i do not get it

I understand muzzle brakes – they are intended to capitalize on the gasses being ejected out the muzzle in such a way that dampens perceived recoil, often at the expense of the ears of everyone around the firearm.  And I understand things like the Noveske KX3 – in addition to “suppressing” flash (i.e. directing it all forward), it also has the added benefit of forcing all of the muzzle blast forward as well, reducing the perceived noise for the user. 

I do not really understand why you would take the two concepts and wrap the former in the latter

kinetitechmuzzlebrakeIt has been a while since I took Statics and Dynamics, and S&D is only a very, very rudimentary proxy for Fluid Dynamics, but it would seem as though if you took a gas, vectored it out one direction and then right into a wall connected to the very thing doing the vectoring, you would be counteracting exactly what you wanted that gas to be doing. 

On the other hand, I have started building out a bare AR lower into an AR pistol, and the idea of a muzzle attachment that reduces the perceived noise for the user is something that appeals to me greatly, especially given that I am eyeing 7.5” barrels*.  I had been considering a Levang Linear Compensator for the purpose, since I am a little cheap for the KX3, but I have to wonder why companies do not make something like the Kineti-Tech “Muzzle Brake with Sound Director”, only leave out the “Muzzle Brake” part in the process? 

(* – No, I am nowhere near badass enough to sport one of these, much to my chagrin.) 

(Found by way of The Firearm Blog.  Image borrowed from Kineti-Tech.) 

the slippery slope of gun control

I would like to take a moment today to extend my sincere thanks to the legislatures of both New York State and Connecticut for proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "gun control" is, in truth and fact, a slippery slope.

Anti-rights cultists come absolutely unhinged every time you mention the possibility of "gun control" itself being a slippery slope, and tend to immediately decry such mutterings as prima facie logical fallacies; it is true that the slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, but when you are seeing those trees whipping by your head, reality has to step in. Unfortunately, that reality is the slippery slope has been greased since at least 1934 and we pro-rights activists have been steadily losing ground in the name of "compromise" since at least then, if not beforehand.

The "gun control" extremists have always wanted more, more, more… First it was the National Firearms Act, then it was the Gun Control Act of 1968, then it was the Lautenberg Amendment, then the Brady Law, then the Assault Weapon Ban, then… then… then… Oh, we pro-rights activists have certainly made headway in the past few years, but even with all of the thousands of firearm-related laws on the books, there are still useful idiots clamoring for more! More! More!

Slippery slopes stop being fallacies when you can point to the obvious pattern.

Which brings us up to the modern examples. The state of New York already had an assault weapon ban – any rifle that could accept removable magazines and had two "military" features was prohibited. New York already had a "high-capacity" magazine ban, where "high-capacity" was arbitrarily and capriciously defined as "more than 10 rounds". New York already required all firearm dealers and gun shows to perform background checks on all firearm transactions. New York already had licensing requirements to own firearms.

In other words, New York already had a large number of the "common sense", "reasonable" "gun control" measures most anti-rights cultists out there want. They should be happy with that, right?

Wrong. Consider S2230-2013: Licensure, suspension and revocation of firearm licenses, which just passed the New York Senate [update] and was just signed by Governor Cuomo into law [/update]. It is a long read, but the low points are:

  • The two-feature aspect of the NY assault weapon ban is tossed and replaced with a one-feature test.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic rifles that can accept a removable magazine and have at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor / muzzle brake (they spelled it "break" in the legislation, amusingly enough) / muzzle compensator / threaded barrel, grenade launcher.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic shotguns that has at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second hand grip, a fixed magazine in excess of seven rounds, an ability to accept detachable magazines.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to "a review of disqualifiers by the State Police."
  • If they are not registered, possession of such "assault weapons" is a crime.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" may only be sold to dealers or out-of-state.
  • All magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds are banned.
  • This ban includes previously-"grandfathered" magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Magazines that can hold more than 7 but not more than 10 rounds are "grandfathered", but may only hold 7 rounds.
  • All ammunition sales must be processed through firearm dealers.
  • All ammunition sales must include an NCIS check on the purchaser.
  • All ammunition sales must be recorded and logged.
  • All firearm ownership permits must be renewed every five years (some counties had permits that never expired).
  • All private sales of firearms must be executed through a firearm dealer.

And, like I said, those are just the low points.

So, let us see here… it is still possible to own an AR-15 in the Empire State, but it would have to have an unthreaded bull barrel, some kind of non-pistol-grip grip, and a fixed stock, and you can only feed it 7 rounds or less. Amusingly, though, an M1A without any kind of muzzle attachment would be 100% legal, despite throwing a larger bullet farther and with more energy; but that is about the only funny thing to be found.

At least 75% of modern semi-automatic handguns are functionally banned. What is that? They only banned handguns with certain features? Well, that is great… except they also banned all new magazines over 7 rounds of capacity, which means your Glock or XD or S&W is only useful for as long as its magazines last – the only <10 round magazines I am aware of are for single-stack firearms that already do not have capacities in excess of 10 rounds. Oh, I am (fairly) sure that enterprising companies will step in and start producing 7-round double-stack magazines for common firearm platforms, but let us consider something for a moment.

At some point in the past (hell if I know when), New York had no limitation on the size of a firearm’s magazine. Then, on 13SEP94, New York banned the sale of any new magazines that could hold in excess of ten rounds; however, old ones were grandfathered in.

Now New York is arbitrarily banning all of those pre-’94 magazines, even the ones previously grandfathered, but graciously telling you those greater-than-seven-but-less-than-11 round magazines of yours are grandfathered under the new law? Yeah, and how long will that "grandfathering" last until it, too, is arbitrarily legislated out of existence?

And this is all without even touching on the fact that registration has invariably preceded confiscation, even here in the United States.

Oh, you think I am sliding back into the realm of a logical fallacy again? I guess two data points are insufficient for you to be happy, huh? Well, recall that I mentioned Connecticut in the opening line of this post. The ironically-named Constitution State has an assault weapon ban (No, really. I have to wonder how the mother of the Sandy Hook murderer owned hers.), but does not have a "high capacity" magazine ban; they attempted to pass one in 2011, but it got nowhere.

Apparently State Senator Edward Meyer is unhappy with this situation, given 2013 SB 00122 he proposed:

That the general statutes be amended to establish a class C felony offense, except for certain military and law enforcement personnel and certain gun clubs, for (1) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate, transport, possess or use any gun except one made to fire a single round, (2) any person to fire a gun containing more than a single round, (3) any person or organization to receive from another state, territory or country a gun made to fire multiple rounds, or (4) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate or possess a magazine or clip capable of holding more than one round.

Read through that again. It makes it a crime for you, as an average citizen, to own a firearm, of any type, if it can fire more than one round or a magazine if it can hold more than one round. Every semi-automatic firearm of any type, every revolver, and almost every rifle, pistol, and shotgun would be banned by this legislation; no grandfathering, no registration, just outright banned. Granted, this is just a bill at the moment and has a long way to go before becoming a law, but still.

Hell. With. That.

Hell with State Senator Meyer, hell with New York, and hell with any other politician who would propose any other similar legislation.

That little pleasantry dispensed with, however, this is why the "slippery slope" has been, and continues to be, a valid concern when applied to "gun control"; those who would unjustly deprive us of our rights and property are never happy until they are entirely successful, and they will keep chipping away, using different tactics – all in the name of "compromise", mind you – until we are left with nothing at all. First it is 10-round magazines… then seven… then five… then why do you need magazines at all? Then one shot rifles. Then why do you need guns at all?

"Gun control" is and always has been a slippery slope, precisely because those who advocate it want control… not over guns, mind you, but over you.

and this is why you wear eye protection at the range

IMG_20120712_190220

No, thankfully, that is not mine, but there is a story. 

