Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

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.

Rule Five Machine Gun Friday

Want to know what one of the easiest guns to make in a basement workshop is?  A submachine gun.  That’s right.  Excerpt:

In 1998, a British subject named P.A. Luty decided to illustrate the fallacy of complete civilian disarmament by building a weapon that lacked any of the registered parts of the firearm.

Recently, the YouTube channel “Forgotten Weapons” got a chance to take a look at the result, a submachine gun built entirely with parts that could be picked up at the hardware store.

As noted in the video, Luty ended up spending some time in a British prison for his efforts, as would people who were caught with such weapons in pretty much any other nation on Earth.

Yet Luty proved his point.

Since his book was first published, such firearms have shown up in Australia, Indonesia, and many other places.

Some might argue that Luty is responsible for a self-fulfilling prophecy, that the only reason he was right was because he dropped the plans in the criminal’s laps. Unfortunately, that would only be true of Luty’s designs were the only option. After all, hasn’t the “zip gun” been around for ages?

None of this takes into account the tooling existing in some backyard shops these days. Metal lathes, milling machines, and 3D printers all can be useful in building far more sophisticated firearms that Luty’s effective but almost prehistoric design.

In other words, guns are definitely here to stay. Try as the leftist gun control advocates might, they’ll never be able to get all of the weapons. Even if they did, though, guns would still be produced for illegal purposes.

In this scenario, of course, there’s also the problem of rounding up somewhere north of 300 million guns already in the hands of American citizens – the vast majority of them law-abiding.  But let’s set that aside for the moment and consider the possibility of a complete confiscation of all guns – imagine someone had the ability to snap their fingers and poof every firearm out of existence.

How long do you think it would take for a robust black market to crop up?  I’m guessing a matter of hours.

Now, consider the likely consequences of that.  There’s a reason that 2nd Amendment advocates are fond of saying “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”  Two aspects of that would derive here; first, criminals would be armed not with crappy, cheap Hi-Points but with small, cheap, concealable submachine guns.  Second, many law-abiding citizens would become non-law-abiding, as they seek their own bathtub-gin arms to make up for the sudden disadvantage.

Bear in mind that this could be a feature, not a bug; as Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged:

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

In either case, the end result would be a crime rate shot through the roof.

Rule Five Self-Defense Myths Friday

Recently The Daily Caller presented a pretty good article on three self-defense myths that you still see bandied about.  Here they are, with some of my comments.

Myth No. 1: Hit him anywhere with a .45 and it will knock him down.

This myth probably started with the advent of the .45 Colt back in the 1870s, but it has been repeated most often when people refer to the .45 ACP. Nowadays, you will hear it touted regarding the .44 Mag., the .41 Mag., the .40 S&W or whatever new pistol cartridge that has just been introduced.

The truth was discovered way back in 1687, when Sir Isaac Newton published his third law of motion. Newton simply stated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if a bullet shot from a handgun was so powerful that it could actually knock a person down, it would also knock the shooter down.

Part of the reason you still see this line of horseshit served up is because you see it in the movies and on television so often.  One of the best portrayals of an old Western gunfight is in the excellent Costner/Duvall flick Open Range; it shows a real gun battle, with old guns made with varying tolerances and inconsistent black-powder ammo, with opponents literally just blasting away at each other at short range until hits are scored.  But there is a scene that ruins the whole thing; Robert Duvall fires his double-barrel 12 gauge through a plank wall at a bad guy, and the blast picks the baddie up and slams him against a wall.  Not even a 12-bore at a range of about six feet will do that; not even close.  More on that in the next bit:

Myth No. 2: There’s no need to aim a shotgun, just point it in the general direction of the bad guy and fire.

The shotgun is an awesome firearm that is altogether too often overlooked by today’s defensive shooters. However, it is not a magic wand. People who claim you don’t have to aim a shotgun have simply never done patterning tests with their favorite defensive smoothbore.

When shot exits a shotgun barrel, it does so in almost one solid mass. That mass is smaller than a man’s fist. It is only as the shot travels downrange that it begins to spread apart, and it spreads much more gradually than a lot of people expect.

