Friday, November 9, 2018

Kimber DA/SA revolver

The newest version of Kimber's K-6 has an external hammer, unlike previous models; you can cock it to fire single-action if you prefer. It is offered with 2" and 3" barrel lengths. It holds six shots and is made without a superfluous keyhole. 
I have not gotten this version in hand yet, but Kimber's double action only gun impresses me with its very smooth and fairly light double action pull, which cycles through without noticeable "stacking" toward the end of the trigger stroke. I would expect the same great DA pull in the new model. Size and heft are similar to the old Colt Detective Special or the new model Cobra. The Kimber, though, is chambered for .357 Magnum. I suspect many owners will load the Kimber with .38 Special, for stout loads in small revolvers produce more shooting excitement than a lot of people want, but you have the option of shooting magnums if something calls for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Remington 700 Settlement : File Your Claim now

You have 18 months, so do it now so you don't forget. What you get is a free trigger replacement if your rifle has the old style Remington 700 ("Walker") trigger or a certain version of the X Mark Pro trigger. To have Remington fix your gun for free, go here and follow the prompts to file online:

The guns covered are Remington Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722, and 725.

The problem is some examples of these guns firing when the trigger is not pulled. Surely you do not want that to happen. Quit using your Remmies. Send them in for the free overhaul.

Background on this story:


I gave this story some coverage in the past, saying that I would send in my rifle, but also pointing out that media coverage may have given an exaggerated idea of the prevalence of the problem, and little or no attention to possible contributing factors in the accidents reported. I also pointed out that uncommanded firing can occur in other brands. It may be that other lawsuits, against smaller makers, will be along in the wake of this successful settlement. A cynical view of the matter is that giant Remington was singled out for their deep pockets.

I noted in my past coverage that the Marine Corps encountered the problem. (Their M40 and its variants are 700's adapted to the Corps's preferences.) They addressed the matter by telling the grunts to quit messing with the trigger settings. It is a mistake for Marines (or anyone else) to try to make a hair trigger out of a field trigger. It is not necessary for good accuracy and it is not safe.

Another possible contributing problem is dirt, gummed oil and so on: Cleanliness is related to functionality, in any gun. In any case, Remington is replacing the triggers with something new and improved, so get on board.

Remington has not acknowledged blame but settled to avoid further litigation.  That, I find, is a common face-saving way for product lawsuits to end.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Sometimes I feel surprised at how old I have become. I am not sure when I aged. I was too busy to notice it happening, but here I am. Waiters and clerks ask me if I get the senior discount. I do: But at least they are asking not assuming.

One of the things to astonish me is that the "Modern Technique of the Pistol" is now antiquated, at least in the eyes of marksmen priding themselves as au courant.  When I learned the technique, Col. Cooper and his methods were state of the art, and very influential upon police and military training programs.

I feel a bit old fashioned when I put one foot forward, raise the pistol in a two-handed push-pull grip and catch view of the front sight as the gun rises.  Here is the thing, though. It still works. Because I am habituated to the process, it is probably what I will do if I need my pistol in earnest. About the only thing I do that is not Antiquated Modern Technique is that I now prefer guns without external safety catches to manipulate: auto pistols of the plastic kind, or else revolvers.

Along the way from there to here, I have tried, at least briefly, many other ways of shooting a pistol: Isosceles, Fairbairn-Sykes shoulder point, Israeli crouch, one-handed bullseye, and even the weirdly logical Center Axis Relock method.

Every one of those methods will do everything it was designed and intended to do. Any of them can be used to life-saving effect. Some are better than others, but none is inadequate to the particular types of challenges around which it was framed. The Fairbairn-Sykes method, for example, is none too precise. As taught in bygone days, it had a rather minimal accuracy standard for qualification, 50% hit ratio, and hits anywhere on the silhouette target counted. That, though, was deemed sufficient at the time, and a reasonable tradeoff for the method's simplicity and speed in close range encounters.

If you have a proven method, one that has shown itself to work for what you are trying to do with it, well and good, whichever method that is. Your method is adequate. It makes no sense to say another method is more adequate, for a thing is adequate or it isn't. It is silly to argue the case to anyone who has seen his preferred method used to deadly effect, or so used it himself, or gotten after-action reports that it worked.

I well recall the polite disinterest with which American shooters greeted the Israeli Instinctive Method when trainers tried to introduce it to these shores. We already had the Modern Technique ingrained as a habit. It looked to us as if the Israeli experts were doing several things wrong. No one could argue with their good results against very serious terrorist threats, but what they were doing didn't quite look right, somehow. One may suppose we looked rather like that to them as well.

I suppose my perspective, looking down the hall of years, is that you should have a method. You should practice it and ingrain it, and not worry about what sort of fashion statement it makes on the range.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The elusive "flash sight picture"

"As you raise your pistol, you shift your focus back to pick up the front sight..."

Many have tried this and pronounced it useless foolishness, but there is a detail they miss. "As you raise your pistol" is an important part of the instructions. Before the gun makes it up to eye level, the front sight is visible above the rear sight. If you pick it up then, you have no trouble finding it, and no trouble keeping track of it as the gun rises.

You lock your gaze onto the front sight while there is no interference from the rear sight to doing so.

I have on another page suggested "shark sights" for fast shooting at short range. That is much the same idea, but when using that method you intentionally hold the gun slightly low so the front sight is always clearly visible, standing proud of the rear notch. The sight picture resembles an inverted letter "T."

In the flash sight picture technique, that inverted "T" is what you see for a moment as you raise the pistol. It is then quite natural to continue to raise the pistol in such a way that the sights end up in coarse alignment with the target. The people who cannot do the flash sight picture are not pulling their focus back early enough to catch the front blade on the rise. It is counterintuitive to take your focus away from the target to look at the end of your gun, but you need to do it sooner rather than later.

People who learn flash sight alignment with no difficulty are doing this without analyzing what they are doing. If you are one of the people to whom the thing does not come naturally, work on pulling your focus inward sooner, so that you see the front sight in clear focus earlier.

The matter of revolvers

There is in the Greek chorus of Internet gun didacts a claim that revolvers are not reliable; usually this buttresses with too much enthusiasm, not enough fact, the idea that automatics are plenty reliable: why, they're really more reliable than revolvers!

Hmmm. Big hmmm. If you know how to do a preflight inspection on a revolver, and if you keep a small wire brush handy to deal with a few known problem areas where revolvers need to be kept fairly clean to work, the things are as reliable as doorknobs. Yes, sometimes doorknobs fail to work, but for reasons that are obvious matters of wear, parts breakage, or accumulated detritus (crud).

A revolver combines two simple mechanical principles, those of the ratchet and the trip hammer, and works via the mechanical energy supplied by the hand of the user, not the firing of the cartridge, so you can spot arising difficulties by inspection. With an automatic, you sometimes need to shoot the gun to see what is wrong.

The preflight inspection to tell if your revolver is going to work next time you try to shoot it is the same type of check-over recommended before you buy a used revolver. Here is a good example. I repeat this inspection every month or so on revolvers that I am using frequently.

That leaves the problem of low ammo capacity, compared to modern auto pistols. Many years ago, when more people in harm's way carried revolvers, two answers emerged as serviceable. Carrying more than one revolver was popular; the "New York reload" consisted of drawing a loaded spare revolver to take over from the one you just emptied. This practice also provided a backup gun, an idea still seen as useful in the era of the auto pistol. People going into circumstances of unusual hazard would sometimes carry three revolvers, but carrying two was more usual.

The best bit of advice, though, was to make sure your first shot was a hit. It was, and is, a stern dictum. It is something of a scary idea because instinct tells you, instead, to draw and blaze away. I think, though, that going against nature in the matter, if you can bring yourself to do it, gives you the best chance of prevailing whether your gun holds five shots or eighteen.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kavanaugh confirmed to Supreme Court

It was a close-run thing, but the outcome was as I predicted. Yet, there is something further to look at here. In the process of trying to sabotage Kavanaugh,  Democrats gave us a chilling insight into what the party has become.

In the end, the case against Kavanaugh came down to thought crime. We the people were supposed to infer that this judge was, at heart, a beast. Several women said so--did that not prove his inward misogyny? The Democrats' failure here may signal the end of #MeToo eruptions, which have been so fashionable of late. Here was a notable failure of accusation to equal guilt.

All's well that ends well. The constitutional originalists get another player in their dugout and the other side got caught pitching spitballs. Play ball.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Speech or Debate or Calumny or Innuendo Clause

United States Senators and Representatives have ironclad immunity for anything they say in the course of their actions when serving as such. They can't be held to account for slander, for example.

...for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

On some level that is a good idea. It frees them from worry that they are going too far in speaking their minds, so presumably they will not hold back when something needs saying. That should help them to pursue the nation's business without fear or favor.

The Kavanaugh hearings have turned over that rock to show what scurries about underneath. Groundless allegations and innuendos have been flung at the nominee, or whispered in corners, to the keen interest of a news and social media audience that may not recognize the groundlessness. Kavanaugh's only remedy, if it can be called as much as that, is to be a terrific Supreme Court justice. For I do not think the smears will work to prevent his confirmation, but they will prejudice the public against him.

The most recent of these attacks is bizarre when you recount it. A senator says she has a letter from someone--she is not saying who, the sender wants to be anonymous--saying something bad about the nominee--no definite information on what it says--so the senator has forwarded the matter to the FBI. Anonymous accuser, unspecified allegations, but broad hinting that there is something big here. Sweet.

Okay, it was no Spartacus moment, but it was another in a parade of legless allegations that Senators have raised because...because they can, and because it serves the purposes of political grandstanding.

The original intent of the Speech or Debate Clause was to shield our legislators from reprisals for doing their jobs. Its uses, unfortunately, go beyond that to making cheap shots that would not stand if made by anyone else. There is another law that stipulates (without exceptions and exemptions for office holders) "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Perhaps the Senate thinks that court lacks jurisdiction.

Addendum: There are increasingly damaging accounts as to what the letter might say, but no letter and no author.

Additional Addendum: 9/16, The accuser has come forward. I suppose the backlash built up. Even in our far-fallen state of social decay, anonymous and indefinite allegations are still not how we do things in America.