Ambivalent Skeptic

May 21, 2012

Easy home back stop

Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 2:17 pm

Weerd Beard posted about decocking a gun.

He wondered about using a bucket o’ sand as a backstop. I find old phone books less messy.

My comment:
For dry practice, I first drop the hammer with a the gun pointed at a copy paper box full of old phone books/newspapers.

The box o’ truth guys tested bullets vs books and found 9 mm will go thru 7 inches of paper.

But remember, the extra backing really helps stopping the bullet. A bullet that penetrates 7 inches of a 20 inch stack can go thru an 8 inch stack.


January 11, 2012

Quartermain at T-Bolt’s place

Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 10:36 am

New Jovian Thunderbolt has been reading Allan Quartermain stories and has a nice gun-related review.

BTW, 8-bore is 0.835 cal.



August 1, 2011

If you are going to endorse a rifle…use logic

Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 10:26 pm

Elmo Iscariot posted an interesting example of failed logic. Short version: people will justify whatever they want, however they want.

In this case it was the classic: “_____ is better because of a small advantage” while ignoring a large disadvantage.

Remember bias is found in what people do NOT say.

Elmo has a good point; check it out.

WARNING, do NOT read the article Elmo links to. It is horrible and a complete waste of time. I would (almost) show it to students as an example of how not to write (except for the fear it would cost them brain cells.)

My review:

If I wrote and typed that bad I would be embarrassed to put my name to it.

First there is the spacing mistakes, the missing commas, the commas with spaces in front! [facepalm]

Let’s just call them grammar errors and add his confusing “may be” with “maybe.”

He contradicts himself. (States there is no diff between the M1 and M14, but picks one over the other anyway.

He has sentences that do not belong in the paragraphs they are in. (And bad, wannabee-Yoda lead-ups to some of them.)

Uses “of course” and “Many have said” (etc.) when making a point he can’t back up.

Good news: there were footnotes. Bad news: he quoted mostly the same source for most of his points.
Worse news: that source was Boston T Party. Worst news: he quoted the guy so often it felt like reading a rehash of Boston T Party.

Then there is this little gem:
“I restricted the field to the weapons that I thought were the best.”
This is how egomaniacs try, and fail, to look humble.


June 11, 2011

Like a gun, a word is neither good nor bad.

Filed under: commenting comments,Philosophy — Clint1911 @ 9:57 am

Like a gun, a word is neither good nor bad.

It only matters how you use it.

Breda shared a nice moment from a friendly gathering.

Short story, the comments had a confused one mistaking an in-joke and claiming [paraphrased] “I thought you hated that word!!!!”

It is best not to make assumptions, unless you can see past the obvious.

Just because people do not like how a thing is used does NOT mean they not like like the thing.

I recommend everyone read up on Logical Fallacies if you plan on hanging out on the internet for long.  (Especially if you plan to correct others)


June 8, 2011

Steampunk’s appeal

Filed under: commenting comments,Perspective,Philosophy — Clint1911 @ 12:29 pm

George Hill had question about Steampunk. My “quick” answer went a little long, but while I cannot explain everyone desires I can offer an opinion of the basic appeal of the Steam Punk genre.

If you could choose, What kind of world would you want to live in?


A key idea behind Steampunk is asking What if we had today’s understanding of physics then?

One of the reasons for steampunk’s appeal is that so much sci-fi is getting lame. Psychic powers and gizmos and computers (magic and talismans and oracles) have turned too much science fiction in to Fantasy in Outer Space. Seems everyone is trying to trump the Jedi concept, even the guy who made the Jedi concept.

The drama grows false. If you put the characters into an impossible situation, just miracle them out! Only, the answer was always there, it’s just that we, the audience, didn’t know about it.

Give us a world where the heroes win by their guts and wits, not by gadgets and spoon fed answers.

Where the problems happen in real life, that we can directly relate to, and where the solutions are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

What’s the appeal?

It’s a bit like the appeal of the 1911.

Metal, not plastic. Science and tech in your hand but without computers. Old world charm and class, not built for the lowest common denominator or production efficiency, but still functional and highly effective.

You can make it yourself, you can fix it yourself; no bankrupt mentality of if it breaks you throw it out and by a new one from some factory.

The clothes of steampunk? They show a self-respect. You take time and care to dress yourself. You suggest rather than flaunt. Or you suggest a lot and flaunt a little. (Or you suggest that you like to flaunt, when the time is right…)

What if we could have yesteryear’s ethic but without societies bigotries? No discrimination but no political correctness either?

Men could be men and women could be women, and no one was blamed or held back for it?

Most people want to be normal but they also need to be independent and unique.

Sometimes you can’t do that enough in the modern world.

Would you like step into that other world?

As for the cosplayers? Maybe they just like to dress it up.

June 3, 2011

Gun culture is for the old, but more for the young

Filed under: commenting comments,Human behavior,Perspective — Clint1911 @ 6:16 pm

Fellow NE Ohio gunblogger Breda has a post up about the, well, I’ll let her words describe it.

I was going to comment on her blog but it morphed. so here it is.

Breda said:
“This is about whether or not potential new women shooters could possibly be put off by the “boys’ club” mentality of the gun culture.”

Actually I find the insular nature of gun culture is more about the people over 50 making gun culture more comfortable for people over 50 at the expense of the under-30 year old people.

See, the problem is not the passive exclusion of the under-30 crowd, it that the under-30 people are ANNOYED by the crap the 50+ guys do because they think is is “clever” or “with it”.

Think of it like country music.
Is you like country music, then you really, really like it. AND EVERYONE ONE ELSE HATES IT! IT IS LIKE READING CRAP PEOPLE TYPE IN all CAPS. (sorry, but I hope I made the point well)

You might like doing it, but no one else does.

