Saturday, December 24, 2011

NORAD, bless their hearts ...

... Are continuing their fifty-plus-year tradition of tracking Santa Claus, and setting records this year.


I would like to state for the record that while I would not mind in the least my tax money going to this effort, generous donors are funding the whole thing, while volunteers man the phones.

Colonel Harry Shoup would be proud.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Confession for the day

I was in my late teens when I finally discovered that the song was not, "Got to rescue Mary, gentlemen, let nothing you delay."

These days, I think I prefer my teenage version.


In that spirit, here is Ronnie James Dio, doing what he did best:


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dragon Leatherworks

Herself has written a review of a Dragon Leatherworks Flatjack holster, and I thought I'd add my tuppence worth.

The first thing I noticed when we opened the package was that compared to my other leather holsters, this one felt more substantial for about the same weight.

While it is a very pretty holster, it is a very solid one also -- a detail which is fairly important to me -- with the leather at the belt slots being more rigid than an equivalent holster from Galco.
When mounted on a belt, this Dragon Leatherworks holster does not move around -- at all. Where you place it when you put it on, is where you're going to find it when you take it off.

To be perfectly honest this may be more due to the fact that my Galco has seen several years of use, while the Dragon Leatherworks is still new. Time will tell.

The rigidity of the leather also ensures that one-handed, no-eyes re-holstering is a breeze. This is a detail that I regard as mandatory for a holster, but other people may not. YMMV.

One of the first places I check on a new holster is the top inner edge -- the bit that is most liable to come into long-term contact with my tender pink hide. On a lot of El Cheapo holsters this edge can be rough, or even sharp, causing unnecessary wear on shirts or even scratches or abrasions on said afore-mentioned tender pink hide.

That edge on this holster is nice, smooth roll.

The Gun That Killed Santa Claus
is a stainless-steel Ruger SP101 .357 magnum with the 3-1/16" barrel. The current Ruger web-page lists the weight as being a full-on 27 ounces. It is one solid tank of a snubbie.

Herself's normal carry pistol is a S&W 642 Airweight .38Special in a Galco holster.

It is telling as to the worth and quality of Dennis Badurina's work that Herself found that carrying the Ruger (at almost twice the weight and double the barrel length of the S&W) was much more comfortable for her than carrying the S&W 642 in her usual Galco holster.

And that last paragraph right there says it all.

We here at The LawDog Files give Dragon Leatherworks the LawDog Paw of Approval.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Daddy's little murder machine

One of the best ratting dogs I've ever had was a chihuahua/toy poodle mix named Sally. That little dog treated small vermin like an adorable, furry little tornado treats a single-wide trailer.

And, of course, I've written at least once about Buster on these pages, so you'd think that the hunting ability of chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes wouldn't be anything of a surprise.

Chuy is a dachshund/chihuahua cross -- a "chiweenie" -- and -- as such, is not a real big dog. Solid, yes, but not much more than a lap-full.

He and Praline get the same amount of food every morning, the same amount of food that they've gotten every morning since they achieved their full growth, but while Praline's weight stays the same, Chuy had been getting ... bigger.

When he broke twenty pounds, we were starting to get a bit worried that maybe there were some health issues. Thyroid, maybe.

As a co-inky-dink, about the same time, I noticed piles of feathers in the back-yard. Several pigeons, a mocker or two, and several blue jays, amongst others not readily identifiable. At least one pile every other day, sometimes several in a day.

I know what you're thinking, but Praline isn't all that interested in birds -- not when there are skwirlz that need attending to -- so I figured that since the town busy-bodies had managed to get the entire place declared a Bird Sanctuary (Absolutely No Killing Of Birds! Ever! Even if they crap EVERYWHERE! Verboten!) some enterprising hawk, owl or other predatory avian had staked the neighborhood as it's personal hunting ground.


I had let the pups out to do the needful, and since I had just brewed a fresh cuppa, I was watching them through the kitchen window, not thinking of much.

Praline was up in the pecan tree daring the skwirlz to come down and fight -- as is her wont -- but Chuy was laying on the deck that surrounds the pecan tree, chin on his paws, and looking so totally knackered that I was actually a bit worried that he was sick.

And then ...

... I noticed that a blue jay had landed in the yard, and was bouncing here and there, looking for goodies.

Chuy came off the deck like he had an ejection seat under his furry little butt, impacted the bird square amidships and the two of them cartwheeled across the lawn in a tangle of ginger fur, blue feathers, and cursing.

This was apparently such a common occurrence that Praline looked down from her tree, cocked an ear at the full-on brawl not ten feet away, and promptly went right back to opining at the top of her lungs vis à vis the ancestry, personal habits and sexual proclivities of the local tree rats.

The donnybrook ended with Chuy spinning in a backwards circle, shaking his head so fast that the -- probably extremely dead -- bird was nothing more than a blur amid a cloud of feathers, then he trotted off to his man-cave under the Morgan building with his ears and tail at jaunty angles, and the now-mostly-plucked bird hanging limp from his jaws.


I'm torn. Half of me hopes that the local busy-bodies don't find out that he's supplementing his diet with their precious poo factories birdies, and half of me really, really wants to send them a note of thanks and appreciation signed with a bloody paw-print.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Kith and kin

The word "kin" is still used and is commonly recognized to mean those people descended from a common ancestor and belonging to a clan or family.

"Kith", though, is less common -- indeed to my knowledge in these modern days is only used as part of the phrase "Kith and kin".

It comes from the Old English word "cunnan" which meant "to know", and means -- formally -- those people whom are your close friends.

Informally, a wiser gentleman than myself described it thusly:

"Kin are the family God gives you. Kith are the family you choose."

Phlegmmy and I met the matriarch of the Farm Family at the first Blogorado, when she was kind enough to welcome a horde of bloggers into her home; as she did at each subsequent get-together.

I will always remember the twinkle in her eye and her merry cackle at a good story.

This morning, we woke up to terrible news: she had lost her fight against cancer.

I wish that I had words to console her kith and kin; but I don't. Instead, I shall fall back on Mary Elizabeth Frye to convey that which I wish I could:

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die."

Farm Family, I hope that the pleasant memories that you share of Mamaw comfort you now, and that they provide some small measure of peace in the days ahead.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

That is all.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Bifocals. I haz dem.

I thought it was bad when my latest Eager Recruit looked at me with huge eyes, and exclaimed, "You're even older than my dad!"


Fortunately I have an eye doctor who is a shooter (even if he looks too sodding young to have actually gotten a medical degree) and he's tweaked my new cheaters to give me 20/15 vision in my shooting eye. The thought that I might actually be able to see the 500 yard target has eased the sting of OMFGBIFOCALS!!! a tiny bit.

The no-line progressive lenses are giving me fits, though.

My old glasses are darn near a decade old, and are were scratched and hazy to the point it's a wonder I could see the
Exxon Valdez, much less anything else, so just walking around is fantastic ...

... And then I glance down and my feet are a nasty little blur -- until I crank my chin onto my collar-bone, and hey! There they are!


I am assured that the Human Brain Is A Wondrous Thing, and that the blurring as I flick my eyes around the various distances in my field of view will be gone in two weeks.

And my lady loves the new frames.

So, all in all, I'll call this one a win.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

11 SEP 2011

Seems the Thing To Do Today is to remember what you were doing on this date, ten years ago.

Really? One tiny decade later? Ask me on the fiftieth anniversary. That's a decent amount of time for commemoration.

Instead we should be remembering what
we weren't doing on this day ten years ago.

Ten years ago we weren't detaining WWII fighter aces at the aeroport screening for attempting to bring their Medal of Honor onto an aeroplane.

Ten years ago strangers fondling the genital areas of your children and your spouse in public were being arrested instead of being excused.

Ten years ago the Federal Government wasn't trying to ram National Identity Papers down everyone's throats.

The American Government's reaction to the 9/11 attack has done more damage to individual liberty and individual freedom in this country than the combined efforts of every terrorist since Year Dot.

And what does the Media do about this? They engage in misty-eyed navel-gazing and the exploration of FEEEE-lings on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.


You know what I'm going to do to remember 11 SEP 2001? I'm going to go buy an American military service-member a beer and thank that person for volunteering to be a tiny cog that had a part -- however small, however seemingly inconsequential -- in getting Usama bin Laden shot in the face.

That is a proper remembrance for this date, ten years back.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

What the hell ... ?

I have just received, well, multiple copies of a police cruiser dash-cam video of a stop performed by two officers of the Canton Police Department in Canton, Ohio.

I am speechless.

The video is here:

After sitting through that, I have some questions.

1) Is it Standard Operating Procedure for Canton PD Officers to threaten to assault handcuffed and compliant prisoners?

2) Is it SOP for Canton PD Officers to search the back seat of a car with the driver not only still sitting in the car, but not even Terry frisked yet?

3) Is it SOP for Canton PD Officers to threaten the murder of handcuffed and compliant prisoners?


That lead officer in this video needs a psych evaluation. Sooner, rather than later.

I neither know, nor care, what snakes he's got in his head, what sort of shift he had or what personal problems he's got, but he is a loose cannon on deck and does not need to be driving anything with more horsepower than a desk, nor carrying any gun that uses anything other than water for ammunition.

