30 November 2011

Entry Level Guns

Reading at 3 Boxes of BS.

The take-away point is any gun beats no gun if you need one.

He's right, we're pretty damn snobby about it while we complain about the differences of good (even great) guns.

I am biased and blessed that my first handgun was a good one (Glock 17).  I could afford to get it so I didn't have to look down-market.

This isn't true of everyone.

My grandfather on Mom's side owned a small gas station in a small town for decades.  Not a huge money-maker, but steady.  He defended his business with a nickel plated Harrington and Richardson .32 S&W Long revolver he carried on his person and an Iver Johnson .32 S&W under the counter.  He reasoned that a crook might take him unawares but they'd be heading to the register where a gun always was.  He felt he needed two guns.

His choice was to buy two cheap guns rather than one good one.  And honestly, those two guns were cheaper than half the price of a Smith and Wesson or Colt.  They didn't need target accuracy to sit in a tool-box or under the register, they just needed to go bang after years of sitting.  They do.

That H&R was my first (legal) carry gun.  It's small and easily concealed.  My Glock 21 (my only other handgun at the time) not so much.  I got a better gun.  I got several better guns.

I have an analogy that I think works.  Everyone wants the Ferrari, not the Hyundai; but what is the difference sitting in gridlock?

First you need a gun.  Yes, you do.
Second, buy the best you can.  While there are some guns on the never-ever-buy list, most anything will do.  Remember, 99% of defensive gun use can best be described as "brandishing" so even a bar of soap that looks like a gun would work.  The reason you use a real gun is for that 1% where it's described as "shooting".
Third, once you have a gun at all, now you can start thinking about getting a better one.  If you could afford a good one out of the chute, so much the better.  More money for ammo and practice.

Worth Reading

"The history of passive resistance movements in regimes that have no difficulty murdering passive resistors is much shorter and less noted."

Read the whole thing.

29 November 2011

1903 x 2


I am a firm believer in the idea that if I am being punished for a crime I did not commit then I literally have nothing to lose by actually committing said crime.

Don't act surprised when I behave in the manner you giving negative reinforcement for.

27 November 2011

OK, Cool Kids, Answer Me This...

The Tea Party is the Astroturf Wing of the Koch brothers?

First I've heard of it, but the wife's libtard friend was tossing it around as FACT.

I can't find much about it online, and I didn't get a Freedom Works check, so...

Please comment and tell me what there is to this.

That Was Easy

The standard front sight base on an AR15 is supposed to be held on with taper pins.

Someone didn't get word to J&T Distributing.  They use straight pins.

At least they weren't roll pins.

I happen to have a reamer that I bought to drill and ream the holes in Tabitha.  Yesterday, at the gun show, I bought a couple of taper pins and today I went to work.

Kaylee's future barrel now has taper pins.  I went a little too deep on one and a little too shallow on the other.  Both are well within tolerances though.  The straight pins are laying on the block.

Tools are investments, not expenses.  The money saved by buying proper tools far and away exceeds the cost of the tool.  This ten minute job is $45 from one place and the local gunsmith has an $80 minimum.  I think I am into the reamer for $20 and this is the second time I've used it.  Tabitha's FSB mounting would have been about $100 if I'd sent it out.  All told this simple tool has saved at least $125.  I'm not counting the price of that block or the drill I used since those were bought for other projects and have, themselves, been fully amortized now.

26 November 2011

Steel Lower Installed.

Well, now I have no slack on the 922r parts, but we're still legal.

PS: Warsteiner Premium Verum in my Arfcom mug.

PPS: Just in case you were curious, the DSA aluminum lower is a half pound lighter than the steel one.  Total loaded weight went from 10.9 to 11.4 lbs.  Romat are noted for being a bit heavier than a standard FN FAL (11 lb. with synthetic furniture) because of the wood and the steel handguard, so this is par for the course.  It's still lighter than a heavy barrel gun.

