Thursday, April 30, 2020

Updated thinking on air rifles for training.

(Okay, so all this week I have been just giddy with the success of last weekend's introductory gunhandling sessions with Feral Daughters One and Two, which culminated not only in reliable hits with the Airsoft 1911 from about five yards, and also not only with exemplary attention to safety and basic handling, including load and reload...but also with conspicuous smiles.  More on this effort later;  for now, that's the context of my starting to think again about the broader context of airgunnery for training.)

I wanted to set down a couple more thoughts about the use of precision pellet guns for training, as the landscape has evolved a bit since I last did that.  I've now been freshly reminded of the viability of using appropriate Airsoft replicas for true gunhandling, and really for any training in which the gunhandling is more important than great precision in marksmanship...but in the end, there will also remain a need for low-cost, high-volume training using something more precise.

Previously, I've written on the Scout-Rod concept, and I'm still keen on making this happen.  The problem of course is that even aside from the ridiculous "safety" on the otherwise-excellent Benjamin Marauder base gun, there would still appear to be much custom work to do to get it up and running in full form, and of course along with the base gun, that's expensive.  But then I noticed the Diana Stormrider, which seems more promising in several ways, especially with the ability to add an additional barrelband for the possibility of a true Scout Scope setup without extensive gunsmithing.

And then today, I happened to notice both the Diana Trail Scout, and also the Diana Mauser K98 repeater.  Both of these are at the very least, interesting options!

The Trail Scout is clearly a derivative of the Stormrider, with the same bolt and breechblock, magazine, trigger and safety group, sight setup, and presumably it would accept the same second barrelband, if possibly requiring some stock inletting.  The Trail Scout seems to be about half the cost of the Stormrider, runs on CO2 instead of HPA, and currently only comes in synthetic stock garb.  Would CO2 be the way to go?  It sure might.  The Stormrider produces velocities, in .177" caliber, high enough that you can (maybe) start to lose some precision, and it seems to get about 20 good shots on a fill, with attendant blast for the not-strictly-necessary oomph.  The CO2 gun advertises much more sedate velocities, and 100 shots on a fill, using three standard powerlets.  Presuming the CO2 powerplant is as accurate a platform as HPA, this lower cost option might be a great training tool!  (Hell, might need to have both...)

The K98 Mauser replica was also a pleasant surprise.  I'd seen Tom Gaylord cover the single-shot version of this rifle before, and hadn't paid it much attention because I've already got a wonderful trainer for single shots in the Air Venturi Bronco.  But this one is a repeater...and hmm, look at that bolt!

I'm pretty sure that is the closest I've seen to a full-size rifle bolt on a non-Airsoft airgun.  No, it's not going to duplicate a real Mauser bolt in travel or even in feel, but it is so much closer than anything else I've seen, at least in a precision, rifled pellet gun, that it immediately becomes a serious contender for a precision trainer.  It's not cheap, by comparison to other HPA alternatives like the Stormrider, and it will have some of its own flaws--for starters, a true scout scope is going to require true custom work, the "safety" is a...let's call it comically primitive crossbolt in the trigger itself (good gawd, people!), and it probably will fit the same 20-shots-per-fill, 200-bar fill pressure, 20-foot-pound envelope as the Stormrider.  But hmm...that bolt, plus the onboard sights, the friendly stock (for shortening and mounting a Ching Sling), and what appears to be an overall excellent base platform...well, I now need to meet one, and am glad that the option exists!

Finally, I'm also curious to dig a little more into what SIG has been doing with EBR-pattern, semiauto rifled pellet guns.  This seems a distinct "third", in terms of training importance (where "first" would imply Airsoft blowback replicas capable of precision gunhandling and gross marksmanship, and "second" would imply rifled pellet guns capable of gross gunhandling and precision marksmanship), but those lines are of course at least a little blurry.  But still, to have the ability for some real rifled-pellet precision, in a semiauto*, AR(-ish) pattern carbine, would seem to be quite useful, and certainly worth the initial investment for inexpensive trigger time.

Anyway, SIG seems to have some options in their MCX and MPX rifles, and boy, I'd love to meet those too, to get an idea of what they're like.  (Tom has covered both an MCX variant and an MPX variant, and I'll cogitate further on the idea.)

* In the pistol realm, I already went through this thinking a bit ago, though I don't seem to have written about it specifically yet;  the core idea is to come up with a faithful replica of a "semiauto" design that can shoot rifled pellets rather than Airsoft or steel BBs--to be able to work on precision, across multiple shots.  Pistols are difficult for this, at least for 1911 lovers like me:  no pistol design I've yet seen seems to have been able to combine both rifled-pellet feeding, and a single-action trigger.  However, what is available--and what I would argue is viable enough for the concept--are a few designs employing a small internal rotary magazine, against a "double-action" style trigger (technically, this is really a CO2-powerplant revolver, in the guise of an auto pistol), and no blowback.  It's by no means perfect--I'd want the blowback and reciprocating slide if I could get it, and of course I'd want the option of a 1911 design as well--but then I stopped and considered the S&W M&P 45 variant simply on its own terms...and I think it's worth pursuing.  Whether or not the 1911 might be a preferred platform, this still captures a good base gun to train on (the M&P is well-established) and the long trigger is a good exemplar of striker-fired pistols like my own beloved Kahr.  I figure:  use it for precision singles and doubles;  the long trigger roll is the focus of the exercise here, and requires the same sort of sight-settling focus that blowback provides, without needing the actual blowback.  No, it won't combine with authentic reloads or clearance drills, but it is pretty clearly the best option for precision work in a pistol that is anywhere close to ergonomically authentic to a design you'd want to train for.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hive mind? What hive mind?

You know that sense you get sometimes, when it seems like you are suddenly seeing all the usual suspects use exactly the same talking point verbiage to push whatever stank they've been told to pimp today?

No no, loyal comrade.  You do not understand.  We said, it must be your imagination.

That actually made me laugh, to see that.  Blanket pre-approval from The Hive, to simply dismiss whatever content might appear above, probably just because someone used a hashtag for "QAnon"*, whatever that is.  (It hardly matters, as this content speaks for itself just fine.)

Anyway, whatever y'say there, MiniTru (or WikiPravda, if you insist on a modern name).  You said it, all right-thinking people believe it, that settles it.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

For those who insist on having a 'leader': this is what a real leader sounds like.

Today I became aware, for the first time, of South Dakota governor Kristi Noem.  I got referred to this video clip in particular:

Other news clips picking up on this statement were available as well, but the clip really speaks for itself.

I'm impressed.

I may have nothing good to say about anyone who wants to engage in politics, on general principles, and I may have no further contextual knowledge about Kristi Noem or anything else she may have done, but on the strength of this clip alone, she distinguishes herself significantly, above nearly everyone else in her field, standing out as a (pretty lonely) example of what an actual leader sounds like.  Here, she appears to be:

  • Someone who understands that the people she leads are worthy of respect.
  • Someone who acknowledges that there are limits to her power--and who considers herself bound by them.  
  • Someone who neither panders nor condescends to her audience.
My god, it's like she appears to be a human being, or something.

I happen to think that it's a tragic flaw, in much of humanity, to insist--despite the evidence of all of human history--on having "leaders" in the first place.  It makes me a heretic, I know;  insert here whatever joke you may think passes for a witty and clever rejoinder.  (I've heard 'em all.)  But hey, let's get real;  on a practical level, I'm quite aware that I won't likely live a single minute of my entire life without at least one "leader", at some level, laying some sort of claim on me.  (Because enough people believe this to be inevitable, so it becomes inevitable.  A sort of psychosomatic slavery.)

In such an absurd world, I may still bristle at the idea of having "leaders" out there, on principle, but that does not mean that I can't recognize better from worse.  Which means I can say, unequivocally, that if our "leaders" were more like Kristi Noem as she is in this clip, the world would be the better for it.  

Nearly incomprehensibly better.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hello there, Robert Gore.

Posting has been pretty dark here for a while--not really my intention even given the deliberate attempt to pull back from all Teh Stoopid for a good bit--but this deserves a bookmark.  "The Last Gasp", by one Robert Gore.

I came across it via the Zelman Partisans blog (hat tip to Sheila Stokes for this post), which linked to Gore's "Basic Math", which then identified itself as a companion piece for "The Last Gasp".  So, arguably, I found it nearly by accident.

It does sorta get your attention right away:

When you can’t love, you hate. When you can’t build, you destroy. When you’re ignored, you scream. When you can’t tell the truth, you lie. When you can’t reason, you panic. When no one will follow you out of admiration or respect, you compel. When you can’t live, you kill.

This is it, the last gasp of the psychopaths who express their contempt and hatred for humanity by trying to rule it. Compulsion, not voluntary and natural cooperation. Power, pull, and politics, not incentives, competition, honest production, and value-for-value trade. From each according to his virtue to each according to his depravity.

Nicely said.

It goes on from there, with a refreshing excellence.  Gore's style strikes me as a mashup of Rothbardian ideas, laid out and presented in a Butler Shaffer artistic style, using a tone that reminds me of Robert Higgs, with some polite nods to Will Grigg.  (Meaning, of course, that in me it would naturally find a friendly audience.  :-)

Boy, I hope he's right--with the "last gasp" idea.  It makes perfect sense in a go-to-the-logical-conclusion kind of way, but of course I'm also reminded of an El Neil backstory (I think it was in Forge of the Elders) which talked about a similar tyranny inexplicably snatching an unexpected total victory from the jaws of similar defeat, right at the point everyone thought it was over and could finally move the hell on to better things.  "No one is more dangerous than the suicidal," indeed.

Anyway, hello there, Robert Gore.

Monday, March 9, 2020

A ranging shot from Leviathan?

The following was originally posted over at Claire's place, as a comment to this post in which she comments on (among other things) both the sudden Democratic Party wagon-circling around the barely-still-functional Joe Biden, and also on the emergent COVID-19 hysteria which has since illustrated, with full-spectrum clarity, just how willing and even eager so many otherwise intelligent people are to be led around by the nose, by the world's oldest protection racket.

It seemed appropriate somehow to warehouse this extended comment here as well. (As a housekeeping choice, I've backdated it to the date of the comment, but otherwise it's as it appears there.)


Claire, I’ll echo the “blog when you’re inspired to do so” sentiment. I see blogging at least a bit as a true art, and authentic art is, at heart, the channeling of a muse. Whenever you hear yours, by all means bring her beautiful voice to life again. (The hard part, sometimes, is just knowing when that voice is authentic, and not a manifestation imposed by the noisier parts of an active mind.)


In re the sudden wagon-circling around Biden, it seems clear enough that all the handlers are scrambling for a viable plan in this fainting-couch chaos of their own making. Bernie’s crime is simply that he’s had enough unexpected success on his own, now, that he’s forgotten his place, which of course is nothing more than to appear on cue for the purpose of making the party’s anointed one look more palatable to the credulous; he’s become big enough that he has to be put down–publicly. It’s amusing not because he’s actually “too far left” for the party (ha!), but that he’s too bluntly honest about the direction it’s all supposed to go, and since the Hive appears to have concluded there aren’t yet enough rubes ready for The Long Game to wind down, well, he’s got to go. The audacity of the shenanigans needed to accomplish this simply shows us the magnitude of the internal problem. (That is, if it really is a problem. After all, it could yet be another part of the show; it’s not like we’re dealing with honest people, here, in the first place…)

I can’t imagine anybody’s actually thinking of putting Biden into the general election on purpose. My guess (conjecture, of course, but hey, the popcorn’s already on the table, so have at it, eh wot?) is that he’s just being propped up temporarily to limp the party into the convention, where he can be publicly judged to be (suddenly and tragically) medically unfit for office, suitably lionized as a faithful soldier ready for retirement with honors, and then replaced by the pre-circled-wagon crowd with a True Anointed One. Everyone makes out, right? Bernie gets effectively sidestepped, Joe turns his humiliation into a Great American Hero story, and the party rallies around…

…well, at that point, as I seem to remember some professional cretin arrogantly saying, “What difference does it make?” (shudder)

I can’t quite make out Gabbard in all this, either. Sure, her politics are repulsive, but there does seem to be a certain honor and consistency there, and maybe the party really does simply fear that on her own she’d run away with the public and put their investments at risk. She’s an interesting X factor–or at least, at this point, she should be. (He says with full understanding that we’re so far beyond “should be”s, now, as to be firmly into the realm of the “absurd” of Voltaire’s famous quote.)


And in re Coronavirus…well, yes, it scares me, but not principally for any reason of epidemiology. Sure, it seems obvious enough that it’s a nasty little beast, a serious threat to people with certain vulnerabilities, and quite possibly comically under-reported…but…

If I take a step back, and take a sober look at what appears to be a worldwide…uniformity of both the under-reporting and the hysteria…first focused on establishing a public belief in lethality far past what even the most generous numbers seem to indicate (nicely said, Bear)…then shifting to focus on the inevitable impact on world markets…then shifting further to discussions of mandated quarantine, loss of resource and manufacturing supply, and most recently the potential for unrest due to resource scarcity…

…well, what are we always told is the solution to problems of this magnitude? Hm.

And then there are the outré, ridiculed, but persistent claims that [this Coronavirus] is a runaway bioweapon…and all the shifting stories and claims from governments worldwide…well, initially shifting; now, instead, coalescing around the “under-reported” leitmotif and moving toward increased discussions of mandatory quarantine…

Hell yes, I’m scared of Coronavirus, the worldwide phenomenon…because somehow, it has the feel of a goddamn ranging shot.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

'Where is all this leading?'

The following was originally posted over at Claire's place, as a comment to this post in which she comments on the ridiculous spectacle of the remaining field of Democratic presidential candidates trying without apology to out-Orwell each other in full view of everyone.  Included here are 1) my original comment, 2) a response from another commenter, and 3) my follow-up.

It seemed appropriate somehow to warehouse this exchange here as well.  (As a housekeeping choice, I've backdated it to the date of the comment, but otherwise it's as it appears there.)


Claire, first and foremost I hope you can find and keep your peace with the great Pandora’s Box that is the Internet. Heaven knows I still struggle as well…with the outrage fatigue, the “need” to know what stank the pernicious piddlewits are pimping today…against all the wonderful things that the same landscape still provides.

Playing with my kids helps–a lot–but the struggle remains. I do pretty well at the goal of living-free-being-the-best-revenge (and thank you once again and always, for your part in encouraging that), but boy, are there days…

Anyway, peace to you, Freedomista.


I hate the fact that these tiresome, committed people are in any way living rent-free in my head, but I have to admit that the current ramp-up of Teh Stoopid does have me worried. It’s not that the depth of the ignorance, idiocy, or the unapologetic chutzpah is on its own shocking, although there are certainly days when I do have to marvel at what now passes for not just socially acceptable but even routine; rather, what I keep finding myself left with is the one overarching question which seems to have absolutely no good possible answer:

Where is all this leading?

Much ink has been spilled already, and rightly so, about the control zealotocracy increasingly demanding the unconditional surrender of every remaining vestige of individual sovereignty and freedom. Any honest assessment of the landscape makes it perfectly clear that it’s on, to these people: by any means necessary; only the result is acceptable; no law, ethics, or morality is any sort of impediment to the cause. The puppet masters set masses of people at each other’s throats–quite successfully–for increasingly trivial differences, and boy do the useful idiots know their narrative…if not so much how to defend or even really articulate it past the most sophomoric talking points. Rational discourse, even the most Pyrrhic forms of individual interposition, are becoming less and less possible by the day. And I’m sure it’s not me; the rate of acceleration of all this “let’s you and him fight” theater is well past tiresome, and into alarming.

Alarming because ultimately there’s got to be a reason for it. The real puppet masters may be evil in the purest sense of that word, but I cannot believe they are stupid. The comically hubristic antics we see each day, across the spectrum, must, at some level, serve a purpose. And with pretty much all the gloves coming off on every topic, by the day, the entirely reasonable question “what purpose is that?”…sits there, nagging.

As the saying goes, anybody who demands you give up the means of resistance, intends for you something he knows you would resist. Indeed. We’re seeing a fat lot of push for getting this thing (disarming the peasantry) done immediately. Why? What do these creeps know that we don’t?

Oh, sure, it could be something simple. Maybe it’s just covering for their sorry corrupt asses by misdirecting elsewhere. Insider knowledge of impending economic or social collapse. A hive-mind sense that their best opportunity for total domination is now, so strike with everything possible. Et cetera.

