Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Animal’s Daily News

bears-cute-awesome2-12An interesting story out of Selma, Alabama, wherein a would-be robbery perp was taken all the way out by an armed citizen – read here and here.

Money quote from that second story:

Law enforcement officials are calling Marlo Ellis a hero in the wake of Thursday’s shooting at the Dollar General in Orrville.

Ellis shot and killed Dallas County resident Kevin McLaughlin after McLaughlin entered the store, reportedly shouting and waving a gun.

Authorities said that as McLaughlin was leading a group of people into a break room, Ellis turned and used his own pistol to shoot McLaughlin. Ellis’ weapon was concealed according to Sheriff Harris Huffman.

McLaughlin was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting.

Facepalm-bearNow, here’s the catch:  The Dollar Store in question had a “no guns” policy, and the CCW holder and proclaimed (by local law enforcement, no less) hero of the moment may face trespassing charges for bringing his weapon into the store in violation of their posted signs.

It’s unclear whether this is a corporate policy or the local store’s idea.  There are Dollar Stores here in Colorado, but honestly I’ve never been in one.  But in this specific instance, if the company proceeds with charges against Ellis, they would bring to mind the Austrian’s reply to Russia after the Russians helped put down a revolt during the Crimean War:  “We will shock the world with our ingratitude.”

Really, to avoid looking like a gigantic collection of jackasses, Dollar Store really needs to just let this one go.

Rule Five Friday

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (3)Let’s talk about the War on Women.  No, not the infamous, often-abused Democrat claim about Republican policies (or vice versa, as has happened a time or two.)  Instead, let’s talk about the War on Women being conducted by gun-ban advocates.

“Wait, what?” you ask.  Well, have a read of these two articles, both from the Bullets First blog:

Gun Girls of CPAC – Killing the Stereotype

The Brady Campaign’s War on Women

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (1)Money quote from the second article:

The gun is the equalizer that can protect the 100lb girl from the monsters in the night.  From those who would rob innocence and shatter dreams.  The gun levels a playing field for the small and the weak so that we are not a society run by thugs and roving gangs of strong arms.

The Brady Campaign would deny the right of the small to defend themselves against the large.  They would promote reasoning with rabid animals and the moral authority of being raped over killing your rapist.

I would say to use every method possible that would stop one of the most heinous acts from being perpetrated against you.  If you think that the Yale study and the ISP advice is sound I won’t advise against it, it might work.  But I KNOW that 3 shots to the chest with a .45 will work.  If I were a woman I would prefer to have to deal with the fact that I put down 2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (2)a rabid animal than I would dealing with the fact that that animal raped me.

And that, True Believers, is the whole point.

As a CCW permit holder who carries regularly as I go about my daily business, I am on occasion drawn into the conversation about the merits of carrying a concealed handgun, and the likelihood of it one day saving my or someone else’s life.   Two common comments arise:

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (4)Comment: “You know, that gun won’t protect you in every situation.”

Reply:  “That’s true – but it will protect me in many situations, and if I don’t have one, it won’t protect me in any situation.”

Comment:  “I’d be afraid someone would get my gun away from me and kill me with it.”

Reply:  “If I’m ever killed with my own gun, they’ll have to beat me to death with it, because it will sure as hell be empty.”

My own dear Mrs Animal – a small, middle-aged, visibly disabled woman who always has a firearm and usually a blade of some kind concealed about her person – is even more adamant about it, agreeing strongly with the statement above that “3 shots to the chest with a .45,” or in her case, a .380 or a .40 S&W, will sure as hell stop an attacker.

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (5)It’s baffling why anyone could make the case for a policy that denies women the choice to defend themselves with the only completely effective tool for the job – the only one that will enable a small, disabled, middle-aged woman to defend herself against a six-foot, twenty year old, male attacker.

Do they truly, as BulletsFirst observes, believe a woman that attempts to foil a rapist with urine, defecation or vomit – or a woman who just submits – is morally superior than a woman who effectively and decisively defends herself with deadly force?

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion.  Fortunately, every year more and more women are calling “bullshit!”

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

2014_03_12_Shotguns (1)Two ongoing shooting iron projects returned from the Colorado School of Trades today (photo, left.)

The iron to the left in the first photo still has more work ahead.  This is a Winchester Model 12, 12 gauge, solid rib, made in the late 1940s.  The gunsmith school applied a polish and gloss blue and tuned up the action.  Next will come a new stock and fore-end, and then choke tubes – a tricky proposition, that, as Model 12s have notoriously thin barrel walls.  Still, several choke tube installers/manufacturers have thin-wall tubes especially for these wonderful old guns, so while it’s limited to traditional, 2-3/4″ lead shot loads, it’s doable.

