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]

.350 Legend

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

While perusing this piece on new rifles from the SHOT show (most of which I find far too pricey), I ran across an ammunition type I hadn’t seen before, the .350 Legend.  That’s because it’s brand new.

The 2019 SHOT Show saw the release of the latest cartridge from Winchester—the .350 Legend. The new cartridge is a .223 case blown out to have straight walls, making it a perfectly viable choice for those states which require the use of a straight-walled rifle cartridge for deer hunting. The bullet diameter is listed as .357″, and the rimless design will require the cartridge to headspace off the case mouth.

Winchester is currently offering five different loads for the new cartridge: a 150-grain Deer Season XP at 2350 fps, a 180-grain Power-Point at 2100 fps, a 160-grain Power Max Bonded at 2225 fps, a very affordable 145-grain FMJ in the USA ammo line at 2350 fps, and a Super Suppressed 265-grain load at 1060 fps.

I had the opportunity to shoot the .350 Legend at SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range in a Winchester bolt-action rifle, and it was plenty accurate and pleasant on the shoulder. They had the Deer Season XP load and the USA Full Metal Jacket loads on hand; point of impact between the two was so close at 100 yards that a hunter could easily use the much more affordable FMJ ammunition for off-season practice as well as plinking, and switch to the Deer Season XP for hunting. In Winchester’s comparison to the veteran .30-30 Winchester, the .350 Legend shows to have an energy advantage of 120 ft.-lbs., yet delivers less recoil than the old deer classic.

It would appear that the idea is a straight-walled cartridge that isn’t quite the punch in the shoulder that the .450 Bushmaster is, but still with a lot of power.  I confess that I had thought before about the possibility of a carbine chambered for .357 Magnum.  This is a step up.  For the 150-grain bullet they get 2350 FPS, whereas by comparison, for the 300 Blackout at 125-grains, it’s pushing 2215 FPS.  It’s got the 300 BO beat.  They must have partnered with CMMG, because there’s already a gun for it.

CMMG makes nice-looking, well-functioning guns.

Genius Cop

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Law & Crime (and also this from WiscoDave):

Florida man Matthew Crull is free from jail, and he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. He spent 41 days in a Martin County jail, but was released. Crull and 10 other people have been let go from jail because now-former Martin County Deputy Steven O’Leary was accused of falsely testing material as narcotics, leading to their arrests.

Crull told WPTV that he has been in jail before, but for nothing like this.

[ … ]

“I had 92 grams of laundry detergent in my door and that’s what I was falsely charged for trafficking of heroin,” he told CBS 12. He had to miss Christmas with his girlfriend and parents because of his time behind bars.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder announced in a press conference January 15 that he fired O’Leary. He said that prosecutors first approached deputies about problems with three of the official’s arrests. O’Learly had made 80 drug arrests in his 11 months on probation as a Martin County deputy. The sheriff said that they were reviewing the cases. He told reporters that O’Leary was interviewed, made no incriminating statements, and lawyered up.

Is that what cops do when they fear their own kind – lawyer up?

So where does this poor man go to get those 41 days of his life back?

Gun Showdown In The Texas House

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Star-Telegram:

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen wants to make one thing perfectly clear.

Gun rights are safe and sound this session, despite some grumbling from grassroots activists.

“I’ll bet my critics an AR-15 that their gun rights won’t be infringed,” he posted recently on Facebook.

This comes after some Texans began criticizing the Angleton Republican for “betraying” efforts to pass more legislation.

“For the first time in decades, a Speaker has appointed anti-gun Democrats to chair the two most important House Committees for Texas gun owners,” according to an article by The Texas Firearms Coalition.

At issue: state Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, who was named to head the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, and state Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, who was appointed to head the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

“It has come to my attention that a small handful of gun rights fringe groups have called my leadership into question. Let me set the record straight,” Bonnen wrote on Facebook. “For 22 years I have been an advocate for Texan’s 2nd Amendment Rights.

“I have not wavered at any point.”

Collier received an F rating last year from the National Riffle Association.

“I’m here to promote the legislative process,” she said Tuesday. “Speaker Bonnen has set the tone for the new session and has expressed his trust and confidence in his colleagues in the House.”

Nevarez received a D rating from the NRA.

In 2015, Nevarez became the center of media attention after open carry supporters had a heated exchange with him.

Kory Watkins, then a spokesman for Tarrant County Open Carry, posted a video online that showed open carry advocates being aggressive with Nevarez, telling him he “won’t be here very long, bro,” because he didn’t support open carry.

