Shooter’s Guide to Weapon Selection

Every gun is a tool. You don’t use a hammer when you need a drill.

 

I have noticed a strange new phenomenon on the range these days; people are training with rifles they will most likely never use except in a close quarters combat role. If home defense is the primary reason you bought that AR15 pistol, you made a decent selection. But what if you find yourself away from home? What if the situation arises and proves to be out of range for that Micro Poodle Shooter you spent 1100$ customizing?

Barack Obama sold more guns than any one man could hope to sell if he sold them for a living. Eight years of a seemingly looming semi automatic rifle ban took its toll on all of us. I myself am guilty of a panic purchase or two. Now that the times have changed and political winds have shifted, our arsenals remain safe for the time being. Join me on a journey to the center of your gunsafe, I suppose we may find a few useful rifles in there, no?

Most people today don’t see the potential in the 99$ (ok 199 now) Mosin Nagant, or other surplus cousins like SKS’, Yugoslavian M48 Mausers, SMLE Enfields, Swiss K-31s, K98’s et. al. yet most of us have one or two of them for our perusal. These should not be relegated to last resort rifles. Some of them are capable of performing alongside and sometimes outperforming their non surplus modern counterparts. Mosins can be fine tuned with new and innovative stocks, detachable magazines, scope mounts, muzzle brakes, you name it.

Pictured above for example is a K31. Using a Swiss Products bipod adapter and scope adapter, I was able to mount a Harris bipod and Weaver K6 scope to mine. At a total investment of 500$ I have a rifle sighted in and ready to go for the box MSRP of that Remington 700 you’ll still have to scope.

The K31 is precise in every one of its design features, like a Swiss watch. Inside those wooden handguards rests a free floating barrel, something not so easy to get for under $500 today. Yet the K31 can be had for as little as 300$ on the C&R market.

What can the K31 do? Hunt! The 7.5×55 Swiss is ballistically between the .30-30 and .30-06. With a well placed shot the K31 will take down any game animal in the lower 48 United States. What it won’t do, however, is provide a reliable enough platform to play with Mr. Grizzly Brown. That’s where we enter the world of large bore.

A large bore rifle is any rifle that shoots in calibers like .35 Remington, .375 H&H and larger. The above photograph shows a Marlin 1895GBL, retailing around 500$ and packing a punch chambered in the legendary .45-70 Government–the only Government worth trusting. But what is this tool for? You name it.

The 45-70 as a cartridge is capable of defeating elephants. Would I use one? Probably not. But I have no problem trusting this caliber with my life against any predator or large sized mammal from here to Alaska. These bullets travel at low speeds but their .458-459 diameter bullets usually weigh in around 350 to well over 600 grains. At 1300 fps, a 405gr 45-70 round would bring the equivalent force of taking a freight train head on. Shot placement means almost nothing, so long as you can hit and accommodate for the rainbow bullet trajectory beyond 100m. But in hunting we want clean kills to prevent animal suffering, so kill zone shots are still preferred. Obviously a slow and heavy bullet will continue to travel onward after clearing a man sized target, so home defense should rarely be in mind when reaching for one.

That brings us to the next gun in the picture. The Tactical shotgun is possibly the best innovation since somebody figured out how to slice bread. As we await President Trump issuing an executive order overturning Obama’s Russian gun ban, we are left with some okay options. The Catamount Fury is a NORINCO clone of the popular Saiga. Priced around 350$ including its cleaning kit and five 5Rd magazines the Fury and Fury II are easily converted and can take many of the same parts we would use on a Saiga if there were any to be found. It takes a little effort but in the end, home defense and even hunting can both be enjoyed with this shotgun and it screams “3 gun” all over its travels.

Finally, we come to the pistol category. In the picture we have a Glock 23, chambered for .40 S&W. The two most popular handgun cartridges in America today are the 9mm and the .40. .45 and 10mm both deserve to be in the discussion as well. Pistol selection is personal. Do you need a back-up weapon hunting? 10mm or .50AE/GAP/Etc. Is this your first pistol? 9mm is a safe starter. Do you want something with power but less shots? Revolvers come in .44 and .45 magnum and there is even one in 45-70!

