Borepatch shares this video on his blog:

I’ve been in this meeting so many times. When I was material requisitioning, I used to have a joke.

“Evyl, we need you to get some solid gold wrenches for us.”

“Respectfully, they don’t make those.”

“Sure they do! They make wrenches out of stuff don’t they? And, gold is stuff that exists. Surely someone makes wrenches out of gold.”

“Why do you need gold wrenches anyway?”

“It’s for a project that sales is working on. Don’t worry about it.”

“I’ll make some calls, but I really don’t think that such a thing exists.”

“You better find something, we’ve already got the project sold.”

“You what? You’re supposed to determine cost before selling a project, you know that.”

“They just estimated it, but they bid it high. I’m sure it will be fine.”

“Alright. I’m going to get with some shops and see if we can have something custom fabbed, but it’s going to be expensive.”

“Not if we order in bulk.”

“Yes, even if we order in bulk. Gold is expensive. Having it custom made into wrenches is going to be extremely expensive. What are we using the gold wrenches for anyway?”

“Well, we need to get these bolts really tight, and the gold will give us the ability to do that, because it’s such a good conductor.”

“No, no. *sigh.* That’s not how it works. Conductivity isn’t going to help with torque. In fact, gold is such a soft metal that it will actually be worse for this application. If the wrenches we have on hand aren’t going to be tough enough, what you’ll need is just a tougher wrench. I’ll order some good, U.S.-made chrome-moly steel wrenches.”

“We already told the customer that we’d use gold.”

“Dude. Fine. Whatever.”

*two weeks later…*

“Evyl, these gold wrenches you sourced are terrible. We can’t even put as much torque on them as the cheap wrenches in the shop.”

“Huh. Who would have thought? I should be able to return them, but we’re still going to be out the manufacturing cost.”

“I suppose that’s something. But, now what are we supposed to do about the project.”

“I’m going out on a limb here, but try these other wrenches that I brought in just in case.”

*Hands over good, U.S.-made chrome-moly steel wrenches.

“These wrenches work great! And since we bid the project to use gold, the price difference will almost cover our losses on the return! Well done, Evyl.”

*head desk*

Sometimes I miss working in an office. I need these little reminders from time to time.

The School Shooting That Didn’t Happen Today

This morning, there was a bit of a scare at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. Someone called the police to report shots being fired. The campus cops responded. Norman Police responded. The SWAT team came out. They couldn’t find any victims of the shooting. There was no suspect. Indeed, there was no evidence that a shooting had occurred. Last I heard, they are calling the whole thing a false alarm. OU President David Boren commented about guns on campus after the fact.

In his political blood dancing where no blood had even been spilled, he expressed his “only ones” opinion. Lovely. It shouldn’t be a shock that an education administrator holds such a stance. It only surprises me because he’s an Oklahoma edu admin. The typical radically left-leaning Oklahoma native is usually disgustingly conservative and pro-gun by coastal standards. Despite the overwhelming evidence of us commoners, with a full range of training and life experience successfully using guns for self defense, and despite the fact that accidental shootings are exponentially more likely to be perpetrated by uniformed police officers, the antis keep on rolling out the tired old talking points about the “only ones” with the training to be sufficiently competent with deadly weapons.

I have deep, personal respect for law enforcement officers. I have personal friends who are and who have been police officers. Those men and women are paid to do a tough job that most of the rest of us would never do. Even though I will not likely ever go full time, I’ve often thought of signing up as a reservist in a local department. Truly the police are to be respected, but to set them aside as some elite class is factually and morally wrong. It goes against the grain of liberty as well. And, to tell us that the police have more magical powers to (or perhaps that we mere mortals are too stupid to) apply the four rules is nothing short of insulting.

*spit*

Your attitude disgusts me, Mr. Boren.

Hawk Ammo – First Impressions

I’d like to take a moment to introduce Hawk Ammo.

