I Got 99 Dollars And You Can’t Hear None Of Them.

A lightweight rimfire can for $99? Yes, please!

The SOS-22 is a masterpiece. In a world of overpriced suppressors the SOS-
22 shatters the mold. Needing only three baffles (shocking we know), the SOS-22 is
one of the lightest rimfire cans on the market, incredibly quiet, robust, snappy to
disassemble and maintain, and only $99.

So for around 4 bills, once you’ve dealt with transfer fees and tax stamps, you’ll have a rimfire suppressor of your very own.

Ok, I’m interested.

Blast Off.

The Firearm Blog posted something last week that tripped a lot of my nerd switches, namely guns and space exploration.

All it needed was references to “Buckaroo Banzai” and it would have hit my nerd trifecta.

I digress.

Human space exploration has been stuck in a rut since Gene Cernan knocked the duct off his boots and left the moon behind him. Sure, we’ve got astronauts whizzing over our heads right now in a small aluminum tube, but the technology that NASA is recommending we use for the next 30 years looks an awful lot like mashup of 50 year old Apollo technology and 40 year old Space Shuttle technology, because, well, it is.


Elon Musk isn’t settling for that. The Interplanetary Transport System is breathtakingly audacious and uses ideas that were created by NASA but tossed away, such as carbon-fiber fuel tanks and full-flow staged-combustion engines. SpaceX has revolutionized space launches with lower costs for the same performance because they’re applying modern business practices to the business of going into space. SpaceX is run more like Apple or Google, while NASA and the government contractors it uses are run like it’s still 1942 or something.

I’ve been saying for a while now that guns have reached a technology plateau. There really hasn’t been an “oh, WOW!” moment in guns since the Glock came out and people started copying it (with varying degrees of success…). The closest we’ve come to that moment is, for better or worse, the Taurus Judge, which should tell you everything you need to know about the state innovation in guns today. Just like Elon Musk is doing with his new rocket, Gaston Glock started with a blank sheet of paper and used ideas that were either really new or had fallen by the wayside, like polymer frames and striker actions and came out with something that changed the world.

Now, part of the problem is that the civilian market for guns is hemmed in by stupid regulations. Cars with built-in mufflers have been around for over 100 years now, but pistols with built-in silencers (especially ones not in .22 caliber) are still uncommon thanks to the stupidity of the National Firearms Act. The same is true for PDW’s, which would tick just about all the boxes needed for a trunk gun / pistol carbine / whatever, but are needlessly expensive and hard to get, thanks to the NFA.

Like the other innovations of the last thirty years such as the personal computer and the smartphone, SpaceX’s bold reach for the stars has shown us that the days of waiting for government to change our lives are over. You want a better rocket? Build it yourself. Want a better firearm? Buy a CAD program and a CnC machine, and do it yourself.

Fifteen Years Later


Not willing to forgive, not going to forget. Somethings are worth fighting for, and the freedom of my family and myself to worship God in the manner of our choosing is one of them.

Rot in hell, bin Ladin. Rot in hell.

Product Review: Prosounds M2 Ear Protection.


Advantages: Low cost, full features
Disadvantages: Top out at 25db noise reduction
Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Earlier this year I backed a Kickstarter project for a set of ProSounds M2 electronic earmuff hearing protectors. They came in last month, and to be honest, I forgot I had them, because I’ve taken a shine to these other ProSounds hearing protectors instead.

However, the M2 earmuffs are quite good. Slightly larger than the Howard Leights they replace, they offer 25db noise reduction versus the 22db reduction of the Howard Leights. They also cover my ears more, which is probably one of the reasons for the better noise reduction rating.

The volume controls are easy to reach and easy to use without looking at them (a must-have for this sort of hearing protection, and they were comfortable to wear all morning long at a recent USPSA match.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little step up from the Impact Sports that are so popular these days, give the Prosounds M2 a look.

Upon Further Reflection…

  1. Cars break down.
  2. Cars have a tendency to break down at night.
  3. In really weird places.
  4. Where there’s no shoulder.
  5. So why don’t you have road flares (or reflective triangles) and a reflective vest in your trunk?

You DO know how to change a tire, don’t you?

And while I don’t recommend you go out looking for a fight, if you do find yourself in some place when carrying around an AR-15 in the open makes a lot of sense, I’m thinking that a reflective vest sends a clear signal to the other good guys out there that you’re on their side.

Call it a “Don’t Shoot Me First Vest”, if you will.

Equipment Upgades.

Nope, not gun stuff, photo stuff.

I’m looking at doing some more photo work for money (the best kind of photo work there is) in the near future, and I wanted to upgrade my lighting a bit.

I’ve been using light-painting quite a lot for my product photography work (with some pretty good results), but light-painting doesn’t work too well when you want to freeze a moving subject, so strobe power is what I needed.

I learned strobes by playing around with Vivitar 285s and sync cords, so the relatively cheap, powerful strobes and radio slaves of today just blow me away. Even the cheap stuff is really, really good and easily available.

From left to right:



Neewer TT260 Strobe: This is not a whiz-bang TTL strobe with all the bells and whistles, but what it does, it does well. With a Guide Number of 180, it’s got a good amount of throw for a shoe-mounted flash (the 283s I learned on had a Guide Number of 120 at best), and for $40, I can use it and abuse it and not break the bank.

Neewer Radio Slaves: When I was shooting (snapsnap) for living, radio slaves cost a LOT of money, and some still do. These give me all the functionality of the radio slaves of the past at a fraction of the cost.
I love living in the future.

Neewer Remote Trigger: A wireless remote trigger for just over $5? Yes, please!

All this stuff (plus a light stand and a hot shoe stand adapter) will get your light off the top of the camera and out in the wild where it can do some really, really cool things, For example, here’s a shot I did for a former employer.


That photo was taken with my ancient Nikon D70, and white/gold reflector and this photo setup, but just about any off-camera flash and a few light modifiers would get similar results. This was far from the most sophisticated lighting equipment and setup I’ve ever worked on, but it worked. Here’s the lighting setup:


I positioned the main light to her left because I knew she’d be standing with her right shoulder forward and I wanted the light to wrap around her face. Also,  a light from that direction would minimize the reflections on her glasses (Angle of Incidence = Angle of Reflection: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!). The hair light to the left and behind was to pop her out from the dark background, and the gold reflector was for warmth and also help separate her out from the background. I wasn’t too concerned about defining the shape of her head any more than that because a) there was shiny, shiny glass behind her that would reflect any light to her right and b) the light on the subjects int the would help separate her out. The light on the guys in back was dead-simple but I have to goose it up a bit because the light was further away from them than the main subject and it had to travel through glass. I had a small (2’x2′) soft box on the closer lights for a smoother, more controllable light and the back light had barn doors because I had to cover a lot of ground with it.

All this was setup and shot in under an hour and it went fast because I saw the shot I wanted in my mind first and I had enough practice at this sort of thing to make it happen.

There’s about 52 different ways what I just said could be applied to self-defense and shooting (bangbang), but I will leave that to all you to work out.

Open Carry That Worked Really, Really Well.

The breathless pearl-clutching in this NPR article is somewhat funny to read, now that the Republican National Convention is over and pretty much nothing happened outside the venues.

With the country reeling after shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., the issue of open carry in Cleveland has become a flashpoint. The head of Cleveland’s largest police union called on Gov. John Kasich to suspend open carry for the duration of convention.

“I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN.

In a news conference today, Mayor Frank Jackson said the idea had been taken up and down the chain of command and Kasich said he did not have the authority to change state law.

That means that people have been walking around downtown Cleveland with their firearms.

Allen said he decided to bring his handgun after the police shootings in Dallas. He said someone intent on carrying out something similar would be dissuaded by the show of force.

Kudos to everyone who was legally carrying a gun in Cleveland last week (open carry or not).

Anyone want to bet that the Democrat convention in Philadelphia (not exactly the most gun-friendly city in the U.S.) won’t have the same calmness surrounding it that the Republicans (and their guns) had?