The People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of California is Running Out of Water!

It is mentioned in the news. Look it up.

The residents – those with functioning minds at least – have my sympathy. However, the citizens of PDSR California have (by majority vote) done it to themselves.

I recall shortly after I started with Customs (this would have been in the late 1980s or early 1990s), I heard then Lord Mayor Tom Bradley (the best mayor money could buy) talking about Los Angeles having a water crisis. My reaction was that of rage and frustration.

A bit of background. Los Angeles is located upon what is essentially a desert. As early as the 1920s, Los Angeles had to import water (recall the Owens Valley water swindle). However, that never stopped the ‘progressive’ mayors and city counsels of Los Angeles from advertising for ‘immigrants’ – people from other parts of the United States – to move to Los Angeles city and County. This was to work in existing industries, buy houses and pay taxes to finance an ever growing geo-political area. It was a desert. It is still a desert. It will for the foreseeable future remain a desert. This was true when Los Angeles perpetrated the swindle to obtain Owens Valley water; it was true when Tom Bradley was Lord Mayor of Los Angeles; it is still true currently.

If anyone has any questions, re-read the previous paragraph. Read it until the underlying reality soaks in.

So now, PDSR Cal is facing a water shortage, or destitution, and Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is without a contingency plan. Other than possibly beg or badger the federal government to steal water from some other state. (I recall in the late 1960s PDSR Cal wanted to ‘obtain’ water from the Columbia River separating Oregon from Washington state to use.) Just for the record, the Colorado River no longer empties into the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. It is ALL diverted into PDSR Cal territory for agriculture and human use.

I read PDSR Cal has no alternate ideas of what to do when the water – which is rapidly running out – runs out. According to the articles, they have a couple years left, IF everyone restricts themselves. If this is based on PDSR Cal governmental estimates, the citizens are already sunk.

The same pack of nitwits, liberals and Marxists – but I repeat myself – who have controlled the legislature for decades and the Governor’s Mansion (used or not) for much of the same time period don’t have a clue. They have been busy empowering the Marxist Utopia of regulating industry out of the state, bullying taxpayers, fostering welfare recipients, coddling left-wing unions and discouraging morality.

To be fair, they’ve had help. I cannot find a reference, but in the decade of 2001 – 2010 the Federal Government (under the leadership of our Beloved President, may he live ten thousand years) stepped in and decreed water from the Sacramento Delta (primarily Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers) was too important to waste on agriculture and drinking. So such use was curtailed. This resulted in the failure of numerous farming activities in the Central Valley of PDSR California. But it was for a progressive cause, so it was the right thing to do. The Marxist dream is much more important than feeding mere humans.

Water? It’s magic: It just appears all by itself.

For all those who can, sell your house to someone you don’t like and move out of the distressed state. Take a loss if you have to. Go NOW!

What about the wonderful climate? It will probably still be there in another fifteen to twenty years, after the lack of water has killed off all the helpless welfare culture. It will probably still be there after the tax base either leaves, dies or is taxed out of existence. Once the welfare voters – those who vote for handouts – and the liberal politicians who derive votes from them are gone, the area might be a decent place to live again.

Once the excess parasite population has died off, the water problem will not be nearly as bad. It will be ugly, but the majority voters who have no thought other than government benefits (free money in the common tongue) have done to themselves. Sadly, they’ve done it to everyone else as well.


Filed under Civilization, General Idiocy, History, Idiot Politicians, Political Correctness

I accept the challenge!

In reality, the challenge wasn’t issued to me specifically. See the video on youtube, ‘Challenge: Can you pass the qualification test? Part I”. I searched and cannot find a Part II yet. The author notes Part II will be a couple more handguns in his stable.

Fire twenty (20) rounds at a bullseye type target at 45 feet. (That’s the same as 15 yards, by the way.) No time limit noted. The guns used are limited to those one actually carries.

I’m up for a challenge. It’s either that or move to the ‘home’ and wait to die.

