The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shooting Range Part#2

I went shooting over a week ago, Eric@ammoman sent me some ammo for me to do an evaluation on...The ammo sat in my bonus room for about 6 weeks while I tried to find time to go shooting.  I thought I had my preferred venue locked in and it fell through, so I went to my alternate.  I went to the local range.  It is a very nice range, but very busy.   Apparently a lot of people like to handle things that go *boom*. 

I  pulled out the 308 Enfield, she was made in 1966 by Ishapore Armory in India for the Indian Army, she is a model 7.62mm2A.  The Rifle is similar in design to my 303 but a bit shorter.  The 308 is fed through a 10 round box magazine.

 I was using PMC Bronze 308(7.62 NATO 147 grain FMJ-BT.  I looked at the ammo first, the quality seemed first rate as far as appearance so I went digging up for some information, I have heard of PMC but knew little of the company.   PMC ammunition is manufactured in South Korea by the Poongsan Corporation (ISO certified) which produces cartridges ranging from small arms ammunition to large howitzer rounds for the South Korean military. The Poongsan Corporation dates back to 1968 and since its founding it has grown to become on one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of ammunition.  In years past the ammo has gotten a hit or miss reputation.  I can't answer for others but I can give you my impressions.  I fired the 308 enfield and it fired similar to the 303 as far as recoil.  I fired the first magazine then rolled the target trolley to see how the rifle did at 50 yards with iron sights. 
I fired up all the ammunition I had in 308 and the rifle functioned flawlessly and the ammunition seemed consistant in groupings and "shoulder feel".  I was very pleased with the performance of both the rifle and the ammunition.  You can find the ammo HERE!!!

My 308 Enfield and the ammo.
I then took a break and switched to pistols.  I used 3 pistols for the shoot.  
I used a wide variety of pistols to get a better  feel for the ammunition.  They are a S&W sigma caliber .40, Glock 22C 40 cal  and a Taurus Millennium 40 cal.
 I first used my Dads Glock 22C, he was kind enough to let me use his service pistol to augment my pistols for the shoot.   It shot like a Glock does...the pistol has picked up a huge following due to its total reliability and functionality.   I then switched to the Smith&Wesson Sigma 40.  This was Smith and Wesson first pistol that was designed to compete against Glock and it worked too good...As I recall, Glock sued them about it.   I picked the pistol up in the late 90's.  S&W had a bad reputation back then for sucking up to the gun grabbing Clinton White house and the brand was *mud* as far as most shooters were concerned.  When I got the Pistol and fired it and it functioned well, until a piece broke off in 2001?.  I contacted S&W and they sent me the part *free*.  I always heard that you get what you paid for, especially with Pistols.  Well S&W showed me that.  Since then the pistol has functioned with no issues.  I also used my Taurus Millennium .40 caliber.  It is my newest pistol, I bought her about 4-5-6 ish years ago.  It is qualified as a "compact" pistol, I wanted something a bit smaller to carry and have a "man stopping" caliber and yes I can tell the difference in the pistol especially with recoil compared to the "full size" of the Sigma and the Glock.  
 I used the PMC Bronze 180 grain FMJ.  I initially fired carefully to place my shots with the Glock, followed by the Sigma then finally with the Taurus.  I then reloaded all the pistols and this time I fired quickly not really for careful aiming but to see how the ammo functioned as far as feeding and cycling through the weapons.  The ammo functioned as it should, I had no misfires, no jams, no feeding issues, I dumped a lot of ammo down the range and the ammo and pistols played together well.  The initial grouping was "ok" and that was more me than the ammo.   I had the target set up at 10 yards, I believe that that is the acceptable distance for "combat" or "house" distance,  I could have fired farther, but I believe that most pistol confrontation is a lot closer than the capability of the pistol.   You can get the ammo HERE!!!

      I had an audience, partly waiting for a lane assignment and also people admiring my rifles...Apparently there are not a lot of unmolested battle rifles around anymore.  I don't mind it, but it is distracting and my performance suffered a bit.  The next time I go shooting, I hope to use my normal venue, the Scout range where it is quiet...and outside. 
     I then went home, watched Netflix and ...you guessed it.....

Shooting time!!!

