Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Rule Five John Browning Friday

(I found this some time ago, and being a 1911 fan myself, I rather like it, and reproduce it here from time to time.)

In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was THE pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, “Thou shalt not muck with my disciple John’s design for it is good and it workith. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain.”

“And shouldst thou muck with it, and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm.”

And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it.

And lo, they didst install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and lose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle. And they didst chamber it for cartridges who’s calibers startith with numbers less than the Holy Number 4. And lo the Lord did cause great grief amongst these men when their enemies who were struck in battle with these lesser numbers didst not fall but did continue to cause great harm.

And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunctions to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

And being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did appear to function.

And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both cock and fire them and which require a “dingus” to make them appear safe.

But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and didst proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

And when man had been totally ensnared with the plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-Boom to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation or hell by the followers of John.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five linkery!

An early flight back to (ugh) San Francisco beckons, so I’ll be brief.  Yesterday, while surfing a few news sites, I stumbled on one of the better pieces of anti-gunner trolling that I’ve encountered in some time.

I apologize in advance for linking to, sending you to or in any way drawing any attention to Derpbook, but that’s where this is found.  Enjoy.

This is definitely a case of “ahead Troll Factor Nine!”

And a mil-spec butter knife.  Eh heh heh heh.

Animal’s Daily Las Vegas News

To begin:  What happened in Las Vegas on Sunday last was horrendous, unspeakable, and our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless act of terror.

I’m hesitant to comment on this so soon after the event, and while so many things remain unknown, but there have been a few items banging around the news and commentary circuits that are just plain wrong.

The usual suspects are already screeching about gun control.  But there are already troublesome facts known.  For example:  The shooter, Stephen Paddock, reportedly had at least one, possibly two fully-automatic rifles.  These are reported to have been AR-15 pattern rifles, but it is not clear whether they were converted or manufactured in select-fire configuration.  But that doesn’t really matter.  Why?

If the guns were manufactured in select-fire configuration, Paddock could have obtained them legally.  He was reportedly a man of some wealth, and may have well been able to afford the high price of a couple of NFA firearms.  Also, apparently nothing in his background would have precluded that purchase; he is known to have purchased several other arms, legally, from an Arizona gun shop.  No background check imaginable would have prevented the purchase.

If the guns were converted, then Paddock broke a Federal law in converting them.  But the hard cold fact is this:  Anyone with a mill, a drill press, some aluminum and enough intelligence to pound sand could produce a workable fully-automatic rifle.  The only really tricky part would be the barrel, but there are literally millions upon millions of barrels around that would work for the purpose.

So no law, existing or proposed, would have prevented this.

Also:  Predictable as the morning sun, Her Imperial Majesty, before the body count was even known, took to Twitter to attack the NRA and the SHARE act, deregulating suppressors.  But her argument runs across the same stumbling block; if he used a suppressor purchased legally, that would be small potatoes economically next to the one or two NFA firearms he had already bought.  And we have seen that he was able to pass the background checks.

If he used a manufactured suppressor, a device even more easily fabricated than a firearm, then again, that’s already illegal.  That’s a calculation unlikely to stop a man contemplating mass murder.

Add to that the fact that Paddock apparently had explosives and arming devices in his home; that’s also illegal.

We know so little about this incident as yet, it’s hard to draw any conclusions.  Apparently ISIS wasted no time in claiming ownership of Paddock and his act, but they are as full of shit as the Dowager Empress; there’s no reason to think Paddock was an ISIS sympathizer.  But this is time for ascertaining facts, not wading in the blood of the victims to push a political agenda.

Animal’s Hump Day News

I have the sudden urge to go cycling.

These kinds of articles go around every now and then; I suppose with the bat-guano crazy Norks stirring the pot again, another appearance was to be expected.  Here from the Daily Caller are 3 Must-Have Apocalypse Guns.  Excerpt:

There comes a time in every gun writer’s career when he must consider the end of the world as we know it and the apocalypse guns required to survive.

It’s not a bad exercise for anyone to undertake, given the security and safety of modern life is deceptive and fragile. There are the obvious culprits that could turn the lights out — war, plague, natural disaster. But the mundane — lack of power or hyperinflation for instance — could equally prove to be the cracks that break the façade of our comfort and security.

God forbid these end days are ever visited on us and those we love. But it’s better to tackle the scenario head on and be prepared, than to whistle past the graveyard. With that in mind, here are three must-have apocalypse guns to see you through these dark times.

