The Perfect Rifle

Herschel Smith · 06 Nov 2014 · 8 Comments

Rifles and their advocates are in the news and blogs these days.  It doesn't take a handgun to perform home defense.  A man using a rifle recently detained three burglars until police arrived.  It could have been any type of rifle. Rifle Shooter Magazine recently did a piece on the best bolt action rifles of all time.  Brad Fitzpatrick covers a number of the ones you would expect to see, including the Remington 700, Winchester model 70, Weatherby and so on.  But he includes one…… [read more]

Florida, Gun Silencers and Idiots

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 15 hours ago

Orlando Sentinel:

OMG!! Did you hear??!!

Florida has another gun debate!!!

It’s about silencers!!

The NRA wants to allow them for hunters!!

Gun-control advocates can now start screaming about the dangers of silent mass murderers!!

And NRA members can scream about personal freedom, the Second Amendment and their God-given right to quietly blow away deer!!

If you are worked up on either side of this issue, then congratulations — you’ve been played.

[ ... ]

The truth is that silencers — most of which don’t silence anything — don’t even crack the top 10 when it comes to concerns about gun violence.

If you lived anywhere close to a gun range, you’d appreciate technology that muffled the noise.

And while some significantly cut down on sound, guns with suppressors can still make as much noise as a motorcycle or jackhammer.

On the flip side, the NRA uses hysteria and nonsense to make suppressors seem like life or death.

It portrays silencers as a public-health crisis, claiming that hearing loss costs America “billions of dollars” and that bans on suppressors “are essentially mandating that firearms produce as much inner-ear-destroying noise as they possibly can.”

Apparently the NRA believes gun owners are incapable of using ear plugs.

That’s right.  We all do what the NRA tells us to do.  And silencers mean absolutely nothing to hearing protection or safety, because as well all know, the only shooting ever done occurs at the range.  Deer hunters don’t go on drives with dogs and have to take spur of the moment shots, no, not at all.  And sole hunters in the woods going to and from their stands, and spending all day in the bush, have no problem being without hearing.

Everyone can wear ear plugs, regardless of the fact that a bear may be approaching, a human may be announcing his presence or approaching camp, or the hunter may be listening for his prey.  We want men to traipse around in the bush all day with firearms and absolutely no capability of hearing anything.  Or, we can all take the time to stop what we’re doing and put earplugs in, regardless of the fact that we might lose the shot.

This is what happens when idiots write commentaries.

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Gun Lies

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 15 hours ago

Chicago Sun-Times:

Blase Cupich’s arrival as archbishop presents a historic opportunity to turn Chicago away from its horrific gun violence.

As Cupich officially assumes his duties Tuesday, we urge him to take a leading and visible role in fighting the devastating flow of illegal guns into our city.

Nothing could be more God’s work.

Cupich has said he is “prepared to speak” on a gamut of pressing social issues in the Chicago archdiocese, from the “deep pockets of poverty” to income inequality to compassionate care for the elderly — all profound matters. But arguably no issue is more pressing than the violence — the gun violence — that makes so many Chicago neighborhoods virtually uninhabitable …

It is easy to forget, given all the cheap political rhetoric, but sensible legislation to keep illegal guns out of the hands of gangbangers and thugs is by no means supported by liberals only. Nor are conservatives, including gun owners, lopsidedly opposed to reasonable gun reforms. Consider this: Ninety-two percent of American voters, including 92 percent of gun owners and 86 percent of Republicans, support background checks prior to all gun sales …

Liars.  We’ve covered this before.

Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year. But this percentage is significantly below the 58% recorded in 2012 after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred a nationwide debate about the possibility of more stringent gun control laws. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say these laws should be kept as they are now, and 14% say they should be made less strict.

Less than half.  That doesn’t come close to the 92% value the progressive media likes to pimp.  As for the notion that nothing could be more God’s work than pushing the social gospel, that’s popular because the church whored itself out to such silliness the entirety of the twentieth century.  The church is at fault for dressing like a whore and acting the part.  It’s no wonder the rest of America expects it to continue.  Only the church can change that.

Felons And Guns

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 16 hours ago

Dave Hardy does a comprehensive takedown of a Newsmax article entitled Can a Felon Own a Gun: 5 Loopholes in Federal Law (via Uncle).  The Newsmax article appears to be a rather poor and poorly researched piece.  Read Dave’s entire analysis.  Commenter FWB remarks:

I find explicit grants to punish counterfeiting, piracies and felonies on the high seas, offenses against the law of nations, treason, and possibly copyright and patent infringement in the Constitution. However no power to punish for any other violation of federal law was ever granted. Except for these few delegations, the bulk of the police power was left to the states.