I’m trying to think of all the guns I consider as ‘normal carry handguns”. My normal carry pistol is a lightweight Commander in .45 ACP. Probably the dinkiest gun I carry is a Smith & Wesson Chief Special. (A two inch barrel, five shot revolver in .38 Special.)

My immediate thoughts are the Commander, the Chief Special, a two-inch K frame .38 Special revolver and that .44 Special Second Model I keep bragging about. That’s four handguns. One of the .32 auto collection will make it a total of five. That sounds indicative and responsive. Hmmm. Perhaps Monday. Anything to get out of cleaning the house!

I’ll get back to you all.


Filed under Firearms and their use

Astra 300

The little brother of the Astra 1921 model 400 and 600, this little pistol is in caliber .32 ACP. It was also made in .380 ACP. It is another of the rather decent pistols made by the Basque community of the Pyrenees.

Astra 300 left side with proof marks on frame and rear of slide

Astra 300 left side with proof marks on frame and rear of slide

This pistol is a model I’ve been seeking for – hmmpf! – several years. I had to drive out of state to get it. Then I had to wait nearly two weeks for it to ship and such. I took possession of it Thursday 26 February, in the year of our Lord 2015.

Astra 300 general right side

Right side with disassembly marks on slide and frame

It is a small pistol, as most .32 autos. According to my scale, it weighs one pound and ten ounces. According to my trigger weight scale, the trigger trips between 7.5 and 8.0 pounds. However, when dry firing, the trigger feels more like four pounds. (I was really surprised at how heavy it registered.) Looking at the pistol closely, it seems to have been ‘pounded’ externally. 
The finish is intact, with some minor rust spots. No serious or deep rust pitting or corrosion. Still, I get the feeling it has been ‘bounced around’ somehow. The surface does not appear to have been hit with a sharp edged metal object, but has tiny ‘flats’ like relatively soft metal objects jumbled together in a drawer or box.

The slide is held back to a certain point and the barrel is then turned clockwise (from the rear facing forward) until the interrupted thread which holds the barrel to the frame releases and then the slide and barrel, et al, remove off the front. How far back to open the slide is questionable. I found it by trial and error. (As long as one turns the barrel by hand, it won’t break or open until it is in the right position. I’ve noted two marks on the right side of the pistol that ought to be disassembly marks. In any event, NOT all the way back.) I will not bore you with further details of take down. There are sufficient youtube videos extant.

This example is full of crud and surface rust. I estimate it was last cleaned when Franco was a Corporalissimo. I find bits of lubricant completely dried out and seriously stuck on various surfaces in the interior of the slide and barrel assembly. The recoil spring has ‘gunk’ – probably dust absorbed into whatever lubricant was there – on the barrel under the spring.

I find a great deal of rust, nothing deep, but wide spread on the interior of the slide assembly and top of the frame. One would suspect some water – at least moisture – collected inside the pistol at some point.

Removing the grips, I see more surface rust, but nothing seriously damaging.

On the other hand, the barrel is in excellent shape and the bore is nearly new. Rifling is sharp and clear. On the subject of ‘pounding’ the muzzle of the barrel has been some serious whacks. So severe the spring keeper (which fits behind the bushing) will not slide off the front of the barrel as normal. However, the bore has not been damaged, from the shooting results.

Friday afternoon, about 1800-1815; 27 February 2015, Four Rivers Sportsmen’s Club, indoor range. It is too cold to shoot outdoors. Temperature is around 15-20 degrees, with light wind. However, it is clear and the late afternoon sun is bright. Indoor, there is no wind, but still not warm. Overhead heaters feel good but don’t help my feet!

Sights look more crowded in person.

Sights look more crowded in person.

The sights tend to blend, front and rear. The sights are short, do not extend very far from the body of the slide. So, they tend to merge together and do not give as good a sight picture as they might. However, they seem ‘good enough’. Probably designed to point and hope more than aim. Or, men of earlier days had better eyes.

The recovered brass was intact. The only ‘blemish’ is a strong powder burn smear on one side of the case, from mouth to half or two-thirds back to base. On one side only and I cannot see anything in the chamber to identify which side. Comparing the smear with the ejector mark, it seems the smears all happen on the left side of the chamber, ahead of the ejector. But I still could not see anything obvious.

