Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inquiring Minds...etc....

One of the great questions of our time...why gangstas hold their guns sideways...from SLATE:
What's the point of holding a gun sideways?
To look Hollywood, of course. Journalists and gun experts point to the 1993 Hughes brothers film Menace II Society, which depicts the side grip in its opening scene, as the movie that popularized the style. Although the directors claim to have witnessed a side grip robbery in Detroit in 1987, there are few reports of street gangs using the technique until after the movie came out. The Hughes brothers didn't invent the grip, though. In 1961's One-Eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando used it, as did Eli Wallach in 1966's The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Directors may prefer the style because it makes it easier to see both the weapon and the actor's face in a tight camera shot.
While the side grip does not increase the risk of stovepiping, it is terrible for aim. It's extremely difficult to properly use the top-mounted sight on a handgun that is turned sideways. Not that this matters much to the average street criminal. According to an FBI study, 60 percent of them don't even use the sight. Aiming a gun sideways has long been shorthand for risky, indiscriminate shooting. The title character in George Washington Cable's 1894 novel John March, Southerner, exclaims, "No man shall come around here aiming his gun sideways; endangering the throngs of casual bystanders!"
Well, I feel we're a little closer to the truth now! Over at AnarchAngel, Chris has a great piece on "inexpensive" 1000 yard shooting..that is, less expensive than, say, a Porsche or a six-pack of mistresses:
If you're smart about it, for anywhere from $1300, to $2600, rifle and glass; you can get a rig that will shoot 1000 yards all day long.

In general, the more you spend in that price range (presuming you're bargaining well), the more consistent and precise your combination is going to be, and the easier it will be to hit at range; but the value "sweet spot" on the rifle is likely around $1100-$1200, and on the glass around $800.

So let's call it $1900-$2000 for the sweet spot, rifle and glass. For that money, you're getting a great trigger, a great barrel, a decent stock, and a decent tactical scope.

Call it a Savage Model 12 precision with a Bell and Carlson stock, a Krieger Barrel, and a Burris XTR tactical. That combo right there would run right at about $1900-$2000 including a bipod, swivels, recoil pad etc....

If you just wanted to maximize value completely, and not have any extras, you could build up a single shot Encore, blued with factory stock, a Bullberry barrel, a Vortex tactical scope, and a Harris bipod; for $1400 all up.

Frankly, that's cheaper than buying a straight up factory hunting rifle and mid grade hunting glass.

The great thing about buying this way is though, even if you find out you don't like, or don't have time for, long range precision shooting; you've still got a great rifle and scope, that are useful for hunting, and general target shooting, and you haven't paid too much extra for the capability you won't use.
You wanna do this with a .50, multiply everything by 4.


AnarchAngel said...

Yeah... I'd say a 4x multiplier is a fair assessment for precision .50... not including the $8 a round ammo.

Of course, you shoot less individual rounds than you would with say, a .308... but I doubt that'll be much of a savings.

Mathew Paust said...

I guess Leupold these days is out of the loop?

Anonymous said...

I know people are into this thousand yards and beyond stuff, but there is no place on my farm where you have an unobstructed 1000 yard view and I know of no place in my state (one in the southeast) where there is a 1000 yard range. Guess this is a west/midwest pre-occupation, I think I would have to go on vacation there to even test such a rig

AnarchAngel said...


Nothing wrong with Leupold. In fact, they're one of the top choices of competitors.

The problem is, have you looked at Leupolds pricing lately?

You can buy a NightForce for what Leupolds asking for an equivalent scope... and you SHOULD.

In this post, I was shooting for best value, and in this case that means Burris, the high end Bushnell lines (which used to be the scopes sold under the Bausch and Lomb name), the high end Vortex line, the Low end Zeiss line (Zeiss is $500 cheaper than Leupold for a scope of equivalent quality glass... though somewhat less feature rich) and similar.

Even in hunting scopes, leaving aside the nice to have but not absolutely necessary tactical features, Leupold is far more expensive than the value manufacturers, for not THAT great a difference in quality.

I'm not saying don't buy a Leupold, I'm just saying that if you do, make sure you are evaluating them dollar for dollar against your other choices.

If you can get a good price (SWFA or better), then maybe the Leupold is the best choice in the segment at a given moment... It really depends.

