Sunday, January 31, 2010

Half an FO!'s Better Than None

The foot was done — even a bit over-done — on Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. I knit 70 rounds on the foot, five rounds less than usual when I asked him to try it on. The foot was about halfway up his little toe. I frogged five rounds then started the toe decreases. As with almost everything about this sock, even those were a bit different. They look the same and the end result is the same.

Anyway the toe decreases are now also done and except for weaving in the ends, the first sock is complete. This sock was finished in 21 days despite a longer leg and having to figure out a new kind of heel. Knitting most of the sock in stockinette was really quick.

The most confusing thing about an all stockinette sock was surprisingly the toe decreases and a little bit of the foot. I'm used to knitting a patterned instep with five needles. Two needles hold the patterned instep stitches and two hold the stockinette bottom of foot stitches and I knit with the fifth needle. With this sock, all four needles are stockinette and other than a place marker, which I didn't use, the only way to tell the beginning of the round when I was knitting the foot, was that weird Dutch Heel. It got even weirder when I was knitting the toe decrease rounds. I decreased at the end of needle one and the beginning of needle two, the end of needle three and the beginning of needle four. With no instep pattern stitches to guide me and doing the decreases when I did, I not only had to watch and count needles for the decrease rounds but make sure that I didn't get off track when I saw the Dutch Heel stitches and keep my decreases after and before that.

I'm going to use a place marker on the foot of the second sock. The second sock is usually such a no-brainer anyway because you know (mostly) how the sock's going to turn out and look. You know how long each part will be and on what round you do what. If I make an error on the first sock I can usually catch it fairly quickly because the whole sock's a new adventure and because of this I'm watching more closely. On the second sock, an error is liable to cause massive frogging.

I started with three skeins of this yarn. A little over halfway through the foot I attached the second skein. As the knitting of this first sock went so quickly, I'm going to go ahead and cast on right away for the second sock. I'm also going to start the wool Dr Who Scarf. I'll knit on whichever one is closest to hand or what size needles I feel like dealing with
7mm vs 2.5mm.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: One Under by Graham Hurley (a DI Joe Faraday & DC Paul Winters mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Like most lifelong politicians, Barack Obama has never created, manufactured or marketed any product other than himself. So, quite reasonably, he sees government dependency as the natural order of things." ~ Mark Steyn

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One End to the Other

We now have dies, case gauges and other "essential" equipment along with supplies (bullets, powder & large rifle primers) to reload 30 caliber rifle ammo. With the addition of the 30 calibers to our stable we have a pretty wide spectrum of powder loads available, 2.7 gn to 50+ gn depending on the caliber, bullet and powder. Now if the weather and other schedules would align or cooperate so we can actually get out to the range . . .

Knitting continues apace. I finally have progress photos of the two current socks. The solid color upside down blue sock that kinda looks like a sock is M
r WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. That odd-looking ridged hump on the left in the top photo is a side view of the Dutch Heel. The blue knitting with what looks like a seam down the center is the Dutch Heel as it would be on the bottom of the foot, as the triangle turned portion of a turned heel would be. It was fun to knit.

You end up having only five heel stitches. You keep knitting and purling and turning like a turned heel, losing one stitch for each turned row but you only knit five stitches at a time instead of knitting a longer row each time. It will be interesting to see if Mr WK can feel that on the bottom of his heel. He has tried the sock on since I've finished the heel but only to confirm the fit of all that stockinette. And it does fit.

I usually cast on around 90 stitches but I cut this one down to 85. When I finished the heel (no gusset decreases) I was down to 80 stitches for the foot. It's not tight across his instep like I thought it might be so I'm going to keep going. With 20 rounds complete on the foot I'm almost though the first skein; I bought my usual three so no worries there.

The other sock in progress is my stoplight knitting cotton Spring Flower Sock. I swea
r the colors in this yarn haven't repeated yet. Here's a photo of the cuff, leg and heel; you tell me. I did a regular heel flap and turned heel on this one. I'm kinda worried that I'm going to run out of yarn! Yikes! I've only got these two skeins. Thank goodness I have short feet!