… as Madison and others stated, the federal government does not have the authority to decide anything about firearms. A primary reason no Bill of Rights was thought necessary was because the Framers understood that the federal government had no power to legislate in any of the areas covered by a Bill of Rights. The fear also was there that inclusion of a BoR would cause people to think the feds had such authority.

Police powers reside with the states not with the federal government except in the few granted areas. All these laws and discussion concern usurped powers and unconstitutional actions by the federal government.

I have also pointed out the absurdity of application of the federal regulations regarding firearms.

My own son was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, but knew of one poor soul who became inebriated the eve of his discharge and was caught for DUI on base.  This Marine was dishonorably discharged.  According to the wording on Form 4473, he will never be able to legally purchase a gun even if a judge agrees with him because the USMC won’t revisit its discharge and thus he won’t be able to answer – truthfully – on Form 4473 about discharge from a branch of the service.

Remember folks, any time the federal government gets involved in anything, everyone drowns in inefficient, overbearing, oppressive bureaucracy.  This includes the issue of felons and guns.

Request For Arming Orders For Louisiana National Guard During Katrina, Part II

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 15 hours ago

Recall that I requested arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during Katrina in July of this year.  This would aid in studying just who ordered the Guard to be armed, what their mission was, and why they confiscated firearms from the public.

On July 22, I received this note from the Louisiana National Guard.

Dear Mr. Smith:

The attached letter is to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act request dated July 20, 2014 requesting records of arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during the response to Hurricane Katrina.  This request has been assigned the case number FA-14-0006.

We will make every effort to provide the responsive records as soon as possible.  All communications concerning this request should be identified with the above reference number and addressed to the address shown above.

If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact the undersigned at (___) ___-____, fax (___) ___-____, or via email at

Mackenzie G. Eady
Administrative Services Division
(Office) redacted …
(Mobile) redacted …
(Fax) redacted …

To date I have heard nothing from the Louisiana National Guard.

Jonathan Gruber: “Guns Are A Public Health Issue”

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 16 hours ago

Daily Caller:

Another video has resurfaced of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, this one showing the Obamacare architect speaking candidly about guns while claiming that the National Rifle Association is holding “hostage” President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General.

“By the way you have now permanently prevented yourself from winning a high elected office in the United States despite your charisma,” Harold Pollack told Gruber at the end of a three-part interview about Obamacare recorded in April, predicting the backlash Gruber is facing by months in advance.

“You know they’ll be playing this tape back in an endless loop with a guy with a deep voice in the background,” Pollack predicted.

Gruber doubled down, segueing from speaking openly about Obamacare to another topic.

“I’ll guarantee it further by highlighting that guns are a public health issue,” Gruber said.

Says the man who lives on the right side of town, in a pricey home, away from the unwashed masses.  Here is what I think is a public health issue: pampered, effete, urbanized, metro-sexual self proclaimed elitists.

Why Remington Is Leaving New York

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 16 hours ago

New York Daily News:

Remington Arms has confirmed what many already long suspected — New York’s tough gun control laws played a role in the upstate gun manufacturer’s decision to expand outside the state.

Remington, which has operated in New York State since 1816, shifted 100 jobs down south in August. Another 126 people were laid off last week as a result of a decline in gun sales.

The company says one reason behind its decision to open a new plant in Alabama rather than expand in New York was “state policies affecting use of our products,” Remington Outdoor Company CEO George Kollitides wrote to some upstate officials Oct. 20.

The statement was taken by some as a direct shot at a tough gun control measure enacted by New York in early 2013 in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.

Indeed, one part of the gun control measure, also known as the SAFE Act, banned AR-15 rifles in New York — the very gun Remington made at its plant in upstate Ilion.

Those assault guns will now be made in Alabama.

Kollitides also said workforce quality, business environment, tax and economic incentives, and existing infrastructure impacted the decision to open a plant in Alabama.

So was it more economical wages due to leaving the exorbitant expense of a union state?  Was it a friendlier environment in the South?  Or was it customer feedback to Remington in the form of refusing to purchase firearms from a state where the government is oppressing its citizens?

And the correct answer is yes, all of the above.  And other gun manufacturers in the North – take notice.

More Guns, More Crime?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Washington Post:

Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the analysis, extending it through 2010, and have concluded that the opposite of Lott and Mustard’s original conclusion is true: more guns equal more crime.

