Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wotta Day!

Data Viking e-mailed Friday about havin' some free time and I didn't see it 'til about 2:late Saturday, alas.

Sunday remained and we were off to the big gun show! This was interesting -- I'm pretty much a handgunner and DV...well, he likes rifles. He knows rifles pretty well, too, though he points out that it's been years. So we made interesting and varied progress, parting and catching up as out interests pulled us hither and yon!

We're in agreement on a number of things, like Para's Warthog is a bit too much a handful despite looking kewl, and while semi-auto adaptations of big machine guns are superneat they are just not really the Thing Of Choice for a zombie apocolypticycle and are expensive to feed, to boot.

I saw a Colt Combat Commander, shiny-plated and with modest engraving rather than the Baroque floridity usually seen and really liked it. Oh, some day? Said Hi to Famous SF Writer (also blogger and all-round okay guy with a wonderful family and so on) M. Z. Williamson, wandered on to look at a pair of marvelous Broomhandle Mausers and then a nice fellow showed me a very convenient sort of pocket knife; which is when I discovered I had brought no checks with me, none at all. Nevertheless, a very full and busy day.

...And not yet done. After all that, good ol' DV helped me put up new insulation in the bare spots of my semi-finished attic! That's been wanting done for a long while and should help lots with the heat bills. I still need to do the end walls but the roof was just about impossible to attempt alone. Well, the hard parts are done now -- Thanks, DV! You're the best!

He's on the road home in the snow and sleet.
And it's past my bedtime now, early though it is.


phlegmfatale said...

Sounds like a grand day out, lack of checks notwithstanding. We had a gun show in Dallas this weekend, too, and I was too over-committed to mosey over there, alas! I'll catch it next time, though.

Good on you for seeing to that insulation issue, though - no doubt you'll save a lot for having bothered. And sheesh - it really RILLY gets cold up where you are, doesn't it? How long have you had that gap in insulation? *brrr!*

Roberta X said...

Since moving in -- the insulation was old, pretty fragile and sagging. My sister and nephew were helping up there and their report was that a half-dozen section simply fell on them, one after another, at the least touch. Each section is about six feet by two feet, so that's a lot of lost heat.

I still have some tiny areas to do around the chimney in addition to the vertical walls at the ends; then a vapor barrier over the whole thing and some kind of wallboard.

Tam said...

I'm soooo jealous about the gun show thing. The Indy 1500 is supposed to be Da Bomb.

The Duck said...

Wanted to make the show, but the car was acting a bit unruly, it is a very good show, perhaps in March

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Semi-auto WHAT kind of machine guns are bad for zombies?

Yeah, a repro functioning Lewis Gun that fires semi-auto is a bit unwieldy, I'll admit, but think of the range you can get with such a steady platform. So if your anti-zombie redoubt was the top of Devil's Mountain, you might appreciate such a gun. Popping zombies far enough away they won't stink up your living space.

But yeah, a bipod on a bolt action could do the same for less, I guess.

Semi-auto M-14 is another matter.

Who is..... Carteach0? said...

I have a Commander in nickel plate...
It's one I'll be buried with probably. Love that thing....
Your instinct is right... its worth having.

Think I'll blog a writeup on that one soon.....

Sounds like you had a good day.

My down fall at gun shows... is the money machine usually found in the lobby....sigh....
Last time... an Eotech site....

Roberta X said...

This is exactly why I have never authorized my money-machine card, Teach; with the credit card, at least I stop to think about the balance and interest.

Dos the Combat Commander standardly have a very bobbed beavertail and ring hammer? All the ones I found at the show were that way and I like it. The way my hands fit a 1911, I don't need the extended anti-hammer-bite thingie and find it awkward.

New Jove: Oh, like .50 BMG; like dual AA guns. A bit big-ish for semi-auto and costly to feed. Fun, you better believe, but it's like Jag XKS fun: I love it but can't.

Who is..... Carteach0? said...

Roberta..... I have a slightly extended beavertail grip safety, and the standard Commander ring hammer.

It fits well..... with custom smooth finger groove stocks and target sights. Bit fancy for carry.... but exudes confidence. Shoots VERY straight and quite dependable.

Shame you are not closer.... make for a fun range day trying out various pistols.

Tam said...

You really wouldn't need a beavertail unless you had a 1911 with an extended thumb safety and used a high thumbs grip.

