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.

Tom Cruise is nucking futs

I have to watch my language, because apparently my mom now reads my blog, however; I’ve got to say this. Tom Cruise is completely fucking insane. The latest Tom Cruise related news has the leaders of Scientology saying that Tom Cruise is their messiah. Yeah, that’s not a typo. Apparently, he is The Chosen One, who will bring balance to the Force spread Scientology to the world.

I apologize for diverting from my usual subject matter, but this whole thing demands comment. First off, it’s pretty funny when you think about it. But then you think about it some more, and you start to get scared. Why scared? Because although you and I know that Scientology is bogus and that Tom Cruise is insane, there are a lot of people out there that don’t. Worse yet, there are a lot of people out there that because it’s associated with someone like Tom Cruise (or John Travolta) they will apply less critical thought to the concept of a religion that forces you to pay them if you want to achieve their version of salvation.

Say what you will about organized Christianity, but the last time I can think of the Christian church selling salvation, a guy named Martin Luther got pretty pissed off about the whole concept.

So…Tom Cruise is the messiah. I guess in closing, all I can wonder is if it’s still legal to crucify people.

Hmm….

Homeland Defense Rifle

I’ve been thinking about rifles again; in part prompted by the utter lack of centerfire rifles in my gun locker. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about this concept of a “Homeland Defense Rifle”, i.e. the first rifle you would grab to defend your country in the event of a total “Shit Hits the Fan” (SHTF) situation. Since I’m in the market for a rifle, and I don’t hunt; I figured it might as well be a Homeland Defense Rifle (HDR). Below, I’ll list out the capabilities I think this rifle should have, then I’ll go through various action types and list rifles that I think would fit the bill. Again, please bear in mind that this is entirely the subjective opinion of me. Your actual mileage may vary.

Capabilities

Caliber – You’d probably want your rifle to be chambered in a relatively common caliber, in the event that you’re reduced to scrounging for ammo. This doesn’t mean just military calibers either, as .270 Winchester (for example) can be found in practically every sporting goods store in the nation.

Capacity – My perfect HDR would have an ammo capacity of at least 10 rounds, and should be able to be reloaded via detachable magazines. I would make the exception that a rifle with a fixed magazine that can be rapidly recharged with stripper clips is just as acceptable in this regard.

Accuracy – Sub-MOA groups not required. Honestly, you need to be able to hit a man sized target in the upper body at 150 yards with the standard sights on the weapon every time. Most rifle engagements during WWII took place at 30 yards or less, so I might even be willing to shrink that 150 to 100 yards if pressed.

Sights – Rugged, fixed sights are preferable (for me at least). In the event of a very naughty situation, I distrust anything with batteries, glass, or moving parts, because these things can break; and if they do Murphy Hizzown-Bad-Self will ensure that your neato-torpedo EOHolotech-CQB-Ultimate-Xray scope breaks at the most inconvenient time possible. Like when you’re taking fire. Iron sights are really, really hard to break.

Size/Weight – Not too heavy? This depends on the strength and endurance of the poor bugger who is going to be lugging this thing around. If you’re strong enough to tote a Barrett .50 around, go right ahead. I’d go for something lighter, as I am of small stature.

Action type – I’m accepting all applications in this category. For the HDR, you may have a semi-automatic, a lever action (I went there), or a bolt action. I would probably rule out single shot rifles since they don’t allow for serious sustained fire. I would add the caveat that if you’ve got a single shot .223 and that’s it, than learn to use it well and to reload it in a hurry.

I’m flying by the seat of my pants here, so if you think of anything else, let me know. From here, I’ll break out the three main action types, and list a few rifles that I feel would be good contenders.

Bolt-Actions

Ishapore 2A1Essentially, this is a Lee-Enfield rifle re-engineered for the higher pressure 7.62 NATO round, instead of the standard .303 British. These were new manufacture rifles made in India at the Ishapore Armory, hence the name. This would probably be my first choice for a HDR if I was going with a bolt action. Chambered for a powerful and common caliber, the magazine is detachable, the sights are excellent, and the Lee-Enfield models have a bolt that allows for very fast operation.

Spanish FR8 – This was a stopgap rifle issued to the Spanish military and police. The linked website gives a pretty good picture of the rifle, but essentially it’s a 7.62 NATO rifle on a Mauser action. I like that.

Ahab’s Dream rifle – A Bolt action .223 built on a Mauser action with an 18 inch barrel. Fixed magazine that can be charged with stripper clips or loaded with single rounds. Boy…that would sure be cool.

Semi-automatics

Honestly, I should just skip this section. Everyone knows that what I’m going to type. Volumes have been written on why the AK or the AR are The Best Rifles Ever, so I’m not going to enumerate the reasons below.

AK/Clones – Do I actually need to explain this one?

AR/Clones – See above.

SKS – …come on. It’s cheap, ugly, but it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Plus, it can be had with detachable magazines or a fixed magazine if that strikes your fancy.

I probably left some onenulls pet rifle off this list, but for the sake of brevity, I’m listing the rifles I would take in the order I would take them.

Lever-Actions

I can hear you all now. “Lever actions? Are you crazy?” The answer is probably.

30-30 Rifles – I’d say you’re well armed with a .30-30 lever gun. Again, the round is very common, although not a military round it can be found at almost every sporting goods store in the universe.

Summary

I guess I revealed my bias towards fixed magazine rifles for guerrilla/survival type situations. Oh well, such is the life. I’m probably going to go buy a new rifle here in the next month or so. I really do need a good reason to stockpile centerfire rifle ammo. I’ve already got 2700 reasons for Nancy Pelosi to hate my house, I reckon I should probably give her at least 500 more.