Model 12 Action closeup
Model 12 Action closeup

And doable is good in this case; the Model 12 is the gold standard of American pump shotguns.   The gun started in (obviously) 1912 as a redesign of John Browning’s Winchester Model 1897, and had an eighty-year history.  Model 12s saw service in game fields, duck blinds and trap/skeet ranges all over the U.S. and Canada (many other places as well, no doubt.)  They even saw service in the U.S. military from the First World War through Vietnam.

It’s nice to have a nicely restored example of this fine shotgun in the rack.

The second arm, the one on the right in the first photo, is the Sears-marked version of the venerable Stevens 520a, again a 12 gauge, manufactured in 1945 or 1946.  2014_03_12_Shotguns (5)This one is done as is, having been polished, blued and tuned.  Why put the effort into a gun with little or no collector’s value, even if it were untouched and original?

Simple:  This was the Old Man’s gun, purchased with some of his demobilization pay when he came home to Iowa at the end of World War 2.  Again a Browning design, the old Stevens has a lot going for it; like the Model 12 it’s a solid steel action, a breakdown gun that fits handily in a short carry case.  It’s a good solid pheasant-killer, in no way fancy but effective – and durable.

You can pick these old Stevens shotguns up for a couple of C-notes when you can find them, but this one isn’t for sale at any price.

Every Man Should Have a Rifle.

Standing-BearGanked from our blogger pal Theo.  A good take from the pre-WW1 era on how we should prudently be prepared for the worst.

Everyman Should Have a Rifle.

So I sit and write and ponder, while the house is deaf and dumb,
Seeing visions “over yonder” of the war I know must come.
In the corner – not a vision – but a sign for coming days
Stand a box of ammunition and a rifle in green baize.
And in this, the living present, let the word go through the land,
Every tradesman, clerk and peasant should have these two things at hand.
No – no ranting song is needed, and no meeting, flag or fuss -
In the future, still unheeded, shall the spirit come to us!
Without feathers, drum or riot on the day that is to be,
We shall march down, very quite, to our stations by the sea.
While the bitter parties stifle every voice that warns of war,
Every man should own a rifle and have cartridges in store!
Henry Lawson (1907)

Animal’s Hump Day News

2014_02_19_Hump Day
Happy Hump Day!

Remember that old saying about blind hogs and acorns?  Well, the Ninth Circuit Court found an acorn.   Here are a few stories:

The Blue Steel Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Concealed Carry in California: A benchmark win in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

California Ban on Concealed Weapons Overturned by 9th Circuit Appeals Court

Liberal Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Concealed Carry

Here is the actual ruling – read it for yourself.  Source documents should always be examined, as the media rarely gets the whole story right.  This is the money quote from that document (emphasis mine):

We are well aware that, in the judgment of many governments, the safest sort of firearm-carrying regime is one which restricts the privilege to law enforcement with only narrow exceptions. Nonetheless, “the enshrinement of constitutional  rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. . . . Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court [or ours] to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” Id. at 636. Nor may we delegate the bearing of arms to a “second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that we have held to be incorporated into the Due Process Clause.” McDonald, 130 S. Ct. at 3044.  The district court erred in denying the applicant’s motion for summary judgment on the Second Amendment claim because San Diego County’s “good cause” permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.

There are a few things that make this ruling significant:

  • MinutemanThe liberal Ninth Circuit has affirmed a Supreme Court precedent, namely that the Second Amendment enshrines an individual right to keep and bear arms, and further, that for that right to have any meaning, it must encompass the carrying of arms outside the home.
  • Requiring the demonstration of “good cause” represents an unconstitutional infringement of that right.
  • No other requirements – say, an unreasonable fee – may be imposed to place the exercise of that right beyond the reach of an average citizen.

It’s entirely possible the entire Ninth Circuit will overturn this decision; that Court is notoriously liberal on issues of this sort.  It is, however, by some wide margin the Circuit Court most often reversed by the Supreme Court, which is plainly where this issue will be headed, one way or the other.  And the Supreme Court, as currently comprised, will almost certainly rule in favor of the right to bear arms.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday
Goodbye, Blue Monday

The Colt .45s – Big and Heavy Worked, and Still Does.  Excerpt:

Think back to the days when America had two major handgun manufacturers: Colt and Smith & Wesson. Now consider this when speaking of their big-bore handguns: Smith & Wesson was identified more often with a .44 caliber, as in .44 Russian and .44 S&W Special, but for Colt it was .45’s. First came the .45 Colt in 1873 with a revised version in 1909. Then, beginning in the early 1900s, the company began toying with a rimless .45 for use in autoloading pistols. Of course that became the .45 ACP.

