Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

GPal

October 8, 2010

For those who don’t yet know, GPal, the 2nd-Amendment-friendly payment provider similar to PayPal, has been having some issues. There really is a whole lot going on there, and it will take too long to explain everything, although I do want to try my hand at putting together a journalistic post which ties everything together. I am nowhere near that point yet. So far, however, I have been helping to accumulate information at the “GPal Info” wiki:

http://gpalinfo.com

I do not own the wiki and I did not create the wiki; however, I am (so far) the major contributor. As I said, at this point I am just trying to grab facts from various forums (Calguns.net and castboolits.gunloads.com, to name the major two sources) and put them into some sort of organized, “one-stop-shop” for information. There is so much info out there that this is a major task. However, I wanted to make a post about it here, partially to verify to any skeptical Calgunners that I am, in fact, Gun Blobber and have been publishing this Gun Blob for a couple of years now. I have been posting as “gunblobber” on the Calguns forums, and I am proud to say that I achieved one of my goals when I got an informational post stickied to the top of the GPal forum on Calguns.net.

My main goal is to get GPal stopped until they get their problems fixed (if that ever happens). To put it succinctly, the problem with GPal is that they are having problems making payments out to people’s banking accounts. People who have money in their GPal accounts can’t get it out. This has been going on for months and has affected many vendors, both in the 2nd Amendment community and elsewhere. SOME people are getting their money, but usually it is only after weeks or months of waiting, and after several calls/emails/support forum requests to GPal. (It is my experience, and that of many others, that the phone support line is never answered, and e-mails usually go unanswered as well.)

My secondary goal is to alleviate the problem by publishing any factual information that I can dredge up about the GPal situation. The more people know about GPal, its founder Ben Cannon, and his various and tangled relationships with Calguns and other organizations, the better they can direct their energies in a positive way instead of speculating. Knowing at least a little bit of what’s going on is always better than not knowing. So that’s why I’ve contributed to the GPal Info wiki, and why I have posted a lot of questions on the Calguns forums.

You Gotta Fight for your Right to Carry

July 27, 2010

Apologies to the Beastie Boys… but only minor apologies, as I know they probably won’t agree with the sentiment of these lyrics. I churned this out in about 20 minutes, and parts of it are still a little clunky, so I’m open to suggestions. Really the song could use as many verses or couplets as we can come up with, so feel free to contribute. I only made 3 verses because that’s all the original song has. I also referred to the original lyrics (in structure and actual wording) as much as possible, which ended up being almost every line. So if there’s some things that seem a bit out of left field, and you’re not familiar with the original song, look up the lyrics.

You got a basic right to self-defense
You ask the gov’ment “please?” but they just act dense!
You got a clean record, passed the training class
But the jerks preach that power don’t belong to the mass

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

Mayor Daley says your gun can’t leave your yard
That hypocrite has five bodyguards!
Man, leavin’ guns at home is such a drag
My defense comes in a fifteen-round mag

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

Don’t step outta that house if ya wanna self-protect
Trust police to take care of any kinda threat
Gun grabbers busted in and said “We’re gonna take ‘em”
Helmke’s just jealous of our basic freedom

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

EBR Gun Porn

February 1, 2010

I decided to do a little photo comparo of my EBR’s.  I recently bought the Sig 556 and will be selling my AR-15 to (somewhat) make up for it.  There is a $300 rebate on the 556’s right now, so if you want one, now is a good time to get it.  I have other AR lowers and want some specific configurations for future builds, but the Sig pretty much replaces my current AR-15 in the gun lineup. I will be replacing the 556’s “fishgill” handguards with the newer “Classic” 551-style versions.


From left to right: Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 9mm with Sig mag compatibility; Hungarian AMD-65 AK; Romanian “G” AK; SIG 556; AR-15.

I really wanted to compare the overall length and folded length of the folders:


There is a magazine under the folded SIG 556, as the pistol grip is too angled for the folded gun to rest on the rear of the receiver without falling over. Of course, the AR doesn’t fold, but I wanted to show it at its shortest possible overall length. The AK and the 556 can fire when folded; the Sub-2000 cannot. FYI, the AR-15 with the fully collapsed stock is roughly 32.5″ in length; the SIG, when folded, is 26″ from the front of the barrel to the back of the receiver, or roughly 27.5″ if you include the angled pistol grip in the OAL; and the AMD-65 is roughly 25″ to the back of the receiver (the little nub on the pistol grip probably adds 1/4″ to that, if you want to get really precise).

I just bought the SIG a few days ago and therefore have not put any rounds through it. My AR-15 is a Del-Ton 16″ midlength kit built on an Aero Precision lower. I will be moving the EOTech to the 556 and putting the dinky SigTac holosight on my 10/22. I like the AR-15 platform and will definitely have more AR’s in the future. I definitely prefer the midlength gas system over the carbine gas system (for a 16″ barrel, of course). However, Del-Ton only offers midlength barrels in a straight profile heavy barrel version, which, as the name implies, is HEAVY. I would really prefer a midlength with a lighter profile barrel. However, I think I prefer the midlength with a heavy barrel over an M4-style carbine with a lighter barrel. The barrel on the civvy 16″ M4’s just doesn’t look right sticking out that far past the handguards…. and IMO it’s not reasonable to pay the SBR tax for a rifle with a 14.5″ barrel. I haven’t weighed the SIG vs. my AR yet, but I have to say they feel very close in balance and in overall weight. The SIG barrel is lighter profile, but that’s made up by the piston system. So I think it’s pretty fair to say that the SIG and the AR-15 both fit the same operational profile (16″ barrel, 5.56×45, pretty much the same weight and size) which is why I will be getting rid of the AR, for now. I do like the SIG, but I doubt that I will get any more of them (although the pistol and DMR versions both look awesome, as does the new “patrol” model in SBR variation).

For any of you who doubt that the SIG 556 is really just an AK in AR clothing — take a look at the bolts and carriers:

Yep, that’s the same huge extractor; the same cutout for the same fixed ejector; the same 2 locking lugs. The operating system of the SIG is pretty much 100% AK with a few refinements. So, for those of you playing along at home, here’s how to make a SIG 556 by combining the best aspects of the AK and AR:

1) Take an aluminum AR-15 lower receiver. The buttstock can fold because it’s not a working part of the action.
2) Take a steel AK receiver and turn it upside down, omitting the magwell and FCG. This means that the bolt carrier rails are now on the bottom of the receiver instead of the top. Also, you now have a solid top receiver to mount optics on, instead of the flimsy receiver cover.
3) Chop off the AK’s gas piston and charging handle. Make a new gas piston with the recoil spring captive around the piston. Machine the bolt carrier so that the gas piston can be inserted into it and locked into place by inserting the charging handle completely through the bolt carrier. If that was totally unclear, refer to the photo above. The silver bolt carrier belongs to the 556. The hole to the left side of the image is where the bolt slides in. The hole to the right side of the image is where the gas piston is inserted. The charging handle, when inserted, acts as a pin to hold it in place.
4) Add a rotating 2-position gas valve to the AK’s gas block.
5) Profit.

I will probably do another photo series soon to show how to break down the 556 and exactly how it works. For now, here are a couple of final photos. First of my SIG family (556 and 2x 226’s) and then the 226’s on their own.


Al Roker: Armed in America

November 23, 2008

Apparently this is a special that will air tonight.  MSNBC.com has a few excerpts:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27811624#27811624 (MSNBC.com video player)

It seems to play up the illegal gun trade and doesn’t really mention legally-owned firearms by average citizens.  It interviews a bunch of ATF folks.  The piece on AK-47’s is not bad; the ATF guy being interviewed is definitely a “gun nerd”.  Doesn’t seem like a bad guy at all; he is careful to make the distinction between a “real” AK-47 (full-auto) and the typical civilian-available semi-auto AK’s.  None of the pieces that are online seem to perpetuate any of the typical MSM gun myths.  The piece on the improvised/converted firearms (pen guns, lighter guns, briefcase guns) is pretty interesting in its own right.  It would be cool to visit the ATF vault and just marvel at all the cool stuff they have.