While self-defense was a consideration in putting together the list, it was not the sole criteria. The apocalypse would be the ultimate survival situation, and that’s what these firearms are meant to do — help you survive. In turn, the guns chosen were also: versatile, reliable, fed with common ammunition and wide-spread enough to scrounge replacement parts, if need be.

In case you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, the three guns are:

  1. Mossberg 500/Remington 870, 12 gauge
  2. AR-15
  3. Glock 41 (.45 ACP)

All of these would be useful arms, of course, in a TEOTWAWKI situation.  But there’s one thing all of these articles predictably overlook:

The long term.

Modern firearms are necessarily the product of a modern industrial society.  The tools to maintain those firearms and to produce their ammunition are likewise products of a modern industrial society.  So what happens when the SHTF situation lasts longer than expected, and that modern industrial society is gone?

Those serious in preparing for TEOTWAWKI (I’m not one of them) would do well to consider laying in a flintlock rifle or musket, a good supply of flints, and a big supply of bar lead.  Black powder isn’t hard to make; people have been making black powder for over a thousand years.

It may not be pretty.  It may not be fancy.  But you’ll be shooting when your fancier compadres will be trying to make a working bow and arrows, and using their AR-15s as clubs.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

The weekend just may not have seen the world end, but it did see yr. obdt. flying home to Colorado for a weekend, a pleasant break from the peripatetic nuttiness of Silicon Valley.  Unfortunately Mrs. Animal is in Michigan visiting the two college kids, so I ended up hanging out with our son-in-law.  We went out to his Dad’s place on the eastern plains and burned up a fair amount of ammo.  I checked the zero on Thunder Speaker in anticipation of next month’s deer and elk hunt, and after a comment that he’d never fired a rifle of that power (.338 Win Mag) I let the son-in-law take a couple shots off the bench.

Thunder Speaker on the bench.

Unfortunately he wasn’t used to the stiff recoil that Thunder Speaker delivers, and ended up taking a whack from the eyepiece of the scope.  Oops.  But, as I told him, there are few dedicated shooters of hunting-caliber rifles that haven’t ended up with a case of Kaibab Eye at one point or another.

But the fun part of the day was when the e-e-e-e-e-e-evil AR-15 came out.

Yup.  That was fun.

Animal’s Hump Day News


Happy Hump Day!

It’s Hump Day, midway through the week that some nutbar claims will be all of our last!

So, with that being the case, let’s have an update on that suppressor issue.  The statistics are what makes this article interesting.  Excerpt:

Despite such incredible claims that, as Kristen Rand of VPC said in a press release dated June 27, “silencers are military-bred accessories that make it easier for criminals to take innocent lives and threaten law enforcement. Existing federal law has kept crimes committed with silencer-equipped firearms rare,” the number of crimes committed with suppressors is incredibly low.

Not to labor the point, but this will not be a surprise to anyone who has ever actually used one. If you’re going to commit a crime with your weapon, fitting a suppressor will actually make this much more difficult. As Jeremy Mallette, social media director for Silencer Shop in Austin, told back in August, suppressors add considerable length to any firearm – making concealment impossible – and block the shooter’s front sight picture. “You can’t conceal a handgun anymore with one on and on a rifle, it would make the rifle very unwieldy,” he said. “That’s my biggest retort. (Some people) think silencers would be useful in these shootings and that’s just not the case.”

But let’s look at the numbers, for the sake of balance. Knox Williams, president and executive director for the American Suppressor Association, told that of the 1.3 million suppressors in circulation, his group can only fund 16 instances of criminal use since 2011. “That translates to the misuse of a glaringly low percentage of suppressors in circulation — roughly 0.000012308 percent,” he said.

That’s pretty low.

Saying that’s pretty low is like saying a single hydrogen atom is pretty small.  That percentage is so low that it is indistinguishable from statistical noise; in other words, so low as to be irrelevant.

I know I’ve beaten this long-deceased equine a fair bit already, but do you all remember when liberalized concealed-carry laws were passed in the several states?  Remember the doom and gloom predictions of the anti-gun left, of shootouts over parking spaces, armed road rage, blood and mayhem in the streets?  Now, after all is over on that issue but the shouting, the best statistics we have shows that you are safer, statistically, standing on a street corner next to a CCW holder than next to a cop.

The same will obtain here.  There will be dire predictions from the hysterical anti-gunners and, assuming this law passes – it should – none of them will come true.

Rule Five Politico Lies About Guns Friday

Take a look at that header:  “Politico Lies About Guns.”  Nothing new about that, right?  This time it’s about suppressors.  Excerpts below, interspersed with my comments:

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is renewing his controversial push to make it easier to buy gun silencers, a debate that had been postponed following the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in June.

