Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A rifle is a rifle...

According to Merriam-Webster, a rifle, when used as a noun, is a shoulder weapon with a rifled bore. The term was first used in 1770. That sounds pretty simple and straight forward to this good ol' boy.  Unfortunately, politicians and gun-control advocates... in addition to the mostly ignorant news media... constantly confuse the issue with misleading and inaccurate information.

Ya'll know I'm a big Ruger fan, so let's take a look at one of my favorite rifles, one of those shoulder weapons with a rifled bore...

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. It is semi-automatic and fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES NOT consider this an assault weapon under her newest version of a draconian infringement on our Second Amendment rights known as an assault weapons ban.

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. It fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES consider this an assault weapon due to the 20-round magazine.

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. It fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES consider this an assault weapon due to the 20-round magazine and flash suppressor on the muzzle.

So, first rifle pictured... OK, second and third rifle pictured... Not OK.  Did you get that? Let's look at some more...

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Target Rifle.  It is semi-automatic and fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES NOT consider this an assault weapon.

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Target Rifle. It is semi-automatic and fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES consider this an assault weapon due to the pistol-grip, thumb-hole stock.

This apparently makes sense to anti-gunners, does it make sense to you?

Now for the really scary, extra high-powered, super-duper, shoots jets out of the sky, can mow down a whole platoon in the blink of an eye, fires bullets at twice the speed of light, demon-possessed version of the Ruger Mini-14 rifle...

This is a Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle. It is semi-automatic and fires a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge. Senator Diane Feinstein DOES consider this an assault weapon due to the pistol-grip stock, the flash-suppressor on the muzzle, the adjustable butt-stock, the 20-round magazine... and most of all... it's black... very, scary black.

Now let's look at those terrible features that make this rifle an assault weapon... the pistol-grip which allows a person to better hold the rifle for safety, then there is the adjustable butt-stock that allows it to be properly adjusted for a five-foot tall gal or a six-foot-six high guy, how much more ADA and gender-equality compliant can you get? Of course there is the flash suppressor which reduces the muzzle flash, I've previously discussed, so maybe the person operating the firearm doesn't get blinded by the flash in low-light conditions so they can see what they are shooting at... know your target and what is beyond it... which is good, right?

Now over the years various rifles have been identified by their action types such as automatic (sometimes known as a machine gun), which means it fires continuously as long as the trigger is depressed and there is ammunition. There is semi-automatic which means the rifle fires one round or cartridge with each pull of the trigger and the trigger must be released and pulled again to fire another round or cartridge. There are also lever-action rifles, bolt-action rifles, revolving rifles, single-action rifles, break-action rifles, rolling block rifles, and probably several other types of rifles.

The German StG 44 or the Sturmgewehr 44 was the rifle that most folks consider the first to be named or referred to as an "assault" rifle, although "sturm" tranlates literally to "storm" and "gewehr" to "rifle". Many also think back to the origins of the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or AK47, as one of the original rifles referred to as an assault rifle.

The key factor to these firearms and their being referenced as assault rifles had to do with the fact the they were automatic rifles, or machine guns. They could fire 600, 700, 800 and more rounds per minute. The best trigger finger on a semi-automatic rifle can't even come close to that rate of fire and don't be fooled.... no American soldier I've ever asked would ever trade his or her automatic M4 for a semi-automatic AR15 on the battle field.

I'm also pretty sure that most soldiers or law enforcement officers wouldn't trade me their rifle for my New Jersey Assault Weapon pictured above that I received at the age of nine from my grandfather.  Yep, that fixed, tube magazine under the barrel holds 17-rounds... which is enough for New Jersey to charge you with a felony.

Modern Sporting Rifle is another term that I'm not too fond of in this whole semantics-word-jumble debate. I mean, how modern is a rifle with an action that was designed by Eugene Stoner over sixty years ago? The Ruger SR-556c is primarily our personal defense rifle, but also gets used for coyotes, three-gun matches and other things... but was mainly purchased to defend against two-legged varmints... which has nothing to do with "sporting".

