Friday, February 27, 2009

Maxwell Case Continues to Make Headlines

KATU has reported on Friday’s rally in Salem in support of Jeff Maxwell and his fight against the illegal firearms policy at WOU and other Oregon Universities. No word on the size of the rally, but at least the local news is starting to pick up on this story. There’s an unscientific poll on the site as well asking:

"Should people with a concealed handgun license be allowed to carry a gun on Oregon college & university campuses?"

When I voted on the poll the numbers were:

Yes: 71%

No: 27%

I don't know: 2%

Again, these results aren’t scientific and aren’t necessarily representative, but they are encouraging. This case is starting to get a lot of attention at the state level. I’m hoping that it begins to get some national attention to bring this issue to a head. Our Universities and Schools have been “free fire” zones for too long. Any crazed individual can step onto a campus and know with absolute certainty that he has a target rich area of defenseless victims. The right to self defense does not stop at the door of a University, and it’s time that the University system acknowledges that!

Until next time!!!

Bipartisan Second Amendment Task Force Opposes AWB

The voices in opposition to Holder’s comments on a new so-called “assault weapon” ban continue to grow. Now the bipartisan Second Amendment Task Force in the House of Representatives has released a statement indicating the strongest possible opposition to such a move. The task force is co-chaired by U.S. Congressman Dan Boren, (D-OK-2) and U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, (R-GA-10), and their comments on Holder’s proposed ban are right on the mark:

Congressman Boren:

“The Second Amendment Task Force is adamantly opposed to reinstating the ban on the sale of assault weapons as it clearly would demonstrate a violation of United States citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution absolutely does not outline any provision to restrict ownership of a gun belonging to a specific category. I will diligently work with my colleagues on the Second Amendment Task Force to defeat any form of legislation in Congress that poses a threat to the Second Amendment.”

Congressman Paul Broun:

“The Attorney General’s recent comments about reinstating the ‘assault weapons’ ban are extremely troubling since a ban clearly violates our Constitutional right to bear arms. The Second Amendment Task Force opposes the discussed ban and will fight any attempts that infringe on our Second Amendment rights.”

Once again, it is encouraging to see such strong bipartisan support of our Second Amendment Rights. It’s well past time for the Second Amendment to be a political wedge issue – it represents an inalienable Civil Right, and our politicians on both sides of the aisle need to recognize that in no uncertain terms. The Second Amendment Task Force is a strong step in the right direction.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rally for Maxwell at Oregon Capitol

Wish I’d had more advanced notice of this one, but OFF just emailed an alert that there will be a rally this Friday February 27th starting at noon to highlight the plight of Jeffrey Maxwell. The alert provides the back story regular readers will be familiar with:

"Maxwell, who was falsely arrested on a firearms charge, is still facing unlawful discipline from Western Oregon University even though county DA Butterfield has dropped all charges admitting Maxwell committed no crime. State law prevents WOU (where Maxwell had been a student) from making up their own rules on firearms possession."

The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness about Jeff’s plight and how any lawful firearm owner could be similarly victimized by groups that believe they are above State Law.

Kim Maxwell, Jeff’s brother, sums up the situation nicely:

"Jeff was obeying the law and minding his own business when he was singled out for harassment by campus and Monmouth police. If we allow this kind of treatment to happen to him, anyone could be next."

Anyone who is free should consider attending this rally!

Until next time!!!

AWB Faces Opposition – From Unexpected Quarters!

Looks like AG Holder may have spoken out of turn on the desire of the administration to push for a new so called “assault weapon ban”. The proposed legislation is facing opposition from several sources, and many of them are surprising. The Hill is reporting that Holder never spoke to Speaker Pelosi on any proposed legislation. Pelosi stated:

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now.”

She went on to state that the previous administration didn’t do that, but that seems to be nothing more than partisan rhetoric as firearm laws were followed rigorously during the last administration. Such a statement from Pelosi marks a drastic change from her previous stands on the issue, though I still firmly believe she personally would like to see additional unconstitutional legislation.

Part of the reason for the seeming about face on this issue could be how unpopular the gun control issue has become in the Democratic Party. The only reason the Democrats enjoy their current majority is because of the inclusion of pro-Second Amendment legislators into their ranks. A recent discussion on the Democratic Underground board seems to follow that trend. An “assault weapon” ban doesn’t seem to have any traction in the Party – most correctly see it as useless or an infringement of Civil Rights.

One poster (f the letter) states:

"When i have a right, you (or any organization/body seeking to curtail rights) need to tell me why you can abridge it. It's not the other way around: i don't need to explain to you why i need my rights to free speech or due process, you need to tell me what the cause of trampling them is.

"You could say "Why do you NEED to show up at a protest when it's ineffective?" or "Why do you need the telecommunications companies to not monitor your calls? What do you have to hide?" but they dodge the central issue, which is that we have a right to be at protests, a right to due process in wiretapping, and a right to bear arms."

Quite frankly – I believe there may be hope for America. The best possible result of any controversy around a so-called “assault weapon ban” is to make the Second Amendment a non-partisan issue. As long as only one party is standing up for our rights, our rights are in jeopardy. If there is strong bipartisan support for our rights, then the likelihood of unconstitutional regulations passing is reduced.

Until next time!!!

Obama and Holder Push Assault Weapon Ban

Well that didn’t take long. I really thought that Obama and Holder would lie low on the so called “assault weapon ban” front until they needed to shore up the base ahead of the 2010 mid-term elections. I mean, they’ve already promised to pull the troops out of Iraq in August of next year as a nice election goodie, but I guess in light of potentially multi-trillion dollar deficits and leftist rage over Obama even speaking to anyone on the other side of the aisle has taken its toll on the agenda.

In comments Wednesday , AG Eric Holder stated:

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons."

The article went on to paraphrase Holder:

"Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border."

And if you believe any of that soft headed, unconstitutional bull then I have some beach front property in the Colorado Rockies to sell you. The first assault weapon ban did not prevent the sale of “assault weapons” – it merely limited the number of features that defined an “assault weapon”. Which brings me to the point I made the other day – the term “assault weapon” as it is used today is a legal construct meaning “anything the gun grabbers think they can get away with banning.” It has nothing to do with fully automatic weapons which are heavily restricted in the U.S. Furthermore, the bans proposed since the sunset of the 1994 ban have been far wider in scope and more draconian (and completely unconstitutional), I would expect any bill floated to be equally bad.

