Gun Show Report

Pretty much the same as the last time – busy and crowded. Anything semiautomatic and centerfire that takes a removable magazine was going for about twice the normal price. Thirty round pmags were actually pretty plentiful and selling for about $35 at most tables (there were one or two trying for $50 or more). Getting close to any tables with semiautos was an exercise in patience. Ammo dealers were crowded and started running short fairly early on. 5.56/.223 was running about $1 a round.

Dad picked up some ammo, and I found some stripper clips for the Mauser. I almost went for a 10/22 (synthetic stock $213 sticker price), but I restrained myself. I could have afforded it, but there are other things I need that money for a little more. When we left at around 2:00, the line for tickets was still running all the way out the door, which I’ve only ever seen happen in the mornings, before. There was still a lot of anger at Obama, but it’s had time to settle a bit.

Still, we had fun, which was the main point.

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Reminder: Watch Congress and your state legislature today.

Today is the start of the new legislative session, and Senator Feinstein has promised to introduce her anti-Rights “Assault Weapons Ban” today (here’s a Google search link – I’m not going to link directly to her site). Illinois is ramrodding an even worse bill through their legislature, and they already have passed it out of committee and expect to vote on it as early as tomorrow. Other states are moving or preparing to move on their own anti-Rights bills.

As I said, I won’t link to Feinstein’s page directly, but here’s a summary of what she says she’s going to introduce today, copied directly from her website:

    • Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
      • 120 specifically-named firearms;
      • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
      • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
    • Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
      • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test;
      • Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and
      • Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans.
    • Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
    • Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
      • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
      • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
      • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.

This bill is  worse than the ’94 AWB, and it’s extremely unlikely we’ll get a sunset provision this time. I fully expect that the anti-Rights cultists will, if there is resistance to the bill as proposed, drop individual provisions until they can force something through. They will most likely try to hold out for at least the ban on all private sales, and possibly a magazine restriction as well. There are rumors – and it is important to note that they are only rumors at this point – that the Republican leadership may be willing to cave on this issue, and they may be willing to cave to Feinstein and her ilk on those points as a way of showing that they are willing to “compromise”.

I’d like to point out a couple of things based on the summary of that bill:

  1. The magazine restriction makes no mention of grandfathering, and “Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment” does not specifically include magazines.
  2. It creates an NFA registry of all grandfathered firearms, making future confiscation easier. It isn’t clear whether or not this NFA registration would require the $200 transfer tax that applies to other NFA firearms, but it is likely.
  3. It requires all owners of grandfathered firearms to be photographed and fingerprinted like common criminals.

All gun owners need to pay attention. Contact your legislators – call, write, email – and let them know that we will not tolerate passage of any part of this bill, nor will we tolerate any ban or restriction on private sales. Contact them as soon after the bill is introduced as you can – a ramrodding similar to Obamacare, or what is currently going on with the bills in Illinois, is not impossible and I would not be surprised if they tried it. If we’re not vigilant, it is entirely possible that Obama could have this ban on his desk early next week.

Call. Write. Email. Make our voices heard.

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Busy gun show

The great part about where I live is that the local gun shows are about halfway between my house and my parents. That means that Dad and I have gotten into the habit of meeting at the gun show and spending the day together. Yesterday, we met there and after we had finished wandering around the show I followed him home.

We knew that it would be crowded, and it was. Dad got there first and bought our tickets, after waiting in line for half an hour. Even with tickets in hand we had to wait in line to get in. By the time we made it in it was obvious that centerfire AR type rifles were in very short supply, and of the few that I saw the lowest price was $1250 – and while I’m no judge of AR’s, I think that one may have had something wrong with it. The next lowest was a bare bones model for $1500, that was similar to one I saw at the last show for about $800. Mini-14s were going for $850 minimum for a basic polymer stock model (Dad was irritated. He’s been thinking about selling his – an NRA edition that he paid about $600 for – and he realized he could probably have gotten a grand for it easily even before he got in the door.) The ammo tables were looking a bit anemic by 1:00, with empty pallets and most of the bins only about half full.

And while it was, as usual, full of exceedingly polite people – “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me”, and patiently waiting without a bit of shoving despite the crowding – the anger and concern were also quite palpable. This wasn’t a gun show that people were at to enjoy, it was a show that people were at because they were worried they wouldn’t get another chance. There was also a big fear that private sales will definitely be on the chopping block.

My objective was simple: some stripper clips for my Mauser. I didn’t find any of those, but I did pick up some ammo for it, along with some .45 FMJ for practice.

It was interesting, and a bit fun, but I hit my limit for crowds about halfway through (even if I did keep going). I think any anti-gun politician who wants a second term who saw that would (and should) be shaking in his boots right now.
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Gun control doesn’t work

As our “leaders” and their media figureheads bloviate about how we must pass a new “Assault Weapon” Ban now to prevent another massacre, I would just like to remind everyone about this.

AK-Shovel-Demotivator

Yes, that is a functional AK-clone, built from a shovel.

You see, the technology for manufacturing guns is centuries old. Now that the truly intelligent people have come up with the ideas of the metallic cartridge, removable magazines, and recoil or gas powered loading, anyone with half a brain and the proper tools can build a fully functional “assault weapon” – or even a real assault weapon (as I understand it, a full-auto action is actually easier to make than semi-auto).

Gun control, and especially gun bans, will always fail. Just ask anyone in the Khyber Pass.

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Sunday Gun Pr0n!

Well, I said I was expecting a new toy, so here it is!

Click to embiggenate.

That is a “sporterized” m98 Mauser, in the original 8mm Mauser chambering (a.k.a., 7.92x57mm Mauser). This was a gift from Dad, and it’s the rifle I learned to hunt with when I was a kid.

The original 3 position safety has been replaced with a Buehler-style 2 position safety (similar to this one), and the bolt handle was bent down and slightly back from the original horizontally straight configuration. Dad is “pretty sure” that it’s been glass bedded. The trigger has been customized and is very nice, with no slack and a sharp break. You can see in these pictures that the bluing has been worn in some places from use.

The stock has a nice looking grain, and two “racing stripes” with a sort of lightning bolt motif at the front and at the base of the grip. The rear sight is fully adjustable and the front sight is nice and thin, with a gold coloured “bead” for better visibility.

This has always been my favourite rifle. Now I just need to get some stripper clips for it! (And more ammo. Always more ammo!)

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Fun Show today!

I expect a new toy. More later.

If a bad day at the range is better than a good day at the office…

then what is a good day at the range better than? Because I just had one.

It was a bit warmer than I liked, and the wasps and bees were a bit more active than I like (okay, a lot! But that’s because I’d prefer they didn’t exist at all outside of honeybees in out of the way places.) but I had some quality time putting about 200 or so rounds downrange (various amounts of .45, .380, .308Win, and lots of .22). I decided that my rifle is fully sighted in to 100 yards, within the limits of the inexpensive factory ammunition I was using, at least. I think that getting it any better would require match grade ammo and a bench rest. Three of the 38 rounds of .380 I used were duds (not light strikes – I checked and retried them with no luck), but that’s what I get for buying cheap, off brand stuff. I’ll avoid that brand in the future.

I’m starting to wonder if the wide grouping with my .45 really is me, or if the gun itself just isn’t that good. I can consistently hit minute of bad guy, but at 25 feet I’m all over the target. The P3AT gives me a tighter grouping at the same range, and the sights on that are almost nonexistent. Maybe I’ll look at improvising a pistol rest of some kind, to try and take myself out of the equation as much as possible. On the other hand, I’ve got my grip down and had decent ammunition (Blazer steel cased), so there were ZERO malfunctions with it out of a 50 round box plus 20 rounds of carry ammo. I can at least be confident that it will go bang if I ever need it, and that I’ll be able to hit whoever caused me to need to use it.

As I was leaving, a man was setting up with his two sons for what was obviously their first range trip. From conversation I overheard, he had prepared them right the night before, and was doing a good job with them for the short time I was there. There was one admonishment – in my opinion very well handled – on muzzle control while they were uncasing the guns, but that was it. Here’s hoping for many more good range trips for that family!

All in all, a good time was had. Shooting is fun!

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Weekend Fun Show

Since the local gun shows are held at a point about halfway between where I live and where my parents live, it’s a good time and place to get together with Dad. So on Saturday that’s what we did. This time, Dad had a couple of items on the agenda:

  1. find some spare magazines for his 10/22 (successfully)
  2. find a holster for the Ruger R1 1911 he bought recently (he found one he likes, but held off this time because of the cost. He’ll probably get it next time.)
  3. most importantly, scout out some possible carry guns for Mom, because her current carry gun (a compact 1911) is a) heavier than she likes, and b) has too much recoil for her – her arthritis has gotten to the point that it hurts her hands to shoot it.

