Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Round Up

What had been a somewhat quiet week on the gun scene changed this morning with the latest attempt to instate a so-called “assault weapon ban” in Washington. My take is posted below.

There’s still a huge discussion going on over at Northwest Firearms about the NRA. Right now I’m in a bit of a death match over how a 501(c) should work and what the NRA does with its money.

Another interesting thread details an order for being filled by Winchester for 40 million rounds of .40 S&W ammo for the Department of Homeland Security. Wish they’d send me some. My poor Glock is hungry!

Speaking of Glock – the Glock Talk fundraiser results have been announced. Congratulations to all of the bast... errr... lucky winners. I was skunked again!

Just received the stuff I won from Greg Martin Auctions. I’m pleased overall. The Arisaka turns out to be matching. It was a “take a chance” gun, as GMA still has problems properly describing Japanese firearms. I’ll post pictures just as soon as I get my camera back.

Until next time!!!

Lies, Damn Lies, and Washington Ceasefire

If you have a strong stomach, go ahead and check out the press release by Washington Ceasefire on their efforts to pass the Washington Assault Weapon Ban detailed earlier today. Some of the “highlights”:

“Semi-automatic assault weapons are designed and intended for military purposes to kill as many people as quickly as possible in a designated area. These guns can fire over 200 bullets a minute. Even avid hunters acknowledge that semi-automatic weapons have no sporting purpose other than target practice which this bill would accommodate within designated shooting ranges. Significantly kits are readily available that can convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic “machine gun” status in just a few minutes. The risk of assault weapons is made worse by the so-called gun show loophole which allows gun purchasers, as young as eighteen, to purchase unlimited quantities of these dangerous weapons without a background check, record keeping or waiting period at various gun shows held almost weekly in this state.

“Both national and state polls show overwhelming support for the ban by similar 5 to 1 majorities. But passage for this common sense gun control measure is by no means guaranteed. Former Police Chief Norm Stamper said recently the people are far ahead of the politicians on this issue. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court validated the right of individuals to own handguns and sporting rifles but specifically gave the green light to state regulation for things such as mandatory background checks or a ban on military assault weapons.”

I actually hit the “add a comment” to the announcement, but doubt it will get published. So here’s my take:

How many lies can you tell in one article?

1) Conversion of a semi-auto into a full-auto is neither "simple" nor are there readily available conversion kits. The BATFE must approve all receivers for semi-automatic weapons, and they do so with this in mind.

2) I’m an avid hunter, and the AR-15 is a spectacular hunting platform with a wide array of cartridges available

3) I seriously question 5 to 1 support for an assault weapon ban. Please cite source.

4) The Department of Justice found that the 1994 Federal ban had no effect on crime because so-called “assault weapons” were used in a small portion of crimes

Go ahead and admit that this is the tip of a larger wedge to invalidate not only Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution, but the Second Amendment as well.

I stopped there with my comments, but I could have gone on for quite some time. It also wasn’t my most “politic” response, but there’s a time for civility and there’s a time for directness. This seems to be a case for the latter rather than the former.

It seems to be commonplace for these anti-civil rights groups to simply heap lies and distortions as high as possible in the smug belief that either no one will check their “facts”, or won’t be able to refute all of their “facts” in a seven second sound bite. The hubris of these groups knows no bounds, nor does their hostility toward the right to keep and bear arms. Given these groups are attacking our civil rights, I personally consider them to be hate groups, and I long for the day when we can prosecute them as such.

Until next time!!!

Washington Semi-Auto Ban Proposed

The forces of tyranny are hard at work in the state of Washington. A new statewide semi-auto ban is being proposed by three Democratic representatives (Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina; Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle; and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle). The proposed legislations, called the “Aaron Sullivan Public Safety and Police Protection Bill, would prohibit the sale of such weapons to private citizens and require current owners to pass background checks.” The excuse this time is one murder allegedly involving an “assault weapon” and the slaying of one police officer with a .223 caliber “semi-automatic rifle”. The gun banners hit all of the normal talking points, so let’s look at their “arguments” one by one:

“The ban would cover semiautomatics designed for military use that are capable of rapid-fire and can hold more than 10 rounds. Semiautomatics designed for sporting or hunting purposes wouldn't be banned.

“"If they're used in the army, used in the war — that's what this ban is about," said Ralph Fascitelli, the board president of Washington Ceasefire.”

How many glaring issues can you see at this point? First off, what is “rapid fire”? There is no such term outside the twisted ignorance of the gun banner mentality. All semi automatic weapons, whether they are magazine fed or internally fed fire at exactly the same rate – i.e. just as fast as you can pull the trigger. Furthermore, virtually NONE of the semi-automatics available for sale today are “used in the army” as they aren’t capable of fully-automatic or burst fire. It’s interesting that under this definition, the World War II vintage M1 carbine would also be illegal in Washington since it WAS actually “used in the army”, “used in war”, and is a semi-automatic designed for military use. Ironically the Federal Government has supplied M1 Carbines to the general public through DCM and now CMP for decades. Of course, this also ignores the fact that the Second Amendment ISN’T about hunting, which is the most common mistake made by the anti-gun crowd.

Representative Hunter states:

"We don't allow people to own tanks or bazookas or machine guns, and very few people think that that's an unreasonable restriction."

Well, that’s not entirely correct. First off, you CAN own a machine gun in many states as long as it is registered with the BATFE. You can also own many “destructive devices” again, if they’re registered with the BATFE. However, the capability of a fully automatic machine gun or large caliber gun outstrips the capability of a semi-automatic firearm by orders of magnitude. Another fact that’s interesting to note is, for example, the M1 Garand would be allowed under this ban, and in terms of stopping power, the M1 Garand completely outstrips the semi-automatic AR-15 and AK-47. So this clearly isn’t about the level of effectiveness of the weapon.

“Kohl-Welles said the lawmakers are trying to be practical and aren't suggesting guns be taken from current owners.

"What we're trying to get at is there's no place to have sales of military assault rifles or weapons in this state," she said.

“She also said she doesn't believe such a ban would violate the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms.

"Did the framers of our Constitution ever envision something like a semi-automatic weapon?" she asked.”

Perhaps not, but the framers of our Constitution did envision corrupt politicians seeking to disarm the populace to ensure absolute control over their lives. THAT’S what the Second Amendment was all about. The Framers feared government run amok, and saw an armed populace as the surest bulwark against that eventuality. Kohl-Welles’ comments demonstrate the hubris of those opposed to our right to self defense. She clearly sets herself up above the populace by deeming what does and does not have a “place” in the state of Washington. Her half-hearted “we’re not trying to take away anyone’s guns” comment also reeks of deception and hypocrisy. That is, quite frankly, exactly what they’re trying to do.

If you live in Washington, I strongly urge you to stand up to these petty tyrants first by encouraging your state representatives and senators to vote this legislation down. Second, I urge all eligible voters to begin a recall campaign on all three of these individuals as they are in criminal violation of Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution. It’s clear to me that the only way to end the abuses of these "officials" is to ensure that there are consequences for their illegal power grabs. To those of you in Washington, I wish you all the best as you ward off yet another attack on your inalienable rights.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hunters Feed Hungry – PETA Cries Foul

The Washington Post recently ran an article on how hunting groups are donating deer meat to feed the hungry at homeless shelters. Unfortunately they felt compelled to include the opinions of so-called “animal rights” extremists as a counterpoint into an otherwise excellent example of hunters giving back to the community. With the Department of Agriculture reporting that upwards of 50 million people are struggling with hunger in America, I think it’s a credit to hunters everywhere that these organizations are donating meat.

According to the article:

“One doe can feed up to 200 people," said Richard Satterfield, a hunter and supporter of the food ministry. "They are high-protein, low-fat, very nutritious. And there are plenty of them, so there's no reason for anyone to go hungry in this country."

In fact, much of the donated meat comes from hunts approved to reduce out-of-control deer populations in urban and suburban areas. PETA argues that sterilization would be more ‘humane” and “effective” – though numerous reports have shown that such measures are not only ineffective, but prohibitively expensive as well.

It just goes to show the sort of unbalanced extremist mentality espoused by the “animal rights” groups. In their mind it’s okay for millions of human beings to go hungry, but it’s not okay to kill a prey animal. I honestly wonder if they realize how many rabbits and other 4-legged pests have to be killed for their “organic” and “vegetarian” diets to actually reach the table. Something tells me they have no clue. . . period.

