Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



Is The AR-15 A ‘Weapon Of War?”

BY Herschel Smith
15 hours, 2 minutes 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.

Shooting Lessons

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 14 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.

In Praise Of The .30/06 Cartridge

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Outdoor Life:

After more than a century of flattening the world’s biggest, meanest, and tastiest game animals, the .30/06 Springfield remains an incredibly well balanced, versatile, affordable hunting cartridge. With modern ammo it shoots 100- to 200 fps faster than it used to. If it was good enough to stop lions, rhinos, buffalo, and elephants 100 years ago, it’s probably good enough to stop deer, elk, and moose today.

He makes his case with unction when comparing the ballistics to 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, and other cartridges.  The 300 Win Mag comes out on top in just about every category which is expected, but just by a little.

But when comparing ballistics, he looks at energy (ft-lb), and hydrostatic shock is important as well, so I’m not entirely convinced.

My conclusion is that the cartridges are closer than one might think, but one interesting thing is that the 270 Winchester beats the 6.5 Creedmoor in carried velocity at distance, energy, and bullet drop.

While he says makes the case for the .30-06, I might conclude that he really makes a better case for the .270 Winchester.

How To Pronounce The Word Carbine

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

I’ve always pronounced it correctly.  Apparently, folks in the gaming community are a bit taken aback at standard military pronunciation of the word.

Out-Of-Round .45 ACP Casings

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Recall I said I had some range time, including with the CMMG PSB .45 ACP?

I kept some of the brass and noticed something for the second time I shot this particular firearm.  Some of the brass has burn marks down one side, like this.

That brass is Federal .45 ACP.  Some of the brass is clean and well-rounded.

That brass is from Double Tap 450 SMC.

Other .45 ACP ammunition I shot didn’t have the burn mark.  I looked more closely at the Federal brass, and noticed what I think is ovality, even to the naked eye.

Given that some brands of .45 ACP can be shot in this gun (along with 450 SMC) with clean results (I also shot a good bit of Freedom Munitions .45 ACP with clean results), I’ve concluded some manufacturers are selling brass that is slightly out-of-round.

I think this is interesting, and I thought I would pass it on.

Idaho Open Carry “Tiff”

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

News from Idaho:

BOISE — A freshman Idaho lawmaker, who introduced a controversial guns-in-schools bill Tuesday, is speaking out against a Boise restaurant after he and fellow members of the Three Percenters group were chided for open-carrying guns there.

Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, said he was in a group of five people eating at Bacon when owner John Berryhill told them their firearms were making customers and staff nervous, according to his Facebook post Saturday. He said Berryhill then closed a curtain around their booth.

Berryhill told CBS 2 News Christensen’s account is exaggerated. In a statement to CBS 2, Berryhill said he’s not against guns or even open carry, with the exception of being in populated areas, such as restaurants, libraries and parks.

In his post, Christensen said, “I won’t be stepping foot in that place again. Pass this around patriots.”

Christensen acknowledged to CBS 2 that he is essentially calling for a boycott of the restaurant. He added in his Facebook post that he would use his “reach” to call out any other business owners who “have a problem with guns in Idaho.”

Boise police spokeswoman Haley Williams told the Idaho Press that private businesses can refuse service to patrons carrying firearms. While Idaho allows open carry of firearms, the law does not apply to private property, the owners of which can make their own rules, she said.

“You can ask them to leave,” she said. “You can set the rules for their establishment.”

Members of the Idaho State Legislature’s Ethics Committee, which met Tuesday for separate purposes, declined to comment on the matter of a lawmaker threatening to use their platform as a mechanism to call for boycott of businesses.

However, Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, told the Idaho Press that Idaho lawmakers are citizens who do not give up their individual right to free speech when they take office.

Yes, establishments have a right to prohibit carry within their premises.  And anyone has a right to say anything about it, at any time, to anyone, and within any context.

Isn’t it interesting that there is a legislator in Idaho who identifies as a Three Percenter?  I didn’t know that.

To Permit Murder When One Could Have Prevented It Is Morally Wrong

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

On my various travels, I crossed paths with this quote.

“…to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally” (The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues for Our Time, by Dr. Norman Geisler and JP Moreland, Greenwood Publishing, 1990).

This sounds like things that have been said here before at TCJ.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

If you believe that it is your Christian duty to allow your children to be harmed by evil-doers (and you actually allow it to happen) because you think Christ was a pacifist, you are no better than a child abuser or pedophile.

God demands violence as a response to threats on our person because of the fact that man is created in God’s image and life is to be preserved.  It is our solemn duty.

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

If you’re willing to sacrifice the safety and health of your wife or children to the evils of abuse, kidnapping, sexual predation or death, God isn’t impressed with your fake morality.  Capable of stopping it and choosing not to, you’re no better than a child molester, and I wouldn’t allow you even to be around my grandchildren.

I’m in good company.  Or maybe Geisler and Moreland are.

The Case For The 20″-Barreled AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

American Rifleman:

First, let’s look at the ballistics. The M16’s 20″ barrel has a 200-f.p.s. advantage over the 14.5″-barreled M4 when shooting M855 ammunition. In my testing, using Federal’s XM855 ammunition, a 20″ barrel recorded about a 150-f.p.s. advantage compared with a 16″ barrel, the common length for civilian carbines. For the carbine, that means about a 5 percent loss in velocity. The muzzle energy difference is about 125 ft.-lbs. or 10 percent.

