Saturday, November 26, 2011

The P-83 Wanad. More 9x18 pistol-craft from Radom

The P-83 Wanad, a Polish blow-back pistol was the successor to the P-64 and used by both the Polish military and police.  Produced by the venerable Radom factory,

As with all standard-issue East Bloc pistols of the time for military use, it is chambered in 9x18 Makarov.

It has an eight round box magazine, a two round improvement over the P64.  The magazine release is located on the butt of the pistol, and pressing the release drops the magazine quite smartly out of the pistol, unlike most other such releases, making it easy to quickly reload without having to grab the empty magazine to get it out of the way.  The hammer has a large curved spur, making cocking into single action simple as compared to the small hammer on the P64. The sights are small but functional.

Both the double and single action trigger modes on this pistol are superior to that of the P64.

Interestingly enough, the safety is pushed down to take the gun off safe, instead of being pushed up to fire as on most Walther PPK and East Block Makarov chambered pistols.  As a result, getting a firing grip on the pistol is marginally faster as the thumb proceeds from swiping off the safety right down into a firing grip rather than the up-down motion on similar pistols.  The slide can still be moved with the safety on, unlike the typical Makarov pistol.

The Wanad has a clever takedown scheme. Instead of pulling down on the trigger guard, a lever inside the guard is pulled down with the trigger guard remainign a slid part of the frame. Dis-assembly then proceeds like most other east block pistols, by pulling the slide back and then up and removing it from the frame, then  remove the recoilspring from the barrel and you're all set to clean.

In terms of size, it is slightly larger than the P-64 but feels lighter in the hand.

The P83 fits the hand and points quite naturally, and is a welcome addition to my 9x18 collection. The pistol will fit easily into a front jeans poacket and a Desantis Nemesis type holster would be recommended for such a carry method. Shooting at the range today, the difference between it and the P64 is readily apparent. Felt recoil was much less than the P64. Instead of it smacking the hand between the thumb and forefinger, right into the web,, the P83 instead distributes the recoil better, making it much more pleasant to shoot. The P83 proved to be quite accurate, knocking down plates with ease even with the small sights.

Continuing the Natasha scale of firearms, the P83 was rated only slightly below the CZ-82 for ease of trigger usage in double and single action modes and was only slightly harder to draw back the slide than the CZ82.  Its lighter weight compared the CZ82 was a plus, as is its thinner grip due to its single stack magazine.

The P-83 also has gained literary fame, prominently being used by the protagonist Lisbet Salander in Stieg Larsson's book The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I haven't seen the movie yet so i can't tell you if the Wanad gets a role on the silver screen or not.

For an East Bloc piece of history under $200, you really can't go wrong with a P-83.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Browsing and Family Time

We did not brave the malls on this beautiful day. In the high 50s and sunny it was time to go outside and go have a nice long nature walk.

Lunch was scrumptious leftovers from last night including the best roasted turkey ever (the secret is butter and kosher salt slathered on the skin after washing and drying it well, and using the convection setting on the oven), mashed potatoes, squash and the last pieces of apple and pumpkin pie.

Instead of standing in line, I went online:

Midway USA is not only having select specials all week, but also offering $15 off any purchase of $100 or more of their regularly priced stuff, which is easy to do when you're looking for firearms accessories.

It was at MidwayUSA that I picked out Murphy's Law's Christmas gift. It's a secret but I'll tell you what it is in three words:


Yep, encoded for your pleasure, answer to be revealed on Christmas.

If you figure out what it is, send me an email and I'll let you know if you're right, but don't tell him.

CDNN Investments also has some great deals going today on mags including AR-15 PMags for $11.

After all that shopping its was time for a snack and then taking the kids to the library to play and get some books and DVDs.

Not a bad post-Thanksgiving day by any means.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, and one of my favorites. A mix of religious and secular themes, with family and friends coming together to celebrate.

So the turkey is roasting to perfection in the oven, the sweet and the savory squashes are cooked, the stuffing is done and only the mashed potatoes remain to be finished.

I took the kids on a nature walk and now we're back and Abby is playing away on her Kindle and having a great birthday. Leah is busy drawing with her new markers, and all is right with the house.

Friends are due over shortly for the feast to begin.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may you have a great one.

Abby's Birthday and Kindle Fire Review Part 2

So Abby woke up on this, the morning of her eighth birthday, and at 8 o'clock after a stirring rendition of happy birthday, she opened her presents.

In addition to the Kindle Fire, she received a nice stationary set from her sister - all of which was emblazoned with the letter A. She also received a nice bead/bracelet making set and a classic book from her Great Uncle Donnie and Great Aunt Francie. There's also more birthday gifts to come.

She also received a Marware jurni Kindle Fire Cover for the Kindle Fire to keep it safe. The case works pretty well in keeping the Kindle safe while its being transported, and there's a hand strap that makes holding the device easy and stable while using the Kindle.

After opening the presents, per Abby's request, she had her birthday cake this morning as she felt a birthday cake wouldn't go with the Thanksgiving day feast that is being lined up.

As an eight-year-old, You know its your birthday when you can eat cake before 9am in the morning.

After looking at the other items she has now been immersed in the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle is tied to Natasha's Amazon account and comes with one month of Amazon Prime. While setting the Kindle up, we did have to change the email the Kindle was originally configured with (hername@kindle) to the one that is tied to the account and it is working perfectly now.

Amazon Prime could be quite addictive - free two day shipping for any purchase and lots of free books from the lending library and free streaming movies and TV shows is pretty tempting.

Abby was immediately able to play some apps we had downloaded, as well as her favorite songs. She also downloaded the free game of Stupid Zombies and a math game on her own, after some direction as to no downloading of apps, videos, or books that have to be paid for without parental permission. Seeing Stupid Zombies on a 7 inch screen is quite a change from the smaller phone screens.

Downloading a book from the Kindle Lending library was immediate with no delay and she was immediately able to read the kid's book that she chose.

Abby is also able to watch streaming video. We've taught her to go to the Amazon Prime section only, choose the "For the Kids" section, and then pick from that section only so she does not end up watching anything inappropriate for her age. So far she's briefly perused Babe, Alice in Wonderland, and a Julia Child cooking show. The video streaming is flawless and smooth with no pauses and the 7 inch screen is great.

Something tells me that after the free trial, we're going to get an annual Amazon Prime membership.

So the second impression of the Kindle Fire is as positive as the first.

The device is so intuitive that a smart eight-year-old can easily operate it. She's now showing an Angelina Ballerina episode to her sister on it as we speak, without any parental assistance.

The Kindle Fire is now heartily recommended by myself, Natasha and Abby, and Leah thinks it is very cool too and a great present.

Abby's birthday will continue with some outdoor activities and preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Compliance Costs But Reaps Big Rewards

Marginal Revolution reports that General Electric's tax return was 57,000 pages in size.

To put it in perspective, the entire US tax code is 72,536 pages (in 2006 it was 16,845 pages).

In return for this monumental display of compliance and finding every favorable term of the tax laws and regulations, GE on a profit of $14 billion with $5.1 billion for its US operations paid no income taxes.

Think of the amount of time, energy and economic effort wasted to produce 57,000 pages.

Then think for the need to make our tax code a lot simpler and straightforward to both understand, comply with.

Such a simplification would ensure that other businesses and individuals can reap the same benefits as GE rather than GE being able to pay no taxes by virtue of its size. GE due to having a massive accounting department and a huge size has the ability to operate in a way to negate any tax by a careful application of numerous laws, subsidies and credits that while politically nice may be economically very wasteful. While GE saves on taxes, its probably wasting tons of money not just by all the tax compliance measures, but by inefficient projects taken in the quest for tax credits and write-offs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Kindle Lights a Fire.

We just received our purchased Kindle Fire. We bought it as a gift for Abby's 8th birthday on this upcoming Thursday.

