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benEzra

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Number of posts: 12,148

Journal Archives

That's a pretty obvious scam, unless it's a BATFE sting.

"They sell it in kit form and it is legal because you have to make one final bend in one of the pieces of metal. Once you do that, you better keep one of them hidden."

That seems to me to be a pretty obvious scam, unless it's a BATFE sting. Under BATFE "constructive possession" rules, possession of that kit, if it worked as advertised, would constitute possession of an unregistered machinegun (10-year Federal felony) since the resulting collection of parts would be "readily restorable to full auto" under the NFA as defined by the BATFE, and would hence fall under Title II of the law. It doesn't matter if some trivial operation is left uncompleted; it would be just as illegal as a semiauto that fires from an open bolt, and for exactly the same reason.

So the only reasons I see that it's still in operation are (1) it doesn't work, but nobody can complain that it doesn't work because then they'd have to admit to attempting a 10-year Federal felony, or (2) it does work but the BATFE is on it. Otherwise, call your local BATFE office and have them shut it down under the National Firearms Act.

BTW, you said "with a file" in your previous post. That was referencing filing down the sear on a pre-1986 open-bolt semiauto, and all of those were reclassified as Title II restricted machineguns under in 1986.

benEzra: "I think the idea that 'the only reason a civilian needs an accurate .22-caliber rifle is to go to war against the gubmint' is hilarious."

jimmytheone: "I wrote 'about the only time'"

OK, so you think "about the only reason a civilian needs an accurate .22-caliber rifle is to go to war against the government."

So, in your view, accuracy is almost never a prerequisite for shooting 1.9" circles at 200+ yards or 6" circles at 600 yards, and in your view accuracy is almost never a prerequisite for humanely shooting small animals at long range.

What do *you* do when target shooting with inaccurate rifles, then...do you use the Force to guide your bullets? Whereas we non-Jedi have to, you know, aim them, and the achievable group size regardless of ammo choice can never be smaller than the random error introduced by the rifle itself.

In other words, for serious target shooting or humane small-game hunting, accuracy is not optional, it is mandatory. You can make noise with anything, but to hit things you'll need something accurate.

FWIW, I'm wrapping up here so I can take my GF's son, cousins, and my daughter to the range. We'll be shooting a couple of 9mm S&W pistols (evil semiautos, ya know), my civilian AR (evil semiauto), a Remington .22 squirrel rifle (another evil semiauto), and an actual weapon of war, the only bolt-action I currently own. The latter has a 109-year-old receiver and a 72-year-old barrel, and will shoot a playing card at 200 yards, too.

More thoughts...

"Do you live in a dangerous neighborhood?"

No, and IIRC the town nearest me has only had one murder in the last few years. On the other hand, there were two home invasions within a block of my former residence in the space of two months a few years ago. Both were driven off by armed homeowners, as I recall, with no fatalities.

I don't expect a kitchen fire, either, but I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen. Fires are exceedingly unlikely, but if you're going to have an extinguisher at all, it'd be pretty foolish to choose one that won't put out a grease fire in the exceedingly unlikely event you have one, wouldn't it?

"most all civilians using shotguns for home defense I doubt would be that interested in using their sg to kill, rather than just deter."

As am I, and as are almost all civilians using *any* gun for defense of home.

Deterrence works in most cases, which is why most defensive gun uses involve no shots fired. My dad had a "save" with a pistol in the early 1970s, when I was a child; the two would-be assailants saw he was armed, backed off, and left. Best possible outcome for all concerned.

But if deterrence fails---as it will with the most dangerous of assailants---the gun had darn well better be loaded with something incapacitating, while also minimizing downrange hazard as the situation requires. That's why civilian LE doesn't use birdshot or .22LR, and why any civilian homeowner who *does* use it should be very familiar with its limitations (i.e., take shots very close, don't assume the first few shells will stop the attack, and ideally use something with a deep magazine).

"Buckshot is fine for certain circumstances if you're certain someone is gunning for you, but I think birdshot is better & safer for most practical home defense applications."

