Unintended Shopping

The recent (unseasonably) cold weather in north Texas drove me off to find an unbranded fleece sweatshirt last weekend. (I refuse to wear any sweatshirt that has writing on it, e.g. “I’m With Stupid” or “Budweiser”.) As I have lost a fair amount of tonnage recently, I needed to try the stupid thing on to get the right size, hence the actual store visit (as opposed to simple online clicking).

So I went to Academy (next door to Kroger, hence efficient trip planning), only to find that Academy, like so many clothing stores, is only selling spring-type apparel, therefore No Sweatshirts To Be Found. [2,000-word rant deleted]  So there I was, in Academy, where of course the Guns & Ammo section is conveniently located right next to Men’s Clothing.

I don’t think I need to tell you what happened next.

All I know is that when I got home after my trip to Kroger, I had to carry indoors not only sundry grocery bags but also the following:

500 rounds of plinkage: 

…and 100 rounds of practice feed:

Why? Because they were on sale, that’s why.

I know, nobody needs a reason to buy ammo — and gawd knows I have quite a bit of it already — but the prices were irresistible, especially in these, the post-Obama Overpriced Ammo Years. Anytime I can get .22 for a few pennies each and .45 ACP for less than $15 a box… could we be seeing a return to reasonably-priced ammo at last?

I blame Academy. Had they stocked any unbranded fleece sweatshirts, none of this would have happened. On the other hand, it could have been much worse: I managed to resist the siren call of  couple of reasonably priced guns that were on sale, too, such as this pretty little stainless Browning Buckmark UDX:

I’m so self-disciplined.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Pistol-Caliber Carbines

From deep inside Commie Blue America, Reader Brad R. writes:

I am faced with a dilemma. I need/want to buy a relatively inexpensive (<$400) pistol-caliber carbine. I also must take ownership of said carbine before June 13, 2018, because worthless, pointless recently approved LOCAL gun ban. While not an absolute requirement, I’d prefer a carbine in 9mm that is +P rated. I toss this in because (1) ammo common to gun(s) I already own and (2) lower cost than calibers such as .40 S&W, .45ACP, etc.
Last night, the Village of Deerfield – Board of Trustees (an unholy pox upon them) approved what they call an “assault weapon” ban. The ban was a response to the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High. It applies to just about every conceivable semi auto rifle with a detachable mag which also has any one (1) of five cosmetic features. There is also an extensive laundry list of specifically named rifles. The ban also forbids possession of detachable magazines with capacity of more than ten (10) rounds and applies equally to rifle & pistol magazines, without a “grandfather” clause. There are a couple of exemptions to the ban, but I don’t qualify for them. If any of your readers are familiar with the ban in neighboring Highland Park, the Deerfield ban is pretty much a carbon copy.
To illustrate the depth of stupidity of the ban, a Ruger 10/22 in a conventional stock would be fine, but the same 10/22 in a “tactical” stock would be verboten.
The ban in question does not forbid ownership, it only bans possession, manufacture, sale, transfer of the forbidden fruit within the boundaries of The Village. I don’t have to worry about possession. A personal situation allows me to reside outside of the village, but for complicated reasons I need to keep Deerfield as my legal address.
Moving north to Wisconsin or to another part of Fee America is not an option at this time. So there you have it. What Would Kim Do??

I am somewhat confused by the “possession vs. ownership” distinction (the same thing, surely?) but I’ll leave that aside for now.

Here’s the nitty gritty of the question: unless you go with a cheap ‘n nasty carbine (e.g. Hi-Point) that you want to get for symbolic reasons only, you’ll have to forget the sub-$400 price point. And given that the Colt AR-style 9mm carbine requires your bank manager in attendance at the time of sale, there are only a couple I’d look at, and your choices are kinda dependent on which 9mm pistol you want to pair with the carbine.

If your handgun is in the Beretta 92 series, then there’s  the Beretta CX4 Storm, the most innocuous of the pistol-caliber carbines.

I’ve shot this little cutie before, and I loved it: accurate, reliable and lightweight. And yes, it handles +P ammo easily.

Another option would be the Tresna Defense JAG9G, which takes Glock magazines.

I will confess that I haven’t fired this carbine yet, but a few people whose opinions I trust have done so, and they like both its reliability and the AR-style action. It also looks scawwwy (always a Good Thing when it comes to matters like this).

But speaking of scawwwy-looking guns, I’m going to throw a wild card into the mix here, and suggest that you don’t bother pairing your carbine with a handgun. Why not stick it to these gun-fearing wussies, and go all-out?

What I mean is this:

Yes, it’s a Kalashnikov, to be specific the KR-9 SBR carbine, in 9mmP (with the added bonus of an eeeeevil folding stock), and Kalashnikov USA is shipping them out as we speak. Now demand is high so you may have to jump on it, and the price is over a grand — but I cannot think of a finer way to rub the gun-controllers’ noses in it than by getting one of these bad boys. This pic was taken at SHOT this past January, and the reps were beating people back with sticks.