The first AWB had no impact on crime – so I find it hard to understand why this would be a “positive” move for the United States. Maybe the limiting of Constitutional rights is seen as a perk by the Obama administration, so what’s next? Limiting freedom of speech? I know, religious bans – those would be positive. Holder and Obama stand on a slippery slope, and rather than taking the high road and getting off of it and moving their policies back in line with the Constitution (and the oaths of office they took), it appears that they have strapped on skis.

The comments that this will improve things for Mexico are even more laughable. First, last time I check Obama and Holder were U.S. officials bound by the U.S. Constitution. Mexico’s internal problems are their own business. Second, the drug lords in Mexico have fully automatic weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, and the like. A U.S. Assault Weapon Ban would not cover any of the above as fully automatic weapons and destructive devices are already heavily regulated in the United States. Their sources are the Mexican Army and criminal organizations throughout Latin America. It’s far more efficient to import the fully automatic weapons with the drugs than to split your supply base.

In short, Holder and Obama are deceiving the public yet again, and our Constitutional rights are in jeopardy because of it. An “assault weapon” ban has NOTHING to do with fully automatic weapons. The legislation represents an incremental ban of certain types of firearms in common use for hunting, self defense, and marksmanship. The Heller decision ruled that such bans were unconstitutional, so legally any AWB is doomed from the outset – unless Obama believes he can pack the Court and get Heller overturned in time.

We have to act now to ensure our rights and liberties are not encroached further. Contact your Congressional representatives now and cut this illegal infringement on our rights off at the ankles.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Benefit Dinner for Jeff Maxwell

The Oregon Firearms Federation has just announced a benefit dinner for Jeff Maxwell – the victim of Western Oregon University’s unconstitutional and illegal (under Oregon law) firearms policy and their kangaroo student court. In order to be reinstated, Maxwell must submit to a "psychiatric evaluation" for the "crime" of being a law abiding firearm owner. The Oregon Firearms Federation has defended Maxwell thus far and is now preparing a lawsuit on his behalf.

According to the announcement:

"We'd like you to join OFEF, Jeffrey Maxwell and Oregon legislators who have stepped up to stop the kinds of abuses Jeffrey suffered at the hands of WOU.

"On March 11th, at 6PM, OFEF will host a dinner for Jeffery at the Red Lion Hotel in Salem, Oregon. (3301 Market Street ) Tickets are only $50.00 per person. A no-host bar will be available. Seating is limited so please respond by March 3rd.To reserve your seat, please use this
link. In the drop-down menu that says "Choose One" please select "Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation." Select "$50.00" for one person, or "Other Amount" and a multiple of $50.00 for more than one person. In the box that says "OFF Merchandise Ordered" please put "Maxwell Dinner."(This is required for a reservation.)"

For more details, see the OFF pages linked above.

I urge everyone who is able to support Jeff through this trying time. I know the economy is bad and money is tight, but even if you can’t afford the $50 to attend the dinner, please consider supporting OFF’s legal fund. Jeff’s plight could very easily be the plight of any law-abiding gun owner in Oregon, and it’s past time that these abuses of power and the blatant disrespect for our constitutionally affirmed rights ENDS!

Until next time!!!

Important Oregon Firearm Bills on the Move!

The Oregon Firearms Federation has published an action alert detailing several pro-Second Amendment bills moving forward in the Oregon Legislature. One of the most ground breaking is HB 2463 and the changes it brings to concealed carry in Oregon. Oregon has thus far not recognized CHL holders from other states unless they had an Oregon concealed carry permit. HB 2463 creates reciprocity with all other states, and at the urging of OFF, citizens of Alaska and Vermont who can carry concealed without a CHL. Please contact your representative and ask them to support this important piece of legislation as it already has the backing (or at least no longer any active resistance) from Oregon Sheriffs.

Five additional pro-Second Amendment bills have been introduced in the Oregon senate: SB 567, 568, 569, 573 and 603. All of the bills have been introduced by Senator Brian Boquist. The details of these bills are as follows:

SB 567 Modifies authority of county sheriff related to issuance and revocation of concealed handgun license.*

SB 568 Prohibits specified units of government from adopting conditions of employment that regulate restrict or prohibit specified activities related to firearms.*

SB 569 Modifies definition of public place for purpose of certain city or county ordinances related to possession of loaded firearms.*

SB 573 Modifies circumstances under which person may petition for relief from prohibition on possession of firearms.*

SB 603 Defines readily accessible for purposes of prohibition on possessing readily accessible concealed handgun within vehicle.*

Please contact your representatives to ensure they support these important bills as well. The other side isn’t going to be complacent, in fact given the recent changes in political winds, they are more emboldened than they have been in years. The only way to ensure that we retain our Second Amendment rights is to stay on the offensive. These bills do just that, and importantly seem to be gaining support from the law enforcement community. That’s a great sign going forward!

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oklahoma Carry Law Upheld!

File this under “good news”. The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld an Oklahoma law permitting "employees to store legally owned firearms in locked, private motor vehicles while parked in employer parking lots." The original legislation was backed by the NRA and passed in 2004. The amendment Oklahoma held "employers criminally liable for prohibiting employees from storing their legally owned firearms in locked vehicles on company property." Several companies filed suit to block the legislation and a lower court issued a permanent injunction against the measure.

A few comments from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre:

"This is a victory for the millions of American workers who have been denied the right to protect themselves while commuting between their homes and their workplace. Their effort to overturn the law was aimed at skirting the will of the American people, and the intent of legislatures across this country while eviscerating Right-to-Carry laws."

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox had some additional words:

"This issue was contrived by the gun control lobby who goaded corporations into doing their dirty work for them. However, this ruling is a vindication for every hardworking and lawful man and woman whose basic right to self-defense was taken away on a whim by corporate lawyers. NRA is prepared to defend this right and to ensure the safety of every American worker."

The appeal of the lower court ruling was championed by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D) and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, with the appeal filed in October of 2008. Hopefully this law will become a model for other states going forward as it has been upheld at a higher court. We all owe Governor Henry and AG Edmondson a great deal of thanks for championing this issue for law-abiding gun owners.

Until next time!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Miami-Dade County Wants More Gun Control

In a move that I’m sure will surprise no one, Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners passed two resolutions calling for stricter gun control. A news story linked above on the resolutions is worth reading, if you have a strong constitution, for no reason other than it allows a first hand look into the mentality of the people calling for gun control and the lies they’re willing to tell to move their perverted agenda forward.

