Another good classifier

Last Sunday I shot a USPSA match at Marysville Rifle Club (Marysville, Washington).

In the match I did good, but not great. I got a score of 64.97% of the Limited Class, Grandmaster winner.

I had kind of a rough time the day before and was sort of stiff and sore. I did well on the first few stages then faded in the afternoon. But with the classifier, the third stage of the day, I did pretty well coming in at third place in Limited out of 22 shooters behind one Grandmaster and one Master class shooter. My score of 67 on Lightning And Thunder gave me a solid B-class 74.4444 percentage (75% is A-class). I have the video but it’s three different, rather boring, strings of fire and I doubt anyone really is interested in watching it.

This brings my cumulative USPSA classification up to 63.7697%. I’m approaching my highest ever of 68.5272%

I’m a bit suspect of this particular classifier. It is a fixed time stage and I think it is probably too easy. I suspect that a large number of GMs and perhaps even some Master class shooters clean it with a perfect score of 90. This means that lower class shooters are not really compared to the very best GMs but, instead, are compared to something like the lowest level GM and highest Master class shooters.

Still, I played by the rules and legitimately got the points even if the system is probably warping the indicator of my actual ability.

Quote of the day—Timothy Wheeler

The scientists who lead the national organization of ear doctors have no excuse for ignorance of how suppressors prevent hearing loss. The ignoble reason that they and other leaders of organized medicine have shirked their moral obligation to prevent human infirmity is prejudice, fueled by a willful ignorance.

Timothy Wheeler
July 18, 2017
Medicine’s shameful silence on silencers
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Swimming in Class IV rapids

As I mentioned the other day, last Saturday Barb and I went white water rafting and I went swimming in Class IV rapids. I thought I might get some video from but they only took stills. Here are what I think are the most interesting of them (sequential frames):

Situation good. I am the person in the right front part (closest to the camera) of the raft. Barb is the second person from the front on the left side.

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Quote of the day—Sunsara Taylor

It’s the right of the people to shut down speakers.

Sunsara Taylor
Co-founder of Refuse Fascism
September 13, 2017
UC Berkeley free speech in spotlight over super-tight security plans
[No. It is not a “the right of the people”. It is a conspiracy to infringe the of rights others and it is a felony which under some conditions, some plausible in the current context, are punishable by death. It is my hope that any such crimes are vigorously prosecuted, and severely punished.—Joe]

Be sure of your target and who is in front of it

“All’s well that ends well” isn’t one of the rules of gun safety, at least so far as I know. Nor is, “If you can walk away from it, then it was good gun handling”. Maybe that does apply to rocketry though.

Seen at Zero Hedge

One round skipped off the ground just a few yards from the guy walking in front of the truck. I guess he had a memorable day.

It reminds me of a W.W II story in which an American unit was taking heavy artillery fire. Their commander, realizing that it was friendly fire, reassured his troops saying, “Don’t worry, Boys; those are our guns!” or something to that effect.

Trump at the UN

I just listened to Trump’s full speech at the UN. There are a lot of “rah rah!” comments on the CNN YouTube post, and I suppose a lot of that is justified, sort of. Trump has an air of strength about him that is rare in a politician.

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Quote of the day—José Niño

There is one elephant in the room that is largely ignored in the discussion of crime in Latin America: the stringent gun-control laws present in these countries.

While the previously mentioned factors cannot simply be discounted, the lack of coverage on Latin American gun control policy is rather alarming.

Countries like Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela feature some of the most draconian gun control policies in the region. With crime rates at already high levels, gun control simply makes matters worse for law-abiding citizens fearful of criminals.

José Niño
August 23, 2017
Gun Control Laws Have Failed Latin America
[There is no justification for the infringement of the natural right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

John Vlieger in the news

A media release from son-in-law John Vlieger’s sponsor Shell Shock:

Shell Shock Technologies, LLC., an early stage technology and manufacturing company focused on developing innovative case technologies for the ammunition industry, is pleased to announce its sponsored shooter John Vlieger has won High Overall in the Open Division at the 2017 USPSA Area 4 Championship, held at the United States Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sept. 8 – 10, 2017. Vlieger finished with 1390.928 match points and a time of 148.09. This was his second consecutive Area win.