Fun Show!

Went to the gun show in Orlando today.

I think I got a killer deal on this part:

Metric FAL lower!  The guy had it marked "$100".  I was walking away and he said, "make me an offer."  Since I hate that game, I said, "OK, I'll insult you.  $20."  He said, "Sold!"  I think that it was a deal at $100.  This one appears to be a nice Steyr version.

I also found a spare set of triangular handguards for my R604 clone and got some small AR parts.

Good day!

Oh yeah, we also went and watched the Mars Science Laboratory launch.  An Atlas V in 541 configuration is OK, but it lacks the visceral thrill of the shuttle.

25 November 2011

Incomplete DD214

It does happen.

I have the paperwork from my battalion saying I should have expert in tank weapons.

That doesn't show up on my DD214.  It should, but marksmanship badges are routinely not bumped up the pipeline.

All of my ribbons are there.

Compromise Proposal

Historically, whenever a compromise of increase taxes/reduce spending is made; the taxes are increased now with the promise that spending will be reduced at a later date.

That later date never comes and without exception, spending has increased.

I have a proposal for the spenders.

10% across the board tax increase.


To get that increase you have to cut 15% of spending from the budget.  Not slow down increases, but really reduce the money spent.  Then those cuts have to remain in place for at least a year before the tax increase happens.


Assuming that congress manages to pass a budget that's 85% of the last budget passed (all those continuing resolutions don't count) mark what percentage of the GDP that budget is at the end of the year.  The budget may never exceed that percentage of the GDP or the tax increase is nullified.

Even more fun!  I'll give them an additional 5% tax increase if they pass an amendment requiring a balanced budget and hard capping the debt to a modest percentage of GDP.  Any excess revenue collected beyond the budget must go towards the debt.

There you go liberals.  A 15% increase in taxes for you.  All you have to do is COMPROMISE.

24 November 2011

It's Thanksgiving!

The Monty Hall Problem

Finally someone put it in terms I can comprehend.

23 November 2011

Word Verification (Let's Try This Again)

Word verification sometimes makes me empathize with anyone who had to deal with an Enigma machine.

The characters are all on the keyboard, but they aren't words.  You have to copy them exactly to get the desired effect.

Enigma Simulator

Machine: M3 (Army, Navy)
Mech: L
Wheels: Checked
Rotors: C;V;VIII;I
Ring Setting: 1187
Wheel Position: AAHG
Plug Board: CR; GS

jotqg nqtbj sjaim mucwg ukzom


22 November 2011

Chrome Lined Barrels

This is a feature I insist on whenever it's available.

I typically don't shoot corrosive ammo and I don't own anything that's got a happy switch.  The enhanced durability is kinda wasted on me.  I guess Florida is kinda sorta tropical, so it should help...

My most accurate AR is hands down the chrome chamber, not bore, M16 (early R604) clone.  The next most accurate is the chrome lined 6.8 barrel from the lamented Kotonics.  Then the stainless steel 6.8 barrel from Bison.

The 1903A3 is a tack driver, no chrome.

I really don't know why I demand it, but it's something I prefer.

Maybe I am just forward thinking and expecting registration to be opened up for full-auto again.  Then I will need it!

20 November 2011

Zombie Preparedness

I bought the novelty ammo from Hornady.  I loaded up one of my FAL mags with it just in case.  Who knows, it might be just the thing.  Of course, it's 168gr ammo and I'm zeroed for NATO.

Yes, I am aware that it's ridiculous.  It's entirely a marketing gimmick.  But it amuses me, and that amusement sold a box to me, making both the gun-store and Hornady some money that they might not have otherwise made.  That's win, not fail.

Besides, Hornady is one of the first companies who jumped in and supported 6.8 when it looked like it might just dry up and go away.  I like to support them when I can because of it.

Jasmine Post-Recall Range Report

She's still a shooter!

