Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday. This , that, and the other thing.


I like what this Lady has to say.  I don't know exactly who this Jimmy Kimmel is , but I was really embarrassed for him. What a disgusting wimp.






The Eternal Question:


There are some issues in shooting that will simply never be resolved.  One of them is whether or not it wears out a magazine spring to keep the magazine loaded for a long time.  Back in the mid 90's, Guns and Ammo magazine hired a consultant to get a definitive answer.  After working with manufacturers and metallurgists, the answer was a resounding "no, spring compression will not damage the functionality of a magazine spring over time."

I've been working on that premise since then.  The last issue of Guns and Ammo had an article by a sports shooter who had malfunctions with his pistol failing to feed during a match.  He consulted with other shooters, and decided his magazine springs were not retaining the tension that they were supposed to, because he left them loaded.

I keep 12 AK -47 mags loaded , ten in a magazine bag and two the guns. I am using Bulgarian steel magazines for this.  Based on reading lots of articles on line, I've decided to follow the advice in this Lucky Gunner segment and start swapping out the mags every third month.  I'd be interested in what other people are doing in this regard. I have pistols all over the place here, and they are all loaded. I expect if I need one, I am not going to have time to load it, so I don't see much choice. It's going to be just one more in a never ending list of chores I do up here, but I don't want a magazine to fail on me at a critical moment.





To the Rescue!

My wife and I went to town yesterday, and on the way back, we saw two young women pulled off the road looking bewildered. That particular road is not heavily traveled, and it's up on a mountain side, very steep. I figured they'd burned out their brakes, which is a common occurrence with "flat landers" who try to come down that long, steep road from the crest just using their brakes.

We pulled over, and it turned out that they were in fact local girls. They worked at a fast food place in our  town, but the same chain needed help at a tourist town on the other side of the mountains, and they were getting gas money and double time to commute over there to work until the tourist town place could find some help.  Unfortunately their little car wasn't up to the wear and tear of making those turns, and the right front blew out.

They had one of those little useless jacks that come with the car. Up here, you go buy a good , heavy duty jack and a buster bar and you carry it in your vehicle. I got my jack out, got the tire up enough to work the lugs but not spin the tire.

Some idiot at the tire dealership had torked those lug nuts on so hard, that even with a buster bar I had to stand on the end of it to break them free. No little tire iron on earth would have gotten those things off.

These girls didn't have a real spare. They had a 30 mile donut. This is something else I couldn't believe. But I put it on for them, and I told the girl who owned the car that she wouldn't get 30 miles out of the tire on these roads. She said she would get a used tire in town when she got back.

My wife had been talking to them while I was changing the tire. After they were back on the road, M told my they were both single mom's, one had one child and the other had three, and that was why they were trying to drive on a bad tire (the wire was coming through the side wall on the inside.)

I wouldn't stop to help men unless I knew them. I did that 25 years ago, up on a gap after a big snow, and a guy jumped out from the bushes by the road and tried to hit me with a wrench while I was looking under the hood of the beat up old car with his buddy. It didn't work out for them.  My wife saw the guy coming out of the bushes, and she screamed.  He slipped (the snow was knee deep), and I had time to pull my M1911A1 out of the shoulder holster because my jacket was open.  If the other guy, standing next to me, had come at me then they might have got our Jeep but he jumped back when M gave that blood curdling shriek,  and fell on his ass.  I left both of them up there on the ridge and reported it to the Sheriff in the next town. His deputies went back up in a four wheel drive and gave these two birds a ride to town. Turned out they had escaped from a prison in Tennessee, stolen  that old piece of junk car, and got themselves broken down in the snow up on the ridge .  Even back then, there were some bad actors out on the roads.

My wife was teasing me about being Jim Dandy on the way home yesterday. Took me awhile to realize she meant this old song.








Southern Ohio Guns has a sale going on Sig P-226 pistols.




I have two of these pistols, although mine are in 9mm Luger.  The 226 is the gun that was beaten out for the U.S. Military contract by the Beretta 92.  The word at the time was that the Sig was the better pistol but cost too much. Some of our special forces outfits still carry the Sig, having bought them direct from the company.

If you don't have an FFL (federal firearms license) you can go to your dealer, he can order the gun for you. Usually, if you have a good relationship with the dealer, he might just charge you a $20.00 handling fee to receive the gun and "book" it.

Thought for the Day:






20 comments:

  1. The .303 is a good rifle and cartridge.

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    1. I agree. I bought Beau coupe Enfields back when they were under sixty dollars. I got a batch of them from a department store in the next county in the early 90's. I put them on layaway and drove down there in a snow storm to pick them up when I paid them off. Remember it well. I got some unissued MK.III's from Australia when they were imported, and I have two unissued NO. IV mk. 2.rifles. Got some odds and ends in that line, like one Jungle Carbine.

      Back when I worked for the worlds worst boss in the Oil company , he had an FFL and he let me buy stuff wholesale from the big outfits like Sports South, Richardsons, and Zanders. I used to buy cases of .303, dirt cheap. I mostly have Pakistani, but I also have Greek, Indian, and a few other odds and ends. The Greek is even reloadable.

      Sweet guns.

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  2. As long as I have known my DH (30 years), he unloads our mags every couple of months and lets them sit overnight. We have enough mags to always keep everything loaded while we rest springs on the rest. It is a continuous rotation.

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    1. If I wasn't so sorry, I'd have been doing that. God knows I have enough mags, having paid extortionate prices to stock up in a hurry when Diane the Hag snuck her 10 year ban through in 1994. I paid up to $100 a mag for things like ParaOrdance standard capacity. I wouldn't buy a Clinton 10 round mag.

      It's the better safe than sorry philosophy. If keeping a magazine loaded forever doesn't hurt the spring, then it still won't hurt to rotate out the magazines.

      But if keeping one loaded indefinitely does hurt the magazine, and your pistol jams as the Goblins swarm down on you, then it's Isandlwana time and that's not good.

      Guess I will break out the pistols today and work on the AK-47's tomorrow. Doesn't sound like a lot but I got up at 8 this morning, and have been going non-stop with routine chores until now. All I need is something else to add to the list of "have to do's."

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  3. I've dealt with springs in different applications, but found even the best will fatigue over time, are damaged by the tiniest bit of rust, and may be substandard, due to the manufacturer.

    So, not expecting the spring to function as the manufacturer determines may be the wise thing to do, and lessening the total forces applied will lead to a longer spring life.

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    1. I'm sure that's the right philosophy. It's the old "for want of a nail" idea. I take good care of my magazines in terms of keeping them clean,but I may be using the same ammo too long. I used to "shoot it out" but I've slacked off because it costs money and it's also a pain in the rear to have to strip down the weapon. I swear, it seems like I have more to do now that I am retired, than I did when I was working. But, prior planning prevents poor performance. I'll start rotating the magazines and the ammo out. I did think that Guns and Ammo article was totally definitive for years though, until I read the article in the same magazine that gainsayed the earlier one.

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  4. It's my understanding that leaving a magazine spring compressed is not what wears it out, but rather the compression/decompression cycle. In other words, a mag left loaded for ten years will function more reliably than a mag that has been loaded and unloaded a bunch of times over that same span.

    Empirically, the seemingly easy thing to do would be take a mag you've left loaded for ten years and pull the spring out, compare it against a spring from a magazine where you've been loading/unloading for the last ten years.

    My experience has been that mags I loaded twenty years ago functioned just fine when I finally found them and shot them off. Probably the 'best practice' is to keep one brand new unused mag spring around and use it as a comparison against springs that you use periodically... when there's a pronounced difference between the two, replace the spring.

    But, as you say, it'll be one of those eternal questions that is decided more by gut, tradition, and "A guy I knew.." anecdotes than by actual empirical data.

    For what it's worth, it is something I do not worry about. I have mags set aside as 'social use' magazines, and I have mags set aside as 'practice/plinking/fun' mags. The latter are the ones that are constantly used and have their springs cycled the most. The 'social mags' get loaded and left alone, or shot off maybe yearly to test function. I have zero concerns over their functionality given their virtual non-existent loading/unloading cycles.

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    1. I've gotten lazy in my old age, and it's easier to just believe it does't hurt the mags to stay loaded. And there is a lot of evidence to support that. But at the same time, I think if I just unloaded and reloaded the mags every three months, and I didn't load to capacity, which I never do, that might do the trick.

      I have some old Promag and USA mags that were cranked out just before the 94 ban, and that's what I use for just shooting out back. I know damn well those things were made in a rush and made as cheaply as possible. I also have factory mags for carry. Like you, I save the best for the real deal.

      I think you sent me some springs for the Walther P-38 years ago, but that's just about the only spare springs I have. I should start laying in spare springs like I do ammo.

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  5. Harry, I see where tropical storm Nate is headed your way. Heads up.

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    1. We just checked the weather a few minutes ago, and now it has us bore sighted. We are right smack on the track. It is supposed to be a tropical storm by then. I will clean out the diversion ditches and I guess the gutters too, and then we should be ok if the wind isn't too bad.

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  6. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    One the springs in the mags. As I understand it, stainless steel springs can be keep loaded with no wear. I talked to a mechanical engineer and he said the constant 'compression, decompression' is what wears out the spings.
    I think as long as mags are kept 'oiled and rust free' They can be kept loaded for a long time with no problems.

    I like your story about the two escaped convict's that tried to get the jump on you.

    I had a few situations that went something like that and a pistol saved me from getting attacked.

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    1. CC, I posted a response to your comment but it disappeared. I don't know what happened there.

      I agree with you about the magazines, I think that they can stay loaded a long time without ill effects. I am going to start swapping them out every 90 days or so to be safe though.

      Anyone who has lived as long as we have and lived an active lifestyle is going to have some run in's with goblins along the way.

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  7. I always enjoy hearing about your former run-ins with the bad guys. Glad you were at the ready. Even better that the deputies got to them before they fled.

    Those ladies should have known better having lived in the mountains. Hopefully they learned from it and got themselves a real spare. --Troy

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    1. Those two weren't going anywhere. There had been a heavy snow, and they were just inside the next county at the gap, right at the top of the mountains. My only real concern was that somebody else would come along before the Sheriff's men got up there, but it wasn't likely because the road was closed. I had driven around the barrier because I knew it was just snow, no ice, and I also knew the Jeep would make it ok.

      I think those girls were just not in a position to buy a real spare and some decent equipment. Single mom's with kids, working at a fast food joint. But since they were both local, they should have brothers, or uncles, or somebody to help them get decently outfitted. You can get away with that kind of thing if you are just driving around town, but it will catch up to you once you get up on those mountain back roads.

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  8. I probably have about 50 magazines and have 5 30rd mags that I keep 22-25 rounds loaded as not to fully compress the spring. I've had these 5 loaded for probably 7 years with no feeding issues. I think the key is not fully loading the mags. Of course, a revolver might be the long term solution for nearby firearms.

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    1. K, I do keep a few revolvers but most of my standby pistols are Walther P-38's. I don't max out the magazines either, in the hope that will make the springs less liable to fail.

      I don't think I have ever had a failure to feed due to magazine spring issues, but then, I might have and just not recognized the problem. Since I shoot a lot of my own reloads, once in awhile one will get through that might not have gauged perfectly and that can cause issues, particularly with my older guns.

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  9. Harry,

    We rotate our magazines just to be safe. No body wants a non functioning gun especially when you really need to protect yourself.

    If there's broken down vehicle, I'm hesitant in helping....I analyze the situation before even attempting to help. And if it's a man / men, they're on their own. I may call it in to the local sheriff and give him a heads up. You really have to be careful now a days when helping anyone out. You just never know what type of surprise is waiting for you.

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    1. No, I have to remind myself sometimes that the equipment is to support us up here, and that might mean some wear and tear on it. I am fanatical about maintaining and caring for my possessions.

      I feel really badly about not stopping to help everyone, but there have been some really ugly incidents in Georgia where people got killed doing that. Also, in Georgia there are a lot of mentally ill people wandering the countryside because we closed all of our state mental institutions due to budget cuts after the 2008 bust. So now, if a crazy person doesn't have insurance and the Sheriff's men bring them to a hospital , the hospital keeps them under observation for three days then puts them out the back door. You stop and pick one of those out on the road and that can end really badly.

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  10. i just helped a stranded trucker get his rig going again thursday evening. he was hitching toward town, a 14 mile hump. seems the gps forgot to tell him the twenty miles to the next truck stop was almost all uphill. just bought his truck a month ago. gave him a lift to cell coverage, to no avail, then over to my house to pick up cans of diesel to get him back down the hill to fuel. poor guy was from canada, no back up out here. lonely feeling 800 miles from home n brokedown with not much money and zero back up. somebody helped me when it happened in florida , just returned the favor. felt good too.

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    1. I admire you for doing that. It's how it ought to be, and I have always found truck drivers to be "salt of the earth" people. I remember in 1973, I was a young fellow driving my volkswagen bug back to the University of New Mexico from Northern California at Christmas. I was on I-40 near Flagstaff, and it was snowing like hell. Going up into the mountains, I was sliding all over the place. I saw an 18 wheeler pulled over, and I stopped and asked if I could help. It was two truckers putting on chains. They told they were fine. They also told me not to stop on this road, but to keep going to the summit and not stop for anything or I would never get started up the slope again. Really nice guys. I remember truckers used to pass me on the freeway at night, and I would blink my headlights when they were far enough up to pull back into my lane. They always flashed their trailers lights to say they were moving over....

      Now adays, I'm nervous about helping anybody. Too many times in Georgia, and I guess other places, you stop to help somebody on the road and you get whacked.

      You did the right thing, and went the extra mile. It's good to know there's still some folks out there not to paranoid to help a man. I wish I was one of them.... :-(

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