The operating characteristics of modern rifles and handguns where terminal impact are concerned are so different as to be differences not in degree but in kind.  Modern, high-velocity rifle cartridges – and by “modern” I mean any of the bottle-necked, smokeless powder cartridges beginning with the .30-40 US Army and the even more famous and durable Caliber .30, US, Model of 1906 – depend on high impact velocity, bullet deformation and hydrostatic shock to kill.   The high velocities obtainable with a rifle case means that the rifle bullet makes excellent use of the “V” in the basic physics equation E=MV2.  Pistol cartridges, even the modern versions cannot generate the velocities that rifle cartridges can, and so the M side of the equation becomes important.

That’s where the .45 gets its advantage.  After well over a hundred years, the stopping power of a big, heavy bullet hasn’t changed.  Many, many shooters still favor the .45, including yr. obdt,  being the owner of five .45 caliber pistols (RAA 1911, Glock 36, Glock 21, Ruger Vaquero, Smith & Wesson 25-5.)

colt1911_5357Even so, a handgun cartridge still pales in comparison to even a medium-power rifle cartridge, a distinction that many not familiar with firearms fail to understand.  By way of illustration, there’s an old story about an aged policeman who showed up for his retirement ceremony wearing his sidearm.  A lady in the group assembled for the celebration noted the holstered pistol and asked  him if he was expecting trouble.  “No ma’am,” he replied.  “If I was expecting trouble I’d have brought my rifle.”

Rule Five Friday

2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (1)Let’s look at a few gun stories today – the first, from our own Colorado.    GOP Attempts to Repeal Colorado Background Checks Law.  Excerpt:

Colorado Republicans revived the most contentious debate of the last legislative session when they tried to repeal gun purchase background checks.

State Sen. George Rivera, the Republican who replaced Democrat Angela Giron when she was recalled from office because of her support of this and other new gun control laws, sponsored the bill.

Most of the testimony revolved around the question of whether or not the new law — which requires background checks not only for gun purchases at retail stores but also in private sales between individuals — will help reduce violent crime. A background check is also required if a gun is loaned to someone for more than 72 hours, such as for hunting, sport 2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (2)shooting or safekeeping.

What’s interesting about that article and the controversy around it is found in this line:

Opponents of the repeal pointed to 104 instances of potential gun buyers failing background checks during attempted private transactions since the law went into effect on July 1. The reasons ranged from previous convictions for homicide to sexual assault.

Ok, then; one hundred and four people have committed a Federal felony, in attempting to illegally purchase a firearm.

Where are the arrests?  Where are the convictions?  Why did the gang of Mensa dropouts we call the Colorado Legislature pass this law, which obviously nobody intends to enforce?

2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (3)One of the more idiotic provisions of this piece of legislative stupidity is the requirement to undergo a background check if you borrow a firearm from a neighbor or friend, say for a hunting trip.  This provision is utterly unenforceable and will be roundly ignored.  Combine this with the total ignoring of people who fail the background checks, and we are left with one question:  What the bloody hell was this law meant to actually accomplish?

While we’re on the subject of abject stupidity:  School Officials Deeply Troubled Over Guns Appearing ON SIGNS BANNING GUNS.  Excerpt:

Nolan stressed that she is very concerned with “safety and security” and concerned that, somehow, someone could wrongly interpret an image of a gun emblazoned with the universal sign for prohibiting something.

2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (5)“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” Nolan also fretted.

She said she would prefer “something more subtle.”

“You can’t look at this (sticker) and not think about Sandy Hook,” the principal added.

Let’s be honest:  Principal Nolan is a hypersensitive nitwit.

One more, this one a piece of good news; the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the pro-sportsman SHARE Act.  Blind hogs and acorns, as they say.  Excerpt:

2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (4)(The National Shooting Sports Foundation), along with a number of its partners, has been working closely with members of the House to ensure inclusion of a number of legislative priorities in the SHARE Act including provisions that will protect the use of traditional ammunition and fishing tackle by hunters and anglers, provide greater flexibility for states to utilize Pittman-Robertson funds to create and enhance public shooting ranges and facilitate greater access to Federal lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting.

Of course, this legislation still has to get through the Senate in one form or another, and be approved by the President, who by all indications is no friend of the shooting sports.  But, as mentioned earlier – blind hogs and acorns.  We’ll see.

2014_02_07_Rule Five Friday (6)

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five linkage!

An interesting weekend here in the upper Midwest, passed in my possibly-futile quest for one of two items:  a Browning Sweet Sixteen (the small-frame version of a 16 gauge Auto-Five) or a 1940s vintage solid-rib Model 12 Winchester in 16 gauge.

Why those two guns?  And why in 16 gauge, a bore size many American shooters consider all but obsolete?

