Sorry about the gap in posting. The last week has been a busy one for my household as we finished bundling my oldest son off to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, finished packing up his things and cleaning his room, and then splitting up my two younger sons and moving one of them into the room my oldest son vacated. I am of two minds concerning my son leaving to serve as a missionary: on the one hand, I miss him; but on the other hand, I am glad to see him progress and grow as a man. While serving as a missionary is ostensibly about finding and converting people to Christ, it also serves as a transition from childhood to manhood for the young elders--a right of passage, so to speak. This does not mean that all young men need the mission in order to make the transition from youth to adult, or even that all will necessarily benefit from or should serve a mission; I know people that didn't serve a formal mission whom I believe their "mission" (so to speak) was to assist others to serve missions. Anyway, enough of what's happening in my life, and on to a few interesting articles and news stories:
- "Pillar Bedding: How to Spot Botched Jobs on Rifles"--Gun-Tests. Some tips on bedding a rifle, bedding problems to look for, and more. And although I've heard that you shouldn't free-float all barrels, the author of this had a good explanation of why:
Completely free-floating some light barrels is a bad idea in many cases. Barrels in a No. 2 contour or lighter need an additional bedding trick to make them shoot accurately, in my opinion.
The most difficult bedding jobs are the No. 1 and No. 2 barrel contours. Their harmonic vibrations and variations from barrel lot to barrel lot make them difficult to tune. Not only is bedding the action necessary, however, but the gunsmith should also add a forward pressure point. Such points are much like frets on a banjo. Where they contact the barrel, pressure points change how the barrel vibrates, much like a string on a banjo changes pitch when pressure is applied to different frets.
As a rule of thumb, there should be an additional barrel support about one-third of the way down the barrel. This will vary, however, so I like to bed the action first and free-float the barrel. With this stability in place, I then bed the pressure point up front. Some companies will put a screw or screws in the forearm (such as in the model 40XB) and use them to supply forward barrel support. To tune the pressure points, they must supply more upward pressure than you might think. To adjust their height, I usually take the gun to the range and reduce the pressure points’ profile by sanding them down until the bullet groups come down to the size I want.
- "Am I taking a Gun on the Appalachian Trail"--The Trek. The author of this piece is planning on through hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Apparently, she has had friends and family members ask if she will be taking a gun, pepper spray, knife, or other means of self-protection. She says no, and attempts to articulate her reasoning. Some of what she says is from ignorance: for instance, that a gun will add 5 pounds, or that there is now way to access it in time to use it. Some of her reasoning could be put down to wishful thinking: that a firearm (or spray or knife) will be useless to her, and therefore unnecessarily take up space and add weight. I suspect also, reading between the lines, that she is not a "gun person," is uncomfortable with carrying a weapon, and probably does not believe that she could hurt another person in self-defense. While I may not agree with her position, I can respect it ... except when it comes to carrying a knife. I have never read or heard a wilderness survival expert suggest that a knife is unnecessary; to the contrary, they assert that it is the most useful tool in an emergency. While this hiker is confident she won't get lost, I've read accounts of people getting lost in heavy woods or underbrush even when going slightly off the trail to relieve themselves. So, the fact that she is following a well marked trail does not guarantee that she cannot get lost or have to hole up somewhere for a few days.
- "RED RIFLEMAN VOL 2: ONGOING ACCURACY TESTING OF THE AK47"--Loose Rounds. The author decided to see what accuracy he could get out of an AK mounted with a 4x scope. He compared some cheap, off the shelf steel-cased ammo versus what he calls his Mexican Match (MM) reloads--pulling the bullet from a steel cased ammo and reloading it with new powder accurately measured. His results:
To my suprise, the Grey Polymer Coated Barnaul/Monarch ammunition was a improvement over the laquer coated bullets I tested last time, and they even bested my Mexican Match reloads. Using a statistically significant 10 round group, I was able to acheive 4.2 MOA of accuracy using $7 off the shelf AK fodder.
Compare that to my MM reloads which landed in at 6.2 MOA… which was where I started using only irons. It is no longer worth the trouble to reload the Mexican Match loading if off the shelf ammo outperforms it.
- Global warming (sarc.): "The Arctic comes to Massachusetts: Ocean bay completely freezes over for just the third time in 80 years to the amazement of local residents"--Daily Mail.
- The wages of
sinsocialism: "Venezuelan criminals have begun using food to recruit children into gangs"--Miami Herald. From the article:
Venezuelan gangs are no longer recruiting youths in some poor areas by offering them easy money to buy clothes or the latest cell phones. Instead, they are offering food baskets.
And on the streets, walking around with a bag of groceries can attract more thieves than a full wallet.
The critical food shortages pummeling Venezuela have started to change the nature of crime in the country, at times increasing what some experts have started to call “hunger crimes” and at other times turning food into a valuable item to be taken by force.
“This is a new phenomenon because it’s something that we never had in this country, crimes committed because of hunger,” said Roberto Briceño León, director of the Caracas-based Venezuelan Observatory for Violence (VOV).
- "100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice."--The Harvard Crimson. Some bad think from a student at Harvard.
Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology [communism] my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke.
* * *
Communism cannot be separated from oppression; in fact, it depends upon it. In the communist society, the collective is supreme. Personal autonomy is nonexistent. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia; they have no value of their own.
- "Burning Iranian tanker carrying 150,000 tons of oil is at risk of EXPLODING after colliding with a freighter near Shanghai"--Daily Mail.
- I thought the science was settled: "Humans reached America 10K years earlier than previously thought"--New York Post.
Scientists have discovered staggering evidence confirming humans lived in the Americas 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Genetic analysis of DNA belonging to a prehistoric Alaskan child suggests the region was home to people crossing from Asia almost 25,000 years ago.
Professor Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Cambridge who co-authored the study documenting the findings, said: “It represents the oldest lineage of Native Americans so far discovered.”
He added: “It’s the fact that this population is older than all other known Native American groups that makes it very important in addressing how the Americas were first populated.”
These settlers have been labeled the Ancient Beringians, and the only information known about them comes from the DNA of this individual child.
The little girl, known as “Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay,” or sunrise girl-child, lived 11,500 years ago at a site known as Upward Sun River in Alaska.
See also this article from Science Alert.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century--a racing mecha! "A terrifying 15ft-tall exoskeleton called 'Prosthesis' that runs faster than 20mph, in almost complete silence, is set to compete in a mechanical 'Racing League'"--Daily Mail. And, yes, the pilot sits in the middle of the mecha.