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Ernie's House of Whoopass! January 15, 2015
January 15, 2015

"Jayne, Your Mouth Is Talking. You Might Wanna Look To That."

Saffron: Are you gonna kill me?
Captain Mal: What? What kind of crappy planet is that? Kill you.
Saffron: In the maiden's home, I heard talk of men who weren't pleased with their brides...
Captain Mal: Well, I ain't them. And don't you ever stand for that sort of thing. Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back.

With that in mind, what's the last thing you do before you hand a firearm to someone? Make sure it's unloaded. What's the very first thing you do when someone hands you a firearm? Make sure it's unloaded. And yes, even though you just watched the person handing it to you make sure it was unloaded. What two ubiquitous gun safety rules are applicable here? The gun is always loaded, and never point the gun at anything you don't want to put a hole in. Or in this particular case, shoot off.

Although this does raise an interesting point. Let's say the customer in this case wasn't a LEO with years on the job, lots of experience handling a firearm and presumably several firearm courses under his belt. Let's say it was a 65 year old widower whose husband just passed away and absolutely no experience handling a firearm. In the latter case, wouldn't we point the finger (hee hee) at the merchant and say they bore partial responsibility to provide a safe risk-free experience, and that leaving a display firearm loaded -- especially since the clerk didn't clear it -- was negligence? If so, why would we exempt the merchant from that responsibility in this case, simply because his customer should have known better?

One important design criterion for many antennas is the antenna's directionality, expressed by its radiation pattern and gain. This is often not a design goal however. An antenna much smaller than a wavelength in all its dimensions cannot have much directionality, so at lower frequencies a directional antenna generally becomes impractically large. Antennas for use in portable or mobile equipment cannot be conveniently pointed in the direction of the other station, so directionality is undesired in these applications.

So I'd like to read what these 109 tips are for. Can you help a brotha out?

Hey Ern, this was an easy one! Right in my back yard! The round building on the right would be the Sharaton Crown Center Hotel. Formerly the Hyatt Regency Hotel that suffered what at the time was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. History. The monolith on the left is Liberty Memorial, a memorial to those who served in WW I. (when in KC a must see). The bare breasts were attending Rockfest, an annual all day concert held at the park there. But I'm an old fart and don't go. Been a long time fan of the site. but evidently not long enough because I don't know what the stick figures are! Keep up the good work. John B. Lee's Summit MO -- P.S. The round building was a revolving restaurant called "Skies" that is currently closed. Drrr, that's what you were specifically asking about.

Hey Ernie, I saw the picture of your sealed up Bersa and noticed that the magazine was loaded. Just an FYI, I have a Bersa 97 .380 that I bought back in the early '80s. It was my off duty carry piece (I was a Correctional Officer) so for half the year I kept the magazine loaded (I considered it too big to wear in the summer so I wore an different weapon in the summer months when it was harder to hide under the clothes). The CO job only lasted 3 years before I moved on to a different profession and the gun's magazines have sat empty and unused for the past 30 or so years. Last year I took it out of the safe and took it to the range only to find it wouldn't feed properly. While I was in the police academy we were told by the firearms trainers to "exercise" the magazine springs and let them rest, suggesting that when we were off duty for a few days, and thus wearing an off-duty piece, to let the magazine springs sit without any compression on them. Does it really help? I don't know; it's just what was told to us in the academy. Figuring it can't hurt, I swap out the magazines in my CC weapon monthly. Again, will it lengthen the life span of the mag springs?? Who knows? Not me! That all being said, I'd just hate to see you find out the hard way that you get one shot with your Bersa because the mag spring doesn't have the strength any longer to push the next round up into the chamber. I'm sure there are others out there who can confirm or deny whether keeping the spring under tension long term is OK. Cheers! Mike

So here's a funny thing Mike. The answer to your question will first completely blow your mind, and then as you think about it, make complete sense. At least that's what it did to me because like you I was under the false (surprise!) impression that storing a magazine loaded will weaken the springs. In fact if you recall, this misconception indirectly contributed to me ventilating my kitchen wall, back in early 2006. Turns out the loaded magazine myth is completely untrue; what causes spring fatigue is the compress/decompression cycling. Now that's not to say you can store them completely loaded for say... 30 fucking years... and expect them to function like new... but 3, 5, 10 years? No spring fatigue. Well, not appreciably, anyway. The biggest thing you have to worry about are the feed lips bending from the strain of a full mag, so most of mine are two rounds short of full capacity for that reason. Now, for long term storage -- you know, like 30 fucking years -- it's probably best to disassemble the magazines, allowing the spring to expand to its natural length.

If I were to make some humble suggestions regarding your feed problem it'd be to clean and lube the gun thoroughly. Then clean and lube the gun thoroughly, again. Then clean and lube the magazine itself (do you have one or two, and if two does the problem?) Then if you're still having trouble I'd suggest trying a few different types of ammunition. Of the six different brands of .380 ammo I have, my Bersas simply WILL NOT feed those flat nosed Winchesters on the far right. I have lubed, I have buffed, I have polished. I have cursed, I have beggedm and I have swore. But try as I might, neither gun will reliably feed them. So if you've only tried one brand/style, don't be afraid to try some others -- there's a ton of diffreent .380 ammo to try -- including some stuff which wasn't around 30 years ago, including steel/aluminum cases and various styles of jacketed hollow points. And if that doesn't work, I'd break down the magazine and manhandle the spring a little bit because spare parts are hard to find and at that point, what do you have to lose?

And seriously. What kind of s shitty beach resort actually chains their beach chairs down?

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So Long, Lieutenant George Herbert Walker Bus...

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