Sunday, September 28, 2008

The library.

I have a keen interest in history. As such, when I wanted to start making real sense of how the middle east and central asia came to be what they are today, I started doing my own research. I didn't read them in this order, but this is a start;

"Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford. Covers up to the 1500s, and will blow your mind about the true working of the Khanate and what influences they had even into modern times.

"The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia" by Peter Hopkirk

This one covers the neo-european influences in the area from the Napoleonic era towards the end of Imperial Russia. A great long book (524 pages) but worth the read, every page of it.

Now, I need something to fill in the gap. Weatherford's book stays on scope and doesn't cover what happened to the smaller nations that sprung up amongst tribes from the 1500's onwards, and Hopkirk's has a little forwards that covers it a bit but then starts with Napoleon's conquest of Europe. So I've got about 200 years worth of central asia missing, which may be the most important of all. Unfortunately I get the feeling that scholarly work on the matter is going to be very limited in focus... I'm not going to find a single book that'll describe the rise of the Ottomans, Persia, the Moghul period, etc.

But, that's all OK for now. I usually change subjects after finishing a book and I think I'm going to dive into some "medical" thriller nonfiction for a change. After that I think I'm going to find a good horror writer, maybe grab another Turtledove book, read some engineering texts, etc.

Mission accomplished.

I was unhappy with the media separator lid that RCBS supplies. A quick trip to walmart for office supplies, and...

Viola, quick and dirty media separator. And I even got to use the forstner bits and jig saw :)

The only problem it has is the static that the styrene carried from the factory. A good waxing and that should go away.

Being in the "build me!" mood, I then proceeeded to turn a solid #2 rubber stopper and a 1/4"-20 bolt into an expanding collet, chucked an aluminum Mountain Dew bottle into the drill press, and produced a cowbell.. er.. bell. All *it* needs now is a handle and/or clapper. if I had a lathe I could turn the base into a cup with a little metal spinning...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Presented for review.

One Vltor CASV-ELG mounted to a DPMS Sportical. Yeah, the sights are a bit of a mismatch but it's what we had and is really works well, Matech BUIS and a Troy flip front.

I'd gladly accept this rifle with a lighter stock and a small holographic sight with no irons... an ATNc Ultra might be fragile but it's the profile I'm after. Maybe an Ace Ultra Lite stock would do it well... ugly, but as light as can be.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

*Gasp* politics!

And here's Charles Gibson/ABC's take on the Kennedy inaugural address:

In the long history of the world, only a few...have been granted the role of defending freedom. [...] I welcome it. I do not believe...any other people or any other generation. [...] The glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: [...] what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: [...] here on earth God's work must truly be our own.


Of course, you can't hear editing marks and creative video shooting can mask cuts, and a little pitch bending will solve any incongruencies with the speech.

Oh, oh look... our theoretical ABC broadcast just made JFK into a hawkish, "neo-con" egotist. Go figure.

Whoever is responsible for the Palin interview editing needs to be shitcanned in a damned hurry.


Also titled: Mike gets to stretch out his macro photography skills a little. It's been a while.

We'll pick on this guy first.

Headstamp of F A 9 11 indicates production at Frankford Arsenal, PA in September 1911. This one is just turning 97 years old.

This guy is next;

F A 10 14 says Frankford again, October 1914. Ninety-four years old next month; When this cartridge was made the army had only been using the 1911 for three years.

This one is last; It's not in as good a shape as the others since the case is steel.

ECS43 is Evansville Chrysler/Sunbeam Refrigerator plant Indiana, 1943. Refrigerators? Yes, during WWII the Sunbeam plant tooled up to make ammo from 1942-1944. They went from knowing absolutely nothing to making, if my source is right, 90-95% of all the ammunition shipped overseas during the latter half of WWII, upwards of three billion cartridges.

This is one of those. And they were apparently best quality stuff.

I won't try any, given the conditions they were kept in, but all indication say that most of these old cartridges should still fire.

Proof I need to work in the gun industry.

September 2005 : I wrote the post below:

September 2008:

I can now buy guns chambered in .327 Federal Magnum. 100gr, 1200fps out of a snub, right?

It just gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling, that's all.

Friday, September 12, 2008


And it's picture intensive.

That's all of it; over a year ago an elderly lady dropped off her late husbands guns and a box of ammo that, even politely, was rank and filthy. Nobody wanted to touch it... but they held it aside, figuring I'd want to pick through it since I like odd stuff. Well, I did... and decided to take the whole box home, where it sat until I got a tumbler to clean it all. And I did. And oh, there are some sweet unusual finds in there.

A great big pile of .45 colt, about half which might headstamp out to 1911-1914 production or so

Damaged, but still cool: .375 H&H Magnum. Those are mid-high level safari hunting cartridges

A .41 Short Single Action. Pretty much dedicated to one pistol that started production in 1874

A big pack of strange; That's .30 Short Rimfire, for Sharps single shot rifles. Cannot physically be any newer than early 1920's.

One lonely .455 Colt, aka .455 Enfield revolver. I'm beginning to think the owner was a veteran.

.41 Swiss Rimfire for the Vetterli rifle, 1870's.

Some extras; two original Garand clips

This is what everything looked like before cleaning. I kept one .45 Colt aside in original condition just to show.

And here's the little ebast that made it all possible; It's happily buzzing away right now cleaning the first batch of .38 special brass.

The total haul:

There are also three of something I can't determine. I first thought they were .32 rimfire, but they're far too small. .300 bullet diameter, ~0.55 case length, 0.94" OAL, 0.356" rim, 0.305 neck and base diameters. Completely copper washed with an elongated diamond headstamp. I don't have a clue, it fits NOTHING in the books or online. Hell, considering everything else they may be an ancient european metric cartridge. All I know is, I'm stoked :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bullet: bitten.

After reviewing my finances and staring at a blank wall for several minutes, I once again perused some online sites and huzzah!

3-6 business days from now, an RCBS vibratory tumbler will arrive on my doorstep, alongside 4 pounds of dry polish corncob media.

Oh, and a 20rd box of Hornady 7.5 Swiss. The K31 is hungry.

This is excellent news for... for... someone (I need to go look again) on TFL who asked nicely for a couple rounds of some of the odd ammo I've got in a box awaiting a tumblin' cleanup. I think it's the .32 rimfire...

Oh, and prepare yourselves for an ammofest photoshoot once that's done as well. There's some *seriously* rare and unusual stuff in that box.