Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Gunbroker

Curios and Relics.
Curios and Relics.

I’m a fan of Gunbroker.com, both for modern arms and the pre-WW2 stuff I like to tinker on and shoot.  But Gunbroker, like any online auction house, has its pitfalls; read this summary from The Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse for some examples.  Excerpt:

I like to spend money on guns. Since there’s no point in hanging out on ArmsAmerica anymore, that means I spend a lot of time on Gunbroker.com. There’s some great stuff there, and sometimes it even coincides with me having money.

The downside is that some sellers are…stupid.

Not just stupid, but world class morons.

My favorite, and one that I’ve seen plenty myself in my browsing for project guns:

Pepperbox.

“We don’t play the C & R game.”

That’s unfortunate. My C & R license was issued and is recognized by the ATF, and we don’t regard it as a “game.” Any firearm over 50 years old automatically qualifies. Modern ones can be hit or miss, so if this was modern I could see the caution, but, since you describe this as…here we go: “1928 Colt Special Police,” I’m pretty sure we can figure it’s over 50 years old. Like many “Crufflers,” I have crap tons of disposable income to throw at my hobby. Dissing me just means you’ll never see any of it, because I don’t play the conceited cockbag dealer game.

And neither do I.  More’s the pity for the dipshit sellers who won’t deal with the fully legal, BATFE-issued Curios & Relics licenses.

Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearI think I may need one of these.  Relevant quote from the site:

TrackingPoint precision guided firearms, developed by military experts and a team of over forty engineers, have virtually eliminated shooter error and adverse conditions from the firing equation. Our Tag-Track-Xact system can more than double the proficiency of a skilled shooter and let them take shots they’d never before even attempt, while capturing it all on video. TrackingPoint precision guided firearms increase effective range, maximize accuracy, and almost entirely eliminate the possibility of errant shots. We’ve combined our technological innovations with the best hardware in the American gun industry has to offer, fusing our integrated trigger and groundbreaking scope system with 7.62, 300 BLK & 5.56 Semi Auto Platforms along with  .338 Lapua and .300 Win Mag bolt action rifles to create a firing system unparalleled in the world today.

This one in particular catches my eye:

750_newest-use-me

The TP 750 300H long range hunting rifle provides fighter-Jet Precision for 300 Winchester Magnum, a high performance long distance cartridge popular for hunting moose, elk and bighorn sheep, amongst other game.

The company’s other offerings have an overtly “tactical” look, but the TP 750 300H looks like a hunting rifle – the enormous high-tech scope notwithstanding.  Much as I would love to play with this form the standpoints of my peripatetic gun-nuttery and techishness inclinations, there are possible issues for this as a hunting gun.  What might those be?

There are two ways of looking at this from the standpoint of hunting ethics.  First:  Does this violate the rules of fair chase by removing a large element of required marksmanship skill?  Or does it actually improve the chance of a quick, clean kill and thus enhance the ethical aspect of the hunt?

It’s an interesting problem, and one that I haven’t wrapped my brain around yet.  It hasn’t stopped me from wanting one of these rifles – although I suspect the price tag might.

Animal’s Daily News

Excellent!
Excellent!

This just in from the pages of Reason.com:  The Courts Advance Concealed Guns.  Excerpt:

Gun-control advocates are learning the downside of getting their way. Recently, a federal judge struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on the carrying of concealed handguns. Anti-gun forces have been losing in legislatures for a long time. Now they are finding that even where they win, they lose.

Washington used to have the strictest gun laws in America. Besides the prohibition of concealed guns, all firearms had to be registered and handgun ownership was forbidden.

Violent Crime Rates by Gender
Violent Crime Rates by Gender

The restrictions had no evident effect on crime: In the 1990s, the nation’s capital was known as the murder capital. But they invited a legal challenge—a historic one, as it happened. In 2008, the Supreme Court invalidated the city’s handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.

More crime rates by gender.
More crime rates by gender.

It has been just the last few years that the courts in general have seemed to remember that the Second Amendment exists, and what the plain language of that amendment actually means – and that realization has blown up in the faces of would-be gun banners.  (It would be nice if judges, especially at the Imperial level, would remember some of the other amendments – the Fourth and Tenth, for example.)

Interestingly, all during the time the courts have been striking down restrictive gun law after restrictive gun law, violent crime rates have been dropping (see the charts above.)

It’s almost as though potentially violent thugs might be deterred by the thought of armed resistance.  Amazing, eh?