DSCN8843

This is a brand new ammunition company that was started earlier this year by Jeffery Havard, an old friend of mine. His goal is to produce match-grade ammunition at big box prices. He dropped off a box of 20-rounds of .45 ACP for me to review several weeks back, and I have not had a chance to go shooting since. This is a shame, and I wanted to at least give a preliminary look at what he’s doing and what he provided as an example. His boxes may not have the foil-embossed, multi-color print that Federal and Hornady employ, but don’t let the humble monochrome packaging fool you.

DSCN8844DSCN8845

He’s started with brand new Starline brass,

DSCN8847

and stuffed it with 185-grain Gold Dot hollow points.

DSCN8848

He lists a box of 20 .45 ACP hollow points loaded for self defense at $18, which puts it toward the cheap end, if the quality is what it appears to be, which I fully expect.

DSCN8850

It may have to wait until after the first of the year, but I will carve out a little time to run this stuff into targets and across the chrony, and I’ll have more to say about it then.

DSCN8852

Personally knowing Jeff’s attention to detail, I expect no surprises here. I predict that these will be consistent and accurate. But, that proof will have to wait for another day. You can check out his website, or shoot him an email if you have additional questions.

FDE Is the New Black

It’s the new fad anyway. And, I don’t say that disparagingly. I think flat dark earth is cool when executed properly. You all know of Jennifer’s famous pistol.

wpid-2012-12-07-11.55.38

Heck, some of my favorite customers have FDE guns.

IMG_0627

And of course, Jennifer has been working on building her new rifle, based on an Aero Precision lower receiver finished in flat dark earth.

DSC_1885

She will certainly have something posted about her progress soon. I will throw in that this stripped lower is top notch. From what we can see so far, these things are hard to beat for the money.

But still, as cool as FDE guns are, this is a current trend. It’s a fashion. I suspect tack blactical will always be with us, even as manufacturers taper off their offerings of other trendy colors, just as automotive manufacturers tapered off production of tail fins as though they were an embarrassing piece of the past to be ashamed of. My parents once had a refrigerator in harvest gold that they had purchased new. Almost twenty years ago, it was still running like a top, but was horribly out of style. so, they had it refinished in white. It has since died and been replaced. A good refrigerator will last decades. A good gun will last several lifetimes. As people accumulate guns in pink, purple, flat dark earth, and olive drab, as opposed to the classics in stainless or blue, black and wood, will they ultimately fall out of fashion and look gauche or do these trendy colors have staying power?

In twenty years, will we see people painting black over their FDE guns? I certainly hope not! As I previously stated, guns last a long time. What is trendy today will fall out of fashion and look hokey; this is inevitable. However, let time continue to do its work beyond that, and it will come back around and rather than unfashionable, these guns will suddenly become retro. Jennifer and I nearly bought a house that had a complete kitchen straight from the harvest gold era. Only, the appliances were olive green. The tile was brown and the cabinets were all walnut stained. Although it was very dated, it was well done and clean enough to have charm in its apparent age. Had we purchased that home, we probably wouldn’t have changed a thing in the kitchen.

I didn’t have much experience with guns in FDE when OldNFO opened up his Pelican case of toys and pulled out his FNP45 Tactical. It was a full-on assault on the eyes. Although the action was tight, and the gun had an overall feel of quality and competency, it was that weird color: not quite brown, not quite green. He commented on how much he hated it, but not because of the color. It was because of the decocker. You can carry the gun cocked and locked, but as an avid 1911 shooter, OldNFO would hit the safety hard enough to decock the gun, defeating the purpose of carrying it ready for an initial single-action shot.

Contrary to his personal code, OldNFO sold us that gun, and Jennifer has loved it for the last two and a half years or so. I eventually got used to the color scheme. It’s gotten comments from fellow range patrons, blog meet goers, gun manufacturer reps, and others. In our stable, it is joined by Jennifer’s new rifle project in the same color scheme.

DSC_1880

There is not a doubt in my mind that these will go out of style and look goofy next to more classic offerings or whatever the new trend turns out to be, but I’m at complete peace with that. Just as it’s a conversation piece now, it will be a conversation piece in half a century, or probably even more so. Besides that, it’s fun to talk about an evil black rifle that isn’t black. Indeed, the next rifle I build will probably be in a funky color instead of Scary Black. Keep on buying those funky colors, and carry them proudly, even when they’re no longer cool!