The size of the shooter should only come in play where training is involved. Don’t relegate your girlfriend to .380s and 9mms when she can be taught how to handle a .40 or .45 like you, tough guy. If your training pistol is a 9mm, use a 9mm for your home defense pistol. Remember, however that a pistol is a tool. As a tool it has two purposes. Purpose one is to kill a man or up close and personal bear. Purpose two is to fight ones way to his or her rifle, or to replace an empty one.

At the end of the day, shooting a gun will always be a matter of responsibility. Your first gun is your first taste of the power to decide between life or death. Do not take this power lightly. Take a safety course or at the very least take heed to the safety section of your owners manual before ever loading a live round. The Right to Bear Arms is not a privilege, but failure to treat that Right as serious as it is can ultimately lead to unconstitutionally vague legislation with the goal to disarm the lot of us. Should that day come, look to the poodle shooter side of the gunsafe but remember this: 7.62x54r is all you need to acquire a better gun in the event of living in a war zone.

The Politics of the Tragic Charleston Church Shooting

It pains me to feel even the need to write this entry. I must apologize to the families grieving in Charleston right now; not for anything I’ve done or am about to say, but for the fact that we are living in a time where now what follows, an entry about politics after the very tragedy they haven’t buried their loved ones from yet, is being written. Funeral arrangements aren’t even finalized for some of these victims, but due to comments from the President, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, and others in the gun grabbing camp, this tragedy will not go to waste in the interest of curbing our Second Amendment Rights.

The politics post Charleston church shooting had been predictable all along, from the first MSNBC rant about guns to the very comments from Obama claiming “more advanced countries don’t have this problem,” doubled down by Hillary calling for Gun Control at her most recent campaign event. The commentators are making the same baseless claims that Americans want more gun control. Their branding the issue with blatant propaganda and feeding said blatant propaganda through the air waves, day after day, have caused a small group of pro gun grabbing policies activists to believe that, you guessed it, more Americans want gun control.

Lets take the gun control debate out of the equation and define just what exactly gun control is and what it aims to do.

Political power grows from the barrel of a gun. It’s a statement once used by I think Mao, but it’s true. The founding fathers here wrote the Bill of Rights in such a way that after expressly announcing there would be freedom of speech and religion, there would also be the decree that the right to bear arms is necessary to the safety and security of a free society, and that right shall not be infringed. There they are, Amendments 1 and 2, and they are ordered that way for a reason.

That reason is simple. He who wields the pen against his government when writing to congress about a controversial issue cannot be imprisoned for his controversial letter, or stance. The possible penalty for imprisoning him, remembering that imprisoning him for the contents of political speech sent to congress would effectively be tyranny as we are not talking about reacting to a bomb threat here, but reacting to routine free speech. Also He bears arms. He is a member of arms bearing society. If his right to speech is silenced, the right for everyone left to pursue his silencers is in stone.

Thats exactly why we have the second amendment. So what is gun control?

Gun control is, by using the same example above of a citizen writing a letter to congress on a controversial political subject being immune to persecution for his viewpoints backed by his right to bear arms to prevent the loss of his right to free speech, the idea that the government can in fact punish him for his viewpoints because his weapons have been stripped from him, his speech is now subject to what is acceptable to society as he knows it according to socialites and politicians he may not know.

In simplest terms, gun control is the beginning of the left’s move to assert total control. While the agenda of US Gun Grabbers may not rise to the same agendas used by Hitler, Stalin, The Japanese, or even certain Americans at Wounded Knee. If you don’t know, Wounded Knee was a result of American gun control in the earliest days. The women and children had given up their guns and, in the one room school of the Indian reservation, were shot by US soldiers.

Total control to the left may not mean herding women and children into the church at Wounded Knee, but whatever it does mean, we are unfortunately left to find out after the gun control processes Post Charleston’s gun free zoned Church mass shooting begin.

So on the way to total control they will propose new controls. Those will include forcing background checks on family members doing gifted guns. They’ll include forcing a gun registration system that, when total control can be implemented, proves to be the database used to attempt disarmament. I think I need not elaborate as to why I wrote “attempt” disarmament.

Again, to the families of the victims of Charleston’s shooting, I pray for you and apologize for finding the need so shortly after your tragedy to write this. The media unfortunately picked the time frame, and so did the presidential candidates.

In the wake of Charleston, or any other tragedy, the left should learn that first, the bodies of the dead should be allowed burial. Second, our gun rights are not simple privileges you can license and regulate like driving. Third, stop standing on and using the graves of these dead children, grandparents, and parents to heighten your unpopular agenda of disarmament.

We will not comply. We will not give up our rifles or pistols willingly. We will stand for nothing more and nothing less than simple enforcement of current laws. There is already a national background checks system. There are already rules on substance dependency and guns. Stop trying to break it to fix it, it’s simply not broken. Guns aren’t the problem, they are our protection from the very types who would be so bold as to try and take them.

SAI’s M1A Standard: A Rifleman’s Dream; His Wallet’s Hiccup

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Admittedly, I am a Milsurp fanatic. If it’s seen battle or has historical significance and is C&R Eligible, odds are I want it.  The Springfield M1A is neither C&R  nor battle weathered since they’re no longer using USGI parts, but for all intents and purposes it is the civilian application of the legendary US Rifle 7.62 MM, the M-14.

Since I love history, a little must be written in this review. The Army first decided it could use a magazine fed, fully automatic M1 Garand around the same time they started converting carbines to select fire towards the end of the Second World War. John Garand first had an M14 prototype, or at least something that resembles the rifle we know, by the end of 1944.

The end of the war however shelved the need for the rifle, so it remained on the back burner into the end of the decade. To spare the telling of an even longer story, the M14 finally entered service in the late 50’s and into the 60’s as the nations main battle rifle after winning out against a license produced FAL variant in field trials. The M-14’s rightful glory as the primary rifle would unfortunately go short lived as the M16 would unfortunately take precedence in the middle of the worst possible war for the jam-o-matic’s introduction–Viet Nam. One can only wonder how many American lives could’ve been saved had the M-16 not been so quickly introduced.

Meanwhile, back in 2015: The M1A carries on the tradition of its military predecessor, just without the happy switch. Each trigger pull is clean and quick to break, just in the Garand fashion.  My Standard model was procured at Lock N Load Guns here in Las Vegas after months of staring at them in anticipation and envy, and it should go without saying that the wait was worth it.

Accuracy was spot on out of the box, with further field testing to occur over the next few months worth of days off, .308 budget permitting. The windage and elevation adjustments don’t require an understanding of nuclear physics, and it’s safe to say even the most casual of shooters could quickly learn to make 300-400 yard shots with the now standard issue National Match grade sights.

The only planned modification I have for this rifle is swapping out the flash suppressor with one featuring a bayonet lug, to bring the rifle closer to its rightful battle rifle configuration. I’ll also eventually add the M6 bayonet to my collection to complete the package.

Everything about this hobby is expensive. The M1A Standard model can be had for under $1500, gradually increasing in price from there. The Standard is exactly what it sounds like out of the series, but don’t be fooled. Its price may be “entry level,” its workmanship is flawless like a Swiss watch. Standard merely means its closest to the military model in specification and appearance. A $50 flash suppressor switch turns it from M1A into a semi automatic M14 in appearance.

Magazines range from $12.99 on extremely luck of the draw basis to as much as $50. Ammunition, and some guns have been known to be picky, can range from $.37 a round to over a dollar. Needless to say the M1A isn’t priced for everyone, and other M14 type offerings from James River Armory, LRB, and more start at well over double the price of a SAI Standard. However, for those who find room for this rifle in their budget, it most assuredly will not disappoint.

