Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Rule Five Friday

2014_04_18_Rule Five Friday (1)The recent Fort Hood event has reignited the debate on the carry of firearms, which is perhaps predictable; PJ Media has this story on the topic:  Fort Hood and Disarmament.  Excerpt:

The latest active shooter attack at Fort Hood, Texas on April 2, 2014 left three dead and 16 wounded.  As is almost always the case, the killer, confronted with armed resistance, choose suicide, ending the rampage.  The Army has released a timeline  that indicates that the attack lasted something over eight minutes, but the timeline fails to note how much time passed between the first shot and the first 911 call, which means the actual time was likely about ten minutes.

This will become significant shortly.  The gun that anti-freedom forces 2014_04_18_Rule Five Friday (2)love to demonize, the AR-15 with its standard 30 round magazine, was not involved.  Instead, the killer used only a commonly available .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun.

As all mass attacks do, this one has reanimated the gun control debate, but this time, anti-freedom advocates have a unique handicap.  It may seem counterintuitive and surprising to many, but continental United States military installations are a gun-free anti-gunner’s dream.  They are even more strictly regulated than many schools.  Soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are nowhere as thoroughly disarmed as they are on American 2014_04_18_Rule Five Friday (3)military bases.

And why, one wonders, should that be the case?  Why – why the bloody hell – should our servicemen and -women, professionals in the profession of arms, be denied the ability to bear arms on the grounds of their own bases?

As recently as the Seventies at least officers and senior NCOs routinely carried sidearms even on stateside bases.  The expectation was simple:  Service members were in the business of bearing and using arms, and it was taken for granted that they would be armed in the course of their duties.

And how is this relevant to the nutbar shooter at Fort Hood?  Or his predecessor, the nutbar turncoat jihadist Major Hasan?

2014_04_18_Rule Five Friday (4)There are two possible scenarios:  First, the shooter would have expected armed resistance at the target area, and would have either given the whole thing a pass or, at worst, selected another target.  Second, the shooter would have encountered armed resistance at the target area and been terminated before doing as much damage as he did.

So, the risk analysis is fairly simple; worst case is a diversion to a softer target.  Best case is an aborted mass-shooter.  In either case, the argument for disarming professional warriors in their own bases comes off as what it clearly is:  Idiotic.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_04_11_Rule Five Friday (1)Some interesting work done on crime rates vs. regional gun control laws to go along with some summery Friday Rule Five:  An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates.  (link leads to a pdf document.)  Key excerpt from the abstract:

Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

2014_04_11_Rule Five Friday (2)And another from the conclusion:

Given that the average gun related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase.

There may, however, be other explanations for these results. Laws may be ineffective due to loopholes and exemptions. The most violent states may also have the toughest gun control measures. Further research is 2014_04_11_Rule Five Friday (3)warranted in this area.

Further research may be warranted, but the evidence that gun control has little to no effect on crime rates is better supported now than, say, anthropogenic climate change.  The positive effects of liberalized concealed-carry laws is just as well documented.

Which makes the arguments – the tired, stale, old arguments – of gun control proponents all the more baffling.  When Colorado’s concealed-carry law was being debated in the State legislature, we heard them all:

  • 2014_04_11_Rule Five Friday (4)There will be shootouts over parking spaces.
  • People will be killed with their own guns.
  • More handguns in the hands of citizens will mean more crime.
  • Carnage will ensue from untrained people carrying guns.

None of these dire predictions came true – not anywhere.  In fact, CCW permit holders are, as a group, some of the most law-abiding folks you’ll find anywhere.

But statistics aside, there is a matter of principle involved.  Studies such as the one referenced above are useful in making arguments 2014_04_11_Rule Five Friday (6)for public policy, to be sure, but the fact is that a free citizen should be able to make the choice for him or herself as to whether to carry a firearm for self-defense or defense of others.

I carry a gun for a variety of reasons; I’m too young to die and too old to get my ass kicked, I can’t carry a cop, I’d rather take my chances with twelve jurors than six pallbearers, and so on.  But the primary reason I carry is this:  I am a free, law-abiding citizen and it suits me to do so.

If we truly are a free country – if individual liberty still has any meaning – what other reason should be required?

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Animal’s Daily News

16 gauge Browning White Lightning
16 gauge Browning White Lightning

Our own dear Mrs. Animal takes a deal of pride in being contrary, at times, and her choice in shotguns reflects that; her arm for trap and sporting clays is the Browning White Lightning in 16 gauge.

Why 16 gauge?  Because she likes it, and sees no need to explain herself beyond that.  Doug Oliver, the keeper of the 16 Gauge Society, has a more detailed explanation.  His thoughts were recently detailed in Shotgun Life.  Excerpt:

“The 16 gauge is absolutely the perfect shotgun,” he explains. “It has a perfect load for wingshooting. Plus a 16 gauge will typically be a pound lighter than a 12 gauge if you’re carrying it all day in the field. The 16 gauge shoots like a 12 gauge but carries like a 20 gauge. It’s a great gun.”

When Doug turned 50, for his midlife crisis instead of a Porsche he bought himself a shotgun. It was a 16-gauge F.A.I.R. Rizzini over/under. It was a better gun than he had known at that point.

On a flight from Los Angeles to New York, he had been reading an article in Double Gun Journal about dove hunting in Argentina. Until that point he had every intention of buying a 20 or 28 Beretta, but the article deflected him to the 16-gauge F.A.I.R. Razzing.

Doug found himself smitten by the lovely 16 gauge. In doing his “homework” for that 16-gauge F.A.I.R. Rizini he realized “that 16 gauge was a stepchild,” he explained. “Information at the time was so hard to dig out and that’s where the 16 Gauge Society web site came in. I though I’d just design and throw up 16 gauge web site and maybe sell a couple of hats. The project itself was fun and informative.”

Relaxing BearOne of my oldest friends is a big 16 gauge fan as well; Dave has been insistent on the virtues of the 16 since we were in high school, back in the 1970s, even as yr. obdt. went along with the Old Man’s preference for 12-bore guns.

Browning Citori Satin Hunter and Mountain Quail.

Still; the 16 is an intriguing size.  A round ball of 16-bore diameter weighs exactly one ounce; a one-ounce shot charge fills the bore nicely, without excessive stacking which can, in smaller bores, lead to long shot strings and blown patterns.  But perhaps one of the nicer things about the 16 is that older guns in this bore size are relatively cheap and easy to find, precisely due to the shrinking popularity of the gauge.

I’ve been scouting around for a WW2-vintage, solid rib 16 gauge Winchester Model 12 to accompany my 12 gauge gun of those specs in the rack. It will be interesting to fact-check Mrs. Animal’s and Dave’s 16 gauge advocacy for myself, both on the range and in the field.  If it matches up to my various 12 gauge guns I’ll be well pleased.

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!”

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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.

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