I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.

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Required Reading

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution

The Bill of Rights

The 1982 Senate RKBA Report

Important Stuff

a human right

Exercise Your Rights. Buy on Gun April 15th.

Why We Fight
11 September, 2001


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heartlesslibertarian at yahoo dot com

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Heartless Libertarian
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." P.J. O'Rourke

700 Club 

Barry Bonds launches career home run #700. Ruth, Aaron, and history await.

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King John's ChiCom Assault Rifle 

I first saw mention of this in Opinion Journal Online, then found the actual interview article in Outdoor Life. On Page 4 of the article:

OL: Are you a gun owner? If so, what is your favorite gun?

Bush: Yes. My favorite gun is a Weatherby, Athena 20-gauge (over/under).

OK, Bush is a rich guy. I can see a nice O/U shottie being his favorite.

Kerry: My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle.

(Emphasis added)

A Communist Chinese Assault Rifle? He must keep it at his Idaho mansion, because I'm reasonably sure those aren't allowed in Massachusetts. And do tell, Senator, is this a real assault rifle? Meaning it can fire fully automatically? As far as Chicom assault rifles go, I think the AK-47 or AKM would be the only one you'd have found in Vietnam. Personally, I think it's more likely that Kerry's been confused by Brady propaganda and has an SKS. If he has an AK, he may be guilty of a crime for bringing it into the country. I don't think GIs were allowed to bring those back.

And Senator, if it's your favorite, or one of your favorites, why haven't you had your picture taken firing it, since you seem to be trying quite hard to court the gun vote? Because you know that skeet guns don't scare your gun-grabbing supporters, but things like an old Chicom SKS or AK most definitely would?

Of course, Kerry's admission of this mere days after he excoriated the President for letting the AWB expire is once again a view of Kerry's two-faced nature. He can have a Chinese Communist assault rifle, but the rest of us can't. He's a rich important liberal Senator, and he's no danger to anyone, unlike us, the unwashed redneck gun nuts who are likely to get drunk on moonshine and go shoot at cops.

His parents should have named him Janus, not John.

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Democrats Make Little Girl Cry 

AP-Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va.

The gloating bastard on the left is holding a piece of the sign. There's a guy who really needs a punch in the nose.

From the Washington Times: The Parlocks went to Mr. Edwards' airport rally yesterday "to support the president," Mr. Parlock said, and brought nine Bush-Cheney signs with them.
"We stood there quietly while Senator Edwards went through the receiving line," he said. Then, as the North Carolina Democrat prepared to leave, Mr. Parlock said, "I took out a few Bush-Cheney signs, gave one to Alex, and Sophia and I held up one jointly."
Immediately, he said, the family was set upon by supporters of Mr. Edwards and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry — "mostly the painters union guys" — who "started stealing my signs." Soon, "old women and college students joined in the fracas," said Mr. Parlock.

And Al Gore calls us Brownshirts. I have yet to hear that the Johns have denounced their supporters actions.

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I Love My Wife 

Last night, as I'm getting ready to leave for work, my wife calls me. This scares me a bit, since she usually only calls when there's an emergency, so I'm wondering if something happened to my son.

I answer the phone, and the first thing she says to me is, "You need to buy more guns."

Once I recovered from my shock, I asked her why. It seems she had just watched the NRA infomercial about Kofi Annan and the UN's gun-grabbing schemes, and how much Senator Kerry loves the UN.

So I now have clearance, as long as all the other bills get paid, to buy more guns. I really, really, love my wife.

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A Reporter Actually Does Legwork on Guns 

I post this because that fact in itself is fairly unusual. I posted a couple weeks back that Sherriff's deputies in Sonoma County, California were looking up owners of specific types of guns in their hunt for a murderer, using state gun registries to guide them. Tuesday, the Sherriff announced what type of guns they are seeking: either a Marlin 45 camp carbine, or a Marlin 1894 in .45LC

Today, the paper posted a follow up article about tips the police had received. Toward the bottom of the article, the reporter actually addressed a question I'd seen on a couple of gun discussion boards:

Some gun enthusiasts said they were baffled as to why two rifle models are being sought, as the weapons normally use different ammunition - Automatic Colt Pistol, or ACP, in the case of the semiautomatic, and Long Colt in the case of the lever-action model.

