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Forensics Doc

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    Rick Snow

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  1. I'm trying to disassemble my Rockchucker Supreme for cleaning and lubrication. The older versions had a toggle block pin that went through the lower holes in the linkage arms and were secured with a c-pin thingy. With the new one, the toggle block pin through the lower holes in the linkage arm are secured on either side by nylock nuts. I can get one off at a time but when I try to get the other one off, the one I just got off tightens. I've tried holding the threads of the side I got off with a wrench with a piece of cardboard over the jaws so I don't screw up the threads but can't hold it tight enough to allow me to remove the nylock nut on the other side. Since this is a continuous pin, can I just take off one nut and drive the toggle block pin to the other side using a hammer? If so, do I drive it right to left or does it make any difference?
  2. I remember the good old days when it was Playboy that was received through the mail in a plain brown wrapper, not gun magazines.
  3. Not a rant, no discussions expected, no us vs. them, no bashing. Just an observation. As of two months ago the Kroger where I shop (or used to) no longer carries any gun magazines. They previously carried probably 20 different magazines. Now, not a one.
  4. Rather than turn this into a rant, (which it might anyway but not by me), I’m just going to post a series of emails between me and TSA regarding whether it is permissible to carry bullets (not loaded ammo) in the carry-on. The question I asked was “Is it permissible to carry bullets (not loaded ammo) in my carry-on?” Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently not. The question came as a follow-up to an incident I had with TSA in Savannah, Georgia (I posted it on this forum on 1/3/17 entitled “Run-In With TSA”). I was told by TSA at the airport that the .204 Ruger cases I had in my carry-on had to be checked. I knew full well that they didn’t, but what could I do? If you’re interested you can read about it there. Anyway, next month I will be again traveling through the Savannah airport and may well be carrying some Sierra 32-grain .204 Ruger bullets in my carry-on. For some reason they seem hard to find here so I buy them whenever and wherever I can. Round one: My initial inquiry to TSA on 1/31/18 was: “Can you tell me if bullets (not ammunition) are permissible in carry-on baggage? I know the regulations on shell casings but can find no information on bullets.” TSA’s response: “Thank you for contacting the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Contact Center. Empty shell casings are permitted in your carry-on or checked bag as long as the projectile is no longer intact and the primer has been removed or has been discharged. If ammunition still has the projectile attached and the powder has been drilled out, they are considered replicas and are not permitted in carry-on bags.” Round two: My response: “I did not ask about shell casings. As I mentioned in my email, I know the regulations on those. I am asking a second time for clarification on whether bullets (not ammunition) can be carried aboard. Despite common nomenclature, bullets are not the same as ammunition. A loaded round of ammunition is comprised of four components: the bullet (projectile), powder, primer (detonates the powder), and the case. Two of these components, the powder and primer, are classified as hazardous material and may not be carried aboard. The other two, the bullet (projectile) and case are simply inert pieces of metal and pose no threat. So I will ask again: Can bullets (projectiles) be carried aboard?” TSA’s response: “In response to your question, no, loaded ammunition is not allowed in carry-on baggage. Ammunition may only be transported in checked baggage and TSA requires ammunition to be in original packaging or in specific packaging designed to carry ammunition (wood or metal box) when transported. If ammunition is in a magazine, the open end of the magazine needs to be taped or in a magazine pouch, inside an approved box designed to transport ammunition in checked baggage.” Round three: My inquiry of later on 3/8/18 was: “For the third time I am asking whether bullets (projectiles), not loaded ammunition can be carried aboard. My inquiry of 2/18/18 made it quite clear that I need clarification on bullets (projectiles), one of the four components of a loaded round of ammunition, not on ammunition itself. Bullets are metallic projectiles only and are not explosive. Given that empty cases can be carried aboard, I assume that bullets, which are similarly non-explosive and pose no threat, can be also. I don’t know how to make my inquiry any clearer than this.” TSA’s response: “Replica weapons may be mistaken for real weapons in the x-ray machine or by a fellow passenger and have the ability to cause the same level of concern. In addition, screening checkpoints may be impacted or closed if a replica firearm appears as a real weapon when viewed through the x-ray machine.” “Replica firearms and ammunition are permitted in checked baggage. While not required, we recommend that you place realistic firearms in a hard-sided, locked case. If a Transportation Security Officer discovers a replica firearm during checked baggage screening an believes it is real, the item will be treated as such until law enforcement advises otherwise.” Am I missing something here? Was my simple question not clear? Or, as was said on Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