Quick impression: Amazon has a real winner here, it gives an Ipad a run for its money on looks and features.

A more detailed impression:

Right out of the box, the Kindle was easy to get started. There is a manual on the Kindle, but its rarely needed as the device itself is so intuitive to use. You only need to refer to the manual on rare occasions or to get acquainted with the device.

The color screen is excellent, with the awesome readability we've seen on prior Kindles. At 7 inches it is perfectly viewable and the small overall form factor makes this an easy device to carry along.

WiFi works perfectly, as does direct transfer of media such as Abby's favorite songs to the Kindle to get it ready for her big day. The small speakers are quite adequate for nice sound, and there's an earphone jack for the future when we want her to keep the noise to herself.

Web surfing is fast and flawless, and downloading Android apps is done with ease through the Amazon store on the Kindle.

Battery life seems very good, better and longer lasting than on my Droid phone.

It could use a physical "back" or home button to quickly get out of a selection, but the software buttons do come up eventually, or you can flick the power switch.

Amazon's decision to use the universal micro USB connector for both power and data transfer is very helpful. No need to buy yet another cable type to get the Kindle to charge or accept data.

For Droid users, the Kindle Fire is a snap to use and I have no doubt Abby will quickly master it.

At about half the cost of an IPad, the Kindle Fire is going to quickly carve out a market for itself.

For basic surfing, reading, basic document reading and editing, and playing games like Angry Birds it is more than capable.

In addition, my local library supports the Kindle so Abby can download books to read to her heart's content.

Natasha likes it so much she's contemplating getting a Kindle Fire for herself.

In summary, the Kindle Fire exceeds expectations.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

EU bureaucrats ban businesses from stating water is wet

Instapundit reports that the EU is banning claims that ingesting water can prevent dehydration.

Yes, really.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
This is perhaps the ultimate bureaucratic realization of Ayn Rand's admonition:
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Making it a crime to impart the information that drinking water can prevent dehydration certainly fits the bill.

After all, once you have banned people from being able to state obvious truths like that, you've got no limit to your potential regulatory control.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Obama, in one Key(stone) decision, causes three lousy results for the US

Obama, by deciding to delay the Keystone XL project, to appease his greenie base in order to buck up his electoral base, has deprived the US of lots of much needed good jobs, not to mention a secure supply of energy coming from a friendly country.

Between the delay on Keystone, the ban on Gulf drilling, and EPA regulations on Coal plants, its clear that Obama isn't interested in an assured and ample supply of energy for the US.

If we're going to get out of this current economic mess, we're going to need, among other things, cheap, reliable energy to power our industry and shift our consumers spending from power to more economically growth-spurring activities.

In addition, Obama's really snubbing our good neighbor to the north (er, actually also our neighbor to the south if you live in the Detroit area): Canada drowned out by U.S. election noise

As a special bonus, the oil Canada is producing may get shipped to China instead.

So Obama has succeeded in making three problems worse for the price of one decision:

Diminishing our energy supply and raising energy costs, and at the same time snubbing one of our proven allies.

How's that for an Obama lousy policy trifecta?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you jump in a river to avoid the cops, knowing how to swim would be helpful

The Detroit News: Man runs from police, dies after jump into river in Mount Clemens

Yet another example of how running from the cops doesn't lead to anything good.

Authorities say a man police wanted to question following an armed robbery jumped into a river in suburban Detroit and apparently drowned.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens and radio station WWJ report officers tried to stop the man early Wednesday when he jumped into the Clinton River in Mount Clemens. Authorities say the man was pulled from the water about 30 minutes later. His name wasn't immediately released.
Yet another example of bad criminal decision-making, next time not running is the best choice, second best would be a life jacket.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sore Losers For 29 Years And Counting

The Argentinians are rather upset about the announced deployment of a certain Royal Air Force helicopter pilot to the Falklands.

The Toronto Star: Prince William's deployment to Falklands draws diplomatic outrage

Search and rescue may be his job, but there is no saving Prince William from the diplomatic cesspool that has been spawned by the announcement of his posting to the Falkland Islands.

