Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 1 With Evil Roy

As always, any day at the range is a great day...I'm focusing on small issues that I can't seem to get beyond, and Gene is helping tremendously. Listen to Wednesday's podcast for the details and how Evil Roy's techniques can help you with your shooting. Today we'll be working mostly with the long guns.

I wanted to catch up with the on-going issue of open carry, which has been keeping the gun blogs hopping. Start with Say Uncle's excellent summation:
Rightly or wrongly. I don’t think it’s effective marketing. Simply, I don’t think the plan of acclimating folks to handgun carry by exposure will be effective. That’s based on my own experience with open carry. My experience seems to indicate that most folks won’t even notice. Or, if they did, they didn’t say anything. Conversely, no one flipped out either.

That doesn’t mean I think it should be banned. Or that I think you’re stupid to do it. Or that you should stay in the closet.
Follow the various links, especially the one to Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell. Start with today's post and work your way though his comments. He is easily the most articulate of the "moderate voices." I don't necessarily agree with him because my experience in media has shown me almost exactly the opposite...our first big successes in media came when we stopped carrying about what the other side thought of us and quite literally got "in their faces."

I also strongly think that the whole open carry movement has already yielded benefits on concealed carry...just a few years ago inadvertently "flashing" your concealed weapon was a huge issue (and still is in some places)...I think open carry has but a well-deserved nail in that coffin.

I also think guns are a 100% polarized issue, like abortion...in my experience there is no great uncommitted middle that we can sway to our side. There's certainly a "middle," but it's a middle that worries whether Michael Jackson's crypt should be open to the public and if poor Lindsay Lohan will ever get her life together. That middle cannot be swung reliably on the long term in any direction. Anyway, read Sebastian's comments...they're worthwhile. Then check out Rob at Sharp as a Marble.

Also zip over to The Firearms Blog and read Steve's excellent analysis on the M4 controversy we've been covering. The interesting point is that by spec, soldiers aren't supposed to run more than 4 magazines rapidly through an AR. As is far too often the case, the wars were fighting refuse to pay any attention to the specs. I have been told repeatedly by commanders just rotated out of the field that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are generating huge, and sometimes extended, firefights, with thouusands of rounds per soldier being expended.

Also, I've witnessed several times Dave Lauck's brutal "proving ground" competition, where military teams run thousands of rounds through their ARs without problem.

BTW, "white-hot" is indeed an exaggeration, but I have seen and filmed AR barrels going red hot...and yes, some rounds did cook off...


nj_larry said...

Went over to THR and picked up a 2004 thread on the Proving Ground competition....I thought this quote of interest...

"Many pistols malfunctioned or broke, and several AR15s broke. One Glock lost its Trijicon front sight and the rear sight drifted side to side. A couple people with aluminum gas blocks held on with set screws had them expand under the extreme heat and slip forward rendering their rifle single-shot. It was common to see stainless barrels come back from this stage an ugly shade of blue/purple. Knowing that I had another precision stage to shoot the next day, and not wanting to ruin my CTR barrel any more than I had to, I used water from my camelback to cool the gas block and barrel four times during this stage: once after the drive-by and then once after each platform. The ROs were amused, but it seemed to work. I haven't yet tested my barrel to see how bad its accuracy was damaged."

It seems an intensive fire fight would be even more abusive potentially to the ARs (read a couple of the books coming out from guys who have been in the sandbox, guys and guns falling, sliding, getting immersed in sewer waste filled canals etc).

So gotta conclude that other than a few shots unloaded in a LE environment or for home defense, an AR is a roll of the dice in a military setting. Been like that for half a century now. Kinda scary to trust your life on that type of performance in a weapon.

Frank W. James said...

Michael: Re:Open Carry. I've said it elsewhere, but I'll repeat myself. OC is a lot like Public Nudity....Only a 'Few' can do it well.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Kristopher said...

I advocate Mandatory Open Carry.

Like nuking it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Clark Kent said...

I see open carry by civilians among the populace as a political statement. I admire folks willing to take this stand, but I'm not one of them. I carry concealed, for self-defense only.

I try consciously to carry myself in a non-confrontational manner, so drawing my weapon would be a last-resort measure if confronted by an apparent predator.

