monday search term safari XCV.

22 vs 25 pistol

Neither caliber is a powerhouse, but both fulfill the first requirement of a gunfight: bring a gun.  Also, nobody wants to get shot with anything, and both calibers have put plenty of people into the ground.

The .22 is cheaper to shoot and has a bit more zip in the warmer loads, but the .25 has the advantages of more reliable centerfire ignition, universally jacketed bullets, and a rimless design that’s less troublesome in pistol magazines.  For a plinker, I’d go with the .22 every time.  For a pocket carry gun, I’d go with the .25, but only if I couldn’t get my hands on a .32 or .380 instead.

how to make a sci fi rifle prop

There are three approaches to Skiffy movie gun props.  You can either take an existing design that’s sufficiently futuristic-looking (Battlestar Galactica’s Beretta Storms and FN Five-Sevens), modify an existing design to make it look more futuristic (Escape from New York featured M-16s with their handguards removed), or have your prop master rig something new and exciting with a lot of resin shells and metal shrouds (Aliens’ M-41A pulse rifle.)

unlined composition notebooks

Those are kind of rare.  Most people can’t write well on unlined paper, and I’d wager a guess that the majority of unlined comp books sold every year are used for drawings and sketches, not writing.

logitech wave

Have one; like it.  Here’s a review I wrote on  It gives most of the benefits of an ergo-type ‘board without forcing the user to get used to a split layout.  It’s not my main keyboard these days, but it’s stil chugging along on one of the spare PCs.

hunting dog armour

A better approach than cladding Fido in Class IV kevlar with ballistic trauma plates might be to follow common gun safety rules and be sure of your target and what’s behind it before you pull the trigger.

.45 acp blanks for movie prop thompson

From what I’ve heard, prop masters generally convert .45-caliber weapons to 9mm, because the blanks in the smaller caliber feed and function much better.

what are collective rights?

Something that exists only in myth and legend.  There’s no right you gain by joining a mob, no matter how large the mob, how shiny their badges, or how many guns they have.  No group has more rights than those of its individual members.  The term “collective right” is only ever used when the person using it doesn’t like the right in question, and wants to make it subject to majority vote.

ruger lcp c/o beretta tomcat

I like the Tomcat a lot, and I’ve owned three of them over the years.  The Ruger LCP is superior to the Beretta in every respect.  It’s lighter, flatter, comes in a bigger caliber, and is easier to shoot despite the added bark.  For the particular niche (fuss-free pocket carry or backup use), the LCP is better suited.

calvin stickers prayer

All those stickers with Calvin praying before a cross?  They’re all intellectual property theft.  Bill Watterson never licensed Calvin for any merchandise.

Ask yourself if stealing someone else’s intellectual property is really the best way to advertise your faith.  (Never mind that you’re appropriating Calvin for a viewpoint/ideology/position that was never even hinted at in the comics.)

installing flagpole into bedrock

You’d have to drill holes into the bedrock to fit that flagpole, which is a lot of work (and expensive if you have someone else do it for you.)  Castle Frostbite sits on a very large granite slab that’s very thinly covered with soil in a few spots, and when the fence people came out to give me a quote for the installation of a permanent fence solid enough to keep in the dogs…well, let’s just say that the required drilling in granite would be in the “decent new motorcycle” price class.

lamy studio gold nib

My violet Studio has a 14k nib, and it’s one of the smoothest nibs I’ve ever used.  If they’re all like that, upgrading to one of the gold-nibbed Studios is well worth the money.


Monday, glorious Monday! Take a deep breath, wherever you are, and relish the scent of bad coffee and despair.  Now back to work with you! There’s a lot of feet-dragging and goofing off to do before 5pm, you know.


55 thoughts on “monday search term safari XCV.

  1. Tarb says:

    Marko, theoretically the “armour for hunting dogs” might refer to the chest plates and collars I’ve seen people put on pig-dogs here in Australia to stop them being ripped up by the boars. Of course, the idea of full plate field armour for your poodles does seem more fun. Or Kevlar and ceramic if you are thinking that SWAT may be paying you a visit, I guess.

  2. Rusty P Bucket says:

    Pardon me for being dense, young fella…but what is a collective right? OBviously you don’t agree with them but you didn’t answer the question What is this mythical beast you are so disgusted with?

    • Kristopher says:

      I’ll field this …

      When the victim-disarmament crowd talks about the second amendment of the Bill of Rights, they claim that the first clause means the right is a “collective right” … that it only refers to the right of that collective called “the state” to field a militia, and that “the people” is meant in the societal sense, and that “the people” does not mean us individuals.

