Monday, February 23, 2009

Need to knock down an old house?

Make sure you do it correctly. None of this half-assed stuff, either.

Bonus points for using a cannon as the initiator of the whole demolition sequence.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Before the current red-dot gunsight craze...

There was the Weaver Qwik-Point. I saw my first one sitting atop a firearm many, many years ago, and it intrigued the hell out of me - especially when I gave it a try.

Fast-forward a decade or two, and my father calls me, telling me that he just inherited a vintage Marlin Model 336 in .30-30, and could I please help him remove the sight that the previous owner had installed?

When I arrived, I was startled to see an ancient Weaver Qwik-Point red dot sight sitting atop the Marlin. It had been many years since I had seen one in the wild, and here it was, locked squarely on a Weaver base attached to that levergun.

We got it off the gun, as well as the base, and I'm finding some blind 6-48 screws to fill in the empty holes on Dad's rifle.

In the meantime, he had no desire to keep the Qwik-Point, so it came home with me, because I had an idea.

My Romanian SAR-1 AK variant has the left side scope rail. Does anybody make a scope/optic mount for AKs thus configured that plants a Weaver rail fairly low over the top of the receiver cover? I'm not particularly interested in replacement receiver cover scope mounts, because they're not terribly stable, Besides, with the left-side AK mounts, they're easily removable without harming the function of the rifle.

I'd like to attach this Qwik-Point on one of those mounts, hopefully to co-witness with the rifle's iron sights, and use it for fun, hunting, etc.

Granted, while it has a very bright red dot, with no ambient light it doesn't work too well at night. No biggy, that's what the tritium sight inserts are for on my SAR-1, regardless.

Pretty damned neat, in the general scheme of things, regardless.

I love Jesus, but I drink a little...

This is hilarious. I had a great aunt who sounded amazingly similar, and I'll bet I'm not the only one who can relate:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Data Integrity

It's a fact of life. Every now and then, a hard drive craps out in the Gewehr98 home network of computers and fileservers. There are at any given moment approximately a dozen or so of the Gawd-forsaken things spinning their little hearts out, and Murphy is well aware of it as time progresses. Nor does Mr. Murphy give me a lot of warning when he strikes, either.

During my military days, we had this awesome machine that would zorch the living bejeezus out of magnetic media, including complete hard drive assemblies. Nothing was safe from that industrial degausser, and one would do well to heed posted warnings about having watches and wallets a safe distance from the device while it was in operation.

Alas, I don't have access to that machine anymore, but thanks to my training, I firmly believe that the dead hard drives should still be rendered safe from data thievery before final disposition.

So my solution was perhaps a little more brutal, yet elegant at the same time.

I simply perforate the little buggers.

With high-velocity lead and copper, that is.

What's interesting, however, is how the aforementioned perforation happens.

A recalcitrant hard drive is lovingly placed in front of a suitable berm, and the owner retreats 100 yards to a position where he can initiate the process.

Here's the first in the series, with a representative .308 Winchester 168gr Sierra MatchKing HPBTM round as fired from a Remington 700PSS rifle. Note the entrance hole:

And the exit hole:

Pretty darned tidy, ain't it? That's one hard drive that'll be somewhat difficult to spin up again, guaranteed.

It could be tidier, I suppose. This is another dead hard drive (I got plenty, trust me...) posing with a wildcat 6.5-06 round identical to the one that perforated it. That would be a .264", 120gr moly-coated Nosler Ballistic Tip traveling at a sedate 3200fps for the uninitiated. The delivery device is a somewhat famous Krieger-barreled 98 Mauser, demonstrably capable of 8" groups at 1000 yards:

Looks like it got drilled, no muss, no fuss. The backside looks nearly as clean and neat, although it appears the Ballistic Tip did open up somewhat once inside:

I'm all about equal opportunity, though. The next hard drive got its soul knocked loose by something a bit slower and heavier. Witness a .458" 405gr Beartooth Hard Cast Gas-Checked bullet, loaded into a .45-70 round and launched by a Ruger #1S at a hot-rodded 2100fps. Now, these things kick like the proverbial mule, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I flinch at times. So I pulled the shot to the right just a smidgen, but I still connected with the internal platters, as intended:

Yeah, baby, that's what I'm talking about! And the backside looks downright non-functional, too:

Let's look at that from a different angle, shall we?

Label intact, but I'd say that the warranty is probably voided anyway. I dunno, maybe someday I'll ship one off to customer service and get their take on the problem after I've had a go at it.

I had yet another hard drive that wouldn't give me the time of day, let alone anything else, so I set it up at 25 yards and had a one-way conversation with it, via a Smith & Wesson Model 52. This particular 1961-vintage autoloader launches a .38 Special 148gr wadcutter at, oh, say, comfortable velocities, and with exceptional accuracy, as owners of these rare birds will attest. This was a Berry's Plated 148gr DEWC, and while it didn't quite make it through the hard drive, it still performed the required task of preventing any future rotary motion of the internal platters:

Conversely, if one takes a different .38 Special round, namely a 158gr SWC in the +P loading, and launches it into yet another dead hard drive from a converted 5-screw S&W 6" PPC/Steel Challenge revolver, then we get a bit more penetration (sounds kinda perverted, don't it?):

The last one was so much fun that I double-tapped the sucker. I'd have dumped the whole cylinder into it, but the drive fell off the rack after the second round. Bummer.

So what have we learned here? Let me summarize:

1. Shooting is fun.

2. Hard drives die.

3. Shooting dead hard drives is fun.

4. Dead hard drives with bullet holes tell no tales.

I've since accrued/created a few more dead hard drives, and of course, I have plenty of other projectile delivery systems waiting to dispatch said drives. Once the weather gets out of the sub-zero phase, we'll have to revisit the technique. Remember those 500gr Hornady monster .45-70 loads I illustrated earlier? Then there's the .357 Magnum Desert Eagle. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stimulus (Pork) Package, Laid Out...

Why is the GOP not willing to sign the latest iteration of the Stimulus Package, laid out before them like a suckling roast pig? Here's why, spelled out in CNN today:

(CNN) -- On Monday, House Republican leaders put out a list of what they call wasteful provisions in the Senate version of the nearly $900 billion stimulus bill that is being debated:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

That's why, Nancy Pelosi. Now get back to work and create something useful.