Honestly, there is no group that has done more to preserve wildlife and preserve wildlife habitat than the American hunter. When the wild turkey was nearly extinct, it wasn’t legislation that brought it back – it was hunters - not the WWF, not PETA, not the Sierra Club. At some point these groups are going to lose their ability to fool people, but until then the American hunter will continue to act as steward of the land.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Letter on McDonald

Just in case you’re wondering – here’s the letter I’ve sent to my Representatives and Senators on McDonald:

McDonald v. City of Chicago, a pivotal civil rights case, is coming before the Supreme Court in March 2010. The Framers recognized that the right to self-defense is as fundamental a human right as freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Unfortunately, years of misguided legislation has led to that right being infringed upon in many parts of our nation. McDonald provides a unique opportunity to restore this inalienable right to all Americans.

Several briefs have been filed in support of incorporation of the Second Amendment under the Fourteenth Amendment. One of these has been submitted by the NRA, and it is currently backed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Unfortunately, I do not see your name as a supporter of this critical brief. I strongly encourage you to join your peers and make a strong stand in support of the Second Amendment by signing the amici curiae brief.

This issue is incredibly important not only to me, but to America as a whole. Your stance on this issue will factor heavily in my electoral choices in 2010 and beyond.

Until next time!!!

Merkley “Responds” on McDonald

Further cementing my opinion that Merkley is merely a party mouthpiece with absolutely no business being in the Senate, I’ve received a response to my email regarding the upcoming McDonald case. Unlike Representative Wu who actually responded to the issue, this is what Merkley’s automated system mailed back:

“Recently, I received the email you sent to my office through a third-party organization. I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch and please be assured that I closely review the thoughts expressed in such emails. I know that these third-party emails can be a useful tool to communicate your opinions.

“If you would like to expand on the email I received through the third party, please feel free to contact me directly by using the webform at to send me an email. I value your personal stories and insights into the issues facing our state and the nation.

“You can also visit my website at for more information about my positions and to learn how my office can further assist you.

“It is an honor to serve as your Senator, and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future.”

Translation – I didn’t read your mail. I don’t care about what you said. I don’t care what you think. I’m not beholden to you or your views.

I have a half mind to resubmit the letter using his form and see if I get a different response. It’s clear that Merkley filters his mail and only accepts emails from sources that are deemed ideologically pure by his party masters. Quite frankly, I’m disgusted.

Until next time!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Police Shootings Up in 2009

According to a recent article on MSNBC, the number of police officers killed in the line of duty by individuals wielding firearms has risen roughly 24% from 2008. The actual raw numbers are, thankfully, still fairly low. To date 47 officers have been killed in 2009 as compared to 38 at this time last year. Given the article was from MSNBC, I expected the rest of it to be a hit piece calling for sweeping gun-control legislation, but I honestly was pleasantly surprised. According to the article:

“The availability of guns compounds the problem, criminologists say. But Pennsylvania, the state with the most gun-related officer deaths so far this year, has among the strictest gun laws in the country, according to a ranking by the pro-gun-control Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Other states, like Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kentucky, have very little oversight and had few, if any, officer gun deaths this year.”

I honestly don’t believe that those numbers are an aberration. Time and again we see the worst murder and violent crime rates in areas with the strictest gun control. Strict gun control only emboldens violent offenders. The article goes on to state:

“Kevin Morison, a spokesman for the Officers Memorial Fund, which keeps the statistics, said he sees people on both sides of the gun debate using the numbers to prove points.

"But folks who are willing to intentionally target police officers seem to be able to find a way to accrue guns regardless of what the laws in those state would be," Morison said.”

That’s a refreshing dose of honesty, and it underscores the point that criminals do not, have never, and will never care about the law. They see themselves as above the law, at best, or simply use the law to further their aims.

The article credits bulletproof vests and other life-saving techniques for the general decline in police officer fatalities over the past several years. The police have a very dangerous job, and hopefully this year’s increase in fatalities is an aberration. The current state of the economy with rising unemployment can’t be helping the situation either!

Until next time!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wu Responds on McDonald

As I indicated in a previous blog, a bipartisan majority of the House and Senate has signed on to the NRA’s amicus brief in the McDonald vs. Chicago case. Unfortunately neither my Representative (David Wu) nor either Oregon Senator (Merkley and Wyden) had signed on to the brief. I wrote letters to each of them urging them to stand up for the rights of Americans and sign the brief. Thus far I’ve only heard back from Representative Wu, but the response was surprisingly positive:

“Thank you for contacting me to urge me to sign onto an amicus curiae brief in the McDonald v. City of Chicago case scheduled for Supreme Court consideration in 2010. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

“The amicus brief you reference asks the Supreme Court of the United States to hold the Second Amendment applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The Fourteenth Amendment provides that portions of the Bill of Rights are applied to the states. Over many years, the Supreme Court has incrementally applied the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights to the states through a process called incorporation. For example, the First Amendment currently applies to states, as has the Fourth Amendment, concerning unreasonable search and seizure. As of yet, the Second Amendment does not apply to the states.

“I have long held that the Second Amendment does indeed give individuals the right to bear arms. Therefore, I will keep your comments in mind and will give serious consideration to signing the amicus brief.”

He’s still missing the point that the Second Amendment affirms / recognizes the individual right to bear arms rather than granting it, but this at least appears to be a step in the right direction. Given that he has repeatedly stated on the record that he supports the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment – it’s going to be hard for him to not sign on to this brief. I’ll continue to check the NRA’s page to see if he has signed on.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Suomi Update

I got same day turnaround on the Suomi from the guys in Vernonia. They ended up replacing the bolt on it. In terms of just cycling the action, it seems to work a lot better at this point. Hopefully that will translate into fault free functionality at the range. It’s been too dang cold in the evening to take it out, so I’ll try and drag it out this weekend.

The manufacturer indicated that this is a light oil weapon. I’d ended up slathering it to get it to work, but it didn’t work dry either, so that really wasn’t the issue. Now I just have to figure out how to properly field strip this thing. Most of my rifles aren’t blowback, but this one is. Always a learning experience!!!

Until next time!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6th Roundup

I’ve just got a few various notes for today. First, the 2009 annual addition of Surplus Firearms from Guns and Ammo magazine detailed earlier this year has been re-issued and is on shelves now. If you missed it the first time, don’t miss it the second time.

I won a couple of auctions recently. I even broke my own rule and bid on something from Greg Martin Auctions. They seem to have cleaned up their fee structure a bit and are no longer including a “packing fee” on top of normal shipping and the 15% buyers premium. Shipping is still fairly spendy, but given one of the firearms is a handgun, those are usually expensive. Will post more when I get them in.

The Suomi is going to have to go back to Vernonia for some work. I just can’t get the action to cycle cleanly whereas others are not having any issues. Hopefully I’ll get it back by the end of the week so I can take it out plinking.

Empire Arms recently acquired some mint condition Webley Mark IV revolvers. These are the post-war variant with the cross bolt safety, but I just couldn’t say no to one. I need to get mine cleaned up, it’s a cosmoline baby at this point, and once I do I’ll post a feature on it.

I’ve also been working on a couple of AK builds. I nearly have a plum stock AK-74 together – just in time for AIM to come out with them at a bargain price. No good deed goes unpunished I guess! Look for a feature in the next couple of weeks on that one as well.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Date Set for McDonald!

According to a recent article on CBS News online, McDonald v. City of Chicago will be heard on March 2, 2010 with a decision expected in late June or early July. Mark your calendars!!!

The article also touches on some of the briefs. They’re all posed at the Second Amendment Foundation’s site. The site also makes a few predictions:

“If I had to handicap the outcome of this case, there seems to be a reasonable chance that Alan Gura and the McDonald plaintiffs will win. But a technical win may not have much of a practical effect -- as long as lower courts can figure out a way to justify as constitutional local restrictions that differ only slightly from Chicago's. This may not matter in gun-friendly places like Idaho; it certainly matters to citizens of California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York, all of whom lack a right to keep and bear arms in their state constitutions.”

A lot of this comes down to not only winning the battle, but winning the war. Even if we get a strong victory in the McDonald case, there remains a mountain of anti-gun legislation on the books. Depending on what standard the Supreme Court sets in its case, there may be many more trips through the courts for further clarification. Don’t for an instant expect that the forces who want to limit or eliminate the right to keep and bear arms are just going to sit back and admit defeat. They’ll use every legal trick in the book to limit our rights, and we’ll have to keep fighting them every step of the way!

Until next time!!!

Bipartisan Majority in Congress Signs NRA Brief

As reported earlier, the NRA has filed a brief in support of incorporation of the Second Amendment under the Fourteenth Amendment, thereby making it apply to state and local laws just like the rest of the Bill of Rights. The NRA has now stated that an “overwhelming, bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate” have endorsed their brief.