“Illegal Guns”

June 12, 2008

A common trend in newspaper articles and quotes from politicos (seems to be the in-thing to do among Democrats who are trying to back away from their strong anti-gun stance) is to refer to “illegal guns” when really they mean “guns being used or carried illegally”.  The truly illegal guns (full-auto, sawed-off or otherwise short-barreled, etc.) are pretty freaking rare in my experience (except in places like DC and Chicago where broad categories of guns are illegal, of course).  This is a major language problem, and we in the gun rights community should fight it at every step.  In conversation: “What, exactly, is an illegal gun?”  “Can you explain what makes it illegal?”  Being sold, used, or carried in an illegal manner does not make the gun itself illegal.

Scenario: Some felon obtains an everyday pump shotgun.  His ownership of the gun is illegal.  The gun itself is not.  If he sells it to a person who is not prohibited from owning firearms, there is nothing illegal with the situation (although the felon could be prosecuted for having owned a gun when he was not allowed to).  The gun itself is not the illegal part.

Every time I see yet another op-ed about “illegal guns on the streets,” I bang my head against the desk.

weird

May 22, 2008

A good Slate video on shooting guns in Manhattan. Even though it’s under the “Vice Capades” label, the piece itself is good-humored, and all participants seem to enjoy shooting very much. There’s a group of (sexy, young) women out on a “girl’s night” with a “Charlie’s Angels” theme, and a young couple on a date. Quote from the couple: (guy) “I didn’t want to be another dinner and a movie guy.” (girl) “This is the best date I’ve been on, actually.”

Looks like they’re all shooting stainless/black synthetic 10/22’s (or a similar semi-auto .22LR… I don’t know enough about the various Marlins, etc. to be able to tell the difference).

Range Report

April 19, 2008

I went to the range yesterday for the first time in a good long while. I meant to shoot my new AK’s, but the range didn’t like the ammo I brought, so they will have to wait. So I shot my Sig Mosquito for the first time and also my P226.

I brought 4 or 5 different brands of .22 ammo to try in the Mosquito. The Mosquito comes with 2 different recoil springs, one for normal velocity ammo and the other for high velocity ammo. Well, I tried both springs with all the normal velocity ammo, and neither one would make my usual .22 ammo (Remington Golden Bullet) cycle worth a damn. I tried two boxes of Winchester Super-X. The first box went fine, the second one had random trouble, starting off with the first round in the mag but then it got progressively worse. Maybe I should try it again, being careful to rack the slide all the way back rather than simply actuating the slide catch to chamber the first round. Anyway, this is probably no surprise to anybody, but the only ammo that would cycle with 100% reliability was CCI Mini-Mag. I shot 200 rounds of it with no problems. I would have shot more, but I felt that it was insultingly expensive at the range I was using ($8/box).

Then I switched to my P226. I have 10 15-round mags (stocked up when I found them for $20) and one 20-round mag. First surprise: I really liked shooting with the 20-rounder. It’s nice to have that little extra bit on the bottom to grab hold of with the left hand. I have been getting more and more comfortable with “cupping” the bottom two fingers of my left hand around the bottom of the right, but it’s nice to be able to wrap them around the extended mag. Anyway, I went through all 11 mags twice, meaning a total of 340 rounds of 9mm. Ammo was purchased reloads through a local reloading business. This was my first time shooting this ammo, but it all worked great, and I will definitely buy from them again. (Once again an extended range trip with no failure of any kind from my P226. Next to me was a lady with a brand-new custom-job compact Kimber that her husband got her for her birthday. Really pretty gun. She had at least two jams. *sigh*) All appear to be Winchester brass, with 115gr ball ammo. I think the guy said that it’s UMC. Whether because of the shape of the bullet itself or the seating depth, the overall length is noticeably shorter than my usual Winchester White Box 115gr ball.