“The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates” of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder, Donohue said in an interview with the Stanford Report. The evidence suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with an 8 percent increase in the incidence of aggravated assault, according to Donohue. He says this number is likely a floor, and that some statistical methods show an increase of 33 percent in aggravated assaults involving a firearm after the passage of right-to-carry laws.

These findings build on and strengthen the conclusions of Donohue’s earlier research, which only used data through 2006. In addition to having nearly two decades’ worth of additional data to work with, Donohue’s findings also improve upon Lott and Mustard’s research by using a variety of different statistical models, as well as controlling for a number of confounding factors, like the crack epidemic of the early 1990s.

These new findings are strong. But there’s rarely such a thing as a slam-dunk in social science research. Donohue notes that ”different statistical models can yield different estimated effects, and our ability to ascertain the best model is imperfect.” Teasing out cause from effect in social science research is often a fraught proposition.

But for this very reason it’s important for policymakers on both sides of the gun control debate to exercise caution in interpreting the findings of any one study. Gun rights advocates have undoubtedly placed too much stock in Lott and Mustard’s original study, which is now going on 20 years old. The best policy is often informed by good research. And as researchers revisit their data and assumptions, it makes sense for policymakers to do the same.

Occasionally something comes along on which I’m uniquely qualified to comment.  I’ve explained before that I don’t like John Lott’s approach (here and in Holding Human Rights Hostage To Favorable Statistical Outcomes).  See also Kurt Hofmann on this same subject.

But it’s important to be able to discern science from pseudo- or non-science or bad science.  I work in science and engineering every day.  I have for 33 years of my career.  I am a registered professional engineer.  An example of bad science might be AGW (anthropogenic global warming).  The notion that a “researcher” can prove anything about trends by claiming 1 degree C change over a half a millennia is ludicrous on its face.  Furthermore, trusting tree ring data is only valuable if your thesis doesn’t suffer from falsification of data (i.e., the “hockey stick” lie).  But even if tree rings could be a trusted source of information when we have no recorded data, the information is statistically insignificant.  No one with whom I work, engineer or scientist, not one of the hundreds I know, would actually put his or her name on such a calculation or thesis, especially if it involved affixing a PE seal to the work.  AGW is bad science.

Now to what is actual science.  If I use a computer model of a system (which involves physical and engineering calculations) and generate a curve of results from input that has been perturbed, or in other words, a sensitivity study, and I generate a curve fit with TableCurve-2D, and then put that polynomial into MathCad and integrate to a solution (because for some reason I wanted the results from integration), that is science and engineering.

Or say that I use the Bernoulli equation and information on pipes from the Crane Flow of Fluids Technical Paper No. 410, or Cameron Hydraulic Data, to build a piping network, that is science and engineering.  Or say I want to evaluate the performance of a projectile and I use Newtonian physics and ignore aerodynamic drag for simplicity, or say that I do not ignore drag and I account for it, that is science and engineering.  Or finally, let’s say that I use Henry’s law to ascertain how much of a gas is dissolved in the liquid in a system, that is science and engineering.

The grand mistake in the article above is that it uses the phrase “social science.”  There is no such thing.  That’s a myth perpetrated by the sociologists and psychologists.  When you are dealing with humans who have choice and volition, there is no mathematical or physical model you can invoke in order to make it science.

I know what sociologists and psychologists are thinking right about now.  You are all behaviorists; man’s actions and choices are the outcome of syntactical impulses, chemical reactions, his history, or something of the sort.  And you so want it to be that you are scientists, and you so badly want for what you do be to considered science.  But you are not, and it is not.

The right reaction to articles such as this is to assert, and rightly so, that if I have a weapon and handle it with care and concern, train with it, am diligent to observe all the rules of safety and self defense, it is more likely that I will be able to defend myself and my family.  I am not a statistic.  I am not subject to the application of mean and standard deviation.  I am not part of the collective, and so it doesn’t matter what the collectivists want me to think about myself.

And don’t ever listen to someone who begins by telling you he is a “social scientist.”

Robert Bateman, Guns And Feelings

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago


I was sitting in a casual seafood restaurant on the Eastern Shore of Virginia not long ago. It is a place well known for the quality of their crab and inshore fish. It was early on a quiet Sunday morning. The brunch hour approached and, more importantly, we were hungry. We were passing the Delmarva Peninsula at the time, an area I know well from my youth. My wife sat opposite me across a plain varnished pinewood table and my baby daughter sat in a high-seat next to me. Three tables of this roughly sixty-table restaurant were filled.