I went shooting over a week ago, Eric@ammoman sent me some ammo for me to do an evaluation on...The ammo sat in my bonus room for about 6 weeks while I tried to find time to go shooting.  I thought I had my preferred venue locked in and it fell through, so I went to my alternate.  I went to the local range.  It is a very nice range, bu very busy.   Apparently a lot of people like to handle things that go *boom*.  While I was setting things up to get a range I saw this sign..

  I got a chuckle out of this while I handled my business.   I got my lane assignment and walked over to lane#18.  Like I said, this range is a very nice range, it has the heavy duty plexiglass lane dividers, not the plywood/eggcrate construction that is prevalent in a lot of ranges.   I went and pulled out my box of goodies from "Ammoman"
  I figured I would run the rifles first.  I got some 303 British to shoot and some 308 ammo to shoot.  First off I unwrapped my rifles that I brought...
  They are from front to back, my 303 Enfield, my Springfield 03A3 and my 308 Enfield.  I figured I would shoot my 30-06 along with the Enfields.    I wanted this to be an "old school Rifle shoot.  First off I grabbed my 303 Enfield...
    As you can tell from the brass in the floor, the range is a busy place...even on a Sunday Morning.  I preceded to load the magazines and Eric sent me some 303 and I kept having one of the magazines try to dump all the ammo out.  Apparently I will have to "work" the magazine so it will keep the ammo in order, but I digress.  I haven't fired my Enfield since the late 90's.  The rifle sat in the gun safe and I didn't like firing it back then, I can't remember the reason why.  My Enfield was made at the Ishapore Royal Armory in India in January 1945, She is a  Number 1 Mark III.  But I loaded up the magazines and inserted the magazine into the well and chambered the first round.  As I started peering down the sight, I realized that the "battle sight" of the Enfield is more difficult to discern, I guess my eyes are getting older.  The Enfield shot great, I found the recoil not bad and magazine fed the rifle with no issues.
   This was at 50 yards(Max distance inside the range) with the iron sight, I don't know if  that is a a good group or not.  To me the grouping are "respectable".   The ammo I was using was Remington UMC 174 grain MC "Metal Case" ammunition and some PPU Ammunition that also is the 174 grain BT design.  I fired both versions separately and then mixed the ammo up to see how it fed and fired.

 Much has been made of the 15 rounds per minute achieved at Mons by riflemen of the British Expeditionary Force.  However these were highly trained soldiers of what was then (August 1914) a professional army.
The flood of entrants to the New Armies - of all nations - could not hope to achieve such a sustained accurate rate of fire.  The norm was perhaps eight to twelve rounds per minute.  I tried to fire the rifle both in aimed shot and in "rapid fire" mode by using my other finger to squeeze the trigger and my "pointie" finger and thumb to quickly move the bolt to eject and feed the round.  That was enjoyable.
     I then grabbed my favorite bolt action rifle, my 30-06 Springfield 03A3, I havn't fired her in a long time either, so I figured it would be a break on the Enfields.
My 03A3 was manufactured in 1943 by Remington Arms.  I always loved the 03 type of rifle and always wanted one.  I bought her in Germany when I was stationed there. She has the import stamp from 1977 from Germany on the rifle.

 All I can say is that "Yes Virginia, there is a recoil difference from the 303 and 308 and Gods own caliber 30-06.
                                                            303, 308 and 30-06


Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Music "You should be Dancing" BeeGee's

  I remembered when Disco hit in the mid 70's, and as a kid, I liked the music and Disco was starting to fade a bit when the movie "Saturday Night Fever" hit, prolonging the Disco era.  I like the crazy outfits of the time including the bell bottoms pants, the huge lapels on the jackets made for an interesting cultural phenomenon.  I still listen to Disco even now on my XM/Sirius on channel 54.  

"You Should Be Dancing" is a single by the Bee Gees, from the album Children of the World, released in 1976. It hit #1 for one week on the American Billboard Hot 100, #1 for seven weeks on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and in July the same year, reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also peaked at #4 on the Billboard R&B chart. It was this song that first launched the Bee Gees into disco. It was also the only track from the group to top the dance chart.

"You Should Be Dancing" was recorded January 19, February 1 and 8, and May 6, 1976 with Barry Gibb providing lead vocals in falsetto. Barry had developed his falsetto to an incredible degree in the ten months since the release of "Baby As You Turn Away" from the Main Course album on which he sang a full song in falsetto for the first time (except for its chorus). Keyboardist Blue Weaver recalls that Maurice Gibb wrote the bass line and sang the horn parts to the brass players, while Barry sang parts for Weaver to play, while guitarist Alan Kendall got in a short guitar solo for its instrumental break.

