Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 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]

Matt Bracken On The Patrol Bike

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Via Kenny, Matt Bracken weighs in on the use of bicycles.

I used to jog a few times a week for cardio until I passed age sixty and my knees said no más. Since then I’ve switched to cycling instead, which doesn’t bother my knees in the least. Obviously there are cardio benefits to riding a bike, but less appreciated is how much riding does for your sense balance, coordination and agility, especially as we grow older.

I’ve owned the big steel-frame Schwinn bike in the photo since the 1980s and it’s still going strong. I use it to run errands within 3 or 4 miles of home base, which allows me to recon all of the back streets and trails inside that radius in a way that cannot be replicated in a car or on foot. I made the big rack so I can carry 30 pounds or so of cargo with no problem. In the front pouch I carry a cable lock, a basic tire repair kit, shock cords and so on. A pistol or other weapon can also be carried there.

[ … ]

By day or night, I also routinely pass within yards of people who have their backs turned to me who are totally unaware that a person is rolling right past them nearly in touching distance, such as when they are checking their mail box. As long as the pedal crank is kept moving, there isn’t even the quiet sound of clicking gear ratchets. The only sound is that of the tires rolling on pavement, and that’s not much.

For patrolling your neighborhood a bike fits an ideal mid-point niche between foot and automobile patrol. Here are the numbers: a brisk walking pace is 4 mph. The posted speed limit for cars in my neighborhood is 25 mph, but they often go faster. An easy cycling speed is about 12 mph. A car or truck obviously has the biggest visual signature, and its fast arrival speed once it’s spotted is expected. However, a person on a bike only has about the same visual signature as a pedestrian, yet he’s moving three times as fast. The relatively fast speed while retaining a small visual signature probably explains the remarkable stealth properties of the patrol bike.

As readers know, I bike single track, but I’ll bike literally anywhere.

I ride a Norco, and while you must get what you can afford, I recommend that you spend what you need to get a good ride.  I still ride a “hard tail.”  The dual suspension bikes are very expensive, and if they’re name brand carbon frames, they are prohibitively expensive for me (they can run $6000+).

Matt goes on to recommend tools, all of which I have.  They tear up, especially if you abuse them on single track like I do.  I dry-lube my chain before every ride.  Because I beat mine up so badly on mountains, I’ve learned to carry zip ties with me.  I’m always knocking cables loose.  I also carry a bike hex-wrench set, a mini-pump, spare tube, water, gun, energy bars, 550 cordage, rain gear, gloves, tactical knife and sun glasses.

My knees don’t bother me as much as some folks, probably because I never got into running.  The impact force on knees from running is a good reason not to do it, and a good reason to ride a bike instead.  My rides are usually at least 8-10 miles (single track), sometimes 20-22 miles, but rarely over 30.

I confess I had never thought of the virtues of the neighborhood patrol using bikes.

Gun Coatings And Treatments

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Plated
Reflective, plated finishes such as hard chrome, nickel and gold have been around longer than anyone presently reading this magazine. While no longer popular on long gun exteriors, surface treatments like chrome-plating work well on and in certain internal components. Most tactical-rifle shooters have experience with chrome-lined bores, which provide wear- and corrosion-resistance. We also find chrome in less-obvious places like piston-rod ends, the inside of an AR’s bolt carrier and in the open end of the carrier’s gas key. One complication to chrome-plating is that it adds to the dimensions of finished parts, so components must be undersize by whatever thickness the plating will add.

Attempts to chrome-line rifle bores date back to the first half of the 20th century. The process has long since become standard in military and police battle rifles and carbines around the world. Sources for true match-quality, chrome-lined barrels can be counted on one hand, with fingers left over. Most chromed bores are very durable, but they typically come up short in the accuracy department due to variations in thickness throughout the bore. Chrome-plated parts are slicker than bare steel, allowing for easier cleanup of pistons and bolt components. Unfortunately, the constant slamming of metal on metal can cause chrome to wear or flake off of hard-use parts like bolt-locking lugs, which can affect accuracy, reliability and even safety. Chrome plating seems to do its best work inside of components subjected to high friction—but not hard impacts—and when done well, is still a great solution to limit erosion and wear.

