Category Archives: All

The Sunday Papers (Sep. 19, 2021)

I swear I’m not trying to turn this into a monthly feature—there’s been a lot going on, and news items (that we read and share in our links channel) have been following a drought or flood pattern.

Projects

  • The Glockblaster 3D, which I mentioned way back in… wow, February… is almost done. Expect a series of posts following the build later in the year.

Defense

Science and Technology

Guns

The Rona

The Economy, Stupid

Grab Bag

The Sunday Papers (Aug. 22, 2021)

It looks like The Sunday Papers are here to stay.

Defense

Science and Technology

COVID

  • Prepper, libertarian-ish guy, and Ars Technica founder (since departed) Jon Stokes is starting to get worried about COVID again, which is maybe a canary. He’s a fairly clear-eyed dude. We’ll keep you updated.
  • Plastic barriers probably don’t help – Ventilation is the COVID-killer, which is why airplanes are quite safe despite what you’d think. Plastic barriers can interfere with ventilation.

History

Grab Bag

The Sunday Papers (Aug. 1, 2021)

Oh dear, it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?

With the increasing business and attendant busy-ness at work, I’m considering making this week’s tongue-in-cheek change a permanent one. We picked Wednesday for the What We’re Reading back when we had a post from me on some Saturdays and a post from parvusimperator most Tuesdays and Thursdays. It made a lot more sense when Tuesday through Thursday was a solid block of content. Now that that condition no longer holds, I don’t know if I have much reason to carry on trying to carve 45 minutes out of my Wednesdays to whip this up, when Sunday is a whole lot more open.

Projects

  • I did buy a new reloading press. It’s a Dillon XL750, and I quite like it.
  • The revolver technique content I promised is delayed, because we had a pipe leak and the attendant plumbing and remediation work to contract out and do, respectively.

Defense

Science and Technology

  • A Chemical Hunger: why are people so fat these days? – A review of the evidence in favor of chemical contaminants being the cause. Particularly compelling: county-level maps of obesity are very similar to maps of watershed catchment area. A long read: it has at least eight parts at the time of writing.
  • Should social media platforms be regulated like common carriers? – Eugene Volokh argues that some kind of common carrier-like regime may be correct. We have a fair bit of editorial independence here, because we’re not beholden to Big Tech, but there are plenty of ways we could still get shut down given a substantial enough pressure campaign.
  • China seizes UK’s largest microchip manufacturer – Barely even hyperbole, that headline.
  • China also cracks down on its equivalent to US big tech – Content warning: a pundit who is, in my experience, frequently wrong. That said, I think he’s right on this one: China isn’t hitting companies that make tangible things, just its domestic software industry. Which is dumb, given that a domestic software industry helps encourage the development of the software engineers you need to make tangible tech, but central planners never got high marks for making good decisions.
  • Big earthquake in Alaska – Right next door to the Cascadia fault, where we should be expecting the next Big One.

Grab Bag

The ‘Rona

Competition Revolver Technique: An Introduction

Shooting competition revolver, I have noticed that there’s a lot of wisdom floating around the Internet about how to do so, and very little of it written down in one place. While revolver and semi-auto in a run-and-gun sport like USPSA are more similar than you might expect, there are still substantial differences in the finer, shot-to-shot techniques. One of the obstacles to coming to Revolver division as a newcomer is that you are largely left to your own devices in finding those differences, understanding them, and developing the skills to address them. I aim to fill that gap in the world of written shooting instruction.

This is a project I’ve kicked around for almost a year now. The first question I expect is, “Aren’t you a C-class scrub?” To which the answer is yes1, but bear in mind that I’m not presenting much in the way of original work here. Information on competition revolver techniques exists—it just hasn’t been compiled yet. Look at me as your librarian more than your instructor, and expect me to say if something I’m doing is something I figured out myself, or something I’m recording from more experienced wheelgunners.

That’s all I have for this first post. Keep an eye on the ‘revolver technique’ tag worn by this post for future entries. I’m hoping to have one out this week on stage planning and finding places for reloads, using a real stage and a local Single Stack shooter for comparison. It is, however, a match week, and one I’m running to boot, so we’ll see if I have the time.


  1. At the time of writing, which may not be the time of publication, I am in fact the #1 C-class revolver shooter nationwide. King of the Scrubs2
  2. At the time of continued writing, I’m now a B-class scrub, so I’m doing something right, or at least not as wrong as I was before. 

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jul. 7, 2021)

Reloading press update: I’m looking now at a Dillon XL750, which seems to hit the right balance between price, size, and capability.

Projects

  • Lots of stuff around the house.
  • Parvusimperator remarks that he’s been engaged in planning the plan for a committee to lay out the vision for the forthcoming plan for architecting a future project. $GOVERNMENT_CONTRACTOR life!
  • The Glockblaster 3D project I wrote about earlier in the year is nearly done. I need to write a progress update. I’ve been sharing more frequent, less formal updates at a semi-private forum for a collection of centrist and right-leaning tech enthusiasts. It’s a pleasant place, and if you find the tenor of the less politically neutral grab bag pieces agreeable rather than aggravating, you might like it there too.

Defense

Science and Technology

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jun. 16, 2021)

I’m thinking about getting a progressive press to make my USPSA reloading go a bit faster. Any recommendations? I’m thinking about waiting for that Frankford Arsenal FX-10 jobber to go on sale before I make a final decision.

Fishbreath’s Story of the Week

Defense

The ‘Rona

Guns

Grab Bag

Revolver belongs in USPSA

Over the past few months, I’ve heard a number of high-level shooters express the thought that Revolver is an anachronism with no place in the modern USPSA1—perhaps not in so many words, but it’s fairly clear from their comments how they feel about wheelguns in our sport. As a Revolver competitor myself (although not at all a distinguished one, as of this writing), I’d like to offer some counterweight to those opinions.

First, and most pernicious: the idea that revolver doesn’t belong in USPSA because it’s unpopular. Unpopularity is not a crime. 1911s (in narrow and widebody form) are unpopular, by the standard of ownership numbers. .40 S&W is unpopular. We shoot those anyway, because the rules either allow them (in the case of Single Stack) or encourage them (in the case of Limited Major) in spite of their unpopularity.

But, even beyond that, we ought to answer a question about what USPSA is, and what it ought to be. It is the big leagues for competition handgun shooting in the US, full stop. Depending on where you are in the country, it’s either the best option for practical handgun shooting, or the monopoly player in the field. What it ought to be is more or less what it already is: the sanctioning body for the top level of pistol competition in the United States.

In both of those cases, the arguments for excluding revolver are on shaky ground. If USPSA is the sanctioning body for the top level of handgun competition, how can it justify withdrawing its support for fully half of the pistol taxonomy2?

If the USPSA is the monopoly provider for high-level handgun competition, and it preaches competitive equity, how does forcing revolvers—which are nothing if not very different than semi-autos—into Limited3 fit that aim? Make no mistake, that would happen, because USPSA is the only option for a great many people with philosophical disagreements with IDPA4. I can get to the entire USPSA Western PA section and a few Ohio clubs in a shorter drive than it would take me to reach the nearest ICORE club.

You can’t say USPSA shouldn’t have a carve-out for revolvers without also saying that USPSA ought not be the last word in top-level pistol competition. If you are saying that, you should be clear that you are. Further, you can’t say that there shouldn’t be a Revolver division while also saying USPSA should be about competitive equity and the division system should be about pitting like against like. Making wheelguns shoot against semi-autos is in fundamental opposition to the ideal of competitive equity.

I mentioned ICORE just now, which leads me to anti-Revolver assertion number two: USPSA doesn’t adequately or accurately test revolver skills.

The existence and nature of ICORE argues very strongly against that claim. ICORE is pretty much USPSA, except with time-plus scoring5, D1 targets instead of the silhouettes and octagons, some revolver-specific divisions for those people who want to shoot optic-and-compensator guns or six-shooters, and six-round neutrality instead of eight for the six-shooter-shooters. Those are, to within a rounding error, the meaningful distinctions between USPSA and the sport revolver enthusiasts designed specifically for testing revolver shooters.

USPSA is an entirely valid test of revolver shooters and revolver skills.

The final line of reasoning I’ll address is that the existence of Revolver somehow cheapens other divisions. The logic goes that because Revolver has fewer participants, it has less heat. It’s easier to reach the top of the heap, and therefore being Revolver national champion is less meaningful than, say, being Limited national champion.

