Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hollywood Guns

Dear Hollywood,

While I appreciate the appearance of the Browning Hi-Power in the bank robbery scene of whatever crime investigation show I happened across earlier this evening, there are a couple of things I would like to point out:

a) The likelihood of a Hi-Power as the pistol of choice by a bank robber is pretty slim.  Likewise, the frequent appearance of the 1911 in use by TV and movie scumbags in similar scenarios is just as unrealistic.  I am sure it happens upon occasion "IRL", but most crime reports I've read place a significantly different kind of pistol in the dirtbag's hands - generally something of a double action design, or something more compact and easily concealed without a proper holster.

b) If you're going to use a single action pistol in your production, you may want to have said robber ready the gun in a state where the threat is realistic.  Hammer down on a Hi-Power means anyone with a basic knowledge of common handgun designs has opportunity to either relieve said robber of his (or in this case, her) firearm, or to ventilate said robber before she has the opportunity do something about it.

PS:  Female bank robbers are incredibly rare.  They do exist, but in exponentially smaller numbers than you portray in your productions.


John the Texaner

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

.458 SOCOM project - the beginning

Since building the 5.56 AR, I'd been debating in my mind a project to build an AR-pattern rifle in one of the many alternative calibers.  There are many competing purposes I had in mind, but the most pertinent of these was for hunting larger game, namely hogs.  While 5.56/.223 is appropriate for the kind of deer we get in this part of Texas, the hogs are a much tougher creature. 

I'd debated a number of calibers, including .300 Blackout, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, and .458 SOCOM.  Knowing FlintKnapper from the Texas CHL Forum, I'd caught wind of the long-running thread he's got over at THR describing his efforts at controlling the rampant pig problem.  At current count, there are 1232 posts in that thread, and it's totally worth the read.

He had a .458 SOCOM purpose-built for his hog control efforts, at which it has proven more than effective.  The more I read about the caliber and its effectiveness, the more it seemed to be what I wanted.  It is not a long-range round, being mainly effective under 200y.  Long distance shooting is another interest of mine, but that will likely have to wait for another build, possibly in 6.5 Grendel.

Sometime late last year, I decided the .458 SOCOM was the direction I was going to take with my future rifle.  When Wally over at York Arms announced that he would be starting production of custom-engraved lower receivers, I took the opportunity to have one made, marked in 458 SOCOM to start my project.  The resulting lower is of excellent quality and finish.  Thanks to Wally for putting up with my ridiculously long custom serial number.  Here she is:

(Thanks to Wally for the image)

I'm working on getting the lower finished in Duracoat, at which time I'll post new photos.

Being a fan of stout rifles, I decided on the following details:

20" Barrel, heavy profile, carbine gas system
Magpul PRS stock in FDE
RRA Advanced Half Quad Free-float handguard (same as my 5.56 AR, but in rifle length)
Magpul MIAD grip in FDE

I've got a Weaver Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24 scope to top the rifle off with, and will be getting a Larue LT104 for mounting.

As production rifles in .458 SOCOM almost universally come with 16" barrels, I'm having Wally make a barrel for me to get the barrel length that I want, along with opening of the ejection port and a couple other custom items.

We haven't quite worked out a timeline for everything, but I'll update here as the project progresses.

With loaded ammo in .458 SOCOM difficult to obtain and quite expensive (around $3/round), I've already procured dies and components for loading for the caliber.  Expect updates regarding my efforts in that area as well.

Phlegmfest 2012 AAR

I know I'm a little late on the report, but I wanted to express my most sincere thanks to Phlemmy and Lawdog for opening up their home to the likes of a bunch of gun nuts for some quality socializing.

This year I was accompanied by my lovely wife, who had her doubts that she was going to be able to get along with a bunch of gunnies.  These were proven to be unfounded, as she did manage to have a good time with everyone.  She had several interesting conversations with KatyBeth, and spent much time in the living room area with the folks congregating there.

There were not one, but TWO range trips this year.  We arrived too late for the first one, but a bunch of us packed up guns and headed out to the gun club for some good shooty times Saturday afternoon.  Having the opportunity to shoot a roughly 12" steel target out at 330y, I thought I'd test out the IMR 3031 accuracy loads I'd developed for the AR.  Much to my satisfaction, they rang the target every time.  I had MattG test them out as well, and he got the same result.

I was feeling pretty good about that, until I peered over to my right at MattG spotting for JPG, who was shooting that same steel target with HANDGUNS.

In retrospect, I think we all wished we'd spent more time shooting each other's guns.  It was pretty hot out that day (and we forgot to bring water), so I think we only got an hour or so of range time in before we packed it up and headed back to the house.

Jennifer and Michael whipped up a delicious crawfish alfredo sometime in the mid-afternoon, which was quickly gobbled up by those of us fortunate enough to get some.  Later in the evening, there was brisket and other tasty goods for dinner, and we continued our socializing well into the night.

I cannot express how happy it makes me to hang around in the back yard with so many friends, telling stories, discussing assorted topics, and passing around guns for show and tell and to illustrate points in our discussions.

Sunday morning, most of us headed out to the local convenience store/restaurant combo and summarily threw the staff into a panic with our overwhelming numbers.  Breakfast sorted, we headed back to the house and hung out a little while longer before saying our goodbyes and making the trip back home.

Great times were had by all, and I certainly look forward to the next time we get to gather.