  5. Wuss(y): A person regarded as weak, ineffectual, or overly fearful. Origin: a combination of the words “wimp” and (well, you know).—Thefreedictionary.com. A couple months ago I was in my local Kroger store, and after picking up a few things I headed over to the magazine rack to check out the gun magazines. Just as I rounded the aisle with the magazine rack I saw a woman going from one end of the rack to the other, moving magazines from one end of the rack to the other, all the while muttering under her breath. Although the words were mostly inaudible, I heard snippets that mentioned something about someone’s mother, someone’s son, something about female dogs, and something about certain body parts. Upon seeing me she immediately stopped the muttering and blushed. I asked, “Is something wrong?” to which she answered, “Some (pausing slightly while searching for a word that would be acceptable to a customer) jerk keeps putting the gun magazines behind the cooking, sewing, and women’s magazines and keeps putting the cooking, sewing, and women’s magazines in front of the gun magazines. I just don’t understand it!” Now, I frequently have to remove a single Car and Driver or Motor Trend magazine from the front of a row of gun magazines, but that’s just because someone didn’t take the time to replace it from where it came from originally. According to the woman, these were entire rows of women’s magazines that were placed over the gun magazines. Very strange. I thought no more about it until I was in the same Kroger a couple weeks ago and once again headed to the magazine rack. As I neared the rack I saw an older guy calmly and deliberately removing entire rows of gun magazine from one end of the rack and taking them to the other end. He then carefully tucked them behind a row of Good Housekeeping magazines. He then took probably six cooking magazines from the left side of the rack, walked about 15 feet to the other end of the rack, and carefully put them over the Guns and Ammo magazines. He then took a handful of Shooting Times and then walked back to the left side of the rack and hid them behind some kind of sewing magazines. I walked up to him and asked, “Would you be terribly upset if I asked you what the hell you’re doing?” Wussy Man: “Moving magazines,” he replied. Me: “Well, Sherlock, I can see that. And your reason is…?” Wussy Man: “I’m afraid of guns.” Me: “Those aren’t guns. Those are pictures of guns on the front cover.” Wussy Man: “Same thing.” I briefly considered raising my untucked shirt and showing that there really is a difference between a 1911 and a picture of one, but I figured that upon seeing the difference he would probably lose control of his bladder and hose us both. Me: “Not a big fan of the Second Amendment, huh?” Wussy Man: “I don’t know about the Second Amendment. I just don’t think anyone should have guns.” Me: “Well, you’re a bit late on that one. That issue was decided a couple hundred years ago. So you’re more comfortable with cooking magazines, sewing magazines, and women’s lingerie magazines?” Apparently Wussy Man was comfortable in his choice of magazines or perhaps not recognizing sarcasm when he heard it he said, “Yes.” Me: “Somehow I would have guessed that.” I then walked away and headed to the manager’s office. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw that Wussy Man was continuing his quest to hide the gun magazines, apparently undeterred by our brief conversation. Upon reaching the manager’s office I told him what was going on, and it just so happened that the magazine lady I had met a couple months earlier was there also. They both headed to the magazine rack while I left to pick up a couple other items before I left the store. As I was leaving, I decided to take another pass by the magazine rack and see what was going on. Sure enough, the manager, magazine lady, and Wussy Man were engaged in a rather spirited conversation, and Wussy Man seemed to be getting the short end of it. As I passed behind him, I dropped a 12-pack of Charmin in his cart and continued down the aisle. Seeing the toilet paper now in his cart, he tuned to me and said, “What’s that for?” I replied, “You’re so full of (for purposes of this forum let’s just call it “fecal matter”) I thought you might need this.” The manager and magazine lady then broke out laughing and I could still hear them laughing when I left the store several minutes later.
  6. I've been reloading for a CZ527 Varmint in .223 for several years now using a Dillon 550B and Dillon dies. The gun is incredibly accurate, but like most of us I want to wring out every bit of accuracy it is capable of. The other day I wanted to recheck the shoulder bump so I took some fired cases and measured them from the base of the case to the shoulder using digital calipers and Sinclair Bump Gauge Inserts. The brass is twice-fired Lake City brass that has always worked well in the gun. Yeah, I know, it's not Lapua but it works well. The brass was not resized prior to measuring. The primers are seated below the base, so that's not an issue. I expected to see the lengths within no more than about 0.002, but I was surprised to see the lengths were all over the map, varying from .002 to as much as 0.011. Given that they were all fired in the same gun and would be expected to expand to fit the chamber, I am stumped as to why they vary so much. I thought maybe the gunk on the neck and shoulder could account for the variations, so I cleaned them slightly with 000 steel wool It had no effect. And with this much variation, I can't see any way to set the sizing die to set shoulder bump back about 0.002. Does anybody out there have any idea what's going on? I don't.
