Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-BearAnother hunting season over – this one cut short, as the inestimable Rojito developed some sort of electrical trouble and remains even now in an auto shop in Granby.  Mrs. Animal cheerfully drove up from Denver to rescue loyal sidekick Rat and yr. obdt., but we returned to the city with nothing to show for our efforts except, as always, great memories of time spent outdoors.  The one outstanding thing in this abbreviated hunt were the numbers of Shiras moose evident in our mountain stomping grounds; we saw no less than four on opening day, a young bull and three cows.  That bodes well for yr. obdt. if I ever manage to snag a coveted Colorado moose tag.

And, on this return to regular blogging, let me once more thank Robert Stacy, Smitty and Wombat-socho for the Rule Five links.  Appreciated as always, guys!

Speaking of that return to regular blogging, here’s an interesting bit of commentary from Forbes on the United States’ two very different “gun cultures” and how at least one county sheriff sees the two:  How Gun-Control Legislation Is Affecting This Election.  Excerpt:

Actually, a majority of sheriffs in New York and Colorado publicly oppose the new gun-control laws. Sheriffs are in a unique position to speak out, as nearly all of America’s 3,080 sheriffs are elected. These sheriffs aren’t standing alone like Gary Cooper in “High Noon.” Polls show that a lot of the men and women who protect us support the Second Amendment. In 2013, a survey of police officers by the National Girls with GunsAssociation of Chiefs of Police found that 86.8 percent of those surveyed think “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport and self-defense.” Also, a survey done by PoliceOne.com of 15,000 law-enforcement professionals found that almost 90 percent of officers believe that casualties related to guns would be decreased if armed citizens were present at the onset of an active-shooter incident. More than 80 percent of PoliceOne’s respondents support arming schoolteachers and administrators who willingly volunteer to train with firearms. Virtually all the survey’s respondents (95 percent) said a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds wouldn’t reduce violent crime.

Cops – at least the cops surveyed here – are people of uncommonly good sense, probably in part because of the inexorable onslaught of human stupidity they deal with on a daily basis.  An old retired state policeman once told me that every criminal he ever dealt with had a combination of three personality traits, greedy, mean and stupid – that proportions varied but all three were universally present.

These, of course, are the people that will completely and totally ignore any gun control legislation, no matter how well-intentioned, that ignorant state or Imperial legislators may pass.

user-girls-guns-550-29There is a gun culture in the United States, a culture of responsible, law-abiding shooters and hunters.  Some keep guns for recreation, some for sport, some for defense, some (like yr. obdt.) for all of the above.  Of all the nations in the world, only the United States, in its Constitution, recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as an inalienable right that we retain by virtue of being free, law-abiding citizens.  And those of us who choose to own guns, for any reasons, don’t like seeing politicians who are utterly ignorant of the differences between citizen and thug try to abrogate those rights.

That’s why three former Colorado legislators find themselves unemployed now.  That’s in part why Governor Hickenlooper finds himself in a tight race against a GOP challenger now.

Animal’s Daily News

Greatest Pistol Ever Stopped Attackers Cold.  That greatest pistol ever, of course, being the Browning 1911.  Excerpt:

Our own 1911.
Our own 1911.

The history of the M1911 begins in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, when U.S. soldiers and Marines found themselves locked in fierce combat with the Moro, a knife-wielding native insurgency that combined religious zeal and potent drug use.

Much of the fighting was close-quarters battle and the hopped-up Moros took round after round from U.S. .38-caliber pistols while they continued to hack away at Americans.

If anything positive came from the bloody 15-year guerrilla war, it was the realization that the U.S. military needed a better pistol.

A look back at an older weapon pointed the way to a solution. In desperation, the Army had issued Colt Model 1873 .45-caliber revolvers—dating back to the Plains Indian Wars—to soldiers fighting the Moros.

The heavier round began to turn the tide. It often took just one well-placed shot from the .45-caliber pistol to kill a Moro.