As a law enforcement professional my-own-self, I state here and now that that man makes me ashamed of my chosen profession.

If you can not handle that traffic stop in the video, my old lad -- that certain, particular and exact traffic stop in the above video -- with more self-control, more decorum, more professionalism, and more basic, common courtesy than what you show ... tell me, do: what the hell are you going to do on one that really goes rodeo?

Insults are no substitute for self-control. Threats are not better than self-discipline. Screaming is not a replacement for dignity and courtesy.

Burger King is hiring. Do yourself a favour; do your department a favour; and do the rest of us a favour -- find a job doing something else ...
before you cripple or maim an innocent "putting lumps" on them, or you "put ten rounds" into someone who doesn't need killing.

You complete, utter and total jackass.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer cocktail


2 parts sparkling plonk
1.5 parts elderflower liqueur
2 parts fizzy water
Crushed ice to satisfaction

We use Verdi Spumante for the cheap booze, St. Germain liqueur, Topo Chico fizzy, and Sonic's finest crushed ice.

Fill your glass with the ice, add the rest, stir lightly.

Voila! Summer cocktail.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

The following audio-book is extremely Not Safe For Work. Or to be played anywhere near children.

However, I do believe that most fathers can understand, if not sympathize, with Samuel L. Jackson's rendition of this particular book.

But you really should be careful where you play this video.

Trust me.

Happy Father's Day!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


The Tonga Defence Services are the pointy end of things for the Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific. Numbering about 500 troopies -- more or less -- in total, a significant percentage of them have been serving in Iraq and, more recently, in Afghanistan.

The following is a video of the Royal Tongan Marines ending their recent tour with the RAF in Afghanistan:

You ever get the feeling that sometimes civilization doesn't stick as thoroughly as some folks might want to believe?



Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Does anyone make a good quality blackjack-style sap anymore?

By "blackjack-style", I mean round head, coil-spring handle and woven leather, like the old Bucheimer 720.

My favourite sap makers Boston Leather and D3 Protection either don't make a blackjack, or their model is folded leather instead of woven -- and I'm a bit of a traditionalist.

Oh, I realize that there is no dearth of blackjacks out there -- every gun show I've attended has a tub full of blackjacks somewhere. Trouble is, I'm fairly sure that they're all from the same Chinese manufacturer: the leather is stamped basket-weave instead of woven, and they're glued instead of stitched.

Just simply will not do.


Anyone know of someone making a quality blackjack, about eight ounces or so, and eight to nine inches in length?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LawDog Paw of Approval

As long-time Gentle Readers will remember, occasionally I review a piece of kit that is really, really handy -- or just plain neat -- and I award it (tongue firmly in cheek) the LawDog Paw of Approval.

Gentle Reader Koutetsu Kaigun has been kind enough to fash
ion several official Paw of Approval stamps for use on future reviews.

The only problem being I'm not sure which of the seven should be used. So, I shall post all seven designs and you, Gentle Readers, get to vote in the comments for the one y'all think best embodies the spirit of the Paw of Approval.

I'm thinking most votes in the next five days, ending noon-ish my time on Sunday.


Monday, June 13, 2011

I admit it ...

... I'm a food snob.

My earliest memories of a food variety are from the Mediterranean Basin. Maltese and Gozitan (of course), Italian, some Greek and a little of the western Iberian Peninsula.

One thing that all of these cultures had in common was that the diner never got up from the table hungry. The concept of an evening meal that lasted less than a couple of hours was a completely foreign concept to me until I got to England and the United States.

Well, that and serving a no-name house wine with your meals, but that's a rant for another time.

When I sit down at a table for a meal -- especially one that I'm paying for -- I want food on my plate, not two Brussels sprouts and a stalk of asparagus delicately balanced on a chunk of pork the size of a quarter and surrounded by a pattern of sauce which I'm fairly sure is actually the chef's signature.

Some months back, Herself and I were noodling about in a small town some ways south of home when we stumbled across a tiny little hole-in-the-wall place where the maître d' greeted us with a lilting Italian accent.

Not a Brooklyn accent, mind you, but one just off the boat from Tuscany.

Scarcely daring to hope -- I mean, seriously, it's a town of about 5,000 souls in North Texas -- we ordered food.

Oh. Mah. Gawd. About half-way through a glorious chicken piccata, I looked at Herself and opined, "Somebodies Nonna is chained to the stove back there."

Seeing our absolute rapture, the maître d' apologized profusely for not being able to serve wine with the meal (his utter bafflement at the concept of a "dry town" sent Herself into giggles), confided that the quality of bread had forced the restaurant to buy a five digit specialty bread oven, insisted that we try the house blend coffee with the tiramisu, and finally confessed that business had been good enough that they were opening a second eatery in a town that would allow them to serve wine.

