Sunday, November 22, 2015

What is it with people named Bob?

And so over at Mike's place there has been a bit of back-and-forth between MBV and this Bob Nicholson character, who originally penned this anti-NRA hitpiece.  Mike gave him one of his nearly-patented responses, and somewhat unusually, this time he got a reply back.  To which Mike volleyed, bringing us to today, with Nicholson attempting what might be called a "who, me?" tactic to dismiss and avoid.

Ol' Bob offers us all the smarmy confidences of the professional Astroturfer, with the added narcissism that comes from thinking you're the smartest guy in the room because you have a professional license.  He goes to lengths to make sure we know he's one of us--in just exactly the sort of loudly self-outing way that only the completely tone-deaf can manage--even as he repeatedly condescends to the simplistic projections of himself that he has somehow convinced himself that we are.

Sadly, you know the type.  They're coming out of the woodwork again.

Anyway, he must have been a little flustered as he concluded his most recent facile attempt to dismiss Mike, as his ability to spell started to crack a bit there at the end.  No matter.  He'd have to work a lot harder at bad mechanics to get me to look past the inherent chutzpah of his content here:

"I beleive that thothing I supported infringes on rights. You disagree. Fine we will leave it there."

Oh Bob, please do piss up a rope, willya?  We both know perfectly well that you won't "leave it there".  You toss that phrase out there like you expect others to believe you mean it, but you don't.  See, the one thing--the one, single, solitary, only thing that free people require, in the absence of having actually harmed someone, is to be left in peace, unmolested.  And that is the one thing that you absolutely will not do, no matter what sort of sophist drivel you may spout to the contrary.  You will continue to agitate for the forcible prior-restraint violation of untold masses of people who have not harmed anyone.  Violation that, whether you choose to admit it or not, will be carried out with all the fervor, sanctimony, abuse, and blowback of the functionally identical War On (Some) Drugs.  At the point of the government's guns.

The government's guns, Bob.  You know how you thought you were being so smart in trying to chide Mike for calling you a "collectivist"?  Well, it's hard to get more functionally collective than forcibly imposing your political will--in the form of total State control over the exchange of private property between individuals engaged in peaceful commerce--with government "gun cops" running naughty-and-nice list operations.

Yes, Bob, you're a collectivist.  (Sadly, most people are, so don't let it get you down too much--but you do need to own that.)

You also need--seriously--to let go of these delusions you have, that you understand either the people you claim yourself to be among, or the people whose stank you are pimping.  You don't.  You think you do, but you don't.  The former can see right through what David Codrea calls your "big but", and the latter, giving you benefit of the doubt by presuming you are earnest-and-merely-stupid rather than a willfully contributing Astroturfer for them, ...well, they are playing you and your desire to make nice like a cheap accordion.  Seriously, if you actually think that the NRA represents gunnies, or that resistance to gun control is somehow about the prurience of protecting a hobby, or that MBV is somehow agitating for conflict rather than trying to prevent it, or that anything that the disarmament crowd wants is in any way about protecting life, liberty, and property:  your ignorance is weapons-grade.

You may think you want to live in the world you ask for, Bob.  But you don't.  Maybe you think that you can violate people just a little bit, no harm done, and that's the end of the matter.  Especially if some of those people are vulgar and unwashed, or (even worse) uppity.  And it's something that you're okay with, so forcing it on others must be okay too--even if they've not harmed anyone.  (Yet.)

It's not like they'll ever come for you, after all.  You're a model citizen.  (No, seriously, you're exactly what the Establishment wants.)  You think all the right things.  You haven't harmed anyone (ahem), or even broken any laws.  You're safe.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oh, okay, I get it now.

Had a "duh" moment, among all this discouraging mouth-frothery since the latest perfectly inevitable disaster in Paris.  Some well-meaning gunnie (I forget where, actually) was waxing agog about the disarmament crowd's latest attempts to hold up another "gun free zone" mass murder, as somehow evidence that what we need to correct the failure is to impose the same failed policy everywhere.  Pretty standard stuff, really, and of course a valid point.  Not arguing that.

But then it hit me.  Sure, governments always tend to want to disarm their populaces, on the general principle of monopolizing power.  But within the context of this newest Menckenian hobgoblin--the deliberate planting of action-not-words Jihadis in refugee populations (and the larger Rube Goldberg plan that ISXX may or may not have, to drive all Muslims worldwide "back" into their loving, caring arms by deliberately causing their worldwide persecution with all the butchery in their name)--there is actually a very specific risk that a protection racket needs to button up, to avoid being outed.

The risk of being shown up by the victims population served.

