Back from SHOT Show.

Just returned from the least stressful, most productive SHOT show in my career. I got to meet many friends from all over the world. Got to look and try a wide variety of arms and accessories. Bringing back tremendous amount of publishing and advertising work.


Oleg Volk. Tatiana Whitlock of ID Target Systems, Michelle DiCianni

Much of the success can be directly attributed to the sponsorship of run by Richard Neihaus. Chard was incredibly generous with his time and resources, taking care of most of the planning and logistics. He also enabled my self-defense trainer friend and fellow writer Michelle DiCianni to attend. Upon arrival, we were further surprised with a number of technological aids from him which made the navigation of the show easier and more efficient.

Gun Digest and Harris Publications took care of my show and range day access. Chard made the rest of the process almost entirely transparent for me, for which I am most grateful!

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Usefulness of handheld automatic weapons.

When I lived in the Soviet Union, I heard people say that they didn’t need or want capitalist excesses of choices or resources. The notion that being poor but proud conferred an intellectual superiority is held by a few in America as well. It manifests itself often during discussions of automatic firearms. “Full auto is inaccurate and wasteful of ammunition”, people say. I say: “Stop trying to rationalize the lack of access to modern technology as a benefit of some sort!”

The rifle above is a CMMG M47 Mutant, an AR15 designed to work with an AK47 magazine. In select-fire form, it has a cyclic rate of around 500 shots per minute. This means that a quick trigger press yields single shots. A slightly longer press gives a 2-3 round burst with excellent control. The idea that automatic weapons are uncontrollable comes mainly from 50 year old examples with drop stocks and high-power calibers, or from machine pistols that were designed to work specifically with sound suppressors for balance and recoil moderation. A 1940s STG44 is fairly controllable in automatic mode. A 2015 M47 or Keltec RDB, also with cyclic rate around 500rpm, are both very steady shooters. Due to the restrictions on automatic arms, we are in the position of estimating their usefulness by the performance of obsolete examples, a bit like saying that digital cameras are worthless because 1997 examples were very limited in capability.

The distance between her and the door to the room can be covered in half a second by a motivated home invader. Subtracting roughly 1/6s for the defender’s reaction time, hat’s time for a 6–7 round burst at distances diminishing from about 7 yards to 1 yard. Hard to miss at this distance, and the lack of match accuracy doesn’t matter. Rapid incapacitation of the threat with multiple hits does matter.

Let’s talk about accuracy first. From 15 yards standing with 5.56mm RDB, I get three shot dispersion of about two inches. With M47, it was about four inches the first time I handled the rifle. My experience with it was limited to firing ten rounds, and yet I was able to control it adequately for the purpose of self-defense. Plus-minus two inches from the point of aim is quite adequate for the purpose of self-defense inside a home. The longest firing distance in my home is about that far. Some people could, after extensive training, shoot almost as fast in semi-auto — but it’s a great deal better if the defender can concentrate on other aspects, such as taking cover, minding other family members and watching the invader actions instead of having to pay attention to the trigger reset under stress.

Self-defense usually happens up close and fast. Even at full cyclic rate, a standard 30-round magazine would last about two seconds — a very long time in close quarters combat. Used more realistically, in 2-3 round bursts, one single magazine would give about ten seconds of fire superiority over a typical violent criminal looking for easy prey. There’s a good reason why presidential bodyguards have automatic rifles and submachine guns. Those are precisely the tools that enable effective close-range stopping of threats.

Properly designed automatic weapons are controllable at ranges of interest to civilian self-defense. Further out, past 25 or so yards, automatic fire still has a use: suppressing an ambush in order to provide safe exit for family members or to stop a rioting mob from overrunning a disabled vehicle. If automatic fire is not needed, almost all weapons have a semi-auto mode. The few guns lacking it have such slow firing rates that single shots are available by releasing the trigger. Automatic capability doesn’t mean that people shoot at unidentified noises. It doesn’t mean hosing down areas. It only means not having to concentrate on trigger manipulation when dealing with a short-range self-defense event. Most such events happen at under ten steps and within two-three seconds, exactly the area where rapid fire is needed and would be effective.

Another benefit of automatic mode is that open bolt design submachine guns have far less recoil than closed bolt carbines. That is especially pronounced with advanced ignition designs like the Uzi. That means slightly built or fragile defenders, precisely the kind of victim sought out by criminals for victimization, can defend themselves more effectively. With closed bolt designs, smaller caliber may be used with multiple hits to compensate for each individual bullet being smaller and slower.

Please stop carrying the water for our enemies, the government regulators. Every imposition, even if it involves a technology you consider useless, weakens us in the long run. And some technologies are not nearly as useless as we’ve been led to believe.

