A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous Gun Stuff’ tag

Celebrating Mikhail Kalashnikov

without comments

While our country is busy celebrating shithead politicians Russia is preparing to throw one hell of a party for Mikhail Kalashnikov’s 100th birthday:

The order states that considering the outstanding contribution of M. T. Kalashnikov to the development of Russian small arms, president accepts the offer of government to celebrate the designer’s birthday. It rules that a committee should be formed, whose duty will be preparation, scheduling and conduction of the main events. It also recommends local government bodies to take part in the process. Reportedly, head of the committee will be Dmitry Rogozin, who is the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of defense and space industry.

According to TASS (Russian news agency) the celebration will cost Russian budget more than 20 billion rubles. That is equal to about $322 million by today’s conversion rates. There are no other details specified in the executive order, but judging from the amount of money they are going to spend, it should be a pretty impressive event.

Unlike politicians, Kalashnikov changed the world. The AK-47 is probably the most pervasive rifle in history. And it’s easy to see why. The AK-47 and other rifles based on the platform are easy to produce, affordable, and reliable. You can literally make the receiver out of a shovel and the various other parts are easily available due to how widespread the rifle is.

What’s more interesting is where the rifle proliferated. Due to the relative affordability of the rifle the AK-47 is a common sight in many third world countries. Just because you don’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean you can afford a reliable rifle.

There are few individuals whose inventions impacted the world quite as much as Kalashnikov’s. If anybody’s 100th birthday is deserving of celebration it’s Kalashnikov’s.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Posted in Guns and Gear

Tagged with

My Biggest Concern with Smart Guns

with one comment

The subject of smart guns, that is introducing electronics into firearms to boost their capabilities, is a touchy one. A lot of capabilities could be added to firearms but one side sees the introduction of electronics as a way to forward the goals of gun control while the other side has legitimate concerns about reliability. Me? My biggest concern is a smart gun manufacturer pulling a stunt like HP:

On September 13, owners of HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X began contacting third-party ink vendors by the thousand, reporting that their HP printers no longer accepted third-party ink.

The last HP printer firmware update was pushed in March 2016, and it appears that with that update (or possibly an earlier one), HP had set a time-bomb ticking in its customers’ printers counting down to the date when they’d begin refusing to follow their owners’ orders.

With a simple software update HP locked third-party ink providers out of its platform. This isn’t new. HP has had a long history of trying to stop consumers from using their ink of choice in HP printers. Hell, HP isn’t even alone in this pursuit. Lexmark was nailed to the wall for attempting the same shit in 2003.

It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine firearms manufacturers pulling a similar stunt. Can you imagine, for example, a Remington smart gun that disabled the use of third-party ammunition with a simple firmware update? With software copyright laws as they are and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act what it is, this is the kind of thing that really worries me about introducing more electronics into firearm.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 20th, 2016 at 10:30 am

The Unofficial AgoraFest Shoot

without comments

For those of your planning to attend AgoraFest this year I am going to host an unofficial shooting event on Friday.

There’s a public range near the new AgoraFest venue. From what I can gather from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ website, a single news article, and satellite images courtesy of Google Maps the range exists and the facilities are decent. I will check the range out on Thursday to verify it can be used and give the go/no-go notice at the planned shooters meeting after lunch on Friday.

If you’re interested in attending the event the details are available at the link.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 16th, 2016 at 10:30 am

My Completed AR-15 Lower

without comments

Here’s what I did last night:

completed-ar-15-lower

I apologize for the shitty photography but photography was never my speciality. Since the election is coming up and that will likely mean a post election panic buy I decided to step up a rifle build that I’ve been planning for a while. It’s nothing fancy, I just want a 5.56mm rifle that is reasonably light and reasonably accurate.

I used a Mega Arms forged lower receiver. The lower components are nothing special. I did go with a Bravo Company lower parts kit mostly because I wanted the grip and the trigger. Because the lip on the Bravo Company grip doesn’t work with the Magpul trigger guard (and I didn’t want a trigger card with “BCM” embedded on it), I ended up using a Magpul grip that I’ve had lying around and will end up using the Bravo Company grip on another rifle that still has a standard A2 grip (which I hate) on it. I’m satisfied with the trigger. It’s basically Bravo Company’s version of the ALG trigger, which is a smoother version of the milspec trigger. The trigger isn’t gritty and has a decent pull weight (I don’t have a gauge to measure it). For the stock I went with the Magpul MOE Rifle Stock. Why didn’t I go with an adjustable carbine length stock? Because I’m a tall guy and have long arms so I always use those fully extended anyways. The A2 stock is actually very comfortable for me so I wanted to go with that kind of setup.

I still have to finish the upper but I dropped an upper from another rifle on this lower and function tested the controls. Everything works, which just demonstrates that any monkey can slap together an AR-15 lower.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 2nd, 2016 at 10:30 am

Posted in Guns and Gear

Tagged with

Don’t Make Vague Threatening Statements When You Carry A Gun

without comments

Sometimes I become complacent in my assumption that gun owners as a whole are a pretty cool group. This is probably because most of my friends who own guns are really awesome people. But then a social issue hits the headlines and I’m reminded that a lot of gun owners are just as big of assholes as a lot of anti-gunners. This post is about one of those gun owners.

