A Busy Signal


Yesterday, I tried to connect to Mossberg’s website. I wanted to look up some information on an old shotgun that’s been in the family since before I was born, an old pre-WWII bolt action .410. I couldn’t get through.

And then I found out that Mossberg has just released several Duck Commander models.

That explains the increased traffic. I guess I’ll wait for the rush to subside. It’s still busy this morning.

Shooting Lessons from a Governor


Texas Governor Rick Perry met with a group of bloggers at a shooting range, and Kathleen McKinley tells about her shooting lesson from him. The pistol used was the same Ruger LCP that Gov. Perry used to dispatch a coyote that attacked while he was walking his dog.

BTW, I concur with his choice of the LCP with a laser sight as a small carry gun.

Rick Perry isn’t the first politician to carry a .380 pistol for personal protection. President Theodore Roosevelt packed a Colt Model 1908. How many other current governors do you think carry for their own protection, and how many completely rely on bodyguards? I know which way I’d bet on Martin O’Malley, the Governor of Maryland.

A Slick Product


Rem OilRem Oil is not really a penetrating oil like good old WD-40, but it is probably a better all-purpose spray can lubricant. It was designed as a gun cleaner/lubricant, and it cleans dirt and grime from exposed metal surfaces while displacing moisture from the pores in the surface of the metal. It also contains Teflon which provides a thin, long-lasting film that keeps things working smoothly by reducing metal-to-metal wear.

Buy it via Amazon.

Why I Don’t Own a Glock


A small child managed to fire a police officer’s holstered Glock 35 pistol, wounding the policeman in the leg. More info here.

Glock pistols are probably the most common type found in police holsters now days. There are two reasons. One is that Glock is very aggressive with their pricing in a time of tight budgets. The other is that, like double action revolvers, Glocks are easy to shoot. The only external safety is on the trigger, so pulling the trigger disengages the safety, firing the pistol.

My objection to the Glock is that it’s too easy to shoot. The standard trigger requires much less force to pull than a double action revolver’s. I prefer a pistol with at least one external safety (not on the trigger) which must be manipulated in order for the weapon to fire. For example, a Model 1911 pistol requires that the thumb safety be set off and the grip safety be fully depressed before the trigger can cause the pistol to fire. The M9 pistol currently issued by the Armed Forces requires that the thumb safety be set off before it can be fired.

It appears that the cop, who is supposed to be a highly-trained SWAT officer, was openly carrying his Glock in a holster that did not cover the trigger. That looks like gross negligence to me. A small child pulled the trigger in this incident. Brushing up against a stiff branch on a bush could have done the same thing.

But remember, it’s only those highly trained government agents who can be trusted with firearms.

UPDATE—The Model 1911A1 pistol.M1911_C_A_D.001

An Afternoon at the Range


RANGE_PHOTOOur cat Bob is an indoor/outdoor cat, and he occasionally brings in fleas. This afternoon, we fogged the house. My son went to work, my wife went to a bridal shower, and I went to the range for some practice. I took Mrs. Hoge’s S&W Model 60 .38 Special, a Browning Buck Mark .22 LR target pistol, and a Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP.

After limbering up with the .22, I practiced with the Model 60, aiming with the Crimson Trace laser grip. My results were strikingly better with the laser compared to the normal sights, but that’s not surprising given that I’m 65 years old and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

The target above is the result of 50 rounds through the Kimber at 50 feet. I’ve always done well with a Model 1911, but this is one of the better targets I’ve shot recently.

A Derp Brain Photo


Cabin Boy Bill’s bio says he served during the Viet Nam era as Navy Medical Corpsman and that he did a tour with a Marine Corps unit. Based on that, I assume that he would have qualified with the M16 rifle and that he should still retain at least a passing familiarity with it and the Marines’ standards of safe gun handling.

Schmalfeldt has spent the past couple of days whining about an unfairly cropped photo which he says unjustly portrays him as “crazed and evil.” This image is an unedited copy of one he posted at Breitbart Unmasked.GE

The Four Rules of Gun Safety (as stated by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC Ret.) are

1. All firearms are always handled as if they were loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned on the target.
4. Be sure of your target.

This picture shows the Cabin Boy violating all four at once.

The picture clearly shows that Bill Schmalfeldt is irresponsible. The Gentle Reader may form his own opinions about “crazed” or “evil.”

Hello, Foot. Meet Gun.


I’m told that shooting oneself in the foot is a bad idea. I suppose so. I’ve never tried it, although I have been around more than my share of negligent firearm discharges.

There are four very simple rules which will make a negligent discharge unlikely.

1. All firearms are always handled as if they are loaded.
2. Never point the muzzle of a firearm at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned on the target.
4. Be sure of your target.

Those rules are simple, and following them will keep you from negligently shooting yourself or any one or thing else. The rules and laws governing who can have a gun and under what circumstances are more complicated, and failure to attend to those rules can also be quite painful.

Here in Maryland, for instance, for almost 20 years we have had strict controls on the transfers of certain kinds of rifles and magazines. Here’s how that affects me.

I have a collector’s item WWII vintage M1 Carbine made by National Postal Meter. It isn’t on any of the state no-no lists, at least not yet. However, the 30-round magazines commonly used with M1 Carbines are restricted in that they cannot be transferred to another individual in Maryland. So if I take my Carbine to the range, I can shoot it using one of my old 30-round magazines, but if I allow someone else to shoot it (lending it is a transfer), they must use a 15-round magazine because I can’t transfer the 30-round magazine to them.

I also have a Colt AR15 Sporter Carbine. It doesn’t use the usual .223 Remington/5.56 mm NATO ammunition; it’s chambered for 7.62 X 39 mm Russian round that is legal for deer hunting in Maryland. The only magazines I have for it are the 5-round units provided by Colt. Since an AR15 is regulated firearm, I can’t just hand it to whomever I wish. So-called “gratuitous” temporary loans are OK, but anyone other than a family member, close friend, or licensed dealer can be risky. All transfers are supposed to go through a licensed dealer. However, the 5-round magazines have no restrictions whatsoever.

This is what happens when laws are cobbled together by people who have little understanding of what they are trying to regulate. When I was a federally licensed dealer a couple of decades ago, there were over 20,000 federal, state, and local gun laws in the book that the ATF sent me, some of them contradictory. There are more of ‘em now.

Sigh.

Firearm Safety BS


BS20130406Kimberlin Unmasked has an interesting post up about AR15 ownership in Maryland. The picture illustrating the article shows an AR15 owner with his rifle demonstrating very poor firearm safety. One of the most basic rules is “Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.”

Oh, and if you look closely, you’ll see that the safety selector is pointing upward in the FIRE position.

triggerfingerUPDATE—Note the correct position for the trigger finger when the sights are not aligned with a proper target.

Also note the reduced capacity (legal for Maryland) magazine.

On Being at the Top of the Food Chain


Homo sapiens generally likes being at the top of the food chain. In some natural settings we are not—think about going one-on-one with a crocodile or a grizzly—but in the civilized world we rule.

Not every creature is designed to be at or even near the top of a food chain. Some critters are prey animals. Deer are an example, and when deer move into an environment with no predators, their population will explode until they overgraze the area, destroy its ecology, and then die of starvation. A healthy deer population requires predation.

Of course, the idea that culling a deer herd is a good thing offends that special group of humaniacs called bambiists. A group of them is now protesting a National Park Service hunt in Rock Creek Park in DC. (WaPo story here.) They think that the deer can be put on birth control.

No, what works is predation. The practical choices are hunters, wolves, or mountain lions. Considering that the hunters can be expected to limit their predation to the deer, they strike me as the best choice for an urban environment such as DC.

BTW, a deer ate that crocus I photographed yesterday.

A Day at the Range


It’s been a busy week, so it was great to go do something relaxing today. Our family took the Walkers, who have been our house guests for the past few days, shooting at a favorite indoor range.

Aaron has been a long time defender of the Second Amendment but has only recently become an ardent practitioner. Mrs. Walker has taken up shooting even more recently. I spent the afternoon coaching her. Most of her practice was done at fairly close range with a .380 ACP pistol similar to one she has. However, after her confidence improved, she tried my .45, and she did quite well for a beginner. The target on the left was shot at 25 yards.Day_at_the_Range20130302.001

Gun Appreciation Day


I would like to express my appreciation for the following guns:

A Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, a Browning High Power pistol, a Model 1911A1 pistol, and an M14 rifle—these saved my life at one time or another while I was serving in Viet Nam.

A Colt Detective Special revolver, a Smith & Wesson 645 pistol, and a Winchester Model 1200 Stainless Police shotgun—these have kept various situations from becoming life-threatening by forcing aggressive people to consider the cost of further aggression.

A Thompson/Center Contender pistol, a Marlin 1895 rifle, and a Browning BPS shotgun—these have put free-range organic meat on our family’s table.

Buying Magazines


FALmagI have a Springfield Armory Match Grade SAR-48. It’s a competition version of the Brazilian-built FAL rifle. Since it uses the same magazines as the FAL and since there’s been a recent run on magazines, I was surprised to find proper FAL magazines offered for sale. They were listed as used FAL magazines made in Belgium by FN, the company that invented the rifle. So I ordered a few. The magazines that came aren’t used FN mags. They are brand-new, still in cosmoline, Israeli magazines. Wow.

These are standard-capacity magazines, so they are at the 20-round limit that has been arbitrarily imposed here in the Democratic People’s Republic of Maryland. I suppose that I’ll have to stay out of California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York (especially!), and Chicago and Aurora, Illinois, when using this rifle.

Two Cheers for Increased Gun Sales


Yes, only two. I know that, since I have been certified as a Right Wing Nut Job Gun Nut by the eminent expert Breitbart Unmasked, the Gentle Reader would expect a resounding three cheers from me when gun sales are up. Alas, it is not so.

One cheer comes from the boost to the economy from these sales.

The second comes from more folks choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The third cheer is held back because of the reason many first time gun buyers are wanting a gun. Some no longer trust the government to protect them from crime. Others simply no longer trust the government. Still others fear a coming disruption in society. None of these reasons strike me as cheerful.

Waiting for the Does


Unlike the non-character in the Becket play, they showed up. We saw three nice does—and a buck—stroll over the rise. And, of course, they were in the one direction that was unsafe to take a shot. They stood still for around half a minute, apparently daring us to take a shot, and then disappeared back over the rise.

Well, I have rarely shot a deer on opening day. Modern firearm season runs for another couple of weeks plus a bonus weekend in early January, and muzzleloading season is the last two weeks of December.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hoge and I had an enjoyable morning in the woods together. It was a nice start to our 33rd anniversary.

A Day at the Range


Opening day of deer modern firearms deer season is next Saturday. Yesterday, my son went to the range to practice with his shotgun. I tagged along for some practice with a CZ Rami pistol in .40 S&W. I was surprised with how well I did with the Rami. Most of my shooting was with 165 gr FMJ practice ammo. However, after trying some Federal Guard Dog 135 gr ammunition, I believe that the reduction in felt recoil makes it my round of choice for this gun.

The CZ Rami is a tiny gun to be chambered in .40 S&W. Although it’s thicker, its profile isn’t much larger than a Walther PPK.

It’s no replacement for a full-size Model 1911, but compared to my Colt Lightweight Officer’s ACP …

Hmmmm.