A shotgun can be absolutely devastating at close range; I can attest to this from personal experience, having personally taken a hit to the leg from a 12-gauge at a range of about three feet.  (It was just a minor difference of opinion; call it a misunderstanding and leave it at that.)  But it’s not a damned paintbrush.  A good tight aim is still required.

Myth No. 3: If you have to shoot a bad guy in your front yard, drag him into the house before calling the cops.

As ridiculous as this may sound, it is one of the self-defense myths that just won’t go away. A student brought it up once in a defensive pistol class. There are couple of good reasons why this is a terrible idea.

We live in a time when any halfway-awake forensics weenie can reconstruct your life history from the remains of your gerbil’s three-week-old fart, and people are still spouting this nonsense.

Here are a couple of additions of my own:

Don’t ever fire a warning shot.

Daffy old Uncle Joe Biden’s advice on the topic notwithstanding, this is a bad idea.  For one thing, you may well be guilty of negligent discharge of a firearm.  But more to the point, if things are bad enough that you have produced a firearm to deter a threat, if you are called upon to fire your first shot should be center mass.  Shoot to stop the threat; a shot in the air does nothing to that end.

Understand the laws of your jurisdiction.

In Colorado, we are fortunate enough to have what liberals call the “Make My Day” law; state law gives home and business owners the right to use force to defend themselves on their property, without requiring one to retreat.  Your state may differ; some places require you to flee before using force, which to my thinking is a horrendous abuse of government authority and a denial of a basic human liberty.  But if you don’t want to end up in the crowbar Hilton yourself, know your local laws.

It’s a damned shame that so many folks who write about guns don’t seem to know much about them – including some that should know better.

Animal’s Daily Overthrow News

There has been plenty of hyperventilating about some kind of coup ever since Donald Trump was elected President.  None of it will amount to anything, which makes this two-part scenario a tad silly.  Excerpt:

But how would one pull off a coup d’etat in the United States? Most of the political hacks had no idea, while the military experts understood the massive challenge. Some answers were obvious – in the Third World, the first thing the plotters take control of are the radio and TV stations and the newspapers. In America, the media was already in the bag. Hell, they would cheerlead a coup. But the actual seizure of power? That was more complicated.

“You just send in some soldiers and take over everything,” said the younger and, astonishingly, stupider California senator. “You know, with guns. How hard can this Army stuff be?”

Retired – actually, fired by Trump – General Leonard Smith, who had been promoted by Obama after failing to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who successfully spearheaded the transsexuals in foxholes initiative, tried to explain.

“Look, it’s a matter of numbers. We take all our land forces in CONUS…”

“What’s CONUS?” asked a former Clinton Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of Defense.

“The continental United States,” the general replied, annoyed. “We have maybe 45 brigade combat teams total available, counting everything active and reserve, Marine and Army. Less than one per state. And a city takes a brigade to control – at least. New York would take ten. And that’s assuming they were all loyal to us. There’s police and federal law enforcement too, but we also have 100 million armed Americans who might object.”

“Ridiculous,” sniffed the senator. “How can a bunch of citizens armed with their deer rifles stop a modern army?”

 “Oh, I don’t know, Senator. Ask the Vietnamese. Or the Afghans. Look, we need speed and focus. Step one is to decapitate the government by eliminating the current leadership, via capture or … otherwise. Step two, take the the key control nodes before the administration can react. Step three, use the inertia of the military and law enforcement. We get them on our side – whether they know it or not – and keep them moving and following orders so they do not have time to reflect and react against us. But you need to understand and to go into this with your eyes open. If we do this, people will die. Are you ready for that?”

OK, here’s where this scenario falls apart:  Our military and hell, much of our civil law enforcement, would never involve themselves in a violent overthrow of the United States government.   For one thing, the oath our military members take is to the Constitution, not to any specific leader (not that this seems to have much effect on elected pols who take a similar oath).  I’m damned certain the vast majority of the armed forces would repel, not aid, any such armed insurrection.

