Wednesday, August 30, 2006


via Say Uncle comes this bit of dreck from the LA Times (requires registration or

Have you noticed that almost every anti-gun article has to have an aside where the writer states that they are pro gun and support the 2nd Amendment, then go on to show their complete ignorance about firearms and finally throw in some gratuitous bashing of the NRA.

For example, from this article: “I like guns. I come from a gun family. I am a 2nd Amendment, pro-gun liberal—which makes me a very lonely creature when the subject comes up in casual conversation around the office.”

The writer establishes his creds. He isn’t one of those knee jerk, gun haters.

Then, the obligatory lie:

“The drug cartel guys deploy a variety of very fun assault rifles. Their big gun—and the most overtly political weapon in the film—appears to be a Barrett .50-caliber M107 semiautomatic rifle, a 32-pound, 5-foot-long military sniper rifle that was banned in California starting last year, for the altogether sensible reason that it can bring down airliners.”

Finally, more NRA bashing: “As I said, I'm pretty pro-gun, but I would never belong to the NRA because, well, those guys are lunatics. One of their more far-fetched paranoid fantasies (here comes the e-mail!) is that the United Nations is conspiring to take away America's guns. Right! Let me know how that project goes, Secretary Annan!”

Who is this guy fooling? Jesus H. Christ, the UN has a statue of a twisted gun right in front of their bloody headquarters. I think that should make it pretty obvious where they are coming from.

But the writer is “pro-gun”?


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Advice on Collecting Firearms

A frequent reader sent me an e-mail about collecting guns. I answered his e-mail and realized it was turning into a post. So after a little rewriting….

The best advice I can give a potential collector is to collect what you like. If you like military bolt action rifles, then that's an excellent place to start. On the other hand, you might like handguns, shotguns, etc. I like "mouseguns," handguns, and military firearms. Don’t forget though that a collector must specialize; even “mouseguns” is a huge field.

I tend to shoot what I collect (with a couple of exceptions) so anything I buy must be mechanically sound and not “demilled” (made inactive). I don’t want a Thompson sub machine gun with a dummy receiver no matter how many original parts they hang on it.

I select guns based on condition and originality. That is, I don't collect sporterized military rifles, but someone else might find it a fascinating field. I make sure that any gun I buy has all the parts the factory intended and no extras. Similarly, serially numbered parts must match.

In fact, the more you know about a particular gun, the easier it will be to spot problems that reduce its value or historical interest. A good set of reference books is a must. By the way, I loathe electro-penned imports marks. I own a few with these marks, but I’m not pleased.

I hope to find cartouches (inspection stamps in the wood that the Federal inspectors used before and during World War II and slightly beyond), but an arsenal rebuild might not have them. I'd rather not buy rebuilt firearms, but complete originals are not always in my price range.

Condition is important. I've picked up a few diamonds in the rough before and "rescued" them, but it takes a lot of work and it's better to buy guns in good condition in the first place. I look for a gun with a nice, bright bore with strong rifling. I want the gun to be free of rust and pitting from previous rust removal. The stocks/grips should look decent although a little wear is not a problem. The action should work and feel like it is working. That is, the bolt shouldn’t feel like you’re pulling it out of concrete, the trigger should activate the sear, etc.

As far as preservation, a lot of military guns will come coated in cosmoline and it takes a lot of work to get it all off. Once you have the cosmoline off, there’s still dirt and grime to worry about. Be careful of using solvents like turpentine or alcohol. You could wreak a sporting arm's finish quickly and not really help a military gun’s finish (usually linseed oil rubbed into the wood). Because I want to keep the gun as original as possible, I don’t refinish my guns (I made an exception for my M1 Garand that didn’t have an original finish).

Inspect for active rust. If you find any, you'll need to remove it with dental picks or similar tools, but go slow and don’t scratch the non-affected area. Once cleaned, I usually apply a thin film of CLP BreakFree to the metal and I've been known to rub a silicone cloth over the wood and metal as a rust preventive.

Guns should be stored in a reasonably dry environment. If you use a gun safe, the sealed interior becomes a micro-environment and it can get humid in there. You'll probably need a dehumidifier or drying agent in the safe.

There may be a time when you want to sell a gun from your collection. Be careful because it's easier to break the law when you sell than when you buy. For instance, you can’t sell a handgun to someone who doesn’t live in your state (there are exceptions for Curios and Relics if you and/or the buyer are licensed depending on the circumstances).

