Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

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.

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.