Here’s the second reason the scenario falls apart:  The insurrection is formulated and executed by the political Left.  You know – the people who don’t have all the guns.  The author nods at that fact with the line quoted above about Vietnam and Afghanistan, but America’s legal gun-owning community is far better armed and better practiced than the denizens of either of those places.

Any such attempt at a coup would be brutal, short, and not to the benefit of the would-be rebels.

Rule Five CCW Friday

Every time the subject of concealed carry comes up, you hear the same arguments from opponents of this overwhelmingly successful public policy:  The same old carp about a return to the Wild West (which was actually a pretty peaceful place) shootouts over parking spaces and the like.

That’s all bullshit, of course.  John Lott Jr. has recently released another study showing just how full of shit these arguments are.  From the abstract:

There are now over 16.3 million permit holders, a record 1.83 million increase in permits since last July. Nationwide, 6.5% adults have a concealed handgun permit. Outside of California and New York, 8 percent of adults have a permit. Permits for women and blacks are increasing much faster than they are for men and whites. There are also significant differences in not only the number of permits issued but also who gets them when politicians have discretion in granting them. Los Angeles County provides a vivid example of how women and Hispanics are given few permits when politicians decided who can defend themselves. We also provide evidence that death threats don’t let people get permits for protection and how incredibly law-abiding permit holders are and how crime rates have changed in the states that have had the largest increases in concealed handgun permits.

Take a look at this sentence from the abstract:

Los Angeles County provides a vivid example of how women and Hispanics are given few permits when politicians decided who can defend themselves.

When politicians decided who can defend themselves.

That, True Believers, is a recipe for tyranny.

The full paper by Dr. Lott is behind a free membership; you have to sign up to view the entire thing, but I’ll give you a few key bits here:

In 2013, LA Weekly obtained a list of the 341 concealed carry permit holders in Los Angeles County, California.  That is only about 0.0045% of the 7.7 million adults living in the county in 2013.  LA Weekly pointed out that the people given permits were judges, reserve deputy sheriffs, and a small group who gave campaign contributions or gifts to then-Sheriff Lee Baca.

That’s what happens when politicians decide who can defend themselves.  Your Constitutional rights, on auction, to the crony with the biggest purse.


Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000. That is just 1/7th of the rate for police officers. But there’s no need to focus on Texas and Florida—the data are similar in other states.

In other words, whatever worries anyone may have with the misuse of firearms, legal concealed-carry permit holders are not and never have been a problem.  Trying to make that case is dishonesty of the first water; trying to restrict the issue of permits to the political elite and their cronies flies in the face of individual liberty.

Download the entire report.  Add it to your arsenal of pro-CCW arguments.  As usual, Dr. Lott presents some great data.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

A judge has overturned a lawsuit brought by two University of Texas at Austin (of course) professors against Texas’ CCW on campus law.  Good news!  Excerpt:

Professors Jennifer Lynn Glass (sociology), Lisa Moore (English), and Mia Carter (English) banded together and filed a lawsuit that sought to overturn the new law. One professor argued that the “possibility of the presence of concealed weapons in a classroom impedes my and other professors’ ability to create a daring, intellectually active, mutually supportive, and engaged community of thinkers.”  (Animal Note:  What an enormous pile of fresh steaming horseshit.) Their reasoning centered around the idea that students will be unable to speak freely––a First Amendment argument––in an environment where other students are armed.

But this logic posits that students will pull guns on each other when they hear ideas they disagree with––an unlikely outcome. Even for controversial topics like abortion and, ironically, gun rights, it would be beyond the scope of reason to expect that a classroom conversation would become so heated that a student’s life would be threatened.

Judge Yeakel drew on the reasoning in the 1972 free speech case Laird v. Tatum, which said that “Allegations of a subjective ‘chill’ are not an adequate substitute for a claim of specific present objective harm or a threat of specific future harm.”

Is it really necessary to point out that the serious threats to free speech on college campii are not coming from legal, permitted CCW carriers but from the masked and hooded fascists of the ironically-dubbed “Antifa” movement?  Not from the NRA-supporting Right, but from the totalitarian Left?