Stephen Stills was also at Criteria Studios recording the album Long May You Run with his band and Neil Young. Stills added percussion on the song's February sessions. Members of Stills's backing band, George Perry (bass) and Joe Lala (percussion), also worked with the Bee Gees on some songs.
The song was prominently featured in the movie Saturday Night Fever and appears on its soundtrack album. Live performances of "You Should Be Dancing" during the 1979 Spirits Having Flown tour featured the Bee Gees' younger sibling, Andy Gibb, on backing vocals.

The Boston Celtics also play this song when they are about to win a basketball game in a convincing manner accompanied by the ever popular "Gino Time" video from the television show American Bandstand. Recently, the Tampa Bay Rays have started playing the song at home games between innings.
The song was also featured at the end of the film Despicable Me, in which the minions replace ballet music with the song so everyone (including both a reluctant-at-first Gru and a stranded Vector, who is still on the moon) can dance.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

NASA Visit Part 2

  This is a continuation of my NASA visit that I started back a week ago.  We took a shuttle bus around the complex and saw a few neat things....like the assembly building
    This was used to build the Apollo Saturn V rocket and then the Space shuttle.  There was a Space X rocket inside getting ready for a launch to the ISS in orbit.   While we were driving around, we also saw one of the crawlers used to move a rocket 1 mile an hour from the assembly building to the launch pad.
The crawler is controlled from two control cabs located at either end of the vehicle, and travels along the 5.6 km (3.5 mi) crawlerway at a maximum speed of 1.6 km/h (1 mph) loaded, or 3.2 km/h (2 mph) unloaded. The average trip time from the VAB along the Crawlerway to Launch Complex 39 is about five hours.Each crawlerway is 2 m (7 ft) deep and covered with Alabama and Tennessee river rock for its low friction properties to reduce the possibility of sparks. In 2000, NASA unearthed and restored an Apollo-era segment of the crawlerway to provide access to a high-bay building in order to provide protection from a hurricane.
Kennedy Space Center has been using the same two crawlers, nicknamed "Hans" and "Franz",since their initial delivery in 1965. In their lifetime, they have traveled more than 5,500 km (3,400 mi), about the same driving distance as from Miami to Seattle.

The crawlers were overhauled in 2003 with upgrades to the Motor Control Center, which houses the switchgear and electrical controls of all of major systems on board, a new engine and pump ventilation system and new diesel engine radiators, and replacement of the two driver cabs on each vehicle (one on each end). As of 2003, each crawler had 16 traction motors, powered by four 1,000 kW (1,341 hp) generators, in turn driven by two 2,050 kW (2,750 hp) V16 ALCO 251C diesel engines. Two 750 kW (1,006 hp) generators, driven by two 794 kW (1,065 hp) engines, were used for jacking, steering, lighting, and ventilating. Two 150 kW (201 hp) generators were also available to power the Mobile Launcher Platform. The crawler's tanks held 19,000 liters (5,000 U.S. gal) of diesel fuel, and it burned 296 liters per kilometer (125.7 U.S. gal/mi). Due to its age and the need to support the heavier Space Launch System and its launch tower, in mid-2012 one of the crawlers was undergoing an upgrade involving "new engines, new exhausts, new brakes, new hydraulics, new computers," to increase its lifting capacity from 5,400,000 to 8,200,000 kg (12,000,000 to 18,000,000 lb).

* The overall length and width of the Crawler is 131 by 113 feet.
* The Crawler burns a gallon of diesel every 42 feet, or gets about 0.008 mpg.
* The water pump is a 75hp electric motor, and the cooling system holds 500 gallons.
* The Crawler has six mufflers, the heaviest coming in at more than 3,000 pounds.
* Two eight-cylinder White-Superior 1,065hp motors are used just for electric and hydraulic power.
* For power, the Crawler uses two 2,750hp, 16-cylinder Alco diesel engines to power sixteen 375hp electric motors.
* Just the Crawler itself, without the Shuttle, is still three stories high.
* Each track (or shoe) on the Crawler weighs 2,200 pounds-and there are 456 of them.
* The Crawler's fuel tank will hold 5,000 gallons, giving it a range of about 40 miles.
* The Crawler is wide enough to take up an entire four-lane freeway-all lanes in both directions.
* The instruction manual on how to start and warm up the Crawler is 39 pages.
* Although there are up to 30 people monitoring various systems, the Crawler can actually be driven by just one person.
* There is a speedometer on the Crawler-from 0-2 mph.
* From the vertical assembly building to the launch platform is a little more than 4 miles. The Crawler can make it in about a day.
* The Crawler's drive system (think rear axle ratio) has a gear ratio of 168:1.
* The Crawler has to tilt the 12-million-pound shuttle and platform at up to 5 degrees to keep it perfectly level on the way to the platform.
* A Crawler can move the slightest distance (for example, only 1/8-inch) if it needs to.
* Both Crawlers, combined, have traveled thousands of miles since being built.