Guns tend to hold their value over time and if you keep them long enough, you can make a profit. But, you can't sell them in such a way that means you're "in the business" of selling guns (i.e., selling a lot at once). Selling them on consignment through a gun store is a good idea although it'll reduce the amount you'll make from the sell. Still, it beats having the ATF knock down your door at 4:00 am. I don’t like giving that advice, but it’s a reality in today’s world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A New Gun in the Family

Right now, Bill and I are feeling the stings of frustrated spending. In other words, money’s tight because we’ve spent it. I helped my nephew out on his visit and was the chief buyer of whale watches, tour trolley tickets, and meals. Then there was travel this summer—Las Vegas and Zion, a visit to Ohio. These things start eating into the wallet.

We were also got hit with a condo fee “special assessment” to help pay for flooding that occurred in May. It won’t last long, but ouch, just ouch.

We haven’t been buying guns as often as we did last summer, but sometimes the right one comes along and “damn the bankers, full speed ahead.” I had that experience recently and spent part of our disposable income reserve. I found what had been a holy grail, a World War II 1903A3 rifle. It spoke to me. It weaved a net around me and my checkbook. I had to buy it. And I did.

You see, it’s in excellent condition. Remington Arms built it in 1942 and it sports a dated 1943 Remington barrel that is clean and bright with strong rifling. We’ve been trying to find one for awhile that didn’t totally break the bank, was still authentic, complete, and not butchered by a garage ‘smith. I saw it in July and immediately put it on layaway and got it out of retail limbo two weekends ago.

I thought I’d do a “One From the Vault” about the gun after I fired it, did more research, and generally got to know our new firearm a little better. Thus, I didn’t blog about it the day I bought it. Time slips away and I thought I’d mention it now. In short, there’s a longer report about it in the Ten Ring’s future.

Remember the tight wallet problems I mentioned. Well, I faced yet another temptation when I picked up the 1903A3. I found another of my holy grail guns. Oh, what wretched circumstance put a “red nine” Broomhandle Mauser in my way?

If you’ve been reading Ten Ring for awhile you’ll know I really like Broomhandles and own two of them in different configurations. In World War I, Mauser took the 7.62mm pistol and rechambered it for the German military pistol cartridge, the 9mm parabellum. In order to reduce confusion as to what ammo to feed it, they engraved a number “9” on the wood grips and dribbled red paint into the deeply-etched lines.

They’re fairly hard to find and command decent prices if in good condition and if all numbers match on numbered parts. That is, certain guns needed to have a gunsmith hand-fit important parts. The parts were numbered to a gun so an armorer could ensure that each part ended up in the proper gun and reduce the amount of time fooling around with ill-fitting parts.

Well, given the state of my disposable income, I managed to avoid buying the “red nine” even though it was a struggle. You see, the number on the hammer didn’t match the rest of the gun. Yeah, that’s the ticket; I’m being a responsible collector and choosing wisely. Yeah that’s it, I’m being responsible, but why do I want to see if it’s still for sale?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Teaching My Nephew to Shoot

My visit with my Marine nephew is over and I can give up my week-long stint as tour director, chauffeur, and pistol trainer (well maybe I won’t give up that role). I can also cease to be amazed about how much a young Marine can eat.

I appreciate comments that others left on this post. I do honor my nephew’s service even though I still think he has some funny ideas. For instance, he is wrestling with pacifism. I bought him a few books of his choosing as gifts and one was Gandhi’s autobiography (and I am familiar with the pro-gun quote about Britain forbidding a people the use of arms).

Other than philosophical discussions and trips to Boston (not my favorite place), we did a few fun things. He wanted to learn how to shoot a handgun. He hadn’t fired a handgun before thanks to his mom and it hasn’t been part of his Marine training, so I taught him.

He did the typical male thing that I’ve seen whenever I’ve taught men how to shoot a handgun. He thought he knew it all until he got to the range and then wondered why his shots were going underneath the target when he hit the paper at all.

You might remember that his sister visited me some months ago. She listened very attentively to my safety lecture and then how I explained the interplay of sight alignment and trigger squeeze. My nephew, however, already knew the safety rules and recited them while standing almost at parade rest.

