Friday, May 30, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cowboy Action Shooting isn't for Me, Either

I have to laugh, people can be so funny. They can get their panties in a wad over nothing, take the most innocuous comments personally and self-destruct over the slightest of perceived slights.

Just recently, John Taffin wrote an article in Guns Magazine, "Whatever Happened To Cowboy Action Shooting? It Was Such A Good Thing" and the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) world was throwing a community conniption fit. It was easy to see that the most virulent protesters of Mr. Taffin's point of view were those with the highest SASS badge numbers. Apparently old-timers (those with the lowest numbers) know there is some validity to Mr. Taffin's view of the sport. They have seen the changes as they took place and perhaps even voted on those rules changes. They know how and why things are as they are now.

That doesn't prevent the youngsters from saying anything they can think of in "defense" of their sport. From rationalizing about their choice of equipment to belittling one of the very best and most ethical writers in the business, they seem bent on killing the messenger rather than a discussion of the issues.

You know, if you read this humble journal, that I don't take part in any of the shooting games. Oh, I have shot skeet and trap in my youth. I think that I'd likely have done anything to shoot more and more often and these were things I could do with and have in common with Dad. That was reason enough. But Dad is gone and the constant rulesmanship requirement of American sports, including cowboy action shooting, is both boring and tiring for me. The sport also seems to me to be the antithesis of historical accuracy. The National Congress of Old West Shootists (NCOWS) seems to possibly be more oriented towards historically accurate living history. Still...

I have friends in the sport. Some of these started in Civil War reenacting and moved to it as a natural progression in their interests but for most this was their first foray into something close to living history combined with actual shooting. The reenactors and living history buffs I know were nearly all shortly done with cowboy action shooting (CAS). Some are long time participants, heavily involved and deeply committed to the sport. The ability to lose themselves in the sport and separate themselves from the rest of the world gives them true relaxation, the goal of sport. CAS has a lot of potential as clean family fun. The cost is up there, but one can, with some compromises, have a whole family compete. Age and gender are not limiting factors either.

All that said, it just isn't for me. Costuming, silly names, and an inability to be competitive in the shooting without compromising on the historical accuracy of the firearms used are downers for me. Now it seems club politics would be a bummer, too. I'll stick to shooting and hunting with the old guns and doubt that anyone will miss me on their range.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kimber .22 Conversion Set

I received my Kimber .22 Conversion set from Simply Rugged. I haven't had a chance to do anything with it yet. Rob said he'd never shot it. I plan to determine the best ammo for it, get a brick of that ammo, clean the unit to spotless, get a second magazine and gift it to my son-in-law for his birthday this September.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

.22 LR Conversions for 1911s

Conversion units for the Colt 1911 and later model/variations in .45 ACP have been around for quite awhile and the concept has been around longer than the pistol with some limited conversions being made for Webley revolvers. While the cost is often seemingly prohibitive since a simple .22 LR pistol can often be had for less money, the conversions allow something purpose built .22 pistols don't. That is, they allow practice with the same trigger, safety and grip as the self-defense arm but at a considerable savings in ammunition cost. However, I can't see that practice with something that provides less than stellar accuracy is really practice at all. Certainly it can't build confidence! Clearing jams is also a practice best left to the full-size combat cartridge due to the peculiarities of both cartridge and slide operation which, of necessity, must differ. So, the conversion units must be accurate and reliable and spare magazines available. Otherwise the effort would seem pointless.

Seems to me that there used to be only one .22 LR conversion set for the 1911 pistol and that was made by Colt.

The Colt .22-.45 (later the Coltmaster) conversion unit was a development from their Ace then Service Ace products. The system featured a floating chamber from "Carbine" Williams in order to make the little .22 LR function like the .45 ACP n the big pistol. Combined with the lack of hand fitting, these conversions might and might not be wonderful. In addition, and this is the big bugaboo I'd always heard about, the floating chamber would severely foul in as few as 50 rounds. Then, these units are also getting up there in price. I don't think this is what I should be looking for, after all, I'm a shooter, not a collector!

Advantage Arms has a 1911 Conversion Kit (the standard kit is shown, there is also a Target Kit) which appears to be made by Ceiner and repackaged for the Advantage Arms brand. Price for this kit is $349 with $25 for each additional magazine. As you can see, Advantage Arms has tried to differentiate their product by offering it in a higher quality case and with cleaning equipment. That doesn't seem to warrant the additional cost over the Ceiner marketed unit, for me, but I suppose they sell some. The Target Model differs in that it has adjustable sights and a "rib" over the top of the upper assembly.

Ceiner has taken a shot at making some money from the market with their kit. Price on these is $199 direct from Ceiner and the 15-round magazines are $35. Like the others (other than the Colt), I've no direct experience but it seems to me that if you build solely on price point, you get what you pay for. In some way or another, I can only imagine that these aren't going to come up to the same standard as those units built with more of an eye to durability and less of an eye towards price.

There is also the Kimber rimfire target conversion kit. I've read or been told that Ceiner makes these kits, but I don't know that. I'd love to see them all side-by-side to see for myself! These are $314 for either the blue or silver (for stainless guns) and extra magazines are almost $26. You can order them direct from Kimber but you can get them from MidwayUSA for $299. Kittery Trading Post has them on offer for $289! I have committed to buying one of these used and will see how it does. I'll probably buy a second magazine before giving it a detailed cleaning and wrapping it up for the son-in-law.

Marvel has their 1911 .22 LR Conversion Unit. They say
The Marvel .22 Conversion Unit converts any caliber 1911 Semi-Auto with no fitting required. Installation time is under a minute, even if you're taking your time. It fits Government, Commander and Officer Model 1911 Frames. Magazine fits all those models also, but will extend below the bottom of the grip on the Officer Model.