And, amazingly enough, the reporter delved more deeply into the matter, explaining the difference between the two cartridges:

The Long Colt was introduced in 1873 along with the single-action army revolver. Both the gun and cartridge are popular with "cowboy action shooters" as they hearken back to the Old West.

The ACP was originally introduced in the early 1900s for Colt's Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol that was carried by U.S. armed forces for more than 75 years.

And then, even more impressive, he even went and talk to someone who shoots guns!

Dan Bergmen, a Ukiah resident and member of the gun club there, said the only way the two rifles can share the same cartridge is if they are hand-loaded by someone who makes his or her own ammunition.

"If they're looking at both guns, they're somehow suggesting that they don't know about the bullet that was used in the murders," he said. "Typically, they would be able to narrow it down."

Mr Bergman also points out why, if a criminal is smart and knows his way around guns and guns stuff, he can make life really tough for the police (the shooter also must have picked up his brass.)

Maybe this reporter should apply for work at CBS. I hear they might be needing some good reporters who actually take time to thoroughly research stories.

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Screw Kofi Annan 

From BBC News

Kofi Annan told the BBC the decision to take action in Iraq contravened the UN charter and should have been made by the Security Council, not unilaterally.

First of all, it wasn't unilateral, and second, getting the Security Council to do anything was impossible because several members were too busy trying to find a way to cover their own asses.

Oh, and Kofi, when are you going to come out and state that your son's actions with the Oil-for-Palaces program contravened the UN charter, not to mention basic human decency, and I'm sure a whole lot of embezzlement and fraud laws. When are we going to see you out in UN Plaza saying, "My son is a disgusting criminal who committed an unspeakable crime against the Iraqi people. He will be turned over to them for trial forthwith, and I hope they sentence him to be dragged across the desert behind a dune buggy for 100 miles before he is fed to a horde of camel spiders."?

Mr Annan said in an interview with the BBC World Service that "painful lessons" had been learnt since the war in Iraq.

"Lessons for the US, the UN and other member states. I think in the end everybody's concluded it's best to work together with our allies and through the UN," he said.

Actually, Mr. Annan, the lesson we learned is that the UN is a useless collection of overly self-important little pissant countries who get great glee in making windy statements about how awful the United States is before they turn around and ask us for more money so that their corrupt governments can siphon some of it off for themselves.

Mr Annan told the BBC: "I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time - without UN approval and much broader support from the international community."

Actually, I hope to see another one very soon. I hope it takes place at UN Plaza in New York and kicks your worthless ass out of my country. Go set up shop somewhere like Sudan, where the government seems to like you because you let them kill masses of their own people. You could deliver your harshly worded statements to them much more efficiently if your office was located in Khartoum. And we can give your building to Donald Trump, so it can make money and pay taxes and help New York City with their budget problems.

He said he believed there should have been a second UN resolution following Iraq's failure to comply over weapons inspections.

Gee, Kofi, we thought so too, We even tried to get one. If the French weren't so desparate to cover up their complicity with Saddam, there probably would have been one. If your son and his buddies weren't playing cozy with Saddam and the Oil-for-Palaces program, we might not have needed one in the first place.

When pressed on whether he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, he said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."

Was the first Gulf War illegal then, too? Since there never was a peace treaty signed to end that one, and Saddam had quite clearly failed to live by the cease fire agreement, we were perfectly legal in taking action to force him to do so. Was it legal for Saddam to harbor known terrorists like Nidal and Zawhiri? Is it legal for Iran and Syria to be sending weapons and fighters to destabilize Iraq now? Is it legal for Syria to be testing chemical weapons (hmm, I wonder where they got those?) in Darfur? How come you only seem to worry about these things when it allows you to berate the United States?

Note to President Bush and Secretary Powell: How soon can we have Kofi & Co PNG'ed?

