Expecto Patreonum!

Become a patron via my Patreon page and you can help me produce quality nerdy things.

For more information on how this works, please read this post. Thanks!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Gunday Product Review: Witt Machine Muzzle Brake for Mosin-Nagant 91/30

Back in March I received a Witt Machine Muzzle Brake (normally $85, but I got mine through a group-buy that only cost $55) for my now-infamous Mosin-Nagant 91/30. (Witt Machine also makes M44 brakes.)

As you can see from the attached photos, this is not a cheap brake that clamps on with a single screw and will end up flying downrange after a few shots; this is a solidly machined piece of anodized aluminum that sockets onto the barrel exactly like a bayonet does, and is then further secured by no less than four screws.

The instructions also call for the user to further secure it in place with application of blue Loctite along the contact surfaces of the barrel. However, this was not ideal for me because 1) with the brake permanently mounted I could not fit it inside my longest rifle case, and 2) I still like the idea of being able to use my bayonet.

I remedied this by calling Witt Machine leaving a message with the receptionist. I received a call back from the president of the company (it turns out the receptionist is his wife), and when I explained the situation he said -- and I paraphrase here because it's been nearly a year -- "Yeah, it should be fine with just the socket and screws. That's how we test each of them before we ship them. The Loctite is just an extra layer of security. But if your brake fails, send it back and we'll replace it."

I am pleased to report that my muzzle brake has yet to fail, and I don't think it ever will, either.


This muzzle brake is supposed to reduce felt recoil and muzzle rise up to 70%. While I cannot accurately speculate as to how much recoil it reduces due to all the other recoil-reducing gimcrackery I have on my Mosin, I can tell you that it does indeed kick less. In a previous post I noted that Oleg Volk said I had managed to drop the recoil down to that of an AR-15.

I'm not sure if I would go quite that far. What I will claim, however, is that this brake eliminated nearly all of the twisting, bucking and jumping antics that drove me crazy. (No joke: every time I fired it, the rifle would jump up about an inch and 2-3 inches to the left. This made re-acquiring my target at 100 yards a severe annoyance.)

If you shoot corrosive surplus ammo, you know the importance of cleaning. One of the first things I thought when looking at this brake was "I bet all those vents and baffles make it a pain in the rear to clean."  I am pleased to say that I was completely wrong about this, and here's why: I can take the brake off and stick it under hot running water, or soak it in a pot of boiling water, or just spray the heck out of it with solvent. Then I just wipe it down, possibly apply some CLP to it, and it's ready to go again.

However, if you glued it to your barrel, you're probably not going to have a fun time.

My Rating: A+
I encourage every Mosin owner to get one of these. Not only does it help tame your beast to make it more fun to shoot, the brake is just as rugged as your rifle. It's easy to put on, easy to take off, and its multiple methods of securing it make it clear that its designer is serious about it not coming off during operation. The fact that it also has a 100% lifetime guarantee further demonstrates that the manufacturer believes in its reliability.

The brake mounted on a certain infamous 91/30.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Musings Upon a Missed SHTFriday

I had a truly awful headache on Friday that culminated in me crawling into bed for 6 hours until the pain went away. Naturally, this left me unable to write my scheduled Blue Collar Prepping article.

Fortunately, I was prepared for such an emergency, and called up a guest post. Titled "A Prepping Guide for Beginners," it lists 4 easy things you can start doing right now to get prepared for emergencies and disasters, and I encourage everyone to go read it.

Entry is always the hardest part of a hobby-lifestyle, and a lot of folks are overwhelmed at the prospect. With prepping, the normal desire to get it right is compounded with the fear that getting it wrong could result in disaster, injury or death.  This is one reason why I rail against shows like "Doomsday Preppers"; it presents extreme outliers as if they were the gold standard and anything short of that is failure, and that's simply not true.

If you have a camping backpack that has a tent, a sleeping bag, a change of clothes, some food, and the ability to start a fire, you have preps and you are immediately much better off than anyone without them. That backpack is now your core; build around it. Add to it, bit by bit, as much as you can afford. I've been prepping since 2009 on a budget of around $30/month (not counting Christmas and birthday presents) and I have quite a respectable bit of gear. I'm certain I could survive a tornado, a hurricane, or a forest fire, and could exist in relative comfort until help arrived or power returned.

I'm still not sexy enough for Doomsday Preppers to notice me. And that's fine, because that program is sensationalist crap. It promotes bad practices (breaking Operational Security by appearing on a nationwide TV program, for starters) the way women's magazines promote unhealthy self-image.

In conclusion, I heartily recommend new preppers check out David Blackard's Wednesday articles. David is a fellow with a limited budget who is essentially re-building his supplies from the ground up. While his articles may not be as entertaining as the others, they are packed with good information on how to be a stingy prepper.

I'm going to close with David's signature farewell" Remember, Some is always better than None!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Salem's Shameful Sci-Fi Secret

I'm going to be upfront here. I don't like Star Wars.

Let that sink in. I'm a big Doctor Who fan (obviously, if you've been keeping up with me here). I love Star Trek. Especially Deep Space 9. I've been reading Marvel, DC, and a few of the indie companies for decades now. I even keep up with the lore behind Transformers (not the Bay films, pls). But Star Wars has never really resonated with me for some reason.

I remember, as a kid, seeing the films on television around Christmas or Thanksgiving, depending on what part of the world I was living in at the time. I'd seen, through bits and pieces, but probably never the whole way through, the entire original trilogy, albeit not in the proper viewing order either due to never actually having sat down to watch them and whatever various bits got cut out for commercial breaks. I got a bit swept up in the Episode 1 hype. I mean, being a nerd, I was supposed to be excited, right? Star Wars, in the theaters, for the first time in my lifetime. I didn't camp out waiting in line or anything (I hate queueing. Avoid it at all costs), but I visited some friends who did on opening night. And when my friends and I went to go see it, we threw popcorn up in the air and cheered appropriately when a giant spaceship flew across the screens for the first time. I pity the usher who had to clean up after that showing.