Target reiterated its bathroom policy, which is a sensible policy that allows transgender individuals to use the facilities of their gender, and now a bunch of social conservatives are announcing their plan to boycott the store. I have no issues as far as that goes since everybody should be free to associate or disassociate with anybody they choose for whatever reason they choose. But a handful of these social conservatives seem to be having a competition over who can be the biggest asshole about it.

The current winner of this competition may be Anita Staver. Staver felt the need to make a special announcement to alert the world that she will be carrying her firearm into a very specific place:

After Target announced its transgender customers and employees can use store bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, Orlando-based Liberty Counsel president Anita Staver said she would be taking her Glock .45 into Target’s restrooms, saying the gun “identifies as my bodyguard.”

Most of us who carry a firearm don’t feel the need to specifically announce every single place we’re going to carry it. In fact when one go out of their way to make a special announcement that they’re going to carry a gun into a place that is currently being featured in heated debates — especially when that announcement contains language that belittles one side of the debate — it might come off as a bit threatening. Just maybe.

If you want to carry a gun, just carry the damn thing. Don’t be an asshole about it. And especially don’t make statements about the fact you carry that could very easily be perceived as threatening to a group of people you openly hold distain for. In other words, don’t be this asshole.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 28th, 2016 at 10:30 am

FIREClean Sues Andrew Tuohy And Everett Baker

with 2 comments

Gun owners had a spot of fun at FIREClean’s expense. FIREClean, a product sold for cleaning and lubricating firearms, turned out to appear very similar to Crisco when analyzed with infrared spectroscopy. Many of us laughed and a lot of FIREClean customers weren’t amused by the thought that they were charged a premium price for what appeared to be essentially Crisco.

Now that FIREClean’s profits have fallen they’re looking for a scapegoat. That scapegoat took the form of the two individuals who kicked off this entire fiasco by having the audacity to analyze FIREClean’s product:

FIREClean did respond, insisting that “allegations do not focus on actual performance or relevant tests, and draw a misleading picture”. The response did not deny that their product was similar to the oils tested alongside it in the spectroscopy.

Now it seems that on March 17th, FireClean LLC has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Tuohy and Everett Baker, a man who performed his own tests to verify Tuohy’s findings. In their complaint, FireClean LLC claims that “Tuohy initiated a public smear campaign against FireClean” and holds that Mr. Baker “contacted Tuohy for the express purpose of conspiring with him to further defame and damage FireClean”. FireClean LLC also states that since the publishing of the test, their revenues have fallen by over $25,000 per month.

Before this lawsuit I simply found FIREClean’s situation amusing. But now I think the creators of FIREClean are assholes.

Performing independent analysis and publicly releasing the findings isn’t a smear campaign. Neither person, as far as I can find, every said FIREClean is Crisco. In fact Andrew went to some lengths to clearly state that he didn’t think FIREClean was Crisco. What they said was that FIREClean and Crisco appear very similar when analyzed by infrared spectroscopy. That isn’t a false statement because the data showed exactly that.

The lawsuit itself [PDF] even admits that the defendants didn’t claim FIREClean was Crisco:

47. The statement, “FireClean is probably a modem unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking,” and its implications, are false.

Notice the word “probably” in that sentence? That makes it speculative and a speculation based on evidence isn’t false. Had the statement been, “FireClean is a modem unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking,” then there would be grounds that the defendants made a false statement.

One point in the lawsuit note that, “infrared spectroscopy is not scientifically suitable for comparing oils from the same class of compounds, such as triacylglycerides or hydrocarbons.” Another point notes that the tests weren’t performed with any controls. Refuting findings because of insufficient or incorrect testing methods is a perfectly valid rebuttal. Such a rebuttal can be posted publicly without a lawsuit. The fact that FIREClean only brought up these points now and not in its initial rebuttal just makes the company look like a gigantic asshole.

The lawsuit also makes a big stink about the personal opinion expressed by Andrew:

50. Defendant Tuohy also quoted the anonymous professor as saying: “I don’t see any sign ofother additives such as antioxidants or corrosion inhibitors. Since the unsaturation in these oils, especially linoleate residues, can lead to their oligomerization with exposure to oxygen and light, use on weapons could lead toformation o fsolid residues (gum) with time. The more UV and oxygen, the more the oil will degrade.” (Ex. C at 3-4, emphasis in original.)

51. Based on these purported facts, Tuohy wrote that “[g]iven that people in the military are often exposed to both UV and oxygen (such as when they go outdoors) and also need corrosion protection for their firearms, I would not recommend FireClean be used by members ofthe military.” {Id. at 4.)

52. In fact, FTIR spectroscopy is not an appropriate tool to test for corrosion resistance.

53. The suggestion that FIREClean is not suitable for military use is false. The assertion that FIREClean® is not suitable for use in settings with UV, light, moisture and oxygen is false.

Again, the defendant didn’t say, “FIREClean can’t protect against corrosion and breakdown when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and oxygen.” All he did was express an opinion that was based on analysis of the product. That’s not a smear campaign.

This lawsuit, as far as I’m concerned, is entirely frivolous in nature. A lawsuit is also an improper response to diminishing profits. If FIREClean wanted to address the potential damage done by the analysis it should have publicly posted a detailed rebuttal explaining why the testing procedures were insufficient or incorrect. Under such a rebuttal the company could then explain why it found the speculative statements and opinions of Andrew and Everett to be in error.

I’ve never purchased FIREClean so I can’t make a big deal about never doing business with that company again. But I will say that I will never do business with FIREClean in the future. I also threw a few bucks towards the defendants’ GoFundMe legal defense campaign. While I can’t withhold money from a company I’ve never done business with I can give money to help people being legally targeted by it.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 1st, 2016 at 10:00 am

AR Hacking

without comments

When you think about starting points for hackers what comes to mind? For many people images of Arduinos and Raspberry Pis connected to strange looking robotic parts are the first things they think of. But there’s no reason you have to start there. Deviant did a good presentation about hacking the AR-15. If you’re into firearms and want to get into hacking it’s a good video to watch since it explains how the two intersect very well:

Written by Christopher Burg

March 17th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Glocktendo

without comments

Admittedly, I’m not big on customized guns. I don’t care if other people spent a great deal of time and money customizing their guns but it’s not something I would do. With that said, this customized Glock by Black Sheep Arms is fucking awesome.

glocktendo

I would totally operate with that.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 15th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Sometimes You Just Have To Have Fun

without comments

I’m an oddity in that I don’t really enjoy playing most of the Metal Gear games. They’re great titles but stealth has never been my thing. Of the series Metal Gear Rising is the only one I’ve played through multiple times, which I’m pretty sure qualifies as heresy amongst the Metal Gear community. But I really enjoy the characters from the games and I’m not alone. Most fans of the series are happy simply dressing up as the characters for cons but one guy decided to replicate some of the gun slinging shenanigans of Revolver Ocelot and it’s goddamn impressive.

That guy obviously invested a lot of time into learning how to do that so it was inevitable that somebody would come along and shit all over his accomplishment. Of the people I shared this video with most thought it was amusing but a couple had to comment about his violation of the four rules of gun safety and the fact that those skills aren’t practical.

I think we all need to take a moment to reflect on the fact that sometimes it’s OK to have a little fun. Firearm safety isn’t something I take lightly but I’m not even sure if those revolvers are real. If they are they are single-action revolvers so the chances of something bad happening, even if they’re loaded, is pretty minimal so long as the hammers aren’t cocked. While I won’t go so far as to say it’s totally cool to fling real guns around like toys I’m also not going to get too worked up over it.

And what he’s demonstrating certainly isn’t practical but who gives a flying fuck? I don’t know about everybody who shoots but I certainly spend time doing things with firearms that have no practical value. Sometimes you just need to have some fun. Yeah, I get it, time spent learning impractical fun tricks could be better invested in practicing practical skills. But sometimes you just need to enjoy yourself, which is why there are impractical things like televisions and movie theaters.

Some people seems to have a propensity for shitting on anybody they’re jealous of. If you’re on of them and feeling jealous of somebody why not spend the time you would normally take to bitch about them to learn how to do what they do? It would be a lot more productive and far less annoying. Who knows, you might even have a bit of fun.

The moral of the story: there’s no need to be so serious all the time.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 11th, 2015 at 10:00 am

The Somewhat Incompetent Fallacy

with 2 comments

I was participating in one of those threads discussing an instance where a person incompetently reholsting their firearm lead to a negligent discharge. In this case the person in question was using a leather holster and a flimsy part of it bent in under the trigger. The discussion started off well with everybody pointing out that there are no medals for being the fastest person to reholster. But then somebody had to saying, “That’s why I carry a gun with a manual safety.”

That mindset is incredibly stupid. First, it’s an admission that the person views themselves as too incompetent to look at what they’re doing when they reholster their firearm. Second, they assume that they are only going to be incompetent in a very specific way and not incompetent in other ways.

I’ve come to label this mindset as the somewhat incompetent fallacy. It’s the idea that somebody who expresses themselves as being incompetent believes that their incompetence only happens under very specific circumstances. In the case above the somewhat incompetent fallacy applies because the person admits that they’re too careless to watch what they’re doing when reholstering a firearm but not so careless as to ever forget to engage the manual safety. They believe their incompetence only happens when they’re going through the motions of reholstering.

From extensive observations I’ve come to the conclusion that people who act careless with weapons tend to act careless in general. Therefore the belief that a manual safety will protect against a negligent discharge is, in my opinion, stupid because somebody who is so careless that they won’t watch what they’re doing when reholstering is almost certainly too careless to ensure they reengage the manual safety every time they reholster their weapon.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 28th, 2015 at 10:00 am