Had two cases of fail to strip a round and one stove-pipe while partially chambering the next round stoppage.

I don't shoot her much, so she's likely still in break-in, so I am not too concerned.  If this keeps up for very long, I will get worried.

Update: I should have checked before firing.  The thing was bone dry.  DSA in the course of inspecting things stripped all the lube from the bolt, bolt-carrier and chaseway.

I can put all of my shots into a torso at 100 yards.  I am not shooting as well as the gun can.  The wide front post is so different from an AR that it's throwing me off.  I'll get used to it with more trigger time, I am sure.  The lighting at the indoor range we went to is miserable for peep sights as well.  I am sure that my groups would tighten noticeably outdoors.  They do with the iron sighted AR's as well.

To the guy in the lane next to us.  You don't know what you're doing.  Yes, you bought the best money could buy, but you clearly don't know how it all works.  Talking down to me because I'm plinking was super rude.  But I was very amused because I put 20 rounds on the paper at 100 yards while you weren't hitting at all.

This is why we shoot groups when zeroing!  This is why we start at a close target and move it out.  You put the target at 100 and fired one round.  Looked through your binoculars; spun the wheels on the scope; loaded another round; fired; repeat.

Being a jerk to us when your kid asked me about my FAL was uncalled for.  We'd have helped you find the paper if you'd been even half nice about it.

Or were you really pissed that your wife and I were chatting while we were waiting for a lane to open up?

19 November 2011

National Ammo Day; Part 2

What did you get?

I got 50 rounds of PMC .357 Magnum, 40 rounds of Federal XM80C 7.62x51mm, 20 rounds of Hornady Z-Max 7.62x51mm and 80 rounds of SSA Tactical Pro-Hunter 6.8x43mm.

Marv got 50 rounds of PMC .380, 40 rounds Federal Fusion .30-30 and 20 rounds of Hornady LeveRevolution .30-30.

I shot all of the XM80C from the FAL and most of the .357 from The Lovely Harvey's Winchester 92 clone.  Marv shot most of his .30-30 too.

A quick note to places like Shoot Straight, rounds like 6.8 aren't $38 a box from any place but you.  It's the same price as .308 every other vendor; you should consider that and perhaps you would have made a sale today instead of my getting online and getting it from SSA directly.

National Ammo Day!

7th Annual National Ammo Day.

Buy yourself 100 rounds of your favorite centerfire ammunition this week.

Mix or match, it doesn't matter, just join the buycott!

I'm thinking that .308 and 6.8 will be a good mix this year.

Paying an online place today and taking delivery next week is A-OK!

18 November 2011


All the cool kids are talking about them, so I'll chime in my 2¢ too.

Just in case you don't know what one is, it's a normal rifle with the action behind the firing hand.

You can, from where the magazine is positioned, see what I am talking about.

Bullpups have made it into issue with various nations.

Infamously with the British with the L85.
Austrians (Image licensed under creative commons from Steyr.) with the Armee Universal Gewher.
French with the FAMAS, also known as Le Clarion.

Let's not forget the Israelis and the TAVOR! Shown without magazine.

But it sort of started with the Brits with the Rifle Number 9 Mark 1.  Also known as the EM-2.

Where to start?  First off, I like the idea of them.  Shorter overall length for a given barrel length seems like a great idea!

I'm not the only one who likes the idea, look how many have been designed and adopted!  There are even a couple of non-military bullpups.

A friend of mine even bought one, the Bushmaster M17S.
What we learned is they balance funny and the manual of arms is charitably described as "awkward".  So awkward, in fact, he never fired it.

The next most obvious issue with bullpups is where the ejection port is located.  Firing from your left hand is absolutely unavoidable for a combat gun.  Lefties already have enough trouble eating brass when the ejection port is out in front of their face; it doesn't get better putting it under your ear!

 Kel-Tec addressed the ejection issue by spitting the rounds forward.

Though Fabrique National did that first with their F2000 and FS2000.

