking gas tube.

Bolt disassembly was a bit tricky as it is spring loaded once you take it off the rifle,  I was not holding the bolt in the carrier when I depressed the lever and launched my bolt across the room. 

My rifle came with 3 spare mags and a bayonet.  I only tested out one of the mags during the range trip.  The rifle has a muzzle brake.. That’s right muzzle brake standard on a military rifle.

The ammo I used was some 1970’s steel cased Romanian that has served my 8mm rifles well, and some 1960’s brass cased that came with strippers.  This was the first time I opened the crate of the brass cased stuff and I fell in love with it right away. The stripper clip guide on the top of the receiver cover is designed to place the loaded clips in with the bullets facing up, and then you rotate the clip down to line up with the magazine.  It takes a bit of practice compared to the normal use of clips.  But once you get the hang it makes sense because of the way  the bolt works.

The manual of arms for loading the hakim is a bit different than other semi auto rifles.  Instead of pulling back and letting the bolt fall foreword, you actually push the receiver cover foreword, and then pull it back.

So I fired the rifle at 100 m to see where it was going with the ammo.  I was impressed, the thing was nearly on the black right off the bat.  I decided to leave the sights where they were and fired a group to check accuracy.  The steel cased stuff did ok with a 4 inch group average.  The Brass cased surprised me.  I was able to squeak out a 2.5 inch 5 shot group .  I was impressed and surprised.

Recoil was low.. Very low in fact.  The muzzle brake works extremely well, and the length and weight of the rifle works to make it a rifle I could shoot all day long.  I even was able to ring the 16inch gong at 200 while standing  about 7-10 of the shots.

So what's my final take on Al Hakim?  I will call it Excelent, or ممتازًا

The rifle is accurate, fast follow up shots, and sends a full power round down range.  I don’t like the sights, but what can you expect from a Garand guy??  For what I paid for the rifle it was an excellent value, and cheap 8mm is still easily available.. Don’t believe me?  Go to southern Ohio Gun.  That’s where I got the brass cased stuff.  As of my last check they still have it.    I plan on taking this rifle to the range more often than my other C&Rs.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good Quote...

Seeing as it is Holidays, I'll do a rare thing around here and put up something religious, only because I feel it's a good quote for some of the current discussions being thrown around the interwebs...

"Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not cooked in the same pot."
ProvHerbs 3:23

Think about it, discuss it, have some Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


And I feel fine...

At first I woke up, and it was really foggy, and outside of the wire all I could see was desolation, decrepit buildings, and few signs of life.  I thought maybe the Mayans were on to something.

Then I realized, I'm in Afghanistan.  That's pretty much everyday.  Oops.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just some thoughts...

It's been a relatively slow day at the office, which gives me time to pay attention to what's going on at home, half a world away.  A good chunk of time was spent arguing/discussing where the blame lies, and what, if anything, allowing faculty to carry would have done with a couple of night owls on the ol' Facebook.

Now that the rest of the world (ok, the US) is waking up, some people with a better command of language have summed up a lot of what I was trying to convey.

Breda linked a post she wrote years ago that does a great job of explaining what angers me the most about the situation.  I have lots of respect for teachers, and I think that if they are willing they would be the thoughtful and responsible type of people that should be allowed to carry a firearm.  I know I've seen at least one photo of an Israeli elementary school teacher carrying an M1 Carbine while taking her class on a field trip, and it seems to be working fairly well for them.  The faculty may not have been able to prevent all of the deaths, but hell, give them a fighting chance to do something!

Roberta also makes an excellent point about the media and these things.  I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I can't help but think there's a connection with how much reporting these events have and how much the predominately left-leaning media has been crying for a new AWB.

