Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

Pistol caliber carbines, advantages to revolvers, single-payer health care, a medical mystery, and more...

Some people want to see the world burn, but the author of this piece suggests that for most, this subconscious desire is, in all actuality, a desire for the freedom increasingly denied us under a metastasizing nanny state.

Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • "9mm vs .40 vs .45: Which Chambering Has More Stopping Power?"--Mass Ayoob at Personal Defense World. Rather than being a rehash of the caliber debate, it provides some history of the changing tests and experience concerning performance of historic loadings, and discusses the more effective loadings of today. A good read for someone interested in terminal ballistics.
  • "Breaking Down the Speed Strip Reload"--Priority Performance. The author tested his speed at re-entering a fight after reloading a single-round, two rounds, three rounds, or a full reload of a revolver using a speed strip. His tests suggested that a reload of just one or two rounds (but retaining the strip for additional loading) may be more effective than trying to reload the whole cylinder. 
  • "Frankly, Pistol Caliber Carbines Don’t Make a Lot of Sense – Here’s Why"--Nathaniel F. at The Firearms Blog. He argues that "[t]he fundamental problem of the pistol-caliber carbine is that it is a compromise with no payoff," and then addresses the three general arguments advanced in favor of the pistol carbines: (1) "Pistol caliber carbines can share ammunition with the pistol [so if] either the pistol or rifle runs dry, it can be refreshed with ammunition from the other"; (2) "Pistol caliber carbines can approach rifle performance thanks to their longer barrels"; and (3) "Pistol ammunition may be cheaper than rifle ammunition." He specifically addresses arguments advanced by Grant Cunningham in favor of the pistol caliber carbine.
      Nathaniel dismisses the interchangeable ammunition argument on the grounds that if you run out of ammunition for one weapon, then change to using the other weapon. I would add that the interchangeable ammunition argument also presupposes common magazines (for autoloaders, at least), without which, the usefulness is dramatically reduced. But the commonality argument also presupposes that there is a benefit to using the ammunition in one weapon over the other. That is, that rather than transitioning to the handgun, there would be an advantage of taking a magazine for the pistol and loading it into the carbine. 
       As to the second argument, Nathaniel notes (using the 9 mm as an example) that there is no great improvement in performance between using the round in a pistol length barrel versus a carbine length barrel (i.e., the legal minimum 16 inches in the United States); that is, per his thesis, there is no payoff shooting handgun cartridges out of carbine length barrels. I've previously graphed out the data from Ballistics By The Inch comparing the averages of different rounds for barrel length. And Nathaniel is generally correct: cartridges for semi-auto pistols show very little improvement in performance past 6 to 8 inches, depending on the caliber. However, it is a different matter speaking of revolver cartridges, especially the magnum cartridges such as .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, and .44 Magnum, which could see increases in muzzle velocity of 300 fps or more. The optimal barrel length for most of these calibers (remembering that these are loads intended to be shot from a handgun) was around 15 inches.  
       As to the cost argument, Nathaniel correctly notes that, with the exception of 9 mm, 5.56/.223 ammunition is generally less expensive than handgun ammunition. And, I would add, when considering high-performance defensive ammo, it can be a toss up between 9 mm and 5.56 mm. 
       I will leave you to go the Nathaniel's article to read his discussion of the advantages of a .223 carbine (or, even, pistol or short-barreled rifle) over the pistol caliber carbine. I just have a few comments in rebuttal: 
       First, as noted above, there is enough of an improvement with the magnum revolver cartridges to make some sense for those who, for whatever reason, are using a revolver and lever action carbine. To someone that is going into the back country and merely needs a weapon for self-protection and hunting of small to medium game, the logistics of a single caliber for both weapons may make it worthwhile.  
       Second, based on what others have said and written, and my own personal experience with 5.56/.223 rifles, muzzle flash and noise from such rifles can be overwhelming, especially without a flash suppressor. If a person is limited to only getting a long-arm for self-defense (which are also typically jurisdictions that ban muzzle devices), this might be a relevant factor for someone who only expects to use the weapon in a self-defense within one's home. 
      Third, the real advantage to a pistol sized carbine is one denied us: full automatic fire. That is where the pistol caliber carbine would shine is with firing off controlled bursts as submachine guns are more controllable than similarly sized weapons firing rifle ammunition, including the 5.56 mm.
  • "Colt Competition Goes Out of Business – First of Many?"--The Truth About Guns. As an initial note, Colt Competition is not affiliated with Colt Manufacturing (the maker of Colt firearms), but was a beautique manufacturer (assembler?) of AR rifles. While there is indication that the demand for AR is declining (probably because anyone who had any interest in an AR bought one, or more, during the last few years), other firearm sales are remaining steady. In my opinion, and from what we saw from several years ago when there was a slump on AR sales, is that the beautique sellers and assemblers will be culled, but that better known manufacturers and more diverse sellers will probably survive. I saw this in the area I live when that last slump came along. Small scale manufacturers (assemblers, generally) of ARs went out of business, as did the small stores that specialized in selling AR rifles and tactical accessories.
  • Fake news: "Cops find insane stockpile of weapons while hunting for rape suspect"--New York Post. What was the size of this "insane stockpile"? "... four pistols, three long-guns, a bullet-proof vest and an empty bazooka case [i.e., a fiberglass tube] ...." One of the long-guns was a Browning .22 rifle. This isn't even enough to be considered a "collection," let alone a stockpile.
  • In case you wanted to: "Building a simple break barrel shotgun from scratch"--The Firearms Blog. Just watch the barrel length--better to have it an inch or two over the legal minimum than to cut it too fine and be found in violation of the NFA.
  • "12 Advantages A Revolver Has Over A Semi-Auto You May Not Have Thought Of – Content Contest"--The Truth About Guns. Many of these have been discussed or cited in prior posts, but this is a good roundup: (1) the size of the grip is not dependent on the magazine, so it is more customizable; (2) the size of the cartridge is not constrained by having to feed through a magazine in the pistol grip, allowing larger and longer cartridges; (3) it can reliably work with a greater variety of ammunition types; (4) some calibers allow use of multiple calibers, e.g., .357 Mag. can also use .38 Special; (5) better potential accuracy because the sights are fixed to the frame and barrel, instead of a slide; (6) greater ease in determining if the weapon is loaded; (7) disassembly is not required for cleaning; (8) a revolver does not fling casings all over the place; (9) a revolver is more reliable for contact shooting;  (10) a revolver will reliably work inside a pocket (ed: at least, with a shrouded hammer or hammerless); (11) a revolver is quicker and easier to reload (comparing reloading a cylinder versus reloading a pistol magazine); and (12) revolvers don't have a beaver slide to jab into your side when sitting down.

