Airguns

I love airguns, I truly honestly do. Like a lot of people, my first exposure to shooting was over the barrel of an airgun, in my case the Crossman 760 Pumpmaster. That rifle took a devastating toll on the aluminum can population of my hometown, as well as a few birds (they were ruining the apple trees) and two jackrabbits. Actually, the jackrabbits were the hardest of the two, because you had to hit them just right for the pellet to do the trick.

For a while I stopped shooting airguns, because without the noise and flash, they sort of lost the interest of a teenager. It makes sense, because nailing cans at 10-25 yards had become easy; plus I got my first real rifle (which I still have to this day). Everything changed when I went to the Academy. I joined the pistol team, and shot NRA collegiate pistol; where I was re-introduced to airguns. This time though, these weren’t the $40 Wal-mart specials, my airgun was a precision Hammerli that would literally shoot three pellets into a group .177 inches in diameter. At first, the new shooters on the team didn’t want to shoot air pistol, because it wasn’t nearly as cool as Standard Pistol, or even Free Pistol.

This lasted until I figured out that shooting more air pistol made me that much better at the other disciplines, especially Free pistol. If you’ve never shot Free Pistol, it is one of the most challenging marksmanship events out there. It’s actually quite similar to Air pistol in that you shoot 60 shots over the course of a couple of hours at teeny little targets. The benefit of Air pistol was that because there’s almost no noise with the airguns, and no felt recoil, it allowed me focus entirely on my trigger squeeze and sight picture. So, I started shooting more air pistol, and lo and behold I got a lot better at shooting Free pistol, and even Standard pistol.

For a while after the Academy, I got away from Airguns for quite some time. I (once again) was only interested in the smoke and noise that came with “real guns”. That was up until about this year when my wife and I bought our house, and I switched careers to something that allows me a little bit more time to focus on shooting. The extra time I’ve been spending at the range has once again rekindled my interest in airguns as a training tool for marksmanship. That is coupled with the fact that floor plan of my house is totally large enough to accommodate a 10 meter air pistol set up (don’t tell my wife). Just set a pellet trap at one end with a target clip, and let the fun begin. It’s really, really cold in central Indiana right now, and that limits my range choices rather significantly. Since it’s too damn cold to shoot outside on the farmland; and a lot of the indoor ranges frankly suck, shooting air indoors allows me to practice what I enjoy doing without a)Freezing my tuckus off and b)spending a tonne of money on range fees.

Don’t dismiss air pistols/rifles because they’re not as “cool” or whatever. Sight picture and trigger control don’t change, no matter what you’re shooting. If you can’t make it to the range but you’re interested in improving your overall marksmanship skills, look into air guns.

Here’s a drill I used to do when I was shooting competitively. When I got done practicing Air pistol for the sake of competition, I’d do a drill that would help me practice for Rapid fire in Standard pistol. This would work with a target air pistol, or one of the fun blasters that’s set up to look like a real gun.

Start with the pistol held out at a 45 degree angle from your body, or if you’re using a two handed grip, start at low ready. Bring the pistol up and acquire your sight picture. As the sights align, prrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssss the trigger; don’t slap it, spank it, jerk it, or do any of the other vaguely wrong sounding things that you can do to a trigger. Just press it until the shot breaks. Go back down to low ready, (reload if necessary), and repeat for a total of 10 reps. I would start at 10 feet, 10 shots, then move back to 20 feet, 10 shots, than 30 feet, 10 shots. This drill really helped me when it came to the Timed Fire and Rapid Fire portions of Standard pistol, as I was used to acquiring and excellent sight picture in a “relaxed hurry” and pressing out the shot.

Have fun, and if you’re indoors please buy (or build) a pellet trap. Your wife does not want you shooting airgun holes into the drywall.

Curios & Relics

I have recently acquired my Federal C&R license, which for the uninitiated means that I can buy all sorts of cool older guns and have them shipped directly to my home. There are a lot of websites out there that serve the collector, and of course you have the auction sites at www.gunbroker.com and www.auctionarms.com to find more and more creative ways to separate me from my money.

The coolest thing about C&R (for me anyway) are the jillions of old wheelguns out there chambered for .38 S&W, .32 Short, and occasionally .38 Special. You’ve also got Nagant revolvers, which are a fascinating piece of history (and a fun shooter).