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The best thing about SHOT Show

Terrific friendly, knowledgeable people — thousands of them from all over the world.

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Back from shooting clays at SHOT Show Media Day

Pump shotguns  and collimator gun sights have been around since the 1890s. Sound suppressors, since the following decade.  Putting it all together on a skeet gun had to wait till the 21st Century. Not traditional enough for the purists? Forget it, any complaints about technology ruining sport shooting and the struggle for moral purity have been invalidated by the transition from flint to percussion ignition with shorter lock time…everything since then has been just arguing about the appearances.

Sports have always been about having fun while training for something serious. Why not train with the tools that you would use for real, be they a custom Remington 870, a UTS15 or a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

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Adobe Camera RAW 8.7 question

Older versions of Camera Raw had a setting for changing midtone brightness (gamma) during the image import. I don’t see a way to do that now other than with curves — but curves do not work with gradations or paintbrush adjustment tools. Does anyone know the workaround for affecting just the midtone brightness?

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Ready Range Target System: new on AllOutdoor

A day’s worth of targets in one hand.

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Origin 12 semi-auto shotgun: new on AllOutdoor

A take-down box-fed 12ga that handles like a light carbine.

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Something the government got right

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Bullets and bacon.

Every so often, some genius of strategy suggests using bullets dipped in pig fat to scare Islamic opponents. If history is any indication, deliberate or even accidental insensitivity to the religious views of others is a recipe for trouble. For example, Enfield rifle cartridges as the proximate cause of the Indian Mutiny. As for scaring the foes by threatening to bury them in pig skins, that impressed them no differently than the threat to piss on the American flag would impress you. Rage, not fear is the likely result.

The other purpose of desecrating the enemy living or dead is improving the morale of your own troops. But some of our troops and many of our allies are Muslim, even if belonging to other sects. So the practice is extremely counterproductive.

The key to effective warring against religious crazies is to ignore their religion. The British made no effort to counter-preach against the Mahdi. They simply wiped out his men with cannon and machine guns for the same reasons they had killed other hostile tribesmen: to establish control of a territory and to avenge the earlier deaths of British soldiers. Religion had nothing to do with it, and the war certainly wasn’t acknowledged as a conflict of faiths. It was a conflict of modern against the primitive and presented as such with no apologies. Similarly, in the suppression of the Boxer rebellion, the mystical aspects of the uprising were ignored and the believers in their own bulletproof nature were shot dead with efficiency.

So I would recommend limiting the reasons for warring on the people who may be Muslim to the same reasons used for warring on atheists or people of other faiths: murder, kidnapping and the like. Validating other people’s claim that America is warring on Islam in general is not just unhelpful, it actually does the enemy’s recruiting for them.

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Is religion a joking matter?

In my view, religion better be a joking matter! Jokes about Buddhism and Christianity and Judaism indicate the currency of these faiths, at least in the US. Few people people joke about Pagan pantheons because they aren’t relevant to the majority. If Islam becomes off-limit for humor, it would happen for only two reasons. One,  is that it goes extinct in the minds of the overwhelming majority. That’s unlikely. The other possibility is that its adherents go extinct when enough people decide that it’s no laughing matter but rather something closer to rabies. And I suspect that the exact flavor or sect would be irrelevant to the “killers of the rabid”, same as the nuances of Judaism or Communism were irrelevant to the German troops executing Jews and Commissars.

So the followers of Islam would do better if they developed a sense of humor about their faith the way Christians and Jews have. Those two faiths aren’t judged by the actions of their craziest adherents, and there’s a good possibility that the Western branch of Islam will be able distance itself from the more traditional adherents. After all, my Muslim friends in the US mostly came here to get away from the rule of their nominal coreligionists. They aren’t interested in turning their faith into a government department anymore than Christians here want a Russian-style Synod as a part of the Washington bureaucracy.

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The ambidextrous nature of Kel-tec RDB

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Keltec KSG in fun mode

More information about KSG.

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A reasonable response to Islamic terrorism

Going after coreligionists of the offenders would make no more sense than bombing the Vatican in response to an IRA attack. The actual culprits of the Paris attack could have been shot dead in the act with minimal difficulty, except that the victims were victims of terrorism twice over — the first time when their government made it impossible for them to go armed for self-defense.

So the solution is two-fold: military action against the command and control of the terrorists and, as importantly, elimination of the laws that disarm French civilians for the convenience of the terrorists. I am not holding my breath on that one, though several East European countries made defensive carry a reality after escaping from Communism. Perhaps people have to hit rock bottom before they consider making freedom legal again.

