Category Archives: Firearms

Took a nice little Star BM 9mm in on trade…

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Did a little trading with a friend the other day.  I traded him a Charter Arms Off-Duty for this Star BM 9mm.  The Star needed a good cleaning, which is in process.  These little Stars are built rock-solid and actually are desirable because they shoot VERY well.  It’s a numbers matching import and upon receipt was in… 60-70% condition.  A good cleaning should push it to a solid 80%.  It has some finish and holster wear, but functionally is flawless.  I’ve actually shot this pistol before.  An old friend in Columbus also had a magazine for this, which is almost the Holy Grail of magazines right now, so I bought it and it’s being shipped up.  I think I’m going to have the wife do her deep spit and polish and I’ll post some photos when it’s done.  Nice little trade!

“I Don’t Want Them To Know What I Own!”

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I hear this in the firearms community on an almost daily basis.  People who’d rather buy a gun from an individual than a dealer because of the fear that the government is going to know what they have.  I plan to address a few harsh realities with you in this article, and I do NOT intend to scare anyone, only to educate you.  Some states have additional procedures which I cannot speak to.  This is the situation in MOST areas of the United States.

The process for buying a new gun at a dealer with an FFL is pretty simple.  You pick a gun.  You and the dealer agree on the price.  You fill out a US Government Federal Firearms Transfer Record (Form 4473 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_4473,) answering the questions on it, signing and dating it.  (These forms are given the same status as a tax return under the Privacy Act of 1974 and cannot be disclosed by the government to private parties or other government officials except in accordance with the Privacy Act. Individual dealers possessing a copy of the form are not subject to the Privacy Act’s restrictions on disclosure. Dealers are required to maintain completed forms for 20 years in the case of completed sales and 5 years where the sale was denied by the NICS check coming back disapproved or other disqualifying information.)

The FFL dealer then calls the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Check System.  The dealer identifies themselves and verifies their FFL #.  The NICS clerk then asks for your name, gender, place of birth, height, weight, Social Security Number, state of residence, race and verifies you status as a citizen/legal alien.  They check to make sure you’ve filled out and answered the form correctly.  They then ask if you’re buying a Long Gun, Handgun, or Other (a lower receiver for an AR15, etc.,)  They process the request and give a confirmation number to the dealer followed by a status.  The statuses are Proceed, Delay or Deny.  In many cases a delay is then bumped to a senior clerk for verification that you’re not someone with a similar name.

Upon receipt of a Proceed, the dealer copies the identifying information for the firearm, Make, Model, and Serial number, along with your name, address and confirmation number into a book that THEY keep.  At no time is the information on the actual firearm provided to anyone but yourself and the dealer.

You then pay for your firearm, shake hands, and walk home with your new purchase.  Only you and the dealer know exactly what you bought.  The NICS system as it currently stands is required to purge the check information.

A lot of folks think even this is too much involvement with the government.  I don’t intend to argue that point.  The most common fear is that they government will know what you’ve bought, where you live, and how many guns you own.  This isn’t the case.  They know you asked to buy a firearm and were confirmed or denied.  Period.

There is a prevailing fear that the government can, and will, use this information to come and get the guns.  Without digging into conspiracy or fear mongering I am want you to think about the computerized society we live in.  There are, in day to day operation around the world, computerized systems that can monitor nearly every bit of information floating around in the electronic spectrum.  In the case where a truly oppressive government wanted to find out who owned, or was even suspected of owning, firearms, this information likely could be gathered from telephone calls, faxes, e-mail, web sites and forums, Facebook or any and all other social media, as well as even mailing of magazines and memberships in organizations such as the NRA.  Or if you have a Concealed Carry permit…

These capabilities exist.  If you’ve EVER bought a firearm, had a Guns and Ammo subscription, used a debit/credit card for purchasing anything related to a firearm, posted on Craiglist or Facebook or Myspace or Armslist or Glocktalk or any other electronic forum, hypothetically you’re ALREADY FLAGGED.

So you have two choices…  Drop off the face of the earth and hide (that worked really well for Osama bin Laden, or you can live your life, enjoy your hobby, and not live in fear.  I, personally, have bought and sold firearms to FFL dealers, as well as from friends and countrymen.  I’m not going to stop enjoying my hobby, or even limit it, when we live in a society that could, in theory, turn oppressive.  Living in fear is a technique terrorists use.  I prefer to enjoy my life and be prepared for anything that comes my way.  I hope you will, too.

