Showing posts with label .45. Show all posts
Showing posts with label .45. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Questioning Common Caliber Wisdom

Modern Survival Online did a post recently questioning the conventional wisdom. Though I consider .38 special/.357 mag a common caliber (probably behind 9mm but narrowly ahead of .45 acp and .40 in the real non gunnie world) his point is valid. I have been stewing over it for awhile until today Tam talked about the availability of 5.45 commie which made me want to chime in.

Since common calibers are something I promote it made me really think. First I got to thinking about what makes a caliber common. A few characteristics come to mind:

1-Wide commercial availability. If a small place like a hardware store sells ammo  what they will (normally) have is a pretty common guide. This varies slightly regionally but 12 gauge, 9mm and 30.06 are common while 16 gauge, .357sig and .204 Ruger are not.

2-In the closets/ ammo cans of a large number of average people with whom you could potentially cross level or trade. The stuff your paranoid neighbor, gunnie uncle or whatever are likely to have. Odds he will have a 12 gauge or .308 are higher than that he will have a .300 blackout or 6.8.

3-Modern ammo made in the USA (or wherever you live) is available. If importation was restricted this stuff would become unobtanium even though it's all over the place today. This affects the economy of a lot of old WWII surplus rounds putting them on par with conventional hunting rounds in terms of economics. It is a bigger problem for 5.45 commie and some other rounds that aren't (to my knowledge widely) available in the US made variety at all.  If you choose to go this route stock ammo DEEP. I'm talking closer to pallets than cases because there is a viable possibility you may never be able to find it again.

4-Total rounds available. The sheer amount of a given caliber of ammo in a specific region. This is interestingly different from the first two because it may include military calibers that aren't really used by civilians. Example .50 BMG is not in many gun stores and few people have a gun in it. However there are millions if not billions of rounds stored away at various military installations and a few larger police departments. While admittedly rounds not widely on the market are uncommon by definition in the race to the bottom this gives it an advantage over a round like .408 CheyTac.

I think these criteria are more or less listed in terms of importance. While it isn't exactly quantifiable we could arguably rate these from 1-10 (or whatever) then add them up and divide to get a number. Stuff like .22lr and 12 gauge would probably be 10 but .475 Linebaugh would be more like a 2.

As it relates to the current firearmagedon:

-Since everybody is scared about evil black rifles being messed with this means the ammo associated with them (.223, 7.62x39 and .308) are naturally in high demand. You CAN GET THEM but just at sucky prices. It seems like around here in Southern Arizona bulk pack type .223 (55gr PMC, etc all) is going for 80 cents to a buck a round with more desirable (M855, JHP's etc) ammo going for 85 cents to a buck and change a round. .308 is running at least a buck a round. However you can get it. Since the supply is larger somebody will eventually be induced to sell at the right price.

Conversely there is simply no 6.8 or 10mm auto to be had locally at least without swapping a nubile 18 year old daughter or something else of comparable value. If there are 7 boxes of an uncommon caliber in town it's a lot less likely you can get your hands on 4 of them.

-Any time you try to buy something that is in high demand it's going to cost you no matter how common the item is. Hot pizza is worth more when the pizza joints have closed down. A bottle of Jim Beam is worth more after the liquor stores and bars close. If there are a bunch of hungry folks who want to drink more both are going to cost you dearly. It's simple economics.

-To me the answer to this is to stock enough to ride out the occasional bad 3-6 months. Have some doomsday ammo but put aside a few boxes for range duty to get you through a dry spell.

-Sure like Tam said getting an AR upper or AK in 5.45 commie could give you an option  but you would have to be putting a lot of rounds downrange to break even on the initial investment. Personally since it's a nitche item I wouldn't buy it at the expense of an AK in the common 7.62x39 or another .223 AR.

Anyway those are my .02 cents on that. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gun Safe Find- Colt Ace II .22 Conversion Slide

So I was looking for something or another and stumbled into a cloth wrapped package in the corner of the gun safe. It was a .22 conversion kit for the .45. I really didn't know exactly what I had. It was given to me and was promptly put away then forgotten. I was not sure exactly what it was worth so I hopped onto the internet and did some looking. It turns out that these Colt conversion slides/ kits are fairly rare and sought after. It was pleasant to find out that the thing is worth some dough.

As I do not have a .45 any more the conversion kit is unnecessary so I want to sell the thing. My tentative price for this conversion kit is $300 unless I find out some new information. (If I am way off on value either way here please let me know.) The proceeds will finish of the new M4 fund if need be or ideally go for a little hide out pistol or a .22 conversion kit for an AR.If by chance anybody is interested shoot me an email @

That was today's cool find while going through my stuff. Hopefully I have a few more cool expensive things waiting around to find in the near future. Not holding my breath but selling off stuff I do not need is probably going to fund a few projects in the near future.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a pretty good amount of running and 2 rucks. For the second ruck I took a cue from John Mosby and put on a ruck for 3 miles as fast as I could go. I did not run (Running with weight is something that should IMO be seriously managed due to it's impact on your body) but went as fast as I could sustainably go. The split was a tiny bit over 13 minutes a mile and the weight was about 40 pounds. I enjoyed this ruck because it was quick and smoked me. I have gotten sucked into an brisk and long ruck pattern which has very different cardiovascular demands. Walking 8-12 miles with a ruck certainly has benefits but a fast 3 miler does also. This new trick will stay in my workout routine. Did a good lift today. No screwing around, just got in there for military press and dead lift then left. While it is not my long term plan lifting once a week seems to be working for me.

I fiddled around with a solo stove a bit. It is a neat little piece of kit that I can definitely see living in my bug out bag. The thing is quality made and very light. A full review will be done as soon as I have experimented with it some more.

Started fiddling around with my new Cold Steel pipe hawk. It is pretty handy for cutting the odd limb here or there. While not up to ax work this type of smaller stuff is really what I use a wood cutting implement for while camping or whatnot. The handle is pretty long but it shows when you swing the thing. This sucker might find a place in kit somewhere too

Sold off my 1911.  It will let me fill in some shortcomings and simplified our logistics. Also it will fund the new AR project. I call that a win win situation.

Looking to go for the long haul? Keep secure with Nightgear Snugpak sleeping bags.
Anyway things have been pretty busy. Lots of catching up with friends and family. Kiddo has had a riot chasing all manner of animals 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Hard Right Over the Easy Wrong- 1911 Sold

1911 gone and a few hundred dollar bills in hand. I have been planning this for awhile. We discussed selling guns in general (specifically the Garand) before and it is worth revisiting. I have mixed feelings about this. Really liked that gun. Just so cool looking and historic. While not a collectible model it is a cool period piece.

I sold it for two reasons. The first is that it let me eliminate a pistol caliber. Now we have pistols in 9mm and .38/.357 magnum (well and .22lr but that is not an issue). This greatly streamlining our logistics. Also more importantly it fits all of our needs. I have 9mm for carry and if need be tactical use and .357 for a woods gun. I would feel pretty happy with a big fast .357 round for anything in the lower 48. Secondly I just didn't use the .45 very much. I enjoy the compact nature and round count of the Glock 19, if I had to have just 1 pistol it would be a G19. For a woods gun I like revolvers. No huge reason for this, maybe just because it helps me justify keeping them around.

A third benefit is that Wifey is now capable of using every handgun we own. (She likes the .38 but admits she shoots a Glock better). This really wasn't an issue as the 1911 wasn't a gun that was key in our defensive plans but it is an added benefit.

[I am not saying my 1911 was a bad gun or anything. The Springfield Mil Spec I had performed like a service pistol should with solid reliability and good combat functional accuracy. I cleaned it and didn't shoot the cheapest junk reloads available but did not baby it or anything. Simply put the gun did what it was supposed to. Just that I didn't need to own it any more for the reasons discussed above. ]

Also the Garand might have a potential buyer. As we have talked this and it is not a done deal I see no need to rehash.

I am kinda going crazy on this whole minimalist thing and tentatively looking to unload 2-3 more guns. Times are getting hard for guns in the safe that do not have a purpose. It might not be entirely accurate to say that I am going all minimalist. We could sell half our guns and still have a solid collection by most peoples standards. The goal is to have the right quality weapons, as well as tools, equipment and other stuff but they are other discussions, to fit our needs. This means over time I will continue selling things that do not fit the bill, even if they are close, and replacing some of them with the right stuff until things are where they should be.

So back to the pertinent question of what do I plan on doing with said cash. Things are still up in the air. I think the imminent purchase of rifle plates is sufficiently funded but will wait to be sure that is good. A Bravo Company upper and a bolt to match are likely candidates with a lower to follow. There is some little stuff that is necessary and on the short list but that is easier to pick up piecemeal. Also an AR-15 .22 conversion kit is on the horizon.

Anyway that is what happened today.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1911's Suck?

 The recent 1911's suck video by James Yeager seems worth talking about. In case you missed it here is the video:

For the sake of intellectual honesty and to have a little Devils Advocate fun I am going to say things 1911 lovers will not like. Anyway here we go. 

