Antifa And Black Lives Matter Intelligence Report

Herschel Smith · 23 Aug 2020 · 8 Comments

Just who is Antifa? The American manifestation of the "Black Bloc" isn't new.  Antifa existed before now in Europe, but appears to have morphed into a more ad hoc conglomeration of people who have certain ideologies in common, some of whom appear to have been overseas. Department of Homeland Security intelligence officials are targeting activists it considers antifa and attempting to tie them to a foreign power, according to a DHS intelligence report obtained exclusively by The…… [read more]

The 1911 In The Vietnam War

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

American Rifleman.

Combat narratives from veterans who engaged Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army units at close range during the war are filled with stories of pistols used effectively. Handguns became a necessary fall-back option when rifles or machine guns jammed or ran out of ammunition. In such desperate engagements, the stopping power of the .45 ACP round was particularly praised as a rapid and reliable solution.

Throughout the long war in Vietnam, a number of soldiers and Marines carried civilian-made sidearms. This was largely in the early years of the war, when regulations regarding personal defense weapons were more relaxed. These weapons were either brought from home or sent to Vietnam by anxious family and friends.

[ … ]

Just like in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, there were never enough M1911 pistols to meet the demand.  American troops believed in, trusted and faithfully carried it on their hip or shoulder whenever and wherever they went into combat.

My love for the firearm puts me in good company.  Regardless of your commitment to high capacity magazines, the 1911 still lives, and today earns more respect and demands more money than plastic pistols.

It shoots a man-killer round that can be converted with +P ammunition to be large-animal killers with ball ammo.  It’s slim, sleek design makes it easy to acquire and reacquire sight picture and target, its single stack design makes it easy to grip and handle (especially for someone affected with RA like me), and its reliable operation engenders trust and confidence.

While change marks the nature of the plastic pistol market, the 1911 has changed very little over the century – because perfection doesn’t need change.

Should You Drop The Slide Of A 1911 On An Empty Chamber?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

I confess I had never thought of the problem they’re discussing, and frankly I’m not sure I fully understand the problem they’re discussing.  I know there are gunsmiths who read this blog.  Enlighten us, please.

FWIW, the comments state that Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson say not to do this.  I don’t, but regardless, it would be nice to know why they recommend against it.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Brownells: 1911 Series 70 vs Series 80

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Paul Harrell On The Rock Island Armory 1911

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 4 weeks ago

He seems to think it’s okay, whereas for me, being unable to shoot anything I want to put in it is a deal-breaker for me.

He also seems to like Colt, whereas I prefer my Dan Wesson and Smith & Wesson 1911s.  I’ve never had a single malfunction with either of them, and neither has had a hiccup of any sort regardless of what ammunition I feed it (including and up to 450 SMC).

I don’t do FTF/FTE drills with my 1911s because I’ve never had a failure in many thousands of rounds.  But as always, I learn something from Paul (watch his demonstration of the safety feature on the Colt that isn’t there with the RIA, another deal-breaker for me).

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Rare, High-Priced Guns

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 2 weeks ago


The famous command given to Revolutionary War soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill – “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” – resulted in forever identifying the musket credited with the first shot fired against British troops on that fateful day in June of 1775. John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment, was court martialed for disobeying orders, successfully documenting the gun that fired the first shot in the historic battle. However, Simpson was lightly punished and went on to serve in the rest of the war with distinction.

The gun that fired the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill is heading for sale Morphy Auctions in Denver later this month.

The Revolutionary War musket belonged to John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment who fought during the historic battle in Charlestown, Massachusetts on June 17, 1775.

As the British troops advanced, Simpson fired his weapon prematurely – disobeying the famous order given to American soldiers not to fire “until you see the white of their eyes”.

Having been passed down by Simpson’s descendents for almost 250 years, the historic weapon will now be offered for sale for the first time, and is expected to sell for up to $300,000.

“We have the privilege of auctioning a firearm that symbolizes one of the most important battles leading to American independence,” said Dan Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions.

“It will be exciting to see whether the Simpson musket ends up in a private or institutional collection.”

In the comments one person says that “The father of the soldier testified for its authenticity.” I do wonder about authenticity and traceability.

I think I would rather have a rifle used by one of Francis Marion’s men. On another front and probably easier to prove authenticity, I had forgotten that Singer made 1911s.

As for the 500 Singer 1911s, those handguns went to arming Army Air Force aircrews, and today are among the most desirable guns in the world of arms and armor collecting. The small number produced, their high quality, and the even smaller number of guns that survived the war make them extremely rare. In December 2017, a Singer 1911 sold at auction for an eye-popping $414,000, one of the highest prices ever paid at auction for a handgun.

