Friday, February 27, 2015

Her Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds


Shannon Watts is an out and out hypocrite. She posted the tweet below yesterday. It links to a story arguing against concealed carry by legal concealed carry holders on college and university campuses. It is obviously her position and that of her organization.



I don't believe in visiting the sins of the parents upon the child. I won't name Mrs. Watts older daughter nor will I say which university she attends. However, I will say that the university at which Mrs. Watts' daughter attends has legal concealed carry on campus and has had it for a number of years. This is information that I gleaned from social media postings by the daughter. I believe it to be both accurate and relevant.

Thus, while Mrs. Watts' daughter attends a university where young women that are age 21 or older and have a concealed carry license are able to protect themselves from thugs, criminals, and rapists, she does not want your daughters (or for that matter, your sons) to have that same privilege.

That is the height of hypocrisy.

The Ruger Red Label Is No More


The Ruger Red Label was Ruger's entry into the shotgun market. While they had limited runs of a side-by-side and a single barrel trap gun, the over-under Red Label was their shotgun. It was introduced originally in 1977 and was chambered in 12 and 20 gauges. A 28 gauge was introduced in 1994. The original receiver was blued steel which was replaced by a stainless receiver for 12 gauges in 1985. Over the years a number of stock styles, barrel lengths, and choke variations were introduced as well as special models.

The Red Label faded away in 2011 only to be reintroduced last year. I remember speaking with a representative from Ruger - it may have actually been Mike Fifer - about the reintroduction of the Red Label at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. He said it had been reengineered to give it simpler internal workings and to make the cost of production affordable for Ruger. This review in the American Rifleman speaks to those changes as well as the gun's history.



Ruger held its quarterly earnings call with stock analysts yesterday morning. The call was to review both the 4th quarter 2014 results and the full year results. Towards the end of the call in a discussion of products, Brian Gary Rafn of Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, LLC asked if there was any news on the shotgun line.

Mike Fifer responded:

I'm not sure whether we've announced it or not, but we have removed the Red Label from our catalog and website. We relaunched it last year with the hopes and expectations that we could hit a certain cost target, and we were never able to successfully get the manufacturing processes under control. And so we have, in fact, discontinued the Red Label.
Checking the website, Fifer is correct. The Ruger Red Label is gone.

I will admit to being saddened by this for nostalgic reasons. We bought one in 20 gauge for my late wife Rosanne back in 1981 which we later sold to pay some bill or another. A few years after her death I again bought a used 20 gauge. I had intended to do some grouse hunting which I never seem to have gotten around to. Nonetheless, it is a nice little shotgun. Mine is a little rough from wear but it is still a good working shotgun and I intend to keep it for many more years.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It Only Took Six Years To Come To This Bad Conclusion


The CalGuns Foundation filed its challenge to the state of California's handgun roster on April 30, 2009 in the case of Pena et al v. Lindley. Today US District Court Judge Kimberly Jo Mueller finally rendered a decision in the case. It has only been five years and ten months.

And after all that time you would think that she would get it right. However, when the decision is rendered by a judge appointed by Barack Obama, you get the clue that she wouldn't. And she didn't.

She found for the state of California and upheld the handgun roster. She went on to say the Second Amendment was not even implicated by the roster. So what if you can't get any new guns or that law enforcement officers and new residents who bring their guns are treated differently than existing residents.

The CalGuns Foundation has already said that they will appeal this ruling. They released this statement:
“We are disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.

It is difficult to understand how the Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision could be so badly mis-applied. Laws that ban law-abiding people from acquiring virtually all modern handguns following a rigorous background check have no constitutional basis and must be overturned.

It is utterly preposterous that a Federal Court would rule that a ban on all new semi-automatic handguns does not burden Second Amendment rights. Such a decision conflicts with Ninth Circuit precedent, much less the Supreme Court’s holdings in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

Our counsel have already appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and will take every action necessary to create a successful outcome there.”
I hope to have more on this ruling after I've read the whole decision as well as on Judge Mueller and her social justice warrior background.

If These Guns Could Talk - The Elmer Keith Collection (Updated)


James D. Julia, Inc. is an auction house in Maine that deals in high end collections including firearms. On March 15th and 16th, they will be auctioning the firearms of the legendary Elmer Keith. These guns come from the Elmer Keith Estate.

Here are some of the firearms that will be in the auction.


This is the W. J. Jeffrey & Co. double rifle in .450/400 Nitro Express that Jim Corbett used to kill so many man-eating tigers in India including the Thak Man-Eater tigress.

Then there is Elmer's favorite elephant gun which he used on safari in Tanzania in 1969. It is a Westley Richards Droplock .476 Nitro Express double rifle.



One of Elmer's favorite cartridges was the .333 OKH (O'Neil Keith Hopkins) which he helped develop. Below is a FN Mauser chambered in it that he used on his first safari.



As any student of firearms history should know, Elmer Keith wasn't just about rifles. He helped in the development of the .357 Magnum, the .44 Magnum, and the .41 Magnum. What can you say about him after that! Below are some of his revolvers.

In .357 Magnum, a Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum:


In .41 Magnum, a pair of Model 57 Smith & Wessons given to Elmer by the company in recognition of his work in developing the caliber:



And then there is the .44 Magnum which will forever be associated with Elmer Keith. First is a pre-Model 29 engraved revolver that was presented to Elmer by S&W President Carl Helstrom. The second is Elmer's personal carry Model 29 along with its holster. You can see the holster wear on the barrel of the revolver. I'm sure that revolver could tell stories!





Elmer Keith also liked his Colt Single Action Army revolvers. Below is what he called "The Last Word in Sixguns".



Some of the Elmer Keith Estate's more utilitarian firearms will be also up at auction. These will auctioned by Poulin Antiques of Skowhegan, Maine which is just up the road from James D. Julia, Inc. This auction will take place on March 11th through 14th. Unfortunately, they don't have many pictures up yet.


All the firearms from both auctions have remained in the possession of the Keith family since Elmer's death in 1984. As I said in the headline, if these guns could talk what stories they would tell. They might even be as fantastic as the tales that Elmer could tell.

UPDATE:  The full auction catalog of the Elmer Keith Estate firearms along with the others for auction is now online. Day One is here and Day Two can be found here. Many of these firearms are museum quality pieces. I hope the NRA can partake in this auction as many of these guns belong in their museum.

One Step Down, One To Go For Emily Miller


Emily Miller became the 15th person to be preliminarily approved for a carry permit in the District of Columbia. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier approved Emily's carry permit subject to her successfully completing an 18 hour approved training course training course within 45 days. Emily says she fully intends to complete the process but won't say when or where she will actually carry.

Emily reported on this yesterday on DC's Fox 5 News. Her permit was approved based upon her two police reports involving threats. Chief Lanier dismissed her other documented threat as being too general in nature.



DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Emily was also on Fox and Friends this morning discussing the carry permit.



Congratulations to Emily on this. If I had to guess, Chief Lanier considered not only the documented threats but the uproar that Emily could have generated if she wasn't given a permit. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Emily got her permit but I have this gut feeling that your average person's application would not have been given the same consideration.

I'm sure the ne'er do wells at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) will want to start another petition to get Emily fired from her job as an investigative reporter at Fox 5. In the meantime, that wailing and gnashing of teeth in DC just might be coming from them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finally, Someone Acted Like An Adult In New Jersey


The prosecution of Gordan Van Gilder for possession of an antique flintlock pistol was a travesty from the start. This was compounded when Cumberland County (NJ) Sheriff Robert Austino tried to smear the retired school teacher by saying he was arrested in a "known drug area" while trying to buy drugs.

Fortunately, this afternoon Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae showed some sense and used her prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the case.



I don't think we would have seen this happen without the pressure brought to bear based upon the peculiar circumstances of this case. It was ridiculous from the start and the Prosecutor's Office knew it. They were the ones left to clean up the mess left by New Jersey law enforcement.

Now it is time as some New Jersey legislators have suggested to clean up the law. While I would love to see the entire law scrapped, I know that isn't going to happen. At best, the definition of a firearm will be brought in line with that of the Federal law and pre-1898 firearms will be excluded.

A French View Of The SHOT Show


I stumbled across a report on the recent SHOT Show this evening in a rather interesting and unusual spot:  the official government website of France's Ministère de la Défense. It doesn't surprise me that the French military sent representatives to the SHOT Show. It does surprise me a bit that they'd report on it on their official website given that France is rather parochial about their military arms.