For one, and to be entirely frank, I find this complaint to be rooted in ego: “I finished 20th in Production, and my percentage is comparable to the revolver guy in 10th! How unfair!” This is not a problem with the system, or with Revolver—it’s a problem with you. Do you care about how your raw score stacks up against Open or PCC? If no, then why do you care how your percentages stack up against Revolver? Divisions are not directly comparable in raw hit factors or stage times, but they’re also not directly comparable in per-division match percentages and placements. That’s one of the best things about this sport: it’s like automotive endurance racing. Multiple divisions get to compete on the same track, speak the same language, and see each other perform, even if they aren’t scoring themselves directly against each other.

The other assertion backing this line of argument—that it’s easier to climb the ladder to the top of Revolver because there are fewer competitors—I consider unlikely. There’s a video floating around of Michael Poggie, reigning revolver champion in the post-Miculek years, putting about a 1.3-second reload on the clock. I urge you to try to hit that mark, or even to get under 1.56. Now do it on the move.

Suffice it to say, it’s not easy to match the top dogs. If you look at the odds of me winning a Revolver national championship and compare it to the odds of me winning, say, Production7, they’re similar, and they’re both long shots.

Of course, you can always prove me wrong. Strap on your wheelgun and climb the ladder! If it’s easier than your semi-auto division of choice, it shouldn’t take you very long, right?


  1. Curiously, the two I’m thinking of are either Production-first shooters (Ben Berry, in a blog post from a few months back), or recently successful in Production (Mason Lane, on the 2021 Locap Nationals episode of the Shoot Fast Podcast). You’d think people in what’s pretty clearly going to be next Single Stack/L10 would have a bit more self-awareness in calling for the end of an unpopular division, but let it pass—this footnote notwithstanding, I’m more interested in sniping at bad ideas than the good eggs who sometimes end up proposing them. 
  2. Granted, not by participation, but none of the anti-Revolver voices are calling for the end of Single Stack division, and despite their prevalence in competition, 1911s and 1911-derived guns are a much smaller branch of the modern family tree of handguns than revolvers. 
  3. Revolvers are technically allowed in Production, but Production-legal holsters for N-frames and Redhawk-size guns are not readily available. 
  4. Even if I didn’t think IDPA’s rules make it a less serious competition than USPSA, I’m not exactly drowning in IDPA matches around here, either. 
  5. The Soapbox has always been at least half in favor of hit factor scoring, but now I believe we’re entirely in favor—parvusimperator came around on it, at least as of the last time we talked about it. 
  6. A year and a half of fairly focused practice has me into the one-point-fives, but not yet close enough to call it a second and a half. 
  7. Caveat: if I took it as seriously as I’m taking Revolver. 

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jun. 2, 2021)

According to WordPress, I missed numbering one of these 113. The auto-post-numberer adds a ‘-2’ to duplicate names, so if I hadn’t renamed this one, it would have been 112-2-2.

Anyway, on to the news. Or, in some cases, the olds.

State-Sponsored Hijacking in Belarus

Defense

Science and Technology

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (May 19, 2021)

Another two-week gap, but happily, I don’t think we have very much breaking news to turn into yesterday’s news.

Projects

  • For some reason, my 3D printer is still having a devil of a time with miniatures (after having worked perfectly previously). Maybe it’s the nozzle. I plan to switch it back to a larger nozzle, with which to print some more Little Wars bits and bobs, before I eventually go back to miniatures.
  • If you’ve been following the video half of my content production, you will have noticed the revolver reliability problems. I think I’m finally almost done with that. We’ll see sometime next week, most likely, when Bowen sends me the Ruger double-action revolver bushing tool I ordered.

Defense

Non-Breaking News

Iron Dome

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (May 5, 2021)

A bit late on the draw this week: work has been ridiculously busy, as has been the pattern lately.

I did at least fix the occasional ‘your IP address has been blocked’ message you might have been seeing: that page was getting cached as the homepage when spammers visited. It’s not fixed in the sense that the anti-spam plugin and the homepage play nice, but I turned off the anti-spam plugin and cleared the cache, so it looks solved from your perspective, non-logged-in readers.

Onward!

Defense

Sport, Motor, Formula

China, Coronavirus, and Other Related Topics

Twilight of the West

Grab Bag