A town that just happens to be about fifteen minutes from Rancho LawDog.

Now, the fact that I'm in an area of the country that thinks that Pizza Hut is great Italian food makes me a bit concerned that my taste-buds might have been deceiving me. That maybe my missing that sort of food makes me think that second-rate chow is magnificent merely because it's not from a chain restaurant, so last weekend the Atomic Nerds were staying over after PhlegmPhest and since they're foodies we decided to see if the food was as good to them as it was to us.


As we reluctantly left the restaurant, Stingray was plotting various methods to drag it back to the Nerd Ranch behind the Nerdmobile.


Good food. It pops up in the oddest locations, and often where you'd never expect to find it.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Public Service Announcement

While cyanoacrylate is, indeed, used as a liquid suture, it might be advisable to seek some form of training in that particular application, because the "intuitive" thing to do -- in your words -- just might send the ER doctor into orbit.

As a "fer instance" let us say you have developed a sudden gaping wound in your leg. Let us further say that you have been told that your best friends' fathers' brother may (or may not) have used Super Glue to save the life of his Company Commander in VietNam...

(Only a complete cynic might opine that it is more likely that you read it on an Internet Forum, or heard it in a Hollywood screenplay, but I digress)

... If you hobble into the kitchen, grab a full tube of Super Glue from the drawer, stuff the nozzle into the afore-mentioned gaping wound, squeeze the entire contents of the bottle there-in -- well, let us say that the next fifteen minutes of jamming the sides of the laceration together are less than useful, shall we?

That was a masterful use of invective on the part of the ER doc, though, wasn't it? Almost poetry.

Nothing but love,


Thursday, May 12, 2011

I don't know why ...

... but this made me spew Darjeeling across the room.



Monday, May 02, 2011

Mr President ...

... your drinking cup is ready.

So. Usama bin Laden has been turfed off this mortal coil courtesy of several months hard Intel work, followed by a late-night visit from a SeAL Team.

Well done, lads. Very well done.


Friday, April 01, 2011


My brother Chris is a proto-gunnie. He has a couple of .22 rifles, a 4-inch .357 Ruger, and an 1899 Mauser; but guns are pretty much like the air he breathes -- something he takes for granted and doesn't really notice until you point out an interesting one.

Since he has a degree in Humanities, with a minor in History, "interesting" usually means an old gun, with an old military gun being a gold star. The 1899 Argentinian Mauser (which used to be mine) mentioned above is a prime example.

A couple of days ago, I got an outraged call from him asking if cops were actually allowed to commit felonies. A bit non-plussed, I stated that that was actually a bit of a sticky wicket,and could he point out the felony in question?

Turns out, he has discovered the ATF malfeasance in Project Gunrunner.


Anyhoo, I pointed out that he had a very good question, and one that I really couldn't answer.

Today I discover that not only does he Get It, but that he dashed off a quote that will probably be showing up in .sig lines all over the Internet:

"Oh, and why is there a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms anyway? That makes as much sense as having a Bureau of Coal, Petroleum and Citrus Fruit."
Snerk. I'm so proud.


Friday, March 25, 2011

What pen for fraudulating?

By way of e-mail, I discover that my choice of fountain pen at work is apparently a subject of interest.


Oookay, anything for blog fodder, I guess.

It's a Lamy AL-Star, the aluminum version of their popular Safari line. I like the Safaris, but I'm used to a bit of weight in a fountain pen, and the plastic Safari just doesn't feel like a fountain pen to me.

I have a Z-24 piston converter installed, which is kind of new to me. When I discovered cartridge systems for pens, I whole-heartedly leaped onto the new (for me) technology, trumpeting the ease of use and vowing to never use a converter again.

Here recently, though, I've become dis-satisfied with fountain pen cartridges. Unless you want to go to some trouble, you're pretty much stuck with whatever ink and colour the manufacturer thinks you need, and they can be a pain-in-the-tuckuss to change out.

With a converter installed, I can use whatever ink or colour strikes my fancy, or even mix my own personal variety.

As far as ink goes, I'm a fan of Noodlers, but I've picked up a couple of bottles of Levenger's house brand ink that I've been quite pleased with; and I've developed a bit of a jones for the Iroshizuku ink.

I seriously doubt if any of my critters will ever see a note scribed in that last, though. They're simply not worth it.

Why a fountain pen?

Well, I'd be lying if I said that ego didn't have something to with my choice of writing instrument. People will stop what they are doing when you un-cap a fountain pen, and watch in fascination as you write with it.

