Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feinstein and Pleasure

It’s easier to blog about guns and gun topics than maybe anything else.  
Well, porn is a likely exception, especially internet porn.  (And no, I don’t have a link. You’ll have to find it yourself.)

For example, the Washington Post reports: 

“Assault weapons are ‘personal pleasure[s]’ that should not take precedence over the good of the nation,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said.

Personal pleasure?  Isn’t all pleasure personal?  I can enjoy a great steak, but I can’t share the pleasure with someone across the room.  They may enjoy watching me enjoy the meal, but that’s not what I feel eating that steak.

Is she referring to sex?  In that context we’re back in orbit around Planet Porno.  I hope that's not what she's talking about.

No, you can share the occasion, or the activity that gives you pleasure, but your sense of pleasure is strictly personal.

She likes the buzz word 'assault' and now it’s associated with pleasure.  Word associations are supposed to reveal the inner reaches of our soul.  Hmmm…..  Assault and pleasure.  Well, even Freud said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I don’t know the woman, but she never looks like she’s having fun when I see photos of her.  I’m not sure she understands what the word 'assault' means, but I’m damn sure she doesn’t understand 'pleasure.'

Frankly, guns don’t give me pleasure in themselves.  Oh, I admire the lines and polished wood.  I find many of the photographs artistic and thought provoking.  The mechanisms make me marvel at the skill and talent of the designers.   And God knows I like a well-designed gadget.  But, I’ll never curl up in front of a fireplace with a brandy and the memory of the simplicity of an AR trigger group.

What’s gives me pleasure is my sense of accomplishment, being the best I can be, doing the best I can do.  That gives me pleasure.

I’m going to share one of my little pleasures with you.  It may even be a little silly, but I like shooting my AR at 12x12-inch steel plates at 200 yards.  Lining up the shot, feeling the recoil and watching the plate jump and then hearing the clang of the hit gives me pleasure.  And to do it again before the plate settles down, well it’s just too cool.  Even now when I think about that, it makes me smile.

Feinstein thinks this is bad?

She must be nuts!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Get the Lead Out!

Is this the future of ammunition?

C.O.P copper only projectile
All copper bullet called  C.O.P made by Rare Ammo.
It’s a solid copper hollow point bullet.  No lead at all!

It’s been proposed by various members of the shooting community that the attack on firearms will be directed at ammo.  The attack, they suggest, will come from the EPA and leveled at individual shooters and not ammo manufacturers.  It will be legal to make lead ammo and to own lead ammo, but illegal to shoot lead ammo.  This is a similar attack on lead shot used for bird hunting. 

Copper, of course, is expensive as compared to lead.  It’s also harder to work with.  Lead melts at 621 degrees F but copper melts at 1981 degrees F.  You will not find too many people casting their own copper bullets.  The increased temperature will make that difficult.  Besides where would you find cheap copper?  Even pennies aren’t made of copper anymore.

different view of C.O.P. HP
It's a hollow point but you got to lose the jacketed part in its description.

You can have all the guns you want but if you can’t get ammo for them….

Rare Ammo Company is making a cartridge called COP, Copper Only Projectile.  The rounds come in several weights and velocities.  For example, I could get 9 mm 115 gr with velocities of 1123 or 1242 ft/sec or I could have gotten a 95 grain bullet at 1250 ft/sec.

The density of lead is 1.2X that of copper so the all-copper bullet must be 1.2X bigger to have the same weight as a lead bullet.  The small extra length probably will not make any difference in spin stabilization or resonance time in the barrel.

These bullets are flying ash trays, with a deep hollow point and internal scoring to assist in full expansion.

the hollow point is pre-fragmented for max expansion
Do you know what this reminds me of?  Look below!

This is a large mouth Lamprey Eel.  I know I'm going have bad dreams tonight!

That’s all well and good, but will it work for stopping a VCA?

Here’s part of the sales pitch:

These bullets are being carried by several police forces because they provide high stopping power with limited penetration as to not endanger the people behind the target.  No over penetration, even at high velocities and weight.

side view of all copper bullet showing internal expansion cuts
Do you believe in magic?
Sounds like the magic bullet.  The question to ask is, over penetration compared to what?  Full metal jacketed lead, steel-jacketed Wolf ammo or pre-scored performance ammo like Winchester Ranger SXT or Federal Hydra-Shok?

I have no answers to these questions.

Part of the sales pitch was also the environmental soundness of lead free bullets.

My insight?  Environmentally, I don’t know.  Some drinking water limits:

Copper  1.3 mg/liter

Lead     0.01 mg/liter   That’s a lot lower than copper.

It would seem copper is less harmful in your water.  Seems reasonable, we have copper pipes and lead-free solder.

The question then becomes how reactive is copper and lead to environmental conditions.  Again, I don’t know.

So what do I know?

I know that both guns and ammo chosen for police departments are not selected based on performance, but on some bean counter’s financial analysis of the gun, ammo and potential legal damages.  If you could convince the accounting department that the officer on the street could get the same performance they have now with reduced operating costs and reduced legal settlements, the cops would be carrying slingshots and shooting paper clips dipped in nitroglycerin.

I’d stick with proven performers.