Fired cases slide easily into the plastic holder of the ammo box, indicating a tight chamber.

Extracted cases are flung right and forward. They all hit the wall about six feet to the right, so I didn’t know how far they really go. Chronograph shooting on the outdoor range had empties about twelve to fifteen feet to the right, and just forward of the shooting position. Ejection is positive and enthusiastic. Second five cases show same signs and ejection characteristics.

Primers show good impact and decisive ignition.

Recoil is quick, not abusive but disturbs sight picture.

All shooting at 10 yards. All shooting done one handed. Trigger pull seems heavier with live ammunition in the pistol. Don’t they all?

Five shot slow fire; one handed at ten yards.

Five shot slow fire; one handed at ten yards.

IBS multi-target at 10 yards. Five rounds slow fire delivered a good group. Just a bit left of the center of the bull, but on for elevation. Slow fire group is triangular (but not ovate). Measured from center to center, the slow fire group is 1.3 inches top to bottom and 1.25 inches side to side. It is displaced from the point of aim – the dot in the middle of the bullseye – 1.4 inches left and .5 inches high.

One shot each on five different targets.  Ten yards, as fast as I could hold and fire.

One shot each on five different targets. Ten yards, as fast as I could hold and fire.

Rapid fire group – one shot on each of five bulls – are all in the white except for one half-way in. The white section of the bullseye is four inches in diameter. So all shots are within two inches of point of aim. The lateral dispersion of shots is 1.24 inches and the height dispersion of all rapid fire (superimposing all the rapid fire shots onto one target) is 3.58 inches.

Also – on my word of honor (such as it is) these are the first ten shots I’ve fired from this particular pistol, and the ONLY ten shots I’ve fired from this pistol.

For chronograph testing, I used the same ammunition and lot of that ammunition as for all the other old .32 auto’s so far. This pistol delivers 854.5 fps with the chronograph about fifteen feet from the muzzle (about the same as all the others). This makes this WWII era Astra the second fastest pistol of my collection. It is less than 1% slower than an MAB Model D.

Seriously, for this category of pistol at ten yards, the accuracy is quite good for self-defense work. Which may sound a bit silly about a .32 ACP pistol, but it still shoots pretty good.

I did note the front and rear sight seem to ‘blend’ with one another when attempting to get a proper sight alignment. The front and rear sights are integral with the slide. They are not later added parts in the fashion of the Colt 1903 Pocket Pistol or (1911) Government Model. On the good side, they are wider and flatter on top than the Colt Pocket Pistol. They appear to be much closer to what are recognized as modern “Patridge” sights than the typical European triangular sights of the time period. However, they are cut so close to the slide, they blend with the slide and seem to be rather vague in sight alignment and sight picture. The results seem to indicate they are not as deceptive as I feared.

All in all, another rather nice pistol from long ago. It seems to be all machined, so in modern manufacturing, a CNC machine would be required. I suppose the basic shapes could be investment cast, but it just wouldn’t be the same. Not to mention there’s no stampings, sintered metal or plastic parts on the device. The kiss of death is that the pistol is a single stack, single-action-with-safety type design in .32 ACP.


Filed under Firearms and their use, Uncategorized

How Much Do Your Mayor Have in Grapes?

If you have not heard what the Major of Jerusalem did concerning the knifer a day or so ago, you live a protected life.

Check out the reports. His Honor, the Mayor (if that’s the appropriate title in Jerusalem) wrestled the knife wielding man to the ground. Yes, his bodyguard was armed and present, but the Mayor was empty handed.

He’s on the ‘free beer’ if he shows up list.