The House soon approved new rules letting lawmakers put panic buttons in their offices that would summon Texas Department of Public Safety troopers if they needed to remove people from their offices.

The fear this session is that anti-gun bills in the House will get hearings but “pro-gun bills either will not get a hearing or won’t get a committee vote in time to reach the House floor for debate and voting,” the Firearms Coalition article stated.

It went on to encourage Texas gun owners to reach out to top Texas Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, to weigh in on “Bonnen’s betrayal.”

“The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make the political price of betrayal so high that no elected official can afford it,” according to the article.

Bonnen responded to the concerns on social media. He said his committee appointments “represent diverse views — just as any well functioning democracy should.”

But he said he also named a majority of pro-gun members to committees that will consider gun legislation.

“The fact that some fringe groups can’t count to 5 for a 9 member committee is really not my problem,” he wrote.

And he believes committee chairs will “allow reasonable bills which reflect the values of Texans” to make their way through the session.

“I have not wavered at any point.”  I agree.  You appointed full-on communists to posts of importance.  There was no vacillation with you.

The notion that the Texas Firearms Coalition is a “fringe” group is patently absurd, and I predict he’ll pay a steep price for his treasonous behavior.

By saying that “reasonable bills” will make their way through session he means that the committees will hear them, stall, vote a split decision too late to do anything about them in the once every two years meeting of the Texas Legislature, and then can the whole idea if it doesn’t do homage to state control over gun rights.  And then he’ll make excuses for the committees about the wording being wrong, or LEOs opposing the bills because of “public safety,” or some such bullshit.

Watch and see if I’m wrong about this.  You can tell him what you think about all of this at the following email address: dennis.bonnen@house.texas.gov.

NRA Dark Operations?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

From Military Arms:

It’s no secret that many in the media have been holding the NRA accountable for their actions as of late. There are very powerful people within the NRA who stand to lose a lot by the continued loss of members and revenue.

We have friends all over the world and in many communities which include those who reside and work within the realm of the Dark Web. It has been brought to our attention by a source we deem to be credible within this community that a bounty has been placed by a high level NRA operative against all detractors of the organization. The bounty calls for the deplatforming of the media person(s), the hacking of their bank accounts, mortgages, mail servers, etc. The stated goal is to cause  so many personal problems that the person will be focused on that vs. talking about the NRAs activities.

I represent several media people who have been approached with this information. I’m only posting this message so that there is written record that should we be deplatformed, should our accounts be hacked, or should anything else occur that might be destructive to our personal and financial well being, the likely source will be the NRA or an agent acting on their behalf.  We truly hope this information isn’t accurate but we must proceed as if it is given the serious nature of the warning. To this point we have not been victims of any such targeted attacks. If something were to happen after this post is made public, the culprit will be crystal clear.

I will not answer any questions about this statement.

Thank you for the continued support. The fight for our rights will continue and we will not be deterred.

Well, I hope he isn’t deterred.  I am in 100% agreement with his views.

On the other hand, this is a serious allegation and the dark web is a known hide-out for Larpers and liars.  Would the NRA do something like this?  I suppose it will be easy enough to watch and see what happens.  Frankly, I rarely believe much of anything I have ever read over at 4Chan (not that I spend much time there, but I’ve seen a few threads).  Most of the threads are without merit or evidence, with long posts by Larpers followed by replies from people who sound like they’re on dope and can’t construct a complete sentence.

I think I would have waited to see this manifest itself before saying anything.

The AR Is Not Direct Gas Impingement

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

I think this is fairly well established, and I’m surprised he’s getting any pushback in the comments.  There is this comment though: “Come on…You know as much as I do that the “recoil impulse” you are showing has wayyy more to do with the Center Mass of the bolt being on the center line of the stock on the ar15, and OFF the centerline on all the other rifles!!!”

Not quite.  It has something to do with the recoil impulse being along the axis of the muzzle and the stock, not CoG.  Still, the observations by Tim Harmsen are useful and, in my opinion, correct.

The Open Carry States Are Ones Where Everybody Gets Shot

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

News from Representative Chris Lee of Hawaii.

“The open carry states are ones where everybody gets shot so I think we have a very good record in Hawai’i for gun safety protection and and the fourth lowest gun violence in any state in the union.  It’s a combination of things but one of most important parts of it is that we have strict gun laws.”

Representative Lee says it could be years before the Young case is settled but the top priority for Hawai’i lawmakers is public safety.

“I’ve owned guns in the past; I don’t today but we have an obligation on our part in Hawai’i to make sure that we have the adequate legal protections in place to make sure that it’s not gonna be the wild, wild west …

Drama queen much, Ms. Lee?