The exact numbers are 251 Congressional Representatives and 58 Senators – and the full list can be found at the end of the PDF version of the brief. Of the 251 Representatives signing the brief, at least 81 of them are Democrats (32%), so we are indeed seeing some bi-partisan support in the House. The story is almost identical in the Senate with 19 Democrats signing the brief (also 32%).

I encourage everyone to go read the list of names to determine if your Senators and Representative are on the list. If they’re on the list, please take the time to write them and thank them for standing up for your rights. If they’re not on the list, then please write them and ask that they uphold the Constitution and sign onto the amicus brief.

It’s encouraging to see a strong majority supporting our Second Amendment rights in the House and Senate, though it’s still amazing to see how far we’ve come from Framers’ intent, and how many of our representatives are hostile to our basic rights as Americans. The decision next year will have wide-reaching implications for laws across this nation, and could be the death knell for the “collective right” interpretation of the Second Amendment. If the Court rules for incorporation, expect bans from Massachusetts to California to be challenged – and for the first time in many decades the overwhelming body of precedent would be on our side.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Range Report

I went out plinking with a friend of mine on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I took three of my “recent” acquisitions with me (6.8 Rem spc upper AR-15, my AMD-65, and my Suomi) along with my Glock 27 carry pistol. My only disappointment was the Suomi as it’s having feeding issues. This means I either don’t have enough lubricant in it yet, or I need to take it over to the manufacturer in Vernonia and get the recoil spring replaced.

As I’d just had the new sights put on the Glock, I wanted to try it out again. I could regularly hit milk jugs with it at 20-30 yards. Not half bad for a sub-compact. It gave me yet another reason to REALLY like the Glock.

I’d had the AMD-65 finished by Salbo Arms, but hadn’t fired it since the refinishing. It’s not as accurate as some of my other AK’s, but it’s a complete BLAST to shoot. With the shorter barrel (with the welded muzzle brake to bring it to legal length), it’s also LOUD! You could literally hear the concussion echoing through the woods after every shot – even with solid ear protection.

My 6.8 AR-15 was just amazing. I need to get the scope sighted in properly, but from the first shot I was on paper roughly where I thought I should be at 50 yards. I’m going to add a bipod to the rifle to help stabilize prone and sitting shots to make it a better long-range platform.

Overall another great day at the range. Of course, getting ready to go out highlighted that I’m woefully short .30 carbine ammo (5 rounds). I’m going to have to fix that – my poor Underwood is getting lonely.

Until next time!!!

November Rose City Gun Show Report

I am WAY behind on blog entries at this point, but with the Thanksgiving holiday (I hope everyone had a great one), things tend to get reprioritized. I went to the November Rose City Gun Show – overall it was a decent show. I was hoping it would be a touch bigger, but there were some decent deals to be had if you looked around enough.

One thing that made this particular show special was I took a buddy who’d never been to a gun show. He’s interested in getting his concealed carry license and wanted to look at the various sidearms to see what worked for him. I really enjoyed taking him around the show and pointing out some of his options.

I ended up getting some night sights for my carry pistol, a Glock 27. I really enjoy the small frame Glock as a concealed carry pistol. It’s got decent stopping power with the .40 Smith cartridge, but isn’t as large as the 10mm or .45 ACP sub-compacts. It makes my XD-9 sub-compact look bulky by comparison.

Overall, yet another good show.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NRA Files Brief on McDonald v. Chicago

The NRA has recently filed a brief in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. This particular brief should be required reading for any individual who values and cherishes their right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms. Reading through the variety of case law cited in this brief makes me shake my head in disbelief as to how we as a nation could have strayed so far from original intent regarding the Second Amendment. I would find it hard to believe that such a case needs be brought at all if I didn’t know the mental gymnastics many in this nation go to in order to deprive Americans of their inalienable rights.

Of the numerous precedents cited, perhaps the most powerful stem from post Civil War cases and legislation where freedmen in the South were being denied the right to keep and bear arms based purely on race. It was widely understood then that the Second Amendment affirmed a universal right; a right which was being denied to African Americans by racist state governments. Somehow between then and now individuals concerned about Civil Rights seem to have forgotten the Second Amendment.

I have high hopes for the upcoming case, but still believe at least four of the justices on the Supreme Court will vote against your individual rights just as they did on Heller. We have to remain vigilant and ensure that the judiciary continues to respect the rights of the individual Americans. Demand that your Senators continue to examine any future judicial nominees at all levels with that goal in mind.

Until next time!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Suomi KP/-31

The story of Finland in World War II is an amazing tale of survival against seemingly insurmountable odds. Initially decreed to be within the Soviet sphere of influence in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland survived a Soviet invasion during the Winter War, though lost territory. Other nations like Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were simply gobbled up wholesale by the Soviet Union. When Germany invaded the USSR, Finland joined them attempting to regain territory lost during the Winter War kicking off the Continuation War. With these war aims achieved, the Finnish front was largely static until 1944, when the Soviets attempted to bring Finland back to heel. Finland survived the massive Soviet attack and was able to negotiate a peace with the Soviet Union. One of the conditions of that peace was Finland was required to expel Germany from Finnish territory. This ultimatum resulted in the Lapland War in which Germany used a scorched earth policy during their retreat from Finland.

Part of the reason Finland was able to remain independent during this time was the fact they had a strong indigenous armaments industry. Finnish Mosin Nagant rifles are generally far superior to their Russian counterparts. Finland was also able to repair, recondition, and remanufacture Soviet tanks captured in action and these were in turn used against their former owners. One of the more interesting firearms used by Finland during World War II was their indigenous sub-machinegun, the KP/-31. First fielded in 1931, the weapon was designed by Aimo Lahti and chambered for the 9mm cartridge. The KP/-31 was in many ways similar to the various early sub-machine guns of the era like the PPSh, Lanchester, and Beretta. Several modifications were made to the firearm during its service life including the addition of a muzzle brake. I'm certain this sort of weapon also scares the heck out of Carolyn McCarthy as it has a shoulder thing that goes up, errr, a barrel shroud.

Kits for the KP/-31 have been available for some time, but there have been no BATFE approved semi-automatics on the market until this year. I recently picked up a semi-auto KP/-31 from Ryan Judy Sporting Goods (pictured above). Astute observers will notice that the barrel is slightly lengthened through the permanent attachment of the muzzle brake. Esthetically I think they’ve done as good a job as possible capturing the original as the additional length isn’t as obtrusive as NFA compliant PPSh semi-autos. I have a couple of the 36-round magazines and two of the 71-round drums for it. All of these are marked with the appropriate Finnish “SA” markings. I haven’t gotten to test fire the weapon yet, but the fit and finish are pretty good. One thing I can say about the weapon – it’s HEAVY! There is also no provision for a forward grip, so you’ll need to have one hand on the magazine / drum or use the sling to steady the weapon. I’m looking forward to getting this little beauty out – it should be a fun plinker, and as it runs on 9mm ammunition, it shouldn’t be too expensive to feed either.

Until next time!!!

This is Where Bloomberg, Pelosi, Boxer Want Us to Go

At one point in time, these United States were a part of the British Empire. A series of civil rights abuses led to the American Revolution, which led to the founding of the most successful modern Republic. Over time, Britain and Europe seemed to get the idea that monarchies had several inherent flaws and that people actually did have inalienable rights. However, the rise of Socialism where the state becomes a substitute for employer and parent all in one led to “redefinition” of those rights. Government became a “service industry” and as a service industry seeks to minimize outlay by exercising a level of control over the lives of its subjects, errr, customers. One of the first things to go is firearm rights. As the framers of our Constitution astutely noted, the ultimate check and balance to government run amok is an armed populace. Disarm the populace, and they are effectively cowed. This is the modern reality in Britain.

A recent story out of the UK should serve as a wake-up call for all Americans, as anti-Second Amendment politicians like Bloomberg, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Obama, and others use the UK as a model for where they want to take the United States. Paul Clarke, a 27 year-old ex-soldier, faces a MINIMUM of 5 years in jail for handing in a sawed-off shotgun he found in a trash bag to police. The charge? He was, when he turned in the weapon, “in possession” of the firearm. In the UK there is a “zero tolerance” policy for individuals being in possession of firearms. There is no legal defense against the charge. In short, the UK has moved to summary justice and sham trials in their firearm laws. The Judge in the case, Christopher Critchlow stated:

"This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge. The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

Firearm rights in the UK have degenerated to the point where a even an individual turning in a stray firearm to police results in at least 5 years of jail time. If you touch a gun you are guilty – period – you have no defense, no due process, no rights, and no recourse. THIS is the “dream” groups like the Brady Campaign have for America. Bottom line is we simply can’t let it happen here.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anti-Gunners Let No Crisis Go to Waste

Chicago Mayor Daley has come to a very interesting conclusion, that the recent incident at Ft. Hood in which Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire killing and wounding scores of Americans is a result of America’s “love” of guns. That’s right, the massacre of several military and civilian individuals at Ft. Hood had nothing to do with the fact that a religious zealot went on a binge, but rather America’s “gun culture.” The Brady Campaign followed suit indicating “legislative measures to increase the availability of guns should be rejected in light of the attack.”