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Now What? 

So...the Evil Black Rifle Ban is dead, at least for now. A small piece of our right to bear arms has been reclaimed from the enemies of freedom. Gun nuts across the nation are happily buying 17 round Glock magazines marked 'LEO Only' and putting collapsable stocks on their AR-15s. All of which is good and wonderful.

For a lot of gun owners, especially the type that John Kerry is trying to sway to his side by hanging out shooting trap and accepting guns he would have banned, the death of the ban is plenty good enough. But for some of us, it represents, hopfully, the first small step in fully recaliming the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Publicola, in his post One Down, Nineteen Thousand Nine Hundred & Ninety Nine To Go was the first blogger I saw to post this. Today I saw this poll with a similar theme on The High Road. And Justin Buist has also chimed in with his opinion, along in what order he wants to attack.

Publicola uses the analogy of playing offense versus playing defense. I think the analogy is an apt one. In American military doctrine, defense is seen as a temporary thing, which is done to marshall one's forces until you are ready to return to the offense. The problem with many gun owners, and also with the NRA, is they they are content to play defense semmingly forever. They are like the brother in the parable who, afraid of lsoing the money he was given, buried it under a rock. But this strategy will never move the cause forward.

Publicola proposes pushing for the repeal of one of what he calls the 'Big 4' of Federal Gun Control Laws: the National Firearms Act of 1934; the Gun Control Act of 1968; the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986; & the Brady Law of 1994. Although pro-RKBA forces have enjoyed considerably more success at the state level, those states that continue to retain their anti-RKBA laws tend to be hard-core nanny states where the probability of success is low, so I agree with him that any push must come at the Federal level.

I think that any RKBA offensive in Washington, D.C. must come in two parts: first is to get more pro-Second Amendment legislators elected, especially in the Senate, which, you will recall, passed a renewal of the AWB 52-47 back in March. Electing a filibuster-proof pro-2A majority in November is not going to happen, but even a 51 vote majority would be better than what exists now.

The second step is to pick a law to repeal. Of the four mentioned, I have a tough time picking one. If forced, I'd have to pick the Hughes Amendment, for the same reason Justin does: it has the greatest ability to make the Bradys and their ilk exhaust their arsenal of exaggeration, hyperbole, and lies.

There is one problem I see with repeal of these laws, however. As another blogger (I believe is was Matt at TriggerFinger) pointed out, repeal of these laws by Congress still leaves the precedent that Congress has the powers to pass such laws. The only way to remove that is for the Supreme Court to start declaring gun control laws unconstitutional. And as Publicola points out, the courts have not been our friend in this matter.

In my opinion, the best way to get rid of these laws, and to make sure they stay gone, is to challenge them in court and win. Given the current apparent lack of ability to read and do simple research on the part of a good many sitting federal judges, winning will be difficult. This is another reason why it is important to elect more pro-2A Senators: to put and end to the blocking of the appointments of judges who interpret the Constitution according to the intent of the men who wrote it.

If I were to pick one of the Big 4 to challenge in court, it would be the 1934 NFA, because that is the cornerstone upon which the whole rotten edifice of gun control is built. It Congress doesn't have the power to tax the sale of certain types of firearms, then it certainly doesn't have the power to prohibit the sale of any new ones. And it doesn't have the power to place restrictions on the sale of any other types either. That would wipe out three of the Big 4, and possibly take the Brady Act as well.

The last SCOTUS challenge to any gun control law was U.S. v Miller, which was decided, in a very narrowly tailored ruling that really applied only to short-barrel shotguns, in favor of the Federal government's position. If the SCOTUS had had any sense, they would have declared the case moot and refused to hear it, since by the time it got to them Miller was dead. Instead, the Court did not hear any arguments except those presented by the government. The NFA tax on silencers and full-autos has never been challenged, and given the Court's opinion in Miller, proving the suitability of either item for what the court termed 'militia use' would not be difficult, since both are in contemporary military service.

