“Dear Dr. Kim”

“Dear Dr. Kim:

“What do I do?” — #MillennialProblems

Dear Problems,
Switch to Cascade. FFS, can’t your generation figure out anything for yourselves?

–Dr. Kim

Looks like I’m not the only one who is enraptured by this new Millennial activity. Try this comment (marked with the red arrow):

The Old Argument

From Comments in yesterday’s post about the CMP 1911s, Longtime Friend & Reader Vonz saith:

Certainly, I love the 45 ACP quite a bit and have one (not a 1911 though, which are good but I think there are better options, at least for me).
What is with the hate on 9mm though? It is a great round as well (I have one of them too). It has different advantages and disadvantages, but that is why it makes sense to own both or at least to have as options for different people.
Why does, “I like this” have to morph into “everything else sucks”? It is not an attitude that makes any sense to me.

As with computers (Apple vs. Windows), cars (Ford vs. GM), guns (Colt vs. S&W), cameras (Pentax vs. Canon), etc. etc. etc., I think it’s all an ego thing.

The “bullet wars” probably started when some prehistoric hunters were arguing about the optimal size stone to use in their slings, and the stupid argument has persisted to this day because we guys are always searching for the “magic bullet” [sic] in all our endeavors.

As much as I make fun of the 9mm Europellet, it’s really all about the bullet itself: the typical 9mm FMJ projectile is (I believe) only slightly better than marginal as a self-defense option (and I actually have some personal experience to support that thesis); but put some more-recent technology (jacketed hollowpoints etc.) into the 9mm Para casing, and it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

I would have absolutely no problem carrying a Browning Hi-Power instead of the 1911, for example, as long as the 9mm bullets themselves were of the Hydra-Shok / SXT / Gold Dot / XTP / etc. genus. In fact, given that with the onset of age-related arthritis, my beloved Springfield 1911 is starting to really beat my wrist up, I can actually see a time in the near future when I might make that swap.

So nobody should take me too seriously when I slag off choices that people make. A lot of the time I’m just stirring the pot for fun, but underneath there lies a sound reason for it: if I question someone’s choice or action, they are forced to defend their position which means they have to think about the topic — and their rationale might even make me reevaluate my position, if it’s sounder than mine.

Good luck with that, though. Most of my opinions have been formed over many years of thought, contemplation and study, not to mention personal- or third-party experience. But it’s a stupid man who doesn’t listen to a sound, reasoned argument, and I’m not that stupid.

Just don’t try to convince me that Communism is a preferable system to free-market capitalism; scorn will follow in gargantuan quantities.

“Dear Dr. Kim”

“Dear Doctor Kim,
Is it OK to use a coupon when I take my girlfriend on a date? What about taking home leftovers?”
— Wondering in the West

Dear Blundering:
I suspect that you’re nervous about being called a cheapskate, but never fear: I have several ways through this minefield.

The only ironclad rule about coupons is: never ever use a coupon on a first date. I shouldn’t have to explain this.
On other occasions, however, whether or not to use restaurant coupons depends on a few factors.
1.) What restaurant are we talking about? If it’s McDonald’s or similar dreck, who cares? (The question in this case is: what kind of man takes his girlfriend to a hellhole like that in the first place?) If it’s Morton’s or Lawry’s, however, she should appreciate being taken there at all, so use that coupon at will.
2.) At what stage are you in terms of your relationship? If it’s still in its first bloom, you may want to hold onto the coupon for a while — once you’re settled, she won’t mind because (and I can hear the feministicals wailing already) less money spent at the restaurant means more money to be spent on her.
The only thing you have to avoid is not going to any restaurant on a date unless you have a coupon — it’s the infallible mark of a terminal cheapskate, and unless your girlfriend is of a similar bent, stand by for trouble.

As for leftovers: it depends completely on the food, the portion sizes, or whose food it is.
1.) No grown human being should take home leftover fast food, of any description.
2.) If the portion sizes are of New Jersey Diner Quantity (i.e. beyond the ability of anyone not Jewish or Italian to finish in a single sitting), then go ahead: there’s no shame in it.
3.) And regardless of portion size, if it’s her food we’re talking about and she wasn’t able to finish it but enjoyed it immensely, offering to take it home is going to be well received.

