AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 7 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook Inveighs Against South Carolina Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

The State:

Columbia, SC – Although law enforcement has always been a challenging, difficult and dangerous job, the past few years have been some of the most challenging ever.

Far fewer people are choosing to go into law enforcement, and many experienced officers are leaving the field, making it difficult for police agencies to maintain adequate staffing levels, all while violent crime is on the rise in many large cities. Columbia is not immune to this trend. Targeted attacks on law enforcement (Dallas, Baton Rouge) and a rise in line-of-duty deaths have further complicated an incredibly stressful and dangerous job.

It’s against this backdrop that the S.C. House passed a bill to make it legal for people to openly carry handguns in the state, with certain location exceptions. The bill won’t become law this year, but it will be front and center when lawmakers return to Columbia in January, and we need to understand its implications.

The right to bear arms is fundamental to our democracy, but the sale, purchase, ownership and carrying of guns comes with great responsibility and use of common sense, and I firmly believe an open-carry law will significantly complicate police interactions with citizens, resulting in many unintended consequences.

Open-carry law or not, when citizens see someone with a gun, they will call the police. When responding to “person with a gun” calls, officers have few details to help them quickly determine an armed individual’s intent and whether that person poses a threat to public safety or the individual.

No doubt, we would encounter many innocent, law-abiding people who were armed in compliance with an open carry law. But some will be violent criminals, perhaps even gang members, who don’t yet have a felony on their record that prohibits them from possessing weapons.

Also let’s not forget the numerous and frequent protests, demonstrations and marches in our city. Open carry could make it extraordinarily difficult for police to protect those exercising their right to assemble and protest peacefully. There is no denying that easily accessible firearms add fuel to already emotionally charged situations, which too often results in tragedy.

Recently, Columbia police officers answered a call about a “person with a gun acting erratically” at a local Wal-Mart. It was just the second day on the job for one of the responding officers. Upon their arrival, the officers were easily able to identify the suspect, but because he was in a store with many innocent people nearby, the officers allowed him to leave the store before engaging with him. Obviously, this was a tense, dangerous situation, putting a large number of our citizens and our officers at risk as the armed suspect moved from Wal-Mart through a parking lot and into another business, ignoring officers’ commands.

Imagine this same scenario if South Carolina had an open-carry law.

Conceivably, there could have been many individuals with weapons displayed when officers arrived, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between the suspect(s), accomplices and innocent bystanders.

This entire line of argument is so full of shit I barely know where to begin.  There is a deeper problem here than just his argumentation, but I’ll get to that after I spend a few paragraphs fisking his invective.

He begins by invoking memories of the Dallas cop shooting and the possible implications of open carry for response to that event.  But as we’ve covered concerning that event, the Dallas police on the scene responded to the shooter based on their knowledge of his location and eventually killed him with robotics and explosive ordnance (if I’m not mistaken, the first of its kind in American history, which might also have implications for due process – what if he wasn’t the real shooter?).

The alleged open carrier was toting a rifle slung across his back, entirely legal in Texas even then, and police “identified” him as a “suspect” via social media.  He wasn’t a suspect, he was guilty of nothing, and social media was worthless in that situation.  The investigation of social media wasn’t conducted by LEOs on the scene of the shooting, and thus no resources (used to respond to the individual who allegedly did the shooting) were taken up with this “investigation.”  It was entirely wasted effort to prove nothing, including the notion that open carry had something to do with the event.  The investigation didn’t affect LEOs on the scene in any way, shape or form.  It didn’t stop them, and it didn’t help them.  It was completely irrelevant to everything that happened that night.

So based on this, we know that Holbrook’s invocation of Dallas fails on every point.  Next, Holbrook invokes the idea that calls will be made to the police.  To which we may respond, so what?  It would be a good opportunity for 911 services to educate people on the new state law.  “Ma’am, what was he doing with the gun?  Was he brandishing it or pointing it at someone?”  No.  “Well then, he wasn’t breaking any laws.  Open carry is legal in South Carolina.”

Well, he was acting erratically.  “Hmmm … what do you mean by that?”  Well, I don’t know, he just seemed shifty.  “Ma’am, seeming shifty isn’t illegal.  Please hang up and call us when there is a law or regulation being broken.  Otherwise, you are wasting our time.”

This conversation is entirely plausible.  Don’t discount it as an example to follow for 911 operators, or classroom material.  But then Holbrook begins the weirdest exploration in this whole commentary when he discusses the notion of violent gang members who have never committed a felony and have no record.  To which we might all ask, “What the hell are you talking about?”

If you want to invoke gun ownership generally, then your invective targets too much because criminals bent on harm can conceal as well as carry openly.  You, Mr. Holbrook, began by asserting that there is a right to carry weapons, and you have devolved into violent people (who have absolutely no record) having guns, which has nothing to do with open carry which is the supposed topic of this article.  Good Lord, man.  Take a class in rhetoric or logic.

That violent people who have been found guilty via due process are already prohibited from purchasing weapons via form 4473 isn’t mentioned because it doesn’t fit your narrative.  Your narrative is that we need you to perform this function, and clearly we don’t.

I say clearly because for the final problem I’ll mention (there are so many I have to draw the line somewhere), you completely ignore the operating data from right across the state line in North Carolina where we are a “gold star” traditional open carry state.  None of the problems you say obtain actually do in North Carolina, and we have cities too, and we have beaches, and we have sprawling urban areas, and rural areas, and mountains, and whatever you have.  We have more of it.  Open carry simply hasn’t been the problem you say it should be.  And if the data proves you wrong, then you’re wrong.

But that leads me to the final anchor of my response.  I smell a rat.  No, not Holbrook, although he seems rattish enough to me, but the rat I smell ensconces in the South Carolina Senate.  There may be many of them.  I have called most senates dens of iniquity housing gargoyles and demons.  I think I’m correct in that assessment.

I suspect this.  I suspect that South Carolina senators don’t really want to do this because they are cop suckers.  They delayed this just long enough that it forces it to the next session of the senate.  It’s easy enough, and it could have hit the governor’s desk, but it was delayed.  We all know it.  Just admit the truth.  They delayed this so that cops could inveigh against the proposal.  If a cop says it, it must be right.  We are law and order people.  After all, we support cops, right?

But lawmakers have no more right to dictate how we carry our weapons that they do to dictate whether we have them in the first pace.  All gun control laws are an infringement on our God-given rights to bear arms, and thus they are immoral.

I’m disappointed in the commentary, Holbrook.  Give me some real red meat to chew on.  This one was too easy.

South Carolina Firearms Retention Bill

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Guns.com:

The pro-gun bill, H. 3429 sponsored by Republican Rep. Alan Clemmons, was passed last week by the South Carolina Senate on a 35-3 vote. The House unanimously concurred, sending the measure to Gov. Henry McMaster for consideration.

If signed by the governor, the bill will allow those filing for bankruptcy to retain up to three firearms, so long as the total value of those firearms does not exceed $3,000.

Hannah Hill, a policy analyst for the South Carolina Policy Council, a conservative think tank, argued in The Nerve that guns should not be exempted from bankruptcy.

“There is no reason to exempt guns from bankruptcy except for the fact that they’re, you know, guns,” Hill said. “And here’s where Second Amendment rights activists often go off the rails: government may not stand in the way of the free exercise of a right, but it is under no obligation to ensure that you DO exercise that right or that you have the wherewithal to do so. If chronic laryngitis kept you from exercising your First Amendment rights, the government wouldn’t be obligated to pay for your treatment.”

The National Rifle Association has supported the bill all the way, with its Institute for Legislative Action describing the legislation as a measure meant to “recognize the fundamental right to personal protection by ensuring citizens who have fallen on hard times, financially, will not be required to sell all of their firearms maintained for personal protection in order to satisfy their debts.”

And here’s where Hill goes off the rails.  Let’s suppose that a woman goes off the deep end, starts running around with another man and then files for divorce, essentially taking the man for just about all he’s worth and forcing him to start over in life in middle age.

Think it can’t happen?  I know two men whom I love very deeply to whom that has happened.  Bankruptcy was in store for one of them, and he had to liquidate his entire gun collection for her.  This bill prevents that from happening.

But here is my disappointment.  The South Carolina senate has proven that it can actually pass a pro-gun bill and send it to the governor’s desk.  They can also do that with open carry and constitutional carry, but chose to lock it down in committee until it died for this session.

For this reason the S.C. state senators have a bulls eye painted on their backs.  I won’t forget.  Gun owners won’t forget.  This bill is a weak installment for gun rights, and doesn’t even come close to making up for not passing constitutional carry.  Weak tea won’t suffice, gentlemen.

South Carolina Senate Hearings For New Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

The State:

S.C. residents will have four chances this fall to weigh in on the state’s gun laws.

A special S.C. Senate committee has scheduled public hearings on “gun issues” for Greenville, Charleston, Hartsville and Columbia. The hearings start Sept. 15.

State Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, the committee’s chairman, said the hearings could address a variety of gun-related issues, including expanding the waiting period to buy a firearm, currently three days.

Malloy and another committee member, state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, unsuccessfully pushed to lengthen that waiting period during the 2016 legislative session. They say that change would give authorities more time to investigate potential red flags found in FBI background checks.