The reasons people buy 1911's often have a lot more to do with their history, lineage, machismo factor and fact that the mighty Jeff Cooper carried one than anything about the actual gun itself.

1911's are big, heavy, don't hold a lot of bullets, are not lefty/ambi friendly and have controls that are difficult for many people to use well.

If you look at the 1911 honestly they probably (which I say just because doing a comparison would be a hassle) get bested as a defensive/ service weapon by modern handguns like those made by Glock, Springfield (XD), S&W MP, etc all in any honest test.

To be completely blunt if the 1911 was designed today it would probably never be made and certainly would not become popular. 

Sorry 1911 lovers, it really isn't anything personal and everything I said is true. You wouldn't be fuming right now if it wasn't. End Devils Advocate fun.

Moving forward I think 1911 reliability issues and failures can be attributed to a few distinct categories. I will discuss them in no particular order.

Age- A gun made in 1917 that still has all original parts might reasonably have some issues. I once went to the range with a buddy who brought an old family heirloom 1911. It was a neat old gun of WWI vintage. After about 50 rounds the barrel bushing broke and the slide flew off into the dirt with the recoil spring and plug going all over the place. We picked up the parts and he got a new bushing. Not a huge deal really, metal fatigues, springs weaken, etc over long periods of time. A lot of these real old guns probably need a little TLC and just need to be retired as safe queens.

Manufacturers- So many people have made 1911's and most of them sucked at it. I stick with popular manufacturers and common models for a very good reason, they are far more likely to work well than no name or the fly by night guys.

Any yahoo master gunsmith can slap some plug and play parts together in his mom's basement custom shop and try to sell it for big money. On the opposite end of the cost spectrum the super cheapo ones often have issues too. Expecting a $350 no name 1911 to function like a Springfield, Colt or Kimber is probably is just not realistic. While some deals are better than others you generally get about what you pay for.

[DIY- The plug and play factor of 1911 parts has also lead to a lot of people trying to be gunsmiths and slapping a bunch of random parts together with predictably poor results. If you or your buddy screw with a gun and it stops working the fault doesn't lie with the gun. Also if you buy a used 1911 the guy who owned it a decade ago may have tried this and left the gun messed up.]

Maintenance- 1911's and in particular custom/ target models which we will discuss later are more picky about maintenance than a lot of modern service type handguns like Glocks and XD's. As Larry Vickers said "[i]f ... you treat your pistols like we all treat our lawnmowers then don’t get a 1911 – use a Glock."

Tolerances and "Target models"- As noted in the video the old WWII era 1911's had significant tolerances, such that they would often rattle if shaken. However they also shoot reliably. There is a very direct relationship between tolerances, accuracy and weapon malfunctions. Tighter tolerances make for more accurate guns but they also mean that guns are more likely to malfunction.

Over the last 30 years or so a lot of 1911 manufacturers have tried to cash in on the "target" designation. They made the guns more accurate by tightening up the tolerances significantly which is easy with modern manufacturing techniques. This allowed them to make the gun  significantly more accurate and add 30-60% to the price. However many of these guns are equally accurate and jamtastic. Even the really expensive "target" type guns can be "picky" or only "like" one brand of ammo or have "unexplained feeding issues". As Tam noted awhile back it is interesting that a $1,200 gun is "picky" or has "unexplained feeding issues" but a $200 gun that does the exact same things is a jamomatic piece of junk. My personal advice is to keep the "target" models for competition/ ranges and to carry a service gun with it's significantly higher reliability and amply capable accuracy.

Those 4 areas are where I think most 1911 issues come from. One could argue that they are really not that hard to mitigate. Simply using a modern 1911 made by a major manufacturer and doing reasonable maintenance on it will go a long way.

My general observation is that standard models from major manufacturers like Springfield and Colt function like the service pistol the 1911 was designed to be. In other words they are reasonably reliable and accurate enough to be a viable defensive weapon. I haven't found them unduely maintenance intensive but I take pretty good care of guns anyway.

For the sake of full disclosure I own a Springfield Mil Spec 1911. I have used it for concealed carry and home defense and would not hesitate to do so again. I do not have anything bad to say about it. However I am trying to sell it which shows where my money is really going. I don't really do anything with it these days and it is complicating my logistics. Also by selling it I can get another Glock 9mm.

As to the bottom line. In my opinion if you like 1911's and are able/ willing to mitigate their weak points I do not see why a 1911 can't serve you well. Just because they aren't the highest tech and most low maintenance/ reliable gun out there doesn't mean they aren't good enough.

Thoughts? This should be fun.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reader Question: What do you think about the Heizer .45 "derringer" for CC?