From the comments, “The open carry states are ones where everybody gets shot.” Oh yeah, Vermont is a really dangerous state.

Texas too, huh?  Blood in the streets, it is.  Everybody is getting shot.  Everybody.  Because open carry, that’s why.  Everybody.

No exaggeration.  Everybody.  From open carry.

Army Squad Weapons From Early-Vietnam

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Via reddit, I found this interesting.

I simply cannot see that fully automatic M14 being controllable by anyone, and by any stretch of the imagination.  And why would you have a fully automatic M14 that is magazine-fed, only to interrupt fire to change magazines?  To me, an M249 SAW (fed with drums) is a much better weapon for the purpose.

On the other hand, if all you have is the M14 series of guns, having one capable of selective fire isn’t a bad idea.  It’s just inferior to the SAW.

The Sheriffs Resisting Washington’s New Gun Laws: “I’m Not Going To Enforce That”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

The Guardian:

In Washington state, a freshly implemented ballot initiative and a raft of new bills may produce some of the tightest firearms regulations in the US. But standing in the way is a group of rural law enforcement officers who say point blank that they won’t enforce any of it.

The Klickitat county sheriff, Bob Songer, is one of them. He told the Guardian that the initiative passed last November “is unconstitutional on several grounds. I’ve taken the position that as an elected official, I am not going to enforce that law”.

Songer also cited ongoing litigation by the National Rife Association gun industry lobby and others which aims to demonstrate the laws violate both the second amendment and the state’s constitution. He also said that if other agencies attempted to seize weapons from county residents under the auspices of the new laws, he would consider preventively “standing in their doorway”.

In November, the state’s voters handily passed an initiative, I-1639, which mostly targeted semi-automatic rifles. As of 1 January, purchasers of these weapons must now be over 21, undergo an enhanced background check, must have completed a safety course, and need to wait 9 days to take possession of their weapon. Also, gun owners who fail to store their weapons safely risk felony “community endangerment” charges.

Feeling the wind at their backs after the ballot, gun campaigners and liberal legislators have now gone even further in the new legislative session. Bills introduced in the last week to Washington’s Democrat-dominated legislature look to further restrict firearms. Some laws would ban high capacity magazines and plastic guns made with 3D printers. Others would mandate training for concealed carry permits, and remove guns and ammo during and after domestic violence incidents.

Washington’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, who proposed several of the bills, said in an email: “Now is the time to act. Washingtonians have made it clear that they support common-sense gun safety reforms.”

Kristen Ellingboe, from Washington’s Alliance for Gun Safety, which has long campaigned for more firearms restrictions, said that “for a long time our elected officials thought that gun violence protection was somehow controversial, but they have been behind where the people of Washington are on this issue”.

But like other west coast states, Washington exhibits a deep cultural and political divide between its populous, coastal cities and its more sparsely populated rural hinterland.

I-1639 passed on a roughly 60-40 split; in the big, blue counties west of the Cascade Mountains, such as King county, where Seattle is located, the margins were even bigger.

However, 27 of Washington’s 39 counties rejected the ballot measure. Many of those counties are in the state’s more rural, sparsely populated districts.

It is in these counties that many – including sworn officers – are promising to resist the laws.

In Ferry county in eastern Washington, more than 72% of voters rejected I-1639. In the county’s only incorporated city, Republic, the police chief Loren Culp asked the council in November to declare the city a “second amendment sanctuary”. That vote has been delayed until March, but in the meantime, like Songer, Culp says he will not enforce.

The sheriff in Ferry county, Ray Maycumber, told the Guardian that he would not be enforcing the laws either, at least until the NRA’s litigation is completed.

“There’s a window of time when I get to make the assessment”, he said. Should the NRA not succeed, he said, he would “consider if I want to go on in the job”.

The “sanctuary” idea has caught on with other rightwing activists. Matt Marshall is the leader of the Washington Three Percent, a patriot movement group which has held several open carry rallies in downtown Seattle in the last year.

Marshall is attempting to persuade rural Washington counties to adopt local second amendment sanctuary ordinances. Next week, together with the Patriot Prayer founder and former Senate candidate Joey Gibson, he is addressing a meeting of Lewis and Pierce counties to try to persuade them to adopt resolutions which would mean that the gun laws were not enforced.

The refusal of law enforcement officers to enforce the new restrictions plays into a longer history of so-called “constitutional” sheriffs resisting the gradual tightening of gun laws. There are also hints, in the stance, of the doctrine of “county supremacy”, long nursed on the constitutionalist far right, which holds that county sheriffs are the highest constitutional authority in the country.