His range safety was impeccable, but his accuracy was less than good. He thought his rifle skills would more readily transfer to a handgun and didn’t understand how much a handgun wobbles even with a two-handed grip. The wobbling caused him to snatch at the trigger when he saw a good sight alignment. He had to pause and listen to me explain trigger control which led to better accuracy.

I’ve introduced a respectable number of men and women to handgun shooting and fewer to rifle and shotgun shooting. It’s always easier with women and I think it’s a societal thing. After all, too many movies show a cowboy, cop, or gangster making impossible shots with guns held in any position except backwards and with no aiming. Maybe young women pay less attention to that aspect of those movies.

I don’t know, but I’ve always found it interesting and I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. Any other theories?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

House Guest

Bill and I have a house pest guest this week, or rather I do. Bill's away on business for a couple of days. My nephew came to jolly old New England for a visit. We did the touristy things including a whale watch on which we saw more whales than I can count. They were having a very active feeding day, so we lucked out.

We did the trolley tour, stopped by the USS Constitution and saw some truly big guns. My nephew is a Marine so he was fascinated by the ship and wondered how the ship's sailors had landed such a cushy berth.

I won't go into details, but my nephew has adopted some strange ideas for a Marine. He is somewhat pacifistic; for instance, hoping that we can solve our terrorist problems with diplomacy even though there is proof that we cannot. I agree peace is better than war, but it takes two to have peace and only one to have war.

Another thing my nephew has swallowed hook, line, and sinker is global warming. He dragged me to see Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's movie on that topic. Talk about preachy. Cotton Mather and the old puritans had nothing on Al Gore when he goes into his full preacher mode. I've read up on pros and cons of global warming. I believe there's something to it, but I think it's not caused by man. Man may contribute a small amount, maybe, but we are not the cause. THe world has gone through hot and cold cycles and will continue to do so over time.

Try to get that idea into the shaved head of a young Marine. He's also religious. He gets it from his mother. He won't play poker or watch it on TV--aaaarrrrgggghhhhh. (I'm glad my family doesn't read this blog. I'd be in trouble.)

Well, on a positive note he is a crack rifle shot. He's never shot a pistol before (his mother), so I will be taking him out to the range today. I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Writers Who Throw Stones...

Stumbling around the Internet, I find that Jenny Price fired up her word processor and placed another anti-gun op-ed in the LA Times.

Back in December, she'd written an editorial calling for bans on handguns. Her brother and his fiancee had been killed by the fiancee's mother. I give people a little slack for legitimate grief, but Ms. Price went tolling around the Internet to see what people were saying about her. She may have hoped that everyone who commented on her piece were now organizing gun bans.

She was disappointed to learn many people disagreed with her. There was name-calling, Molon Labe style threats (you can have the bullets first), and speculation if her brother even existed.

Ms. Price was hurt and friends told her what do you expect from guys, especally gun guys. Well, I'm not a guy, but I like to shoot and own handguns. I can treat Ms. Price with respect, but I will never support a handgun ban, registration, licensing, or any other scheme.

In fact, we need to roll laws back to a more tolerable level. Now Ms. Price needs to learn to treat someone like me with respect by not claiming a foolish gun ban will solve anything.

Friday, August 11, 2006

When Nannies Attack

As I’ve said before, I play a little penny-ante online poker. The government has decided that I shouldn’t do that. The government and certain busybody, do-gooding groups also wish I didn’t own guns.

Of course, the government can’t go after the tens of millions of Americans who make an occasional online bet. No, they went after an online gambling company head, David Carruthers, and arrested him on a layover flight in Texas.

His company and others like it are based in countries where online gambling is legal. Carruther’s company is traded on the London Stock Exchange. US prosecutors are arguing that their use of American internet access constitutes a crime based on a 1961 law.

The company, BetOnSports, has now fired Carruthers and will cease any transactions from Americans. In other words, they capitulated. Thus an obscure 1961 act aimed partly at shady bookies is used 45 years later to control a new technology and to squelch a new acceptance of gambling.

Let’s face it. Americans like to gamble. Television channels broadcast poker tournaments routinely. The Travel Channel’s most popular program is the “World Poker Tour.” Gambling moved from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, and now to Indian casinos that sprung up in many formerly isolated communities.

Governments of various stripes started to run lotteries and a few set up Off Track Betting parlors and partially replaced 1961-style bookies. Some of these interests are concerned about online betting cutting into their share and a few support laws against it.

That’s short sighted. Many online players will learn how to play in micro-stake games (bets of $.02 and losses of less than a price of a soda) before they go to casinos. Some will win, many will lose, and a few will lose money that should’ve gone to the mortgage.

Freedom, liberty, and personal choice can be messy. There will be people who’ll abuse gambling just like those who abuse firearm rights. You can’t apply laws to the many in order to protect the few from themselves.

If a compulsive gambler loses his shirt, it’s not the brick & mortar or online casino’s fault just because it’s there. The gambler made a choice to risk money he shouldn’t have and must face the consequences. If a criminal shoots someone, he must be arrested and locked away from the rest of us.

Almost all gun owners are law-abiding. Almost all gamblers play responsibly. Stop trying to baby us you nannyistic, do-gooding, busy bodies.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Democrats, Joe Lieberman, and Me

Sometimes I'm inspired to write a non-gunnie post. Sometimes I just want to vent, so here goes:

I used to be a Democrat. I never supported the party’s position on gun control, but I agreed with certain ideas and platform planks. I gave money to Democrats and tended to vote for all but the most gun-banning Democrats.

I was raised in the party. My Dad was an active Democrat who ran “get out the vote” drives. My mother came from a long line of union steelworkers for whom voting Republican was anathema. In other words, I came by it honestly.

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in the mountain West. I was never a hippy, but I sympathized with social justice causes. I believed black people had faced discrimination even after lynch mobs became socially unacceptable. I believed that abortion was a bad choice, but laws against it were worse. I believed that there are a certain few people in society that need our help and that refusing that help diminishes us all.

I still believe some of the above and more, but I no longer support the Democratic Party or its candidates. The party left me some time ago, but it took me awhile to realize that fact. Living under Massachusetts’s foul gun control schemes certainly helped me wake up. Seeing moonbats wailing “what did we do to deserve this” after the attacks on 9/11 was another splash of vitriol.

The party pushed those good things they used to support and took them too far. Frank Church, John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Zell Miller, and my parents who are now committed Republicans would no longer recognize or embrace Democrat programs and ideas.

Instead of welfare that helps only truly disabled people, we ended up with bloated programs where able-bodied men and women avoid responsibility. We ended up with Affirmative Action programs that pushed good candidates aside even while not truly serving those to whom it was directed. Abortion has become almost a sacrement where any attempt to impose reasonable regulation is resisted.

The moonbats in the party are pushing these and other “social justice” issues even harder in the name of “progressivism.” If enacted their programs would pick the pockets of productive citizens. The moonbats have the upper hand now in the party, which will drive even more people out of it. They are very happy to sponsor pogroms and kick out those people who disagree with them.

Bill Clinton’s former special counsel, Lanny Davis talks about moonbat attacks on Joe Lieberman. Moonbats made comments on various blogs that might make a KKK member blush.

The Democrats have now defeated Joe Lieberman in a primary for his Senate seat. I didn’t support his views on guns, but Lieberman is a good man overall. I voted for him in the New Hampshire during his short presidential run. He was Gore’s vice-presidential candidate in 2000. Now he’s not good enough for the moonbats to support. Just like Zell Miller.

Lieberman says he will run as an independent. I hope he wins. With his victory, I hope moonbat Democrats come to understand that pogroms, particularly against observant Jews, is truly anathema to all the party once stood for and believed in.

Go Joe Go.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Surprise, Surprise

It's not every day you look in the Boston Globe and read a favorable article on shooting. It's an even rarer day when you're reading about young teens shooting. Two summer camps have a long-standing riflery competition that pits the girls against the boys. The girls won this year.

What's nice about the article is there's no self-conscious snarkiness about kids and guns. It's almost a throwback to when I was young and competitive shooting deserved no more or no less comment than a swimming match. Go give it a read and, oh yes, there's even pictures of kids with guns.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What Are THEY Smoking

Alphecca linked a Burlington Free Press article about guns. More specifically, it’s about guns acquired in Vermont and used criminally in Massachusetts. The article pointed out that it rarely occurs, but just the thought of someone being able to buy a gun without a horrendous amount of paperwork and government approval is enough to drive gun banners batty.

