Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Setting The Right Priorities To Defend The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 2 hours ago

Harold Hutchison at Ammoland.

When it comes to defending our Second Amendment rights, there are a lot of potential fights. We are seeing attacks on multiple fronts, along with efforts to move forward on some other issues. But what should be the biggest priority? Do we fight bump stock and suppressor bans? Do we focus on getting judges who will enforce our Second Amendment rights? What about the many fights at the state and local levels of government?

We have to understand that there is only so much time in the day, and only so many resources. What legislation do we push? We could focus on constitutional carry in a state, but it would mean we ignore other Second Amendment issues, like maybe passing state-level protections against corporate gun control by banks and companies like Salesforce.

Similarly, at the federal level, given the current situation, we can’t really pass pro-Second Amendment legislation. But what can be done is to keep the confirmation of judges who will uphold Heller. Another thing that the Senate can do: Hold hearings. It might seem like a show, but with proper work, those hearings can put pressure on companies like Salesforce. In addition, there is always the chance to force votes on vulnerable anti-Second Amendment Senators.

But it also comes down to making decisions. President Trump did go along with an administrative bump-stock ban that was more about being seen to do something than actually addressing a problem. He’s also making some comments on suppressors as well. But at the same time, he is making the kinds of judicial nominations that will keep our Second Amendment rights safe for decades – unless the Supreme Court is packed.

It’s another way of setting priorities in defending the Second Amendment. Do we fight a short-term skirmish over bump stocks and suppressors, or do we focus on getting judges who can throw out anti-Second Amendment laws passed in places like California and New Jersey? Reasonable Second Amendment supports can make arguments either way.

As Duane Liptak said on this site a while back, those who choose to primarily focus on judges are not thrilled with the suppressor comments or the bump stock ban – but they are dealing with a political landscape as it is, and adjusting their tactics and strategy to deal with it. We are at the mercy of events, too.

[ … ]

Defending the Second Amendment is more than just saying “No.” Often it’s about making hard choices about what legislation to push – or whether efforts need to be spent on other issues. Second Amendment supporters need to keep that in mind, or we could lose our rights.

Funny, that.  I thought I was at the mercy of a sovereign God.  As it turns out, it’s something pedestrian like current events.

Now I’m not kidding when I say this, but when I first read the commentary I skipped back up the top to see if Sebastian was writing for Ammoland now.  It sounds just like something he would say.

There is no need for the controllers to work on much of anything.  All they have to do is shout “boo,” and the retreatists run home and cry, “Hold me uncle Bob, I’m askeered.  Give the bad man what he wants so he’ll go away.”

There isn’t anything so difficult in saying ‘no’.  It’s easy.  It takes no work – it takes a single breath, or a single commentary, or a single letter, or a single act of civil disobedience.  It takes little time, it takes no money, and it requires no refocus of attention from the more difficult things like repeal of intolerable acts against us.

But we live in such a cowardly culture today that supposed gun rights defenders willingly give away recognition of right after right, virtually inviting more intolerable acts, for no gain whatsoever and nothing won, as if that is somehow wise and scholarly.

What a sorry ass world we live in.

Court Rejects Challenge To Regulation Of Gun Silencers

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Via reader Fred, The Charlotte Observer.

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to federal regulation of gun silencers Monday, just days after a gunman used one in a shooting rampage that killed 12 people in Virginia.

The justices did not comment in turning away appeals from two Kansas men who were convicted of violating federal law regulating silencers. The men argued that the constitutional right “to keep and bear arms” includes silencers.

The court’s action in the silencer cases was among dozens of orders in pending appeals, including decisions to add an international child custody dispute and four other cases to next term’s docket. The justices also will hear cases dealing with a death row inmate in Arizona, racial discrimination claims against Comcast by an African American owned media company, environmental cleanup at a Superfund site in Montana and a dispute between Intel Corp. and a retired Intel engineer.

In the silencer cases, Kansas and seven other states joined in a court filing urging justices to hear the appeals. The states said the court should affirm that the Second Amendment protects “silencers and other firearms accessories.” The other states are: Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

President Donald Trump’s administration asked the court to stay out of the case and leave the convictions in place.

Shane Cox, owner of a military surplus store, was convicted of making and transferring an unregistered silencer, and customer Jeremy Kettler was convicted of possessing one, all in violation of the 85-year-old National Firearms Act. Both men were sentenced to probation.

Previously we had observed that “we had the bump stock ban courtesy of a single, solitary, action by the federal executive remaking federal law on a whim.  Nice precedent, Mr. Trump.  We’ll see that used for very nefarious purposes in the future, no doubt.  Then we had support for red flag laws (or so-called extreme risk protection orders).  Then we had the selection of a gun controller to head the ATF, and finally today we get loathing of suppressors.”

But this action puts the meat on the bones.  All he had to do was phone his AG up and tell him to say to the court that our Solicitor General won’t even show up to defend this case, and we’d prefer that you hear it.  In fact, the U.S. can actually take the side of the defendant.  It’s happened before.

Oh, that’s right.  The AG Trump selected isn’t so friendly to guns, is he?  Well, there’s another gun control feather in Trump’s beanie.

Using A Suppressor For Home Defense?

BY Herschel Smith
10 months ago

John Lovell on use of a suppressor for home defense.

I would choose to use a suppressor.  Frankly, I think the decision to involve the police quickly is the most dangerous thing he could possibly do.

What To Look For When Buying A Suppressor

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

Shooting Illustrated:

In general, you want to start off with the largest diameter suppressor you think you’ll need. You can shoot 9 mm through a .45 ACP can, albeit with a slight increase in noise due to the larger opening, but you cannot shoot .45 ACP through a 9 mm can. Also, in general, shorter and smaller suppressors are going to be louder, because they have less volume to soak up the expanding gasses escaping from the muzzle.

When it comes to mounting your suppressor on the barrel of your gun, Knox says that direct-thread suppressors will have more versatility because they will fit on any barrel threaded to the same pitch. However, you will occasionally need to tighten the fit, as it can work loose as you shoot. A quick-detach (QD) mount, allows for faster attaching and detaching from one gun to another, but it pretty much locks you into using one manufacturer’s quick-detach mount on all your guns.

When it comes to specific types of suppressors, there are essentially three different types: Rimfire, centerfire pistol, and centerfire rifle. Rimfire suppressors are less expensive and weigh less because the pressure buildup inside the can is much less than with a centerfire round. However, rimfire rounds, especially .22 LR, tend to shoot a lot dirtier than their centerfire cousins, which means that easy disassembly for a cleaning is vital in a rimfire can.

Centerfire-pistol suppressors have unique features as well. Most service pistols today use some variation of a tilting-barrel delayed blowback action, and hanging a suppressor off the barrel of such guns can make it significantly less reliable due to the extra weight on the barrel. A muzzle booster or Nielsen device inside the can momentarily relieves that weight, much like jumping up inside an elevator going down can give you a brief feeling of weightlessness and lets the pistol function normally. Also, because most suppressors block the sight picture from normal-height pistol sights, suppressor-height sights are almost a must for a pistol that has a can.

When it comes to rifles, the weight of your suppressor matters less than it does with a pistol. A rifle already weighs at least several pounds, so the few ounces of a suppressor added onto it are less noticeable compared to pistol cans, and because of the power of rounds they shoot, centerfire rifle cans are much more robust than either pistol or rimfire suppressors.

Because rifles don’t use a tilting-block action, there is little need for a Nielsen Device or other muzzle booster. But because of increased distance they can shoot, a consistent point of impact with or without a suppressor on the gun is of vital importance to the accuracy of the rifle. Hanging a weight off the muzzle end of a rifle and messing with how the propellant gases exit the barrel is going to affect how the bullet leaves your gun. There will probably be a point of impact (POI) shift when you attach a suppressor to your rifle, but better-engineered cans will affect your POI less than others. In general, as long as the POI shift you get when you attach a suppressor to your rifle is consistent and repeatable, you can adjust for it and keep on shooting your gun.

Time will tell if suppressors become more available to armed citizens, but in the meantime, take your time and do your research before you choose a can that’s right for you. The legal complexities of owning a suppressor (not to mention the extra $200 you need to pay the government to own one) means that buying the right suppressor for you is even more important than buying a gun that’s right for you.

I’ve lately been discussing suppressors with a neighbor since I don’t believe anyone in Washington has the guts necessary to press the SHARE act, at least not without also giving something away so that the state may further infringe upon our rights (the example, by the way, being set by the NRA).  Moreover, they may give something away without ever getting a thing.  Most “men” in Washington aren’t fit to clean dog shit off the floor.

What I’ve found is that it’s difficult to get good advice on suppressors, there are almost no really good reviews, and the discussion forums are mostly void of buyer and user remarks and experience.  This is a shame with something that ends up being as expensive as it is.

Any experience with suppressors by readers is welcome in the comments or by EMail.  Preferably use comments so that we can all learn.