The thing is, the real puppet masters would seem to be above things like this. It reminds me of a comment I recall Claire making when talking about the increasing demands of the Total Surveillance State–the idea that you don’t go to the trouble to spy on everyone, everywhere, to catch mere criminals.

So what is it, then? Here we are, currently witnessing the most comically slipshod soft coup attempt I’ve ever even heard of, much less seen–this is stuff that would not be believable in fiction–and not only do the masses not seem to care about how embarrassingly bad it is and has been since even before Orange Man was elected, but more of the same is openly promised–and apparently cheered–going forward. The fainting-couch, Kabuki theater flavor of it all is so completely over the top, it would be tempting to think of it as freedom-lover agitprop…but frankly I don’t think any of us could have–would have–gone that far.

So again: what is it?

Eep. Apparently I needed to give vent to that. Like I said above, the struggle continues. 🙂


@Kevin Wilmeth

Imagine drones bought from Hobby Lobby dropping firebombs on the roofs of government buildings. Dropping them every week. Dropping them until government falls apart because it can’t defend the bureaucrats who are funding it. Then government stays persistently fallen apart throughout the next phase, in which every militia general tries to set themselves up as a new king. For your own good, of course.

The technological singularity shifting power to the individual is the thing the current politicians are unsuccessfully trying to prevent with their too-little too-late attempts to LARP the Soviet Union.

Only the goofballs are playing the LARP Soviet game, because the competent who in times past would be nobility can actually do the military math about swarm attacks. Even the US Navy did the math correctly, in Millennium Challenge 2002.

What is coming next is a lot more freedom. The whining from the 99% who are not libertarians is going to be epic.


Anon 2/10, I hope you’re right. I hardly relish the idea of that sort of conflict, for several reasons (not least of which because I suspect you are right about strongmen stepping into any available gap), but good god, look at the state into which we have “progressed” thus far, at the insistence of these obnoxious people who seem so fully committed to forcing the issue no matter what. It’s not so much that they are making peaceful revolution impossible, as it is that they are increasingly making peaceful existence impossible.

I think that in the end I do share the faith that the peasantry, if it must, will find its ways of rising to the challenge, whether it’s riflemen “behind every blade of grass”, or the flash-mob drone swarm of the deplorables, or some other Hayduke-ian creativity none of us has thought of yet. Or all that, in combination…

It’s the days between here and there, that I’m dreading.

My pipe-dream hope is that someone, somewhere, figures out how to make a peaceful statement that makes the lunacy of the continued wolverine-poking so self-evidently obvious that even the most tone-deaf, chest-thumping wokester agitator can’t miss it, or ignore it. (In this regard, I miss Mike Vanderboegh, who had a real flair for pursuing this goal–this quest for peace via the dire warning.) This really doesn’t seem like it should be all that difficult–from the “live and let live, how fucking hard is that?” angle, through to “you really haven’t thought this through, have you, hipster brainiac?”…and yet here we are.

The only problem with improvising creativity, is that it is inherently reactive. (Maybe that’s where my faith comes from, that in a world gone sideways, free people will ultimately prove more creative than the planners of other people’s business.) We’re still living in a world of strategy, where these improvising, reactive traits haven’t been truly needed yet.

And maybe that’s why the “let’s you and him fight” crowd seems so incapable of grokking the stupidity of bringing their imposed reality to blows–they can only plan, not improvise. The strategy, on paper, may seem solid. Even the tactics–the planned tactics–may seem plausible. But at the point of action, the human tendency for creativity can, and usually does, intervene, and often in unintended ways. (“In any battle the first casualty is the battle plan.”) I dunno, it seems like most folks in Claire’s commentariat would have no problem seeing this result as obvious, but maybe the obnoxious polypragmatoi just…don’t. (After all, this crowd may have tried many different things to achieve their goals, over the nearly forty years I’ve been paying attention, but I can’t say that any of the methods I have seen truly qualify as creative.)

Hey, maybe we can glom on a bit to current trends, here. I’ve been enjoying some of the Babylon Bee’s satire titles lately, including this one, “Democrats Warn That American People May Tamper With Next Election”…in a similar way, maybe we can simply promise to interfere with their revolution. 🙂