  7. Having worked in a morgue for many years and seeing the most incredible ways people wind up on an autopsy table, I'm convinced that Albert Einstein had it right when he said, "Only two thing are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former."
  8. The older I get the more I realize I don't understand a lot of stuff, much of which I simply accept and go on. I don't understand how a particle as infinitesimally small as an atom can be split to cause an explosion that will level entire cities, but I know it's true. I can't begin to grasp the complexities of putting a man on the moon, not once but several times, and returning them safely to Earth, but I watched it happen. More recently, in 2004 the Rosetta spacecraft was launched and and ten years later, after having traveled something over four billion miles, landed on comet 67P, which was traveling through space at a velocity of 84,000 mph. After doing so, it sent back astoundingly clear photos of the comet's surface. As amazing as all that is, here's what I find even more amazing: That with all the incredible technology we have, we seem unable to prevent our email from being hacked, unable to prevent viruses and worms from infecting our computers, and seem unable to prevent credit card fraud from occurring when buying stuff over the internet. Yes, I know, much, perhaps most, of this results from use of passwords such as "password" or "12345678", using the same password for multiple accounts, and not recognizing phishing when it occurs, but surely if we can hit a comet 317 million miles away after traveling for ten years, we should be able to keep some Romanian hacker with a home computer from being able to access our information. Am I missing something?
  9. Of all the things I hate (and they are many) one of the things that pisses me off most are people who knowingly take perverse pleasure in destroying other people's property. I travel a lot and have spent quite a bit of time in Europe over the past few years. It really ticks me off to see centuries-old buildings tagged or spray painted with graffiti, traffic signs done likewise, and property intentionally damaged. It's the same here in the U.S. Much of my travel occurs during the week, particularly mid-week when our garbage is picked up on Wednesday morning. Given that the trash is picked up between about 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., most folks put their garbage out near the street the previous night. Being the morning person/insomniac that I am, I usually get up around 5:00 or so and put it out then. For the last several times while I was traveling my wife put the garbage out the night before only to find that some jerk had bashed the garbage can with a car sometime during the night and scattered the garbage down the hillside. She could see the tire marks leading to the garbage can. Once may be an accident, but three times made it intentional. The garbage can itself was a Rubbermaid, and just pushing it back into shape was easy. But the thought of it... Anyway, after the third time I figured I'd do something about it. I went to Lowe's and bought a bag of cement and a piece of PVC pipe. In the place where we put the garbage can I dug a hole about three feet deep with a posthole digger, set the PVC pipe in the middle of it, and surrounded the PVC pipe with concrete. Next I went out and bought an identical garbage can and cut a hole in the bottom of it. On Tuesday evening I took a 6-foot I-beam I had lying around, set in in the PVC pipe, and slid the garbage can over the top of it. I then filled the garbage can with concrete blocks and went to bed. Sure enough, about 3:00 a.m. I heard a loud crash next to our driveway. I jumped in my clothes and went out to find a lime green Mitsubishi Eclipse wrapped around the garbage can. The bumper was pushed back into the radiator, which was pushed back to the block and leaking coolant everywhere. The hood was curled up and the left front wheel was cocked about 45 degrees. Prior to impact it must have looked much like one of the cars from the Fast and Furious movie. You know what I mean--tires set out 6 inches from the wheel wells, racing stripe, a tailpipe with a diameter you could put a grapefruit in, and lowered so much that if he had run over a contact lens it would have taken out the oil pan. It didn't look much like that now. Just climbing out was some greasy-looking kid (18 years old, no less, so that makes him an adult, not a juvie. Big difference with the court system), and two other sketchy-looking buddies. I had already called the police who were there within minutes. The driver was obviously drunk as were both of his buddies. The driver said, "Well, damn, this didn't happen the last time!." The officer asked me what the concrete blocks were doing in the garbage can, and I told him that it was just some building materials I was planning to throw away later. He just smiled. When the officer asked for his proof of insurance the driver said he didn't have any. Awwww. Now ain't that a shame! He'll have to pay to fix his own car. The driver was arrested for DUI, no proof of insurance, and a few other things. Unfortunately, there was no proof that he had intentionally run into the garbage can, so he wasn't arrested for that. His two buddies were arrested for public drunk, and the car went away on a hook. It was an awful lot of work but more than worth it. Revenge is best served cold, and when combined with a teachable moment is the best of all outcomes.
  10. I was doing some work in Virginia yesterday and just happened to see this license plate on a truck in a parking lot. My guess is that it was lost on 99.9% of the people who saw it.
