Showing posts from 2018

Lawsuit: The Parkland shooting and duty of police

Judge rejects embattled school deputy's claim he had no duty to confront Parkland gunman: CBS "A judge has rejected a deputy's claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida . Refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parent of a victim, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning found after a hearing Wednesday that ex-deputy Scot Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside the school where 17 people died and 17 were wounded Feb. 14. " Read more: This is, I think, going to take a while for the courts to sort out. What is the particular duty of a cop on the scene?

Buckshot at a distance

Interesting video that proves what many assume. Buckshot pellets are lethal far beyond the range at which the pattern is still holding together in a tight clump. See also: This information should both warn and reassure. It should warn you that the pellets are dangerous a long way downrange, making you very attentive to Rule Four , and it should reassure you that you are not altogether helpless if you must defend yourself with buckshot at a distance. Your pattern density will be appalling, truly hit and miss, but the pellets are dangerous if they hit. You can increase your effective pattern density with multiple shots at the target. That is a "spray and pray" tactic and not very good, but it does exist and is worth knowing about.  

"Trigger Happy Harry," 1946 gun safety video from the NRA

It is engaging and covers the main points. Hat tips to  A/V Geeks for resurrecting this from the archives and  Gun Culture 2.0  for bringing it to my attention. Its gently amusing tone is a reminder of simpler long-ago times.  

Mass shootings: worldwide problem

John Lott writes: Of the 97 countries where we identified mass public shootings, the U.S. ranks 64th per capita in its rate of attacks and 65th in fatalities. Major European countries, such as Norway, Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia, all have at least 25 percent higher per capita murder rates from mass public shootings.   While Americans are rightly concerned by the increased frequency and severity of mass public shootings, the rest of the world is experiencing much larger increases in per capita rates of attack... More at:  The broader thrust of the article is to say that gun-free zones invite these atrocities. That is, though, an international phenomenon, not something particular to America.

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.

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: More: 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 h


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 manipu

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

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 i

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.

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

Ballistical Correctness

YouTube is a silly place, at least when you are there looking at the channels about guns and shooting. Oh, there are some good ones here and there, but a lot of it is pompous bloviation. A case in point: A chap practically raving about how bad the Weaver stance is and why you should not use it, but use instead the competition-proven isosceles. His demonstration is a Weaver stance so bad that it amounts to a parody of the real thing. Well, if that were really what the Weaver is, I certainly would not recommend it either. The Weaver stance, provided that it is correctly executed, is a good one for recoil control. You appreciate it more with pistols that kick hard. (I do not think any of the common self-defense rounds, when fired in full sized pistols, kick hard.) It also improves trigger control when pressing through the long heavy cycle of a double action trigger. Moreover, the Weaver's body geometry comes naturally to riflemen, so that they have less to learn or remember when o

The Jacksonville shooting in perspective

The well-written and well thought out op-ed I have linked below points out what the gun control crowd are getting wrong. They are steering their part of the debate in an unproductive direction. They are oblivious to the problems with society's first lines of defense, strict legal requirements that still fail sometimes to keep unsuitable persons from buying guns. They are hostile toward any use of that last line of defense a homicidal shooter must cross. If any of the potential victims is armed, you see, he (or she) turns from victim to a possible victor. The situation ceases to be a hopeless one. I'll take those odds. - -------------------------------------- Existing Law Didn’t Protect Victims From the Jacksonville Shooter. It Left Them Defenseless. Amy Swearer /   @AmySwearer   /   August 28, 2018   / . . . Court documents reveal that the suspected shooter was  involuntarily committed  to mental health facilities on six different occasions as a teenager, spent 97

Strategy, again and briefly: red dots

It has been a long while since I wrote anything about strategy for personal, that is individual, self-defense shooting. I have had little new to say. In any case, few readers are interested in my take on the topic. Instead of fashionable and exciting run-and-gun my approach is more nearly described as hide-and-bide. What I have that is new to say, or new for me anyway, is an endorsement of red dot sights on rifles. A decent quality dot sight increases your hit probability when shooting fast. To briefly recap, the points I like to raise about defensive shooting are three. Fight from an ensconced defender position. Or at least, find the best cover you can. Use a weapon that maximizes your hit probability. That is where the dot sight comes in.  Use the advantage of surprise if at all possible. I still endorse the shotgun as a better weapon than a rifle, for the self-defense scenarios that are most likely. Its hit probability is better. Many people, though, are of a mind to say a

Two cures for scout scope glare

Some riflemen find that the scout scope (forward-mounted scope sight) becomes a problem when the sun is low and behind them. The sun causes glare in the scope. I have two solutions, either of which solves the problem. Either Put a lens hood on the back (ocular) end of the scope Or Wear a broad-brimmed hat. So much for the main objection to the forward mounting position for your optic. A lens hood is ordinarily seen on the front of an optical system, for the purpose of eliminating glare when bright light strikes the lens from an angle, but there is no reason it cannot serve the same purpose on the back end. You may need to improvise a suitable hood, but it is a simple project. As to hats, I am comfortable in a Stetson, but if your favorite boots have shoelaces you may feel differently. A Smokey the Bear hat will work, or a felt crusher. You could rock the safari retro style and wear a pith helmet...

"California kneeling" rifle position

The so-called California kneeling position, known also as double kneeling,  places both of your knees on the ground. It is great for field rest shooting. By field rest, I mean improvised firing positions in which you lean over a solid and steady object or lean up against one. You can easily adjust the height of the California firing position to shoot leaning over a rest such as a boulder or a fallen tree, or as easily lean your body slightly to one side to gain support from a vertical object such as a fence post or a wall. You would not ordinarily adjust by leaning backward, for bending forward is more natural and better balanced, yet the occasional situation might call for a backward lean, such as needing to shoot at an upwards angle. Because of its great adaptability to the height of the field rest and the target elevation angle, California kneeling is useful with nearly any rest you find. If you cannot find a field rest, you can shoot from California kneeling just as you would sh

Red dots and bolt actions

The way I set up a lightweight bolt action sporter rifle is to mount a red dot sight, micro size, on the receiver ring. The sight is not in the way of loading the magazine, cycling the bolt, or clearing a jam. The sight picture is instantaneous when you raise the rifle. The rifle is light and well balanced in the hands, making it quicker to the first well-aimed shot than typical semi-automatics. I do not regard backup iron sights as essential. A spare optical sight is at least as good to have instead, if it is in some sort of return-to-zero mounting and you have brought with you whatever tools are needed to install it. You should, of course, have spare batteries always on hand for electronic sights. It is best not to trust in the claim that you have years and years of battery life. It may be true, but a defective battery can make nonsense of claims like that. For some riflemen, the backup is a conventional telescopic sight, for they reason that the scope can do some things the dot

The Cliff Notes version: Why I prefer the shotgun

Over the years my advocacy for the shotgun, contending that the shotgun is a generally better self-defense weapon than a rifle or a carbine, has filled a number of blog posts. Some of those posts go into detail about pattern size and density, danger radius, and assorted, related minutiae. This time I simply give the topic a once-over. I have not succeeded in convincing very many shooters that you really are better defended with a riot gun than with a modern type of rifle, for all the details I have offered. I don't know that the quick overview will do any better, but here goes. ----------------------------- I prefer a shotgun for my personal and home defense long gun. I consider it the best fight stopper at short range. Nearly all justifiable self-defense shootings are at short range. I do not think very much can be said against the effectiveness of 12 gauge buckshot loads. They are deficient in just one respect; they will not go through even the lightest body armor. They