So that's it. I don't disagree with any of Publicola's assessment-but I do strongly believe that the laws need to also be challenged in the courts, so that it can be established that Congress lacks the power to enact such laws. It's the only way not only to defeat the enemies of our freedom, but to crush them so that they do not return.

In the meantime, a letter along the lines of this one posted by Black Snowman to the thread linked above is a good place to start. Just to let them know we're still thinking about them.



Thank you for your support of the citizens inalienable natural rights to arm ourselves against enemies foreign and domestic by helping prevent a replacement or extension of the 1994 weapons ban. However many violations of these rights are still in effect. The most damaging of which are the following unconstitutional measures.

NFA 1934
GCA 1968
Executive Order import ban of March 1989

However, resending these unconstitutional laws is not enough as the States have over-stepped their bounds and defied the Constitution by preventing law abiding citizens from arming themselves. Nation wide, the right to protect oneself must be restored or there is no telling how far this incremental attempt to remove the citizens ability to perform their individual responsibilities to protect themselves, their families and their property from harm.

The bigotry against gun owners can only be halted by the intervention of the government doing it's duty to preserve the rights of the citizens. Make the priorities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness mean something again. Actively pursue legislation that will restore all individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thank you for your time,


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It's Not an Evil Black Rifle, but... 

Yugo SKSs for $69.95. Each rifle possesses features sure to piss off Senators like Feinstein, Kennedy, and Schumer...rifle grenade launchers and attached bayonets!

These rifles, according to the web site, have more wear than the company's Shooter Grade rifles. Given the recent events in Beslan, I think a rifle like this would make an excellent trunk/truck gun for those of us whose primary concern is goblins of various sorts rather than lions, tigers, and bears. I just ordered one this morning for just that purpose. It'll go in the trunk of my car in a softcase, along with a bandolier of 120 rounds of 7.62x39 on stripper clips.

No Beslans in my neighborhood. Not without a fight.

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Another One for the Collection 

The Big Brown Truck on Monday brought me something new for my collection. A new old rifle. It's an Israeli Mauser rifle, chambered in 7.62 NATO. The rifle was originally made in Czechoslovakia.

Now, by the normal standards of collector rifles, this rifle isn't much. Bluing on all the metal surfaces in quite worn. Numbers don't match on the receiver and floorplate. I couldn't find any numbers on the bolt. In any case, I don't think the bolt originally belonged to the rifle, since every other Czech Mauser I know of (98/22, VZ-24) has a straight bolt, and this one is bent. There's some pitting on the bolt body. But I still rank this rifle as one of the coolest in my collection because of the history it represents.

(For additional cool points, it came with a removable rifle grenade launcher, which clamps over the end of the barrel at the bayonet lug).

I don't know if this particular rifle ever fired a shot in anger, but I'm sure it had a part in keeping Israel free nonetheless, much like two of my Swiss K-31s never fired at the Wehrmacht, but helped keep Hitler out of Switzerland by their mere presence in the hands of capable and willing free citizen soldiers.

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Staring Down the Barrel of The NRA 

Prepare to be fisked, you gun fearing wussy!

By E. J. Dionne Jr.Tuesday, September 14, 2004; Page A27

The expiration of the assault weapons ban was a depressing but potentially valuable lesson in the rancid politics of gun control.

All politics is pretty rancid. What is it about gun control that makes it especially rancid? How about the rancid politics of speech control, a.k.a. McCain-Feingold? I seem to remember you supporting that.

Honest debate on gun policy is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party's dependence on this interest group's muscle and the fear that the NRA inspires among some Democrats.

No, honest debate is impossible due to rampant emotionalism and outright lying on the part of the gun control crowd. And why do you never seem to complain about the "cynical absolutism" of, say, the ACLU? Or do you subscribe to the theory that all parts of the Bill of Rights are equal, but some are more equal than others?

At a time when preventing terrorism is supposed to be a national priority, why can't our politicians agree to sustain a ban on a very narrow class of firearms?

Perhaps it's because even folks like Tom Diaz, head of the Violence Policy Center, agree that the ban is useless?

