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Citizens Association for Responsible Gun Ownership = CARGO
Hello Fellow CARGO Members,
The next meeting will be held at Napoli’s on Thursday, July 17th.
We have reserved the Napoli's meeting room for dinner AND THE MEETING:
701 N Highway 78 # A
Wylie, TX 75098
For the dinner portion of the meeting, we will be in the meeting room between 5:30 and 6:45 for food and fellowship.
For the actual meeting, we are moving to a separate building, just down the road from Napoli’s. Member Don Bridges has volunteered his shop for the meeting. There are a very limited number of chairs at the shop, so please bring a camp chair for the meeting. We will meet there from 7:00 (ish) until 9:00 (ish)
The address is
2274 EAST Brown Street in Wylie
While heading east on Brown Street, it is 1/2 mile past stop sign that's at the intersection of Brown Street and Kreymer Lane on the right hand side.
The shop is behind a small white house with a picket fence around the front yard.
This Month’s topic is: Multiples night: Do you have a particular .22 pistol that you have several of? Do you collect 1911s, M1 Garands, H&R 16 gauge shotguns? If you have multiple firearms, knives etc. bring them to share.
If you have any suggestions for future speakers or topics please send your feedback to CARGO@att.net.
Doc has spent a large amount of time working on the web site; please take some time to go to the newly remodeled CARGO website at www.cargogunclub.org
Gun Owners of America
Senators Cruz, Paul and Lee Insist on Pro-gun Amendments to Do-Nothing “Harry Reid Preservation Bill”
-- Ask your Senators to filibuster until Reid allows their amendments
Once again, anti-gun Senators like Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Pryor (D-AR) are trying to trick gun owners into supporting them in their upcoming tough races for reelection in pro-gun states.
At the core of their slimy scheme is a do-nothing bill being pushed as the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363). North Carolina's Kay Hagan, who voted FOR the universal gun registry bill, is the chief sponsor.
Other chief cosponsors are Mary Landrieu (who also voted for universal gun registration) and Mark Begich and Mark Pryor (who, according to Harry Reid's staff, would have cast the deciding votes for that universal gun registry bill, had their votes been needed). It's also cosponsored by anti-gun leader Joe Manchin (D-WV).
The Sportsmen’s Act is, substantively, largely a “nothing-burger.” People could hunt on federal lands -- unless Obama didn't want them to. Dedicated funds (from the Pittman-Robertson tax) could be used for ranges -- but don't have to be, and probably wouldn't be.
Moreover, Section 107(b)(4)(B) of the bill says that the BLM or Forest Service can close down federal public lands that can be used for hunting and recreational purposes for a host of reasons, including “public safety.” Anyone want to bet that these agencies won’t find reasons to do so?
But the bill’s not about substance. It’s about reelecting its anti-gun sponsors -- virtually all of them red-state Democrats who face tough reelection battles in pro-gun states. This, incidentally, is the same bill that was used to reelect Montana's Jon Tester (D). And, although he pretended to be “pro-gun” before the election, after the election, Tester was the Second Amendment’s worst enemy.
The good news is this: Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are prepared to offer genuine pro-gun amendments to this bill -- like defunding Operation Choke Point and more.
But here’s the problem: Anti-gun Senator Harry Reid will try to use a procedural tactic called an “amendment tree” to block Lee, Paul, and Cruz from offering any pro-gun amendments.
These pro-gun Senators want to offer good amendments like concealed carry reciprocity, but that won’t be possible if Harry Reid blocks their ability to offer pro-gun amendments with an “amendment tree.”
And the reason is clear: Genuine pro-gun amendments would put anti-gun senators like Hagan, Pryor, Landrieu, and Begich on the spot. It would reveal that their sponsorship of this “nothing-burger” bill doesn't mean that they are “pro-gun,” but rather that they are anti-gun frauds.
But in order to retain Paul, Lee, and Cruz’ right to offer pro-gun amendments, Republicans will have to block Reid’s efforts to shut down their filibuster of the bill and the motion to proceed to it -- until Reid commits to dismantle his “amendment tree” and allow them to offer their amendments.
In other words, we need to say to Reid: No pro-gun amendments = no fake bill.
ACTION: Urge your Senators to oppose Harry Reid’s cheat scheme in pushing the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363), which is nothing more than a do-nothing, reelection bill for Harry Reid’s cronies. Tell your Senators to oppose the bill unless Reid allows pro-gun amendments to be offered.
Sportsmen’s Act Hits Roadblock in the U.S. Senate
Posted on December 13, 2012
The Senate version of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 struck a roadblock last Monday night when it ran afoul of budget rules.
The latest version of this bill – a Reid-Tester substitute amendment – included provisions allowing for federal spending in excess of the budget limitations adopted last year by Congress. These spending features prompted a “point of order” to be raised against the package and a Tester motion to waive the point of order (proceed with the amendment even though it violates budget limitations). Tester’s motion did not pass. New efforts are underway to see if the substitute amendment can be modified to address the budget problems and enable it to be passed before Congress adjourns.
The Senate version of this bill was introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) as S. 3525 and included a variety of other bills including measures to protect hunting, fishing, and shooting on federal lands as well as protect continued use of traditional ammunition and fishing tackle. Additional modifications were made prior to Monday’s action and these changes were offered in the substitute amendment by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Tester.
Earlier this year the U.S. House of Representatives passed overwhelming its version of the Sportsmen’s Bill – H.R. 4089. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) was the primary sponsor. The House bill included the traditional ammunition/fishing tackle protection feature, provisions for shooting ranges, authorization to import limited numbers of polar bear trophies and a very important Title establishing that 700 million acres of federal lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, are open to hunting, fishing, and shooting unless specifically closed or restricted by particular agency action.
The Senate leadership decided not to act on that House-passed measure. Instead, Reid and Tester assembled their substitute amendment which includes (a) three parts of House bill (ammunition/fishing tackle protection; shooting ranges; polar bears), and (b) many other features not part of the House bill (e.g., federal land exchange facilitation; fishery habitat protection; wetlands acquisition reauthorization; increasing the price of federal duck stamps) but (c) does not incorporate the open until closed designation for BLM and Forest lands. Majority Leader Reid also decided to not allow any other amendments to be offered on the Senate floor besides the Reid-Tester substitute.
The spending portions of the Reid-Tester amendment prompted the budget objections that the full Senate declined to waive on Monday night.
“While this doesn’t outright kill chances for passage this year, it does significantly complicate matters,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s Director of State Services. “There is still time to renegotiate a package of bills that will satisfy the needs of sportsmen and women while satisfying previously adopted federal spending limitations. We hope that Democrat-led Senate and Republican-led House can work through their partisan differences to pass the Sportsmen’s Act this Congress.”
As noted, the substitute amendment to S. 3525 has important provisions including:
•Confirms that the Toxic Substances Control Act does not allow federal EPA to ban or regulate the use of traditional lead ammunition or fishing tackle; this means that anti-hunting groups cannot use federal courts to force EPA to ban such ammunition or tackle.
•Facilitates the construction of new shooting ranges on federal lands.
•Allows the import from Canada of 41 polar bear trophies that were taken legally before the bears were put on the endangered species list.
Senate 3525 and HR 4089 are supported by the nation’s leading hunting and conservation organization’s including: the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Masters of Foxhounds Association, and many others.
Making up facts about guns
By Dr. John R. Lott Jr. ·Published June 16, 2014
President Obama just can't seem to help himself. Over and over again, he makes exaggerated or false claims about guns and crime.
Last year Obama kept asserting the bogus numbers such as “40 percent of all gun purchases take place without a background check.” Besides the study being based on a tiny survey it was started before the Federal background check law went into effect. Moreover, the 40 percent figure referred to all transfers, not just sales, and the vast majority of transfers took place within families through gifts and inheritances. Then, for good measure, Obama added an extra 4 percentage points to increase the number from 36 to 40 percent.
Unfortunately, this past Tuesday Obama was at it again. He lamented:
"My biggest frustration has been that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage. We are the only developed country on earth where this happens."
Does Obama not consider Norway a developed country? After all, Anders Breivik shot 69 people to death and wounded 110 others. That attack holds the record for a single-person shooting spree.
Is Germany a developed country? While the president focused on school shootings, he never acknowledged that two of the three worst K-12 school shootings have occurred in Germany since 2000, not in the United States. These were:
-- Erfurt, Germany on April 26, 2002: a former student killed 18 at a secondary school.
-- Winnenden, Germany, March 11, 2009: a 17-year-old former student killed 15 people, including nine students and three teachers.
A partial list of mass shootings in Europe from 2000 to early 2010 is available here. (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/229929/gun-control-and-mass-murders/john-r-lott-jr )
Obama also claimed: "The idea, for example, that we couldn't even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you are going to buy a weapon you have to go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are so that you can't just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon makes no sense."
Obama ought to try purchasing a gun himself. He will realize it is not as easy as he thinks to buy a gun. No store in the entire United States can legally sell a semi-automatic gun without conducting a background check. Indeed, That has been the federal law for two decades now, since 1994.
"The combination of the NRA and gun manufactures are very well financed and have the capacity to move votes in local elections and congressional elections and so if you are running for election right now that's where you feel the heat."
Gun control advocates have plenty of money to get their message across. Thus last year, gun control advocates outspent their opponents by a ratio of 7.4 to 1 on television advertisements.
This year is shaping up to be just as lopsided. While the NRA spends about $20 million annually on political activities, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending about $50 million per year. And Gabreille Gifford's anti-gun organization is putting up another $20 million. Still others are putting in tens of millions more dollars. On top of that gun control advocates have a very sympathetic media that gets their points across.
“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this.”
The U.S. doesn't have the most gun murders among developed countries.
In any case, the total number of murders is the more important comparison and the U.S. murder rate is less than the average murder rate for the world. Nor is it close to having the highest murder rate among developed countries.
"...but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening -- until that is not just the majority of you -- because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that."
The surveys that Obama references by Michael Bloomberg are misleading. Asking if people support background checks on the "sale" of guns is not the same as asking them if they support background checks on transferring guns within families or the actual bills being put before congress. Clear majorities of Americans were actually happy that the gun control bill that Obama backed last year was defeated.
"Australia just said, well that is it, we aren't seeing that again and basically imposed very strict, tough gun laws and they haven't had a mass shooting since."
Pointing to one single country doesn't prove very much. For example, I could point to neighboring New Zealand, another isolated island nation that is demographically and economically similar, that appears to prove the exact opposite. From 1980 to 1996, New Zealand actually had a slightly higher mass murder rate (0.0050 incidents per 100,000 people versus Australia’s 0.0042).
But while Obama points to Australia not have mass shootings since its gun regulations in 1997, New Zealand, which has remained a heavily armed country, has also not had any more mass shootings.
What needs to be done is a systematic study of many different areas to see whether changes in gun laws cause statistically significant differences in mass shootings. And that type of study is exactly what Bill Landes and I did for all the mass shootings in the US from 1977 to 1999, and we found clear evidence that the only type of gun law that made people safer was one that increased gun ownership.
If Obama had a stronger case for gun control, he wouldn't have to make up so many facts and distort others. But with policies such as background checks, which would have done nothing to stop any of the attacks, Obama has little choice but to make things up. However, getting policies right requires accurate facts.
John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for FoxNews.com. He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of eight books including "More Guns, Less Crime." His latest book is "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench" Bascom Hill Publishing Group (September 17, 2013). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.
New Service Pistol: What Should It Be?
by Robert W. Hunnicutt | July 8th, 2014
The U.S. Army will hold an industry day July 29 to kick off a new Modular Handgun System project.
The Beretta M9 has been serving for almost 30 years. Its introduction was controversial, and since then it has not been especially beloved by service personnel during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its reliability and stopping power have been questioned, and even its fans concede its basic design dates all the way back to the 75-year-old Walther P.38.
Traditionalists will call for the reinstatement of the M1911, but it’s hard to imagine that classic ever again being issued to anyone other than specialists. You can love the M1911 and still admit that just maybe technology has advanced in more than 100 years. The Army is apparently open to all calibers, and will be looking for an entire system, including ammunition, holsters, web gear, etc.
Cynics will note that Beretta was awarded a contract for 100,000 more M9s less than two years ago, so the Italian product is in no danger of being displaced anytime soon. But a whole lot has happened in the pistol world in the last 30 years. What hasn’t changed is the requirement for ball ammunition, which argues in most minds for a larger caliber like .40 S&W or .45 ACP. The benefits of 9mm, most importantly standardization with other NATO countries, reduced shipping weight and use of raw materials and ease of training, seem to have taken a back seat to the desire for a more effective sidearm.
One thing that seems unquestionable is that the new pistol will have a plastic frame; the advantages in cost and durability are just too great to ignore. That frame will have an accessory rail and will come in multiple sizes. The gun will probably have a threaded barrel for mounting a suppressor and will have the capability to mount optical sights of some sort.
The Army indicated it was looking for a .45 pistol a few years back, leading manufacturers to develop several new designs, then pulled the carrot away. Those guns are presumably still on the shelf, along with some significant developments that have come along since, like the SIG P227.
If a new pistol contract comes to fruition, it will definitely be worth winning, with a projected 400,000 guns required. Pistols arouse a lot more passion, than do, say, new howitzers or trucks.
The pistol is the most personal weapon of all, so the interest in it greatly exceeds its tactical importance. What’s your nomination for a new service pistol? It can be a gun that actually exists or one that’s just in your imagination.
Evolution of the Modern Military Pistol
by Paul Scarlata | November 20th, 2013
When it comes to military pistols, there are two schools of thought. First we have those who refuse to believe that any significant advances have been made, or even been possible, to military handguns since 1911. And then there are those who recognize that, like most things mechanical, the military pistol is in a constant state of evolution and most of the changes made to them have been of a positive nature.
Oh, did I mention that these two schools of thought have been at odds with each other for more than seven decades and I don’t expect to see them agree on anything within the foreseeable future?
The first generation of military pistols—as exemplified by the C96 Mauser, P.08 Parabellum and Colt M1911—had two things in common:
1. They all used single-action trigger mechanisms.
2. They had magazines holding anywhere from six to 10 rounds of ammunition.
While almost all of them possessed external safety devices, it was generally considered unwise to carry these types of pistols with a loaded chamber and the hammer or striker cocked. This led to many armies discouraging, if not outright forbidding, the practice.
This meant that a soldier thus armed had to draw the pistol and rack the slide to chamber a round before firing. After shooting, to return the pistol to a safe condition, the soldier had to withdraw the magazine, eject the live round from the chamber and lower the hammer or striker either manually or by dry firing.
The first procedure prevented one from getting the pistol into action quickly—negating in large part the handgun’s most important duty—while the second was very inconvenient, if not fraught with dangerous possibilities.
While the interwar years saw the introduction of several new military pistols—e.g. Soviet TT33 Tokarev, French Mle. 1935, Finnish Lahti L-35 and Polish VIS-35 Radom—these designs showed little or no real innovation and followed the single-action trigger/low magazine capacity pattern.
I believe that the case can be made that the first truly “modern” military handgun was introduced in the 1930s. And, at the danger of angering one of the aforementioned groups, I am going to place the blame for the first of them where it belongs—in the lap of John M. Browning!
FN High Power Pistol
In this day of highly specialized engineering and CAD programs it is sometimes difficult to believe that the world’s greatest firearms designer dropped out of that proverbial one-room country school house in the sixth grade and went to work as an apprentice at the forge of his blacksmith/gunsmith father.
Browning was one of those rare natural geniuses who when faced with a problem, idea, or theory sat down with a piece of metal in one hand and a file in the other and came up with the most successful firearm designs in history. To say his designs were commercially successful would be a gross understatement when you consider the influence this one man had upon the world’s arms industries.
He applied for a patent for a 7.65mm blowback operated pistol in 1897 which came to the attention of Fabrique Nationale de’Armes de Guerre (FN), of Herstal, Belgium. The wily Belgians recognized the potential of the pistol and signed a contract with Browning. The FN 7.65mm Browning Modele 1900 would become so popular that “Browning” became synonymous with “pistol” in many parts of the world. JMB spent the final years of his career working at the FN facility where the Belgian workers referred to him as “Le Maitre”—The Master—until his untimely death in 1926.
In 1921, FN asked Browning to design a high capacity, 9mm Parabellum pistol for upcoming French army trials and he presented them with a pair of functioning toolroom models. Both were single-action, striker fired designs but the first was blowback operated, while the second utilized the famous 1911 locking system whereby two lugs on the top of the barrel mated with matching grooves machined in the interior of the slide, which lock the two together.
When the pistol is fired, the slide and barrel recoil a short distance together, whereupon a link on the bottom of the barrel articulates it down, allowing the slide to continue to the rear, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case. A recoil spring under the barrel then pulls the slide forward, stripping the next round out of the magazine and chambering it. As the slide goes into battery, the barrel moves up, locking the two units together again.