MtNkitty lives!

I have a very special friend named Jan who lives in Minnesota. She saw a joke post I put up about the Hello Kitty AR-15. She kinda like it. I decided to take on the project of building something for her that would be similar but not involve such a huge investment. This is MtNKitty. It’s a 1943 Mosin Nagant M44 carbine. These were used by the Soviets during both World Wars and after. I found one that lacked a bayonet, which removed a lot of it’s “value.” It did, however, make it legal for use for hunting in Minnesota, and also, affordable. We ordered an ATI Gunstocks Monte Carlo stock for it, put the factory wood stock away, and then, with the help of Jason Mcdaniel, it went to paint. It is White and Rose Duracoted, and the whole thing was cleared with several coats of automotive clear coat. I sourced some automotive exterior quality Hello Kitty licensed decals and applied them, along with a few other creative touches. This is the result. Thanks to EVERYONE who helped with this, including Andrew Laurence at Home on the Range LLC who helped me ship it to Jan’s FFL-licensed dealer in MN. If you’d like help with a similar project, give a yell, I’m happy to provide whatever I can. By the way, Jan just re-enlisted for an additional 3 years in the Minnesota National Guard. 🙂

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Hey, it’s Monday…

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  To my friends out East who got all the snow…  Dig!

This weekend was interesting…  My wife and I participated in our first ever Road Rally…  What did we learn?  Well, it was fun…  I still can’t handle the long stints in the car, so I’m sore today, but it was worth it to get to meet some people in the local car scene.  If you don’t know, my wife runs Sportscar Salvage, and most (all) of our business comes from outside the state.  She’d love to integrate with more local folks and so we’re going to head to more local events.

I’m working on coordinating a project custom rifle for a friend.  I’ve managed to find sources for all the parts and the work, so expect pictures of the finished product in a few weeks.  The foundation is a Mosin Nagant M44 carbine.  The code name for the build is “MtNkitty.”

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I am also working on coordinating another review video, this one will entail a 4 gun comparison of popular pistol caliber carbines.  Thanks to Home On The Range for their assistance with this.  The review will involve a High Point 995, Beretta Storm, H&K USC and a Colt AR15, all in 9mm.

That’s it for today, I know it’s Monday, but find the sunshine!

The loss of a hero… Chris Kyle, USN SEAL Sniper

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Last night was one of the most shocking nights of my adult life…  I saw a news article posted on Facebook stating that Chris Kyle had been shot and killed.  He was, allegedly, shot and killed by a former active duty Marine with PTSD whom he was attempting to help overcome problems resulting from the man’s service.  Not many details have been released as to the exact circumstances.  Another story goes into more details, but even they are withholding a lot.

Chris Kyle appeared to all of us who followed his public life as a moral, humble and just man.  He has 160 confirmed kills in his role as a Sniper, but was more concerned with the number of lives he saved than with his kill count.  He appeared often on TV and in print articles, as well as online, and wrote the book “American Sniper,” his autobiography of his service to this country.

More important now is that he leaves behind a wife and kids, who will need the support of this nation, his friends, and those who respected him.  In his honor, please consider purchasing a copy of his book so that his family will continue to be supported by his life’s work.  My heart breaks for them…  Chris Kyle served 4 tours and came home safely.  It’s a shame that his life was cut short by someone with, apparently, a broken mind, and who should have considered him a brother.

Fair winds and following seas to you, Chris.  Bravo Zulu on a life well lived.  You will not be forgotten.

Civil liberty, disability, firearms and responsibility.

The current national focus on gun violence, firearms laws, and the best ways to address the above.  Many people on the liberal side of the spectrum feel that the answer is to legislate, tax and eliminate firearms and ammunition, or to make it very difficult to own them.  These items are being discussed at all levels of government, in the media, on the Twitter and Facebook, and all other areas of the internet.  It is an often polarizing, always passionate, and, in most cases, very personal issue to all of those involved.

I can understand people fearing what they do not understand.  It’s human nature.  I can even understand someone such as James Brady or Gabby Giffords having a very personal reason to dislike firearms.  When something horrible happens there is often a tendency to develop an aversion, dislike or hatred of the people involved, and often, the tools.  People who are bitten by dogs learn to fear them, people who are shot tend to dislike guns.  Understandable.  The problem is that fear does not make for good laws and it often creates demons out of mindless objects.  It can also lead to creating policy, or worse, law, that creates victims rather than protecting the victimized.