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan was the sponsor of the resolutions, and her views, and her distortion of the facts, are typical of the Anti-Second Amendment community:

“Semiautomatic assault weapons are designed for military purposes and have no legitimate application for hunting or civilian use. Our police officers and residents don’t stand a chance if we allow criminals to get their hands on such powerful firearms.”

How many distortions and lies can you find in that statement?

1) An “assault weapon” is effectively a made up term, but if you want to use it strictly it should refer only to fully automatic or select fire weapons in their original military configuration.

2) While there are many sporting weapons based on military designs, none of these are in their original military configuration as they are incapable of fully automatic fire, burst fire, or select fire.

3) Semi-automatic rifles like the AR, AK-derivates, and SKS can indeed be used for hunting. The AR-15 is, in fact, an amazingly adaptable hunting platform. Many AK variants are good small deer and varmint rifles.

4) Semi-automatic rifles like the AR, AK-derivates, and SKS are excellent self defense weapons – which is a “civilian use” central to the Second Amendment.

5) The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting – it is about self defense and preventing the government from becoming tyrannical and abridging the rights of law-abiding citizens (something they obviously don’t worry about in Miami-Dade County)

6) Firearms which are typically lumped under the “assault weapon” category are low to mid power rifles. Several high caliber handguns, most hunting rifles, and curio and relic semi-automatics like the M1 Garand are far more powerful than the vast majority of so-called “assault weapons”

7) Police have the real thing – they have select fire M4’s, Barrett .50 cal sniper rifles, etc. In short, they outgun anything that’s legal for a law-abiding citizen to own. Interestingly enough the framers didn’t want to see that happen.

8) There are more so-called “assault weapons” in the hands of law-abiding individuals, as well as hunting rifles, and others that out gun a semi automatic Uzi or AK than in the hands of criminals. A well-armed populace is hardly defenseless. Unfortunately restrictive firearm regulations in Miami-Dade County have effectively disarmed the people. If the people were allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights, the situation would quickly reverse.

But hey, it’s nice to see that the demagogues trying to disarm the nation don’t let little things like facts and truth get in the way of their misguided jihad. Unfortunately there is a large segment of the population that still buys their story, and that segment of the population is concentrated in large urban areas. Even in light of the Heller decision, it’s going to take years to reverse the damage done to our rights, and I predict large urban areas will be the last bastions of public disarmament.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

March 2009 American Rifleman Review

I just got my March 2009 issue of American Rifleman. Before going into the review of this month’s issue, voting members – remember to vote! Defending our Second Amendment rights is going to be harder over the next few years than it has been for quite some time, and we’re going to need strong individuals on the board of the NRA. Individuals who won’t compromise on assault weapons, high capacity magazines, handguns, or concealed carry to protect “hunting rifles” (aka “the next target” once they’ve banned everything else).

On that topic, the first major article in the issue discusses the ongoing legal actions in light of the Heller case. It details not only the ridiculous array of anti-Second Amendment legislation passed in DC since the Heller case, but the NRA’s legal response, not just in DC, but in Chicago and San Francisco as well. The anti-Civil Rights legislatures passing these laws are trying to create a moving target – fortunately the NRA is the legal equivalent of a skilled marksman.

In the “Random Shots” section there’s a treat for the classic firearms enthusiast – a new world record single gun price - $800,000 ($920,000 with the auction premium) for what is most likely the world’s finest example of a military Colt Walker. I only wish they’d printed a larger picture of the firearm.

There’s also a reader letter on the so-called “multi-caliber” Astra. While many have been able to use something other than 9mm Largo, AR recommends using only 9mm Largo or in some rare cases .38ACP. They caution against using 9mm luger and a host of other loads that would result in unsafe chamber pressures and other dangers. I have a nice Astra 400, but I haven’t been able to take it out shooting yet.

Tucked away between one and a half pages of advertisements is another good reader question “During World War I, why didn’t the United States simply make more ‘03s instead of adopting the M1917?” The answer is good, and fairly straightforward – the 1914 tooling was in place, whereas tooling up contractors to build the M1903 would have taken time.

There’s an article on the 6.5 Creedmor, the Kimber Talkeetna, as well as 3-gun competitions. There’s also a decent write up on John Hall, his unique breechloading rifle, and his quest to move toward mass production. There’s also an article comparing modern shotguns to their more classic counterparts.

Overall not a bad issue, and remember to VOTE!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Unique Iraqi Tabuk Sniper Rifle

Although it’s more correctly termed a designated marksman’s rifle, the Tabuk Sniper Rifle is one of the more interesting rifles based on the Kalashnikov action. As with all Iraqi AK variants, it was manufactured by Al-Qadissiya Establishments based on a combination of features from the RPK light machine gun and the Yugoslavian M70 series. The tooling was sold to Iraq by Yugoslavia’s Zastava during Slobodan Milošević’s tenure as Yugoslavia’s ruler.

The rifle itself is unique in many respects. The furniture is similar to the Yugoslavian M70, but the buttstock is hollowed out and resembles a Dragunov, and generally uses a Dragunov-style cheek rest as well. Barrel length is also different from a typical AK, being over 23 inches (as compared to roughly 16 inches for most standard AK variants). This puts the Tabuk’s barrel length short of the Dragunov’s 24.5 inches. Like the AK-47, the Tabuk fires the medium power 7.62x39 cartridge instead of the more powerful 7.62x54R cartridge of the Dragunov. It is the relatively low power of the cartridge, and its limited range and stopping power, that prevents the Tabuk from being a true sniper rifle. Consistent with its role as a marksman’s rifle, the Tabuk is a semi-automatic rifle, and has no provision for fully automatic fire (as designed), although close inspection of the receiver of actual Tabuk rifles shows labels for all three selector settings.

Because the Tabuk is a semi-automatic rifle, it is one of the few AK variants that you can build up under current U.S. firearms law that doesn’t require a dealer / manufacturer’s license to own. That, and the unique looks of the Tabuk is what has attracted me to the firearm. Unfortunately, as they’re unlikely to ever be imported, building your own requires a fair amount of work, though the end result can be spectacular. I’ve unfortunately got the bug, and as I have my own press and riveting jigs, I’m taking the plunge and putting one together.

Dragunov Dot Net has a good write up on the Tabuk, and the pictures provided are invaluable. Fortunately at this point, others have gone before and many of the components to build a Tabuk are readily available. There are also several experts on the various gun forums (The AK Forum and Gunsnet among others) who can help out with custom parts. In order to build an authentic looking Tabuk, the physical parts list is fairly large. This is what I have so far, and I believe it is reasonably accurate, but I may have to come back with a second revision as I learn more about this rifle:

A lot of the parts are readily or semi-readily available from the usual suspects – NoDak Spud, Copes Distributing, Apex Gun Parts. Others you have to go hunting for. I’m importing my Dragunov style cheek rest from the UK ( Several of the custom parts are coming from individuals on the various gun boards (thanks guys!). Once you get all of the parts, if you want to go all out, they’ll need to be engraved with the proper Iraqi markings. Engraving by Angela has done these in the past and she does very nice work.

The upside of having to go through such a torturous path to get the parts to build a Tabuk is reaching the appropriate number of 922(r) compliance parts is a snap. I use a handy table to help me keep tabs on the number of imported vs. US made parts. Under 922(r), you can only have 10 imported parts, and the Tabuk, even with a foreign magazine, only has 8. If you put in a U.S. made magazine that number drops to 5.

I’m still collecting parts for my Tabuk build, but as I begin to get the pieces together I’ll make additional blog entries detailing my progress.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Privacy Bill for Oregon CHL Holders Introduced

In previous blog entries I’ve detailed the ongoing controversy in Oregon regarding the potential release of the names of CHL holders. The entire issue began when the anti-firearm Medford Mail Tribune sought the records after OFF provided legal aide to a Medford area teacher who sued the school district for their denial of her rights as a CHL holder. Two state representatives, Kim Thatcher from House District 25 and Jeff Barker from House District 28 have introduced House Bill 2727 to protect the identities of CHL holders. This bill has wide bi-partisan support in the Oregon Legislature and is also widely supported by Sheriff’s departments across the state.

Kim Thatcher’s press release had several excellent quotes that detail the importance and purpose of this bill:

“After more than 31 years in law enforcement in Oregon, I know that law abiding citizens who own guns are not a problem. Law enforcement knows who has Concealed Handgun Licenses, and that is enough. Citizens deserve privacy and the general public has no legitimate interest in knowing who does and does not have a concealed weapons permit.” - Jeff Barker

“The statewide issue regarding the potential disclosure of names, addresses and other information for those citizens who have concealed handgun licenses, diminishes the individual’s right to personal privacy and security. The State of Oregon has gone to great lengths to protect private information, like DMV records, to safeguard a citizen’s identification and wellbeing.” - Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree

"CHL information should remain private to protect them from potential victimization and to keep that information from becoming used in a negative way by folks who may disagree with the CHL holders constitutional and statutory rights." - Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon

It is statements like these that make me proud to be an American and an Oregonian. Too often we see the example set by the big city law enforcement community that has no respect for the Second Amendment and individual rights. I find it both refreshing and encouraging to see how broadly in Oregon our rights are understood and respected.

The full list of co-sponsors is:


If your representative isn’t on the list, please write them and encourage them to support this vital piece of legislation. If your representative IS on this list, please write them and THANK them for their support! I hope this bill will sail through the legislature and is signed into law quickly. It would represent a vital victory for Oregon CHL holders!

Until next time!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidential Quote Roundup!

Many today argue that the Second Amendment represents some sort of "collective right" and that any individual rights interpretation is "perverted." Fortunately, even a cursory examination of the writings and quotes of the Framers and many of the early Presidents of the United States belies that point of view – resoundingly. Therefore in honor of Presidents’ Day, I leave you with the words of many of the Presidents of the United States from Washington through Lincoln. Enjoy, and never forget that the Second Amendment is as much an individual right as the first, and should be defended just as rigorously!

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" (George Washington)

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense." (John Adams)

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" (Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334)

"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace."

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
(James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 )

"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." (James Monroe)

"The American backwoodsman -- clad in his hunting shirt, the product of his domestic industry, and fighting for the country he loves, he is more than a match for the vile but splendid mercenary of a European despot." (William Henry Harrison)

"We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." (Abraham Lincoln)

Until next time!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day – Now Surrender Your Rights!

I never thought I’d see something like this in South Carolina, but here it is – yet another waste of taxpayer money and yet another affront to the Second Amendment. I speak of course of one of the infamous guy “buy back” programs. MSNBC is reporting that police are running two sites in central South Carolina. The thought seems to be if you can’t get people to hand over their weapons legally, use taxpayer money to purchase and destroy them. This one even has a holiday theme in honor of Valentine’s day "Guns for Roses." According to the story:

"Anyone who turns in a gun gets a free rose and an electronics store gift card. A handgun gets a $100 gift card, while a rifle or shotgun nets a $50 gift card."

First off, most handguns are worth well north of $100, and most rifles are worth well north of $50. So not only are the taxpayers paying for this dubious program, the individuals who queue up to disarm themselves are getting ripped off in the process. The entire theory behind these gun purchases is that fewer firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes the world a safer place. The spike in violent crime after DC enacted the handgun ban disproves that theory, yet these colossal wastes continue.

Imagine the outcry if the Police set up a booth where people could sign away their freedom of religion or right to free speech for a period of time in return for cash! Yet these programs continue. I’d love to see them outlawed as a misuse of public funds!

Until next time!!!

Burris: I Didn’t Buy My Seat – REALLY!

Big surprise here, it turns out we may have yet another corrupt politician from the State of Illinois and that Blagojevich’s choice for senate may not have such clean hands after all! The media outlets are abuzz with recent revelations from now Senator Burris. It turns out, contrary to testimony given before Blagojevich’s impeachment committee, Burris was indeed asked for a “campaign contribution” before he was appointed to the Senate. When the impeachment committee asked if he was contacted by the former governor, Burris indicated that he hadn’t, but now it turns out he was actually contacted on three separate occasions in October and November of last year.

Burris indicates that he’s coming clean now because "there were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony to the impeachment committee."

Rep. Jim Durkin however asked him specifically about contact from Blagojevich and his aides during the impeachment proceedings. His take is "To say that he wasn't given the opportunity to explain himself is a load of B.S."