This second pistol included two radical improvements over the 1911: first, instead of the barrel unlocking by the articulation of a link, a cam integral with the barrel pulled it down to unlock from the slide during recoil. Secondly, despite his reported opposition to the concept, Browning designed a double-column 15-round magazine for it.
After the French trials, which they did not win, FN appointed Dieudonne Saive to head the pistol program.
Between 1922 and 1928 Saive, who became FN’s chief engineer, continued to modify and improve Browning’s original design. One of the first and most obvious changes was an external hammer. He also designed a new trigger mechanism, safeties (thumb and magazine) and, to reduce the size of the grip, the magazine capacity was lowered to 13 rounds. Eventually the only Browning features remaining were the locking and takedown systems and the excellent ergonomics of the grip. Known as the “Grande Rendement,” the progressively improved models were entered in army trials around the world.
In 1935, FN released the finalized version on the market as the “Pistolet Browning Grande Puissance” (“Browning High Power Pistol” which is often abbreviated to GP, GP35, Hi-Power or simply HP). While Saive’s pistol had digressed quite a ways from the original, when FN’s marketing department choose to connect Browning’s name to it, its success was almost guaranteed.
Over the next few years, it was adopted by the armies of Belgium, China, Estonia, Latvia and Peru. When World War II broke out, Belgium was quickly overrun by the Wehrmacht, which took possession of the FN facilities and continued production of the HP for the German armed forces under the designation 9mm Pistole 640(b).
During the war Belgian émigrés, including Saive, helped the John Inglis Company, Ltd. of Toronto, Canada to tool up to produce HPs for the Allies. The Chinese ordered the Pistol, 9mm, No. 1 Mark 1 and 1* which had tangent rear sights adjustable to 500 meters and wooden holster/shoulder stocks. The Pistol, 9mm, No. 2 Mark 1 and 1* with fixed rear sights were supplied to Canadian and British forces, becoming a particular favorite of Commando and airborne units. During the fighting in Europe, these Canuck HPs faced off against the HPs being fielded by the Wehrmacht.
FN resumed production of the HP in 1954, and it became the most popular military pistol in use outside the Soviet bloc. Since 1950, FN has made a number of mechanical improvements and cosmetic changes to the HP, the most obvious being the change from an internal to external extractor, which took place in 1962.
Twenty years later the High Power Mark II was introduced; it featured an elongated, ambidextrous thumb safety, spur hammer, straight barrel feed ramp, ribbed slide, high profile sights and roll pins replaced the solid trigger pins previously used. Some Mark IIs included a firing pin safety.
Introduced in 1988, the frame (made from cast steel) and slide of the current production Mark III have been slightly re-dimensioned to strengthen them and obviate the possibility of cracking. The ejection port was enlarged and re-contoured, the grips redesigned, and the sights are mounted in dovetails for easier adjustment. Some Mark IIIs have been fitted with a firing pin safety.
Besides Belgium, copies have been produced—with and without benefit of license—in Argentina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel and the Philippines. It continues to be popular with military and police forces around the world.
While the FN High Power still utilized a single-action trigger mechanism, it was the first successful military pistol to use a large-capacity magazine, a feature of almost all military pistols today. In addition, it can take a great deal of the credit for the worldwide popularity of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, a trend that shows no signs of slacking off within our lifetimes!
Walther Pistole 38
With the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930s, German industry began a crash program to rearm the Wehrmacht with modern weapons, and it was agreed that a replacement be found for the P.08 Luger pistol. While elegantly made of the finest materials, the Luger was a 19th-century anachronism. It was slow and expensive to produce, notoriously ammunition-sensitive and not overly reliable once it got dirty. All these characteristics did not endear it to either combat soldiers or pfennig-pinching bureaucrats. In 1934, the Wehrmacht announced that it was in the market for a new service pistol—just what the Carl Walther Waffenfabrik had been waiting for!
In 1908 Walther, one of Germany’s premier firearms manufacturers, introduced its first semiauto pistol, known quite appropriately as the Model 1. For the next 21 years, they produced a line of .25 and .32 cal. single-action, blowback semiauto pistols that proved quite popular with European police forces and civilians.
In 1929 Walther took the handgun world into the next generation by introducing the first successful double action/single-action (DA/SA) pistol—the Polizei Pistole, or simply PP—whose name clearly indicates the market Walther foresaw for this product. In this they were correct as the PP, and soon to follow compact PPK, became the most popular police pistols in Europe, a position they were to hold well into the 1980s.
But they were chambered for underpowered 7.65mm and 9mm Browning cartridges, and the Wehrmacht wanted a pistol chambered for the regulation 9mm Patrone 08 (a.k.a. 9mm Parabellum)
In 1934 Walther offered the army the Model MP (Militarische Pistole), an upsized PP chambered for the 9mm Parabellum. But its blowback operation doomed it to quick rejection by the army. The following year, a design team led by Fritz Walther began work on a completely new DA/SA, locked-breech pistol to meet the army’s requirements.
Two years later they announced the 9mm Model AP (Armee Pistole), a hammerless, DA/SA pistol. The Wehrmacht expressed interest with one proviso—they wanted an external hammer. The design was suitably modified and renamed the Model HP (Heeres Pistole—Service Pistol). After a few minor modifications to the safety system, the Wehrmacht adopted the Walther in 1938 as the Pistole 38, or as it is more commonly known, the P.38.
The P.38 was the first DA/SA pistol adopted by a major military power. When the hammer is forward, pulling the trigger will cock the hammer, by means of a drawbar on the right side of the frame, and fire the first round much like a DA revolver. After that, the hammer remains cocked and subsequent shots are fired in SA mode.
The P.38’s safety/hammer drop mechanism is very simple: if the hammer is cocked, rotating the safety lever on the left rear of the slide downwards will lock the firing pin in place. As the lever reaches the bottom, it trips the sear, allowing the hammer to travel forward. The safety can be left down, which blocks movement of both the trigger and hammer, or moved up, allowing the first shot to be fired in DA mode. A pin located above the hammer acts as a loaded chamber indicator.
On the left side of the frame are slide stop and takedown levers. Grip panels were made of black or reddish brown plastic, a prominent lanyard ring adorned the lower left grip frame and the eight round, single-column magazine was retained by a heel catch. Of all forged steel construction, the P.38 was, by today’s standards, a hefty pistol.
The P.38’s locking system consists of a pivoting locking block under the barrel that locks the action by means of two lugs that enter matching notches in the slide. When the pistol is fired, the slide and barrel recoil together about 5/16″ before a plunger at the rear of the barrel underlug impacts on the frame and forces down the locking block.
The slide continues to the rear, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case. Dual recoil springs, located on either side of the frame, pull the slide forward, stripping the next round from the magazine and chambering it. As the slide goes into battery the locking block is cammed back up by a ramp on the front of the frame, locking the barrel and slide together again.
The following year, the Swedish army adopted the Walther as the Pistole 39, but only about 1,500 were delivered before German army orders took precedence. Wartime demands for handguns became enormous, and Walther was not capable of supplying enough P.38s. In 1941, a contract for additional P.38s was given to the Mauser Werke, to be followed in 1943 with another to Spreewerk GmbH of Berlin. In addition arms plants in the occupied countries—FN (Belgium), CZ/Brno (Czechoslovakia) and Steyr-Daimler-Puch (Austria)—made P.38 components.
The P.38 proved to be a rugged, reliable handgun, although it was never available in great enough numbers to replace the P.08. The Germans also provided limited quantities of P.38s to their erstwhile allies, Italy, Croatia and Hungary.
The quality of late war pistols deteriorated: machine marks are evident, an inexpensive phosphate (Parkerized) finish applied, stamped steel grip panels and other short cuts were adopted to increase production.
After the war, large quantities of German small arms were used by the newly liberated European countries. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia issued P.38s to their armies, while the French, whose occupation zone included the Walther factory, assembled new P.38s for their own forces. The French firm of Manuhrin produced Walther PP, PPK and P.38 pistols under license for sale to foreign armies and police forces.
When the West German army—the Bundeswehr—was organized in the 1950s, the new Walther plant at Ulm-Donau began production of a P.38 variant with a lightweight, aluminum alloy frame that was adopted as the Pistole 1 (P1). The P1 was also sold in substantial numbers to the armies and police forces of Austria, Chile, Columbia, Ghana, Norway, Portugal, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay and Venezuela.
But the P1 was plagued with reliability problems, and over its production life a number of structural and mechanical changes were made in an attempt to improve reliability. But according to Peter Kokalis’ excellent report, “P.38: Masterpiece or Misfit, Part II” (5/20/11), “The aluminum alloys of the 1950s were not of the same metallurgical integrity as those eventually developed for the firearms industry a half century later. When subjected to heavy and constant use…P1 pistols crash dived.”
Many have praised the P.38 as the first of that breed we today call the “Wondernine.” They credit Walther with breaking new ground and developing the first truly “modern” semiauto pistol. And I can only agree with them.
As after the Great War, after World War II most armies saw little need to develop new sidearms. Outside of the Soviet bloc, the FN High Power dominated the international market, with the slack being taken up by the Walther P1, large numbers of U.S. military aid 1911s and a product from an Italian gunmaking firm.
Beretta Model 92
Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia is the oldest privately owned firearms manufacturer in the world. They began producing semiauto pistols, designed by Tullio Marengoni, for the Italian army in 1915. These were simple 7.65mm blowback operated designs which featured an open top slide that would become an identifying feature of all of Marengoni’s later designs.
During the interwar years Beretta expanded its line and sold pistols to armies and police forces in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. During World War II, Beretta pistols saw wide use with the Italian, German and Romanian armies.
In the mid-1950s, Beretta introduced Marengoni’s first locked-breech pistol. Known as the Mo. 1951 or “Brigadier,” it was chambered for the 9mm Parabellum, used a variation of the P.38’s hinged block locking system, a SA trigger, eight-round single column and the trademark open-top slide. It proved popular and was adopted by the Italian army and Carabinieri, the Egyptian, Iraqi, Israeli, Nigerian, Sudanese and Tunisian armies.
In the 1970s, a design team led by Carlo Beretta, Giuseppe Mazzetti and Vittorio Valle began working on a new pistol based upon the Mo. 1951, and adding features of the HP and P1. The result was an aluminum-frame DA/SA pistol with a 15-round magazine that still retained Marengoni’s trademark open-top slide. Introduced on the market in 1975 as the Modello 92, it attracted immediate attention from armies and police forces around the world.
Early Model 92s had the magazine release at the bottom of the grip and utilized a frame-mounted safety that did not decock the hammer. At the request of a number of agencies, Beretta relocated the magazine release behind the trigger and fitted an ambidextrous, slide mounted, decocker/safety lever.
With the establishment of NATO, the armies of the member nations attempted to standardize their weapons and ammunition. While the former proved to be only partially successful, the latter was achieved fairly quickly with the standardization of the 7.62mm NATO for rifles and light machine guns, the .50 BMG for heavy machine guns and the 9mm Parabellum for pistols and submachine guns…with one exception that is.
While the U.S. Army first ran trials on 9mm pistols, the guns fell afoul of two seemingly immovable obstacles. First was the innate dislike many in the American military felt towards the cartridge and, second, the Army’s belief that the pistol would be of little real value in future wars, so why go through the trouble and expense of adopting a new one when plenty of .45 pistols and .38 revolvers were in inventory? Thus it was that U.S. soldiers continued to carry 1911s—most of them of World War II or earlier vintage—in their holsters until they just plain wore out!
It became increasingly obvious that it was no longer practical to keep rebuilding the aging stock of 1911s and, under continuing pressure from NATO to standardize, the Joint Services Small Arms Planning Commission was formed and the Air Force was authorized to test a variety of handguns. Beretta entered the Model 92, which was declared the winner over entries from Colt, S&W, FN, H&K and Star.
The uproar at the adoption of a foreign design led to politics becoming involved in the process and a Congressional committee insisted upon a new series of trials which were conducted by the Army rather than the Air Force. In 1984, the trials started again with updated entries from S&W, Beretta, FN, Heckler & Koch, SIG-Maremont, Steyr and Walther. Beretta won this competition, but there was a yet a third series of trials, the XM10 competition, in 1988.
Despite continuing screaming, yelling, accusations of conspiracy and predictions of doom from 1911 aficionados, the Beretta was once again declared a winner—which resulted in even higher levels of screaming.
In 1990, the Beretta 92, under the designation Pistol, Semiautomatic 9mm M9, was officially taken into service by all branches of the U.S. armed forces.
Teething problems led to several changes to the basic design and the modified M9A1 was approved in 2006. It added among other things, a Picatinny rail for the attachment of lights, lasers, and other accessories to the weapon. The M9A1 also has more aggressive front and backstrap checkering, a beveled magazine well for easier reloading, and a reversible magazine release. M9A1 pistols are used with PVD coated magazines for improved functioning in sandy environments.
In addition to the Italian and U.S. armed forces, the Beretta 92 has been adopted by dozens of armies around the world and is also widely used by police. It has been produced under license in Brazil and France and I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that within the next decade it will replace the FN HP as the western world’s most popular military pistol.
In 2009 the U.S. government signed a contract with Beretta for 350,000 M9 and M9A1 pistols. Despite continuing criticism—mostly unfounded and undeserved—from its critics, the Beretta will be the standard sidearm of U.S. armed forces well into the foreseeable future.
While the U.S. Army’s acceptance of a 9mm pistol was the big news in the handgun world of the 1980s, a quiet event occurred that, in the long run, may have a greater effect on military pistols.
In 1980, the Austrian military announced that it would seek tenders for a new, modern duty pistol to replace the aging Walther P1 pistols. The Austrian Ministry of Defense formulated a list of 17 criteria for the new generation service pistol:
1. The pistol must fire the NATO-standard 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge.
2. The magazines would not require any means of assistance for loading.
3. The magazines must have a minimum capacity of eight rounds.
4. All actions necessary to prepare the pistol for firing and any actions required after firing must be done single-handed, either right- or left-handed.
5. The pistol must be absolutely secure against accidental discharge from shock, stroke and drops from a height of 2 meters onto a steel plate.
6. Disassembly of the main parts for maintenance and reassembling must be possible without the use of any tools.
7. Maintenance and cleaning of the pistol must be accomplished without the use of tools.
8. The pistol’s construction may not exceed 58 individual parts (equivalent of a P.38).
9. Gauges, measuring and precise testing devices must not be necessary for the long-term maintenance of the pistol.
10. The manufacturer is required to provide the Ministry of Defense with a complete set of engineering drawings and exploded views. These must be supplied with all the relevant details for the production of the pistol.
11. All components must be fully interchangeable between pistols.
12. No more than 20 malfunctions are permitted during the first 10,000 rounds fired, not even minor jams that can be cleared without the use of any tools.
13. After firing 15,000 rounds of standard ammunition, the pistol will be inspected for wear. The pistol will then be used to fire an overpressure test cartridge generating 72,518 psi (the normal maximum operating pressure for the 9mm NATO is 36,550 psi).
14. The critical components must continue to function properly and be up to specifications, otherwise the pistol will be disqualified.
15. When handled properly, under no circumstances may the user be endangered by case ejection.
16. The muzzle energy must be at least 441.5 joules when firing a 9mm Hirtenberger ammunition.
17. Pistols scoring less than 70% of the total available points would not be accepted.
Glock GmbH of Deutsche-Wagram, Austria was a company founded by Gaston Glock. Glock had no experience with firearms design or manufacture, but did have extensive experience in advanced synthetic polymers, knowledge that was instrumental in the company’s design of the first successful line of pistols with a polymer frame.
In 1982 Glock assembled a team of leading handgun experts from European military, police and civilian sport shooting circles to define the most desirable characteristics in a combat pistol. Within three months, Glock developed a working prototype that made extensive use of synthetic materials and modern manufacturing technologies in its design, making it a very cost-effective candidate. Several samples of the 9mm Glock 17 (so named because it was his company’s 17th patent) were submitted for assessment trials in early 1982, and after passing a series of exhaustive trials, the Glock was adopted as the Pistole 80.
The Glock 17 is a recoil-operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistol that uses a modified Browning cam-lock system adapted from the Hi-Power pistol. The firearm’s locking mechanism utilizes a linkless, vertically tilting barrel with a rectangular chamber hood that moves up into, and bears on the front edge of, the ejection port.
During the recoil stroke, the barrel moves rearward initially locked together with the slide approximately 3mm until the bullet leaves the barrel and chamber pressure drops to a safe level. An angled lug on the bottom of the barrel then interacts with a tapered locking block integrated into the frame, pulling the barrel down and unlocking it from the slide.
This camming action terminates the barrel’s movement while the slide continues back under recoil, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case.
A recoil spring located under the barrel then pulls the slide forward, picking up and chambering the next round in the magazine. As the slide goes into battery, the chamber hood moves up into the ejection port, locking the two units together again.
But what makes the Glock so unique is that its frame—and a number of internal components, including the magazine—are made from polymer. This had several advantages: the pistol consists of fewer parts, making it easier and cheaper to manufacture; the polymer frame makes it very light; polymer requires less maintenance then metal; polymer is as strong as metal and can take even more wear and abuse; since there are no separate grip panels, the grip frame is narrow allowing the use of wide, high capacity magazines without making the pistol difficult for persons with small hands to operate; the polymer frame flexes under recoil, absorbing some of the recoil pulse making the pistol more comfortable to shoot.
Glock also pioneered the “Safe Action” trigger, whose trigger stroke is in between that of a single-action and double-action trigger. As the trigger is pulled, it disables three different safeties before the pistol can fire. Thus there are no external safety devices that must be manipulated, which makes training and operation much easier. Many believe that the lack of an external safety is what has prevented the Glock from being adopted by more armies then it has.
While the Glock 17 generated a lot of controversy, if not outright distrust, much to its detractors’ surprise, it proved to be a simple, sturdy and reliable pistol.
As military bureaucracies tend to be more conservative than others, the Glock was accepted by police departments before many armies considered it. The Glock 17 helped introduce the concept of the “plastic” pistol, one that has become so popular that every major handgun maker in the world now offers such a product.
By the beginning of the 21st century, the Glock 17 had been adopted by, among others, the armies of Austria, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Venezuela. The British Royal Army just ordered 25,000 of them. It is also widely used by elite military and police units. Many—usually privately purchased guns—are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As I can see no good reason to write an article like this and not burn gunpowder I obtained samples of the above pistols to run through a mano a mano shootoff.
My good friend Jon Michael Littman provided an Inglis No. 2 Mark I* Hi-Power and another acquaintance, Brooks Hedrick, loaned me a Walther P.38 that his father brought back from Germany in 1945. After searching the darker recesses of my gun safe, I managed to locate a new Glock 17 Gen 4, while Beretta USA kindly sent along a new Beretta 92FS, the civilian version of the military’s M9. I obtained a supply of U.S. 9mm M882 ammunition sufficient to my purposes and headed out to the range to see how this quartet of handguns performed.
I decided to compare the pistols in the following categories: ergonomics, controls, triggers, sights, ease of reloading, accuracy and offhand shootability.
Ergonomics: this is a very subjective category and I’m sure there are as many shooters who will disagree with me as will agree. I found the Beretta’s grip to be the most user-friendly and the pistol pointed more naturally for me than the other three. That being said, I must admit that the M92’s grip was the widest and shooters with smaller hands might have trouble with it.
Runner up as the Inglis HP. It pointed very naturally and just felt “right” in my hand. In fact it might have beaten the Beretta except for its short grip tang which allowed the hammer to bite the web on my shooting hand. The Glock came in third, primarily because its grip to frame angle makes me point low, forcing me to consciously lift the muzzle when shooting rapid fire. Through years of use, I have overcome this problem but I have heard other shooters complain about it also.
Coming in on the heels of the pack was the P.38. While the grip was comfortable, that skinny barrel sticking out there all by itself made for a badly unbalanced handgun. One might almost say “butt heavy.”
Controls: the Glock 17 led the pack here primarily because it has fewer controls then the other pistols and is thus the easiest to operate! I found the Inglis’ flat thumb safety so difficult to manipulate that I almost placed it last in this category but after due consideration have rated it a tie with the Beretta and P.38.
Triggers: I had assumed that the Inglis’ SA trigger would make it the winner here but since the pistol still has the magazine disconnect installed, the pull was rather gritty and heavy. This category’s winner was the Glock 17. While the Safe Action trigger has a longer stroke then the Inglis, it had a crisper letoff.
Both the Beretta and the Walther DA/SA triggers function identically, but the Beretta had a smooth, consistent DA and a crisp SA, which the P.38 did not. After much thought, I gave second place to the Beretta and 3rd to the HP. I found the P.38’s trigger a real trial and so it finished dead last.
Sights: the M92FS had an excellent set of three-dot sights which provided a fast sight picture and so finished in first place. What surprised me is that while the Inglis HP had a “different” style of sights, the inverted V-blade up front mated to the generous square notch rear were easy to pick up even when transitioning between targets, so I gave it the second place position.
Personally I have never cared for the factory sights on Glock pistols, as I find them too coarse for precise shooting, but they were far and away better than those that graced the P.38. The German pistol’s wide U-notch and skinny blade front made it difficult to take a good sight picture, especially when shooting fast.
Ease of Reloading: Beretta took first here also. The magazine release was easy to manipulate and the magazines fell free loaded or empty, slide forward or locked back. The Glock 17 was close behind, although I found the magazine release a bit short for fast manipulation. Because of its magazine disconnect safety, the Inglis’ magazines sometimes did not fall free. With its heel-type magazine catch, the Walther P.38 was doomed to take last place in this category…again.
Accuracy: I fired three five-shot groups with each pistol from an MTM pistol rest at 15 yards and averaged the results in the table on this page. Because of its poor sights and heavy trigger, the P.38 consistently grouped low and left. I had to nurse the Inglis’s trigger a bit, but the effort was worth it as every group printed exactly to point of aim. The Glock and Beretta performed more or less identically, so I’m going to call this a Glock/Beretta/High Power tie with the P.38 a distant fourth.
Offhand shootability: I then ran each pistol through an impromptu offhand exercise, firing 15 double taps (two rounds rapid-fire from the ready position) with a two-handed hold on a combat target set out at 7 yards. All four of the pistols handled acceptably, exhibited good recoil control and proved capable of putting rounds where I wanted them, albeit in groups of varying degrees of compactness. I ended up scoring them the same as in Ergonomics: Beretta, Inglis, Glock and Walther.
I realized that no matter which pistol I declare the winner, a significant proportion of the readership would get angry with me. But what can I do?
While all four of these pistols would serve a combat soldier more or less adequately, if I had to declare a winner it would be the Beretta M92FS!
OK, before my long-suffering editor is inundated with irate letters and e-mails let me explain my decision. I found the Beretta to have the best ergonomics and to be the easiest and most comfortable of the four to shoot. I believe that for the average soldier a pistol with a DA/SA trigger mechanism is the safest choice and I do not agree with those who believe transitioning between the two trigger pulls is detrimental to speed or accuracy.
For what’s it worth, I also found the Beretta the easiest of the four to disassemble for cleaning. In its various guises, the Beretta 92 has proven rugged and reliable and is well on its way to becoming the most widely used military pistol of the 21st century. Which says a lot about it.
I would like to thank the following for providing materials used to prepare this report: Jean Huon, Peter Kokalis, Michael Jon Littman, Brooks Hedrick, Grant Rombaugh, Gabriele DePlano, Shelley Decker, Beretta USA, Glock, Inc. and all my friends at www.gunboards.com.
By the Time Armed Thug Saw Quick-Thinking Homeowner Crouching and Holding an AR-15, It Was Too Late
May. 13, 2014 3:55pm Jason Howerton
Jonathan Haith says he was sleeping in his Henderson, North Carolina, home on Monday morning when heard a light knock on his backdoor. He ignored the noise at first — but a second louder noise coming from the “laundry room area” got his attention in a hurry.
The loud bang was the sound of an armed thug kicking in his door.
Haith quickly grabbed his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle from under his bed and prepared to confront the unwelcome intruder.
“I crouched down, grabbed the firearm and was walking up the hallway,” he recalled in an interview with WRAL-TV. “As soon as I poked my head around the corner I saw a tall male standing there with a gun.”
The thug was apparently surprised to see the homeowner holding an AR-15. The panicked criminal reportedly shot at Haith first.
“He missed and I reckon I connected,” Haith said.
The homeowner reportedly hit the intruder in the stomach, causing him to flee the home before collapsing in a nearby daycare. His condition was unclear on Tuesday, though he was reportedly once listed in critical condition. Police also arrested a man who was allegedly waiting for the suspect in a car outside the home.
“Once-in-a-lifetime incident that I hope doesn’t happen again,” Haith told WTVD-TV.
Thugs Picked the Wrong Dad to Target for Shameful ‘Knockout Game’ — He’s a Concealed-Carry Permit Holder, and He Used It
Nov. 21, 2013 2:31pm Dave Urbanski
TheBlaze has been covering the frightening uptick in the so-called “knockout game,” in which thugs randomly target people and punch the unsuspecting victims in public for kicks.
Well, it’s taken an interesting turn in Lansing, Mich.
There it’s reportedly called “Point-em-out, Knock-em-out,” according to WILX-TV in Lansing, and the station said one incident didn’t turn out so well…for the attacker.
The incident actually happened in February but is now getting play because of the recent rash of attacks. On that day, the school day was over, and a father was waiting for a school bus to drop off his six-year-old girl.
“I saw the van circle twice and the second time three came out,” the victim told WILX, which didn’t reveal his identity out of concern for his safety. “I didn’t suspect anything. I hadn’t any enemies, or any reason to believe that they would be looking or doing anything to me.”
Marvell Weaver, 17, apparently had other ideas.
“He shoved something into my side,” the victim said of Weaver. “I wasn’t sure what it was. It had some force to it. I wasn’t sure if it was a knife or a gun.”
It was a taser. One that fortunately didn’t work.
What did operate just fine, however, was the victim’s concealed-carry .40 caliber pistol.
The intended victim shot Weaver twice, once in the leg and the other shot landing an inch away from his spine in the February 26 incident. WILX says Weaver has since been sentenced to a year in jail.
It could have been worse, and Weaver even admits he’s getting off easy.
“It was just a lesson learned. I wish I hadn’t played the game at all,” Weaver told the news outlet, adding that before he met his match with the gun-wielding dad, he and his friends attacked others.
“Not many, six or seven,” Weaver told WILX. “It wouldn’t be an everyday game, just a certain game to be played on certain days. You don’t even try to rob them or anything. That’s the game.”
Weaver added that “Point-em-out, Knock-em-out” isn’t gang related, and teens are playing it because they’re bored — and watching others on the Internet getting away with it inspired confidence.
He added that he played the game usually as a result of dares from unseemly kids while high.
“They weren’t my normal group of friends. Someone just throws it out there and people go along with it,” Weaver told the station. “One thing leads to another and it just goes all down hill.”
Lansing police are watching for others playing “Point-em-out, Knock-em-out,” WILX noted, adding that an attack could be considered a felony:
“There’s a price to pay if they wind up doing it,” Lansing Police Officer Robert Merritt told WILX. “A good example is Marvell Weaver.”
“It’s just senseless. Teenagers have a lot better things to do with their time,” Merritt.
Weaver’s victim sees nothing humorous about knockout games. “What they tried to do to me wouldn’t have been a joke if they would’ve succeeded,” he told the news outlet. “My child would’ve been left with the aftermath of seeing her father in any type of way I would’ve been left.”
Hillary's Straw Man Argument Against Second Amendment Backfires By Kevin Campbell Published May 19th, 2014
One of the most vocal opponents of the second amendment has always been Hillary Clinton. As recently as this past week, a straw man argument that she has been making on the subjects of gun control, increased gun regulation and reigning in the second amendment rights of citizens has backfired - miserably.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a straw man is a common type of argument that someone brings out to intentionally misrepresent the original topic of the argument. If two people are arguing and one person is losing dramatically, they may attempt to subtly change what the argument was about in the first place. The logic is that, if the person can't win the argument on his or her own merits while discussing the original topic, perhaps they would have better luck by changing the topic being talked about altogether. It's a common tactic among the anonymous people who argue about politics and pop culture on the Internet. That's exactly what Hillary Clinton has been using when discussing the pressing need for increased gun regulations, though she hasn't been having nearly the luck that people online do.
In a statement that was made in National Harbor, Maryland on May 6, Hillary Clinton indicated that we as a country needed to adopt tighter gun restrictions in an attempt to stave off economic inequality that is contributing greatly to social collapse. By shifting the argument away from the merits of gun control and towards the situation with the economy, she has essentially conceded the point and given her detractors all of the ammunition they need to beat her in future discussions and debates. Whether or not she realizes that she's done that is a subject that is up for debate.
It has long been expected that Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016 and run for President of the United States. She would become the first female President in the country's history. Her chief opponent in that election was always projected to be New Jersey's governor Chris Christie, though that has recently changed after his administration has been rocked by scandal after scandal.
When discussing gun control, Hillary Clinton curiously stated that it was possible for a person to both argue that we as a country need to adopt significantly stricter gun control laws and to support the second amendment and gun ownership in general at the same time. She indicated that she was simply warning that unrestricted access to firearms of all types could have dangerous consequences for the population as a whole, as seen in recent firearm-related tragedies like the movie theater shooting at an opening day showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Her critics have argued that by demanding increased gun control, the only thing she is really doing is proving that she doesn't understand the second amendment at all.
Redefining Antique Firearms To Strengthen Second Amendment Rights By George Bear Published May 14th, 2014
A new bill offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) would re-define the classification of an antique firearm for the purposes of federal law. Designated H.R. 4547, "To modify the definition of 'antique firearm,'" dated May 1, 2014, it would deliver a symbolic blow for Second Amendment rights, even though it would remove only a small fraction of firearms from federal control. More to the point, it has the potential to make its opponents look particularly silly if they choose to try to equate an obscure rule change affecting 100-year-old firearms with controlling "assault guns."
Currently, any individual firearm - rifle, shotgun or handgun - manufactured during or before 1898 is exempt from all federal firearms laws. They are not just considered to be antiques, they are specifically not defined as firearms, even if they are still functioning and capable of firing modern ammunition. Firearms in this classification can be bought and sold by anyone, anywhere and at any time, without any restrictions or paperwork. This cut-off date was negotiated during the debates over the Gun Control Act of 1968, which dramatically changed the rules on how firearms could be bought and sold across state lines. The 1898 cut-off date was considered a reasonable compromise at the time, separating 19th century (and older) guns from modern technology. This dividing date has remained unchanged for 45 years, and is now seen as particularly arbitrary in the 21st century, when the division between "assault guns" and old-fashioned bolt-actions rarely enters into gun control debates. Rep. Cassidy, whose strong interest in Second Amendment issues has earned him a solid "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, is proposing to change that date by a modest amount to just firearms manufactured on or before 1913.
This date still leaves newer guns - including military firearms from World War One - under federal control. On that basis, opposition to the bill would seem pointless to all but the strongest gun control advocates. Arguments against the bill look even more strident when it's pointed out that local and state laws still apply; H.R. 4547 only affects federal law. It also does not affect fully automatic firearms - machine guns - nor short-barreled guns or explosive devices, all of which would remain under current, stringent federal regulations whatever their date of manufacture. Finally, the date change only applies to specific, individual firearms made on or before that year. The change in the law does not mean, for example, that any M1903A3 rifle (the standard "assault" rifle used by doughboys in World War One) would be exempt, only individual rifles actually manufactured in or before that year.
If the practical changes would be so modest, why would Rep. Cassidy bother to draft and submit the bill and why is it being enthusiastically backed by a wide spectrum of Second Amendment advocates? Part of the reasoning can be described as simple push-back against recent gun bans. Some of the restrictions, proposed and enacted, in recent years have seemed so petty (Bayonet mounts? Really?) that lifting federal restrictions on guns that were manufactured during the Woodrow Wilson administration seems reasonable by comparison.
Judge Rules That The Second Amendment Doesn’t Protect Hunting
Posted by Bob Owens on June 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm
“Fudd” isn’t exactly a term of endearment:
Fudd: 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.
Fudds are generally uninterested in the Second Amendment, and are therefore the favorite of anti-gun politicians and the news media, like this collection of Fudds in a recent Jamie Tarabay article used to attack the National Rifle Association. They could generally care less about fighting for gun rights, because they assume that their guns are safe.
How is that working out for you now, Elmer?
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit by a hunters’ group that had challenged Pennsylvania’s long-standing ban on Sunday hunting, saying she saw no proof the hunters’ constitutionally protected rights were being harmed.
U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane made the ruling in a suit brought by the Lancaster County-based Hunters United for Sunday Hunting against the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the agency that enforces the state’s game code.
Kane said she could find no proof that courts have extended Second Amendment protections to include recreational hunting. She also found that the hunters could not prove that the law unfairly discriminated between classes of hunters or that the ban on Sunday hunting violates their religious freedoms.
As stunning as this is for the Fudds, the ruling must be even more perplexing for gun control cultists. They’ve spent the last 30 or more years arguing that if the Second Amendment applied at all outside of their collectivist interpretation, then surely, the Second Amendment only applied for the purposes of hunting.
Now a federal judge has knocked over that strawman, and stomped that sucker flat.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this ruling registers with the gun controllers—my guess is that they’ll ignore it entirely, since it is inconvenient—but even more interesting to see if this has any effect on the Fudds, who are probably going to find out that they aren’t the “protected species” that they always assumed that they were.
Maryland Considers Bill To Confiscate Guns From 110,000 Registered Gun Owners
Posted by Bob Owens on March 6, 2014 at 7:49 am
Maryland is considering a law that would link the state’s gun ownership registry with the criminal registry, creating a confiscation list affecting approximately 110,000 individuals:
More than 100,000 individuals in Maryland could become disqualified from owning their registered gun under a bill currently under consideration by state lawmakers.