Out of curiosity, what make/model of defensive shotgun do you use, and what size birdshot do you load it with? Have you patterned at the distance of the longest shot in your home?

For you, birdshot may be a fine choice, especially if you are primarily a shotgunner. For me, I have 26 years' experience shooting .223 carbines, including a bit of IPSC style competition shooting in the last decade, and far less shooting shotguns. I also have seen enough of the wound ballistics literature to know that I wouldn't trust anything less than #4 buckshot at in-home distances and #1 buckshot outside.

But the nice thing is that it's a free country, so you're free to choose a shotgun with birdshot if that works for you, and I'm free to choose a small-caliber non-automatic carbine with low-penetration hollowpoints if that works for me. Live and let live, and all that.

"I think it's justified in texas, maybe Oklahoma too, to shoot at someone stealing from your property (maybe at night odd as it sounds)."

Still a phenomenally bad idea unless your life or your family's lives somehow depend on the property being stolen, IMO, and the guy you cited wasn't justifiable under that standard, was he?

My point is, if you are not justified in shooting someone with buckshot, you are not justified in shooting, period. If you are in a situation in which you can legally shoot with birdshot or a .22 Short, then buckshot and .223 JHP are on the same legal footing. You can't use any of them outside those circumstances.

"Hitting it solid anywhere, but the tail & clipping it, will likely kill it whether by a 22 short or .223. The .223 likely kill it 'more often' ergo 'more humanely' overall, but still no guarantee any bullet would prevent a lingering death."

Call me sentimental, then, but in my opinion, if you can't make a humane shot on the animal, you shouldn't shoot at all. I am not even a hunter at the moment, but I have no use for people who gut-shoot or limb-wound animals and let them die slow, painful deaths. And if I do take up hunting (GF's son is trying to talk me into getting my license and going with him on a deer hunt), I will use an accurate rifle a whole lot more powerful than .223, and will not take iffy shots. (Since you brought up movies, I think that scene in Avatar got the hunting ethos right, FWIW.)

So, again, the canard that "accurate rifles aren't needed for hunting or target shooting, just combat" is precisely backwards. You need *more* accuracy to humanely kill a groundhog or hit an X-ring than an average soldier would typically use in combat. Which is why the military's acceptance standard for the M16/M4 with M193/M855 was 4 MOA accuracy, even though civilian AR's will shoot better than 2 MOA with that ammo and 1 MOA is easily achievable.

I did. First, the birdshot/buckshot/hollowpoint question.

Like I said, much beyond grappling distance, birdshot---and the lightest .223 hollowpoints, like 40-grain Federal Blitz---produce shallow wounds that are gruesome but not usually disabling unless you get lucky, which is why law enforcement no longer uses birdshot *or* 40-grain .223 loads.

At arms length or grappling distance, yes, birdshot can be devastating. But as the range increases, the shot exits the shot cup and begins to spread, and once it ceases to overlap much, it no longer penetrates much more than a pellet gun would. Still lethal on birds and squirrels, but causing only bad surface wounds for humans or deer-sized animals. That cutoff is somewhere between 5ish and 20 yards, depending on shot size, choke, barrel length, and whatnot.

Mr. Johnson's test was close to a best-case scenario: a long-barreled shotgun, across-the-room distance rather than down a hallway, and he is assuming the assailant is facing him straight on, upright, and arms at the sides, the only circumstance in which 6" of penetration (optimistically, it may be 3" with some loads) has a chance of reaching anything vital. Turn that assailant sideways like he's shooting at you or lunging at you with a knife, or put a big bicep across the chest, and not a single one of those tiny pellets would reach anything immediately incapacitating. Back the range up to 12 or 15, and the combination of shot spread and deceleration put you on the edge of the Dick Cheney Friend Zone. Here's a pic of a no. 5 (heavyish) birdshot pattern at 12 yards, the distance down my short hallway into my living room, and the shot has already spread too much to penetrate.

