OSS and Flow-Through

As everyone else seems to be jumping onto the juicy details and videos in the ongoing debate [exaggeration] involving OSS and the company that starts with an ‘S’ but isn’t Silencer Co.

As someone who actually likes the technical side of things, the OSS design intrigues me. Potentially less gasses returning to the shooter, a baffle less design based on radically new ideas, and so on. Even their latest stuff seems to have abandoned aluminum and steel to go for stainless steel and ‘Cobalt’. That seems a little odd, Cobalt is technically the main part of Stellite, but they don’t say Stellite. Silencer Co says they use Stellite, some other places say they use Inconel, and in both cases it’s not unknown which are the most likely alloys used. It’s not really a super top secret which metal is used, the properties and spec sheets are easily found, and cross referencing the requirements of the silencer to the metal information sheet will pretty easily give you a few possible choices. It’s interesting then that OSS doesn’t even slightly narrow it down to a family of stainless alloys or what Cobalt alloy they are using. Did they not get permission to use the Stellite name?

Flow through suppression; now that is a cool concept. Give an expanding gas path that redirects the flow without truly capturing it in the way baffles seem like they would. It’s like the exhaust side of a gas turbine engine, but without moving parts. Surely, with all the firearm innovations that have happened, someone has tried this or a variation of it before, right? Is the OSS that radically new of an idea that came completely out of nowhere?

The short answer is “probably not”. There have been some interesting designs, namely ball and flap suppressor ends that would seal off the silencer while pressure drops while still letting the bullet exit. Then there was the Kitzmann gas tong design that used… well, tongs to seal off the suppressor. Lock the gasses inside it and let them expand in a controlled direction and you’d reduce bolt velocity and gas blowback and various other things, in theory it’s a functional idea. If someone invented valves to make shots quieter, surely someone made what is functionally a helical baffle, right?

Brugger + Thomet and KAC both had helical baffle designs in the 90’s, but as you may note, neither does anymore. The newest B+T VP9 still uses wipes, and those are not exactly new or revolutionary compared to stamped metal baffles. What if we look at something that is not a Welrod in disguise? In that case, we end up at SIONICS, and a little suppressor called the ‘M14SS’ and their later ‘MAW-A1’. Anyone thinking the model numbers of those have something to due with the rifles they were for, you’re spot on. What if I then told you it had helical baffling that was replaceable, was rated for full auto fire and early models had a pressure valve to vent the gas in a specific direction? Well, they did, and they are amazing for their time. If anything, SIONICS seems to have developed the prototype of what OSS refined and made it functional. It’s a shame how unknown they seem, even in car circles at least people know of Turbonique; although the metaphor breaks down in SIONICS seems sane, just revolutionary. MAC-10, 10/22, M14, M16 and many more variants made, and SIONICS is barely known. Perhaps some old collector has a stash, and is waiting a few more years to make a killing on selling them.

And yet, we still use baffles and in a design that remains relatively unchanged. Apart from the occasional monoblock CNC design or oil filter, most of the companies are sticking with baffles. It will be interesting when (if) OSS starts shipping how they truly compare. Maybe this time a helical/flow through design will work. Maybe there is a reason several companies tried and abandoned it. Maybe those companies spent too much money on product development instead of just convincing people their stuff was the greatest ever.

I don’t even want to know how long it has been, really

What is the latest news? CA yet again trying to disarm everyone who lives there, people in Congress staging a sit-in protest because they couldn’t strip away the due process part of tearing rights away from people, and more.

How much are they being paid to have the gall to publicly state they need to get rid of due process?

None of that is a good idea, regardless of which party is in power, they will use the lack of due process to strip whatever rights they want from the people they disagree with. The idea alone should have people on both sides trying to get their representatives who supported removal of due process thrown out of office. Instead, some people are cheering their actions. Thanks, identity politics; you’ve been nothing but a terrible idea.

In actual gun news, it seems OSS has a test done by themselves that shows them beating SureFire, while SureFire says actual military tests show their product being better. Honestly, any company conducting a test of their own product versus others isn’t to be trusted, same as the car company that pulled fuses to disable the AWD in a competing car to showcase how good their AWD system was in comparison. On the other hand, OSS could have the better product. I’ll probably talk more about their stuff at a later date given the uniqueness of their design in comparison to baffles.

Hopefully with this, I’m cured of the depression of the constant assault of living in this state and will be back to snark, criticism, and strange wishlist items.

Let’s come back from the dead

After how long has it been, a year? Two? Three?

It’s been a surprising number of computer issues, net connection troubles, blog post program troubles, moving, house issues, and now another move in the works, I’ve been neglecting the blog substantially.

For those people who started reading this blog before they were born and somehow did not die of old age after setting records for longest lived people, well, the sarcasm, guns, snobbery, humor, comments, wishlists, and all of the rest will be returning.

