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]

Some Useful Tests On Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Via David Hardy, some useful tests on suppressors.

For our testing purposes, we used a *Larson Davis Model LxT1-QPR Sound Level Meter.

We recorded both suppressed and non-suppressed readings, using the z-weighting method of measuring high pressure levels. This method of measurement is also referred to as linear or unweighted.

Unweighted is a more accurate method of evaluating potential hearing damage and is the best method to use when testing firearms. MIL-STD 1474D is considered the military standard for measuring sound. Following these standards, we placed the microphone 1 meter to the left of the muzzle and 1.6 meters above the ground, with the microphone pointing upward, at a 90 degree angle to the bore. All testing was completed away from any reflecting surfaces, as to not negatively affect the audio readings.

We compared five of the most popular handgun and rifle calibers available on the market today, testing 30 different SKUs of ammunition in the process. Then, we test fired five rounds suppressed and three unsuppressed with each brand of ammo to find an average dB level.

[ … ]

Unsuppressed, we recorded an average of 166-171 dB for the 16″ and 20″ AR15 rifles.  When shooting with a silencer, the levels come in at an average of  135-145dB. That’s an average reduction of 36dB between the unsuppressed and suppressed shots.

We observed a change of only 1-4dB between the two barrel lengths, both suppressed and unsuppressed.

Of all the rifle calibers tested, the loudest average unsuppressed measurement of 172.87 dB came from the 18” Ruger American Predator, firing .308 Win Federal Gold Medal Berger 185gr. OTM ammo. The same ammunition fired with a suppressor came in at an average of 148.4 dB.

[ … ]

We saw comparable results for 45 ACP as we did with 9mm. The average unsuppressed levels, which were some of the loudest results for the pistol calibers, came in at average of 165-167 dB, while the average suppressed levels came in 21-26 dB lower, ranging from 141-146 dB.

This is useful, but I do have one gripe with the data and the explanation.  An unweighted measurement of sound is not the best or most useful for evaluating hearing damage, regardless of what their cited Mil Std does or doesn’t say.

OSHA uses A-weighting because that is the weighting that most closely approximates the effect of frequency differences on the ear.  So does NIOSH, and ACGIH.  That’s what the military should be doing.

Everything You’re Not Supposed To Know About Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

A very good and informative video, well worth the time.

Trump’s Risk With Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

Breitbart:

Here are seven reasons why action against suppressors is politically risky:

  1. A Suppressor Has Been Used in One Mass Shooting — A suppressor was used on one of the two guns in the Virginia Beach mass shooting. In other words, of all the mass shootings and/or high profile shootings constantly beamed into homes via the establishment media, a suppressor was used in one of them.
  2. Police Still Heard the Gun Shots and Moved Toward Them to Find the Gunman — On May 31, Breitbart News reported Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera’s observation that police officers located the Virginia Beach gunman by moving toward the sound of his gun shots.
  3. Suppressors Are Not Silencers — The fact that police moved toward the sound of the gunman’s shots, and that witnesses recalled hearing shot after shot, illustrates the fact that suppressors are not silencers. Rather, they are mufflers that remove the dangerous, high pitches associated with a gun shot.
  4. Suppressors are Already the Most Highly Regulated Firearm Accessory in America — The acquisition of a suppressor requires the submission of fingerprints and photographs, and an in-depth background check. It requires the would-be buyer to pay a $200 federal tax and to register the suppressor with the government. The process of doing these things takes seven to nine months. The would-be buyer is then allowed to come in and receives a federal tax stamp, showing the suppressor is in the buyer’s name, and the buyer is then allowed to take possession of his suppressor.
  5. Suppressor Acquisition Involves Many of the Democrats’ Favorite Gun Controls — As seen in the above paragraph, acquiring a suppressor involves a background check and registration, as well as fingerprinting and photographing the buyer. Yet when these gun controls fail–even in a single instance–Democrats push for more, more, more.
  6. Suppressor Ownership is Legal in 42 States — The American Suppressor Association reports that suppressor ownership is legal in 42 states. Many of these states allow use of suppressors in hunting, for the noise-reducing benefits that hunters and the environment gain through suppression use.
  7. Smacks of Bump Stock Ban — The fact that suppressors are not silencers; that they have been used in only one mass shooting; that police in that shooting could still hear the gunshots and run toward them; that witnesses could hear the shots and run from them; and that suppressors are legal in 42 states (which only magnifies their infrequent use in crime) is reminiscent of the way bump stocks were banned after they were used only once in a crime. Ironically, the one criminal use of bump stocks, and the criminal use of suppressors, were related in that the accessories were legally purchased both instances, then used against citizens in a situation where the citizens could not shoot back.

This doesn’t even begin to touch the risk he faces, and there may be no way to mitigate the risk even now.

First of all, let me say that if suppressors completely silenced a gun shot, there still wouldn’t be a basis for banning them.  “Shall not be infringed” means what it says, and you and I know it.  I just hate it when people stipulate the high ground to the opposition, inasmuch as admitting that in certain circumstances it just may be a good idea to regulate something-or-other.

Trump has already alienated gun owners with: “Take them first, follow due process later”, his choice of AG, his choice of ATF head, his bump stock ban, and now his statement of hatred for suppressors.  With his bump stock ban he turned more than half a million peaceable men into felons overnight with the stroke of a pen.

He thinks, or he has been told by his idiot advisors, that stunts to appease the Fudds will fix his problems with being a gun control advocate.  His idiot advisors are wrong in the superlative degree, and he will find that out in little more than a year.

But I said that “it wouldn’t surprise me to see a bill pass the House and Senate headed for Trump’s desk to outlaw them completely, something that is no more than a muffler intended to save the hearing of target shooters and sportsmen.”

True to form, when the controllers see an opening and a weakness, they’re waiting to pounce.

Gun silencers like the one used in a recent lethal shooting in Virginia Beach would be banned under legislation that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey introduced Friday.

The Democrat unveiled the legislation at news conference in Trenton alongside Democratic Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora and representatives from the gun-control group Moms Demand Action.

Well, Mr. 3D-chess is in a pickle now, yes?  He’s gone on record saying that he hates suppressors, and that they are looking at what can be done.  The democrats have the House, and effectively the controllers hold the Senate.  They’ll send him a bill, and you can count on it.  What will he do then?

If he signs it, he will finish the alienation of the balance of the gun control crowd.  There are many more suppressor owners than bump stock owners.  If he doesn’t sign it, he’ll be pointed out as an inauthentic liar.

Does he even care at this point which it is?

Setting The Right Priorities To Defend The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks 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
5 months, 3 weeks 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
1 year, 3 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
2 years 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
2 years, 2 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
2 years, 2 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, 6 months 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.


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