I've got to handle all of these, and fire most of them.  I like the idea of bullpups.  Length of pull is always too long.  The forearm is always too short.  The optics are always too high.  Field stripping is often needlessly complicated or difficult.  The linkage for the trigger has to be longer than a conventional configuration and that normally means a vile trigger pull.  Gritty, creepy and spongy!  Woot!

And this is just stuff that's inherent to the configuration.

The L85 and L86 (the Brit guns) have been plagued with quality control issues since day one and even H&K has been unable to do more than put a band-aid on them.

The Steyr AUG as made by the Australians (issued as the F88) was also a nightmare when first produced.  At least the design is sound.  As sound as this idea gets anyways.

The funny thing is, I came to be enamored with bullpups because of a table-top pen-and-paper role playing game.  Twilight 2000.  They had three bullpups statted out.  The L85A1 (called the IW), L86A1 (called LSW) and the caseless G11.  I loved how the L85A1 looked and since it took a standard M16 magazine using one didn't cause a supply problem with the other players.  There were no game stat reasons to avoid them.

Did you know that a 1985 rpg is not an accurate predictor of firearm reliability?  You did?  Me too.

Hey! I Was Going To Say That!

Lately I've been reading other people's blogs and they've been pretty consistently saying what I would have said had I posted before them.

Damn early birds and their worms!

17 November 2011

Chuck Gets to Go Home! Bumped from 12Nov11

UPDATE!  They hit their funding goals and Chuck gets to come home.  Good on SWAT Magazine for footing about half the required amount!

Bring Chuck Home!

16 November 2011


Let's say it passes.

Will it let my Florida living ass carry hollow-points in New Jersey?

Can I possess the gun in states like Massachusetts which require a license to merely own a gun let alone carry it?

How about magazines?  Can I have my made in 2011 magazines for my Glock 21 that hold 13 rounds?  New York and Massachusetts currently don't allow their residents to.

Might Be the Best Post You Read Today

Borepatch: Why I shifted from Google to Bing

I Have A Dream

I just sat down and read Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech.

Did you know the most famous line is nearly the conclusion?

Too many people think that's the opening line.

15 November 2011


Special thanks to Champp's Americana Restaurant and Golden Corral for making this veteran feel appreciated.

Champp's does theirs on Vet's Day.  Golden Corral has their Military Appreciation dinner the following monday.

Good folks!

14 November 2011

The Triumphant Return of Jasmine!

DS Arms recalled their SA58 rifles with aluminum lower receivers because a vendor had screwed them. Mine was found to be OK, so they inspected and returned it.  Good on them!  Stood up and took care of a problem that wasn't their fault and even gave us affected folks a $20 credit and a free gun case (used as packing material).

Jasmine is shown here with the FAL Files requirements of toes, concrete, inserted mag and booze (rye whiskey); bonus is The Precious' wheel.

Kind of relieved.

When I settled on 6.8 for my alternate AR caliber, I worried that I was buying into a dead end.

Any similar round would get me more worried because I thought there wasn't enough market for two rounds to share and that one would eliminate the other.

I am starting to think that the AR is the new Mauser.  You see all manner of bolt guns in every caliber imaginable without worries that your favorite is going to be going away because of the new hotness.

If there's room for .30-06, .308 Winchester, .280 Remington and .270 Winchester there's surely room for .300 BLK, 7.62x40 WT, 6.8x43 SPC II and 6.5 Grendel.

13 November 2011

Mitt Romney

I voted against John Kerry in 2004, I will vote against him in 2012 too.

12 November 2011

Uh Oh!

Atomic Nerds appears to have been hacked.

It's True of Too Many Things

If I have to explain, you will not understand.

If you understand, I don't have to explain.

Mutually exclusive conditions.

11 November 2011

Veteran's Day.

On the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month...

92 years ago, THIS MINUTE, World War One was officially ended.