They Antifa fascists are the ones starting fires and throwing bricks.  They are the ones attacking anyone to the right of Leon Trotsky who has the temerity to try to speak on a college campus.

It’s good that this suit was rightly overturned.  It’s sad that the dipshits who brought this suit can’t see the overwhelming irony of their action.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

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

Here’s a topic I’ve always found interesting, especially given Mrs. Animal’s and my Alaska relocation plans:  How to prevent a bear attack.  Excerpt:

If a bear sees and charges at a hiker, it’s best to stay still and “stand your ground,” the NPS (National Park Service) said. 

“Most of the time, if you do this, the bear is likely to break off the charge or veer away,” the NPS said. “This is called a bluff charge.”

If the bear gets within 40 feet (12 meters), start spraying pepper or bear spray. (Bear spray is recommended because it goes farther than pepper spray.) Both contain capsaicin, a chemical that irritates the bear’s eyes, nose, mouth, throat and lungs. But, if the bear continues to charge, it’s time to play dead, the NPS said.

Timing is incredibly important. A bear can still veer off at the last moment, so a person should play dead only within a nanosecond of making contact with the bear.

“Drop to the ground; keep your pack on to protect your back,” the NPS said. “Lie on your stomach, face down, and clasp your hands over the back of your neck with your elbows protecting the sides of your face. Remain still and stay silent to convince the bear that you are not a threat to it or its cubs.”

Once the bear leaves, wait several minutes to make sure the bear and its cubs are no longer nearby. Then, cautiously get up and walk (don’t run) away, the NPS said. The bear could still attack again.

And when a bear wants to eat you?

“During a predatory attack, you should be aggressive and fight back using any available weapon (bear spray, rocks, sticks) to stop the aggression by the bear,” the NPS said. “Fight back as if your life depends on it, because it does. Predatory attacks usually persist until the bear is scared away, overpowered, injured or killed.”

Now, I’d like you to spot which item of preparation is missing from the linked article.  Go ahead and look.  I’ll wait right here.

Back already?  OK, you probably noticed the one preventive measure that a great many Alaskans avail themselves of when in bear country, one that is more effective than any other; a firearm.  A good powerful handgun or (preferably) a rifle or 12-gauge shotgun stuffed with slugs will stop a bear.  With a bit of distance and luck, a shot into the ground may deter a bear before it gets too close.  But an experienced hand with a good weapon will be safer than an experienced hand with a can of bear spray.

Alaskans know bears.  They live with them.  It’s not uncommon, on popular fishing lakes and streams, to be able to spot the locals by the .44 magnums on their belts.


Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

The Supreme Court session just ending has produced two key Second Amendment rulings, one pro, one con.

Here’s the pro:  The Supremes have declined to take up an appeal of a lower court’s overturning a law that stripped citizens guilty of certain misdemeanors of their Second Amendment rights.  Excerpt:

Last September, a 15-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania disagreed 8-7, siding with Binerup and Suarez in a lengthy 174-page decision. In the end, that panel cited the relatively minor sentences passed on the two men as the reason to disregard their crimes as being serious enough to void their gun rights.

Binderup pleaded guilty in 1996 in Pennsylvania to a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a minor — a 17-year-old he was in a relationship with — to which he received three years’ probation and a $300 fine rather than the maximum of five years in prison.

Suarez pleaded guilty in 1990 to unlawfully carrying a handgun without a license in Maryland, which could have resulted in as much as three years in prison but instead received an 180-day suspended sentence and $500 fine.

While neither spent a day in jail, both lost their firearms rights under a federal law that treats those convicted of state misdemeanors which can be punished by two or more years in jail as prohibited firearms possessors.

I call this a good start.  A misdemeanor isn’t cause to lose a Constitutionally defined right.  I also think that, while it’s right that convicted felons lose some of their rights, those who pay their debt to society and have redeemed themselves should have those rights returned, which takes a considerable court battle  now.

Here’s the con:  The Supremes are letting California’s restrictive may-issue concealed-carry law stand.  Excerpt:

The nation’s highest court swatted away a chance to let lower courts know it meant what it said in its 2008 Heller decision over gun rights issues by taking the case of a San Diego man, Edward Peruta, whose saga to obtain a permit in that county started in 2009 and has been in federal court ever since his subsequent refusal because he could not show “good cause” as to why he felt the need to carry a gun.