Someone remind Politico that there is no such thing as a “silencer.”  You can’t silence a gunshot, not even a .22 rimfire.  Politico is once again doing firearms research by watching old Matt Helm movies.  The term is “suppressor.”

Duncan argues that silencers are used by hunters and target shooters to limit potential hearing loss from gunfire. Duncan introduced a stand-alone silencer bill, dubbed the “Hearing Protection Act,” in January. That legislation currently has 160 co-sponsors, including several Democrats.

Several Democrats actually have some sense.  That’s hopeful.

But gun control groups argue that Duncan’s bill is one of the top legislative goals for the powerful National Rifle Association and is opposed by many police organizations. There is also very little chance Duncan’s bill would be able to pass the Senate due to Democratic opposition.

And here we are with the hysterical shriek of “OMG OMG THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION!”  The NRA is an advocacy group; indeed, a civil rights group, protected by the First Amendment.  The NRA’s members vote for their leadership, their by-laws, their policies; the NRA does what its millions of members tell it to do.  I thought the political Left was in favor of grass-roots movements?

But here’s the real gem, and I’ll cut Politico some slack; this is a quote, not part of the written copy:

“NRA leadership and their friends in Congress have gone behind closed doors to try to prop up lagging gun sales by making it easy for anyone to buy a silencer without a background check,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.

Feinblatt is either lying or badly misinformed.  The Hearing Protection Act will remove suppressors from regulation under the 1934 National Firearms Act, it’s true – but they will be regulated the same way as firearms under the 1968 Gun Control Act.

So which is it, Mr. Feinblatt?  Are you a liar, or are you just stupidly careless?

So, once again, we have a (for once) sensible piece of firearms-related legislation.  Once again, we have a (as usual) anti-gun nutbar shrieking his opposition while at the same time having no real idea what the hell he’s blathering about.

Just once – just once – I’d like to see one of these anti-gun groups actually do some reading about actual guns.  Until then, we’re stuck with stupid statements like the one above, along with the famous “shoulder thing that goes up” gem.

It’s enough to drive one to distraction.

Animal’s Daily Big-Bore News

A cartridge that is overkill in a handgun is perfectly manageable in a rifle, even a carbine; that brings us to the Ruger Gunsite Scout in .450 Bushmaster.  Excerpt:

The .450 Bushmaster is one of three “thumper” rounds most commonly chambered in the AR-15 platform (the .458 SOCOM and the .50 Beowulf complete the trio). The quest for the perfect AR-15 cartridge is ongoing, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from implementing these powerful rounds in other platforms.

Ruger currently offers two models chambered in .450 Bushmaster: an iteration of their American Ranch series and the one I tested, the Gunsite Scout.

If you’re unfamiliar with the .450 Bushmaster, you’re not alone. It’s a relatively new cartridge, and not many companies manufacture the round or produce rifles that fire it. But as hog hunting grows in popularity, the .450 Bushmaster is well-positioned to grow right along with it.

I’ve been intrigued by the Ruger Scout concept for quite a while, and have been thinking of picking up one in .308.   But the idea of the thumpin’ .450 Bushmaster kicks my curiosity up a notch.

I can not, however, agree with the tag line of the article: If You Could Only Own One Rifle.  In the first place, I can’t see owning only one rifle, but I’m an inveterate pack rat, and could easily see how someone who would prefer to have a gun for all seasons – the Old Man harbors those sorts of tendencies.  But were I limited to one rifle, I’d happily hang on to my own Thunder Speaker; the .338 Win Mag is an order of magnitude more powerful than the .450 Bushmaster, and Thunder Speaker has killed game at greater ranges than the .450 will easily handle.

Thunder Speaker and a Colorado mulie, taken at 280 long paces

As for a short range bullwhacker, the Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 fills that bill pretty damned admirably.

But there’s a lot to be said for this new development from Ruger.  From the days when old Bill ran the show, Ruger has been an innovator.  From the original Standard Auto to the Gunsite Scout, Ruger has produced a constant stream of high-quality firearms, generally based on a good idea taken to the next level – like how the original Blackhawk took the ancient single-action revolver and filled it with late 20th century guts.

The Ruger .450 Scout is another neat idea.  I have other rifles that will do any of the things that this Scout was made for, but that’s neither here nor there; just because I don’t need another gun doesn’t need I don’t want another gun.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as usual to The Other McCain and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller has an Outdoors section where they regularly review guns and gear, which is a nice feature; recently they reviewed the S&W X-frame .500 S&W.

