Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Toys Made From Live Ammo

Here's a good one for ya:
Toys made from real ammo. The primers look like they've been struck, but the article says that they're made from live ammo. Apparently steel core ammunition is more dangerous than lead ammunition according to this article....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Polishing Chrome Guns

As a small project, I decided to polish a chrome gun. The subject in this little project was a Raven 25 that had seen better days. The finish on the gun was intact, but had become hazy and scratched over the years. Considering the style of safety on this particular Raven, it most likely dates from the mid-80s or before.

The gun cost all of $40, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on fixing it up. All I actually bought for this project was a tub of chrome polish from Advance Auto Parts. I wanted Flitz, but couldn't find it in either Wal-Mart or Advance Auto Parts. The tub of Blue Magic chrome polish worked well. I already had the other things needed for this project, which were a microfiber towel (for cleaning) , some q-tips (for spreading the polish), a paper towel (to protect my work surface), and a Dremel tool with cloth wheels (to speed up the polishing process).
I started the project with the microfiber towel, slowly and gently polishing the slide of the unloaded and disassembled Raven. This process worked, but it was painfully slow. I got out the Dremel tool and things went much more quickly. I was able to get into the slide serrations with greater ease using the Dremel. The cloth wheels I used came in a set of accessories and are probably some kind of felt. They are rigid and worked great on the hard edges and valleys found in various locations on the gun.

As far as technique, I made sure to keep applying a thin layer of chrome polish with a q-tip. I didn't want to have too much of the Dremel's wheel touching the chrome with nothing inbetween. I didn't want to burn or scratch the chrome finish, so I kept the wheel somewhat lubricated with chrome polish. I also constantly moved the wheel on the surface to avoid any heat buildup or damage.

After finishing on the slide, the frame looked really bad by comparison. I chose to take the parts out of the frame so I could polish the frame, so I needed tools for that. I used a small pin punch and a screwdriver. The screwdriver handle doubled as a hammer for punching out the pins holding in the trigger and magazine release.

Its really amazing what $7 worth of metal polish and some time can do to an old chrome gun. I'm very happy with the way this project turned out. I worked on it when I couldn't sleep, which made good productive use of my time. The "After" picture of the whole gun was hard to take because of all the reflections. The pictures do not do this gun justice, and bring out more scratches than are really noticeable with the naked eye. Get out there and polish some chrome guns.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

group dynamics of a gun forum

I was posting on a forum tonight and thought to myself that there are a few regulars that post daily, many that find an answer to their problem and leave, and the majority signs up and never posts a thing. The administrator of the forum on which I was posting asked why this is. I might have an answer.

Some forums make you sign up before you can use the search feature. Some people sign up and never post a thing, just so they can use the search function and be able to see attached pictures if the forum supports that feature.

There are always going to be some moochers in the group. I've seen it time and time again on gun forums. People venture into the forum world to ask a question. When that question of theirs is answered, they are gone forever. These people never contribute to the group dynamic, only take knowledge from it and depart.

The regularly posting forum members are the hardcore lifeblood of the group. The dynamic between the regulars can be rough at times, merely because one person may not like another, but still sees that undesirable person posting daily. I am a regular poster on one forum, and i continue to do so because I haven't lost interest in the topic at hand (guns) and I greatly enjoy the positive comradery and encouragement that other forum users tend to offer.

Internet forums as a whole seem to be filled with a lot of know-it-all types and just straight up assholes. There is a certain amount of anonymity involved in posting on a forum, leading to a higher likelihood of attacks against other forum users, patronizing, and generally being mean. The amount of hear-say, especially on gun forums, irritates me. There are some people out there that thing Glocks are amazing and think you're a fool for buying anything else. I tend to disagree. I own guns that I don't carry, I own some guns for the sake of enriching my collection more than anything else.

The group dynamic of a gun forum can draw parallels and contrasts to that of an automotive-based forum. I used to post regularly on Jeepforum, a large forum with sub-forums for each model of Jeep. I stuck to the Cherokee XJ forum for the most part and was banned after mentioning a rival forum in a post. My post was edited to remove the link leading to a rival forum. When I questioned why my post was edited, I was banned. I never went back. I was not trying to start shit with anyone and I had thousands of posts in the technical section alone.

Some people on Jeepforum wouldn't do things the right way, but would recommend it because it worked well for them. Just because their half-assed cheap shortcut worked for them, it is still not the right way to do things. Some people just didn't understand that, and would get mad when I would suggest a fix or modification that was more thorough or more expensive. I had good reason for these recommendations, but those cheapskate shortcut people were not too happy with me. This element of the group dynamic does not really occur in firearm forum communities.

The group dynamic of the forum on which I usually post is unique in the forum world. People don't attack each other, people don't make snide comments, and people don't really argue. Its a utopia among the internet, and I'm proud to be a member of it.