Malloy said he expects to hear plenty from both sides – 2nd Amendment advocates as well as gun-violence victims. Any legislation that can pass the GOP-controlled Legislature must balance the right of responsible residents to own guns and the protection of society from the dangerous and mentally unstable, he said.

“We are scheduling hearings because it is a pressing issue in our society,” Malloy said. “We have a committee together that we think will be receptive of the issues of fellow South Carolinians.”

Regardless of the hearings’ testimony, Malloy said he will file bills in the upcoming legislative session to lengthen the waiting period. But testimony could influence details of those bills, such as the number of days allowed to complete a background check, he said.

In addition to Malloy and Kimpson, Republican state Sens. Chip Campsen of Charleston, Greg Gregory of Lancaster and Greg Hembree of Horry County are on the five-member committee.

Oh, there is a never ending stream of chances to do nefarious things to the rights and liberties of the people.  “Receptive to the issues of fellow South Carolinians” is shorthand for we want a bilateral committee to infringe on the free exercise of rights in the name of cooperation and collegiality.

Resist this temptation, folks.  Just don’t do it.  There shouldn’t be any more gun control laws.  No one elected you to infringe on their God-given rights and liberties, no matter what you were taught by your Marxist college professors.  Don’t try to be the family, church and state all wrapped up into one totem like Molech.  You cannot solve problems of morality by laws.  The state doesn’t have salvific powers.

But here is one bill we need to see come from your pens, as a committee, or individually, or from the pens of someone else in the Senate or House.  We need to see a bill legalizing open carry in South Carolina, like the vast majority of other states.  Reject that awful, racist, communist, Jim Crow legacy and finally bring South Carolina into the twenty first century.

What’s Going On With South Carolina Gun Laws?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Report from Columbia:

A bill making its way through the Statehouse could put more guns on the streets of South Carolina.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard said Friday he believes it’s a mistake to pass a bill that would open South Carolina borders to concealed carry permits from other states. He added, it would give almost anyone the ability to walk into South Carolina with a gun.

“Everybody wants the right to carry a gun and that’s dangerous in a free society,” Gilliard said. “We should not allow that.”

Part of this bill also amends current legislation; It no longer requires South Carolinians to get a concealed carry permit to carry in public.

What?  I think I’ve got the issue of reciprocity.  South Carolina has always had an issue with that, but this bill seems to go farther.  Is this bill headed towards constitutional carry?

Can someone who is familiar with the awful machinations of South Carolina politics tell us what is going on?  And why doesn’t this bill include open carry?  My God!  How long is South Carolina going to be the national outlier on this issue?

Gun Control In South Carolina?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months ago

Independent Mail:

CHARLESTON – A Charleston state senator says he will introduce gun-control legislation in response to recent gun violence in his home city.

Democratic state Sen. Marlon Kimpson said the June 17 shooting at the Emanuel AME Church and more recent gun violence show the need for tightening restrictions on gun ownership.

Reading about gun violence in the newspaper regularly, Kimpson said he hopes the state Senate will give his proposals serious consideration when they return to work in January.

“I don’t think there is any dispute that there is a direct correlation between weak gun laws and violence,” Kimpson told The State Monday. “It is within our power to do something about it.”

Kimpson’s proposals would:

  • Require background checks to be conducted through the State Law Enforcement Division and the federal system before a gun sale can be completed
  • Ban assault weapons, defined as semi-automatic firearms designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use
  • Close a three-day loophole that allows some S.C. gun purchasers to buy and take home a gun before a background check has been completed. That rule, and other errors in the federal background check, allowed alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof to purchase a gun.
  • Require reporting of lost or stolen guns
  • Require state registration and permitting of all guns

The gun control proposals likely face an impossible uphill battle.

[ … ]

But Kimpson said the Charleston church shooting that killed nine African Americans including a state senator has “opened people’s minds to doing things in the State House that have never been done before.”

Perhaps Kimpson isn’t thinking what I’m thinking when he talks about people “doing things … they have never done before.”  At any rate, this bill stands a snowball’s chance in hell of passing in South Carolina.

But let’s recall collectivist Larry Martin of Pickens.  The boys in South Carolina have work to do.  You need to handle Larry, and then you need to pass constitutional carry.  Kimpson can stand back and watch in irrelevance.

South Carolina Communists On Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

WSPA.com:

More than 200,000 South Carolinians have concealed weapons permits. Some Upstate gun instructors say there’s no way to know if all of those people meet all the requirements to carry a weapon in public.

Johnny Horton, former Army gunner and card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association, love his firearms and doesn’t go anywhere without his pistol.

He says South Carolina’s concealed weapons permit law terrifies him.

