Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 15 Comments

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here. In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning. It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling "committed Christians") who do not hold one or…… [read more]

Do Shotgun Slugs Deserve Another Chance?

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Field & Stream.

At my gun club’s range the other day, one of the other members let me shoot a couple of his straight-wall deer rifles. He told me that before he found the right bullets, he had lost a couple of well-hit deer. I was sympathetic, because losing a deer hurts, but part of me thought That never happened with slugs. Maybe the shotgun slug deserves another chance before it lumbers off to extinction.

Extinction definitely seems to be where deer slugs are headed. My local store, located in the middle of good Iowa deer country, used to sell as many scoped 20-gauge Remington 1100 packages as they could put together before deer season. Now, it’s hard to find a slug gun in the rack there, but there are plenty of .45-70 lever actions, ARs in .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster, and a few bolt-action rifles, too.

I get it. Rifles are cool in a way that slug guns aren’t. Shotguns are bulky and heavy, and they can kick hard with slugs. They aren’t as accurate as rifles are, either. On the plus side, at real-world whitetail hunting ranges, slugs make big holes in deer. Often they make one hole going in and another on the way out. The blood trails are short and easy to follow.

Back when I started deer hunting in the early 80s, everyone ganged up and drove woodlots. Deer drives often result in shots at walking and running deer. I saw deer shot in some creative places, and learned that while it’s possible to hit a deer with a slug without killing it, it’s not an easy thing to do. I could never manage to do it.

[ … ]

As deer hunting became a bigger deal, and a bigger business, gun and ammo makers spent a lot of time making slugs shoot more accurately. Rifled barrels and slugs encased in plastic sabots came along in the late 80s and early 90s, and after twenty years or so of constant R&D and improvement, slug guns could shoot 1-2 inch groups at 100 yards. Even I could shoot a group I could cover with my hand at 200 yards with the right gun and ammo (Ithaca Deerslayer III, Winchester XP3), although for shooting at deer under any but ideal conditions, 150 yards is a better maximum range for sabots and rifled shotguns.

While it’s true that sabot slugs aren’t as big around as full-bore slugs, they’re still big. Most 12 gauge slugs are loaded with .50 caliber bullets. Even 20 gauges have .45 caliber bullets, and in my experience with them, they expand impressively.

Well, I think shotguns are pretty cool too.  With the thin barrel I don’t find shotguns heavy unless it’s a very long barrel (like duck, goose or upland bird gun), and in that case, hunt with a tactical shotgun.  I watched a guy use a Benelli M4 and put slugs on a fist size target at 100 yards.  Of course, his shoulder was bruised at the end of the day.

Shotgun Stance

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

We covered this in a very interesting and informative video before with a competition shotgun shooter.  It may be useful to go back and watch his video.  He’s a winner, so what he says is worth listening to.

This analysis at Shooting Illustrated adds to the discussion.

In general, dedicated shotgun-sports shooters (trap, skeet and sporting clays) take on a feet-close-together, straight-legged, weak-leg-forward stance, with the toes pointing 45 degrees to the target, 95 percent of the weight over the front foot. Such a stance allows wingshooters to swing the shotgun by more-or-less pirouetting on the front foot while using the toe of the rear foot as a rudder for balance. This tall, elegant stance is deceiving, because while it doesn’t look aggressive, most of the shooter’s body weight can be thrust into the shotgun at the shot, thereby counteracting the forces of recoil. However, there are obvious reasons why this stance isn’t the most practical for home defenders.

[ … ]

Some military and law-enforcement personnel are trained to shoot a shotgun much like they do a carbine, which is to say their feet are square to the target, shoulder-width apart, toes pointed toward the target, torso square to the target but leaning over slightly so the weight is divided 50/50 over the balls of each foot. This allows operators to maximize peripheral vision and to walk and move in any direction. The squared-chest orientation maximizes body armor’s protection. For most civilian home defenders, however, this stance can be disastrous.

First, most home defenders do not wear body armor. Second, a shotgun loaded with 00 buck has up to 10 times the recoil of a 5.56 NATO carbine, so recoil is a real issue. For all but the biggest, brutish shooters, three shots in succession from a square stance can rock a shooter so far backward that they may fall. (Try it for yourself.) I believe this stance was dogmatically taught to some military types to conform to other curriculum being taught at the time, such as dynamic entry, where moving smoothly and facing the enemy was paramount. These days, however, I see more shotgun-savvy military and law-enforcement shooters adopting a slightly more staggered, hybrid stance of 55/45 (front foot/rear foot) weight distribution. Even so, they keep the torso square to the target as much as possible.

[ … ]

The preferred shotgun stance of professional 3-gun shooters is offense-oriented. Most of these shooters assume a staggered stance where one foot is in front of the other, knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, torso bladed 40 degrees and bent forward at the waist so that 70 percent of their weight is forward. From this position, they can run, stop and fire multiple times while absorbing recoil and mitigating muzzle flip so they can get the maximum number of shots on target in the least amount of time.

However, there are a couple of significant differences between pro 3-gunners and home defenders: First, 3-gunners don’t have to consider retreating. This enables them to commit more to a weight-forward stance geared for shooting quickly, instinctively and accurately. Additionally, 3-gunners must focus on shooting 10 to 15 shots as fast as possible, mandating their weight be aggressively forward. But, this high-volume “running and gunning” is unrealistic for home defenders.

So then, the best stance for most home defenders—one that promotes a compromise between fast and accurate shooting while maintaining great balance and mobility—is one where the stance is slightly staggered, with the toe of the right foot in line with the heel of the left, feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing 30-degrees to the target, knees bent, chest slightly bladed 25 degrees and the torso bent forward at the waist so 65 percent of the weight is over the balls of the feet. However, during the actual shot, you may find that more weight should be shifted (shotgunners call it “throwing your weight”) forward as much as 80 percent to counteract recoil before being shifted back as soon as the recoil impulse is finished.

But, people, circumstances and shotguns are all a little different. The most important thing is to find and develop a shotgun stance that works best for you. Tactical guys say squared, wingshooters say 90-percent-weight forward, 3-gunners say bladed; I say use what works for you.

I don’t think it’s possible to stay “squared” (aggressive plates forward) and get off quick multiple shots with a 12 gauge shotgun on target.

I think he’s essentially saying what our professional shotgun competitor said in the video.  But it all requires practice.

Do Rifled Shotgun Slugs Require a Rifled Barrel?

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 1 week ago

I didn’t know this was a “myth” to be busted.

What? No Love For Shotguns?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

Field and Stream:

I heard the following story at SHOT from a friend in the industry:

A man walked into a gunstore looking for 5.56 ammo for his AR. As is not uncommon these days, the store was out.

“How about that box of ammo there? I’ll take it,” said the customer, pointing to a lone box of .416 Rigby on the nearly empty shelf.

“Do you have a .416 Rigby rifle?” asked the clerk.

“Nope,” said the man, reaching for his wallet. “I’ll take it anyway.”

Whether the story is true as in “it actually happened” I don’t know, but it rings true enough. There are lots of stories of people going to gunstores with $1,200 in their pocket looking for an AR. When they can’t find one they just buy a gun – any gun – a bolt action, a muzzleloader, whatever.

My local store has been out of Ruger 10/22 rimfires for months and can’t get more. There was a lone pink-stocked ugly duckling of a 10/22 that remained unsold after all the others were gone, but someone probably realized they could put an aftermarket stock on it and snapped it up. Or maybe they painted it or are just shooting it in the pink. Who knows?

The unfortunate thing from my point of view is, aside from guns for 3-gun, home defense and zombie shooting*, shotguns are not getting much love in this current buying frenzy. I did find enough to fill a gallery we’ll be posting soon, but rifles and handguns are where it’s at these days, sad to say. 

One commenter says “That’s because the nimrods out there buying ARs and high cap pistols don’t know much about home defense. If they did they would buy a short barreled shot gun and load it up with 00 buck. one of the very best home defense guns out there. This is just the start of what is to come. With all these dumbshits out there buying guns and have no idea how to use them. No training, no nothing !! BTW did any one see how high the prices are going?? Gun stores are making money by the handfuls, so thank-you Mr president.”

Well, yes, but also no.  The commenter isn’t aware of or doesn’t care to acknowledge that the AR is a legitimate home defense weapon.  But besides that, I’m not so sure about the author’s thesis.  If there was “no love for shotguns,” they should be more available than there are and still be about the same price.

A couple of months ago I stopped by Shooter’s Express in Belmont, N.C., to do some range practice with my daughter.  I had been looking for the best price on a Mossberg 930 SPX.  I found it at Shooter’s, for $620.  I was tempted to put down some money right then and get this on layaway.  But, I reasoned, it’ll be there in a month or two.

Right.  One of the worst decisions in recent memory.  The last time I checked they were asking around $1000 for this same shotgun (it’s probably gone today).  And as for availability, there isn’t a semi-automatic shotgun within 100 miles of here (I say 100 miles because I haven’t been beyond that).  None.  Not even at the best gun shops.

I might go to the upcoming gun show to see what’s there, but you know how that goes.  Ninety nine out of one hundred shows are worthless, and you have to have money anyway.  I’m tapped out.  But I still want my Mossberg 930.  I really do.  The only way I’ll ever have a Benelli is if they give me one for doing a review for them.  This blog has a page rank of five.  If it was ten, maybe I’d stand a chance at that.

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