Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

gun control

Gun control is hitting your target. There is no simpler, more concise way to say it. Those who pass laws, or those who refuse to repeal laws restricting possession and use of self-defense weapons are either not thinking clearly or have evil intent. Laws against killing people do not stop knife attacks, bomb attacks, acid attacks, brutality against women, baseball bat attacks, gang violence against innocents, or any other violent crimes. Restraining orders are flimsy pieces of paper. Violent criminals are stopped by superior force. Period. Armed citizens prevent violence thousands of times every year. Most of the times without firing a shot. In a state as liberal towards personal freedoms and individual liberty as Montana, one as rich in […]

bullseye

As I mentioned last week, I ordered in a good training rifle. The Weihrauch HW77K arrived yesterday. It is even better in-the-flesh than it was in theory. The heft is that of a real adult rifle, in fact more weight than a whole lot of hunting and defense rifles. I will call it just about right. Reading the specs of – Overall Length 39.7″, Barrel Length 14.6″, Weight 8.7 lbs – is not quite the same as hefting and shooting it. HW77K feels comfortably solid, well-built, and well balanced. And shoot it does. I was initially disappointed it did not have the standard 10-meter peep front and rear that makes 3 concentric circles out of the rear sight, front sight […]

practice rifle

Weihrauch HW77K I got around to picking up a GREAT training tool, not to mention something fun to do when weather makes outdoor shooting less fun. BONUS: good pellets are very inexpensive to shoot. According to Weihrauch: Internationally recognized for its outstanding field accuracy, the classic HW77 is the most successful under lever spring-piston sport rifle ever made. Complete with adjustable open sights and the well-known Rekord trigger. Model HW77177, Caliber .177, Overall Length 39.7″, Barrel Length 14.6″, Weight 8.7 lbs, Velocity up to 950 fps Note: velocity will vary depending on pellet selection. According to Airguns of Arizona, this is a bargain in 10-meter air rifles. It will hit the 10-meter 10-ring (the thickness of a pencil lead) every […]

shooting range grand opening

The Bitterroot’s premier indoor 10-meter international shooting range had its grand opening today. That is to say that I finally figured out how to hang my spotting scope in the sally port. I had previously conquered hanging the pellet trap and a cover for the window in the East Door. I have yet to install an electric target light, but the plastic lets the afternoon sun in marvelously. The spotting scope is just a lean back from my shooting position when I’m at the prescribed 10-meter distance from the target. Thus I can take my shot, call my shot (where I think it went), then lean back and confirm my shot, before loading the next round. That is one of […]

return to practical pistol shooting

The results from our March 29th Missoula match are now posted online. https://practiscore.com/results.php?uuid=daf5b0ee-b6cc-4e74-9cf5-0055461098d4 Relevant for my placement in the USPSA classification system is my finish in the Limited Class. The “% of standard” below does not take into account that I am probably only competing against other “Super Seniors” (65 and older) for national ranking. The Limited Class allows gun and magazine modifications I do not have, nor do I intend to get. Thus I will always have a bit of a handicap in the national rankings. However, my own personal goals have been to be at the top of the bottom third overall … aka 33.3%. Heck, I blew by that standard last Sunday with a finish in the […]

Helloooo Bitterroot Blasters

I have not shot practical pistol since a while before I moved from Idaho. Today I tried out the Hamilton, Montana practical pistol club … aka The Bitterroot Blasters. Oh Yeah! Just like everything else Montana, these people are very welcoming, friendly and fun to be around. Draw Shoot Move Reload repeat as desired until all targets are either perforated or have fallen down. Rusty Rusty Rusty As I mentioned, it has been years since I last did this. My speed and accuracy were down. These skills are very susceptible to degradation without use. This course of fire to the right was “the classifier”. That is an international standard setup laid out precisely to be repeatable anywhere on Earth. Loaded […]

fixing bad dreams

I understand the dream state of sleep, also known as REM or rapid-eye-movement sleep, to come when we have had enough deep sleep. It is no less important, but we can get by without it if necessary. I have outgrown giving great meaning to my dreams… it’s just your mind doing random exercises like running down trails in the woods. This one occasionally shows up where I have to drive an incredibly steep bridge that gets steeper as I go up until it is almost impossibly straight up. I was quite surprised recently to find that something like it actually exists: the River Island Bridge in Japan. I think I won’t go there. I mean, it would be tempting fate […]

Hotel California

In the 90s, I knew something was wrong, but it took me to the end of the decade to recognize that I fit a culture that was not in California. THE STATE was at war with me, and the majority of the voters therein were just fine with that. I voted with my feet. I moved to Idaho. Ahhhh … Much improved. I finally speak the native language. A dozen years later we were able to go one step better. We aren’t the only ones who find the upper Bitterroot to be magical. There are so many good, aware, balanced, considerate people here. We keep meeting more; making great new friends. This is what a community of humans is supposed […]

more load testing

200-yard, 3-shot, scoped, benchrestWe were back at the 200 yard line again this morning. After some quality time communing with my reloading bench, I had some more ammo to test. For CMP and NRA High Power Rifle matches, we use a “service rifle” which is in appearance and function semi-auto versions of rifles that were or are used in military service. We shoot 200-yard offhand slow-fire, 200-yard sitting rapid-fire, 300-yard prone rapid-fire and 600 yard prone slow-fire. What it comes down to in the Expert and Master classes is an AR-15 with one load that fits in the magazines for 200 and 300 yard shooting with another specialized load for 600 that must be loaded one at a time as […]

200-yard range results

.308 load testing Berger 175gr at 200 yards propelled by 43.7 grains of Varget .223 load testing Berger 80.5 grain bullets propelled by 23.8 grains of Varget

flippin’ bergers – part 1

All I have used in my .308 are target bullets and target ammunition. I wanted something in this versatile rifle that could actually DO SOMETHING. From my reading, Berger’s 175 OTM Tactical is a great hunting round. So I aim to find out. I loaded up 3 each in 3-grain increments from 42.8 grains up to 44.9 grains of Varget… hand-weighed powder charges, of course. While my reading led me to think the 44.0 load would be the cat’s pajamas, my rifle definitely prefers 43.7 – as you can see. Keep in mind that These holes were punched from 200 yards away. Most of us would be pleased with this as our 100-yard group. It measures 1 1/2 inches from […]

targets

100 and 200 yard targetsMy low-rent Romanian AK47 had an awful trigger that was like a pointy stick dragging across broken pavement. Worse, every shot fired would reset the trigger with a smart SLAP on your trigger finger. Not too many shots downrange before anyone and everyone had enough. Today was its first outing with a new trigger. No slap. Hooray! Smooth too. Way Cool! It has very little takeup against a light spring, a little tension for just a skosh farther, then BOOM. Perhaps breaking around 2 pounds, though I didn’t measure it. While a very nice, welcome change, it does take some getting used to. It is quite different from the 4.5-pound 2-stage AR-15 or 6-pound handgun triggers […]