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Quiet Professionals, Noisy Machinery
Updated: 2 months 1 week ago

Too Busy To Write, Here’s Sumdood’s Video (Ian on Colt)

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 17:00

Here’s Ian of Forgotten Weapons with a capsule history of Colt, currently holding down the title of the Most Mismanaged Company in the Gun Racket. Seemed timely, with Colt having purged the Custom Shop lately, in an overall downturn in the industry that has seen Remington lay off a couple of hundred employees, mostly factory workers in Ilion, New York, but also including a senior executive bloodletting. Can more drama for Colt be right around the corner?

Some day, B-School students will study the machinations of the last few rounds of Colt owners… if the guys studying them aren’t law students doing a block on white-collar crime.

But through all that, the company has made some fantastic guns. As the current owners seem intent on demonstrating, there’s a lot of ruin in a great marque.

You can find Ian’s videos on YouTube, but the quality of the videos is better, and the advertisers pay him better, on Full30.com. You do want him to get paid, right? Any time there’s nothing happening here, go to Full30 and watch some of his videos. He needs the money!

Sunday Signal Silence

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 09:00

This post is actually being retroposted and backdated in the wee hours of Monday, so we were actually signal silent on Sunday.

And on Saturday.

And for the Friday Tour d’Horizon, which got partially written. (Just not enough to hit “publish” on).

Nobody’s sick, dead, or indicted around here; and nobody has run afoul of some even worse calamity, like being experimentally probed on by space aliens, or getting married again. We’ve just been experiencing a lot of disruptions in analog life, and some irritating computer slowdowns.

Since the missing posts are roughed in, we hope to backfill them Monday and Tuesday, but not at the expense of the new week’s content. As this goes live, the only thing in the can for sure is an 0600 Monday post. So we’ll be busy this week to keep all y’all entertained.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Camopedia

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 21:00

You probably didn’t know you needed a link to a wiki about camouflage uniforms patterns, etc., but if we were to give you one — this link to Camopedia.org — do you think you can find something good to do with it?

Sorry for the brevity of this W4 this week, but, well, in the game of life vs. blog, sometimes blog goes home with the “Participant — 2d Place” trophy. On the plus side, we’re pretty much through the Ides of March without being assassinated, so we’re one up on Julius Caesar!

Update on Jeff Rodriguez’s Electrochemical Machining of Homemade Barrels

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 05:00

We’ve covered Jeff’s creative electrolytic barrel processes before, but here’s a new update from him, posted on 6 March 2017.

In addition to the YouTube series — this is Jeff’s 24th update video — he’s been getting a lot of demand for assistance and even for Electro-Chemical Machining (ECM) kits. He’s set up a website at liberator12.com — right now, there’s nothing there but a page collecting email addresses for updates. We’re signed up…

Sunday Shivering

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 09:00

We’re expecting a blizzard this week, and in advance, the year’s first visitor from Canada is here already: a bitterly cold air mass. Having just had the heating system serviced we weren’t expecting the house to be cold… but it was.

We’d left a door to the insulated, but unheated, garage open. D’oh.

It’s getting back to livable at this writing.

It might be Spring Forward day, but we could use a little more spring in our spring.

Perhaps we’ll take the occasion to write some on cold weather weapons care. We’re still playing catch-up on last week’s Saturday Matinee (a disc of vintage documentaries) and TW3. And, given the low temps in the house, Small Dog Mark II’s tendency to be a lap-seeking missile is more pronounced than usual. As we type this, he is sleeping on our desk, with his muzzle in the crook of Your Humble Blogger’s right elbow. It reduces typing speed rather a lot.

But how can one say no?

Collectors Have Rationales, Not Rationality

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 17:00

Consider this guy. How many suspect that cartoonist David Malki ! used you as his model?

And yes, the Wondermark cartoon is humorous, in a sophisticated and wry way. You may like it. (Heck, you may already know it. Are we the last to learn about everything around here?)


A Short Film with a Message

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 17:00

Funny. It seems like we’re always one step behind in the culture wars. Here’s a short film — a bare five minutes — that was made by someone on the gun side of the cultural divide. In it, a man uses a magical talisman to travel back through time, to save a woman’s life. But it will take another magical talisman to get the job done.

Of course, even accepting the time-travel premise of the film, did anyone catch the enormous logical plot hole?

Still, it was very well done for what appears to be a student film; and the subject matter is as daring as all the crowd-followers in Tinseltown pretend to be. Here’s hoping that the filmmakers have a long and productive career ahead, despite their inclination for sacred cow sacrifice.

If You’re Prone to Collection Envy Syndrome, Don’t Watch This

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 05:00

You may have seen this video already as it’s been going around. But it’s a collection tour of a collection that we can say with some confidence is deeper than yours… it’s sure as hell broader and deeper than ours.

Not all his descriptions are accurate. Can you spot his errors on the tank and the bombs? Those are a couple of the easy ones to catch.

He has a right to be proud of his collection though, that’s for sure. Heck, he’s lucky he has space to put it all… in any ordinary setting it would be a rather unique hoarder problem.

Sorry for the Day Off

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 01:00

Due to an error by our hosting provider, and their very friendly but almost powerless tech support people, we (and you, if you were inclined to comment) were locked out of the site for 26¼ hours or so.

Please bear with us as we slooowly get back to normal after a day spent on the phone, mostly on hold.

One post that was in the queue for 1100 yesterday finally went up just before 0200 today. It was that kind of day

Due to an Imagination Failure…

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 21:00

..there will be no Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week this week. The feature will return next weekend (after an imagination overhaul, presumably).

WeaponsMan.com will return to usual programming at 0600 tomorrow.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Snow

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 13:00

Even a unique and special snowflake must obey the laws — of physics.

How do you get killed by snow? Be underneath a cornice when someone sets off an avalanche gun or charge, in this case.

The victim has been identified as  Joe Zuiches, a 42 year-old resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012.

A Squaw Valley spokesperson said the incident occurred at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at 8:35 a.m. The cause is believed to be the detonation of an explosive charge.

No one ever died of an avalanche in Okeechobee. But then, no member of the Squaw Valley ski patrol has ever been eaten by an alligator, either. You get to choose the form of your own destructor, eh?

Subtropical Sunday

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 08:00

Just enjoying life in South Florida today, even though it’s raining.

Small Dog MkII travels well, but he’s been hard to talk into going out in the rain to do his business.

Learned a few things about flying with guns and dogs.

Can’t write more, time.

Careerism and the Military

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 10:00

At the moment you read this, Your Humble Blogger is on an airboat in the Everglades or somewhere like that, and can’t make a long post.

But here’s a thought that probably deserves some honest discussion, ladies and gentlemen:

Of all the problems in the US military today, the most fundamental and damaging is careerism, and its toxic effect on the troops, the mission, and the service.

Agree? Disagree? Got some examples?

Gators don’t get us, we’ll be back to join in this afternoon.

Five Thoughts on Firearms Design

Sat, 12/17/2016 - 05:00

We’re very, very busy right now, and so we’d just like to throw some gun zen at you, maybe to be elaborated later.

I: The safety never breaks on a Tokarev TT-33.

II: Anything good enough gets copied. The better it is, the faster it spreads.

III: German engineers love complexity above all. It’s a natural characteristic.

IV: The most successful guns are not just functional, but beautiful also. (Perhaps it helps them sell. Even military designs must attract boards of officers). Most failures are ugly.

V: Over time, good designs drive out bad. This drives consolidation until there are new breakthroughs, in a process of punctuated equilibrium.

WWII British Gun Factory, “Night Shift,” 1942 (full) – YouTube

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 05:00

Let’s continue in the vein of production videos — here are Brits, mostly women, cranking out firearms to replace the piles left on the beach at Dunkirk.

Freely downloadable at the Internet Archive. “Shows a normal work night of workers, particularly women, at a British gun factory. Consists mostly of special-effect shots of factory equipment and personnel. The workers dance, sing, and eat lunch at 1:00 a.m. and have tea at 4:00 o’clock.” National Archives Identifier: 38643

via WWII British Gun Factory, “Night Shift,” 1942 (full) – YouTube.

It’s interesting to consider how primitive this factory is, compared to one in our modern day, 70-odd years later. And yet, this factory is gigantic overkill, if your standard of comparison is the minimum installation needed to manufacture effective arms.

Sunday Screwup

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 09:00

There was supposed to be a blog post here today, honest. But one thing led to another….

Anyway, our National Ammo Day haul was pretty decent. We hit Kittery Trading Post like a bug hits a windshield.

We struck out on 8x56R, which was always a long shot. But we compensated with plenty of handgun ammo: 200 rounds of .45, which only fits the Kahr M1; 400 of 9mm practice ball, 200 of .380 and 100 of .32. And something we’re forgetting, plus a few books.

We’re going to try to get a set of book reviews out this week, and we have a backlog of movies to review.

A Very Unusual Cottage Industry Gun

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 17:00

It’s a .410 pepperbox. Made from a staple gun.

From Clinton Westwood (odds on that being a pseudonym?) of CCW “Clinton’s Cheap Workshop”. Here’s his Yoot Oob channel:


And here’s a photographic build log:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/101083597357673892226/albums/6054216427539139489?sort=1

He has since done several other builds, all showing a blend of creativity and improvisation, and perhaps a taste of laughter.

Saturday Movie Trailer: Viking (Russian, 2016)

Sat, 11/05/2016 - 17:00

We didn’t get a Matinee in this weekend, but we do offer you this:

Who knew the Vikings were Russians? Or maybe it’s that the Russians were Vikings? In any event, you would expect them to be a bit similar, given the weather and all.

If you’re a fan of swords and sandals (or maybe it’s swords and snowshoes?) epics, this looks like it’s going to be a blast.

And yes, we will get back to the movie reviews when we can. Patience, dear vultures, patience.

Crime and Punishment, with CS Lewis (Illustrated)

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 17:00

This is absolutely brilliant. Man of letters (and Christian) C.S. Lewis examines crime and punishment from a philosophical angle — illustrated! What do we do with criminals? Do we punish them? Do we try to educate them out of criminality? Do we try to cure them of the malady of crime?

Lewis’s point is that only a punitive justice system addresses the key fact at the root of crime: it is moral failure, not absence of education or the presence of some toxin or pathogen. This is, indeed, the only just and moral way to think about crime and punishment.

No murderer is so ill-educated that he thinks that what he’s doing is all OK. No burglar is driven to steal in the way a flu victim is driven to sneeze.

It says something that no one making public policy today talks about crime and criminals in the harsh tone and judgmental words of the long-dead Lewis. (Dunno who narrates this, but his voice is perfect for the part, too).


Can a gun fly?

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 17:00

Can you make a jetpack out of rifles? Egghead comic XKCD finds the answer. An AK’s recoil is actually greater relative to its weight than a Saturn V’s thrust. Soviet engineering, FTW. (If their rifles can do that, no wonder they’ve always had a lead in heavyweight boosters).

Well, the AK-47 can take off, but it clearly doesn’t have the thrust to spare to lift anything weighing much more than a squirrel.

The problem comes when you get to the point where the rifle goes to fire Round 31, which it does not have. From there, gravity wins. But… what if you took a lot of AKs?

Is something better than an AK? Sure, a GAU-8. Is anything better than the GAU-8… and if there is, did the Russians build it?

Read The Whole Thing™. It’s fascinating!