Argentina, which disputes Britain’s sovereignty over the Islands off its coast, calls it a “provocative act.”

This sabre-rattling by the South American nation has been going on since Britain’s reign over the Islands began in 1833.

With William set for a six-week stint there, the tension between the two nations has only intensified.

"It is one more provocative act that shows Britain's military presence in a zone of peace where there is no armed conflict," said Sebastian Brugo Marco, an Argentine official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The British diplomatically answered this complaint in the finest of British style:
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is provocative,” Tory MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail. “It is certainly not as provocative as invading the Falkland Islands in 1982.”
For those of you who don't remember, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falklands in 1982 and was defeated by the British rather handily.

At least there's one Royal who's an excellent representation of the best of Britain. Being a search and rescue helicopter pilot is no easy job and Prince William seems to be developing have the qualities and character that will serve him well as king one day.

It is also rumored that in response to this Argentinian outrage, Catherine Middleton was overheard singing "Don't cry for me Argentina..."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toronto Visit

Blogging has been light as I've spent the past few days at a hospital in Toronto with my dad as he's recovering from surgery.

On the upside, the surgery went very well and there's an 80% chance it solved the problem so we'll see how it goes. He's done well and is now back at home since last night to continue his recovery.

On the downside, some of the strain to Ontario's medical system is showing: the hospital was dingy and appeared quite dirty. More importantly, the nurses while typically delivering good though often delayed care, seemed very short-staffed and overworked. It took quite awhile to get my dad's IV removed after it was empty and other very obvious delays were experienced. At least there was a dispenser of hand sanitizer about every 6 feet, and it was certainly used a lot.

Right beside my dad in the hospital was an older Italian-speaking gentleman who was in recovery after getting a knee replacement. His family also was visiting and in a pleasant conversation we learned that one of his daughter's children is serving in the Canadian Forces as a private and is deployed to Afghanistan with 3 PPCLI.

Here's to hoping he comes home to his family safe and well.

Browning Sure Knew How To Design 'Em

The Toronto Star: Spitfire gun crackles after 70 years in Irish bog

When the remains of a World War II Spitfire Mark II fighter plane — donated to the Royal Air Force by Canada’s Weston family — were plucked from an Irish bog earlier this year, there was another exciting discovery awaiting the crew that found it.

After 70 years of being buried deep in the highlands of Donegal, archeologists and an Irish army ordnance crew were stunned to find that six of the Spitfire’s eight Browning .303 machine guns were like new and rust-free because of a lack of oxygen in the peat bog.

The question was: would the guns ever fire again?

It was another piece in a story that has all the makings of a Hollywood movie. The fighter, one of 20 Spitfires donated by industrialist Willard Garfield Weston, was piloted by handsome 23-year-old American pilot Roland “Bud” Wolfe, who bailed out in December 1941 just before the plane crashed, only to be arrested by authorities in Ireland, which at that time was neutral.

After seventy years sitting in a bog all it took was
soaking the machine guns in lubricant for a few days and swapping some springs and straightening the barrel’s outer support tube on one of them, the crew was more than confident that one would fire.

And fire it did, repeatedly and as designed.

A testament to a great design and the preservative qualities of a bog.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Voting for the non-Walking Dead

Yesterday was an election missed by most Michigan voters.

Most of the action was by cities and townships putting millage increases on the ballot to try to get taxes increased while most voters are unaware that an election is taking place.

For the most part, this off-year subterfuge succeeded.

The highlight of the election is that in one Michigan town, the deceased Mayor beat the challenger:

The Detroit News: More votes cast for deceased mayor in Montague

The incumbent dead man beat the live contender, 129 votes to 115.

However, under Michigan electoral law, the dead are barred from taking office.

Representatives of the American Undead Civil Liberties Union were unavailable for comment, but indicated they may issue an e-moan later.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and now Jackson Alligators?

