because it is shiny

I have, and need, no better excuse than that for this: 

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What’s that, you say?  It looks remarkably like something from some movie or television series you might have seen once upon a time? 

I have no idea what you are talking about. 

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None at all. 

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In all seriousness, this is far from an every-day carry rig, for a variety of reasons, but the TT-33 is far from an every-day carry firearm, for a variety of reasons as well (most notably its complete and utter lack of anything even approximating an “internal safety”).  However, there is something particularly compelling about putting a firearm in like that in a holster like that.  Obviously it is not a perfect rendition – for instance, the thumb break was impossible with a semi-automatic firearm, and the direction of the buckle on Mal’s rig bugged the hell out of the guy who made mine, so he turned it around – but I dare say it gets the point across. 

If you want one of your own, contact [email protected] at “oldradartech (at) hughes (dot) net”; he can obviously make them for TT-33 platforms, even ones with the whacky-arsed muzzle brake attached, and I imagine you could talk him into something similar for 1911s or a couple other different firearms as well.  From what I understand, this rig design is better-suited for revolvers than semi-autos, if that makes a difference to you. 

(Union of Allied Planets Standard Mineral Claim Form borrowed from here, in compliance with their Creative Commons licenses.  ‘Verse money borrowed from here.) 

(Thanks to Better Half for the latter two pictures.) 

browncoats have bucks

By now, my readers should be more than aware of the fact that I am a proud Browncoat – I missed Firefly when it first aired on Fox, but on my parents’ urgings, I found the DVDs, and I am pretty sure I watched the entire series all the way through once I started.  And then found time to watch it again.  And have since watched it more times than I probably care to count.  Then the movie came out, and all bets were off.

malsgunpropNow, as all Browncoats know, Captain Malcolm Reynolds carried a pistol, but not just any pistol – a Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B.  This second model differentiated itself by augmenting the conventional chemical propulsion system with an integral gauss coil system installed in the barrel, and allowed both standard firing pin ammunition and straight gauss rounds to be fired.  Those rounds were fed by way of the magazine installed forward of the trigger guard, and the “cocking” noise was actually the gauss system activating.

malsgunopenOf course, that is just the story.  In actuality, Mal’s pistol was a brass housing over a massively modified Taurus Model 85 revolver, engineered to fire blanks.  Bit underwhelming, that.

So what is one to do?  Well, I understand that some folks may have once talked to some other folks, and the discussion revolved around taking this concept and making it into a real, live, functioning, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, bullet-firing firearm.

malsgundiagramWhich would just be awesome.

So the question is, who actually would be interested in such a thing?  And, more to the point, and more importantly, what would you be willing to pay for such a thing?  Even if we were able to bastardize it together on the basis of some other firearm (which I cannot personally see, but I am not a gunsmith… the original conversation relegated it to “probably possible but doubtful”, apparently), the price tag would not be… hell, it would not even be reasonable, much less “small”.  I do not even want to consider the legalities involved, and the prices necessary to license the design from Fox / Universal Pictures.

What is it worth to you, in real-world dollars-and-cents, to hold – and fire – a copy of Mal’s pistol?  And how many are there who would be seriously interested in such a thing?

(Images courtesy of IMFDB and QMX.) 

a case-in-point for "high"-capacity magazines

Alternative title – "it is all fun and games until someone’s head gets bashed in".

Revolvers are classy as all get-out, and I love the hell out of carrying my 686 SSR (especially in its new leather, which I need to photograph and review here sometime soon), but the sad truth is that six in the cylinder and six more in a speedloader would do me scant little good against something like this:

Witnesses tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY’S TMJ4 of a mob of young people attacking innocent fair-goers at the end of the opening night of State Fair, with some callers claiming a racially-charged scene.

Milwaukee Police confirmed there were assaults outside the fair.

Witnesses’ accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night.

Authorities have not given official estimates of the number of people involved in the attacks.

"It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people," said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ. He left the State Fair Entrance near the corner of South 84th Street and West Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.