Ignore for a moment that the individual in question is a naturalized citizen and didn’t grow up in America’s culture – gun or otherwise. Ignore for a moment that he was a follower of radical Islamic clerics. Ignore for a moment the fact that he had spoken out frequently against the U.S. taking military action in Islamic countries. Ignore for a moment that, ironically, military bases are “gun free zones” and that “gun free zones” and areas with strict gun bans have the worst incidences of violence committed with firearms. On the other hand, that’s exactly what Daley and his ilk are doing. Don’t ignore all of the facts above. Realize that this was the act of a misguided individual who’s twisted religious zeal permitted him to take up arms against his country and countrymen. According to the Constitution, that’s TREASON, and it should be treated as such.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mail Tribune Prints AK Rebuttals

In a recent letters to the editor feature Medford’s Mail Tribune has published a rebuttal of an earlier editorial which proclaimed that variants of the AK-47 should be illegal. The author makes a solid point – that people, not machines, are responsible when an individual is killed. The letter, by D. Casey of Medford states:

“The AK-47 is no more a killing machine than an automobile. . . The real and factual killing machines are the people using or operating them for illegal and nefarious purposes.

“Some people seemingly insist on using anything in a harmful manner if it meets their own ends. Until the mindset of certain individuals and groups of people determine that it is not in their best interest to use any device to harm or kill another person or animal, I feel that I am entitled, privileged and possess the right to own and use whatever "machine" or implement at my command to defend my family and myself from those types of people. Therefore, it is my choice to own and use an AK-47 without condemnation from any individual or group.”

I honestly can’t argue with anything that the author says in the piece. As a nation we have gotten away from the notion that with rights come responsibility. The current “nanny state” mentality pervading the industrialized world seems to be undercutting that foundation. In a free society, people must take responsibility for their own actions – both good and bad.

Unfortunately either through omission or through editing, the letter does little to address many of the blatantly wrong points made by the author of the original piece. However, my hat is off to D. Casey of Medford for putting the focus back on the fundamental issue – that we as Americans have a right and a duty to defend ourselves and our liberties. At the end of the day, that is truly what the right to keep and bear arms is all about, and why it is and must always be considered an inalienable human right.

In the same feature a second letter appeared making a similar point. This piece, by Bob McKean makes a few more pointed statements which really drive the issue home:

“Our Founding Fathers and the framers of the Constitution wanted citizens to keep and bear arms. It has nothing to do with target shooting, hunting or self-defense. It has everything to do with making sure free citizens have the means to overturn a tyrannical government if necessary.”

This point is one that is so often missed in the debate on firearms, though less so in recent years than in the past. For decades the “hunting” and “sporting” interpretations of the Second Amendment were as common as lobbyists in Washington. The past 20 years have almost seen a Renaissance in study on the original intent of the Second Amendment. Mr. McKean continues:

“As a retired 30-year police veteran I can say our law enforcement officers are very well-armed and trained and are not outgunned by the criminals. The only incidents that come to mind when the police were outgunned was during the SLA shootout in the early 1970s and the North Hollywood shootout in the mid-1990s.”

This point is an incredibly important point to make, and I’m heartened to see it coming from a police veteran, but he saves perhaps his best point for last:

“Firearms cause crime like pencils cause misspelled words. It all has to do with the behavior of the person and not the product they use. You have the right not to own an AK-47 rifle but, please, do not infringe upon my right to own a firearm of my choice. This is still a free country. Let's keep it that way.”

Again, it is very heartening to see a police officer who is a strong proponent of the individual right to keep and bear arms. Far too often all police are perceived as being cast from the same mold as many big-city police departments – who have never seen a gun ban they don’t like. Mr. McKean is a credit to law enforcement and sets a great example to follow.

Personally I’d like to know how many letters the Mail Tribune received on this particular issue. Something tells me – a LOT! We have to continue to win hearts and minds in the battle to preserve our Second Amendment rights – and literally every letter helps!

Until next time!!!

End of the Road for the AK-47?

The English version of Pravda is reporting that Izhmash will be unveiling a new weapon next year designed to replace the venerable (and ubiquitous) AK-47. Citing the need for a more efficient weapon platform, and the fact that the AK was “is a weapon of the wars of the past, a weapon for large and poorly trained armies.”

It will be interesting to see what Izhmash has come up with next year, but whatever they’ve developed, it has huge shoes to fill. Call me skeptical, but the Russians have attempted to replace the AK-47 before, and yet it still remains the basic platform for an exceptionally large class of weapons used the world over.

Until next time!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Idiot Sticks His Foot in His Mouth on the AK-47

The Medford Mail Tribune is fairly notorious for its anti-gun, anti-self defense, anti-Second Amendment positions. It therefore comes as no surprise that they printed an “editorial” declaring that “AK-47s should be illegal”. The piece (of tripe) by one R. "Andy" Anderson of Phoenix Oregon is a rant that hits all of the standard anti-gun talking points with a healthy dose of ignorance and distortion on top.

Going through the piece point by point:

“As we all know, an AK-47 is a "killing machine" and nothing else! Gun dealers should be prohibited from selling them and should have to divulge where they get them from!”

Technically all firearms are “killing machines” by that definition – from the Brown Bess Musket all the way through Glock pistols and bolt action hunting rifles. The author furthermore clearly has no understanding of the nature of the so-called AK-47’s advertised for sale today. He’s clearly laboring under the delusion that they are fully automatic weapons smuggled into the country. In fact, all AK-47 derivatives sold in the United States are semi-automatic firearms with BATFE approved receivers to prohibit easy conversion to a fully automatic firearm. Furthermore AK-47 derivative rifles in the United States must have a minimum number of U.S. made parts to comply with Section 922(r) of the Federal Code. They are available from several reputable importers and manufacturers in the United States.

“As a veteran of the Korean War, I'm very much aware the damage this weapon can do.”

The AK-47 was not used in the Korean War, though the PPSh was. This seems like a normal “appeal to authority” logical fallacy, but Mr. Anderson only further demonstrates that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“It's not used for hunting deer, elk or any other game animal that can be legally hunted.”

Actually with a five round magazine the AK makes a very nice deer hunting rifle. However as any student of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution is aware, hunting is not the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms. Defense of the self, the state, and liberty are. The AK-47, even in its semi-automatic incarnation, is a solid defensive weapon.

“Most of the people that get their hands on this weapon of mass destruction are crooks, bank robbers, etc., and the police department is totally outgunned by these criminals.”

This whole statement is just factually incorrect from the outset. A 2004 study by the Department of Justice indicates that the impact of the Assault Weapon Ban on crime was minimal, largely because so-called “assault weapons” were “rarely” used in crimes. Furthermore, most police departments are armed with high caliber, high capacity semi-automatic pistols as a standard sidearm. Departments also have access to REAL fully automatic assault rifles which outgun anything a civilian can own outside of a Class III weapon.

He closes with:

“I can't understand why anyone would want to own one, even a collector of guns!”

Obviously “Andy” doesn’t understand a lot of things. He doesn’t understand the law, he doesn’t understand the right to keep and bear arms, he doesn’t understand the difference between a BATFE approved semi-automatic clone and a fully automatic firearm, he doesn’t understand modern hunting, and he doesn’t understand what weapons were actually used in the Korean War (which he allegedly attended). It’s therefore not surprising given the dearth of knowledge he’s displayed in his “editorial” that he wouldn’t understand why someone would like to own one. Speaking as someone who owns several AK-47 clones, I own them for self-defense. I own them for hunting. I own them for target shooting. I own them because they’re rugged, easy to clean, and easy to carry. I own them because the ammunition is generally inexpensive. I own them because they are an important part of world firearm history. Maybe next time “Andy” will educate himself on an issue before writing an editorial... Yeah, right!

Until next time!!!

Newspaper Editorial Board Admits Error - Supports Concealed Carry!

