Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Random Thoughts

Every year I announce my firearms training schedule to the people I work with.  I’m often very surprised by the people who want to know more but aren’t interested in actual training.  Most of the time all the questions that could be resolved, or at least clarified, by a visit to the range are asked after the northeast Ohio outdoor shooting season comes to a screeching halt.  This year’s Christmas party was no different.

Sometimes you realize that all some people want is your blessing to confirm what they want to do is tactically sound, practical and will not land them in jail.  These ideas, in my experience, are seldom correct and often impossible to dispel.  In some cases all I want to do is change the subject as not to be connected with some scheme. 

So when the conversation wound down to their proposed plan that she would use a sawed off shotgun loaded with buck shot, I just wanted to change the subject.  I knew this wasn’t the time to discuss stopping power or the legal and civil liability problems with using an illegal weapon. 

I took the coward’s way out and asked her if she thought she could shoot someone.  Several adult beverages changed “I don’t know if I could shoot someone” to “I’ll shoot anyone in my home who threatens me.  I’ll empty the gun into’ em.”  This despite the fact she wasn’t sure about how to load a revolver, which is how I got into this wacky conversation.  It was an interesting and scary look into the mind of the untrained gun owner.

Last weekend also found me I with a table of knives at a gun show and I overheard a transaction at the table next to mine.  Table owner was selling an IverJohnson .32 caliber revolver to an older gentleman accompanied by his son.  These guns can be over 100 years old and the buyer was warned about shooting modern ammunition this gun.

I thought that was very nice of the seller.  You can shoot these revolvers with thin wall chambers from the late 1890s if:
  1. You’re crazy;
  2. You’re desperate;
  3. You’ve got the low pressure ammunition which was designed for that gun.

The son assured the seller that dad wasn’t going to shoot the gun, but shortly after the two of them walked off dad slipped back and asked the seller where he could by ammo for the gun.  The seller smartly claimed ignorance. 

As Cassius said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves....”

I’ve recently seen an abundance of SS109 both as reloading components and complete cartridges.  I’m surprised at this; many ranges forbid the use of steel core SS109 penetrator rounds for several good reasons.  They can bounce back from hard targets and injure the shooter or other people on the firing line.  They also have the potential to damage steel targets. 

SS109 damage to steel plate
Stolen from AR15.com posted by PD shooter in 2006.  The left, if I understood the notes is an impact from  SS109 while the right is Wolf steel jacket  I don't have any information on the actual steel.

So I was wondering if the survivalists, doomsday prepers and followers of the Mayan calendar were preparing to duke it out with post-apocalyptic Mad Max armored survivors.  Never mind that they would be someone else’s Mad Max armored survivors.  Such a demand for SS109s would be noticed by manufacturers, who would flood the market.  It’s just simple demand and supply economics.
The big ammo sellers report they haven’t seen an up-tick in SS109 sales.  They did volunteer that bulk sales, in general, are down.  Their reasons fall into two possible alternatives.

One.  The bulk ammo market is saturated.  Too many shooters are waking up and wondering what to do with 50 thousand rounds of some caliber they don’t have a gun for.

Two.  It's political, of course.  Everyone is worried about what will happen in January 2014 under Obamacare.  As a result, they are slipping that extra cash aside in case they have to purchase health insurance.  Uncertain times do reduce unnecessary spending.

Is there a tactical content here?  
Probably not.

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