In the Commonwealth today is Remembrance Day, they wear a poppy flower in their lapel.

Here, it's about those who remain.  How few we are.

10 November 2011

Tam Wins Teh Intertubes!

With this post.


Fifty Nine Baby!

I don't know what it is about dates that you could write in binary that are neat to me.

09 November 2011


Damn I hate when this rears its ugly head.

Seems like when finances get rough, it's time to blame the Jews.

Are a lot of prominently wealthy people Jewish?  Sure.

Are a lot of prominently Jewish people wealthy?  Again, sure.

Are "they" to blame for the financial crisis?  I don't think so.

Are many of "them" weathering the crisis better than everyday people?  Of course!  If they're wealthy they have a larger cushion before they start starving.

Should we take their money away because they've got more money than I do?  Nope.  It's more my fault I am less wealthy than theirs.

If it's wrong to fine them, then we should also not incarcerate or execute them.

If you're seeing evil from the Jews, you're likely just seeing your reflection.

None of that excuses the discrete actions of specific people who also happen to be Jewish.  Charles Schumer is a someone I loathe in particular.  It's got nothing to do with his faith, but his actions against me.

08 November 2011


Holder went there.

He really said that the reason that the BATFE broke the straw-buyer law was because there were no laws requiring registration.

I am dumbfounded.


I found dumb.  It's over there!  It's name is Eric Holder.

Entry Level AR

I have been asked a couple of times about what someone's first AR should be.

That's a sticky wicket.

Pithily, I say Colt.  They really do set the standard, but they also the most expensive.

I would avoid DPMS because there's better out there at their price point.  I avoid Bushmaster because they've lied to me about what was in stock and when it would be available.  Remington is in the market, but they want a fair chunk of change.  DPMS, Bushmaster and Remington are all part of Cerebus' Freedom Group of companies.  S&W's M&P line reviews well.

Bravo-Company USA and Spikes Tactical are my most recommended brand.  They offer excellent quality and top-end features without raping you on the price.  Stag Arms makes a good product and they offer guns made for lefties!

The best deal going right now is Palmetto State Armory's.  M4gry with an Aimpoint PRO for a grand!

But then the reality of budget hits.  A grand sure seems like a lot of scratch.

There are also a multitude of smaller companies out there.  Essential Arms in Iowa comes to mind for this niche.

That's when I say, build it!

Del-Ton has kits starting at $465.  J&T has them from $520.  M&A Parts has them from $500.  You'll need some kind of rear sight, figure $60 for a Mag-Pul MBUS.  Magazines can be had for as little as $15.

Lowers can be had for as little as $76.

Hit up the hometown section of Arfcom for someone local to you who has the tools and some experience to put the kit together (or just follow the how-to guide).  On departure I would make from the guide is to use a pair of sliding-jaw pliers to press in the roll pins instead of a punch and hammer.  Be sure to wrap the jaws in masking tape!

Complete AR ready to shoot for about $650-$700!  Hard to lose in this market.  Just about any of the above vendors will sell you most anything else associated with an AR too.  On top of them, there's also Midway USA and Brownells; go-to places for most anything gun related.

Don't get cheap with optics!  Or rather, shop carefully when buying a red-dot.  Nothing sucks worse than your great deal dying because it got wet in the rain, or that the battery is dead because you left it on and the batts are only available from one expensive internet site.

One thing you may notice I have not mentioned.

The exact configuration.  That is very hard to pick from the internet.

Harvey (the lovely Mrs Thag) went through several variations of hers before she settled.  I did as well.  What you think you want may not resemble what you end up liking.

My best recommendation is to get an M4 clone with a 16" barrel as your first gun.  You can then start customizing from there.  AR's are modular like Lego so most anything can be done.

Carry Handle!

Ravenclaw Eric wants to know about carry-handle uppers.

I sometimes forget that not everyone is intimately familiar with ARFCOM jargon.