And in today's world of mass-produced ball-point pens and gel inks, there is something satisfying to the soul to be found in writing with an instrument which dates to the 1850s and can trace it's direct lineage back to the 10th Century.

The big plus to a fountain pen is the simple fact that it is easier to write with one. Fountain pen ink is liquid and flows freely. The scribe need only guide the nib across the paper, and the ink will apply itself.

Ball-point pens, on the other paw, use paste ink, and require the writer to firmly apply enough pressure to rotate the ball, dragging the paste out of the reservoir and onto the surface of the paper.

Granted, it is not a lot of pressure, but it does add up over the course of a day. Since I initial or sign over a hundred documents in a shift; answer a score or more Inmate Request Forms, Grievances and the occasional Citizen Complaint, and annotate or add suggestions to a double handful of stuff written by other officers -- my writing hand gets a bit of a work-out.

It may just be imagination, but at the end of the day I can tell a palpable difference between a shift using a fountain pen and a shift using a ball-point.

And I just like them.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Ted Gundy is a veteran of World War 2. He fought as a sniper through the Battle of the Bulge until he zigged when zagging was called for and snagged a German shell with his right leg.

He recently sent an e-mail to the producer and host of the Outdoor Channel's Shooting USA programme, asking about the intricacies of making a thousand-yard shot.

The result of that e-mail is here:

Grab a kleenex or two, the air is going to be a wee bit dusty in your area.

84 years old. 1000 yards. Five inch group.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Richard Daley (sr) voted for who?

Was anyone else shocked (shocked, I say!) about the results of last nights mayoral election in Chicago?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Note to self from Phlegmmy

While I appreciate that it takes a ruggedly heterosexual man to wear Hello Kitty bandaids when nothing else is available, must get manly bandaids for the odd handyman mishaps that will occur.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh my ever-loving Goddess ...

"Usagi" is the Japanese word for rabbit. It is also "U.S.A. GI", which -- if you are of punnish bent -- can be a nice co-incidence.

If you want to see bunny commandos doing Bad Things to extremist fundamentalist camels, there is a video you must see.

Be advised, there is violence. Graphic, blood-spattering violence. A lot of it. There is also more than a bit of foul language -- and that includes the title of the video.

Clicky here. Remember that I warned you about the graphic violence and the graphic language.

Oh, and watch it in High Definition.

The twitching bunny tail on the sniper caused me to about lose it. I am a sick, sick person.

Watch. Enjoy.


Friday, February 11, 2011


After steadfastly refusing to be winkled out of his seat, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned, leaving the Egyptian military in charge of that country.


My Prediction For the Day: In five years -- ten at the most -- the Egyptian people will look back with considerable nostalgia and longing upon the Good Old Days of Mubarak's reign.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Why, you little ...

Last summers slam order on tree rats, along with the removal of anything that might constitute a Squirrel Highway to a distance of eight feet or so from the house, has resulted in a blessed absence of skittering noises coming from the attic.

So, when Farmgirl pointed towards a fat arboreal rodent busily making his way from tree to tree across the alley towards Casa LawDog and mentioned that he was most probably en route to the attic, I assured her that the surviving squirrels had had a season or two of training and weren't that dumb.

Of course, you know what happened next.

I was of the impression that as that fluffy tail disappeared into the attic, I set my tea down, excused myself, strolled into the house, picked up the Browning, checked the chamber, and walked back out to see if the little furry bastard would peek out before settling in.

Other folks have opined that there was a yelp, and that I was gone and back before the tea-mug hit the ground.


There I was, concentrating on the front sight, when there was motion to my left, and EvylRobot was there with his own .22 rifle.

And then I noticed that Vine has the exit hole lit up, and that there were a large number of people inside of the house, banging on the ceiling and barking (yes, the dogs were barking, too, but I'm here to tell you that MattG has a bark to put the fear of God into just about anything that walks on this little green dirtball) to drive the squirrel out through a hail of rim-fire lead.

I have the best friends.

The topper to the whole episode, and what sent the Fair Sex present into absolute gales of laughter, was when someone tapped me in the ribs and Holly handed me one of her ambrosial deviled eggs.

Folks, if you're a fan of the deviled egg, don't turn the opportunity to put the gobble to one out of Holly's kitchen.

I'm stuffing the hen fruit into my gob, when I hear a strangled yelp from next to me, and EvylRobot manages, "Wait, wait, I don't have you covered!" as he noshes an egg of his own.

I'm not sure exactly why this was so funny, but it just about kicked the gigglebox right over for the ladies present.

I had an absolutely wonderful time, and made out like a bandit with swag.

