Thursday, September 29, 2011

Context and Torture Tests

Something I've noticed lately is a tendency to evaluate firearms based on so-called "torture tests". If a gun can survive an arbitrary test like a fall of a hundred feet it is somehow more "reliable" than a gun that can only fall 20 feet.

But what does it really prove? If, in the middle of a fight, I drop my gun over a 100 foot cliff will my attackers stop while I climb down to retrieve it then wait for me climb back up to resume the fight? Hello! Disarmed guy! Unless those thugs are in a class of stupid beyond all other classes, they will take advantage of my butter fingers to kick my clumsy ass over the cliff after it.

Similarly, a guy who calls himself "ZombieTactics" on linked to a video where some guy reportedly buried his gun for two years, dug it up and then proceeded to fire 500 rounds through it with only a few failures.

OK, admit it: A guy calling himself "Zombie" anything getting excited over stuff that's been buried for two years really is kind of funny.

Nevertheless, what does it prove? If my gun gets buried in a pile of dirt am I going to wait for two years to dig it up? Not likely unless I am dead in which case I won't care. So what is the context of this "test"? Does it prove that, after the Apocalypse, I happen to to find a Glock with 500 rounds of ammunition buried in someones backyard it will mostly work? The possibility exists I suppose but I don't see why I should even care.

Reliability only exists in a context. A gun is one component of a system and the suitability -- of which reliability is a part -- of any particular gun can only be evaluated relative to its function within that system and the environment it is expected to operate in.

One of the important factors that separates engineering and the sciences from wishful thinking and fantasy is a grounding in observable reality. The, often unstated, assumption is that reality exists and it is knowable. Context is not everything but without it, separating any bits of truth from You Tube fantasies becomes an order of magnitude harder.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is Andrew Cuomo crazy?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for shutting state prisons, investing in community in light of gun violence

Gov. Cuomo bemoaned the city's recent spate of gun violence Sunday and made a pitch for his plan to shutter state prisons.

"This recent rash of gun violence should concern us all, because it's frightening and it's only getting worse," Cuomo said at a Harlem breakfast to kick off the African-American Day Parade.

Read the rest here

Crazy like a fox.

Government is among the few human institutions that gain more by failure than by success. If crime goes up, then the taxpayers are willing to pay more and surrender more freedom for "protection". Guess which way crime will go if Coumo succeeds in his latest bit of collectivist inspired madness.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Billy Beck talks back to Obama

Mr. Obama

I write to you now in a truly bi-partisan spirit; my greatest hope in being understood as an American, without party interest.

You see, my first political value is freedom. That, sir, is why I am convinced that you and your entire program must fail. More: you must be taken down in history books as, to-date, the president who was most antithetical to the whole aim of America. In its essence, this is a place where human beings build themselves, for themselves, and without the leave of creatures like you, who would have us as massed-cells for a hive.

I am not a cell, and I do not live in your hive. You will never command my allegiance or even obedience. (No president ever has, so you will not be able to take this personally.) I do not exist for your purposes, but for my own, and you have no place in them. Nor do any of your various underlings.

No matter what events come by us in the future until your (doubtless: worse, and a lot by your actions) successor sees you off the field, you may know that there is at least one American who will always see you: you were the first post-American president.

It is a distinctive new theme for writers interested in such matters. It will be available to them for decades, if not centuries.


(submitted here)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Slipstream -- Part II

First thing, the extra drag on the cylinder and crane mentioned earlier disappeared after about 24 hours.  I suspect this is because the oil is more viscous than my usual lubricant and did not migrate as fast.

I finally got to the range Sunday (9/11/2011) and put about 300 or so rounds through the 686.  The ammunition that day was a mixture of commercial 38 +P (158 gr Speer Lawman) and several different .357 handloads.

The handloads were mild for a 357 -- mid-range loads of Power Pistol or Unique. La Esposa came with me Sunday so I didn't bring any of the hot magnums.  I have this recurring nightmare of her inadvertently picking up a full bore load of 2400 powder back of a 158 gr XTP flat point and refusing to ever shoot the gun again.  Hell!  Since my carpal tunnel relief those bastards smack me hard enough to cause some numbness in my fingers after less than 50 rounds.

The gun performed flawlessly -- as usual. After I came home I gave it a thorough inspection, especially looking for the crud that builds up in the nooks and crannies of the S&W lockworks. I can honestly say that the gun did appear cleaner than I expected. This may be because of the powders or ammunition used that day but I am, tentatively, calling it a win for Slipstream. FWIW, I was sufficiently impressed that I stripped, cleaned and lubed my 625 with Slipstream.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What they say versus what they do

Looks like some Conservatives are upset over a court invalidating part of a new Texas Law requiring any woman pursuing an abortion to have an ultrasound exam.  The attending physician will also be required to say certain, as yet undetermined, things about the images.

The Texas law is yet another an example of Big Government Conservatism.  Which, in reality, is what Conservatism has been since at least 1964.  Conservatives may claim to want government out of the doctor-patient relationship. They may claim to oppose bureaucrats making medical decisions and imposing procedures based on an ideological agenda.  That's what they claim.  The reality of the modern Conservatives is they are quite comfortable forcing government into the examination room, empowering bureaucrats to make medical decisions and imposing care instructions based on an ideological agenda.