There are five basic types of AR upper receiver.

Slick side.  This is the earliest style.  It's found on the R601, R602 and R604 rifles.  The R604 is also known as M16.  There are sub-variations too, the one pictured is an R604 upper.  It's called a slick-side because there's no forward assist.

A1.  This is the second style.  It was introduced with the R603 rifle issued as the XM16E1 and M16A1.  It's the same as the slick-side except they added a forward assist (at the Army's insistence). It's called the A1 because that's the gun it was introduced with.  Interestingly, almost any retro AR part is called an 'A1' part even if those same parts are present on an M16 A-nothing.

C7.  When we were getting ready to issue the M16A2, the Canadians decided they liked the idea, but didn't want the complicated rear sight.  So they issued an M16A1 upper with the addition of the "Brutton Bump" just behind the ejection port; this is a brass deflector that makes the gun more lefty friendly.  It's called the C7 because that's the Canadian name for their M16 variation.  Notice also that the anodizing changes from gray to black.  Irritatingly, this style upper is misleadingly sold as an A1 from many vendors.  If it matters to you, look for the bump!

A2.  Introduced with the M16A2 (can you see where the common names are coming from yet?).  The Marines shoot at known-distance ranges so they demanded and adjustable rear sight, here it is.  This also introduces the Brutton Bump to US rifles.  The M16A2 also introduced the three-round burst, an M16A3 is the same rifle with full-auto.  This gets confusing later.

Flat-Top.  The four previous uppers are also known as "carry-handle" uppers because of the carry handle built right in.  The flat-top upper replaces the handle with a section of Picatinny Rail.  It was introduced with the M4 carbine and is present on the M16A4.  Remember when I mentioned the M16A3 thing would get confusing?  Well, the flat-top is also known to some as an A3 upper.  When it hit the civilian market the Navy had not yet created the M16A3 so it was assumed that the next M16 variation was going to be a flat-top.  The rear sight shown here is not part of the upper, it can be removed (if I want to lose my zero.)

Here's why the flat-top was adopted!  Scope mounts that attach to the carry-handle put the eye-line way too high.  It's hard to get a good cheek-weld.

Here's one example of why we didn't just carry on with the carry handles.  This is what's known as a gooseneck mount.  It puts a red-dot in a usable place, but it still gives a poor cheek-weld and to use the irons you have to unscrew either the mount or the optic.  If you detach the scope, the mount is still in the sight picture and can take some getting used to.

This just skims the surface; but I hope it's informative.

Avoid This Vendor

If you happen to buy things from the internet auction site, Gunbroker, I recommend avoiding the seller LG Outdoors from Montgomery, Alabama.

They are exactly the kind of misinformed jerks that give the rest of us a bad name.

It starts when I notice that they will not sell an M16A1 parts kits to, "AZ,CA,CT,DC,DE,FL,HI,IA,IL,MN,NC,NJ,OH,RI,SC,WA,WI, OMAHA,NE, OR SOUTH BEND IN."

I emailed them and inquired. They replied,

"Thank you for contacting us. it is because the bolt in this kit is a full auto bolt and even though it only shoots in semi auto the state of FL does not allow you to have it.  Thanks, customer service"

That is flat wrong.  Wrong on two levels.  First off, there's no difference between a full-auto and semi-auto bolt.  Secondly, if they mean the bolt-carrier then they're wrong about Florida law.

Florida law about machine guns is federal law.  There are only two mentions of them in the entire code.  It's illegal for me to own one unless I go through all the probulation as required by the BATFE.  I may not conceal carry one.  That's it!

At one time ATF considered owning an M16 bolt carrier as "intent" to build an MG.  That's no longer true.  Even if it were still true that would mean they couldn't sell them to anyone in any state!  Unless they had a registered M16...  Which are legal in Florida if you've registered with ATF...

Even more fun!

They will sell that kit to New York and Massachusetts.  Look real hard at the picture...  Did you spot the USGI 30-round magazine?  How much would you like to bet that it's not a pre-94 mag?

It doesn't stop with me.

ARCOM is baffled too.  One poster there asked why no AZ and they seem to assume that it was me replying and they were very rude to him about it.

You lose nothing by being polite and you may gain something.  I hope that LG Outdoors is put out of business and the owner starves.

PS: This vendor's auction just reinforces my opinion that if the disclaimer about their policies is longer than the item's description, including photos, you don't want to do business with them.

PPS: They have every right to refuse to do business with me for any reason.  That allowed, I too can refuse to do business with them; and attempt to convince others to do the same.

06 November 2011



Slang term for a "casual" gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the second amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called "non sporting" firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.
"See sonny, all those pistols in that cabinet... all thems is good for is killin people." -Example of ignorant comment from a fudd at a local gun shop. See also: Zumbo.

Making its rounds is this "I'm a gun owner but..." article.

Weer'd has an excellent post up about it.

What I am going to expand upon is the conversion process.  Turning Fudds into gun owners like me.

I have, on occasion, gone hunting with my uncle and step-uncles.  I don't particularly like hunting.  I am not a morning person and hunting seasons all seem to be when it's coldest; I live in Florida for a reason!  Dressing the carcass is a lot of work and I am lazy.  Not to mention all the damn walking around in the brush trying to be quiet.

I have zero moral objection to hunting.  If you're eating meat you're eating something that has been killed.  I worked a summer at a meat packing plant on the killing floor.  Killing animals is not something I have an issue with.  My paternal grandfather was a farmer, he was fine with killing a list of animals just to keep them from eating the crops let alone their utility as food.  The Christmas goose was always Canadian.

Among my family I am the odd duck who owns guns but doesn't hunt.

They and their friends did not get it and in 1994 or so they asked what the deal was with "assault weapons."

All of them were surprised to see how their cute little varmint gun, the Ruger Mini-14 changed from their gun to my gun.  All of them saw that it was still the same gun even though the stock and magazine were different.  What they didn't see was a need to change it from a wood-stocked varmint gun to an "evil baby killing assault weapon".  "That's cool," I said, "but do you have a problem with me doing so?  Do you think it should be illegal?"

Then some lights went on.

These are not men who want to be told how to live their lives.

But since varminting is not hunting to them, such guns were basically useless.  .223 is illegal to use on deer where we lived (heck using a rifle was illegal at the time).  But, since someone was telling them they couldn't do something, they all went out and bought something black.  Something black that sat unused in the corner of the gun cabinet.  With a pile of 30-round mags in the drawer gathering dust.  What most of them ended up with was a ban-compliant AR.  20" barrel, no muzzle threads, no bayonet lug, A2 fixed stock.

Fast forward a couple of years.

The AR had become popular!  I think that was in no small part to the massive buying spree at the end of the assault weapon ban, but my former Fudd's all bought theirs in '95 or '96 when the ban was in place.  This steady buying during the ban kept a lot of places open.

So we meet again.  "Thag, I bought the damn thing and I never shoot it."  Why not?  "Can't hunt with it because it's in .223."  Why not get a new upper in another caliber?  "Huh?"

Most of them understood how .308 and .30-06 were basically the same ballistically.  It had just never occurred to them that the technology had kept advancing.  A few of them owned a ".30-30 deer rifle" for hunting out of state.  Showing them that 7.62x39 and 6.8x43 were similar in performance got some juices flowing.

Turns out most of them liked their AR, but because they didn't have a regular use for it, they neglected it.  Once they had it in a round they could USE they started to neglect the Fudd gun.

It's kind of amusing watching the change.  The carry handle uppers all disappear when they get sick of the goofy position that scope mounts put the optic.  The fixed stocks are going away because a carbine stock can be adjusted to suit the thickness of your clothing.  Barrels sport muzzle brakes on the threads because it does help with follow-up shots.  Bayonet lugs are common because, "Heck the barrel came with it."  Normal-cap mags are the norm, "saves time at the range and they're cheaper."  Five round magazines are referred to as "the hunting mag".  THE hunting mag.

7.62x39 flared briefly with them and then faded.  6.8 is now the caliber of choice.  They see that the features they've all got on their guns were once the target of arbitrary elimination and they have become active with gun-rights movements as well as hunting.

Once they got active in gun rights, they started thinking about self defense away from their home.  Conceal carry became the new topic, "Thag you live in Florida, you have one of those permits?"

I fully expect the next series of conversations to be, "Thag, you have one of those short barrel gun, right?"

Notice the difference between my Fudds and Mr. Ceislewicz?  I call it an open mind and a willingness to learn.

Edited 08NOV11 for grammar.

04 November 2011

Gun Design Decisions

A long time ago I was reading about how the AK was so much better than the M16.

One particular item stuck in my mind: The selector.

On the AK the selector is a large lever on the right side of the gun.  The topmost position is "SAFE" and that also covers the slot for the charging handle.  The middle position is "AUTO" and the bottom position is "SEMI".

The theory went that an adrenaline soaked conscript is going to slap that lever HARD when he takes it off "SAFE" in a firefight and that will naturally land the gun on "SEMI" where it will be more effective than panic firing the whole magazine.

The M16 selector is a small switch on the left side of the gun, where your thumb naturally lands if you're a righty.  9 O'Clock is "SAFE", Noon is "SEMI" and 3 O'Clock is "AUTO".

Does our adrenaline junky slap that selector straight to "AUTO" every time?

Probably not.


How your hand is constructed.  The 90˚ from "SAFE" to "SEMI" is a very natural flick of the thumb.  The 90˚ from "SEMI" to "AUTO" is not and requires shifting your grip a bit to achieve.

A bit of trivia, the original arrangement of the selector on an AR was with "SAFE" at Noon and "SEMI" at 9 O'Clock.  Field testing showed that the selector would move to the "SEMI" position after the soldier dragged it in the mud for a while.  It should be noted that the 90˚ from Noon to 9 is just as natural as 9 to Noon.

The handedness of the AR has come up from time to time as well.  I've found it to be remarkably sinister friendly!  The controls are operated differently with the left hands than right, but they are all accessible and readily operable.  Remember, ambidextrous design doesn't mean it has to be symmetrical.

Right Handed:
Mag Release - Right Index
Selector - Right Thumb
Bolt Stop - Left Palm

Left Handed:

Mag Release - Right Thumb
Selector - Base of Left Index
Bolt Stop - Left Index

The charging handle is already ambidextrous.

Where it sucks to operate left handed was you'd be eating brass on many guns (but not all depending on how fast the action was running on a particular example).  Modern upper receivers have a brass deflector molded right in.

Wir waren gerade folgende Ordnungen.

Found the pic on Gunpundit.

I didn't think it was possible to add to my list of reasons to consider New York Fucking (spit) City a hostile foreign nation.  Color me corrected.

03 November 2011

Charles Manson for President!

Girls love him.

He hates Hollywood.

He's not Romney.

Definitional Problem

Words mean something.  If they don't then they are just noises.

Bipartisan does not in any way mean unbiased.

01 November 2011

A Problem

I've spotted a problem with regards to the current presidential election cycle.

Several polls are showing President Obama doing poorly against a generic Republican.

That's all well and good; but he will actually be running against a specific Republican.

Let's not pat ourselves on the back too hard here about how bad he's doing.

Chickens. Roost. Returning.

Because you ignored Clinton's sexual harassment, I will ignore Cain's.

Alleged harassment.


But you proved that you didn't really care about the issue when your guy was doing it, so I must assume that this is just a tactic to discredit someone you are afraid may win.

You also seem to forget you played this tune already with Justice Thomas.