The hype died shortly after seeing Episode 1, of course. Didn't end up seeing either of the latter films in the prequel trilogy until much, much later. I still don't think I've seen Attack of the Clones the entire way through, due to falling asleep pretty much every time I attempted. I've probably seen the RedLetter Media Plinkett reviews more than I've seen the actual movies. For the record, they're right. Lucas is a maniac that needs to be reigned in sharply.

Only.. I think I might like Star Wars. A little, at least. I clearly know that I'm not fond of the aspects of it that are Sword & Sorcery In Space. I can't stand the Jedi Order. They strike me as hypocritical, repressive, overly judgmental, and prone to propaganda at least as much, if not more, than Palpatine during his power play. I've never been fond of stoic warrior monks at the best of times, and when they have a council with executive power in government, that just rubs me the wrong way. I have a feeling that I'd need fitting for a cybernetic arm regularly if I lived in the Star Wars universe for very long. Temptation to mouth off to a Jedi would just be too much for me.

And I won't even get into my theory about how movies 2-5 could have been avoided if Obi-Wan hadn't been such a dumbass right now.

So I recently sat down and watched the Classic Trilogy and, worryingly, I could clearly identify things that I enjoyed. Mos Eisley. Jabba's Palace. The Millenium Falcon. The Cloud City of Bespin. Lando Calrission. Boba “What Exactly Did I Do To Justify All This Fan-Worship” Fett. The bounty hunters on Vader's ship. And the lynch-pin of all of these elements: puckish rogue Han Solo.

I realize that while I dislike a majority of Star Wars, what I'd really like is a series of films about Han Solo. The world of smugglers and bounty hunters, alien crime lords and blockade runner ships. I want a movie where Han didn't so much shoot first, but didn't even give Greedo the chance to fire. Given my relative unfamiliarity with the Star Wars canon, I'm open to suggestion if anyone's got a good recommendation on any Solo-centric stories, visual or print, I might enjoy.

In the meantime, I made a physical concession to the series.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All right, that's it

I have had it with the complaints and the inability for Disqus to have a proper coloration that matches the background. As of this moment I basically have two choices:

  1. White text on black background
  2. Black text on white background
And since I've already gotten gripes about white text on black, I've gone with this. If you have problems with it I don't want to hear them, because this is the default coloration for books and the internet. 

(No, I'm not getting rid of Disqus, I find it too damn convenient.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sweet Buttery Eris Lays a Deuce on Me

People often ask me "So Erin, why are you a devotee of a chaos goddess when you can't stand uncertainty and hate drama?" and I frequently reply with Goddammit it's 3:30 in the morning get out of my lingerie drawer I just got it organized. 

But I think the real reason I follow Mother Mayhem is this: 
  • I'm not sure she exists.
  • I'm not sure ANY deity exists, if I'm being honest, as they all seem to ignore me
  • But bad things seem to happen to me anyway, so it helps to put a "human" face to them. 
  • This way, when life shits on me, I can go "I am so blessed! Lady Chaos is showering me with her love and affection!"
  • And I end up not taking it as personally, because it's like Eris is Overly Attached Goddess and this is just how she is. At least I've got a deity paying attention to me, even if it's incredibly dysfunctional, yeah?

Case in point:  Today I woke up to the dulcet tones of "Oh, good morning Tech Support!"  Before I'd even had my coffee, I had to fix the family computer that kept booting to the Windows Recovery Utility. I am not awake enough, nor drunk enough, to deal with this shit. 

I pop in the Vista disk and see if I can fix it. The Startup Repair tool says "Dude, ain't nothin' wrong here."

Oookay. I try to do System Restore from last good known save point... and it still boots right back to Recovery Console. 

12 hours later...

Well, I've managed to figure out how to clear the Admin password and unlock the account, which means that I'm making progress. But clearly there's something wrong with the partition, because when I type DISKPART at the command prompt, I get this:

when I should get something that looks like this:

Gee thanks, Mama Mindfuck! I really wanted to be doing IT stuff all day instead of writing. And hey, the big steaming crap you took on me is keeping me nice and toasty warm. 

If there's any good side to this, it's the fact that it's nice to periodically remind The Colonel that I do serve a purpose in this house, and that if I weren't here he'd be spending money on tech support that would take the computer for days and not really care if they fixed it or not. I, on the other hand, am invested in this, and while I try to fix it he can use my laptop to check his email. 

Oh, Eris. Why must your love sting like hate?


Monday, January 19, 2015

Free Ice Cream Delayed

I spent the day working on a paying gig.  I'll try to have two posts up tomorrow.

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #22

Episode 22 of The GunBlog VarietyCast is out!

  • I gives my thoughts on the perfect water bottle.
  • Nicki Kenyon talks about the Hermit Kingdom, North Korea.
  • Miguel Gonzalez reminds us that if you're not planning on acting like a grownup when you lobby, just do us a favor and stay home instead.
  • Barron B. explains why Leap Seconds can lead to computer problems.
  • And Weer'd Beard finds two anti-gun bloggers who try to dance in the blood of the Paris terrorism victims.
  • Plus Adam and Sean have a few choice words for those Yankees who like to talk smack about how Southern folks handle snow. 

Listen to the podcast here.
Show notes may be found here.

Don't forget to share it with a friend!

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.