Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



Why Carrying A Gun Is Unnecessary And Dumb

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Outside:

I’m not anti-gun, nor am I a city-dwelling ideologue. I’ve lived in Montana for nearly 20 years, and I own guns. The only time I carry one into the woods, however, is to hunt. To kill game. That’s what they’re built to do.

I’ve been an outdoor writer and editor for nearly as long, covering everything from skiing and climbing to hunting and fishing. I own a backcountry guide service and operate exclusively in grizzly country, including some of the most bear-dense parts of Yellowstone. I’ve had dozens of grizzly encounters, run-ins with polar bears on Arctic ski expeditions, and more than a few awkward conversations with disturbed individuals over the years—all sans sidearm and no worse for wear. Some of these experiences were scary, but I’ve never pulled the trigger on my bear spray (much less a pistol), and every one of those encounters made me a better outdoorsman.

Honestly, every time I read one of these pieces my eyes just glaze over when I have to wade through their ridiculous creds.  Why can’t anyone simply say what they think?  Why do they have to trot out their creds?  You know, that’s “appealing to authority,” or in other words, it’s formally called the genetic fallacy.  But this guy still isn’t finished.

I’ve also worked as an armed courier, transporting millions of dollars in an armored Freightliner—a job that required defensive-firearms training and certification with law enforcement and former military contractors. Guns were part of my wardrobe, and I’m comfortable with almost any firearm you could put in my hand. It’s guns in other peoples’ hands that make me nervous.

I’m not going to cite statistics about rifles and pistols or their effectiveness in wilderness-self-defense scenarios (the outcomes are generally piss-poor).

I don’t know anything about this guy and I’ve never met him, but one thing we learn from his writing is that he’s either a liar or a very sloppy and careless man.  But you knew that already.  His allegations disagree with what we learned from the fantastic research work performed by Dean Weingarten concerning bear attacks.  So whatever else you think of what he says, just remember he’s lying or is just too stupid to know the real facts.

We are not in danger on our favorite hiking trails and in our national forests. In fact, these places are ridiculously safe

So if someone listens to him, he disarms himself and loved ones in the face of potential danger.

There are three practical reasons why carrying a gun in the backcountry is silly.

First, any responsible owner knows that the highest priority is the security of their weapon at all times. On the trail, that becomes a real issue, since there’s no way to safely store your weapon. Want to go for a quick swim? Sorry, you can’t leave your sidearm unattended. Need to head into town for a resupply? Public transportation is off-limits, and most businesses don’t allow firearms. Want to grab a cold beer at the local watering hole after a particularly humid stretch of trail? Bummer, because in most states guns aren’t allowed in bars.

Second, hikers and backpackers are notorious gram counters. Are you seriously going to agonize for months over how to save a few grams on your stove, tent, and shoes, and then pack two pounds of loaded pistol on your hip? You may as well carry an external frame pack and a canvas-wall tent.

Finally, and most importantly, carrying a gun changes the way we interact with and feel about others. For thru-hikers, the social element is an enormously rewarding part of the experience. They meet people from around the world, adopt kooky trail names, share information (including who might be sketchy or carrying a weapon), and coexist for a brief time in a remarkable place, doing a remarkable thing. Bring a firearm into that dynamic, and it won’t be the same. Others don’t know you—they don’t know your training, demeanor, judgment, or intelligence. All they know is that you have a weapon and, with it, the power to hurt them. And that’s all that truly matters. Guns intimidate.

So basically this all boils down to three things with him.  First, beer.  Second, weight.  Third, intimidation.  So if you like beer on the trail, or if you’re concerned about a couple of pounds that could save your life, or if you like to gather with folks who call each other by kooky names, then perhaps he has a point.  Or maybe not.  I didn’t have any problems with a couple of additional pounds, I never had beer on the trail, and I’ve just never worried about intimidation when I carry.  That’s not the point.

