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Preview: View From The Porch

View From The Porch

Books. Bikes. Boomsticks. "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." -A.E. van Vogt

Updated: 2018-01-19T09:56:54.960-05:00


Relic of the Past


So, Indiana is the state where you can buy a bottle of Jack Daniels in the CVS with less hassle than a packet of Sudafed, since you need to take a card to the pharmacist who stores the Sudafed behind the counter with the opioids and weapons-grade plutonium but the whiskey is just out there with the soda pop and bottled water.

Indiana is also...still...the only state where you can't buy cold beer anyplace but a liquor store, for some vague and no doubt John Dillinger-related reason.

This leads to the weird sight of grocery stores that have coolers for white wines and champers, but the beer is just sitting out warm.

A bill was advanced to allow cold beer sales in convenience and grocery stores this legislative session, but it died in committee, thanks to stiff opposition from the liquor store owners lobby.
"Alcohol and gas do not mix. So let's go ahead and use Hoosier common sense and be different from the other 49 states," said Knightstown resident Sarah Ward, who is president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Indiana.
Wait, the WTCU is still a thing? Apparently it is here in Indiana.

At least it looks like we'll get Sunday sales this year. (When I moved here it was only for sale by the drink on Sundays, and recently they added an exception for on-premises sales by breweries, wineries, and distilleries.)

...aaand that's a wrap.


The various testing protocols for magazine reviews leave me with a lot of partial boxes of ammo, and so I grabbed a box of Winchester 124gr NATO FMJ, Federal HST 147gr +P, and TulAmmo 115gr FMJ left over from...I think the XD-E review? Anyway, each box had only 15 rounds left in it.

I needed 91 rounds to finish the test, so those three and a full box of TulAmmo would do the trick.

The COM shots are from seven yards, with the full box of TulAmmo. That was just hosing nearly as fast as I could go, reinforcing not pinning the trigger.

I brought the target in to five yards and fired the fifteen HSTs at the upper A zone, at about the pace you'd use for shooting at the 3x5 in a FAST. Still at fifteen, I fired the fifteen Winchester NATO at the yellow triangle.

Finally, I pulled the target in to four and put the remaining eleven rounds of TulAmmo into the red star because duh.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

So this wraps up the CZ-75B Omega 2k round test. The gun was field-stripped and lubed with Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil on November the 6th, and has since fired 2,000 rounds, most of it filthy, steel-cased TulAmmo, with no further cleaning or lubrication. The gun has not once failed to go through the complete cycle of operation. The front sight's tritium vial leaked all its radioactive glow-y stuff, but there have otherwise been no parts breakages.

Stay tuned for field-stripping photos and general thoughts on two months of life with the Cee Zed.

Long session...


In order to hasten the wrapup of the CZ-75B Omega test yesterday, I brought two hundred rounds of ammo with me to Indy Arms Co.: A hundred of the Aguila 115gr FMJ and a hundred TulAmmo 115gr FMJ.

Still using the distal joint but concentrating on getting off the trigger as soon as it breaks so I can be prepping for the next shot. This stuff was all shot at what was nearing "wheels coming off" speed for me. I am okay with this relative to the previous session, considering I was going a lot faster, but got better results.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 1909 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 91 rounds to go.

I'm not as big a loser as I planned to be.


According to the scale and my little weight loss app on my phone, I'm down 17.8 pounds since I started using the app in late September. While this is the equivalent of no longer having to carry Huck the cat with me everywhere I go, I still didn't quite hit my target.

Unless I lose six pounds between now and Sunday, which seems unlikely without using a Stryker saw, my SHOT Show weight goal will not be met.

No matter. Onward.

What's In A Name?


So, KEH is having a one-day flash sale on Hasselblad and Leica stuff. Even though I have no business even thinking about stuff like this with SHOT Show expenses looming in the near distance, I click the link in the email. I figure there's no harm in a little window shopping.

