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Fun with ammo

Ahab again.

So, short story – I had some steel cased ammo blow up in one of my guns. Fortunately, it was a revolver and not a semi-auto, so I wasn’t picking up pieces of pistol from here to Peoria.

You can read about it here at Call me Ahab. Side note, I’ve now contacted Wolf about the product failure.

Perfect form

Back in June, I wrote a satirical piece about how to write an anti-gun editorial, which was intended to be funny. I always find it somewhat depressing and yet slightly humorous when I find an article that follows the script quite exactly, like this article in the Guardian.

With the ominous title of “Guns take the place of pride in American family values”, the article is basically an homage to all the foolish, misguided arguments that gun control people toss around, with a healthy dose of how eeeeeeeeevil the NRA is. For example, they take some potshots at the recent book “Armed America”, which consisted of pictures of gun owners from all walks of life.

To look at the photographs in Kyle Cassidy’s book Armed America is to glimpse a surreal world. Or at least it seems that way to many non-Americans. Cassidy spent two years taking portrait shots of gun owners and their weapons across the US. The result is a disturbing tableau of happy families, often with pets and toddlers, posing with pistols, assault rifles and the sort of heavy machine-guns usually associated with a warzone.

I particularly enjoyed how they subtly imply that all Americans are crazy lunatics with full-automatic weapons behind every door – I don’t suppose it’s worth mentioning that no one in “Armed America” had a “heavy machine gun” of any type. Of course, I would probably die of a heart attack of the Guardian printed something factually correct about gun owners.

The editorial basically amounts to two things: 1) A hit piece on gun owners, and 2) an article that wallows in its own smug self-satisfaction. I suppose if you enjoy reading an article that stands as a shining example of European arrogance and condescension towards the American way of life, you could go read it.

Not a lost cause

Ahab here, sitting in for Sebastian as he travels back from the Gun Blogger’s Rendezvous. On a side note, thank god for Firefox’s built in spellchecker, because without it I would never spell “rendezvous” correctly.

Anyway, I was going to post about The Governator signing the microstamping bill, but Sebastian beat me to it, and with some strong words as well. I pretty much agree with him on that – it’s a retarded bill that will do nothing to fight crime. We’ve got until 2010 to get it overturned; so the fight isn’t completely lost yet.

However, on to the actual topic of today’s blog, which is those dirty Frenchies – admittedly in this case they’re not “really” French, they’re actually from Quebec. Quebec, for those that don’t know is a province in Canada which doesn’t want to be part of Canada, but still wants to enjoy the benefits of being part of Canada. Now, this may surprise you, but I’m not going to say bad things about the folks from Quebec in this blog post; in fact I have many complimentary things to say about them.

The reason for that is this editorial, which I found in Le Quebecois Libre, which translates to “Free Quebecois”, with Quebecois being the word for a person from Quebec. From what I can tell, Le Quebecois Libre is a strongly libertarian publication, so I can only imagine that it doesn’t represent a huge number of the Quebecois. That notwithstanding, it is refreshing to read this sort of editorial coming from north of the border.

The article was clearly written with the US in mind, since it directly references the 2nd Amendment; and what I really enjoy about the piece is the slightly sarcastic tone it takes. The author has a clear disdain for the proponents and ideals of gun control, as he reveals in paragraphs like this:

Digging deeper into their repertoire of justifications, gun control advocates will pull out a favorite claim – that guns are responsible for a vast number of deaths from domestic violence. Indeed, some might even cite dubious statistics claiming that there exist more gun-related killings within families than instances in which private gun use repelled a criminal. But this argument, too, has its assumptions. One such assumption is that, aside from guns, there exist no deadly objects within anybody’s home – such that if one member of a family wanted to kill another, he or she would simply be out of luck for a lack of means. This, of course, implies that the five drowned children of Andrea Yates are still alive and well, that all food is eaten solely using spoons and spatulas, and that human beings are all limbless torsos who have no arms or legs to deliver deadly punches or kicks.

It’s harsh, but it’s true. The author continues the essay, and eventually reaches the ultimate point – that gun control isn’t really about guns, or saving lives. It’s about control. The entire article is definitely worth reading – and it reinforces the title of this entry, that Canada is not a lost cause.

Drinking and Packing

Dredged from the archives at What Would John Wayne Do!

I know that a lot of us carry firearms for personal protection, which had led me to wonder about the title of the thread. When you’re carrying, do you imbibe? Obviously, we all know that you shouldn’t drink and drive, but what about drinking and packing?

Please note, I am not a legal expert, and nothing I say should be construed as legal advice or counsel, please feel free to ignore me, and heed me only at your own risk.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let us look at the particulars of drinking and packing.