Nickel-Boron
Nickel-boron (NiB) is an “electroless” gun coating, instead applied chemically. That makes for extremely uniform surface coatings on parts with tight tolerances, like a trigger’s sear-engagement surfaces. NiB reduces friction and speeds the cooling of high-heat components due to the increased surface area created by the coating’s texture. Internal rifle components appear to be the best-suited for NiB, and in my experience, this gun coating is much more durable than traditional plated finishes on contact surfaces like bolt-locking lugs. NiB provides excellent corrosion resistance, but over time it will give way to the ravages of high heat and pressure on hard-use components. NiB-coated components are relatively easy to clean up but may become discolored when subjected to high heat.

Nitride
Names like Melonite, Ni-Corr, Black nitride or salt bath nitride are all variations of a surface treatment formally known as “Liquid Salt Bath Ferritic Nitrocarburizing Non-Cyanide Bath” (FNC) or simply nitriding. This process isn’t really a gun coating, since it doesn’t change a part’s finished dimensions, so it is well-suited for both precision internal components and bores. An added plus is, unlike chrome lining—which is mostly limited to chrome-moly steel blends—nitriding is optimal for stainless-steel bores, too. Its high resistance to wear and corrosion also make it useful as an external surface protectant. Nitrided surfaces are very hard and, since the FNC process transforms the surface rather than coating it, the metal itself must be removed to get through to unprotected steel below. I have been using nitrided barrels, bolts and trigger groups for years and have yet to wear one out. From a production standpoint, nitriding is inexpensive and so long as it is done correctly, the high temperatures that the process relies on for application will not harm steel rifle components.

Spray-on
Gun coatings such as Cerakote, DuraCoat and KG Gunkote are applied via compressed-air sprayers. They differ somewhat in composition and may be air- or heat-cured. Spray-on coatings are best-suited for rifle exteriors where the inevitable variations in thickness will not change tolerances nor impede function. They have a fair amount of wear resistance, but heavy use or careless handling can still cause them to wear through, scratch or chip off. When properly applied, spray-on gun coating provides good corrosion resistance and allow you to truly customize your rifle’s appearance due to endless color and pattern variations. Spray-ons have the added benefit of being equally well-suited for aluminum, polymer and wooden rifle components, too. These finishes are susceptible to harsh chemical strippers like acetone or ammonia-based solvents, so stick to safer cleaners like mineral spirits or conventional powder solvents when cleaning painted rifles.

I’ve always thought I needed to know a little more than I do about both the materials and the coatings for firearms.  Unfortunately, I only took one materials engineering course in school, and most of the time materials engineering is left to the folks who do it all the time.

But this article is a good start on coatings.  I welcome reader feedback if you find any other articles or papers on the subject, or just want to weigh in with your own expertise.

The Stoner 63 And Knight’s Assault Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Forgotten Weapons covers a recent trip to Knight’s Armament.

They covered the Stoner 63 earlier, and he seems to verify what I’ve heard so many times – the controllability is exceptional.

I have always thought that the U.S. Military made a mistake in not buying into the full Stoner system of firearms.

Chip Bergh Of Levi’s Weighs In On Guns And The Boy Scouts

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

News from California:

But when the Parkland shooting happened in 2018, killing 17 students and teachers, Levi’s decided to go further. Bergh published a letter about the country’s epidemic of gun violence and the company set up a $1 million fund to support organizations that are working to put in place “common sense regulations or laws that would prevent guns being in the hands of people who shouldn’t own a gun,” he says.

As a father, Bergh says the situation had recently hit even closer to home for him. “My daughter goes to school in San Francisco, and they practice lockdown drills more than they do earthquake drills,” he says. “That says something about our country.” Predictably, when the company announced its support for gun control, some customers complained. But the company had taken similarly controversial stands in the past and was willing to weather any short-term impact. In 1992, for example, when it pulled its sponsorship from the Boy Scouts in response to the organization’s ban on gay troop leaders, it got more than 100,000 letters in response, most saying that they would boycott the brand.

“The company did not waver,” Bergh says. “Now, with the benefit of hindsight, you can honestly say we were on the right side of the issue . . . I really believe that 20 years from now, we’re going to look back and say this company was again on the right side of an important issue.

Chip Bergh, born in Bronxville, N.Y., and who by the way also spent four years commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.

It’s important to realize just how many commissioned officers in the U.S. military do not believe in their oath, similar to Pete Buttigieg, both of whom favor draconian gun control.

The left will always seek out proper credentials for their heroes and leaders, and one box that frequently gets checked is time in the military.  Never assume that time in the military means what you think it should mean.

Swiss Voters Approve New Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Swissinfo:

Voters have endorsed a controversial reform of Swiss gun law to bring it into line with European Union rules.

Final results show the reform winning 63.7% of the ballot on Sunday. The result was much closer in some rural regions, though voters in canton Ticino were the only ones to reject the legal amendment.