MSNBC Analyst: Hunters Use Suppressors So That Deer Can’t Hear Them

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Daily Caller:

Former FBI agent Manny Gomez claimed on MSNBC on Monday that hunters use suppressors so that deer cannot hear the gunshots.

Firearm owners actually use suppressors to prevent hearing loss, and even with a suppressor, a firearm would still be loud enough to spook a deer or other wild game.

“Sportsmen, hunters would make an argument that they need that so that their target, whether it’s a deer, etc. don’t hear the shot,” Gomez claimed, “but numerous other sportsmen have shot from muskets–when the founding fathers started the Second Amendment–up until now successfully killed game animals without the use of a silencer.”

So here’s a news flash for “Agent” Gomez and MSNBC.  The rounds most hunters use for deer are supersonic (I can conceive of the use of a subsonic round like a suppressed .300 Blackout, but most hunters would consider than an unethical kill).

That means … hold on to your breeches … the round gets there before the sound does.  I know physics is hard to the uninitiated, but please do try to keep up.

Suppressors: Just Another Gun Industry Revenue Scheme

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

Salon:

Silencers are seen by the gun industry as a great way to recruit new customers, because the devices make guns less scary to children.

“For new or younger shooters, using a silencer means being able to focus on marksmanship fundamentals and enjoy the overall shooting experience with considerably more comfort,” the 2017 catalog for Advanced Armament Corporation explained.

Donald Trump Jr., who is a big fan of silencers, concurs. Last year, in a video interview with Joshua Waldron, the CEO of a silencer manufacturer, Don Jr. said that silencers were great at getting “little kids into the game.”

Yep.  That’s what it’s all about – revenue.  It isn’t really about a less dangerous shooting experience, one that protects your hearing.  It isn’t about getting a better cheek weld on the butt of your rifle because you don’t have to knock your head into those idiotic ear muffs.  It’s all about money.

There are several things that we should point out about this simpleton’s article.  First of all, she doesn’t believe in the market.  If something doesn’t live up to the hype, it will die off in the marketplace.  If it isn’t wanted by the public, it won’t continue to be manufactured.  But not according to her.

Second, she believes that you are idiots.  She believes that whether you need something or not, you will buy it with a little coaxing by somebody – who knows – the NRA, the gun manufacturers (who do not fabricate suppressors anyway, other companies do that), or whomever.  It’s all just a revenue stream to them.  You will throw away your hard earned money on trash because somebody else has a scheme to rob you with worthless products.

So she is there to protect you.  The market works because you will buy it, but the market doesn’t work because you can’t discern the difference between needful products and those that aren’t.  It is not a needful product because you have ear plugs and ear muffs.  But it is needful because it might make the shooting experience more enjoyable and entice kids to learn to shoot.

And the main objection she has is that it’s just a revenue scheme.  Or if you continue reading, that it will make the jobs of police harder because it will fall into criminal hands and cause mass shootings.  Or that it will prevent you from hearing the sound of gunfire and running away.  Or something.

Good Lord.  Do they have editors over at Salon or has this just become a total trash bin of word salads for the gun haters?  At any rate, such is the confused thinking of the collectivists.

The Chattering Class On Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

The Hill:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups are fighting to change the public perception of “silencers” — or “sound suppressors” — that reduce the noise of gunfire.

Although the gun industry originally popularized the word “silencer” a century ago, now lobbyists are hoping to gain some distance from the term in large part because of fears that Hollywood has distorted the name. Their concern is that the popular concept of the device prompts fear about their use, which could in turn influence policy.

Unlike their portrayal in Hollywood films, pro-gun groups have noted that silencers are not completely silent and claim it would be more accurate to refer to these devices as sound suppressors.

They reduce the noise of gunfire enough to protect ears, but not so much that mass shooters could go undetected, the NRA says.

“The [sound suppressors] were a victim of the success of his marketing,” said Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, which is working with the NRA on this issue. Williams referenced Hiram Percy Maxim, who first used the term in the early 1900s when he invented what he referred to as the Maxim Silencer. The term later caught on with legislators and regulators.

“He labeled it as a silent firearm, and people took it for gospel,” Williams said of Maxim.

The NRA, American Suppressor Association (ASA), and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) all invited the media to gun ranges this week to demonstrate that sound suppressors are far from silent.

But gun control groups fear using the term “sound suppressor” risks watering down the danger such devices, according to them, represent.

“It’s all semantics,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“Focusing on the name distracts people from the real conversation,” Watts said. “They did the same thing with the debate over whether to use the term ‘assault rifles’ or ‘semiautomatic rifles,’ and then the whole conversation shifted to ‘What are we going to call these things?’”

“They want to get into semantics about the language, so we don’t talk about how dangerous they are.”

Hey, I know it’s difficult to fathom, but you inside-the-beltway types look stupid when you fabricate crap like this.  No one I know, except for educated gun owners, is talking about the hearing protection act.

Not anyone with whom I work, not anyone with whom I converse every day, no one.  No one is talking about how much they fear suppressors.

So let me tell you what this is all about.  The control lobby doesn’t want guns to be less intrusive and difficult to shoot than they are now.  Right now, they are loud to the point of hurting your ears permanently without hearing protection.  Even with hearing protection they announce their presence.

But with suppressors it will be less intimidating for new shooters, women and others who may have need of learning gunmanship but don’t want the loud noise.  This … the control lobby cannot have.  So beltway folks like The Hill have to make up stuff to seem like all of America is scared of something.

Chattering, fear mongering, making a story where there isn’t one.  Take your pick, or add to the list.

What If Millions Of People Get Gun Suppressors?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

HuffPo:

The debate is whether the benefits of more silencers would outweigh the costs.

Really?  There’s such a debate?

Silencers are “used to conceal the fact that you are firing a weapon,” said Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “There will be more crimes committed, more people killed” if the current bill passes.

Ah, I see.  Chicken little runs on stage.  “The sky is falling.  The sky is falling.”

But it gets better.

Not everyone is convinced that shooting-related hearing loss is a problem that needs another solution.

“You already have the answer,” said Kris Brown, chief strategy officer at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “There are things available on the market to protect hearing.”

Why are gun controllers so anti-science?  And here I thought the answer to the question was that if millions of gun owners get suppressors, they will get a better cheek weld on their rifles and prevent hearing loss.

No Justification Given In The Congressional Record For Inclusion Of Suppressors In NFA

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

Called silencers or “mufflers” in the deliberations on the NFA, a redditor has done good work trying to find why suppressors were included in the NFA.  As we’ve noted the discussions waxed emotional and did in fact mention them as covered under the NFA, but again, no reason is given.

It appears that the reason for the inclusion of silencers in the National Firearms Act of 1934 is completely unknown to the official record. The NFA was cooked up in the Department of Justice and advocated for by Hon. Homer S. Cummings, Attorney General of the United States and (especially) Hon. Joseph B. Keenan Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice. I have been unable to find any credible source outlining the reason silencers were included in the NFA, and this knowledge likely died with Cummings, Keenan, and their staff. If anyone can point me to a credible source, I’d love to see it.

And of course, no reason will be forthcoming.  The redditor also notes that the NRA supported the NFA.  How sad.

Letting Movies Dictate Your Gun Control Policy

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

Law Newz:

The GOP has just risen to a whole new level of crazy. Last week, it introduced the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Rep. John Carter (R-TX). The bill removes gun silencers from the scope of the National Firearms Act of 1934, and refunds the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchased them after October 22, 2015.

Yes, we’re talking about gun silencers, or “suppressors” as they are euphemistically known in the industry. You know – those things that assassins snap on the ends of their pistols in action movies to look all slick and cold-blooded. Apparently, the logic is that the world would be a much safer place if silencers were more readily available to the average consumer. Sure.

[ … ]

The people who should be most outraged by the Hearing Protection Act aren’t gun-hating liberals who knee-jerk at any mention of firearms. They are conservatives and libertarians who value their own credibility in the nationwide debate over Second Amendment rights. It is the responsibility of supporters of Heller to call bullshit on legislation that is nothing more than a marketing plan dressed up as “hearing protection.” Gun owners of integrity have an obligation to remind Congress that earplugs and earmuffs are readily available, and that claims of the necessity of silencers are as stupid as any that big tobacco should manufacture self-lighting cigarettes to prevent kids from burning themselves with lighters.

So I guess suppressors can give you cancer and cause you to become professional assassins.  Since suppressors actually do no good protecting your hearing from noise, I guess there must be another reason for them.  I’m sure they don’t allow hunters to be aware of their surroundings, like whether they’re near other hunters when they shoot.  I’m sure all of those ear muffs don’t interfere with your cheek weld.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when people who know absolutely nothing about guns try to make policy and law about guns.  They have nothing to which they can turn except shoot-’em-up movies and assassins.  And suppressors are the same thing as tobacco and can give you cancer.


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