Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States

Edit: Welcome Twitter users! Please poke around the blog. If you came here because of this post, you'll probably find something else of interest.

Back in 2004, I posted Percentage of Adults With Carry Permits in "Shall Issue" States. It's been probably the most popular post on this blog, and several times I've been asked if there's an update. Well, now there is.

Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States is a new scholarly paper by John R.Lott, John E. Whitley, and Rebekah C. Riley. Here's the summary:

Since President Obama’s election the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million this year. Among the findings in our report:

  • The number of concealed handgun permits is increasing at an ever- increasing rate. Over the past year, 1.7 million additional new permits have been issued – a 15.4% increase in just one single year. This is the largest ever single-year increase in the number of concealed handgun permits.
  • 5.2% of the total adult population has a permit.
  • Five states now have more than 10% of their adult population withconcealed handgun permits.
  • In ten states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.
  • Since 2007, permits for women has increased by 270% and for men by 156%.
  • Some evidence suggests that permit holding by minorities is increasing more than twice as fast as for whites.
  • Between 2007 and 2014, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.2 (preliminary estimates) per 100,000. This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 178%. Overall violent crime also fell by 25 percent over that period of time.
  • Regression estimates show that even after accounting for the per capita number of police and people admitted to prison and demographics, the adult population with permits is significantly associated with a drop in murder and violent crime rates.
  • Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies at one- sixth the rate that police officers are convicted.
Well, that sure doesn't fit the president's or Bloomberg's narratives, does it? Especially the points about women and minorities.

Digging into the data, the state with the largest numbers of permits is Florida with about 1.4 million, followed by Pennsylvania with about 1.1M. C'mon PA folks, we're slacking.

If you look at percentages, the top five states are
  • Alabama 12.64%
  • South Dakota 12.3%
  • Indiana 11.62%
  • Pennsylvania 10.64%
  • Tennessee 10.21%

From my post of 11 years ago, the top five states in 2004 were :
  • 7.45% South Dakota 
  • 6.79% Indiana 
  • 6.76% Pennsylvania 
  • 5.23% Connecticut 
  • 5.12% Washington

If the Democrats are upset by this I have two things to say:

  1. Good.
  2. You have only yourselves to blame. You've been simultaneously beating the drum for more gun control, fanning the flames of racial tension, and tearing down our country's institutions. Don't be surprised when people decided they need to take affirmative steps to preserve their own security.

Monday, July 27, 2015

First Shots With the EOA Magnum Cape Gun

Yesterday I was able to shoot a few rounds through the Euroarms gun at a friend's place. I don't know where I have my stash of 12 gauge wads and shot leftover from when I had my Pedersoli 12 gauge double, so I just tried some of the .662 balls I'd bought when I got my MVTC .69 caliber M-1717 musket. I used 80 grains of 2Fg Goex and pillow ticking patches lubed with Bore Butter. At about 20 - 25 yards I kept 6 shots inside an 8" bull, with POI = POA.

Not bad for a way undersized ball and a gun with only a bead front sight.

For 3 of the shots I used a single patch, while the other 3 I double patched it due to the small ball. POI at that range seemed the same but I was definitely getting a better gas seal with the double patch, based on slightly more recoil. For my last shot I retrieved a patch, relubed it and shot it again.

While I was reloading in between a couple shots, a fawn came barreling out of the woods and screeched to a halt about 15 feet away. We stood still and he hung out for about five minutes, trying to figure out what we were. Eventually, he took off and we went back to shooting.

Tonight I put in an order with Track of the Wolf for some .690 balls, .020" cotton shooting patches, a 12 gauge jag to fit my cleaning rod, a spare nipple, and a few other accessories.

This looks like it'll be a really fun gun to shoot and useful for anything I can hunt in PA.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Muzzleloading Single Barrel Smoothbores

One of the most common (possibly the most common) types of civilian arms from the 1600s up through the beginning of the 20th Century was some kind of single shot smoothbore gun. They were highly valued as meat getters and weapons for both defense and offense. Such guns were traded in large quantities to the Indians as well as other indigenous peoples around the globe. Probably the best known of these guns in North American was the Northwest or Hudson's Bay gun.

(Pic found on the 'net.)

Another well known muzzleloading smoothbore was the French Fusil de Chasse. I have one in 20 gauge from Middlesex Village Trading Company.

(Pic borrowed from MVTC.)

Being smoothbores, they can shoot birdshot, buckshot, or a single ball, making them useful for any game from birds and squirrels on up to moose. They also saw a lot of use as fighting weapons. The modern equivalent would be a single shot shotgun like my old H&R 20 gauge.

