Joe's skills for trade

For those who are willing to help others.
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This is for those who don't mind doing something a little extra for others, using their core expertise, so the other guy can get on with his project in his own field. Barter is encouraged, if it's for money that's fine too, however.

Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Doug Coulter » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:51 pm

I dunno, I mostly think I have too much stuff -- after awhile it gets in the way and starts owning you rather than the right way around.

I tried IPSC, but I'm both not as good as most around here and their egos bothered me a bit (even though they deserve it some, they are really good).

I'm a long gun guy in competition -- precision is my thing. With all those engineering years of making things better via feedback, I just needed to get into something feed-forward for awhile and succeeded beyond even my hopes. I am the current all time record holder at the local gun club (160 years) for shooting a "possible", in other words, all X's, at 100, 200, 300 meters off a rest with a gun I built. X's in hunter benchrest (that game) are about 1/4" diameter. 90 X's in a row! I find it amazing that a human can point a stick that well -- even if the stick is essentially a perfect laser, which that was, and with good bags and all. 25 mph gusts makes that a little more tricky, but you don't go explaining Zen to that crowd, which is how I handle wind in that mode.

I was a wet rag after that, but a funny -- the older guys there (all nice) were giving me all these tips, like I wasn't holding the gun right, I should take off the sling swivel to make it ride the bags better and all that kind of thing. They couldn't see the black holes in the center of the tiny black X rings with their optics. When the targets came back, well then, things changed -- they were still watching me close, but for a different reason. I keep some monkey trap mesh on the barrel, actually to keep wasps from building a nest in it. But they asked about that, so I mumbled something about barrel vibration damping and they all move in close -- then I tell them the real reason.

But I messed up, I didn't get it. That's an old boys club, you're not supposed to come on and beat the snot out of them, that's not what it's all about, its a social thing, mainly. So I laid low for a couple years and now they don't remember me so well -- but I don't take that gun there anymore, they'd all pick up and leave if I did. I now take "sleeper" guns and play the social game smarter. For example, take an AR to a bench-rest match and no one thinks you are a threat...heh.

I am still learning handguns, and my fave is an old .38 S&W mod 14 with a red dot on it. I am lucky there, my lab assistant (the guy in the middle of the pic on my homepage, Dave) is an instructor (retired cop), we teach together, me playing the part of the bad guy as I look right for that. He really kicks my butt on handguns and I'm still learning from him. But i can still usually get to him faster from 7 feet away than he can get his gun out of the holster, which is good for the students to see (and fun for us).

A cool exploit of his. We teach for concealed carry license stuff and most people we get only know guns from movies, a real bad place to start. So I set up this evil test. 8 helium balloons tied to a 2x4 in a line straight away from you, bobbing in the wind. One is purple, the rest white -- all same height. The purple one is the bad guy, the rest are hostages. Shoot just that one.
You have 5 seconds from a holstered gun.

Well, no fresh student can do that (neither can I most days), and they get a real reality check quick this way, which we think is a good idea. Then Dave goes up to the line, gun in holster. He just looks for about 3 seconds, pulls the gun and shoots in one deft motion, and only gets the bad guy. No one was unimpressed, believe me, that's hard. What I do for those demos is a lot easier, and I've practiced specifically that move -- I take my time on the first shot, and preload the force on my grip to get back down out of recoil fast, timing the lock time so it goes off just as the sights re-enter the bull -- muscle memory. It's just like playing drums (something that was my day job for awhile). You don't move when you want to hear the sound, it's all anticipation and pre-timing -- and confidence pulls the trigger on the way into the bullseye, not anxiety pulling it on the way out -- that's pretty much the secret. And it's easier all on one target than bouncing around them and running around like in IPSC. It doesn't hurt that I reload (ammo is almost free to me) and I have two ranges on my land to practice on.

BTW, I do that with a CZ 97-b, even though I have a super-duper 1911 race gun. Sad to say, the CZ just does that better. Looks like crap, I've not 'smithed on it at all (built the other one from the ground up from all aftermarket parts, the best) but hey, it just does the job better. It's too heavy to really carry, though. I carry a Ti Taurus ultralight .38 with a crimson trace laser in the grips, and that laser is a weapon on its own. "Do not look into laser with remaining eye". Which is the point, to make them run away, I never want to actually shoot anyone.