According to the Associated Press, the Maryland House of Delegates is debating a proposal that would link the state’s gun and criminal registries, enabling law enforcement officials to more effectively seize firearms in the possession of those convicted of felonies or violent crimes.
Under Maryland law, anyone convicted of such crimes is required to relinquish their firearms. However, the chief sponsor of the proposed bill, Delegate Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery Couny), said the law is incapable of truly being enforced if police cannot use their database to pinpoint the individuals in question.
If passed into law, the new bill would require police to run a check twice a year in search of convicted felons with registered guns. Police, meanwhile, believe the linked systems would lead them to disqualify 10 percent of registered gun owners. That amounts to approximately 110,000 people.
10-percent of your registered gun owners are felons, Maryland? Really?
At the same time they are mulling this confiscation bill, anti-gun Democrats are attempting to move forward another bill that will stall firearm sales until background checks are complete, however long that takes.
Under federal law and existing state law, authorities have a week to complete a background check, and if they don’t disqualify a purchaser, the dealer can complete the sale. Maryland is attempting to create a situation where they can refuse to hire additional staff—or even shrink current staff—conducting background checks, slowing transfers down to weeks or even months.
You think that can’t and won’t happen? Try to register an item affected by the National Firearms Act with the ATF. The current wait time on most NFA items now is stretched out beyond nine months. It’s currently easier to manufacture a human being than register a suppressor for legal transfer with ATF.
Did ARMagLock Create a Device To Beat “Assault Rifle” Registration Requirements?
Posted by Bob Owens on March 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm
Our friends over at Ammoland published a story today about a company called ARMagLock, which claims to have created a device that renders the AR-15 a fixed-magazine firearm, defeating the Connecticut, New York, and proposed California “assault weapon registration requirements.
ARMagLock is a new patent pending AR-15 fixed magazine solution that allows New York, Connecticut and California AR-15 owners to avoid assault weapon registration within
their respective state by staying compliant with the laws.
The California Legislature is now trying to pass a law mandating registration of all assault weapons. SB 47 will require that all assault weapons owners register their firearms with the CA DOJ, to include AR-15 firearms with magazine locking devices requiring a tool or bullet to remove the magazine. The registration shall contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the full name, address, date of birth, and thumbprint of the owner, and any other information that the department may deem appropriate.
SB 47 amends the definition of an assault weapon to refer to a rifle that has one of several specified military-style features and “does not have a fixed magazine,” rather than a gun with one of those features and the “capacity to accept a detachable magazine. Continued legal possession requires that you REGISTER and pay a FEE (TAX) on ALL your semi-autos newly classified as “assault weapons.”
These new laws apply to rifles that do not have a fixed magazine. The laws define “fixed magazine” as an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action. This wording essentially renders other magazine locking devices useless. AR-15 owners now have to disassemble their firearm action in order to release the magazine.
Just to be sure there is no confusion, the new law states (b) (1) Any person who, from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, as defined in Section 30515, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, shall register the firearm before July 1, 2015. See here for exact wording of the law: SB 47.
The ARMagLock turns your firearm into a “fixed magazine” firearm that cannot release the magazine unless you pull the takedown pin, and separate the upper and lower receivers, thus “disassembling” the firearm action. Once the receivers are minimally separated, the ARMagLock can be engaged to release the magazine.
Installing the device looks relatively straightforward, and non-permanent.
I’ll let lawyers weigh in and tell us whether the device actually does meet the letter of the law in all three states, but if it does what it claims, it’s a wonderful political tool, even if it is a (purposefully) feature-debilitating addition to AR-15s.
Theoretically speaking, the ARMagLock would seem to make AR-15 style rifles compliant with the laws and preclude registration, while still enabling them to be readily converted back to a normally functioning firearm when residents of these states either visit or move to free states (or if they are to be used as the founders intended as “liberty’s teeth”).
If you’re stuck in one of these three states, would it be worth it to you to spend a little over $50 to avoid having to register your rifle, or would you rather simply register, or not register or modify your rifle and hope you don’t get caught?
FIRST ARREST? Connecticut Man Faces Charges For Unregistered “Assault Rifle,” Standard Capacity Magazines
Posted by Bob Owens on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm
A Milford man appears to be the first person charged after failing to comply with Connecticut’s law requiring the registration of certain firearms and standard capacity magazines:
A 65-year-old man faces an array of charges after he allegedly shot a squirrel in his yard Monday morning.
James Toigo, 258 Housatonic Dr., was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and three counts of possessing large-capacity magazines, according to a police press release.
Police were directing traffic in the area of Housatonic Drive when they heard a gunshot nearby, according to the release.
Upon investigation, police said Toigo was taken into custody after finding he had shot the squirrel. Police said they also found an unregistered assault rifle, as well as three large-capacity magazines, in Toigo’s home. Both the firearms and the magazines were taken, the release said.
It will be interesting to hear under what conditions police entered the home, and whether they used suspected state databases of gun owners to connect the apparent crime of shooting the squirrel with the ownership of an unregistered rifle and standard capacity magazines.
Folks, it appears we may have a test case on whether the Connecticut ban constitutes an unconstitutional ex post facto law.
P320 Entry: A Primer for Effective Open Carry
By Dan Zimmerman on June 17, 2014
By Ben H.
I’m all for open carry. I enjoy seeing people carrying their guns in public; hell, I’ve done it. It was a pleasant experience, I met some fine people and a few curious folks received some friendly information and education. People driving by honked and waved. Over all, it was a resounding success and I would do it again. After some recent OC flub-ups, though, I got to thinking about what OCers are doing right, and what we’re doing wrong . . .
Open carry rallies should be, first and foremost, about educating the open-minded middle-grounders. Neither preaching to the choir, nor harassing hoplophobic antis does us any good, and after participating in one, I realized that the focus of open carry walks should be to engage curious folks in a friendly, inviting, fun spirit.
The real purpose of open carry isn’t to create a society where everyone carries rifles everywhere, all the time, but to create a society where people are comfortable with guns and don’t react to them with knee-jerk fear. Some open-carriers are screwing that up for us, though, and we not only need to have grown-ups present to put these folks in check, but we need to understand that open carry is a powerful and positive tool if we use it correctly.
To properly open carry, we need answer a few simple questions.
What are we trying to accomplish and how do we do it?
The purpose of open carry is to bring education of our rights and the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. We do this through engaging people in friendly conversation, and answering any and all questions with a smile. Tell stories of positive gun ownership, including the brave Auto-Defensas in Mexico, and explain that the reason it doesn’t seem as though these types of guns are necessary in America is precisely because these guns are present in America. A simple line I like to use to really get my point across that civilian ownership of these guns is effectively preventing the types of violence seen in other countries is that “South Texas doesn’t look like north Mexico because Americans have access to these firearms.” If a person is being rude, however, just smile and give them kindness in return. Flies and honey, folks. Flies and honey.
What are we up against and how do we fight it?
We’re up against a biased if-it-bleeds-it-leads media in support of anti-gun radicals and politicians who use lies, slander, and dirty tactics to achieve their goals. Any chance they get to show pro-gunners in a negative light, even out-of-context, they will do it and they don’t care if they get caught red-handed, because they have the media to cover for them. Grow some thick skin and wear your happy face at all times. Besides, that’s why you’re there – to have a good time and help others to do so. Call up local news channels and invite them out to your event. Post videos of your walk on Facebook to show your not-quite-gun-loving (yet) friends that gun owners are not the frothing-at-the-mouth gub-mint hatin’ hillbillies the media paints them to be. Show families carrying together. We’re normal, happy people, not the wack-a-dos the antis make us out to be, and unfortunately we sometimes have to prove it.
What are we doing right?
The walk I participated in was excellent. We had beautiful weather, friendly people, and folks approaching us and asking questions were treated with respect and friendliness. There was a very inviting aura surrounding the walk and I think folks really picked up on that. Some of our kids were there with us and playing around. Open carry walks that are conducted in a spirit of invitation and education should be emulated; this should be the standard operating procedure for all open carry demonstrations. The local police were notified ahead of time, the route was planned. No question was too “stupid” to answer, but be ready with knowledge of your firearm, some of its history, some American history, and the laws. All-in-all, it was very relaxed, friendly, and fun.
What are we doing wrong and how do we fix it?
*sigh* Guys, we’re not Alpha-Level-Spec-Op-Tactical-Operator-Ninja-Commandoes; let’s not dress like we are. Leave the tactical gear at home. Militarized police forces are doing their part to set people on edge and create an environment of fear and distrust, so let’s not follow suit.
I would actually say that we should dress a little on the nice side for the occasion. Guys, shave before an event, or if you wear a beard (and why wouldn’t you?), trim it up. We shouldn’t look like a rabble of armed weird-os, we should look like the gathering of warm, friendly people we are. Eddie Izzard said, “It’s 70% how you look, 20% how you say it, and 10% what you say.” First impressions are lasting. Dress to be approached, not to repel.
Wear your long gun across your back, not at your side, and not in “condition one,” or whatever. I would even dare to go as far as saying the more wood, the better. I happen to think my Arsenal SLR-107FR is a sexy rifle, but then I’m a gun guy. Non-gun people have been blasted with “evil black assault murderdeath machines” by the media, and black guns may be a little intimidating to some. Bringing beautiful military surplus rifles with nice wooden stocks, or some warm-and-fuzzy muzzle-loaders might make approaching you a little less daunting to curious people, and then you can give them a cool history lesson about that particular gun.
We’re there to engage, not to intimidate. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have people who are “designated spokespeople,” individuals who are charming, knowledgeable and well-spoken who are there as go-to people for tougher questions, to talk to the media should they show up, and to deal with rude antis.
About those rude antis, though: best to ignore their jeers and just video them. As much as I’d like to get 100% of the people on our side, some people have decided to completely shut off their minds and just cannot be reached. Let them make themselves look like asses while you turn your attention to more enjoyable people. Never let yourself come to verbal blows with these people; even if you win, we lose because we “look scary.” If you see a fellow OCer starting to drop to their level, check him. Be the adult and get him away from the situation. Calling the police on these people should only be a last resort, but it’s an option that’s there. If you need to bring the police into it to get vicious antis taken away, get that on video, too. And thank the police.
There’s been some negative press concerning open carry events, and I think it’s mainly because we’re doing it wrong. Open carry has the potential to be one of the most powerful cards in our hand if we will just play it right. Be presentable and approachable, smile, don’t play the antis’ games, educate and enlighten. Always be a good steward of a responsible, armed, and free society.
WHEN THEY COME: A Warning to Connecticut Police
Posted by Bob Owens on March 3, 2014 at 11:40 am
Connecticut’s law enforcement officers would be very wise to consider that they have a duty to uphold the Constitution above all else, even above their orders. He hopes that most will uphold that oath, but fears that enough will turn their back on the Constitution in order to keep their jobs and benefits, gambling that they can get away with being oath breakers with the backing of the government.
This would be a miscalculation.
The ATF-FBI debacles at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the 1990s remained isolated incidents because those attacked were fringe elements of society, assaulted in isolated areas. The Branch Davidians were an oddball religious cult, while the Weaver family were isolationist white separatists. The federal government was able to get away with the casualties they inflicted upon these people in these locations because these people were “different.”
That isn’t the dynamic in play in Connecticut.
Any SWAT raids on gun owners will not occur in a walled-off religious compound, nor in an isolated mountain cabin far away from prying eyes. Any raids will be in full view of the public, and if citizens are murdered as a result of law enforcement officers attempting to enforce this law, then somewhere between 80,000-100,000 will know that they are next on the list.
Does anyone honestly think for a moment that these citizens will react to such a provocation by waiting for their loved ones to die in the next blaze of gunfire?
Or is to more likely that such an outrage with manufacture a hundred Christopher Dorners hunting down officers in uniform, or a thousand “Beltway Snipers” targeting government officials in their offices, in their cars, and in their homes?
Governor Dannel Malloy and Attorney General George Jepson are ultimately in charge of whatever law enforcement actions that the state of Connecticut takes regarding this blatantly unconstitutional law.
I’d ask them to consider the deadly results of a miscalculation, and realize that this would literally be battle that they cannot win.
Connecticut Gun Group Issues Ultimatum to Government: Molon Labe, Or Repeal
Posted by Bob Owens on March 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm
Gun rights group Connecticut Carry has issued an ultimatum to politicians in the Constitution State today, telling the government that they should either follow through on their threats to try to confiscate more than 325,000 undocumented firearms and 2 million standard capacity magazines, or admit that they passed a law without the consent of the people, and will repeal it in its entirety:
…State officials look down the barrel of the laws that they created, and it is very probably that they now tremble as they rethink the extremity of their folly. Connecticut Carry calls on every State official, every Senator, and every Representative, to make the singular decision: Either enforce the laws as they are written and let us fight it out in court, or else repeal the 2013 Gun Ban in its entirety.
As many media sources have pointed out, there is very little compliance with the new edicts, and there is absolutely no way for the State to know who is obeying the law or not. State officials have made their bluff, and Undersecretary Lawlor has made his position clear, that the State will enforce the laws. We say: Bring it on. The officials of the State of Connecticut have threatened its citizens by fiat. They have roared on paper, but they have violated Principle. Now it’s time for the State to man-up: either enforce its edicts or else stand-down and return to the former laws that did not so violently threaten the citizens of this state.
There is nothing that will so completely destroy faith in those edicts faster than the State-provoked chaos and violence that will be required to enforce the 2013 anti-gun laws. Connecticut residents should not have to live in perpetual fear of “the jack boot” coming down on them. Unenforced, frequently repeated threats fall on deaf ears. By passing laws that they cannot or choose not to enforce, State officials tell the public that this State is ignorant, immoral, blind, and impotent in its legal and decision making processes. The passage of such foolishly conceived, insufferable laws is an affront to every law-abiding citizen. Every official who supports such legal foolishness mocks our State and the Constitution they swore to uphold.
If the state does not have the stomach to enforce these laws, then the legislature has until May 7th, 2014 to completely repeal these immoral edicts and let the residents of Connecticut return to their rightfully owned property and former exercise of constitutional rights and practices without any threat of State violence.
“From Governor Malloy, to Undersecretary Lawlor to DESPP, Commissioner Schriro, and Lieutenant Cooke of the firearms unit, and including Lt. Paul Vance, the state needs to shit, or get off the pot. The fact is, the state does not have the balls to enforce these laws. The laws would not survive the public outcry and resistance that would occur.” – Connecticut Carry Director Ed Peruta
If officials of the State of Connecticut opt to get ‘froggy’ (jumping on citizens) and start to enforce the new laws (as officials have claimed a desire to do), Connecticut Carry stands ready to do whatever it takes and whatever it can do to represent and defend anyone impacted by the State’s violence.
That sounds very much like a “come and take them” challenge to the government of Connecticut, especially those legislators who voted for this blatantly unconstitutional law over the will of the people.
The dramatic choice of language from Connecticut Carry Director Ed Peruta is striking, and seems to indicate that this group, at least, has no intention of quietly accepting threats emanating from state government.
Ex Post Facto – Connecticut’s “Assault Weapon” Ban Is Blatantly Unconstitutional
Posted by Mike McDaniel on April 8, 2014 at 7:31 am
So seriously did the Founders take this issue that ex post facto laws are twice explicitly prohibited in the Constitution, first in Article I, Section 9, Clause 3:
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
And in Article I, Section 10, Clause 1:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
Put simply, an ex post facto law makes what was not a crime on Monday a crime on Tuesday. It is one of the most abused techniques of tyranny, allowing a despot to retroactively criminalize anything and anyone for conduct that was entirely legal when it was done. How can one obey the law when they can have no idea what is legal and what is not? How can one avoid prosecution when any lawful thing they do at any moment might be criminalized at any time in the future?
For any law to be valid-constitutional–it must be specific and the average person must be able to understand what is allowed and what is not. That which is not specifically prohibited is allowed. This is where ex post facto laws are the antithesis of the Constitution and the rule of law. The law-abiding man or woman buys an AR-15 rifle and standard 30 round magazines in good faith in December of 2013. Under the existing law, they are entirely legal and utterly unremarkable. In fact, they are allowed because they are not specifically prohibited. But a month later, the rifle and magazines are suddenly outlawed and their law-abiding owners, potential felons. Their choice is registering the weapons and magazines—inexpensive bits of metal and plastic without serial numbers or any other means to positively identify them—or disobeying tyranny. This is the situation in Connecticut.
Herigage.org provides a good basic primer on ex post facto law. Among its essential points:
Nevertheless, opposition to ex post facto laws was a bedrock principle among the Framers. In The Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton noted that ‘the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law’ is among “the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson noted in an 1813 letter to Isaac McPherson ‘the sentiment that ex post facto laws are against natural right.