The Detroit Free Press: 6-foot alligator turns up outside Michigan church

Authorities say a 6-foot-long alligator was caught after being spotted roaming the property of a southern Michigan church.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports officers from the Blackman-Leoni Township public safety department near Jackson caught the alligator on Monday. A passing motorist called police to Pathway Community Church after spotting it outside.

...Police say the alligator was in good health and likely was recently released. With colder weather approaching it might not have survived outdoors.

Look, you idiots that keep dangerous creatures and then release them into the wild when they get to big to handle, one of the redeeming qualities Michigan has to offer is a dearth of deadly critters.

With the exception of the rare Massasauga rattler, all of our snakes are non-venemous, our Great Lakes have no sharks and scorpions are conspicuous by their absence. We like it this way.

Typically, the greatest animal threat a Michigander ever has to face is a deer attempting to turn itself into a hood ornament.

If you can't care for your exotic pet, don't release it into the wild but turn it in at the zoo or animal control. Better yet, don't even get one until you understand all the consequences that accompanying owning such an animal.

Great Moments in Secretarial Typos

So I dictate a letter to an entity that is using my client's trademark (and business name) for their business name.

This is causing some definite issues, including the state applying the entity's worker's unemployment claims to my client and also creating lots of confusion for vendors, customers etc. My client has politely asked them to use a different name to end this problem but they continue in their wrongdoing.

So we begin with the firm yet polite cease and desist letter.

However, my secretary wrote the penultimate sentence as follows:

"It is our demand that you immediately decease and desist use of the "trademark" name.

I told her that was a little harsh.

After all, I didn't want to tell them to F-off and die just yet, nor that they had to kill themselves in order to stop their tortious behavior.

That comes after we file the complaint.....

Sunday, November 06, 2011

M&P Function Experiment

So here's the M&P experiment to see if its just mine that does this or if it is something that I shouldn't worry about much.

1. Make sure the M&P is empty
2. Feed a dummy round into the chamber
3. Pull the slide back partially.  On the slide, scale #2 from the end sits over the rear pin.  Pull the slide back so scale 3 sits over the pin hole
4. release.

Does your slide go back into battery or does it do this?

The slide does not go back into battery and the recoil spring guide protrudes from the front. Slide can be pushed forward into battery and there's a thunk as the barrel goes back into position.

Repeat the experiment by going to scale 4 and the same thing happens.

I think this may be a symptom of the functioning problems I was having with the gun as when it locked up it was not fully in battery and gave only light primer strikes or no primer strikes at all. Then again, this may be normal as it just went through 100 rounds without a problem.

I suspect the recoil spring is not strong enough to pull the slide back into battery, leading to failures once enough rounds are fired and the gun gets dirty. In contrast, my Glock 17 will promptly close when pulled back a similar distance.

So if you've got an M&P9 and want to do this test and tell me your results, I'd appreciate it.

The M&P Returns And A New Shooter Goes To The Range

Today Rob and his lovely wife Sumiko came to the range with me.  Rob has come to two USPSA matches with me and it looks like he's enjoying and going to keep competing in USPSA, so we wanted to get an opportunity to do some informal practice.

Sumiko had never been shooting before, so with some coaching and instruction from Rob and myself we loaded up the trusty Ruger MKII .22 and let her do some shooting with it.

I strongly advise starting all new shooters with a .22. New shooters are apprehensive enough about shooting that there is no need to add louder noise and recoil than a .22 to start them off. Remember, you want them to have fun and come back.

Do note that there is a special place in hell for the idiots that give the "little woman" a .44 magnum with heavy loads to shoot for a first time experience.

We set the target up about 7 yards away, and her first target ended up looking like this.

Sumiko was great, had a good time, lost the apprehension quickly and had excellent safety and accuracy.  She consistently hit the targets and had fun doing it.

In between 20 rounds we would rotate.  I shot my M&P9 and Rob his Kahr PM-9.  In addition to Sumiko's target, we had set up 7 poppers and a couple IPSC targets and worked on speedily clearing the steel and getting hits on the two targets quickly.  I had a free shot timer on my phone and in between it crashing we manged to get a neat look at our overall time for the course and shot splits.  Eventually I need to buy a real timer.