2245LITEgold

Sadly, Ruger has already abandoned the gold anodizing on their 22/45 LITE in lieu of a more easily marketable black anodizing. I will still cherish my obsolete gold model though, complete with the pink ivory grips I made to fit it. So, to celebrate the trends that will almost certainly fall by the wayside, I write these words while wearing my pale tan western boots with brown lizard wingtips. Where did I put my disco shirt anyway?

Another Great Commercial

I’ve explained before that I love a good commercial. Uncreative commercials are boring at best and sometimes outright irritating, but when they are done right, they become a form of entertainment all of their own. When advertisement first hit YouTube heavily, I was not impressed. However in the current format, where you can opt to skip the commercial after the first fifteen seconds, it’s forced many marketers to step up their game. If they can sell you on the commercial in the first fifteen seconds, then you might just watch the rest. This approach causes the quality to come up overall. Check out this Totino’s commercial:

Classic! And, it’s holiday-appropriate too. To that end, do have a happy Halloween. Let’s get some kids all sugared up tonight!

KTKC 2013 – The Day After

From September 1 through yesterday, September 30, whenever I was wearing clothing, I was wearing a kilt. I very literally spent September 2013 without wearing pants even once. Today, I wear jeans. Some of you stepped up to the challenge and helped me raise $705.00 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Thank you. Thanks to all of you for your generosity. The cumulative goal for this year’s drive was lofty, but my personal goal was admittedly unreasonably optimistic. And, I’d like to take a moment to talk about that.

I could point out the fact that this total is about a third of what came through my KTKC profile last year, but I’d rather point out that it is TEN TIMES what I raised in 2011. I’d like to pass out some virtual high-fives for that. I’ve had to carefully consider whether I will participate in KTKC 2014, but I keep coming back to an echoing yes in the hollow recesses of my brain. This year has been tough for a lot of folks, and I’m so proud that you all helped me out with your resources.

I’ve pretty well determined who is getting a holster named after them, but I have not yet contacted for details. You likely know who you are already and should expect an email from me shortly to sort out the details of the naming of the holster. I’m sorry I didn’t have more to offer in the way of prizes this year. We’ll try to step up our game for next year. To all of you who donated, I’m about to draw for the pauldrons. If you do NOT wish to receive them, please drop me an email and let me know to hold your name out of the drawing. Otherwise, you stand about a one in sixty chance of getting some delightfully random plate mail.

I’d like to take a moment to send congratulations to the top participants in this year’s drive. No, scratch that. I want to give a big congratulations to all involved, but especially the top participants. I hear rumors that in the cumulative three months of doing this, we’ve raised over $50,000 to benefit male-specific cancer. That’s not bad for a group of misfits and miscreants such as ourselves. In fact, that’s worth being proud of. Thanks again. Now, I’ve got to go prepare. We only have eleven months until KTKC, and I have some holsters to build!

Guns and Coffee?

I’m not going to bother linking to everyone in this post, but it seems like every gun blogger and his or her dog has weighed in on the non-committal letter from Starbutts concerning company policy on the carrying of guns. Here’s a link to the letter from the CEO, if you don’t have navel lint to gaze at or grass to watch growing, or sand to count, or any other more gainful thing to do with your time. Otherwise, I’ll summarize the new ‘policy’ for you:

Starbutts managment has decided that they don’t want to be a soapbox for the gun debate. They just want to sell bad coffee. They aren’t going to put up gun buster signs, and their “partners,” i.e. minimum-wage employees, won’t ask you to leave or refuse you service, but they would really prefer that you not come to their establishment armed. They won’t call the cops or anything, “but come on, guys! Please?”