I am a 40 year old gimp.  Not very politically correct, but accurate, and, thank you all the same, the labels apply to myself are mine and it’s not your job to police them.  I became functionally disabled due to diabetes, fibromyalgia, and possibly physical damage done from long term use of medication.  While I am not quite to point of needing a wheelchair, I cannot walk long distances, have days when I can barely walk at all, and certainly cannot run away from an attacker.  I am, by all appearances, an easy mark.  I also have the same right to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that you do.

There is an often-stated quote in the firearms community that is found earliest in a 1927 Hunting and Trapping magazine. “God made some men small, and some men large; but Colt made them all equal.”  Cliche, yes?  True? Yes.  There is a growing segment of our community in this country that lives every day with physical disabilities, or even just advancing age, which makes us an easier target for thugs and bullies than the average man or woman.  We’re older, or disabled, and we cannot just “run away.”  Dialing 911 isn’t going to stop an assault on us, the only 911 call would likely be to call an ambulance for us or worse, the coroner’s van.  This is one of the reasons I will soon be taking the required courses, along with my wife, to be able to legally carry a concealed firearm.  It is my civil right to defend myself and those I care for, and the only way someone in my position can do so with definitive means is with a firearm.  You may ask about non-lethal means…  Tasers are bulky and unwieldily, pepper spray or mace is largely ineffective if the mope (thanks Chief Oliver!) has ever had exposure to it and knows what to expect, and if the attacker happens to be cranked up on meth, or bath salts, or cocaine, any of these can have the effect of only making the coming attack worse.

I have been a lifelong firearms enthusiast.  I was taught proper use of, and respect for, firearms at the age of 4 or 5 by my maternal grandfather.  The first representation was him showing me what a .22 short would do to an orange and then explaining to me that my skin was not nearly as tough as orange’s.  The lesson stuck and I have respected the inherent danger of firearms from that point on.  In my adult years they became a source of enjoyment.  I have punched hundreds of thousands of holes in paper targets, tin cans, knocked over target silhouettes and practiced the art of shooting from the range of 21 feet to that of 1000 yards.  It was always fun. In the back of my head I always knew it was a skill that could feed me if I absolutely needed it to, and when I hunted, it did so.  But it was more a luxury than a necessity.  Now that I am older, disabled and not the strong young man I once was, the right to be able to have a firearm, of my choosing, to defend my life and family is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Instead of regulating, demonizing and legislating tools, my feeling is that we need to properly educate the populace on the effects of firearms, the dangers thereof, and make sure that it is fundamentally understood from a very young age.  The television, movies, video games, all present a romanticized view of what these tools are, and can do.  And it is sanitized.  Reality is not pretty, in most cases, but it should be understood.

People have asked how I can be an enthusiast of handguns, military-style tactical weapons, and other items that are designed to kill.  If firearms are designed to kill, mine are all defective.  I have never shot another human being, and I pray I never have to.  They are a tool which is designed to accurately place a fast moving projectile powered by a small chemical explosion into a precise location.  For most of my life, that precise location has been the bullseye, the pop can, the knot on yonder tree.  *I* am the weapon.  The tool in my hand is just that, a tool.  And when you are disabled and unable to fight, you then have to make the conscious choice of applying the tool to the purpose of defending yourself, and the inevitable reality that doing so is going to maim or kill the person trying to do you harm.  But the ultimate choice, the true weapon, is ME.  And asking me to give up my right to own any or all tools by which I can defend myself, my family, or maybe even you or yours makes about as much sense as telling a carpenter that he can no longer use a hammer because people have been bludgeoned to death with them.

The idea of owning these tools is now essential, in many ways, to my continued survival on the planet.  The reality is that we live in a world where the criminals will NEVER follow the laws.  If so, the 20,000 firearms laws already in existence would have eliminated gun violence.  The complete disarming of Britain’s populace would have, too.  I ask, politely, that you not allow your fears and horrors to step on the rights of those of us who abide the law, are responsible, and will never harm another human being save to defend and protect what’s left of our lives.  Every human has a right to live, and a right to defend themselves.  We should not allow the horrors of evil to disable those who are good.