Other Stuff:
  • "Single-payer, here we come: The health care revolution in waiting"--Charles Krauthammer at the New York Daily News. The defeat of Paul Ryan's half-way measure to repeal and replace ObamaCare raises the issue of whether the answer is to repeal the worst piece of legislation that came out of the Obama administration or go all-in with a nationalized system, such as "single payer" (i.e., national health insurance). Krauthammer notes on the latter point that more Americans (perhaps, the majority) now view health care as a "right" (or perhaps, "public good" would be a better characterization). Moreover, Trump had expressly promised that American workers would have insurance. Thus, the path lies open to a nationalized system of some sort. My only experience with such systems was in Japan which had a national health insurance system (but still private suppliers of health services). There are trade offs, the biggest being that the Japanese system seemed to emphasize treatment by general practitioners rather than the widespread use of specialists in the current system. However, the downsides were not enough to discount the system. I have doubts of such a system being adopted here in the United States, however, because the result would be to lower doctors' income, reduce the "profits" of the supposedly non-profit hospitals, reduce the need for the administrative staffing in most hospitals and clinics (you could literally see practices returning to employing only three people: a doctor, a nurse, and a secretary/administrative assistant), and reduced profits for those in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
       The foreign tax could be on the goods and services in off-shored industries (a tariff), beefed up fees for applying for visas, taxing remittance payments made from within the US, a rise in income tax rates on legal immigrants, setting up an explicit tax to levy on foreign nations whose military defense we provide, and so on and so forth.
           We hold the cards here because we are not an export economy, meaning retaliatory tariffs have few targets of ours to hit. Americans are less inclined to live and work in foreign countries, compared to vice versa. No Americans send remittances back here. Hardly any of us work abroad where our incomes could be taxed even higher than now. And nobody but Uncle Sam provides our military defense.
             If the rest of the world is so much more dependent on us than the other way around, we can easily tax the hell out of them and they'll still profit by interacting with us.
      • The science is not settled: "The First People Who Populated The Americas"--BBC Earth. The theory of a single migration across the Bering land bridge to the Americas has largely been rejected. New evidence shows that people lived on the land bridge (which was about the size of Texas) for thousands of years, and moved in multiple waves further into North America. More and more evidence is also being found showing significant genetic differences between populations that migrated. And, most telling, some of the oldest settlements in South America are from peoples whose ancestors were related to Pacific Islanders, suggesting that these people may have migrated north in Asia, and subsequently leap frogged across to North America and down the coast via boats. (I see no reason for such a long migration path when it is perfectly feasible for them to have sailed to South America via island hopping).
      • The science is not settled: "Simulation suggests 68 percent of the universe may not actually exist: New model shows accelerated expansion can happen without dark energy"--Daily Mail. The article notes: 
             In the new study, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the researchers argue that the conventional models of the universe fail to address its changing structure.

             Instead, they say these models rely on approximations and assume that matter has a uniform density.
          By eliminating the approximations, and actually calculating out how the structure of the universe changed and impacted expansion, they researchers were able to model expansion with results consistent with the current structure and size, without having to resort to "dark energy." 
          On Monday, March 27, hundreds of people in New Delhi went on a mob rampage and attacked several African students. The violence was sparked by allegations that five African students were involved in the drug trade and the overdose death of a young Indian boy. Police arrested the five but then released them citing a lack of evidence.
          The article says that they were attacked because they were thought to be drug dealers, not because they were African. If correct, how was it racist?
          Living behind the Blue Curtain requires certain survival skills, backers of the president say. No bumper stickers, lest someone key your car. No signs, in the window or planted on your front lawn, to prevent vandalism. Steer clear of Facebook and other online forums, and don’t discuss politics in the real world if you can help it.
                   More than five million men, women and children have now fled the Syrian civil war but the world’s will to give refugees a safe home is waning, the United Nations has warned.
                     World leaders pledged to resettle 10 per cent of all Syrian refugees by 2018 at a meeting Geneva in March last year, but only half of the needed places have been made available.
                The Middle-East in the midst of a great internal war of religion between its major and minor sects, while, at the same time, going through its own version of the Reformation. Poll after poll has shown that Muslims do not share most of our basic views on human rights or liberty. We do not need to import this into our own nation. It is a matter of common sense and national defense.

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