There are some other choices for carbines (see here), but I don’t know anything about them, and the low price points on some of them make me a little nervous.

For all those folks in a similar situation to Reader Brad, feel free to start shopping around.

And as always, additional suggestions and personal experiences / recommendations are welcome in Comments.

When The Impossible Becomes Everyday

We are constantly being told by the Left that we need to adopt the stricter gun laws of other countries — the U.K. and Australia spring to mind — because their gunshot violence rates are so much lower than ours Over Here.

And yet

Two men in their 20s are taken to hospital after being shot outside Mile End Tube station as London’s crime epidemic continues

and this:

Mother of a student shot and stabbed to death on a night out says she is “completely heartbroken”. His death is one of eight murders in London in a week and has sparked warnings that the capital could see a record number of killings in 2018.

Technically, of course, with handgun ownership almost completely banned in the U.K., this kind of thing should never, ever happen. Technically, Britain’s gunshot violence rate involving handguns should equal zero — but of course, it doesn’t.

And if we take the spate of acid-tossing incidents in Britain — where young thugs simply use sulphuric- or hydrochloric acid as their weapon of choice, the violent crime rate is absolutely staggering. (Yeah, having acid thrown in your face is so much better than being threatened with a gun.)

But when confronted with these facts, the Left just shrugs because as with all things Lefty, the intent is what’s important; the outcome is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if people die or are horribly disfigured as long as the principle (of public disarmament) is laudable.

I wonder just how many of these British criminals would be so brazen if there was a good chance they’d be shot dead by lawfully-armed citizens… oh hell, we all know the answer to that. It’s only the Left who would be wailing about “pitched gun battles” and “Wild West shoot-outs” (when in fact, the violent crime rate in America’s Wild West days — where almost every man carried a gun — was considerably lower than today’s).

Which reminds me: it’s almost time to head off to the range.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: The .22 Addiction

From Reader Mike S. cometh this silliness:

“It’s not a problem. Not at all. I can stop any time. Any time at all.”

Followed by this rather pathetic picture:

High Standards, both in name and quality, n’est-ce pas? (Not that there’s much wrong with the two Rugers at the bottom, of course.) The poor, poor man… enslaved by such a bevy of rimfire beauties.

That said:  I think we’ve all been there — in my case, it’s early-twentieth century military rifles — but we all have our weaknesses. Feel free to share details of yours in Comments (or by email, should you want to include pics).

In any event, should Reader Mike ever want to divest himself of his addiction, I’m pretty sure there would be many selfless volunteers among my other Readers who would be only too willing to help him with his “problem”.

What a nice-looking collection.


Gratuitous Gun Pic – Marlin 60 (.22LR)

There’s only one word to describe the Marlin 60 — more of which have been sold worldwide than any other .22 rifle, ever — and that word is FUN. Fifteen rounds of .22 in the tube, a backyard full of old tin cans… I know, that’s so old-school these days, but remember whose website this is. But don’t take my word for it.

Reader Brad_In_IL (who suggested this GGP) writes of his Model 60:

Before moving from the frying pan to the fire (MA –> IL) I bought my ’60 from my fave LGS.  I paid something like $70 for it from the used rack.  I can’t speak to the history of my particular rifle, other than it was built in 1990. When I bought it, the condition was “barely out of the box” almost new.
Like so many other firearms, my ’60 is much more accurate than me.  Still, the gun is hoot to shoot, more fun than a barrel of monkeys, etc. Spinners are among my favorite targets because immediate feedback.  My ’60 tends to like higher velocity .22lr fodder, though CCI Standard also functions well.  One ammo in particular which the rifle does not like is Federal Auto Match target grade. My Browning Buckmark also does not like the Federal, so I’ve quit buying it. Different owners may have different experiences. 
Cleaning is straight forward, with one small but important caveat.  Upon reassembly after cleaning, it is VERY easy to bend the recoil spring.  Ask me how I know.  That said, I ordered a couple extra and ALWAYS keep one in the range bag. 
There’s a whole crowd of people who talk smack about tube-fed rifles. Personally, I don’t mind ’em.  One accessory item I do recommend for anyone with a tube fed 22 rifle is the Spee-D-Loader.  I bought the Spee-D-15 which holds 15 rounds of .22lr in each of its eight tubes for a total of 120 rounds. Best accessory I’ve ever bought for this rifle, hands down. Here’s the link to Spee-D-Loader products.
So there you have it.  This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is MINE.
One point to make, for those who might not already know it: .22 rifles are funny beasts in that they will “prefer” some ammo over others; even if two otherwise-identical rifles have consecutive serial numbers, Rifle #1 may shoot Brand X better than Brand Y while Rifle #2 will shoot all X-rings all day with Brand Y. I don’t know why this is, but it’s happened to me and to others more times than I can count, so there it is.
So while Reader Brad’s Model 60 hates Federal Automag, your Model 60 might love it to death. Experimentation, my friends, is the key… lots and lots of lovely experimentation. Now stop reading this stuff and take your .22 rifle and a few hundred rounds for an outing. It’s a moral imperative.


Over at Shooting Times, John Chapman has all this to say:

Modularity is both a blessing and a curse, and the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), also known as the AR-15, has it in spades. The plethora of rails, flashlights, lasers, optics, grips, pressure switches, flare launchers, vertical grips, muzzle brakes, flash hiders, hand stops and accessory mounts designed and produced for the AR-15 is simply mind-boggling—and has turned the MSR into a Lite Bright for bad ideas. The good news is the millions of dollars and man-hours spent in the pursuit of the MSR accessory market have produced some truly inspired designs, which have increased the platform’s effectiveness as a military, law enforcement, defensive and recreational tool.

He then goes on to outline all the accessorizing options, from the basic rifle:

…to a kitted-out version:

All this is well and good, and it’s a good article; but I have to tell you, something is nagging at me about it — and I think it happens right there in the first paragraph.

Look, I know we’re trying to defuse the Left’s obsession with the term “assault rifle”, but let’s be honest, ourselves: the AR-15 is not a “sporting” rifle outside perhaps the realm of 3-gun or smallbore competition. Sure, you can use it to hunt varmints (it’s mostly banned from deer hunting), and as recreation it’s super fun to pop away at the range (paper targets, metal poppers and so on). But once again, neither of these is the core purpose of the AR-15. When it comes to whacking critters, you can do a lot better with a heavy-barreled bolt-action rifle like this Cooper Arms beauty (in .223 Rem, even):

…and when it comes to semi-auto plinking, nothing beats a Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 60 — even with the low-low-low prices one currently finds .223 ammo selling for.

Most damning of all is that Chapman’s suggestions for accessorizing the AR-15 are geared pretty much towards one end only: self-defense / whacking goblins.

Now some of my Readers may suggest that goblin-whacking is a sport — I, for one, think it should be an Olympic event — but almost by definition it cannot be, simply because the occurrence isn’t predictable. You can’t say of a Saturday morning, “My ol’ buddy Cletus and I are going to sit inside his house tonight and whack a few goblins when they try to break in.” Not only is this most likely going to be a waste of time (except maybe on Chicago’s South Side, L.A.’s Compton and most of Baltimore), but some damn prosecutor is doubtless going to start flinging words like “entrapment” and “premeditation” all over the place (because these flunkeys have no sense of humor).

I don’t think that we should attempt to put the AR-15 round peg into a sporting-rifle square hole. In non-military/non-police (i.e. our) hands, the AR-15 is first and foremost a weapon of self-defense — and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t care about the gun-confiscators’ whining about “military” rifles, as though this is a disqualifier for civilian use (it isn’t). I don’t even care that these dickheads find the appearance of an AR-15 to be “frightening” or “threatening”; after all, my Constitutional freedoms are not dependent on how they make others feel.

I just think that we gun owners shouldn’t be ashamed of what the AR-15 is and what it represents. You can call it an assault rifle, or a military weapon or whatever scare term the hoplophobes come up with next. But calling the AR a sporting rifle is akin to calling a switchblade a Boy Scout knife.

Sure, a Scout could use this Omerta “Sons of Italy” cutie for whittling and cutting ropes (if the modern-day Scouts even allow such things anymore [5,000-word rant deleted] ) but that’s not what a switchblade is, really. We all know what it is, and that’s my point.

I’m heartily sick of pussyfooting around with our language and terminology, trying to soften the impact of words to protect the feelings of the timorous, or to disguise the harsh realities of life. Things are what they are: the AR-15 and the AK-47 are assault rifles; Ruger 10/22s and Marlin 60s are plinkers; Savage 110s and CZ 550s are hunting rifles, and that’s it. You can use all the above rifles interchangeably between self-defense, hunting or plinking, with varying degrees of success / cost, but that’s just a lovely side-benefit.

In similar vein, the Colt 1911 Government pistol can be used in IPSC or IDPA competitions; but its original purpose was to kill bad guys (which it did and continues to do very well), and I don’t want to have to justify owning my 1911 by saying it’s a “sporting” handgun — not when I’m carrying it loaded with massive jacketed hollowpoints, it ain’t.

Gah. All this whining by the Left about the scawwwy AR-15 “weapon of mass destruction” is having a bad effect on me.

I don’t own a poodleshooter AR-15 because I already have an AK-47, thank you. But as the wailing from gun-fearing wussies intensifies, I might very well end up owning one soon. Because fuck ’em.

And if I do, it will all be Chuck Schumer’s fault. (How’s that for an example of Lefty-style blame deflection?)