In my home state, as well as many others, a business can put up a sign. If they don’t want guns in their establishment, they may post a sign that is “clearly visible at the entrance.” If you ignore this sign and enter anyway, you are not breaking the law anyway. If any worker at the establishment happens to notice your gun and if they then happen to give a trickle of whiz that you have ignored the sign, they may at that point ask you to vacate the premises. You still have not fallen afoul of the law if you turn heel at this point and find something better to do. If however, at this point you refuse to leave, they may call the police and you may be held liable for trespassing. In other words, there are a lot of ‘ifs’ to get through in order to make it illegal to carry a gun on private property here. What does that all mean for Starbutts and their new “policy” you might ask. Not so much as a hill of beans. Not even overpriced, former coffee beans that have the flavor completely roasted out of them.

And, what does this all mean to me? Just a little less than the aforementioned hill of tortured beans. I’ma tellya why too! Years ago, I started ordering my coffee beans online from these guys, mostly because none of the local groceries carried good coffee. CCM Coffee ships their coffee within 24-hours of roasting it, so it all tastes fresh and fantastic. You typically want to consume your coffee within a week or two of roasting it for the best flavor. For perspective, your typical canned coffee was roasted sometime since the Pleistocene. I only ordered a pound or two at a time because we couldn’t drink it before it went stale if I ordered it at higher quantities for a discount. Then, I started ordering green coffee beans in quantity, and home roasting in small volume to meet our coffee drinking needs. At this point, there’s a frou frou grocery store within walking distance of our home that has a couple dozen varieties of high-quality coffee (far better quality than Starbutts uses), reasonably priced; so I’ve pretty well fallen out of home roasting anymore.

The whole coffee beans go into a burr grinder, of which we have two (two is one, one is none). When it’s precisely ground to spec, it gets brewed with filtered water in our Briel Domus Uno espresso machine. Incidentally, Starbutts used to use good Briel machines, until they replaced them all with automatics once they found that a typical, minimum-wage barista can’t run a good machine reliably, even though I’m pretty sure I could train my Siamese to do it. Sometimes I’ll sweeten with a touch of raw agave nectar, and/or add a splash of milk, cold or steamed, depending on my mood. I usually drink it black. If you tell an average, knuckle-dragging barista that you want a double or triple shot of strait espresso, they will likely look at you like you just sprouted horns. Plus, I may or may not get dressed before I have my coffee. Try that at Starbutts!

Ten bucks will get you a pound of coffee that will make approximately fifty espresso shots, if I’m guestimating right. You won’t use a gallon of milk before it goes bad if this is all you do with it. A quart-sized bottle of agave nectar is about seven bucks and lasts me six months. Figure $.20 per shot on the beans and maybe a penny to sweeten your drink. Even if you go triple shot, with milk, you’re looking at well under a buck for a latte. Needless to say, I’m not spending money at coffee shops. Between equipment cost (~$300-$500 for a decent machine, plus ~$50 for a grinder) prorated over the years it will last (current setup here has been running fine for over five years so far) and expendable supplies (see above), it’s pennies on the dollar to brew at home as compared to going out for coffee. Plus, you get a far superior cup of joe.

Over the last few years, when the troops were rallied to support Starbutts for their refusal to ban us for our guns and to make up for their loss of business on the antis boycott, Jennifer and I would begrudgingly wander into the corner coffee shop and spend $20 on their crap as an act of solidarity. I can confidently say that Starbutts won’t be getting our $20 a year anymore. Boy, that’ll hurt! With the amounts I know other people are spending on coffee, and how those green and white signs seem to sprout out of the ground like weeds, they aren’t going to miss our $20, and we won’t miss their coffee. I know that some people are getting a little more worked up about this than others. I just don’t see it as much of an issue, one way or another, on any given level. Oh and, we’re still doing Kilted To Kick Cancer. Please take a minute and go donate here. Thanks you!

Otis

For a blog that purports to be a gun blog, there surely hasn’t been a whole lot of gun content here in a while. What are other things that we gun types are interested in?

No, I’m not talking about knives.

No, not flashlights either.

Not tactical pants.

Cleaning supplies! Because a clean gun is a happy gun. Right?