The law forces the state to issue a permit to anyone who passes a CWP course and shows either proof of 20/40 vision within 6 mont5hs or a valid driver’s license.

You need 20/40 vision to get a driver’s license, but gun instructors say just because you have one doesn’t mean you have good enough eyesight to safely handle a gun. That’s because the state only requires drivers to update them every 10 years.

“They are shooting in the dark,” Horton explains.

He says he knows there are people out there who aren’t qualified; those who have lost their sight within the last 3 years and have a CWP.

Warren Sanders, a CWP instructor, didn’t lose his eyesight, but ran into some serious problems with his vision a while back.

Sanders knew he had no business handling a gun at the time, but under state law, he could still carry a concealed weapon.

“I personally have had cataract surgery,” he says. “My vision deteriorated. I saw the need for corrective lenses and took care of it.”

Sanders says his concern is people like him who have vision problems, but don’t tell anyone and use a valid driver’s license to take advantage of what he calls a loophole in the law to get a concealed weapons permit.

“A person may make a decision based on faulty vision and it may cost someone else dearly,” he adds.

There’s no way to know how many people out there don’t meet the vision requirement, but are carrying guns. But Horton says there’s one thing we do know: they’re out in public with the rest of us.

“The last place you want to be is in the grocery store and catch a stray bullet while you’re buying a loaf of bread,” he says.

And so what do Messrs Horton and Sanders recommend?  Allowing gun “instructors” to perform eye examinations?  Or perhaps forcing gun permit holders to obtain yearly eye examinations and submit the results to the state for approval for continuation of their permit?

This is called corruption, and we in North Carolina have had our share too.  Mr. Jim Black was convicted when he pushed legislation through to force minors to obtain eye examinations from Optometrists prior to entering school (and Mr. Black is, not coincidentally, an Optometrist).  There is more to this than meets the eye.  I want to know what’s in it for Messrs Horton and Sanders.

And as for Mr. Sanders, who ran into serious problems with his eyesight a few years ago and “took care of it,” would he have forced people in similar positions to interact with the state to do what he did?  He knows that he isn’t going to be buying a load of bread and “catch a stray bullet” from a blind permit holder.  That is perhaps the stupidest thing I have every seen in print, and the “journalist” is a rube and tool for printing it.  He’s invoking the “boogeyman under the bed” tactic.  Boo! … boo! … be askeerd.  Wild gun battles in the streets and stores by blind men!

I think we can safely put Horton and Sanders in the same category as State Senator Larry Martin of Pickens, S.C., who opposed open carry legislation in S.C. because those horrible Negros might open carry around Charleston, affecting the tourism industry (“The word is the SC tourism industry lobby killed the open carry bill. It was feared that “minority youth” walking around Charleston with pistols strapped to their hips would scare off the tourists”).  They are all communists.  They deserve to be treated as such.

Open Carry Killed In South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

Reported by Mike Vanderboegh a while back, open carry is defeated in South Carolina.

A bill that would allow South Carolinians to carry guns openly or concealed without first receiving the State’s sanction through a permit was killed by Republicans. It failed to advance out of the State’s Judiciary Committee — despite a large Republican majority — under strong opposition from Republican Senator Larry Martin.

The bill is called Constitutional Carry. Backers say its premise is based on the fact that the 2nd Amendment is the only permit needed to carry a weapon.

Understanding the Republican statist position opposing the bill requires following tortured logic. It was best described by Martin himself in response to a constituent who asked him to vote to advance the bill, as reported by BenSwan.com.

“If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years? I’m sorry but you are describing an ‘unlimited’ right that has never been the case with the 2nd Amendment. My view of the 2nd Amendment has always been the right to own guns and keep them in our homes, business, and property and not to wear a gun whenever to wherever I pleased.”

He just thinks that because he is a communist.  Comments at Mike’s place seem to indicate that it was the tourism lobby in Charleston that defeated the bill.  I make no claims to knowing the real story behind the bill’s demise.  But one thing is certain – Senator Larry Martin of Pickens is either the ring leader or a stooge and tool.  In any case, he is now the target.

Gregory Smith observes “South Carolina has a pro-gun governor and an anti-gun Senate. This defeat is shameful, this is the work of self-hating Southerners, scalawags that would rather kiss the carpetbaggers than pass pro-gun laws … I believe there’s gonna be political hell in South Carolina. I want to know who are the 17 bastards that voted against the 2nd Amendment, are any of them Republican? If so then it’s time to excommunicate them from public office.”

I think the retribution needs to be greater than that.  Mr. Martin needs to feel uncomfortable even being out in public.  He has now declared himself to be an enemy of the people.  And oh, by the way, as to the LEOs who helped to kill the bill, you are also an enemy of the people.


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