Auto-Five
Auto-Five

As for the two guns, I do have 12-gauge versions of both arms.  My Auto-Five is a 1943-44 American-made (Remington) version, originally a plain field gun, picked up with little or no bluing left and a badly worn stock.   With a polish and reblue, refinished stock, a Simmons ventilated rib and Carlson choke tubes, the 70+ year old Browning is now as modern as an iPad while still retaining it’s 1940s – era craftsmanship.  My 1940-made Model 12, bought with slightly worn bluing, a barrel cut for an old Poly-Choke and a rather ugly stock, is now in the process of being polished and deep blued.  A new American black walnut stock is in the works, and that gun will also be cut for choke tubes to replace the bulbous Poly-Choke – a touchy proposition, as Model 12s have notoriously thin barrel walls.

Model 12 - Before
Model 12 – Before

And why the 16 gauge?   One of my oldest friends is a 16-gauge nut, and Mrs. Animal shoots trap and birds with a 16-gauge Browning White Lightning.  The 16 is a great mid-range gun – large enough to pack nearly 12-gauge wallop, but often found in smaller-framed, lighter guns, like the Sweet Sixteen.  It’s one of those rare things in the gun world; a compromise that works.

To carry on this search on this weekend just past, I visited several local gun shops and a 300-table gun show up in Elkhart.

Now, mind you, I have no particular sense of urgency in finding either of these two sporting arms.  If and when I stumble on the right example of either, I’ll probably buy it.  But since I can think of fewer more enjoyable ways to spend a weekend than bumming around gun shops and shows, talking with people who like guns and like to shoot, I took the opportunity.

The 300-table Gunslinger show in Elkhart was a tad disappointing.  While Mrs. Animal and I each own an AR-15, we have both resisted the “tactical” craze that seems to be sweeping the country.   The gun show circuit, however, has largely been taken over by the proponents of all things “tactical.”  That’s fine; the market is at work.  But it makes it a bit frustrating for those of us who prefer old shotguns.  I’m something of a traditionalist; I like old shotguns, large-bore revolvers and precision bolt guns for big-game work, although I do favor my Glocks as carry guns.

Back to the weekend:  While I didn’t in fact find any prizes, I will give a shout to a couple of fine gun shops here in northern Indiana that are well worth patronizing if any True Believers are in the area.  The first is Gun Town, on Highway 30 in Grovertown.  They have an extensive selection of used and new guns, including a 1942 small-frame 20-gauge Auto-Five that tempted me for a few long Splashing-Bearsmoments.  The second, right here in Warsaw, is the very fine Eagle Creek Firearms, who also have a decent selection and whose owner is a Model 12 aficianado no less than yr. obdt. – and, again, while there I was briefly tempted by a very nice 1897 Winchester, but I resisted.

It’s always fun, popping around to old gun shops.  Who knows what treasures you might find?

Rule Five Friday

2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (1)I had originally intended to spend today’s bandwidth talking about secular arguments on gay marriage, but something else captured my attention – something breathtakingly stupid.  It seems Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein and actress Meryl Streep are planning a movie taking aim (use of metaphor deliberate) at the NRA.  Excerpt:

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein announced for the first time on Howard Stern’s radio show that he is making a full feature drama to try to destroy the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Stern asked Mr. Weinstein on Wednesday whether he owned a gun. The Hollywood heavyweight replied that he did not and never would. “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it,” the producer said. 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (2)“I think the NRA is a disaster area.”

Mr. Weinstein then revealed his secret project about the gun rights group. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”

If you’ll allow me to make a prediction, Mr. Weinstein (and even if you won’t) I will make one, and also an observation:

  1. The NRA will be just fine, in fact they may gain members because of you, and
  2. You’re an idiot.

2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (3)In the first place, political movies never go down well, whether they are Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth or the right-of-center American Carol.  The American movie-going public wants to be entertained, not to be lectured or harangued – yr. obdt. included.   These kinds of movies attract pathetically low audiences made up almost exclusively of viewers who already agree with the political statements being made in the film.

In the second place, the NRA is nothing like the silly caricature Mr. Weinstein seems to have in mind.  (Full disclosure:  Mrs. Animal and myself are both Life Members of the NRA.)  The NRA is not a sinister organization run by a cabal of masterminds; it is, honestly and in every sense of the word, a true grass-roots organization boasting 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (5)more than four million dues-paying members.   The NRA’s officers and Board are elected by their members, and the organizations by-laws and organization priorities are likewise decided by the members.

How many other civil-rights organizations can make that claim?

So, the NRA is powerful because its members give it the power.  Through memberships starting at $35 a year, they empower the NRA to act on their behalf, not only to provide training, insurance and a host of services but also to protect their Second Amendment rights in Washington and the several state capitols, because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

So, this film, assuming it gets made, will amount to naught.  But it’s worth examining Mr. Weinstein’s credits as a producer, which include violent, gun-filled films like Django Unchained and 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (4)Grindhouse.   Weinstein is a hypocrite of the worst sort.

And, incidentally, this won’t be his first act of cinematographic futility.  Does anyone remember 2009′s Capitalism – A Love Story?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Me neither.