During that long session, I would say that I definitely improved. This was all off-hand, two-handed grip in a Chapman stance (didn’t know that until I just looked it up…. thought it was a Weaver, but I lock my right arm straight). I kept everything at the same distance…. it wasn’t marked, but I think it was either 5 yards or 7 yards. The dumb kid at the range desk didn’t know exactly. And there were some variations — I tried to stop the motorized target-holder thingy at the same mark each time, but it’s an inexact science. Anyway, here are my best targets of the day:

Top-left target is the final target with the Mosquito. (Only pay attention to the 10 holes on the Shoot-N-C…. others were from earlier.) Not entirely happy with it, but it was my first time shooting it, and it’s a little small for my hand. Bottom-left target is from just unloading with the P226. I can’t remember how many mags this was – at least 5. You can put a lot of ammo downrange pretty quickly if you have enough loaded magazines! The silhouette target is 3 consecutive mags (15-rounders) with the P226, taking my time but not dragging my feet. First mag shot into the middle, gave me a 4 1/2″ grouping or 3 1/2″ if I drop the flyer. Second mag was shot into the head, group is 8 1/2″ (one flyer in the neck covered up by the other target) or 3 1/4″ dropping the flyer. Third mag was aimed at the “7” at the bottom of the target, 4″ group or 2 1/2″ without the flyer. The first four shots of that group were within about an inch. I was so excited. The target on the right was my final one of the day. I was really happy with the results of the silhouette target, so for this last one I shot two 15-round mags fairly rapidly. You can see that I hit the Shoot-N-C with all but 3 shots.

You may also notice that my shots tend left. I guess I need to adjust my sights.

So, there it is. I am posting this here for two reasons: 1) to make a record for myself to check my progress over time; 2) to get a “sanity check” on what’s considered “good enough” or what kind of groups a well-trained shooter will get with similar pistol and ammo at similar distances. Say 5 or 7 yards. I am not talking competition-level here, I just mean somebody who’s good with a pistol. I want to get better; I am still practically a novice. But at the same time I wonder how much better I can get, practically speaking. I guess the goal will be to have those 2 1/2″ to 3″ groups *every* target, and then work up my speed. I think that I’ve only gone to the range with my pistol 10 times or so. I haven’t really been keeping track, but that sounds about right over the past year. I have had one instruction session from an older friend who was a state champion pistol shooter in his younger years.

This is way longer than I wanted it to be. I’ll just cut it off here and ask, broadly, for advice.

When to stop?

March 29, 2008

This entry is going to be more of a journal type entry. Just my thoughts on my current gun ownership situation. It’s going to be a long one.

I picked up my AK’s today at the FFL. I also bought a Swiss K.31 and a 480-pack of GP-11 ammo for it.

I really like my AK’s. I got one Romanian (not a WASR; a G-code built on an NDS receiver) and one Yugo. People say that the Yugo is better quality; it may be. It is certainly heavier, and that’s actually one of the reasons why I prefer the Romy. It just feels so right. All this evening I have been picking it up and cradling it in my arms like a baby. The length of pull isn’t optimal for actually shouldering, but the end of the buttstock fits perfectly in the crook of my elbow when I hold the gun across my chest. Plus there’s the fact that it just looks so evil. It’s got a curved forward grip that mimics the curve of the 30-round mag. It’s got a slash-style muzzle brake. It’s wonderfully evil-looking. I really don’t think that any AR can compete. The front handguard is finished nicely, but the buttstock is kind of raw. The color is dark enough, but it doesn’t have that shiny finish like the front. So I will definitely be working on that. I guess I need some polyurethane?

I have put the Yugo SKS Bubba project on the back burner. I am not sure if I will ever finish it, actually. It is in a shoot-able state right now (well, it would be if I put it all together), but it doesn’t have all of its compliance parts, and after getting a couple of AK’s I’m kind of wondering what’s the point of making the SKS into something it isn’t? I am happy with the quality of the Tapco T-6 stock (M4 carbine-style collapsible buttstock) and the Tapco 20-round magazines (really nice mags BTW) but the gun just balances horribly. It just feels so muzzle-heavy, and that’s even after I Dremel’d off the grenade launcher, bayonet lug, grenade sights and whever else I could without shortening the barrel past the front sight. (Remember, this gun was in horrible condition when I bought it, so I don’t have any bad feelings about modifying it.) Maybe I will try my hand at refinishing the original wooden stock (as practice for my AK’s) and then restore it to its original state (less the Dremel work, of course) and sell the Tapco stock.

