Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good news, everyone!

(I know, I know, you've got this guy's voice stuck in your head now.)

I got a call from Del-Ton on Wednesday on my way home, and a quick check to my bank account confirmed it: not only am I getting my upper VERY soon, I'm also getting a free upgraded part due to a mix-up on their end. Worthy of note: the folks who work in customer service at Del-Ton are lovely people. Really. I have yet to have a poor conversation with any of them. Maybe that worked in my favor here, as well. Who knows? All I know is I'm FINALLY getting my upper.

Range time soon...possibly with my cousin in tow. He wants to learn to shoot while he's out of school for the holiday, and if the weather holds I'll take him to the rifle range. C needs to shoot his AR, I need to shoot my AR, Mauser, and .22, and we both need some shotgun time with the new shotgun.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I live in a relatively safe neighborhood. We basically straddle the city/county line, and we're spared all the Really Bad crime from deeper in the city. However, we are not immune to the smaller stuff, like theft and break-ins/cat burglars. C and I always figured we were good, though. We leave our porch light on. We have a halo of light around the house that's so bright a pedestrian could spot us from a block away. We don't have junk around the yard, or leave anything in sight that could be a temptation. We have lights on timers inside the house, and have been known to leave the bathroom light on at night just for that little bit of randomness that would leave potential thieves guessing.

Basically, we're very careful to avoid being a target.

In the 10 years C has been in the house, he's never had an issue. In the 1.5 years I've lived here, I never really felt cause for alarm. Sure, we're in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, but that hasn't affected our area (yet).

On Friday, though, my opinion of this area changed.

C called me as I was walking out the door at 4 on Friday...he was agitated. He wanted to know if I was home, and if I was OK. I mentioned I was on my way to the car, and he sounded relieved. Then he broke the news. Apparently, at 3pm, 4 teenagers of dubious background attempted to invite themselves inside our home. (Normally, I would be home by around 3 or 3:15, which would explain part of C's excitement.) They failed, and left the area when they realized they'd been spotted. Thanks to nosy neighbors, the police came out (within a half hour from the first call - AMAZING, considering the size of the district and the amount of crime that occurs farther in the city), wrote a report, and left a note for us to call back if anything was amiss. When I arrived home, I collected the information they left, and walked around the house. There was evidence of attempts to get in at various points - a footprint in the garden directly under the bolted-in AC unit, a moved screen on the back porch, handles on the metal basement doors not sitting the way we'd left them - but no glass was broken. It appears they tried every window in the back, and when they realized this wasn't an option, they tried to climb onto the back porch (where they could access my office AC unit and the door leading inside to our closet room). Whomever tried to scale that wall slipped, put his foot through the screen in the window next to the back porch door, yanked off part of the floodlight, and pulled down part of the gutter.

C spent part of that evening and most of Saturday bolting down some windows, removing all the AC units that WEREN'T bolted down (like the one in my office), barring up the basement windows, and generally running around the house like a madman. He is truly shaken by this...I don't think he imagined it would happen to him, despite knowing the only crime trend in our neighborhood is exactly what we managed to avoid.

It took me awhile, BUT I think I have him convinced that it was a test, and we passed - they did not get into the house, and we've discovered the remaining weak points so we could immediately rectify them.

What gets me, though, is why they picked us. Yes, we're the youngest couple on the block, but we're also not necessarily the best target. The kids had obviously been watching the house - they didn't even bother to go to the front door to see if we were home. One would think they'd know C is "that crazy guy" who trims the trees with a samauri sword. One would think they'd know we're the loudest voice in the "lock your doors and windows" campaign we've had going for a year. One would also think they'd pick either of the adjacent homes, since one is vacant (but still has half the previous owner's furniture) and the other has open/broken windows (despite someone living there).

So, we're left with that "why us?" problem. Paranoia is currently through the roof, and I fear what may happen next. Will they come back? Will they get in this time? Will they do so with one of us at home, and just how much of a dangerous situation will this be?