In my own words on Facebook, "We will never know what went through the minds of certain individuals in the last couple of weeks, but I can assure you, the fault does not lay in an innatimate piece of steel and wood or plastic."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Smell of Cordite

Guest post by Cro

Back in my high school literature days  I remember reading about “the smell of cordite”  and wondering what is cordite?  The main character in the Dayof the Jackal book even ate a piece of cordite to make himself seem older and sick when getting through security.  I had been reloading pistol back then and could not think of any piece from a cartridge that you could eat.  I always imagined all metallic cartridges as having powder inside.  I happened to pick up an excellent No4 Mk 2 Fazakerly.  That’s right I said Mk2.  It’s a 1950 example of the final refinement of the Enfield rifle. 

This particular example is in very good condition with very little wear on the metal and wood.  Those familiar with the Enfield No 1 Mk 3 can see that the major difference is the rear sight is moved to the rear of the receiver.  The particular rear sight on this model has a large aperture battle sight and a flip up ladder sight for long range. 

The particular rear sight has a smaller aperture for the long range, and a screw adjusted ladder that is regulated by audible clicks.  In my opinion this is far superior to sights like the 1903 that has no means to measure your rear sight height except by eyeballing it.  Granted the NM 1903 competitors often had a micrometer to adjust their rear sight height, but I have a hard enough time remembering my range gear as it is.  I guess I am just spoiled by being used to click sights like the M1.  My Savage Enfield has a simple flip sight with only a 300, or a 600 meter option.  Not exactly the best sight for marksmanship, but a great sight to mass produce for a weapon starved Britain.  The front sight is a simple drift adjustment.

The rifle did away with the Enfield knife bayonet and went with a spike/blade bayonet that did not have a handle.  Kind of a useless bayo in my opinion as I follow old Teddy Roosevelt’s opinion that the bayonet should double as a knife.  I would personally hate to carry an extra piece of kit that could only serve a second purpose as a tent peg. 

I had 3 types of 303 on hand.  Privi, Wolf, and Surplus 1952 Kynoch.

The Wolf is packaged the same as the Prvi, and even has Prvi head stamp on the rounds. So I guess it’s an example of buying brand name.  The Prvi was 174Gr FMJBT, and the Wolf was 150Gr Soft Point.  

But on to the Cordite.  The Kynoch is an old surplus round I picked up a few years ago on the cheap.  I pulled the pullets and dug the cordite out of the case to find it filled with 36.2 grains of the spaghetti like propellant.  The sticks are packed very tight inside the case and would only come out after much persuasion.  I wonder how they measured and loaded the stuff in the brass case.  It seems like it would be much more difficult than standard powder shaped propellant.    The bullet is a flat based FMJ projectile of 175gr.  The neck sealant was a black tar like sealant that did not want to let the bullet go.

So on to the Range Report.  I took the ole’ Brit to my local range to see how this piece shoots.  The 200 and 300 yd ranges were closed for maintenance that day so I was relegated to the 100yd test.  I started with the Brit surplus.  All the rounds went bang, although not always right away.  Some of the rounds had slight hang-fires, not terrible, but I could feel the firing pin strike and then feel the discharge as a separate action.  This was not the norm.  I was actually surprised by the accuracy of the surplus rounds.  The best 5 shot group I got was 3.5 “  not great, but not bad considering my rest was not the most stable.  The Privi and Wolf had the same accuracy.

This is not the best group, but typical of what I saw that day.  One thing I liked about this rifle was that all the ammo was zeroed with at least 2 clicks up on the rear sight.  Its often annoying when your Mil Surp shoots 7 inches high at the lowest setting.

Overall I Liked this rifle.  The bolt is easy to operate, but the trigger has a bit to be desired. It had some creep and did not break clean.  I was happy with the accuracy, and I think with the proper loads this rifle has good potential.  Of all my Enfields I would pick this one as my favorite.  

On a side note I stopped at a local gun show on my way to the range and found a gem of a rifle for a price that would be silly to pass up.  Stay tuned for that review, but here is a teaser.  

(Don't give away the surprise if you know what it is!  I'll be "out of the office" for a while, but rest assured, there'll be new content when I get back!  And thanks again to Cro for sharing some of his cool stuff with us.)