If you’re not experienced in the bush but very concerned about how people feel about you – in other words you’re a unique and special snowflake – this might be the guide for you.  On the other hand, he might get you killed too.  My bet is that for whatever reason he has been blessed in the bush, and he is conflating his lack of means of and need for self defense with something totally out of his control.

He isn’t in control over the disposition of wildlife or two-legged threats in his life.  On the other hand, he is indeed in control over his own decisions, and he has chosen the option less safe.  That’s his prerogative, just as it is mine to call him an idiot.

The Danger Of Elitism In The Gun Community

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

I agree with everything he says.  Sometimes gun owners can appear to be pricks to those who aren’t in the gun community and haven’t grown a thick skin like we have.  Off-putting is a good word for how newbies see this elitist behavior, and it becomes a sort of de facto gun control, whether you intend it or not.

The 18 Best New Hunting And Precision Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

OutdoorLife has the analysis.

There are rifles all the way from .22LR to .30-06, with a large collection of guns for 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5mm Creedmoor, and prices that range from around $600 – $6000.

There is one rifle there in 350 Legend, and they don’t seem to like it very much (mainly for the reason of lack of accuracy).  Tim Harmsen has the same complaint.

They’re favorite appears to be the new CZ 457 Varmint MTR in .22LR.  CZ seems to be making very good guns these days, and also appears to be trying to tailor their products to the American market.  John Lovell has a very good review of the CZ P10c.  I find the P10c to be an aesthetically pleasing gun.

Here’s the OutdoorLife video on the rimfire guns.

Stag Arms To Leave Connecticut

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

News from Connecticut.

Stag Arms, a New Britain manufacturer of automatic and semiautomatic AR-15 rifles, announced Friday it’s leaving the city for a yet-to-be-determined site that offers “significant support for the firearms industry.”

Stag Arms announced its board of directors decided to relocate as part of its “strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience.”

“The location of Stag’s new headquarters has not been finalized but the board has narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry,” the company said in a statement posted on Facebook.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said the announcement “comes as no surprise.”

“We have known for many years that Stag has been courted by other states following the passage of more stringent gun laws here in Connecticut,” she said in an emailed statement. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.”

Good.  It couldn’t happen to a better state – or worse state – or whatever.  I hate that it took this long.  I hope Connecticut suffers financially from this at least a little bit.

30 Colorado Sheriffs Join Opposition To Gun Magazine Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

News from Colorado.

About half of the state’s county sheriffs this week joined the battle against Colorado’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, arguing that the law hinders peoples’ ability to defend themselves.

Although law enforcement are exempt from the ban, the sheriffs argued in their brief to the Colorado Supreme Court that civilians should have the same access to magazines as typical officers and deputies. If law enforcement agencies believe a magazine that holds 20 or 30 rounds is best for defense, then those magazines are the best option for regular people who want to defend themselves, the sheriffs argued.

Citizens do and should copy sheriffs’ firearm and magazine selections so they will have reliable, sturdy arms for defense of self and others,” the brief stated. “These arms will be powerful enough for defense against violent criminals, and these arms will be appropriate for use in civil society, because sheriffs’ arms are not mass-killing military arms. Instead, sheriffs’ arms are best for defense of self and others, including against multiple attackers.”

Thirty county sheriffs, the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and the Independence Institute filed the brief on Monday in support of a group of gun rights advocates challenging the law’s constitutionality.

[ … ]

Sheriffs from three Denver-area counties — Denver, Boulder and Arapahoe — were absent from the list.

The sheriffs and others in the brief argued that magazines that hold 20 or 30 rounds should be categorized as standard magazines because they are commonly included in the sale of firearms by default. Sheriff’s deputies often carry magazines of those sizes with them on patrol.

The brief offered an alternative to the ban. The state could instead require that a person have a state concealed handgun permit in order to own a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds, the sheriffs argued.

Okay, I see how this works.  An outright ban is unconstitutional, but seeking approval for the object from the controllers isn’t because we say so.  The brief looked good up until that point.