      Naturally, only the victim-disarmament supporters would be allowed to decide what this collective “wants”.

    • Kristopher says:

      Wording error, strike the last sentence and replace with:

      Naturally, only elected officials would be allowed to decide what this collective “the people” wants.

    • Rick R. says:

      Just lik ethe oft used phase “states rights”.

      Staes don’t have rights. They have powers and/or authorities.

      They derive those powers and authorities from the people, who have rights superior to the power and authoirty of the government. Among those superior rights is teh right to dissolve government and call for a “Re-Do”, as in 1776.

      • Al Terego says:

        Actually, “collective rights”, as an ephemeral non-entity, is not at all like the very real concept of “states’ rights”.

        While the former is a blanket attempt to remove the will of individuals from the decision-making process, the latter is a very specific (and often very ignored) separation -and superiority- of the Constitutional powers of localized government from a centralized one.

        And among *those* superior rights is the right to cast off an oppressive government and call for a re-do…as in 1861. It’s an unsettled premise that is quite likely to come to the fore in one incarnation or another in the very near future.


        • Rick R. says:


          The states (and the federal government) have “powers” and “authority.”

          The people have “rights” AND “powers”

          US Constitution and Bill of Rights — RTFM.

          The most obvious examples are the language of the 9th Amendment (reserving certain unenumerated RIGHTS to the PEOPLE), versus the 10th Amendment, which reserves all undelegated POWERS to the STATES and the PEOPLE.

          The ONLY time “right” is used in the Constitution (including amendments) to refer to ANYTHING other than “the people”, is when referring to the House of Representatives selecting the President and Vice President “when the right to choose” (i.e., the Electoral College fails to get a clear winner) devolves upon them.

          With that SOLE exception, every authority for government (or inidivdual government officials, such as the President) is referred to as a “power” or “authority”.

        • Al Terego says:

          whaaaat a dork.

          (see, hitsa Southern thang…oh, never mind.)

        • Rick R. says:

          Born and raised in SE Virginia.

          Father’s family is from Texas — the family was originally from Virginia (the Ratcliffe branch showed up in the early 1600’s), but left after the Revolution and headed to Louisiana. (Loyalists during the war — and they got to Lousiana by going OVER the Appalacians and then south, rather than via British Florida. I still haven’t figured out why British Loyalists would go to French Louisiana.)

          Family left Louisiana DURING the Civil War (literally loading the boat while Union troops were burning the outbuildings at the other end of the property. Seems they didn’t appreciate the little import-export trade the family ran, mostly at night) for Brazil, becoming Confederados. Interestingly enough, they declared all the family slaves to be manumitted, and THEN asked for volunteers to go to Brazil. Some took them up on their offer. . . and stayed on in Brazil as freedmen.

          Once the head of the family who decided on the move to Brazil died many years later, his sons returned to the United States via Texas. Seems the old man refused to live under “Yankee” rule again, but his kids didn’t want to become Portugese, like the Confederados who remained did.

          “Stubborn” is a family trait. And I do grok the Late Unpleasantness.

          But I’ll slap my Southern heritage challenge coin on the table, tap my foot to the fiddle, and slap back some corn liquor with the best of them. (However, you can keep the chittlins and fried okra for yourself — I’ll grab a second helping of jowl bacon or Tex-Mex chili instead.)

          I’ll say it again — PEOPLE have “rights”, states have “powers” and “authorities”.

        • Windy Wilson says:

          Collective rights are those rights that can be abrogated by a vote of the majority. In the 20th century those rights included the right to be considered as, and treated like, a human being, and not some superfluous barnyard animal.

        • Al Terego says:

          I’ll say it again…whaaaat a (southern-fried) dork.

  3. Al T. says:

    One other advantage for the .25 – the FMJ bullets give the .25 more penetration. Back in our TFL days, I posted a test I did between the two.

  4. The Other Jay says:

    The 9mm conversion information just cleared up one thing for me that had been bugging me about “The Pacific”.

    There are several scenes in which M1928A1 and M1A1 variants are shown being fired in both manageable short bursts and in longer bursts which would be flatly unmanageable by a person of that stature.

    In both cases, the sound of the report is off from a .45 and the discharged cartridge cases didn’t look large enough.

    Yes. I do need to get a life. Thank you.

    • Kristopher says:

      Yep … 9mm blanks in a Thompson would be like shooting an Airsoft.