The editorial board of the Missouri News Tribune has come to an amazing conclusion – concealed carry works! In a recent op-ed piece, the editorial board discussed two recent incidents where individuals use firearms to defend themselves from attack. The first case involved a home invasion, but the second case involved an individual with a concealed carry permit using their weapon to resist an assault. The editorial board stated the oft repeated mantra against concealed carry:

“We confess to harboring some reservations about the concealed carry law. Our fear was an increase in guns in public would result in more guns being displayed prematurely and/or more accidents.”

However, Missouri data shows that these fears are unjustified, and the editorial board “concede(s) the point” indicating:

“The evidence, however, does show people defending themselves from harm.

“The message being sent to felons is don't bring a weapon to a crime unless you're prepared to accept the risk.”

Honestly I’m not surprised by the results of the Missouri concealed carry law. People who qualify to have a concealed carry permit are generally unlikely to commit crimes themselves. The fear that there would be “more guns in public” that would be used irresponsibly is a paper tiger. Time and again, real data has show that it is not the case. The real increased danger is to those who seek to violate the law and civil rights of others.

I glad at least one small newspaper in the nation has realized this. Now if the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and LA Times would only follow suit we may be able to make some real progress!

Until next time!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Smith and Wesson Victory Model

As I mentioned a few days ago I picked up a Smith and Wesson Victory model revolver at the gun show. Turns out it’s technically a “pre-victory” or a host of other collector terms as it’s a lend lease gun with the “United States Property” stamp, but it’s just before they moved over to the “V” serial number block typical of the Victory model. So what the heck is a “Victory Model?” Basically it’s the Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver chambered to be compatible with the British .38/200 load (which is essentially just a .38 Smith and Wesson with a 200 grain bullet). The Model 10 is the direct descendant of the standard Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolver.

After the disaster at Dunkirk, the British army needed replacement armaments – and quickly. The United States provided over a half million of these revolvers to Britain and Commonwealth forces throughout the war. They were extremely popular – even more so than the indigenous Enfield and Webley revolvers firing the same cartridge. The U.S. also used the Victory model, though in American service the revolver was chambered for .38 special rather than .38/200.

My example (above) still has most of its original parkerized finish. It also has several proofs indicating it was in Australian service during the war, and has been through a Full Thorough Repair (FTR) in 1954. I also picked up a British canvas holster to go with the pistol.

There are several great references on the web about the Victory Model. This site has a great tutorial on the markings commonly found on the Victory model. The site includes links to pictures of each of the proofs and markings as well.

I’m quite pleased overall with my find. I’d wanted a Victory Model for some time, but I’d never been able to find one at a price I was willing to pay (as both historical collectors and Smith and Wesson collectors target these little gems). I feel I got a good deal on this pistol, and can’t wait to get it out to the range and put a few rounds through it!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Media Continues to Orbit Bloomberg’s Ego

The NRA-ILA website has an article detailing Bloomberg’s latest escapades in his egomaniacal crusade to erode and eliminate your right to keep and bear arms. Surrounded by cameras and media at a “news conference” Bloomberg proclaimed that his undercover agents had discovered "a willful disregard of the law" by "74% of gun show sellers." Seems fairly damning until you realize the following:

“...his "investigators" attended gun shows only "in states . . . that supply crime guns trafficked across state lines at the highest rates," only in neighborhoods with the highest incidence of "federal prosecutions for straw buying and trafficking, and proximity to urban areas experiencing gang violence," and ultimately focused their attention on only 47 individuals who, based upon their comments and actions, seemed the most likely to violate a gun sale law.”

Granted, it’s troubling that there are that many individuals willing to break the law, but the statistics do not carry to the general population, nor do they carry to the general gun show population. Unfortunately many of the usual anti-gun suspects seem to have similarly flunked basic statistics:

"Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department, the public can see firsthand what goes on at these weapons markets," said the Brady Campaign.

"This investigation reveals how easy it is for criminals and even terrorists to purchase firearms at gun shows," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Media outlets and newspapers nationwide have latched onto Bloomberg’s “revelation” with their usual level of journalistic integrity – that is to say none. The NRA site correctly points out:

“Reporters worthy of the name would have pointed out that buying a gun for a family member or friend as a gift is not a straw purchase. It's a violation of the law only to buy a gun for a prohibited person. And competent reporters would have also noticed that Bloomberg's "investigation" actually undercuts his call for requiring background checks on non-dealer sales at gun shows. The most common gun sale violation, Bloomberg says, is that straw purchasers defeat the background check. Requiring more sales to be run through checks would not alleviate the straw purchase problem one whit.”

Individuals who break firearm law should be prosecuted, but that is the duty of the BATFE, not the Mayor of the City of New York or its police department. Thirty or so individuals at specifically targeted gun shows do not represent a nationwide epidemic. All this latest stunt proves is that Bloomberg will go to any lengths to deny American’s their inalienable right to keep and bear arms – and hog the media spotlight.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama Seeks Foreign Arms Control Entanglements

The Obama Administration has reversed a Bush Administration policy stating it would back talks to develop a treaty regulating arms sales under the condition that the talks “operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.” While it’s certainly no surprise that the current administration is willing to entertain a treaty which limits armaments, the precondition is a little surprising. By requiring a consensus to move forward, an actual treaty agreement resulting from these talks may be unlikely. Looking at the decision in that light, perhaps this is an attempt by the administration to appear to be taking actions without having to take a strong stand on a controversial issue.

The goal of the treaty is to “tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons.” According to the article:

“Supporters say it would give worldwide coverage to close gaps in existing regional and national arms export control systems that allow weapons to pass onto the illicit market.

“Nations would remain in charge of their arms export control arrangements but would be legally obliged to assess each export against criteria agreed under the treaty. Governments would have to authorize transfers in writing and in advance.”

Critics of the treaty believe that rogue states would still be able to arm themselves at will while other smaller nations with a tenuous military balance (like Israel) would suffer a reduced ability to defend themselves. The treaty is also opposed by gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

Honestly from where I sit, this treaty could lead to a fair amount of mischief and limitations on things like parts kits and imports of firearms into the United States. The administration stance on the issue seems to be little more than throwing a bone to the international community while expending as little political capital as possible.

Until next time!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

October Rose City Gun Show Report

Had an enjoyable afternoon at the Portland Gun Show on Saturday as it was too rainy outside to do – well, pretty much anything without the use of SCUBA gear! A few of the regular vendors were moved around a bit because some regulars couldn’t make this show. Pricing on firearms is about steady from last time around, so the recent discounts I’ve seen online haven’t started to work their way through the system. For example, AIM has a WASR10 for about $380 at this point, whereas they were all closer to $500 at the show.

Ryan Judy had a first article of a Finnish Suomi M31 9mm semi-automatic on display. I’ve got one on order and picked up two stick and two drum magazines at the show. He also had a decent selection of Finnish Mosin Nagant rifles. There were a few semi-decent C&R rifles elsewhere at the show, but it was lighter than previous shows.

A few of the people walking through had some interesting firearms they were offloading. I ended up picking up a Smith and Wesson Victory Model for a reasonable price. Hit one of the vendors specializing in C&R and picked up British Canvas holster to go with it too.

Overall I had a great time. I’m still considering setting up a table in November or December as I need to rotate some of the collection.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Took the Plunge – 6.8mm Remington SPC

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the (relatively) new 6.8 mm Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge). The cartridge was developed to address ballistic deficiencies in the standard 5.56 NATO cartridge in widespread use in both military and civilian applications. I’ll be the first to admit that while I was excited by the prospect of a new cartridge for the AR platform, I was wary as not only was the cartridge in its infancy, but the barrels, chambers, bolts and magazines to support the new cartridge were as well. As you can see below the size of the 5.56 and 6.8mm cartridges are similar (6.8mm is on the bottom).

Over the past few years, the ballistic performance of the round has been improved, but that has also necessitated improvements in the AR platform as well. Many early 6.8mm uppers do not perform well, or do not perform well with the most current version of the 6.8mm cartridge. At this point, however, the specs seem to be stabilizing, and there is a growing community adopting the cartridge.

The 6.8mm forum (link above) has generated a really good spreadsheet that has many tips for individuals just getting into the cartridge. I’d seen several ads and had initially ordered an upper from a company I’d seen frequently in Shotgun News. They were out of stock, and I ultimately canceled that order because the company’s upper got a failing rating on the 6.8 forums rating system based on twist rate, grooves, barrel rating, feed ramps, thread size, and gas port location. I ended up getting an upper from AR15 Performance as all of their uppers received highest marks. Bison Armory, Titan Arms, and the new uppers from Noveske are also all “A” rated.