Dad was looking at .22’s, mainly looking for either a Walther P22 or Ruger SR22. I was trying to point him towards .380s, like the Bersa Thunder or Walther PPK. This is, after all, intended to be her regular carry  piece, and I would greatly prefer that she carry something in a calibre that is a little more effective than .22. I figure something like a PPK, Bersa Thunder, or even a Sig P238 would have enough mass to bring the felt recoil to a manageable level while not being too heavy for her to carry comfortably.

To complicate things, she has some slow deterioration to her vision, so the nearly rudimentary sights on some of the smaller pistols are unusable. I’d like her to get something she can get CT LaserGrips for, and while you can get them for the .380’s I was of, it looks like they don’t make them for the .22’s.

He’s going to either take her to a gun shop or to the next gun show so she can handle the different options and decide for herself. Unfortunately, there are no places reasonably close for her to rent one to see what she likes best. I really, really would rather she get a .380 than a .22, but then again, if she won’t practice with even the bigger .380s, the .22 might be better for her.

Maybe someone else might have an idea I can pass on?

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A Gunblogger’s real life DGU, thankfully with no shots fired

Gunblogger RedeemedBoyd (now added to the blogroll) has done us the honor of recounting his recent Defensive Gun Use (DGU). This occurred only a few days ago, so his recollections are still fresh. Go, read. I have a few comments for when you’re done.

Got it? Good. Let’s look at a couple of things.

Others, including RedeemedBoyd, have already pointed out how it was his situational awareness that allowed him to stop the attack before it even occurred, but I really want to emphasize one significant point: nothing the attackers did in preparation for this ambush appeared unusual or out of place for the location.

Think about that. Every piece of their setup looked innocuous, and nothing set of his alarms until they actually made their approach. Even then, it was only because he saw motion in his mirror from the corner of his eye that he was able to focus on their approach and see the warning signs in time to take the precaution of drawing his pistol. Had he not seen that motion, he might not have had time to notice that they were trying to hide what they were carrying. Had he not been paying attention to his surroundings, he might not have noticed them at all until they were right next to his windows, by which point he probably would not have gotten out of the encounter without at least two broken windows, and probably not without some kind of injury. He would have been trying to draw his pistol while somebody was either grabbing him or striking him with an ASP baton – and at the same time as the other attacker would likely have been trying to grab his daughter on the other side.

Another question to ask, and the answer to this one is pretty chilling: What was their objective? This seems to be an odd and ineffective setup for a simple robbery. If it was a carjacking, they probably wouldn’t have been as ready to break the windows – I don’t know what part of the country he’s in, but this is still January, and even if it is unseasonably warm there it’s still probably cool enough that driving without windows would be unpleasant. Also, whether it was a carjacking or simple theft to strip and sell the car, the getaway car seems to be extraneous – they could drive the stolen car just as easily.

The biggest conclusion that looms in my mind is that this was intended as a physical assault, perhaps as part of an initiation. And that could have been very bad news. Hopefully, if that were the case, they would have left his daughter alone. Hopefully.

Fortunately, RedeemedBoyd had three things working in his favour. 1) He was aware of his surroundings, 2) He was armed, and 3) He kept the presence of mind to react appropriately and prepare as soon as he recognized the possibility of danger.

The final thing to take from this is that the attackers were cowards. As soon as they realized their intended prey was armed, they panicked and ran like scared little jackrabbits with a pack of hounds after them. No attempts to bluster or intimidate, or even to carry out their attack at all. They just ran.

Remember that. Most violent predators are cowards. They deliberately choose the weak, helpless, or unaware – those who are least likely to be able to fight back effectively – as their victims, and they frequently run when confronted. But it’s also very important to remember that they don’t always run. Don’t expect your gun to be a magic talisman that frightens away your attackers as soon as it is drawn without you ever having to pull the trigger. Be prepared to shoot if you have to.

And always carry your gun. It’s a lighter burden than regret.

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Quote of the Day – 2011-09-21

From Weer’d Beard in a comment at SayUncle, in response to a New Yorker’s assertion that criminals routinely buy guns at gun shows and smuggle them to New York.

Even if it was true (and the ATF trace data shows it isn’t) If criminals are constantly migrating south to buy guns and return them to Marxist Cities, its rather telling that they appear to be on their best behavior down south, and suddenly turn murderous once they are in the victim disarmament zone.

Sorry guys, but even if it were TRUE it makes you look HORRIBLE.

[Emphasis mine.]

That is rather striking, isn’t it? The career criminals don’t make trouble until they get to the states where they know their victims are most likely to be disarmed. Go figure.

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