      • Rick R. says:

        The problem with blanks in pistols is when you use them in a pistol where the ejection port isn’t long enough to accomodate the fired case — because the crimped nose opens up like a shotgun blank, the round is LONGER once fired. Since semiauto pistol caliber blanks (being generally straight sided cases without a discernable shoulder, unlike rifle blanks) are sized so that their loaded profile approximates the live round, the fired brass ends up being longer than live rounds of that caliber.

        In many cases (and the GI M1911 is one), the factory ejection port simply isn;t big enough to reliably accomodate this extra length on ejection. (SMGs and rifles rarely have this problem, as they usually have PLENTY of room, or, such as the 5.56mm, have necked cases so you can use “short neck” blanks that end up no longer than loaded ball once fired.)

        Luckily, Hollywood found out that the 9mm Colt M1911s have an ejection port that is still sized for .45ACP. PLENTY of room for the 9x19mm blanks. Which is why 9x19mm Colt 1911s were (are?) commonly used in place of .45ACP 1911s — like Magnum’s (Tom Selleck) carry gun in “Magnum, P.I.”.

        Compared to 9x19mm blanks, shooting .45ACP blanks ain’t real tough, either. Recoil = kinetic energy of all the crap leaving the barrel divided by the mass of the gun, with correction factors for force vectors (straight line stocks don’t tend to climb as much, muzzle brakes tend to vector some of the gas to the sides to reduce some of the recoil, etc.)

        Blanks just don’t kick as hard.

        And Tommy guns seem to do just fine with .45ACP blanks. The only changes I’ve ever noticed among the scores of guys doing GI with a Thompson in WWII reenacting are internally threading the barrel to take a restrictor (blank adaptor).

        Modifications to a 1911 are more extensive — you spend about $150, and basically an entire slide and barrel is modified for blank only use. (Not being an unlocked bloawback, there’s work a 1911 needs that a SMG doesn’t. they also have to bugger up the locking system so it’s an unlocked blowback gun, and therefor unsafe to fire with live ammo again.)

        Of course, you can use a SECOND slide and barrel for blank adapting (like the cheap SARCO sets), and keep the original top end to live fire your 1911.

    • perlhaqr says:

      All the blank guns I’ve dealt with in the movie industry have actually used an 8mm blank. And they’re unreliable as hell, too. Very annoying.

      • Rick R. says:

        The 8mm PAK (the blank only round these props fire) blank guns are nice if you can find a gun that is close enough to the real thing for film work. For one, they aren’t “guns”. (I use an 8mm blank only 1911 in reenacting for that reason.) For another, they’re much cheaper (but they tend to break pretty quickly).

        When brand new, the typical 8mm guns are reasonably accurate, although they often have annoying foibles (like DA/SA pistols that are actually SA only, safeties that don’t actually work, and weakier magazine catch springs that can result in the magzine falling out because a butterfly farted on your release button.

        The 9mm PAK (just a slightly larger version of the 8mm PAK cartridge) guns seem to be better made in general.

        Worse — the 8mm and 9mm PAK blanks cost MORE than 9x19mm and .45ACP blanks from reputable manufacturers. Last time I bought 8mm PAK blanks (I go through a box every few years), they came out as $0.50/round plus shipping. Last time I priced high quality 9x19mm blanks, they were about $0.37/round shipped.

        Heck, depending on your chamber, you can often times reliably use 7.62x25mm Tok blanks in a 9x19mm SMG (Sten guys often times buy the Chinese 7.62mm Tokarev Sten barrels, and some guys even have new barrels made with Tokarev chambers) — I bought a couple thousand of them a few years ago at a nickle a round. A $1.50 magazine is a lot more fun than a $15 magazine. . .

  5. […] 17, 2010 by Reese Leave a Comment Marko was asked: what are collective […]

  6. Dave says:

    Marko, just thought I’d pass this one along:

    One of your articles, properly attributed.

    (The title is slightly mangled, but you can’t win ’em all.)

  7. MarkHB says:

    Hm. Sci-fi movie props and .45ACP blanks, you say?

    Someone’s looking to build a Pulse Rifle, I’d wager.

  8. Wraith says:

    “Ask yourself if stealing someone else’s intellectual property is really the best way to advertise your faith.”

    What was that thing about “Thou Shalt Not Steal?” I know I’ve read it somewhere…

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

    • joe says:

      There are also a number of decidedly non-Christian themed stickers out there that are equally offensive to Bill Watterson’s copyright (think of a naughty boy peeing on a Ford/GM/Dodge/etc. logo).