The gals and I do keep some rifles handy for plinking and hunting four-legged varmints. The Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is just about as light and handy as you can get out here in the country. All of ours have been reliable and up to the task.

Target and distance shooting is always fun and while we have several bolt-action rifles that do well in this area, I still enjoy the accuracy Ruger has managed to squeeze out of their Mini-14. Or course, even if someone wanted to hit the local "stop-n-rob" convenience store, I'm not sure how they'd get this thumb-hole stocked, twelve-pound behemoth under their coat to conceal it.

This rifle was recently involved in an active shooter incident out back on our shootin' range... almost seventy tin cans were mercilessly decimated in under thirty minutes. In an effort to reduce tin can destruction the 25-round magazine is also targeted to be banned.

While the wood stock makes this rifle look far less intimidating, the 10-round magazine classifies this as a New York assault weapon now. I wonder if we could trade our Ruger 10/22s even-up with the Marines for their M4s... what do you think?

Folks... let's call a rifle a rifle... a machine gun a machine gun... a criminal a criminal... and an idiot an idiot. The Second Amendment wasn't put in place by our forefathers for hunting or target shooting, or foolin' folks about our extensive experience with skeet shootin' at Camp David.

The Second Amendment is about protecting our freedoms that our Constitution was designed to keep the government from infringing upon.  Yes, it's hard for many to believe, but our forefathers meant for us to have shoulder fired weapons with rifled bores to protect us from harm, even if that harm comes from a tyrannical government... and that is why...

A rifle is a rifle...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On a cold, Sunday afternoon...

A lot of folks these days can get a fair bit discouraged by those that can't seem to leave well enough alone. I know not all of you folks who follow my blog are Christians, but I am and that's where my foundation of faith and truth is based. The Good Book is comforting to me at times like these... you know... the times when you just want to turn off the radio or put a size fourteen boot in the mouth of the talkin' idiot on the television.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident." ~Psalm 27:1-3

My American freedoms, ideals, and dreams have been feelin' a might besieged lately. I read about how they train elephants for the circus... they chain them to a stake so they can't really move much... sounds pretty cruel, I know.  After a few years, they unchain the critters who are so used to being chained up, they don't even try to run or break free.  I'm startin' to think that there's a whole lot'o folks who have been chained to the government for so long, they don't even think about makin' a run for it or breaking free.

The Constitution doesn't give us our freedoms, but it was something our forefathers designed to protect our freedoms. There's been a lot of brave folks and blood used to protect those freedoms over the years, yet so many in this country seem to be ready to forego their freedoms of a little illusion of comfort provided by the government on a borrowed dime.  At some point I believe that will end when there are no more dimes to borrow or when the dime ain't worth a penny.  At that point, the only thing that will remain are those God-given freedoms that we'll have to protect with a lot of brave folks and  blood again.

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture."
~Psalm 37:3

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
~Thomas Jefferson

"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else."
~Clarence Darrow

I know some folks are struggling these days... and some face their trials bravely. Brigid has a lot to face with her brother and father fightin' cancer... and I have friends fightin' to keep a plate of food on the table. I don't think anyone who appreciates and loves God, Gals, Guns, or Grub as much as I do can sit this fight out.  So do what you need to do , but do it honorably and doing nothin' is not an option anymore.

And that's what I was thinkin' about... On a cold, Sunday afternoon...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hoppe's Universal Field Cleaning Kit

There are a lot of good bore cleaners, solvents, lubricants, and tools for cleaning and maintaining guns.  It seems like I've tried most of them at one time or another.  While I really like Hoppe's BoreSnakes and I keep some OTIS Deluxe Rifle/Pistol Cleaning System kits in convenient places, sometimes you still find yourself in need of a cleaning rod out in the field, on the range, or while you're on the go.

One of the most compact, packable gun cleaning kits I've run across at a reasonable price that has a rifle-length cleaning rod is the Hoppe's Univeral Field Cleaning Kit. For under thirty bucks, this kit has a six-piece rifle-or-shotgun-length aluminum cleaning rod, some Hoppe's Lubricating Oil, a can of Hoppe's 9 Bore Cleaner, a variety of cleaning patches, patch holders, a shotgun adapter, and a handy nylon case with Velcro closures that's about five inches, by six inches and barely an inch-and-a-half thick when closed up. 

There's a pocket with a Velcro closure sewn in the lower flap of the case and a pocket sewn in behind the bore cleaner, oil, and cleaning rod stretch loops.  You can keep the cleaning patches in one pocket and the rod ends an accessories in the other pocket.  One area lackin' for this kit is that no bore brushes or jags were included, so you'll have to supply or purchase those separately.

It never fails when you're out shooting that eventually you'll get a stuck case, bullet, or other situation where a BoreSnake or cable just won't work. With a full-length cleaning rod taken apart and stowed in the case, It will easily slip into your range bag or even a pocket in your cargo pants or backpack.... or even into the top pocket of a Ruger 10/22 Take-Down Rifle bag. Besides, my gal's used to my Hoppe's 9 cologne after all these years.

So if you're lookin' for a handy little cleaning kit... you might want to take a look at this little kit from a name that's been around for quite some time... Hoppe's Universal Field Cleaning Kit

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pill Pouches for shooting and prepping...

My wife has some terrific ideas... there, I said it with my manhood still intact. Actually, she's a pretty bright gal.  She had bought me some Pill Pouches from the pharmacy in the local Wally World a while back. That's really just a fancy name for little, plastic "zip-lock" bags that work really well for a variety of tasks.

They're less than two bucks per package of fifty and have almost endless possibilities for a variety of uses.  Pill Pouches fit in your wallet, purse, shooting bag, pocket, or any other place you want a small, moisture-proof, resealable package that can be used for a lot more than just pills.

If you want to put sets of your daily vitamins and supplements in your pocket, BOB, GHB, or keep some in your vehicle... they work great for that too. You can also create you're own little travel-size bags of medications.  They also work for making little snacks for you or the kids while keeping portions controlled and calories in check. Going swimming? Put a few dollars in a Pill Pouch, seal it and tuck it in your bathing suit... it will keep your cash high and dry.

I use them for keeping small gun parts and sets of replacement parts together, organized, and protected from moisture. They also work great for when I'm working up a new load like the ones I use for varmint hunting. I often create sets of five-rounds with incremental differences in powder charges between the sets to then test fire, chronograph, and check accuracy from a bench-rest position. The white labeling area makes it easy to write down specifics and then keep my cartridges separate and clearly marked for record-keeping and safety.

So if you want a handy little idea that has lots of practical uses... you can thank my gal... and pick up some... Pill Pouches for shooting and prepping...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruger 10/22 Take-Down Rifle

Back in the days of my youth there were a number of guns that I longed for, but never had the opportunity... well cash... to buy. Two of them were take-down models... the Armalite AR-7... made famous in the hands of James Bond in From Russia with Love... later manufactured by Charter Arms... and an updated version is currently offered by Henry Repeating Arms as the U. S. Survival AR-7. The other take-down that caught my fancy was the Marlin Papoose... originally offered with blued barrel and wood stock in a floating, red case and currently offered with a stainless steel barrel in a floating, blue case.

Well, my favorite firearms company (yeah, I love all guns, but I'm just a bit of a Ruger fan - first understatement of 2013) decided to surprise everyone last year with the introduction of a take-down version of what I consider the most ubiquitous (how ya'll like that word) .22 rifle ever designed and manufactured. The gals and I found some of these new Rugers under the Christmas tree this year... a trio of Ruger 10/22 Take-Down rifles. Two were the standard-fare, but my daughter was excited to find the special addition USA Shooting Sports model in a bright red/orange back with a blue stock.  The blue stock was a big hit as it's her favorite color and she's not too excited about anything pink, especially gun-related.

There are already dozens of good, thorough reviews out there for this gun, but I thought that you'd like to hear from someone who has had a week to put so lead down-range and actually has three to shoot and compare.  The first thing I'll mention is the case.  It's very well made, has some MOLLE webbing on the lower outside pocke, and it is compact, but not too compact so you can actually use it as a rifle and gear bag instead of just holding the gun by itself.

It has a padded grab handle at the one end and D-rings on both the front and back at the top of the case and on the back at the bottom of the case.  Ruger includes one strap with a shoulder pad to sling the case over your shoulder, but Santa when ahead ordered a second strap for each case from so it can be worn as a backpack if that suits your fancy.

The zippers have pull tabs and also holes for a luggage lock.  It won't keep a determined two-legged varmint from getting to the gun, but it will deter youngin's from getting to it.

The outer pockets each have a zipper closure. The upper pocket works well to hold the instruction manual and a Hoppe's Universal Field Cleaning Kit. The lower pocket has to internal packets to hold a pair of Ruger BX-25 magazines - which I previously reviewed -  for those that prefer a Kalifornia Assault Rifle per Commissar Feinstein.  Oh, by the way... if you're not a member of the NRA, join now... and support the GOA, the SAF, and/or other groups that work to protect our second amendment rights... plus, take the time to call and write your congress-critters immediately.

The case has extensive padding and inside there are three sewn-in compartments.  The one side holds the stock and receiver and has plenty of room for the mounted red-dot, but not enough length for a longer scope or optic that hangs off the front of the receiver.  As far as the other two slots on the other side, one is used for the barrel and forestock while the gals and I found the last compartment or "sleeve" works great to hold three, 100-round boxes of CCI Mini-Mags slid in end-to-end.

A Ruger video about the new take-down rifle also mentions the case doubling as a sand-bag or bench rest.  I guess it works for that, but the bottom line is that you are getting a very versatile case for your rifle.  Well, I guess you think I'm overly infatuated with the case... no, not really... but there are a lot of reviews out there about the rifle, but I think the complete package with the case and accessories is what makes this rifle and case a terrific addition to your shooting coral.

The rifle comes with the standard Ruger 10/22 optic and/or accessory rail.  We usually use a little bit of blue, medium strength lock-tight when tightening down the screws... but don't over-tighten them as the receiver is aluminum.  We mounted some Bushnell TRS-25 Red-Dot sights on the guns.  We've had good luck with these red-dot sights in the past.

You can also see the knurled ring that allows the shooter to adjust the fit or "tolerance" of the detachable barrel when it is twisted and "cams" into position.  Make sure you read the directions as I've seen several reviews where the shooter doesn't really understand the mechanics and incredible design Ruger has developed to allow the barrel to be attached and detached multiple times while maintaining "zero" with the optic on the receiver. Just realize that this IS NOT a drill chuck, where the knurled ring is used to tighten jaws down on the barrel like a drill-bit... so be careful and follow the directions provided with the gun.

As far as maintaining "zero", well I could show you a bunch of pictures of targets... but the bottom line is all three rifles had the red-dot optics "zeroed" and I shot ten-round groups with each rifle... removed the barrels... reattached the barrels... then shot another set of ten-round groups... and all three guns maintained "zero".  Maybe over time this might change, but Ruger's provided the ability to adjust the fit in such a manner that the faces, or surfaces, that lock together to maintain the zero really don't wear.  If all else fails, the standard iron sights Ruger provides on the barrel will still do nicely.  Our iron sights were all dead-on right from the factory.

The quality and reliability should be the same for these rifles as most have come to expect from Ruger 10/22s even though we only have a few hundred rounds through these.  We didn't experience any failures in operation so far, but we've been shootin' CCI Mini-Mags through them so far... although I can't vouch for how an old box of dirty Thunderbolts will work as I don't waste my time with cheap ammo in semi-autos.  What I can vouch for is that this take-down rifle rig will make anybody's Christmas... or birthday... or Saturday... a hit... so make your day and pick up a... Ruger 10/22 Take-Down Rifle.