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Filed under Civilization, Crime, Heroes and Heroism, Nation, Political Correctness, Politics, Uncategorized

Reloading – Lessons Learned – New Case Preparation

I’ve been looking for more brass – empty cases for the unjargoned – for my .22 Hornet’. (That is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable to give it a European and therefore classier sound.) To my joy, I found 200 pieces of unfired .22 Hornet’ brass, made by Prvi Partizan of Uzice (the town or city, I don’t know how things are categorized there.) (It was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at the time – 1927 – in the beginning the country now is Serbia. Same physical place. Borders may have been changed to protect the innocent. Or guilty.) This explains the headstamp of PPU. It is also sometimes in Cyrillic and looks like ‘nny’.

All that aside, new brass is new brass. It is properly formed and reasonably ready for loading.

Unless one suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder or is a reloader seeking ultimate accuracy. But I repeat myself. I pulled out my special equipment and proceeded to trim to length, deburr, uniform and de-flash all the primer holes prior to loading.

Allow me to explain. Cartridge brass is ‘formed’ from metallic brass alloy. Such alloy being a combination of copper and zinc, essentially. The alloy can be varied to achieve certain qualities or results. The special qualities desired for cartridge cases are tensile strength to withstand the internal pressures and malleability for forming the initial shape.

Brass cartridge cases are made by high pressure ‘extrusion’ of the metal. Essentially beating on it with a special machine with specially designed ‘dies’ until it fits the shape required.

However, this process often times leaves the length of the individual piece of brass – the empty cartridge – not precisely square at the mouth – where the bullet fits – and not of exact and uniform length.

So one ‘trims’ the case mouth by use of a device which is in reality a small, hand powered lathe. The device is adjustable for length of cut desired. This process both square the case mouth and makes the cases uniformly long. One desires a square mouth so the bullet is free of the case uniformly and no sideways forces are imparted. The length of case allows for consistent resizing of the case and a consistent crimp if desired.

Then, one employs a ‘chamfering tool’ which removes all the leavings of the cutting from the mouth of the case. Among other things, this process keeps the wire edge developed in the cutting process from snagging on other items, like the bullets inserted later and one’s fingers.

Additionally, the flash hole, the small ‘tunnel’ through which the igniting flame of the primer ‘flashes’ to ignite the gun power is normally ‘punched’ through the typically one-eighth inch of brass between the primer pocket and the main chamber (interior) of the case. The hole itself is not always of uniform size and roundness AND there’s a collection of brass hanging on the interior end of the flash hole.

By using a small tool from the interior of the case, through the case mouth, one can make the flash hole uniform in size and circularity AND trim off the bit of hanging brass in the interior.

So why don’t cases come from the factory already trimmed, chamfered and reamed? Mostly cost. I spend probably eight hours doing all that. So the manufacturer would have to add that much pay for a somewhat trained and conscientious worker to do the job. Also, it isn’t always needed. Most commercially manufactured ammunition does not go through the additional steps of processing and shoots quite well in spite of the lack. Did I mention something about OCD conditions earlier.

Following these processes, done by – in this case – your humble correspondent, the finished cases are then weighed on an electronic scale and sorted by weight.

Why? In the instance of a specific caliber – which in general use is more a description of the brass case than the actual diameter of the bore – all cartridge cases are the same external size. For instance, in the instance of the .22 Hornet’ herein involved, the case must have a rim of a specified thickness and external diameter; the body must be a certain external diameter at the juncture of the rim; it must taper at a specified angle for a certain distance, then taper at a greater – also specified – angle to the neck where it must continue to a specified length. All these external dimensions are needed in order for the cartridge to fit into the chamber, but be snug enough in the chamber not to rattle about and possibly react poorly to the sudden internal pressure of firing.

But all those dimensions are external. The internal dimensions can vary to some degree. But when the internal dimensions vary, the internal volume varies. The pressure generated by the burning powder increases in a smaller volume. (Look up Boyle’s Law.) By weighing the individual cases, one can determine a uniformity of internal volume.

Uniformity is one of the great goals of the accurate reloader. The ideal is that everything is exactly the same from loaded round to loaded round. The cases all weigh the same, the bullets all weigh the same, powder charges are all the same and primers are all the same. In reality of course, it doesn’t work that way. (No pun intended.) However, cases can be easily with one percent variation. Commercial bullets are remarkably uniform; weighing them cannot hurt, but may not pay off a great deal. Powder charges can easily be held within one percent uniformity. Primers are pretty much beyond the control of reloaders, but are remarkably uniform as far as manufacturers can manage.

