Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Survival Carbine

Just as Jeff Cooper introduced the Scout Rifle concept decades ago, shooters should look seriously at  another concept, the survival carbine.  This concept would not introduce or highlight new "gotta have" hardware, but would instead focus on existing carbines and accessories and how to tailor them for self defense. The type of scenarios and situations an armed civilian would encounter.   This seems counterintuitive, but in reality our best known trainers recommend weapons best suited for special operations, high risk contractors, or 3 gun competitions.  In the race for the latest and greatest, the fundamental use of the carbine, self defense, is lost. 

Here are some starting questions. What should a survival carbine have as essential characteristics?  How powerful should it be? Does it have to be semi automatic? How should it be accessorized? What if any optics are useful? How would its defensive role differ from the shot gun? 

Defining the requirements of the survival carbine will be the subject of further posts in this blog.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Continued testing of the Mosin 91/30 Sniper

We've continued low temperature testing  of the Soviet Mosin-Nagant 91/30 sniper, 1944 vintage.  The rifle and scope are an impressive combination of engineering and simplicity. Hits on small gongs at 200 and 300 yards are routine for a decent marksman and longer range testing is in the plan.  In cold (0 to 30F) the 300 yard testing distance was used to simulate most winter visibility conditions.  The rifle and surplus ball ammunition (not the match grade 7N ammunition) are performing better than expected, giving 1 to 2 inch, 3 shot groups at 100 yards.  The rifle remains remarkably cool during extended firing at these temperatures, this seems to aid in keeping groups tight and also in consistent groups fired in series. The biggest surprise if the robust 3 power scope and the clarity of the optics.  I was expecting some difficulty with the clunky reticle but it has proven surprisingly easy to use. This is an excellent rifle scope combination. While not my first choice as a DMR, its easy to see how the 91/30 sniper has remained in use during almost every conflict of the late 20th and early 21st century.  The importers still have a few of these left, get one while you can.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kalishnikov is gone.

With the passing of Mikhail Kalishnikov, I hope the world will finally recognize the heavy influence the German STG 44 had on the AK-47.  The AK is not a copy but its design barrowed heavily from STG 44.  I have never bought the "independent parallel development" of the AK or its 7.62 x 39 cartridge.  The Soviets saw and copied.  However, it does not diminish the design work and refinement of the military AK-47 into one of the best assault rifles of all time.
Mikhail Kalashnikov in his later years with his signature vodka.

The AK 47 was one of two weapons which evolved from lessons on the Eastern Front in World War II. The other is the German post war G-3 assault rifle. Although the G-3 was handicapped by using the too powerful 7.62 NATO instead of the more sensible 7.92 x 33, the simplicity of the G-3 and its incredible durability and reliability match the AK-47. This is not a coincidence, it was a lesson learned the hard way during intense combat. It's interesting to note that neither rifle has a bolt hold open device and each one works with mass produced lower quality steel cased ammunition. They are remarkable rifles born from a unique and remarkable experience.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Wish list

Here are some "Christmas wishes" by myself and shooters I know.
  1. More gun choices in 50 GI. Some lower cost choices in 1911 pistols and a S&W 5 shot revolver.  The revolver could introduce the 50 S&W Auto Rim.
  2. Lower cost center fire pistol ammo for 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP.
  3. Removal of sound suppressors from the National Firearms Act.
  4. Better politicians.
  5. More affordable American made tactical optics.
  6. More Zoot Shooting Clubs.
  7. Better quality shooting oriented television shows.
  8. More developed ranges and clubs.
We'll see what the new year brings.

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Musings

The Affordable Care Act is not affordable, provides less care to the population, encourages doctors to leave medicine, and just makes everything worse.  This is why politicians cannot  be allowed to institute "gun control" legislation.

The shortage of 22 long rifle ammunition persists.  Manufacturers, for the sake of younger/new shooters, please correct this situation.

Mayor Bloomberg was recently on Saturday Night Live, it is where he belongs, among the other bad and stupid jokes.

The competition for Air Jordan shoes has resulted in fights, beatings, and thefts nationwide. The high price and shortage of these shoes are to blame. Notice this did not happen with the AR-15 and ammunition shortages last year.  "An armed society is a polite society".

M. Kalishnikov is dead, may he rest in peace. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another National Disgrace!

Major General Anthony Cucolo (pronounced cookolo), U.S. Army, Commander of the Army War College is considering removing the portraits of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  Apparently one of his staff considers them as enemy soldiers and thus unworthy of study or admiration.   Of course these idiots have disregarded several pieces of LEGISLATION passed by Congress between 1904 and 1958 which confers rights and legal status to Confederate Soldiers. The Confederate Soldier is considered an American Soldier and of equal status to any other U.S. Soldier.  Sorry General, thats the law.  Even in the PC tainted world of today, the Honor, Integrity, and Bravery of the Confederate Soldier is legally recognized.   How could the War College be so ignorant?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Terminator 5 and classic guns.