I like John Wayne. But he’s dead; Get, Over, It.

Likewise, drop these damn foolish stereotypes. Unless you are actually a cowboy (on a ranch) or you are doing CASS type stuff….

DROP the western-themed and fake-country boy bullshit from your podcast, your blog, your website, your storefront (Hey, there’s an idea) and when you are carrying a gun.

The wannabe cowboy image disgusts people. People we need on our side.

And stop treating people with a “2” in front of their age as an accident waiting to happen or a moron (or both).

People learn responsibility and maturity though example. Be a good one.

And for the record, I’m in my 30’s and I’m the suburbanite son of a West-by-God-Virgina Redneck. (And if you must know, we are both Marines and both college educated)

Back on topic:

You know what Breda and Jeff Cooper have in common? They each became involved in guns, then taught one of their parents to shoot!

If someone is over 50 and not into guns, the bad news is we, as strangers, cannot reach them. If they are going to join gun culture, it is going to be via their kids 999 times out of 1000. The good news is we can reach the new generation, and they bring their families.

All the more reason we need make gun culture more appealing to the under-30 demographic.

May 29, 2011

Advice on back pain

Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 2:46 pm

Fellow Ohio gun blogger, Breda is in serious back pain.

Having been there at least once myself I offered the following.

Get Well soon.

I had a very similar problem, only I could barely walk straight for 6 months.

Calcium and magnesium pills help.

Do not take multiple pain killers at the same time. (the liver doesn’t fix that kind of damage)

Aleve is great. But watch out for side effects. They are listed on the box but heart arrhythmia needs to be addressed immediately (it is very rare however.)

If the bed is too soft, wooden boards between the mattress and box spring help.

Or use cushions or blankets on the floor.

Camping stores have mats for placing under sleeping bags. Those may be useful.

Call or email if you have questions.

Hopes this helps. And hope to see you at the rifle range this summer.

For everyone else, take good care of your back.


May 28, 2011

Potassium Iodide FAIL

Filed under: commenting comments,misconceptions — Clint1911 @ 9:01 am

Remember all those knuckle heads who bought Potassium Iodide after the last big scare?

T-bolt has more.

And don’t forget, too much KI is toxic.

Oh, and Potassium Iodide doesn’t actually cure or prevent radiation sickness(or cancer)!

See, olde skool A-bombs and reactors would release Iodide in the air. The radioactive kind. The problem is your body hordes Iodide and stores it in you thyroid.

Now having all this radioactive crud in a very important gland is bad.

So someone figured out that loading the thyroid with Iodide via KI tablets means that once the gland is full of Iodide from the tablets the following radioactive crap has no place to be stored and hence the kidneys will flush it out.

As long as the radioactive crap is Iodide. And it only protects your Thyroid.

So a burst of Alpha particles at close range?
Yeah, your screwed.

Potassium Iodide is a farce. Anyone selling it and NOT telling you it has limited effect is scamming you! They prey on the well-known misconception that so-called “radiation pills” cancel out a broad spectrum of radiation problems and they they do nothing of the sort!


May 21, 2011


Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 2:21 pm

JayG has a post about FOPA.[]

(It was a few days ago, I’m trying to catch up. A lot has happened)

A point I made at JayG’s place:

FOPA ended the ban on mail order ammo the ’68 GCA enplaced.

So the FOPA was [what] allowed all that cheap ammo in the 90’s.

The full auto crowd call hate FOPA as if it was the devil BUT they benefited the most with the ammo and interstate transport laws of FOPA.

The Hughes Amendment banned machine guns. That’s what many remember about FOPA.
In fact, some even call it “the inappropriately named Firearms Owner’s Protection Act” because of the machine gun ban.

It’s called a “poison pill.” It’s a rider on a bill designed to end support thus prevented the bill from become law. FOPA was a major win for pro-gun people and it was done with a very anti-gun congress. This was a Hail Mary play in the political game. And we only had the one chance to make it work!

So you are asking How can something banning guns be pro-gun?

Legislative acts do not create just one law, they create a series of laws. Look at what FOPA did for us:

1) Reigning in ATF harassment

2) Allowed “safe passage” so a person can drive from one gun friendly state to another gun friendly state and NOT have to worry about crazy and counter-intuitive anti-gun laws in the in-between states.

3) Registry prohibition

4) Removed confusion about prohibited persons due to the law have two different versions. (Yes, they screwed up when they passed GCA’68)

5) Ended the ban on mail order ammo

So that is FIVE plus and one minus. Seems like a win to me.
But some people are never happy. For example a reply to my comment above”

@Clint – Full auto fans don’t hate FOPA, we hate Hughes. And I (for one) would gladly trade mail-order ammo for machine guns.

They don’t hate FOPA, they just what the whole thing to go away. Classic blaming the symptoms not the cause dilemma.


So the cure to your being throw under the bus is… throw everyone under the bus.

Yea, that violates two out of three guidelines.

May 6, 2011

You ever have the feeling…

Filed under: commenting comments — Clint1911 @ 12:15 pm

That all the really cool and fun stuff happens while you are away?

Like the greatest joke ever told at a party was told while you went to the restroom.

JayG has a neat little post about what the cool kids got to do on Sunday.
(Evening) Night at the (NRA) Museum

Clink the link for some worthwhile photos of 1911 Number 4(!) a Savage 1911 and a Colt 1907.

The last two guns had less then 300 ever made.

In keeping with the trend of “If I comment on a blog, I cross post here”….
My comment:

Oh man. I even asked at the end of Saturday is[if] they could just open the case. Just open it, I wouldn’t touch anything, so I could get some good photos without glass glare.

Shame I couldn’t make Sunday…

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