Pistol-Caliber Carbines: The Marlin

Following on from Reader Brad’s escapades with his new Ruger PC-9 carbine, a couple of comments from other Readers piqued my interest.

Specifically, I’m thinking of the Marlin Camp carbine, and still more so, the Camp 45, which was chambered in (duh) .45 ACP and took (most) 1911-type mags.  (I say “most” because mine just wouldn’t load Mec-Gar 1911 mags, even after I had a gunsmith look into it.)

The good news first:  I loved my Camp 45 dearly.  It was more fun than should be allowed without the exchange of body fluids, and the 16″ barrel made the lethargic .45 ACP into, relatively speaking, quite a speedster.  (A 230-grain bullet travelling at 1,200 fps instead of the normal 850… that’s some serious owie at the naughty end.)  And that was the problem.

The Camp 45 was fragile.  Seriously fragile.  First off, any thought of shooting +P ammo should be ignored, because even with ordinary .45 ACP loads, the recoil did horrible things to the internals over time.  The plastic buffer pad (which was about as useful as a sponge) at the back of the recoil spring was constantly cracking and then disintegrating, meaning that you had to have a ready supply of replacements on hand if you were going to shoot more than a couple hundred rounds in a session.  Someone also mentioned that the stock behind the action was prone to cracking;  in my case, a quarter-sized chip of wood came flying off and dinged me in the forehead.  (No blood, no foul;  but it did give me quite a surprise.)

At one of our Feinstein-Daley Memorial Schutzenfests, I believe it was the Layabout Sailor who completely destroyed his Camp 45 by a three-magazine burst of rapid fire — I mean, I think he used the gun as ballast after that, so complete was the destruction.  (No doubt, he’ll remind me of the details in Comments.)

So here’s the thing about the Camp 45:  as I said, it was and is a lot of fun to shoot.  But as a serious self-defense weapon?  It ain’t that.  And forget any kind of combat usage;  I’d be thanking Vulcan every time I pulled the trigger and it went bang  without the gun breaking.  Even if it looked like this (which, I gotta tell ya, looks like fun too):

Feel free to contradict me if your experience has been any different, but I know only four people who ever owned a Camp 45, and none of us own them anymore — which should tell you all you need to know.

Marlin discontinued the Camp carbines in the late 1990s, which means that only secondhand models are now available.  Caveat emptor.

Afterthought:  I have no experience with Marlin’s Camp 9, by the way, which used Beretta 92-style mags to shoot (duh again) 9mm Europellets.  Feel free to add your comments if you’ve ever owned one, or shot it seriously.

AAR: Ruger PC-9 Carbine (9mm)

Some feedback from this post, wherein Reader Brad_In_IL solved his “What pistol-caliber carbine to buy?” problem:

Brad writes:  “Indoor.  Off hand.  50 feet.  Need to get a sling.  First shot was the head shot.  The other 24 were insurance.”

Amen.  Adding a well-adjusted sling to the mix would have resulted in a single palm-sized (or smaller) hole for the 24 insurance shots.

So Much For That Idea

Among the gun-controller / -abolitionist crowd, we often hear the tripe trope that “Guns should be kept at gun clubs, which should be the only place you get to shoot them” and “All gun owners should be registered members of gun clubs”, and so on, all to do with how wonderful gun clubs are in terms of controlling gun use and allowing only lawful shooting.  This, supposedly, will help end illegal gun use by criminals / terrorists / Trump supporters etc.

Then we see this little snippet:

Christchurch terror suspect ‘was member of New Zealand gun club where he practised shooting SAME AR-15 rifles used in horrific mosque massacres that left 49 dead’

…and another cherished little belief goes up in flames.

Gun clubs, and the restrictions attached thereto, do as much to stop random acts of violent crime as any of the other nostrums proposed by gun controllers, i.e. practically nothing.

So stop that shit.  You’re not fooling anyone except others of your own ilk.

Afterthought:  I would point out that this asshole, who was captured in the very act of his villainy, is no more a “suspect” than I’m a Democrat, but that’s an argument for another time.

So Much For Dick

Here’s one piece of news that will gladden the hearts of all gunnies:

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said Tuesday it will stop selling firearms at 125 of its stores, further pulling back from the business after the retailer decided last year to tighten its policies around gun sales.
Dick’s has struggled with declining sales since its CEO Ed Stack made a public decision to stop selling guns to buyers under 21 and take assault-style weapons out of all stores after a fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Dick’s is also working to stem sluggish sales as more shoppers buy sporting goods online.
This year Dick’s will remove guns and some hunting gear from 125 locations, after testing the concept in 10 stores last year, Mr. Stack said on a conference call Tuesday. Dick’s had 729 of its namesake locations as of Feb. 2. The space will be used to sell higher-margin, faster-selling categories such as licensed sports gear and outdoor recreation equipment, Mr. Stack said.

Yeah… good luck with those Nike T-shirts, Ed.

[pause to allow mocking laughter to subside]

In the article, there’s even better news about their stock price.  Cliff [sic]  Notes:

Can’t wait for Dick’s to go out of business altogether.  Feelgood, pandering fuckers.

The Shorter The Length, The Lower The Performance

No, this isn’t about comparing the sexual prowess of the late John (“Mr. Eleven”) Holmes with that of the average male Gender Studies college professor.

We’re talking guns and bullets.  Specifically, we’re talking about this guy’s article, in which the following statement stands out like a turd on a tablecloth:

[In shorter-barreled handguns]…averaging out a spread of .357 Mag self defense loads essentially produces 9mm terminal performance.

I truly want to carry a revolver for self defense… but I can’t ignore all the drawbacks of .357 Magnum at zero increased benefit vs. 9mm.

In other words, if I’m reading his results correctly, a .357 Mag boolet fired from a 2″-3″ revolver barrel performs about the same as a 9mm boolet fired from a pistol barrel of 3.5″ length.  So if yer going to carry a .357 Mag revolver and you want the maximum performance from the cartridge, you’ll want to carry a 6″ barrel on that revolver — i.e. it’s not going to be concealable.

Quite frankly, I feel faint.  I know a number of gunnies — very knowledgeable ones, at that — who carry .357 snubbies because of the cartridge’s assumed superiority over a 9mm.  If the tests are to be believed (and I think they should be), these guys have been wasting their time.  And, to make it worse, they’ve sacrificed cartridge count (five in a snubbie vs. eight in a 9mm subcompact) in so doing.

I’m just glad that both my primary carry guns (Browning High Power and Springfield 1911) have full-length barrels, and my S&W snubbie is purely a backup.  I’m not being smug;  I’m just relieved.

And for the record:  I’ve never enjoyed shooting a .357 Mag snubbie, because owie.

Addendum:  also note the following conclusion from the article:

In terms of FBI terminal ballistics, [the .45 ACP is] the runaway champ.  Individuals will need to consider limited capacity and felt recoil vs. less powerful calibers, and how that translates into making effective hits on a bad guy in a timely manner.  However, with a quality .45 ACP self defense round, I sincerely doubt any failure to stop a bad guy can be blamed on the choice of caliber.


My favorite ex-diplomat got all shooty (which he can do with impunity since he fled Moscow West for the wilds of NC) and the results can be found here (for .45 ACP goodness and a very  pretty lil’ gun), and here (for some AK vs. AR action with the DiploSon).

The results of the latter competition are completely predictable.

Also, if you’re finished with the gunny stuff, his regular (i.e. political) observations are, as always, right in the X-ring.