Rounds in the last month

Here is an update on the total number of rounds I have reloaded:

223.LOG: 2027 rounds.
3006.LOG: 467 rounds.
300WIN.LOG: 1351 rounds.
40SW.LOG: 38807 rounds.
45.log: 0 rounds.
9MM.LOG: 21636 rounds.
Total: 64288 rounds.

This is a delta of 3064 rounds since last month. This is composed of 1,137 rounds of .40 S&W and 1,927 rounds of 9mm. So far this year I have reloaded 6,859 rounds.

This morning I ran some bullets over the chronograph using the ETR7 powder I got last month. Using the Montana Gold 180 grain JHP and the loads suggested somewhere else I tried 4.5 grains and 4.8 grains with an OAL of 1.135. The results were a little lower velocities than what I expected. All tests were with the muzzle 10 feet from the first screen of the chronograph and an ambient temperature of 32F. The low temperature may have affected the velocities some but I need to be able to make major power factor (165) even when it is cold out.

4.5 grains of ETR7:

Mean Velocity: 861 fps
Standard Deviation: 17.5 fps
Minimum Velocity: 832 fps
Maximum Velocity: 891 fps
Extreme Spread: 59 fps
Power Factor: 155.07

4.8 grains of ETR7:

Mean Velocity: 891 fps
Standard Deviation: 20.6 fps
Minimum Velocity: 864 fps
Maximum Velocity: 935 fps
Extreme Spread: 71 fps
Power Factor: 160.54

The suggested max load is 5.0 grains. But what I need to do is check the primers of the 4.8 grain loads before bumping the load up to the max. And if linear interpolation is valid for this range of loads 5.0 grains isn’t going to get me into major.

Quote of the day—Bob Owens

Brady’s attorneys simply had no viable case against the legal protections under federal law as provided by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prevents harassment and frivolous lawsuits from gun control cultists.

In addition to dismissing the case, the judge found that the plaintiffs owe the companies they attempted to harass an award of “reasonable attorney fees.”

Bob Owens
March 30, 2015
Brady Campaign Case Targeting Online Ammo Dismissed By Judge
[I find it interesting that as the Brady Campaign lawsuit backfired on them the last Brady (of the campaign) died.—Joe]


It looks like I made the final ballot for the Campbell Award for best new sci-fi writer. With only one published book (and one short story, also in the same universe) I figure I’m a long shot, even if I have a re-write, a sequel, a prequel, and a children’s historical book scheduled for this year. In any case, even getting to the final ballot short-list is an honor… Well, interesting, anyway. No clue what the competition is like, but it should be fun to watch unfold. I can almost hear some brains exploding from here.

Also on the list: Wesley Chu*, Jason Cordova, Kary English*, Eric S. Raymond (*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.)

Mixed words on making the short list for the Prometheus. But as I hear the competition is strong this year, so I’m a long-shot there, too. But how many people manage to make both a “best new X” list at the same time they make the list for some other category in the field competing against long-time pros?

Just getting nominated for either award is proof the universe has a twisted sense of humor. If I happen to win, I know that my little corner of the cosmos is a very strange one. Not a bad one, mind you, just more than a little bit odd.

Quote of the day—Sebastian

Constitutional Carry is the new frontier.

April 3, 2015
Then There Were Six: Constitutional Carry Now Law In Kansas
[I recently had a long chat with Mike B. our friendly lobbyist at Idaho Sport Shooters Alliance about this very topic. He doesn’t really understand why so much emphasis is placed on Constitutional Carry. His point is that more benefit for more people can be achieved while consuming less political capital by getting better reciprocity and carry in places like school campuses, parks, and state and Federal lands.

I find it hard to disagree with Mike from a practical basis but ultimately we want “constitutional carry”. And the more people we have carrying without a license or proof of training and there is no “blood in the streets” the easier it is to get more lenient laws in the repressive states.

But probably the most important reason Constitutional Carry is so popular issue these days that it’s easier to get people fired up about something big than it is something incremental. Sebastian captures that with “the new frontier”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.
October 7, 1952
Speech in Detroit
[At first glance this appears to be a decent one line definition. Some simple tests are as follows:

  • In some societies it is unpopular to be of a particular religion/ethnicity/sexual-orientation. But in a free society such people will not be harmed as long as they do not intimidate or harm others. In an non-free society they may lose their jobs, socially shunned, their property destroyed, or even killed for merely for being suspected of matching an unpopular attribute.
  • In some societies it is unpopular to be a gun owner. But in a free society such people allowed to go about their business without restraint as long as they do not intimidate or harm others.