Their fixed power benchrest scopes for example, really can't be beat for their quality/value equation.

AnarchAngel said...


Yeah, that’s why other than a few southeastern crazies, and a cluster around PA, Maryland, and Virginia; most of the 600+ yard shooting going on in this country happens in the mountain west, and the adjacent plains.

I grew up in Massachusetts, and it would surprise me greatly if there was a single spot in the entire state (that doesn’t already have a highway or a building on it) with 1000 yards straight and level.

Mathew Paust said...

Thanks for the update, Chris. Matter of fact, I haven't priced scopes in awhile, and I'm amazed that any Zeiss would be so much lower in price than a Leupold. Crazy market!

nj_larry said...

Not to shock anyone but there is a 1000 yard range at a club outside of Albany NY.


shawn r said...

There was an article in Gun Digest a few years ago, where the writer actually tried firing, irc, three different handguns, one a revolver, holding them sideways. He found that you can still aligne the sights and hit what you are aiming at(that would of course be the catch). I do recall there were some issues with proper ejection, but nothing major.
One could even make a case for practicing shooting sideways for the same reason you practice shooting prone, and barracade, and seated. You never know what position you may find yourself in.

Michael Bane said...

I'm looking at a Nightforce for the Barrett...ouch. I did run into a friend of mine from Swarovski who mentioned they might still have some of the beefed up long-range scopes that did for Barrett a few years back; he'll check and get back to me with a price.

Our whole SG crew did some 1100 yard shooting at Whittington a year or so ago, with John Paul of JP Rifles providing the gun and dong the doping. It's a wonderful feeling to pull the trigger...wait "beat beat beat" followed by a CLANG from a long way away. Everybody on the SG crew has scored hits at 1100 yards...bet no other television crew can say that!!!

The .50 is hands-down my favorite rifle of all time...it is just fun to shoot. Yes, it's crazy expensive...I'm thinking of selling my trick Rem 700 .300 RUM to finance my addiction. The .300 RUM, BTW, is punishment, almost as expensive as the .50 and eats barrels. Heck of an elk gun, though...

Thanks Chris for checking it...excellent info...

AnarchAngel said...


I'm in the middle of a series here. I've got a half dozen more long posts queued up over the next couple weeks.

They've all kinda been percolating for about a year now; but I havent had the time or focus necessary to finish them.

I took the rest of the year off work as a vacation (to use up my extra vacation days so I wouldn't lose them mostly); and I'm actually going to have time to finish them.

At any rate, I'm doing a detailed post on value scopes for long range (including direct price and feature comparisons), and another detailed post on high end scopes for long range in the same vein.

I think I'll pop the value scope post out today actually.

Somewhere in there I'm going to include a post (maybe as its own post, maybe in one of the other posts) on the physics of optics and why you buy what you do. That one may only be of interest to me, and some astronomy geeks; but it's nice to know WHY your stuff works (or doesn't work) the way it does.

I'm also doing a post on spotting scopes and rangefinders for long range shooting.

On the other side of things, I've got about 3/4 written, a post comparing the ballistics and long range shooting potential of .30-06, .308, 7mm magnum, .300 win mag, .300 rum, .300 lapua (aka .30-378), .338 lapua, .408 CheyTac, .416 Barrett, and .50bmg.

On my "gunnies christmas list" post from a few days ago, I noted that I wanted another .50 (I had one and had to get rid of it), saying":

"A high precision .50bmg bolt gun.

Yes I know the big 40s (.416 barret, .408 CheyTac etc...) are better, I just want a .50.

I had one once, for a while, but had to get rid of it. I want another one."

I started thinking about it, and decided I wanted to write about just exactly how much long range performance you were going to get from each cartridge.

Anyway, I think I'll put that post up on Monday; since no-one bothers to read long posts on Fridays.

Jason said...

For 1000 yard shooting in The South, Arnold Engineering Center (formerly Arnold Air Force Base) in Tullahoma, TN holds 1000 yard matches regularly.

Robin said...

The best explanation of the sideways hold was that they were copying the stance of SWAT team officers holding their sideways sideways to get them around the armored shields being held in front of them during a entry.

address lookup said...

I was always under the impression that you can seriously hurt your hand with the kickback when doing that, and it just looks stupid.