Does President Bush want to make it easier for Americans to use their tax cuts to buy Uzis and AK-47s?

If they're American-made copies, I'm sure it would help stimulate the economy. And most jobs in the firearms industry tend to be good-wage skilled labor jobs, too.

Is our national policy to do all we can to defeat the terrorists -- except for those measures that the NRA vetoes?

An armed populace helps make attacks like the recent one in Russia much more difficult to pull off. You may have noticed that no such attacks have occurred in Israel in recent memory. I wonder if the fact that Israeli teachers are armed has anything to do with that?

Sure, Bush says, he would sign a renewal of the ban, which theoretically puts him on the side of the majority. But a president who was happy to bring excruciating pressure on Congress to pass his tax measures lifted not a finger to get Republican leaders in Congress to put the assault weapons bill on his desk.

Ever hear of tyranny of the majority, E.J.? That's why we have a Bill of Rights-so the majority can't just go and do whatever they like and infringe upon the rights of an unpopular minority. Nevermind the fact that most people who support the ban think it's about banning machineguns (thanks to the aforementioned outright lies by gun control groups.) And while economic experts (Paul Krugman doesn't count) agree that the tax cuts helped the economy, crime experts agree that the ban didn't do much of anything.

This is the politics of the nod and the wink. As Jim VandeHei and Paul Farhi reported in The Post, the NRA is planning to spend $400,000 a week until the election to condemn John Kerry's votes for gun control. Overall, the organization expects to spend $20 million on this election, mostly to help Republican candidates.

Do you have a problem with groups of citizens spending money to support candidates who agree with their views? Oh, that's right, you supported McCain-Feingold. Nevermind.

Bush is not about to offend these guys.

In case you haven't noticed, Kerry is going out of his way to obscure his 18 year record of anti-Second Amendment votes. The man can't pass by a trap & skeet club without picking up a shotgun and declaring how he supports the Second Amendment and the Ban, thus managing to flip-flop within a single paragraph statement.

As VandeHei and Farhi write: "It is unlikely the NRA would actively oppose Republican leaders, but it might not work as hard for the party if Bush were to sign the ban 50 days before the election." Can't have that.

No, if Bush had signed a renewal of the ban, the NRA, and the other smaller elements of the gun lobby would have put their efforts into electing people to Congress who would support repealing the ban. Because, you know, it is possible for the issue to be more important than the candidate.

The trouble is (and has long been) that while the minority that opposes gun control casts single-minded votes on the issue, the majority that supports rational weapons regulation seems far less motivated. This has led to a new mythology, brilliantly stoked by the NRA: Supporting any gun regulation is fatal to an ambitious politician. Al Gore's loss of Tennessee, Arkansas and West Virginia -- any one of which would have put him in the White House in 2000 -- is widely attributed to his support for gun control.

Is it mythology when it's true? Sure, being in favor of infringing rights protected by the Second Amendment won't cost you if you're running in, say, New York, California, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, but there's 46 other states in this country. And most of them like their guns, thank you very much. If you ever left your cozy little media cocoon, you might notice that.

The mythology ignores the fact that many moderate suburban voters have moved the Democrats' way over the past decade because they have been turned off by the GOP's stand on a panoply of social issues, including guns, the environment and abortion. These voters were important to Gore's victories in swing states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Yes, the soccer moms and the rest of the nanny-state supporting sheeple don't like being scared. And freedom is scary, especially when it means everyone else is free, too. But just because they want to have a warm, fuzzy, safe feeling doesn't mean the government can go trampling on my rights. I get my "freedom from fear" by having the most effective tools to defend myself and my family I can get my hands on. Those tools are guns.

But it's not immediately obvious how important gun regulation was to those suburban swing voters in comparison with, say, abortion and the environment. Until it's clear that politicians will pay a price at the voting booths for opposing reasonable gun laws, the NRA will continue to win -- even if the price is putting those Uzis and AK-47s back on the streets.