“Being able to take home a second regional title in such a short time is another goal reached. The time spent traveling, training and competing can take it out of you, but I’m ready and raring to go to the next one. Having reloading components I can trust with my +P+ competition loads helps me focus on competing, and not on whether or not my gear can take the abuse. My Shell Shock Technologies’ NAS3 cases have taken everything I’ve thrown at them and keep on going. I plan on continuing to trust them as I finish out the 2017 competition season, and forward,” commented Vlieger.

The USPSA Area 4 Championship, otherwise known as the Walther Arms-MGM Targets Area 4 Championship, is a Level III (pending) match that runs 12 stages with a round count of 290. Watch Vlieger compete at the USPSA Area 4 Championship on the John Vlieger Shooting YouTube Channel.

Vlieger can be seen competing next at the Tennessee Atomic Blast USPSA State Championship Match, to be held at the Oak Ridge Sportsman’s Association in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Sept. 16 – 17, 2017.

John placed second out of 227 competitors at the Tennessee Atomic Blast.

Quote of the day—John D. Clark

They were preparing to ship out, for the first time, a one-ton steel cylinder of CTF. The cylinder had been cooled with dry ice to make it easier to load the material into it, and the cold had apparently embrittled the steel. For as they were maneuvering the cylinder onto a dolly, it split and dumped one ton of chlorine trifluoride onto the floor. It chewed its way through twelve inches of concrete and dug a threefoot hole in the gravel underneath, filled the place with fumes which corroded everything in sight, and, in general, made one hell of a mess. Civil Defense turned out, and started to evacuate the neighborhood, and to put it mildly, there was quite a brouhaha before things quieted down. Miraculously, nobody was killed, but there was one casualty —the man who had been steadying the cylinder when it split. He was found some five hundred feet away, where he had reached Mach 2 and was still picking up speed when he was stopped by a heart attack.

John D. Clark
I G N I T I O N !: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, page 74
[The chemicals these people created and worked with were incredible. Some compounds caused things like dirt, concrete, and test engineers to immediately catch on fire upon contact. Others would burst into flames upon contact with the ground, burn for a while, and then violently explode. The reactivity and energy content is just mind boggling.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Barb L.

He needs to change the chant. I just can’t be enthused anymore about, “Ice cold beer.” It should be “HOT. GREEN. TEA.”

Barb L.
September 16, 2017
[Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of our first date and, among other things, we celebrated by going on a white water rafting trip as part of a company morale event. The guide would give orders such as:

  • Forward one [or two, three, or full]!
  • Back one [or two, three, or full]!

There were others, but for the purposes of this story these are the important ones.

To help keep the participants in sync, depending upon the order, we were supposed to chant one of three things in time with our paddle strokes.

  2. NEED. BEER.

Here is a sample:

It got cold. Even though we were dressed warmly we all got chilled and she got cold:



Her suggestion for the change was quite appropriate.

There are more exciting stories from this event but this will have to do until we get the video from when I went swimming in Class IV rapids.—Joe]

Quote of the day—League of Women Voters

  • The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens.
  • The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens.

League of Women Voters
September 15, 2017
LWV position on gun control explained
[The Heller decision explicitly calls out handguns as protected by the Second Amendment. Apparently the LWV doesn’t concern itself with limiting government to constitutional limits.

Don’t they understand that the constitution isn’t a serve yourself buffet? You should remember this position statement should someone suggest infringing the Nineteenth Amendment. Or maybe suggest it yourself when someone wants to infringe other guaranteed rights.

And don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

John Vlieger USPSA wins

Son-in-law John Vlieger, competing against 318 competitors, 79 of them in his USPSA Open division, decisively won the Walther Arms-MGM Targets Area 4 Championship match this year. Area 4 includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The next closest competitor came in with only 95.77% of his score:

He also won the EGW USPSA Area 8 Championship. Area 8 is on the east coast and includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. His margin was only 0.7% but against 493 competitors, 105 in open division, a win by any margin is awesome:

Compare his shooting in the matches above which were in August and September against his shooting in March during Optic Nationals:

At nationals he came in at 11th place, just barely below Rod Leatham, even though he had an equipment failure (broken extractor) on one of the stages. It’s hard for me to say for sure, because the target distance is difficult to judge and I don’t have the exact times for the individual shots, but it seems he is now shooting perceptibly faster and he certainly has fewer misses on the steel targets.

I can see him winning national, and even world titles, soon.

Quote of the day—Dennis Pratt

I want to admit upfront that gun ownership can not be a universal human ethic. A universal human ethic is true for all time in all cultures in all situations for all humans. And guns have been around only for 650 years or so. So, by definition, there can be no universal human ethic to “own guns”. Stating it as though there is (which unfortunately is done by both sides of the debate) is a straw-man, making the American position even harder for other cultures to understand.

Gun ownership is not a fundamental human ethic, but a derived right from a universal human ethic — the right of self-ownership.

Dennis Pratt
August 27, 2017
Why does the U.S. think gun ownership is an inalienable right given that literally all of the developed world doesn’t feel the same way?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Gun Rights Policy Conference 2017

GRPC is at the end of this month:

Come meet national gun rights leaders and your fellow grassroots activists at the 32nd Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC 2017) in Dallas, Texas at The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport on September 29, 30, & October 1st, 2017. This is your once-a-year chance to network, get an insider look and plan pro-gun rights strategies for the coming year. Past GRPCs have outlined victory plans and made public the latest firearms trends. They allow you a first-hand chance to hear movement leaders–and make your voice heard. This year we’ll take a look at critical issues such as: city gun bans, “smart” guns, concealed carry, federal legislation, legal actions, gun show regulation and state and local activity. The full roster of GRPC 2017 speakers has not yet been set. Past speakers include: Alan M. Gottlieb, Joseph P. Tartaro, Eugene Volokh, Wayne LaPierre, Michael Reagan, Larry Elder, Rep. Bob Barr, John Lott, Mark Walters, Sandy Froman, Rick Patterson, Gene Hoffman, Tim Schmidt, AWR Hawkins, Massad Ayoob, Tom Gresham, Alan Gura, G. Gordon Liddy, Larry Pratt, Emily Miller and many others.

I won’t be attending this time because I’m using all my vacation this year for a (almost) once in a lifetime opportunity elsewhere (details after Barb and I get back).

GRPC attendance, but not travel and lodging, is free and I highly recommend it. Sign up here.

Quote of the day—Stephen Gutowski

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun. That’s 3 percentage points higher than when the same question was asked last year. It’s 9 percentage points higher than when the question was asked in 2011, the low point of the poll’s findings for self-reported gun ownership.

The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.

Stephen Gutowski
September 12, 2017
Poll: More Americans Have a Gun in Home Than Ever Before
Nearly 120 million Americans have a firearm in the home

[H/T SayUncle.

This is almost for certain a lower bound on the estimate. As the NRA says in regard to the same poll:

Polling data on gun ownership rates is inherently suspect. Gun ownership is a personal decision, and given the politically-charged nature of the topic and government efforts to restrict gun rights, some gun owners are reluctant to share this personal information with strangers. This could result in polling that underreports gun ownership. Other research further suggests that female spouses living in gun-owning households tend to underreport firearm ownership.

We are winning the war on guns. Keep taking new shooters to the range.—Joe]

Revolver re-build, Field Carry system, and deer hunt

Deer season is upon us (Joe; no Hunting category?) so I thought this a good time to post it.

Following is a very long, detailed account of customizing a reproduction Colt 1847 Walker percussion revolver and using it in a deer hunt in the 2016 muzzleloader season. It assumes the reader has some understanding of the Colt open top revolver design and its inherent problems, and contains lots of technical photos and jargon. I also introduce a paper cartridge “Field Carry” system which I’ve developed for percussion revolvers, making things simpler and easier for the shooter while in the field on the move. There are bloody butchering (necropsy) photos cataloging the terminal performance of the gun and ammunition. You have been warned– If you read on you may be extremely bored, fascinated, or shocked or disgusted, or all of the above.
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Quote of the day—Caity

I’m the village extravert.

September 12, 2017
Overheard at work.
[I’m on the Threat Intelligence team at work. Caity is one of the analysts. Everyone on the team has a few “quirks”. So Josh, also on the team, decided we should take an Asperger test. Josh scored a 14, Jodie scored a 12, Devin scored a 24, Greg refused to take the test, and Caity had a 17. But Caity said if she wasn’t so social it would have been much higher. She then came up with the QOTD which caused Josh and I to burst into laughter. If you knew Caity you would not be surprised that a few weeks ago Caity was voted the social replacement for Brett on our team.