      To play a little devil’s advocacy here, I wonder how many folks are aware of Mr. Watterson’s wishes regarding the commercialization of his art? I would venture to say that most people would see the stickers and naturally assume that they are properly licensed (if they even thought about it at all) and would never dream that thieves would so blatantly steal. I would be willing to give the buyers a pass on this one. The manufacturers, on the other hand, should be sued straight.

      • Marko Kloos says:

        Yeah, the “Calvin peeing on the Ford/Chevy/Dodge logo” stickers piss me off just as much.

        • MarkHB says:

          It’s a pretty good litmus test as to whether or not a person creates stuff for a living. Professional creatives tend to see IP theft as a bad thing, as opposed to General Consumers who generally speaking don’t see what the fuss is about.

          Human nature, really.

        • joe says:

          Just to clarify a little: I’m not sure I’m willing to use this particular case as such a litmus test. I think it’s probable that, in this case, most folks simply aren’t aware of the author’s wishes and assume that the sellers have his permission. After all, I wasn’t aware of Mr. Watterson’s position until I read a blurb in one of his C&H books, long after I had been a fan of his work.

          That being said, your point is still quite valid. I have found a large number of people who have no problem pirating software/music/movies/etc. and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t. I tried to explain to their blank stares that, having worked with software in the past, I have a great respect for the amount of effort that goes into such pursuits.

        • MarkHB says:

          Ah, I wasn’t being overly particular of the abuse of the Widdling Calvin Image, but indifference to intellectual property as a right is a good indicator of whether a person is a creator or a consumer.

          There have been times when some of my stuff’s been used without permission and I’ve been absolutely fine with it – someone put together a fake trailer for an Honor Harrington movie, and used sequences I’d generated for the upcoming game. I didn’t mind a bit, and neither did the people who’d commissioned the artwork because it was all in fun.

          That said, there’s a big-ass difference between fanboi funning, and taking one’s established material and bending it to make political and/or religious statements which may or may not be anything the creative in question supports their own selves. That’s unpleasant behaviour in ways that ramify far beyond the simple illegality of it.

        • og says:

          Those stickers are most humorous when they proudly proclaim the owners disdain for the “other” brand, while the vehicle they are driving is a rusted out hooptie.

        • Windy Wilson says:

          The weeing Calvin stickers bother me in another way; by depicting something that if done in person would result in criminal charges, they encourage a coarsening of what used to be called polite society.

          I think it was Gary Larson who said that for all his lampooning of lawyers, they were the only ones who would ask him for permission to copy something he had created.

  9. Jared says:

    The up side of trying to anchor something in granite is that you don’t need near as big a hole as you might otherwise. Get a hammer drill, a carbide bit, some epoxy anchors, and get creative.

  10. square.wave says:

    The M-41A pulse rifle has to go down as one of the sweetest fictional weapons in sci-fi movie history. IIRC, it is based on a Thompson M1, mated to a chopped down Remington 870 wearing SPAS-12 furniture as the underslung grenade launcher. The flame throwers were built on M-16s, and the Smart Gun was a MG42 machine gun with motorcycle handlebar, mounted to a steadicam. All wonderful work, even if my geekiness forces me to notice the ejecting cases from these “caseless” weapons.

    I think the HK VP70 made an appearance in that movie too. I always thought it was a cool looking pistol, though I’ve heard the DAO trigger is rather wanting.

    • Tam says:

      I always thought it was a cool looking pistol, though I’ve heard the DAO trigger is rather wanting.

      That’s being gentle.

      The Hi-Point & Koch has maybe the worst DA pull this side of a Nagant revolver. You could use a piano for a trigger weight.

  11. Phil Kraemer says:

    Major Caudill has struck again at:

    I left a comment giving attribution to you, but thought to cross comment here as well.


    • Kristopher says:

      Looks like he hasn’t allowed your comment to appear.

      Guy’s a lawyer. Needs an education in copyright law.

      • MarkHB says:

        And lookit that, the only words that are different from the original are the author’s name, and the excision of the word “gay”.

        • Al Terego says:

          PC plagiarist strikes again…

        • MarkHB says:

          You’re welcome to your opinion, but I have a dimmer view of the average person.

        • Al Terego says:

          “I have a dimmer view…”

          I’ve noticed.

