Category Archives: Administrivia

Subterranean Sunday

Later today, we expect life to take a troglodytic turn. No, we’re not returning to our universal or bears Neanderthal forbears (damnable dictation software! and double-damned careless editing -Ed.). We’re simply going to be busy in the workshop, which is in the basement.

Tasks for today:

  • Test the Ghost Gunner (now that it’s talking to our computer — a Windows 10 installation, in Parallels virtualization software, running on a current Retina iMac). We don’t have the right 80% lowers for the default setups, unfortunately.
  • Finish assembling another Craftsman toolbox and bring order to the tool chaos that now reigns unchecked in the shop. Well, bring some order; we don’t think absolute order is in the offing.
  • Start assembling the rear spars for the RV-12’s wings. All the rib work and bracketry is done, and everything’s primed, most of it with Stewart Systems Eko-Clean -Etch and -Prime, but some parts (including the rear and stub spars) with self-etching rattle can. It was too cold to do the Stewart stuff in our garage. (ETA: in our five-minute spray booth we set up and break down in the garage. And naturally, no sooner had we stunk up the shop with the rattle cans, probably killing as many brain cells as a week-long bender, than the weather broke unseasonably warm here. Feh).
  • There’s definitely something else we’re forgetting. Don’t you hate that feeling?

Assembling the Craftsman tool box, for us, isn’t simply a matter of following the instructions. We’ll also have to go around and debur all the corners and edges that the manufacturer didn’t take care of. And we’re going to have to cut and install our own drawer liners. We could avoid all that, and get a higher quality box of thicker gauge steel, just by going with a pro box like Snap-on or Mac. But those are so much more expensive that we can get a decent box by giving the Craftsman a little bit of extra attention, and putting some sweat equity into it (well, until the edges are deburred, blood equity), and be left with more money for higher priorities. Remember the post on satisficing, not maximizing? It works for this too.

Doing the rattle-can priming in the basement workshop was a profoundly bad idea, one that became clear when a half hour of monkeying with the GhostGunner produced a piercing headache. With the new windows, Hog Manor kind of sucks at air circulation, unless they’re open.

And naturally, the rattle-can session was followed by days of forty-ish weather — we could have done the spraying outside or built the Five Minute Spray Booth in one of the garage stalls.

Yes, the movie review and TW3 are not done yet from yesterday (and there was never a Friday Tour d’Horizon, either. Your refunds are in the mail). Should be up today. The movie? John Wick, 2014.

One interesting note: today is the last day of January, and we think we may have set an all-time readership record this month. Not by a huge amount, but we think we see slow and steady progress. We value every one of our readers, and especially one of the best and best-informed sets of commenters in the gunosphere.

That Was the Week that Was: 2016 Week 04

That was the week that was TW3So far, at least as far as the blog goes, we are loving 2016. We’re dictating this post into a new computer, because our arms are full of sleeping Small Dog. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Of course, it may not be that good for Small Dog, who, as we dictate this, is awaiting a appointment with the vet. There are many possible outcomes, including such undesirable possibilities as a splint, an overnight stay, or even the Cone of Shame.

Work has been chaotic with a project that we’ve worked on for three years coming to an unsatisfactory end. Sometimes that happens. And another door has hinted that it’s about to open. Isn’t that always the way of things?

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics are fairly normal for these days: 27 posts and about 20,000 words .  Our average post was 813 words long, and the median was 424, indicates that a few long posts blew that mean up. Post length ranged from 133 to 3296 words.

If we hit any milestones this week, we didn’t notice.

Comments This Week

Comments were above average at 414 by the much-delayed close of this post (The next Saturday. Queue for your refunds at the customer service window), but not the preceding week’s 470. Most commented post was Friday’s, The FBI Trickles Out Some Video from Oregon, with 90 comments, showing that a late week post can do well, or that doing this TW3 late lets late week posts catch up — pick one.

Runner-up was Tuesday’s Who Taught You to Walk?

We didn’t do a book review this week — too busy. So we can’t compare Book Review comments to When Guns Are Outlawed comments.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week: (links will be fleshed out and live later).

