High-Capacity Ignorance


This tweet went viral on the Twitterz yesterday evening, and there was much pointage, laughery, and mockification directed at CBS—I was left wondering what the reporter thought was an “assault revolver” and if I owned anything that might qualify. The revolver in my gun locker that probably comes closest to fitting the bill is my grandfather’s old H&R Sentinel. It’s a .22 with a 9-round cylinder.It’s a reasonable plinker, the sort of gun that old men carried in their tackle boxes when I was a kid. These days, it’s obsolete and being replaced by 10-shot .22 revolvers made of stainless steel.

AR-15s are also .22 caliber. That may be what confused the reporter.

A Sweet Sixteen


I usually stay away from retail stores during Thanksgiving weekend, especially on Black Friday. However, I went into a sporting goods store late yesterday to replenish some supplies. As I was walking past the gun counter, I noticed that they had a Browning A5 16-ga shotgun in stock and that it was on sale for a bit more than 25% off and there was a $200 mail-in rebate offer. I’ve always wanted a 16-ga shotgun, and now I have one.At a bit under 6 lbs, the A5 is as handy as a 20-ga, but it throws almost as much shot as a 12. I look forward to giving it a try on some upland game.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


There’s now a “movement” to eliminate the use of black targets in law enforcement training because of claims that “young black men are 3X more likely to be shot by trained shooters than their white peers” and a “study by University of Illinois researchers that concluded shooters were more likely to fire at a black target.” (H/T, guns.com)

aw20170219Correlation is not the same thing as causation, so statistically, there are two questions that should examined concerning that “3X more likely” claim—if it is true. First, young black men are a small subset of the population, but, as a group, they appear to be more likely that average to be involved in crime. How much more likely? 3X? More? If more likely, one is led to wonder why they would be shot less frequently than their share of dangerous interactions with police (or armed victims) would suggest. Second, how much more likely than average are young black men to be shot at (including being missed) by untrained shooters? It could be that one reason young black men are only 3X more likely to be shot by trained shooters is that training reduces the probability of an unjustified shooting.

Both of those factors may come into play. Or neither.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


Bearing Arms reports that Iowa sheriff Mike Johnstone, who opposed allowing “shall issue” gun permits in that state, has shot himself while trying to clean his Glock.

Johnstone removed the magazine from his pistol but failed to do a chamber check before squeezing the trigger as part of the Glock design’s standard takedown process.

While allowing citizens to carry firearms in public has not resulted in “blood in the streets,” carelessness by “highly-trained professionals” … oh, never mind.

Drafting Women


Anna Granville has a post over at Task & Purpose arguing that it’s time that women should have to register for the draft.

The picture at the top of the article shows a group of female soldiers training with the M9 pistol and it shows one of the subtile difficulties in integrating women into the combat force. The soldier in the foreground is not only left-handed, her hands are too small to properly grip the pistol. As a result her strong hand is twisted clockwise around the grip so she can reach the trigger. Such improper alignment of the hand, wrist, and arm typically allows the hand to involuntarily rotate at the wrist as the trigger is pulled causing the muzzle to move toward the weak hand (the right for a southpaw). This is a common problem for those of us with small hands. I find the Beretta 92/M9 difficult to manage. Someone with hands the size of Mrs. Hoge’s would likely find the M9 even more difficult, but she might have no trouble with a pistol with a smaller grip such as a Browning HiPower or a M1911.

This is not to say that women can’t be better integrated into combat forces, but if we are going to do so, they deserve to have equipment that fits their generally smaller physiques.

The FBI, the Army, and 9 mm


The Army is looking to replace its current stock of M9 and M11 9 mm pistols with newer, more modern weapons. One interesting twist in the request for submissions from potential vendors is that the choice of caliber has been left open. This has led to speculation that the Army may wind up joining the Coast Guard in adopting the .40 S&W round or the Marines who have partially readopted .45 ACP. Some have suggested that the .357 Sig round might be chosen.

Meanwhile, the FBI has announced that it will begin transitioning its agents from .40 S&W to 9 mm. Apparently, a significant number of Special Agents have difficulty mastering a pistol chambered for the more powerful round. Given that 9 mm ammunition has been greatly improved over the past couple of decades (and is significantly less expensive than .40 S&W), the change is not unreasonable for a large, bureaucratic organization.

If the Gentle Reader were to spend some time pursuing the comments on various sites reporting on these two stories, he will find them filled with the pontifications of a plethora of Internet arm chair experts, almost none of whom have any real world experience or practical knowledge of combat shooting with a handgun. My personal preference is for a Model 1911 pistol in .45 ACP, but that is based on my training and actual combat experience. I suspect that the FBI will wind up swapping their .40 Glocks for 9 mm Glocks or something very similar. It will be interesting to see what wins the Army’s shootout.