Google Voice for the Military

As many of you may know, Google Voice is available on an invite-only basis. Unfortunately, it can take some time to receive one’s invite after one signs up.
For military members ((Verified by means of one’s .mil address.)), however, Google Voice is available within a day of requesting an invite. This is fantastic for deployed soldiers, as people can leave voicemails and texts for the soldier, something that’s a bit difficult with the existing phone systems on base. As a US number, callers to one’s Google Voice number only have to pay normal domestic phone rates.
While voicemails and text messages are no substitute for a live phone call (which, in turn, is no substitute for face-to-face interactions), it’s better than nothing.
My hearty compliments to Google for recognizing this need and doing something about it.

Answering Search Terms

will m16 mag fit sr 556

Yes. Ruger SR 556 lowers accept standard STANAG (“M16” or “AR-15”) magazines.

can lake city? 308 win brass be reloaded

Yes. Lake City brass is good stuff. However, military brass tends to be a bit thicker and so has smaller internal volume, so it’d behoove you to reduce your loads by about 10% when switching from commercial to military brass, then testing with a chronograph while making adjustments. Be particularly aware of signs of high-pressure (see your loading manual) when using military cases. Reloading military cases is perfectly safe, so long as you’re careful and realize that they’re slightly different from commercial cases.

New Shooter Report

Rita and Teresa have been accompanying me to the range for some time. They are regulars at turning ammo into smiles.
Interestingly enough, Teresa happens to be dating Nolan, Rita’s brother. Now that Nolan has moved to Tucson for school and had never been shooting before, we all figured it’d be a good thing to take him out to go shooting. So we did…

Once again, it was a beautiful (albeit hot) day in Tucson. Thank goodness the Tucson Rifle Club has overhead shades for the firing line.
Rita, myself, and my med student friend Ian spent a few hours on Saturday reloading .223. Out of the 120 or so rounds we fired today, there were only three failures (( Two were jams due to the out-of-round bullets we’re using. One was due to one of the rounds having some goopy black residue on it. )), none of them dramatic (( Note for reloaders: double-check your bullet weights against the load data tables. I foolishly assumed that we were using 55gr bullets as that was what I normally load and picked a middle-of-the-road load from the tables. Turns out we were using 62gr bullets and the powder charge we were using turned out to be rather near the never-exceed range for .223. Eep. Fortunately, we never actually crossed the never-exceed line, and even so the loads were several thousand PSI below the 5.56mm NATO pressure spec, which is what the rifle was rated for. Fortunately, we discovered this condition at the reloading bench after we loaded a few hundred rounds, so we were able to confirm that the loads would be safe by consulting the tables. The rifle did not explosively self-destruct, which is good. )). It’s nice actually having some .223 ammo, as my ARs are quite voracious.
I had also dug about in my closet and found some .30-06 reloads, so we were able to shoot the M1 (Rita has a bit of a love affair with my M1, and really enjoys shooting it.) a bit. Shooting the M1 seems to be a family trait, as Nolan also greatly enjoyed shooting it. There’s something immensely satisfying about recoil, .30 caliber bullets, and large dust clouds behind one’s targets.
As usual, the suppressed Ruger 10/22 was a big hit, as were the Ruger MkIII and Glock 19 pistols. Fun was, as usual, had by all.
The fall semester starts up again in about a month, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find some new shooters to take to the range then. For now, I’m happy that I managed to get another new shooter out to the range. When Rita and Nolan’s parents are in town, I may have to take the whole family out shooting.

On Internet Publishing

I’ve mentioned before how incredible the internet is, particularly in the context of writing. With blogs, Twitter, web forums, and free/inexpensive hosting, there are effectively no barriers to entry to the world of public writing.
Entire communities of subscribers and participants have sprung up around major bloggers and web forums and discuss issues of every conceivable topic.
When I say “every conceivable topic” I mean it.
Behold: Bacon Today, a site dedicated to the most delicious of foods.
Ten years ago, one would be hard pressed to find a newsletter, local group, or other means of keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing world of bacon. Today, this is a trivial matter.
Oh, how the world has changed for the better.