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benEzra

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,466

Journal Archives

Dude, I'm a 41-year old geek.

Aviation technical writer, part-time Perl monkey, and amateur competitive shooter, who happens to enjoy shooting rifles designed in the last 50 years. Heck, I read all 4 Twilight books, and *liked* them; they'd kick me out of Seal Force Recon Delta for that.

As I mentioned in the OP, I own one and only one military weapon---and it's 107 years old.



"Too much paranoia" indeed.

2010 rifle murders: 358
2010 shotgun murders: 373
2010 hands/feet murders: 745
2010 knife murders: 1,704
2010 club/misc murders: 1,772

If you believe that rifle handgrips that stick out are a menace to this country, you are using criteria other than actual misuse, IMO.

If you ever find yourself in NC, shoot me a PM.

I'd love for you to actually shoot a non-automatic carbine at a range to test your preconceptions vs. reality. That AK will put every round within 0.5" of the line of sight at 75 feet, so if your sights aren't pointed at the target, you are going to miss the target. And you can't just hold the trigger down and "stitch" an area like you could with an automatic weapon, and you can't get that kind of shot density with a semiauto-only 7.62x39mm.

Hip shooting only works in the movies because the actors are shooting blanks and the editors dub the "hits" in later in the editing room. Even at pretty close range, aiming is necessary.

And as for surprise, since (1) rifles would be much slower to deploy from "concealment" than handguns, and (2) folding-stock rifles are next to useless until the stock is extended, methinks a rifle is not the ne plus ultra in that scenario that you suggest.

It's understandable that one might get that impression from the "fear sells" media...

but did you happen to check the rifle homicide stats from the FBI and the rifle possession stats from the BATFE that I posted? That rifle (a 7.62x39mm, BTW) is included in the FBI homicide tally....which means yeah, they are rarely misused in this country.

I'm also assuming you don't realize how popular non-automatic civilian AK derivatives are with the law-abiding shooting public, but that's understandable too, given the paucity of media coverage of noncriminal gun ownership.

Anyway, since I posted a pic of my current USPSA competition rifle in the OP (the Rock River AR), let me post a pic of my other carbine:



That's a 2002 Romanian SAR-1, a non-automatic civilian AK in 7.62x39mm (.30 Russian short, a little less powerful than .30-30 Winchester), essentially the same gun as the underfolder you posted just now. It fires exactly the same ammunition at exactly the same rate of fire as a Ruger Mini Thirty, and is functionally indistinguishable from any other civilian semiauto.

That SAR-1 was the rifle I got my start in USPSA carbine matches with, as it was a lot more affordable than an AR and I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old at the time.

For scale, here is the same carbine compared to my 9mm pistol, temporarily fitted with a stock that folds for storage and a Galil-style forend:



In any configuration, it is big, bulky, heavy as bricks, and is even harder to sorta-conceal than that straight-stocked mini-14 I posted in the OP. Even the magazines weigh ~2 pounds each, due to the thick steel they are made from (for durability). Not portable and not concealable, which is why (like other rifles) they barely rate in the homicide stats.

BTW, here it is in hunting configuration, with a 5-round hunting magazine and a 4x scope:



I would respectfully submit that my rifle is not, in fact, a "death spewer." It's an ultra-reliable, relatively small-caliber civilian carbine that fires once and only once when the trigger is pulled.

Pistol grips on long guns, and rifle crime in general.

I ran across a discussion in another thread regarding pistol grip stocks on rifles, and rather than further hijack that thread, I decided to start a new thread on pistol grips, and rifle crime in general. It's a topic that comes up from time to time, but I think it's worth revisiting.

The initial statement that piqued my interest was this:

What do you need a pistol grip for? Again, no real purpose but killing a lot of people real fast.

From a design standpoint, separating the handgrip from the shoulder stock allows the receiver of a firearm to sit well back over the hand, allowing a better weight distribution and (in some designs) a longer barrel (or longer receiver) for the same overall length. This was probably the main reason pistol grip designs were first introduced. However, their ergonomic advantages are what made them dominant in the civilian realm, first in high-end target rifles and then mainstream civilian guns.