Bump Fire Stocks, Glock 23’s, and Trucks

I’ve had much to do lately. Now a full time twenty-one dealer, and working night shift at that, my range time has been extremely limited. That is, it was extremely limited, until last Wednesday when on a last minute requested extra day off (thanks again boss!) I was able to finally sign the dotted line on a new-to-me truck.

Now with my 2012 Xterra, still under original factory warranty at under 27,000 miles, I am able to finally write up a range report as transportation is no longer limited to merely borrowing a family car to and from work. Today, my Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed my two most recent purchases: a police trade in Generation 3 Glock 23, and a bump fire stock from  Bump Fire Systems (http://www.bumpfiresystems.com) that now resides on my Moore’s Machine Co. (Now Bear Creek Armory) M4.

Thanks to AIM Surplus having police trade in models for sale, I purchased my first Glock over the holidays as a gift to myself for $300. Previously I was relying on a TT-33, P64, and occasionally even a P38 for open carry purposes in Nevada. Compared to those platforms, the G23 is a Cadillac, and I am an infidel.

Gen 3 G23, new rear slide cover.
Gen 3 G23, new rear slide cover.

When I picked the gun up from Davidsons Firearms, who I strongly recommend transferring through when in Southern Las Vegas or Henderson, I went ahead and ordered the above pictured slide cover, a steel guide rod, extra factory original magazines and some Korean high capacity mags.

My Glock 23, a 50 round Korean Drum, and 30 round stick mags.
My Glock 23, a 50 round Korean Drum, and 30 round stick mags.

Shooting Federal and Prvi Partizan brass, I learned quickly that the stick mags and drum are very fun but in a matter of practicality with good shooting the traditional 13 round factory mags will most likely be more than enough to dispatch any two legged animals that may come across my periphery with the intent to do harm. That said, I love the hi caps for training and even the slight chance there’s a room full of trouble somewhere for me to walk in. Compared to 9mm Luger and Makarov, or even 7.62x25mm Tokarev that I am used too, .40 S&W has plenty of stopping power and a hell of a recoil. The police department that traded these in clearly made a mistake, unless of course they were merely upgrading to Gen 4.

My target was whatever was in front of me in my mountain shooting area west of town. Today that happened to be a big bird doll already shot up, a car door also torn up but still perfectly propped against a cactus, and other various pieces of discard and refuse people were using on their own outings. All in all, the recoil was manageable but proved to be drastically uncomfortable half way through the drum. Accuracy was rated on if I hit it, since I was shooting as far as 50 yards away but I certainly didn’t feel cheated by not using a traditional target. The sights are easy to line up, the weapon is easy to hold, and I simply love it. However, a pistol is only for surviving long enough to reach your rifle, which brings me to the best for last.

MMC AR-15 from Classic Firearms and Bump Fire Systems Stock
MMC AR-15 from Classic Firearms and Bump Fire Systems Stock

The AR itself is nothing special. Purchased as a $499 special before MMC changed its name to Bear Creek Armory, it’s a run of the mill flat top. However, after a break in period last year after purchase, it shoots as good as a rifle twice the price. At first it would FTF/E once per magazine, now it’s a rarity and is usually only while shooting cheap Russian steel cased WPA. This rifle screams “bump me.” So, I did.

Bump Fire Systems’ stock was a perfect fit, at $100 compared to $250+ for SSAR, or $4-500 for Bumpski’s product line, this baby holds its own and does exactly as designed. With the same targets before me as those used by the Glock, I learned how to control my fire from 2-3 shot bursts to entire drum and magazine dumps. This is considerably the closest I will come to select fire in awhile, unless we can get a new President and an overturn of the October 1986 ban.

BSSAR15

The stock is made of plastic, but slides easily and comes with the ability to “select bump fire” by locking it into a position or allowing it to slide freely. The company backs the product up with a limited warranty, returns accepted, and also produces a model for the millions of AK variants floating around the states. Due to SSAR and Bumpski suing each other over product infringement, BSS is able to carve its own market niche by not getting involved in the legal overhead. While that’s the case is the time to pick them up.