Goodbye Blue Monday

Goodbye Blue Monday!
Goodbye Blue Monday!

The District of Columbia’s arbitrary (and stupid) gun restrictions have taken another legal hit.  Excerpt:

The short version of the case is this: While the District of Columbia reluctantly pretended to comply with the DC v Heller Supreme Court case’s finding that he right to bear arms is a fundamental individual right, they did it in a way which functionally prevents any resident of DC from receiving a concealed carry permit.

Not only did the judge rule that “the District of Columbia lacks any way to issue handgun carry licenses to individuals” and that they must put such a mechanism in place, but further he ordered that until such a meachanism is in place, anybody who can legally have a gun in his home in DC can also carry a gun in public without needing a concealed carry permit.

gun control theorySo, not only did the District’s attempt to sidestep the Constitution backfire – it backfired catastrophically, with the result that anyone in the District who can own a handgun can legally carry it.

No doubt there will be a rush to pass more ordinances to restrict the rights of the law-abiding, but in the meantime – if time allows to observe any trend at all – it will be interesting to see what confrontational crime rates in the Imperial City do.  This is arguably one of the most dangerous places in the country, and law-abiding citizens have been stripped of any pretense of a right to self-defense for decades.

Prediction:  Robberies, muggings and so on will trend downward.

Exactly as they have done everywhere concealed-carry reform has been implemented.

Animal’s Daily News

Sabatti 1I think I might need one of these.

This, True Believers, is a Sabatti double rifle, made in Italy and imported exclusively by sporting-goods giant Cabela’s.  The Sabatti comes in two grades, with the higher (and more expensive) grade coming in what would ideally be my caliber of choice, the thunderously powerful .470 Nitro Express.

Yes, it’s an elephant gun.

What makes the Sabatti unique in the double-rifle market is its price tag; just a hair over $5,000 for a nicely appointed, heavy-caliber hunting double.  Sure, it’s a bit heavy for Alaskan moose and even grizzlies, but I’ve always been an adherent of the principle that you can shoot little stuff with a big gun, but you can’t shoot big stuff with a little gun.  And the .470NE is manifestly a big gun.

Sabatti 2The double rifle is still a mainstay for dangerous African game (and I still harbor a desire to one day hunt Cape Buffalo) for one reason:  It’s the fastest second shot available in a sledgehammer-grade caliber shoulder weapon.

And, of course, there is the “cool” factor.

So who says one couldn’t go into the Alaskan bush after moose with a rifle that Robert Ruark would have happily carried out hunting buffalo or elephant?  Nobody, that’s who; at least, nobody who is a hunter or shooter, and who isn’t particularly recoil-sensitive.

Animal’s Daily News

gun control theoryEver wondered about the most idiotic article ever written about guns would look like?  Wonder no longer:  See Why Rolling Stone’s List of ‘Most Dangerous Guns’ Is Being Called ‘Maybe the Worst Piece of Journalism of All-Time.’  And yes, it’s really stupid.  Excerpt:

The Internet is relentlessly mocking Rolling Stone’s new photo slideshow outlining the “5 most dangerous guns in America,” with one reader calling it “maybe the worst piece of journalism of all-time.” Making the publication’s list are pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and even Derringers.

As one commenter asks, “what’s left?” Here’s Rolling Stone’s list, starting with the “most dangerous.”

Here’s the list:

  • Pistols
  • Revolvers (also handguns)
  • Rifles
  • Shotguns and…
  • Derringers

Because, OMG guns!

It is perhaps belaboring the obvious to point out that this list includes, well, all guns.  The article is being roundly mocked, as is only just and fitting, and a new internet meme has surfaced:  Making lists of “most dangerous” this and that.  For example, one might list the most dangerous personal vehicles as:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Vans and…
  • Derringers

And so forth.

Girls with GunsSeriously, one wonders why this imbecile, one Kristen Gwynne, is actually writing for a national publication – even Rolling Stone, hardly known for its objectivity where firearms issues are concerned.  But the really jarring lapse in elementary logic is the idea that an inanimate object can be “dangerous” in this context.

Crime requires intent.  A gun cannot commit a crime – there is no such thing as “gun crime.”  Only a motive agent, a person, can commit a crime.  A gun is only a tool; and criminals everywhere, everywhen, will always find tools to use in the commission of crime.