As we ate, looking over the beautiful waters at the Island House Restaurant in Wachapreague, I noticed over my wife’s shoulder the large man sitting in the table next to ours. It is not all that often that I notice people significantly larger than I am, but this guy qualified enough so that one could not help but look when he got up a few feet away. Going I know not where, I also noticed something else, the obvious presence of a concealed weapon at his hip, nominally, loosely “concealed” beneath his oversized T-shirt.

Really? A gun, at Sunday Brunch? Are you seriously that afraid of the 75-year-old farming couple, the only other people in the restaurant, who probably raised the daughter who babysat you 30 years ago? Or is it the middle-class transient family of three, with the baby, us, who frighten you? I mean, really, there were eight people in that restaurant at the time.

Then, over the next hour, as the 30 or-so retirees and perhaps 20 more obviously in for a post-Church-service special Sunday Brunch folks came in, I came to realize how absolutely delusional the fellow must be. What kind of idiot carries a gun in a family restaurant for family brunch? Well, that would be one of the folks influenced by the NRA-approved “Molon Labe” movement.

There we go with the collectivist attitude again – “influenced by the NRA-approved “Molon Labe” movement.”  It’s what collectivists think, i.e., that the NRA is the big bad boy to whom we all listen, the reality being much different (it’s most times hard to convince patriots to continue payments to the NRA in light of their sellouts and failures to address important matters like I-594.  I know I think about that every year when I renew my membership).

But on to Bateman.  You can read the rest, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  We know that he was sitting an eatery, that he believes that a “dude” who was too fat was sitting near him, and apparently he was obsessed by this man’s presence.  Bateman projects how this man must feel (delusional, and later he calls the man “paranoid”).  Bateman never learned Roberts Rules of Order, which require addressing facts rather than state of mind.  Bateman does not know the state of mind of this man, who does and doesn’t agree with any NRA-approved “movement,” or whether this man has ever been paranoid.

Now let me talk about myself.  After all, Bateman does that very well.  I hate to conceal a firearm.  I consider it to be obnoxious in the superlative degree.  In fact, I hate to carry anything on my body.  I don’t wear jewelry of any kind (rings, necklaces, or even watches).  I don’t even like to have car keys in my pocket.  I consider it to be an intrusion.

Furthermore, the knuckles on my right hand are so swollen from arthritis that I wouldn’t be able to get a ring on my fingers if I wanted to.  I am thankful to the Lord that my swollen finger joints don’t hinder my shooting, writing, or keyboard operation (since I make my living usually at a desk or out in a plant).  I have found about the only two ways I can conceal a firearm without annoyance.

The first (and preferred) is ankle carry with a small-ish, light weight handgun, and the second is IWB of a small, light weight handgun.  I do not conceal carry large frame handguns.  I do open carry from time to time, sometimes large frame handguns.  I open carry because I find concealed carry annoying (or have we already covered that?).  I also really, really don’t like sweating my weapon, especially in the summer.

The only way I can open carry is with a rigger’s belt or tactical belt.  I really, really hate my weapon and holster sagging and banging around on my body.  But I’ve already talked about my annoyance with things on my body.  This leads me to my final point.  I don’t carry because I think it’s fun, or cool, or because I’m paranoid.  I would rather not carry a weapon.  In fact, I don’t even wear a watch (or have I already said that?).

I carry a weapon in spite of the way I feel, not because of it.  I carry a weapon because of things I believe about my duty to be able to protect myself and my family because we are created in God’s image and He demands that I do my best to preserve life.  It’s a discipline I have had to develop.  And I do mean, discipline.

And so now that I’ve reiterated this for the umpteenth time, and now that I’ve spent so much time on how I feel about things, are you bored with all of this?  I hope so.  I’m bored, and it’s me I’m talking about.  I mean, I’m really, really bored with this post.  I don’t even care how I feel any more.

So that’s the message, Bateman.  No one cares how you feel.  Just keep it to yourself until you get bored with yourself.  You will.  I do.  We all do.  If you want to be taken seriously, talk about what you believe, and why.  So for instance, if you were to assert something like, “it is impossible for anyone to be assaulted in America,” then we can debate that and offer up contrary evidence.  If you were to assert something like, “no one has ever successfully defended their family from assault,” then likewise we can have open and robust debate because that assertion has substance.  Or if you wish, you can talk about how we shouldn’t be allowed to be armed even though God expects us to protect and provide for our families.  And then we can debate it.

But if you want to continue to wax on about your feelings, we just can’t take you seriously.  And don’t call him dude.  He has a name.  Go up to him, tell him you think he’s fat rather than telling us.  Tell him you think he’s paranoid.  Remember his name.  At least it would show you have some guts.


Robert Bateman tag

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Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

David Codrea:

That was all part of a well-planned and funded effort to expand “action group” efforts to the states reported in this column, initially in July of 2013, and warned of again in December of last year because no one else seemed to be noticing. It’s hard to organize against developing threats if the existence of where they are and how they’re structured is unknown.  Significantly, the KTNV “legitimate news media / real reporter” story mentioned none of this.

Of course not.  The main stream media is owned and operated, at least ideologically, by the DNC.  And notice how the collectivists work.  As I’ve remarked before, they work from the top down.  They need Gates’ and Bloomberg’s money, “leaders” like Mr. Obama, and propagandists to tell them what to think and how to speak (the MSM).  It represents a stark difference with patriots, and it’s why the collectivists always think the NRA tells us what to think and what to do.  But the nefarious plots from high up will continue until good men decide to act.

Kurt Hofmann:

Interestingly, the reporting requirement expansion request was worded subtly differently from the language of the initial requirement. This time, nothing was said about the two or more sales being made to the same buyer. This is in marked contrast to the language of the initial request, which explicitly stated that the reporting requirement is operative only if the same buyer purchases two or more of the firearms in the five business day time frame. In other words, the BATFE seems to have been seeking the power to demand the details of every sale of so-called “assault weapons” from any store that sold more than one of them in a five day period.

This is indeed interesting, and it’s a good analysis by Kurt.  So the expansion of power sought via federal register as opposed to law-making was even more extensive than previously thought.  As for the temporary retreat by the BATFE, Kurt is right.  “Can a leopard change its spots?”

The Seattle Times:

Now, a Washington State Patrol spokesman says people won’t be arrested for exchanging guns.  “We don’t think that we could prove that that’s a transfer,” said Bob Calkins, spokesman for the patrol.

Right.  And so what does this make of the idiotic rule that was just passed by voters (as opposed to representatives voting on laws)?

In Dayton, SWAT was called on an earlobe biter.  And no, this isn’t a joke headline.

Troubles For Northern Gun Manufacturers

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

First, Colt:

Colt Defense LLC is seeking capital to stave off an “expected default” next month as gunmakers suffer from lower defense spending and as consumers purchase fewer firearms.

The 178-year-old weapons maker said it’s “probable” it won’t comply with a loan agreement by Dec. 31 and is seeking an amendment to avoid default, according to a filing yesterday. Colt, which didn’t file its annual report on time because of accounting and liquidity issues, also said it’s uncertain it can make a $10.9 million bond interest payment Nov. 17.

Colt, whose credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s today to CCC-, has been struggling to service its $308 million of debt after losing U.S. contracts due to defense budget pressures and amid dissipating concern that the government will limit the ownership of firearms.

Next, Remington:

Another round of layoffs has hit Remington Arms’ Ilion facility, local officials said.

A total of 126 workers learned they were being let go Tuesday, according to information Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, said she received from the local plant manager.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Tenney said she’d heard the layoffs may be as a result of the dwindling down of the Remington Model 700 rifle recall, which affected rifles with “X-Mark Pro” triggers manufactured between May 1, 2006, and April 9, 2014.

Not just any Remington plant mind you, but their crown jewel – Ilion.  This is a shame and you can visit the second article for highly opinionated missives about why this has happened.  But there are some simple things that other manufacturers can learn from these failures.

First, Colt jettisoned support for double action revolvers when they sold their soul and focused on the military contract for the M16/M4.  Now, if you want high quality revolvers you buy Smith & Wesson (and leave it alone) or Ruger and have a good gunsmith do a trigger job.  The good revolver builders have all died or retired from Colt.

They didn’t try to regain the civilian market, and stayed ensconced in a Northern state where union wages drove up the cost of literally everything.  As for Remington, their corporate intransigence caused them to refuse to admit the problems with the 700 triggers.  People died, sales went down, and then Remington finally had to settle out of court.

Remington has stayed ensconced in the North where unions drove wages up, and while opening plants elsewhere (like Alabama) will help, this may be too little too late.  An influx of cash from military sales will help, but in the end 443 rifles – even expensive rifles – will only go so far.

Mossberg, Kimber, Rock River Arms, Smith & Wesson and other manufacturers had better be watching these developments with Colt and Remington.

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