"They were attacking everybody for no reason whatsoever."

"It was 100% racial," claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.

12 rounds, no matter how powerful .357 Magnums might be, against a crowd of hundreds is not going to do much, and will likely only serve to piss the mob off. Hell, even my PPS with one in the tube, seven more in the box, and eight on my hip is not going to be all that much better. And, yes, I do thoroughly believe that a dozens/hundreds-sized mob is more than sufficient cause for deadly force should they be threatening myself or my family – that crowd met all three sides of the deadly force triangle (opportunity, intent, and capability), and if they endangered me or mine, I would take steps to defend us. Why? Because this can kill a person:

"I saw them grab this white kid who was probably 14 or 15 years old. They just flung him into the road. They just jumped on him and started beating him. They were kicking him. He was on the ground. A girl picked up a construction sign and pushed it over on top of him. They were just running by and kicking him in the face."

What would that defense consist of? In short, "Get the [expletive deleted] out of the way." My family, whoever else I was responsible for at the time, and I would find the least-crowded path out of the mob, and head that direction as expeditiously and as quietly as possible; if there were a vehicle nearby we could make use of, we definitely would. My firearm, whatever it would be, would be out but tucked up against my body to be a little more stealthy and a lot harder to grab, and should anyone present a plausible threat to my group, I would take whatever steps were necessary to prevent my group from slowing down, much less stopping. Once clear of the mob, and once we had attention to spare, we would get somewhere out of the crowd’s line of site and alert the authorities.

Of course, that is an ideal plan, and no plan ever survives its first encounter with the enemy.

Not to make light of a remarkably frightening and dangerous scenario, though, but this is exactly the kind of thing that gaming out the "zombie apocalypse" is actually useful for – a massive, on-foot, mostly-unarmed crowd of people who are probably stronger than you and definitely more motivated, where one may not be that big of a problem, but a few would definitely bring you down. Ok, maybe this crowd does not have any particular taste for brains, but they could kill you all the same, and probably care about as much as the hypothetical zombies would.

Conversely, if this really were the zombopocalypse, my vehicle would be up-armored and stocked with all manner of magazine-fed rifles, which are significantly better tools for dealing with a violent crowd than any handgun, so maybe the mental gaming is only so useful…

So what would you do if faced with a situation like this? One thing is for certain, anti-rights cultists would leave us either defenseless (by banning firearms or the lawful carrying thereof) or ineffective (by limiting access to normal-capacity magazines), and as we can clearly see, neither of those predicaments would lead to anything good in these kinds of circumstances.

Mayhap it is time (once I get everything else sorted out, that is) to start procuring some normal-capacity magazines for my Baby Eagle and talking to some folks about a piece of leather for it… or perhaps it is time for me to finally bite the proverbial bullet and invest in a plastic-fantastic pistol. Something to think on…

(Likewise, in addition to this incident being a perfect illustration of the use and value of “high”-capacity magazines, it also perfectly shows the lie in the specious notion put forward by a supposed pro-rights activist that only “law-abiding citizens of color living in high crime neighborhoods” need self-defense training regarding multiple attackers.  Remember – if a theory is false once, it is false, period.) 

(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)

random observation

Of the types of firearms that have been successfully used to murder American Presidents – to wit, a blackpowder, percussion cap derringer, two revolvers, and a bolt-action rifle – none have ever been banned in America.

Of the types of known firearms that were employed in known assassination attempts – to wit, two flintlock pistols, five revolvers, three low-capacity semi-automatic pistols, and one semi-automatic rifle – only the latter has ever been banned in America, and only in California and New Jersey.

No idea what to make of all of that, if anything, but I found it interesting.

[Update] And, as pointed out by KurtP, copies all of the specific firearms successfully used to murder American Presidents can either be mailed directly to your door without any background checks at all, or with nothing more than a Curio and Relic license (and associated background check). The same could be said for copies of some of the attempted-assassination weapons as well.[/Update]