I've only got three of the seven colors I need for the acrylic Dr Who Scarf. I'm waiting (im)patiently for the other four to come back in stock. I'm probably going to go ahead and cast on for the third Dr Who Scarf while I'm waiting.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (a western)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Nothing quite exemplifies government waste quite like the State of the Union address. It's three minutes of actual information surrounded by about 45 minutes of clapping..." ~ Glenn Beck

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Practice Makes Better

The Warrior training continues. Mr WK and I took our IDPA Safety Officer course Saturday morning. It was as we expected. We've been shooting IDPA for a year now. And not any huge surprises. We've a match this Thursday and that's when we'll get the hands-on part of the training. We're each expected to SO several shooters. Not particularly this week but in the future we're also expected to come up with some CoF's and do a new shooter orientation. Also, the club has shot timers at both locations that we can use. We don't have to purchase our own. I think we will, however, eventually.

Knitting-wise, the cuff and leg of Mr WK's Nancy Bush's Gentleman's Plain Sock with Dutch Heel from her book Knitting Vintage Socks are complete. I've started on the Dutch Heel. It's going to be rather interesting to see how it looks compared to the heel flap and heel turn. The pattern doesn't have a very good photo of it.

I've been trying to get some progress photos of things but some one's changed the settings on the camera and I've got to figure out what they did how to put them back. Everything is blurry. Time to dig out the manual.

And I've volunteered / been commissioned to do a third Dr Who Scarf for a close friend of the recipient of the first scarf. The third one will be a walk in the park. Everything just as the first one. I have plenty of leftover yarn and I won't have to do gauge swatches. I may have to get one skein of the tan but I don't think so. The third recipient is a couple of inches taller than the first recipient. Good thing I took great notes.

The yarn for the acrylic Dr Who Scarf has begun to arrive in my mailbox. I decided to go with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn. The only problem is that I'm having to order the colors in dribs and drabs as Hobby Lobby restocks them so I've got more freight cost. Yeah, none of colors were at the local Hobby Lobby. As I'm trading out the cost of the yarn for some one-on-one pistol training (the recipient is an NRA instructor) I'm going to add the shipping cost in with the price of the yarn. I think that's fair.

Anyway, the yarn is soft and the colors seem to be OK. I don't think they're as spot on as the Cascade 220 colors are to be but with limited 100% soft acrylic choices that's what I have. It will be rare for the wool and the acrylic scarves to meet. If they do, I made the best choices for the acrylic one as I could find. And the acrylic recipient isn't into Dr Who as much as the wool recipient.

We're having Fiesta Meatloaf today which is regular meatloaf with chopped onions, celery, green and red bell peppers in there along with extra breadcrumbs to take up the moisture generated by the extra veggies. Mashed poatoes with cream cheese and butter along with brown gravy, and either green beans or corn. Mmmm. Mmmm Mmmm.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (a western)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "'The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,' said Obama. 'People are angry, and they're frustrated, not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years but what's happened over the last eight years.'

Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they're voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts." ~ Mark Steyn

Friday, January 22, 2010

Warrior Training

Amazing what a little knitting time and a very simple sock pattern can accomplish. The leg is almost done—only a half a dozen rounds or so to go then on to the Dutch Heel.

Mr WK and I had our Basic Low-Light Tactics class Thursday night. It was fantastic I'm a better shot in complete darkness with only a brief flash to paint the target than I am with enough light to see the target. I suspect it's because I wasn't visually distracted as I couldn't see anything else. I went into my aggressive progressive shooting stance and got center mass every time. And that's very interesting. When I'm target shooting, I'm pretty darned good because I only need to concentrate on that one target.

Anyway, about the class
—what was glaring apparent was that no matter what kind of flashlight you have or how little or how much it costs, it's a Huge Plus if you have a push-for-momentary-on button either on the end cap or on the side. If you're holding the flashlight and the gun you don't have a third hand to twist the flashlight on and off. You want light when you need it to light up a Bad Guy (BG) or to paint or strobe your way into a room to clear it but when you don't want it you really don't want it. Darkness is your friend as much as it can be your enemy. It hides the BG but sometimes you need it to also cloak your movements.

We learned several ways to hold the flashlight and gun; the Harries technique, the FBI technique, the Chapman technique were the three that we concentrated on. Here's a link that goes into more detail about each one and lists others. There are pros and cons to each technique and you should practice more than one.

Once we each were able to put several rounds downrange at five and seven yards for each technique we built on that. We started each technique with the gun drawn at low ready then moved to drawing from the holster. We practiced moving and shooting in low and no light situations; moving forward and backward; lighting up the BG, firing, dousing your light and moving to the right or left so you aren't were you just were if the BG fires back using your muzzle flash and flashlight as aim points; firing when the BG was back-lit, firing when you were back-lit, firing with a strobe (maybe the BG is also searching for you using the same techniques) and firing when the BG has a flashlight trained on you (felt a bit like the dentist). It was amazing how using your own light, diluted the strobe and BG's light aimed at your eyes. We also had a session where we were in complete darkness and the instructor painted a quick path then we drew and fired.

We also did a simple house clearing in the dark with a good guy in there. We'll do more on that in the Advanced Home Defense class (long gun or hand gun) in February and in the Two Man Tactics / Couples Class in March. Yes, we're planning to take those, too.

Mr WK and I learned a lot. A lot to think about and to practice. At least we can practice this one. The Fighting From a Vehicle class I took at the end of August would be a bit more difficult to pull off, even in the garage.

Saturday morning we take our IDPA Safety Officer class. This one will be the classroom work and test. The hands-on training will be at a future time.

blogging to: a quite house

reading: The Coldest Blood by Jim Kelly (a Phillip Dryden mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Now Dems will have to raise lots of money from a base that hates them to defend themselves to an American people that hates them." ~ IMAO

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning

Sometimes, it just rolls. The cuff on Mr WK Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks is finished. A simple rib with wool on 2.5mm dpns is so easy to knit. Watching Sunday night and Wednesday evening gun shows on TV helps as does a trip into KC along with some random knitting.

The cuff is a few more rounds than what the directions call for. It's supposed to be 4¼" long at 46 rounds. Mine was barely 3½". So I knit a few more rounds until I got to 4" then started on the stockinette leg. As it is I've already knit 23 rounds. Stockinette in the round is so mindless. I've put two place markers at the end of the round so I won't mindlessly move one and knit on forgetting to mark down the round.

Mr WK and I try to take all the firearm classes we can. We tend to concentrate on the self-defense aspects of training. We're really looking forward to a class we're taking Thursday evening—Basic Low-Light Tactics. We both have our fancy Tactical flashlights, extra batteries, our IDPA pistol rigs and lots of ammo. We always take way more ammo than the class specifies. If there's extra time, this instructor keeps teaching and consequently you shoot and learn more.

Our local IDPA group's Match Director has set a date for training more Safety Officers. We've signed up for that one, too. It's Saturday morning. We're going to see what other folks have for shot timers before we take the plunge. We're going to need two and these aren't cheap. It's not on the level of buying a nice firearm but if I'm the SO with the timer I don't want the person shooting to have to worry, "Is my time going to be correct," because I have a crappy timer. We also don't need something that could double as Blackberry or an Iphone.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas (a Lily Pascale mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life I am proud of Massachusetts, as I paraphrase Michelle (My Belle) Obama. For the first time in my life I am proud of Massachusetts." ~ Rush Limbaugh

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All You Zombies Hide Your Faces

Mr WK and I went shooting at the indoor range on Saturday. I nailed down the .380 load I want to use. It was down to either Hodgdon's Tite Group or Hodgdon's HP-38. We loaded up three Tite Group loads and two HP-38 loads.

Tite Group ~ 3.2 | 3.0 | 2.7 gn
HP-38 ~ 3.2 | 2.9

There was little discernible difference in felt recoil between the Tite Group 2.7 gn load and the HP-38 2.9 gn load. In fact the only way you could feel the difference was if you loaded the two rounds in the magazine and shot them one right after the other. If you loaded a couple rounds of the Tite Group 2.7 gn into the magazine, fired them, unhurriedly dropped the empty magazine and put two rounds of the HP-38 2.9 into the magazine, loaded the magazine into the gun and fired those two rounds, they felt the same. Both of these rounds cycled the gun OK. It's nice to have choice like that.

On the way home from the range we calculated how many loaded .380 cartridges would there be in a pound of powder: 2,592! Compare that to our average rifle load which comes out to only 280 rounds. And .380 ammo is not only scare but EXPENSIVE. Mr WK loaded 213 cartridges this morning. Based on what we paid for the powder, primers and bullets each cartridge cost us 15.15¢ compared to 42¢ (Cabela's on-line, Winchester FMJ 95 gn, 100 per box). A box of 100 at $15.15 compared to $41.99. And as I'm using a light plinking load it's probably even cheaper. Man, oh man. I LOVE reloading! And I've got around 500 more pieces of .380 brass coming soon. Now I can shoot my .380 to my heart's content and buh-bye .380 pricing and scarcity.

A few weeks ago Mr WK bought a Smith & Wesson M&P 9L. It's got a 5" barrel and like all the other M&P's it has three interchangeable back straps or palm swells; small medium and large. Mr WK normally uses the medium but we put the small palm swell on it. When shot with it at the range I really, really liked it. It felt good and has about the same amount of kick as my Glock 19 with our handloads. I'd shoot one then the other so finally I loaded up two M&P magazines and two Glock magazines and hung a fresh target. I'd shoot one or two from one, set it down and pick up the other and do the same. I did this through 20 or so shots from each gun. I'm as accurate with either gun at anything 15 yards and less.

Before this test I was thinking that the Glock felt more solid because it felt so familiar. I've been shooting with the G19 for about seven months and with a Glock 26 for eight months before that. So I am very used to how a Glock feels.

The G19 feels rock solid in my hand. I feel like the gun is welded to my hands and there is no break from one shoulder down my arms, across my hand and gun to the other hand, up the other arm to the opposite shoulder. Solid. When I just hold the Glock in my hand it doesn't fill the palm of my hand. When I'm in a shooting stance my hand forms itself to the gun, creating that welded, solid feeling.

The S&W M&P 9L with the small palm swell does fill my palm. I think because of that when I'm in a shooting stance, and my hand tightens on it, the gun has no place to go in my hand. That solid feeling is not there. The M&P because it already fills my palm is more comfortable to just hold loosely. But that's not how I use it.

We didn't bring the other palm swells for the M&P. I'm going to try this same test with the medium and maybe the large palm swell the next time we're at the range and see what if anything changes.

The heel flap is done on my Spring Flower Socks and I'm hoping to have the heel turn done, gusset stitches picked up and the first round of foot stitches complete by the time I hit the sack this evening. It will then go back into the knitting bag for more stoplight knitting.

If I don't get it done, I'll have along Mr WK's new sock, Gentlemen's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. That is crying out for a more! Exiting!! NAME!!! It's very descriptive but . . . I know. I don't do much better sometimes. I'm still on the fifth cuff round and it's an easy rib even if the yarn is a dark slate blue.

I finished Ann Coulter's book, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America the other evening. GREAT BOOK! The first paragraph on my post here explains why it took so long to finish.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Double Tap by Steve Martini (a mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedy’s seat, and it’s not the Democrat’s seat; it’s the people’s seat." ~ Scott Brown

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FO! First FO! of 2010

Mr WK's Twin Rib socks are done. Even the ends have been woven in. The weather has not cooperated in getting a photo of the finished pair. It's been heavily overcast with a drizzly, misty fog for two days now. So just imagine there are two of these.

yarn: Froehlich Wolle Special Blauband, 80% virgin wool & 20% nylon
colors: dark gray & light gray
amount of yarn left: dark gray: 7 gr | light gray: 57 gr
pattern: Twin Rib Socks from Charelene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks
heel: heel flap and heel turn
toe decreases: stitches evenly divided among 4 needles and decreased at the end of needles #1 and 3 and beginning of needles 2 and 4 ~ with seven stitches on each needle, the toe was grafted closed.
needles: 2.5mm rosewood dpns
Based on the cost of the yarn (purchased in December 2005 and the weight of the socks (3.8 oz / 110 gr) these socks cost $14.19.

Next up is another pair for Mr WK. These are in Reynolds Soft Sea Wool in a dark slate blue. The stitch is going to be one I haven't knit on purpose since the first three socks I knit. It's from the Nancy Bush book (duh!) Knitting Vintage Socks. It's the Gentlemen's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. The first socks I ever knit were stockinette and the sock I finished for K was stockinette. I couldn't get much further away from k1, p1 with that pattern. The cuff is long and I just like the look of it after the fussy nature with fancy ribbings on the last couple of socks I did for Mr WK. I'm on the fifth round of the cuff on these.

The leg on the first Spring Flower Socks is complete at 54 rounds and the heel flap is about half finished. Why 54 rounds? I'm 54 now and in June will be 55 so the mate will have 55 leg rounds. It made sense at the time.

The daytime high temperatures have been 7-10°F above freezing for several days now and the snow is melting or rather condensing and disappearing quickly. The piles just seem to shrink rather than melt. The night time lows are only in the low-mid 20's so although we've had some cloudy days (lately quite a few), quite a bit of the 24 hour day is above freezing.

And, Wednesday I was finally able clear off my side of the driveway. Mathilda hasn't been anywhere since Dec 23. I started her on Wednesday to make sure everything was A-OK. Monday I'm going to call my stylist and get my haircut! On Thursday
I returned a sweater and some rinky-dink things I bought for the Christmas Day gift exchange that was canceled because of the snow.

I have almost a month's worth of recycling stuff to get rid of. On Thursday I got rid of the all mixed paper, corrugated cardboard and aluminum cans.
These three have recycle bins in the strip mall several blocks from our house. The plastic & glass recycling is at the Wall Mart across town (maybe five whole miles away!). For some reason I had been stockpiling empty TAP ammo boxes. After I dumped all the mixed paper I made sure to sprinkle all the empty ammo boxes (there were about 15 of different manufacturers and calibers) on top. I also had several empty primer sleeves, too. I live in a very liberal anti-gun town. Just the thought that some anti-gun liberal is going to see those makes me smile. I don't have a lot of mean bones but that one just keeps getting larger.

Unfortunately, I've begun to get a lot of spam, so the
word verification has been turned on again.

blogging to: Memories 89

reading: Double Tap by Steve Martini (a mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process." ~ Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plodding and Planning

Geez! It feels like the second Twin Rib Sock for Mr WK is taking forever. I finally started the toe decreases this evening. Part of it is I am so tired of the tedious second row of the pattern, k1, p1. It's going to be a long awhile (I hope) before I tackle that particular stitch again. On the other hand, the first pattern row, k3, p3 just flies!

On the toe decreases, it's all stockinette and on every other round the stitch counts drops by four. It's only 29 rounds and on the last 10 rounds or so I decrease on every round. I should be able to knock it out with a good hour or so of concentrated knitting Another hour or so should do to weave in all the ends. There are extra because although most of the sock is knit in dark gray, the cast on edge is light gray, I put a light gray band around the leg and foot, the heel flap and heel turn are light gray and the toe is light gray.

Now I need to think about what pattern to use for Mr WK's next sock. I have some dark slate blue yarn so I'll be making a trip through the sock patterns this evening or tomorrow. After those are done, next up is a pair of Monkey Socks for my SIL. I already have the yarn. THEN, it's back to socks for Meeeeee! And I have no clue on pattern or yarn, other than it won't be a cotton or cotton-blend yarn.

And someday, when I finally dig out my side of the driveway, I'll get acrylic yarn for the second Dr Who Scarf which will fit in there . . . somewhere.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Darkness Visible by J M Gregson (a Lambert and Hook mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "If Thomas Jefferson thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see how it is with representation." ~ Rush Limbaugh

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today it was "officially" above freezing for a little while. The first time we've been above freezing probably since Christmas Eve. Tuesday, it's supposed to be even hotter at 34°F. I'm glad we've got some of that globull warming comin' our way. I gave up last week on my side of the driveway after we got another 8" of snow. Mr WK's side is clean and dry and mine? . . . not so much. With an east facing driveway it doesn't do a lot of melting on it's own as it's in deep shade at the warmest part of the day. I'm going to help Mother Nature out a bit on Tuesday and at least shovel the parts I'd already done.

We've not been out shooting much. If Mr WK doesn't need to get out we don't get out. Today we needed to run several errands and it proved to be a quiet day service call wise. We started out at the range in Kansas City. I got the .380 die sets in last week. On an earlier trip to Cabela's, I'd picked up a box of Rainier Ballistics .380 95 grain plated round nose bullets. Over the weekend we loaded up some test rounds using the bullets I bought and Remington 1½ small pistol primers. They were tested at about seven yards. The powders we used were those we already had. The loads were in the mid-range for the bullet and powder. I was testing to make sure each round for each load cycled the gun and for felt recoil.
  • Alliant Bullseye ~ 3.2 gn: felt like commercial ammo ~ accurate
  • Hodgdon Tite Group ~ 3.0 gn: light and all the rounds cycled ~ accurate
  • Hodgdon Universal Clays ~ 3.0 gn: the lightest ~ the 1st two rounds stovepiped and the last three ejected cleanly ~ I don't particularly like Universal as it leaves the guns dirty and me with black freckles ~ accurate
  • Hodgdon HP-38 ~ 3.0 gn: between Tite Group and Universal in felt recoil ~ all the rounds cycled ~ accurate
I liked how the Tite Group rounds felt along with the HP-38 loads the best. The next step is to load up some more test rounds, concentrating on those two powders. .2 or .3 grains down from those loads to see how they feel and if they cycle the gun along with the same loads for these powders I'd already tested for comparison. It's fun figuring out a new load, especially for a caliber I've not reloaded before.