My eye is caught by a little Leica 14-50mm F/2.8-3.5 D-Vario Elmarit Micro* Four Thirds lens. It's not really a Leica, of course. It's Panasonic glass that Leica had some design input on and then licensed the sacred name to grace the lens. It would be like if Wilson offered a few design ideas and styling cues to Ruger and then Ruger sold a "Wilson edition" SR1911 that contained no Wilson parts nor had ever actually been to Berryville.

Yet I couldn't help but picture that lens hanging off the front of my svelte rangefinder-looking Pen E-P5 as I bicycle around Broad Ripple or Mass Ave this spring.

This is silly. I already have a vastly superior Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro lens. If price tag were the chosen yardstick, the Olympus Pro is twice the lens the "Leica" Panasonic is. It's faster and covers pretty much the same focal length range. I can think of literally no situation where I'd use the "Leica" in preference to the M.Zuiko.

But it did briefly catch my eye.

Such is the power of brand image.

*As a reader was kind enough to point out, this is a regular Four Thirds lens, not Micro Four Thirds, which means I would have needed to use my 4/3-to-MFT adapter to run it on my camera. Most of my point still stands, though. Also, I shouldn't surf sales fliers before coffee.

Changing with the times...


I'm picturing some emaciated child soldier in Sierra Leone or wherever with an "NFC Championship 2013" shirt and a spanking new Yankee Hill Machine quad rail on his blaster.

Resumed testing...


Thursday morning saw me at Indy Arms Co. with the CZ-75B Omega and a hundred rounds of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ ammunition.

I'm starting to close in on the finish line here and I want to get the 2,000 rounds wrapped up so I can move on to my next project.

That being said, I really like the way this gun shoots. I'm tempted to drop some Dawson fiber optic sights on it and go holster shopping and dabble at gaming. The target above was hosing in great big long 6- and 7-round strings and a couple mag dumps, and the heavy gun was stupid easy to control.

There were no malfunctions of any kind to report.

This makes 1609 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 391 rounds to go.

That was fun...


While Roomie was finishing getting ready for work this morning, I headed out to go start her car and thaw off the ice.

I was greeted by an RX300 in a quarter-inch thick cocoon of clear ice. The door wouldn't budge. The ground was too slippery to yank very hard, too. I'd grab the door handle and pull and wind up sliding toward the vehicle.

I crunched my boots through the frozen crust, set my feet and yanked again, but I became worried about tearing door seals. So, I headed back into the house and grabbed an old blow drier and spent the next five or ten minutes using it to thaw around the edges of the door.

Once inside, it was just a matter of letting it warm until the ice started thawing away from the heated glass over the vents and then knocking it off in big sheets.

Filling in...


Back on January 2nd, I upped the round count on the CZ75B Omega and didn't note it here for some reason...

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 1509 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 491 rounds to go. 

Still more abuse...


I hit the range at Indy Arms Co. yesterday morning with the Glock 32 and another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Remington .357SIG 125gr FMJ to subject the Surefire XC1B to more trial-by-muzzle blast.

I'll note that the switches are positioned such that, if you shoot with a thumbs-forward grip, the Glock 32 recoils enough that you're likely to inadvertently turn the light on while shooting. It's probably because of this that the light needed a new battery by the end of yesterday's range session. Fortunately AAA batteries are cheap and we keep plenty of them on hand at home.

Also, every hundred rounds, I'm tightening the battery cap. Blue Loctite should correct this if it becomes annoying.

I had applied a little grease to the lens at the start of the test, and yesterday I wiped it with a Q-tip and the lens is clean and clear as new.

This gets the testing up to 550 rounds, and the light is still functioning.

Tinkering for tinkering's sake...


Once upon a time, computers weren't all constantly connected to the intertubes. What we call "air-gapped" these days was the normal state of machines back in the desktop beige box days.

