You Only Get One Chance At This

January 13th, 2015

A police officer in Glasgow, Kentucky is suing Barren Outdoors.  The employee handed him a loaded gun, which he failed to check, and he blew off part of his left index finger.

Go ahead and laugh:  he's going to win.

Note to gun store customers:  putting your hand over the muzzle won't stop a bullet and it doesn't exempt you from Rule #2.  Don't point the weapon at anything you can't pay for.  Nobody wants to hear, "it's unloaded."  I've lost count of how many times that phrase has turned out to be a lie.

Note to gun store employees:  clear …

More on Pistol Braces

November 24th, 2014

I've been over the issue of pistol stabilizing braces before. Attaching one to a pistol is perfectly legal. It is also legal to use it as a shoulder stock, though that's not the intended purpose. The BATFE issued a very specific letter to clarify this.

Black Aces Tactical recently manufactured a shotgun with the brace, and they've been informed that this is impermissible. People are now under the impression that this affects all uses. That is not the case.

The answer is simple and short. In legal terms, a shotgun is not a pistol. They are …

So, this happens…

November 20th, 2014

Here's a Cobra .380 pistol, gone asplodey on the range. Notice the texture of the crack: that's not steel. It's a zinc alloy.

One shouldn't trust such things to handle 21,000 psi with any real grace.

About the Import Ban

July 17th, 2014

Yesterday, the President signed an executive order that places Concern Kalashnikov (formerly Izhmash) on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. That means the importation of their products has been banned. It's rare for these orders to be rescinded, even by later administrations, so it's probably permanent.

Somebody's going to scream "back door gun control," but that isn't the case. This is a sanction on the Russian government for their actions in Ukraine. While the SDN list blocks assets and generally forbids Americans from dealing with the entity in question, products that have already been imported and paid for are unaffected.

How does …

Mark It Zero, Smokey

July 3rd, 2014

A couple of times a year, we hear a rumor that the Army is going to dump the Beretta M9 as a service pistol and go back to something in .45. Some people even claim we're going to see the error of our heathen ways and welcome the venerable 1911 back into the fold with repentance and glee while the Holy Ghost of John Moses Browning forgives us for our folly.

Sorry, folks. It's not going to happen.

The government bought nearly half a million M9 pistols in 2009. That's not something they'd have done if the platform was …

About Those AR-15 Pistol Braces

April 5th, 2014

Earlier this year, Sig Sauer started marketing an AR-15 pistol with a "stabilizing brace" that looks a bit like a short stock. As pictured here, it's designed to fit over the forearm.

People are claiming that the ATF, local law enforcement, or Bigfoot have been cruising public ranges and making arrests because some folks are using the brace as a stock. That's not true. They can't do that.

The ATF has classified this weapon as a pistol. Sticking it up to your shoulder does not turn it into a short-barreled rifle. I've already had arguments about this, so here's

Everybody's an Expert

February 11th, 2014

The Truth About Guns has a review of the new Remington R-51 pistol in which the author perceives numerous shortcomings in the design. I might be inclined to take him seriously if he actually seemed to understand the gun in question.

It works more like a Luger P08 than anything else, with a fixed barrel and short-stroke style action.

The R51 doesn't work anything like a Luger. It uses a delayed blowback mechanism, while the Luger has a unique toggle-lock system. I suppose we could stretch the criteria and claim that the pistols are similar because both fire the 9mm …

Gimmick Ammunition

February 4th, 2014

It's a new year, which means we have to endure yet another company proclaiming a new and "revolutionary" bullet design. This time around, it's the tactfully-named RIP Ammo.

It certainly looks intimidating, but it's really nothing new. A similar design was used on the old Kaswer Law Grabber (also known as the Pin Grabber) back in the 1980's. Law enforcement failed to embrace the cartridge, just as they've ignored the terrorist-slapping hyperbole of a similar offering from Extreme Shock. Extravagant claims are made, but the ammunition inevitably fails to live up to them.

The RIP ammunition …

VZ Grips

January 20th, 2014

I've had VZ grips on a couple of my 1911's for awhile. The Micarta does a great job of repelling moisture, and the texture is coarse enough stay put without chafing the hands.

I must not have been paying attention, and it turns out they're making grips for all types of guns now. I recently picked up a set for the CZ-75. Click the pictures to embiggen.

VZ Grips on a CZ-75

The Remington R-51

January 2nd, 2014

Of all the unlikely but cool things to resurrect, Remington is producing a new version of their Model 51. The original was a neat pistol with a unique "hesitation locked" blowback action designed by John Pedersen. That one was chambered in .380 Auto and .32 ACP and had a steel frame, while the new iteration will be chambered in 9mm.

To modern eyes, it may look like a hybrid of a VP70 and a Whitney Wolverine, but the 51 is a smaller, thinner gun, with a lighter trigger. It looks as if the grip panels are replaceable, …

Mikhail Kalashnikov, 1919-2013

December 23rd, 2013

The man credited with designing one of the 20th century's most iconic firearms has passed away at the age of 94.

Kalashnikov is widely acknowledged for designing the AK-47 rifle, but I can't miss the obvious similarities to Schmeisser's StG-44. Given that Schmeisser worked with the Red Army after the war, it's hard to dismiss the possibility that the Soviets simply didn't want to give a German credit for the design.

That said, we may never know.

I find it to be a charmless piece of stamped sheet metal with numerous design flaws, but the AK-47 was cheap to …

The Caliber Debate, Settled.

November 1st, 2013

We've all endured the various debates about handgun cartridge effectiveness. We're told the venerable .45 ACP is capable of physically unfeasible things, while the 9mm will annoy an assailant at best. While some folks have conjecture and anecdotes, I have physics on my side.

It's all about black holes, specifically the Schwarzschild radius. That's a measurement of how tightly a given object must be compressed in order for it to become a gravitational singularity. For example, the Sun would have to be compressed to a radius of roughly 3 kilometers before it became impossible for light to …

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