Archive for the 'Guns' Category

Note To EOTech

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 21 hours ago

Soldier Systems:

Over the past few weeks, three separate issues have come to our attention regarding EOTech’s line of Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS). While we initially thought they weren’t related as they came up one by one, we realized they were all connected once we had looked into all three. Consequently, we believe they should be presented together, along with the source documentation.

Although it’s the last one we uncovered, we’ll begin with the most glaring piece of information. On 14 September, the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane released a Safety of Use Message regarding issues with EOTech’s Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS), which is how they refer to HWS. This certainly caught our attention as the PMO is responsible for USSOCOM weapons. That message ultimately serves as the linchpin, tying together the other two issues we’ll soon address.

This critical bit of information would have been a stand-alone article, but it added credence to the others and offered coherence to some otherwise inexplicable issues. It also allowed us to concentrate on the facts presented in the various documentation. We will introduce the other issues after you get a chance to read the SOUM, which was obtained by Soldier Systems Daily. The Message has no date-time-group but was transmitted via official email traffic to SOF units on 14 September, 2015 and there are no markings limiting distribution.

Click to view PDF

While there is a great deal of information in the SOUM, two glaring issues stick out. The first is the reliability of the HWS in extreme temperatures, referred to as “Thermal Drift”. The PMO has noted a +/- 4 MOA shift at -40 Deg F and 122 Deg F. Second, is the concern over the claim by EOTech that their HWS are parallax free which was the subject of a previous Safety of Use Message from the same office issued 16 March, 2015. In this case they noted between 4 and 6 MOA parallax error depending on temperature conditions. Despite the PMO working with EOTech to rectify the issues, they still have not been resolved.

Listen to me, EOTech.  Just like we have noted with Remington and the Walker Fire Control System, it would have been better, cheaper and easier for Remington had they noted the problems up front, fixed them, recalled the parts, or refunded the clients.  Instead, the lawyers and corporate executives got involved and things went down hill.  Now, Remington is a shell of what it once was.  And for good reason.  I’ll be surprised if they survive except for government contracts.

Fix the problem.  Come clean about it, explain it, recall it, refund the parts, or do whatever you have to do.  Otherwise, you will lose market share, and permanently so.  You’ve been warned.

The DoD Throws Colt A Lifeline?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

DoD Press Release:

Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut (15QKN-15-D-0102); and FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina (W15QKN-15-D-0072), were awarded a $212,000,000 firm-fixed-price multi-year contract for M4 and M4A1 carbines for the Army and others, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 24, 2020.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received.  Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

I’m not sure what this means, except that for the Army, it will be Colt for the foreseeable future for M4s.

An Engineered Solution To The Problem Of Gun Safe Weight On Floor Joists

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

There is a plethora of articles, discussion threads and other resources that presume to give advice on the issue of floor loading with heavy gun safes.  Some of them even provide professional engineering counsel, even if they don’t say so.  For instance, some articles I have seen mention the typical and customary floor design loading limit of 40 pounds per square foot (PSF) and then opine something like “but even though the load for a safe is concentrated in a small space, since the total floor surface area is much larger than the surface area the safe occupies and that isn’t loaded with the same weight, the gun safe load should be just fine,” or something like that.

I won’t say much more about those articles, except that it is extremely ill-advised to follow such ridiculous counsel, and unless it was crafted by a registered professional engineer specifically for your situation, you should ignore most if not all such articles.  While I am a registered PE, what follows doesn’t constitute engineering advice for your specific situation or any specific situation for that matter (see the disclaimer below), but it might be instructive and beneficial for education to demonstrate and explain what I did to ensure my home was protected both from catastrophic failure and deleterious deflection and sagging of floor joists over time.

While some articles appear to downplay the significance of floor joist loading, I have been inside homes and seen sagging floors (that had not – or had not yet – catastrophically failed).  While I considered the so-called “heavy load path” for transporting the gun safe inside the house, perhaps the more significant issue has to do with floor loading over time.

In order to provide the necessary background to understand the plans, the gun safe weighs in at just over 600 pounds.  The measurements are 20″X33″X59″, so the floor loading significantly exceeds the design floor loading of 40 PSF.

The home is a new home built with pier and girder, with “engineered” joists.  Engineered joists can span a much longer distance that traditional joists, and have no bracing or blocking.  The joists sit either on girder (for spans) or ledger strip (at the edges).  It obviously mattered to the builder that this large piece of granite in the kitchen:


Exceeded the allowable floor loading of 40 PSF, so this girder sits underneath the large rock.


The kitchen shown above is in the Northerly direction, and the picture of the garage wall below looks East.


This is the hallway down which the safe was moved from the garage to the room on the right.  The girder also sits under the hallway about three feet from the doorway to the garage, minimizing joist span for the move.

Right behind the garage wall is a room that has a closet, this closet being the intended final resting place for the gun safe.  The floor joists are oriented East-West, and the support girders are oriented North-South.  Placing the gun safe in this closet (which is centered at the North end of the room against the hallway wall, directly to the right as you stand in the picture above), means that I will be sitting the safe cantilevered along a joist several feet from the ledger strip.  Furthermore, if I was going to position the safe facing East-West, the aspect ratio means that I could sit it along two joists (recall that the joists are 16″ on center).  But I intended to position it facing South.  Thus in my judgment I needed to construct a girder North-South, directly under the safe.  Ron Hiatt, PE, helped my draw up the plans, although the plans as implemented have slight modifications compared to what was originally conceived.

The first step was to measure and lay out the girder, including plumb lines showing where I needed to dig my footings.


This picture shows the wall separating the garage and room which will house the gun safe.  The door to the left is the door to the hallway shown above, and a right turn takes me into the room which contains the closet which has the safe.



Plumb lines showing intended location of footings.

Cut a hole in the vapor barrier and dig footings, this step being especially difficult with limited room under the house.


Each of the three footings were at least 1 cubic foot in volume.


The footings were slightly deeper than 1 foot.


These are used to anchor the 4″X4″s, placed directly into the concrete, flush with the top of the finished concrete and directly under the plumb line.


I had to use 300 pounds of concrete, which I mixed right in the holes (requiring slightly more water than the bags called for).  Use shims to ensure that the 4″X4″s are plumb, and then anchor the column with a 1″X2″ brace attached with a drywall screw to the joist above it.


Attach two ten foot 2″X6″ girder pieces to the 4″X4″s using carriage bolts, aiding with drywall screws.  I like to use screws since they can be installed cleanly (pre-drilled, avoiding cracks and splits), and use of a nail gun might have knocked the 4″X4″ out of plumb.

Use metal shims where you can, as has become commonplace with new home design between pier and girders.


Here is another picture of shimming.


In other places, use standard wood shims depending upon clearance.


The final girder looks like this, running North-South and with additional 1″X2″ bracing because I had the additional wood.


The safe in its final resting place in the closet looks like this, sitting directly on top of the new girder and against the hallway wall.


During the move, the safe at all times (a) was directly over the girder, or (b) directly over doubled-up joists (two engineered floor joists at the load bearing walls), or (c) not more than approximately three feet from the girder or doubled-up floor joists.  The total time in transit from the garage to the closet was approximately two minutes.

The total investment in components and parts represents approximately $150.  This is a small fraction of the cost of the home.  Guns and safes represent a significant investment of time, money and energy.  Don’t do them haphazardly.  Homes represent a much larger investment.  Don’t destroy either one with a safe that is too heavy for the design.  Think.  Plan.  Execute.  Hope is not a plan.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute engineering advice.  The plans shown and discussed above are not necessarily adequate or appropriate for all or even any specific circumstances.  There is no warranty, express or implied, in the plans discussed herein.  The liability for any application or use of said plans rests solely with the user and not with the author.  In any use of said plans, or any plans based on, analogous to or any modification thereof, the user specifically indemnifies the author and understands that he is alone responsible for any and all damage.  The author doesn’t assume responsibility for any damage – catastrophic or gradual – to any structures, systems or components resulting from these plans.

Should The Physically Handicapped Have Firearms?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

He is just too crippled to be shooting a rifle:

During the first week of summer camp in 1992, a Scoutmaster approached me at registration and told me he had a young Scout in his troop who suffered from muscular dystrophy. The Scout was adamant about getting his rifle merit badge.

“I’m afraid he is just too crippled to shoot a rifle,” the Scoutmaster explained. “He can’t walk and he doesn’t have the arm strength to use crutches to walk. He is confined to a wheelchair, and we will have to carry him up to the shooting range.”

He also went on to explain that he had promised his parents that he would take good care of him if they would let him go with the troop to Scout camp.

The next day the troop up the hill with Tim on the Scoutmaster’s shoulders. I quickly ascertained that Tim could sit at the shooting bench and use his hands to stabilize himself and shift his position right or left as needed. A smile came over his face as I told him that in a way, it was a blessing that he didn’t have the strength to hold the rifle up himself. That was because I was going to teach the boys to use a sling to support the rifle. All that was needed was his arm bone structure. The sling would hold the rifle for him and was perfectly in keeping with the requirements for the merit badge he sought.

It was a tough week for Tim, but he knew it would be and never complained or asked for any special treatment. On Monday, he learned the basics and only got a couple of shots to hit the paper. Tuesday was a little better. His Scoutmaster understood what I was trying to do with him, and he coached him when I had to attend to other shooters. On Wednesday, he was able to get every shot to hit on the target, but the group still wasn’t tight enough to earn the merit badge. Thursday was better still, as he settled down, followed instructions and got a score that was only five points less than the score required for the rifle merit badge.

Friday was his last chance to qualify. I reminded him that he knew the basics and had been improving all week. I told him to relax, take his time, concentrate on sight picture, let the rifle go off when it went off, and to hold the sight picture for a moment after each shot. His entire Scout troop was there to give him silent support. I think his Scoutmaster crossed his fingers behind his back as Tim got himself in position and began to shoot.

After he finished, I went up to his target to see how he had done. After looking at the target for about 30 seconds, I turned back and called out to Tim.

“OK, here is what I want you to do this time — tell your Scoutmaster and those other not-so-quiet hooligans behind you that you just earned your Shooting Merit Badge.”

The gallery erupted in uncontrolled clapping and screaming and carrying on that simply isn’t acceptable on a rifle range. Tim collapsed across the shooting bench and actually cried a little.

When the troop returned to camp, Tim called his parents and begged them to come see him get his merit badge that evening, which they gladly said they would do.

When I shared this story with Kurt Hofmann, he told me about a loathsome worm who blogs under the name Mikeb302000.  Of this video, he says:

We cannot base our gun control regulations on an anomaly like this guy. Severely handicapped people are a danger to themselves and others when armed.

As if handicapped people have gone to Mikeb and asked for help in whatever he concludes is being safe.  Mikeb wants to be important and isn’t.  To Mikeb and all eugenicists of the world, I see the image of God in the boy in the story.  How sad for you that your view of life is so bleak and dark.  I pity you.  But only up to a point.

Perhaps after reading the report above, your heart will soften.  If not, I hope your head explodes.  In the mean time, I thought I would help the author of the story, Smokey Merkley, with a concluding sentence for the article.

And God smiled.

Bald Knob Police Crack Down On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

First, a little background.

Arkansas’ attorney general said Friday that legal gun owners are free to openly carry or ride with their weapons but should be ready to field inquiries from law enforcement personnel wondering why they’re carrying.

Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released an opinion Friday stating that law-abiding Arkansans are free to carry or possess their weapons on themselves or in their vehicles without fear of prosecution so long as they are not in a place where it is prohibited by law and they do not have an intent to “unlawfully” use the weapon.

Rutledge’s opinion has been expected by many, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson. It was requested in early June by three legislators who wanted to settle whether modifications to the state’s weapon-carry statute in 2013 made Arkansas an “open-carry” state — one that allows citizens to openly carry firearms without a license.

Because Rutledge’s opinion is nonbinding, it does not bar police from arresting citizens who open-carry, which has happened sporadically across the state over the past two years.

Ever diligent to make law themselves, the Bald Knob police have taken the AG’s opinion as a cue to harass peaceable citizens.

BALD KNOB, Ark. (KTHV) – A vague open-carry law in the state has one police department attempting to clarify it.

Bald Knob is cracking down on open-carry, trying to make a grey law more black and white. The Bald Knob Police Chief Erek Balentine is concerned that guns openly carried in stores and restaurants is too alarming to customers.

This concern over open-carry started in Bald Knob with the controversial arrest of Richard Chambless in May of this year.

Recently, the district court became the first in the state to find a guilty verdict for open-carry. Now the police department hopes one sign can help everyone feel safer.

“In this setting it needs to be relaxed. They are in a relaxed environment and shouldn’t have to fear if there’s ill intent or harm coming to them,” said Sharon Beauregerd, beautician at Cosmetology Career College. By federal law, no guns are allowed in this salon because it is a school. However, as a business owner who sells the skills she’s teaching, she wants to make this clear to customers. “If you come in open carrying, and I’ve got these students here, I’m going to protect them. I’m going to ask you to leave our facility.”

Bald Knob police have been helping area businesses prohibit guns.

“My job is to take action and protect the community. You can’t expect someone to obey something that not posted,” said Balentine who is offering signs to put on business fronts. Balentine said there are confusing regulations on where, when, and why you can carry a gun. “There’s no way to tell. He could be on the run for murder, be a felon.”

Note the article, which apparently accidentally tells the truth.  Rather than let the legislature clarify the law, which is their job, the police are attempting to do the same and expect the courts to back them up, an expectation upon which they can probably rely.

And notice what the police chief says.  This is all about how people feel, not real safety.  No felon on the run for murder open carries anywhere, but if they have a weapon they will conceal it.  But as long as it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.

Such is the simplistic psychology of the ignorant public, and such is the temptations of a badge, gun and court system to back it all up.  Cops can not only enforce the law, according to chief Balentine, they can make it too.

This Gun Has No Safety!

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Attorneys for an undocumented immigrant facing charges in the high-profile death of a woman on San Francisco’s Pier 14 contend it may be the gun’s fault.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, a Mexican national with at least five deportations under his belt, contends he shot Kathryn Steinle by accident with a found gun now tied to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. California Superior Court Judge Brendan P. Conroy on Friday found there is enough evidence for Lopez-Sanchez to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder for his alleged involvement in the woman’s death.

However, his legal team contends that the man never pulled the trigger and claimed the type of handgun involved is documented for having accidental discharges.

“This gun has no safety,” said public defender Matt Gonzalez as reported by the Associated Press.  “There is no evidence that he put his finger in the trigger.”

The gun was discharged by the perpetrator, therefore he put his finger on the trigger and pulled it.  Quod erat demonstrandum.

Actually though, you can’t blame the lawyer for this – he’s doing what lawyers do.  He is only following the road LEOs pave for him concerning guns that just discharge, as if guns have some sort of will and volition all their own and can decide to “go off” without human action.  If police departments all over America buy into that line of crap for the sake of saving careers, then so should the courts.

It’s dirty and scurrilous top to bottom, side to side, front to back, not the least of which is allowing a border that invites people like this across anyway.  What’s one more pile of mud?

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Very bad news for Mike Vanderboegh.  Keep him in your prayers please.  I know I am.

It’s possible to kill the Iran nuclear deal, but John Boehner stands in the way.  He’s a drunken sot, a scandalous pig, a lazy bum without scruples, morality, decency or character.

David Codrea:

This appears to be yet another in a never-ending list of examples demonstrating that for “progressives,” every day is Opposite Day. The whole object of child protective services is to protect children, and of family services to serve families. In this case, the tax-feeding bureaucrats would clearly rather see children killed than protected by foster parents with a gun, and they’d rather see children institutionalized in state facilities than have the opportunity to live in a nurturing home environment.