Of course we can't have the peasantry armed.  If they are,  then common plebes might just take it upon themselves to Indiana Jones the Jihadis on the spot.  On its own, this is old hat for gunnies, who have long noted how often the concept works for individuals on mean streets.  But that's small potatoes, just showing up the cops.  Regular people taking out policy-blowback Jihadis when they actually attack, though?  That's showing up militaries, and governments.  

Think of all the denied exploitation opportunities--the wasted crises!  Hell, if that happens regularly enough, their wars may (gasp!) never happen.  

And, even worse:  if people learn that they don't need their governments to put down an "international threat" that really, actually did come to their very doors--well, then the little people might just start asking dangerous questions that really matter.  

The State can tolerate much, among "its people", but it can never tolerate that.  People will die first.  As good old Maddie Albright said, "We think the price is worth it."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another fun shop installment.

Worked a fun shop visit in to our business today, and wanted to document a few observations.

Mossberg MVP boltgun

This one wasn't the "scout" model that I still hope to meet some day, but it was the same turnbolt action on which the "scout" model is based, and I'm happy to have learned what I did.  As expected, extraction is (very small) sliding-plate and ejection is boltface plunger, so boo, but other than that, it was actually pretty nice.  Loading/ejection port access is actually not as restrictive as I would have guessed, even with the Weaver rail straddling the receiver rings.  Bolt operated smoothly, with a convenient bolt stop and friendly cocking effort.  The safety was ergonomic and pleasantly positive;  I'd prefer that it lock the bolt as well as prevent discharge, but that seems a minor point.  I'm not a fan of "open" rear sights on rifles, but this one was well-done, and hey, kudos that the rifle has them at all, in an age that seems to automatically presume conventionally mounted moonscopes. 

I'm happy to say that the trigger is no joke.  No, it's not a Savage Accu-Trigger, much less a Mannlicher Scout or Blaser R93 trigger, but it's good enough that you'll not need to improve it.  Presuming the rifle runs reliably and durably, it seems like a reasonable platform, and I look forward to seeing the "scout" trim, both the glassed and glassless models.

Mossberg 464 levergun

Now having met this piece in person, it seems to be just exactly what I figured it might be, and I think I may need to add one to my stable some day.  It feels just a hair long with the fancy flash hider, but it balances like a '94 levergun, which is always a win.  I'm happy to say that the fore-end is slimmer than I was fearing, and the rail segments seem to be integral with the fore-end composite.  Presumably they can be either replaced with a separate fore-end, or simply cut off, if like me you prefer keeping things as compact as possible.  (I might keep the bottom one for a sling attachment point, although it does seem rather grandiose for that simple purpose....)

The tang safety works, and is a welcome addition to a levergun which is to serve "serious social purposes" as well as traditional hunting ones.  (I could tolerate Condition Zero in an urban levergun if necessary, but would prefer Condition One if I could get it.  The tang safety makes that possible.)  The sights are excellent, but again as on the bolt, why bother with an "open" rear sight when the 464's receiver has a beautifully placed rearward ring in just the right place for a compact ghost-ring aperture?  I simply do not understand why anyone would prefer open sights to an aperture:  the latter is superior in every way that matters.  (And then, of course, the top of the fore-end could get its own rail space for forward mounting of "scout" glass or dot sights.)

The buttstock is exactly what it should be, and the quick adjustments are very nice to have.  An excellent feature for working with noobs, especially the smaller-statured.  Action seems smooth enough, and presuming it runs--it's a '94, and should work well.

The rough.  Nearly painful, actually.  Consider all the bad press you've heard about levergun triggers before;  that's because of triggers like this one.  Okay, so it needs work. Theoretically, with a '94 action, gunsmiths should know how to do that--and the effort would be worth it.  With a crisp trigger in the 3-4 pound range, this seems a seriously useful rifle.  As a 6+1 in .30/30, it really is a full-blown rifle, limited mostly by the range limitations of iron sights, not horsepower.  I still think it would also be worth offering as an intentional carbine, chambered in .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, or even .357 Magnum, with a 9- or 10-round capacity.  Again, within the limitations of iron sights, these revolver rounds have surprising reach, and more thump than I'd have guessed.  And if we ever sort out The Great And Pointless Rimfire Shortage, there is the idea of this levergun as a 14-round .22...

Browning 1911-22 pistol

Wanted to check this fit in the 6yo's hand today.  Glad I did.  She can get a good grip, with thumb on safety and no H-gripping, and the pad of her trigger finger is within a quarter-inch of right on.  Essentially, she's ready, ergonomically.  She's also strong enough to rack the slide, properly.  Squee!

Great.  Now I just need to get the whole "earn a living" problem sorted out, and find some .22 ammo, and add this lovely little piece to the stable.  

Ruger LCP pistol

6yo very sweetly requested to see an LCP accoutered in pink camo, and an LC9 in solid purple.  Very well then!  She learned a little about ergonomics when she tried to rack the wee slide on the LCP, against the DAO hammer, but this gun fit her hand nicely if she consciously took a high grip.

The LCP seems okay.  .380 doesn't thrill me, but with the right ammo and the right attitude, I'd sure use one over throwing rocks.  It doesn't seem that much smaller, to me, than the Diamondback DB9, which I still see here and there, and I'd take the DB9 in a heartbeat for the pocket gun role.

Ruger LC9 pistol

I was a little less impressed with the LC9.  In 6yo's hand, trigger reach was much too far, and sizewise, the piece seems right in there with the Kimber Solo, DB9, Kahr, G43, etc., designs, all of which have better ergonomics.  Well, now I know!  :-)

Kimber Solo pistol

Dang if I don't continue to like this little pistol, even though I've heard some unflattering things about it here and there--that I haven't fully vetted one way or the other.  Trigger, at least on this sample, was really excellent, with a somewhat long but positive reset, and despite the diminutive size, controls and ergonomics are very nice.  Sights are excellent.  The manual safety design in particular seems outstanding, and perfectly intuitive to 1911 aficionados.  It seems to be right on the cusp between true "pocket pistol" (such as DB9, DB380, LCP, etc.) and "subcompact" (such as Kahrs, G43, S&W Shield, etc.) and with a lightweight frame, would become my instant first choice in a 9mm pistol.  (It's not exactly heavy, even with a steel frame, but its weight does exclude it from the sub-one-pound class.  Suffice it to say that if I were to choose a 9mm based on weight and size alone, it would be the DB9, and if I were to choose the best shooting subcompact--suitably small but still requiring a holster for support--I'd probably go to the Solo.)

Kimber Micro 380 pistol

This was unexpected.  Got to see Kimber's mini-1911 in .380 ACP;  more than anything it seems to be exactly the sort of update to the Colt Mustang that I always hoped for before the Browning 1911-22 and 1911-380 came along.  It's small.  It's 1911ish, but with pivoting trigger, slightly different safety lever, and the full-on Kimber treatment.  Looks promising in many ways, but again, .380 does not thrill me, and there is now the 1911-380, which may be the superior choice for most uses.  

Will keep an eye out, and look again as .380 options become more immediate for up-and-coming kids.  :-)

S&W Shield pistol

The "what mood will Shield be in today?" effect continues.  I continue to like the general ergonomics, and the price point is actually pretty compelling too.  But today, this one's trigger had horrible backlash and a mushy, very un-positive reset.  Hm.

Still, I like the piece in general.  The safety still works every time, despite its diminutive appearance.  Grip comfort is conspicuous.  It has a reputation for running without fuss.

S&W M&P pistol

I wanted to renew my acquaintance with a standard M&P pistol frame, mostly because I am intending to go this route with airguns.  (A separate topic for another post;  suffice it to say that I needed a core design among the polymer-framed, striker-fired, doublestack guns to go with, and the S&W is getting the nod based on several factors, including ubiquity of models across the spectrum of pellet guns, BB guns, and Airsoft guns of multiple powerplants.)

After a few minutes in the hands, I think it's the right choice.  The M&P frame is pretty comfortable, for a double-stack, and otherwise ergonomics are plenty good enough.  Trigger on this one was surprisingly good;  perhaps a bit heavier than ideal, but with a very nice, positive reset, and without the noticeable backlash problem of the Shield.  

I'll be posting more about M&Ps as the airgunnery experiment unfolds.  Given that I don't like doublestack designs as a rule--on simple account that they feel like two-by-fours in the hand--M&P is definitely one of the friendlier ones.

Springfield Armory XD-S pistol

Picked up one of these again, just to compare it on the same day with Shield.  Glad I did, too:  it confirmed that I really like this pistol.  Ergonomics suggest a much bigger gun, but XD-S is slim and compact.  This one's trigger was crisp (for a striker gun), reasonably light, and with a notably positive, short reset.  I still think that the XD-S "4.0" is the logical heir to the Colt Lightweight Commander, for the working man's general purpose pistol.  Now having seen probably a dozen examples each of XD-S and Shield, I think I'd always opt for XD-S first, for my own purposes.

Colt Commander CO2 BB pistol

Saw this in blister pack on the way out of the gun section.  I hadn't come to look at airguns today, but it caught my eye, and I'm considering this piece as a possible training/education tool anyway.  It's a reasonably faithful 1911 reproduction, powered by a CO2 12-gram cartridge contained in the detachable magazine (which also houses the BBs), and is developing a decent reputation for accuracy ("accuracy" being something you have to adjust your thinking to, with smoothbore round-ball shooters like 'BB guns' and Airsoft guns).  The gun does "blowback" on firing, which is good in a trainer to disrupt your sight picture, and in general the manual of arms is nearly straight 1911 firearm.  It's really only missing a ducktail grip safety among the most common updates, and with the minimal blowback of a CO2 BB pistol, I suspect it won't be the problem it is with a .45 ACP anyway.

So there it was, and I took a second to look at it.  It is indeed "full metal", as weighty as a steel 1911, with good sights, functional safety, and in general looks well-built.  I look forward to trying one out, especially with some of the new low-ricochet plated BBs that have become available.  

Until next time, then.  Much cogitation to do.  :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I know I've said this before--please forgive the vent--but I just can't get over the sheer amount of derp in the manual safety design of the Benjamin Marauder*.  I keep thinking about the idea of building a "school set" of air rifles for students to learn on and train with, and the basic Marauder design (reliable boltie 10rd repeater, internally suppressed, adjustable power, hand-pump friendly PCP reservoir, topflight trigger, conspicuously accurate barrel) keeps coming up as being almost the obvious platform choice.  

But seriously...just look at this:

Yes, you can click to make it bigger, but why would you?

So...what you're saying is that in order to on-safe my loaded piece, I stick my finger inside the trigger guard and pull the lever to the rear.  

derp derp derp 

Look, I know I'm a pain in the ass about gun safety, and about gun safeties, and ergonomics in general...but at least there is a consistency to my own neuroses, and I'd like to think that a design like the above would have been laughed into oblivion before ever even coming up for serious approval, on the simple account of maybe, just maybe, the ergonomic action to make the loud noise and the ergonomic action to prevent the loud noise SHOULD NOT BE THE SAME.  But this damned thing actually made it out of committee and through legal!

The Garand safety is bad enough, but at least there you can say that the on-safe motion is outside the trigger guard.  This...I just don't know if I could ever see using it as a training tool--unless I just ignored the safety lever entirely as a...well, a safer option.  I still think that it wouldn't take too much effort to build a dogleg connector to a more ergonomic lever or button, and then the M-Rod would be nearly authentically there as a platform, lacking only iron sights, a short LOP, and if optics are important, a means of mounting an IER glass forward over the shroud.

Until then...well, I keep wondering how to turn a Benjamin Discovery into a repeater with sound suppression, or if it's possible to drop a Marauder pistol (which uses a simple trigger-blocking cross bolt safety...crude, but at least not idiotic) into a rifle stock.  

Grrr.  So close on the whole...and yet for training, so completely unusable.

* Not to pick on the M-Rod specifically;  the basic trigger group/safety design was around well before the Marauder was launched, and lots of airguns, especially spring-piston breakbarrels, use some variation of the damned thing.  (I suspect it is probably a very economical way to get a complete trigger/safety group into a stock with minimal cutting.)  I harp on the Marauder because it is such an otherwise outstanding piece of kit, that the derp hurts that much more.

At least say it out loud.

The indispensable David Codrea, here, vamps on yet another authoritarian nitwit's dutiful recitation of one of the classic facile sophistries of Ye Oulde Statist Playbook:  the Resistance Is Futile(TM) fiction.  To wit, according to the nitwit:

Assuming the military was part of the tyranny (which it would have to be for tyranny to have any meaning), any rebelling national band of “patriots” would be told something like, “you either lay down your arms or the entire city of Dallas, Texas will disappear. You have one hour. If you continue, the next city to disappear will be Atlanta, Georgia.”

As usual, David does a fine job at pointing out the obvious:  that anyone even dimly aware of human history can see that resistance is absolutely not futile;  that superior force of arms does not always translate into victory;  that tyranny's footsoldiers do not always run to stereotype;  etc.  There is no need to restate any of that.

What sticks out at me is that this "nuclear option" garbage, at least said out loud like this, seems to get trotted out in the early endgame, usually as a petulant reaction to the realization that the bloody peasants might actually mean it when they say no.  "Wait, you're just going to say no?  Well then, nukes!"

And that is but one setup to a classic exchange that we need to have so very much more of:

"I just can't believe you'd be willing to die over this."
"Well, not exactly willing.  But that's hardly the point.  The point is that you have made it abundantly clear that you are just fine with having me killed over this."

Well, at least they're saying it out loud, when they trot out "the nuclear option" like this.  The funny part is that I'm not even sure the state, itself, is stupid enough to nuke its own populace, for whatever reason.  Statists, however--QED above--may yet be even worse than the horror they support.