Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't tell anyone...

...but I kinda want a gun in that silly .22TCM cartridge. Not badly enough to buy an RIA, though, which leaves me in something of a bind.

Does anyone make a Commander-length .22TCM barrel with a Para ramp, I wonder?
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They were right and I was wrong.

When I started getting back into photography and bought DSLRs to replace the hodgepodge of miscellaneous cameras I'd used for picture-taking, I stuck with a small P&S digicam over the advice of friends and commenters.

"Tam," they'd say, "It's got such a tiny sensor and the lens is kinda 'meh' on those cheap pocket point-and-shoots."

To which I'd invariably respond "But Megapixels! And 12x zoom! And bells'n'whistles! Look, built-in fish-eye effect!" And truly, by the numbers, that little Coolpix S6500 wasn't a bad camera, but... I'd get into pictures on the big screen and wind up disappointed all too often. Snapshots? Sure, it takes great snapshots.

There's a class of cameras, possibly not long for this world, exemplified by the Canon PowerShot G-series and the extremely similar Nikon Coolpix P-series, that Nikon described as "the perfect complement to an advanced photographer’s D-SLR" but was perhaps more realistically summed up in this group test at Digital Photography Review:
"It wasn't so long ago that DSLRs were out of financial reach for most enthusiast photographers. Back before DSLRs fell below the magic sub-$1000 mark, the only way for most people to 'go digital' was to invest in a high-quality compact, offering SLR-like control, but without the expensive extras - the large sensor and interchangeable lens mount.

These days, of course, DSLRs are far more attainable than they once were, making high-end compacts less of a 'next best thing' purchase than in the past, and more of a luxury. In fact, the high end compact sector is sometimes referred to as the 'luxury' compact market...
"
Now, half-a-grand high end compact cameras aren't really a thing that exists for me. Then again, neither are $1000 DSLRs. But thanks to the Bigger, Better, Faster, More! world of digital photography, the top-of-the-line 2010-model five-hundred buck "luxury compact camera" is available used for less than a quarter of that price today.

I picked up a used Nikon Coolpix P7000 from KEH for very reasonable money and, while it's not the cigarette-pack size of the little S6500, it's still only about the size of my cell phone in its rubber case. Not really shirt-pocket sized, more coat-pocket sized; it's still easy enough to dangle from a wrist strap or toss in the "document pocket" of my gun burkha.

And it's got the stuff I wanted in a camera: It'll shoot RAW, it has full manual control with neatly laid-out dials, there's an optical viewfinder for composing when it's too bright to use the screen (or for when I just want to use an optical viewfinder because it's what I'm used to) and it'll even shoot in monochrome with your choice of B&W filter effects...

And the pictures...



Speaking of Nikons... But this is a matter for another post.

Automotif LXXIII...


Jaguar XK convertible, seen parked up on 54th near College Avenue.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Automotif LXXII...

1987 or '88 BMW 535is spotted in Broad Ripple yesterday. Tasty...


See the guy in the third picture? See the camera in his hand? He's 'point shooting', playing street photographer like some hipster. (Not that I've ever tried such a thing...)

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Spring!

After a gorgeous sunny Sunday at the range, I spent a shivering Monday doing some work: Chronographing three loads through a test gun and then five five-shot groups from each at 25 yards. The gun managed several groups in the 2.5"-3.25" range which, considering the kind of gun it is, kinda surprised me. The whole time, I was watching the skies darken to the northwest.
As I left, it was starting to sleet. By the time I got out to Premier Arms, it was steady rattle of tiny ice pellets mixed with snowflakes, like Mother Nature's middle finger on the first day of spring.
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Sign

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2

E + D

Last week we took advantage of Bobbi working the funky swing shift to go get lunch at Eat + Drink, the cocktail lounge adjacent to that SoBro brunch legend, Taste (and run by the same people), which is now open for lunch on weekdays.

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2
Looking north from the patio of Taste, E+D is next door, with the classic neon of the Red Key Tavern beyond.
I had fried pickles for an appetizer and a charcuterie plate for lunch. It came with pickles and pickled eggs. Bobbi had an appetizer of deviled eggs with wasabi tobiko roe on them ("Yo, dawg, I heard you like eggs, so I put eggs on your eggs") and for her meal...

...a delicious-looking calamari po boy. Everything I sampled was good, although the pickles were kinda "meh"; it takes a pretty tart and vinegary pickle to hold up to the whole battered-'n'-fried thing, and these just weren't. I wanna try that po boy, though; I filched some of the calamari and just looking at that picture reminds me of how good it was and makes me hungry.

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "It bothers me because the existence of a Gentoo penguin implies there was a Gen One penguin, and you never see them."

Me: "They were recalled for safety reasons."

RX: "They tended to explode?"

Me: "No, they were twelve feet tall with razor-edged beaks and cranky dispositions."

RX: "That explains why expeditions to the South Pole used to be so dangerous."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Didn't think about that, did ya?

Ah, the glamorous life of getting paid to shoot guns!

When it's 37 degrees outside and you're doing chrono work and trying to squeeze in enough time to shoot 25-yard benched groups, racing the looming clouds that are already starting to spit sleet, and the gun isn't a bad one, per se, but certainly not one you'd buy for yourself to shoot for fun...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Do you know what this is?"

RX: "A piece of wood from a ship?"

Me: "From the HMS Victory."

RX: "That's probably red lead paint."

Me: "I won't lick it, I promise. But... This piece of wood was at Trafalgar! And... And! I have a piece of wood downstairs from the USS Constitution..."

RX: "You keep them apart so they won't explode?"

Automotif LXXI...

Jaguar XJL

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Huck

Contax TVS, Kodak 400TX
Every now and again a roll of more-or-less random shots from function-checking a new old camera turns up something cool. Often it seems to involve Bobbi's orange stripey tomcat.

Overheard in the Office...

So, a kid brought a "loaded" "gun" to school in Manhattan...
RX: "It looks like it's in Barney Fife mode."

Me: "What, just one cartridge?"

RX: "Yeah. I don't even know where you'd find a round of... what is that? .32 Short?..."

Me: "Uh, upstairs."

RX: "I was going to say '...on Manhattan.'"

Ghostrider


Imagine walking into the Burbank offices of the Lockheed corporation in 1953, where the engineers were hard at work on a new transport plane, and telling them that the plane they were drawing up would still be in heavy use more than sixty years later.

Mind you, some of the guys in the room were alive when the Wright Brothers first flew. The entirety of manned powered flight had happened within their lifetime, and you are telling them that the cargo plane they were designing would be used as a laser-armed gunship in the world of 2019. (Well, you'd have to say "energy ray-armed", because the word "laser" wouldn't even be coined for another half dozen years.) In fact, it would not just still be in heavy use, it would still be being built, which would have sounded as fantastical to them as someone still making Wright Flyers in '53.

(H/T to Weaponsman.)
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Automotif LXX...

Benz G-Wagen out on a good day for it.
If a Range Rover is a tweed jacket, a Geländewagen is a leather trench coat.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #120...

sig sauer p320
SIG P320

Seen in SoBro...

Astronaut Crosswalk
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The Safety Dance

So, the table we got at the gun show butted up against several others that were unused because their usual tenant, a medical supplies vendor, had gotten hurt in a wreck and couldn't make the show. The morning of the second day, we spread out a little, moving some holsters over to the empty table behind us to keep that end of the aisle from looking deserted.

Among the stuff I had over there was a Safariland Glock 17/22/31 paddle holster, on the diagram below in position "H":
Mike and I were sitting in the chairs marked "M" and "T", facing in the directions indicated. Mike was talking to someone on his end of the table when I hear a voice behind me asking "What's this holster fit? Glock?"

I glanced over my shoulder and nodded at the person asking the question, a uniformed police officer; not an IMPD guy, some other local department. "Yep, it's for full-size Glocks."

He nodded thoughtfully while turning it over in his hands, "How much?"

"I dunno... Twenty bucks sound cool?"

He mulled that over for a second as I turned away to see what was going on down Mike's way when, out of the corner of my eye, I see the cop unholster his sidearm. I got a real good look at the muzzle in my peripheral vision, and also took extremely good note of the fact that, even if his lack of muzzle discipline was appalling, at least his trigger finger was in register against the frame. Thank heavens.

I stood up in as casual and non-startling a manner as possible as he stuffed the gun into the holster, sliding his off-hand down until it was cradling the muzzle end of the Safariland rig. Then he nodded, pulled his heater out and stuffed it back into his duty rig and reached for his wallet.

I would venture that a solid plurality, if not a majority, of negligent discharges at gun shows happen when some special snowflake decides they have to test the fit of their loaded sidearm in a holster. If such had happened here, I wouldn't have been able to tell y'all about it because they'd have been cleaning my brains off the next row over and hopefully the .40 slug wouldn't have gone through anybody else on its way to embedding itself in the back wall of the corn dog stand three aisles away.

I don't want the last fleeting thought going through my mind to have been "Boy, you sure are the only one qualified enough..."

Folks, I don't care if you flout the show rules and don't unload your concealed carry piece and have it zip tied at the door; that's none of my business. But if you're gonna carry a loaded gat around the show, it needs to stay in the $&#@^$ing holster, &^%^ it!

Don't pull it out to show your friends, and don't give me that "I had to pull it out to check the holster fit!" because we're in a giant room where there are hundreds of guns for sale just like yours, and we can use one of them instead.

Stop touching it. And especially stop touching it while it's pointed at my head.