I’d tend to agree. We have a corrupt politician who has now been removed from office appointing an individual who now releases affidavits stating that he perjured himself in front of the impeachment committee. Sounds like it’s time for Burris to face some of the same music, then maybe Illinois can get some representation that isn’t blatantly corrupt.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Updates on the WOU Case

The dust is still settling from the recent travesty at Western Oregon University. KVAL in Eugene has posted a summary story detailing the case. Unfortunately there isn’t a heck of a lot of new information in the article, although it does link to the OFF press release that has a bit more data than the alert on the OFF website. The next step is the decision will be appealed, but there isn’t any word as to when that will happen.

By and large the comments on the story are supportive of Maxwell, but unfortunately there’s one in every crowd. This comment by a poster going by the tag “gardengirl” is particularly ignorant:

“Everyone knows you can't bring guns to school - ANY school - kindergarten through college. People with hidden guns make life more dangerous for everyone, including law enforcement. Leave weaponry to the Police and the military. Keep schools safe.”

Just like Virginia Tech was “safe” when someone ignored the “gun free zone” sign? Sounds like this poster seriously needs to be educated about the Second Amendment or spend some time in a country where the Police and military are the only armed groups and see how much she enjoys it. I’d suggest North Korea. . .

On the main KVAL page there’s one of the rampant unscientific polls asking the following question:

“Should citizens with a permit to carry a concealed handgun be allowed to do so on Oregon college campuses?”

The choices (and the current percentages as of when I voted) are actually pretty interesting:

I'd feel safer knowing people with licenses to carry concealed hanguns are on campus (66%)
I'd feel safer knowing guns aren't allowed on campus, period (13%)
Don't arm students or staff, but do allow security officers to carry firearms (21%)

Again, this isn’t a scientific poll, but the results are somewhat encouraging. I’ll keep posting updates on this pivotal case as I get them.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Striking a Nerve? More on the WOU Situation

Well, I know at least one WOU student is reading the blog, because I received this email in my inbox this morning (names removed):

“Foul language is usually ill-used and I would most likely not condone it in any formal setting or sense in respects to addressing staff or important members of the college. If you really concentrate on the directions and voice, as well as tone in your recent article "More on the WOU Concealed Carry Case", then you might notice how negative and pompous you come off.

“Your simple assertions are more than amusing for an outside perspective. To be honest you come off as an arrogant ass and I would be curious to see how this carries over with most people.

“Your statements and writings call out and label/persecute students whom you do not know, nor understand who they are enough to write snotty little comments that only serve as quick words without true meaning.

“I truly hope that my person as it is never comes in contact with the thing you call your brain.”

Obvious grammatical errors aside, this individual clearly has a beef with my characterization of the University and is clearly feeling defensive as I'm alternately arrogant, foul-mouthed, and amusing. Well, either I'm hitting close to home or I have a future in stand-up comedy.

I provided this response:

“I ask you, what's the more presumptuous - false arrest and prosecution (and now conviction) or taking someone to task for it?

“I encourage you to look at the broader implications of the University's actions. America was founded on the premise that individuals have certain rights and no act of government (or in this case University administration) can take those away. If it becomes "vogue" to deny one right simply because a segment of the population doesn't value it or fears it, then none of our rights are safe.

“I have little tolerance for abuse of power and infringement of individual rights, however I don't believe I ever advocated the use of foul language when addressing members of the University body. I have, thus far, written two polite but pointed letters to University President Minahan. I have furthermore written to my State Representative and will be broadening that correspondence to include the Attorney General and governor going forward. My blog is what it is - and that is an informal repository for my thoughts and feelings - not unlike any other blog - and frequently takes a far more casual tone.

“I encourage you to take a few steps back, take a deep breath, and consider for a moment how you would feel and react if you saw an individual being falsely accused, tried and convicted simply for exercising their Civil Rights. Then you might understand where I, and many, many others are coming from, and why our tone toward Western Oregon University, its policies, and the student tribunal are more than a little hostile.”

I seriously doubt I’ll get through to this individual, but I felt I owed him at least a cogent response...

Until next time!!!

WOU Student Kangaroo Court Convicts – But Doesn’t Know Charge!

If the students of Western Oregon University represent the future, then this nation is in deep, deep trouble. The Oregon Firearms Federation has posted a summary of the progress on the plight of Jeff Maxwell who is being persecuted by both police and University for simply exercising his Civil Rights under the Second Amendment. The lone bright spot is that the criminal charges have been dropped by the Polk County District Attorney. Unfortunately that minor victory is tarnished by the fact that the DA admitted no errors on his part or on the part of the police who arrested Maxwell. He states:

"I believe the Monmouth Police Department issued the citation in good faith and that there was an arguable violation. However, a careful reading of the statute and the facts led me to conclude the charge was not in the best interest of justice."

Ever heard of false arrest??? Hopefully Maxwell’s attorneys will introduce the concept to the District Attorney and the Monmouth Police.

Unfortunately the on campus situation is much worse. The University convened what amounts to a kangaroo student court to “try” Mr. Maxwell. According to the OFF report:

“The tribunal was told repeatedly that they lacked the authority to impose a rule dealing with firearms. But the children who sat in judgment of the veteran were not interested in the law or the facts. They were only interested in attacking and embarrassing a man who had committed no crime but had chosen to exercise his right to protect himself and others.

“The ‘trial’ was a sham. No one present even seemed to know what the ‘charge’ was. When confronted by the fact that the school has no authority to make rules about firearms, they said that was ‘not relevant.’ Then they said they were not charging Maxwell with having a firearm. When asked what they WERE charging him with, they seemed to not know. They then said they were charging him with having a ‘knife and a rifle in his car.’ When told they had no authority to make rules about guns in his car, they said THAT was not ‘relevant.’”

Don’t bother them with details, they’ve got an inquisition to run! This sort of flagrant disregard for the Civil Rights of a veteran and U.S. citizen is truly disgusting. If this sort of environment wasn’t bad enough, the “decision” these post-pubescent juveniles reached is even more insulting. They found Maxwell “guilty” – though they’re not sure of what – and laughed while they imposed the following “sentence”:

“Suspension and a "psychological evaluation stating he is not a threat to himself of others" and

“a mandatory "ten page paper" " with references, "citing, but not limited to:
“1) the importance of following the law, even through civil disobedience.
“2) the importance of accepting responsibility for one's actions
“3) and recognizing the impact possession of weapons on college campuses has on others."

Apparently any individual not conforming to their ideals – which don’t include the Second Amendment – is due ridicule and humiliation. Apparently any individual who values and exercises their Second Amendment rights is psychologically unbalanced. Apparently Mr. Maxwell broke the law because they decreed he broke the law, only he DIDN’T break the law – and our Constitution is supposed to protect individuals from this sort of tyrannical persecution. Apparently any firearm owner is “irresponsible”. Apparently simply carrying a weapon offends the delicate sensibilities of mindless, over privileged sheep that were given way too much authority by the University and have turned in a decision that resembles nothing more than a Soviet Gulag. All Americans, not only law-abiding firearm owners, should be enraged by these actions. Quite frankly the student court should be the ones suspended and writing the term paper – on how to respect the Civil Rights of others and the meaning of due process.

The Oregon Firearms Federation has pledged to continue the fight, and Mr. Maxwell and OFF needs our continued support. Please continue to write your representatives on this issue. Quite frankly I believe that we need to organize a protest outside Western Oregon University to let them know that their kangaroo courts, Star Chamber mentality, and disdain for the basic Civil Rights of Mr. Maxwell, and by extension all Americans, has not gone unnoticed and will NOT be tolerated.

WOU's President's contact information is on yesterday's blog entry. To contact Oregon's elected officials including your representatives and the Attorney General, hit:

The governor is at:

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More on the WOU Concealed Carry Case

There’s a decent write up on the KATU News site about the ongoing controversy around the WOU student, CHL holder, and ex-marine Jeffrey L. Maxwell who was arrested on made-up charges and now faces a disciplinary “hearing” from the University as well. The article briefly mentions Representatives Hanna and Thatcher’s efforts on behalf of Maxwell, and indicate that he has at least some support from the student body as well. Unfortunately, there is also the typical brainwashed anti-Second Amendment knee jerk response from many members of the student body.

Take for example the statement from student Austin Karp-Evans:

"If campus security went through extensive training and they had guns, maybe, but just for the general public to have a license and bring it on campus? I don't think that's right."

I guess WOU must not be teaching the Second Amendment, and I urge Ms. Karp-Evans to go READ it, read its history, read the Heller case, and generally get over her cerebro-rectal inversion. Ms. Karp-Evans clearly holds the value of our Rights as affirmed in the Constitution cheaply, and I’d surmise that she’d be happier in a “gun-free” society where the illusion of safety exists – generally along with strong government control of individuals’ lives (and by the way, the government’s generally well armed in these cases). I’d suggest China – and I’m happy to buy her a plane ticket and pack her bag!

Student TJ Nettles reaction isn’t much better:

"Didn't pull the gun, didn't shoot anybody, but when I found out about it and what happened and it was just 30 feet away from me and I didn't even know about it, I was just in shock."

Shocked! Shocked I say! Dear God people actually can carry firearms and it doesn’t turn them into raving, slobbering lunatics, or maybe he thinks that security just “got to him” before he could cause damage. Unfortunately the latter is probably the more true statement. Sadly, the inherent fear of firearms and therefore people who lawfully own and carry firearms seems to be so deeply engrained in our education system that even starting now it will take years (if not a decade or more) to weed out. Unfortunately the prospects for reversing years of wrong-headed policies in education seem slim for the next several years.

Student Teresa Lucas was one of the few bright spots among the students quoted:

"If somebody went out of their way to get a concealed carry permit, then they went through the safety training, they know guns are a tool like anything else."

I couldn’t have said it better myself – of course Lucas holds a concealed carry permit, though she doesn’t currently carry on University property.

The comments section under the article is refreshingly pro-Second with nearly all of the comments coming down in favor of Maxwell. Apparently the “hearing” is tonight (Tuesday), but I urge everyone to take the time not only to send a little to OFF as detailed in my previous blog entry but to contact your State representatives and contact WOU’s president as well. Be polite, but indicate that his policy is in conflict with state law, and state law trumps his authority as University President. His contact information is:

Dr. John P. Minahan, President
Western Oregon University
345 N. Monmouth Ave.
Monmouth, OR 97361
or e-mail

I’m holding out hope that this case may represent a turning point for concealed carry holders in Oregon, but I really wish that Mr. Maxwell hadn’t become a sacrificial lamb because of wrong-headed policies and overzealous police officers.

Until next time!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mum’s the Word!

Any collector of Japanese rifles is going to be aware that most were originally marked with the Imperial Chrysanthemum. The Chrysanthemum, or “mum” for short, was the symbol of the Japanese Emperor, and his stamp was placed on the receiver of any rifle destined for the army showing Imperial ownership of the firearm. After the war, many mums were ground off or defaced in some way. The reasons given by various sources vary, as do the timeframes in which wholesale grinding and defacing of mums occurred, but most agree it was a face saving gesture. As a result, most Japanese rifles in the U.S. no longer have the Chrysanthemum completely intact, making those that do highly sought out by collectors.

Because of the increase in value of a rifle with an intact mum, if you hit the gun auction sites, a lot of firearms will claim to have an “intact mum”, and are priced accordingly, but when you look at the pictures the mum is either ground, struck, or defaced in some other way. Generally I’d like to think that most of these auctions are a case of ignorance of terminology rather than malice. So in the interest of clearing the fog around the Imperial Chrysanthemum, I’ve put together this primer.

An Intact Mum is a mum that has not been ground, defaced, chiseled, or molested in any way. All of the petals and the circle at the center of the chrysanthemum should be clear. Proportions on the mum vary a little between arsenals as does the depth of the striking. When looking at an intact mum, ensure that the surface hasn’t been re-polished or re-blued as those could be evidence of a light striking being removed to inflate the value of the rifle. There are also individuals out there with a “mum stamp”, so there are a few fakes on the market – but not to the degree you see in German weaponry. Some examples of intact mums appear below.

An Over-Stamped Mum is a mum that is effectively intact, but has been over-stamped with an arsenal mark (like the Kokura mark) or a circle. Generally this was done with rifles that were removed from front-line service and transferred to training command. The mum on these rifles is not intact, nor should it be referred to as such. Some examples of over-stamped mums appear below.

A Defaced Mum is one that generally has several gouges carved into the mum. Some look like cold chisel marks, but they could have been done with the corner of a grinder as well. In some cases much of the mum is still visible – even if it is, the rifle does not command the value of a rifle with an intact mum. Another method used to deface the mum was peaning with a punch or hammer. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture examples of that particular method of defacement, but some examples of gouged mums appear below.