The bus also took us to the Saturn V building, where they had a Saturn V rocket laid down on a platform, kinda like we saw in Huntsville a few years ago. 
   We also saw the origional camper that they used for the Apollo Astronauts to the platform.
  I also took another pic of the First Stage rocket...
    We saw a lot of artifacts, including "Snoopy"
Snoopy was used as a mascot for the space program, he also was used to award people in NASA for doing exemplary things.  Charles M Schultz was happy to have NASA use snoopy on the sole condition that "He" would draw him and nobody else.  And with no royalties involved.
     We also saw the Apollo 11 symbol,
They had all the Apollo Missions patches shown,  My phone by this time was giving me the "Bong of Death".  so I could only take a few more pictures.
     They had set up the mission control room as it looked back in 1968, and it was real neat!
They played the launch sequence from 12:00 out until launch and they would light up the stations as the sequence played out for the launch.
And of course the media had access to the control room during the launch..
  I enjoyed the visit immensely and would like to go back, the picture above was the last picture my phone took before it ran out of power.  They had moon rock exhibits, a food court, slightly overpriced but it was what it was.  My inner geek was very happy.  I want to spend an entire day just in the Saturn building and really look at everything. 

   I really wanted this....would have fit in with my other Haynes Manuals

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Some musings on a Saturday...

I have some musings that are bubbling around my head while I am assembling my NASA part 2 post.  So I will post the musings and keep rolling on the NASA post and then the shooting evaluation post.   First off, I worked 12 hours Overtime so that slowed me down a bit but I don't complain:)

 I was catching up on my reading and Peter posted a comment and a cartoon linkie to his site talking about the moral relativism that is seen today. There is a line that I remember from Babylon 5 from a movie of the series called "In the Beginning"

  I believe that we have a problem as a nation, the lack of morals and lack of a spine that our society has shown.  We no longer have the fire and integrity as a nation that made us the beacon of the free world.
   Here is the cartoon that started the thinking.
   it is a good cartoon and says much.   I believe that God does love us unconditionally but we will have to make an accounting for our actions with St Peter and the ledger when we reach the Pearly Gates
  And finally a last thought, I had a fellow blogger who went by the name "American Mercenary"  and his blog was "Random thoughts and guns".  His was a military centered blog with some personal experience thrown in. To me he wasn't particularly political but it dealt in military tactics and future developments.  Well he abruptly pulled the plug on his blog and shut it down.  his reason was as follows:

Hey AM;
I hate to ask, what is going on?
If you must go, then thank you for all the good stuff you had posted, I found it all useful ...
Someone aggregated enough personal information about my real life to trigger my "cut sling load" criteria.

I use an alias when I blog as do a lot of others, it is sad that there are trolls out there that see great joy in running people off the internet.    I have been following his blog almost as long as OldNFO,Murphy, Peter and Momma Fargo.  He had problems with certain marines that took offense that their corp wasn't the pinnacle of Military services and the  end all and be all of all the services when he made comments about the F35(white elephant) and that the Marines were sacrificing their future air assets on this plane to keep their dedicated air assets.  Any criticism even if it was constructive was anathema to the hard core.  I wonder if those are the ones that shut him down.   I find blogging therapeutic, it helps me get my thoughts out and organize them, and it makes me a better writer. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Number one with a bullet"

This is a quick post as I still wade through my schedule...
 I ran across this video from Bill Whittle from "Afterburner".  I like his videos partly because he lets the imaging tell the story without overloading the viewer.  His dry wit and humor add to the impact of the video story.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Busier than a....You guessed it!

I went out of town on a company trip and just got back and my schedule is jacked up like a
 I had tried to post my NASA Post part 2 before I left. and was unable to.  I didn't take my laptop with me like I wanted to.  Internet was iffy where I was.  I also did an ammo shoot for Eric of Ammoman on Sunday before I left so I also have that post to do and I missed my "Monday Music".  Needless I am busier than a ...
   Yep....You guessed it..

    Read the folks on my sidebar, they are good reads and are better at this stuff than I am.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My NASA trip...Part 1

I would have posted this earlier in the week but some stuff happened during the week  and it got pushed off to the back burner.  I mentioned that we had returned from a Disney Cruise...Nobody does it like Disney....sure there is a lot of kids on board, but there is stuff for the adults, and unlike other cruise lines, all of your cost is up front, you ain't nickel and dimed like some of the other cruise lines.
Well we got off the boat in Port Canaveral and what is next to the Port....Matter of fact we could see it from the port...
That is the huge assembly building used for the Apollo and shuttle missions..used to prep the ship for launch.   More on that in a few.
    Well we drove there, we had left the car parked at the Disney Terminal at the Port.  We used my "Waze" app on my kinda smart phone and went right there.  We got out and I being the camera person that I am...got a pic of the kid in front of the NASA emblem..

  He looked totally thrilled.....He hates having his picture taken...so what do I do....take his picture...It is a Dad thing.  We also saw the memorial monument to  President John F Kennedy,
We also saw that is called "The Rocket Garden".
This pic of the Rocket Garden was snagged off "Google".  My phone was being cantankerous and wouldn't function so I didn't take the picture like I wanted.  Oh well, this will facilitate another trip down there later for the missed opportunities. 
     We walked around and headed to the "Atlantis exhibit",   The first thing we saw walking up to it was the boosters.
  All I can say is that they were huge.   We were ushered into an auditorium that showed the video of the initial development of the shuttle back in 1971.

   This video was a bit different than what was shown, but you will recognize some of the stuff from the video that I do have pictures of.   After the video was over, we were released into the shuttle display area, the first thing we saw was the shuttle itself..
  The actual shuttle itself, very impressive.  I walked around and saw a lot of things and my inner geek was impressed.  
I also took a picture of the space tiles that imitially caused problems for the shuttle, they had tiles dropping off on the shuttle and NASA had to work hard to find a solution to the shuttle tile dropping off...I remembered seeing pictures of the shuttle looking like she had mange from the tiles that would not stay on the ship.
They got the problem fixed....the tiles protected the shuttle during reentry so she wouldn't burn up like a meteor and the tiles worked...except when they were damaged in the case of the Columbia tragedy.   I saw the interior of the shuttle and they had the docking arm deployed and it was a neat view.

 I couldn't get a good view of the docking arm because of the way it was situated and I had people all over the place.  Oh well...
    Here was the inspiration for the shuttle from the Chief Mercury program engineer, he used it to show the next step of the program in 1971.

 They also had the camper that they used to transport the astronauts to the launch station.

     This was used to transport the astronauts to the launch platform, the astronauts used to carry their own cooling units and to help keep them cool, they would give them a ride in this camper.
     I also saw the remembrance area for the astronauts that died in the shuttle disasters. 

   I saw memento's from all the astronauts, I was again amazed how many of them had ties to the Boy Scouts.  The timeless value's that are taught humbled me and made me proud of being part of this organization.  I also saw part of the Challenger's hull.
  They also had part of the Columbia shuttle there.
  It was sobering seeing all this stuff.   I will post more on the 2nd part of my visit to NASA in a day or 2.  I was walking around seeing this stuff and a part of me was saddened, This almost reminded me of our nation living in the past, that our best days are behind us and we are sliding into mediocrity.  To me the space program represented America and that we grounded the shuttle fleet and now have to pay the Russians exorbitant amount of money to get our astronauts to the space station is appalling. 
      I did enjoy the visit immensely, my inner geek was pleased.  I did miss on the opportunity to see Astronaut Carr from the Skylab missions,
This is from my collection of stuff in my man cave.

I remembered my blogging about Skylab back in 2012, and that I was angry that NASA didn't try to save her in the late 70's.  I had written letters to NASA and to President Carter at the time, my 13 year old anger couldn't understand why they let her burn up.  I will post in a day or 2 the second part of my visit to the Saturn V building....*WOW* and the journey around the complex.