OldNFO; Jennifer, EvylRobot and Isaac; Vine; Farmgirl; Holly and JPG; MattG and his lovely wife; ChristinaLMT; my brother Chris; and Ambulance Driver blessed us with their company, and the Atomic Nerds were there in spirit (and by spirit, I mean they sent two cases of Nerd Beer. Oh. My. Gawd.)

Everything under the sun was discussed; there was laughter, good friends, good beer and everyone had a good time. I couldn't ask for a better party.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear LawDog,

What is "primer wipe"?

Oh, boy. Got some time?

To explain primer wipe, first let me explain what the "firing cycle" is in a modern firearm.

The "firing cycle" is the series of operations involved in a modern weapon to fire a round. Generally speaking it goes something like this:

Feeding. This is the step in which a complete cartridge is introduced into the chamber of the firearm. It is followed by:

Locking. In this step the bolt or breech locks to the barrel, so as to contain the pressure generated by the next step, which is:

Firing. Sometimes this is called 'ignition', it is when the primer is ignited by the firing pin or striker, and the round is fired. Next is:

Unlocking. Once the pressure in the chamber of the firearm has dropped to a safe level, the bolt or breech unlocks from the barrel, which leads to:

Extraction. The empty case is removed from the chamber; and finally:

Ejection. The empty case is removed from the firearm.

And the cycle continues back with "Feeding".

Primer wipe is a condition in which the firing pin or striker impacts the primer during the "Firing" portion of the cycle, and remains embedded therein through "Unlocking", "Extraction", and "Ejection". As the empty case is kicked out of the firearm, it is dragged across that un-retracted firing pin, causing a characteristic oval or tear-drop gouge, and -- in extreme cases -- smearing the metal of the primer out of the primer pocket and onto the case itself.

There are many different causes of primer wipe, but they all boil down to one of two reasons.

The first of which is that the firing pin or striker is unable to retract after firing.

While, in and of itself, not a dangerous condition, the typical firing pin/striker assembly is a light-weight metal alloy designed to be driven hard enough by a relatively dinky mainspring to ignite a primer.

It is not designed for lateral stress. Sooner or later being yanked sideways every time the weapon fires is going to break, bend, spindle, mutilate or otherwise damage the needle-shaped firing pin or striker assembly to the point that it can no longer function.

Which, since the firing pin or striker is kind of necessary for the whole 'bang' part of your bang-stick, pretty much guarantees said bang-stick is going to be Paws-Up until fixed.

This can range from being Rather Annoying if it happens at the mid-point of the Palma match or as the trophy of a lifetime disappears over a ridge; all the way up to A Bloody Nuisance if it happens during the third shot at five critters trying to get up under your hat with you.

The second reason for primer wipe is when the firing pin simply doesn't have the time to retract.

In other words, the firing pin itself and the firing pin channel are clean and to spec, but the firearm unlocks, extracts and ejects before the firing pin spring has time to push the pin back to its' resting position.

Folks, this can be a Bad Thing.

There's a reason for the second and fourth segments of the firing cycle. When that pin hits the primer for a brief part of a second there is all sorts of nastiness going on inside that chamber. The locking and unlocking is to make sure all that nastiness stays in the chamber and does its' job: driving the bullet out the muzzle-end at velocities up to, and including, trans-sonic.

If the firearm unlocks too soon -- well, that afore-mentioned nastiness is all of sudden up under your nose, introducing itself to you.

I'll let the Gentle Reader ruminate on that for a moment.

Anyhoo, "primer wipe". Hope it was informative.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Meditations on Kel-Tec

The first gentleman who taught me combat with a firearm -- as opposed to shooting with a firearm -- had some squirrelly ideas about the subject.

As a "fer instance" he thought that each side of your brain could do one thing at a time under stress; so the obvious thing to do under stress was look at the threat with one side and kill the threat with the other side.

Anyhoo, he was of the opinion that the natural position of the human hand under stress was clenched into a fist. Based on this. he opined that the problem wasn't pulling the trigger, but rather relaxing your trigger finger out of the natural clenched fist enough to allow you to re-pull said trigger.

The solution? Pull the trigger, and keep the trigger pulled back through recoil, keep it pulled back until you reacquired the threat, then release your index finger and immediately pull it back. Rinse and repeat until the threat was gone, then relax your finger, remove it from the trigger-guard, safe your weapon and holster it.

When I got to the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy in the early '90's, Ken Ferrin and Mike Dunlap taught a similar method of shooting, called IIRC, "Trigger Reset". In this, we were taught on the first shot to pull the trigger until the pistol fired, then relax our trigger finger enough (about an eighth of an inch on the S&W 5900 series pistols we were training with) for the trigger to reset, then pull to the rear again.

When taught correctly, this is a fast and accurate way to shoot; but it can create a bit of a hullabaloo from newbie range-masters who see me transitioning to my second or third target with the trigger clamped all the way back*.

Good, bad or indifferent, under stress I default to this. Once the shooting starts, my trigger stays clamped to the rear more often than it's released. I do this with my pistol, with an AR15‡, and with my Mossberg.

Yes, under stress, I pull the trigger, work the pump, release the trigger, pull the trigger, work the pump, so-on and so forth.

I mention this, because by way of Caleb over at Gun Nuts Media we discover that this decades-old habit of mine renders the new Kel-Tec shotgun useless to me under stress.


I'm trying to like Kel-Tec's newest stuff -- really, I am -- but the last two of their guns I've played with have been problematical.

Oleg Volk brought his PMR-30 and his RFB to Blogarado, and I wasn't impressed by either one.

The first time I fired the PMR-30 -- and, granted, several other people had been playing with it before I got my paws on it -- it was pulling the rims loose from the case walls and failing to feed. I fired a couple of rounds through it and passed it off.

Later that day, Farmdad handed it to me after he had dunked it in CLP, and it went through a magazine fairly well -- only had to tap it into battery once -- but to my mind a pistol shouldn't have lube literally dripping out of it to get it to work.

The RFB was worse. Oh, it fired like a champ and ran everything we put into it ... but every case it chucked out had one of the most beautiful examples of primer wipe I have ever seen. To the point that OldNFO pulled the trigger once, looked at the case and then refused to shoot it again.

Vine, Farmdad, and I dinked around with that rifle for a while, trying to isolate the cause of the primer wipe, but only managed to launch the gas regulator knob across the Colorado high desert.

I understand that the Kel-Tecs that Oleg brought were early models -- if not prototypes -- but between the PMR-30 and RFB I've personally handled, and the news about the trigger bug feature on the new KSG ...

... folks, I've got to give the new Kel-Tec stuff a thumbs down.


*No, I don't move with the trigger held back, unless I'm shooting as I move.

‡No, auto-fire isn't a problem. Unless the weapon is belt-fed, crew-served and/or involves an electric motor, auto-fire is a fantastic way to convert money into noise, and is significantly less-efficient than rapid single-fire at punting critters in front of the Pearly Gates.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some changes

Tightened up the place some. Added some long-overdue links to my blogroll, with some more coming -- probably.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Regarding Arizona

Six people died in the Tucson, AZ shooting:

Christina Taylor Green
Dorothy Morris
John Roll
Phyllis Schneck
Dorwin Stoddard
Gabriel Zimmerman

Fourteen others were wounded, but these people -- each some mother's child -- died.

These people were killed and injured by a deranged dungheap rat, who probably should have been taken out behind the barn and Ol' Yeller'd a long time ago.

I do not name this pile of walking fungus-scrapings, as I have seen his smirking face repeatedly on the National Media, and it is clear from his expression that he is enjoying his moment of fame and glory -- he shall have none of that from me.

Also notice, do, that I make no mention of his political leanings, aspirations or alleged beliefs. This is intentional, as rabid dogs have no politics -- only a disease.

I notice that others have made no such distinction. To these people I have two things to say:

One: have the common decency to stop dancing in the blood and making political hay with their dead bodies long enough for their kith and kin to lay their loved ones to rest. There will be more than time enough for your hypocrisies and your political agendas once the mourning is done.

Two: have a care to remember that when you point a finger at me, you're pointing the other three at yourself. When you're running your sanctimonious mouth about the "violent tone of political discord", you'd better take a good, long look at your side -- it wasn't Republicans who filmed an "art movie" about assassinating President Bush.

And where the hell was your outrage when someone (hint: not a Tea Party member, not a conservative, and not a Republican) shot and destroyed his television because the daughter of Sarah Palin happened to be on a popular dance show? Where was your concern with "civil political discourse"?

Have members of the Tea Party and other conservatives stepped up to, if not over, the courteous line in politics? Oh, yes.

But before you go flapping your sanctimonious, hypocritical cake-holes in our direction, I strongly suggest you take a broom to your own damned side. The lovely Michelle Malkin has a list where you can start.


Monday, January 10, 2011


I carry two pens at at work. One of which is a fine-point gel rollerball for the (frequent) occasions when I'm writing or signing something that has carbons.

The other is a fountain pen with a medium nib. This is the pen that I use for everything else, and is the one I use the most. To the point where I have to refill the converter about every three days or so.

Somebody forgot to remind me that a promotion comes with an exponentially-expanding increase in paperwork. The bastards.

