Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Pistols Or Handguns 95% Effective When Used To Defend Against Bear Attacks, 63 Cases

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 6 hours ago

Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.

In January 2018, I published some original research on the efficacy of pistols in stopping bear attacks. It started with this observation, on the Internet, and in print, many people claim that pistols lack efficacy in defending against bear attacks. Here is an example that occurred on freerepublic.com:

“Actually, there are legions of people who have been badly mauled after using a handgun on a bear. Even some of the vaunted magnums.”

OK, give us a few examples. As you claim “legions”, it should not be too hard.

I never received a response. I believe the claim was made in good faith. There has been much conjecture about the lack of efficacy of pistols for defense against bears. A little searching will find a plethora of fantasy, fiction, mythology, and electrons sprayed about the supposed lack.

In the original article, there were 37 instances of bear attacks where people attempted to defend themselves or others from a bear or bears, with a pistol.

Of the 37 attacks, there was only one failure, giving a success rate of 97%.

The criteria for inclusion in this study is a pistol had to be fired to defend against a bear or bears. If a pistol was not fired, the incident was not included. If the use of the pistol stopped the attack, it was a success whether the bear was killed immediately, or left the scene, as long as it stopped attacking.

All methods of defense against bears have similar problems of access. A handgun or bear spray in a pack, or a rifle slung over the shoulder without a round in the chamber, should not be counted as a use of the method to defend against bears.  All of the methods can be carried for easy access. It is not a fault of the method if the user did not have them available for use, or if the attack was too quick to allow use.

I and colleagues have searched for instances where  pistols were used to defend against bears.  By the time of the original article I and my associates found 37 instances which were fairly easily confirmed.

Our renewed efforts have found another 26 instances. The earliest happened in 1936, the latest mere months ago. The incidents are heavily weighted toward the present.  The ability to publish and search for these incidents has increased over the years. In addition to the pistol defenses, there are two new instances where pistols were used in combination with rifles, one where a pistol was used on an aggressive bear hit by a vehicle, two examples where pistols were present but not used, one indeterminate case, and two examples of unconfirmed incidents.

Both bear and human populations have increased.  Reliable and powerful pistols have become more popular, legal, and commonly carried.

The 63 cases include three that meet the criteria for failure. That translates to a success rate of 95%. You need not rely on my judgement or that of my colleagues. Read of the successes and failures for yourself. Make your own judgements. Some links may not work. Sources on the Internet often go dead after a few years.

What a great article and stellar research.  Make sure to go look at his data.  It includes cartridges all the way from .22LR to the big bore rounds.

New Zealand Police Level Threats At Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 6 hours ago

News from New Zealand.

“We’ll be working with everyone to take those firearms off them and into a place of safekeeping,” he told media this afternoon.

“The first step is to do it voluntarily, we’ll then be working to ascertain if they haven’t complied and those people will be in all likelihood prosecuted,” Mr Bush said.

There were about 250,000 firearm holders in New Zealand, he said. People wishing to surrender their firearms must first contact police – either online or by phoning at 0800 311 311.

Referring to CCTV footage of the mosque attacks, Mr Bush said: I’ve seen that footage. It’s really disturbing. I don’t think that kind of thing should be in the public domain.”

Yea, I’ll bet you don’t.  There appears to be problems with it too numerous to catalog.  But as to confiscations, how is that going to happen?

“New Zealand is at a considerable disadvantage to countries that have had registries, because there’s no way of tracing the firearms because they don’t know who’s got them,” Mr. Alpers said. “We’re relying entirely on the honesty of the gun owner to turn it in.”

And there you have it.  That’s the value of a registry to the communists.

Commandant Of The Marine Corps Says Deploying Troops To The Border Poses Unacceptable Risk

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 6 hours ago

Stupid human tricks:

The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the president’s emergency declaration, among other unexpected demands, have posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.”

In two internal memos, Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the “unplanned/unbudgeted” deployment along the border that President Trump ordered last fall, and shifts of other funds to support border security, had forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries, and delay urgent repairs at bases.