First thing we all know is that alcohol and firearms don’t mix. I can personally say I’ve had that pounded into my head for years, and the 2 alcohol related firearms accidents I’ve been witness to have reinforced that feeling. So, we can eliminate getting drunk and carrying; I think everyone’s okay with that.

Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation. You and the missus go out for dinner and a movie. At dinner, you have two drinks. Being a man of decent size and pacing yourself, two drinks does not raise your BAC above the legal limit, nor impair your judgment (you think). On your way to your vehicle, you are confronted and blah blah blah, you end up plugging some citizen who wanted to lighten you and wife of your goods. When the police officer shows up, how do you think his reaction will be if he smells alcohol on you? Now imagine the same scenario, except you are sober as a Baptist preacher on Sunday.

My feeling is that if I’m planning on having a few drinks, I leave the pistol at home; better yet so that I don’t have to go around unarmed, I don’t drink when I’m out. Plus, it saves me a tonne of money; buying booze from a liquor store and drinking at home is a lot less expensive. A great way to kill two birds with one stone is to volunteer to be the designated driver. I do this a lot as it allows me to stay sober, stay armed, and I get to laugh at the antics of all my drunk friends. I call that a win-win situation.

There are some states that forbid CCW holders from imbibing while they are in public and armed, some states don’t permit CCW holders to bring their firearms into bars. Know your local laws regarding weapons and alcohol before you do anything.

And remember that alcohol and firearms don’t mix.

It felt like this was especially appropriate as St. Patty’s Day is tomorrow. Indiana (where I love) has no prohibitions on carrying concealed in bars; I’ll be the designated driver for tonight’s St. Practice Day festivities, pretty much for the reasons stated above.

Gun control, circa 1782

So, I was going through some of my great-great grandfather’s things, and I found this press release that was disseminated to all “Citizens of the Crown in the Colonies” back in the 1700’s.  Needless to say, I was quite surprised to find the Violence Policy Center (back then it was the “Victory Policy Centre) involved.  Enjoy!

Fifty calibre long rifles are an ideal tool for insurrectionists. They are a real and present danger to our forces in the colonies, yet are easily found even in the possession of farmers and other peasants. Fifty calibre long rifles are specifically designed to engage small targets with precise accuracy at ranges unheard of on the battlefield. These precision weapons combine long range and tremendous accuracy to create a weapon that has a range beyond anything that our infantrymen carry. Officers, messengers, cannon crews, even our daring cavalry are vulnerable to accurate fire from these deadly rifles at ranges exceeding 200 yards! The entire infrastructure of the colonies is threatened by these weapons, as they give the insurrectionist the ability to strike individual targets at distances normally reserved for cannon fire. A Citizen of the Crown would be shocked to learn that these “rifles” are so common amongst the colonials, that even small children are well versed in their use. These rifles are specifically designed for great accuracy against fast moving targets at extreme ranges beyond the reach of musket fire. They are “purpose-designed” and “purpose-built” weapons. This terminology is used in colonial literature to describe weapons that are made for a specific, narrow purpose, in this case for long range shooting—highly accurate firing at a target from a significant distance. Musket fire and civilized warfare is conducted at ranges of 50 yards, even our boys fine Brown Bess Musket does not fire accurately beyond that range. 50 yards is less than the distance across Trafalgar Square. These .50 calibre long rifles are accurate at ranges of up to 100 yards, and in the hands of an expert marksman, even 300! At 300 yards, a Colonial marksman could easily pick off our officers, leading to a wholly uncivilized engagement of infantry just “having it out” on the battlefield. 50 calibre rounds are one of the smaller and lighter bullets available, which allows the Colonial marksmen to carry more rounds and powder than one of our boys for the same amount of weight. The potential for these rifles to be abused by the insurrectionists in a manner inconsistent with civilized warfare is difficult to overstate. It is a known fact that the criminal known as The Swamp Fox has hundreds of these “long rifles” in his possession, and his men are well trained in their use. As recently noted at the Battle of Mingo Creek, our brave forces were barraged from all sides by fire from these deadly weapons, and their foe did not even have the courage to face them on an open field. England is in the midst of a Colonial Insurrection. The Colonial forces are arming themselves to the very teeth with these incredibly destructive weapons of war. It is time to regulate 50 calibre long rifles by bringing them under the control of the Crown, so that our soldiers can confiscate them from these Colonial criminals masquerading as soldiers.  By so doing, we will be able to bring a rapid end to this bloody insurrection that has divided the North American Colonies from their Sovereign.

So, needless to say, I was really surprised to read that, especially in the light of the modern incarnation of the VPC trying to ban 50 caliber rifles today.  I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.  ;-)

Crossposted at What Would John Wayne Do?