New Jersey Supreme Court to deal with gun control.  Personally I couldn’t care less whether a former LEO gets to continue to carry unless you roll everyone else into the calculus.  But it’s interesting to note that Chris Christie appointed the majority of the justices.  Let’s see which way they go.

Popular Mechanics on why don’t we have smart guns?  We do – nobody wants them.

To all of you who have contacted me offline, I appreciate the well wishes and prayers for my oldest son Joshua.  He is doing incrementally better each day but still needs prayer.

In My Opinion, This Is A Good Reason Not To Have An FNX

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

I shoot a S&W 1911 E Series, a Springfield Armory XDm, a suite of revolvers and other things, but this convinces me that my next purchase should not be an FNX.  This is just unacceptable.

Guns Tags:

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

A legal response filed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives claims a Freedom of Information Act-related complaint improperly targets them. “The ATF is not an ‘agency’ within the meaning of the F.O.I.A., 5 U.S.C. § 552 (f) (1), and is, therefore, not a proper party defendant,” the response claims . . .

The complaint, filed June 23 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks an order to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed in March and ignored in violation of federal law. The FOIA sought copies of policies and rulings relied on in enforcement and determination actions.

The complaint was filed by Tucson attorney David T. Hardy. Plaintiffs include this correspondent, firearms designer and president of Historic Arms, LLC, Len Savage, and the FFL Defense Research Center. The information, as noted in the announcement of the lawsuit, is being sought to ensure consistency in rulings, policies and compliance enforcement.

This is what happens when Congress enables unaccountable totalitarians to enforce their laws.  Congress turns out to be pathetic little pussies, and the totalitarians shove everyone around, including Congress.  Do you need any more to convince you that the ATF needs to go?  No, not to give their functions to the FBI.  Just go away and never come back in any manifestation or form at all.  Pink slips for everyone – or option two – pack you bags for the border boys.  You’re going to be walking a beat at the line to see if any of those guns you sold to the cartels gets used against you.

Mike Vanderboegh needs to talk to some good reloaders.  That list would not include me, but I have looked for a .45 carbine before.  Didn’t find anything that interested me.  The advantage, of course, is that I shoot a lot of .45 and it’s nice to minimize calibers in your gun safe.

Bear attack and resultant human fatality.  I just can’t say it enough, folks.  When you go into the wild, carry guns, big sticks (trekking poles) and knives.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Kurt Hofmann:

Sanders’ idea of the “middle” would also ban semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed rifles–popularly, if inaccurately, referred to as “assault weapons”–and the “high capacity” (gun ban zealot-speak for “standard capacity”) magazines that feed them. This is the “middle”? Sending people to prison for buying the most popular class of centerfire rifles in America is his idea of respecting the rights of gun owners? Prison time for buying an 11-round magazine is the “compromise” he wants to sell us? Outlawing the most useful arms for defense of one’s home, one’s life, one’s family, and one’s liberty is part of the give-and-take he proposes?

Here’s the key.  He is “proposing” it.  When hundreds of thousands perished attempting to enforce such a ban, he would have to reverse course.  The mistake they make is assuming that we will go quietly into the night and give up our rights.  There isn’t the slightest chance of that happening.

David Codrea:

It would help if we knew what protections equivalent to those provided in a jury trial that will provide. Specifically, will decisions rely on those who may have biases of their own, as can currently be the case, with ATF’s “clarifying the term ‘adjudicated as a mental defective’ to mean a determination by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority,” and with some states applying even broader “standards”?

Yea, but it would help even more if Cornyn were to fall off the face of the earth.

Mike Vanderbogh on recent events in Ferguson.  And he links what might be the greatest extemporaneous speech I’ve ever heard.

The latest on the sex and death cult called Islam.  Well, it’ll keep happening until someone puts a .45 230 grain fat boy into their belly and watches them bleed out.  And then does it to all his buddies too.


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