Then there are the rifles. A lot of old bolt rifles, but a few good finds in there amongst the semi-auto category, most notably the Yugo made SKS rifles. There seems to be a never-ending supply of those; for $150 bucks you should probably buy one now before Pelosi decided that you can’t have them any more. Actually, one of the rifles on my Homeland Defense Rifle list can be found on the Gunbroker C&R site. The Ishapore .308 NATO Lee Enfield rifles are still available.

C&R collecting is a lot of fun, especially if you’re like me and happen to be a huge history buff. I’m not one those collectors that buys a gun and lets it sit on the shelf, I want to shoot the sucker. You won’t see me dropping $1,000 on some rare WWII Luger, but I’ll buy a CZ52 for $150 and shoot it whenever I have ammo.

After my recent experiment with the Hi-point pistol and the sundry disappointment that followed, I started thinking about “what if someone carried a C&R?” I ruminated on it for a while; and I did have a couple of germane thoughts. A lot of these older guns are military pieces, designed to ridden hard and put up wet. Apart from the abysmal sights on a good percentage of them, you could do a lot worse for a carry gun that packing a Star Model B (or whatever). Again, I’d say wait a month and buy a used GP100 for $300, but if all you’ve got is a surplus CZ50 (.32 ACP) and you can shoot it, it beats a pointy stick.

Anyway, the point of all this is that C&R guns are fun, and often provide a link to history. If you’ve got a friend that likes war movies, show him Enemy at the Gates and then let him shoot a Mosin-Nagant; watch Band of Brothers on HBO and then take an old German Gewehr out for a ride.

The license is easy to get, there’s a $30 fee and the ATF will do a pretty thorough background check, but it’s well worth it. Get your C&R, and go play with history.

So it begins

I hit on the police vs. people topic in a post recently, during which I mentioned that cops in Jacksonville had shot an elderly man on his property.

Well, the situation has escalated, as these things usually do. Again, I don’t have all the facts so I’m withholding judgment until later. However, I am eagerly anticipating the involvement of the moonbat cop haters; as well that the folks that will claim the gentlemen in question received bullets merely because he was black.

During the course of all this, the facts of the matter will become completely irrelevant as Jesse Jackson and his ilk drag what could be an honest investigation into a questionable shooting into a three ring circus of racism, hatred, and fear-mongering.

Goody-goody.

Global Community

If the world really was a “global community”…

America would be the director of the neighborhood watch.

Canada would be the neighbor with the really nice lawn.

Mexico would be the neighbor that cuts through your backyard and fucks up your plants.

Iran would be the neighbors with the dog that keeps shitting on your lawn.

Iraq is the neighbor with the domestic violence issues.

Europe thinks they can stop Iran’s dog shit by pretending it’s not happening.

Israel just wants to shoot the goddamn dog.

China’s dog shits on your lawn as well, but China pretends it doesn’t know anything about it.

North Korea’s kids keep throwing rocks at your car, but they keep missing.

Japan’s kids get straight A’s, and they’re really good at dodging rocks.

The UN would sit on the porch and yell at Iran & China to control their dogshit, North Korea’s kids to stop throwing rocks, but not actually do anything about it.

The Wisdom of the Duke

“Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.”

I’ve been scared shitless about a lot of things in my life. When I went off to the Academy at 17, I was scared out of my mind. When I took my first active duty assignment, I was scared out of my mind. When I proposed to my wife, I was so scared that I when she said yes, I couldn’t feel my hands.

If I made a list of the things I’ve done in spite of being scared, it would essentially be a list of the moments in my life that I am the most proud of.

Courage is sort of a dying virtue these days. It seems to me that society would prefer that when faced with our own fears we should simply cower before them, and seek counseling and “support”. I suppose it makes sense in light of the “Culture of Self-Esteem”. If you never attempt anything that scares you, you’ll never fail and you can continue to feel good about yourself.

As much as I hate-hate-hate failure, I’d much rather lose while trying my damnedest than never try at all.

Survival Carbines

In the comments section on my Homeland Defense Rifle topic the subject of pistol caliber carbines was broached by a fearless reader. I have always held a soft spot in my heart for pistol caliber carbines, despite the fact that I know that a rifle is almost always a better weapon. Be that as it may, I have below a breakdown of the carbines I would take, in the order I would take them if the SHTF. Same as the last list, I’ve broken them out by action type.

One of the biggest reasons to take a pistol caliber carbine instead of a full on rifle is that you can pack one kind of ammo for both your weapons. Even though the pistol rounds from a rifle are less powerful than a true rifle round, it’s generally easier to make accurate shots with a rifle than with a pistol.