The photo above is of my rig. I haven’t had a chance to sight it in yet as it just arrived right before I headed out on a hunting trip (and proceeded to get sick – but that’s another story!). Can’t wait to get it out and see how it performs. I’m going to take my time breaking in the barrel and sighting it in.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Briefs Start Coming in for McDonald

Just as they did with the Heller case, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) are joining Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) in filing a joint amicus brief before the Supreme Court asking the court to rule that Chicago’s gun ban is unconstitutional. Interestingly, The Hill is couching the case as one that “could further expand the Second Amendment and restrict governments’ ability to police the flow of firearms.” Talking about a slanted statement! Even a cursory reading of American history shows that the Second Amendment was always supposed to affirm an individual, inalienable right. All the upcoming McDonald case does is to reaffirm today what was patently obvious then. In no way, shape, form, or fashion does it “expand” the Second Amendment, nor does it have anything to do with the government’s ability to “police” firearms.

Senator Hutchinson states:

“With its landmark decision in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court affirmed an individual’s right to bear arms is a fundamental, Constitutionally-guaranteed liberty. The Second Amendment should protect all lawful gun owners, but some courts have not viewed this right as one protected from state infringement. I look forward to the Supreme Court’s consideration of McDonald v. the City of Chicago so this extremely important Constitutional question regarding a fundamental, individual right can be settled, once and for all.”

I personally couldn’t agree more. This is a Constitutional question that should have never had to have been asked. I’m also glad to see that this brief will be filed by both Democrats and Republicans. The Second Amendment for too long was a purely partisan issue, but recent years have seen a surge in bipartisan support for the right to keep and bear arms. Hopefully other Senators and Representatives will sign on to this brief as well.

Until next time!!!

Schwarzenegger Caves on Ammo Regulation!

After vetoing three similar bills in recent years, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has now signed a sweeping ammunition regulation bill saying he believes it will “promote public safety.” Regulating guns hasn’t worked, but suddenly regulating ammunition will? Yet again we see the politicians acting like they’re “doing something” rather than addressing the real problems leading to violence – largely in urban areas.

Given that this is California legislation, the provisions of the bill are fairly onerous:

  • All ammunition sales will have to be face-to-face.
  • The Law makes it a crime to knowingly sell or give ammunition to someone who cannot possess it legally, including felons, gang members and the mentally ill.
  • As of February 2011, all ammunition buyers will have to provide a driver's license or other state identification and a thumbprint.
The only “bright” spot in the legislation is that a provision that “would have required sellers of more than 50 rounds of ammunition a month to be licensed by the state” was stripped from the final bill.

Welcome to the new front in gun rights legislation. For years, those opposed to the right to self-defense have focused on outlawing firearms. Now that court case after court case has upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms, they’re going after other targets. Bloomberg has attacked FFL’s and now this is the first step in attacking ammunition. I expect that this law will eventually be challenged, but until then it will serve as a “model” to gun grabbers across the nation.

Until next time!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

NRA - Good or Bad for Our Rights?

Over at the Northwest Firearms board, there’s a thread that asks the question – is the NRA good or bad. It’s a seemingly simple question, but there are a myriad of views on the topic. Here’s my take.

First off, let me preface this by saying that I'm both an an NRA life member and a GOA life member. I honestly think both serve their purposes.

Some gun rights activists accuse the NRA of secretly working with the anti-gun activists behind the scenes and a host of other nefarious activities. Do I think the NRA is in bed with Feinstein and co? Absolutely not. That's a ridiculous charge GOA uses to boost membership numbers. GOA is "no compromise", but they're also "no money" and effectively "no clout" in Washington – beyond a few individual representatives that were already onboard anyway.

Sadly enough I’ve seen gun owners fall into two camps – those who think they don’t go far enough and those who think they’re “too radical” – it all depends on who they’ve been listening to.

One important thing to consider, though, is the fact that the NRA has the money to push legal cases forward. That's why they're demonized in the media so much - because the anti crowd sees them as a legitimate threat. The landmark Heller case was funded largely with NRA money. The upcoming McDonald case I believe is mostly Second Amendment Foundation if memory serves, but you can bet that the NRA and GOA will most likely both file briefs.

GOA is good for whipping up the base, but that’s really about it. They just don’t have the resources to move outside that role at this point. The NRA on the other hand is aware of GOA, and seems to be taking a much harder line these days on Second Amendment cases. The Heller case finally got the government of the United States to admit that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right – just like the Framers intended. In short, competition is good.

I personally support the NRA, GOA, Second Amendment Foundation and the Oregon Firearms Federation when I can. We need to make sure that all of these organizations are well-funded to ensure the future of our Second Amendment rights.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pundits Weigh in on McDonald

As discussed a couple of days ago the Supreme Court has decided to take up the case McDonald v. Chicago. At issue is Chicago’s draconian handgun ban, which has done absolutely nothing to decrease the crime rate in Chicago. Violence in the city has continued to increase with the recent murder of Derrion Albert serving as a stark example of the all-to-common brutality in Chicago’s streets. At this point, several pundits are starting to weigh in on the issue, and right now most seem to be predicting that the Constitution will actually be upheld.

Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune wrote a short piece discussing the ban. It hits most of the relevant points, including the fact that the ban hasn’t decreased crime. He also cites Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda as giving the ban only a 20% chance of surviving this challenge. The Tribune allows comments on their web site which seem to be running more heavily in favor of getting rid of the ban, but there are still several people clinging to the “collective right” interpretation of the law who clearly haven’t read their history. I added a brief shot to the discussion:

“People love to cite the militia clause of the Second Amendment, but then trip over that "right of the people" part... They also fail to read the Federalist and the writings of the people who actually debated, authored, and ultimately ratified the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is there as much to protect America from outside invasion as it is to protect America from a strong central government run amok. Their intent was that the populace should be armed - and armed as well as any army. Not practical today, but the individual rights interpretation is the only interpretation with historical backing. Don't believe me - go read your American history”

Don’t know if it will do any good, but I’ve found the best way to defeat someone who thinks they “know it all” in an argument is to prove that they really don’t know it all.

Eric Zorn, also of the Tribune, also predicts that the Chicago ban is going down because of some of the broad language in Heller. Again, there are several gun-banners posting in the comments, but they’re starting to sound more and more like petulant children who aren’t getting their way as the facts don’t support their interpretations, and they’re being called out on it.

Declan McCullagh over at CBS as also written an opinion on the issue, but his takes a different view focusing on an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment applied to the states in many post Civil War court decisions (where the rights of African Americans were being trampled). The comments on this one seem to have more of an anti-gun slant to them overall with many people playing the “it’s not the 1800’s anymore” card and maintaining that cities are “different.” I’ve got news for them, they either have inalienable rights, or they don’t. It’s time America got back to recognizing our inalienable rights as such!

It proves to be an interesting next few months as the briefs begin to pour in for the January hearing of the case. Next year will be a pivotal year for our rights as affirmed under the Second Amendment – regardless of how this case is decided. Remember to keep up your support for pro-Second groups (see links on the sidebar) as they will be the ones presenting large portions of this case.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear Landmark Second Amendment Case!!!

The question whether the Second Amendment applies to the states (like the First) will be taken up by the United States Supreme Court next year. The case in question, McDonald v. Chicago, is one of the key cases I discussed in a blog entry from last month. In the case, the Chicago handgun ban is the law in question. An earlier decision upheld the ban, indicating the Second Amendment only applies to Federal, not State or Local law, but indicated the matter was one for the Supreme Court to decide.

The key question is whether or not the Second Amendment is incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment like the remainder of the Bill of Rights. If the Supreme Court rules that it is, and strikes down the Chicago gun ban, the same way the Heller case struck down the D.C. gun ban, then outright bans across the nation will be immediately unconstitutional. This would be the greatest possible victory for our rights as affirmed under the Constitution in years. I sincerely hope the Court further reaffirms the individual right to keep and bear arms as enumerated in our Constitution.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

S.C. Candidate’s Machine Gun Rally Makes National News

The CNN headline reads “Candidate Uses AK-47 to Raise Cash” – and that’s part of the draw, but the machine gun shoot has to be at least as big a draw as well! According to a local news affiliate Dean Allen, a candidate for South Carolina’s Adjutant General, wanted to show his support for the Second Amendment while holding a fund raiser for his campaign as well. Attendees got a chance to fire a machine gun (a real fully-automatic one) and were entered into the raffle for the semi-automatic AK clone valued at nearly $700.

Honestly, it’s good to see candidates embracing the Second Amendment. Unfortunately most of the candidates that are unabashed Second Amendment supporters are confined to rural areas or for obscure state offices. South Carolina is alone among the states in appointing an Adjutant General. According to the article, “the office has authority over the state’s defense forces, including the South Carolina National Guard.”

Here’s hoping Second Amendment supporters make a strong showing in the 2010 mid-term elections and the 2012 primary season.

Until next time!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

September Rose City Gun Show Report

Actually made it to the gun show this past weekend (after a trip to the retro-gaming fair). Show was much smaller than it was a couple months ago when the military vehicle guys were there (although it could have been the same number of gun tables but looked smaller because there wasn’t a Stuart tank up front). Talking to some of the vendors, it sounds like the show was a bit slower than some of the previous ones.

Selection was pretty good. Ammunition prices are definitely coming back down to their pre-election levels. I was even able to secure myself three boxes of large rifle primers. I also picked up some accessories for my 6.8mm Remington SPC AR (blog post forthcoming). I’d ordered the upper months ago at the beginning of the year, and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago.

I did see one very drool worthy rifle at the show – a Japanese Type 44 rifle – mint, near 100% blue, with the mum – oh, and it has a 1st pattern bayonet. I’ve got a late Type 44 with the 3rd pattern bayonet that’s cherry with a mum, but I’d never seen a 1st pattern in that condition.

Until next time!!!

October 2009 American Rifleman Review

I know – I’m way behind – bad Mikey! Pretty decent issue this time around – more of a political bend to a lot of the articles, but given the current environment, that’s not surprising. It starts out with a letter from the editor that hits very close to home – gun collecting. I have a decent little collection, and it’s really where a lot of my interest lies. It gives a URL to the NRA Gun Collector Programs courtesy of the National Firearms Museum page. Going to have to check that out. I’m a member of Oregon Arms Collectors, but their meetings are usually at a bad time for me – going to have to try to be more of a regular next year.

Wayne LaPierre has a brief article on the sudden Democratic interest in “States’ Rights.” In fact, many of them are only interested in the 10th Amendment when it serves their cause to limit the 2nd Amendment. Individuals like Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin, etc. who have no problem enacting sweeping Federal programs when it suits their interests suddenly become advocates of “States’ Rights” when nation-wide recognition of concealed carry permits is proposed (similar to the fact that all states recognize drivers’ licenses).

There’s also a neat little article on a firearm fan who scuba dives, drives rally cars, and has served as an officer in the military – King Abdullah II of Jordan. He recently was vacationing in the U.S. (cross-country motorcycling and white water rafting) and visited the Gunsite Academy in Arizona for some shooting. He was given a lifetime NRA membership and was presented with a .45 Colt SAA and a Gunsite M1911. I REALLY like the 1911 he got...

There’s also an article on Bloomberg’s continued efforts to disarm America. It has some fairly staggering statistics in it. Bloomberg and his cronies accuse Congress of backing down to the NRA and other “special interests.” Yet the NRA is actually a grassroots organization. Bloomberg has put $2.9 million of his own money into his campaign to shred the Constitution. Billionaires like Eli Broad have put in at least $750,000. The Joyce Foundation has put in $1.1 million. Talking about a few individuals trying to buy policy! Who’s the unrepresentative “special interest” here again? Their goal is to “take back the Second Amendment” – meaning they want the individual right affirmed by the Second Amendment to go away.

Ruger has (finally) released a version of the AR-15. There is a piston operated type which accepts normal AR magazines. The lower receiver, upper receiver bolt, firing pin, and charging handle are standard AR-15 as well. The price, however, is way up there at $1995 suggested retail. Speaking of the AR-15, there’s a great write up on its big brother, the M4 as well detailing its history, construction, and performance in the field.

There’s also a very timely article about Gun Shows. Because of media hype, hysteria, distortions, and outright fabrications, there are a lot of people who don’t know jack about gun shows – but KNOW they “need more regulation.” It’s great to have an article that gets the basic facts out there for people to see. Unfortunately being in American Rifleman, the article is pretty much preaching to the choir.

One article that reminds us just how much things have changed (and not for the better) discusses Abraham Lincoln’s fascination with rifles. He even tested many of the carbines and early repeaters which ended up seeing service in the Civil War. If only our current President had that level of interest in firearms and respect for our Liberties.

There’s a lot more good stuff in this issue as well – it’s a definite keeper!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rifle of the Month – the SG-43 Goryunov

For a change of pace I thought I’d do something a little something different this time around. The SG-43 Goryunov was designed as a replacement for the Maxim machine gun common in Soviet service during World War II. It’s belt fed and chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x54R cartridge. The machine gun was used extensively in World War II, and then post war in the armed forced of Soviet ally and satellite states. In the 60’s it was replaced by the newer PK and PKM machine guns. One of the distinguishing features is the wheeled cart so the weapon is ready to set up a defensive position with gun shield at all times.

As with most fully-automatic firearms, this one is exceedingly rare. However AIM surplus has recently released a semi-automatic version of the weapon based on Polish kits and new U.S. receivers. I would LOVE to have one, but with a purchase price just short of $4,400 – I think I’m unfortunately going to have to admire this one from afar (unless that lottery comes through for me!).

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another Day, Another Administration Kook

Another busy day here, unfortunately. Our dear leader has nominated yet another individual from way outside the “normal” distribution to yet another made-up post. This time it’s the “regulatory czar.” And this one is a real winner. His name is Cass Sunstein, and he believes hunting should be abolished, animals should be able to sue humans in count, and believes that all gun control legislation is “Constitutionally fine.”

You’d think Obama would have learned his lesson by now, but he continues to follow the same path of nominating leftist extremists to positions of power with minimal Congressional oversight. This latest nomination comes mere days after Van Jones resigned as “green czar” because of previous statements around the government’s role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many in Washington questioning whether the “czar” role is even appropriate in American government, especially given that the administration has over 30 of them at this point.

Tennessee Senator Lamarr Alexander states:

"I don't think (Jones is) the issue. I think the czars are the issue. We have about two dozen so-called czars -- the pay czar, the car czar, all these czars in the White House."

Sunstein would be yet another monarch carving out a fiefdom in American policy. This individual’s views are not only well outside the American mainstream, they run contrary to the Constitution. Gun Owners of America is urging everyone to write their Senators and urge that Sunstein is not confirmed as “Regulatory Czar” as he would have too much influence over policy.

I’ve already written mine! Until next time!!!

Exodus from MAIG Continues

The mayor of the Village of Walton Hills, Ohio, Mayor Marlene Anielski (R), has recently left Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG) organization. This is yet another unfortunate case of a Mayor not reading the fine print before joining an organization. The marketing around this organization frequently doesn’t accurately portray it as the radical anti-firearm organization it truly is. Both the Mayor and her husband are NRA members and once the true charter of the organization became evident, she made a hasty exit.

The NRA has provided a full list of all of the members of Bloomberg’s organization on their website. It’s definitely worth checking that list to see if your mayor is on this list, and it’s also worth writing your mayor to indicate your opposition to the organization and its disarmament agenda. Bloomberg continues his well-funded assault on our civil rights and liberties, and we must oppose his effort at every opportunity.

Until next time!!!

Pittsburgh Continues to Defy State Law

Most large cities in the United States seem to think they “know better” than the rest of the country, especially when it comes to firearm laws. Many large cities in the U.S. have passed restrictive gun laws, yet wonder why their crime rates continue to skyrocket. The City of Pittsburgh is considering a so-called “assault weapon ban,” even though state law forbids the city from passing firearm laws that are stricter than state law. The excuse used this time is the upcoming G-20 summit. I guess they don’t want to offend the visiting dignitaries by flaunting our liberties.

This is yet another example of the tactics typical of those seeking to destroy the right to keep and bear arms. Any excuse is jumped on to pass bans – even if those bans are not permitted under State or Federal law. Rule of law has absolutely no meaning for these individuals as they clearly believe “the ends justify the means.” Those of you in the greater Pittsburgh area, please contact the Mayor’s office or city council. Contact information is available here. We can’t let these self-righteous bureaucrats trample on our rights and liberties!

Until next time!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Selective Enforcement of the Firearm Owners Protection Act

If you talk to people who have a passing knowledge about firearm law, they’ll know about the “1986 machine gun ban.” Technically, this law is the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act banned civilian ownership and possession of fully-automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986. For most people that’s where their knowledge of the law ends. However, the ironic fact is that the act was originally intended to rein in the abuses of the BATFE (then the ATF). If you read further in the law, one very important section arises:

Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (2) (a): No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.