I just wish this state actually considered its residents worthy of protecting themselves. It would be nice to know I wouldn't go to jail for shooting someone in the process of defending my home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A rifle comparison video for modern rifles.

Remember this post?

I came across an updated video that discusses a similar issue between the AR15 and its growing popularity as a hunting rifle. It's been released by the NSSF as a promotional and educational video, and it's definitely worth the watch. Bonus points for Doug Painter - his laid-back demeanor on screen makes him an ideal presenter here.

I've been reconsidering using the Mauser as a hunting rifle. The usability of the AR platform really opens up the possibility of using that as a hunter, provided I get a decent upper for it.

Any opinions from my readership of 3? :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Good news, better news, and bad news.

I've spoken with Del Ton at least once a month since February, and I FINALLY have something coming. My partner's upper should be done by the end of this week or early next week, and they'll ship out immediately (edit 9/2/09 - it's been shipped!). They're still waiting on parts for mine, however - they said because of the deal they were running on an A2 upper back in January, a lot of the parts I ordered aren't quite back in stock. Naturally, any change I might make to the order will increase the price - I went cheap so I could buy my partner's to his specifications. That's both the "better" and half of the "bad" news.

The good news? We put our lowers together yesterday. It took about 2.5 hours with a 45 minute break to find the front takedown detent on the man's rifle, since he lost control of it and it took off. They aren't kidding when they say to be careful! At any rate, the rogue part was found and installed (using bent-tip needlenose pliers, instead of the tool he bought). To those building their own: take your time. We didn't rush, and that was the only issue either of us had.

the before shot, with all parts laid out:

the after shot:

The other bad news? My 1911 plans have been derailed. Apparently Para DOES NOT ship their GI Expert with the spent casing, per MD law, so I can't get it. This, coupled with other bad news on Saturday (my eldest, and first EVER, pet died. RIP Delirium, you sweet little scaly kid), basically guaranteed I had a cruddy day.

Thanks, Para. Thanks a lot. Looks like either S&W or Springfield will be getting my business henceforth.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes you just can't win.

This makes me angry.

Like most people, I use Paypal (but limit my use to things I cannot purchase any other way). I know how much of a pain in the ass they can be. I didn't, however, expect them to pull this sort of crap...especially not when the raffle is in support of soldiers.

Bad move, Paypal. Bad move. I don't care if you're anti-gun...apparently you're also anti-military. I've seen suggestions that Paypal is just following the laws of California, but that's a load of bullshit. eBay is equally anti-gun, and it makes sense that eBay's politics would filter down to Paypal, since the former owns the latter.

As a sidenote - I had already been debating getting a ticket or two, and this clinches it. I'm glad Paypal won't be making money off these ticket sales...and once payday hits, I'll be picking up a ticket or three.

EDITED TO ADD: apparently, in response to a lot of complaints about Paypal, gunpal now exists for your gun trading needs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Boyfriends, birthdays, and firearms.

Truly, these are a match made in heaven.

My birthday is coming up in about 12 hours, and this weekend the other half took me to pick up my first .22 rifle. We ended up going to Dick's at one of the local malls, since their prices tend to be the best for long guns.

I had my choice of any .22 up to $250, but I'm picky. I had the gentleman behind the counter pull a Savage, a Mossberg, and a Marlin for me (the Ruger wasn't even under consideration due to some recent QC issues I've been reading about - it seems the chrome finish has been peeling on some of the barrels).

All were semiauto, and the Mossberg and Marlin rifles had open sights while the Savage had a scope and no sights. This knocked the Savage out of the running, so I was down to the Mossy and the Marlin. The Mossberg 702 "Plinkster" and the Marlin 795 seem equally matched - the Mossberg weighs more overall, but the Marlin is rather barrel-heavy. I'd also light to point out that both of these rifles are $130, which appealed to my inner frugal woman. The Mossberg's sights seem far better, as well, so we ended up bringing that home. It's already tapped for a scope, so if I get bored with the existing sights, I can always upgrade. For now, though, the hooded sight should be enough.

I haven't yet cleaned it OR taken any pictures, so you'll have to trust me for now. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Today we celebrate our independance...

Yet so many see it as an excuse to blow stuff up and stuff face 'till sickness settles in.

I woke up to a beautiful morning and wondered just what the hell is going to happen to our nation in the near future. So many people are so willing to give up their freedom so someone else can take responsibility for our nation, and it's despicable.

BUT, I'm not posting to preach. I'm actually posting to share an open letter Xavier wrote to Home Depot. Go, read.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I forgot to mention the last newbie I took to the range.

Somehow I forgot to make this post...sorry, C. I know this is all about you, and I meant to post it eons ago.

Anyhow, on with the post.

My friend C. had been having a BAD week at work, and I happened to have ammo in the locker, so I suggested we meet at the range and I teach him a thing or two about shooting pistols. His experience was limited - he'd only ever shot a long gun or two - but he at least had the 4 rules down, so I had less concern about safety than I normally would. I'd also like to mention that C has played plenty of first person shooter type video games, so I knew he'd at least have a good grasp of proper aim.

When we arrived, we rented a large-frame .22 revolver, and got to work. The revolver in question may have been a S&W, but it's been so long I've forgotten (C, if you remember the brand, please let me know). It proved to be an effective introduction - he giggled like an idiot through most of that box of ammo, and was damned accurate. I think the lack of recoil helped.

We moved up to the Bersa (I swear, she gets around nowadays!) and let him fire off a round to see the difference between the two calibers. He knew it had a stronger recoil, but he managed the difference very well. Again, he was scary we worked on his stance. I forced him to lean forward a little, since one's natural inclination is to lean back while firing, and his accuracy got better. I insisted he work on groupings, and his accuracy continued to improve.

He seemed thoroughly pleased with the evening, and still itches to go back. One of these days, when life isn't quite so busy, I think we shall.

Next range report will likely be an introduction for either my friend R, or my cousin V. Both have expressed interest, so we're working on scheduling.

Yet another Del-Ton delay.

I called Del-Ton again yesterday. I MAY see the uppers in July. Supposedly they're working on a day for day basis (they complete one day's orders from the month they were ordered, and complete them in a day). Right now they're finishing December and expect to be into January next week.

I swear, if they weren't so polite and forthcoming with information, I would have canceled my order and taken my business elsewhere.

I understand they were swamped with orders. I understand they've had to buy a new, larger shop. I understand they bought a barrel manufacturer to take care of the 20" barrel shortage (guess what size barrel I ordered for my rifle?). What I DO NOT understand is the lack of communication. I shouldn't have to hunt them down; I shouldn't have to call them. They should be sending out mass emails with updates every month (and an opt-out link at the bottom). I know there are those who are far less patient than I am...I'm sure they're having fits over this crazy amount of delay. I'm absolutely certain they've been calling the hell out of the company - when I called yesterday morning, the line was busy and the website was slow. At what point will a company realize "gee, maybe we should be proactive about letting people know what's going on"?

I mean, I'm patient. I really am. I would just like to see the items I ordered nearly six months ago to show up at my house sometime this year, and I'd like a constantly updated ETA on the site when I log in to see my status. That's all. I hope this is a simple enough request.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good news!

Wal Mart is starting to see ammo in their shipments. Upon my visit on Saturday, the Wally World near my parents' house had 5 100-ct boxes of Winchester .380, as well as a handful of 9mm in various brands. Apparently the consumer resale prices of ARs have gone down, as well - some folks have seen them on Gunbroker for $600 for a complete rifle.

Hopefully the panic has died down. How have your areas fared? Are you seeing more supplies in stores?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Great googly moogly!

I just called Del-Ton, since it's been months.

They're still working on orders from NOVEMBER. The gentleman on the phone said they're just now hitting the end of November's orders, and will be getting into December's in a bit.

My ETA? "About 8 weeks, maybe more."

Looks like the majority of my rifle shooting this season will be with the Mauser, after all.

As a sidenote - I took another newbie friend to the range recently. Look for a full write-up soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Article: "You're Probably a Terrorist If..."

I came across this earlier this morning and spent a good amount of time reading, cackling, and agreeing with it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I took a friend to the range recently.

He's a newbie shooter, and wanted to be broken in gently.

I had him shoot a .22, my .380, and a 9mm to start.

The .22 was a Kimber 1911. While it was a very nice firearm, I decided I won't be getting a .22 conversion for the 1911 I intend to purchase in the next 12 months or so. It had consistent FTE (failure to eject) issues, and more than one FTF (failure to fire). This may have simply been a symptom of firing range ammunition through a 1911, but I'm not willing to waste money on my own to find out the hard way. A .22 conversion kit runs about $200-$300 on average.

My friend thoroughly enjoyed moving up to the Bersa. He noted it had a much more solid feel because of the harder kick. He didn't like that it was made for a righty, as he's a southpaw. Unfortunately, this caused him some difficulties with the slide release and mag release. He also seemed afraid to damage it, as he consistently released the slide entirely too gently. Fortunately, there were no ejection or firing issues for him...just a right-handed configuration for a left-handed shooter.

He moved up to an XD-9, and had a horrible time. Because he's such an extreme lefty, he couldn't manage the slide release. Because he's a newbie, he had a case of the DreadedLimpWrist, and let it kick up far too much...and misfire, FTE, etc. He then switched to an H&K P2000 - an ambidextrous pistol - and had a huge thrill. He blew through a box and a half of 9mm before he decided he was done for the night. He intends to shoot a few more, but I think the H&K is on his short list.

I enjoy taking newbies to the range when they're interested in learning, and pay attention to what they're told. I also revel in their delight when they discover they enjoy it so much they want to come back.

I wonder, who of you will accompany me next? :)

Sigh, backorders.

Just checked on the status of our uppers. Per Del-Ton, they're still working on orders from NOVEMBER.

So...those of you who ordered and are waiting on parts, it'll be awhile. The (rather polite) woman who answered the phone said I can expect 2 months before I'll see our parts.

ARGLEBARGLE. I hope the weather's not too bad in May/June...whenever we get them...

Thursday, February 26, 2009


What the flying fuck?

Please note, this is to protect Mexico.

LOL. My ass.

Thanks to In Jennifer's Head, I came across two other articles that give me some hope. Pelosi isn't keen on the idea of a gun ban right now, and there's going to be a task force on gun rights that appears to be bipartisan. We'll see what happens, there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Today I find myself more annoyed by people in general.

A friend of mine directed me to this post, which discusses a "guns for diamonds" deal at a pawn shop.

This isn't what irritates's one of the commenters, one Sarah in Chicago, who fully believes that those of us who enjoy firearms should not be allowed to own them. She then goes on to say that people who "like guns" are essentially unstable.

Then she goes on to compare gun owners to computer owners, claiming that people only own one computer.

Please, someone go educate this girl on nerds and firearms enthusiasts...I don't have the energy for it today.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Surprise purchases are sometimes the best kind.

A friend of mine contacted me Thursday and asked me if i was interested in his Mauser. It's a 1937 model (no swastikas or "dirty birds") with a walnut stock (nicer/stronger as later models used laminated wood).

This was the info he shared with me...which ultimately led me to purchase it from him:
After lots of research, I decided to buy a 1937 model because Germany wasn't at war yet in 1937 so the wood was a nice walnut (expensive) and the gun was made with much higher tolerances / quality than the ones made when the war broke out. After the war, Russia took almost all of Germany's Mauser K98s and shipped them back to be stored, so if they ever went to war with the USA, they would have about 10 million rifles ready to go. As a result, any K98 that you buy now will have a thick nasty coating of red cosmoline all over the gun to protect it as it lay in storage. I had that all removed, professionally cleaned and the stock was just recently re-sealed with tung oil. I have also added a cleaning rod and a leather sling. It's a great shooter and lots of fun, especially since ammo is so cheap. Every time I shoot my K98 at the local rifle range, people always put down their AR-15 or Ak47 and come over and ask to shoot her. It's a really awesome gun to have.

