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Not Reading the Same Constitution

Obama is essentially saying he won’t be bound by the bill that prevents him from doing anti-gun studies on the taxpayer dime. This is the same guy who our opponents and the media touts as not, in fact, leading a stealth gun control campaign. You’re apparently paranoid for even thinking so, from what I’ve read from these charlatans.

Obama’s claim is essentially this:

“I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient,” Obama said in a statement as he signed the bill into law.

No. This is not how it works. Congress controls the purse strings. This is how the system works. Dave Hardy, who thankfully reads the same Constitution the rest of us do, notes:

I can’t find that clause in my own copy. I just find “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Maybe I’ve got an outdated version. But I’m sure my copy of the anti deficiency act is up to date. So is the provision making violation a felony.

The President isn’t just skating on thin Constitutional ice here, he’s staking on water, and he’s going to sink of he follows his words with deeds.

On Magazine Springs

SayUncle notes that someone is going to try an experiment, in regards to whether keeping magazine spring loaded causes them to wear faster. I should note that from engineering principles, there is no doubt that a loaded magazine will wear faster than an empty one, but the question of whether we’re speaking short time scales, such as 13 years, is another matter. I’d be willing to be your time scales here are on the scale of decades.

My feeling, just based on some things I know about springs, is that magazines which get used regularly are going to wear the fastest. Cyclic compression is the most fatiguing to the metal in a spring. Extended periods, even at full, static compression are going to be less fatiguing than if you were unloading the magazine every day.

If I had to bet, the magazine that’s been loaded for 13 years works just fine. At least not much worse than a magazine that’s been empty for 13 years. Time wears on springs too, whether you compress them or not. My feeling is that it’s probably best to leave magazines seldom used unloaded, but it’s far better to leave a magazine loaded, rather than loading it and unloading it regularly.

Old Family Photos

I have recently come into possession of some old family photos. When I say old, I mean late 19th century and 20th century old. So much time has passed, while there are names written on the back in my grandmother’s hand, I don’t know how any of these individuals are related to me. Some of them aren’t family, but are postcards that were sent to family from other family still in Germany. I am proud to introduce the only online version of this particular photograph of what I’m fairly certain is Kaiser Wilhelm II:

The back of the postcard is written in traditional German script, which I have a difficult time deciphering. You can see the date on this is 1910, before we went to war with the Kaiser, and before the Nazi’s banned Sütterlinschrift. As a result, I never learned how to read this in high school, though my German teacher could write and read it, since she was educated in pre-war Europe. If anyone can read this, I’d sure be grateful:

There are some pictures of family in here from, I think, around the turn of the century, taken in Hamburg, during a time when it was still fashionable to be photographed smoking, in front of your children.

One thing I’ve noticed is that photographers, at the time, made their prints on thick cardboard, with very detailed advertisements on the back. I’ve found this on both the photos taken in Germany, and here in Philadelphia and New York.

My favorite from the collection is this, from a business card:

Polar Bear Trainer. Theodor Schroeder. Old Business Card.

Since I’m fairly certain I am not related to any polar bear trainers, I decided to look this up, and it turns out this is documented online here, and also here. So I’m guessing someone in my family must have come into contact with this advertisement or calling card, and kept it. It makes you wonder how many of these survived. Maybe I have the only copy of these particular things? The pictures of my family, for sure, but I was unable to find a duplicate of the picture I’m fairly sure is Wilhelm II using Google image search.

CNC Milled AR-15, The Test Firing

Jason and I made it out to the range Christmas Day to try out the AR-15 pistol that Jason turned out on his CNC mill, documented here and here. After fussing around a bit dealing with FTEs, it was determined that the pistol just likes hotter ammo. Using either the reloaded ammo Jason was using, or my reloads, which I don’t load very hot, it had FTEs all too often. But it worked rather flawlessly with NATO spec 5.56×45, which the upper is rated for. Here’s the video I took:

I think the best way to shoot an AR-15 pistol is to get a good cheek weld on the buffer tube. The tube is too short to use as a stock, and is not designed to be used as one, so it avoids being an SBR, but the recoil is so low that a good cheek weld helps in aiming. It is entirely comfortable to shoot the pistol as a pistol, one handed, or with both hands, but you can get better accuracy resting your cheek on the buffer tube.

Mechanically, for some reason, the buffer retaining pin got sheared off, but I think Jason has decided not to bother replacing it. With this modified lower, it requires tools to remove the upper, so it’s not a huge deal to just hold the buffer in while the upper is put back into place.

This goes to show the fallacy of gun control. All it took to manufacture this was a CAD drawing downloaded from the Internet, a Linux machine to control the mill, a block of aluminum, some time, and a willingness to spend a few days cleaning aluminum bits off the floor of your shop.

No doubt our opponents will call this a “loophole” in the law, which allowed Jason to manufacture a high-powered pistol out of a block of aluminum, with no serial number, no background check, and no government official overseeing the endeavor. But make no mistake, it’s not unregulated. This was made for personal curiosity. It would be unlawful to make firearms for resale, without a manufacturer’s license, and would also be unlawful to make this firearm with a stock, which would make it a short barreled rifle. All those legal issues were avoided in this endeavor. But I can promise you, there are individuals out there for whom this is appalling, and who would likely try to restrict this technology.

But the genie has thoroughly gotten out of this bottle. None of the equipment used in this project is so horrendously expensive that it’s out of the reach of hobbyists in terms of price. Jason is not a trained machinist, and neither am I. My message to our opponents is to give up. Gun control as as fantastical now as unicorns. Technology will just no longer allow it to work.

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas

We started the day with the opening of presents. I got a lot more clothes that I needed, and Bitter got a ceramic knife set, a knife block, and a few videos. Then it was time to celebrate Christmas with gunfire. Jason and I headed to the club (my the club), along with his dad, to test fire his CNC milled AR pistol. It was found to be rather sensitive to ammunition, in that it fed well with hot 5.56, but not so wonderfully with .223 reloads. But it definitely worked pretty well once we got the ammo figured out. I’ll have video later.

CNC machining an AR-15 lower update and slight detour

In the comments of my last post, Grego pointed out firearmfiles.com where there are CAD files for a multi-part AR-15 lower where all the parts fit nicely in the working area of a Taig mill. It also doesn’t require any special jigs or the crazy long, thin drill bit for making the hole for the bolt catch pin. Since I wouldn’t need to make any jigs or buy any drill bits to finish that version, I figured I’d try it before continuing on with the normal one-piece lower. I went straight to aluminium since I had a slab the right thickness.

Starting to mill the left half of the lower out of a slab of aluminium.

After the end of the roughing pass, where you can see some pretty crappy edges because I was making cuts that were too aggressive for the Taig.

After a couple of contouring passes to give it the right shape.

After the finishing pass.

Now, use a band saw to cut off the excess aluminium block, flip the part over, and start roughing the other side.

The four completed parts of the lower and the bolts that hold them together.

The finish is funky on the inside of one of the halves because, due to software issues, I was having trouble getting accurate Z positioning.  I managed to fix the problem for the other parts.

The assembled lower.

With the fire control parts installed.

And, finally, the completed firearm.

That’s everything except the bolt catch. Since the bolt catch is held on by a press in roll pin, I’m going to leave that off until the lower is painted, rather than have to press it out again to do the painting.  My plan is to treat with Alodine and then spray on Duracoat. I think that should work out pretty well, and it is easier than anodizing.

I modified the design a bit from the original. My version is thinner (though still not as thin as a standard AR lower), and instead of using a custom extended selector switch, I cut a recess so that a standard selector switch would fit.

Now that that’s done, I’m going to try to finish the one piece Delrin lower. But first, I think I need to make some sort of enclosure for the mill to keep the chips from getting all over the place. When working on parts that big, it makes a hell of a mess. Normally, when I use the mill for work, I’m just working with small Delrin parts, making cutouts in aluminium sheets, or etching small printing circuit boards.

Why is Self-Defense “Unbelievable” in Iowa?

I’m not quite sure I follow why interest in non-discretionary issue of concealed carry firearms is considered hard to believe in Iowa.

The number of Iowans seeking permits to carry handguns and other weapons has increased 170 percent during the first 11 months of 2011 — a trend one Iowa sheriff calls “unbelievable.”

During the first year in which a new law gave sheriffs less discretion over which residents can be denied permits, 94,516 Iowans sought and received non-professional weapons permits from January through November, the Iowa Department of Public Safety reports.

Data from the state’s three most populous counties show an even greater surge in weapons permits in key urban areas. In Polk, Linn and Scott counties, the number of permits issued thus far in 2011 is 271 percent higher than in 2010.

It seems pretty damn easy to understand for me. I know people who have lived under may issue jurisdictions who wouldn’t even apply for a license to carry because of the risk of being turned down for absolutely no reason. If they are turned down, they usually have to report it to the states that issue licenses based on actual evidence that you’re law-abiding.

Based on the context of the “unbelievable” quote, I don’t think the sheriff who said it was speaking from an anti-gun perspective. I just think he’s truly baffled that interest surged in self-defense once it became known that discriminating practices in issuance were no longer allowed.

Ending Wasteful Spending on Anti-Gun Work

The Washington Times has a piece about GOP efforts to stop spending on anti-gun research by the federal government. Most of it isn’t huge news to those of us who have followed the issue closely for years, but I do love their flourish in language describing some of the studies:

It took $2.6 million of taxpayers’ money to find out what could have been assumed for free: that teenagers who possess illegal guns, engage in underage drinking and hang out with other ne’er-do-wells are more likely to get shot.

I love it.

Rumors of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

I haven’t done much posting for a few days, I know. I have a few very important things in the works, currently. But if all this plays out, a lot of positive life changes are in the works. At least I hope. This has left very little energy for blogging, but I am sincerely hoping my energy will come back in short order if they do.

In the mean time, I’ll do what I can, and Bitter will keep filling in. Shouldn’t be too much longer. I appreciate everyone’s patience through what has certain been upheaval in my personal life since my company shut down a few months ago.

A Christmas Decoration’s Demise

I once destroyed a Christmas decoration when I was a kid by running outside to show my dad something, then turning to run back into the house – without realizing that someone had closed the glass door behind me since they didn’t realize I would be back inside quickly. Yeah, that was pretty funny looking back on it. Fortunately, my dad pulled out the super glue and fixed up the horse for me. I still have it today.

Alan Sailer, on the other hand, destroys his Christmas decorations with an air rifle. There’s no gluing these things back together.

What I find most interesting about his hobby is how creative he gets with the shots. Consider the set up for this photo:

Pay attention now.

Rifle fires pellet at razor blade. Blade splits pellet in two. Two halves of pellet wing their way towards a pair of gelatin filled Christmas bulbs.

And timing is set just a little two early.

Although if you look very closely, you can see tiny cracks staring in the light brown bulb as the half pellet just touches the glass surface.

He frequently fills the ornaments with materials that include chapstick, sour cream, colored sand, red jello, honey, plain water, sugar balls, aloe gel, sand mixed with alcohol, and even Play Doh.

I don’t think he likes Frosty. He also doesn’t limit his artistic destruction to air rifle, but incorporates a ping pong ball cannon for a little diversity.

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