  11. The other day I was in Savannah, Georgia business and happened upon some much-needed, hard to find .204 Ruger brass. I bought two packages (50 cases each) of Hornady, stuck them in my roll aboard, and proceeded to the airport yesterday morning. As much as I travel I have a pretty good handle on TSA regulations on what and what cannot be brought aboard so I wasn't worried that the brass wouldn't make it through. Wrong. I put both both the carry-on and the roll aboard on the belt, passed through the metal detector and waited for my bags to come out the other end. Sure enough, my roll aboard was taken off the belt by a TSA agent who then asked me to step over to the screening area for further inspection. Before he opened the roll aboard I told him that what he was going to find where two bags of unprimed rifle brass in original, unopened packages. He took them out and promptly told me that these were prohibited items. I then explained to him that they were not. Knowing the regulations, I told him that this is not ammunition. They were not loaded rounds. They had no primer, no powder, and no bullet. They were simply one component of loaded ammunition and there was nothing prohibiting them from being carried aboard. He then explained that TSA prohibits bolts, firing pins, clips, magazines, and other firearm components from being carried aboard, and that the brass fit this definition. I then told him that rifle brass is not a firearm component and that I was not carrying a firearm. There was no budging him. He then told me I could either dump the brass (yeah, right), or go back to the Delta ticket counter and check my roll aboard with the brass in it. I asked him if it would be permissible if I were to carry aboard two 1-pound boxes of copper pennies and an exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and he said it would be. I then asked for his name and wrote it down. If I had had time I would have asked for a supervisor, but I didn't. He then escorted me out of security, and I went back to the Delta ticket counter, waited in line, and checked my roll aboard with the brass in it. Then I had to go through security again. I've got Pre-check and Global Entry to speed things up but It was still a real PITA. This morning I called TSA (866) 289-9673) and spoke to a marvelous agent. I explained the situation to her and asked her to clarify whether or not I was permitted to carry the brass aboard. She read me the TSA rule stating that unprimed brass without a seated bullet is permitted. No question about it. She was most apologetic, extremely helpful, and very knowledgable (unlike the TSA agent in Savannah). She then asked for the TSA agent's name that I dealt with in Savannah and said she would take it from there. What that means, I don't know. She also sent me a copy of the TSA regulation that states that unprimed brass is permissible. In all fairness, in all the travel I do, (and it's a bunch), this is the first run-in I've ever had with TSA. I realize that this is a situation that likely doesn't occur often, but I seriously doubt that I'm the first person who has tried to carry unloaded brass through security. Hopefully, so remedial training is in order for a certain TSA agent in Savannah.
  12. That one hurts, really hurts. Everyone should be so fortunate as to have a boss/mentor like yours but, unfortunately, few do.
  13. My voice went up three octaves just thinking about the impact the twins took from those jumps.
  14. I've got a pet peeve against inconsiderate people, particularly those who litter. Many years ago I parked my car and was walking to a cafeteria I frequently ate at. As I walked by a SUV I noticed the back door was open and a woman standing beside it was changing the diaper on a baby. As I walked by I watched the woman tie all four corners of the diaper together and casually pitch it into the parking lot beside the SUV. Worse, she did it as nonchalantly as could be as if it were an accepted practice. She made no effort to hide what she did even though there were several other folks in the parking lot. Gathering up the infant, she walked into the cafeteria. I make a point of carrying a box of latex gloves in both cars in case I come upon a wreck and someone needs assistance. Instead of walking into the cafeteria I walked back to my car, put on a pair of latex gloves, and then walked back to the SUV. I unwrapped the diaper and, believe me, I've never seen so much crap come out of one itty bitty baby as this one. This kid had loaded the diaper! I then took the diaper, fllpped it crapside to the windshield, and smeared the contents from one corner to the other on the windshield. By the time I was finished the windshield of the SUV looked like it had been in a mud bogging contest. The last thing I did was take the diaper and place the windshield wipers on top of it. Taking off the gloves and putting them under the windshield wipers also, I then went in the cafeteria also. The woman left before I did and I halfway expected to see the diaper once again in the parking lot but it wasn't. About all I know for sure is she probably had to refill the windshield wiper fluid by the time she got home.
  15. It's surprising that WWP won't respond, particularly since they depend heavily on donations as I understand it. Should they continue to ignore your repeated requests, may I suggest that you consider donating the proceeds of the match to Honor Air? By now you've probably already read my response to your earlier post and in it I give details of my dad's recent Honor Air trip. It's a very worthwhile cause and one that desperately needs donations to continue to serve our greatest generation.
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