Actually, I have one other nit.  I would argue that rather than “citizens copy[ing] Sheriffs’ firearm and magazine selections,” Sheriffs and the military alike copy our firearm selections.  The best, most difficult, most grueling test for any firearm is on the open market among the working man.

The military buys from the low bidder.  The working man tells others about what doesn’t work and that becomes common knowledge.

I lied.  I have one other nit.  I would argue that Sheriffs are citizens too.

If You Like To Shoot Big Bore Wheel Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

You might be interested in this.

America’s Top General In Afghanistan Carries A 1911

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Via Uncle, this report.

Uncle asks, “Does he also drive a model T?”

Just one bit of correction.  The words “Model T” should be replaced with “muscle car.”

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Open Or Concealed Carrying Of A Firearm Is Not Reasonable Suspicion Of A Crime

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Prince Law:

Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a 53 page majority opinion, a 2 page concurring decision by Justice Baer and a 16 page concurring opinion by Justice Dougherty which Justice Mundy joined, in the case of Commonwealth v. Hicks, which addressed whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm constitutes reasonable suspicion of a crime.

[ … ]

“Before this Court, the Commonwealth again advanced its “radical position,” Hawkins, 692 A.2d at 1071, in the present iteration contending that police officers are not only entitled, but “duty bound” to seize and investigate the licensing status of every individual who carries a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania. Brief for Commonwealth at 11. We have little difficulty in again rejecting this proposition, because we conclude that the Robinson rule contravenes the Terry doctrine and, indeed, the fundamental guarantees of the Fourth Amendment.

Although the carrying of a concealed firearm is unlawful for a person statutorily prohibited from firearm ownership or for a person not licensed to do so, see 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105-06, there is no way to ascertain an individual’s licensing status, or status as a prohibited person, merely by his outward appearance. As a matter of law and common sense, a police officer observing an unknown individual can no more identify whether that individual has a license in his wallet than discern whether he is a criminal. Unless a police officer has prior knowledge that a specific individual is not permitted to carry a concealed firearm, and absent articulable facts supporting reasonable suspicion that a firearm is being used or intended to be used in a criminal manner, there simply is no justification for the conclusion that the mere possession of a firearm, where it lawfully may be carried, is alone suggestive of criminal activity.

If the consequence of our decision is that future courts afford meaningful Fourth Amendment protection to individuals engaged in other commonly licensed activities, that result is preferable to our allowance of governmental overreach that undermines the individual freedom that is essential to our way of life in this constitutional republic.

Crime and violence are ever-present threats in society, and it can be tempting to look to the government to provide protection from “dangerous” people with constant vigilance. However, the protections of the Fourth Amendment remain an essential bulwark against the overreaches and abuses of governmental authority over all individuals. Notwithstanding the dangers posed by the few, we must remain wary of the diminution of the core liberties that define our republic, even when the curtailment of individual liberty appears to serve an interest as paramount as public safety. “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

Consistent with the General Assembly’s reservation of the exclusive prerogative to regulate firearms in this Commonwealth, codified at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, the additional requirement that an individual possess a license in order to carry a firearm openly within the City of Philadelphia is prescribed by statute, not by municipal ordinance. See 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108; see generally Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152 (Pa. 1996).”

So the court did three things: [1] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm in a concealed manner isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (I would have to know the specifics of the case to be able to ascertain why this is important since if the firearm is concealed well, it wouldn’t be seen by anyone), [2] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm openly isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (apparently Pennsylvania has a permitted open carry system, and cops don’t have the right to stop someone who is openly carrying to ask about a permit), and [3] decreed that little tyrants in locales like cities or townships don’t have to right to upend this judgment.

Every once in a while someone gets it right.  I would think that after the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals viz. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, they would stop trying to argue that they have unlimited rights.

But also just as apparent is the fact that the police go from judge to judge, and court to court, until they find someone who agrees with them.

That’s the American way, yes?

Recommending Only Striker-Fired Pistols?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Personal Defense Network:

Striker-fired semi-automatics were made popular in the 1980s by Glock. Although the company was not well received in the beginning, it has become one of the most popular defensive pistol brands in the world. The striker firing mechanism uses a spring-loaded firing pin that works more like the launcher in a pinball machine than that of a traditional pistol with a hammer. This spring-loaded pin is partially cocked by the movement of the slide. The trigger then cocks the pin the remainder of the way and releases it to strike the primer and ignite the cartridge. Why does this make a difference to the beginning defensive shooting student?

[ … ]

Why does this affect the decision between these two action types? The amount of force or weight of the trigger pull in many of these firearms is very similar, in about the six- to seven-pound range. But the duration or length of that weight is far greater on the double action only. Imagine you need to move an 80-pound bag of concrete from point A to point B. If point A is five feet away from point B, it is going to be much easier than if point A is 20 feet away. Similarly, completing a rudimentary test of a Ruger LC9 (double action only) to determine where the weight begins on the trigger, it took moving the trigger approximately ½ inch to activate the trigger. By comparison, an M&P 9 (striker-fired) took approximately 1/8 inch, after the weight began, to activate the trigger. You need to utilize more trigger control on the double action only, since the length of the trigger pull tends to amplify the deviation caused by lack of trigger control.

[ … ]

Here is a list of striker-fired pistols that you can consider as suitable options — but you should still dry fire the gun prior to purchasing to be sure it is right for you.

  • Glock: All models are striker fire action. Find one that fits your hand comfortably and is in the caliber you want.

  • Smith & Wesson M&P series: All semi-automatic models except Bodyguard. M&P Shield offers the striker-fire action in a very compact slim design. I suggest this if ease of concealment is an important consideration for you.

  • Ruger: SR9 and SR9c.

  • Springfield Armory: XD series.

Well … okay … whatever.  His comparison is only with double-action pistols.  Furthermore, I’m not convinced that if you’re well-rehearsed enough you can’t make that first shot as accurate as any other.  I’ve shot revolvers for a long time and I would entrust my life to them – in fact, I do under certain carry scenarios (smallish wheel gun on my ankle when the need arises for absolute concealment or in non-permissive carry situations).

But I still say, give me my 1911 any day, even with its additional weight.  With its reliability, its narrow frame (which fits my fingers knurled up from RA), and its ability to chamber a round and yet use a mechanical safety with a single sweep of the thumb as I obtain purchase on the gun, my option works for me, and is probably better.  Besides, I don’t like the feel of the springy, spongy, striker fired pistols.  If you don’t think a single stack design with its narrow frame is better for my hands, then go back in time, ask God to give you RA your entire life, knurl your knuckles up like mine (with ligaments turned into scar tissue from attacks from white blood cells), and then we’ll talk.  Until then, you’re not an expert on my situation in life.

I like the light touch of the trigger for a hammer-fired 1911, and I’m used to it.  I’m accurate with it, I’m consistent with it, it fits my hand, its safe, and I like the grip angle.  I don’t really care if it works for you.  It works for me.

I consider this to be of the same genre as debates over holsters (I’ve seen some hating on leather holsters lately).  For the most part I’m pretty unimpressed with folks asserting their bonafides and telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.  I rarely use leather, but when I do I’ve got a nice one with a retention strap.  I don’t like the feel of Kydex and I find it to run counter to concealability and unforgiving in terms freedom of movement and bending.  I prefer a Cordura holster with a retention strap for both IWB and OWB carry, and as readers know, I absolutely hate IWB carry.

I recommend that you shoot what you like, like what you shoot, and get good at whatever that is.  I recommend the same thing with holsters.  Wear what you like and whatever works for you and meets your needs.  I realize that it may run counter for a gun blog not to try to boss you around and bark orders out at people, but I respect my readers enough to believe that you’re capable of making your own educated choices.

Eugene Stoner: The Man Behind The Gun

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

If you don’t do anything else today, watch this video entirely.  It’s well worth your time. There is also information presented by Stoner that doesn’t fit the narrative, so it’s a good history lesson.

Do you think it would have been fun to have worked with him? I do.


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