Trackingpoint Again

TrackingPoint has now announced that by buying one of their precision Guided Firearms as they are actually calling them (PGFs) or you know, rifles, you will get a free multi-day trip to Vegas and free training from them on it.

I guess when I got the email from them saying they can help make life changing shots, I guess they were right in ways I didn’t expect. Compared to my normal life, going to Vegas would be life changing.

Hat tip er, fedora… Fedorov tip to Tracking Point there for their honesty.

I’ll be here all week.

New legal ruling in California

In the good news section, instead of riots over who knows what, it turns out the 10 day waiting period in California for repeat firearms buyers is unconstitutional, and California now has to change it.

There is no further reply to this other than “well done!” nor is more reply needed, although I suspect California will ignore it or do everything they can to avoid it because California only loves a strong government when that government isn’t saying ‘no’ to them.

Well, Brady died

You’ve seen the news elsewhere that Brady has finally died. genuinely, given what happened to him and how he spent his life after having gotten shot, I genuinely wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s overkill and just gives people someone who they can parade around as a talking point, and that person isn’t capable of expressing any interest or lack of in the thing. They get to be a puppet for whatever talking point.

Now that he passed away in a nursing home, his death has been ruled a homicide and he’s now going to get pushed as a ‘gun death’.

I wish I could make this stuff up.

Remember Gun Disassembly 2?

Finally, the problems from Gun Disassembly 2 have been fixed with World of Guns: Gun Disassembly. The bad camera controls and imprecise selection of the tablet, phablet and phone versions have been replaced with a free to play version for PC, available for free via Steam. The terrible camera has been replaced with right click to slide, left to pan and tilt and the scroll to zoom. Selecting parts is now the exponentially more precise mouse pointer.

The game also includes shooting ranges, constant updates and new gun models, support for both Engish and Russian, and Steam achievements in addition to basic in game achievements.

Compared to 2, WoG uses an experience point based system, where once you have enough points you can unlock the next model on a branching tree system. Guns get more expensive the further along the tree you go, and they only show you a little in advance what guns you could unlock, making finding the one you want that has yet to be revealed effectively guesswork. The game also includes a purchasable point system to allow you to buy the extras such as skeletons, motorcycles, and cars. Compared to 2, WoG also includes a BMP-3 and a HMMWV for the low low price of 50 credits for the BMP, or $8 USD. The bonus models are only able to be bought through steam DLC or in game purchases of credits, you cannot unlock them with experience. In addition, the experience is greatly slashed and every time you achieve something the game shows your earned experience 9a flat score, thankfully) and reminds you that you could get 2.5x that if only you bought a booster. Boosters last only about an hour and cost about $3. Of course, if the depressingly slow rate of gaining experience annoys you, you can do the gun identifying quiz, where they show you a gun at the worst possible angle and in about one shade of grey, making identification purely based on outline and ensuring you will make mistakes on some of the models, which results in an instant fail and earning none of the experience you had built up from the correct questions.

Luckily, for only $49.99 USD you can buy the lifetime access which unlocks all current and future models, and they say they will release 2-3 models per month which you will have for free. If anything, while it seems like a blatant cash grab, the $50 for a wide variety of guns to learn the basics of assembly and disassembly as well as a fairly interesting puzzle game requiring solving 3D puzzles and figuring out order of disassembly for the perfect score may well make it worth the price.

They say it’s high quality models, but they’re honestly pretty rough. Either the models are not of the highest quality and/or the developers don’t have a 3d modeler, or they simply are terrible at topography of a model. I’m not asking for Star Citizen render levels of quality, but something that isn’t so rough as to elicit a response of “are they even trying with the textures and models?” would be nice.

Finally, the game wants some really weird things done for assembly or disassembly. On the AK model, I was trying to get the perfect achievement on assembly, and one of the tries resulted in me failing it because I tried to put the gas block back onto the rifle before I put the spring back in the magazine. It slashed the perfect score off, notifying me it was the wrong part. I had failed that achievement so I clicked hint, at which point it told me the correct thing to do was reassemble the magazine. In super game that would have been even more annoying, as wrong part click would have lead to an instant loss entirely. That oddness isn’t limited to just the AK model, as several other guns do the same thing. however, I have had good luck tricking it by disassembling a piece at a time, pulling each into sub-assemblies and individual parts before moving onto the next section and reversing that for assembly, resulting in only having to snap together a few pieces to complete the assembly.

For the cost of free however, it can be a pretty good puzzle game or learning game to cover firearm assembly and disassembly. Less blatant grabs for money would be nice and the quiz working like any actual quiz would be nice as the current way just feels like a “screw you, maybe you should just buy some experience instead” especially due to the fairly poor images of the guns used. If you find yourself enjoying the game I would recommend the lifetime access DLC, as the more models they release the better of a deal it becomes, and it will save you from having to worry about earned experience for the next unlock and allow you to enjoy your puzzles/guns. Hopefully they add a lot more guns and especially uncommon ones. Browsing Forgotten Weapons and adding models of effectively every gun on that sight would be perfect, as how often would I get a chance to disassemble a 37mm Hotchkiss, a Throneycroft carbine, or any of the development rifles that lead to the M1 Garand? Odds are I never will even see one of those, so adding in such models would be a nice touch for the firearms enthusiast as well as for the puzzle fan, as finding hints in the form of an assembly guide would be notably hard.