  • Sunday Sleeping In
  • Pistols & Optimizing vs. Satisficing
  • Just a Reminder: the VA Creates a Local Low-Pressure Area
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Fists
  • When the Cop is a Crim
  • The Czech “DUO” & Z Pistol, 1938-Present
  • Who Taught You to Walk?
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Gravity
  • Self Defense Case in Britain
  • How Can You Kill ‘Em When They’re Already Dead?
  • Bouncing the Gates
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Generators
  • The Limits of <i>Un</i>armed Self-Defense
  • Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: This Ain’t Hell.us
  • Range 15 Movie Trailer (NSFW Warning!)
  • The Fight that Ruined a New Weapon’s Reputation
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Wrenches
  • The USMLM and Soviet Technology
  • Hidden Camera: Automatic Weapons with No Background Check!
  • Homeland Security is in the Very Best of Hands
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Fear
  • The FBI Trickles Out Some Video from Oregon
  • Classification of Automatic Weapons Actions
  • The National Commission on the Future of the Army has Spoken
  • When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Cutlasses
  • Saturday Matinee 2016 04: John Wick
  • That Was the Week that Was: 2016 Week 04

Going Forward

Be very quiet. We’re thinking….

Sunday Sleeping In

As you read this, your humble blogger is sleeping off a long Saturday (and still owes the TW3, but did get a review of 13 Hours up. If that review is tl;dr for you, just go see it. 

Most everybody in the community knows guys who went to GRS, DSS and similar operations, and this movie tells the story of what they have to be prepared to do.

Aesop was right; just go see it. But we did watch it before reviewing it, so we’re probably drummed right out of whatever regiment has such low standards as to let the movie critics in.

We hope to have some gun tech stuff up this week, in an around Hog Manor maintenance and airplane building. (Last night we actually riveted the doublers to the stub spars, so progress on the wings is on like donkey kong, and Blogbrother will be ordering the next kit (fuselage) soon.

When its time to mate the wings, tailcone, fuselagr, and empennage, the project moves from the catacombs of Hog Manor to a proper hangar, probably at Run Down Former Air Force Base. With a runway of nearly 12,000 feet, that’s practically a cross-country for the RV-12. Seems like the safest place to run the test cards on a new build. But that’s a long way and a lot of rivets ahead.

Slow, Simple Sunday

Objectives today are nothing major:

  • Hit the health club. (Last night went to swim, and the heater’s off in the pool. Quel horreur!)
  • Finish yesterday’s two “missing” posts, and cue up some for Mon & Tues
  • Make sure my to-do list for Monday is lined up. Got some tax problems to work out.
  • Learn some more about pocket pistols suitable for an octogenarian. So far the one that has the most enthusiastic fans behind it is the .380 M&P Shield. There are also a lot of revolver fans around here (hey, the median age is about 80, so they still think of a Chief’s Special as something new).
  • Think about a site redesign. Thanks for the recommendations in the comments last week.

It’s pouring rain here, so outdoor fun — like yesterday’s two bike rides — isn’t going to happen. We’re not going back to the gun show — it was a small one and played out in an hour and a half.

This would be a great post to sound off in the comments and ask for any subjects all y’all are interested in.

That Was the Week that Was: 2016 Week 02

That was the week that was TW3Les bon temps continue to roulez in the second full week of 2016.

This week was full of events including some progress on the Ghost Gunner front (it’s still not working, but we have a path forward), a new project getting started, and one of our Florida road trips kicking off. We’ll be back in Hog Manor by the time the next TW3 rolls around. But for now, it’s a lot warmer out. (Even if the heater’s off in the pool).

We celebrated earlier today by going to a gun show and dropping off some WeaponsMan.com cards. Pur objective was to try to educate the Blogfather a little — he has decided he wants a little handgun for self defense. And he means little — the ones that caught his eye? Jennings. Jiménez. North American Arms. Taurus. Sigh. He has not owned a firearm since the .22 rifle he gave to late cousin Danny circa 1960. Seriously.

We’re not nearly as up on pocket pistols as we are on military arms, and it showed. We saw two firearms we hadn’t seen before, Glock clones from the Brazilian/FL Diamondback, and the new-ish (introduced in November). Remington RM380. Dealers were quick to contrast their experience with the RM380 with their experience with the R51. “None of these have come back!”

Quick research indicated Diamondback is not something for a first-time shooter who needs reliability. We did some Management by Walking Around, and heard from satisfied Glock and S&W M&P Shield, and not as satisfied Ruger LCP customers (sometimes one and the same people; when they were the gun they’re replaced was the Ruger). We also had a good look at the available revolvers.

Tentative decision is to go to a shop and rental range and try a number of different firearms to see what he can hit with. He wants to pocket, not holster, carry, so that pretty much rules out the Glocks and everything with a similar operating system, including the M&P.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics are fairly normal for these days: 28 posts and about 22,000 words .  Our average post was 773 words long, and the median was 607, all standard. Post length ranged from 96 to 2148 words.