I was at Coal Creek Armory sighting in Better Half’s new Magnum Lite rifle (more on that tomorrow) when Gunsmith Shannon emerged from their shop to test-fire another Saiga-12 short-barrel shotgun* (I wonder if I helped with that sale…).  He cranked off a few appropriately noisy rounds next to me, and then disappeared again, only to re-emerge as I was wrapping up. 

It turns out the muzzle attachment had decided to detach from the firearm in the process of test firing.  He had no idea why it had parted ways, given that the threading was accomplished by means of a tap, and if the attachment was fabricated anywhere near to proper specifications, it should have been snug enough to remove finish from one or the other as it threaded on. 

He was right – it did thread on and lock properly, but that does not help when the entire device suffers a rather catastrophic structural integrity failure. 

The best everyone could figure is that either the brake/flash suppressor was just of crappy quality (no one was sure of the brand, but it resembles this one), or it was designed for the pressures inherent in an 18” barrel, and the blast from an 8” barrel was enough to cause spontaneous disassembly. 

In either case, that chunk flew about 20 feet down the firing line and one of the other shooters found it; what became of the other chunk – about a third of the brake – no one knows. 

Now, imagine that three-ish inch chunk of metal massing somewhere around an ounce or two full of sharp edges and pointy bits smacking you straight in the eye, and imagine what kind of damage that could yield without proper polycarbonate between you and it.  The little piece would arguably be flying even faster, given equal energies and given that it peeled off first, and judging from its shape, it could easily penetrate soft and squishy things. 

So do not be stupid like I was in my Saiga videowear your eye protection.  Your gun may be just fine and never have a structural failure of any kind, but you never know about the other guns around you. 

(* – I feel certain the gun was post-prepping and pre-finishing, but the “heavily worn” look seems like it was specifically designed for the AK-pattern platform; the irregular finish highlights the purely functional aesthetic of the firearm in a way that cannot help but to be attractive.) 

buy a gun day – sbx

“Buy a Gun Day” is a tradition (started, I believe, by Traction Control by Aaron in 2003 (thanks for the full details!)) of taking some/all of your federal tax return for the year and applying it towards the purchase of a new firearm (or, barring that, ammunition, a new accessory, or whatever else you can afford or want at the time) on April 15th – the traditional “tax day” (this year’s was today, hence the post… today).  Part of this tradition is simply to give us a new excuse to purchase more firearms (as if gun sales were not already at record levels), but part of it was also to give the federal government a not-too-gentle reminder of who is in charge, and whose money they are taking for a year-long interest-free loan. 

Either way, works for me. 

Unfortunately, this year, I could not swing an actual firearm, by either legislative or functional definitions, but it is close: 

SBX1

That right there is none other than a damned-near-impossible to find Tactical Solutions AR-22 SBX Upper, which all-too-politely provides a wonderful “screw you” to the federal government by very legally skirting short-barrel rifle laws and the National Firearms Act as a whole.  Said Act requires rifles to have a barrel of 16” or greater from the bolt face to the barrel crown, with permanently-attached muzzle devices counting towards that total length.  The SBX Upper has a 12.25” barrel, with a 4.25” “flash suppressor” permanently attached to the end with an internal diameter of 1”… which, coincidentally, is the external diameter of most .22LR suppressors. 

Oh, and the barrel is threaded to accept such a suppressor inside the “flash suppressor”. 

SBX2

The end result is you have a suppressed .22LR rifle on an AR-15 platform that is no longer than a “normal” AR-15 rifle, and you only have to pay the one tax stamp for the actual suppressor, and not another tax stamp for the short-barrel rifle. 

And I am all about saving money… especially when that money would otherwise be wasted on the BATFE

(And on a related note, does anyone have the instructions for installing the Hogue Knurled Aluminum Forends on AR-15s?  The official stance from TacSol is that it is not removable, but I am not sure I buy that…) 

shark. jumped.

Consider:

410singleaction

Yes, my friends, that is a single-action, fixed six-round-cylinder USFA-fabricated knock-off of the infamous Taurus Judge… with a gorramed flash suppressor screwed onto the end of it.

… I have no words.

(Courtesy of Les Jones.)