I stomped the competition within our team on the Asperger test with a 32.—Joe]

Update: Greg finally succumbed to peer pressure (but we aren’t sure if he answered the questions honestly) and scored a 15.

Quote of the day—Ronald Radosh

Antifa members should read historians of Nazi Germany, like Laurie Marhoefer of the University of Washington, who writes that anti-fascist street fighters who greeted a Nazi rally with violence thought that they had won by disrupting a rally and fighting its speakers back in 1927. They sent a message that “Fascism was not welcome.” But instead, “events like the rally in Wedding [a Berlin district] helped the Nazis build a dictatorship.” The Reds got media attention, but it led to escalating street violence, all of which helped the Nazis, who painted themselves “as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left.”

Leftist violence in the 1930s in Germany led many to support the Nazis in the hope they would put an end to the continuing street brawls and violence. Today, the antifa left may even help to get Donald Trump reelected in 2020.

Ronald Radosh
September 11, 2017
‘Emergency Brake’ Antifa Says It’s Fighting Fascists. It Just Might Be Helping to Re-Elect Donald Trump.
[The political left is violent by nature.

This prediction is consistent with what I have said before.—Joe]

Taj Mahal maintenance

In addition to attending the USPSA match in Idaho last weekend I did some maintenance on the Taj Mahal. When I was there on July 1st and 2nd there was a mouse nest inside the storage magazine:


I removed it and cleaned the rest of the shed so when the ATF inspector arrived four weeks later it was clean and tidy:


The inspection went fine even though there are a lot of Yellow Jackets and nests inside the shed.

The mice have a been a problem for years and have done a lot of damage. A couple weeks ago when I was walking through Home Depot with Barb I saw the spray foam insulation. I bought three cans and figured this will keep the mice out. I probably should have bought the version with a bitter additive which is specifically intended to keep pests out. But I didn’t know it existed and didn’t find out about it until I went looking on Amazon when writing this blog post.

So…. Saturday morning I moved almost everything out of the shed to get better access. As I removed stuff we had stored there I got better and better access to all the Yellow Jacket nests. I also had a spray which is supposed to kill flying insects and is non-toxic to humans and pets. I didn’t read the fine print before buying it and found out that for large stinging insects to use something a little different and still have the non-toxic feature. The spray I used would kill maybe one out of 20 Yellow Jackets. Maybe a third would go down it they were hit hard enough but then they would appear to rub it off for a minute or so then fly away. The rest just flew away with no apparent ill effects. But at least as I sprayed the nests and the area they left. I removed something like seven to ten nests and swept the floor and the area of the shed where the cracks were.



After clean up:



After applying the expanding foam insulation:




It’s not the neatest job, by far, but it is functional. The splatters on the roof are from when the spray foam insulation guys insulated the magazine two years ago.

At the base of the door to the magazine I put down a bead of the insulation, put a plastic garbage bag over it, then closed the door on it such that it would expand to fill the gap at the bottom of the door where the mice had to be getting in.

After it dried I opened the door, removed the plastic bag and we now have a near perfect seal at the bottom of the door.


I’m certain this will block the mice from the magazine and I think I have them blocked from the shed as well. The Yellow Jackets can probably still find a way in around the shed door but their access is severely limited compared to what it was.

I threw away some stuff and rearranged the remainder for access in the order we remove it for Boomershoot:


Quote of the day—Jonathan Turley

Bray and others have come to use the intellectual freedom of our universities to advance the most anti-intellectual movement in our history. They are destroying the very academic institutions that have protected their extreme views. Just as the father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, said that “physicists have known sin,” the antifa movement is the sin of academia in abandoning our core values.

These protesters believe that history shows the dangers of free speech and the need to deny it to those who would misuse it. It is a familiar sentiment that “all the experience… accumulated through several decades teaches us… to deprive the reactionaries of the right to speak and let the people alone have that right.” Those were the words of another early anti-fascist, China’s Communist Party leader Mao Zedong.

Jonathan Turley
August 29, 2017
The hypocrisy of antifa
[It’s not just the the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms that the political left want to destroy. One can pretty easily make the case that they want total control over a huge portion of your life. Speech, your money, your property, and even what you think. Orwell was correct when he wrote of “thoughtcrime.” I just wish the political left could be persuaded to view Nineteen Eighty-Four as a dystopian novel rather than a “how-to book”.—Joe]