From the intro:
SHOTSHOW 2015

Le salon américain SHOT SHOW 2015, considéré comme la référence dans le domaine des armes de petit calibre, s'est déroulé au SANDS EXPO de Las Vegas. Cette édition a permis d’observer un grand nombre de nouveautés et toujours plus d’innovations. Outre la présence naturelle et obligatoire des plus grands fabricants américains (Remington, Colt Firearms, Ruger, KAC, Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, LMT, LWRC, Troy, Barrett, DSA...), le salon affirme son caractère international au travers de pays comme l’Allemagne, la Grande Bretagne, la Suisse, la Belgique, le Canada, la Turquie, l’Italie, la Pologne, la Bulgarie, la République Tchèque, la Russie, la Serbie, l’Afrique du Sud, les EAU ou encore les Philippines. Il faut noter cette année que la firme SIG SAUER a permis d’observer un grand nombre de matériels en démonstration dynamique.
Given I haven't taken French since grammar school, I had to rely upon Google Translate to do the translation.
The American lounge SHOT SHOW 2015, considered the benchmark in the field of small arms, took place at SANDS EXPO Las Vegas. This edition has allowed to observe a large number of new and ever more innovation. Besides the natural and obligatory presence of the largest US manufacturers (Remington, Colt Firearms, Ruger, KAC, Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, LMT, LWRC, Troy, Barrett, DSA ...), the show confirms its international character through countries such as Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, UAE or the Philippines. It should be noted this year that the firm SIG SAUER allowed to observe a large number of hardware dynamic demonstration.
Scrolling through the article and looking at the pictures it is interesting to see what caught their reporter's eye. I'm not surprised to see the Sig MCX SBR, the FNS 9 Compact, or the HK VP9 covered. I'm not even surprised to see the less than lethal munitions covered or interest in the .300 Blackout cartridge.

What did surprise me were pictures of the Serbu Shorty 12 ga. shotgun and the Coonan 1911 Compact in .357 Magnum. I guess they were considered just odd enough to catch the eye of the French. I shouldn't forget that the French Army is equipped with the FAMAS as their main rifle.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Twenty-One Days Left To Make Your Voice Heard On Ammo Ban


The March 16th deadline to submit comments to the BATFE regarding their proposed framework for classification of ammunition is in 22 21 days. While they may accept comments for review after that day, they are not obligated to consider it.

Jim Shepherd notes in The Shooting Wire this morning:
This weekend, we received word that apparently many gun owners didn't find this to be a compelling reason to record their objections with the federal government. With only a few days remaining in the ATF's solicitation of comments, fewer than 6,000 shooters have registered their displeasure with the proposal.

That, as one of my least-favorite instructors used to say, is simply unacceptable. So, too, is the ATF's description of criminals as one of the "consumer groups" that is a prime consumer of the ammunition they seek to ban. Since we've rolled out the answers to those ridiculous claims before, I won't keep beating up on that straw argument. Criminals still don't care about the rules; it's why their called "criminals".
There is a concept that I learned in Economics 101. It is called satisficing. Rather than to seek the best, the optimum, the perfect, the most advantageous, it is often better for our purposes to accept a solution that at least minimally meets our needs. In other words, it ain't perfect but it's something and something is good enough.

In this case, while each of us is trying to find the time to craft the perfect response to the BATFE, time to respond is running out. I would make the suggestion that it is better to get some opposition down on record with BATFE now than to miss by a few days the deadline while you are crafting the perfect response.

To make it easy for us, a number of organizations have set up sites with auto-generated letters to send a copy to the BATFE and to each of your Congressional representatives. I've taken advantage of these sites and I would say you should, too.

Here is a list with links of sites that I've used:

We Will Not Back Down set up by the Trop Gun Shop in Pennsylvania. I found out about this page while watching Cam & Co. on the Sportsman's Channel on Friday.

National Shooting Sports Foundation's Take Action Page on M855.

Gun Owners of America's page which sends a message to your Senators regarding the M855 ban. They urge a defunding of the effort as well as a hold on Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

The NRA-ILA's Take Action page will send the comment to BATFE, your Congressional representatives, the White House, and for some odd reason, good old grabby hands himself Joe Biden.

Are these the ideal way to submit a comment? No but they will satisfice and will get your views on record with the BATFE which is critical.

UPDATE: Here are a couple of more sites that send comments to BATFE with pre-written letters.

First, the Firearms Policy Coalition has set up www.ammoban.org. They will deliver your letter to BATFE for you. Their goal, according to Brandon Combs, is 100,000 letters.

Second, is this one reports that they have 24,000 letters signed and queued up for delivery. Go to Save M855 to send another one.