It is clear that the U.S. is not a free society. It has various degrees of freedom depending on the relative popularity of the activities of the person. 100 years ago gun owners were relatively free but today in certain political jurisdictions we are at great risk of going to jail if we attempt to go about our business even though our actions harm no one.

100 years ago to be homosexual in many locations in the U.S. was very risky and Christianity very low risk. Today homosexuality is much lower risk and Christianity is at some risk.

Stevenson definition is a pretty good for those issues. But as you dig into things more your realize Stevenson definition is not really adequate. What about alcohol production? Beer and wine are quite popular but highly regulated. Cars are very popular but highly regulated.

I have a half-baked hypothesis that total freedom in our country is a near constant. As it increases in one area it decreases in another. People demand control over something.

In the beginning it was black slavery, indentured servants and intolerance of non-Christians. Then as those went away it was regulation of things like alcohol, guns, drugs, business, tobacco, and a million little things. It doesn’t seem to have any relation to public safety, economic prosperity, or anything of importance. It’s just control.—Joe]

Vampire season again

Last weekend Barb and I made our annual trip to Lowe’s for Boomershoot supplies. Here are 825 18” stakes in the back of my vehicle:


As is usual I was prepared in case someone asked what I was going to do with all the stakes. The clerk did not disappoint me.

Clerk: What are you going to do with all the stakes?

Joe: Vampires.

Clerk: That makes as much sense as many of the other things people tell us.

And then there were…five?

Kansas Gubnuh signs “constitutional” carry bill.

There’s also talk about lowering the legal age for open carry to eighteen, some citing the fact that eighteen year-olds can fight for their country. Well, yeah. I havent seen any age restrictions in the second amendment, but maybe I didn’t look close enough. That sort of thing (for those under 18) should be up to the parents, and Uncle Sam is not my daddy or my kids’ daddy.

ETA: If we didn’t think she’d be arrested for it, my daughter would be packing right now. Instead we’re forced to decide whether we’re more concerned about her being judged by twelve (actually since she’s under age it would be judged by one) or carried by six.

“I believe we can lower the age to 18 at some point in the future. I think after everybody sees that there are not going to be any of the dire predictions coming true, and they relax a little bit, then we can talk about that.”

OK; why do some people need to be “relaxed” before others can exercise their natural human rights? Where in the constitution does it say that? There must be one hell of a long list of qualifiers that I haven’t seen yet.

I’ve mentioned “control by freakout” before, and this is an excellent example – media get people all hyped up and “un-relaxed” and our rights are violated as a result. I must say it is a brilliant tactic.

Quote of the day—Glenn Reynolds

If it weren’t for double standards the left would have no standards at all.

Glenn Reynolds
December 24, 2014
CHARLES C.W. COOKE: The Left’s “Climate Of Hate” Hypocrisy.
[There is more than a little truth in this even if it really should be “no principles at all”. But then the humor wouldn’t work.—Joe]

‘Well, you know what I meant!’

Actually no; quite often I don’t, so why not just come right out and say it clearly and directly?

From Vanderboegh. I like it. It illustrates exactly the sort of ridiculous things I picture in my mind when most people speak, about anything.

I was listening to a caller on a talk show this morning, for example, who went on and on and, so far as I could gather, never said anything. The host caught on right away and after several unsuccessful attempts to prompt the guy into saying something he ended the call. A lot of words were coming out of the caller’s mouth, amounting to nothing.

That little anecdote describes much of my life. Many times I’ve sat through a whole hour of some video someone or other thought I should totally see, searching for one little bit of clear meaning (anything that didn’t require some inference or projection or other) to end up with nothing.

Quote of the day—Eliot Engel

This legislation is not stopping hunters from continuing to participate in legal sporting activities. What it does is make the rational point that “green tips” are not necessary for those purposes. While some argue that these bullets have not been used to kill cops, I say why should we wait around for that day to come?

Eliot Engel
U.S. Representative
March 27, 2015
View: Deer don’t wear Kevlar
[While some may argue that Engel should be gagged, removed from office, and prosecuted before he says something even more stupid and attempts more criminal acts I say we can only prosecute him for acts committed. The principles our country is based upon say that, yes, we do need to “wait around for that day to come”. To do otherwise is called prior restraint and is, rightfully so, illegal.—Joe]

Two truths and a lie

Yesterday at work they told me to prepare for a group meeting where I will be introduced to everyone. I’m supposed to tell them three things about myself. Two of which are true and one which is a lie. The group is to guess which is the lie.