What do you think about the Heizer .45 "derringer" for CC?

I know, I know:
1) only 2 shots
2) at 14 oz. it kicks like a damn mule
3) its 3" barrel doesn't 'aim'

...but nonetheless I'm very intrigued by its potential, particularly as a summer-time EDC. You could no-kidding carry this thing in belly-band, or in an ankle holster, or in a shorts-pocket.

And it *is* 2 shots of .45 ACP. If you had nothing else to fight with, you'd be damn glad to have those 2 shots. Haven't seen any range reviews yet, but I definitely want to learn more.


TOR here, Sometimes if we answer our own questions. The only issue you brought up that I really care about is that it holds two bullets. Lots of common and popular guns are small and light and not exactly known for amazing accuracy. The old phrase "belly gun" is probably applicable to a lot of carry pieces and well, that is what it is. One might look at the statistics and say that not a lot of bullets are going to be fired and things will be pretty up close and personal.
To be blunt it is pretty much inferior to every gun that holds more than two bullets. To make this more quantifiable lets look at the actual data on a variety of common concealed carry handguns then continue the conversation. (Sorry some of this is a bit choppy, I did a bunch of copy and pasting from various websites so the formatting is weird)

The specifications of  the Heizer "double tap" are as follows:

.45 ACP, 9MM
14 oz Titanium (empty)
12 oz Aluminum (empty)
.665 inches
5.5 inches
3.9 inches
3.0 inches
Titanium or Aluminum
Capacity: 2

Now lets look at the Kel Tec P3AT which is a good representative for the new DAO uuber tiny semi auto handgun club that includes the new little .380's from Ruger and S&W (Body Guard) and probably some little guns that I forgot.
Calibers:.380 AUTO
Weight unloaded:8.3 oz.235g
Loaded magazine:2.8 oz.81g
Barrel Length:2.7"68mm
Sight radius:3.8"97mm
Muzzle Energy Max:250ft-lbs340J
Capacity:6 + 1 rounds

Out of idle curiosity lets compare this to the umbiquous .38 snubby, in this case the Taurus M85 Ultralight.
Caliber: .38 SPL +P RATED
Capacity: 5
Weight: 22.5 oz
Barrel Length: 2"
Construction: Steel
Height: 4.28"
Width: 1.346"
Capacity: 5
Now lets take a look at the "subcompact" style of semi automatic pistols as represented in the Springfield 3" XD Subcompact.
Caliber 9mm or .40 S&W (which probably has different exact data)
Weight: 26 ounces (empty)
Width: not listed on website
Length: 6 1/4 in
Height: 4 3/4 w/ standard mag
Barrel: 3 in
Capacity: 13rd standard 16rd extended

Now to my personal favorite carry piece, the Glock 19. I suspect the S&W MP and Springfield XD are pretty comparable in dimensions.
Glock 19
Caliber: 9mm
Weight: 30.16 ounces (loaded)
Width: 1.18 in
Length: 7.36 in
Height: 5.04 in
Barrel: 4.02 in
Capacity: 15+1, 17 and 33 rd mags available

As you can see this new fangled Derringer is not a particularly small gun. (Interestingly it is not an inexpensive gun either, especially considering what it really is) It is bigger by every dimension except width (by like a tenth of an inch) than the Kel Tech P3AT. I can't think of a single situation where I would rather have a 2 shot .45 over a 7 shot .380; especially since both are basically belly guns. Heck a generic lightweight .38 snubby is about twice as wide but other than that not a whole lot bigger, especially considering it has 2.5 times the capacity which is sad because it holds 5 rounds. Obviously subcompact and compact semi auto's are a bit bigger but well, they are a lot more gun.

 It has been said that a handgun is meant to be comforting not comfortable. I see that point and philosophically do not disagree. However my observation is that most people will not substantially change their wardrobe or lifestyle to carry a concealed handgun. They may have the best of intentions but the gun gets left in the nightstand or glove box far more often than not. It may be more meaningful to say get the biggest gun you 'WILL' carry, not the biggest gun you 'CAN' carry. For me the sweet spot between functionality of bigger guns and what I will actually do is the "compact" size, namely the Glock 19.
Personally I carried a Glock 19 through a sweltering Alabama summer. It wasn't a big deal really. I carried IWB wearing cargo shorts and a loose around the waistline but not excessively baggy polo or button up short sleeved shirt with an undershirt (a must for IWB in hot weather). I don't think a slightly smaller gun would really be much more comfortable to carry or easy to conceal. Also carrying an 9mm that holds 15 bullets and I can hit stuff with at some distance is pretty comforting.