Yr. obdt. can only agree with the gist of this article; the Browning 1911 is probably the best martial sidearm ever made.  The safe here contains one, not a Colt but a Rock Island Armory 1911, which is basically a Series 70 Colt in WW2-era 1911A1 style.  It’s a no-frills, very basic military-type sidearm which has the advantages of being BROWNINGpowerful, reasonably accurate and very, very reliable.

But what’s not mentioned in this article is that the 1911 was just one of many near-immortal firearms designs to spring from the fertile mind of John Moses Browning.  Walk into any gun shop anywhere in the United States and you will, without a doubt, encounter several firearms in the racks that are Browning designs.

That’s not a bad record for a man who passed away in 1926.  The DaVinci of firearms’ designs will certainly be in constant use a hundred years after his death.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Here’s another tidbit on a topic that’s near to our Mile High hearts:  Colorado’s Second Amendment Wildfire.  Excerpt:

Last year, in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, the Obama administration and then-New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg worked to put together a “coalition of the willing” to join them in a war on the Second Amendment and hit upon Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as a likely recruit.

Mr. Hickenlooper, a low-key liberal who went from successful saloon developer to the Denver mayor’s office, was elected governor as part of a concerted effort by liberal billionaires to take over a Western state. In 2010, they not only made Mr. Hickenlooper governor, but they elected “progressive” majorities to both houses of the state legislature. Democrats around the country celebrated the victories and vowed to use the same strategy to change the politics of neighboring states.

And much good it did them.

Only recently in these pages yr. obdt. pointed out one major miscalculation the gun-grabbers made in Colorado; underestimating the political punch of law-abiding gun owners is another.  And it’s all very popular to present the NRA as an Girls with Gunsextremist group, some kind of political monolith, but the truth is something different.  (Full disclosure:  Mrs. Animal and I are Life Members of that organization.)  What the NRA is, is a grass-roots organization in the truest sense of the word; an organization in which the members get to vote for by-laws, officers and policies.  In other words, the NRA supports what its members want supported, and in Colorado, NRA members adamantly wanted no part of the Bloomberg/Hickenlooper gun-control stupidity.

That’s political speech, folks; the First Amendment in action.  And that’s why John Hickenlooper may well find himself out of a job come January.

Rule Five Friday

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (1)Thanks to The Daley Gator for the pingback on a recent post!

Speaking of gun grabbers, a running theme lately has been advances in technology that make attempts to ban any kind of firearm increasingly nonsensical.  The latest is a small, affordable CNC mill that makes producing functional AR-pattern lower recievers a snap.  Excerpt:

To show exactly how right (California Governor Jerry) Brown was, and to educate any other state legislature that might contemplate following in de Leon’s footsteps, Wilson and his Defense Distributed team 2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (2)launched a website today called GhostGunner.net.

Through it they are selling a tabletop milling machine which can, quoting from their FAQ, “manufacture any mil-spec 80% AR-15 lower receiver that already has the rear take down well milled out. ….Lowers with non-mil-spec trigger guards that are otherwise mil-spec are also compatible. Defense Distributed recommends using the 7075 Ares Armor Raw 80% Lower AR-15 Billet.”

Wilson launched the project in response to de Leon’s bill, to “the rhetoric developed out of California of detectability as the norm, of the observability of everything to the modern state. This guy de Leon defined as a ‘ghost’ something not intelligible to the state and that’s a perfect way of talking about it. So this device will cut aluminum and it’s good at finishing an 80 percent lower receiver for an AR-15 in under an hour.” (Roughly, the ATF declares any lower receiver that is more than 2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (3)80 percent complete as an actual gun subject to all regulations on actual guns.)

Now there is a distinct tendency towards small, decentralized production of many consumer items, not just firearms, and that’s precisely because of of technology like this.  But it is only when 3D printing and small-scale machining tech is applied to firearms that it gives big-government control-freaks a bad case of the bed-wettings.

Why?  Because OMG Guns!

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (4)So what reactions can we expect from the gun-grabbers?  Look for a push to restrict sales of AR-pattern uppers, for a start, probably to be followed by an attempt to restrict sales of any manner of firearm components.

These attempts are probably inevitable; the nature of government is ever to grow, to expand, to become more and more intrusive, and more destructive of individual liberty.  But what makes today’s world interestingly different is the Information Revolution we are currently undergoing; this revolution includes fascinating advances in small-scale, decentralized manufacturing and pattern-sharing that will make any attempts to control guns – or anything else – increasingly stupid.

That’s a good thing, for anyone who is concerned with liberty.

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (5)

Animal’s Daily Rifle Musings

I’ve been watching some firearms auction sites for one of these.

Winchester 100
Winchester 100

This, True Believers, is the Winchester 100, a slick little semi-auto sporting rifle made from 1961 to 1974 and offered in three Winchester calibers; .308 Winchester, .284 Winchester and .243 Winchester.  I’ve been looking for one in .308, and – this is key – one in decent mechanical condition, but the cosmetic condition is unimportant.  Worn bluing and a buggered-up stock are not only unimportant, but might even be desirable.

Why?

The intent is to use my Model 100 for an experiment, once I’ve been thinking about trying for 20 some years now.

Win 100A bullpup rifle, for the uninitiated, is a rifle where the action is located well aft of the trigger guard; the famous Steyr AUG is an example.  But most bullpups come in military livery, and I’m interested in building a bullpup hunting rifle, one in a reasonably powered caliber capable of killing deer and (with proper loads) elk.  Further, I want to equip my bullpup sporter with a decent-looking walnut or wood laminate stock.

The design of the 100’s action will make a few design features necessary.  A bullpup design will mean the buttpad will be right behind the action, so in order to get access to the sorta-flush five-round mag, the stock will have to rise quickly from the toe of the stock to meet the line of the original pattern.

But the real trick will be the trigger.  The stock Model 100 has a pretty fair trigger, but the more linkages and twinks you add to a trigger, the harder it is to get a decent pull.  There may be a number of ways to do it; a cable linkage, a solid steel rod, even an electronic trigger.

Hunt Like a Girl.
Hunt Like a Girl.

So, how to bring, specifically, the Model 100 trigger to well forward of the action and still maintain a decent, clean, crisp trigger pull?  I haven’t worked that part out yet.  Once I find the right rifle, I may talk to an actual professional gunsmith (being just an inspired tinkerer myself) to see if that problem can be worked out.

The appeal of a light, short thumper of a hunting rifle is obvious, yes?  I may even have a target demographic in mind, should I choose to build a few more of these.

Rule Five Friday

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (1)Paul Allen:  Another Anti-Gun Hypocrite.  Excerpt:

Paul Allen is the less well-known founder of Microsoft, and has used his billions to buy, among other things, the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. He’s an avid yachtsman, and at one point owned or had owned multiple entries in Power and Motor Yacht magazine’s list of the world’s longest yachts.

He is also an avid collector of military vehicles, which is something all SGN readers would heartily approve if that weren’t contrasted with his support of the Washington State Initiative 594, which would impose a universal background check system and 10-day waiting period on all gun purchases. 2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (2)Allen has chipped in $500,000 to support the initiative, supporting his old Microsoft partner, Bill Gates, who came in with a full million.

There is a slight element of apples/oranges here; the tank in question, along with the other various military vehicles Allen owns, is almost certainly demilled.  But there’s a marked tendency among anti-gunners to refuse to practice what they preach, and Allen’s support of restrictive gun control does seem odd in light off his hobby.

But Allen isn’t really the star hypocrite in this story.  The linked article concludes:

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (3)The late Tom Siatos, a longtime executive at Petersen Publishing Co. and regular columnist in Guns & Ammo, was having a few belts at a Los Angles Safari Club Int’l gathering when he encountered Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, who enjoyed numerous Africa safaris.

Why, Siatos asked, was the Times reliably anti-gun when its publisher owned and used hundreds of them? “Oh, Tom,” Chandler replied, “we’ll always have our guns.”

Uh huh.

So, how about we peruse a short list of anti-gun hypocrites?

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (4)Father Micheal Pfleger.

Dianne Feinstein.

NYPD Chief Ray Kelly.

Mark Kelly.

And, last but not least, notorious liar and blowpig Michael Moore.

Let’s be fair; hypocrisy comes in all flavors, and pols and other public figures on all points of the political spectrum are prone to it; for every anti-gun hypocrite I could point out, it would be trivially easy to find, say,  a staunch GOP social-issues conservative who has had an 2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (5)extramarital affair.

But what does the overt hypocrisy of any of these people tell us?

How about a critical lack of integrity?  Of moral consistency?  Of intellectual consistency?

How about the lack of necessity of ever taking them seriously on these chosen issues, ever again?

Why should we listen to (notorious blowpig) Michael Moore whining about the need for laws to disarm law-abiding citizens when he stands behind a phalanx of armed guards?

Answer:  We shouldn’t.

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Some good news – sort of – on the Second Amendment front for denizens of the Imperial City:  D.C. Council votes to allow concealed handguns.  Excerpt:

 A reluctant District of Columbia Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow people to carry concealed handguns in the nation’s capital for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The bill was crafted to comply with a court ruling that struck down the District’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home.

Residents and visitors who want to carry a concealed handgun would have to show a specific reason that they need one, among other requirements, and District leaders are hoping that the law would withstand further court challenges. But the attorney who challenged the ban on carrying guns has said the legislation is too restrictive and does not comply with the court ruling.

Will there be some more legal wrangling?  Almost certainly – and certainly hopefully these restrictions (especially the idiotic ‘…would have to show a specific reason clause) will continue to ease.  But what’s revealing in this story are the quotes from the Council members themselves (comments from yr. obdt. added for color.)

“I don’t believe in guns. I don’t believe in carrying guns,” said Council member Marion Barry, a Democrat and a former four-term mayor. “I think the public ought to understand that all of us here are doing something we really don’t want to do.”

You “don’t believe in guns,” you crack-smoking horse’s ass?  I assure you, they exist.  And yes, we know this is something you don’t want to do, largely because you make decisions on what you ‘feel’ and what you ‘believe,’ much of which has little basis in fact.

The bill requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, who has said he plans to sign it.

“This bill ensures that we will be able to meet the requirements of the Constitution while maintaining the maximum amount of safeguards possible to protect our residents, visitors, workers and public-safety officers,” Gray said in a written statement.

gun control theoryThe ‘maximum amount of safeguards’ would be to permit personal weapons by the law-abiding residents of the Imperial City.  It is a matter of irrefutable fact that CCW permit holders are far less likely to be involved in a crime than the balance of the populace.

Facts are stubborn things.  It’s telling – very telling indeed – that the Imperial City itself continues to ignore facts in order to continue to restrict the liberty of its residents.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

This just in from the Colossal Idiocy Department:  NBC ‘Expert’ Offers Three Tips to Deal with a Home Invasion. They’re Ridiculous.  Excerpt:

On Sunday, NBC’s Today show offered three tips if you find yourself subjected to a home invasion. A long-time New York City police officer serves as the subject-matter expert.

His three tips are:

  1. Keep your car keys handy where you sleep, and if there’s a home invasion, hit the horn button to create a lot of noise.
  2. Keep a can of hornet and wasp spray handy, and if the invaders enter your room, spray them with it to render them temporarily blind.
  3. Sleep with all your bedroom doors open so everyone in the house can hear everything that’s going on.

Notice what NBC’s expert leaves out: Firearms. Your Second Amendment rights never occur to NBC.

NBC’s blind spot is not accidental; the network has never been friendly to effective (read that: armed) self-defense.  But seriously – hornet spray?

Any thug who breaks into the Casa de Animal won’t face hornet spray.  They’ll face capably handled firearms.  It’s important to note that firearms aren’t the best answer for everyone; if a person isn’t willing to practice, to achieve a degree of confidence and competence with the firearm of choice, then they are probably better off without one.  But a firearm will equalize physical differences between homeowner and thug to a greater degree than any other single thing.