[img][/img]

Don't take my word for it; here's a site that publishes a lot of material by the International Wound Ballistics Association, closely linked to Dr. Martin Fackler:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

Birdshot, because of its small size, does not have the mass and sectional density to penetrate deeply enough to reliably reach and damage critical blood distribution organs. Although birdshot can destroy a great volume of tissue at close range, the permanent crush cavity is usually less than 6 inches deep, and this is not deep enough to reliably include the heart or great blood vessels of the abdomen. A gruesome, shallow wound in the torso does not guarantee a quick stop, especially if the bad guy is chemically intoxicated or psychotic. If the tissue crushed by the pellets does not include a vital cardiovascular structure there's no reason for it to be an effective wound.

Many people load their shotguns with birdshot, usually #6 shot or smaller, to minimize interior wall penetration. Number 6 lead birdshot, when propelled at 1300 fps, has a maximum penetration depth potential of about 5 inches in standard ordnance gelatin. Not all of the pellets penetrate this deeply however; most of the shot will penetrate about 4 inches.
...
Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck.


More people saying the same thing:

http://shootershaven.com/defensive-shotgun-ammo-frequently-asked-questions-faq/
http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-22-20-gauge-shotgun/

http://www.shootingillustrated.com/index.php/26973/buckshot-vs-birdshot/

(Birdshot) would likely prove a bad guy’s demise at this close proximity (the Remington load packs about 1,400 ft.-lbs. at the muzzle). Note, however, how wide their patterns are already on a 12-inch target. Such patterns are already less likely than buckshot to deliver all of their energy to the bad guy’s vitals, and the disparity will only increase with distance. Averaging about 172 ft.-lbs. at the muzzle, an individual 00 buckshot pellet hits harder than a .32 ACP handgun round—just one or two delivered to an intruder would cause him to second-guess his vocation. An average No. 7 1/2 birdshot pellet, however, packs just 4 ft.-lbs. of energy. Therefore, to be effective for home defense, it’s imperative for birdshot to impact the target in a highly concentrated pattern.


If you choose to use birdshot in your shotgun, that's great; heck, if you had a semiauto or pump with a deep magazine (like the semiauto with extended mag that Mr. Johnson uses in the video), maybe heavy birdshot or 40-grain .223 hollowpoint would be a rational choice to limit penetration (say if you lived in a trailer in close proximity to other trailers, or an apartment with only drywall between you and your neighbors), as long as you were aware of their limitations. For typical suburban houses, a shotgun load or .223 load that comes closer to the FBI penetration standard of 12" is probably a better choice while still minimizing the risk of overpenetration/exits---say, no. 4 buckshot, or .223 55-grain hollowpoint/softpoint (my choice), or lightweight 9mm, though of those three the .223 will probably penetrate the least.

@jimmytheone: ".223, which might penetrate steel helmets after it goes thru drywall."

You're confusing civilian .223 hollowpoint with military full-metal-jacket ammo. Lightweight civilian .223 hollowpoints don't penetrate much in drywall because they tend to destabilize and disintegrate in the first wall (combination of high velocity, very high rpm, and fragile bullet construction. See the Police Marksman article I mentioned upthread, or the drywall test I posted. And even if you are shooting a shotgun using birdshot or a .22 short, you had better not be shooting in the direction of your kids behind a couple of interior walls; your kids should either be behind you or you had darn well better watch your angles. Remember Rule Four applies here, and not just to your kids' bedrooms; also be aware of windows and the layout of your neighborhood, and for safety's sake put a light on any gun you can't operate one handed.

(quoted by @jimmytheone: "If that poor fella had had two loads of birdshot loaded first, he coulda gotten his point across without killing anybody."

Ummm, no. Shooting birdshot at somebody that isn't an imminent to kill or maim you or commit a forcible felony on you will get you thrown in prison. If you aren't justified in using buckshot, you aren't justified in shooting, period, so hold your fire.