There are just so many good options from tiny little pistols like the Kel Tec P3AT to slightly smaller models of service pistols like the Glock 19 to fill every want or need. If you are dead set on carrying a tiny .45 the sub compact single stack Glock .45 is probably worth a real hard look.

So in conclusion, no I simply do not recommend carrying a 2 shot handgun, even if it is a new cool looking one. Sure this newfangled derringe is better than no gun but what kind of argument is that anyway? "A Yugo, it beats having no car, I guess." "A brick, better than fighting empty handed."


Double Tap™ Tactical PistolNon-PortedPorted

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Facebook Shaming Your Kids

Some mom decided to facebook shame her kid and it made the news. It seems to be pretty comparable though less dramatic than the dad who shot his daughters laptop with a .45.

Am I the only one who thinks these parents are doing something terribly stupid albeit probably well intentioned?

Somewhere along my meandering life I heard a phrase "praise in public and admonish in private." In my brief experiences leading men and a lifetime of having all manner of relationships I can say this is just really great advice. (I am not saying parenthood and leading soldiers are the same thing but some elements are similar) The one time I have really chastised (vs a normal correction) a soldier in public I regretted it. I realized later that I let my emotions get the better of me.

Now this is not to say I do not believe in correcting children. Quite the opposite in fact. The thing is that whenever possible I believe in doing it in private. If that Dad had done the exact same thing giving the speach and shooting her laptop with is wife and daughter in their yard I would think it was reasonably acceptable.

There are multiple issues in play. Kids are stupid. My toddler Walker who should probably be named Curious George or Attilla the Hun is a little terror. At some point closer to 2 than fifteen kids become capable of some level of self control and awareness. A 15 year old might make stupid decisions but they typically know those decisions are at least somewhat stupid. The phrase sinking to their level comes to mind.

I really do not think it is impressive to outwit or mock your teenager. Again they are stupid. Being mature and not sinking to their level is part of a parent's job. I think it is important that even if you have to punish them they can see that you are actually on their side. To varying degrees kids will rebel or be little jerks or otherwise test boundaries. These days some or all of this will involve multi media. I believe they should be held accountable for their actions but in the right way.

For the sake of full disclosure I have a child but not a teenager.

Am I completely off base on this?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Saying

There are a lot of reasons to choose a defensive pistol (or any other weapon). Assuming you choose a cartridge that passes the common sense test (.22's, .25, .410 shotguns, etc are not defensive weapons); then shootability, commonality of components and ease of use are at least as important as the cartridge itself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Federal .45 ACP Recall

Just in case you didn't hear about this Federal and there subsidiary American Eagle are recalling some .45acp. Check out the full details at Luck Gunner. Lots were made between Sep 2010 and mid January.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Got Skills?

I have been sort of reflecting about my blogging recently. I realized that I talk a lot about stuff and using stuff and storing stuff but not much about skills. So for awhile I wondered why this is. I realized that it was because at least for where I am at in life (when I buy some land and start growing plants and raising animals this will change) I have the vast majority of the skills I want and need. I don't talk much about, just for example .45 acp ammo either. Not that it isn't important by any means it is just that awhile back I got enough that I stopped worrying about it. Since I write about the stuff I think about it is just natural that things which I am not thinking about don't get mentioned.
I guess I was sort of lucky when it comes to skills. My previous interests and work history put me in a pretty good place or at least a pretty good starting point. By the time I got fairly motivated and into preparedness I had just, through the course of my life, acquired a lot of the necessary skills. A lifetime of camping, skiing and backpacking had me pretty solid on being able to handle myself in primative conditions. Living out of a bag, starting fires, rendering first aid, etc. My time in the military and other experiences left me reasonably competent in terms of defending myself with or without weapons. [It was also convenient that I had a ton of camping type gear and was a bit of a gun nut  so was at an OK place there also.] Because of this I just haven't worried about skills all that much.

I suppose in a way this is doing a bit of a disservice to my readers. I could probably talk about skills more as well as the reasons for them and lessons learned while acquiring skills (though I may have forgotten them). I fear that too many skills I just take for granted would be really beneficial to you guys.

I am not however sitting on my lorrels. Over the past couple years thanks to my job I have improved dramatically in terms of tactical stuff from shooting (close quarters or distance, magazine changes, etc) to planning and conducting offensive or defensive operations. I have forgotten more about tactics and field operations than I used to know. I have also learned to use world band radios and make all kinds of food from scratch. I also have learned to brew my own beer.

There are definitely some more skills I want to acquire. Right now I am pretty much in a holding pattern because most of the skills I want to acquire are not available here or the cost benefits derived from them are skewed in my current location. I would like to take a couple of defensive pistol courses as well as a defensive shotgun course. I would love to go to Appleseed and work on being a better shot (the great thing about this is pretty much everyone can improve). If I found a place I thought would actually teach me anything in terms of tactical carbine stuff at a price I could afford I would go there. When we get back to the states we will start canning food and other food storage stuff. I would like to get a ham radio license. The list goes on. Being a jack of all trades is hard.

I think I will try to talk more about skills.

Monday, September 20, 2010

quote of the day

"I've owned .375, .416, and/or .458 caliber elephant rifles when I lived in New Hampshire, and when I lived in Florida.
During all that time, no elephant has ever attacked me or my neighbors. One can only conclude that there is a deterrent effect at work here. You'd think my Yuppie neighbors in the New England suburbs would have appreciated more than they did, the fact that I, alone, obviously kept herds of elephants from trampling their Volvos into their rock gardens."
-Massad Ayoob 

Read the rest here. For whatever it is worth this guy is pretty happy carrying a 9mm. Especially since when one gets past the hype given decent JHP ammo it is equal to the other common semi auto pistol calibers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

High Point .45ACP Carbine

High Point finally put out a model of their carbine in .45ACP. I have had and read some interesting discussions about High Point products. Defensive weapons are not a place to skimp (what kind of idiot would get a fire extinguisher or life jacket that way?) so would relegate these guns to plinking or fun shooting in general. The low capacity of these carbines is just another reason to keep em in the fun rack. However at a couple hundred bucks or so they are cheap enough to just be a fun gun. If you want a .45 carbine I would look into Ruger or if your budget is high HK or UZI products.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For My Buddies Down South, Because This Is How They Roll

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?
Here is a little test that will help you decide.

The answer can be found by posing the following question: 
You're  walking down a deserted street with your wife and two  small children.

Suddenly, an Islamic terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you... 

You are carrying a Glock . 45 caliber handgun, and you are an expert shot.

You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. 
What do you do?


Democrat's Answer:

  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I  possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of  his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?  
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would  he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!
Republican's Answer:


Southerner's  Answer:  

Click..... (Sounds of reloading)


Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!'
'Were  those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?! ' 

Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!' 

Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the taxidermist!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gratuitous 1911 Pics: Clearing Up The Desktop

I like the 1911. They don't have the rugged reliability of a Glock or a lot of features of modern pistols. They are however beautiful and have a certain mistique about them. Think I could use a nice stainless one at some point in the future. However as firearms are currently a low priority and a 1911 is low on that list (another set of group standard guns) and at least one other rifle would be first) it will be a long time before something like this or this comes to live at my place.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guns for Survival and Guns to Avoid

Our favorite guy in a trailer in Tennessee (Creekmore) wrote a good post today on an interesting topic Guns Not to Buy For Survival. I have talked about survival guns plenty, probably too much. In any case MD's post got me thinking about the topic of what guns to avoid.

MD's list is good though as I said in my comment there some folks really have had positive experiences with Hi Point pistols. Honestly I think you tend to get what you pay for, and well Hi Points are a $100ish semi automatic pistol. Norico has imported so so much that I am uncomfortable generalizing. I imagine their guns that fell along COM Bloc military lines are probably as good as comparable models made in other places. If my memory serves me correctly a fellow I know who owns a lot of guns and is very knowledgable about them picked up a few of their rifles and likes them.

In any case guns to avoid is an interesting topic. I however am going to go in slightly a different direction. I want to take a big picture look at guns to get because trying to come up with a list of every maker of pot metal pimp guns would be nigh onto impossible. My opinions are already on the record. I favor AR-15's, Glock 9mm's, Remington 870's and Ruger 10/22's. I also have a soft spot in my heart for AK's, 1911's, .38/.357 wheel guns and Mossberg 500's.  Not saying there are right or wrong or looking to debate my choices or suggesting they are the right choices for you because I like them. In any case..........

I believe everyone would be well advised to stick to common caliber firearms like .22, 9mm, .38/.357, 40S&W, .45acp, 30-30 win, 7.62x39, .308, 30.06, 20 and 12 gauge respectively. Not saying this list is absolutely inclusive but remember if you can't reliably get a box of ammo for it at a small town hardware store then it isn't a common caliber. 

Taking that a step further I believe it is very prudent to purchase weapons made from major manufacturers. Glock, Sig, Springfield, Browning, Ruger, Beretta, Taurus, S&W, Remington, Mossberg, etc and various mil spec stuff are really the way to go. These companies have been around for a long time and sold a whole lot of guns for a reason.

The final step is to buy common models. This really is a small one because for the most part these successful companies tend to design a good gun and keep making it.This one might get a little confusing but I will give you a pretty good litmus test. If every decent gun shop doesn't keep a good stock of mags and holsters for it then it isn't a common model.

I am not going to say that all non common caliber non common manufacture/ model guns are bad. I know there are some out there that are just great. Maybe you will choose one of them and it will work out wonderfully but more likely that oddball caliber gun made by some fly by night manufacturer is going to give you some headaches. My point is that if you choose a common caliber gun from a major manufacturer in a common model it is probably going to give you nothing but happiness. There is enough diversity in common caliber major manufacturer guns that I see little if any reason not to stay within those guidelines.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

First Gun and the Pistol and Rifle Idea.

FerFal wrote a post on first guns. To be honest I sort of hate this kind of hypothetical stuff but somehow keep coming back to it. Everybody should get at least a good centerfire pistol, a pump shotgun, a centerfire rifle and some sort of .22. I suggest a Glock, a Remington 870, an AR and a Ruger 10/22. Having bought them I am fully aware these are not cheap guns. Matter of factly I believe almost all people (its tough if you are truly disabled and on a small pension, etc) would be well advised to get quality modern firearms like the ones I named above. Scrimping, saving and working extra hours to get good guns sucks (I once worked full time over Christmas Break to get an AR) but you will not regret it in the long run. Guns aren't the place to scrimp and try to save a few bucks.  Commander Zero wrote a great post on this awhile back.

To not get too focused on debating this gun vs that gun really the possible combination are almost endless and provided you stick to common caliber (.38/.357mag, 9mm, .45acp for pistols and .223, 7.62x39, 30-30, .308, 30-06 for rifles of course 20 and 12 gauge for shotguns) firearms in common model/manufacturers (S&W, Ruger, H&K, Glock, Sig, Colt, Browning, Winchester, Mossberg, Remington, Marlin, AR, Mini-14, AK, FN-FAL, HK-91, M1A, etc all) you will probably do fine.

You need a centerfire pistol for carry and generally being discretely armed. Shotguns are probably the king of home defense and generally a great utilitarian gun to have (we will talk more about them later). Rifles are useful for hunting, plinking, and really the only decent option to shoot just about anything past about 100 meters. I think everyone should also have a .22 (I would suggest it be a rifle) because they are so darn useful and dirt cheap to shoot. These 4 guns will not deal with every possible situation in hunting, plinking and potential defense. The rifle you want if things to truly to hell is almost invariably a magazine fed semi automatic and not the one you would want to hunt Moose with and it might be convenient to get a subcompact carry pistol for EDC. I suggest these 4 basic guns because they will be good for most situations in defense, plinking and sport and are the foundation of any good home firearms battery.

However what would be best for people to get while they are on their way to this basic 4 is part of the question at hand.

I used to say a shotgun but FerFal's wisdom changed my mind. Some folks say a rifle but I think they are more wrong than the shotgun crowd. The thinking behind a pistol is that it is the only weapon you can have with you all the time without being arrested or causing a scene. Also you can answer the door or investigate that strange sound outside armed without giving Granny Smith your neighbor a heat attack. A shotgun is probably better strictly for home defense and a rifle might be better for a genuine TEOTWAWKI but both fail to take into account far more realistic and probable situations.

Shotguns for home defense also came up in the post which inspired this one. I am not saying that a pump shotgun is a talisman. No matter what any add says or infers no gun is going to turn you into a Grizzled Master Sergeant from CAG, sorry. I honestly believe the best all around gun for home defense is a short barreled  pump shotgun. Mossberg and Remington are the best options since Winchester kicked the bucket. Some have noted that shotguns hold a relatively small amount of ammunition @5-9 shells and used that for a reason either pistols or rifles are better for home defense. I would mention that the average gunfight is a couple rounds at spitting distance but well we plan for the worst not the best or average. Shotguns are better for home defense than pistols for many reasons. First without getting really far into the weeds on ballistics and round selection I don't think anyone has ever seriously questioned the man stopping power of 12 (or for that matter 20) gauge shotguns loaded with buckshot. Someone who takes a load of buckshot to the torso is probably going to be out of action very quickly or at lest as quickly as any other weapon we are discussing.

The other fact which I think mitigates the relatively low capacity of shotguns is that most people shoot them far better than pistols. No matter what anyone says you have to aim shotguns to hit anything. The reason I say people shoot them better is that the combination of being on your shoulder and a good cheek to stock makes shooting much more intuitive and easy. Take a bunch of folks to the range and have them shoot at a variety of targets at defensive ranges with a pistol and a shotgun, bet almost all of them will do better with a shotgun.

