Chad Perrin: SOB

24 May 2009

The Five Month Rifleman Plan

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 11:35

Occasionally, I hear reference to a “five year plan” (or sometimes a 10-year or 15-year, or maybe an even bigger multiple of five). People talk about how they plan to be mayor of a town, have half a million dollars socked away, get credited in a major motion picture, or otherwise achieve some significant mile-marker in a “successful” life, all within five years. They organize their lives around these five year periods, and sweat blood and bullets trying to make fate conform to their carefully laid plans. They usually fail, and when they succeed in reaching that goal, they usually regret something about it, but sometimes people hit the jackpot and all is well.

Musket

I never really had a five year plan. What I have right now is a “keep trying to improve on where I am now” plan, when it comes to my life in general. Sometimes, I have a one year plan in mind, or something else along those lines, but that’s a matter of trying to set goals for getting done with things that I think will help — not for reaching particular plateaus in a stairway to some secular, material heaven later in life. For instance, I might decide that I’m going to read all the way through at least one of a particular class of technical book every two months for a year.

I’ve also had a multi-year plan of sorts that wasn’t so much a goal-oriented plan as just a “Well, this is what I’ll be doing with my life for a while.” That was when I joined the Army. I knew my contractually obligated term of service in advance, so I knew I’d be in the Army that long, barring disaster. That’s not really anywhere near the same thing as the typical five year plan.

I have a one-twelfth size equivalent to a five year plan in mind now, though. It’s not quite the total life goal thing that you hear about in five year plans, of course, but it’s a significant, goal-oriented pursuit with specific steps along the way. This five month plan looks a little something like this:

10/22
  1. July: I intend to get a Ruger 10/22 rifle by the end of June. It’s a semi-automatic .22 rifle, suitable for varmint hunting perhaps, shooting beer cans for fun, and general rifle marksmanship practice. Once I put some Tech-SIGHTS and a USGI sling on it, it’ll be even more suited to rifle marksmanship practice. Through the month of July, I intend to practice with it quite a bit. After more than a decade out of the Army without any notable time behind a rifle, I definitely need the practice. I want to get back to the point where I can summon that “zen” state with a moment’s notice that let me hit 40 out of 40 targets in rifle marksmanship qualification when I was in the Army.

  2. August: I’ll keep practicing. I’ll save money. I’ll get an associate membership with the RWVA, or a similarly qualifying club. I’ll submit my order for an M1 Garand rifle from the CMP. My military service exempts me from having to participate in a formal marksmanship class to qualify for CMP purchases — since I already got a lot of formal marksmanship training in the Army.

  3. September: I’ll keep practicing. I’ll save money.

  4. October: I’ll keep practicing. I’ll save money.

  5. November: I’ll keep practicing. The CMP will probably get around to processing my order at some point this month, and they’ll charge me the money I’ve been saving. I’ll probably get the M1 Garand this month or the next (December).

M1 Garand

As soon as I have that M1 Garand, I’m going to try really hard to hie myself to an Appleseed Project shooting event and get some training (one can never have enough training) — and of course shoot the hell out of the Garand for the short time between when it arrives and when I can get to an Appleseed event. I might go to an Appleseed Project shooting event sooner, but there aren’t any scheduled near enough that I could just drive to it and back each day, so I have to make a Weekend Trip out of it, and that requires real planning. I figure setting it at the end of the five month plan will give me a reasonable time to get around to it, so that I’m highly unlikely to wuss out or otherwise fail to make it happen because it’s “too soon”, and “I don’t have a long range rifle”, and so on. This doesn’t preclude the possibility of attending an event sooner, with nothing but my little 10/22 or with a borrowed rifle of a more substantial caliber, of course. This is more of a “soft” deadline for attending such an event.

That’s my plan so far. It’s five months long. I’ll reassess at some point along the way, figure out whether the plan needs to be altered, and what to do next (assuming this goes roughly as planned). I’m open to life, though.

I think it was John Lennon who said that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

23 May 2009

How reliable is your handgun, really?

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Review — apotheon @ 10:52

Glock 21 in Bucket of Mud How badly can you treat your handgun and still expect it to fire reliably? The owner of a very unfortunate Glock 21 (.45 ACP) decided to find out. The results are reported at the Glock 21 Torture Test. The image I provide here is not even close to the worst that was done to this poor Glock in the course of the torture test — and this guy takes the words “torture test” very seriously.

I don’t have a Glock 21. I do, however, have a Glock 22 (.40 S&W). I like my Glock. It is, in fact, the only Glock I’ve ever held that felt this good in my hand. In general, I find the wide, blocky grips of a Glock (necessary for the double-stack high capacity magazine that comes standard with almost all Glock models) uncomfortable to hold, especially when firing. There’s something odd about this particular Glock 22 that makes it feel different, though. It’s probably some kind of factory “defect”, I guess, but to me it feels like a 50% improvement. I’ve wondered in the past whether I could make another Glock as comfortable through the judicious use of a nail file, but haven’t bothered to find out.

Even so . . . it’s a Glock. Even my Glock 22 isn’t my all-time favorite handgun, even if it’s my all-time favorite Glock. I don’t like the width of the thing in my holster, the width in my hand is still short of ideal, and it’s a fugly piece of gear. I’ve heard Glocks are remarkably reliable, that they can be cleaned in the dishwasher and used again without oiling (or even drying) without any problem (though I’ve never tried it myself), and I know they’re the favorites of a lot of firearms connoisseurs. I tend to prefer DA/SA handguns with a manual external safety over something like a Glock, where the only external safety is a switch in the trigger, for most purposes. It gets a bit punishing on the hand after firing for a bit, being a somewhat beefy .40 S&W on a wide-grip ergonomically kinda neutral design, with basically everything below the slide being plastic so that felt recoil isn’t reduced the way it would be with a firearm that was heavier overall (there’s a reason people call Glocks “combat tupperware”).

After reading about this torture test, though, I have a newfound respect for the Glock design. I may actually get another one some day, in a different caliber.

For the record, the only time I’ve ever had a problem with a failure to feed with my Glock was when I limp-wristed a shot — so that was my fault. Otherwise, it has always worked perfectly.

22 May 2009

new boots: Will the excitement never end?

Filed under: Miscellaneous — apotheon @ 04:13

I ordered a new pair of jungle boots (black, with speedlaces) early this month. They arrived a couple days ago. I just got around to applying some Kiwi to them and polishing them up. I want the leather on these things to last.

Some time in the next week I’ll probably order a wallet made of woven steel threads. I need a new wallet, and while I’m buying one, I might as well make it something that’ll last.

I’ve had some kind of annoying allergic reaction to something this week. I guess there’s a first time for everything, after all, because this is the first time I’ve experienced that dermal condition known as “hives”. It seems to be subsiding a little bit, finally, after two or three days of getting worse all the time. Yes, I took some over the counter antihistamine, which I think slowed the advance (and hastened the retreat) of the condition, but it didn’t just magically make it go away. It’s kind of distracting, and I haven’t been as productive this week as I would have liked, as a result. I wonder if I’m allergic to eggplant.

I figured I should post something here, at some point. My life hasn’t been terribly exciting the last week or so, and I struggled with the sordid, purple prose of one D. H. Lawrence for a couple hundred pages or so before giving up and switching to a better written book, so I don’t even have any new book reviews at this point (though I should have one this weekend — the other book is a much quicker read, despite the higher page count).

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