Submitted to the high court in January, Peruta has been distributed for conference by the justices 12 times, needing just four of the jurists to agree to accept the case for review. However, even with the addition of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch in recent weeks, the petition was denied on Monday.

Gorsuch did, nonetheless, join conservative bulwark Justice Clarence Thomas, in a scathing eight-page dissent, springing to the defense of the merits of the Peruta case.

One of the few good things coming out of this is confirming the good choice President Trump made in appointing Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the fight goes on.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Constitutional carry, meaning legal concealed handgun carry with no permit required – is it coming soon to a state near you?  Well, probably not to our own beloved but increasingly purple Colorado, and certainly not to ever-more-loony Californey, where I am temporarily hanging my hat.  But Alaska, where we plan to relocate in the not-too-distant future, has this law, and the practice is gaining ground.  Excerpt:

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump claimed on Friday while addressing a National Rifle Association gathering in Atlanta. “No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.”

Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid the feds were risking repetitive strain injuries. It’s time for them to change things up and bash on some other freedoms. Somehow, I’m sure we can count on them to do just that.

But relief for self-defense rights might well be a thing, especially outside the nation’s capital. Look, for example, at the growing ranks of states recognizing people’s right to discreetly carry weapons without first seeking government approval.

That’s a practice I sometimes jokingly call “New York carry,” though I inevitably confuse people when I do. New York doesn’t encourage carrying a gun without a permit, they protest! Well, actually, it kind of does. When I worked in New York City in the 1990s, getting permission to just legally own a handgun was an ordeal (which I’ve described elsewhere), and a carry permit was out of the question for anybody who wasn’t well connected. For a while, I worked a job that had me returning to my apartment at 4th Street and Avenue B—a gentrifying but still sketchy neighborhood at the time—in the wee hours of the morning. The criminals, along the route, it seemed, had never received the memo about the city’s restrictive gun laws. Believe me, I carried.

In 1980 and 1981, I had a part-time job repossessing cars, which gig took me frequently into south Chicago, Gary and those types of environs.  Not comfortable territory for a lily-white Iowa farm boy; so yes, I carried, a massive .45 caliber horse pistol shoved into my waistband under an ancient Army trench coat.  I never used it or even displayed it, but I was comforted for having it, and if I had ever needed it I’d have needed it damned bad.

It’s common among the pro-Second Amendment community to point out that the Second is our carry permit; it does, after all, state a right to keep and bear arms, a right upheld by the Supreme Court.  But the law is frequently an ass, and most states still don’t recognize this principle.  It’s better in my estimation to get the permit and be within the law; but I’d much rather have the Constitution recognized to its original intent.

As George Carlin once said, “if you don’t like the weather, move!”  Giving up Colorado for Alaska will be a big move for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. – but the move to a freer state will be worth the trouble.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Amazingly, (or perhaps not) murders in the United States are highly concentrated in a few locations; mostly urban.  Excerpt:

The United States can really be divided up into three types of places. Places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders, and places where murders are very common.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders.  69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.

The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.

Here’s the primary map, reproduced from the linked article:

It doesn’t take a genius to note that many of the most murder-intensive counties are also those with strict gun control laws; look, for example, in southern California and the environs around Chicago.

Look also at the predominantly rural counties, where gun ownership is high but the murder rate is low.

My grandfather used to say “the kids that grow up along the river are never the ones that drown.”  Born in 1898, Grandpa was a man of a different era, but his wisdom here still applies.  When you are talking firearms, folks who live with and use them legitimately in their lives are not the ones committing crimes with firearms.  Criminals are, and they will continue to do so no matter what laws are passed – as witness the Godfather Rahm Emmanuel’s Chicago.

Not that this will stop the anti-gun Left from screeching for more useless gun control laws.  The mantra continues to be “if statism doesn’t work, we just need to statist harder!

Maybe, just maybe, instead of gun control, we could look at goon control?