As to your other points:

@jimmytheone: "And gee, how all those varmints get plinked in the past using 22 shorts & longs?"

By people using the older .22 centerfires (at least since the 1920s), not .22 shorts and longs. Specifically, .218 Bee, .22 Hornet (archetype of the breed), .220 Swift, .222 Remington (ancestor of .223), or .22-250. The .22 rimfires (short, long, and long rifle) aren't really ideal for small game past 75 yards or so. .22 magnum rimfire can stretch that by another 50-75 yards, but to humanely hunt small game at 200 or more, you need a centerfire.

@jimmytheone: "I said about the only time an AR's precision would be needed in America would be when the tyrannical govt takes over, you didn't hear? "

Yes, I heard that loud and clear, and I think the idea that "the only reason a civilian needs an accurate .22-caliber rifle is to go to war against the gubmint" is hilarious. Sort of like saying "the only reason a civilian needs a car that handles well is to outrun the cops".

You need an AR's or bolt-action's precision if you are trying to hit a 1.9-inch X-ring of a 200 yard rifle target or the 6-inch X-ring of a 600-yard target. Or if you are trying to ring a steel target at 500 or 800 yards. Or if you are trying to break the clay disks you laid against the base of the berm. Or if you are trying to win a shooting match. Or if you are trying to humanely kill a prairie dog at 200+ yards. Even at closer range, remember that *any* degree of mechanical inaccuracy makes your shooting less accurate. If the best you can do is hold on a 2" circle at 100 yards due to the physical limits of your eyes or your muscles, an inaccurate rifle will make you shoot 4" groups or worse, because errors are additive.

If it's long-range capability that bothers you, a .270, .30-06, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, or .338 Lapua makes .223 look like the small caliber it is. The 7mm has more energy at 500 yards, and the .338 has more energy at *1600* yards, than the AR-15 has at 1 yard. FYI, the U.S. military uses scoped bolt-action Remington 700's in .308 and .300 Winchester Magnum for really long range shooting, not .22's, but in most cases the military goes to crew-served weapons and air support for long range anyway.

Keep your kewpie doll, and I'll keep my AR, thanks.

"Review what I wrote: ..about the only time an AR owner would need to be able to hit a playing card at 200 yds would be if he was shooting at 'tyrannical US soldiers'"

You left the adjective 'tyrannical' off 'US soldiers', false premise on your part. Then you used the false premise to create another one, asking if AR owners care more about shooting them, when I didn't suggest that; I said about the only time an AR's precision would be needed in America would be when the tyrannical govt takes over, you didn't hear? (prairie dogs are several times larger than playing cards, maybe a half magnitude"

I'm still not following you here. All target shooting and all humane small game hunting at any significant distance requires precision, and I'm not sure how you get from there to your shooting-soldiers fantasy. The X-ring of the standard SR-42 200-yard competition rifle target is 1.9" in diameter, smaller than a playing card.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/587150/nra-official-high-power-rifle-targets-sr-42-200-yard-rapid-fire-paper-package-of-50

The X-ring of an MR-1 600-yard target is 6", the same angular size as a 2" target at 200. Since AR's are the predominant rifles used to shoot such targets, then they darn sure need to hold under 2" at 200 under perfect conditions from a solid rest, no? And if you are doing *any* target shooting in the 400 to 800 yard zone, you had darn well better have a rifle that will hold 2" at 200, since dispersion scales more than linearly with distance.

You do know that any decent deer rifle on the rack at Wal-Mart will keep every shot on a playing card at 200 yards with good ammo and a solid rest, yes? So why should a less-powerful gun used for target shooting or small game hunting be *less* accurate than a deer rifle? I'm not following you here. Are you saying that rifles that are too accurate should be banned? If so, just how bad does accuracy have to be before it is acceptable to you?

FYI, the brain and heart/lungs of a prairie dog are no bigger than a playing card; their whole body is, what, 9-12" excluding the tail.

ezra: "We shoot around 14 *billion* rounds a year at paper, dude."

jimmytheone: "What an utter waste of money. How much does one fmj cost these days?"