Feinstein is back!

CISPA has now returned with a vengeance, this time allowing the NSA even more access to private information and  giving companies that share the private data with the NSA legal immunity, regardless of their legally binding EULA that also says they will never share your information.

Here is the bill hosted from Feinstein’s senate website. I linked to her page as it seems she is the biggest proponent and supporter of the bill, plus it adds in that extra bit of this is the person who wants the NSA to be able to examine all of your private details and have it be legal.

However, please let it also be noted that Feinstein is the one who had major issues when her group had data collected on them, but she still supports data collection on everyone else. Perhaps not all politicians think the laws and government spying should only be done on the little people, but Feinstein sure believes she is above all of us. The interesting thing is given how California has things like Recall, that the fairly liberal people you’d expect to be fans of an open and free internet haven’t tried to pull her from office. At the very least it would be surprising if she gets re-elected.

Even though an argument is “if you’ve done nothing you have nothing to fear” but the issue is the morality of it. Why should it be legal to violate the privacy of anyone who isn’t a politician? There is no warrant or anything required, which we have laws about. Checks and balances exist to make sure there is reason to investigate and reason to examine anything private about someone. Why should that be violated? Even ignoring any sort of slippery slope idea, it destroys the checks and balances of the legal system.

Further resources:

[1] Washington Post: Senate intelligence panel advances cybersecurity bill.

[2] Electronic Frontier Foundation.

[3] Sunlight Foundation: Pro-CISPA forces spend 140 times more lobbying than opponents.

[4] Online petition to encourage voting against CISPA.

[5] I don’t know who your representatives are, so I cannot exactly give you the names considering readers from every state show up here. Whoever it is, they are a good resource: write, call, or email to encourage them to kill this bill as soon as possible.

BattleZiP SBR

Remember the ZiP pistol, that tiny little gun chambered in .22 that jams, fails to feed, fails to eject and requires cocking by pushing a plunger over the barrel that is as long as the barrel? Well, there is good news! The company that makes it has released a stock kit to turn it into an SBR. I’m not sure how that addresses the main problem, but I’ll leave being hard on ZiP to everyone else.

The pistol requires a rail accessory to fit onto the SBR stock as well as the registration as an SBR (the NFA needs to die) and then you are ready to go! For convenience the ZiP can be detached and turned around for storage on the stock, which I personally think is a convenient touch. Plus, the stock has a storage pouch on the one side and holds a spare magazine in it, which doesn’t look terribly easy to get at as opposed to pockets or regular magazine carriers. The best part about this is none of that, though. Looking at the ZiP page for the stock there is a “coming soon to Amazon.com”, meaning this stock will soon  be purchasable through Amazon. Talk about a way to get people interested in guns, or who have guns interested in SBRs and such, hopefully leading to them being politically active, just sell the parts for the SBR conversion on a website that is seen by such a huge number of people.

For the rest of it, well, just look at it! It takes the funky looking ZiP and makes it into a full on blocky spacegun and embodies every bit of spacegun design. It might actually look worse when you add the suppressor kit, which I feel like I should mention: they have a threaded barrel kit for adding a suppressor onto it, and no .22 suppressor I have found really looks that great on blocky spaceZiP, which is what I am now calling this.

I also need to thank ZiP, because at $179.99 for the stock (plus the fees) along with the $24.99 rail and $199.99 for the ZiP, it makes a really affordable spacegun and extremely affordable entry into SBRs. The reason I need to thank them though is they made me want to buy one of them now. That price for the whole setup and the use of basic Ruger magazines along with that aesthetic make it something that ends up on my wishlist. At most I would slap a Zeiss Z-Point red dot sight on top of the stock and that would really be it. The best part is at $599.99 the Zeiss would be essentially as expensive as the whole gun itself, although the Zeiss will run its red dot off of the small solar cell while in sun so it doesn’t drain your battery.

Time for me to start saving up about a grand (as I can’t be bothered to add it all up currently) to be able to snag a spaceZiP and a Zeiss red dot.

Minor test, update, and some cleaning

As a part of getting back into the swing of things, some minor housekeeping was in order. I added a small bit to give warning about future things such as SOPA and PIPA, mostly as I am a big supporter of a free internet. SO yes, I’m biased and am showing it since my personality doesn’t consist of the sole bullet point: guns. The horrible mass that was on the bottom has also been condensed, as that all was set up for a sidebar type theme, but while I like this theme (especially due to the low cost of free) it lacks such things as a sidebar, so it has been reduced in scale.