Now, I can't support putting Uzis and AK-47s on the streets. They'll for sure get rusty, and probably get damaged, too. I support putting them someplace secure, like my safe, where I can take them out to the range every now and then. And you do realize that you're advocating that elected officials "pay a price at the voting booth" for taking their oath to uphold the Constitution seriously? Would you support throwing politicians who opposed "reasonable" speech laws out of office? Oh wait, you suported McCain-Feingold. Nevermind.

That's why it was heartening to see Kerry challenge Bush on the president's failure to push for a renewal of the assault weapons ban. Here is a chance to move the gun debate away from the vague terrain of "pro-gun" vs. "anti-gun" to a concrete discussion of a measure that 57 percent of those with a gun in their household and 32 percent of NRA members support. (The figures are from the National Annenberg Election Survey.)

Once again, see my argument on tyranny of the majority. It's my right, and it doesn't matter if 99% of the country agrees otherwise. The Constitution says that you have to put up with extrimist groups like Aryan Nation, and you have to put up with me and my guns.

And, yes, supporters of gun control will have to demonstrate some political muscle in making the issue count in places where it matters. Whining about the NRA is useless. Organizing is not. If those who care about gun control do not use this election to make their voices heard, what else can they expect but a timid Congress and a president who says one thing but does another?

Amazing. The group whose rights you advocate infringing feels more strongly those those people on whose supposed behalf you're trying to commit said infringement. And when they decide that free speech doesn't cover letting you spout off about political candidates before an election, what will you do then?

In the meantime, supporters of the weapons ban have to fight the ultimate sleight of hand from the other side: that the law is not broad enough to make a real difference. If the ban didn't matter, why would so many police chiefs and police officers support it? And this argument is the definition of gall: The very people who fight to weaken gun regulations are the ones who then complain that the resulting regulations are too narrow to have an impact.

Police chiefs supported the ban because most of them are appointed by politicians who supported the ban. They care about their job security. And the Ban was weak because its supporters are willing to take whatever small steps they can, confident that they'll get more later, what is known as the Fabian strategy.

But logic alone won't settle this debate. Advocates of gun control need to be tough and resourceful. These are the traits they complain about in their adversaries -- and must learn to emulate.

If logic alone could settle the debate, your side would have lost a long time ago. Or haven't you noticed that in England and Australia, two countries that recently enacted almost complete bans on guns, the violent crime rate is skyrocketing, while the violent crime rate in the U.S. is dropping at the same time most states are making it easier for citizens to carry guns in public? The gun controllers' side of the argument relies almost totally on emotion, and the emotion they rely on is fear. Fear cannot overcome principled arguements on human freedom. And their Fabian strategy belies your argument that they are not tough and resourceful. The enemies of freedom are ever tenacious, which is why freedom's defenders must be ever vigilant.

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Clinton Conspiracy Theory, Part 3 

Shots Across The Bow thinks the whole CBS memo flap isn't designed to set up Hillary '08...it's setting up Hillary '04.

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Range Report 

Took advantage of the opportunity to get out to the range yesterday. I'm a member at the Mid-Carolina Rifle Club, a local range club which features several ranges and hosts a bunch of different competitions. I took 5 guns to the range:

Swiss K-31
Yugo M48A
Sig P229 (carry gun)
Kimber Classic

The primary purpose of the trip was to range test the SVT with different brands of ammo. I don't feel like having to deal with corrosive stuff in the gas system, so I only brought modern production non-corrosive stuff. I was able to get my hands on 4 different types: Wolf 148gr FMJ, Brown Bear 185gr FMJ, Sellier & Belot 180 gr FMJ, and Olympic 180gr FMJ.

When I got to the range, the rifle bay was still occupied by the High-Power match, and a the general purpose bay was also occupied, so I headed over to the plate range to plink with my pistols. Had a grand old time knocking down the steel plates. Burned through 150 rounds of .40 Winchester White box, plus 50 rounds of Georgia Arms 155gr JHPs (new carry round, testing it out.) The 229 functioned flawlessly as usual, although I expect that with factory ammo. I then moved to the Kimber, the third pistol I ever bought (first two being a Sig P220 and HK USP Tactical I bought while stationed in Germany), and probably my favorite to shoot. The 1911 just feels right in my hand. The Kimber was great as always, although a couple of my handload rounds caused feed problems. The Kimber also brought me my best streak of the day, knocking down 23 plates in a row from the 10 yeard line. Now I have to find time to do some more reloading-I left the range with only 50 rounds of FMJ practice ammo left in my stockage. Note to goblins-I still have plenty of JHP in both .40 and .45, plus ample 12ga 00 buck.