When the muzzleloading single barrel shotguns were state of the art, most were produced in smaller gauges -- 24 to 20 gauge. They were cheaper to load, requiring less powder and shot, important when you are weeks or months away from resupply.

Most of the currently produced muzzleloading shotguns are 12 gauge doubles, and most of the single barrels are flintlocks. Pedersoli lists a percussion version of their Mortimer 12 gauge shotgun.

One percussion single barrel smoothbore that was imported for awhile but is no longer was the Euroarms of America "Magnum Cape Gun." Normally, a cape gun is a double with one rifled and one smoothbore barrel, but I guess EOA thought the name sounds cool. The gun was made by Investarms* and is still listed on their website as the "Gallyon," but doesn't appear to be imported into the US at present.

One of the Magnum Cape Guns has been on my want list for awhile and I found one in excellent shape yesterday at Dixon's for a reasonable price, so it came home with me.

Closeups of the lock and breech area:

It's a 12 gauge percussion smoothbore shotgun with a cylinder bore, i.e., no choke. The bore appears to be chrome lined, which will help cleanup. The barrel is fitted with a hooked patent breech, so if you remove the ramrod, drive out the barrel wedge, and put the hammer on half cock, you can lift it out of the stock. You can then dunk the breech end in a bucket of water and using a wet patch, pump water through the bore to clean it.

The Magnum Cape Gun is very well made with a nice polish on the metal parts, and a deep, beautiful blueing job on the barrel, but, and trigger guard. The lock was left in the white. The wood is fairly plain but serviceable, and the checkering was well executed. The inletting of the buttplate could have been better, though. This specimen was well cared for, with only some wear on the buttplate where it rested on the ground while being loaded, and only a few handling marks on the wood.

My plans for this gun include small game, upland bird, and maybe even deer hunting. For deer I'll use a patched round ball. For shot, I plan to get a punch and make felt wads from the same felt I use to make wads for my percussion revolvers. (According to this article, felt wads perform better than card and fiber wads.)

Once I get the chance to try the gun out I'll post some more thoughts.

*Investarms makes the Lyman Great Plains Rifle, Lyman Trade Rifle, and Lyman Great Plains Pistol. They also make the Cabela's Traditional Hawken, one of which I have.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pole Lathe

This morning I went up to Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop in Kempton, PA, for their annual Gunmakers' Fair. Among the more interesting things I saw was this pole lathe, which was being used for turning the wooden ends for powder horns.

Back of the lathe, showing some of the linkage:

Closeup of wooden spring:

Closeup of the mandrel, which holds the piece being worked on. The wooden block visible behind the work and the mandrel is the tool rest. You can also see the wooden bar the operator steps on to run the lathe.

And finally, a gratuitous shot of some old farm machinery.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gun Training in Nasty Weather

Over on gundigest.com, Dave Morelli has an article in which he advocates gun training in bad weather.

I see nothing in the article with which I disagree. The author isn't advocating going out in crappy weather to learn the fundamentals. He's telling you to get out there in sub-optimal conditions to learn what your gun does -- and what you do -- when it's windy, rainy, or cold.

Based on my own experience in shooting practical rifle matches at my club, operating your gun in extreme weather conditions stresses the shooter in ways not experienced when it's 75 and sunny. If it's humid, lenses (both eye glasses and scope lenses when you accidentally breathe on them) get fogged. If it's snowing ice can form on your gun while you're waiting to shoot, rendering it slippery. When it's hot, your sweat gets in your eyes and on the gun.

Or step in a 10" deep puddle of ice water while your waterproof boots are only 8" high, then go on to finish the stage.

In cold weather your clothing limits your movement and makes working fine controls more difficult.

Get the basics down in good weather. Then go see what happens when it's shitty out.

It was about 12 degrees out when this pic of me was taken back in January.

Under stress you will default to the level of your training. If you train easy, you will fail get life gets hard.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Scanner

This week I got a Uniden BC396XT scanner from Amazon. I have a couple posts up about it over on Survival Preps, here and here.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

"Technical Glitches." Uh huh.

Unless you were under a rock, you know about the following three things:

  1. The Chinese stock market dive.
  2. "Technical glitches" grounding all United Airlines flights in the US yesterday.
  3. "Technical glitches" causing all trading to be halted for several hours on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

Unless the network and system admins at UAL and the NYSE are totally incompetent, they have major redundancy in place to prevent shutdowns like this from happening. There's simply too much money at stake to have single points of failure.

Now, was Anonymous responsible? Perhaps it was someone looking to divert attention from the Chinese stock market meltdown. Whatever really happened I doubt that the powers that be would share the truth, for fear of upsetting the apple cart.

My tinfoil hat feels a bit warm. It would be a good time to revisit your emergency preparations.