There are rumors that one of the plot lines in the upcoming Terminator 5 move concerns Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sarah Connor’s grandfather fighting the first generation of Terminators who traveled back into time to the late 1940s or 1950s. Supposedly, as a result of his fighting skills, Sarah’s grandfather’s image   (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was used in the improved Terminator sent back to 1983.


The speculation on what sort of weapons Sarah Connor’s grandfather would use is interesting.  Of course World War II weapons, M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, various modes of the Thompson SMG, and of course a brace of Colt 1911A1 pistols may be present. 
 Heavier weapons could include the Lewis gun, the Browning Automatic Rifle, the 1919 and M2 Browning machineguns.  Explosives could include the Bazooka, the German Panzerfaust, or the British PIAT anti-tank weapons.

I hope this plot line is a major part of the movie, but I doubt it. Audiences want to see younger actors in the reboot of this movie franchise. Still, one can hope.     

Monday, December 16, 2013

Joan Fontaine 1917-2013

Joan Fontaine 1917-2013
(born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland )
Actress Joan Fontaine has passed. I don't think she ever really handled any guns in her movies. However, she did epitomize class, grace, and poise. Even her lesser know and lower budget movies, are excellent performances.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Best Gun Handling Celebrities: Leif Erickson

Leif Ericson firing a Winchester model 1892 modified to look like an 1860 Henry rifle.

Leif Erickson (1911-1986) was a tall and handsome actor with a powerful booming voice.  Leif had many memorable performances in film. He is best known as the tough determined rancher John Cannon in the western series “High Chaparral”. 
 The High Chaparral may be the best western TV series ever made. It features a variety of characters, innovative writing, and consistently good acting. Leif and the other cast member routinely handled firearms against Apaches and various bandits. In a credible attempt to replicate henry rifles, Winchester 92s with hand guards removed, are used to portray the earlier rifles.  In several non-shooting scenes, actual Henry’s are used.
Of course, almost every character carries or uses a single action pistol, the most memorable is a nickel plated 1875 Remington carried by John Cannon’s brother in law. Leif is believable with his weapon handling. He may have learned about weapons during his World War II service. Leif was a Navy combat photographer and was wounded twice.  Sadly, The High Chaparral was cancelled after four seasons.  The western was on it way out and even the shows high ratings could not save it.           

Sunday, December 8, 2013

National Disgrace!

The magazine of the USS Shaw Exploding on December 7th, 1941
Our country largely ignored the 72nd anniversary of the unprovoked sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. The nation was just not concerned.  It was the same with the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and the sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence as well. No attention paid by our national leaders.  Ignore history at your peril. There is a foolish, dimwitted, and short sighted view of history which professes the idea any history before the civil rights movement of the 1960s is irrelevant. This is stupid, inaccurate, and dangerous in the extreme.    I suppose, like so many other things, our leaders and education system are to blame. If you don’t understand history, you can’t understand and appreciate America and Freedom.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gun Musings: Opinions and Observations of a Lifelong Shooter.

Good news! Today’s gun owners and shooting community is well funded, well organized. Victories against tyrants in Colorado and the defeat of anti-freedom gun legislation in the last year are a welcome contrast to the bleak days after the oppressive 1994 gun ban. 

Bad news! The war on freedom continues. The Obama administration is blocking the return of American M1 rifles from South Korea. I hope the importers can wait another three years, until our inevitable regime change in 2016, when hopefully adults may again be in charge of our government. 

Youtube Madness! I’ve seen a number of videos “testing guns to destruction”. I don’t find them interesting. Firearms should be treasured and respected. To simply abuse them until they break for video sensationalism seems foolish and disturbing.

Open Carry?  Is it a good idea? As a boy, growing up on a cattle ranch, we open carried all the time, in the pastures and woods.  We often had firearms with us in ranch trucks and tractors while using county roads. We used mostly rifles, but there were revolvers occasionally present. This would be open carry by today’s standards, and a good idea.  Walking around a large or small city with a rifle or openly holstered sidearm, seems like a very bad idea.   

Ammunition is once again widely available for every caliber except .22 Long Rifle cartridges. I hope that situation improves soon. The shortages over the last year were sheer frustration for many shooters. I hoped manufacturers learned a few lessons. 

Pearl Harbor Day

72 years ago today our forces at Pearl Harbor were the victims of a sneak attack. This lead to four years of total war which spilled onto or around every inhabited continent. Remember our heroes on this day, including a personal hero of this blog named Commander Howard R. Healy whose heroic efforts saved 2700 men on the stricken U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) during the early 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea.  DD 672 the U.S.S. Healy was named in his honor.
45 Caliber 1911 Transition model salvaged from the USS Shaw after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.