        • MarkHB says:

          On balance, I honestly don’t give a shit if the removal of the word “gay” is raging homophobia or witless compliance with the Political Affiliation of Choice. It’s immaterial. The effect is still to remove the support of gay tolerance from Marko’s essay. Pretty much stealing it twice when you throw in the attribution to a fictional person (who you can probably also bet was going to “reveal” themselves as Major Caudill at one point).

          Either way, they’re thieving, defrauding fucktards who only support self-defence for *some* people. Can’t really put it much plainer than that.

        • Al Terego says:

          “…they’re thieving, defrauding fucktards (fact) who only support self-defence for *some* people (conjecture).

          You know Marko and feel certain that his wording was intended as “support of gay tolerance”; I *know* him well enough to believe it was intended to illustrate or imply that weak and/or vulnerable subgroups would/should gain extraordinary benefit from carrying a firearm.

          Others who don’t know him at all, and for that matter believe he is some mysterious and articulate retired military officer, may think that qualifier was an unnecessary and potentially insulting diminutive description of people who are like other people but for their sexual inclination, and made the edit to avoid the appearance of discrimination. Or…maybe you are right, and the “editor” thinks that sissy gays don’t measure up to their own warped sense of the gun culture, or let alone are representative of some parallel world of military masculinity.

          Point is, they don’t know Marko’s motivations, and you don’t know theirs. What we do know is that no one has the right to alter or subvert his property, and you don’t have the right to project your own reverse homophobia to assess and assign motive and intent of people you don’t know.

        • MarkHB says:

          “and you don’t have the right to project your own reverse homophobia to assess and assign motive and intent of people you don’t know.”

          Out of curiosity, where does it say that?

        • Al Terego says:

          “where does it say that?”

          Well, right there in my comment…duh!

          Srsly, though, that would be rule 101 from the unwritten handbook of civilized human behavior…did you not get your uncopy?

          It is further covered under the “live and let live” and “don’t be a smarmy, pretentious, belittling prick” clauses of the libertarian credo.

        • MarkHB says:

          When provision for self-defence is removed on the basis of sexual inclination, and your definition of civilised behaviour includes shutting up about it, then you are, I respectfully submit, not civilised.

        • Al Terego says:

          And therein lies the crux…some believe that unilaterally usurping the free will and independence of others, for their own good of course since they can’t be trusted to deal with making personal decisions and taking responsibility for themselves, and setting themselves up heroic defenders of these poor defenseless lessers against those who they assert would victimize and take advantage of them, is the definition of civilization.

          Others believe it signals the end of it.

  12. Burt Gummer says:

    If your house is on a slab of granite, then you won’t need to worry about graboids.

  13. The Other Jay says:


    On the “Soldiers + Spare Time + Unusual Stuff + A Good Excuse = The Mother of All Inventions” front….

    A Marine friend of mine relays the following solution to your “fence posts into granite” problem…

    Marine Mike notes that your needs can be satisfied with 20′ of 4″ steel pipe, a level, sandbags, wood blocks, and a number of RPG-7s matching the number of post-holes required. A front-end loader is also an optional good idea.

    MM instructs to:
    1) place the wood blocks at the edge of the desired hole location;
    2) set the pipe to vertical, resting the bottom on the blocks – at least 8″ off the ground – using either a frame or the bucket of the front-end loader to steady.
    3) pack the bottom of the blocks/pipe with sandbags;
    4) place the RPG vertically aimed down the pipe;
    5) trigger the RPG;
    6) remove pipe, sandbags, loose sand, and wood splinters
    7) saw off the mangled bottom of the pipe, fill more sandbags, get more wood, and repeat.
    8) Enjoy your 2-3″ diameter, 3-5′ deep postholes – after they cool down from “plasma” temperatures.

    Note: ToJ does NOT (ever) recommend taking Marine Mike’s advice on novel approaches to problems, but his “Success v. Hospitalization” rate is unbelievably good.

  14. john b says:

    I have a game I play.
    Spot as many ‘Calvin’ stickers as I can.
    Send 5 cents per sticker I spot into Watterson’s agent.

    Armor for dogs, I never thought of that, since bear hunting with dogs is illegal anymore.
    Well I think of an Armored Vest wearing poodle every time Tam calls an AR15 a “poodle shooter” though I don’t think She, -or Col. Jeff Cooper- meant Standard Poodles.

    I never got into the .22 vs. .25 argument regarding which is more effective. A brick of 500 .22 goes for the same price as 50 .25. Which usually went for the same price as 50 .45ACP

    I carry a 22 for plinking purposes….

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