Monday, October 29, 2012

6.8SPC II for Elk

Elk season is in full swing here in Washington State.  My hunting partners have already set up camp in Central Washington and I can’t wait to get there on Thursday morning.  I went to the range last Friday night to sight-in my new hunting rifle.  As mentioned in an earlier post, my new rifle is a Stag Arms 16” 6.8SPC II M-4 upper attached to a LMT national match lower with a Burris E-1 2x7x35 scope.  I tried to find some Silver State Armory ammunition locally but no one had it in stock so I will be using Hornady 120gr SST ammunition.  I drove out to the Spokane Valley Rifle range at Mica, Washington.  The conditions were perfect for elk hunting but not for sighting in a rifle; 50 degrees, foggy and a light drizzle.  Plus all of the covered firing positions and sturdy benches were already being used by other shooters.  So I set up at the only available “bench” and placed paper at 25, 100 and 200 yards.  I fired three rounds at 25 yards to get a rough zero to at 100 yards.  I moved to the 100 yard target and made some final adjustments to put my zero two inches high at 100 yards.  Next I fired 6 rounds at 200 yards I was adjusted dead on at 200.  I fired two 3-shot groups that measured 2-7/8” each.  Considering the less than sturdy bench, the weather condition and the non-free-floating barrel, I was extremely happy with the accuracy.  I look forward to further testing when the weather improves.

There are steel targets on the Mica range and I proceeded to ring the steel at 200, 300, 400 and 500 yards.  I fired one shot each using the bullet drop compensating reticle and connected with each shot.  To say that I am happy with this new upper is an understatement!  I just need to find an elk and I will be good to go.  There will be no excuse for a miss because of the rifle!

I will return from the mountains on Sunday and will let you know how I did. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Classic firearms

I have a collection of modern firearms including AR's and plastic pistols.  But I still love old blued steel revolvers with wood grips and other classic out of production firearms.  I have been shopping for a few particular guns and recently found a couple.  I think half of the fun is searching the aisles at guns shows and perusing guns shops in search of that mint piece that is out of production and 30 years old.  I have always liked Ruger firearms and Ruger handguns to be specific.  Over the next few weeks I will talk about a few of my recent finds.  One revolver that I found a local gun show was NIB as purchased 30 years ago.  This particular 4" barreled revolver has been on my shopping list for 5+ years.  I was tickled pink when I found it!  Check back in a week or two.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Guns and Public Opinion

Public opinion about gun ownership has changed drastically in the last decade or so.  Personally, I think the largest catalyst for this has been the concealed carry legislation that has swept the nation.  The most ironic part of the transformation is that the media helped change people minds, unintentional.  Without fail, as a State moved towards legalizing the carrying of concealed weapon the media would start their negative campaign against this constitutional right.  The media would tell stories about how road rage incidents would turn violent or how an argument at the gas pump would turn into the OK corral.  There will be blood in the streets!  The anti-gun, anti-freedom and anti-American Brady group held press conferences about how children would be dying and how unsafe the state will become. 

The problem with all of this speculation was the fact that state by state as laws were changed crime went down, without expectation.  Road rage didn’t turn violent and there were no OK corral arguments about who arrived at the pump first.  The type of people that apply for and are issued permits are law-abiding citizens that follow the law.

So, I think what happened is that people would hear the media speculation and then one year would go by and crime goes down.  Two years goes by and crime goes down.  This happened throughput the country as each state eased their concealed carry laws.  I think level headed people looked at this and realized that honest people with guns is not a bad thing.  And guess what, the criminals were already carrying guns, illegally!

Since public opinion has changed the media is now trying to capitalize on this nationwide change of opinion.  Turn on the television and you will find many new pro-gun shows that have quite the following.  Shows like Top Shot, American Guns, Sons of Guns and Gun Talk TV.  Guns are back in the mainstream and people are buying guns like crazy right now because of it.  People are finding how much fun a day at the range can be and how safe guns are when handled properly. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama and gun control

If you watched the second presidential debate you now should be very worried about your gun rights.  Many limp-stick gun owners have said that obama is pro-gun because he has not enacted new laws.  These people have obviously not be watching what is going on behind the scenes.  Does fast and furious come to mind?  What about Hillary Clinton and the UN gun ban treaty that she just signed?  Another 4 years of obama in a lame duck Presidency will bring a plethora of new legislation.  Some of the items already to go are limits on the purchase of guns and ammo and a new, more aggressive “so-called” assault weapons ban.

If you value your god-given second amendment rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution you need to help un-elect obama.  Obama doesn’t just want your assault weapons, he wants all your weapons.  This is about control and without an armed populous, we have no control.  The 2nd amendment is not about duck hunting or sportsman.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Modern Sporting Rifle

Several years ago I purchased a DPMS LR-308 7.62mm NATO/.308 Winchester rifle.  I ordered this rifle built to my specifications and it turned out to be a tack driver. The first groups were .5” to .75” groups at 100 yards with Winchester USA and American Eagle factory ammo.   It had a 24” stainless fluted barrel, free float hand guard, Miculek muzzle brake, JP adjustable trigger and optional dust cover.  I mounted a Bushnell 4000 6x24 scope to the rifle that provided more than enough power to shoot small target at long range.  This rifle was heavy and perfect for shooting from the bench, prone or over my A.L.I.C.E. pack in the field.  I decided to take it elk hunting in the central Washington mountains and realized that it is just too heavy for hunting.  I tried to shoot a coyote offhand and the rifle was unwieldy in the offhand position.   I sold the rifle in the spring and replaced it with a Bravo Company USA AR-15 mid-length carbine in 5.56.

My next attempt at a modern hunting rifle is on the AR-15 platform.  I just received my Stag 16” 6.8 SPC complete upper assembly that I am going to put on my LMT national match lower.  This will be my new elk, deer and coyote rifle.  I ordered a new Burris 2x7x35 E1 Fullfield II scope that should arrive this week.  This rifle will be much shorter and lighter.  Most of the elk that we kill are shoot at less than 200 yards away and I think the 6.8SPC with a Silver State Armory ammo loaded with Barnes Triple-X will perform just fine.

After I get the rifle sighted in I will provide some additional information about the Stag upper.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ruger 1911 .45 ACP

Last year was the 100th year anniversary of John Browning 1911 pistol design.  I wanted to celebrate this achievement with the purchase of a new 1911 pistol.  Low and behold Ruger decides to release a new 1911 pistol!  Being a Ruger fan, I had to have one.  So I picked one up at the local indoor range for $715.00.  I have not shot it or looked at it since.  It just sits in the back of the gun safe waiting to be used.  I still have not decided whether I will shoot it or leave it unfired.  Time will tell...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shotgun Myth #1

Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re standing in a gun shop or sporting goods store and you notice a clerk hand a pump action shotgun to someone and declare “just the sound of racking the action will scare most intruders away”. I often wonder how that comment affects the thought process of the hesitant gun owner. My term “hesitant gun owner” is defined as a person that doesn’t have a background in firearms and is shopping for their first self-defense weapon. The hesitant gun owner typically doesn’t have much if any experience with firearms. Maybe crime has skyrocketed in their neighborhood or they know someone who has been assaulted or robbed. Something has caused them to visit this gun shop today and they assume the guy behind the counter knows what he is talking about. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t! While this statement can be a cliché used by the well trained and decisive gun-owner, it can be a stumbling block for the uninformed. It could even get them killed.

Most honest well adjusted citizens don’t want to harm another human being. They just want to be left alone and be able to pursue life, liberty and happiness. So how can this statement cause the hesitant gun owner to get killed? What if they decide not to load their shotgun and just use the “deterrent” of racking the slide to scare away the violent criminal offender? What if that doesn’t work? The odds are it won’t work. With our current revolving door justice system our criminals have become very experienced. The repeat offenders walking the streets today have been pepper sprayed, hit with an expandable baton, tased and some have been shot. Do you really think the sound of racking a shotgun can be relied upon to scare off someone who is threatening you? Is this a helpful thought to put into the mind of the uninformed? The answer is a definite NO!

Gun shop owners should encourage the “hesitant gun owner” to obtain some training from a local or regional trainer. If that is out of the question due to the cost of tuition then frequent practice should be the next suggestion. Buying a shotgun and placing it in the closet is not an effective way to protect life and limb. In order to stay familiar with the shotgun a quarterly trip to the range would be my suggestion. Almost everyone can afford a six or seven dollar box of shells for practice every 3 months.

Next time we will shed some light on the often heard gun shop statement “you don’t even need to aim a shotgun, just point and shoot”. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth…