A little bit of very big firearms history

A reader was doing some research on 19th-century firearms, and wrote to ask me why so-called “market hunting” had been banned in the USA in the latter part of that century.  The reason was that so many waterfowl and migratory birds were being slaughtered for the “market” by commercial hunters that they had become endangered.  The tool of choice for these hunters was the so-called “punt gun“. The history of such guns starts in the 19th century, when the rise in demand for meat in the marketplace led to mass-hunting of waterfowl. Also, the best women’s fashions at that time

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Sometimes the jokes just write themselves

I couldn’t help laughing when I read that a man accidentally shot himself . . . in a rather unfortunate location, in more ways than one. The … incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. after a semiautomatic handgun that was being held in the man’s waistband began to slip. The gun, which was not in a holster, discharged as he attempted to reposition it, the man told cops.The Arizona Republic reported when police officers responded to the gun shot the man was found in the meat section of the Walmart store with “survivable injuries.” Officers said they filed a report for the

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Stupidity. Detroit. But I repeat myself . . .

Not content with running their city into the ground, then complaining when others had to take over its administration, the Detroit city council have done it again. The Detroit City Council approved a “Bullet Bill” gun control resolution Wednesday with a unanimous vote.The resolution limits ammunition amounts that can be bought while requiring a mental health background check on buyers of ammo in Wayne County.. . .Detroit City Council member Andre Spivey … sponsored the ordinance that would require mental health background checks on those looking to buy ammunition and it would also impose additional county taxes on ammo. There’s more at the link.

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Unanswerable logic!

Courtesy of Thomas Whispered: Absolutely true.  My guns, while they’ve been in my possession, have never killed anybody, and won’t unless that person is an immediate threat to the safety and security of myself and/or my loved ones.  Why should I give up my guns because of someone else’s criminal actions?  And if a death by firearm wasn’t a crime, but legitimate self-defense or justifiable homicide, why does that call into question anyone else’s possession of a firearm at all? Yet again, the gun-banners are trying to fixate on a thing, rather than the person who wields it.  A gun has no moral volition of its own. 

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New toy

Following Mike’s recommendation concerning larger-caliber firearms, I’ve been trying to upgrade my defensive battery.  Ideally, I’d like to replace my .38 Specialsnubnose revolvers with .44 Special equivalents, accepting the slightly larger size and greater weight of the latter in return for greater power and (hopefully) better performance. In the process, I happened to run across this beauty.  (Click the image for a larger view.) It’s a Taurus Model 431, a fixed-sight 5-shot .44 Special revolver.  This example is one of the relatively rare 4″ barrel models (most were made with 3″ or shorter barrels).  It was made during the 1980’s, but is in near-mint condition,

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Practical measurements of defensive ammo effectiveness

A police officer’s recommendation for self-defense against an attacker hopped-up on the latest generation of synthetic marijuana generated some discussion.  I was struck by how many of the comments ignored the point of the police officer’s advice, which was: … typical deep-concealment (i.e. small, lightweight) pocket revolvers and pistols are simply not adequate to deal with people under the influence of this stuff.  His personal opinion was that .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and even 9mm. Luger or .357 Magnum rounds,if fired from smaller weapons whose barrels aren’t sufficiently long to give high velocity and promote bullet expansion, are not going to get

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Sobering thoughts on self-defense firearms from a Minnesota cop

I have a friend who’s a police officer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.  He’s got more than twenty years service, and is looking forward to retiring soon.  He’s had a lot of “street” and “hands-on” experience, and knows whereof he speaks.  I’ll call him Mike for the purposes of this discussion (not his real name). Mike got in touch a few days ago.  After the usual pleasantries between friends, he got down to business.  He said that the current crop of synthetic marijuana, sometimes known as “spice” (and by up to 700 other street names), is producing some truly

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Practical measurements of defensive ammo effectiveness

A police officer’s recommendation for self-defense against an attacker hopped-up on the latest generation of synthetic marijuana generated some discussion.  I was struck by how many of the comments ignored the point of the police officer’s advice, which was: … typical deep-concealment (i.e. small, lightweight) pocket revolvers and pistols are simply not adequate to deal with people under the influence of this stuff.  His personal opinion was that .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and even 9mm. Luger or .357 Magnum rounds,if fired from smaller weapons whose barrels aren’t sufficiently long to give high velocity and promote bullet expansion, are not going to get

Continue reading

Sobering thoughts on self-defense firearms from a Minnesota cop

I have a friend who’s a police officer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.  He’s got more than twenty years service, and is looking forward to retiring soon.  He’s had a lot of “street” and “hands-on” experience, and knows whereof he speaks.  I’ll call him Mike for the purposes of this discussion (not his real name). Mike got in touch a few days ago.  After the usual pleasantries between friends, he got down to business.  He said that the current crop of synthetic marijuana, sometimes known as “spice” (and by up to 700 other street names), is producing some truly

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Time to upgrade my Glocks

Glock pistols have been on the market since 1982, and have come to dominate the civilian and law enforcement handgun market in the USA.  They’ve been through several models as improvements were made, and in response to new technologies and techniques. I standardized on third-generation Glocks in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The image below (and the subsequent two pictures) show the mid-size Glock 19 model.  All images courtesy of Glock USA. They worked very well for me, and their simplicity (with far fewer parts than competing pistols – simple is good!) appealed to me.  When the fourth-generation Glock (Gen4) pistols (shown below)

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