Showing posts from December, 2011

Three news stories

There are three news stories I am following with particular interest because they seem to me the most important of the present day: The debt crisis in the Western democracies Social change in China The changing Mideast political situation, as regards mosque and state These stories are interrelated, in some interesting ways. If the Western economies crumble it will affect the arising Chinese middle class. It will change the demand for oil, impacting the funding source for much of Islamism. Other scenarios are possible. A Communist crackdown in China would disrupt China's economic development and China's role in world commerce, with results felt everywhere.  Contrariwise, the Chinese people might finally get fed up enough with their Communist officials to throw the rascals out. Individual Chinese citizens do not have much political power, but there are a great many of them. An Islamist hegemony in the Mideast would change many things, possibly including who is a favor

New .22 pocket revolver from Ruger

See it here: Some  people on a discussion board I visit are asking what this little gun is good for, and in Internet echo chamber fashion, many people are opining it isn't good for much, because of its small caliber. I disagree. A DA snubnose in .22LR is an excellent thing to have, in some circumstances. I haven't shot the new Ruger yet, but have for many years owned another brand of .22 snub, so I feel I can comment.  If you carry a .38 snub you can get in a lot of good practice with a .22 version. It is possible to learn to shoot a snubnose rather well, but it takes a lot of practice. The .22 makes practice cheaper because the ammo costs so much less, and less fatiguing because of the lesser blast and recoil.  There are some people who cannot stand much recoil. This includes the elderly and arthritic, and also hale and hearty youngsters who have injured hands or wrists. Martial artists, for example, often injure

The "Buck and Roy" rifle: Roy Rogers, meet Buck Rogers

The lever action .30-30 is one of the handiest and most useful light rifles ever invented. I now count five manufacturers offering versions of this old weapon and I see it is as popular as ever among hunters of medium-big game. The great virtue of the .30-30 is its fast handling. It is well balanced and points swiftly and naturally, the mechanism is  quick and simple to operate, and the cartridge does not have so much recoil that it rocks you back on your heels. The little rifle's chief drawback is the antique, cowboy-style sighting arrangement. The factory sights are all right for backup but they don't give you all the accuracy the rifle has in it. The adjustments are vague and approximate and the sight picture is quaint. The modern sight that best suits the .30-30, in typical uses, is the red dot. It improves on the rifle's best trait by making the weapon even faster to put on target. To use the dot sight, you look downrange with both eyes focused on the target, j

Federal Cartridge's Handy Ballistics Calculator

***UPDATE (2014)*** The link below for 2013 still points to the interactive catalog/calculator, but here is something different. Federal now also offers a general purpose ballistic calculator. You can use it to check up on the behavior of factory cartridges or plug in the values for your own handloads. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***UPDATE (2013)*** The app has moved from its former location on the web. You may now download the current version here: It is still free and still runs on just Windows. If it goes missing again, try a web search for Federal Interactive Ballistics Catalog. My review from 2011: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This application for the PC has been around for years.