I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mosin Sights


I recently tried to put a scope on my Mosin, using a non-permanent scope mount that fit in the normal sight slot. It's a neat concept let down by a bit of poor engineering.

The first problem came when I realized that the part was a bit too long in front. After having gone through a short period of struggle and more than a little cursing, I had removed the rear sight.  (I really need to get a proper set of punches) The new rail is designed such that it is screwed in through the same holes as the pin that normally holds the rear sight. The problem was, the base was a hair too long, and the holes didn't line up right. A slightly longer period of filing, though with a touch less cursing, later, I had a shiny patch on the nicely anodized rail, now mounted to the rifle.  Tighten the leveling screws, slap a scope on it, and go.

As many of you know, the recoil from a Mosin Nagant is, well, significant. As such, the leveling screws had a nasty habit of working themselves loose with every shot. This is less than ideal when trying to sight in a rifle.  After a few attempts at field fixes, I gave up and came home.

There are a few more things I can try to get that working properly, but considering I'm heading up to Michigan tomorrow and bringing the rifle with, I figured it was best to have it in a shootable condition.

Having gone through the trials of taking the iron sight off, I really should have anticipated how difficult it was going to be to reattach it. I'm sure the Russian armorists have a set of specialized tools for working with it, but I had a vice, pliers and a hammer.  For those of you who don't know, the rear leaf sight on a Mosin has a fairly significant leaf spring under it. In order to put the rear sight back on, you have to push it back into position against the spring such that the holes line up, then hammer the retaining pin back in, a feat unto itself.  The vice was an invaluable aid in that effort, but it still took me well over half an hour to put a pin in a hole, which is somewhat embarrassing.

In other news, Google to censor gun related shopping results? Harumph. Guess I won't be using that particular service anymore.  Shame, really. It was useful. But hey, they have every right to show whatever products they want, as I have every right to not buy through them.

It's a frustration. Google does plenty of stuff I don't like (ahem new blogger) but it's still definitely the best stuff out there. I'm hoping for a viable alternative at this point.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Origins of the Anti

This post has been fermenting in my brain for several months, along with several failed attempts to get it onto paper. Hopefully this time goes a bit better.

It's easy to vilify anti-gunners. Their stated purpose is the removal or curtailment of a highly fundamental right, being self-defense using the most effective tools available.  Their stated reasons vary hugely, running the gamut through the technical, (over-penetration, shoot-to-wound, microstamping) the practical (keeping guns away from criminals, statistical arguments, safe storage laws) and the philosophical (guns are evil, I couldn't kill anyone for any reason, just give them what they want.)

Gunnies have a tendency to come up with counter-arguments to each individual point. I have yet to come across any argument that the anti-gunners can outright win. No point in their favor holds up to logical debate for very long. Yet anti-gunners persevere. I think the reason for this is that their stated reasons are not the real reasons.

Anti-gunners fear guns.  It is illogical, it is phobic, but it's visceral and unavoidable for them.  They typically have grown up in "safe," gun-free environments where the only guns they knew about were in the hands of movie characters, gangs, police officers and soldiers. The same mentality that causes people to freak out about toys causes people to say, "guns are dangerous [which they are, treated wrong] and therefore should not be in existence." They will generally create a framework of rationalizations for their fear [as Tam put it, man is not the rational creature, he is the rationalizing creature] but logical counter-argument will always fail, because the issue doesn't stem from a logical incompatibility.

I can't fault people for having these sorts of fears. Big dogs make me nervous, because I know that given a lack of proper control and training, they can be dangerous.* I have a tendency to extend the same nervous apprehension to every dog, regardless of owner or history. It's essentially the same thing for an anti-gunner.  Some guns are used badly, and they react with fear to all guns.  Fear is not a sin. A phobia is something to work past if you can, but it is not a sign of evil.  These people are not out trying to strip your rights because they want to see a tyranny, or because they want to reward criminals. They just have a kneejerk reaction to what scares them.

There are some antis that I am not so sympathetic towards.  These are normally young people out of a society and educational establishment that have coddled and sheltered them from the harsher realities of the world who have been told for years that they are special. They take this to mean that they are smarter than the rest of the world, and that their cloistered view of the world is what the world as a whole can and should be.  In short, the classic young liberal.  The mixture of this arrogance and this irrational fear means that their rationalizations are much more strongly held. Their absolute conviction in their moral high ground disguises the basis in fear even from themselves.

Perhaps my readers will disagree, but I have no sympathy or tolerance for the people who get up on their soapbox with these sorts of opinions. They are irritating, wrongheaded, and childish.**

There is of course one more type of anti. This sort is the one to not only NOT receive your tolerance, but also receive your full wrath.  These are the people who want to strip you of your rights for personal gain.  They are mostly found in politics. There are those who would strip you of your rights to establish a more powerful position for themselves and their parties. These people are totalitarians in training (or maybe full-fledged in some cases) and deserve your ire. They still act out of fear, but the fear is not fear of a thing, it is fear of a check to their power.

In my mind, while actions are the primary source of valid judgment of a person, the reasons for the things they do must be considered. Mens Rea is important in judicial matters, and matters of morality depend on knowing the morality involved. So long as people are open-minded, or don't engage with the issue, I can't fault people for anti-gun sentiment. When you mix in close-minded arrogance or a desire for personal gain, those same sentiments become intolerable.

And to any antis that have read this far without leaving in fury? First off, thanks for your time, and second, if you want to prove you aren't acting out of fear, come to a blogshoot, or find a local blogger who will take you shooting. If you go in with an open mind, experience firearms, and hear the arguments for them still with an open mind, and still don't agree, then we can talk.

*I know the fundamental differences between dogs and guns, ie, a dog is animate and can decide for itself, whereas a gun is completely dependent on a user. Humor the analogy.

**And they think precisely the same thing about me! What fun!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

One of the things I have been sad to see at college is the number of my peers who don't get along well with their fathers. The reasons vary wildly, but I find them universally saddening.

I am blessed to not have that problem.  Dad and I have gotten along smashingly for as long as I can remember, and I am pleased to count him as one of my best friends, in addition to being my dad.

I owe much of who I am to his influence, from the little things like spoken mannerisms to big things like my moral compass.  I hope someday to be able to truly live up to his example.

He is brilliant, kind-hearted, talented, personable, and all around good man that I am proud to call father and friend.

Thanks Dad. I love you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dirty Harry

I just saw Dirty Harry for the first time, filling what was truly a nearly criminal hole in my movie history.  I was impressed. It has aged well, and still feels like a good movie despite being dated.

I thought that Andrew Robinson played one of the creepiest, most loathsome villains I've seen in a movie.  (SPOILER ALERT*) He walked the line between not crazy enough to hate and crazy enough to pity with remarkable precision, leaving me thrilled to see him dead by film's end in a manner it might behoove me to talk to a psychologist about.

What really struck me though was that I'm not sure the best way to deal with a case like this in real life.  Yes, he has rights, but so does the girl he kidnapped.  In my mind, Harry had the moral high ground in his interrogation of the killer, but it's clearly illegal, and rightly so.  Saying that actions like that are ok in emergency situations merely makes every situation an emergency, and is one of the hallmarks of impending tyranny.

The mixed blessing of our justice system is that while it (supposedly) protects the innocent in an unparalleled fashion, the clearly guilty evil walk under the same protections.  Making exceptions for the sake of those few cases though is courting disaster.

To me, the movie finds as good a solution to this as any I can think of. A man, acting as an individual, does what he knows is the right thing to do and is willing to face the music for his actions.  In an ideal world, this entire subject would be inconceivable, but since we do not live in an ideal world, this is the best case I can think of. It's far from perfect. Many atrocities throughout history have been committed by people convinced they have the moral high ground. Far, far more have been committed by governments that believed the same.

Suspension of the trappings of justice is not an option here. To me, that leaves no other option than an individual to do what is necessary.

I'd be curious to know the impressions of any of my readers on this one. It's a sticky issue.

*Yes spoiler alert, despite me being one of the last people on the planet to have NOT seen this movie before

Monday, June 11, 2012

Because Race Gun

This is the product of two deranged minds (my father's and mine) joke riffing on a concept. Do NOT attempt this at home, at the range, or really anywhere.

Take two 20 yard lengths of good, strong wire. Mount one end to your backstop, and pull tight before attaching to a post. Repeat.

Take the firearm of your choice and glue tubes to the top, such that the firearm balances nicely from them.

Take one Remote Control Trigger Finger (sold separately, patent pending, trademarked to the DTTAH Corporation*) and mount to your firearm. Test to make sure you have trigger pull set correctly.

Mount both your firearm and that of your competitor to the wires such that they run freely along the wires, pointed at the backstop.  On the word go, each competitor must fire their gun such that the recoil scoots it along the wire. First to traverse the 20 yards is the winner.

Why, you may ask yourself? Because Race Gun.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with this joke, people who run speed challenges a la IDPA frequently have guns, called race guns, that frequently border on the ridiculous.  The gunbloggers, not to leave an avenue for snark unexplored, have memefied it.  See here for more details, such as they are)

*Don't Try This At Home.**

**Really. Don't. This is NOT a good idea.