Each conversion kit comes with one tested steel magazine and a foam-padded, soft-side nylon case.
The Marvel unit is $408 direct from the manufacturer and magazines are a whopping $47 each. John has written a review of the unit that is worth reading and he has follow-ups! Good job John.

Tactical Solutions has one that was completely reviewed by Gunblast. It sure looks good and I know that Jeff and Boge Quinn tell it like it is. That gives me a lot of confidence in the product without ever seeing one. I like, also, that I can use it on the Commander as well. Currently listed at $400, this seems to be a quality item. I don't see a listed price for the magazines. This is the one that the experts recommend. While they say they are out of stock they are taking orders and making these units to order with delivery in about 8 weeks from date of order. I have pretty much decided to get one of these units. As one can also get, as Mr. Quinn did, the barrel threaded for the suppressor, and that is just what I'm going to do. No, I don't have a suppressor and I might not ever have one. But it is worth doing just in case and it doesn't change the price.

Wilson Combat has a .22 conversion unit as well. I've been told these are made by Ceiner with a couple of changes but the magazines look nothing like the Ceiner product. Perhaps it is just the uppers? Maybe one of you can clue me in on this. Price for the Wilson product is $319.95 and extra magazines are $42.95.

Of course this is all about making this Colt 1991A1 just a shade more versatile and useful, you know, if I have to cut back for some reason. "Just in case" seems to be more and more a justification that I can live with as we approach the election this November.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Marlin 336T in .35 Remington

This jewel of a gun came to me from Jim ______ and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to get this 1964 manufactured gun and for a very fair price. There were a couple of cosmetic issues (for most folks) but the screws will be replaced and I'm sure I'm going to ding up the metal myself a bit. The thing is the furniture is sound and the bullseye is unmolested. I had to put the Williams Foolproof on but that is never a chore.

Aside from the differing sights on my other 336T (a .30-30 made in 1982 which mounts a Lyman 66) the two 336Ts have different lever forms with the earlier gun haveing the ovoid lever loop instead of the more rectangular form.

This one is a bit slicker as well but rather than being more often fired I think it was made in a different era at Marlin. Another plus it has over the .30-30 336T is that it is lighter and quicker to the shoulder. The forearm is slimmer and the whole gun has a more dynamic feel. I don't think that any Winchester 1894 shooter would be disappointed in this gun as they often are in Marlin's admittedly clunkier standard guns.

Yeah, I like it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5.7x28mm News - Is FN to Blame/Responsible?

I copied this about the FN 5.7x28mm pistol firing out of battery from Tam on her View from the Porch (one of the better blogs out there).

If this is all that FN did then that is indeed pitiful. Any followups? E-mail me.

* * * * * * * * * *

An updated report says that the shooter was using reloads... Enough said.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Concealed Carry Creed

The Concealed Carry Creed

My weapon is for the protection of my life and the lives of others. That is its sole purpose. It does not confer rights, responsibilities or authority greater than that of other citizens. It merely allows me to protect life.

I will seek never to have to use my weapon. If I can avoid conflict, I will. If I can resolve conflict, I will. If I can escape danger, I will. If I am forced to bring my weapon to bear and use it, I will.

I will acquire superior training with my weapon. It is not the weapon that saves lives, but my effective use of the weapon. I will ensure my training is sound, my knowledge is current, and my mind is prepared.

I will know, understand, and obey all laws and ordinances concerning my weapon no matter where I happen to be. Failure to do so harms all who seek to legally carry an effective means of self protection.

I will know and follow the Four Rules of safe gun handling. I am a member of a growing community that must foster and teach safe and responsible gun handling if the community is to survive.

© Xavier 2008 Used by permission
I am not aware of any other such expression of the ethics of concealed carry beyond the law. I think perhaps it is a mark of our times that such as this isn't necessarily already inculcated in those who would be carrying a concealed weapon. A no-brainer if you ask me. I'm pondering what, if anything might have been missed. Hat's off to Xavier for a wonderful idea.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Proposed NPS Rule Change

From VCDL:

Breaking news! The Department of the Interior has now published a proposed rule change for the National Park Service!

The proposed rule change is as follows for National Parks:

"A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state park, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the federal park, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

The proposed rule change is as follows for National Wildlife Refuges:

"A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national wildlife refuge in the same manner, and to the same extent, that a person may lawfully possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded and operable firearms in any state wildlife refuge, or any similar unit of state land, in the state in which the national wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, provided that such possession, carrying and transporting otherwise complies with applicable federal and state law."

The problems that I initially see with the proposed rule change are:

* It does not allow for carry in a National Park or National Wildlife Refuge buildings even if the state allows carry in its state park and state refuge buildings. Federal law currently allows for carry in federal buildings unless they are posted. And even then you are allowed to carry for "other lawful purposes."

* It does not allow for open carry, without or without a permit, even if the host state allows for such carry in a state park or refuge area.

* It requires that the state allow the person to be able to carry in a state park or a refuge before they can carry in a National Park or Refuge. It seems to me that you should be allowed to carry in a National Park or Refuge unless the state prohibits carry or says specifically that you cannot carry in a National Park or Wildlife Refuge.

One good thing about this proposed rule change is that it will allow for reciprocity. Thus people from other states who can carry in Virginia will be able to carry in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges within Virginia when they visit here.

VCDL is continuing to analyze the proposed rule change and will be firming up its final position in the near future. I will advise when we have done so.

In the meantime you can read the proposed rule change for yourself by clicking on the URL below:

Gun Ban in UK - a Report

Hat-tip to Xavier...

Kinda appropriate to post this on May Day...