Semi-automatic

  • Ruger PC9 – Ruger’s excellent carbine chambered in 9mm. This rifle is fed using the same magazines from the standard Ruger P-series pistols, which gives you the additional advantage of only having to pack one kind of magazine in addition to one type of ammo. I owned one of these for a while (and foolishly sold it for a song), and I loved it. Big, ugly, and tough as hell; one of the best points of the Ruger is that I felt like if I needed to, I could beat a yak to death with it.
  • Kel-Tec Sub2000 – Kel-tec’s 9mm carbine gets excellent points for a couple of note-worthy features. First off, it folds in half which allows for much easier storage. I can vouch for the fact that when folded, it will fit nicely into my backpack. Additionally, it comes in three different models, one of which takes Glock magazines, another takes Beretta 92 magazines. If a Glock is your Go-To gun, and you’re looking for a pistol carbine, look no further. My only complaint about the Kel-Tec was that it didn’t heft as well as the Ruger, it just seemed a little light in the ass.
  • Hi Point Carbine – These things get rave reviews from almost anyone that actually shoots them. It shoots well, handles well, and doesn’t seem to FTF. The reason why it’s third on the list is because it doesn’t share magazines with anything other than Hi-Point pistols. That is pretty much the only strike against the Hi Point carbine.

Bolt Action

Uh…off the top of my head, I can only think of one bolt action pistol caliber carbine, which is the 9mm Largo Destroyer Carbine. While I love the name and the cartridge, it’s not really practical in my opinion. 9mm Largo isn’t easy to come by, and unless you happen upon a stash of Spanish ammo somewhere you’ll probably just end up with a shitty club.

My deep love for bolt actions wishes that someone would make a 10mm or .45 ACP fixed magazine carbine with an 16 inch tube that can be loaded via stripper clips or single rounds, with nice ghost ring sights on it. I don’t know what I’d use it for, but I’d buy two.

Lever-Action

Oh yeah. This is where it gets fun. Since I believe that revolvers are the ultimate survival pistols (for reasons which I’ll enumerate in a later post), this is where the game is at for carbines.

  • The Marlin Cowboy rifle – This would be my first and basically only choice in this category. You can get it chambered for whichever caliber you like, be it .45 Colt (my favorite), .357 Magnum (my 2nd favorite), or .44 Magnum. Plus, lever rifles have the advantage of being able to be topped off in mid firing. You shoot 7 times, there’s a lull in the action, you can plop 3 more rounds into the magazine to bring you back up to full capacity without having to swap removable magazines.

Honestly, with lever guns the biggest debate is what caliber to take. Personally, I’d take a .357 Magnum, since it gives you the ability to shoot the magnums as well as .38 Special. Plus, it pairs oh-so-nicely with my GP100. My 2nd choice would be my favorite cartridge, the .45 Colt. I’ve got a couple of guns chambered for this round, and a matching carbine would go quite nicely. The biggest concern would be the fact that ammo is relatively heavy for this chambering, which limits the amount that you can carry.

Single-Shot

I didn’t include single shot rifles on the Homeland Defense Rifle post mainly because they would face serious limitations in the tactical aspect. Survival situations on the other hand are where single shot rifles can truly shine. H&R makes two different rifles chambered for .45 Colt, one of which will also accept .410 shotgun rounds. I’d recommend the latter, since it gives you the ability to carry a shotgun without packing a second gun.

The drawbacks to a single shot carbine in a survival situation are pretty obvious, namely a slow rate of fire, no magazine for cartridge storage, increased recoil due to lighter weight, etc.
However, they do some have advantages. While the lighter weight does increase recoil, with .45 Colt rounds it’s not going to matter. The lack of an immediate follow up shot forces you to make your first shot count, which in a SHTF situation helps conserve your precious ammo supply. I would not feel at all underarmed packing a Ruger Blackhawk and an H&R .45 Colt rifle.

As I said in the thread on Homeland Defense Rifles, if you do choose a single shot as your go-to gun, make sure you practice the manual of arms regularly. Personally, I’d buy a bunch of snap caps in whatever caliber you have and practice reload drills until I could do it in the dark while blindfolded. But then again, my wife says I’m paranoid. Your actual mileage may vary.

Please wait...

Subscribe to the Gun Nuts Newsletter

Get notifications in your email when articles are published, as well as our weekly newsletter packed with exclusive content!
%d bloggers like this: