Victoria and Nate

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Recent portraits

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Two new marksmen

On a chilly 45*F late December afternoon, a couple of savage American cubs stopped by my backyard to learn the gentle and serene art of marksmanship. Eley Practice Match and a sounder suppressor helped keep the whole event from annoying my neighbors’ dogs. Plastic lower and upper, with carbon fiber forend and barrel, made the rifle light enough for the girls to use without straining.
Here’s how it worked out: the results of each girl’s first 10-shot magazine.
The 7-year-old got this at 20 yards, preferred reaching hearts over reaching minds.
The 9-year-old shot a more cerebral grouping.
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Keltec KS7, a compact ambi 12ga shotgun with 7+1 capacity.

Facebook auto-censored this post. Welcome to the culture war, part 3845xxx.

It is light and handy.
The ammo carrier straps need to be un-twisted.
The glasses could use a wider nose-piece.

All in all, not a bad run for the gear just fitted to the shooter.

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Cost-benefit analysis for protective gear

Wearing rifle-rated body armor seems like the most obviously beneficial daily practice. In addition to stopping bullets, it also protects from bruises and abrasions. It’s such a great idea that it should be mandatory!

Oh, wait…why not? Armor, even the best and the lightest, is still heavy, still restricts air circulation, still puts extra weight on the spine and the leg joints. It’s a great protective measure for certain environments but, even in wartime, many troops choose not to wear it. They win in mobility and endurance, or in the ability to carry extra ammunition for the same weight. People whose roles require wearing armor for years, especially if they had to run in it, usually suffer from back problems.

The same trade-offs apply to masks, both to the effective types like the one above and to the ineffective improvised craft projects. In theory, they restrict the transmission of viruses through restricting incoming or outgoing air flow. In practice, most of the do not work well. If you can still smell cigarette smoke or kitchen smells through the mask, it’s not working against viruses.

The trade-offs are the restricted airflow (reduced endurance, asthma attacks, heart attacks, other health problems) and the contamination of the inside surface with bacteria. That bacteria gets to live in a warm, moist environment perfect for reproduction. Increased acne, rosacea, other types of skin inflammations thrive under masks. The harm done by those side effects far outweighs even the theoretical benefits and is only slightly mitigated by non-compliance.

Free people should be able to make their own choices. Forcing masks, especially on people whose physical or mental health would be immediately harmed by them, should be considered a violent felony and stopped with appropriate measures. Unfortunately, in many jurisdictions, police enforce those edicts against the general population while giving the politicians a pass.

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Socialism vs Capitalism, an issue of terminology.

The interminable Internet battles over the details of politics are bound to fail when words don’t have the same meaning to all participants. Let’s go over the definitions:

Capitalism: A private individual has a surplus of tools. She lets others use those tools and pays them for the work they perform. The person hiring gets paid by the end customers. Example: a chef hires kitchen staff to prep ingredients with provided tools. That’s how any work gets done efficiently.

Communism: private individuals are prohibited from hiring others, but the state does much the same. In practice, this is significantly less efficient. In order to retain workers, they are effectively enslaved through a prohibition on emigration.

Socialism and its variations, like fascism (by its own definition): private individuals put up the funds and the know-how for business, but government directs the work to various degrees. Doesn’t work well in the long run either, since the individuals are risking their resources without having full control over the process.

What a lot of the US leftists want isn’t communism. They think that they want socialism. Even more than socialism, they want a welfare state. A welfare state can be largely capitalist, so long as a significant part of the proceeds is taken away through taxation. That doesn’t work well either, for two reasons. One, businesses become less competitive compared to their less taxed counterparts. Two, the welfare payments reduce the availability of workers, especially at the entry level. Without entry-level experience, fewer people are fit to work at higher levels, so the overall quality and quantity of producers relative to leeches decline.

Another feature of the welfare state is its tendency to meddle deeply in personal lives, using withholding of payments or benefits to modify behavior. Its proponents view it as a plus, thinking that their personal biases would get enforced for them. They are in for a disappointment.

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A modesty device

Some people cover themselves with their hands. Some use a whole other person.
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A pointed argument.

Pay attention…she will only explain once.
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Halloween is coming!

One scary event is coming — the election — and the other, more fun one, one is Halloween.
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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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