This sounds like so much fun I’m going to prepare for it here. But since the readers of this blog know so much about me already or could easily search the blog for many of the answers I’m going to give you a bunch more truths to better hide the lie.

I’ll update this post with the answer in week or so. In the meantime post your guess in the comments.

  • When in grade school I had to milk the cows before and after going to school.
  • I went to grade school in a two room school with two teachers and eight grades.
  • I sometimes walked through snow drifts to get to grade school.
  • I first drove on a public road with the permission of my parents when I was 10 years old.
  • I used explosives to remove hundreds of tree stumps from fields before I was teenager.
  • In high school I figured out the combination to locker of the beautiful girl next to me so I could “borrow” her hard-core porn books but I was too shy to ever initiate a conversation with her.
  • I built an electronic alarm system for my high school locker.
  • I made contact sensitive explosives in high school and scattered tiny pieces on the hallway floor.
  • I have never illegally used any recreation drug except for that one glass of beer when I was 17.
  • As a college freshman three women invited me to drive to Montana with them where the drinking age was 18. They all got drunk and we shared one bed together but I was so shy I never so much as kissed any of them.
  • I won first place while playing for the University of Idaho chess team in the Association of College Unions Intercollegiate Tournaments in Region 14 (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana).
  • I had never drank any hard liquor until my girlfriend accidently switched glasses with me a few months ago.
  • I maintain three blogs and make at least one post each day.
  • I own an explosives production facility where I make about a ton of explosives each year for recreational purposes.
  • I wrote software for the CIA.
  • I took a training pistol from the chief instructor in a handgun retention class.
  • I went to Blackwater (a private military company and security consulting firm) for “summer camp” for free and was taught by one of the top handgun shooters in the world.

I think there are only two people in the world who I currently know that can identify with certainty which one is the lie.

Update: The lie is:

I won first place while playing for the University of Idaho chess team in the Association of College Unions Intercollegiate Tournaments in Region 14 (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana).

The truth is it was second place:


The reason only two people I currently know who, “can identify with certainty which one is the lie” are Barb L. and Barb S. Barb S. because she was around when I played in the tournament. Barb L. because she could have looked in the trophy case to confirm or deny my claim. My kids never paid much attention to my trophy case and I have lost contact with all the other people in that tournament.

The comments to this post were some of the most fun I have had on this blog.

In answer to Ubu52 who doubted I had built the electronic alarm for my locker here is a picture of the remnants of it I found in one of my recently unpacked boxes:


It has a single silicon controlled rectifier so it is electronic. The magnetic reed switch is for turning it off. There was another reed switch for triggering the alarm after a delay created by the resistors and capacitors. But I replaced the reed switch with just a couple of bare wires after someone used a huge (something like 25 pound) horseshoe magnetic on the outside of the locker to trigger it. The Sonalert was a new product on the market then and I used one of those for the sound producing device. It was eventually used in a different project of mine and I don’t know if I even have it any more.

And repeating for completeness this is the picture of the girl, Mary Ann, with the locker next to mine which I “borrowed” the porn from when I had the alarm in my locker:

Mary Ann

As far as the consumption of alcohol and other recreational drugs all the things I said are true. I’m even pretty sure that Barb switching the glasses on me was an accident.

The one glass of beer I had when I was 17 was my first day of college when I fell to the peer pressure, felt bad about it during and after, and didn’t do that again.

It was interesting the response my kids had to this post. Xenia hasn’t said anything about reading it but James and Kim both had the chess story and the three girls in Montana story on their short list. Kim correctly suspected that one of the women was the much older half sister of one James’ best friends in high school who was, eventually, the first girl I ever kissed (she is now college literature and women’s studies professor in a long term lesbian relationship–just so you know the sort of damage kissing me can inflict). Either I never told James about that or he forgot it. When I started to tell him about last week he cut me off as it being just too weird.

Quote of the day—Steve Wood

Guns are like drugs. The addicts don’t see a problem. The sober people over-react. What we need is a culture that doesn’t worship violence. From TV and movies to video games and sports, the “if it bleeds it leeds” media, (Even though crime rates are way down) Americans have a love affair, no, an addiction, to violence. Any attempt to ween them from violence elicits violent outrage. I say, come on climate change! Release that lethal dose of methane in the permafrost and end this. But I tend to be pessimistic sometimes.