Our other anti theft (or just anti jerk) tactic here is to introduce the real pr**ks to one another and then sit back and let them self eliminate, which they usually will do with no further encouragement. You get two for the price of one that way.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Joe Jarski » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:40 pm

Yeah, I definitely don't want to be on the wrong end of you with a rifle. That's some dang good shooting! I've mostly shot handguns myself, but I haven't practiced nearly as much as I'd like to over the past few years - ridiculous prime costs and all. I'm usually better than most of the people I shoot with, but I wouldn't consider myself even being close to competition ready. I need to give the balloon thing a try, but I fear the hostage casualty rate will be quite high.

After trying a lot of different handguns on for size I've come back to the 1911, a bone stock WWI reproduction. I'm trying to remedy my obsession with wanting to modify and "improve" everything I get and instead appreciate things in their original form.

BTW, I can imagine that the anti-jerk tactic would be a nearly failsafe system. I need to try that out too.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:56 am

Well, we can simply plan that if it ever comes to shooting, we'll be on the same team!

I'm not sure I'm competition-ready, that one cool record notwithstanding -- I just did a ton of prep, and had a great day -- one of those rare times when everything just goes your way.

I doubt I ever do that well again. But it sure was fun that time! I got totally whipped at IPSC, and not by anyone famous, just the local club guys, they are pretty good, and practice a lot more than I do -- they seem to be able to do it without sights --it's all muscle memory for them, and shoot so fast the brass is only about 4-6" apart in midair! I should probably go for cowboy action shooting, since I'm fast and that looks a lot easier --. For the benchrest type of stuff, I use every trick in the book on building ammo, which helps a lot, and that's mostly case prep, which you only have to do once for the harder parts, but you still wind up with a lot of time invested in each case. The machine shop helps a lot there in making perfectly uniform, straight ammo, with some lathe jigs. You do crazy things like buy 500 brass and sort them into lots by weight, and toss out the outliers. The trash can is a reloader's best friend pretty often. It's a lot of work to do that....not worth it for most people. But of course it's easy to make better ammo for a particular gun than the factories, who have to make it all sloppy fit so it goes into anything out there --it's not their fault, they have different constraints.

Nothing wrong with a plain 1911 if it feeds good, and feels right in your hand ; I do prefer the Caspian frame on mine with that neat finger-spacing bump on the grip, helps you get a consistent grip every time and feels good. Most of mine don't like funny-shaped bullets though, unless I polish up the feed ramps and take special care on the clip feed lips. I cast my own bullets for various guns (including rifles, for plinking and possums), and for that 1911 I use either the plain old 230 gr round nose, or a 200 gr semi wadcutter, and got it to feed those OK -- you can shoot a little faster with less recoil. You use so little powder in a handgun round, it's really just the cost of the primers at that point (and making sure you find the brass!). So I rarely use the Kimber .22 conversion -- it costs more to shoot! The CZ is a later design with an integral feed ramp, so it eats "anything", even those "flying ashtrays". The only mod that a 1911 really needs is that little rubber buffer to keep down the shock when the slide comes all the way back when shooting full power (or more, like bowling pin) loads -- makes the gun live longer, and it's easy to put in.

My most recent endeavor there (other than exhibition shooting for the neighbors on the 4th of July) is egg shoots. We shoot chicken egg targets hung up in pantyhose at 500 meters. I've scrambled a few, but I must admit that it took quite a lot of ammo and time to get to a dozen, even with a really good .308 bolt rifle. At that point, the slightest wind moves the bullets all over and it can be hard to judge well enough on some ranges where the wind might be swirling different along the path to the target. Not to mention, it's darn hard to even see the things even with good optics, that far away. I've never won one of those, but they are sure fun!

We shoot tannerite on the 4th, it's real impressive (and still legal). Kind of like low power dynamite, you can really tell when you hit it -- if you put it on an oak pallet, it turns it into splinters. I generally add some pyrotechnics (Ti lathe swarf, etc) to it so it's even more impressive, and have a few other impressive tricks along those lines -- I make my own pyrotechnic stuff for 2" mortars. They are all easy to do, but still impress people who don't realize that shooting a sniper gun at like 40-50 yards (off bags!) isn't exactly hard....So everyone who wants a souvenir gets at dime with a hole in the middle or something like that -- maybe a playing card or similar with a called shot on just one of the leaves of a club. Actually, pretty easy.