So. Back to the cases and what did I learn?

First. The Cabela’s electronic scale I purchased a year or two ago really isn’t up to the task. Probably the greatest problem is repeated weighings of the same item – one case at random – resulted in several different shown weights. In five readings, the particular case weighed 56.2, 56.3, and 56.4 grains. This without moving the scale, without turning the scale off, and without re-calibrating the scale. The Cabela’s scale is also ‘slow’. By this, I mean the scale takes a bit of time to decide the demonstrated weight of the item. Sometimes, it took several tries to determine if the item in question weighed “56.4” or “56.5” or “56.6” grains. It would show one weight as ‘final’ (a signal icon appears indicating the scale is finished) then change the displayed weight, showing that as ‘final’.

I have recently purchased another Dillon D-Terminator scale. I had one, used it for years with excellent results and dropped it at some point. Note: Dropping electronic equipment is NOT recommended. I bought the Cabela’s unit when my dropped Dillon scale failed, and I succumbed to time panic. Time panic is source material for another blog.

Second. The Lee Precision Reloading shell holder wears out quickly. The holder consists of two parts. The base is a steel machined part which is universal. The variable ‘holder’ is an aluminum piece which screws onto the steel base. The holder is the part that actually fits the case in question. Sadly, being aluminum it tends to wear out on the interior of the top portion of the holder. Consequently, the case doesn’t hold well. Which means the user’s fingers has to take up the slack.

This isn’t so bad for the case length trimming function or the chamfering function. But the flash hole cleaning is really problematic. The cutter gets ‘stuck’ and requires some force to trim the excess from the egress end.

My fingers are worn out. And sore.

The good news is the cases are all prepared and sorted – which only needs be done once. Flash holes and weights do not change with use. The case length can change – usually longer with rifles – and may need trimming again in time.

The good news is that from the 200 cases initially, I have two groups of 50 cases (two boxes) which are within .3 grains difference (lightest to heaviest) each. The other 100 rounds are safe and useful for reloading, but are suited more for non-precision loads; which include small game and predator control and general familiarization with the rifle.

Final note: The above process is most effective when the ammunition is to be used in a specially prepared firearm designed for maximum accuracy. For rifles, this usually includes ‘squaring’ the action, carefully bedding the action and barrel into the stock, trigger work, properly mounted sights (iron or optic) and so forth. For an off the shelf rifle, it usually will not dramatically increase accuracy. But it won’t hurt accuracy either.

In some years of pistol shooting in various disciplines I find pistol cartridges do not appear to benefit from the above functions. I do segregate cases by manufacturer for precision shooting. I have a lingering suspicion even that is mostly superstition.

So if the reader is a new reloader or beginning reloader, please do not feel guilty about not performing any of the above.


Filed under Firearms and their use

So Much for Claims of Income Equality

Read the article. It is not long and shows a bit of good sense. So much for the ‘progressive’ theory of over-taxing and then paying out funds to unfairly poor people.

The reality is that some folks have more money than others. However, the ‘rich’ change every year. Some folks who were not on the ‘rich’ list get there, and some who were on the ‘rich’ list are no longer. It all depends on how one addresses the problem and work.

The social trend toward avoiding marriage seems to be detrimental to income. How about that?

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Filed under Civilization, Political Correctness, Politics

Can a Christian be Happy?

I thank a fellow Christian and blogger for the title and basic thought of this essay. My thanks and blessings to Kristeen Nicole Gillooly at

She can’t help being good at what she does; she has a Celtic surname.

The title was originally Can You Be Happy if You are Not a Christian? In my mind this brings up other associated questions, like “Is a Christian Happier Than a non-Christian?” or possibly even “Does Christianity Make One Happier?”