Steve Wood
March 11, 2015
Comment to The NRA Wins Again on Armor-piercing Bullets, But Common Sense Was Already Lost
[Wood claims we need “a culture that doesn’t worship violence” yet he desires the extinction of humanity.

Such conflicting statements, even ignoring the spelling errors, are a sign of mental problems. But that is the norm with anti-gun people.—Joe]

Interesting first day at work

I no longer work in downtown Seattle near Mugme Street. Today was my first day on the job on the Eastside of Lake Washington.

One of the most interesting things was that at various times during the day my boss would introduce me to someone. This included people as high as the “Senior Director” and maybe a V.P. Nearly everyone said something to the effect of, “You’re the guy that likes to blow stuff up!” The director and her husband are probably going to participate in signed up for Boomershoot this year.

Oh. Word got around ahead of me.

Just as interesting are the people I’m working with.

My boss was former military and law enforcement and during the interview a few weeks ago mentioned something about explosives. Taking a chance I said, “I have a license to make high explosives.” I presume this is how word got around ahead of me. Although Bruce (see also here) could have contributed to this some too, since he works at the same place. This sidetracked the interview quite a bit and he told stories about he and some of his cop buddies doing some things with explosives that were more “interesting” (but harmless) than one would normally admit too.

While showing me around today my boss also told me a first hand story of what Black Talon ammo (in 9mm) did to human targets. Because of the over penetration his police department went to Federal Hydra-Shok’s after that.

One of the guys I’ll be working closely with and whose desk is closest to mine is a former special forces guy. He and my boss were telling me stories from survival school when they were in the military.

I’m working on security stuff with some very interesting people. Security Theater is not tolerated in our environment. This should be fun.

Unexpected question

Barb got a new water heater installed recently and one of the installers poked his head in the laundry room to ask Barb to turn on the hot water facet in the kitchen to get the water to drain.

Some time later he asked, “Who here works for Blackwater?”

Barb told him no one, but that I had got a tour through their facility. That wasn’t exactly correct (see also here) but it was close enough.

Apparently he saw the hats hanging up in the laundry room:


Speed steel challenge fun match results

Yesterday I went to Whidbey Island for a steel match at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club. It was a beautiful day to be on the island:



The match was run the same as Steel Challenge but none of the stages were the classifier stages.

The stages were the most interesting steel stages I have shot. In each of the pictures below you shoot the white plates in any order then shoot the yellow stop plate last.

You had to be careful on this one. It was undefined what happened if one of your shots hit both the yellow and white plate. Our squad gave the shooter credit for whichever plate gave him the best result.

One guy in our squad called this stage “Saw tooth”.

They called this stage “Train crossing”.

I don’t recall there being a name for this stage.
They called this stage “Drag race”. Obviously it was a very fast stage.

“Drag race” was the last stage our squad shot and I was “getting into the zone”. As per Steel Challenge rules we shot each stage five times and threw out the slowest time and summed the remaining four times. My cumulative time for the four best strings was 11.87 seconds (an average of 2.9675 seconds for the draw and five hits). One string was 2.83 seconds. When I finished a guy on our squad told me, “Fancy shooting!” I’m not sure “Fancy” was the appropriate term but I was very pleased with the results. Although I’m nearly certain there are a lot of shooters could do it under two seconds.

The overall results are as follows. Most people shot more than one gun in different classes. The class definitions (IIRC) are:

RF-RI-O: Rim Fire Rifle Optics
RF-O: Rim Fire Pistol Optics
CF-I: Center Fire Iron
CF-RV-O: Center Fire Revolver Optics
CF-RV: Center Fire Revolver
CF-LR: ??

Name Class Total Time
Brian RF-RI-O 40.88
Dan RF-RI-O 51.58
Brian RF-O 53.89
Jeff RF-RI-O 55.26
Jeff RF-O 62.29
Mac RF-O 66.97
Jim CF-RI-O 68.13
Joe CF-I 78.15
Dan CF-RV-O 80.36
Jeff CF-I 87.68
Bruce CF-I 97.78
Mac CF-RV 95.31
Bruce CF-I 97.78
Dennis CF-LR 111.99
Jim CF-RV 139.34

It wasn’t a big field of competitors in my class but I did win by a pretty wide margin.

Gun cartoon of the day


This is in contrast to my usual type of gun cartoon because I was so annoyed about the cartoon I posted last night. Those people who claim “We’ve got to do something about guns!” and demand additional restrictions on the exercise of this specific enumerated right have crap for brains or evil intent. This cartoon illuminates the mental deficiencies and/or deliberate deception.