You, like me, will find that it’s very addicting to control bursts by speeding up your time to pull the trigger. Like me, another shooter may wind up confusing your rifle for a fully automatic variation and call the police in to check your paperwork. After 500 rounds of shooting in rapid succession, just as an already dead tree was falling down from being sawed down in a hail of bullets, a state trooper showed up asking about reports of automatic gun fire. After showing him what it was and explaining that it works by using the recoil of shooting the weapon to “slide” your finger back on the trigger for every shot which makes it legal under the one round per pull rule, I was good to go home.

But I should have gone for more ammunition. At publishing time I am itching to go back out. Fortunately for me, tomorrow is my Sunday. Like the kids say these days on my table before a stupid double down decision or splitting tens, you only YOLO once. Or something like that anyway.

March 16th is National 2A Protest Day

BATFE has overreached yet again, using the flawed “sporting purpose” test, to attempt a ban on common ammunition. In this case, the cheap plinking M855 .223/5.56 round is on the chopping block and the public only has until March 16th to stop them.

There is a growing movement on Twitter calling for nationwide protests on March 16th. We, the more than one hundred million gun owners of America, must take to the streets on this day and let not only ATF know how we feel, but show the entire country that we will no longer stand for the gun grabbing agenda of this Administration or its bureaucracy.  In the meantime, the NRA-ILA article on this matter has instructions on how to comment. Kindly let them know how you feel about their unconstitutional direct infringement on our second amendment and the subsequent increase in cost  of ammunition.

The most important message we can send on that day, aside from the fact that ATF should be a convenience store and not a powerful law enforcement agency above the very laws it regulates, is that we will no longer stand idly by while politicians exploit tragedies and find loopholes to heighten their unpopular anti gun agenda.

Spread the word to your friends in every major city. Make arrangements to take the day off. Draw up signs that say things like “Don’t ban ammunition, Ban The ATF”. Where legal, open carry if you’d like. But be mindful of whether your actions do anything to help our message in the eyes of a virtually state run liberal media.

Take our message directly to the nations capital and picket the White House, ATF building, and Congress in the Capitol  itself. We are 100 million strong. The Constitution is on our side. It is time we act like it.

The tree of liberty was once a beautiful, flourishing tree of life. Today it stands with barren branches extending over fallen leaves. On those very branches are carvings like “NFA 1934,” “GCA 1968,” “Oct. 1986,” “AWB 1994,” “NDAA,” “Obama Administration,” and the beginning of the carving “ammunition.” We need not water our tree in blood, nor are we calling on anyone to act violently on March 16th. Simply showing up in numbers indicative of just how many of us there are should show people like the President, Michael Bloomberg, and everyone else who seeks to take our rights away that it’s not just the NRA they are fighting on this issue, but the very people who allow them to hold power.

On March 16th let every city in America, and especially Washington, catch the eyes of the world while we, the shining beacon of freedom, use our First Amendment rights in the name of maintaining the Second Amendment. Without our Second Amendment protecting us in the unlikely event we may ever need water liberty’s tree with patriotic blood, the First Amendment is nothing but a lost fragment to a crumpled and shredded constitution.

Defeating ISIS By Christmas

Frankly,  to put it bluntly, the Obama Administration is a defeatist, pussified regime that has no grasp on how or when to conduct a war. Never has there been a greater threat to homeland security than a President who fails to acknowledge, through Eric Holder’s “not at war” statement today, not only that we are in a state of war, but with whom and what we are fighting. The President’s requested Congressional Authorization to deal with ISIS is too little, and too late.

Flag of the Islamic State
ISIS Flag, the flag of Islamic Extremism.

The way to defeat ISIS requires doing what the State Department spokeswoman said on Hardball last night that we can’t do, and that’s kill them. Daily air and drone strikes by no means are enough to defeat this self proclaimed Caliphate or it’s ideology. The Islamic Extremists, take note Washington, that is what they are called, want us to put boots on the ground. That’s exactly what we need to do, except we need to do it in a way they are neither expecting nor can use to gain recruits.

The Egyptian President is calling for an international coalition to defeat the Libyan chapter of ISIS. That is exactly what we need, except on all three fronts. Currently, the war is being conducted from Libya, Syria-Iraq, and Yemen. There is a way to win on all three by Christmas.

Libyan Front 

The CIA trained the group that inevitably not only attacked Benghazi, but became Libyan ISIS in the months before the end of the Qadafi regime from Libya’s western mountains. Therefore, we most likely already have decent intelligence as to who they are. By coordinating air and drone strikes with the Egyptian Air Force, we can easily soften the group before an invasion. If Egypt is willing to commit 50,000 troops, Libyan ISIS can be defeated by a coordinated invasion from the border while two Marine Expeditionary Units land on and around the shores of Benghazi. Libyan ISIS mainly operates in the east, therefore that is where the brunt of the ground troops should be. City by city, Marines from the Northwest can form a pincer around ISIS with Egyptian forces from the east. A third expeditionary unit can be on standby to land in Tripoli should intelligence indicate a need. Upon defeating Libyan ISIS, rebuilding will be left to Egypt and the Arab League. Marines would immediately come home.

Iraq-Syrian Front

Again, America cannot be the only army on Arab soil to prevent ISIS from gaining recruits under the propaganda of a crusader invasion. Currently, Iraqi ISIS is at war with the Kurdish Peshmerga and what is left of the Iraqi Army. 80,000 troops from the US, coordinating with the Kurds from the North and Iraqis from the east, can begin retaking Iraqi cities such as Fallujah and of equal importance, Al Baghdadi, which is just miles from a Marine unit charged with training the Iraqi Army. Meanwhile, the Arab Army from Jordan can push into Syria along with the help of Syrian Kurds, and American units from the originally proposed number of 80,000.

The Assad Regime and Iranian backed Hezbollah are too busy with Aleppo and holding Damascus to become engaged with defeating ISIS, however, in the interest of staying out of their civil war, after liberating ISIS held territory in Syria and flattening their self proclaimed capital of Raqqa to 6th century rubble, coalition forces can leave the region in the hands of whoever is in position to take it. Like Libya, rebuilding would be the job of the Arab League and not the responsibility of the US Military, who would withdraw as soon as the defeat is finalized.

Yemen 

While not technically ISIS, AQAP is affiliated with the group as evidenced by the ties of the Charlie Hebdo-Kosher Market attacks. Currently, Yemen is falling to Iranian backed Shi’ite rebels. AQAP, however, remains dug in from Aden to the northern areas of the country. Three Marine Expeditionary Units coordinating with a Saudi push from the north could easily sweep in by landing in Aden and pushing north. Camp by camp and town by town, Muslim forces along with American soldiers can drive AQAP/ISIS out of Yemen in a matter of months, again leaving rebuilding to the Arab forces from the Arab League.

Sixty percent of the American people do not like how the President is conducting the war. Another fifty percent don’t want ground troops to enter the war. People need to realize they can’t have their cake and eat it too. ISIS can easily be defeated, we simply have to recognize we are at war, who we are fighting, and that it will require careful coordination on the ground on each front to win it.

President Obama needs to simply get off of his own high horse and get our forces into the fight. He needs to do this with all deliberate speed before ISIS grows in power and territory, and most importantly, before more Christians and Jews are beheaded in  the name of a god that condones no such behavior. Islamic Extremism must be shown as a failed ideology by being defeated by the combined efforts of America and regional Muslim militaries. If Obama had the balls to strike today, our troops could easily be back on time for Christmas.

 

Another break.

After receiving a few emails about why I haven’t commented on Guns, ISIS, Ukraine, even that pesky hacker group of so called Lizards, I have to go ahead and say the following before a brief hiatus continues. I am balancing work, studying for the FSOT, getting back to Oxford for a football game, and too much else to effectively comment on anything. I will probably update again around the midterm elections. Thanks for checking in. 🙂

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