The border deployment and funding transfers, as well as recovery costs from hurricanes Florence and Michael, new housing allowances and civilian pay raises, are taking a toll on combat readiness, Neller wrote to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

The Times obtained copies of the memos, dated March 18 and March 19.

Here’s another view from a former Marine who did a MEU after a combat tour in Iraq.  A MEU is the most ridiculous waste of time and money on earth, with the need for massive refueling, resupply, mail drop, force protection, and repair, all while at sea.  This, for the sole purpose of floating around the Gulf and “training” with incompetent troops who can’t even come close to holding their own with the USMC.

This is what the Commandant calls combat “readiness.”  All the while, an invasion is occurring on our Southern border, and even the troops deployed there can’t lift a finger to stop it since they are not on patrol or under arming orders.

Hey.  At least the corporations get low paid workers whose medical care can be sloughed off on the taxpayers, and the democrats get voters.  So the elitists are happy.

Quick Response To Detractors Claiming That 2A Was Not Seen As An Individual Right Until 2008

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 6 hours ago

From our friends at reddit/firearms.  He says feel free to copy and paste, and he’s clearly set it out there for the good of mankind.  Thus, I reproduce it entirely.

Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

  • Tench Coxe, A friend of James Madison and himself a Delegate to the Continental Congress, writing in support of the Madison’s first draft of the Bill of Rights, 1789.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

  • James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms…  “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

  • Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

  • Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

The founders were big believers in natural rights. The Bill of Rights did not grant us any rights, it recognized preexisting inalienable rights. The Supreme Court confirmed this way back in 1876:

The right there specified is that of “bearing arms for a lawful purpose.” This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. [READ THAT LAST SENTENCE TWICE] The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress

  • United States v. Cruikshank.

It is both an individual and collective right. Find me one founder quote saying the 2A ONLY protects state militias. I’ll wait.

Why Is Any Firearm Manufacturer Left In Connecticut?

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 5 hours ago

News from Connecticut:

Sen. Gennaro Bizzarro, R-New Britain, said he really “struggled” with his vote, but decided to vote yes.

“I sleep with my gun at my side,” Bizzarro said, to protect his family from any possible intruders. But, in the end, he went along with the majority and voted yes.

[ … ]

While also praising Kristin Song for her advocacy on behalf of her son, Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott said the bill has “one flaw.”

He said that flaw was “you must secure guns in a certain way.”

“I don’t believe we have a right to tell people what they should in their own homes,” Sampson said, adding in their own homes is what a gun owner’s right to “choose their own method” to secure a gun.

So what are you going to do, Bizzarro?  Abdicate your manly, God-given responsibilities to protect and defend your family because a bunch of nanny-state collectivists want you to be neutered?

And Rob, there’s more than one flaw in this legislation.

Who’s left – some folks from Ruger, Mossberg and Colt?  Get out.  Now.  You’re several years too late, perhaps, but late is better than never.  Never will be deadly.  Especially since you can see the future of firearms manufacturers who are left there.

“Excuse Me, It’s Ma’am”

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 6 hours ago

I know my readers.  And I know why you come to TCJ.  You come here because this is the only place you can find the kind of scholarship you seek.  Here you can get everything from epistemology and ethics, to sectional density and ballistic coefficient.  If I can’t give it to you all the time, the commenters will. Give yourself and me a pat on the back.

It’s in that spirit that I offer up this worthy viewing for the day.  Language warning.

Colorado AG Tells Sheriffs To Resign Or Enforce Red Flag Law

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 6 hours ago

Via David Codrea, news from Colorado:

It’s not even the law yet, but state Attorney General Phil Weiser is already telling sheriffs to resign if they follow locals laws passed in 26 counties that declared themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries.

But wait, there’s more.

Weiser blinked.

He also said this during his testimony in favor of the bill at a state Senate committee meeting:

“Any commission that says ‘I don’t want my sheriff upholding an unconstitutional law,’ they’re on solid ground,” Weiser said, adding that he expects the question to go before a court.

But Weiser, whose job it is to defend Colorado statutes, says he believes that if the red flag bill becomes law as expected and is challenged, it will be found to be constitutional and therefore must be enforced.

So county commissions passing the sanctuary laws and the sheriff’s following that order, are totally within the law to thumb their nose once the state bill becomes law, Weiser concedes.