For the record, I’ve trained several Americans in the use of firearms for defense. Them being Muslim was entirely irrelevant to the process. Like many, they came to America for the benefits of legally secular, egalitarian society and have no interest in changing it. They are, as far as I can tell, the majority in America. In certain other countries, we have no idea what the majority thinks, as the general population is hostage to violent and insane rulers who control not only the expression of opinions but also, through schooling, the formation of opinions.

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Cell phone videos of attacks in progress (with corrected link)

(The chair is for concealment and steadier aim. It’s not bullet proof cover, no matter what movies show.)

An increasing number of massacres of unarmed civilians are now recorded. Most people who are able to hold a cell phone steadily enough to get a recognizable video would have no trouble holding a pistol or a carbine well enough to return fire on terrorists. And, with sound suppressors being essentially over the counter items in France, the attackers wouldn’t be able to see or hear the source all that well with the noise of their own guns masking it.

PS: A more substantive article on the terrorist attack in Paris.

Posted in pistol, rifle, rkba, self-defense, sound suppressor, weapon | Tagged , | 9 Comments

“Gun” control is people control.

In the past, the gun control strategy relied on prior licensing requirements (gradually struck down) and technical restrictions (also gradually abandoned as pointless). Their current strategy is far more insidious: removal of access for new shooters (I-594) and lifetime prohibition on gun ownership for unrelated criminal offenses and, more Soviet-like, under completely unrelated medical pretexts.

That last direction is of great relevance to the population at large. As American public ages overall and the privacy of medical records from the government prying approaches zero, it exposes everyone to confiscation. Sometimes the confiscation is administrative, in the form of a mandate, but more often it is violent and effected with police raids. The arbitrary nature of the excuses is designed to foster what psychologists term “learned helplessness”, where the semi-random outcome is divorced from personal conduct. The intended effect is to rob a few of their guns and to drive the majority into stigmatized social hiding, making it difficult and scary to share the ideology of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is also attacked by FDA, department of education and many other Federal agencies.

The most offensive aspect of the drive to impose lifetime legal disabilities is that a person prosecuted in New York would still be prohibited from possession of firearms upon moving to Texas, and even if the New York law is later reversed. That’s like giving full faith and credence to Nazi laws prohibiting Jews from owning guns even when the Jews move to America after 1945!

The solution, at this stage, is educating friends and neighbors about these trends. The Federal attempts to grab full control of the medical field in combination with the emphasis of certain states on misusing medical records should be enough to scare logically thinking people into resisting both.

PS: By coincidence, another article on the same topic was posted last night.

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Teaching is more efficient than fighting

If we ever have to take on the prohibitionists in combat, reducing their strength by two would require inflicting two casualties. Or, if the foes in question are support personnel, two civilian casualties. That’s not something our side would do willingly.

As an alternative, we can try to change the score by two in a nicer way. Teach freedom — including self-defense skills. Each person educated away from the totalitarian side is a loss for them and a win for us — and nobody has to die.

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Sideguard Holsters: new on AllOutdoor

Carry Solutions For the Active Lifestyle

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Equality of responsibility

Cornered Cat

Also The Unavoidable Truth About Terrorism.

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Boberg XR45-S

This pistol’s claim to fame are its specifications: 3.75″ barrel, 22oz weight, low felt recoil, easy to rack slide, good accuracy. The size is really pushing it for a front pocket gun, but it’s sized just right for a jacket or a tuckable holster.

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The short and the long of riot response.

(click on the photo for 1920px wallpaper)

A carbine with a 16″ barrel, 37mm launcher for smoke or (more useful) CS gas.

While the cement abutment and steel utility pole are not the ideal cover, they are likely to stop pistol bullets and buckshot. Poking the muzzle past cover reduces concealment but cuts down on the muzzle blast reflection. Poor visibility to the left requires an overwatch to prevent flanking by rioters.

An SBR with 8.1″ barrel and a sound suppressor cuts down the velocity to about 2400fps (with 55gr ammunition), below fragmentation range for military ball. Solution: load up expanding hunting bullets, like Barnes TSX. With the 1x prismatic scope shown and even more so with red dots, sighting is faster than with iron sights. The entire gun fits into fairly small bags, especially with a 20rd magazine inserted.

Again, the dumpster only protects against buckshot and pistol bullets. Stopping rifle fire requires a bit of luck with the angles. On the plus side, it offers a convenient steady firing position high enough above ground to see a ways out. Pulling back about six inches would better safeguard the forward hand from ricochets.

Again, poor visibility to the left and lack of protection from the right pretty much requires an overwatch. A small team can succeed where several unconnected individuals would likely fail.

Posted in rifle, self-defense, sound suppressor | Tagged , , | 5 Comments