Buying a scope for a hunting rifle is pretty straightforward: determine the terrain you will be hunting in, and the distance that you typically take your shot at, and buy a scope of suitable magnification.
Hunting prairie dogs across an uncluttered plain calls out for very high magnification. Hunting whitetail in the Northeast probably means dense forest among the hills, and the shots that present themselves to a hunter will be much closer; less magnification is better for that. Variable magnification scopes give hunters extra versatility, but even with modern technology there are real and practical limits to what a scope can do. Shooting in low light (when hunting coyotes, for instance) calls out for an illuminated reticle, which is a more common feature in the last 10 years.
A scope for combat has different requirements, because there are so many different kinds of combat.
Well, the eagle has landed, folks.
The illogical and capricious nature of gun laws (I’m still waiting to hear what the problem with barrel shrouds is) renders them vulnerable to circumvention by engineering changes, or even cosmetic changes. Where there is a will, there is a way.
The development of bizarre AR-15 features like thumbhole stocks, fixed-magazines fed by stripper clips, bullet-buttons, single-shot operation, lever-action and pump action were driven by the need to circumvent specifically-worded gun laws.
In the wake of the SAFE Act in NY, Black Rain Ordnance created a snake-like stock to render their otherwise-stock AR15 NY-legal. Goofy-looking, but functional.
And now Ares Defense has redesigned the AR15 lower receiver to allow a traditional Monte Carlo stock to be attached (alas this particular shoulder thing will not go up), rendering the final product legal to own in CT without registering it as an assault weapon. They promised it back in April, but it is in stores right now.
Everybody likes new things. And the advertising practices of the past 50 years have deepened and solidified our hunger for new things beyond the limits of common sense.
How else to explain the mad dash to ditch a perfectly good smartphone when a new model (that is functionally 97% identical to the old model, and light-years better than the phones of 5 years ago) is released? IT managers were not hallucinating when they observed an increase in broken phones when a new iPhone was released. You can’t have bread & circuses without the bread.
Guns are not immune to this trend. When something bigger/smaller/faster/shinier comes out, we all salivate a little. Senator Phil Gramm once described the size of his arsenal as “more than I need, but not as many as I want”. A smart consumer should mitigate his/her urge to acquire new hardware with the knowledge of: budget priorities, how easy it will be to get ammo/parts/accessories, reliability of warranty coverage, and whether or not the gun is chambered for a caliber that he/she already supports. No one is saying that those are rules to adhere to at all times. But you need to weigh all the factors against your personal situation before deciding. Bullets without a gun to shoot them are as useless as a gun with no bullets.
Andrew Branca posted this at Legal Insurrection.
It is an important issue, and one that is not addressed adequately in the training that a person receives when they get their gun permit.
It is also not a scenario that most people prepare themselves for, and that lack of preparation can cause hesitation or indecision at a crucial moment.
Well worth your time to read.
In the aftermath of another black-on-white racial gang attack (this time at a Kroger market in Memphis TN), Andrew Branca published a follow-up article on the use of deadly force against unarmed assailants.
Once again, Mr. Branca reiterates the 5 elements of self-defense:
And he relates them to the facts of this case (as they are currently known).
My non-membership in the cult of Jeff Cooper is well-documented.
While I credit Cooper for his early contributions to training, his lack of real-world experience made me hesitant to take his endless advice at face value.
Also, aside from training, I knew Jeff Cooper was a blowhard, an attention whore, and had a poor track record of picking equipment (Bren Ten, CZ75, etc.). His tortured sentence structure made deciphering his ramblings a tedious chore. And he loved to take credit for things for which he was a mere spectator, rather than a pioneer.
After reading the new issue of Guns & Ammo, we can apparently add “Shit-Talker” and “Sore Loser” to his resume:
Connecticut held its Republican primary for the upcoming election for Governor, to see who would face the embattled Democrat Dannel Malloy in the fall.
It goes without saying that Dan Malloy, the anti-gun, tax-happy, stuttering father of a drug-dealer armed robber has to get booted. He ran Stamford into the ground as mayor, and then did his best to steer the entire state into a fiscal ditch.
But who to choose to oppose Malloy? Businessman (and former Ambassador to Ireland) Tom Foley narrowly lost to Malloy 4 years ago, and was running for the nomination again. His chances are said to be better this time, as Malloy’s reputation has fallen even lower.
If you are going to do any long-range hunting, or if you want to improve your marksmanship beyond 50 yards, you need a spotting scope. You can’t learn & grow your skills if you can’t see what your current performance is. Not knowing where your last bullet hit will hold back your development as a shooter. And running downrange to examine your target repeatedly is going to tire you out and piss off your fellow marksmen.
A binocular is fine out to 50 yards, but beyond that distance the lack of magnification is a problem.
And, no, the scope on your rifle is not “good enough”, even if it is a fancy German brand. It doesn’t have enough magnification, and you don’t want to get into the habit of aiming your gun at everything that you want a closer look at.
If you want to improve your skills with a long gun, and get your guns sighted in correctly, you need a spotting scope. In optics, you generally get the quality that you pay for. Below, I will address some of the considerations that you need to think about before choosing a spotting scope.
Kahr Arms has been pursuing a 2-tiered product strategy for a few years now. When they entered the market, they sold high-quality pistols at pricepoints higher than Glock. They now sell a high-end version of a gun, as well as a low-end version. The potential benefit is access to a category of customers that normally wouldn’t be considering your product. The risk in such strategies is that you might negatively impact the sales of the high-end gun more than you gain from the sales of the low-end gun; and that you might dilute your brand’s perception. The vendor must be careful in designing their product tiers to clearly differentiate the tiers for the customer.
Well, most of the ammo shortages that we have experienced over the last few years are not a problem at the moment.
We visited Hoffman’s in Newington, CT over the weekend and they had virtually every handgun & longarm ammo conceivable. Pallets, literally pallets, of .223, .380, 9mm, .40S&W and .45acp; both range ammo and defensive ammo, in multiple bullet weights for each caliber. Every hunting caliber was available. Even ammo for Tokarev and Nagant handguns was available.
No matter how many times the pouty Open Carry zealots lose a battle or make the gun-owning public look bad, they never seem to connect the dots between their stubborn attention-whoring behavior and the clear negative consequences that they cause.
Did they learn after they pushed Starbucks into the arms of the gun control lobby?
No, they did not:
“Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores after it says gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.”
Way to go, idiots.
Now, I cannot seem to locate my Magic 8-Ball, but I will go out on a limb and make a prediction anyway: this clear and uniformly negative result from their behavior will not stop Open Carry Zealots from being idiots yet again and playing into the hands of the Brady Bunch.
It’s almost like they are doing it on purpose. Maybe they need to be investigated to see if they are taking money from Bloomberg to act this way. It’s hard to believe that a rational human being could screw up so often and not realize that they are screwing up.