Anyhoo, part of the reason I'm going through rivers of ink is that when an Inmate Request Form (colloquially referred to as a "kite") crosses my desk I answer it properly.

Instead of scrawling a single word ("Approved", "Denied", "No", or the like), I address the response to "Mr (or Ms.) [Insert Critters Name Here] and write a -- usually -- short paragraph explaining why I am not going to authorize the inmate to receive a My First Meth Lab in the mail; or opining that if Ms. Critter didn't want to get stripped and placed on Suicide Watch in Solitary then she shouldn't have tried to hang herself with a bed sheet on video.


I hadn't realized that this would get as ... distinctive ... as it has, until the other day, when an officer brought me a kite from an inmate in the last ten minutes of shift. It had been a long shift, I was tired, out of ink, out of sorts, running low on patience and the request was a calculated attempt to game the system.

So I grabbed the kite and my rollerball, wrote a quick "Denied, see Inmate Handbook", signed it, and handed it back to the officer for return.

Lord have mercy.

I get back to work next shift and the first thing I hear is that a certain inmate has twisted off. He's raising hell, flooded his cell, filing grievance after grievance and generally acting the ass.

Huh. I trundle back to Solitary to ask him just what the hell his major malfunction was, and to impress upon him the advantages to a nice, quiet night; when -- upon seeing me -- he practically bursts into tears.

"Mr 'Dawg! They's fraudulating a superior officer! They can't do that!"

I blink, feel my eyebrow slide up, and the Smartarse Gnome takes the opportunity to grab my tongue, "I'm pretty sure that fraudulating violates the laws of physics, if not the laws of the State of Texas, Anthony, but which particular case of flagrant fraudulating are you referring to?"

He waves a stack of kite forms in my general direction for emphasis: "You, Mr 'Dawg! They is impressonating and fraudulating you! And I won't stands for it!"

I look at the on-coming tier officer, "I am? Why was I not told? Did I at least hold out for dinner?" That worthy gives a puzzled shrug (which is a normal response from my minions, come to think), and I turn back to the passionately declaiming Anthony.

He promptly shoves a stack of kite forms into my paws, each one with a paragraph or three on the back in Noodler's Blue/Black from a medium nib, "That's you."


He waves a single sheet of paper upon which four words are written. With a fine-nibbed black-ink G2.


"They said this is you -- but I know better! I know better! I knows your writing, and this ain't it! They wrote it, and said it was you! That's fraudulating! If someone writes something and says that someone else writes it, and that someone didn't write it, and that someone is a superior officer, that's impressonating a superior officer! I won't stands for it! It's fraudulating!"


Why me?


Dear Mr Critter

When you are beating the stuffing out of the woman whom you swore before your God to love, honour and cherish, I'm sure that quoting musical lyrics is just as dramatic as all hell.

Unfortunately, I literally have scars older than you are, and screaming at me that you "wrote the book on pain" doesn't impress me all that much. To the contrary, it tends to make you look a bit of a git.

I am willing to believe, however, that you can be taught. As a fer-instance, I'm betting that you don't ever grab an officer's shirt in the future.

Won't be smacking anyone around with that arm for a while, I'll wager. And -- for the record -- you do shriek like a little girl. Cry like one, too, come to think.



Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Years

There I was, standing over a Trustee of Modern Recreational Pharmacology, observing the fact that he's going into his fifth seizure in half-an-hour, when what spews forth but a mighty projectile burst of blood and stomach acid on a bee-yoo-ti-ful ballistic arch ... which neatly intersects my trouser legs.

About that time, my radio crackles, "County, all units ... Happy New Year."

A long pause, and then my faithful minion clears her throat, and apropos of nothing, opines, "I'd say that it's well-known fact that what you're doing at the stroke of midnight portends what the next year will be like, but I don't want to get beaten to death with a portable suction device."

This one chose ... wisely.

2010 was, while not an outstanding year, was not a bad one -- all things considered.

There have been some medical issues, but those are well-in-paw. And while I don't love my job as much as I used to, it's still worth getting out of bed, suiting up and clocking in.

I have good friends, kith and kin are close, I have a roof over my head and food on the table; and I have the love of a beautiful woman.

Everything after that is just gravy.

Here's looking back at 2010; and here's looking forward to 2011: may we all remember what is important and not let what is not trouble us.

Wishing you always walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
And the love and laughter of those you hold dear.




And to prove that I'm not the only one with a low and bawdy sense of humour in the family, I give you Chris' version of gnomish flight, parts one and two.

Considering the amount of giggling those posts engendered in Herself, we'll go ahead and announce that there's a Class II Beverage Alert for those posts.