Another essential principle is the ex post facto laws primarily—perhaps exclusively—refer to criminal, not civil laws:
The Court addressed the issue of the scope of the clause in one of its earliest constitutional decisions. Calder v. Bull, decided in 1798, involved a determination by the Connecticut legislature that a judicial decree should be set aside and a new trial held regarding a contested will. Without dissent, the Court held that the Connecticut legislature’s action was not an ex post facto law forbidden under Article I, Section 10. Justice Samuel Chase defined ex post facto laws as:
1st. Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in order to convict the offender. All these, and similar laws, are manifestly unjust and oppressive.
Clearly, Connecticut’s law is an ex post facto law. It is a criminal statute prescribing criminal penalties. Indeed, the penalty for mere possession of a prohibited firearm is a felony with a mandatory minimum year in prison.
This would seem an obvious avenue for those seeking to roll back Connecticut’s oppressive laws. It will be interesting to see if, and when, it is used.
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.
Connecticut media pushes propaganda as citizens ignore unconstitutional gun registration law
Posted by Bob Owens on December 27, 2013 at 9:19 am
Gun registration laws exist for one reason: to identify all gun owners and firearms for future confiscation efforts. Once you register a firearm, you are giving away your rights to the government. Period. Any reasonably intelligent person knows this intuitively. As a result, less than 10-percent of citizens register their guns.
That won’t keep the Quisling media from doing everything in their power to lie about gun owners rushing out to get in compliance with a blatantly unconstitutional law, hoping to make it look like those who are failing to register are the minority, instead of the super-majority.
Here’s just one example of the anti-gun propaganda war being waged by local media and law enforcement in Connecticut:
There are only five more days until the new gun laws go into effect for our state, that means a dash to register assault weapons or high capacity magazines.
A long line of people stood outside of the Public Safety Building in Middletown all day Thursday to register firearms.
Specifically, anything the state considers an assault weapon or a high capacity magazine must be registered before Jan. 1, 2014.
“If they were trying to make them illegal, I’d have a real issue, but if they want to just know where they are, that’s fine with me,” said Charles Gillette, who was registering magazines.
“I understand why they’re doing it, but I don’t think it’s constitutional,” said Scott Boccio, who was registering guns.
The controversial law was created last year after 20 children and six adults lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
None of the people Eyewitness News spoke with thinks this is going to reduce gun violence. They believe it’s only hurting law abiding citizens.
Would you like to see the “long line of people” waiting to register their “assault weapons” and magazines?
The drama queen anchor insists that citizens “have no choice” but to comply with the blatantly unconstitutional law, and become the seventh person in that line to register their family defense rifles and standard capacity magazines.
Citizens do indeed have options, and giving gun-grabbing Governor Dannel P. Malloy nothing but a sneer is what citizens in Connecticut have obviously chosen to do.
HEY, IT’S ONLY THE CONSTITUTION: NY Judge Dismisses Challenge To NY SAFE Act
Posted by Bob Owens on April 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm
Shocking no one, a New York judge has essentially stated that that state’s constitution may be set aside, just as long as the Governor makes a halfhearted excuse:
A New York judge has dismissed a challenge to the state’s stricter guns laws, saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers did nothing unconstitutional when quickly passing the NY Safe Act early last year.
The ruling, handed down on Thursday by state Supreme Court Judge Thomas McNamara, also says Robert Schulz and his co-plaintiffs did not prove that the Safe Act infringes on their state constitutional rights.
“Though plaintiffs assert in the complaint that the Safe Act infringes upon rights granted by this provision of the constitution, they do not point to any right created thereby nor is one apparent,” McNamara wrote.
The judge said the use of a “message of necessity” to pass the bill without a normal three-day waiting period met state requirements. “While plaintiffs may disagree with the governor’s and the legislature’s assessment of the need to act quickly, the governor included in his certificate a recitation of his reasons for urging speedy passage. That is all the constitution requires…”
In other words, Judge McNamara holds that as long as a New York Governor—in this instance, Andrew Cuomo—offers the even the thinnest excuse for using the “message of necessity” tactic, that is enough of a justification; the reason for violating the state constitution need not be reasonable, logical, or even sane.
The case will be appealed.
“We Eliminated The Threat.”
Posted by Bob Owens on April 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm
Almost four years ago, Paul and David Medawar and their employees were subjected to a terrifying mid-day armed robbery of their jewelry store.
After that incident, they obtained weapons training from their local sheriff, and they were prepared when another group of criminals attempted a similar robbery.
Another news station captured the details of the events leading up to two shots being fired:
The Medawars, who were watching video surveillance camera from the safe room, armed themselves.
“As they were looking for the other employees, that’s when we saw them on the camera. They were coming to us in our safe room. And that is when we warned them and they did not listen,” David Medawar said.
“He opened the door. … We warned him. And the door opened slowly with the gun pointed at us. He can’t see us, we saw him and it’s done,” Paul Medawar recounted.
“We told them, ‘We have guns. We will shoot you. Leave, leave. We will shoot you. Leave.’ And they did not leave. They came in and pursued to try to get all of us,” David Medawar said. “And we saw the threat; we saw him aiming his gun at us, coming in the door, so we fired and eliminated the threat. And they fled.”
Firearms are used to deter violent crime between 500,000-3.5 million times each year in the United States, dwarfing the roughly 11,000 criminal homicides. In most instances, the mere display of a firearm is enough to stop a criminal and cause them to flee. In other instances, like this thwarted armed robbery, shots are fired, but no one is seriously injured or killed.
Police are still looking the criminals involved in this incident. I suspect that they will not be found anywhere near Medawar’s again.
US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance
Published June 12, 2014 ·Associated Press
The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.
Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.
Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.
One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying their owners' account information and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company's tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.
But without more details about how the technology works and under what circumstances it's used, it's unclear whether the technology might violate a person's constitutional rights or whether it's a good investment of taxpayer dollars.
Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. That pushback has come in the form of FBI affidavits and consultation in local criminal cases.
"These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology," said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought for the release of these types of records. "If public participation means anything, people should have the facts about what the government is doing to them."
Harris Corp., a key manufacturer of this equipment, built a secrecy element into its authorization agreement with the Federal Communications Commission in 2011. That authorization has an unusual requirement: that local law enforcement "coordinate with the FBI the acquisition and use of the equipment." Companies like Harris need FCC authorization in order to sell wireless equipment that could interfere with radio frequencies.
A spokesman from Harris Corp. said the company will not discuss its products for the Defense Department and law enforcement agencies, although public filings showed government sales of communications systems such as the Stingray accounted for nearly one-third of its $5 billion in revenue. "As a government contractor, our solutions are regulated and their use is restricted," spokesman Jim Burke said.
Local police agencies have been denying access to records about this surveillance equipment under state public records laws. Agencies in San Diego, Chicago and Oakland County, Michigan, for instance, declined to tell the AP what devices they purchased, how much they cost and with whom they shared information. San Diego police released a heavily censored purchasing document. Oakland officials said police-secrecy exemptions and attorney-client privilege keep their hands tied. It was unclear whether the Obama administration interfered in the AP requests.
"It's troubling to think the FBI can just trump the state's open records law," said Ginger McCall, director of the open government project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. McCall suspects the surveillance would not pass constitutional muster.
"The vast amount of information it sweeps in is totally irrelevant to the investigation," she said.
A court case challenging the public release of information from the Tucson Police Department includes an affidavit from an FBI special agent, Bradley Morrison, who said the disclosure would "result in the FBI's inability to protect the public from terrorism and other criminal activity because through public disclosures, this technology has been rendered essentially useless for future investigations."
Morrison said revealing any information about the technology would violate a federal homeland security law about information-sharing and arms-control laws -- legal arguments that that outside lawyers and transparency experts said are specious and don't comport with court cases on the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
The FBI did not answer questions about its role in states' open records proceedings.
But a former Justice Department official said the federal government should be making this argument in federal court, not a state level where different public records laws apply.
"The federal government appears to be attempting to assert a federal interest in the information being sought, but it's going about it the wrong way," said Dan Metcalfe, the former director of the Justice Department's office of information and privacy. Currently Metcalfe is the executive director of American University's law school Collaboration on Government Secrecy project.
A criminal case in Tallahassee cites the same homeland security laws in Morrison's affidavit, court records show, and prosecutors told the court they consulted with the FBI to keep portions of a transcript sealed. That transcript, released earlier this month, revealed that Stingrays "force" cellphones to register their location and identifying information with the police device and enables officers to track calls whenever the phone is on.
One law enforcement official familiar with the Tucson lawsuit, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about internal discussions, said federal lawyers told Tucson police they couldn't hand over a PowerPoint presentation made by local officers about how to operate the Stingray device. Federal officials forwarded Morrison's affidavit for use in the Tucson police department's reply to the lawsuit, rather than requesting the case be moved to federal court.
In Sarasota, Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service confiscated local records on the use of the surveillance equipment, removing the documents from the reach of Florida's expansive open-records law after the ACLU asked under Florida law to see the documents. The ACLU has asked a judge to intervene. The Marshals Service said it deputized the officer as a federal agent and therefore the records weren't accessible under Florida law.
Pistol-Toting Nurse Saved Driver From Angry Detroit Mob
Posted by Bob Owens on April 10, 2014 at 8:05 am
I suspect that most of us have heard about the mob that brutally beat a man into a coma last week after he got out of his truck to check on a boy who had run out in front of his vehicle and had gotten hit. Some of us have probably even heard about the brave retired nurse, Deborah Hughes, that covered a battered and unconscious Steve Utash with her own body to stop the beating.
What the media has largely refused to mention is the cold steel in Hughes’s pocket, and her determination to put a bullet into the next thug that hit Utash again.
Guns saves lives, my fellow Americans, and give good people the power to stand against the mob.
How to choose a second rifle on a budget
6/16/14 | by Jim Grant
If you’ve ever asked the question, “What first rifle should I get?” You’ve probably received the standard answer: “something in .22 LR.”
Indeed, this is an excellent introductory round. It establishes the core elements of breath, sights and trigger — the fundamentals necessary for a new gunner to blossom into a proficient rifleman. The one thing that .22 LR rifles can’t do, is prepare shooters for the recoil of centerfire rounds. You could graduate from .22 LR to .223 without too much trouble, but the cost of .223 ammo and a rifle that fires it accurately can put this beyond the economic reach of many new shooters. A less expensive solution is to buy a bolt-action rifle, chambered in 7.62x54r or 7.62×39 and two cases of ammo.
Some of you are gasping at the prospect of a new shooter blasting off rounds from the Mosin Nagant, beating their shoulder up and scaring them off from shooting forever. This might happen, but if they learn proper form from their .22 LR starting rifle, then the Mosin will be a substantial, but not unmanageable increase. In the event that the shooter is too recoil or noise sensitive to enjoy a Mosin, a Serbian-made Zastava M85 Mini-Mauser in 7.62x39MM can be purchased for around $400.
An M85 Mini-Mauser is a substantial improvement over the Mosin, because it’s more easily scoped, its ammo costs the same as .22 LR (seriously, look it up, it’s depressing) and this ammo isn’t corrosive. Furthermore, the Zastava tends to be more accurate and is also suitable for hunting medium and small-game, with appropriate ammo. Why not buy an AK rifle? You could, but many places won’t let you take it hunting, and new shooters will be more likely to blast through magazines without building on their shooting fundamentals. If the new shooter wants to take the semi-automatic route, an SKS is less expensive and banned in fewer states than its Avtomat brother. The biggest reason is because of accuracy, a properly made bolt-action rifle will be more accurate and provide a shooter with positive reinforcement for good habits. Plus, most AK rifles are a few hundred dollars over the M85′s $400 price point.
Will this be as accurate as an AR-15 in 5.56? Probably not. But this affordable combination allows new shooters to experience the increased recoil of a bolt-action full-powered rifle, without spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on ammo and rifle.
The Mosin’s combination of recoil and noise isn’t a good starting point for newbies and will likely lead them to develop a flinch that they will have to correct later. However, if the shooter already has a few hundred rounds of rimfire ammo under their belt, the Mosin will allow them to apply lessons learned from their rimfire rifle to the powerful Soviet blaster. The trade-off is that the Mosin likely won’t be as accurate as the starting .22 LR and may lead shooters to believe they are getting worse, not better. This likely wouldn’t be an issue with the M85, but you’ll have to spend over $250 more for it than the Mosin.
Most shooters, after they run a few boxes through their first .22 LR, feel they are immediately ready to dive into a larger caliber. Patience is a virtue, don’t be hasty to discard your .22 LR the second you see something more powerful. The .22 LR is a great stand alone rifle. Not just for training, but plinking and hunting small game as well. However, when coupled with a centerfire rifle on an identical platform, a .22 becomes a serious training tool since the shooter can apply lessons learned from one platform to the other.
It is important to try and make sure the weapons you purchase have similar, if not identical, methods of operation to maximize training. If you end up buying a Henry Goldenboy in .22 LR, you may want to consider a Big-Boy in .357 Magnum. If you bought a Ruger 10/22, any magazine-fed semi-automatic will do, but you’ll feel exceptionally comfortable with the Ruger 10/44 Deer Carbine, the controls are identical.
If you can’t find two similar platforms to train or practice on, it’s not the end of the world. Some aspects of shooting are universal across all platforms. Just understand that you’ll have to unlearn some of your shooting habits when you change weapon-systems. Above all else, make sure whatever you buy fits you and your budget. The greatest marksman in the world isn’t worth a damn if they can’t afford to buy food, let alone ammo.
Battle-Tested M14 Rifle Withstands the Test of Time
Legendary select-fire 7.62mm NATO warhorse fights on in today’s Global War On Terror!
By Leroy Thompson | June 18th 2014, 9:00 AM
Development of the M14 rifle began after World War II with great expectations. It was hoped that it would replace the four primary infantry small arms in use at the time—the M1 rifle (Garand), the M1 carbine, the M3 submachine gun and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). During WWII, the M1 rifle had established a reputation for ruggedness and reliability, and had given U.S. infantrymen a distinct advantage over Germans and Japanese soldiers armed with bolt-action rifles. However, developments such as that of the German StG 44 (Stermgewehr 44), the forerunner of todays assault rifles, were indications that the M1’s battlefield supremacy would not last. Germany had produced over 425,000 StG 44s, which had mostly been sent to the Russian front to help counter the numerical superiority of the Russians. The effectiveness of the StG 44 was certainly not lost on the Russians, who were influenced by it to some extent in the development of the AK-47, though the SKS would be widely issued before the AK-47 entered full service.
An important factor in the development of the StG 44, the SKS and the AK-47 was the use of an intermediate cartridge that was less powerful from those typically used in infantry rifles of WWII but more powerful than those used in pistol-caliber submachine guns. The U.S. .30-06 round certainly offered long-range killing power, but its typical overall length of 3.34 inches affected the design of the M1 rifle. By comparison, the overall length of the 7.62x39mm round used in the AK-47 and SKS was only 2.2 inches. A shorter cartridge allowed greater versatility in development of the rifle to use it. The round developed for use in the next U.S. military rifle was the 7.62x51mm, which had an overall length of 2.75 inches, about midway between the .30-06 and 7.62x39mm round. This would become the standard round for NATO from the 1950s to the 1970s.
“Ironically, the features that made it a sound design for fighting across the expanses of Europe have made it useful for fighting across the mountainous valleys of Afghanistan.”
There had been other complaints about the M1 rifle during the war. Perhaps the one heard most often dealt with magazine capacity. The M1 used a fixed magazine that took an en bloc eight-round clip. It was difficult to top off the clip if rounds had been fired, and when the last round was fired, the clip was ejected from the rifle with a distinctive sound. As a result, the Ordnance Department and some unit armorers experimented with altering M1 rifles to take detachable magazines, normally 20-round BAR models. Another criticism of the M1 was that it would only allow semi-auto fire. Given the eight-round magazine capacity, however, full-auto fire would have emptied the rifle quickly. Experiments showed, too, that controlling a Garand converted to full-auto was quite difficult. Even controlling the BAR, which weighed about twice what the M1 rifle did, took some effort—one reason, along with having to carry the weapon and spare magazines, that BAR men tended to be larger and stronger than most other infantrymen.
Experimentation on a select-fire battle rifle with a detachable magazine progressed during the late 1940s and early 1950s, though the M1 rifle remained in service through the Korean War. Early development of a new battle rifle (note that this term normally refers to an assault-type rifle firing a full-power cartridge) continued, as did development of the 7.62x51mm round, the ballistics of which were close to those of the .30-06 despite the shorter cartridge.
The tale of the M14’s development could fill a book and has, but suffice it to say that there were technical and political hurdles to overcome. Various competitive tests during the early 1950s narrowed the field for the new infantry rifle to the T44, which would become the M14, and the T48, the FN FAL as submitted for U.S. testing. Among the political intrigue involving the selection of the M14 reportedly was a deal cut with NATO allies, many of which had selected the FAL, that if they adopted the 7.62x51mm cartridge, the U.S. would adopt the T48. NATO did adopt the 7.62x51mm round, but the U.S. did not adopt the T48. Instead, the T44 was formally adopted in 1957 as the “United States Rifle, 7.62mm, M14.”
Contracts to produce the M14 were awarded to Springfield Armory, Winchester and Harrington & Richardson, then later, Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge, Inc. (TRW). Production began in 1959 and ended in 1964, with a total of 1,376,031 M14s having been built. The question that logically arises, then, is why was the rifle only produced for five years.
Once again, a book could be written on the events resulting in the replacement of the M14. To summarize succinctly, the Vietnam War came along, as did advocates in the military establishment for the ArmaLite AR-15. Additionally, the M14 did not meet all expectations. Combat in Vietnam was at closer range and against a smaller enemy. Airmobile delivery of troops also made a more compact and lighter rifle more desirable. Another issue was the difficulty in controlling the M14 on full-auto fire. It was so difficult that most M14 rifles were permanently set on semi-auto, with only those intended to replace the BAR capable of full-auto fire. The AR-15, on the other hand, was chambered for the 5.56x45mm round and was much more controllable on full-auto fire. Substantially more loaded magazines for the AR-15 could be carried as well. The U.S. Air Force, especially, found that the AR-15 fit their needs and retained the M1 carbine until sufficient AR-15s were available rather than adopting the M14. As a side note, today, the USAF does retain a few thousand M14s for use by special tactics squadrons and for some ceremonial duties.
By 1967, the M16, as the AR-15 was designated once adopted, had replaced the M14 in most units in Vietnam, though some transport, aviation and other units retained the M14 longer. Troops assigned to NATO in Europe retained the M14 until 1970. This allowed uniformity of ammunition with other NATO forces and let production of the M16 go to Vietnam. There were troops in both Vietnam and Europe who preferred the M14 to the M16, but once early problems with the M16 had been corrected, troops overwhelmingly preferred it.
During the M14’s service in Vietnam, there had been a demand for a more effective squad automatic weapon, which resulted in the development of the M14A1. This weapon had a strengthened stock, bipod, pistol grip and vertical forend among other special features. When the M16 was adopted, the M60 machine gun generally functioned in the role of a squad automatic weapon, though it was not really designed for the task.
“As this is written, the M14 has been in U.S. military service for over a half-century and seems likely to fill the designated marksman role for a few more years.”
Even after it was replaced by the M16, the M14 proved well suited for another mission in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the USMC used the M40 bolt-action sniping rifle after 1966, but the U.S. Army was still primarily using the M1D version of the Garand. To meet Army needs, a sniping rifle based on the M14 was developed as the XM21 (later as simply the M21) sniper weapon system (SWS). In 1969, Rock Island Arsenal converted 1,435 National Match-grade M14s to sniping rifles by adding the Leatherwood 3-9x Adjustable Ranging Telescope (ART). Preset for the 7.62mm NATO Match round, the ART automatically adjusted bullet drop to the range based on ranging brackets in the scope’s reticle. Snipers issued the M21 were also issued match-grade ammunition.
Although the U.S. Army adopted the M24 SWS in 1988, the M21 continued to see some use through Operation Desert Storm and a little later. However, the M21 concept has had a new life during the War on Terror, as the need for a rifle to perform a mission between the sniping rifle and the M4 Carbine has resulted in various permutations of the designated marksman rifle (DMR). In some cases, units acquired M14 rifles from armories and just added a scope to give some unit members the ability to engage targets at longer ranges. However, other units have upgraded the M14 substantially to fit its new mission. The U.S. Navy SEALs have been using the MK14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR) for the last decade. Variations have been adopted by other branches. Without going into detail on all the configurations of these types of rifles, a few general comments can be made. They have a telescoping chassis stock system with a pistol grip and Picatinny rails. Some are fitted with suppressors. Scopes vary, but the most common are the Leupold 3.5-10x Mark 4 or one of Nightforce’s NXS models.
Although the use for designated marksman has been the primary combat mission for the last decade, some are still in use for other purposes. Navy ships use M14s as line-throwing guns, and some EOD units use them to explode ordnance at a distance. They have retained a ceremonial use as well with units such as the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
A substantial portion of the M14s produced have either been destroyed or sent elsewhere as foreign military aid. A few years ago, an estimated 30,000 or so were still in use with the various branches of the service, the largest number as DMRs. Around 87,500 remained in storage. It would seem likely that the use of the M14 for DMRs and for other duties will continue for some years, though the SCAR-H has seen some use among special operations units.
Because it was a select-fire weapon, the M14 has not been sold on the civilian market. However, the M1A-type semi-auto version has proven very popular with shooters. For someone wanting an M1A as close to an original M14 as possible, I would recommend finding an early Springfield Armory (Geneseo) M1A, as most of the parts other than receiver were surplus M14 parts sold off after production of the rifle ceased.
As this is written, the M14 has been in U.S. military service for over a half-century and seems likely to fill the designated marksman role for a few more years. Ironically, the features that made it a sound design for fighting across the expanses of Europe have made it useful for fighting across the mountainous valleys of Afghanistan.
Chicago Pays the NRA… Again!
By Dave Dolbee published on July 9, 2014 in Gun Rights, Legal Issues, News, Second Amendment
Living a stone’s throw outside of Chicago’s reach, I am continually barraged by Chi-town’s news and politics, but a recent story made living in a red state dominated a blue dot known as Cook County (normally pronounced ‘Kook County’) a bit more enjoyable. Well, that and the fact I live far enough away to enjoy a sufficient geographic buffer to shield me from Czar-like gun laws imposed on the citizens of Chicago (and massive violence that are a result).Tax Dollars
And speaking Czar-like, Chicagoans get to pay an extra tax… actually it is not a tax, but rather a drain on the tax dollars that should be going to enhance worthy items such as Chicago’s education system and police force, but I digress. Whatever you choose to call it, the most recent blame can squarely be placed on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago’s refusal to recognize Second Amendment rights. It is all really quite simple. A small minority (the legislators of Chicago) continually strive to stomp on the Second Amendment by enacting unconstitutionally restrictive laws against the free exercise, sale, ownership and enjoyment of firearms. Predictably, this raises the ire of free citizens who rally in opposition supported by freedom-loving organizations such as the NRA, SAF, NAGR and a host of others. As a result, the NRA and others file legal challenges—win—and the City of Chicago is ordered to pay their legal fees. Since the government has no money of its own, it all comes from the tax coffers.
Police Making an ArrestThe result? Chicago is rapidly approaching 1,000 shootings since the beginning of 2014. Independence Day weekend yielded something over 100. That is one sad result of unreasoned gun laws. A lack of understanding of the phrase, “Shall not be Infringed” has tallied another $1.5 million in reimbursements to the NRA—and that is only counting Benson v. City of Chicago ($940,000), the challenge to Chicago’s ban on gun sales within the city limits and the landmark ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago ($600,000). Imagine how many more of the tax payers dollars Chicago has wasted pushing the personal ideology of a few oligarchs?
For those who may have missed the details, Benson v. City of Chicago was consolidated into Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago. That case challenged five aspects of Chicago’s law: (1) the ban on any form of carriage; (2) the ban on gun stores; (3) the ban on firing ranges; (4) the ban on self-defense in garages, porches, and yards; and (5) the ban on keeping more than one gun in an operable state.
While reveling in the NRA’s successful championing of the Second Amendment is always an afternoon well spent, please remember the NRA cannot continue the good fight by reimbursement alone. The NRA has a proven record of defending Second Amendment rights—yours and mine—for decades. Let’s all ensure it will be able to continue to do so by contributing to the coffers to secure Second Amendment freedoms for the future.
And if the citizens of Chicago do not enjoy the extra tax burden resulting from their elected leaders assault on the Second Amendment, elections are just around the corner. Just sayin’…
My Most Accurate AR-15s
By Woody published on March 2, 2013 in AR-15, Chronicle, Firearms
Over the last few years, I’ve owned or tested several AR-15s, and, obviously, I liked some more than others. “Like” is a big word that encompasses many subjective areas, where my tastes might run counter to yours. How the rifles actually shot is less subjective—holes in paper are a certain distance apart, whether I “liked” the trigger, stock, and colors, or not.
So I opened up the rangebooks for the last five years and tabulated how various AR-15s had performed. Distance for all the groups was 100 yards. All groups were fired from an adjustable front rest, often a Ransom Rifle Rest, with a rear sandbag rest using various optics. I recorded average velocities using a Competitive Edge Dynamics M2 chronograph in most cases.
At the top of the table, results for the varmint rifle-style Fulton Armory FAR-15 #003-020, Rock River Arms A4 AR-1520X, Stag Arms Model 6L, and Bushmaster PCW-VMS 24-9SS were three-shot groups, which are marked with asterisks. Obviously, the varmint rifles loved the Black Hills 50-grain V-Max round.
The non-flagged measurements reflect rifles that fired five-shot groups. A Bushmaster BCW-A3F 16M4 took top honors, followed by a Smith & Wesson M&P 15T and a Stag Arms Model 6L. One of the guns at MOA was Mossberg’s affordable MMR Tactical, accompanied by Ruger’s SR-556, the Rock River Arms A4 AR-1520X, and a DPMS RFA2-AP4A.
It’s also interesting to look at the ammo sorting. Of the five-shot results under a minute, the Georgia Arms 223 Rem 55-gr. FMJ G223B-3 and Hornady 223 Rem 62-gr. TAP Barrier No. 8375 took six of the eight top slots. Black Hills’ 60-gr. V-Max and Federal 55-gr. FMJ BP223BL were the other top performers.
Though there were variations in the test conditions and optics, broadly speaking, it’s fair to say that with the right ammo, many over-the-counter ARs can shoot MOA or come very close to minute-of-angle performance. Finding the right ammo or handload for your rifle can be tedious, but with a little patience on your part, the little gun can obviously deliver super results.
AR–15 Barrel Twist Explained
By Jerry Kraus published on September 12, 2013 in AR-15, Firearms, Guest Posts
AR-15 barrels vary greatly between manufacturers and even models in some cases. One of the biggest variables is the “rate of twist.”
I get a great number of questions about this from people who are AR shopping, such as:
•“What is rate of twist?”
•“Why should I care about rate of twist?”
•“What rate of twist should I get in a AR?”
•And sometimes “I know the AR model I want, what rate of twist and barrel length should I get it in?”
I’m going to answer these questions and more.
A Bit of Rifling History
First, let’s recap a little history on rifling so you can look like a genius the next time you are done shooting and you are having a drink with your friends…
Anybody who has thrown a football on Thanksgiving knows that when you put a little spin on the football and successfully throw a spiral, your throw is more accurate. The same is true of musket balls and bullets. By putting a spin on the projectile, it helps the projectile stabilize in flight and makes it noticeably more accurate.
Most likely this concept was originally borrowed from archery. The fletching on arrows (feathers for you non-bowhunters) are actually not straight on the rear of the arrow, they are slightly angled. This makes the arrow spin as it flies through the air, making it dangerously more accurate.
How you do this with musket balls and bullets is by rifling the barrel. Rifling was invented in Germany at the end of the 15th century although it really didn’t catch on until the 1800’s. However, in America, before the American Revolution, there were a relatively large number of German immigrants who were quality barrel makers and gunsmiths and knew the true value of WHY to rifle a barrel and, more importantly, HOW to rifle a barrel. Back then, when they started rifling the barrel of a musket, the musket became known as a “rifle.” This led to the American “long rifle” (more commonly called the “Kentucky Rifle”). The Kentucky Rifle had a devastating effect on the British in the American Revolution because it allowed the Americans to shoot the British at distances far beyond the effective accurate range of the British Brown Bess rifles, which were only accurate to about 80 yards.
You can actually watch how gunsmiths from the 1700s rifled barrels by hand at Fort Boonesborough, KY and it is really fascinating to watch. I have been there a few times and seen this, but you should call ahead to check if they are showing the rifling process the day you go. By the way, Fort Boonesborough is the fort Daniel Boone created in Kentucky and is a great place to take your entire family. I grew up watching the Daniel Boone TV series and loved it.
Types of Rifled Barrels
Enough nostalgia, and on to the technicalities. There are three ways to make a rifled barrel:
•Cold Hammer Forged, which is preferred by many European manufacturers such as H&K
Both Cut rifling and Button rifling are much more common, especially in the USA.
All of these rifling techniques create helical rifling by putting helical grooves in the inside of the barrel that forces the bullet to spin along its long axis and usually with a right hand twist. It is measured by how many inches of bullet travel down the barrel it takes the rifling to twist the bullet one full turn. This measurement is called the “rate of twist” and is expressed as a ratio, such as 1:7, which means the bullet spins one full rotation in seven inches of barrel travel. There are other types of riflingthat are less common but they do not apply to the M-16 / M-4 and AR-15 family of rifles.
Common AR-15 rates of twist vary between 1:7 and 1:12, but why should you care what your rate of twist is, right? The reason is because different bullet weights perform better with certain rates of twist. So if you are just going to go plinking and do short- to medium-range target shooting, you may be happy with 40 grain bullet weights, which would mean a 1:12 rate of twist would be ideal for you.
If you are shooting long range, or want more penetration, you want a heavier bullet in the AR, such as a 62- or preferably a 77-grain. 62-grain bullets prefer a rate of twist around 1:8 and 77-grain bullets weights favor a 1:7 twist rate.
All of this being said, these days finding ANY AR-15 ammo is almost like winning the lottery, and if you are lucky enough to find any at all it is likely going to be the most common bullet weight which is 55-grain (a 1:9 twist rate). Ideal rates of twist for a particular bullet weight are somewhat subjective; however opinions will not vary greatly among the experts.
Bullet Weight: The Ideal Rate of Twist
So to simplify this for you, here is a chart you may want to print:
As you can see from the chart, the heavier the bullet you want to shoot, the faster the rate of twist should be to most effectively stabilize the bullet. It’s not that you can’t shoot AR ammo that is on one end of the spectrum through a barrel with a twist rate at the other end of the spectrum, it’s just not ideal. You won’t get maximum effectiveness of your ammunition. One thing that can happen is over-stabilization; this occurs when you shoot a bullet through a barrel with too fast of a rate of twist for that particular bullet weight.
Here’s an example: you shoot a 40-grain AR bullet through a barrel with a 1:7 rate of twist; the bullet will over-stabilize and this will make the bullet not fly completely true at longer ranges. But you wouldn’t want to shoot a light AR bullet at long ranges anyway.
So what’s the best all-around rate of twist?
The M16A2 comes with a 1:7, and the military typically shoots bullet weights from 52 grains up to 77 grains, with 62 grains being the most common in combat. Most experts would agree that the best all-around rate of twist would be something in the middle such as a 1:8 or 1:9. I personally like the 1:7 or 1:8 rate of twist because I like to shoot long range in the desert. A downside to this is that it is generally believed that the faster rate of twist means the faster you wear out your barrel. That being said, you should ask yourself what kind of shooting you envision yourself doing and pick a rate of twist accordingly.
Lastly, most manufacturers do not offer different rate of twist options within a particular AR model. Typically, each model line is going to have a given rate of twist and that’s it.
So you should know what your intention is with your prospective new AR purchase beforehand, and select a model that has a barrel with a rate of twist that is consistent with your primary goals for the rifle.
Jerry Kraus is a U.S. Army Airborne Infantry veteran and competitive shooter. He has hunted big game in Alaska and Africa. Jerry is a frequent freelance writer published in Soldier Of Fortune magazine. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn
Barrel Twist in the AR-15
By CTD Blogger published on April 14, 2011 in AR-15, Rifle Ammunition
Since the early days of firearm building, armorers noted that if they imparted spin to the projectile that it greatly enhanced in-flight stability and accuracy. The earliest rifles had numerous bands of metal that were forged together and twisted to create the helical shape of the rifle groves. As machining processes were developed and refined, hammer forged barrels became popular as they were much stronger and much more precise.
Rifle twist is represented with a “1;” a colon; and another number, such as 1:7, 1:9, 1:10, 1:12, etc. The second number is the length in inches that it takes for the grooves to make one complete revolution. Thus, a 1:10 twist rifle barrel makes a complete 360 degree revolution in 10 inches. A 1:7 rifle barrel on the other hand makes a complete turn in only 7 inches, giving it a much tighter faster rate of twist (and consequently a greater RPM to the bullet).
The Greenhill Formula, developed by Sir Alfred George Greenhill, lays out the mathematics for computing the optimum spin and rifle twist necessary to stabilize a bullet. His most basic calculation is
where C = 150 (or 180 for muzzle velocities greater than 2,800 fps) D = bullet caliber (in inches) L = bullet length (in inches) and SG = bullet’s specific gravity (10.9 for most lead bullets). For lead core bullets, the second half of the equation is disregarded as the value of the square root of 10.9/10.9 is 1, however the value will need to be calculated for steel core, steel jacketed, or frangible bullets as their specific gravity will vary. Because of the high muzzle velocity of most 5.56/.223 rounds, C should be set to equal 180 in the above formula.