This effectively prohibits “registration” of firearms in the United States, which says that California’s registration scheme and the national database are both technically illegal. The question I have is why are the BATFE and some of the states allowed to continue in this fashion – effectively ignoring a major provision of the Firearm Owners Protection Act??? Maybe it’s time we started shining a light onto this dark corner of the law?

Until next time!

Another Day, Another “Gun Show” Hit Piece

The NRA-ILA website is reporting that University of California (Davis) professor Garen Wintemute has released another “study” showing that the nation “needs” more gun control laws in spite of the fact that California has some of the strictest gun control in the nation, yet their murder and robbery rates are much higher than the national average. The title of this clearly “unbiased study” (about as “unbiased” as a Michael Moore “documentary”) is "Inside Gun Shows: What Goes On When Everybody Thinks Nobody's Watching."

Gun shows, however, just appear to be the tip of the wedge. Wintemute acknowledges that straw purchases circumventing background checks are a major source of illegally acquired firearms, and further acknowledges that firearm purchases at gun shows represent a tiny minority of sales. He even goes so far to admit that most gun show sales go through retailers which require background checks anyway. So what’s the issue? The issue is what most have always suspected it to be – private party sales:

"Regulating private party sales just at gun shows will not end the problems associated with these anonymous and undocumented transactions. Most of them occur elsewhere already. ... It would be preferable to regulate private party gun sales generally."

In short, Wintemute wants to turn the nation into California where “…private sales are prohibited, transfers of firearms are delayed by a 10-day waiting period, and sales are permanently recorded by the government.” These are effectively the same goals as the Brady Campaign’s when it started in 1976 (then known as the National Council to Control Handguns).

The “logic” here completely escapes me. California, and all other cities with strict gun control, have higher murder and robbery rates than areas without strict gun control. The UK has seen firearm related crime skyrocket since they instituted bans. Either these groups are completed deluded, or there is a greater agenda hidden underneath the surface. I tend to think the latter, which is why these groups’ claims and “studies” must be countered with real logic and facts at every opportunity!

Until next time!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Return of the Tabuk Log!

It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on the Tabuk project. The reason for the delay has been a combination of waiting for replacement parts (the new barrel), waiting for that barrel to be corrected, replacing some dead, deceased, and defunct cobalt drill bits, and then waiting for some spare time to actually work on the project seriously.

Actually disassembling the old barrel was a little trickier than I’d anticipated, and I had to pull out one of my precision vises to actually get enough purchase on the rear sight block to get it off of the barrel. Once I had all of the pieces free, I cleaned up any nicks or marks from handling. Once I’d gotten the barrel back from Tornado Technologies I slowly began the process of getting it back together. I’ve taken it very slow to ensure I didn’t have a repeat of last time (and we all know how painful that was!).

Overall the barrel went together pretty well. I had a little trouble cutting the gas port, but once I switched to a new sharp bit I was able to get it cut without too much difficulty. Putting the barrel back in was a slow affair with numerous stops and starts to check the position of the barrel relative to the bolt assembly.

Once the barrel was in, the rest of the process went has gone pretty much like a normal AK build. I had to do a little work on the magazine catch, but now it accepts an array of magazines without issue (I put a 40 in it because I had it lying around. The 5-round Chinese work very well, though. Tabuk hunting anyone???). Honestly, one of the trickiest parts was riveting the pistol grip mount to the receiver. The normal AK builder jigs just aren’t quite set up to do this as easily as I’d like, so it took a little bit of careful work to get all of those rivets into place and secure. As you can see from the pictures below, the final product is coming out beautifully:

An astute observer will note a few things that need to be done yet. The rear sight is a standard M70 sight I included purely for the purpose of aligning the barrel assembly. I haven’t installed the Tabuk sight yet. You’ll also note the full trigger assembly isn’t yet installed – I’m still debating whether or not I want to install the adjustable match trigger or not. I also haven’t set the barrel pin just yet as I want to finalize checking the headspace. If anything, I’ll move the barrel out 1mm or so – don’t know if I need to, though. I also still need to cut the groove in the barrel for the lower hand guard retainer and screw in the buttpad on the stock. Once all that’s done I’ll tackle modifications to the cheek rest, as the hardware is completely different than the Dragunov.

Overall this has been an alternately frustrating and rewarding project. As the final pieces fall into place, I’m quite proud of the outcome, and I’ve learned a lot about trying to build a project from near scratch versus rebuilding a kit. Once I’ve completed assembly and done a field test, then I’ll get the entire rifle refinished. I still haven’t decided who I’m going to go with on that because I have a fair amount of research still to do.

Until next time!!!

More Anti-Gun Politics in the Funny Pages

One of the few remaining bastions of readable material in most newspapers these days has been the comic pages. I regularly read through the “educational section” as it’s one of the few places that isn’t heaped with biased reporting demonizing lawful firearm owners. Unfortunately the same politics that dominate the rest of the paper now seem to be creeping into the comics page, with the recent lifting of the ban on concealed weapons in parks causing a lot of “stir.” At this point we can add the comic Mother Goose and Grimm to the list of anti-gun / anti-Second outlets. The August 31, 2009 comic strongly implies that concealed carry holders will shoot randomly in parks and endanger visitors.

Maybe it’s time for a letter writing campaign to strip creator Mike Peters? The combination of comedy and politics goes way back, but it’s only “funny” to one side of the political fence. Hopefully this particular strip will backfire in the minds of most Americans.

Until next time!!!

The UK – Big Brother Everywhere

In yet another intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens, BBC News is reporting that the British Medical Association (BMA) wants to “tag” or “highlight” the medical records of individuals with firearm licenses. The article goes on to debate the various merits of the issue, from a decidedly anti-gun owner perspective for the most part. What should be instructive, and terrifying, to an American citizen is how this ties into our own debate over health care. The UK’s socialized health care is being used as a model by many proposing “reform” in Washington.

The actions of British Doctors and the BMA are instructive as to the direction that we could expect the US to move toward if we implement a universal health care scheme. In addition to being openly hostile to gun owners, British Doctors have called for bans on kitchen knives and virtually anything that can be used as a weapon. Given the fact that health care and government are not distinct in the UK, the privacy implications are obvious.

At this point the UK has TV cameras monitoring all aspects of life. Ostensibly the cameras are there to “prevent crime”, but as I reported last week, crime in the UK continues to spiral out of control. Clearly the bans and schemes aren’t working, yet groups in the UK continue to call for additional bans, additional restrictions, and additional monitoring.

British citizens have given up their privacy, their right to self-defense, and so much more in hopes of comforts and convenience. The return for those sacrifices seems to be a declining standard of life and an increasing crime rate. We can not and must not go down the same path. We as a nation need to learn from the mistakes made by the UK and Europe and blaze our own trail – one that continues to hold the rights and liberties of the individual above all else.

Until next time!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Everyone Else is Jumping off the Bridge

Remember the stereotypical motherly question "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Hopefully in the area of gun control, America’s answer will be a resounding “no,” but it seems like everywhere you turn, the world is jumping off of that bridge at an alarming rate.

Ireland has passed several new onerous gun laws which have infuriated many people there. The Philippines are in the middle of an amnesty period before stricter controls take effect there. Leftists in the United States often point out that America is a “laughing stock” because of its “lax” gun laws trying to persuade the nation to take the plunge.

However, the facts continue to demonstrate that gun control just doesn’t work. In actuality, it makes crime worse. Drug and gang crime in the UK is spiraling out of control resembling a bleak US crime drama. Crimes involving firearms (which supposedly don’t exist in Britain since they’re banned) are up by more than 50% and fatal stabbings are at their highest levels ever. In the U.S., Chicago has a near total ban on handguns, yet it is our murder capital.

Policy makers try to respond with their typical nanny state remedies – more free social welfare and gun "bans" enforce a vicious cycle of poverty for those trapped in the cities and threaten the liberties of the law abiding. One definition of insanity is to “keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.” The political leadership in our urban areas is clearly insane by this definition, and needs to be opposed at every junction. We need new solutions – ones that will actually break the culture of drugs and violence but respect the inalienable rights of American citizens.

Until next time!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sales of Seized Firearms?

The L.A. Times is reporting that Colorado Springs, CO is considering selling seized firearms rather than destroying them as is the national norm. Citing that the same is done with other forms of seized property (autos and cars), it seems like a refreshing change from the normal “disarm the people” attitude of many large city police departments.

For the L.A. Times, the article is fairly middle of the road. Furthermore, given that some priceless collectable firearms have either been seized in drug raids or “bought back” by Police departments, this provides an outlet for these weapons.

Now if the Army would just send us some Iraqi and Khyber Pass AK kits, I’d be a really happy camper!

Until next time!!!