However, as it turns out, vertical handgrips on long guns also put the wrist at the ideal angle when firing from the shoulder, allowing a more secure grip and a better trigger pull, and making it unnecessary to stick your dominant elbow up and out like a chicken wing when shooting from the shoulder. That's why almost all very-high-end European target rifles used in unlimited-class target shooting have either pistol grip stocks, or thumbhole/extreme Monte Carlo stocks that approximate pistol grip angles.

For example, here's an Anschutz single-shot bolt-action target rifle:



and a thumbhole design (same principle, same grip angle):



Here's an Olympic biathlon rifle (also bolt-action); notice the grip angle:



Next time you see an Olympic biathlete "spray firing from the hip", let me know.

Finally, here's a civilian AR-15 at a range. Notice the natural wrist angle, and the perfect alignment of the barrel axis with the shoulder.



That's not an accident; that's good ergonomics, and it's why all kinds of new rifles designed in the last decade or two have imitated the AR's design.

FWIW, if that guy dropped his arm to hip level, but kept the natural wrist angle, the rifle would be pointed at the ground about 3 feet in front of his feet. That's another nice thing about pistol grip stocks; they make it easier to point a long gun safely down at the floor while keeping the gun close to your body for security, instead of encouraging a less-safe muzzle high hold like straight stocks do. You can do a low hold with a traditional straight stock, but it bends your right wrist like a chicken wing and weakens your grasp on the gun. A pistol grip also makes it somewhat harder for an attacker to snatch a long gun away from you if they get close (muzzle-down carry also helps with this), and makes it easier to "short-stock" the gun if needed.

(pistol grips) make firing from the hip after concealment much easier.

This line of thought surprised me a bit, as I believe it's the first time I've ever pistol grip stocks associated with concealability. Let me put that to rest by posting a pic of my first rifle (Ruger mini-14 Ranch Rifle, a little .223 caliber carbine) with the three stocks I owned for it:



It was by far the most concealable with the straight stock, due to how slim it was. Even with the bottom stock (folds for storage), it was harder to conceal than with the straight stock; the grip probably added six inches in height to the rifle. And while none of them could be readily concealed under a coat by anyone not named "Sasquatch", the straight-stocked rifle would be easiest because the stock and receiver would align with one's arm, rather than sticking out several inches off-axis.

Letting the AWB expire was stupid and politically motivated.

It was the rational thing to do. Rifles of any type are the least misused class of weapon in the United States, and pretty much always have been.

Table 20 - Murder by State and Type of Weapon 2010

Rifle homicide - FBI UCR

Criminal rifle possession - BATFE YCGIS

The 6-year trend in rifle homicides, 2005-2010, per the UCR:

2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358

By comparison, blades were used to murder 1,704 people in 2010, and bare hands/shoes/knees/elbows were used to murder 745. Rifles are simply not commonly used in either homicide or aggravated assault in this country, contrary to the hype.

Finally, a disclaimer.



As the old saying goes, it's like ham and eggs; if you're a chicken, you're concerned, but if you're a pig, you're involved. I'm very much involved in this one; it was the "assault weapon" fraud that got me interested in gun politics to start with. I'm now down to three rifles---one bona fide weapon of war, and two roughly comparable civilian carbines, my favorite being a Rock River Arms 16" middy (a self-loading centerfire .22 in the AR-15 mold) that serves as my competition gun, plinking gun, target gun, and HD long gun.



I'd like to keep that and the SAR-1, and pass them down to my kids someday. Of course, since the AR-15 platform has long since become the most popular civilian rifle in the United States, I think the chances of another AWB---especially one that actually banned anything---are pretty slim. But that's an important issue to me, which is why I still follow the discussion as much as I can even though I have a whole lot of other stuff going on these days.

Yes, no, and yes.

If by "easy" you mean "within easy reach of a mentally competent adult with a clean record who chooses to obtain one", yes. I do not believe in means testing, or limiting the right to the wealthy, influential, or politically connected, as is the case in places like NYC, CA, or NJ. Shall-issue CCW has a very, very good track record nationwide.

No, I do not think "everyone should walk around with a gun all the time." As I said, I believe mentally competent adults with clean records should have the choice to carry; those who do not wish to do so, those who consider themselves incompetent to do so, and those who are legally disqualified from doing so obviously remove themselves from that category, and for them that is a good choice. No more than 5-10% of the population currently takes advantage of carry licensure in shall-issue states, and that is fine with me. Heck, I don't carry all the time myself, though I do choose to carry more than 50% of the time when and where allowed, as is my choice.

Yes, I do understand the consequences of a bad shooting on my part. That's why I have put a lot of thought into the subject, have bothered to become rather well informed on firearms and firearms law, and why I have put a bit of effort (finances permitting) into attaining halfway decent competence with a firearm, including shooting local USPSA and CQB matches when I can. I also put some thought into my choice of primary carry gun, a S&W 3913 Ladysmith 9mm (yes, a woman's gun, and one of the most accurate and reliable small semiautos on the market), carry a Kimber pyrotechnic pepper spray, and maintain a very nonconfrontational demeanor.



I have weighed the options as a competent adult and long ago chose the path that works for me. Your choices obviously differ from mine, and I respect them.

Here's how the gun control lobby likes to portray people like me,

who have jumped through exactly the hoops you advocate:

http://www.bradycampaign.org/reports/heatonyourstreet?s=1



I don't see too many gun control advocates criticizing smears like that, or calling for more nuanced distinction between criminals and peaceable citizens with CHL's. On the contrary, I see them (here and elsewhere) doubling down on the meme, often with sexual innuendo thrown in for good measure. The recent NYT hit piece on NC carry licensees is another example.

My apologies if you're not in that camp. But that is, unfortunately, the mainstream view in the gun control movement, that non-elites cannot be trusted to carry guns or own {scare term du jour} even if we pass a background check and whatnot.

Do you think you should not have to face these requirements? What do you propose instead?

I'm more or less OK with the requirements to obtain a carry license as they stand; they are onerous but not subjective. Not ideal, perhaps, but I'm not agitating to change them. I would like to see the NC license valid in all restaurants here (including those with wine lists), not just the Baptist-approved ones, though.



It's already expensive enough to serve as a de fact means test. How wealthy do you want me to be?

I think mine cost me around $140 all told, plus $100-$200 in lost work time, and that's only because I was able to find the class at a very reasonable price. I had to delay getting it for a few months because I couldn't afford it, which I guess is all fine and good with you.

FWIW, the problem isn't funding; it's that some officials weren't bother to obey the reporting laws, apparently.

I can vouch for the fact that the NC permitting process itself is quite intrusive and is expensive in terms of time, effort, and commitment.

I guarantee that gun-control advocates wouldn't be satisfied with that.

Look at the way they demonize holders of carry licenses. I *did* have to pass a mental health records check, Federal background check, state background check, FBI fingerprint check, take a class on NC self-defense law, etc. to get an NC carry license, but that doesn't stop you guys or the gun control lobby from demonizing people like me. You'd do exactly the same if the same criteria applied to simple ownership, and you'd turn a blind eye to abuses that result in unnecessary denial of ownership.

Defining "high capacity" as "anything over 10 rounds" is very intentionally misleading.

That is like defining "late term abortion" as an abortion that occurs after detectability of fetal heartbeat. Both bait-and-switches are done for similar reasons, of course---to make pretty extreme measures sound reasonable and mainstream. In the case of >10-round magazines, you are talking about roughly a quarter billion magazines owned by 40+ million people. These are not fringe items.

Over-10-round rifles hit the civilian market in the early 1860's; over-10-round pistols have been pretty common since the 1930s and became dominant in the 1970s-1980s. Standard magazine capacity for a full-sized 9mm pistol is 15 to 20 rounds; the most popular civilian rifles typically hold 30 small-caliber rounds. We'll keep them.

Even gun control advocates have been backing away from the 10-round limit for a while:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/13/obama-gun-control-arizona-shooting_n_835103.html

“Actually, I like this,” emailed Jim Kessler, a former director of policy and research at Americans for Gun Safety. “There will be a knee-jerk reaction among some who will say, “Why no clip ban?” But I think on both substance and political grounds, a high-capacity clip ban is the wrong way to go. There were roughly 12,000 gun homicides last year, and I’ll wager that less than 10 were caused by bullets 11 through 30 in someone’s magazine. The problem is bullets 1, 2, and 3 –- not 11, 12, and 13."


Of course, USA Today is the same paper that opened the debate on the "assault weapon" fraud in 1989 by declaring the debate over, so they don't exactly have a very thoughtful track record on the issue.



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