The article mentions John Rosenthal. I’ve heard him talk on the radio and he claims to owns guns. He believes people ought to be able to own guns, but only those suited to sport, preferably trap and skeet. He sponsors an organization that puts up anti-gun billboards on one of Boston’s busiest freeways. The current one proclaims that lax gun laws in other states contribute to the availability of crime guns in Massachusetts. Other billboards have called for handgun bans, “assault weapons” bans, etc.

Oh, he’s also lent his name to the American Hunters and Shooters Association, an organization of Elmer Fudds who’ll support your right to own a $25,000 shotgun, but might balk at a $300.00 pump-action and oppose self-defense handguns and black rifles. With friends like this….

The article says Mr. Rosenthal went to a gun show in Vermont. I bet he had full intention of being shocked. He wasn’t disappointed and saw, “…guns being sold by private owners ‘in the aisles and from pickup trucks in the parking lot.’ In Massachusetts, all handgun sales require a background check, and buyers must have a permit issued by local police.”

That’s the goal of gun owners like him—a Massachusetts-style licensing and registration scheme. Under such a scheme, you would need to go to a gun store if you wanted to give a gun to your adult daughter or sell one to your neighbor. There both parties would provide IDs, verify that they have a valid firearms license for the class of gun being transferred (now verified with a fingerprint scanner in Massachusetts), complete transfer paperwork, and wait for approval. Of course, the gun store will charge you for their part of the transaction.

By now you all know what I feel about Massachusetts’ gun control (check the sidebar if you don’t). It won’t work. For one thing, criminals buy or rent guns from each other and they’d never go through a licensing procedure.

The article quotes a Springfield, MA police captain, “Still, the perception is that it's easier to get access to guns in Vermont…People will go up from here with heroin and crack and trade them for guns.”

Heroin and crack are illegal. It’s also illegal for illicit drug users to own a gun and more so if they have felony police records (or a misdemeanor domestic battery convictions). Think about all the implications of using an illegal substance as currency to acquire a gun illegally. They have already broken laws on drug possession. They know people with a product they want and that person is willing to accept an illegal substance for payment. I doubt your local gun dealer is taking heroin as a payment method.

Does John Rosenthal really believe that criminals will take a few rocks of crack to the local gun store to complete a gun transfer legally? I’d like to see that receipt and also find out what he and other gun banners are smoking.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gun Phobia v. Common Sense

I’ll never understand gun phobia. I have a friend who is anti-gun, anti-NRA, and generally against guns. You know the type. But here’s the thing. He’s Jewish and ardently supports Israel and her right of self-defense.

I’ve pointed out to him that I exercise my right of self-defense by owning and knowing how to use guns. I mentioned the recent shooting in Seattle. A Muslim killed one woman and wounded several other Jews in a place well equipped with security. I politely suggested that his own self-defense might just be a good idea. He was aghast at the idea. He let his gun phobia exceed his common sense.

Not to pick on him; but I will anyway and give another example of his gun phobia. He visited Israel a couple of years ago as a representative from an American Jewish group. He and other representatives traveled near a border that had been infiltrated a few times.

His hosts offered him (and others) in the group sub-machine guns for their defense and they would give him a lesson on how to use it. When he refused, they—thinking maybe they had offered something beyond his comfort level—offered him a handgun and a lesson. He refused and was told, “Okay, your funeral.”

Nothing happened to him. Still he refused to arm himself even though everyone else in his group accepted the offer. He evidently sulked on the tour bus during the range session. (I would never pass up the opportunity to shoot a submachine gun especially at no cost to me. But that’s just me.)

It’s easy to say each to their own, but my friend believes in the motto, “Never Again.” Never again will Jews let a holocaust happen, but he is unwilling to equip and train himself to prevent that.

It’s pure gun phobia. Part of his phobia stems from him growing up in a city and never understanding that good people can use guns for good purposes. Another part comes from his political leanings. He’s a leftie; so much so, that he bemoaned Kerry’s nomination in 2004 instead of Dennis Kucinich’s although he knew Kucinich couldn’t win.

Maybe one of these days he’ll get it. There’s hope. A friend of his visited Israel and spent a week near Gaza. He borrowed an Uzi submachine gun, learned how to use it and now wants to buy a rifle and handgun.

Thus one more gunnie was born. Maybe my friend will become a gunnie too (I’m not holding my breath).