My considered answer, after some sixty-five years of life, fifty-four years ‘officially’ a Christian, is “It depends. What do you mean by ‘happy’?”

I must be a philosopher; I answer every question with a question. Either that or an incipient politician. (Lord forgive me!) Or perhaps just a dedicated jerk.

The key to the answer is ‘What is Happiness?’

Your humble correspondent finds that virtually no one (believer or non-believer) is ‘happy’. Everyone (non-believer and believer) is beset with the idea of ‘something is missing’. Everyone thinks they are not quite pretty or handsome enough. No one has quite enough money. People think their butt is too big or too small. I’m not tall enough and she’s too tall. Either I’m too drunk or too sober. I trust the reader gets the point – I’m getting weary of belaboring the concept.

Most people think that the key to happiness is attaining what they think they lack. Oftentimes this comes in the form of bits of special fabric with green lettering and pictures of past Presidents on the front. However, even those with vast quantities of funds do not particularly exhibit the characteristics of ‘happiness’. The late Howard Hughes was rich beyond most of our dreams of avarice; he died a hermit, afraid to venture forth from his apartment.

I recommend the Biblical book of “Ecclesiastes”. Written by Solomon, King of Israel and arguably the richest man in the history of the world. It is a personal account of his search for happiness. I will not fully repeat it here, but he tells of chasing wealth, knowledge, women and fame. In the end, he says it is all ‘vanity'; a King James era English word used as the translation of the Hebrew ‘hebel’ (pronounced ‘heh-VEL’). In Hebrew, the word literally means ‘vapor’. So it’s air. Nothing in the vernacular. One of the meanings of the English word ‘vain’ is useless or without effect.

Gentle readers, no one is really happy. Not as adults, at least. When we were kids we were probably happier. When we were young enough not to know. For most of us, we had a place to live, clothing and enough to eat. Someone else paid the bills. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we had pretty much what we needed and we played and we were happy. Except maybe for baths and when we broke something.

I once knew an adult who was generally happy. I mean really happy. Everything to him was new and fresh and neat. He had a serious mental deficiency. But he was probably the happiest fellow I ever met. Much happier than me at the least. That strikes me as a high price to pay for happiness, though.

People who are not believers can attain a level of satisfaction in life. However, there is always something ‘not quite there’ remaining. An unseen desire, an unthought thought. C. S. Lewis talks about this and I’m sure correctly diagnoses the problem as a lack of God. Please don’t think this is criticism; it is merely an observation of the human condition. The illustration of the ‘God shaped hole’ keeps returning. We all have a void in our soul – that inner part of us which shapes and becomes our mind in the sense of character, ego and moral fiber. It was made when mankind rebelled against God in the beginning. We are all aware of the lack, even if we don’t know exactly what it is or why it’s there.

Christians also have the void. Except, being with Christ, we have some mitigation of the ‘lack’ awareness. It is not that God has fully entered us and there is no lack, no void awareness; but rather that God partially fills it – AND we have the positive expectation that it will be properly and fully filled when we meet Him in Heaven. Christians know – at least should know – why we have that unsettled feeling of lack or waiting for something.

So, are Christians happy in the sense that ‘anyone in the world’ would recognize? Probably not. However, Christians who understand the relationship (not fully understand, but basically understand) between God and us as individuals have a certain ‘contentment’ that does no attach from conditions. Yes, Christians are happy in the sense of contentment; which may or probably may not be discernible to non-believers. Again, this is not a judgment or nasty comment; it is merely the statement that non-believers judge success or happiness by a different standard. That non-believers do not understand Christian standards is not a slam either, the statement only reflects a non-believer cannot understand that which has never been exposed to them.

One last word to Christians who are not happy and unsure they ever will be.

Full happiness, that knowledge the ‘hole is finally filled’ and the unspoken desire is fulfilled will only come when we receive our final reward and enter eternity. If one is without the ‘contentment’ of blessings to come, do not panic! The contentment part is much like prayer and push-ups. It comes with practicing with God and the effects are not instant, but cumulative.

Don’t Panic! God has you.

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, God, religion