And a Thirty Aught Six

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Operator headspace error

I went to the Chantilly gun show today. I had planned to look for a .357 revolver or a pump 12 gauge with my buddy (he's not sure which he wants to buy first) and to try to sell the fraternal twin (slightly lighter wood color) of the mauser pictured a few posts below. Well, my buddy had a little run-in with a mexican food place last night and, well, the details aren't important, but let's just say he wasn't going to be very far from the toilet. So, I go to the show to sell the mauser. No takers. Well, one dealer was really interested, but he wanted to trade some of his knives and assorted crap and a little cash for it. I didn't need or want any of his assorted crap. He had a few decent hunting knives, but I'm all set on that front and would prefer the cash. So, I haven't sold it yet. I'm thinking I might just end up hanging on to two almost identical .30-06 mausers. My life is so hard.

Then, as I'm walking out, I see a guy selling lots of old black powder revolvers and rifles and go over to drool on the merchandise. On his table, quite out of place, I might add, are the headspace and timing gauges for an M2. (You know, the .50 caliber machine gun... designed by John Moses Browning himself) A little background: My boss is an old artillery officer who has two responses he uses whenever someone makes a stupid mistake: "Life's tough; it's tougher when you're stupid" (from The Flying Leathernecks) and "operator headspace error." An "operator headspace error" (or operator/user headspace and timing error) is the result of incorrectly adjusting the headspace and/or timing on a gun like the M2. Depending on the adjustment, the gun will either fire normally (fully automatically), fire semi-automatically, not fire, or blow up. So, that's where the phrase comes from, and blaming the error on "operator headspace" just sounds funnier than "user error."

I managed to buy the gauges pretty cheap, put them in my pocket, continue walking out, and drive home. However, now that I'm home, I can't find the gauges. Dagnabbit. They would been quite a laugh at the office. Oh well.

I did end up with 1000 150gr .308" bullets (FMJ, boat tailed, too) for $50 and 500 pieces of primed .30-06 brass for $40. And I picked up some dies, too. So, all told, not a bad show. And I've still got more than half the weekend left.

(Note: first paragraph edited for clarity and a few typos. I really need to proofread before I hit "publish.")


  • are you in the DC area? if so, shoot me an email.

    By Blogger vmijpp, at 9:30 AM  

  • I'm guessing that vmijpp was interested in your Mauser.

    I am too. E-mail me (addy available from my blog or web site) if my guess was wrong or the deal with vmijpp falls through.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 PM  

  • Gun Show!

    That is my favorite activity, second to playing with my Sweet GrandDaugter.

    I have been looking for a Romanian SKS and they evidently are hard to find locally, but I enjoy looking at everything and never know what I will buy.

    I'm sorry about your lost gauges, but I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who loses stuff in the blink of an eye.

    Enjoyed reading your blog.
    Keep it up.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas

    By Blogger Papa Ray, at 2:17 AM  

  • Hi


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:10 AM  

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