The last time we were out we picked up a second tactical flashlight just like the one in the last post. So now we have two $68 flashlights along with 6 extra batteries. They were cheap, comparatively; $16 for six clamshell batteries. We're now set for our Basic Low-Light Tactics class, flashlight-wise.

As to the knitting, Mr WK's second Twin Rib sock is progressing oh so slowly. If I hadn't forgotten it today, the foot would have been almost done. At least my Spring Flower cotton sock saw some concentrated action today. The leg is now 52 rounds not including a 15 round cuff. I'll try it on at round 60 and see.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes (a mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Political Correctness doesn't change us, it shuts us up." ~ Glenn Beck

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010!

Mr WK's Twin Rib Socks will be the first FO! of 2010 instead of the final FO! of 2009. The cuff, leg and heel are complete. I've done 14 rounds on the foot so things are coming along, although a little slower than I'd like.

We started the New Year off with a BANG! We went to the indoor range in Topeka on New Year's Day and shot pistols. I field tested all my new Sig P238 magazines and they all passed with flying brass and small groups at 5-7 yards. I'd forgotten how much fun that gun is to shoot. I ordered the .380 die sets and related equipment the other day but one piece is back ordered. In addition to the brass I already have, I have 500+ pieces of .380 brass coming from a fellow IDPA'r. Mr WK & I have been researching loads—what kinds of powder and bullet weights. Initially, I'm going to buy projectiles by the 100 instead of bulk (by the 1,000+) until I settle on a weight I and the gun like. As far as powders, I'm going to start with the ones I already have "in stock". The .380 uses a small pistol primer and I do have a "few" of those around.

A few months ago we noticed that the rear sight on our S&W 4006 had cracked. We sent off for a new one from S&W and Mr WK installed it and promptly parked it as we were all about the carbines at that time. He spent quite a bit of time sighting it in. The rear sight is adjustable so it just took some time and ammo. He's very happy with it now. I usually put more rounds downrange that he does but he beat me by quite a bit; 122 vs 144 rounds.

I had a great time shootin' my 9mm Glock 19. Again I got tight groups at various distances. Why, oh why, can't I do that in IDPA? Our first match of the year is on January 14.

Spending this time at the pistol range is making me wonder what's happening to my rifle skills. Ya know? It's always something. They'll be a bit rusty like my pistol skills were; I was still hitting center mass, just a bit more spread out than what it was. It came back with a few hours spent at the range and I image these will, too. I haven't been carrying my carbine around the house lately. I need to start doing that again, to keep building up my forearm muscles, especially now that it's even heavier to tote around.

We bought a tactical flashlight a few months ago; a Streamlight Night Fighter LED tactical flashlight. At $68 the most money I'd EVER paid for a freakin' flashlight! But then this one is "tactical"! The other day we finally mounted it on the front of my carbine with a ring leftover from another project. The ring's cheap and not very good, but it's on there it'll do until I can get a ring that's easier to take on and off. I'm right-handed but left-eye dominant. I shoot pistols right-handed but rifles, left handed. The flashlight is mounted on the right side of the picatinny rail almost all the way to the end. I can hold onto my grip-pod with the fingers of my right hand and use my thumb to press the switch on the back of the flashlight for momentary on. I haven't shot it like that but I think it'll be doable. It makes the rifle look bad-ass! With the flashlight and the red dot, I'm ready. Well, the rifle is ready.

We need to hit the hardware store or the home center and pick up a couple more small LED and regular mag lights. We're hoping to take a basic low light tactics class in mid-January. It would be nice to have a selection. Eventually, we're going to spring for another tactical flashlight.

With all the snow we've had, and and 4-6 more inches due Tuesday night night, all day Wednesday and Thursday morning, it's going to be awhile before we venture out to the outdoor range. We've been told that the road in and the main road has been plowed, but we don't have a big truck or an SUV
—we have a ubiquitous gray Buick Century.

On the bright side, the indoor range in Topeka got in some .308 frangible cartridges and they worked a treat. Now, the range owner's going to locate some other rifle cartridges, such as 30-06. He already stocks .223/5.56. Using a 25 yard, 300 yard equivalent target should at least keep us in the ball park for those longer shots when we can't get out to the outdoor range.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Wages of Sin by J M Gregson (a Chief Inspector Peach mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "One of the principal characteristics of the elite left — Arianna Huffington, Barbra Streisand, John Kerry — is that they need the private jets and big gas-guzzlers but you can get by fine riding the bus." ~ Mark Steyn