And the bill is certain to become law, once it skips through a second state Senate panel and floor passage, and Gov. Polis signs it.

But the sheriffs have wiggle room until the constitutionality is tested in what could be a lengthy court battle.

I’m not certain he has the authority to demand enforcement of anything, much less something that runs so afoul of the constitution.  Exactly how he would enforce his edict that Sheriffs enforce red flag laws isn’t clear because he doesn’t say.

What is he going to do – send the state police after Sheriffs in 2A sanctuary counties?  LEO versus LEO?  What is he going to do if Sheriffs completely ignore the edicts of a judge – send state police after Sheriffs?  LEO versus LEO?  Frankly, he sounds like a lawyer that’s gotten a little too big for his britches.  He needs to be knocked down a notch or three.

Is The AR-15 A ‘Weapon Of War?”

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 6 hours ago

Joe Scarorough:

As a longtime gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment, I agreed with the Supreme Court’s “Heller” holding that concluded Americans had the right to keep and bear arms. But that constitutional protection did not, and will not, extend to guns designed as weapons of war.

One should expect such things from a mindless dolt like Scarborough, but we should be able to expect better from people who should know better.  Apparently, it has become all the rage to throw around a few gun words and argue that the AR-15 isn’t a weapon of war, and thus it is protected under the 2nd amendment.

This means that in both the ammunition it fires and the rate at which it fires, the AR-15 is more akin to the famous Ruger Mini14 ranch rifle than the M4 carbine, which is what’s been putting rounds downrange for the Department of Defense since 1994. No AR-15 marketed for civilian use is an automatic rifle.

If you want to legally purchase an automatic firearm made before 1986, there are a ton of prohibitive bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through (plus, they’re incredibly expensive because of the 1986 ban). If you want to buy one made after 1986, you either need to be a law enforcement officer with a reason to have it or a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).

[ … ]

The fact that so many prominent anti-gun people think that the modern sporting rifle available to civilian purchasers today is a weapon that is used or even proposed for use in combat just shows how little they understand about guns. And if you’re going to try to ban something or criminalize people’s legally purchased property, you’d better at least have your facts straight about it.

Yea, and I believe allegedly pro-gun people should get their facts straight too.

We’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating.  Every weapon is a weapon of war.  That is it’s purpose.  The U.S. Marines used shotguns to clear rooms in Now Zad, Afghanistan.  Carlos Hathcock used a Winchester Model 70 30-06 rifle for his kills in Vietnam, at least most of them.  That tradition carried through to the early stages of OIF, where Marines were still using bolt action Winchester Model 70s.

Virtually every sniper rifle today is a bolt action rifle, and even the DM (designated marksman) rifles aren’t fully automatic.  That wouldn’t benefit the DM.  My own son, while running the SAW in Iraq, conducted room clearing in Fallujah with an M4, and he informed me that they never had their rifles in full-auto mode of fire (3-round burst).  Semi-automatic firearms are weapons of war.  It’s nonsense to argue that since an AR-15 isn’t fully automatic it isn’t a weapon of war.

Revolvers were used in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and in fact even in Vietnam (for chasing tunnel rats).  The venerable 1911 – which I prefer over any other pistol – doesn’t have a high capacity magazine, and yet it was a weapon of war, and is still on the battlefield today.  Knives are weapons of war, and my son carried one with him all the time in Iraq.

Bows and arrows were weapons of war, as were crossbows.  Before that, sticks and rocks were weapons of war.  In short, every weapon ever invented or used by mankind for any purpose whatsoever has been a weapon of war, and may continue to be so to this very day.

The strategy to frame our right to ownership of weapons in hunting and target shooting is a tip of the hat to the “sporting purposes test,” an acquiescence to the abomination of the Gun Control Act of 1968.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with the second amendment, any more than personal self defense has anything to do with what the framers of the constitution wrote or intended.