Depends on how much accuracy you are chasing. For recreational shooting 300 yards and under, about 25 cents a round for .223 steel-case at Walmart. Brass case will run you 50 cents a round for PMC lightweight FMJ to a couple dollars a round for the heavier high-BC long range loads, though less if you reload. One of the nice things about shooting a centerfire .22 is that it only costs about half as much as shooting a .30 caliber. For me, a range trip with the AR or shooting a local match both end up costing about the same as going to see a movie, no biggie.

"target range orgasms justify allowing assault rifle auto-clones in communities???"

See, this sort of frothing at the mouth is precisely why your side loses. "Target range orgasms"? "Assault rifle auto-clones"? Back up and listen to yourself. In an insular echo chamber, that may sound witty and righteous, but when you are talking to gun owners it comes across as ignorant and unhinged.

"I would rather forget it. I'm sure there are dozens of suitable rifles at that range, rather than AR's. Otherwise stick with shorter range 22 longs & shorts & get closer, 10% the kinetic energy of a .223."

So what .223 semiauto would you prefer I use, and why? why is shooting at 200 yards OK with a mini-14 but not OK with a functionally identical AR-15? Is it because the AR is more accurate?

How do you feel about people shooting long range targets with .243's, 6.5's, .30-06's, and 7mm magnums? Nobody needs a gun with two or three times the energy of a .223, right?

"You mean in house as well? the practical solution is birdshot for the shotgun, & comparing the AR to worse offenders doesn't get it off the hook."

Yes, in-house; .223 JHP penetrates less drywall than any other defensive firearm other than a shotgun using birdshot, is less likely to penetrate an exterior wall, and is less lethal after wall penetration. Birdshot is great if you are assaulted by a determined duck, but against humans beyond contact distance, birdshot typically creates shallow, disfiguring-but-not-incapaciting wounds, which is why LE agencies prohibit using it. Ask Dick Cheney's hunting friend, or peruse the LE wound-ballistics literature.

Law enforcement agencies have done a lot of study on the efficacy and downrange hazard of various calibers (for example, see Roberts G.K., "Law Enforcement General Purpose Shoulder Fired Weapons: the Wounding Effects of 5.56mm/.223 Carbines Compared with 12 ga. Shotguns and Pistol Caliber Weapons Using 10% Ordnance Gelatin as a Tissue Simulant, Police Marksman, Jul/Aug 1998, pp. 38-45). Or, if you don't have access to a university library, check out the photos in this piece on drywall penetration of various calibers. Handguns are more portable, and shotguns with buckshot or slugs are more devastating, but if you want precision + less penetration risk than either, get a .223.

"Including in states which ban them I presume. I betcha moreso ratewise, how much you wanna? really dunno, you could win! BTW, homicide rates have fallen since ~1993, along with falling gun ownership rates, (leveled off ~2000, roughly along with gun ownership rates) a real contributing reason imo for the drop in homicide rates has been the concomitant drop in gun ownership rates"

No, the drop has been across the board, even though AR ownership has nearly tripled since 2000. And of course, no state bans "assault weapons" broadly defined; California and a couple others require them to have non-protruding handgrips, smooth muzzles, and nonadjustable stocks, but they are still legal without those features. An AR with a straight stock is legal in all 50 states, and even in California you can have an AR with a protruding handgrip, flash suppressor, etc. if you go the bullet-button approach.

Btw, if you think rifle ownership has dropped, you are smoking something. Look at the BATFE rifle sales stats from 1994 to present, and the shotgun/rifle ratio in particular. The willingness to report rifle ownership to a stranger who cold-calls you certainly scales up and down with the political climate (if anyone calls me, the answer is "no", but the hard sales figures don't lie.

"But capable of being converted to full auto right? with a conversion kit or simple tools, like a flat file."