The gun, leather sling, plus one stripper clip of 5 rounds of 8mm ammo all for $275. Most K98's you find online will not be de-greased, will not include the sling and cleaning rod. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this K98. The headspace has been checked by a gunsmith and was found to be perfect. This is a great shooter.

There are 3 Waffenamt armory stamps and 2 Weimar eagles clearly visible on the bolt and the housing. There are no swastikas or Waffen SS marks on it since the Nazi's didn't start that until the 40's. I like that because you can show this gun to someone and not feel like they might be offended.

My friend showed up about an hour ago and let me tell you, internets...this thing is beautiful. I don't think I've held a prettier rifle. It's clean, it's solid, and it's about 80% original...numbers match on most of it. No rust, pitting, or throat erosion. Bore is shiny and beautiful. I took the bolt out and checked it meself - utterly beautiful and clean. Did i mention it's clean? :D

Anyway, I'm tickled to bits with this rifle. I've always wanted a Mauser, and this one literally dropped in my lap. No more gun purchases for me for awhile, I think...I'm going to savor this beauty for awhile. My partner played with it once he got home, and said it's one of the better rifles he's seen...the metal isn't marred in any way, and the wood is in great shape. It's obvious it was used, but nowhere near the amount a 1940 would have been used.

And of course, I can't end this without pictures (click to embiggen):

Yes...I'm happy. I don't think I've been this giddy about gun shopping/buying since I bought my pistol. I can't wait to shoot it!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have to share my excitement...

Once my tax return gets deposited, I'll be ordering our uppers. Yes, I'm excited...they're actually in stock right now, and we'll be able to get our rifles put together and locked up before anything bad happens on the legal end of things.

After that, I'll be able to start shopping for the revolver and shotgun. Wee!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well then.

Good luck, guy. You talk a good talk, but you've promised us the world. May you do the best you can while actually upholding the Constitution, like you've promised...and may the next 4 years be educational and positive for you and your family.

I need a drink.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Related, but only slightly, to the previous post...

My partner calls the Stoeger the "ZombieKiller 2000," and recently emailed me this picture (click to embiggen):

Aww. <3

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Range report and a bit of applause for a parent worthy of it.

My partner, two friends of mine, and I decided to hit the indoor range this afternoon. It was rather crowded (not surprising), and lots of different individuals were filtering in and out. More on these folks later. I also gave myself a reminder to find a S&W Model 36 with a 3" barrel at some point...that, or the Taurus equivalent. The last time we were at the range we rented this, and I found it an utter joy to shoot.

We brought the house firearms with us, and our one friend brought two long guns and a pistol.

Hokay. So. Let's keep in mind for a moment that I am female, and rather petite (5'4", in thick-soled shoes). I also have short arms and small hands.

From the inventory we brought with us:
Colt 1911 Government in .45 = Big Effing Pistol. Fun to shoot, if you already know how. I don't think I'd have been able to handle it early on in my firearm experience. This thing is a bloody hand cannon. I think I may shoot it more, but I'm going to want to be wearing driving gloves or something similar to protect my hands. My partner installed an extra bit on the grip that literally makes my hand feel like ground beef. It works for him, though, so I will make do.

Stoeger Coach Gun in 12gauge = DO NOT SHOOT if you're built like me and don't want shoulder ouchies. Thanks to the shot size and the barrel length, I had a hard time controlling it, and only got one shot off before I handed it over to my partner. It rocked me back hard enough to deter me from wanting to shoot it again. I shot 2 3/4" shells...I cannot imagine the 3" ones! At least I know I can handle the recoil if I had to shoot it. Besides, it's not like one would need to aim a shotgun...with buckshot/bird shot, just point it in the general direction you want the pellets to go, and you'll hit ... well, everything in front of it.

Bersa Firestorm .380 - this is my pistol (my friend also brought his with him today). I haven't been to the range in over a year, and it shows. I really need to work on breath control and grouping. Must start picking up ammunition when I see it so I can practice more. I also hope to convince a lady friend of mine to come out with me sometime soon - she's expressed interest, and I think shooting the Bersa would be a good way of introducing her. I'm certainly glad I purchased this as my first pistol, as it fits.

Also shot a friend's old semiauto .22 rifle and Saiga .410:
The .22 is, as always, a blast to shoot. I can't wait until I get mine. These have no recoil whatsoever and ammunition is cheap, so it's easy to just blast through a full clip (or tube, in the case of this particular gun) in seconds. I believe it jammed once, but this is due to age and not being cared for or shot once in quite a few years. This belonged to my friend's girlfriend's father before he passed away, and it hadn't seen the light of day since. It has some rusting in the tube, and just needs a good cleaning.

The Saiga was fun, but it made me feel like a hobbit for having such short arms. I doubt my sweatshirt, long-sleeved tshirt, and coat had anything to do with that. ;) I need to work on my upper body strength before we get our ARs built...I know I'll need far better control than I currently have. It also seems to be a tad finicky with some wasn't ejecting properly, and my friend mentioned he'd had problems with that before.

Now, for my observations of the crowd today.

First of all, I saw two GSG-5 rifles in the span of an hour. Is it just me, or are people realizing how awesome these rifles can be? It's a rifle with the look of an MP5, but shoots .22LR, so it's CHEAP AS HELL to take to the range. I intend to get one of these eventually, assuming they're not banned.

There were a pair of ladies in the lane next to us who definitely drew my eye. They were shooting what appeared to be all 9mm handguns. The shorter of the two was teaching the taller how to shoot...I couldn't help but grin. I love seeing more ladies at the range, especially one as competent as the shorter of the two. The taller asked lots of questions, paid attention and adapted her shooting style based on the critique of her friend, and seemed to really enjoy herself. I like that.

In fact, there were maybe 6 or 7 ladies at the range today. Almost all of them were enthusiastic about being there, especially one young lady in particular.

While we were in the lobby, waiting for two lanes to open up, a gentleman came in with his 10-year-old daughter. It was her first day at the range, and as I watched her and her father, I noticed something different about her.

She listened.

Her dad explained the 4 rules in a way she'd understand, and she paid very close attention to every word he said. He pulled out a .22 revolver (I didn't notice a seemed either relatively new or very well cleaned) and showed her how to use it. He opened it, showed her where the ammunition goes, showed her how to open and close it, and asked her to hold it. She seemed rather comfortable with it, so they rented a lane, bought a couple of targets (the adhesive kind that shows neon green when it's been hit), and took their lane. They ended up 2 lanes down from us, so I was able to watch her. She never tried to take off her glasses or ear protection, never pointed the gun anywhere but at the target, and showed complete concentration when it was in her hand. She didn't appear to jump when the booms were more BOOM than CRACK. Her composure was better than most new ADULTS at the range.

All in all, I was impressed by this child...and her father. I mentioned to him later that I thought it awesome to see such a young girl behave so well, particularly when it was absolutely necessary. I also applaud his constant dialog with his daughter - he asked her repeatedly if she was having fun, if she wanted to leave, if she felt comfortable, etc. If cameras were permitted inside the range I'd have gotten a picture of them. It was just too cute. She had this mop of curly blonde hair, and she was wearing a SKIRT, of all things. I'm guessing it was probably an after-church father-daughter bonding day. In any case, she's not the girl I'd have expected to see at a firing range.

They left a bit before we did, but they were still in the lobby when we settled our bill...I recall hearing her father ask her if she wanted to go back. She answered with an enthusiastic yes.

I hope to see them again soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year!

hope everyone's hangovers have at least gotten a little better by now...

i managed to remain hangover-free, but that's only because we made tons of food for dinner. steamed shrimp, OMGBESTDELMONICOSTEAKEVER, and some mashed 'taters for extra alcohol absorption. 2 bottles into our champagne stash and i still felt nothing (which is saying something, since i'm a complete lightweight).

so. get rest, eat something, and hopefully everyone who has to go to work tomorrow will feel OK by then.