Ownership of semi-automatic weapons will now require regular training on the use of firearms and a serial numbering of major parts of some guns to help track them.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter welcomed the outcome, saying it made Switzerland more secure by improving the traceability of firearms and increasing the exchange of information with other European countries.

Isn’t it interesting how [a] countries that have rejected the Holy Writ and God’s immutable laws, lose interest in self protection and resort to self loathing and wish for death, and [b] the globalist, open borders world view always seems to go hand in hand with disarmament?

FOIA Information Releases On Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Len Savage sends the following pages released as part of his FOIA request on the bump stock ban.

Now, let’s pose some questions for readers to consider.  First, why are these pages marked SECRET/NOFORN (No Foreign Nationals)?  Second, if you were Paddock, why would you voluntarily choose to shoot an AR-15 with a bump stock in a crime you intended to perpetrate when you could shoot a fully automatic weapon?  Third (and I’ll keep asking this until I get an answer), why did the FBI refuse to allow the ATF to examine the crime scene weapons?

Apparently, the most important requirement for government “service” is that you are willing to hide things from the public and release only information you see as beneficial to your cause (whatever that might be).  In other circles, that’s called lying.

In the absence of any further information, I’ll continue to believe my own son’s analysis after listening to the consistency of the rate of fire over video: “He was using a fully automatic weapon.”  And my son has plenty of time under his belt shooting fully automatic weapons.  Bottom line – I’ll believe my son over the FedGov.

The Controllers Target The Self-Manufacture Of Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

First, there is the state of Washington.

OLYMPIA – Washington law will ban “ghost guns” made with 3D printers, remove the rights of a person who is found incompetent to stand trial to have a firearm and tighten a requirement for a concealed pistol license.

Firearms can be removed from the homes of teens who are the subject of an extreme risk protection order because they might hurt themselves or others.

It’s a veritable smorgasbord of laws, a controller’s wet dream.  The statement about 3D printers is a smokescreen, peddled to the press in order to sew fear among the ignorant.  This is about stopping home production of machinery, specifically firearms, which is allowable under federal law.

Next up, the state of New York.

ALBANY — Lawmakers in the state capital are preparing to pass a bill barring so-called “ghost guns” from the Empire State.

The homemade, untraceable weapons often made with parts manufactured by a 3-D printer — would be outlawed under the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn). The measure is expected to pass the Senate on Wednesday.

[ … ]

Ghost guns are considered especially dangerous because they have no serial numbers, which makes them essentially untraceable by law enforcement and allows criminals to bypass background checks and licensing laws.

With the press peddling yet another picture of Cody Wilson, the real intent is to ban firearms that have no serial number, i.e., those made in the home or garage.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to make this a national law.

A bill recognizing the destructive potential of “ghost guns” has cleared a critical step in Congress and is now poised for a vote on the House floor. The House Committee on Homeland Security gave its stamp of approval on Wednesday to legislation that would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prepare an annual threat assessment on so-called “ghost guns.” These are firearms typically made at home with 3D printers or assembled from kits that lack traceable serial numbers.

These ghost guns “pose a challenge to law enforcement, particularly when used by violent extremists,” according to a onetime DHS threat assessment. One estimate put the number of ghost gun precursors sold in the past decade in the hundreds of thousands.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Congressman Max Rose, is one of the first steps Congress has taken to address this emerging threat to public safety.

“In my conversations with law enforcement officials I have every reason to believe this is an urgent matter,” Rose told Newsweek. “This is a massive hole in federal legislation that allows for weapons to be shipped from state to state without any background checks.”

These guns themselves don’t confer any tactical advantage over a traditional weapon, but they are easier to acquire without having to navigate a potentially treacherous black market crawling with federal agents and informants. The weapons can be assembled from DIY kits that provide prefabricated components for nearly 80 percent of the completed firearm, allowing the buyer to finish crafting the weapon at home using common metalworking tools.

Of course law enforcement, including the DHS, supports something like this.  And in a moment of accidental honesty, they admitted what they’re really going after – 80% lowers.

Because the first rule of control is to know who everyone is and what they have, so that it can be taken from them in the future.

UPDATE: Google (YouTube) must have gotten the memo, because they aren’t allowing any DIY firearms to be monetized.

U.S. Marine Corps: Ready For War?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

The Washington Post:

In a handwritten statement, the recruit recalled that she tried to tell other recruits to slow down while they were moving in formation, upsetting the senior drill instructor. The recruit could not recall whether the Marine pushed her arm or the weapon itself.

“I knew I was in the wrong for overstepping when I shouldn’t have, but I wasn’t used to anyone messing with the weapon,” the recruit wrote.

The senior drill instructor later found the recruit on a bathroom bench at night writing to a former Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor, a sergeant major, about the incident.

She was Pvt. Raheel Siddiqui.  What do you think, readers?  Is this the kind of Marine Corps necessary for defending America?  Are they ready for war with anyone?

The disembowelment of America proceeds apace.

Bullet Pressure Wave Effects On Incapacitation Time

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Reader =BCE56= links Ballistic Pressure Wave Contributions To Rapid Incapacitation In The Strasbourg Goat Tests.

Chamberlin observed damage remote from the wound channel he ascribed to the hydraulic reaction of body fluids [CHA66]. Tikka et al. showed that ballistic pressure waves originating in the thigh reach the abdomen. Wounding and delayed recovery of peripheral nerves have been reported [LDL45, PGM46]. Pressure waves cause compound action potentials in peripheral nerves [WES82], and ballistic pressure waves have been shown capable of breaking bones [MYR88].

This shows that, all other factors being equal, bullets that produce pressure waves of greater magnitude incapacitate more rapidly than bullets that produce smaller pressure waves. The Strasbourg test data convincingly supports the pressure wave hypothesis and allows (perhaps for the first time) the fast response time to be modeled as a function of peak pressure wave magnitude.

[ … ]

The trend in bullet design over the last decade has drifted toward bullets with little fragmentation and a higher percentage of retained mass. Bullets that both fragment and meet minimum penetration requirements create larger pressure wave magnitudes and offer improved incapacitation potential.

There is much more at the link.  I find it especially interesting that the authors use a 4*pi()*r^2 model for pressure wave solid angle (as with sound, light and radiation, unattenuated [or scattered] and unreflected).  The pressure wave isn’t forward peaked.

I often claim I have the best readers on the internet.  I really mean it.  This is a good example of that.

And this analysis goes to the heart of the design of the 5.56mm round, which is to induce a pressure wave due to high velocity (KE = 1/2 * m * v^2) and then fragment into shrapnel with multiple wound tracks.

Thanks to reader =BCE56= for that great read.

We Need To Fight Red Flag Laws Head On, Not Hide

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Philip Van Cleave, writing at Ammoland.

AmmoLand News’ pundit John Farnam recently wrote a thought-provoking article on how gun owners should behave in states that have adopted “Red Flag” laws, where your guns can be confiscated for an arbitrary amount of time-based on someone else’s word that you are a danger to yourself or others.

Under Red Flag laws your “due process” won’t come for weeks or months after they have already confiscated all your firearms, with no actual crime having been committed. And how does one even PROVE that they are not dangerous? And if a person is truly dangerous, why don’t the Red Flag laws make any attempt to have the “dangerous” person taken into custody or to get them help?

Red Flag laws violate the the following Amendments to the Constitution:

  • 2nd (right to keep and bear arms)
  • 4th (protection against unreasonable search and seizures)
  • 5th (right to due process, just compensation, self-incrimination)
  • and 6th (right to confront accusers, cross-examine witnesses, have a public defender).

John and I are looking at this situation from two different angles. John’s advice is meant to keep gun owners from being victims of Red Flag laws by having them stay under the radar. That is a laudable goal meant to save as many gun owners as possible from falling in the unconstitutional Red Flag web. John suggests hiding your gun ownership to as high a degree as possible. Only people with a need to know should know.

[ … ]

Red Fag laws are not about saving lives. They are about gun confiscation, plain and simple. While keeping a low profile will reduce your chances of becoming a victim, you will still never know if that 4 am knock on the door is coming anyhow.

I think we have to go in the other direction. We need to go on the offensive. We need to remind our fellow Americans, and politicians, that there are over 80 million of us and we are NOT going to go quietly into the night. In fact, we are not going to go anywhere

Well, this is an interesting commentary and worth discussing in my opinion.

For me that horse left the barn years ago.  I chose not to blog anonymously, so I’m not “gray man.”  I haven’t told anyone exactly what I have or where, or whether I even have any firearms, but my opinion is plain and simple for everyone to read.  Google and PageRank are powerful.

So apparently Farnham argues essentially for being gray man.  The first rule of gun club is that you never talk about gun club.  The second rule is when in doubt, refer to the first rule.

Van Cleave is arguing for the opposite.  Where do my readers stand?


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