The Ground Mum is the most common type of mum removal. Many were ground completely so that no portion of the mum remains, but others were struck more lightly and you can see the outline of the mum. Regardless of how much of the mum is remaining, a ground mum is a ground mum. The value of the rifle will depend entirely on condition and rarity of that series and combination of features. Some examples of ground mums appear below.

Hopefully this guide is helpful in sorting through the various claims regarding Imperial Chrysanthemums on the various auction sites. Japanese rifles represent a very exciting area for collector and shooter alike. One other thing to consider before putting your money down, the Imperial Chrysanthemum appeared on rifles only; it did not appear on pistols. So if someone wants to sell you a Type 14 with a mum, chances are it’s been faked at some point.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Student Arrested for Fictional Crime

The Oregon Firearms Federation has published a recent alert detailing the plight of a "college student (and Marine Corp veteran) who was falsely arrested at Western Oregon University last week." The problem is, the individual was not committing any crime. According to the alert:

"The student was charged with "possession of a firearm in a public building." The college has barred him from classes and the state has charged him with the same crime. The student was involved in no unlawful activities nor was he engaged in any actions that would discredit a responsible gun owner. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"There is one small problem. The student has a valid Oregon concealed handgun license. He is statutorily exempt from the prohibitions on gun possession in public buildings.

"Apparently neither the college nor the Monmouth Police are acquainted with the law."

The police are supposed to uphold the law, not invent fictional interpretations of the law to persecute law-abiding citizens. I’m really quite sick of lawful firearm owners exercising both their federal Second Amendment rights, and their rights as enumerate under Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution becoming easy targets for officials ignorant of the laws they are allegedly there to protect. These sorts of Gestapo tactics are unconscionable, and quite frankly I’d like to see both the Monmouth Police and the University sued for violating this student and veteran’s civil rights!

The good news, if there is any in this situation, that not only is the Oregon Firearms Federation coming to the individual’s legal defense, but state Representatives Kim Thatcher and Bruce Hanna have joined the defense as well. As OFF points out, this is potentially a very pivotal case for Oregon firearm laws:

"Our foundation filed a lawsuit against the Oregon University System several years ago for the same attack on gun rights, but the court found that since the plaintiff had not been arrested or expelled, they would not consider the case.

"This case is different. The WOU student was singled out and arrested in spite of the fact that he had committed no crime."

OFF is asking for tax deductable contributions to defray the cost of legal expenses in this case. Even though times are tough, every little bit will help as this case has the potential to correct years of bad court decisions in Oregon. I also encourage you to contact your state representative and make them aware of this travesty of justice and ask them to join Representatives Thatcher and Hanna in supporting the real victim in this crime – the falsely accused student!

Until next time!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gun Bans Don’t Stop When Guns are Gone

I just found this article from down under detailing efforts to ban replica guns in Australia. It not only provides a very chilling insight into the mind of the gun control crowd, but demonstrates the lengths these groups will go through to remake reality in their own image.

The article itself makes no pretense at objectivity starting with its title: “Bin Laden replica terror gun on sale for $880”. The article goes on to describe the AK-47 as a "consecrated Taliban weapon". Of course, one does have to consider that the good people of Australia were effectively forced to turn in their firearms years ago. Looking at the weapon that has started the furor, it is a garden variety AK, no different from the common semi-automatic WASR-10 in the United States. Yet apparently our friends down under exhibit far more delicate sensibilities and the mere object is a source of terror and panic. Some of the more choice quotes from various anti-firearm talking heads:

"Weapons such as this, which is essentially what it is, create fear and apprehension in the community and the police should intervene and confiscate the gun immediately.” – John Crook, Gun Control Australia president

"There's no place for replica firearms in our community. Somebody can walk into a bank with a replica firearm and cause absolute mayhem." – Roland Browne, National Coalition for Gun Control

So apparently in the minds of these individuals, a non-functioning replica is just as dangerous as the real thing. Putting aside the absurdity of that notion for a moment, what other objects with genuine, as opposed to imaginary, potential for harm do they want to restrict? Knives? Swords? Screwdrivers? Hammers? Baseball bats? Fluffy pillows? Furthermore, what is genuinely frightening is that American groups like the Brady Campaign salivate for laws like they see in Australia and the UK.

The fundamental problem with gun control is that it only provides the illusion of safety in the minds of the ignorant or cluelessly idealistic. When the promised gains in safety don’t materialize (many examples in the U.S. show that violent crime goes up, not down, in response to restrictive gun laws), in their minds the problem CAN’T be with the gun control, it “obviously” must mean that the gun control hasn’t gone far enough. Australia now represents the ultimate expression of this logical fallacy – now that the guns are gone, and crime remains high, replica guns and anything else that may be a weapon is targeted. An astute student of history will realize that such a mentality simply results in the law-abiding public being completely disarmed, as they are in much of the industrialized world. A disarmed public is easy prey for criminals, terrorists, and despots the world over.

Though humanity has come a long way in the past few centuries in technology and recognizing basic human rights, humanity’s fundamental nature remains the same. Polite society is only polite as long as it is not unduly stressed. Modern societies are incredibly dependent on continued smooth trade, economic conditions, and environmental conditions. Major disruptions from any of those quarters can result in the quick degeneration of order, and in those situations good people MUST be able to take care of themselves as no police department, no military, or no government can protect everybody. Much of the industrialized world has forgotten this simple fact – I sincerely hope that the United States won’t follow suit, and it won’t if we all remain vigilant!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Support for Concealed Carry in Illinois Growing

There are currently only two states in the United States (on paper at least) where concealed carry is outlawed: Illinois and Wisconsin. The good news is that support seems to be growing to authorize concealed carry in Illinois with strong support now coming from a source of opposition in the past – the Illinois Sheriff’s Association.

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, has introduced a bill (HB245) which would add Illinois to the register of states that issue concealed carry permits. Anti-Second Amendment groups naturally have reacted with their standard litany of scare tactics, but those seem to be ringing hollow these days as none of their dire predictions have come to pass in other states which issue concealed carry permits – if anything the opposite has been proven true.

St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus summed up his feelings on the issue:

"I believe to be successful the key to concealed carry is training. If we allow concealed carry, we must make sure only the right people have the guns. This is best done by requiring training, proper identification, and a thorough background check — including a mental evaluation. If this is done, our citizens will have the right to concealed carry, but those who can't pass a background check or cannot successfully complete a training program will not be legally able to obtain a permit."

