This is too cool not to share 
2007.08.07 15:11 - Guns
Behold: the Cammenga EasyMag. (Link indirectly stolen from Says Uncle by way of View From The Porch.)

Yeah, okay. If you're one of the very, very few gun nuts who read this blog, you probably saw this yesterday elsewhere, like I did. And if you're one of everybody else, there's a pretty fair chance that you don't know how big a pain in the thumb loading a gun mag is.0 Very probably, you don't care. I think this is a pretty cool idea, anyway, and you engineering types might be interested by it from the problem vs. solution perspective.

Reviews are pretty much absent, however, since the product's only been on the market since March. And I don't own an AR. So, not terribly useful to me. But neat, anyway.

Footnotes
0. Reputedly, pistol magazines are worse than AR mags, but I, personally, wouldn't know.

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Solo Trip To The Gun Range 
2007.07.30 13:19 - Guns
The furniture got moved on the 21st (Woo: A bed! Double woo: A sofa!), so I decided to take a trip last Saturday morning to the Knob Creek Gun Range and make some things go bang. While I succeeded at the stated goal, I will admit that things could have gone better.

Since it was just me, I decided that the Steyr M40-A1 was the gun to take. Not because I particularly favor the M400, but because I own only two guns, and it's the one that would be practical if I ever got a CDWL1. So, me, 200 rounds of 180-gr Remington-UMC .40 S&W and some paper targets headed off to the range Saturday morning.

Conclusions

1. A 5.5" paper target is entirely too small for me to hit at 25 yards.
2. Even so, anything smaller than the broad side of a barn is probably safe for the foreseeable future.
3. The grip on the M40 is a bit small for my hands. I may need to invest in some slip-on grip pads or something.
4. The Remington .40S&W doesn't seem to get along well with the M40.
5. Dick's is not the place to buy ammunition.

I'm still a pretty poor shot (always have been, so this isn't much of a surprise), and I suspect that I'm pulling the gun to one side or the other when I pull the trigger, and not keeping my wrist straight on top of that. Bad form == poor aim.

Getting that sorted out, though, is going to require a larger target, so I can see where I am hitting, since it's usually not where I'm aiming. Long term, plastic guns are probably not for me, but my guns 'n' butter budget doesn't have room for anything else this year. There are two steel-framed semi-autos high on the list, though.

Had several failures to fire, possibly due to feed problems. Either that, or I really need to work on my grip. The Remington ammo has a slightly different profile on the bullet than the CCI I ran through this gun back in May, and I think the load may have been hotter, too. (Which may have contributed to some limp-wristing on my part.)

So, I need to try a few things the next time I go shooting. This will probably entail a box of the Remington, a box of the Winchester equivalent, and a box of the CCI. Preferably all with the same weight bullet. Since I was shooting 180gr Saturday, I should probably try this with a box each of 180gr, and a box of 165gr Remington, and a box of 155gr Remington. Yes, that's going to be expensive. Shouldn't be much worse than last weekend's bill, though. I need to dig up some larger targets--the paper targets I was using worked pretty well, but I can't predictably hit a 5.5" circle with a pistol.2

I'll also want to take the Mateba with me. The larger grip and heavier weight seemed to make for a more controllable weapon, all the way around, and it seemed more satisfying to shoot (more boom, less pop, no chance of feed problems). Too bad it's not practical as a combat or carry weapon.

Not as much fun as I would have liked, though the weather was nice--humid, but relatively cool, and overcast.

Footnotes
0. I do want to state that I think that the M40-A1 is pretty good pistol, actually. The ergonomics are pretty good, it's a pretty good size, and the trapezoid sights seem to work well. However! A little plastic pistol in .40 S&W is never going to be as sexy as the Mateba, with its blued steel, walnut grips, and unconventional design. Well, not to me, anyway. (Actually, I would find the Mateba more appealing in stainless. Blued steel is classic and pretty, but not quite as durable.)
1. Not happening any time soon, so you can feel free to walk the streets without fear that I might shoot myself in the foot.
2. I couldn't reliably hit any one of nine of them in a grid, actually. I think about one in ten shots actually hit the cardboard backstop they were attached to.

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How far was that, again? 
2007.06.20 12:36 - Guns, Site/Meta
About a month ago, I was yammering about dinging a frying pan at seventy-five yards with my big, fancy revolver. While I haven't had the opportunity to take it back out to the range0, I've become convinced that I've mixed up my units and/or my ability to judge distances had failed me again, and it was probably seventy-five or a hundred feet, not yards, that the pan was placed at.

Which is not too shabby, I think, but substantially less impressive than my earlier boasts. My apologies about the mix-up; I'm afraid that this happens with me from time to time and I'll try to correct it when it does. I've also gone back and modified the entries in question and thrown a note on each explaining.

Footnotes
0. I've been busy, and I'm waiting on Cabela's to ship me a couple of .38 caliber, pistol-sized boresnakes.

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The Best Advertisement For Anything, Ever 
2007.06.04 21:59 - Guns, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity
This is probably the very best argument I've seen for buying a Glock.

Personally, I was thinking I'd buy a Glock 20 and a SIG GSR sometime next year, when the guns and butter budget resets.
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The Mateba 
2007.05.22 14:58 - Guns
I mentioned just over a week ago that the Mateba gave me some trouble when I was cleaning it after the range trip on the 12th.

Just FWIW, this strikes me as a reasonably accurate description of the process. I think it took me two hours to strip, clean, and oil that gun on the 13th. And the set screw is tiny.

So, yeah. Keeping in mind that I am a gun noob, it's not a weapon I can really recommend to anyone. It's expensive, the manufacturer no longer exists, it cannot be field stripped--or stripped at all, without a 1.5mm hex key!, and the word is that it's a bit picky about ammunition. Mine's got a six-inch barrel; it's a big gun. Even with a four-inch barrel, I'm betting that it's too large for most people to carry, if that's a consideration.

So, that's the bad news about the revolver, and most of it's not news. The good? I think it's a joy to shoot, seems to be quite reliable, and pretty accurate. (I can't offer much on the matter of accuracy: by the time I got a good look at the 25-yardfoot paper target the lot of us were abusing, it was so full of holes that I really couldn't pick out any set of mine from the many, many others in target. I'm pretty sure I (intentionally) hit a frying pan at 75-100 yardfeet, though, which was pretty cool.)

[Update: On reflection, I think I got yards and feet mixed up above, so I've swapped the one for the other. My ability to judge distance is pretty poor, as is my depth perception. So, the Mateba's a nice gun, but perhaps not that nice.]
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