By the way: attempting to take home leftovers from an all-you-can-eat buffet joint should be punishable by scourging. There are limits.

–Dr. Kim

New Jersey Bastardy

From Reader Mark D in Comments yesterday:

On the topic of suppressors, I’ve been saying for a while that I want to move from New Jersey to America, but I NEVER thought America would be found in Great Britain…

Don’t even get me started. On Saturday last, we got a text from Doc Russia in Newark Airport, while he was flying Edinburgh – Newark – DFW:

Fun fact: going through Newark with a federally-licensed suppressor will end up with you face-down on the ground, handcuffed.

Here’s the deal. Doc has a legal suppressor for his Remington, all the paperwork done, tax paid, blessed by the Pope, yadda yadda yadda. He was about to pack it in his rifle case to bring home, when both Combat Controller and I suggested that he shouldn’t, because New Jersey. He laughed it off, saying his luggage was checked through to DFW — but agreed that discretion was called for, and that he could bring it back another time when flying direct from Britishland to Dallas.

It’s a good thing he did. Here’s why.

As we all know, when arriving in a foreign country, you have to go through Customs and Immigration in your arrival “port”, even if you’re connecting to go further. Now, if your connecting flight is from the same terminal, you’re good to go. If you have to go to another terminal for your connecting flight, things might get more tricky.

As is the case here. Suppressors are completely banned in New Jersey — no federal blessing counts, no paperwork is acceptable. Set foot in the state of New Jersey with a suppressor, no matter how legal, and you will end up face-down on the ground, handcuffed.

So had Doc arrived in Newark with his suppressor and left the international terminal, the NJ State Police would have arrested him, even though he was simply in transit — going from one jurisdiction where suppressors are legal to another where it’s also legal — the very fact that he was in New Jersey at all with his suppressor, albeit only for a few minutes, would have made him an instant felon.

And we know all this because Doc happened to ask a member of New Jersey’s Staatspolizei what their policy is. Apparently the offizier got instantly aggro, and insisted on checking Doc’s luggage for himself — just asking the question is grounds for suspicion in the New Jersey Reich.

I’m curious as to how many other states would behave the same way. I can see New York and California doing likewise, but if anyone can shed light on this topic, I’d like to know.

In the interim, all New Jersey People Of Our Sort should make preparations to leave that shitty place and move to the United States as soon as it’s practically feasible. Like I once did.

Proper Kit

Several people have asked for details on the shooting equipment we used in the Angus Glens last week.

Here’s a pic of the rifles we took up:

From left to right, they are: Combat Controller’s Browning A-Bolt, Mr. Free Market’s two Blaser R8s (the other is a “back-up” in .308 Win), my Mauser M12, and Doc Russia’s Remington 700. All of us used Harris HBLMS (9″-13″ tiltable) bipods, as they’ve proved to be the most reliable and rugged.

Here are their details, in order of seniority. (Mr. FM has been going up there for the past twenty-odd years, CC for seven, and Doc for four.)

Mr. FM:
Rifle:  Blaser R8 Professional
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag
Ammo:  RWS Evolution 165gr RapidX
Barrel length:  24″ (six groove, 1:11″ twist)
Scope:  Swarovski Gen 1 Z6i 2.5-15×56 w/ illuminated reticle + Swarovski ballistic turret
Binoculars:  Leica 8×42 Geovid w/integral 1,200-meter rangefinder

CC:
Rifle:  Browning A-Bolt
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag
Ammo:  Federal Premium 165gr Trophy Coppertip
Barrel length:  20″ — cut back from its original 24″ –(1:10″ twist)
Scope:  Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-10x56mm
Binoculars:  Steiner Safari 8×42

Doc Russia:
Rifle:  Remington 700 M40 long action (custom-built by Fivetoes Custom Rifles)
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag (Hornady  140gr)
Ammo:  Hornady Superformance 180gr SST polymer tip
Barrel length:  22″ (Proof Research Carbon-Fiber)
Stock:  McMillan M40A1 synthetic
Scope:  Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×32mm, with ballistic turret and Vortex Optics anti-cant device
Rangefinder:  Sig-Sauer Kilo 2000 (doubles as his binos)

Kim:
Rifle:  Mauser M12
Caliber:  6.5x55mm
Ammo:  RWS Dual-Core 140gr HP
Barrel length:  22″
Scope:  Minox ZX5i 2-10x50mm 30mm tube w/illuminated reticle, on Mauser Hexalock Quick-Release mounts. Unusually, it has a German #4 reticle:

My equipment was based simply on my own experience and, as we all know, was not tested on this trip. But all agreed that my rifle and scope, at least, were quite adequate for the task. (The rifleman, maybe not so much.)

Just a few additional thoughts:
We all agree on the wisdom of using range-finders. In featureless terrain such as in the Glens (and in places such as eastern Montana and the prairie states), it is almost impossible to gauge the correct distance to target because of hidden crests, no reference points such as trees, and so on. If possible, get a range-finder that can reach out to 1,000 yards/meters at minimum — not because you’re going to take many shots at 1,000 whatever but because the longer the reach, the higher the quality. If the range-finders are incorporated into binoculars (e.g. Mr. FM’s Leica), so much the better. And when it comes to binoculars: cheap ones just don’t work, period. I tried using the “back-up” Bushnell 6×32 binos, and they were just inadequate. Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, Steiner, whatever: don’t skimp on the quality because it will almost certainly screw up your hunt.

Ballistic turrets are not absolutely vital, but they certainly make your precision a lot easier to come by. With his turret, Doc Russia calls his shots to within an inch of point of impact at almost any distance, and his number of one-shot kills has climbed to close to 100% on flat terrain (the uphill- and downhill shots still “need work”, as he himself admits). Also: have a ballistic chart for your ammo’s performance in your rifle (the manufacturer’s specs may not reflect reality, in this regard), and keep it handy. All three of the experienced stalkers in our group had them taped somewhere (sleeve, rifle stock, wherever).

Doc also has an anti-cant device (bubble-level) built onto his scope. When the horizon is hidden in the mist or otherwise unreliable and your firing position is not on level ground, a tilted rifle makes nonsense of ballistic tables.

Personal fitness. Muscle pain, puffing and panting, pounding heart and gasping for oxygen are no way to go through hunting, son. All the pros like Craig Boddington emphasize serious exercise as preparation for every hunt. I walked a couple miles each day before my trip back to the UK, up and down quite a steep hill between my residence and the village. I should have carried a heavy pack and done the thing twice or three times a day. Even Doc Russia, who works out in the gym in his garage, referred to himself as “fat and out of condition” after his first stalk. Our Head Stalker Dougal can walk the glens all day, and has been known to run(!) up to four miles in search of a wounded deer — and even if you can’t get to that level, halfway is an absolute prerequisite.

One last point: all our rifles, as seen in the pic above, carried sound suppressors / moderators, and I cannot impress enough on my Murkin Readers what a difference  these can make to hunting. Quite apart from the noise reduction (itself a wonderful benefit), the reduction in felt recoil is considerable and therefore makes target re-acquisition much quicker. The noise reduction, of course, simply turns “ear-splitting” into “bloody loud”, as we all know. (Ignore Hollywood’s depiction of a small phut! when shooting anything other than a .22 or 9mm subsonic cartridge. When sighting in our rifles on Day One, Doc touched off a shot before I could get my hands or plugs to my ears, and they were still ringing a half-hour later.) I would urge everyone to write to their Congresscritter(s) and urge them to get the HPPA (pro-moderator/suppressor) legislation to the President’s desk ASAP. It’s long past due that Americans can enjoy the benefits of suppressed-fire hunting and target shooting that our European counterparts have always had.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Any further questions can be asked in Comments or via email, as usual.