Ted’s essays

Who has my back?

A friend who rarely goes out unarmed was relating the attitude expressed by some in a hiking group of hers. Me, carry a defensive weapon??? Why should I, Jane has my back? (not her name) The question then becomes who has Jane’s back? Many of us are defensively armed for more than personal preservation. It is a civic duty, and obligation we feel for our community – both large and small. Could I watch a handful of thugs beat somebody to death? … and live with myself??? I know the answer is a lifetime of nightmares and recriminations about what I should have done. Yet I have no hopes of ever becoming a martial arts master … other than […]

The most fun you can have

with your clothes on. Okay, that phrase refused to stay where it belongs regardless of its limited applicability here. What I am talking about looks like a TON OF FUN, though. I have been hankering for and looking at various ways of having a carbine I could shoot inexpensively AND quietly. Quiet is nice for several reasons. #1 – It is neighborly. I live in a rural area where my neighbors are mostly shooters, accustomed to sight-in, target and hunting shots taking place, BUT they are also very appreciative of the peace and quiet we have most of the time. There is no GOOD reason for modern firearms to be so dang LOUD. #2 – Good hearing protection is […]

great handgun ammo test

AmmoToGo.com published the results of an excellent, thorough and hugely informative defensive handgun ammunition test. I have never seen one better; rarely one even close. Quite noteworthy is that a bullet design may be excellent in one caliber but perform poorly in another. Velocity is an interesting factor, but penetration and expanded diameter are more important. Anybody with a chronograph can give you the former. It is normally listed on the box and in promotional literature. Only shooting into ballistic gel provides the latter. The best test fires bullets through simulated winter clothes into ballistic gel. AmmoToGo.co did exactly that with this test. In addition to their great knowledge base, they include good prices on ammunition you can order […]

20 gauge tactical youth-stock pump shotgun

I continue to extoll the virtues of this platform as your basic home defense firearm. You will never regret having one of these, find many people who it fits perfectly and know it could serve anybody well as an only home defense weapon if you have limited choices. It has not been long since I published 20 gauge youth pump as #1 home defense weapon choice (Bitterroot Bugle .com, April 26th), but I did not include a link to the one I would be purchasing were I in the market today: Mossberg 500 Tactical 8 Shot Pump Shotgun I would simply go to a local dealer, even if it cost a few bucks more, shopping local is always a […]

reloading bench back in business

My reloading bench ran its first set of test loads in the new homestead. Getting it operational tends to be well below the CRITICAL and Urgent level activities. However it sure is nice to get there. My reloading skills exceed my shooting abilities, but I work to achieve the best mechanical accuracy to minimize the inaccuracies that arrive when my finger starts dancing on the trigger. My first two batches of load test firings were not as careful as the third one, but all suffer from eyes that cannot focus very well on both the near sights and far targets simultaneously. Lately my eyes have also been watering quite a bit which compounded the problem. The final caveat is my […]

Cause of death statistics – Hint, guns not in top 10

The statistics below and to the right are occasionally compiled. I carried one such list on a card in my wallet for a decade. The numbers ebb and flow year-to-year, but their position on the causes of death list rarely move much. There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms. The U.S. population is 324,000,000. Thus: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. -80% are through criminal activity, gang and drug-trade related This is one cost of “our” war on non-prescription drugs. -60% of those deaths are by suicide A similar per-capita rate to non-gun-owning countries. -8% are by police. -3% are accidental discharge deaths. Look at how those deaths distribute across the nation: […]

scope this out

Rifle scopes have come a long ways from the early telescopes. I had no idea until I saw this video just how far combat optics have come, and what things scope producers have thought to put into their tools. If you are considering a rifle scope to use as defense against human targets, this sure looks like a good choice. It likely is just fine in hunting applications as well. Though some aspects may need rethinking, the fundamental crosshairs at various ranges would still be great.

blah-blah-blah-gun control-blah-blah-blah

In the middle of all the noise from totalitarian government employees and lamestream media is the latest effort at restricting gun ownership. They never lose sight of their goal to have exclusive rights to lethal force. This argument has been won repeatedly by logic and data, but will never go away as long as there are people who lust for power, and never-ending increases in their power. They are hollow-shelled bullies. Bullies understand force. Nothing else. When met with anything remotely approaching equal force, they are cowards. We must never let them catch us napping. Amidst all the gun control yammering are three essays worth reading. I will give you excerpts and links to them. ——————————- Looking at the “gun […]

Why Did it Have to be … Guns?

by L. Neil Smith Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote. People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center. Make no mistake: all politicians—even those […]

ten meter air

My best year of DCM, CMP and NRA-High-Power competition followed a winter where I had an international-style ten-meter air rifle on loan and a ten meter air gun range in my basement. Here in our riverside paradise, I once again have a ten-meter air-gun range. In the years since my first international-level air gun experience, I also acquired one each adequately accurate rifle and pistol to shoot on it. Sadly, I have not used them much at all recently. A couple of days ago, I celebrated a long overdue clear sally port floor and clean workbench by shooting both my air rifle and air pistol. As you can see from my notes on the target, I last shot at the […]

suppressors

I endured the expensive and long process currently required to gain permission from our rulers to own a sound suppressor for my rifle. Over 9 months and $1,000 for a hundred dollar part that enables your neighbors to go about their business without noise pollution should you choose to sight in or practice with a firearm. Darn near a year for some faceless apparatchik to affix a rubber stamp and signature to my papers. Precious few of us bother. Therefore one person’s shooting is an entire neighborhood’s disturbing the peace. I repurposed a .223 AR-15 rifle into a 300 AAC Blackout, mounted the scope without proper tools, or any experience for that matter, and got help mounting “the can”. […]

analog calculators

In this age of converting everything to digital, bits, bytes and button pushing, my recent trip to a beginners’ long-range shooting school (see my first 1K) brought the power of slide rules back into my world. I am also [re-]discovering the beautiful metric system of measurements. The normal, average, mundane, commonplace answer to everything today is “I have a computer that does that”. Substitute “smart phone”, calculator or other electronic alternative to knowing how to actually do stuff and you have the answer to 99.9% of the computational questions asked today. I am not going to conjure up ways in which that dependence on electronics could fail us. Needless to say there are times, places and circumstances where it could. […]