I also have another Yugo SKS in primo, never-fired rearsenaled condition as well as my Russian SKS. Even with its proper wooden furniture, the Yugo just feels so clumsy in comparison with the Russian. It’s too long (on the muzzle end; the half-inch-or-so buttpad is a welcome addition) and has too much stuff on it.

Anyway, the addition of 3 long guns to my arsenal forced my hand with regards to storage. I went and bought the cheapest gun cabinet I could find ($75). It is partially for security (it’s not horribly sturdy, but it’s heavy enough when loaded that you’d need a hand truck to get it out of the apartment and down the stairs) but at least as much for simply storing everything neatly. It has enough capacity to fit most of my long guns, but I keep the shotgun behind the bedroom door, and now I’m keeping the Romy AK next to the bookshelf here in my office (no kids around, FYI). It’s a definite improvement over the “leaning tower of guns in soft cases in the corner” and it’s also got me thinking. Thinking about what do I really want guns for anyway? The real purpose is, and always has been, self-defense. In all senses: home invasion, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, tyrannical government, foreign invasion, you name it. Yes, I love the mechanical aspect of it all (IMO gun collecting is kind of a “poor man’s car collecting” in that sense… yes, guns can get expensive, but even the expensive ones are still cheaper than most cars) and I also like going out and shooting, although I’m kind of a cheap bastard, and I don’t like spending all that money on ammo and range fees.

I also have a “Be Prepared” mentality. Call it paranoid if you want. Call it a “can’t-turn-down-a-good-deal” mental illness. I like to get things before I might need them, even if I never end up needing them. And then I *keep* them. I am a hoarder. To me it’s just easier to keep something even if I don’t want or need it. I have trouble throwing stuff away. I have made an effort to sell some of my extraneous belongings recently, but it’s kind of a hassle. Unfortunate fact of life: It’s easier to buy things than to sell things. I’ve got 6 fully-working computers sitting around that I never use (4 desktops, 2 laptops) on top of the 2 that I use regularly (1 desktop, 1 laptop) and another one that I keep around for gaming and therefore don’t use much. Not to mention the 2 1U servers that I have yet to install at the colocation facility. At the moment, two of the extraneous computers are listed on Craigslist, but 3 of them will *never* be sold just because of feelings of nostalgia. I know that it’s horribly stupid to feel emotionally attached to pieces of metal and silicon, but there it is. I also have 13 spare hard drives stacked up on my bookshelf. This is not counting the ones inside working computers or the 5 in external enclosures. They range in size from 20GB to 160GB. Some of them work, some of them don’t. All of them were in use at one point, but have been replaced. I have gone through from time to time and copied their contents to bigger drives, but I still hold on to them “just in case” I missed something. Ridiculous.

So now back to the guns. At the moment, I have 15 firearms, by the federal definition; 2 handguns, 3 stripped AR-15 lowers, and 10 assembled long guns. All of them are what I would consider “shooters” but obviously some will be shot more than others. How many more do I want, and for what purposes? How many more do I need? I have a lot of bases covered already. What bases don’t I have covered? I.e. what should I buy in order to feel like I have everything I “need”? First off, I don’t think that any of my current guns needs duplicative redundancy. I.e., I don’t need to own more than one of the exact same gun just to have a spare in case one breaks. Almost all of the guns that I own are known for their reliability. Keeping a few extra springs and extractors around should be pretty much all that I need (backup optics are another story). So, what do I think I “need” to have a well-rounded, practical gun collection?

1) More handguns. Namely, a small carry piece (was going to be a Kel-Tec P-3AT, but now I think I’ll wait for the Ruger version) and a revolver or two (.357mag/.38spl). At that point I will feel pretty well covered on the handgun front. I don’t have any problem keeping my P226 as my bedside gun for as long as I need to. It’s as easy and reliable as a double-action revolver IMO. It is kept in a holster with a snap-buckle, with a round chambered and the hammer down. It has no safety, so all that’s necessary is to unholster it and pull the trigger.

2) A semi-auto battle rifle in .30-06 or .308. A Garand, FAL, M1A, something like that. I am looking into CMP-affiliated gun clubs around here so that I can get a Garand from the CMP. This works because I already have a large stash of .30-06.