Yep.  I’ll take a couple with sequential serial numbers, please.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Performance Of .45 ACP In A Modified 1911 With A Spring Intended For 450 SMC

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 3 weeks ago

As readers know, I modified a S&W E-Series Performance Center 1911 by installing a 22# spring purchased from Wolff Gunsprings in lieu of the 18# spring that came with the gun.

Since then, it has performed flawlessly with 450 SMC, albeit a little stiff on the recoil.    Recall that the 450 SMC round comes with a rifle primer rather than a pistol primer, leaving more room for powder.  With stippled wooden grips I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to shoot more than three or four dozen rounds before getting some hand sting.  I would need to install different grips if I intended to shoot 450 SMC all day at the range.

But the question came up about this round whether the higher spring constant affected the gun’s ability to properly cycle .45 ACP (i.e., does the weaker ammunition incompletely cycle the slide and cause a FTF/FTE)?

I can confidently say after having shot several brands of .45 ACP with the stiffer 22# spring that I’ve had no malfunctions at all.  To me this is good news since I won’t have to change the spring for my choice of ammunition.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

John Travis Is A 1911 Encyclopedia

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

Via reader JoeFour, this link is an veritable encyclopedia of knowledge of the 1911.  I intend to print it out, read it, and keep it handy.  In the mean time, it would be nice if readers would peruse the contents and lift the important things out for us here, or merely the interesting things to you for commentary and discussion.

Firearms,Guns Tags:

The Effect Of Pistol Barrel Length On Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

Shooting Sports USA has an interesting article on changing barrel lengths and the necessary adjustments to everything else.  I confess I had never thought of most of that.  There is this interesting deliverance of their testing.

Accuracy testing with a six-inch barrel resulted in an approximate 30 FPS drop in velocity when the same barrel was shortened to five inches. Surprising to some, accuracy actually improved by ⅜ inch (.375) with the shorter barrel. This was likely due to a balance of velocity and stabilization.

I’ve got a trip into the bush coming up soon and this is the rig I’m carrying.

I like the 5″ barrel and the weight added by the tactical light and the Wilson Combat magazine.  To me it assists in stabilization versus shooting .45 ACP from a 4.25″ barrel (which takes me a little longer to recover sight picture due to muzzle rise).

Firearms,Guns Tags:

18 All-New 1911 Pistols For 2018

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

At Shooting Illustrated.  You can go see for yourself, but I won’t comment except to say that the prices are totally unreasonable.

I simply won’t pay $4000+ for any handgun.  Ever.  Not even if I was wealthy.  I’d give my money away before I paid that much for a pistol, even a very good one.

I’m not sure what manufacturers are thinking (perhaps they think there’s a market for this price point, and maybe there is), but when you can get a pseudo-custom Dan Wesson for < $2000, it just isn’t worth is to buy more expensive.  And I think I’ve mentioned before that the gunsmiths at Hyatt Gun Shop would rather work on a Springfield Armory 1911 than a Kimber (so I’m told) because it’s a better pistol.

A Springfield runs for much, much less than the prices I see in this article.  Smith & Wesson also makes a very good Performance Center 1911 for much less than these prices.  I’m thinking that some of these must be custom-built guns, but even then, I’m just flabbergasted at the prices.

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Sound Wisdom For Handgun Operators

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

American Rifleman quotes training material for 1911 operators from WWI.

Too much stress cannot be laid on the fact the pistol is an emergency weapon. The man who wants a stock on his pistol so that he can shoot it at a distance of several hundred yards has no understanding of the function of the arm. It is solely for the personal protection of the bearer when the enemy is within very short range and there is no possibility of accomplishing more with the other weapons with which the soldier may happen to be armed.

The member of an automatic rifle or machine gun squad who stops serving his rifle or machine gun to indulge in pistol practice at the enemy is wholly without a proper sense of his duty to his comrades. At the same time the stupid man who does not use his pistol when the enemy is on top of him and his gun is jammed or it is no longer possible to use it profitably, deserves no better fate than that which he will probably get, that is, immediate death.

When conditions are such that the opportunity for the proper use of the pistol in the near future appears probable, every man armed with the pistol should so place his weapon that it can be used in the minimum of time. What this position will be will depend on the circumstances. It may be on the parapet alongside the gunner, or on the flap of the carrier’s musette, or in the holster.

For the average man, 25 yards may be taken as the maximum range at which the pistol should be fired. To fire at longer ranges will usually result in no casualties for the enemy but only an empty pistol at the crucial moment. This does not apply to a very small percentage of expert shots, but a man should be quite sure that he can be classed as such before violating the general rule.”

Boy that sure is sage advice, and for all handgun operators, not just 1911s.  Things haven’t changed much in those many years.  I don’t mind being told that I’m not Jerry Miculek.  Because I’m not.

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