What does all of this mean? For most shooters, not much. For our purposes, it means we can determine the appropriate twist based off of the bullet weight for a given caliber since bullet length is generally a function of the combination of bullet weight and caliber. Having said that, we’re not going to delve any deeper into the mathematics of calculating the optimal barrel twist for various bullet designs. Instead, we’ll lay out the basics and give you some good guidelines to go by when figuring whether or not your AR-15 barrel will stabilize a given round.
In general, you want a faster twist (lower second number) for heavier bullets. Firing lighter bullets through a fast twist barrel can over spin them, causing inaccuracy from overstability and/or spin induced drift. Overstability occurs primarily in light weight projectiles fired from a fast twist AR barrel and causes the bullet nose to remain at a high angle of attack during the descent phase of the flight trajectory, due to extreme gyroscopic stability. Extremely light weight, thin jacketed varmint rounds, that are overspun past 300,000 RPM, can even fly apart from the immense centrifugal forces imparted by the bullet spin.
For 5.56/.223 bullets weighing between 35 and 50 grains, you can use a 1:12 or 1:14 twist. 1:9 (probably the most common twist found in AR rifles) and 1:10 are good, moderate twist rates that are capable of stabilizing bullets weighing from 45 to 69 and even 70 grain bullets. For the heaviest 5.56/.223 bullets, you will need a 1:7 to 1:8 twist barrel in order to reliably stabilize bullets weighting between 69 and 90 grains.
There are some odd barrels out there being used to fire heavily customized .223 loads. Some custom barrels are available in a 1:6.5 twist and are capable of stabilizing 100 grain bullets, though that weight is not very common and difficult, if not impossible, to find. Extremely high velocity loads firing a bullet weighing 55 grains or less, at speeds exceeding 4,000 feet per second, require a very slow twist rate of 1:15 to 1:16.
Most shooters find that a 1:9 twist barrel meets their needs quite well, but if you’re going to be firing heavier match loads, or lighter, faster varmint rounds, you’ll need to search for a barrel with a more appropriate twist rate.
M16 Sights For Your 10/22: Tech Sights TSR100
by Gus Norcross | July 2nd, 2014
The only rifle I was issued during 21 years of service in the Army and Army National Guard was the M16A1. It was equipped with good sights for a combat rifle. The tapered front post was adjustable for elevation and the rear peep sight was adjustable for windage and could be flipped to choose between short (0-200 yards) and long range apertures.
When shooting competitively on the combat rifle team, we would use the short range aperture out to 300 yards and switch to the long range one for 400. Yes, good hits could be made on a silhouette target at 400 yards with the issue weapon and M193 ball ammo if the shooter was up to it.
There are no knobs to play with on the M16A1 sights. The rifle was zeroed at 25 meters with the long range aperture. Then the sight was flipped to the short range aperture providing a “battlesight” zero to 250 yards, meaning a soldier aiming center of mass on a man-sized target out to that distance had a high hit probability. Simple and effective. Simple is good when the fecal material hits the fan. The M16A1 was designed for killin’, not target shooting.
A set of robust iron sights for my 10/22 was what I was looking for when I stumbled on Tech Sights during an internet search. The TSR100 sight set looked strangely familiar like I was experiencing a flashback to the ’70s. There was the M16A1 rear aperture with the windage drum on the right side of the housing and the tapered front sight post. Everything you need and nothing you don’t. $60 from Brownells.
I began installation by removing the factory front sight post with my Williams sight pusher. The Tech Sight instructions suggest beating it out with a punch, but I might want to re-use it so I went with the pusher. Just fit the tool over the front sight and turn the handle until the sight is pushed out of its dovetail.
The tool in the photo is almost three decades old and I’ve used it a lot to change the front sights on numerous rifles. It functions as a remover or installer.
The new Tech Sight front sight is simply tapped into the factory dovetail and a small button-head cap screw is installed on each side to center it. A set screw is also installed through the front to tighten it in the dovetail. Done. This front sight is made entirely of steel.
The steel rear sight is contained in an aluminum housing that is attached to the scope base mounting holes in the receiver with two screws. I secured all screws with Loctite 242 and a couple drops of Loctite 609 Retaining compound were applied to the bottom of the rear sight base during assembly.
At the range, I found the sights to be zeroed for 50 yards right out of the package, with no adjustment necessary. That was a good thing, because my sight adjustment tool that fits the windage drum on G.I. sights wouldn’t fit the Tech Sight drum.
The holes in a G.I. drum are .098″, whereas the Tech Sight is .094″ so the prongs on my sight adjusting tool wouldn’t quite work. Why not use the mil-spec size? Makes no sense to me.
The new sights increased the factory sight radius from 15 inches to 23. Longer sight radius means less aiming error, which is handy when you’re eyesight isn’t the greatest. Moving from 50 yards to 100 yards, I simply flipped the rear aperture to the long range position and continued to fire. The zero was very close if not perfect. My test ammo was Federal Automatch and CCI Select, both rated at 1200 fps. Both rounds shot well at 50 yards but CCI edged out Federal at 100 yards.
Gripes? Only two. As mentioned previously the sight adjustment holes should be made to mil-spec so a common sight adjusting tool will fit them and I would prefer this product be made in the USA rather than Taiwan.
The rifle? A brand new 50th anniversary edition I bought online for $199. The trigger could use some work (understatement) and since I was shooting long range I swapped it out for a Kidd match trigger from one of my other rifles. True, the trigger cost as much as the rifle, but once you’ve used one it’s hard to return to the factory unit.
If you are looking for a robust set of sights for your 10/22, the Tech Sight product is definitely worth considering in my opinion.
Fact or Fiction: The Tale of the Tape
by Brad Fitzpatrick | June 26th, 2014
Rumor has it that duct tape over the muzzle of a firearm can prevent mud and debris from obstructing your barrel and doesn’t affect accuracy. Is that true?
We might not remember the first time we hear a rumor, but in this case I remember it clearly. Long ago, a group of American outdoor writers tagged along with some serious boar and sambar hunters in Australia. On the hunt, every rifle had a ring of duct tape around the muzzle, purportedly to prevent mud from clogging the bore and creating a dangerous situation.I thought it was a waste of valuable duct tape at best. I believed tape over the muzzle wouldn’t affect accuracy enough to cause you to miss a 300 pound pig at 40 yards, but I had my doubts that the tape had zero effect on the accuracy of a sub-MOA gun at 100 yards or more.
Serious shooters worry about barrel vibration, bedding, barrel heating and a host of other details that can rob accuracy. A wrinkled, gooey, silver blob of duct tape blocking the exit door of your rifle seemed enough to make a serious rifle crank’s knee buckle.
When the opportunity arose to provide ideas for the new “Fact or Fiction” series, this was the first theory I wanted to test. Initially, I planned to include only a .223 in the test, but I thought it should be expanded. I doubted that using a larger caliber rifle would change the results, but it was important to be sure. In addition, I tested a revolver as well to see if it reacted the same way as the long guns.
The test was going to mimic standard accuracy tests at RifleShooter and Handguns magazines, which meant three 3-shot groups at 100 yards for the rifles and four 5-shot groups at 25 yards for the handgun. The first test would be an average grouping with no tape on the muzzle for a baseline accuracy test to compare with the duct tape results. The second test involved shooting the rifle or handgun with fresh duct tape applied to the muzzle for every shot, and the last test required me to fire the first shot with tape on the muzzle and to fire the remaining shots without adding more tape, which simulates real field conditions since the tape would be blocking the muzzle for the first shot and would be gone for the subsequent follow-up shots.
For the revolver test, I used a Ruger GP100 with a six-inch barrel. I used two guns for the rifle test: a Remington 700 .223 that is extremely accurate and a Howa chambered in .375 Ruger. In retrospect, choosing to shoot a .375 Ruger in a test that required me to put almost 30 rounds downrange was not the brightest decision I’ve made, but comparing a .223 and .375 helped examine whether or not caliber or energy affected the tape myth.
In truth, like a dummy, I slapped the first piece of duct tape on the barrel while it was still hot, and the adhesive goop on the duct tape seemed to melt into the exterior metal. After an impromptu cleaning session to be sure that the gray, gooey film would indeed come off my rifle, I began waiting for the barrel to cool completely between shots. When you’re shooting three groups of four shots with a pistol and three groups of three with two different rifles, that’s a lot of barrel cooling time.
The results with the .223 were extremely unimpressive. With or without tape, the rifle grouped around an inch. The overall average with fresh tape for all three shots was exactly an inch, and when tape was applied for the first shot the average was .95 inches at 100 yards — meaning duct tape over the muzzle has very, very little effect on accuracy.
Or, in some cases, it makes the rifle more accurate. That’s not completely true, but in the two tests with the booming .375 Ruger, the rifle was actually more accurate with the duct tape in place. Without the tape, the howling Howa averaged 1.83 inch groups, about as expected. The average group with tape on all three shots was 1.76 inches, and with tape on the muzzle for the first shot it averaged 1.66 inches.
The revolver test was last, and the resulting groups were similarly average; at 25 yards it grouped 2.28 inches without tape, 2.39 inches with tape on all three shots, and 2.11 inches with tape on the first shot.
In essence, duct tape doesn’t affect accuracy at all. The idea that the bullet strikes the tape and is somehow sent off-target is completely false, in large part because the tape is long gone before the bullet reaches the muzzle. With tape on the muzzle and a cartridge in the chamber, the air in the barrel is trapped. When the bullet begins traveling down the bore, the air pressure increases. Duct tape is tough, but it isn’t going to withstand thousands of pounds of pneumatic pressure.
So, the rumor about tape over the muzzle isn’t a rumor at all — the accuracy remains consistent, and you don’t have to worry about firing a rifle with a plugged barrel and injuring or killing yourself or others. But while the tape doesn’t negatively affect your rifle’s accuracy, it can affect your rifle’s finish, especially if you don’t remove that nasty adhesive right away.
A Free report from the publishers of Concealed Carry Magazine
July 2014 • Issue No. 27
Let Freedom Ring!
BY TIM SCHMIDT - USCCA FOUNDER
For 17 days in June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, a document that both captured and expressed the deep convictions of the American people and would eventually be known as our nation's ultimate symbol of liberty.
Collectively, the Declaration, the Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights (1789) are known as The Charters of Freedom—and while each of these played a crucial role in the birth and development of the United States, 75.9% of Americans polled named the Declaration of Independence as the most important document in our nation's history.
Among the 56 names listed at the bottom of the document, Jefferson's signature can be found in Column 3, below Richard Henry Lee and above Benjamin Harrison.
Although Jefferson went on to become the 3rd President of the United States, he is perhaps more notably remembered as the chief author of the Declaration and as one of our nation's founding fathers.
Fast forward to today, in the midst of our ongoing fight for the freedoms affirmed in our Constitution and envisioned by these forefathers, and Jefferson is still entirely relevant. You see, Jefferson was a strong believer in personal responsibility and the rights of the individual.
And I can't think of any right that carries more responsibility than the right to keep and bear arms.
Today, it's estimated that there are over 10 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States.
Think about it: 10 million people who have taken responsibility for their own safety, and for the safety of those they love.
I don't know about you, but those are some numbers I really like.
The bottom line is, we are a force of good.
Now here's something really cool:
In 1809, Thomas Jefferson quoted Cesare Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishments when he said that "laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."
That's a pretty powerful statement, one that rings just as true today as it surely did back then.
I find it incredibly reassuring to know that what the USCCA—and what you and I—have committed ourselves to is backed by over 200 years of American history.
This Independence Day, take a moment to look back at the incredible spirit of those who came before us. I can only hope that 200 years from now, people will look back and remember us as the ones who—like Jefferson—stood up and fought for what we so passionately believed in: faith, family, and FREEDOM.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
Publisher - Concealed Carry Report
From the Annals of Police Militarization: EPA Shuts Down MRAP Transfers
By Robert Farago on July 3, 2014
Not exactly gun but . . . TTAG reader RS writes:
You may be interested to know that about two weeks ago the EPA notified DOD that ALL engine powered equipment transfers to ANYONE ANYWHERE was to stop. This includes to fire departments, police, other government entities including GSA and including foreign military sales. This should be shutting off the conduit of MRAP crack to law enforcement. But as they are “special,” who knows? Fire or cop the minimal miles per year isn’t doing diddly in the pollution level. Perhaps the smoke from the fire I’m going to put out might be a large issue? Right now, as Obama closes the Army, a HUGE quantity of great low mile/hour stuff is available. In reality this should be going into storage yards of THE NEXT WAR.
AR-18: ArmaLite’s Other Black Rifle
By: Brian Meyer | June 30, 2014
Known for their development of the famed AR-15, Armalite’s AR-18 was another important tactical trendsetter in the black rifle space.
Evolution of the AR-18
In the early ’50s, Eugene Stoner worked on the 7.62 x 51mm AR-10 rifle, and after several years of revision, in 1956-57, the rifle was offered up as Armalite’s entry into the U.S. military’s trials to replace the M1 Garand as the standard service rifle. Stoner’s AR-10 went up against the FN FAL (dubbed the T-48 in trials) and the M-14 (dubbed the T-44) in a competition to provide the U.S. with the “rifle of the future.”
The AR-10 was not selected, so ArmaLite licked their wounds and moved on to continue designing cutting-edge firearms using state-of-the art materials (plastics, polymers, titanium and Stellite) when other manufacturers were still dealing in steel and wood.
In 1956, Stoner was also working on a new lightweight rifle, the AR-15, which fired the 5.56mm/.223 round that the U.S. and NATO were exploring. This rifle was eventually adopted by the military, beginning with the U.S. Air Force in 1961, and became the standard military rifle.
At the same time he was working on the AR-15, Stoner collaborated with ArmaLite engineer Arthur Miller on a lightweight, easy to manufacture rifle to be shopped to U.S. allies whose armed forces couldn’t afford the expensive AR-10. The AR-16 was, for all intents and purposes, an experiment. It was made of sheet metal stampings and on machinery that was not expensive and could be operated by indigenous personnel in developing nations.
The rifle was designed to have only a few machined and milled parts, including the barrel, bolt and carrier, and flash hider. Surprisingly, this rifle wasn’t intended to supplant the U.S. military’s M-14 rifles, but rather, it was designed to be a cheap and easy to manufacture rifle to support Asian, African and South American allies in the battle against communism.
Unfortunately, the rifle didn’t really make it past the prototype stage, but the lessons learned in its design and construction would be used in ArmaLite’s next automatic rifle, the AR-18.
The AR-18 was designed and patented after Stoner’s departure from ArmaLite, but it still bore some design elements from his previous AR-10, AR-15 and AR-16 offerings. Arthur Miller, who worked on the AR-16 project with Stoner, along with two other engineers named George Sullivan and Charles Dorchester, began, in 1962, to design a new AR-16.
It would be in a 5.56mm format and easy for unskilled labor to manufacture. Miller and his team took the lessons learned from the AR-16 and put them into practice with the AR-18 design. Again, it was made largely of stamped metal, and the number of forging and machining operations required for manufacture were minimized.
When the rifle debuted in 1964, it was a pretty neat offering—shorter than the AR-15, with an 18-inch barrel instead of the 20-inch AR-15. It also had a clever side-folding stock that made vehicle transport much easier than carrying a full-sized rifle. Unfortunately, by the time it was released, the U.S. was entrenched in the Vietnam Conflict and had little to no desire to adopt the new AR-18, although they did test a few. It didn’t seem like too many other nations wanted the new rifle either.
Production was started in 1967 on the rifle based on some limited orders at the Howa factory in Japan (ArmaLite at the time was more of a design and prototype company, not a manufacturing facility), and even this was problematic. The Japanese government forbade the shipment of weapons to nations actively involved in the war in Southeast Asia. As a result, production was moved to Costa Mesa, Calif.
The AR-18 had a civilian counterpart called the AR-180. This was designed to be a sporting rifle or a police long arm, and was semi-automatic only. It sold marginally well. It seemed that the only enthusiastic users of the AR-18 were those in the Irish Republican Army, which used illegally purchased and stolen ArmaLite rifles in Northern Ireland against the British, and even nicknamed the rifle “The Widowmaker.” In 1980, after roughly 16 years of production in Japan, the U.S. and, later, in Dagenham, England, production ceased.
My First AR-18
At a gun show in February of 2004, I got an almost identical representation of the AR-18/180 that Arnold used in The Terminator. It was even missing the butt stock just like the rifle in the movie. The best part was they were only asking $300 for it.
I bought the rifle and took it home with the intent of quickly getting a new stock from an online vendor. Wrong. Evidently, butt stocks for the AR-180 are made of “un-obtanium.” They were unavailable at any price, so I had my machinist friend make a mounting block to attach to the rear of the sheet metal receiver, and I put an Ace FN-FAL style folder on it. It wasn’t historically accurate, but I could at least fire it from the shoulder.
So by March of 2004, my dream rifle had a stock and could be fired. I took it for a test run. My impressions were that the designers did a lot of things right with the AR-18/180 and quite a bit wrong. It was fairly accurate, as long as I stayed with 55-grain bullets. The 1:12 rifling would turn heavier projectiles into boat-shaped holes in the target.
The trigger was very heavy compared to most AR-15s I’ve fired. Also, the proprietary magazine release and mag-locking cut in the magazine made finding the correct magazine difficult. The AR-15 can use an AR-18 mag, but not vice-versa.
What did they do right? The gas system is very, very good. My rifle has eaten every round I’ve thrown at it. The ergonomics are pretty good, too. Plus the folding stock makes it handy to carry. However, all things considered, I wish the Terminator had chosen a rifle with a better trigger. While I still think my AR-180 is cool, it’s not the go-to gun I imagined it would be after watching that film back in 1984.
I shoot it every once in a while, and my range mates all think it looks cool, but after owning my own ArmaLite AR-180, I came to the inexorable conclusion that I’d have to move on to my second favorite semiautomatic to appear in a film. I saw Robin Williams in this movie called The Survivors, and he had this Valmet M-76—maybe we’ll talk about that next time.
This article appeared in the June 12, 2014 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
BoomFab Introduces Lightweight Titanium Bolt Carrier
By: Elwood Shelton | June 24, 2014
Like most competitors, 3-gun shooters are always on the lookout for an edge.
Of course, gaining an upper hand when behind the trigger is typically earned through hard work and practice. But, there are component upgrades which many have turned to gain an advantage in their quest to become top gun.
Low-mass reduced-gas operating systems in AR-style rifles have become a popular option among those aiming to shave seconds off their time. And BoomFab has its sights set on exactly these shooters with its Titane Carrier.
The Missouri manufacturer recently introduced its CNC machined titanium carrier, billing it as the lightest production model on the market. It’s a claim that is hard to argue against with the Titane tipping the scales at 2.6 ounces stripped and 4.4 ounces with a pre-installed gas key.
The carrier’s slight proportions makes it ideal for a low-mass system, which is based off a relatively simple concept. The idea behind using ultralight components in the reciprocating mechanisms of a semi-automatic firearm is to use less gas to cycle the gun. Reducing the amount of gas in the system, in turn, equates to less muzzle rise and felt recoil, allowing for faster follow-up shots. Low mass systems also tend to chip away at a gun’s overall weight, making it more maneuverable.
Early on, shooters after a low-mass system sometimes went to drastic ends – such as drilling their carriers to reduce their weight. There were also attempts to manufacture carriers out of aluminum, but the metal did not prove resilient enough over the long haul. Titanium, on the other hand, has the benefit of being ultralight and supremely durable, making it ideal as a carrier material.
This is not the first time gunmakers have seen the benefits of the low-mass, tough metal. Taurus has used titanium for the frames of a number of its revolvers for a spell. Amalgamated Titanium not only produces bolt carriers out of the material, but also lowers, uppers and forends. And titanium nitrite has become a popular coating for carriers, due to its hardness.
BoomFab’s carrier is fully compatible with standard mil-spec AR-15 bolts, firing pins and retaining pins. It comes pre-installed with a mil-spec gas key and staked torx fasteners. The Titane Carrier also can be purchased as a complete bolt carrier group. This includes, mill-spec HP/MP tested C158 bolt, firing pin, cam pin and retaining pin.
Putting the most recent material technology in a rifle does come with a price tag. The Ttiane Carrier with gas key has a MSRP of $479; a complete carrier group has a MSRP of $579.
By WILSON RING
MONTPELIER, Vt. — A Vermont gun importer is blaming the White House for its laying off of 41 workers because the government blocked its plan to bring nearly $30 million worth of antique, American-made military rifles home from South Korea.
The White House’s refusal to allow Century International Arms to re-import the World War II-era M1 Garand rifles is an apparent result of new rules set up last summer concerning requests to ship military-grade firearms back into the United States.
“This importation was denied despite our explaining that the denial would harm the company and pointing out that there is no rational, gun-control reason to block the importation of these historic, 70-year-old firearms,” the Fairfax company said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.
An email to the White House press office seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday, but a press release from last August said the administration was blocking the re-importation of military firearms as part of two “common-sense executive actions” designed to keep dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands. The decisions were part of a gun violence reduction plan first announced in January 2013.
President Barack Obama’s administration said the policy — with only a few exceptions, such as for museums — is intended to keep “military-grade firearms” off the streets.
But Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. Peter Shumlin had urged the White House to allow the deal to go through, noting the M1 is highly valued by collectors of military memorabilia and the rifle itself would even have been exempted from last year’s proposed assault weapons ban.
Century Arms attorney Brady Toensing said in a statement Friday the deal was a routine transaction and all approvals were in place in February of 2013 until the company discovered the White House had intervened and blocked the deal. The decision was followed in August by the executive action banning the re-importation of military firearms.
“But there is no rational reason to block these firearms from coming back to the United States,” Toensing said. “It is a heavy and cumbersome rifle, but it is highly sought-after by collectors and prized as a collection piece.”
In their May 2013 letter, Leahy and Shumlin said the South Korean government had been given preliminary approval for the deal last year and the departments of State, Defense and Justice had signed off on it.
“This lawful pending retransfer agreement is important to Vermont’s economy and crucial to more than 200 Vermonters who are employed by Century Arms,” the letter said. “Accordingly, we ask your assistance to return the retransfer request to the Department of State without objection so that it may move forward through the importation process.”
The letter said the M1 rifle has not been produced for more than 50 years. Leahy and Shumlin called the M1 a historically valuable and collectible firearm that is provided to citizens through the government-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program, which provides gun safety and marksmanship training. And the M1 was specifically exempted from a proposed 2013 weapons ban.
“This proposed exemption reinforces the fact that these are collectible firearms not the target of law enforcement concern,” the letter said.
Century Arms describes itself as North America’s largest importer of surplus firearms and accessories.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse."
President - CARGO
"If you can read this, thank a teacher. For the fact that it is in English, thank a Soldier."
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SPECIAL OPERATIONS TACTICAL SHOOTING
YOU are a shooter, and you want to become a BETTER shooter. Correct?
If the answer is YES, then I want to speak very straightforward with you for a minute. My name is Scott Phillips, and many of you know me, you know where I’ve been, and you know what I’ve done. For those that don’t know me, the bottom line is that I’m a former Navy SEAL, and I’m passionate about teaching good people how to shoot like the very best shooters in the world.
I have included a LONG LIST of testimonials from former students of mine, and among the many, many, many great comments regarding the class, there is one common theme: EVERY PERSON WHO HAS ATTENDED MY TRAINING…WHETHER THEY ARE EXPERIENCED, INEXPERIENCED, YOUNG, OLD, FIT, OR UNFIT…EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WILL TELL YOU THESE 3 THINGS:
#1. This class is worth WAY MORE than the financial investment!
#2. This class is FUN and WILL TAKE YOUR SHOOTING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
#3. YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS CLASS ASAP!
YOU ARE THE PERSON THIS CLASS WAS DESIGNED FOR!
I have two classes coming up on July 12th and August 2nd, 2014
I'd love to see YOU there!
During this one day course, I will teach you the EXACT SAME fundamental combat pistol shooting techniques that are currently being employed by our nation's most Elite Counter Terrorist Operatives, across the globe, with GREAT SUCCESS!
Listen to what recent course graduates had to say about this training:
"That was the best class (high school, college, or military) that I have ever taken. The instructor cadre and yourself create a safe, fun, and relaxed environment conducive to learning. I have been telling anyone that will listen that if they have ever even considered shooting a pistol they need to take your class. It's great because no matter what level shooter someone is they can benefit from your class. This is definitely a ministry you were called to do. These are skills that I can pass on to my family. Thanks again for everything. I will be taking this class once
"Thank you, doesn't explain the satisfaction I received from the day long training at TacFrog! You know I can shoot, from my twelve years with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety and four of those years on the State Regional Pistol team, BUT the mechanics and the mind set you and your team imparted was more than just "firing a gun or shooting". It made all the pieces of the puzzle fit!
This course is the complete package for any shooter, regardless of age, gender or experience. Your support team was awesome with their professionalism, courtesy and friendliness."
- David Hancock, Texas State Trooper & Owner / Instructor - Accurate Firearms Training, Inc.
"After the training, I now have the basics and confidence to be able to protect my family when needed. I know what I need to practice, and based on the improvement I experienced in only one day, I can only say that this course is worth 10x what it cost. Everyone that owns a handgun owes it to his or her family to take this course. Thanks again from an "over-the-hill" 64 year old grandfather.
Former Navy SEAL
Saturday, July 12th , 2014 (Canton, TX)
Saturday, August 2nd , 2014 (Canton, TX)
9AM - 5PM
Arm Abilene Private Range
$399 (Early Bird Pre-Registration Discount )
$599 (Game Day - IF available)
via email at
From Military Special Operations:
I am currently on active duty serving as a SEAL Operator at Naval Special Warfare Development Group. I had the privilege of working along side Scott Phillips in 2004. I witnessed, on a daily basis, Scott's unique and gifted ability to teach a variety of subject matter areas, from tactical operations and combatives, to advanced firearms training and use-of-force policy.
Scott has an unmatched talent when it comes to being an instructor and teacher. All of his combined experience in a variety of tactical environments, each with a different mission, gives Scott a much greater perspective in the tactical world. Scott combines all of this experience to bring his own specialized vision when it comes to firearms, combatives, and tactical instruction. Scott has my highest recommendation as an instructor and teacher.
- SOCS L.M.
I've had the privilege of learning from some of the top instructors in the world, including U. S. Army Special Forces, DELTA, and Navy SEALs. As a former Navy SEAL, Scott is the real deal in a world of fake's, fraud's, and "wanna -be's. He is the most skilled warrior physically, mentally, and spiritually I have ever met, PERIOD! If you want to learn anything in regards to shooting, tactics, and fighting, no matter what your skill level is, I recommend Scott Phillips. And when it comes to passing that knowledge on to students, there is none better. And despite his incredible resume, there is no ego with Scott. He is the ultimate professional.
If you are searching for the best training out there, that will accommodate ALL of your training needs, I highly recommend Scott Phillips and TacFrog Global.
- Jimmy Littlefield
Former U.S. Army Special Forces "Green Beret"
Police Officer / Federal Air Marshal
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Instructor
Take the course - Scott is one of the best out there. Not only is he highly proficient at weapons...but, a phenomenal instructor as well.
- Rex Vehrs
Army Ranger - Multiple Tour Combat Veteran
Federal Law Enforcement and Leadership Instructor
From Law Enforcement Special Operations:
You do not want to miss this course! Scott is one of the finest firearms instructors I've had the opportunity to learn from. If you have to sacrifice a bit to attend this course, do it. You will never regret it.
DEA Afghanistan Special Operations
Scott is a great shooter and a better instructor. He has a natural talent for inspiring confidence in his students and making them better than they think they can be.
- Sgt. Doug Deaton
Plano, TX Police Department SWAT
From Armed Citizens:
I believe that I learned more this one-day class than in any other firearms training that I have ever taken. By listening carefully, following instructions and throwing away all of my previous habits (both good and bad), my handgun shooting dramatically improved over the course of one day.
Before the class, I was concerned that my lack of military or law enforcement background or lack of formal advanced training would be an issue during the class or with the instructors. I could not have been more wrong. Never once during the class did I feel as if I was belittled or second class because I didn't have specific law enforcement or military training or background.
Without exception, the instructors were all exceptional professionals. They are all warriors and patriots of the highest order. I believe that this class will make you a better shooter and TacFrog Global's instruction is on par with anything offered in the world today at any price.
- Paul Curtis
President - CARGO (Citizens Association for Responsible Gun Ownership)
Best place in Texas for Combat Handgun training! - John Wideman
TacFrog Global’s Combat Hand Gun Course, led by Scott Phillips, is one of the best teaching environments I have experienced. As a mom who was looking to become familiar and comfortable with a handgun for personal protection, this class was perfect for my needs. I purchased my gun about a month before taking the class, after learning in the class all of the rules for gun safety and the process that needs to be followed for proper gun handling, I am very confident in my shooting skills. I frequently get asked where I learned to shoot when I am at the Gun Range, and I always recommend Tac Frog Global!!!
- Katie Lee
First time shooter here...never ever touched a gun before June 16th...on the range with Scott and TacFrog Global on June 23rd. Thanks, Scott, for an intense day...in the very best sense of the word...intense, impressive, instructional, empowering!
- Claudia Zelazny
Overall, the best class I have ever been through.... I learned more than words can say. If you have a CHL, thinking about getting a CHL, just want to learn the CORRECT way to practice and become a proficient gun handler, you need to go to this class taught by Scott Phillips. If you don't go to Scott's class, you are cheating yourself... and possibly putting yourself in danger if you ever need to handle your handgun in a defensive manner. Scott is a world-class instructor that just so happens to be in our own backyard. I can't wait for the next one.
- Shad Reif, D.C.
I'm an avid hunter, fisherman, and an all around outdoorsman. I've had my Concealed Handgun License going on 15+ years, and I thought I knew how to shoot and I thought I was a good shot. I did take Scott's course, and at the end of the day, my blinders had been removed. Not only does Scott teach you how to see in front of you, he also teaches you how to see 180 degrees. You would think that with all of Scott's training, knowledge, and discipline, that you would be intimidated by all of this, but not with Scott.He's got the patience of Job, especially dealing with people who have live rounds! LOL! I am thankful and blessed to have Scott offer his knowledge and training to us civilians. Thank you and God bless!
- Joe Delbert
I was fortunate enough to make it to this class. Best Father's Day gift EVER! If you didn't make this class or want to go to a combat handgun class (or combat anything for that matter) DON"T GO ANYWHERE ELSE!! I always figured I knew a lot about firearms, as I grew up shooting, and I'd do OK if it came to a shooting scrape. I learned pretty quickly that I knew nothing, except maybe which end of the gun the bullet came out of. :) But I know a lot more now than I did! Just gotta practice it. Thanks Scott! You are a world-class warrior and a humble man of God. Go figure!
- Chris Adkins
U.S. Navy Veteran
Last Saturday was spent with Scott Phillips from TacFrog Global at our private facility in Canton, and the shooting was intense...as well as the heat. If you want to see your shooting skills taken to a level that you have not been able to reach, contact this organization. I have trained with sheriff departments, police departments, Marine gunnies, FBI firearm instructors, etc. You will find none better than Scott. If you are a serious shooter... take a class under this former Navy SEAL.
- Jim Lynch
Tactical and Defensive of Texas
Hey Scott, Thanks so much for inviting me to your Combat Handgun Class. It met every expectation that I had. I just want to let you know that even though you are a great shooter, you may even be a better teacher. I might be more impressed with you for that, because you can share your knowledge with all of us.
- Don Gray
I appreciate the time you spent with me on the range. I am thankful for the opportunity to train with someone who cares and is willing to go the extra mile to see I get the proper training from the start.
So many programs today present false information, and will not take the time to get to know the habits of others, much less take the time to correct those habits. Especially when it didn't sink in the first 50 times.
The training was beyond a doubt the best instruction I could, and I am now confident, will ever receive. I appreciate the Christian atmosphere with some cutting up and relaxed conversation. You can't imagine how much that makes a difference to the average student. Most cannot understand the sacrifice it takes to be a warrior, much less one who dedicates his life to Christ. Thank you my brother for your sacrifice and thank you for giving the glory to God. What an awesome day to share with my brothers.
Your ADD and dyslexic student. Randy Haver - U.S. Naval Construction Battalion
I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you letting me attend the class. I love the way you teach / coach. I took it to heart when you told us to just listen to you & do what you say & we'll be better shooters. I tried to do just that & I hope I didn't let you down. I honestly feel that by using what you taught us, I'm already better than I was before the class & will continue to train hard. I'm committed to being the best / most responsible shooter I can be. Thanks for sharing your incredible skills & real world knowledge with us.
It has been my pleasure to know Scott for some time now, and it is without any reservation at all that I highly recommend Scott Phillips to you for your defensive weapons and security training and preparation.
I consider Scott not only a friend and a patriot, but most importantly a mature Christian who is always willing to go the extra mile in whatever he sets out to accomplish. Scott's military service in which he served as one of our elite Navy SEAL's brings a warehouse of knowledge that any weapons enthusiast, security conscious organization, or law enforcement group should be pleased to call on.
I have personally called on Scott's vast experience and will do so again. If I can be of any service or answer any questions please do not hesitate to call or email me.
- Larry Browning LBrowning11@verizon.net 972-989-3278
It's open to law abiding citizens who are at least 21 yoa, or have graduated high school and are headed into the service, or 16 yoa and attending with a parent.
The class is filling up FAST! I'm capping it at 20 students, and the registrations are already coming in!