Guns & grammar

I’m willing to bet that at least some of the reading audience did not know that firearms have generated several turns-of-phrase that still of relative common use in today’s lexicon. We’re going to go over a couple of the ones you might have heard, and what their origins are.

One phrase I’m guessing everyone has heard, especially if you watch war movies is “lock and load”; which has graduated to the general lexicon. It’s current usage means “get or be ready” for whatever action may happen. With the M1 Garand, we wouldn’t have this handy phrase for overzealous business majors to use in class. The phrase was originally “load and lock”, which referred to inserting a clip (I don’t get to say that much…clip clip clip clip) into the M1 Garand, and locking the bolt forward. An alternate interpretation suggest that the phrase was originally “lock and load” and referred to locking the bolt in the rearward position prior to inserting the clip into the rifle.

No matter the origin, the phrase was immortalized by John Wayne in the movie The Sands of Iwo Jima; and was also uses later in both Platoon, and one of the Star Trek movies.

The next phrase is “flash in the pan”, which is currently used to describe bands, actors, or artists that have one hit and then disappear. Its usage is similar to “shooting star”, and “one hit wonder”.

This phrase has its genesis in the days of flintlock weapons. Back then, loose powder was carried in “the pan” of your weapon; which would in theory ignite the main powder charge. However, as flinters were and are notoriously unreliable, a “flash in the pan” would sometimes occur, where the powder in the pan would burn but not ignite the main charge. The result would be a pretty lightshow, and a very unhappy soldier.

That concludes today’s “gun induced grammar” lesson; feel free to add your own in the comments section!

The Pink Pistols

If you’ve not heard of them, the Pink Pistols are a firearms advocacy group that also advocates gay rights. If you go to their website, the front page says “Armed Gays don’t get bashed” a phrase which makes me giggle incessantly whenever I see it.

I really like groups like the Pink Pistols, not just because they advocate for the 2nd Amendment, but because they give the radical lefties serious mental fits. They can’t comprehend how someone that “should” be “on their side” is advocating for a dirty “Republican” concept like RKBA. One of the biggest reasons that I like the Pink Pistols is because we need more groups like them. We need gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates that don’t just break the media’s stereotype of gun owners, they smash it.

The biggest reason that I support the Pink Pistols (and any group that exposes the cognitive dissonance inherent in the radical left) is because they also display the deep seated hypocrisy in the “social progressive” movement. Think about this for just a minute: the marxists social progressives are constantly trying to “help the little guy” (generally with your money); however if they were successful in helping the poor not be poor, or minorities be treated equal, they would lose their mandate and by losing their mandate they would lose their power.

It is imperative to those in power (your Nancy Pelosi’s, Ted Kennedy’s, and Dianne Feinsteins) that the poor and disadvantaged remain poor and disadvantaged. Of course, they will make a big show of “helping” the little guy, but their help is little more than free handouts at the expense of the taxpayer – handouts that do nothing to actually help the poor and disadvantaged.

I sometimes feel that the Big Left has forgotten the simple proverb “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

Thoughtcrime

One of the websites I frequent is The Martialist, and it’s attendant forums. The owner/author of the Martialist is Phil Elmore, who is a figure of some controversy in the self-defense world.

I don’t always agree with him, but no matter what my stance on his various opinions is, he is an excellent writer who both turns a phrase well; as well as takes a thoughtful approach to his topics.

His latest piece is on “Thoughtcrime”, and while it’s rather long; it’s also an excellent read. I may not always agree with him, but in this case I’m in absolute agreement. The whole post can be found here.

Thoughtcrime in contemporary society began as “political correctness” and “multiculturalism.” These are cultural movements that hold as their central tenets the notions that some terms, phrases, and lines of thought are intrinsically offensive and inappropriate for public discourse, and that history has traditionally been the exclusive domain of dead white European males whose injustices to all other cultures have been whitewashed (while the historical contributions of other cultures have been simultaneously omitted from the record), respectively. The scions of political correctness and multiculturalism took root in our schools and in our government, teaching our children and pushing through legislation that made it thoughtcrime to adhere to the old ways of the culturally insensitive, ethnocentric Anglos whose evil designs on power the movements were designed to foil. As these movements gained in influence and in converts, it became a cultural crime — punishable by social censure — to engage in politically incorrect language or ethnocentric attitudes. Thus, kicking and screaming, would those who adhered to traditional values be dragged into the brave new world advocated by political leftists (who are at the forefront of the establishment of thoughtcrime).

I have seen the above example first hand, where the positive actions of my ancestors are dismissed out of hand because simply because there were rich Anglos. I now celebrate my heritage with a certain amount of guilt, simply because even I have been indoctrinated to the point where I feel as though I should be remorseful for the actions of people long dead.