We did hit one remarkable milestone this week. One of you guys left our 30,000th comment since we went live four years ago. We’re proud not only of the comment quantity, but especially of its quality. Every once in a while we’ll hear a few words of envy from a peer gun blogger, and our readers and commenters are the only thing they ever envy.

Comments This Week

Comments were about average for now at 336 by the delayed close of this post (6 PM Sunday). The previous week there were around the same number of comments. Most commented post was Wednesday’s current-affairs post, Iranian Capture of US Boats with 45 at press time. Runner-up was a tie between Monday’s When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have gravity knives and Tuesday’s When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Zombie Killer Knives.

(Wait, you guys said you didn’t like these posts? Meanwhile, the occasional book reviews that are sometimes replacing them last Tuesday (Book Review (Revolutionary History): Ten Tea Parties) and Thursday (Review: Intelligence Support to Urban Military Operations), and this Thursday (Blast from the Past: “Gun Pro” Correspondence Course) got 8, 2, and 16 comments respectively).

Closely behind the two runners-up was Thursday’s Weapons Blueprints Banned in the Fine Print of “Sentencing Reform” with 25. We’ve noted before that Monday and Tuesday posts are most likely to have the most comments by Saturday; that some midweek posts had a lot of comments indicates that you guys had a lot to say about the Navy’s embarrassment in the Arabian Gulf (and yeah, we’re just calling it that to offend the Persians), and are concerned about Congress and the striped-pants pansies at the State Department dealing away your rights — if that’s really what happening, which isn’t entirely clear.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week: (links are live now).

Going Forward

A while ago we promised this next paragraph, and still haven’t delivered any of it. Even though we typed all that up there ^ and more. Sheesh.

We still have OTR posts coming on Castillo de San Marcos (yes, we haven’t completely explored it yet), on another installation in the same area, and on Fort Pulaski, that still shows the scars of Civil War bombardment. We have posts of our own on WWI tank warfare and maybe some SF holiday memories.

So, we have some ideas….

 

Sunday Something

(Oops. Sat in draft queue all day. Sorry bout that. Finally posted — backdated — nearly at midnight. Mea maxima culpa. -Ed.).

That’s truly a sign of being out of S-words or ideas, and our money’s on ideas, right now.

Yesterday was a busy day preparing wing parts for primer (they need to be washed, rinsed, dried, etched and primed before they can be assembled) and last night, rather than write the Saturday Matinee and the weekly wrap-up That Was The Week that Was, we ventured out with an old friend to see live music — a Beatles tribute band, Beatlejuice, that has been playing New England more or less continuously for over 20 years. They were extremely good, one of those tributes that goes for the sound but not the visuals, and we were one-two-three-four rows from the stage in a small, intimate hall.

It was great watching guys who clearly loved doing this perform together. Made us miss rock n roll days, but, well, we were never the Beatles, nor this good an imitation.

Today more wash and etch, and a little belated blogging as one tries to dry out from the wash and etch session. Our hope is to prime today. It is unseasonably warm — in the fifties, ºF — but with constant rain, fog and 100% humidity, so we’re not sure today’s going to fly as a painting day, but we have to prime the parts or we can’t assemble them. We’d rather not use rattle can primer. We don’t think the space heater in the garage will get the thing hot enough to paint when the temp drops below freezing tomorrow. And it’s going to be mayhem on the roads, because we’re going right from 2-3 days of rain to a freeze. Bumper cars!

We have some good stories in mind for the coming week, including a beautiful flintlock coming to the big screen near you, a little more about refugees, and a story about how one dark night in 1968 ruined a weapon’s reputation forever.

Sunday Seashore

Living in a seaside community is a wonderful thing. Even on days when we don’t go to the sea — it’s not at all visible from Hog Manor, even though we’re not far — it seems comforting just to know it’s there. In the summer, it’s a daily bike ride, along the crashing Atlantic, where there’s nothing beyond this rocky shore but some craggy islets and then the deep sea (more green than blue) until you hit, say, Iceland, Ireland or the Azores, depending on your azimuth. At this time of year, it’s impossible to resist the impulse to drive by occasionally, just to watch the waves crash.

It’s like watching a fire: “Ranger TV.”

Humans seem to be attracted to the sea and to shorelines, and to mountains, and to forests, which is interesting in that the scientific consensus seems to be that, somewhere along the line where some ancestor of Homo sapiens became human (where along the line seems to evade consensus at this time), we evolved from arboreal apes to hominids that dwelt on the forests’ edges, or in the open savanna. There were no mountains, and no seashores; and yet, those apes’ indisputably human descendants, us, will pay a premium to live by the sea, and a premium again to live in a place where we have both sea and mountains in close proximity.

From the way we act, it’s as if the real Garden of Eden was not much like the Olduvai Gorge and much more like New Zealand. The terrain is also right in the Azores, but the weather is less so; the terrain is also right in Ecuador, with 20,000′ of vertical terrain letting you experience tropical and arctic climates — in the same day.

Deeper thinkers have probably thought about this before. Nothing new under the sun, after all. But we enjoy forming our own thoughts, however shallow.

The 2015 End of Year Numbers

1,354 posts, and over 1 million words (try saying that in a Dr Evil accent). We didn’t aggregate comments. 5.1 million visits, 2.1 million unique daily visitors. And we have a positive trend:

2016 Unique Visitors

December set an all-time per-month record of 193,334 unique visitors in the month.

For 2016? Looks like we’re gonna need a bigger chart.

And setting up the 2016 version of the spreadsheet that hosts this data is going to be unpleasant.

Our Predictions for 2016

OK, here we go out on a limb to make some predictions for 2016.

Here at WeaponsMan

  • We’ll neither be so bored with it or so burdened with “real” work to give it up, but other writing may put a dent into our ability to almost singlehandedly deliver 1,000,000 words a year.
  • We still won’t have ads (it is a rare site — like Forgotten Weapons — where the ads are from vendors who have stuff that’s as interesting to go and buy as the site is to visit). But we may join the Amazon affiliate program. Anything we do to “monetize” (scare quotes because we don’t think anyone makes money at this) the blog will be transparent and non-intrusive, or we won’t use it. We hate spam and popups so much that spammers like AdSupplyAds are all in our hosts.txt file on our computers. (And when we had a Cisco, in our router, but now we have a different brand because it aged out of support and we don’t know the nuts and bolts of this one like we do Cisco).
  • We’ll probably get banned at another library. Just surprised Boston wasn’t first (it was Indiana).
  • We’re going to try to offer an occasional deal with a friend in the industry. We won’t be getting any money for this, but we may take the deal ourselves.
  • We’ll start some new features. Three under consideration are the Gun of the Month Club, teaser Excerpts from Fiction, and a (probably monthly) periodic knife/sword column. Gun of the Month Club is just that — “What’s the most interesting hogleg that followed Hognose (or one of the guest bloggers) home in the preceding month?” The fiction bits are from novels that are mostly written, but yet to be dangled before publishers. At least the first of the novels is to be published before the year is out, if we have to do it ourselves. Which feature would you prefer? Here’s a poll.
What Feature(s) Would You Like to See Here in 2016?

 
pollcode.com free polls

 

(Note to self, the color code for that poll background is B3E8EE if we want to use it again — Ed. And figure out how to make the poll boxes center on the jeezly page.)

  • We may give an old feature two in the hat. What would you like to see go?
What Current Feature(s) Must Go?

 
pollcode.com free polls

 

  • We’ll listen to what you want to see more of. We may not do what you want, seeing as how this whole blog is done for our own “education and recreation,” as the FAA paperwork about homebuilt airplanes says; but we will listen. 
  • As real-world work steps up, we may lean more heavily on our guest bloggers. (OTR’s strangling thumbs twitch every time we talk to him these days because we still owe you stuff on three different photo reports he’s done for us. As Editor, Hognose-as-human-bottleneck affects everybody. We’re even missing one that was slotted for yesterday [editing delay]).
  • You may be hearing a bit more about one of our ventures if we choose to get an FFL and pursue firearms work. We’re currently disinclined to do that, but we might.
  • Hognose “comes out” by real name, which half the world knows already (AFAWK there is only one Hognose callsign still kicking around the former SF community, but maybe there’s others out there.).

As Tom Lehrer sang, “These are just the ones of which the news has come to Hah-vah’d, there may be many others but they haven’t been dis-cah-vah’d!” So we’re wide open to suggestions and ideas.

We are in a benevolent mood as the sun rises over a snow-kissed Hog Manor. So much so that we’ve even unbanned Haxo Angmark, thanks to an excellent comment to the WWI tank post yesterday. Y’all keep an eye on him. (We’ll also predict he can’t make February 2016 without tripping the ban hammer again. We’d like to be wrong, because he sometimes has worthwhile content, amid all the Nazi cant; we’re going to give him the chance to rehabilitate himself).

We were going to make predictions about firearms and politics, but really, we all know what’s going to happen, and despite the occasional banzai advances of our enemies, we march to victory. Today the free states, tomorrow the United States, the day after the rest of the civilized world. In due course no peaceable man under God and the stars will be denied the human right and means of self-defense.

And to close out our first post of the New Year (we just had a vision of a SCAR in swaddling clothes marked 2016 chasing a flintlock with a long beard and a 2015 sign off, stage left), we want to wish you a prosperous, happy, and rewarding New Year.

A special, private comment to the reader whose daughter has been hospitalized: we do not pretend to know what power prayer may have in this case, but we have added our small voices to those praying for her. May she be fully recovered, and scaring you in all the ways daughters scare their fathers, with the utmost rapidity.

“We’re Not Wor-” uh, Humbled to Appear in Such Fine Company

Doug Ross at DirectorBlue has long done an annual award for the top 50 blogs on what he sees as his side of the blogosphere. We were absolutely shocked when one of our regular commenters, Doug (presumably not Ross), pointed out that we were on the 2015 Top 50 list, and we had to go see for ourselves.

Holy Mother Machree:

best_firearms_blogger_2015

Well, we’ll be damned. For crying out loud, look at the guys we’re on the list with. Bob Owens has been around since Christ was a corporal. (Hmmm…. that’s an Army expression, but we wonder, what’s its etymology? Could it have been “since Christ was incorporate” or “corporeal” — and been corrupted by some Neanderthal-browed grunt? But we digress. And Bob’s not quite that old, we think). And, John Lott… that guy literally wrote the book, to wit, More Guns, Less Crime, and has had a formative role in the concealed-carry revolution that has turned something tightly permitted in a minority of states 30 years ago, into the law of the land everywhere except a few reactionary holdouts that cling to Jim Crow gun laws.

You know that thing in Wayne’s World, “We’re not worthy?” Yeah. Party on, Garth.

There’s also a “gun blog” category that’s also populated by heavy hitters, including, deservedly, Bob again (Bearing Arms is his site):

best_gun_blogger_2015

Bob, and The Stranger at Extrano’s Alley (who occasionally comments here), and The Truth About Guns, the irresistible site of the master of gunny clickbait Robert Farago and a cast of young and presumably will-write-for-food yout’s. Seriously, everything Farago puts on that site is at the red end of the “Wait But Why Clickability Scale,” even when it’s as wrong as a window crank on a submarine porthole.

waitbutwhy clickability scale

We’re just Indians in this tribe, and we can think of many we’d recognize before ourselves (which is part of why we have a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week, which most of this years firearms/guns honorees have been singled out for, before). But we’re humbly grateful for the recognition. It’s nice to see your overnight success recognized after four years of daily blogging.

And if you followed a link here from Director Blue, stick around and see if WeaponsMan.com agrees with you. There are anodyne blogs out there; we try to be, to coin a word, cathodyne.

Update

Meanwhile, we’ve been singled out for another honor, apparently, by the SJW entryists running a library network in the dependably red state of Indiana. You can’t be anti-gun when you’re on the public nickel among the gun-happy Hoosiers, so look at the flimsy excuse they selected to ban us. Received by email:

You haven’t been seeing me around yur blog because it’s been kicked off the local server I use for wireless; it seems they think that military veterans talk too dirty:
**********************************************
Content Denied

Your current group (Indiana Public Libraries) and policy (Indiana Public Libraries) do not allow you to visit the requested site (http://weaponsman.com/).

Sites in this category (Profanity) are currently blocked.

If you feel this is incorrect, please contact your content filtering administrator.

***********************************************

There is a category called Profanity, that’s surprise number one. And we’re in it, surprise number two. They’ve obviously never heard us do something to an RV-12 part (do you know if you get careless about securing the part you’re countersinking, you can actually turn a the 38th round hole of 40 or so that you were countersinking in a structurally vital stub spar into a figure-eight-shaped countersunk hole? No lie. There was profanity and blasphemy in the air). But that sort of profanity stays in the workshop (and Van’s always has a pleasant lady to take our call, which is 100% profanity-free, at $21 per stub spar and some $50 for next day air across the country. Wish us luck on the replacement spars). We try to keep it off the blog; we don’t censor the commenters, except for our single banished Nazi admirer, but they’re not a damning-and-blasting bunch. (Well, blasting maybe, but not that kind).

Obviously, they’ve categorized us as Profanity to serve some end other than protecting the virginal eyes of Hoosiers from naughty words. We leave speculation about what end that is as an exercise for the reader.

We suppose any recognition is nice, but on balance, Doug’s was a lot nicer!