Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"The Men Preparing for Civil War in South Africa"--Lauren Southern (5-1/2 min.)

  • Greg Ellifritz has this week's Weekend Knowledge Dump up for your perusal. Check it out. Articles and videos that are listed include topics such as concealed carry gear you should avoid, why we are seeing more active shooters, where you should be looking when you do reloads (hint: keep your eyes on the threat), and a lot more. And thanks to Greg for linking to my AR15 article!
  • "Single Action Revolvers for Personal Defense?"--Ammo Land. The author of this piece attempts to make an argument for using single action revolvers, including the Colt Single Action Army (SAA), for personal defense. He writes:
         So again why would you want a single action thumb buster instead of the latest and greatest semi-auto pistol? Well, in more than one state the handgun magazine limit is stuck at ten rounds, so six shots aren’t all that far away from the limit. The single action revolver does tend to be a more “safe” choice if you are worried about what political climates might be coming sooner or later. While I despise the thought of any handguns being banned, it is something to think about.
            The single action revolver is not merely a throwback to a bygone era. It’s not simply a Hollywood prop that looks cool and flashy when drawn from a holster at speed by some actor in a fancy outfit. A single action revolver is a tool and a darn good one at that. It’s as viable a defensive handgun in 2018 as it was in 1918 and even 1888 if you are willing to understand the limitations and practice with it, which is what you should do with any handgun, you carry to protect your hide

      Old and simple is not necessarily the best for the job. For instance, I have an ax that is a darn good tool, but I'm going to use my chainsaw to cut down a tree, or cut up longer pieces of wood. Essentially, the author is attempting to argue that because it was the best option in the 19th Century, it is a viable option today, which is not true. Just because some people can use such a weapon well does not mean everyone will be able to do so. 
             Now, I understand that if that is all you have, well, that's what you use. But deliberately selecting an SAA or similar weapon over a modern revolver or pistol is, to be blunt, foolhardy. Why would you deliberately handicap yourself as to something as important as self-defense? 
             First, as the author acknowledges, these revolvers have to be cocked prior to firing. Yes, you can cock as you draw (which is easy to do with the wider hammer on a modern double-action, by the way), but that creates a risk of the firearm being more easily triggered and going off before you intend it to. If you don't cock when drawing, they you have to thumb the trigger back and fire, which, for most people, will be slower than simply pulling the trigger on a double action revolver or on a pistol. 
               Second, these style of revolvers use a side-loading gate to reload--each shell is punched out one at a time and a new cartridge inserted. It is slow and requires manual dexterity well in excess of that required for reloading a double-action revolver with a swing cylinder. Which is why, even when the U.S. Army was in the process of ordering and distributing the SAA, it was still constantly testing and evaluating other styles of revolvers that were faster to load.
                I also don't think much of the author's argument that single action revolvers will be spared from a more general handgun ban. We've never seen a cut-out for single action revolvers in past legislation, and there is no reason to believe that it will be different in the future. If government decides to ban handguns, it will probably be all handguns; if there is an exception for revolvers, it will probably apply to all revolvers, not just the single-action revolvers.
               Finally, even the history of revolvers does not support there being any innate advantage to the single-action revolver. In fact, when double-action revolvers were introduced, people bought them in droves. The SAA\, for instance, was introduced in 1873. In 1877, Colt introduced the Colt Lightening (.38 caliber), which was a double-action revolver, followed quickly by the Thunderer (.41 caliber) and Double Action Army & Frontier (.45 caliber). Between 1878 and the end of 1909, Colt manufactured a total of 270,000 SAAs; during the same time period, Colt manufactured 220,000 of the foregoing double action revolvers. And this does not include the numerous other manufacturers of the same period that mostly produced double action revolvers, including Smith & Wesson. (Source: Walter, John, The Guns That Won The West: Firearms on the American Frontier, 1848-1898 (1999)).
                A former city cop spilled his guts Tuesday, telling Manhattan jurors about years worth of bribes he and his fellow officers received for doling out gun permits — everything from cash, prostitutes and expensive watches to baseball memorabilia and exotic vacations.
                   David Villanueva, an ex-supervisor in the NYPD’s License Division, said he and other cops — including officers Richard Ochetel and Robert Espinel and Lt. Paul Dean — were on the take for years from so-called gun expeditors.
                    In exchange, the officers doled out pistol permits like candy — even to people who should not have had them, Villanueva said.
                     One expeditor, he said, may have had ties to organized crime. Another got help with 100 gun permits over the years — “none” of which should have been approved.
                        Now lets talk about you, oh private citizen gunfighter. I will bet that you don't go about your day with a shotgun or a rifle slung over your back. Not everyone wants to live 100 miles from the nearest civilization, so you make concessions. And while there may be an additional weapon in your vehicle or in your office or home, ready to access, what you walk around with is a concealed handgun. You should spend upwards of 75% of your time getting good with that, since 75% of the time that will be all you have.
                         But what about the other 25%?
                           Consider that your mission will most likely be one of fight and flee, not take ground, not go on the hunt, not fight off a horde of bayonet armed Russians. It will be to win the initial confrontation and get to safety to either call reinforcements or to have LE come to investigate and write the report. You will access an additional (and hopefully more powerful) weapon when the following has happened -
                              1). It is nearby, in the vehicle, in your office, or home. In short, it is available within 30 seconds. Otherwise, don't bother.
                                2). You have defeated the initial attack with your pistol and have time to consider that the event may not be over, thus you can "up-gun".
                                  3). You have some prior warning of events - such as a business owner realizing there will be a riot or some other event that he may need to get through on the way home.
                            He then goes on to explain the characteristics he thinks are important in a weapon you will be using more proactively than a pistol--that 25% of the time he discusses above. While I agree that a shotgun firearm meets his requirements, I am looking at the AR pistol for filling the same role. I'll get back to you on that.
                            • Stupid: "The first person on Mars should be a WOMAN, says Nasa's chief astronaut trainer"--Daily Mail. No valid technical reason, just more PC garbage. Well, here is an interesting fact to consider: the current NASA spacesuits weigh 280 lbs. in Earth's gravity. That means that, even with the lower gravity of Mars, the suits will still weigh 93.3 pounds--and that is just the suit. In addition, due to the long voyage, muscles will have atrophied, and there will probably be bone loss. So, given all of that, who is going to be better able to walk around on the surface of Mars wearing a space suit: a man or a woman?
                            • "Gear Tips From The Mammoth Sniper Challenge"--Guns America Blog. This is sniper competition that not only scores shooters on their shooting, but they also have to hike between targets and camp during the night. Thus, as the author notes, lessons learned from this competition are applicable to hunting or backwoods hiking. He has several interesting lessons from the whole experience, including ditching a sleeping bag for sleeping pads and a lightweight down quilt, but I thought the use of trekking poles was particularly interesting and clever:
                                      These lightweight handy devils are not just for Appalachian Trail sight-seeing.  When you are carrying heavy loads and trying to move at a good clip up and down grades, having 4 points of contact instead of just two can be a lifesaver. Leaning into the poles powering up hills helps support the load, and push you forward. The poles are even more crucial while moving downhill; your most likely time to fall. They add needed support points to help to keep your feet under your center of gravity. The heavier the load the more you need trekking poles to keep from toppling over on hidden hazards under the snow or on broken terrain. They can also be used as adjustable shooting supports.
                                The author has a photograph showing two trekking poles looped together to make an improvised bipod. In that regard, the author writes: "Trekking poles can be looped at the handles and used as makeshift shooting sticks or a bipod; allowing a more stable shooting position."

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