3) Kits for my AR lowers. Current plans: 1 M4gery, 1 A2-style, 1 24″ bull barrel varminter. All of those would be in 5.56 NATO. I am also keeping my eye on the alternative chambering situation in the AR platform. I am very interested in an AR in 7.62×39 as it would use common ammo with a lot of my other guns. C Products has some mags that a lot of people like, and supposedly they are working on higher-capacity ones. If the mag situation works out, I would almost definitely choose 7.62×39 for the M4gery. 6.8SPC and especially 6.5Grendel really interest me as well. I am taking a “wait and see” approach here as I would really like to see the 6.5G catch on, but it looks like 6.8SPC might win out, although how big of a dent it makes in the marketplace remains to be seen.

4) More shotguns. My Rem 870 Express with 28″ barrel does it all, but none of it well. I need a shorter barrel and longer mag for home defense. I can’t remember whose site it was, but last week sometime I read one gun blogger’s home-defense setup. He had as many cheap Rem/Mossberg/etc. pump shotguns as he had rooms in his house. Each one was hung over the inside of the closet door, where his kids couldn’t reach and where it would be unobtrusive. Each one also had its safety off and hammer down over an empty chamber, so no buttons would need to be pressed to rack the action and fire (thus avoiding confusion between the different brands). I feel that this is a sound idea, so I will definitely be buying some of the Mossberg Mavericks that are so easy to come by around here (less than $200). Edit: Found the site again. Xavier. Lots and lots of good info over there.

All of the above are “definitely will buy at some point.” Some of them may take years.

Now we get to the “Wants.” Stuff that I won’t ever “need” but I will still probably buy anyway to satisfy my collector’s impulse.

First, the milsurps. I would love to have more SKS’s to round out my collection. Pretty much one from every country that made them. Probably one K98. One or more Swedish M96. I want to run the easily-obtainable gamut of Mosin-Nagants: a couple of M44’s and a couple of M91/30’s. Maybe some more K31’s. Some form of Lee-Enfield in .303. And an M1903. Definitely an M1 Garand and maybe an M1 Carbine too. More AK’s would always be nice, but I’m pretty happy with what I have now. The problem is that most of these are simply impractical. They are like baseball cards that can shoot projectiles. The fun is more in the collecting and fondling than the shooting (because having to keep up with so many calibers is a pain).

Next, the handguns. I really love my P226 and would love to have a full brace of Sigs. A P229 and P239 in 9mm, as well as a P220 in .45ACP. A CZ75 in 9mm. (I will at least try to stick with 9mm and .45ACP in auto-loaders and .38Spl/.357Mag in revolvers.) An XD, a couple of 1911’s, a couple of Glocks, a German-made PPK/S in .380, a Hi-Power, a Buckmark and a Ruger .22. Hmmm…. I really don’t know that much about revolvers. It seems that S&W has a bewildering array of past and current guns. I would want a couple of those. Also a Colt SAA or a clone. Plus a big .44Mag for hunting or wilderness defense, and a Ruger Single Six.

Now, the non-milsurp long guns. Sig 556. A bolt-action .243. BAR in .30-06. Marlin 336 and/or Winchester 1894 in .30-30. A CZ 550 in 6.5×55 Swedish with a Mannlicher stock. A bolt-action .308 with really nice optics, and the same in .338 Lapua. A .22 pump, a .22 semi, and a .22 bolt. A 12-gauge over/under and semi-auto. Same in 20-gauge.

Ok…. I’ve pretty much run the gamut of every “reasonable” (i.e., not NFA, not multiple thousands of dollars expensive) gun that I’ve ever coveted. Now the question is how will I weigh my wants vs. needs? The biggest problem is the milsurp situation. Those guns aren’t being made any more. Yes, there were millions made in some cases, but they’re not being made any more, and as soon as the distributors run out and they’re all in private hands, the prices will go up ridiculously. We have seen it happen recently with the SKS’s. It will happen sooner or later with all milsurps. And it’s a similar situation with the milsurp ammo. 7.62x54R is apparently already drying up, and supposedly so is the 7.5×55 Swiss. So, based on my perception of the market, I think it’s safe to say that a fair number of my “wants” will be fulfilled before all of my “needs” because I can get some of my “wants” fairly cheaply now whereas I might not be able to in the future. Also there is the cost differential among all of these things. Obviously I will probably buy 4 $100 Mosin-Nagants before I spend $600 on a CZ or $800 on a BAR. And I also need to weigh Guns vs. Everything Else. I.e., buying a house, land, new(er) cars, supporting kids when they come around, etc. The past few months I have been on a gun-buying binge. I have been buying them 2 or 3 at a time. Also I have been buying lots of ammo. I can afford it all (I’m not going into debt or anything) but it means that I’m putting off saving for other important things.