Oh no.  Please, not more of the nullification crap that’s never going to happen?  I don’t really care if there are Sheriffs who refuse to enforce these laws.

Here is my question for those Sheriffs: “When hard times come, and the state police, or the ATF, or some other agency, comes to enforce those unconstitutional laws, will you then use the power of your office to arrest those trying to enforce the laws and throw them in jail?”

Actually, I have two other pragmatic and related questions.  “Do your direct reports all support you in this project?”  And “Do you have an understanding with the local judges to keep them in prison so that your project doesn’t get scuttled on the legal system?”

Tell me those things, and then I’ll make up my mind on your project.

NRA In Trouble With Its Base?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

WSJ:

Dustin Coleman has bought a booth at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention for his shooting accessories company for the past three years.

But last month, he canceled his reservation and donated the $1,400 rental fee to a rival group, the Firearms Policy Coalition. His reason: The NRA, the nation’s leading Second Amendment group with 5.5 million members, is no longer pro-gun enough.

“The NRA is appeasing to the middle, they’re not pro-gun enough,” said Mr. Coleman, who has a lifetime NRA membership. He said he chose to give money to the Firearms Policy Coalition because it is fighting the Trump administration’s December bump-stock ban in court.

Smaller organizations, often with Second Amendment positions more strident than the NRA, are seeking to capitalize on complaints from people like Mr. Coleman that the NRA didn’t do enough to stop the ban on the devices. Bump stocks convert semiautomatic rifles into simulacrums of machine guns and were used in 2017’s Las Vegas massacre.

The criticism of the NRA illustrates the difficult position the group finds itself in when President Trump, whose election it supported, takes a position that upsets the most ardent gun-rights advocates.

“There was overwhelming legislative support for proposals that went far beyond these specific devices,” the NRA said in a statement last month. The group asked Congress to allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to review the device, “rather than sit back and watch a legislative over-reaction,” it said.

The NRA said it doesn’t support bans on anything and that at a minimum there should be an amnesty period for those who own bump stocks.

The group, which had its biggest-ever annual convention in Dallas last year, is facing declining member dues and contributions, which fell 21% to $230 million, according to the most recent data. NRA officials say that is in line with previous years after gun-friendly presidents were elected.

It’s their own fault.    It doesn’t matter if there was “overwhelming legislative support for proposals that went far beyond these specific devices,” and there is still no evidence to this day that bump stocks were used in the Las Vegas shooting.  I defy the authors to produce it.  A picture proves nothing at all, and given that the ATF was never allowed to examine the firearms by the FBI, I doubt anything the FBI has to say about the incident.  This is one of the reasons I recommended that independent analysts be contracted to examine the firearms and crime scene.

The NRA could have thrown their weight around, threatened to score every vote, pour money into reelection campaigns coming up, and expose every politician for their work behind the scenes.  Or in other words, the NRA could have done their jobs.

Instead, Trump did it for them in an end run around the constitution.  That tells me that the politicians were scared.  Good.  They should have been, and we should have queued this up for them to deal with in order to expose them.  The NRA gave Trump cover to keep the politicians covert.

I don’t want to hear any excuses.  I consider all of them completely unacceptable.

Is the NRA in trouble with its base?  That depends.  The Fudds will always defend the NRA – right up until their bolt action hunting rifles and shotguns are confiscated and taken down to the local armory for “safe keeping.”  Or in other words, right up until their own Ox gets gored.

Is the Firearms Industry Selling The Guns Which Will Be Used To Enslave Us?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

Is it realistic to expect companies to turn down lucrative law enforcement deals? Probably not, because the activist portion of gun owners is but a fraction of the total population, those selling to enforcement agencies inarguably make some of the finest guns in the market, and the citizen militia system needed to take up the slack has been suppressed by a political design that in turn has been allowed by apathy. But what we can do is be aware of who’s involved in such deals, use what sway as customers that we have to influence corporate decision-making, individually boycott those companies we take umbrage with, and importantly, to patronize the enterprises that have taken a public stand on the side of “We the people” even when it affects their bottom lines.

Most of the sway we have is in pressing back against it when gun manufacturers toy with support for gun control efforts, such as when Marty Daniels courted “Fix-NICS.”  I doubt that we would be successful in persuading large manufacturers like Savage or Ruger to examine the politics of their contracts before they fulfill them.

But the answer to David’s question is ‘yes’, and I’m not sure that can be changed.


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