Nope. Per the National Firearms Act of 1934 as amended by the Hughes Amendment to the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986, any gun easily convertible to full auto is a full auto for the purposes of the law. That's why there are no civilian semiautos that fire from an open bolt, because those guns can be converted to full autos with a file, as you state---so they are banned as machineguns even if not actually converted, and are a 10-year Federal felony to possess unless NFA registered prior to the 1986 cutoff.

If you followed the issue closely, you'd also know that all post-1986 AR's have different receiver geometry than M16s, specifically to prevent them from being able to use M16 fire-control parts or being easily converted to full auto, and all those pre-1986 conversion kits made for the then-lawful registered NFA market won't fit a modern AR. A machine shop capable of making a full auto receiver from scratch would certainly have the tools to convert one, but you can't McGyver a modern AR into a full-auto gun any more easily than you can a Mini-14 or a 10/22.

Again, get it through your head that we own AR's because they are the most accurate, most user-configurable small-caliber centerfire semiautos on the market, period. I used to own a Ruger Mini-14 that was functionally the same as an AR, but I sold it an bought an AR because the latter is far more accurate, more durable, easier to work on, more comfortable to shoot, and doesn't require major gunsmithing to customize. I can switch from a 1x red dot for IPSC style competition, to a magnified scope for 500-yard paper punching, in like 30 seconds. I can drop a .22 rimfire adapter in it and shoot .22LR, or I can pop two pins and swap on a larger caliber upper, as long as the overall length fits the small magazine well. And when not in use, it sits in the safe as a decent small-caliber stand-in for a 12-gauge. Not many guns are that versatile.

Thoughts...

Where does the average gun owner seeking home protection actually need such accuracy at such distance? he doesn't - about the only time an AR owner would need to be able to hit a playing card at 200 yds would be if he was shooting at 'tyrannical US soldiers'"


Are you seriously trying to make the argument that owners of the most popular centerfire target rifle in America care more about shooting at "U.S. soldiers" than they do at 200-yard paper targets? Seriously? We shoot around 14 *billion* rounds a year at paper, dude. The top centerfire caliber in the nation is by far the little .223 Remington, and the AR platform accounts for the vast majority of that.

No, the accuracy isn't a requirement at in-home distances (even a 4-MOA carbine can hit a quarter at 75 feet), but it's quite important for target shooting. Also don't forget that .223 is also the #1 long-range small-game hunting round in this country. Hunting is a far smaller piece of the pie than target shooting is, but a .22 centerfire that won't hit a playing card at 200 yards is pretty useless for hitting a prairie dog at 200.

"shooter could very easily hit something he wasn't aiming at, happens now & then when a target range shooter's .223 goes thru a window or hits a building a quarter mile away. Or thru a person."


A criminal shooting at nothing in particular is highly unlikely to result in the level of mass casualties that, say, someone shooting deliberately with a 9mm pistol and a backpack full of low-capacity magazines would cause.

As an aside (and contrary to popular myth), one of the reasons the AR is so popular as a defensive carbine and as a LE patrol carbine is that .223 with light JHP's offers less downrange hazard than the alternatives, including shotguns using buckshot, primarily due to less penetration.

"How about half an order of magnitude? is that 'slower' enough? or better put, the inverse of an order of magnitude. If you're trying to ameliorate the slower fire of the lever action when compared to an ar15's, you fail, it is generally much slower."


My point is that the commentators panning lever-actions as worthless antiques far less capable than semiautos are wrong; they were developed as combat weapons, after all, and are capable of delivering a comparable rate of aimed fire to a .30 caliber semiauto, albeit with a slower reloading mode in the case of tube magazines. If you could magically outlaw all semiautomatics (which hasn't even happened in England; Google "BR-99", detachable-magazine lever-actions or pump-actions can deliver a comparable rate of effective fire, and even tube-magazine guns can deliver a respectable rate of sustained fire.

If rate of unaimed fire is your primary focus, a more apropos comparison would be to compare the AR-15 to other civilian semiautomatics (e.g., 75% of civilian firearms sold annually), which fire exactly as fast as the AR-15 does and can miss just as fast.