The second amendment pertains exclusively to the amelioration of tyranny.  The second amendment assures weapons of war will be available in order to enable the citizenry to fight warfare.  As to the real basis for our right to ownership of weapons, one need only to ponder what God thinks about gun control.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

Stop worrying over whether an AR-15 is a “weapon of war.”  Every weapon is a weapon of war, and God says we have a right to them.  When you argue in such a way, you cede ground to the enemy because you assume the validity and truthfulness of his value judgments, definitions and categories.

Firearms ‘Will Not Be Tolerated’ on UNC Campus After Weekend Protest

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 6 hours ago

From reader Jack, news from UNC:

Monday’s statement from the university confirmed that “members of a ‘Confederate heritage’ group walked onto the UNC – Chapel Hill campus from the Town of Chapel Hill via Raleigh Street to Cameron Avenue. At least one individual was in possession of a handgun. They were approached by UNC Police officers on the sidewalk in front of Memorial Hall and were asked to leave campus, which they did.”

It is generally legal in North Carolina for an individual to openly carry a firearm, unless otherwise prohibited.

“Due to immediate uncertainty Saturday about the application of these laws to the Cameron Avenue right of way, which is maintained by the Town of Chapel Hill, no arrest was made in this case,” university officials said Monday. But the statement continued by saying that any person bringing a firearm onto the campus in the future will be arrested and trespassed from the campus.

“The University is committed to the safety of our campus community. As it regularly does, UNC Police continues to monitor any information indicating a threat to the campus community from any group.”

First of all, I don’t believe the police would have had any right to force removal of the protestors should they have not been voluntarily willing to leave.

Second, if this area is a “right of way,” what right does UNC have to issue regulations?  Open carry is legal in North Carolina.  These protestors were doing nothing wrong or illegal as best as I can tell.  If they’re going to throw some piddly-ass assembly permit requirement at them, they’ve got to shut down every hippie playing his guitar on the sidewalk in Raleigh.

Shooting Lessons

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 6 hours ago

Outdoor Life:

My first formal shooting lessons came at the hands of an old West Point Major and sniper instructor. Now, almost 30 years later, a young Marine Sniper taught me new and improved position and technique.

Rather than the classic, body-offset prone position that I’d learned during my youth, the Gunwerks instructor taught me to lie directly in line with my rifle, butt pad snuggled firmly into my neck-collar bone juncture. Legs should be spread wide, feet almost flat on the ground, with toes dug in slightly to give stability. The bipod is loaded (meaning forward pressure is applied), the rifle forming a sort of bridge between shoulder and bipod legs. As the chest settles ground-ward the bipod becomes loaded even harder and the bridge becomes very stable. The cheek is snugged against the riflestock. The free hand (left for right-handed shooters) rests under the butt stock, supporting it atop a rear bag. The cheek should stay snugly against the comb through the shot, eyes fixed on the target while the shooter re-cycles the bolt for a follow-up round.

Once you’ve established the general position, you need to eliminate muscular tension. Relax every part of your body, settling into the ground and the rifle until you are comfortable. If the crosshairs aren’t on target don’t muscle the rifle into place—rather, adjust your body until the crosshairs stay steadily on target.

Before you shoot, try this drill. With crosshairs on target, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, let it out (to respiratory pause), and open your eyes. If your crosshairs are off target, adjust your body and repeat until your back on target when you open your eyes.

Once you’re settled into position, crosshairs steadily on the target, you have to send the shot perfectly. Regardless of how accurate or expensive your rifle is, how perfect your position, how great your ammunition; if you jerk the trigger it’s all for naught. Here’s how to do it right.

Take a couple deep breaths, but don’t hold your breath. You should shoot during the natural respiratory pause that occurs when you let your breath drift out and stop naturally.

Place the first pad of your finger on the trigger, and press it straight back toward the butt of the rifle. Your finger should form a 90-degree angle at the second knuckle. Press, but do not jerk.

Don’t “flick the booger” with your trigger finger. Instead, keep your finger pressed on the trigger for one full second after the shot.

Keep your eye on target through the shot and spot your impact so you can make windage and elevation corrections for your next shot. Tip: keep your scope turned down between nine- and 12-power—it’ll give you a wider field of view, enabling you to spot your hits.

Good tips.  I’m not a bad shooter, but I could do better with what he’s described, and especially so with more practice.



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