While Jennifer and I were at the NRA thing in Houston, we stopped by to say “hi” to the good people at Otis Technology. We left them with our contact info and let them know that we are both bloggers. When we returned home, I began to email back and forth with Heather at Otis, who was kind enough to provide some samples for review.

Case top

Thursday, FedUp dropped a box on my porch which contained Otis’ .22-.45 Pistol Cleaning System, their Optics Cleaning System, and their MSR/AR System. By a complicated turn of events, I wound up with a U.S.G.I. M-16 cleaning system some time back. Upon recent inspection, it is actually an Otis-branded system, although the contents of the kit are quite a bit different than the consumer system that came yesterday. I hope you’re as fascinated as I am when we talk about the details a little later.

Cases four

Each of these cases is about the size and shape of a hamburger. Jennifer tells me that they look like a travel make-up kit. These should throw into a range bag nicely and sit in a bottom corner of a pocket until you inevitably have a gun at the range that refuses to play nicely. Jennifer and I do have some dirty guns around here, so we should be able to give these things a bit of a workout. Additionally, my brother, Microcosm Overloard has a couple different Otis kits that we should be able to discuss here as well. I fully expect Jennifer to throw in her $.02 too. To start with, let’s take a quick peek at each of the four systems.

Handgun contents

The .22-.45 Pistol Cleaning System (part number FG-610 BX), contents pictured above, includes a .5-oz tube of cleaner/lube, a .38-cal and a .45-cal copper bore brush, a bore reflector/flag safety, cleaning patches, large and small slotted tips, bore obstruction tips, a T-handle bar, three bore cables in various sizes, and the instruction manual. Since the centerfire handguns that we shoot are in .38/.357, 9mm, .44 Magnum and .45 ACP, I expect that we’ll make full use of all the components in this kit.

Optics contents

The Optics System (part number FG-240 BX) contains a lens cloth, a book of lens tissues, a lens brush, anti-fog lens cleaning solution, cotton swabs, and instructions. We don’t do much in the way of gun optics in our household, but we are avid photographers. I do know of a few scopes that we can probably try these out on. What works to clean gun optics should do well for our camera lenses as well.

M16 07

The U.S.G.I. M16 cleaning kit comes with bore cables, a bore illuminator, patches, brushes (although not a proper AR15 chamber brush), various tools, solvent for both gun cleaning and optics, optics tissues, a lens brush, and an instructional CD rom. That is a three-inch CD, for perspective. I won’t make the claim that this kit is absolutely complete since I received it second hand. But, the original owner only used it a couple of times, so I assume he didn’t lose any components or add any extras. I didn’t realize that they issued optics on M16s, but this cleaning kit seems to suggest that they do.

AR15 08

The consumer MSR/AR cleaning system (part number FG-556-MSR BX) is a rather impressive kit including two bore cables, a pack of bore patches, two copper bore brushes and two combination bore brush swabs, bore illuminator/safety flag, CLP, a proper 5.56/.223 chamber brush, a rifle cleaning cloth, cleaning instructions, breakdown variations of all the standard brushes and pics, and the new for 2013 B.O.N.E. (Bolt Operational Necessary Equipment) tool. If this last tool scrapes carbon as effectively as they claim, I have a feeling we’re going to be good friends! I believe quite a few of these pieces should work well in our .22 rifles and pistols.

I will be the first to admit that many of our guns don’t get cleaned like they probably should. My rifle has junk in it that needs to be scraped out, and I’m unbelievably excited by that! I once ran my M&P45c without cleaning it to see how long it would take to stop functioning properly, and it eventually surprised me during pistol class by no longer locking back on an empty magazine. The round count was somewhere over 1,000. So yeah, we have some dirty guns to try this stuff out on. And, the MSR/AR kit and the pistol kit should clean everything we have in the house, up to our shotguns. In subsequent entries on these supplies, we’ll take a more in-depth look at each kit and clean some guns.

KTKC 2013, Day 3

Please go here and donate to the cause. You probably all know that this month I will be wearing a kilt to help raise funding and awareness for male-specific cancers. In 2011, the first year for KTKC, my efforts raised $60 toward the cause. Last year, my total came in at $2,263. That is nearly thirty-eight times the previous year’s performance! If we could realize another gain proportional to that, it would put the donations at $85,352.82 this year. Even as awesome as you people are, I’m just not holding my breath on that.

weegoats

Honestly, if we can expect anything remotely resembling the same increase from last year to this year, there’s no reason that we can’t hit that $50,000 group goal. Therefore, I’ve set my personal goal at $50,000. Frankly, if we can do half of that, I’m going to be really proud of you all. If you help me make that $50,000 goal and I still don’t finish in the top three, even better yet. Again, please make your donations here. Thanks in advance!

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley,

Can I call you ‘Miley’? Great. I don’t watch TV, but after all the hullabaloo that I saw on the internet about your *ahem* performance at the VMAs, I had to check out a recording to see what the big deal was all about. I was previously aware of your recent antics, since I attempt to keep a finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry. I don’t want to wake up one day and find myself as one of those old guys who is absolutely out of touch with the current culture. I have not exactly been in approval of your approach before now, but you really crossed the line on Sunday.

mileycyrustongue

Why does this face look so familiar?

annoying_orange_by_imancb

It may be cute when my dog’s tongue is hanging out of her mouth, but it is not cute when you do it. And, I understand that sex sells. I really don’t have a problem with sex appeal in the entertainment industry. It’s been done for centuries. What I do have a problem with is soft core porn being peddled as family entertainment. When Stefani Germanotta paints on a scant outfit and makes a spectacle of herself as Lady Gaga, there is artistic value in it. Even at her most salacious, she retains a defined level of class. She incorporates elaborate dance routines with choreography, dazzling color, and many other elements that are not at all sexual in nature. On the other hand, when you get as close to naked as you legally can and grind against a dude’s crotch, rub your lady bits with a foam finger, and wag your nearly naked rump at a crowd and cameras, it is indecent. Twerking is not dancing. It is slutty exhibition.

1235410_625489654152008_117029433_n

I know your daddy has remained pensively positive, but I can only imagine what your spectacle has done to his achy breaky heart. If someone I loved did something so disgusting, I can confidently say it would make me die a little on the inside. By contrast, last year, I published a very sexy video on YouTube of my beloved wife shooting .50-caliber rifles wearing a PVC catsuit that didn’t leave much to the imagination. Even though it was sexy it was not at all trashy. She was exhibiting her excellent marksmanship skills and agreed to do the video to promote men’s health.

Will twerking destroy a paint can 800-yards away? Yeah, I don’t think so. You see, every September a bunch of us guys commit to wear kilts all month and collect donations to raise awareness and support for male-specific cancers. After much discussion, we announced that if my sponsorship reached a certain level, we would make this video. There are these little things called boundaries, and my wife and I have boundaries that we won’t cross. Some things are better left in the bedroom and certainly have no place in public for just anyone to behold. As I watched the recording of your… …thing, the look of disgust on Will Smith’s face mirrored my own reaction.

willsmithmileycyrusvma

Indeed, it appeared that many members of the live audience were disturbed by your antics. I would like to advise you to seek a career that’s more in line with your talent set; there’s probably some openings in Las Vegas for a girl like you. But as you noted on Twitter, what you are doing is getting you a lot of attention.

And, in that you are right. Peddling your sexuality, objectifying your meat, and eschewing art in lieu of profane exhibitionism is making you a lot more money than the hard working girls that I alluded to above. Heck, I don’t even listen to your “music” or watch TV, and you even got my attention. What you did was the professional equivalent of crapping in bed and rolling around in your own feces. It got a lot of attention, but it is not at all good attention. You’re also now in the oldest profession. Rather than relying on work or talent, you have made a whore of yourself, Miley. And although that might seem like a really fun and successful way to go when you are twenty, what happens when you get older?

Well then, you’ll just be an old whore.

Old-Whore