After shooting about 80 rounds of .22, Sumiko agreed to try Rob's Kahr PM-9 and my S&W M&P9.

Soon she was hitting steel with the Kahr and M&P with aplomb and enjoyed knocking down the reactive targets.

In short, Sumiko had a blast at the range.

It then started getting colder so we packed up and headed over to my house for a great dinner with Natasha and the kids.  A fine dinner, with a tasty Sangria/Lambrusco combo brought by our guests was had by all, except for the kids who got water or milk with their meals.  A great Saturday afternoon and evening.

M&P Notes:  The M&P functioned perfectly at the range with this being its first time out since returning from S&W for repair.  I still have a few concerns about it, but it handled 100 rounds today without a single failure.

However, if someone happens to have an M&P9 and a dummy round handy and is willing to try something for me, I'd appreciate it so I can tell if a certain action is normal for M&Ps or if only mine is doing it.  If you've got one and are willing to give it a try and duplicate the event, let me know, I'd appreciate it.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Detroit Transit Follies Continue

So yesterday, the Detroit Bus Drivers decided walk out and not work due to one of their members being attacked on a route, leaving Detroiters reliant on transit stranded.

Bus drivers are demanding a police presence on the buses. The mayor is now acceding to that demand with the occasional plain clothes officer on buses and the police will now pull over buses randomly to inspect them.

This is a city that can't even keep the required number of buses on the roads due to a mechanics union and massive incompetence, nor keep the buses' drivers safely driving them.

But don't worry, the billions they're about to spend on light rail route will work out just fine.

Trust 'em.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Female Firearm Novice's Test and Evaluation of Concealable Firearms - Part 1

Murphy's Law called me asking my opinion on a few small handguns and how I thought a female, non-regular shooter would like them as a self-defense firearm. He's got a female friend getting into shooting and she's interested in a carry firearm.

After mulling over the features and good and bad points of each of the ones he was asking me about, namely the P-64, the PA-63, and the CZ-82, I then had a cunning plan.

Why not get Natasha's opinion?

After all, she's smart, she's female, she's taken a CCW class and had some range time and is safe with firearms. She's tolerant of my shooting and gun collecting habits, but really not an enthusiast. In addition, she's had wrist and hand issues so hand strength was not at a premium, making for a useful test and a different perspective on the firearms in question.

Natasha graciously decided to indulge my request and agreed to evaluate each firearm.

Doing this in a semi-scientific manner we looked at:

1. The ease of working the slide with the hammer down
2. The ease of working the slide with the hammer pulled back
3. The ease of using the trigger in double action
4. The ease of using the trigger in single action
5. Magazine removal and replacement
6. Overall handling / feel

All guns were cleared and verified as empty before being evaluated and all dry firing was towards a safe backstop with no ammunition in the room.

We tested the P-64, The PA-63, The CZ-82, a Bulgarian Makarov, the Kahr PM-9 and a Glock 23.

The results were somewhat surprising.

Kahr PM9
Overall Rank: 1
Slide: perfect with great ease of use.
Trigger: Excellent and easy to use.
Magazine: manipulation was easy.

Overall, Natasha really liked the light weight of the Kahr, the ease of operating the slide, the good sights and overall feel and the smooth and easy trigger the best of all the firearms. If I put a Crimson Trace laser on it it would get an A++ and her absolute seal of approval. The PM-9 is truly a great carry gun.

Overall Rank: 2
Of all the 9x18 pistols, this was her favorite.
Slide: was easy to maniplate and lock back in either condition.
Trigger in double action: easy, trigger described as very good.
Trigger in single action: easy, very good trigger.
Magazine: remove and replace took a bit of work as she had to shift her hand a bit to reach the button but not bad once she figured it out.

Overall this was the best of the 9x18 pistols and very easy for her to operate.

The PA-63
Overall Rank: 3
Slide: was easier to manipulate than the Makarov, and much easier with the hammer back.
Trigger in double action: was not good but better than the Makarov (this is with the 11 lb spring installed, we may try this again with a 9 lb spring).
Trigger in single action: was easy.
Magazine: manipulation was easy.

Overall, The light weight and overall  feel of the PA-63 was quite good, but she did not like the double action trigger. We'll have to see if the 9 lb hammer spring improves the overall score as the heavier double action trigger was a real issue.

Glock 23
Overall Rank: 4
Slide: was easier to manipulate than the Makarov, but rather stiff.
Trigger: was decent but she liked the PM9's and the CZ82's triggers much more.
Magazine: manipulation was easy

Overall, Her greatest issue with the Glock 23 was the weight of the pistol and size of the grip.
Her greatest like about it was the Crimson Trace Laser sight which made aiming a breeze.

The Bulgarian Makarov
Overall ranking: 5
Slide: was the hardest for her to manipulate and impossible with the hammer down.
Trigger in double action: very difficult to almost impossible.
Trigger in single action: good
Magazine: manipulation was fine

Overall, the slide was the biggest issue, followed by the heavy double action trigger pull.

The P-64
Overall rank: 6
Slide: was easier to manipulate than the Makarov or the PA-63
Trigger in double action: was completely impossible and a full trigger pull could not be achieved.
Trigger in single action: was acceptable but getting it into single action was difficult
Magazine: manipulation was easy

This was the smallest of the firearms, however unless the hammer spring can be modified, it is out of the running as a carry pistol for those with limited finger strength.  If it could be improved it would beat the Makarov and PA-63 in her opinion.

So there you have it and hopefully it will give your new female shooting friends some initial food for thought as they consider a pistol to carry.

Lesson #1: Guys, don't assume your female friend / Significant Other / etc,  can use the same firearm you do or will find it enjoyable to use. Make sure you help them find one they can use easily and comfortably, and try it out first to make sure its suitable.  Expect issues that you've never thought of to crop up, most notably hand and finger strength.

If they're a new shooter, think an introduction with a .22 like a Ruger MKII and move forward from there.  Natasha can easily shoot and operate the MKII and its overall weight and light recoil makes for a good introductory gun before moving on to more suitable defensive calibers.  Worst comes to worse, hitting with 11 rounds of .22 from a MKII will give a bad guy something to think about.

Hand strength and size certainly matters when deciding what firearm to carry.  While I can use the P-64 in double action mode without any serious issues, Natasha could not do so no matter how hard she tried. I was also very surprised at the difficulty she had with the Makarov's slide. Hand size and strength also affected her evaluation of the Glock as it was described as the heaviest and hardest to get a decent grip.

I really hadn't considered that Natasha and I had hand strength that differed enough to be an issue with pistol manipulation until we went through this evaluation. While I know there is a real strength difference between us its not something that my conscious mind gave much thought.  You don't think of hand strength disparity much in a marriage as it is not one of the major topics of conversation: Hi Honey, I'm home, how's your hand strength? 

Now I know why I always get to open the stuck jars.

Natasha has generously volunteered to perform round two of these tests - taking the pistols to the range and doing a live fire evaluation, so there will be a follow-up report when time permits.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Additions to the Blogroll

I just added North, who gives us some Words of Wisdom every Wednesday


Kead's Another Day...Another who today is showing off a fine new acquisition. Very nice indeed.

also, a welcome to New Jovian Thunderbolt, who's wondering about the trend towards S&W M&P 9s.

The answer is they're pretty excellent guns ergonomically and have a decent price point and great capacity. Assuming mine comes back from the factory fixed, I will go back to singing its praises. It had gone through over 2000 rounds sans hicup before the problem cropped up so I expect that it is fixable.

I also just belatedly added Say Uncle. How the heck I had overlooked adding that fine blog to the roll all this time I have no idea.

You can't go wrong reading any of these blogs, nor the others listed in the blogroll.

Mullin Over Severance Award(s)

So let's see if I get the logic of the Mullin scandal right here:

Turkia Mullin voluntarily left her position at Wayne County to take a job as CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority, a job that she was hired for without a national search, and received a nice big $200,000 severance payment as she left one Wayne County agency to go to another.

This led to a hue and cry once the Democrat establishment in Wayne County was caught gaming the system and gifting its top-tier members sweetheart deals, at least this time.

This led to the firing of Mullin from the Airport Authority. This was to punish her for being part of such a sweetheart deal (with the alleged real reason being that she overstated her accomplishments at Wayne County, but considering she was sloted into position with any real competition, that seems a bit specious).

Guess What? The firing means Turkia Mullin will get a $700,000 severance payment.

That really showed her.

It is certainly good to be in the top tier of a corrupt Democrat administration now isn't it? Heads she wins, tails she wins, and the taxpayers of Wayne County pay in any case.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Suggestion as to the true purpose of the European Economic Union

If you look at the EU as a monetary union it never made a lot of sense, as the countries involved pursued radically different economic policies without a centralized control and countries ignoring poicy agreements and debt spending limits willy-nilly. Thus the tension today.

Hard working, parsimonious Germans set to retire at 67 are tied monetarily to, and paying for, spendthrift Greeks retiring at 50 on full government pensions.

After all, the Germans are rather fed up with bankrolling a Greek economy (and other problem European economies) that constantly spends more than it creates and exists mainly to provide feather-beds for state workers.

For example, the Greek railway system's debt is a rather stunning example. Greek rail has losses of over 1 billion against its $250 million income, each year, in, year out. This is, of course, completely unsustainable.

That Hellenic railway debt, at 5% of Greece's annual GDP isn't even counted as part of the Greek government's debt obligations causing the current crisis. But, as a state guaranteed entity the debt will fall on the state and add to its total debt as there's no one else to bail out Hellenic rail. Think Freddie Rail.

Now it looks like Germany and France will have to bail out the Greek's and Italian's profligacy or the whole Euro experiment, along with a few banks invested in PIIGS' bonds may collapse.

So a European Monetary Union isn't working out too well as it runs out of money.

However, if you think of the EU not as an economic union but instead as a union with a twofold purpose -

1. To constrain Germany and end its 50 year cycle of occupying France and
2. As a vehicle for reparations for World War 2

Then it all begins to make some sense.

Germany has been prevented from its natural pattern of kicking the French hither and yon, and has also been admirably restrained in not marching through Belgian territory on its way to to do so. Likewise, German tours de force of Eastern Europe have also ceased.

Goal #1 has been a rousing success.

Goal #2, The Euro as German reparations vehicle also seems to be promising.

After all, the Versailles reparations initially demanded were 785 billion in today's dollars, reduced down to $81 billion after the Lausanne Conference Treaty.

Today, Germany is going to be paying much more than that, and has already committed to $287 billion to the bailouts with likely further contributions to a 2 trillion big PIIGS bailout fund being necessary to make a full bailout.

Goal #2 looks to be well on the way to succeeding.

So who gets to be the one to tell the Germans that the European Economic joke is on them?

105.1 calls Christmas way early

Magic 105.1 has a nasty habit of celebrating the holiday season by switching over to solely Christmas music all day, all the time, 24 hours a day.

They then cutely call themselves Christmas 105.1.

This year they switched over on Halloween.

While I have nothing against Christmas music per se, its a tad bit early.

I mean, its not even Thanksgiving yet! We're still in the autumn season. There's still a multitude of shopping days left!

Not a speck of snow is upon the ground, I don't want to think about the impending snow setting upon the ground, and now some singer is gleefully crooning about a white Christmas all day long.

While 105.1 normally has a pretty good song lineup, I now have to skip past it on the radio buttons for the next few months.

Look 105.1, playing only Christmas music straight through for the next two months is a tad bit too much. In addition, would it kill you to play the Hanukkah song once in the lineup?