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]

Why Remington Is Leaving New York

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days 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, 3 days 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, 3 days ago

Esquire:

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.

Prior:

Robert Bateman tag

Guns Tags:

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days 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, 6 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.

Racine, Wisconsin SWAT Kills Tiny Dog

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Grab your britches.  You won’t believe this one.

NY Daily News:

A SWAT team sent to handle an alleged neighborhood dispute over dog waste ended up killing the dog, and igniting a firestorm of criticism against the local police force.

In dramatic video capturing the end of Saturday’s hours-long standoff involving Racine, Wisc. police, a small dog is seen being shot dead by a line of approaching officers moments after set loose.

Neighbor Kim Polk described the shooting as the result of one irate resident refusing to pick up after his dog when confronted by her, and then violently threatening to kill her own pooch.

It was that threat, first with a bow and arrow and then with a machete, that she said led to her family calling 911 and a SWAT team approaching the man’s home.

“When he finally decided to come out of the house he was irate upset and was telling the cops to get off his property that he was going to harm them, he was going to shoot at the cops,” Polk told Fox6Now.

Racine Police Chief Art Howell, in a statement released Sunday, said the unidentified dog owner threatened to kill the officers with an armor-piercing crossbow and to release his dog.

“After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff,” said Howell in the statement obtained by Racine County Eye.

“After the dog was released, the dynamics of this encounter changed. Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time,” Howell continued.

The homeowner behind the dog’s release was reportedly arrested but his name and charges have not been immediately released. A request for comment from the police department was not returned.

Armor piercing cross bow.  The dynamics changed.  Unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving.  It all sounds so serious according to the police chief.  Now take a hard look at the subject dog.

Racine_SWAT_Kills_Dog

What do you think the dog weighs?  Five pounds, perhaps?  Sure enough, the owner sounds like a loser, as much of a loser as the cops.  But it gets even better.  The cops shot the puppy while it was running away from the cops.  Don’t believe it?  Watch the video.

And the police chief is defending the actions of his force.  I have previously called cops who are frightened of farm animals (and who are afraid to be trained on them) pussies.  I stand by that charge.  But we’ve reached a point where cops are shooting animals for the pure love of violence, not much different than Latino gang members who behead for the fun of it.

Managing Gun Recoil

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Managing Gun Recoil:

I not so fondly remember the kick I got out of my dad’s .20 gauge shotgun. I was just 4 years old and my macho image faded once I pulled the trigger on that old Stevens model 311. It backed me up several steps, but I held onto the gun.

Recoil comes from launching a projectile at speeds up to 3,500 feet per second in a rifle, or a shot charge of 1 and 1/2 ounces at speeds up to 1,600 feet per second. Most of the time this creates flinching, shooting with both eyes closed or jerking the trigger. All three hurt accuracy.

There are many remedies that manufacturers claim will reduce recoil. Like politicians, there is no way one can reduce recoil. When a heavy force is propelled forward, the result is the force returns reward. It is one of the oldest laws of physics.

Some companies respond by gas-operated firearms. Others claim inertia will reduce it. Still others manufacture recoil pads that do help.

Many professional shooters end up with detached retinas, which need surgery. The constant pounding shooters experience can and will take its toll. I can well remember sighting in my 12-gauge slug gun. When placed on sand bags that gun kicked really hard. I had to really concentrate to avoid flinching. As a result I dreaded checking zero on that gun before every deer season.

As I mentioned earlier, recoil pads do help. They don’t reduce recoil but they tend to cushion it. Extra weight in a firearm also helps. In other words if you are going to purchase a heavy caliber, buy the one that is the heaviest. Make sure a good recoil pad is installed. A good pad will allow the force to be distributed over a larger area. Some firearms have compensators which help direct some of the force downward or to the side. Still others build stocks that flex and tend to absorb some of the forces in that manner.

Okay.  It’s a little more complex than that.  Like all shooters, I’ve shot 12 gauge shotguns until my shoulder was black and blue, or high powered rifles until my shoulder hurt.  There is nothing manly about recoil.  It is the enemy of good shooting, no matter how experienced or good you think you are.

And even most articles on buffer springs talk about them reducing “perceived recoil.”  And again, it’s more complicated than that.

For purposes of simplicity, let’s exclude muzzle brakes from the discussion because they redirect force to compensate for the recoil.  It’s true that the action of the detonation and propelling the projectile out the muzzle will cause a reaction equal to the force propelling the projectile.

Without any machinery to absorb the recoil, it is directed immediately in a sharp movement of the gun.  But a gun is a system, with moving parts like the bolt in an AR-15.  That bolt also causes movement of the gun, but slower than if it weren’t in place.

Another way of saying it is that – and I hate to get wonkish and technical – if you were to use calculus and integrate the area under the curve of force versus time for a system that has a buffer spring versus one that doesn’t, the area would be the same, but the apex of the curve (maxima) would be reduced for the system with a buffer spring.  The maxima would be higher for the system which does not, although the recoil would be complete before the gun with the spring.  It’s a matter of dampening the force over time (or flattening the curve) while recognizing that the force cannot be made to go away (the area under the two curves is the same) because God created physics and physics doesn’t change.

I’m sorry for the wonkish discussion.  I thought it was relevant to the life of a shooter.

Do Not Ever Shoot A Handgun This Way

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

From Wikimedia Commons:

Navy_Handgun_Training

Standing sideways, saucer and cup style.  What on earth are they teaching Navy recruits?

This Is How Important Securing The Border Is: Border Patrol Stripping Agents Of Their Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

KVOA.com:

The News 4 Tucson Investigators have uncovered that some U.S. Border Patrol agents have lost a key part of their arsenal. And that has agents who patrol along the border here, extremely worried.

We learned that U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are inspecting the quality of agents’ M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol sectors nationwide. But agents tell us, some of those M4s have not been replaced. And, we’ve learned, agents are required to share rifles amongst each other.

“There’s a lot of agents that are pretty upset over it,” said Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union. “We know it’s a dangerous job. We know what we signed on for but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job.”

The M4 carbine is used by the U.S. military and by Border Patrol agents. It’s even used by the Border Patrol’s tactical unit, BORTAC. Agent Brian Terry was carrying the M4 when he was shot and killed in December 2010.

Del Cueto tells us that because some of those M4s have not been replaced, agents are pooling their weapons, which makes it difficult to personalize the settings on a rifle, such as the sights.

“The problem is they are now pool guns so what happens is instead of having their individual ones they have sighted in they’re having to use a pool weapon that you don’t know who used it before you,” del Cueto said.

Customs and Border Protection released a statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators last week, stating: “CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time.”

[ ... ]

Prather believes removing some of the rifles maybe politically motivated. He says he was told that many of these guns are being removed for issues that are easily repaired like the firing pin and bolt.

He broke down a M4 as he spoke.

“This weapon is designed to be able to be in a battle situation, changed out rather quickly even so fast that modern weapons have areas to hold spare bolts,” he said.

That makes him suspicious that the agency could be disarming its agents.

The U.S. government has enough surplus weapons that every local yokel Sheriff’s department gets machine guns and armored vehicles on your tax dollars.  But the Border Patrol agents are getting their rifles confiscated by the Border Patrol.  It sort of makes you think that the administration is trying to cause an invasion, no?

So it’s worse that sending weapons South of the border to criminal cartels in an attempt to shore up the case for a demand letter to FFLs.  Now we want to ensure that agents who want to stop the criminals aren’t armed.  There’s your administration and your tax dollars at work.

Low Light Defensive Pistol Tactics

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

From Handguns Magazine, here is what I consider to be a very good video on low light defensive pistol tactics.  It’s well worth the time to study the advice and watch the demonstrations.



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