Holy shit.  Excerpt:

A few short years ago one of my best friends and I were enjoying some incredible fishing on the Naknek River in Alaska. Those big king salmon could burn off line and give anglers some heart-pounding action. Steve, my fishing and deer hunting buddy and I were in the middle of some of the best fishing you could possibly find. There were only two annoying factors bothering us—black flies and brown bears.

We could deter the black flies with our cigars most of the time. The bears on the other hand were a different matter. Frequently bears would roam around camp so you had to constantly be on the lookout when cleaning fish or attending to other chores. We were continually looking over our shoulder when wading along a tributary dumping into the river. Tracks were everywhere and we weren’t the only ones fishing the area. We are headed back to Alaska this year, fishing the same waters as before, only this time I will be carrying a peace-of-mind insurance policy—the S&W 500.

Here’s the part that caught my attention:

The revolver tips the scales a shade over 56 ounces when empty and the weight comes in handy when shooting high-octane loads.

The 25-5, in the middle.

That’s three and a half pounds, True Believers, for a five-shot revolver.  That’s a full pound heavier than my N-frame 25-5, which carries six rounds of .45 Colt.  My favored load for my Smith, as noted the other day, will blast a fist-sized chunk of wood chips out of the far side of  railroad tie – that’s plenty of power for most handgun work.

I don’t get this whole mega-handgun craze.  A sidearm should be just that, a sidearm, something that can be conveniently and unobtrusively packed around all day through the normal range of outdoor activities.  Monster handguns don’t really fit that bill, at least for someone of my not-inconsiderable stature.  Some years back I had a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle and played around with it for a while, but I didn’t much care for it; too much flash and bang for the added power over the .45 Colt, and it was far too heavy to be easily packed around.  I haven’t fired one of the mega-Smiths, but I suspect the same would prove true.

If you are in big bear country and need the kind of power one of the major-league Alaska bruins merits, carry a rifle or a pump shotgun stoked with hard-cast slugs.  You’ll be a lot better protected, and if you’re going to carry a firearm that will be inconvenient and in your way while fishing, you may as well go all the way.


Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Let’s talk about gunbelts and holsters for outdoor work.  No concealed-carry stuff here – let’s discuss rigs for carrying a heavy, powerful belt gun for serious work.

But before we do that, let’s talk about the gun.

While I favor my Glock 36 for everyday concealed carry, for outdoor work I like a big-bore wheelgun.  When woods-bumming, I usually have either my S&W 25-5 or my Ruger Vaquero, both in .45 Colt.  If I take it in my head to carry a semi-auto, it’s either the 1911 or the Glock 21, both (obviously) .45 ACPs.  In the revolvers I like 8 grains of Unique behind a Lasercast 250-grain hard-cast flat point.  That load will blow through a railroad tie and knock a big handful of splinters out the far side, and will easily lengthwise a big mulie or a cow elk.

For the .45 ACP I like the 200 grain Lasercast semi-wadcutter.  Like most Glocks, my 21 will feed almost anything; the 1911 is a little fussier but will feed SWCs fine with a good magazine.  I use Kimber magazines, and the 1911 will feed empty cases with those.

The gun belt and holster should be comfortable and solid.  Choice of material is up to the shooter; some like nylon web belts and holsters, and there is certainly nothing wrong with such a rig; I’ve used many myself.  But it’s hard to beat good leather.  Heavy harness leather should be used in the belt, and good stout bullhide in the holster.  A heavy leather rig will start out very stiff, but wear and the application of a softening oil, like neatsfoot oil,  will soon make the rig softer and more wearable.

For my belt guns, I like the America’s Gun Store #110 Wyoming Drop belt with the #114 Cheyenne holster, which rig hangs the but of the gun at about wrist height when your arms are hanging naturally.  I find this near perfect for being able to get the gun into action quickly; as long as you use the leg tie down to hold the holster in place, you can wipe off the holster’s hammer loop with the shooting hand’s thumb just as your fingers wrap around the grip.  Train yourself to keep your finger off the trigger while drawing; cock the single-action or start the double-action pull after you have cleared leather and are already pushing the muzzle of the piece towards the target.

Lots of folks like the Threepersons holster as well, and the same statements apply.

If your stomping grounds tend to be wet and snowy/rainy, like the Pacific Northwest or Alaska, Great America’s also makes their very nice K #17 flap holster, which keeps weather off the gun but makes it take longer to bring the piece to bear.

Whichever rig you choose, keep it clean (saddle soap and water) and softened, and it will give many, many years of solid service.