This has turned into a really long  post and I am just getting to the actual new unique thought. The just get a pistol and a rifle idea (or getting them first in priority) has popped up here and there from time to time. To be honest I can only see two situations where it makes sense. The first is if you want/ need a rifle and space is really limited (living on a boat, etc). The second is if you had a rifle already, bought a pistol and are waiting till you have the cash for a shotgun. Lastly maybe for whatever reason you just really don't want to have a shotgun, can't see why you wouldn't want a dozen of them but different strokes for different folks.

The reason most people don't just decide they need some guns and go to the store to pick up a Glock, a Remington 870, an AR, and a Ruger 10/22 is that they cannot afford to do so. Guns, particularly modern quality guns are expensive. Really the only reason this comes up at all is that it takes lots of folks some time to save and scrimp together enough cash to get a nice basic firearms battery.

The reason I believe a rifle as a second gun (after a pistol) is a bad course of action is not so much about the individual attributes of shotguns vs rifles but is all about economics. You can buy good used Mossberg or (to a slightly lesser degree) Remington pump shotguns for less than $175 all day long until you run out of cash or get bored. These days you can't touch an AK for much less than $450ish and once you get 20 mags at about $9  a piece the cost goes up considerably. An AR which wasn't made in somebodies basement is going to cost at least $700 or more depending on how name centric you are. Mags cost about $12 for Mil Spec and a bit more for MagPul. I don't even want to talk about how much good semi auto .308's cost, the M1A I want and will some day get is going to cost about a pound of flesh.

For a shotgun all the accessories you need are a sling, a buttstock shotshell carrier. Plus of course ammo. You can get a good shotgun with its needed accessories for less than you will spend on rifle mags alone! Shotguns are far cheaper than quality defensive rifles and thus you can have a long gun and a pistol far sooner by going the shotgun route. This way you will be as well armed as possible while saving up enough coin to get a rifle.

Here is where someone is going to mention surplus bolt guns. I covered my opinions above but lets reiterate as it applies to the long gun for defense. Yes some older style and WWI-II surplus rifles can be purchased for much less than modern quality rifles such AK's and AR's or various .308's but they are almost universally a horrible choice for defense particularly inside the home or in close quarters. They are big and heavy/ cumbersome, slow to reload and a potentially deadly choice given the potential for multiple adversaries in close quarters. For someone married to the idea of a close quarters defensive rifle without the desire to get something semi automatic (and probably mag fed) I would suggest a lever action 30-30 as they are relatively cheap, compact, fast to reload and generally the best of the undesirable options in this range.

In conclusion I think it is smart to buy a defensive pistol, pump shotgun, centerfire rifle and a .22. I believe quality modern guns are worth the money and that most people should make the choices necessary to get them. For those who have no guns buying a defensive pistol first and a pump shotgun second is IMO the best course of action with a centerfire rifle and a .22 to follow at a later date when funds allow.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Great Post I Read Recently

The other day Commander Zero wrote a great post. I have been thinking about it more or less since I read it.

As always I have some thoughts. First it can be noted that Commander Zero and I have the same taste in group standard guns so maybe I am preferencial to his writing. In any case here we go.

First I think that it is important to realize that something newer and fancier coming out doesn't mean what already exists is any less. For example if 60 years ago your grandpa took a kerosene lantern and a double barreled shotgun outside to investigate a wierd noise that lantern would cast the same light and that shotgun would still have two shots today. It would not magically become less than it is because he could have a surefire LED flashlight and a fancy combat shotgun. This is a bit extreme of an example but it sort of brings us back to the point.

Second I think that Commander Zero's point about ruthlessly and objectively assessing equipment based not on its history but its true functionality is a great one. If the 1911 were dropped into the market today I honestly doubt anyone would know its name because it would not go anywhere for a variety of reasons (expensive, lots of machining, single stack mag, the various weird parts and complicated assembly, etc).

I think there is a balance between searching out and purchasing the newest and coolest thing or sticking with vastly inferior technology. Do you need to switch to the newest coolest tacticool systems every 6 months? I do not think so. However there is something said for making determined choices to upgrade your equipment to newer, better but still proven technology.


Monday, October 5, 2009

New Blog and a Long Comment

I stumbled to Philosophizing with a Hammer today. It seems like a pretty cool blog and he wrote a post about 9mm vs .40S&W vs. .45acp to which I replied at some length. Kinda wanted to give the guy some linkage as his blog seems nice.
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