The little Taurus I carry (when I bother) isn't fun to shoot -- it's so light that the recoil is like a .357 or something, a real hand slapper -- stings. But that's not the point of that one, it's that I'll have it with me, and I'm too small to carry a .45 concealed or open and not walk funny -- and it takes longer for me to "assume the position" with one -- I don't carry with one in the tube either. As most metal detectors are looking for ferrous metal, they don't see the Taurus...it has very little in it -- barrel sleeve, firing pin and hammer are all the steel it has. This has lead to some embarrassing situations, like fishing in my pocket for something in the courthouse when I was there to pay taxes, and discovering I have the gun in there -- its so small and light you forget -- having already passed through the detectors. What to do at that point? Well, the cops all know me (and like me, so far) so I could have gone and turned myself in, but I decided to just tiptoe back out -- and made it that time. I won't try that again! To make that little thing shoot, I have to use a special load that gets it done in such a short barrel -- heavy bullet and quick powder, which makes recoil worse. That self defense ammo they sell only comes out of there at 500 fps or so, with a ton of muzzle flash, the powder doesn't get burned in time.

I live in a real gun-friendly place, here it's more like golf or boating might be somewhere else, and most everyone hunts -- we have far too many deer. It's the country club sort of scene, where the good ol' boys hang out and make business deals. Who else has time to fool with those expensive toys on weekday afternoons? So you meet some real good people doing it, mostly other small business owners. The land around here is much too hilly for golf to be practical. Since everyone knows everyone, there's no bad reaction when someone sees you with a gun, in fact, the reactions are generally positive everywhere -- even in the banks and liquor stores. They tell me it makes them feel safer! Why would I rob my own bank? They are more worried I'll write a huge check and clobber their reserves.

Yes, the balloon thing is hard, and fun, and I regularly "get" a hostage or two. We put the "bad guy" balloon in the middle of the string...like I said, it's a real reality check for those who think guns work like in the movies, very sobering. You probably wouldn't want me to "take the shot" if you were being held hostage, with a handgun, anyway. We teach cops remedial so they can re-qualify -- and believe me, you wouldn't want most of them to take the shot either -- many of them really stink at it.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Jerry » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Oooo.. Heres some of mine, a little dated though. These were featured on CNN.com for a while.

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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Joe Jarski » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:21 pm

Nice stuff Jerry. I like the the Monarch, not to mention you have all of the goodies on it. One day I'll clear some space and get around to having a CNC, but I still like turning handles more than pushing buttons - I'm just not as coordinated as an NC controller, though. A man's gotta know his limitations.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:41 pm

Yeah, I like the handles too - you get a feel that way, and can do quite well if you're not trying what Jerry posted under titanium which frankly astonishes me (and makes my wife want some).

I don't know how much of that is just sour grapes though...I can't afford the better machine you need to start adding that kind of stuff right now, or the added CAM stuff. I'm still backing out machine play by eye and by feel and with micrometer testing in my stuff -- if you just added servos to it, it would stink pretty badly. When, not if, I need CNC work, I know who I'm going to contact...no aspersions on present company of course, but Jerry rocks at this game.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Jerry » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:13 am

Yep the Monarch is my baby. Got the taper attach, 3 jaw, 4 jaw, 6 jaw, 5C collet, 2J collet, face plate, dog driver, steady and follow rests.

The simplest and best addition to any lathe or mill is a DRO. Not one of the cheap chinese capacitive scale ones, but any glass scale DRO (Or a Newall $$$). You will makes less scrap, work faster and more accurately and no longer worry about backlash.

But CNC is awesome, especially on a mill. Lathe is so-so. On my mill it knows the location of the fixed jaw of the first vise after a home. (I have a tooling plate setup not seen in the pics.) Makes setup and doing quick jobs really easy. You dont need to write code to use it, you can use MDI mode and just give it manual commands and do quick jobs like that.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Joe Jarski » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:03 pm

Yeah, the DRO's are real handy and make everything quicker. I've never used a DRO on a lathe, but I have one (Newall) on my mill. I typically have both a vise and rotary table on my mill at the same time, so using the incremental/absolute is nice because I keep one zeroed for the rotary table which makes setup that much quicker.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Nick Strait » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:07 pm

huh are you able to work with materials like aircraft aluminum? its really random.... but in a few months ill be working on a costume that would need wearable metal edo period geta shoes, i could hunt down a photo of the exact ones, and give all the measurements and angles etc. but they would have to be pretty light (about less than 8 pounds each)and hold my weight. let me know if you could help.
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Re: Joe's skills for trade

Postby Jerry » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:10 am

"Aircraft" aluminum is just a selling point. Aircraft use a lot of different aluminum alloys.
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