Angry-BearThe old truism dating back to the Old West goes “God created men.  Colonel Colt made them all equal.”  It’s an old saw, but an accurate one – only a firearm can put a middle-aged, 100-pound woman on an equal footing with a 20 year old, 200 pound male attacker.

NBC does not do their viewers service by completely (and purposely) omitting this possibility from the discussion of self-defense.

Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearI’ve always been a fan of the venerable .30-06.  Six or seven rifles in this caliber have graced the gun rack and one point or another,  although we have but two in the house at the moment.  Loyal sidekick Rat also totes an ’06 in the field in pursuit of deer and elk.

It seems Gun Digest shares our appreciation of this fine old round.  Read Greatest Cartridges:  The Amazing .30-06 Springfield.  Excerpt:

There is now, and has been since the Chinese invented gunpowder, a continuing debate seeking the mythical “best all-around cartridge.” One can make a really convincing argument for the .30-06 as that cartridge.

Excluding the elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, hippo, and I might add lion of Africa, and, perhaps another animal or two from elsewhere, an accurate rifle using proper bullets in the old Springfield will get most any job done convincingly.

gun control theoryFortunately, most of us do not have to make that kind of decision as we can select a cartridge that is essentially ideal for a particular animal being hunted. How this really splendid cartridge came about is an interesting story.

The gun rack at the Casa de Animal has a pretty good range of centerfire hunting calibers,  ranging from the thunderous .45-70 to the diminutive .22 Hornet.  But if a fellow wants a one-gun big-game arsenal, it would be hard to go wrong with the .30-06.

In fact, if you were to assemble a three-gun arsenal for hunting almost anywhere in the world, you’d be hard-pressed to beat a .30-06 bolt gun, a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle.  Add a .45ACP handgun, say a 1911-pattern gun, and you’re ready for almost anything short of elephants.

Read the rest of the Greatest Cartridges series here.

Animal’s Right-Handed (Phrasing!) Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Is it still Hump Day when it’s a short week?  Well, close enough.

Here’s an interesting science-ey tidbit:  On The Other Hand.  Excerpt:

With almost complete certainty, I can predict that you, dear reader, are right-handed. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on it. I’d make the same bet if you were reading this in India or Iowa, Kansas or Kathmandu. And a hundred years from now, I’d make the same bet again.

I can be so sure of myself not because I am some prodigious prognosticator, but because about 90 percent of humans are right-handed. That phenotypic ratio—nine right-handed people for every lefty—is relatively stable, not just across cultures and geographic regions, but perhaps across the span of human evolution. The archaeological record suggests that hominins were predominantly right-handed as far back as 2 million years ago, and a 2010 study of the wear patterns on 32,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth found that this extinct cousin of Homo sapiens was likely about 88 percent right-handed.

Apparently since the right-to-left ratio holds up in antipodal locations like Australia, the Coriolis Effect is not responsible for the great skew in human handedness.  Go figure.

How about you, True Believers?  Yr. obdt. is among the aforementioned 90%, but loyal sidekick and hunting partner Rat is a southpaw, and I suspect he occasionally finds his right-handed 700 Remington awkward to handle in a hurry.

But there are occasional silver linings to everything.  Some years back I found a nicely sporterized 1903 Springfield sitting on a gun show table, priced at the rather unbelievable $250, and finding no takers.   It even had a rather old but perfectly clear Weaver 3X scope mounted.

“The damn thing has that left-handed stock on it,” the seller told me, “so nobody looks twice at it.”  Sure enough, it had a nice blonde walnut stock with a cheekpiece – on what for me, was the wrong side of the stock.

Smiling BearI offered the seller $150.  He accepted.  I took the rifle home, took it apart, took a big cabinet rasp and scraped every hint of that cheekpiece off.  After sanding the stock smooth and refinishing it with a nice linseed oil finish, I took the gun to the range and discovered it was a great shooter, easily putting five shots into an inch and a half with Federal 180-grain factory loads, with the old Weaver still in place.

Eventually I took the rifle back to a show along with the targets I’d shot with it and sold it for $375.

Opportunities are where you find them.