Doing that, it's possible to exert enough downward force on the thumb safety to cause the web of your thumb to slide up over the tang.

Roberta X said...

Probably not enough meat on my hands even at that. My normal grip os high-thumbs. Ex had some serious mutant 1911ish guns over the years and I never did manage to get bit.

...I did pick up a serious letch for the "GI" grip safety/stub beavertail.

Will said...

The beavertail, and shooting with thumb on the safety, are not a good match. Putting your thumb on top changes the profile of your palm. It tends to pull it away from the backstrap/grip safety area. Using a beavertail makes this problem worse. This is why so many people have to disable the grip safety function. What some may not realize, is this hand profile reduces control, since the gun is now recoiling while only touching the web and the base of the palm. Consequently, it wants to move around, which I suspect is why a lot of 1911 owners want checkering and grooves everywhere to help hold onto it. Oh, as an added bonus, the standard rifling spins counterclockwise, which makes the gun want to rotate clockwise, AWAY from the palm of a right-hander.
The 1911 was not designed to be shot with thumb on top of the safety. In this area, I side with JM Browning, not Col Cooper.

Tam said...

"What some may not realize, is this hand profile reduces control,"

Right. Which would be why it's used by every competition shooter in the land.

And "most" 1911 users disable their grip safeties? Will, I've worked in the gun biz for almost a decade and a half and NOT ONCE have I ever filled out a repair order to disable a grip safety, nor have I received a 1911 in trade that had its grip safety disabled. This is a modification that apparently mostly happens on the internet and in the mind of Mas Ayoob.

Roberta X said...

D00d, what Tam said! Twice!

My own inexpert opinion: "Disable the grip safety?" Not so much. Nooooo, that's why every two-bit 1911 maker -- and most of the good ones -- have some kind of "speed bump" on their grip safety: it helps competition shooters be sure and bails out amateurs with poor habits.

I'm not fond of such embellishments; but my hand and JMB's orginal design get along well. YMMV.

Will said...

Col Cooper himself had his pinned, and pushed this idea on all his disciples, who then blindly went out and preached this gospel without ever thinking about it on their own. Try talking about this to any of "the chosen", and you get rote responses and a refusal to consider any contrary facts. They "believe in the gospel" of Cooper, and he can do no wrong. Well, since he's not Christ, he's capable of making mistakes, and this is one of them.
I admired Cooper greatly, read almost everything he wrote. Would have taken classes with him, but didn't figure out how to get a legal background check done here in CA, before he sold the school.

Took a class with Chuck Taylor, Gabe Suarez, Marc Fleischman, and a couple others as instructors. They all insisted thumb on safety.I had to tape down the grip safety on my 1911 that had the beavertail (with speedbump). I emptied the first aid box by the end of class. The amount of blood I was leaving on my shirts and pants had them concerned, but not enough to change their thinking. Research after the class clued me in on the subject.

BTW, Tam, I didn't say "most", I said "so many". Also "a lot", in reference to those wanting grip enhancing mods.

If you look at pictures of Cooper, he was a big guy with good sized hands. If HE had to disable a safety to make the gun function, then odds are good that others will also.

Should be interesting at my next class. I intend to eliminate the thumb safety from use. I will still have a trigger blocking safety, and a firing pin safety. They want me to eliminate one of the three (actually, Cooper also advocated eliminating the series 80 firing pin safety). So, I'll pick the one to toss. :-) I suppose I could just put the stock thumb safety back on, as I'm a lefty, but I don't want even them to have anything to put their thumb on, to make a point. I suspect that they will not be able to deal with this, and I will drag out the Glock to use. And they will be fine with that gun, whose external safety is that ridiculous lever in the trigger face.
That's the problem with cult thinking, there is usually a lack of critical judgment involved. And the 1911 world has much of the trappings of a cult. Which is unfortunate. That sort of mindset is normally created to protect the object of worship, which in this case is counterproductive. Over the last dozen years, I have found myself directing people away from classes given by cult proponents, when I check their hand fit on their 1911. Others have been advised to not buy a 1911, when they are planning on attending such a school. I have a lifetime membership at a shooting school, that I mostly avoid using due to the 1911 cult thinking endemic there.

phlegmfatale said...

A boor remains a boor, though he sleep on silken (apologies) holsters.

Will said...