Legally, the first of the “hate crime” legislation gave political correctness and multiculturalism the force of law. Now, the government is not merely supposed to concern itself for punishing you for what you’ve done. No, now we presume that it is possible to know what you were thinking when you committed a crime, and to punish you more severely for thinking incorrect thoughts while engaged in your crime. It is not enough to prosecute you for assault or vandalism, for example; now we must further punish you if your victim was one of a number of protected socio-political and/or ethnic pressure groups (and thus a member of a specially protected class). While prosecution under “hate crime” legislation is notably rare (if not absent entirely) for crimes committed by ethnic minorities whose victims are white, any and all crime commited by white men and women against persons of color or those who are members of other pressure groups (such as homosexuals) usually becomes national news and prompts calls for further indoctrination — excuse me, sensitivity and anger-management training — in our government and educational institutions.

I am a huge opponent of “hate crime” legislation, as it does in fact created a protected class. All crime against another person is a hate crime; regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, or religion. By making it worse to commit a crime against a person because of the color of their skin, you actually feed racism instead of curtailing its spread.

The entire article is excellent, and well written. You should go check it out.

1935 Beretta

I have recently returned from the range, and before I begin with reviewing the little C&R pistol I just shot, let me tell you it is nice to be shooting at an outdoor range again. With the exception of two ranges (the NRA HQ range and the range at USMA at West Point) I despise with indoor ranges with a fiery burning passion. Anyway, on to the Beretta.

A little history, first. The 1935 Beretta is a .32 ACP blowback operated semi-automatic pistol that was used as the primary sidearm of the Italian Air Force and Navy during WWII and up until the 1951 Beretta was adopted. Functionally, it is exactly the same as its bigger brother, the ’34 Beretta, which is chambered for the larger .380 ACP cartridge. During WWII, the ’35 Beretta was also found with German officers, and was popular with GIs as a capture item, who were fond of its light weight, simplicity, and durability.

I picked mine up off of Gunbroker, and my first impression was very favorable. Mine was manufactured in the 50s, so it’s collector value is low – but I didn’t buy it to have it sit on a shelf. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that this is the easiest firearm to field-strip that I have ever owned in my life. Drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear, pull the barrel out of the “Beretta” slot in the slide, then unlock the slide and pull it off the front of the weapon. Done. I can literally take it apart and put it back together again in under 20 seconds, it’s that easy.

So, off to the range I went with it. I wasn’t planning on carrying this gun for serious social work, as it’s got a very annoying safety that has to be rotated 180 degrees to bring the weapon into battery; the safety is also in an awkward position to manipulate. At the range I had a box of Speer Gold Dots (20 rounds), and a box of good old Winchester white box (50). All shots were fired at seven yards, due to the rather rudimentary sights on the old gun.

The very first round failed to feed from the magazine, it went nose up. The 50 year old spring was apparently still going strong – good for it. Once I figured out to just load 6 rounds, the gun ran fine on the WWB ammo. Group size at 7 yards isn’t really worth mentioning, however I was able to keep rapid fire strings in the A zone of an IDPA target. The only time the pistol failed to run properly was with the Gold Dots (which is too bad), as the hollowpoint nose would sometimes snag on the ramp. I could fix this if I wanted to carry the gun, but since I’m just going to use it for busting dirt clods on the farm, I’m not too worried.

Ejection was clean and positive; the extractor is located on the top of the pistol so empties would often land in my hair, a mildly disconcerting side effect for someone who shoots mostly revolvers. Recoil was mild to nonexistent, and once I figured out where to put my mitts on the thing, the slide didn’t bite my hand.

All in all, this gun is one of those guns that you don’t really own for any good reason, other than it’s a lot of fun to burn ammo with it. Which, when I think about it is more than reason enough. I did have one thought about the little Beretta, however. Due the fact that it’s very user friendly, accurate, and easy to field-strip, I think with one design tweak (that damn safety), this would make an excellent carry gun. Actually, I’d like to see that. Make the safety more like the type on your 1911s; chamber the pistols in either .32 ACP or .380 ACP and they would sell like hotcakes, I guarantee that. A pistol like that would be able to give the Bersa Thunder a run for its money in the “economy sub-caliber” market.

I’d buy two.

Intro from Ahab

Hmm…it seems that I have been beaten to the punch by Christina; but for what it’s worth here’s my introduction. I’m Ahab, the author of What Would John Wayne Do, but most of you know that because I don’t think I have any readers that don’t read over here.

I occasionally update my blogs on weekends, but since Sebastian is out of town, I was going to post tomorrow. Tomorrow is a Shooting Saturday, and I’m going to be trying out my new (to me, anyway) 1935 Beretta. I’ll be forcing you to read sharing my results with you guys.

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