The rifle range was still occupied, but the GP range was deserted, so I moved over there to start testing ammo types with the SVT. One thing I discovered at the start: the adjustable gas system is a PITA. It required about 10 rounds to get it dialed in right, during which time the rifle suffered multiple failures to extract and eject. It probably also didn't help the grouping of the first ammo (S&B) that I tried. To make things more annoying, the adjustment nut on my rifle is loose and moves as the rifle gets moved from case to safe and back. But at least I know where it's supposed to be now. Once I got the gas system dialed in, I only had one failure to extract, with the Olympic ammo. Extracting the stuck case required letting the bolt slam forward, then stomping on the charging handle. (Don't worry, I put something soft under the buttstock so I wouldn't hurt it.) One other thing about the rifle: it doesn't have heat shields, and if I take it out for any sustained firing in the future, I plan on taking a glove for my left hand. As it was, while I was shooting the Wolf ammo (third in line) heat waves off the barrel and gas tube started making it tough to see the target.

Now, for the results of the shoot off. I fired 20 rounds of each type, at a range of about 75 yards, sitting in a chair, with my front (left) elbow, left hand, and the front of the rifle on the table and a sandbag. The GP range doesn't feature proper benches, so my right arm was hanging free. I will also qualify my results by noting that I am not the world's best shooter, by any stretch of the imagination, and am generally satisfied with minute-of-torso at combat (<300m) ranges.

Best grouping: tie between the Wolf and the Brown Bear. For future shooting I'll probably go with the Wolf for two reasons: the Wolf was closer to my point of aim, with the rough center of mass of the group centered on the target bull using a 6 o'clock hold. Brown Bear was about 2-3" higher. Second, Wolf uses copper wash on their cases, and Brown Bear is lacquered. I'd rather not have to remove any lacquer from my chamber if I can avoid it. The fact the Wolf is inexpensive and easy to find is also a plus.

S&B came in second, despite having the handicap of me adjusting the gas sytem while shooting it. S&B also featured the only boxer primed brass cases in the group, a plus for folks who reload. I don't, at least not in 7.62x54R. Most shots where in the upper left quadrant, with several flyers.

Olympic came in last, and also had the only failure to extract that wasn't caused by the mis-adjusted gas system. Again, most shots in the upper left quadrant.

Note: I'll post group measurements tomorrow, even though they're embarassing.

Next I broke out the K-31 and the M48A. I brought them for the purpose of testing out two different slip-on recoil pads I bought: one from Pachmayr, and one from Limbsaver. Both are available from MidwayUSA (I'd post the direct links, but Midway is verboten at work.) Both pads were the company's medium size offering. Neither pad fit either rifle perfectly, since both pads were made for the inverted teardrop shape used on civilian hunting rifles, not the much more rounded, fatter at the bottom shape of milsurp rifles. Both fit onto both rifles, altough the Pachmayr took more effort due to its deeper rubber cuff. After putting 80 rounds of 7.62x54R through the SVT, my shoulder was well tenderized for the test.

Winner? The Limbsaver, hands down on both rifles. The recoil from both rifles still pushed me back, but it was distinctly less sharp with the Limbsaver. I'll definitely be using it for any sustained firing of my milsurp bolt guns in the future.

Comparing the K-31 and the M48A: the K-31 I used (one of my 5) is a well worn example I bought from AIM Surplus for $80. The straight pull action is silky smooth, trigger break beautiful, and it produced consistent 6" groups with surplus GP-11 ammo. The M48A was advertised as being unissued when I bought it, and this was the first time I'd fired it. I'm pretty sure the rifle was unissued as advertised. The bolt was incredibly stiff to open after firing-so stiff my non-firing hand couldn't keep the rifle from twisting. This rifle definitely needs some serious break in. Also, I now believe everything I've read about the bad Mauser sights. How could they make such a wonderful bolt action, and put such lousy sights on it?

All in all a wonderful day at the range. Turning gunpowder into noise-the sound of freedom.

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Happy Evil Black Rifle Day! 

The Clinton Ban is officially over. I'd write something, but I don't have to. Jeff pretty much covers everything in his Weekly Check on the Bias. Anything he might have missed gets covered by The Geek.

Unfortunately, my bank account is too low for me to celebrate this day properly. I may have to settle for buying a couple of 12 rounds magazines for my Sig P229. But I've got my eye on some other stuff, believe me.

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Bushmaster/Bull's Eye Settlement 

Hat tip to Jeff at Alphecca for pushing to get this noticed. It actually popped up Friday, but got lost in the noise over the CBS memos and then-impending, now fact, doom of the AWB.

From Reuters:

The company that made the Bushmaster rifle used in the Washington-area sniper killings and a gun shop that lost track of the firearm agreed to pay $2.5 million to victims in what lawyers said on Thursday was an unprecedented settlement.
Bushmaster Firearms Inc. of Windham, Maine, which makes the civilian version of the military M-16 rifle, agreed to pay $550,000 to the families of six victims and two survivors of the shootings.

The Bull's Eye Gun Shop in Tacoma, Washington, near Seattle, also agreed to pay $2 million. Bull's Eye has said that the Bushmaster rifle used in the shootings disappeared from its shop.
"This has now set a precedent nationwide that gunmakers and gun dealers will be held responsible if they continue to sell guns to criminals," Vice said.

The Brady Bunch is running around crowing that this is a precedent. I have news for them: out of court settlements do not set precedent. If you want to establish precedent, you have to actually win in court, Mr. Vice.

Now, for Bushmaster's side of the story:

The Washington DC Brady Group would have you believe they won some kind of victory! The Brady Group brought this lawsuit not for the victims, but for their anti-gun agenda. The Brady Group asked for the settlement conference after reviewing all the evidence they knew they could not be successful in court and they wanted to stop paying lawyer fees.
It was the insurance company’s position that all of the limit would be spent on this case, and therefore turned the funds over to Bushmaster to use as we saw fit ... Our choice was to continue spending it on trial lawyers or turn it over directly to the victims’ families with no funds going to the Brady Group for their legal fees.

(Emphasis added)
The Brady's can call this a victory if they want, but to me (and I'm neither a lawyer nor an accountant) this looks like expended a significant amount of resources for little or no gain. Look at the evidence: the Bradys asked for the settlement conference, which is generally not something you do if you think you're going to win, especially if you want to actually set any sort of precedent that firearms manufacturers can be held liable for the misuse of their products. True victory for the Brady Bunch required a win in court, which they didn't get. Also, if you're holding a good hand when you go to the settlement conference, you don't send a junior varisty lawyer, you send a heavy hitter.

Back to the highlighted parts of the Bushmaster statement. The Brady group "wanted to stop paying lawyer fees." The Brady Campaign was also the primary sponsor of the recent suit in California against Beretta. That one went three rounds, and Beretta emerged victorious-meaning the Bradys had to eat their lawyer fees. Their strategy seems to be putting a bit of strain on their resources. If Bushmaster hadn't been up against the limits of what their insurance would cover, they might have been able to bleed the Bradys pretty badly. Perhaps the next time the Brady's sponsor such a suit, gunowners can establish a legal defense fund. Bankrupting the Brady Campaign would be a good thing for the Second Amendment.

Now, if the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act had passed, this lawsuit never would have happened. Which is why it needs to be a priority for the next session of Congress. The gun grabbers are losing in the voting booth, they're losing in the legislatures (except the PRK), and the courts are the only place they might, just might, be able to win. And they only need to win once. We have to deny them that win.

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