PS:  I also know the Rare Ammo website has been down for 2 days.  Maybe they have skipped town.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

20 Miles Up And Falling Hard

What’s 20 miles?

For most of us it’s a gallon of gas or a good day’s hike.  It’s also a heartbeat from annihilation.

On 15 Feb 13, ten tons of rock shooting through space at 33,000 mph (41 times the speed of a 9 mm) entered our atmosphere and exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia.  (Unless you’re an alien conspiracist, in which case 10 tons of alien shuttle craft exploded!)

image from dask camera  russian Meteor
What would you think seeing this?  The end of the world as you knew it? 

The reports indicated approximately 18-32 miles above ground a school bus-sized  meteor exploded with the force of 400 kilotons of TNT!  The explosion created a flash and noise that broke glass, bent window frames, collapsed a roof on a zinc factory and damaged eyes.  Reports indicated 1000 people were injured, mostly from flying broken glass and eye injuries from the blinding flash of light.  A fragment of rock continued to auger in and made a 20-foot hole in the ice over Chelyabinsk’s water reservoir.  I suspect small craters will be found as well. 

These rocks are very small, too small to see in the vastness of space until they enter our atmosphere, so there isn’t time for warning.  Fortunately, these things happen maybe once every 100 years.  But they do happen and there’s no rule preventing another one a week from now.

Collapsed roof of zinc factory
Chelyabinsk, Russia was lucky.  Some small change in course could have leveled the town.  What if the population density was 3 times higher?  How much more damage and how many more injured people would exist?

Imagine this happening over Chicago or Cleveland.

More injured?              Likely.

More damage?             Possibly.

More panic?                Hell, yes!

More unprepared people unable to deal with temporary loss of normal services?

What do you think?

I believe resources like fire, police, medical, and rescue would be pressed into service from quite some distance creating a void in our normally ordered life.  Confusion and disorder would temporarily fill the void and opportunistic criminals will slither out to take advantage of it.  We saw examples of that in New Orleans after Katrina, and I believe we have experienced similar problems on the east coast following Sandy.

So I ask you, are you prepared?

Do you have food, water, fuel, and other supplies for a week?  How about three weeks without power or restocking deliveries?

Can you perform emergency first aid?  Even if you’re not injured in the incident, what about all the accidents and injuries that occur as we cope with the immediate aftermath?

Can you protect the people you love and the supplies you need to keep them alive and healthy?

Are you mentally ready to respond with force if required?

My tactical angle on this?

It’s not about gismos and gadgets or the latest rifles.  A prepared, mentally hard person with a .22 lever action rifle will be more effective than a weenie with an AR with night vision, IR indicator and a 48-round magazine in responding to VCAs.

I’ve always preached we should develop new skills and sharpen old ones when times are good.  The learning curve is too steep when three guys throw a cinder block through your glass slider. 

What do you think?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

AR Maintenance Class

I’ve been waiting for this class for some time.  Dave Laubert of Defensive Creations ran a one-day armorer’s class on the AR15/M16 rifle.  The class was hosted by Joe Weyer of Weyer Tactical.

It was great!

Did you know there is a difference between a commercial and military collapsible stock?  I didn’t, but I do now.

Dave Lauber showing part of the AR lower
Dave showing students part of the AR lower.  The ability to see the part and ask questions was invaluable.

Dave is a very knowledge and well-respected gunsmith.  Over an eight-hour day, Dave helped us tear down our lower, removing every pin, spring and detent.  Yes, all thirteen of us brought our ARs and disassembled our guns. I have to admit that there was some hesitation on my part.   

I had this vision that I would end up with a single pin that nobody knew where it belonged.  But I also had no doubt that Dave would help me to get my rifle reassembled. 

We field-stripped the bolt and bolt carrier, learned how to change the gas rings and how to inspect parts like extractor, ejector and others for normal wear and replacement.  Unfortunately the craziness in the gun parts and ammo world has created shortages.  Stocking up on normally inexpensive replacement parts like gas rings and cam pins has become expensive, assuming you can find the parts.

Dave Laubert demonstrates taking apart AR upper
Dave demos taking the flash hider off an AR upper.  Note the machinist vice on tripod.
Most of us did not detail strip the upper.  Dave showed us how to remove and replace gas tubes, gas block and remove the barrel.  In all it’s not too complicated, but it requires specialized tools and in some cases, metal-working machinist skills.  Especially if you want to buy a blank barrel and build the entire upper yourself.  I’d talk to Dave about that if I were you.

At the end of the day, I felt I learned a lot about my AR.  I’m going to make a few changes based on what I learned.  I’m going get at least two more cam pins, a new buffer spring and heaver buffer.  I’ll also get a few more gas rings just in case, as well as an extractor and a black extractor buffer.

More importantly, now I feel prepared to replace parts from my spare parts kit if my gun goes down at a match. 

I learned a long time ago as a bullseye shooter that having confidence in your tools goes a long way toward improving your competence and learning ability.  I have that now about my AR.

Thanks, Dave!

Joe Weyer was on hand to answer questions on accessories like dots, scopes and lights.  Joe brings a lot of experience to the table and I’m looking forward to some of his classes.  He has a very nice facility, clean, open and well-maintained.  I like the things he said and let me urge you to sign up for some of his training.

Here are the websites for Dave and Joe: