Defensive weapon for the infirm.

Rimfire pistols are seldom the answer to defensive needs, but they fit one niche well. The defender in this case is an 86-year-old woman who lives alone. Her hand and arm strength are minimal, so full-weight handguns are not in the cards. Her recently departed son set her up with a classic S&W Airweight .38 with wadcutter ammunition. She had never fired that gun. As it turns out, while it fit the criterion of “lightweight”, it failed on other counts. Her hand strength is insufficient to pull the 12 pound double action trigger. Further, even with 148gr target wadcutters, felt recoil would be in excess of her tolerance.

On an earlier date, we tried Sig P938-22 and Keltec PF9 with a Twisted Industries rimfire conversion. Neither gun was comfortable for her, and she was unable to hit a silhouette at 5 yards. This time, we tried a Keltec P17 with a Viridian C5L light/laser. Even in broad daylight, the laser dot remained visible. For indoor use, which would be 100% of this weapon’s use, light combined with a laser will provide target ID and fine targeting. Capacity of 16+1 provided a nice improvement over 10+1 of the others. Linear compensator cuts muzzle flash and channels the noise away from the shooter.
The trainee found this pistol comfortable to fire, and we had no malfunctions despite the imperfect grip some of the time. She could keep it on a silhouette at 7 yards consistently. Confidence in the weapon and even the limited practice done today combine to make the lady a lot happier about her defensive options. P17 design has been optimized for reliability from the start. An excellent 3.5-pound trigger and light overall weight make it a good defensive choice for strength-limited people so long as reliable plated high-velocity ammunition is used. CCI Minimag is one such good load.

Peter Grant has trained many elderly and handicapped shooters. Based on his experience with the gun, he acquired multiple P17s for teaching his students.

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1x Prism Scopes: new on CTD Blog

Swampfox Blade - 1x Prism Optics
The 1x Prism Scope Showdown
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Aguila SSS ammunition: new on CTD Blog

An effective silent munition.
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Vintage guns with fixed sights.

This revolver was designed with 38/200 military load in mind. Shooting it with lighter 148gr loads produces a different vertical point of impact, sometimes a horizontal offset as well.

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What rifle ammunition for fat polar fox?

“Fat polar fox” is a Russian euphemism of a euphemism of a rude expression for a persistent catastrophic situation. Things get bad and stay that way. A prudent person’s preparation list includes some weapons and training with it. Let’s say yours is chambered in 7.62×39, a very Russian answer to trouble. What ammunition to pick?

Steel-cased non-corrosive Russian ammunition of recent production, ideally hunting soft points, are a common and functional choice. This will run fine in AK, vz58, ARAK21, MM10x and (some) AR15 rifles. Accuracy is unimpressive, ranging from 3 to 8MOA.

In my experience, Federal Fusion is remarkably accurate (down to 1.25MOA) and provides good terminal performance even out of short barrels. Hornady SST is equally accurate, and provides almost as good a terminal result. PPU soft points provide a good terminal result but not the same accuracy.

In my tests, G2 Ripout loaded with Trident ( Maker Bullet projectile) came out as the top performer in this caliber. It’s accurate down to 1MOA and combines drastic expansion with good penetration.

While it’s expensive to replace an entire 5-6 magazine load-out with premium ammunition, I would look into getting at least a couple of mags worth, plus enough to zero for this load and to function test it. While AK rifles aren’t the most precise weapons, and shooting under stress isn’t the most accurate activity either, why not stack the deck just a little with better-performing ammo? Besides self-defense, the same weapon might be used for medium game like deer…and you wouldn’t want to have to track it for a mile past concerned neighbors.

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New on Steinel blog: 45-70 staying power.

Why did 45-70 endure when its contemporaries went away?

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Cat in repose

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They grow up so fast

2013, still playing with toys.
All cute and smiley.
2020 looks a little more serious.

Congratulations, Grace!

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“No civilian needs…”

A common statement from the fans of government monopoly on force is: “no civilian needs such weapons”, with “such weapons” being whatever they are trying to ban. Let’s look at this statement more closely.

The Secret Service staff are civilians. Police officers are civilians. All government organizations other than the five branches of the military are civilians. Secret Service agents have access to submachine guns like the P90 above, as well as much more powerful weapons. Why? Such arms are useful in protecting lives of the people they are trying to keep alive. Quite a few regular Americans — such as stalking victims — face daily risks at least as severe as those faced by the political elite.

The same is true of Trump’s family members.

So we have plenty of examples of civilian government employees using modern guns unavailable to the rest of the population to protect themselves. In addition to government employees, corporations (“special occupational taxpayers”) can own guns denied to the general public. These corporations are definitely civilian structures, yet they own all kinds of high-tech weaponry far exceeding mere small arms in scope. Apparently, lots of civilians have a use for modern guns. Why shouldn’t lawful individuals be able to exercise their rights the same way?

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Recent articles

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Savage A22 rifle review: new on CheaperThanDirt

Read the review.

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Accommodating lasers with custom holsters

I’ve been using a Kahr P9 since 2001. Thin form, light weight of the pistol, and the excellent design of Alessi Talon Plus holster made it one of the most comfortable carry pistols I’ve ever tried. I obtained a laser for it but held off on the installation, as I had a hard time finding a production holster that would accommodate the altered form.

Eventually, I just reached out to one of the better custom makers, James Nelson. He did not disappoint! The holster fits securely and comfortably. Full sweat guard makes it re-holstering safe, and neoprene backing keeps supper sweat off the leather and off the gun.

CTC red laser isn’t daylight-bright, and the clamshell design is a bit awkward when it comes to battery changes. However, this laser wins absolutely in the transparency of operation. With my CTC equipped M1911, I’ve lost count of how many times I drew it to point shoot only to see a dot on the target…under stress, I completely forgot about the laser, but a firm grip activated it anyway. Laser isn’t my primary sighting method, but it’s a terrific backup for shooting from odd positions, or for firing without corrective eyeglasses on.

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Interesting people

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Infrared snapshots

A fig leaf
Randomly encountered siblings with a rollfilm camera.
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Chapa updates

Chapa has grown into a very people-friendly cat. He spends hours daily getting petted. Unlike Gremlin, he’s very unfond of dogs.

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Writer David Burkhead

David’s books.

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Felony by inaction.

The original definition of felony was “a serious crime punishable by over a year in prison”. In theory, felonies are actively committed. Prison or death are supposed to be reasonable punishments for misdeeds wilfully perpetrated. Two problems arise in practice.

The first problem, the more widespread of the two, is that the definition of “felonious misdeed” has grown to encompass such horrible actions as filling in a small runoff pond on a farm, possession of a feather from particular bird species, or making a true statement to police that they think to be false.

The second problem has been with us for almost as long. In 1933, F.D. Roosevelt’s executive order prohibited simple possession of gold coins, bullion or certificates. In 1934, simple possession of many kinds of firearms and their accessories was effectively prohibited through punitive taxes amounting to the cost of a car per item. To keep a $2 rimfire sound muffler, a person was supposed to by a $200 tax stamp. Every one of those laws made people into felons overnight, with no action required by the newly appointed criminal. A person ignorant of the new law or executive order would still be subject to imprisonment with no regard for the lack of ill intent.

To me, this adds up to a perversion of justice. To the politicians of Virginia, this is the game plan. They are not shy about using the military to enforce his plan, either.

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Paleolithic Britain

The recent terrorist event in the zoo previously known as Great Britain illustrated the unfortunate decline of that people. On the one hand, brave residents went after the perpetrator of violence with all available tools. On the other, the sole available weapon was a narwhal tusk in its original shape, not even fashioned into a proper spear. That’s Paleolith-level tool, no better than those available to Neanderthals.

It’s symptomatic that the would-be mass murderer continued the rampage until the zoo-keepers known as “bobbies” showed up with German submachine guns and Austrian pistols to shoot him. Good for the British subjects for taking the fight to the foe. My sympathy to them for having to do that with completely inadequate tools, for having been stripped even of bronze age implements like knives and even of paleolithic tools like non-metallic blades.

Kipling’s book “The Light That Failed” set around 1880 shows even ten-year-old kids of very modest means able to buy and carry modern firearms. A hundred and forty years later, even the adult specimens of the British herd have no such right or ability.

As with other island species that evolved away from the ability to defend themselves, or even to recognize newly imported predators upon encounter, the residents of the British Isles are in trouble. The trouble doesn’t come as much from the imported terrorists, for their depredations are opportunistic and not statistically significant yet, as from the domestic zoo-keepers using the specter of the Islamic hobgoblins to keep the proles scared, clamoring for more surveillance, for more restrictions on tools and behavior, for tighter and more constricting bondage. People elsewhere should learn from their example and pick a more constructive path.

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Three CMMG Rifles: new on CTD Blog

9mm, 6.5 Grendel and 458 SOCOM rifles.
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