Back then, when you bought a program it came in a cardboard box on physical media. You would install it on your computer and it would work the same way from the day you installed it to the day you stopped using it. Nobody could rearrange the menus on WordPerfect or change the buttons in Secret Weapons of the Lufwaffe... Good times.

Nowadays, half the software you interact with doesn't even reside on your PC. Further, there are whole departments at, say, Facebook or Blizzard or Google whose entire job is to "enhance the user experience". If they're not constantly dicking around, adding and removing features, changing what buttons do, moving things around...then they're not doing their jobs.

We have incentivized instability.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig!


Good evening, readers!

A leisurely five-ish hour drive after taking my time checking out of the hotel in Rolla, Missouri is a lot less stress than hammering through straight from Shawnee to Indy in one ten-plus hour slog. Plus I get more Holiday Inn points, so I should get at least one night free during my stay in Little Rock for Tac-Con this year.

This trip was also a shakedown cruise for some gear I'm planning to use going forward. More on that later. For now, I just want to take these boots off. They're comfy...for boots, but I'm ready for house slippers after this past weekend.

No Fate But What We Make


So, with Sunday being the final day of the class, I knew we'd be shooting the scored qualifier. For a change of pace, I field-stripped my carry Gen4 Glock 19 in the hotel room Saturday night and used a patch and some FP-10 from my range bag to wipe off the worst of the cack inside the gun. I didn't want to be clearing a malf on the clock*, and cleaning and lubing the gun couldn't hurt.

Setting out from the hotel to BDC Gun Room, I figured that I could just go ahead and leave the range bag in the hotel room that morning.

You know what else was in the range bag, other than cleaning supplies? My gloves.

Simunition rounds on the bare hands hurt.

Long haul truckin'...


Indianapolis to Shawnee, Oklahoma is a pretty long-ish haul. It was something on the order of 740 miles on the odometer by the time I got down here. I drove in my usual style, stopping only long enough to put gas in the car.

Of course I stopped to get gas in Terre Haute, despite being only a couple gallons down at that point. See, since I have a dangerous firearm strapped to my hip, I'm only olly-olly-oxen-free driving across The Land of Lincoln so long as I don't exit the vehicle.

I gassed up again just on the far side of Saint Louis and again in southwest Missouri, grabbing a packet of soy & wasabi almonds and a Monster Zero at the latter gas stop for at least a little stomach ballast.

Having left Indy just before sunrise, I rolled into the hotel parking lot right before sundown. It was -6°F on the Z3's thermometer as I crossed the Wabash at dawn, and 34°F in Shawnee when I got here. Tonight it's still above 40°F here just before midnight, but tomorrow morning I'm headed back to a predicted high in the mid 30s and "wintry mix".

I'm happy. For now.


The Casino Drill, it's called.

You stand on the five yard line with a holstered, concealed pistol and two concealed reloads. The pistol and both spare mags all each loaded with seven rounds for a total of twenty-one rounds on your person.

At the go signal, you draw from concealment and shoot one round into the triangle with the number "1" on it, then two rounds into the red circle bearing the number "2", then three rounds into the number "3" triangle, four rounds into the square labeled "4" cetera, reloading every time you hit slidelock.

The idea being that you are drawing from concealment, firing twenty-one shots with two mandatory reloads, keeping track of where you are on the target, and finishing this all under a twenty-one second par time. Each missed round, or round engaged on the wrong target, adds a second to your finishing time.

I've scooted under the par time barely on previous runs, but only when shooting by myself in a pistol bay, and not shooting from concealment, at that. I've blown into the nineteens in classes...but only in raw time. It always involved a couple dropped shots that pushed it over the 21 second mark.

But today in the EDP class at BDC Gun Room in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with the introvert's nightmare of being the only one shooting while Tom Givens stood there with a timer and the rest of the class stood around judging watching, I managed a 20.26 clean. That's a personal best, and I'm stoked.

Now to get better than that.