Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

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.

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)