So at the moment I feel that my current collection is really all that I need or is warranted for potential home defense, SHTF, or even TEOTWAWKI purposes (with the exception of a home-defense shotgun and the Ruger .380 as discussed above). My apartment is small enough that a single shotgun and handgun will cover most conceivable situations, and the AK’s will be plenty for SHTF situations, and the Rem 700 is great for hunting. I feel comfortable with my ammo situation as well, although with the addition of 2 new guns firing 7.62×39 I guess I should pick up another 1000 rounds or so.

So now I get to the crux of this post. All of this has been a build-up to the question asked in the title: When to stop? How much is enough? I am obviously fairly new to this whole Gun Thing, and perhaps I’ve gone overboard in my recent gun buying. But at least now I’m to the point where I can look around me and say that I don’t see much of a point in buying any more guns. For SHTF+ situations, I’m now far more concerned with how the hell I’d get out of here, and where I’d go, than I am with being undergunned. And I really don’t have much of an answer to either of those questions. I can reach my parents’ house (barely) on a single tank of gas, but except for living in a less-populated area they’re not really much better off than I am. My goal is to buy some land, and then build a house, out in the country somewhere. And, for now at least, that goal outweighs the goal of owning all of those guns I listed above.

So I ask you, dear readers (if you’ve gotten this far): How have you struck the balance in your own lives? I know that in many cases, the spousal situation does its own balancing for you, but I’m single, so my finances aren’t being monitored by anyone but myself. I know that many of you have been doing this for many years. How have you made your decisions? How often do you usually buy guns? What affects your buying choices? I have a vision in my head of what a well-balanced gun collection will look like. I don’t want to go too in-depth in any single type of gun. I do want to have representative copies of all the major military rifles from the past century. I want to try to limit my caliber selection so I don’t have 50 different types of ammo. What does your ideal collection look like? Is it realistically achievable for you? Are you working towards it currently? What is your over-arching goal for your gun collection? Do you worry much about SHTF? How is your gun collection doing in this regard vs. the other parts of your life?

Thanks for reading. I really just needed to get this all out of my head so that I can sort it out a bit better for myself. I would appreciate comments or trackbacks on this topic. I would like some guidance here.

slo-mo gun pr0n

March 28, 2008

Wow. Some guy has been at work with a high-speed camera and a couple of M1A’s. He was looking to settle a dispute as to whether the action starts cycling before or after the bullet has exited the barrel:

Cool things to look for: 1) The barrel oscillations in the first vid after the bullet has left the barrel. Look at that thing wobble! 2) The rotating bolt doing its thing in all 3 videos (easiest to see in 3rd video, then watch the other two again). 3) Slow-mo brass flying through the air is awesome :D It reminds me of a satellite being launched from the space shuttle.

I’m actually kind of surprised by the results. It really does appear that the action stays motionless until after the bullet has passed the muzzle. Definitely seems counter-intuitive to me. How is there enough pressure in the barrel after the bullet is gone, etc. I guess it’s mostly just due to inertia. The forces have started to act on the op-rod before the bullet leaves the barrel, but the op-rod just hasn’t really started to move yet. Any physicists want to clue me in? :D

edit: The same guy has some other videos too. He compares two S&W .38 Special revolvers, one an Airlight and one a normal weight. Check out the guy’s hand deforming under recoil with the Airlight! And on the normal weight one, you can safely skip all but the last 30 seconds of the video, unless you’re really interested in watching the hammer pull back one pixel at a time..

PSH over AKs

March 27, 2008

AK-47-type guns turn up more often in U.S. at MSNBC.