"but will the ar15 et al catch on? as more & more people own them will their potential manifest in coming years?"


The gun-control lobby needs to get its head out of the 1980s and look around; the AR-15 platform caught on two decades ago. Now, it's not entering the mainstream, it is the mainstream. Yet rifle homicide has continued to fall, even as the market has swung hard toward AR ownership. In terms of absolute numbers in civilian hands, the AR has passed most models of bolt-actions and will overtake the Remington 870 shotgun in a few years. The best estimate I've seen is around 5 million in U.S. homes, give or take. If you add in all the other civilian "assault weapons" out there (SKS, civilian AK, Kel-Tecs, FALs, CETMEs, Rugers, various rimfires) then more Americans own "assault weapons" than hunt. And yet rifle homicide has continued to drop since 2004.

"ar15's, as well as ak47s, are predominantly owned by gunnuts to satisfy their fetish for owning military style weaponry, usually without ever having served, or having to serve a single day in any military. Little big men with assault rifles."


See, this is precisely why your side continues to shoot itself in the foot over rifle bans, even after 25 years of backlash. You don't understand us and you have no idea how popular the guns and magazines you want to ban are, and that ultimately dooms your proposals to failure.

The AR market took off primarily in civilian style guns---flattops with scopes or optics and either pencil-profile or heavy barrels depending on the intended use. In the 1960s through the early 1990s, you could only buy military-style AR's, basically non-automatic M16A1 or M16A2 lookalikes, and they weren't particularly popular, with less than a million sold 1961-1994. There was also a brief fad in military-style "M4geries" during the Feinstein-ban years, step-cut barrels and all. But civilian flattops were what made the market really take off around 2000-ish, because they are as amenable to scopes and other optics as any bolt-action, and the that's where the bulk of the market has been ever since. Civilian-profile barrels have largely superseded the M4-style, and the most popular magazines are, yep, civilian style polymer, not USGI surplus. Now 40+ companies build flattop AR's and they absolutely dominate the civilian rifle market. Even the Liberal Gun Club is dominated by AR's, as is every centerfire target shooting discipline short of F-class benchrest.

My own AR is as obviously civilian as a Winchester Model 70, to those who know anything about rifles. It is a Rock River midlength flattop, a civilian configuration never issued by any military on this planet, to my knowledge. I set it up with a 16" Wilson heavy target barrel, Vortex flash suppressor, and 2-6x civilian scope, soon to be swapped for an illuminated civilian 1-6x with 800-meter BDC as finances permit. At home it wears a Surefire G3 LED light (civilian) on a front-sight rail segment (civilian). And of course, it is non-select-fire, like all civilian rifles. Trending now are free-float tubes for better accuracy, variable-magnification optics, and a general move toward lighter weight.

For what it's worth, I do own one military rifle, a 1905-vintage Russian Mosin-Nagant bolt-action that bears the imperial crest of the Czar, and was later rebarreled by the Finns at Jyvaskyla in 1942. It's a historically interesting piece and turned out to be a good investment, as it's now worth more than twice what it was when I bought it.

I shoot competitively with a Rock River AR-15,

and hence am aware how fast you can unload one at nothing in particular, just like any other civilian gun that fires once per trigger pull (e.g., most of them); small-caliber rifles like the AR don't recoil much, which helps the split times. Before my AR, I shot a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle for years, not an "assault weapon" per Feinstein et al, that shoots the same ammunition at the same rate from the same sized magazines and could be emptied at nothing just as fast.

But I'm also aware that if you want to actually hit anything, especially if you are transitioning between targets, you have to shoot slower and aim. An AR-15 is a marvelously precise rifle, a big reason for their popularity as target rifles, and why I traded my Mini-14 for my Rock River; most ARs will keep every shot on a playing card at 200 yards, and the best will keep every shot on a quarter at that distance. That precision means you will hit what you aim at, and you *won't* hit what you don't aim at. In your video, notice how long Carbine Class Dude had to set up for that stunt, and that he wasn't transitioning between targets; with the optic, he may have put a shotgun pattern on a single target if it wasn't too distant, but it was mostly noisemaking for the camera, not effective shooting.