For reliability and durability data we can look to tests conducted by the U.S. military, which give an edge to the M16 over the M4. The main reason lies in the gas system. The “rifle-length” gas system of a 20″ barrel is 5″ longer than the “carbine-length” gas system used on all 14.5″ and many 16″ M4-style carbines. Due to the drop in pressure over this longer distance, the gas port on a rifle can be larger, which results in a larger volume of lower-pressure gas heading back to the action. The extra length of the gas tube also means the velocity of the gas is slower when it reaches the bolt carrier. This means less force and heat on the working components of a rifle’s action. In contrast, the shorter length of a carbine gas system means the bolt is unlocking sooner, while chamber pressure is higher, which results in more stress on bolt lugs and extractors.

While the contemporary M4-style carbines have evolved into a highly reliable platform, it was a process that was not without its teething problems, a path marked by the necessity of innovations such as mid-length gas systems, extra-power extractor springs, modified feed ramps and H (heavy) buffers. The bottom line is that, for the first three decades of its existence, the M16/AR-15 rifle, and its 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridge, were developed and refined around a 20″ barrel. Anything shorter is a compromise.

[ … ]

Soon after it adopted the M16, the Army saw the need for a bolt-closing device, as the rifle’s nonreciprocating charging handle can only be used to pull the bolt to the rear. The XM16E1 added a forward-assist device on the right rear of the upper receiver, and the design was standardized in 1967 as the M16A1. Stoner was clear in his belief that the forward assist had no place on the AR-15 design.

“The rationale was if the weapon was dirty enough or has sand or dirt or mud or something in it and doesn’t close, the first immediate reaction should be to open the bolt and try to find out the cause of it, and not beat it shut and then find out you’ve got a disaster on your hands,” Stoner pointed out to Ezell.

I’ve never used my forward-assist in any rifle, and I have to believe that use of it in the early stages of use (e.g., Vietnam) was because of inferior parts, teething pains, and lack of attention to the machine.  I’ve also never had a single malfunction, whether FTF, FTE, or anything else, and can say that having shot thousands upon thousands of rounds downrange.  We’ve done much better now with better parts and better builds.

Every gun choice is a compromise, and I happen to think that 18″ is a good compromise, while having a short-barreled carbine is good for CQB.

Robber Points Gun At Family Dollar Store Employees, Unaware Of Armed Customer Behind Him

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Blaze:

A suspected robber is dead after allegedly trying to rob a Family Dollar in Dekalb County, Georgia, and ignoring the customer who was armed behind him during the altercation.

The attempted robbery occurred on Tuesday morning when a man walked into the discount store and pointed a gun at two employees.

While one employee was handing over money to the robber, a customer walked from the back of the store to the front, and witnessed the robber pointing his gun at the employee’s head.

He then pulled his own gun out and shot the robber several times. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Four or five other customers were in the store at the time.

The employee who faced the robber’s gun was shaken up by the incident, but was grateful to the customer who foiled the robbery, police said.

“She’s upset. She’s dealing with corporate right now,” Sgt. Lynn Shuler said, “but she’s fine.”

Police say the customer who killed the would-be robber will not be charged with any crime. They are hailing him as a “good Samaritan” for stopping the robbery and possibly saving the lives of many people.

I love a happy ending.  A dead robber, a gun owner who saved the day, and the police just staying out of people’s business.

But it could have turned out differently.  If the cops had showed up when this was going down they would have just shot everybody and let internal affairs sort it out while they were on paid leave.

The Fast Twist 22 Creedmoor

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Continuing with the conversation we were having a few days ago on new cartridges that answer questions nobody has asked, this new cartridge may be the next in line to fail.

Nosler was the first company to launch a new super .22 with the release of the 22 Nosler. It boasted “close to .22-250 velocities” in a short case that could fit into a standard AR magazine. This cartridge was soon followed by Federal’s release of the .224 Valkyrie, which took on a bit of a different appeal. You see, the 22 Nosler was designed as a super-fast varmint caliber with 1-in-8-inch twist or 1-in-10-inch twist barrels offered to stabilize bullets closer to those of the .22-250. This provides a distinct advantage over the 5.56 with similar weight bullets. The Valkyrie addressed more of the long-range interest with its attempt to push 70-90 grain bullets past 2,800 fps.

These velocities are respectable, especially considering that neither has an overall length of more than the standard .223 Remington. There will be many who point out that the .220 Swift was the original king of small-bore magnums, but it really needed a fast twist barrel and long action to make it shine. We have finally seen the shooting sports embrace long, heavy-for-caliber bullets. It has been long awaited, but as I am writing this, Hornady Manufacturing is pushing to get yet another super-cartridge through the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute process, just as the sport has been chasing smaller, lighter calibers to perform further down range.

The 22 Creedmoor is the newest of the overbore magnums to hit the market. With the capacity of the now famous 6.5 Creedmoor, the 22 Creedmoor is just a necked down variation on the same cartridge. So, what can it do that the others can’t? To be honest, it is not that much different than, say, the .22-243 or the .22-250 AI, but what all but a few custom builds have lacked, the 22 Creedmoor has embraced. It was never designed to shoot lightweight bullets at 4,000 fps. Though it will do that easily, the 22 Creedmoor was built with long, heavy .224 bullets in mind. The 22 Creedmoor will come standard with a 1-in-7-inch fast-twist barrel, and combined with the increased volume inside its case, you can push those long pills over at 3,450 feet per second! This is a distinct step up in performance.

Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just the ticket if you want the rifling blown out of your barrel.  I don’t see this as stiff competition for the 224 Valkyrie, but who knows?


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