Beyond the typical sob stories, one about a 5-year-old’s birthday party being shot up by some gangstas with AK clones, and another about a cop killed on duty, there are a couple of choice quotes:

The numbers corroborate what police chiefs around the country have been saying: AKs and other so-called assault weapons are terrorizing their communities and endangering their officers.

Right, because guns are now terrorists.

Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from some other weapons, and often tumble, rotate, pancake or shatter, doing grievous damage to the body. Even then, they often still have enough energy to pass clear through the body.

Ok, now that’s just plain silly, although the reporter has an out with the “some other weapons” language. Let’s look at the numbers here. A typical 7.62x39mm cartridge will propel a 123gr bullet at 2365fps. (I’m not sure what barrel length was used to get these numbers, but most AK’s have 16-inch barrels, so it’s a fair bet that most AK’s would fire 7.62×39 slower than this.) A .243 caliber hunting rifle will propel at 100gr bullet at 2960fps. The .30-06 a 150gr bullet at 2910fps. In fact, if you look at the table at Chuck Hawks’ site, you will find that only a few rifles fire cartridges as slow as the 7.62×39. Namely, the .30 Carbine comes in at 1900fps, the .357 Magnum (really a pistol cartridge) at 1550fps, the .35 Rem at 2080fps, the .45-70 at 1810fps, plus a few others too esoteric to mention. (BTW what’s with the guys who call the 5.56x45mm the “Poodle Shooter” but who revere the .30 Carbine, a handgun round if there ever was one?) The 7.62x39mm is actually very similar in performance to another 7.62mm caliber cartridge, the venerable .30-30, perhaps the most common deer-hunting cartridge in this country (it definitely has the lead in terms of the numbers of guns sold, with the Winchester 1894 and Marlin 336 family holding the one and two spots, although not all of those guns were necessarily sold in .30-30, it is a good bet that a very solid majority of them were). The .30-30 fires a 150gr bullet at 2365fps.

So, truth be told, the 7.62x39mm ammo used in most AK-type weapons (at least they got that part of the article right instead of calling them all AK-47’s) is actually slower than most rifle rounds. Yes, almost all rifle rounds are faster than handgun rounds. That’s the whole point of that long-barrel, big-strong-action, too-heavy-to-carry-in-your-hand idea. You know, the very defining characteristics of a rifle. (And let me also point out that I really don’t have a problem with police having AR-15’s or whatever kind of rifle they feel like they should have. IMO the police should be allowed to have any civilian-legal weapon that they want. Whether that’s an AR-15, a Barrett .50 cal or whatever in between. I am dead-set against making special exceptions for full-auto guns, SBR’s, etc. for law enforcement. They should have to follow the law like the rest of us, even if the law is retarded and should be repealed or struck down in court.)

Now let’s look at the rest of the statement. Pancake, shatter, tumble, oh my! And on top of that, they’re powerful enough to pass right through! It’s obvious that the reporter doesn’t know much about guns at all. Pretty much all bullets are designed to do maximum damage to whatever soft tissue they hit (except for military bullets which are limited to FMJ because of various international treaties). The jury is still out on the science of all this, as you can tell by the never-ending debates among gun nuts about stopping power. It is pretty well established, however, that a bullet that will just “pass right through somebody” is actually the least lethal kind of bullet and usually denotes a failure on the part of the designer of the ammunition, or a failure to choose the right kind of ammo by the shooter. The exact same types of bullets can be used in practically any hunting cartridge.

Normal ammo clips hold 30 rounds, but higher-capacity ones are also available.

Sweet! A MSM outlet saying that normal capacity magazines (ahem) hold 30 rounds! Maybe we’re finally making some headway!

Also, that is a pretty badass stock photo of a guy firing his AK.  The bolt is fully back and the empty cartridge (I almost said brass) has just cleared the ejection port.  You can also see the smoke hanging around the muzzle.  The only way it’d be cooler is if it had caught the muzzle blast :)

In related news, I have ordered a couple of AK’s since I posted my gun list. They are on their way to my local FFL at this moment. I will refrain from discussing them immediately, but rest assured, you’ll get photos and a writeup at some point :)


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