Like I said upthread, a lever-action has slower splits, as does a pump, but not an order of magnitude slower in effective fire. The biggest difference is the reload; a tube-magazine gun is topped off one round at a time as you shoot, whereas a magazine-fed gun (semiauto or not) is preemptively reloaded by taking a second to hitting the release and putting in another magazine rather than loading as you go.

But all that is moot, really. If AR-15's and other self-loading rifles were the existential threat that the gun control lobby would like to paint them, then rifles wouldn't be the least misused of all weapons in this country, would they? Rifles account for fewer homicides here than any other class of weapon, far fewer than knives and even fewer than bare hands and shoes.

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2012 (FBI)

That's especially significant since AR's are the most popular civilian rifles in U.S. homes, dominate centerfire target shooting, and are the most common civilian HD rifle; more broadly, more Americans own "assault weapons" than hunt. AR's are not going away, and every new ban you guys push for sells another million of them. Give it a rest.

Yes, and "armor piercing", since it will penetrate body armor

like any other centerfire rifle.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2004-02-26/pdf/CREC-2004-02-26-pt1-PgS1612-2.pdf#page=23

"Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers' armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.

"It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America."


I personally wonder if the Senator was trolled by someone prior to that. The stats about the officers killed by .30-30 are accurate, but it's not unique in its ability to penetrate armor.

Not as slow firing as they imply, but slower loading.

Rate of aimed fire is not far off a semiauto, though a semiauto can miss faster.



However, to keep it shooting, one has to keep thumbing fresh rounds in as they are expended (since that design allows topping off). People who learn about shooting from TV and movies probably don't realize that you can reload a tube-magazine gun before the magazine is empty.

I don't think they through through this sentence, though:

"it's not something that anyone would ever use for the purpose that he did."


Umm, yes, someone just did. A lot of people forget that the lever-action was designed as a military infantry rifle, and is considerably faster than a bolt-action and comparable to a pump.



Would you be happier

if the murderers had used military-style bolt-actions instead, like the murderer in Pennsylvania? Or semiautos with straight wooden stocks, since you ostensibly don't want to ban those?

Rifles are the least misused of all weapons in California, just like they are nationwide, but you already knew that.

Murders in California, by weapon type, 2012 (FBI):

[font face="Courier New"]
Total murders...................... 1879
Handguns............................ 899 (47.8%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 315 (16.7%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 261 (13.8%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 227 (12.1%)
Hands, fists, feet................... 87 (4.6%)
Shotguns............................. 52 (2.7%)
Rifles............................... 38 (2.0%)[/font]


Like the head of the gun-control lobby said back when rifle crime was much higher than it is now:

"O)ur organization, Handgun Control, Inc. does not propose further controls on rifles and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are not the problem; they are not concealable."

--Nelson T. "Pete" Shields,Guns Don't Die--People Do, Priam Press, 1981, pp. 47-48 (head of what is now the Brady Campaign 1978-1989).


Being a law enforcement officer is also a whole lot safer now than it was then, thankfully.

Define "look military".

Is this rifle "military looking"?



How about this one?



Or this one?



All of the above are military rifles, as opposed to my non-automatic Rock River AR (a configuration that to my knowledge has never been issued by any military on this planet).

Honestly, I believe a lot of people confuse "looks military" with "looks modern", and would probably consider a Tubb 2000 or a Remington R25 to be more military-looking than a Remington M700, Mossberg 500, or Colt M1911.

But given that rifles are the least misused of all weapons in the United States (not only accounting for fewer murders than handguns and shotguns, but fewer than knives, clubs, and shoes/bare hands), the push for rifle bans made no sense in the '80s-'90s and makes far less sense now, IMO.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/20tabledatadecpdf
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