According to the article, 90 of Illinois 102 sheriffs support the measure with some sheriffs having changed their views on the topic over time. I’m certain the majority of the 12 dissenters are in the greater Chicago area where they continue to cling to their failed legacy of gun control laws that continue to create innocent victims at an alarming rate.

I sincerely hope that this measure passes and Illinois residents are given the same opportunity to defend themselves that residents of other states enjoy. Furthermore, I hope that if successful this measure will provide a stark contrast to the failed Chicago gun policies which have taken a bad situation and made it worse.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Senate Thank You List

Even though Eric Holder was confirmed as Attorney General, there were several Senators who actually paid attention to his record on the Second Amendment and other issues. Gun Owners of America has published the list of those voting for and against Holder. Unfortunately both Oregon Senators seem to see the Second Amendment as a sideline (or are actively hostile to it) so Holder had their full support. Here’s the list of the few that stood on principle and opposed Holder’s confirmation:

Barrasso (R-WY)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johanns (R-NE)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

As you can see the number falls far short of the number of Senators receiving an “A” NRA rating as reported on a previous blog entry. Based on those numbers, there should have been over 40 senators in opposition to Holder’s confirmation. The fact that normally strong Second Amendment voices seem to already be on the defensive is not encouraging.

As a group we need to thank the Senators above for their continued support of the Bill of Rights. At the same time we must continue to ensure that Second Amendment issues get the visibility they need. The anti-Civil Rights leadership in Senate does not currently enjoy a super majority, but the margin for error is razor thin. If your Senator is one that normally is supportive of the Second Amendment, and their name does not appear on the list above, write to ask why Holder’s abysmal record on firearms was not considered in their decision and reiterate that such votes will weigh in your future political decisions.

Until next time!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Artillery Luger in Shotgun News

Articles in Shotgun News are sometimes a hit or miss proposition, but there’s a really decent write up on the long barreled luger, AKA the “Artillery Luger” in the February 1, 2009 issue. I’ve always been a huge fan of the luger, and unfortunately only own one at this point – and that’s a Russian capture shooter. It’s my second favorite sidearm next to the Model 1911 / 1911A1. Apparently a lot of other people like Lugers as well as the price has really prevented me from starting a serious Luger collection.

Highly prized among the lugers are the long barrel versions. These included detachable stocks and sights that were adjustable out to 800 meters. As the article indicates, this range has to be the ultimate expression of optimism as a 9mm luger round would have little to know hitting force at that range. The article details the history of the weapon as well as the accessories and includes several great pictures – I only wish they were in color as the examples used for the article look great – especially the “Red 9”.

They do astutely warn that Lugers in particular are the subject of more than their fair share of fakery. As with any expensive collector’s item, there will be unscrupulous individuals out there trying to make a buck off of an unexpecting mark. Fortunately this has done nothing to deter or detract from legitimate lugers and collectors, but it does mean the neophyte (and that would definitely include THIS author) needs to be especially careful investigating potential purchases before money is exchanged.

Until next time!!!

Holder Confirmed

File this one under “no good can come of this”. The U.S. Senate has confirmed the rabidly anti-Second Amendment Eric Holder as its Attorney General. Only 21 republican Senators voted against his confirmation in a very stinging disappointment for those of us who value our right to keep and bear arms. The confirmation of Holder is especially dangerous in light of tenuous gains made in reversing decades of unconstitutional firearm regulations in the United States.

Maintaining judicial momentum will be incredibly difficult at this point, and I fear we will be hard pressed merely to tread water over the next two years. Even though the vote is past, it’s never too late to let your Senator know of your disapproval. By the same token, it’s never too early to start laying the groundwork for 2010 either. Though the fight may have just gotten a lot harder, we can’t give up else all of our recent gains will be quickly lost. . . or worse!

Until next time!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Distinctive M1895 Nagant Revolver

If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet rugged revolver, the Nagant M1895 may be just the ticket. Readily available from many of the common internet firearm distributors, the M1895 has a long history and is dirt cheap – with decent examples frequently available for as little as $80 + shipping to your FFL or C&R. Originally these little gems were cheap to buy, but expensive to feed as Fiocchi was the only brand producing ammo in the highly unusual 7.62 Nagant cartridge. Enterprising gunsmiths therefore created a .32 APC conversion cylinder for the Nagant revolver – though these conversions frequently cost nearly as much as the pistol itself. Recently Hot Shot has started producing Nagant ammo which lowers the feeding cost of the revolver considerably!

A Typical Nagant with holster and 7 rounds of ammunition

The M1895 Nagant has a very long history . Designed by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant, with variants on basic design being adopted by several nations including Sweden, France, and Norway – though the Russian model was the only one that ended up using the novel gas seal system (hence the unusual ammunition for this particular pistol). Used extensively by Imperial Russia, the sidearm remained popular during the early Soviet period. Both single and double action variations were produced (the “solder’s” and “officer’s” models respectively) as well as some target variations. Many embossed with a Red Star were given as high honors for Communist Party Members during the early 1930’s. Although the pistol began to be supplanted by the TT-33 Tokarev semi-automatics in the 30’s, production of the Nagant revolver continued until 1945. They continued to be used after the war by the various Bolshevik secret police agencies as its sealed gas system facilitated use of a silencer on the revolver.

The 7.62mm Nagant cartridge, also known as 7.62x38mmR , shares the same caliber as all other soviet small arms of the time. This caliber was chosen to simplify firearm tooling across the Russia and later the Soviet Union. In size it is similar to a .32 Smith and Wesson cartridge. According to Cartridges of the World, the factory load for a Nagant revolver results in its 108 grain FMJ bullet traveling with a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps. Modern ammunition (Fiocchi) is more conservatively charged with a 98 grain FMJ bullet traveling with a muzzle velocity of roughly 750 FPS. The energy of the former loads are in excess of a 9mm Makarov load and compare favorably with .38 Special loads. The energy of the latter loads are similar to a .32 Smith and Wesson or .32 ACP.

A Desirable 1910 dated Nagant Revolver

Because of the long production and refurbishment history, the M1895 Nagant revolver is also an easy and fun firearm to collect. There are many variations in markings and arsenals, and these changed frequently over time. Early models with Imperial Russian markings still intact, pistols which have not been fully (or even partially) refurbished, and Ministry of Defense pistols are variants which generally will command a premium over the normal asking price. I have a few of these gems in my collection, and I’m certain more will follow me home at some point in the future!

Until next time!!!