If I have to draw, I want it to come to the predator as a complete surprise.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

"If I have to draw, I want it to come to the predator as a complete surprise."

i'll start off by saying, i support your decision to carry how you are comfortable. no one should dictate your fashion or personal protection needs.

the thing is, predators who notice you are carrying will go elsewhere. remember that as a predator, they are not really out to kill you as their primary motive. they will, don't doubt that, but they really want your money. openly showing that you are a hard target makes them look elsewhere.

secondly, and more importantly, they don't look first. witness what happened in Richmond. watch this video


dude was Open Carrying a cowboy sixgun (single action!) in a cowby rig. i don't know if he was complete with his 10 gallon hat or not, but he was conspicuous as all hell. yet still, the bad guy ignored him, and died due to his oversight. i guarantee it was a surprise to the BG when John Wayne Jr popped out from behind the chips and bean dip to give him the good news.

don't make the mistake of believing OC is confrontational. it isn't. no one notices. and fewer are bothered by it. last night, following a link at PA Firearms Owners Association, i went to Democratic Underground. in this hotbed of Bush Lied, People Died, there was this


read it. seriously. you know that when Josh Sugarmann has lost the DU crowd, it's pretty much all over for gun control except for the crying.

like i said, carry how YOU feel comfortable. but don't think that we are getting in people's faces or scaring them by our presence.

Anonymous said...

From Frank James post ; Re:Open Carry. I've said it elsewhere, but I'll repeat myself. OC is a lot like Public Nudity....Only a 'Few' can do it well.

Of the 2 I would MUCH rather see OC ;D

Tom Bogan

Clark Kent said...

To Sean Sorrentino - I should have clarified that while I try to carry myself non-confrontationally, I do try to belie any impression that I'm victim material. I think simply carrying a gun helps project this attitude.

I'll have to disagree that "no one notices. and fewer are bothered by it." Maybe in some settings, but I don't think we can generalize here.

I got a chuckle from Frank James's comparison with public nudity. From my experience (I'm an old fart) I think he hit the nail right on the butt.

But, again, my hat is off to anyone willing to push the envelope on public acceptance in our behalf.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

"Maybe in some settings, but I don't think we can generalize here. "

It is not a generalization. Come open carry with me and find out. Hang out with Rich, from PA Open Carry, and find out. Almost no one ever notices, and even fewer care. We win every court case that comes up, and we win damages to cover legal fees. The drama aspect of this is vastly overblown because you keep trying to judge how you are perceived by reading about it in the media. that only tells you how you are perceived by the media. they have lost control of the debate.

Clark Kent said...

Sean - I'm guessing you live in an urban environment, or at least a place more densely populated than mine.

Again, I respect what you, Rich and other activists are doing, and I'm grateful that you are doing it. But I've been on this planet long enuf now to know that public opinion is varied and often fickle, depending on where that public is located and what its particular demographics might be.

I wish nothing but success for the efforts you and others in the OC Vanguard are making. I, however, shall continue to exercise the discretion I've determined is appropriate for me.

Anonymous said...

What?! No comments on the M4 "controversy"??


Anywhooo... just within the past 2 weeks or so, I caught Rick Engel's MSNBC report "Tip of the Spear" documentary on Viper Company in the Korengal Valley in A-stan. At some point in the documentary, one of the troops was seen/heard on tape saying that they were shooting at bad guys they can't even see. A'yup, it's right here in this video:


at the 2 minutes and 42 seconds mark.

Of course, if all you're gonna do is "spray and pray" and use your M4 as a bullet hose, yeah, it probably heats up a bunch and does jam. That's a lot of carbon/soot to throw back into the action/chamber of the M4...and as we all know... the M16/M4 family with that direct impingement gas operating system poops where it eats.

Maybe the Marines aren't experiencing any problems because they are using the longer barreled M16's. Or maybe the Marines starting off in bootcamp are taught to be better shots, more accurate, more disciplined, and in general, all around better riflemen.


Just curious...can anyone tell me if the rounds meant to be fired through the M4 are any different than what is meant for the M16?? Said another way, is the M4 ammo made with a cleaner burning powder?

I wonder if using an aluminum finned heat sink, like this one from JP Rifles: http://jprifles.com/1.4.5_hs.php would help keep them from heating up so quickly. ???

Anonymous said...