The speedbump didn't work for Cooper, and it doesn't work for me, either. Now, a bump on a STOCK grip safety might work, but nobody makes one that I'm aware of.
Think about the gap that must be there between the hand and the backstrap, given the height of the speedbump. Do you honestly think that is a good thing? I have to readjust my grip after every shot, when I use Cooper's grip. Having to do that is total bullshit. The gun was not designed to be held that way. All this because one of Cooper's buddies fumbled a presentation in a contest.

Tam said...

Ah, an iconoclast.

I suppose it would be pointless for me to say that I came late to the 1911 after many years of Glocks, SIGs, and P7s, because it works better for me, and that I shoot the way I shoot because empirical evidence showed that it was more accurate and controllable. For me.

Shoot what works best for you in the manner that produces the best results. Just be aware that from the outside there is little difference between the monotony of a slavish follower of a cult and the monotony of a slavish detractor; AA members are as annoying to be around as bad drunks.

(FWIW, while none of the three 1911s I currently own has ever had the Series 80 bits, I slavishly removed them from the guns that had them. Excess monkey motion offends my sense of mechanical elegance.)

Roberta X said...

Will, this is my blog: please cease speaking ill of the dead. If you care to offer up your own personal issues in holding on to and operating a particular firearm, that's fine. We each bring different skills and capabilities to our shooting.

The real world operates with considerably less cronyism and a greater emphasis on what actually works than you may have realized. It also runs on manners. Mine are positively Victorian.

Will said...

Tam, if by iconoclast you mean someone who does not blindly accept orthodoxy when some facts clearly are at odds with the belief, then that label may be appropriate. It would seem that I've raised some hackles for merely pointing out the physiology of the hand is not necessarily compatible with this custom that Col Cooper started. I'm not demanding that everyone stop doing it. Not in the least. What I am stating is that the thinking of the "Cooper faithful" looses it's sense of logic when it comes to the matter of how to hold a 1911, yet they can bring that logic to bear when it comes to holding any other type of handgun. If a student is having problems with a gun, they can analyze the situation and make useful recommendations regarding grip selections and hand positions. But, when it is a 1911, the thinking stops, and out comes rote parroting of dogma. That does the student, and the school, and the firearms culture, no good at all.
I like the 1911. I own more than you do, it seems. I shoot them very well, better if I am allowed to hold it correctly for my hands. Half of mine do not have a place for me to put my thumb. It's annoying(actually frightening)when the trigger doesn't move because the grip safety isn't depressed enough.

I think some of the mind-set might be tempered if the faithful normally shot the small, lightweight 1911's with hot ammo like I do. A full size, steel frame gun is a pussy cat to shoot, no matter what you feed it. But, things really get pushed to the limits when you down-size and lighten up the gun. The class I referred to, I was shooting Fiocchi 230gr rated at 950fps. (Std is about 825fps for .45acp,as you probably know). A wee bit snappy in the little guns. (It was cheap!)(If I had known the problems I was going to have, I would have bought wad-cutters, and MAYBE borrowed a full size steel 1911 from another friend) Problem is, I want to train with the same gear I use in real life. That's why I use an IWB holster designed for concealed carry, along with a gun size I can conceal.

Regarding work orders, it is my understanding that most gunsmiths will refuse to disable a safety system of any sort, for liability reasons. Customers told this before ordering work, are likely not going to ask for it. I've seen it stated by gunsmiths that any non-functioning safeties must be restored before they will release the gun to the customer, again due to liability concerns. This being the case, you likely wouldn't see many show up at the counter. They may tell you how to do it yourself, or, in CYA mode, tell you where to find the knowledge needed.

Roberta, I was not aware that commenting on an action by an individual constituted speaking ill of that person. I thought I made it plain that I hold Col Cooper in high regard. (I am still short one of his books, and expect to acquire my own copy this year) I merely stated that I disagree with him regarding the thumb on safety. The major disagreement I have is the refusal of people he trained, to apply any logic to the subject. I never got the chance to discuss it directly with the Colonel. The time we stopped by Gunsite, he was away.

I understand the reasoning he used when he decided to employ the technique. It's the unintended consequences resulting from the application of the technique, for some people, that I have a problem with.

My appologies if you all have felt offended by a factual discussion. When I started to use religious terms to describe the mind-set I have encountered on the training side on this subject, I should have gotten a clue that people would respond as if it WAS a religious subject.(palmstrike to forehead, duh!) There are few rational discusions when religion is the subject.
Consequently, I will not comment on the subject of thumbs on safeties, nor mention his name on any blogs.