Ms. Gwynne deserves scorn and derision for this piece of journalistic stupidity, and Rolling Stone deserves scorn and derision for publishing it.  But the greater crime is pandering to hoplophobia and deliberate, willful ignorance; that deserves outright condemnation.  Rolling Stone seems to be gaining plenty of the former.  We’ll see about the latter.

Rule Five Friday

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (1)Are School Homicides Becoming the Norm?  Short answer:  No.  Long answer:  Read the article.  Excerpt:

In the aftermath of yesterday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, the president worried that such slayings are “becoming the norm.” I’ve written skeptically in the past about whether the number of mass shootings in America is actually increasing, as the word becoming implies—see my posts here, here, and here—but there’s always a haze of uncertainty around those numbers, thanks to the varying definitions of “mass shooting” that different people use.

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (2)But maybe that isn’t the best thing to be measuring in the first place. The Oregon incident isn’t a “mass” shooting at all—the gunman killed two people, and one of those was himself—but it obviously speaks to the same sorts of fear and grief. If your son was just shot, after all, it’s hardly a comfort that his classmates survived. A map darting around the Internet this week claims to show all the school shootings since Sandy Hook. Note the modifier: school, not mass.

Here is the report mentioned in the article, Indicators of School Crime 2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (3)and Safety, 2013.   Read it for yourself.  One relevant highlight:

Of the 31 student, staff, and nonstudent school-associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, there were 25 homicides and 6 suicides. During the same time period, there were 11 homicides and 3 suicides of school-age youth (ages 5–18) at school.

During the 2010–11 school year, 11 of the 1,336 homicides among school-age youth ages 5–18 occurred at school. During the 2010 calendar year, 3 of the 1,456 suicides of youth ages 5–18 occurred at school.

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (4)Compare that to a typical weekend in, say, Chicago.

I don’t want to belittle any event of violence in any school, anywhere.  But as an Objectivist, I am compelled to evaluate facts – and the facts are that school shootings, while tragic, are not epidemic, and not increasing, demagoguery by some in the media aside – the numbers simply do not add up.

Reason concludes:

This much is clear: If you’re wondering where kids are likely to die, the answer plainly isn’t a classroom. (Quoting the BJS report one more time: “During the 2010–11 school year, 11 of the 1,336 homicides among school-age youth ages 5–18 occurred at school.”) And in the period for which we have clear data, the school homicide rate moved in the same 2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (5)direction as the overall homicide rate: downward. To bring it still lower, the first question to ask is what happened to get us that far.

Let’s also ask this:  What is the common thread among all of the highly-publicized mass shootings that have happened in the last several years?  One comes immediately to mind:  A history of untreated or undertreated mental illness.

Root cause analysis, True Believers – it’s something nobody in the media a) knows how to do, and 2) gives a damn about.

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Forewarned is forearmed.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Anti-Gun Activists Adopt Anti-Abortion Tactics.   Excerpt:

Foes of abortion and foes of guns have a similar problem: The Supreme Court, which says government cannot ban either one outright. What to do? Increasingly, the two advocacy movements are resorting to a similar solution: targeted regulation.

Abortion opponents started the trend and have it almost down to a science. Instead of trying to restrict abortion itself, they seek to impose rules that either raise barriers to individuals, such as waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds, or crack down on clinics.

It’s almost surreal – opponents of abortion and opponents of legal gun ownership almost universally come from opposite sides of the political spectrum, and yet they both are employing some of the same tactics to encroach on other people’s liberties.

What is perhaps the most frustrating thing about this – at least from the point of view of a rational libertarian who understands the realities of our two-party system – is the reliance on regulation as a tactic by people who otherwise support the party that, supposedly, stands for less intrusive government.

Angry-BearExcept where the social-issues folks are concerned.  Then government interference is OK, as long as it’s interference in their issues.

The Reason article linked here concludes:

Regulations are problematic enough when they are written for legitimate reasons, such as preventing fraud and ensuring clean drinking water. Perverting their purpose to undermine constitutional rights is a dark, dishonest, and sinister game—no matter who plays it.

Those last few words are key:  No matter who plays it.

My Top Ten Shooting Range Peeves

AR-15 OneThis just in from a fellow member of the Wild Bunch, a nigh-unto twenty year e-mailing list of which I am a proud member:

1) If you see a parent teaching a child (especially a little one) how to shoot, have some consideration about what you do. We agree your .308-muzzle-brake-enabled-tacticool-rifle is the bomb and the cyclic rate of your booger hook is impressive, but do you have to shoot right next to us? Really? Have a heart – move down the line, or do it later! Do it for the children! . . .

 2) Suppressors are civilized and if you can own one – get one. You can do without one more cool gun – get a silencer instead. Plus it’s a great way to get new shooters started and focused on marksmanship basics. When you shoot suppressed you start to realize how much nicer a range experience can be. An added benefit is that you don’t keep yelling at your buddies after the hearing protection comes off.

3) The range signs say “EYE AND EAR PROTECTION AT ALL TIMES” for your benefit. So, put them on before you get to the bay. Don’t walk up to the range without them just because it happens to be quiet. And keep them on when you’re there. There’s really no good reason to take either off. If I care about your eyes and hearing (and you’re a stranger) more than you do, you’ve got a problem.

4) At a self-policed shooting range, calling “CEASE FIRE” once then walking forward of the firing line immediately is stupid. I kid you not, I’ve actually seen guys bleat once then start walking while the firing line is still busy. Bonehead, you’ll be getting a Darwin award shortly. Common practice and courtesy is: a) loudly call for a cease fire, preferably a few times, b) give everyone a moment to unload actions and remove magazines, c) gather items needed from the bench, d) step back and away from the firing line, then e) announce the range is clear…before anyone walks forward.

5) At a self-policed shooting range, when there is a cease fire and the range is cold, it doesn’t mean you can touch the bench, anything on the bench, anything near the bench, or anything remotely next to the bench. Back it up and stay back. I recall a few years ago an older teenage boy was sitting at the bench during a cease fire. He had his lever gun action closed and pointed skyward while the rest of the line was down range completely OK with him sitting there. Crazy!

AUG6) When sighting in a rifle at a public range, do everyone a favor and buy/bring/borrow a spotting scope or, minimally, a pair of binoculars. It never fails to amaze me when the new rifleman brings his rifle, targets, and ammo, but not a means to visualize his hits. You may think it’s totally legit to call a cease fire every five stinking minutes so you can walk out and check your bullet holes, but the guy who’s got only an hour to shoot, well, he’s not thinking highly of you. Maybe somebody will sell a super cheap pair of throwaway binos someday that you can give to these types; kind of like that advice to have a few bucks wrapped around something heavy and kept in your pocket so you can toss it at a potential robber.

7) I understand there may be times when shooting a mag full from an AK or AR at pistol ranges needs to be practiced or maybe as a starting point for a newbie…but aren’t there diminishing returns after an hour and a case of ammo? Sure it’s your right but seriously? Get thee to the rifle range already and then show everybody what you can really do at distance; if you can that is.

8) Call me crazy, but if you have an equal number of holes outside of your primary target as you do inside it, I think you may want to work on the basics. Just a tad maybe? The same applies if the target stand is more wobbly after you shot than before. Similarly, I never understand shooters who keep shooting at a target that has more holes than paper on it. I’m a tightwad, but perhaps you could spare another target once in a while?

9) The guys who think it’s funny to have their unsuspecting female counterparts (particularly those who’ve never shot before) shoot a .500 S&W revolver, a .50AE Desert Eagle, or any belted magnum rifle offhand. Are these guys just not the lowest of the low? Correction. They’re actually one small step above those who do the same, then record it and post it on YouTube.

10) During a CHL shooting test is not a great time to be asking the instructors how your gun works.

In all seriousness, let’s be safe, let’s exercise our rights, and let’s be considerate to our fellow shooters (and soon-to-be-shooters).

Animal’s Daily News

Girls with GunsSo what’s the best state to live in if you’re a gun owner?  Guns & Ammo has the answer.  Seems the top five are:

  1. Arizona
  2. Alaska
  3. Georgia
  4. Utah
  5. Kentucky

No real surprises there.  This isn’t really what you’d call a scientific survey, but it is based on several factors including right-to-carry, Castle Doctrine laws, ease of obtaining a Class III weapon, magazine bans and other miscellaneous items.

Sadly our own Colorado comes in well down the list at #40, certainly in large part because of the legislative idiocy forced on our state only last year.  Alaska, where Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. plan to retire, fares much better – again, no surprise in a state with a long-standing outdoor tradition, not to mention plenty of toothy and dangerous wildlife.

gun control theoryThis is an election year here in Colorado though, and plenty of folks are unhappy with the current powers-that-be – Governor Hickenlooper, I suspect, will squeak by in a re-election but the mood of the country and the state are moving against the party that currently controls our legislature.

Then, True Believers, we’ll see what we’ll see.