Friday, December 28, 2012

Which One of these Rifles is an Assault Weapon?

Identify which of these rifles is an assault weapon, according to anti-gunners:


Ruger-1022-BC-Folder (1024x577)

Has to be the second one, right, because it has a pistol grip stock and a “banana clip?”

In fact, both pictures are of the very the same rifle, taken about 10 minutes apart. It’s a Ruger 10/22 Carbine that I bought about 10 years ago. For the second picture I added a Butler Creek folding stock that I got from Amazon (eligible for Amazon Prime, yay!), and a 25 round magazine in place of the 10 round mag the 10/22 normally comes with. It shoots the common-as-dirt .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

Ruger has been making the 10/22 since 1964. Over five million have been made since then, making it one of the most popular sporting rifles in history. It’s well suited to informal target shooting and small game hunting. The majority of them were sold to American shooters, and since they basically don’t wear out, the vast majority of those remain in circulation. (Or “on the streets,” if you are a gun banner.)

The bullets fired by the rifle as configured in the second picture are no more deadly than those in pic #1. The only functional differences between the rifle as shown in both pics is that with the folder it can be stored in a smaller space, and you can fire 2.5 times as many cartridges without reloading. Reloading takes only a couple of seconds even with the 10 round mags, so while gun banners like to make hay over “high capacity” magazines, against defenseless targets like schoolkids confined in a “gun free” zone, the difference is virtually nonexistent.

Likewise, millions of 25+ round magazines have been sold by Butler Creek, Eagle, MWG and other third party manufacturers since at least the 1980s. Ruger got on the 25 round mag bandwagon a few years ago, and that’s what is shown in pic #2.

The only tool I needed to change the sporting carbine in the first pic to the deadly assault rifle in the second picture was a screwdriver.

The point of this post is that “assault weapons” as defined by gun banners are not functionally different from “sporting” rifles as manufactured and sold in the millions for about a century. Artificial definitions of banned or permissible arms created by people with little to no firearms knowledge don’t make us safer.  Tackling the root causes of crime, whether they be mental illness or outright evil is harder but is key in actually making us safer. So is allowing potential victims the right to fight back.


Don Armstrong said...

The point of this post is that “assault weapons” as defined by gun banners are not functionally different from “sporting” rifles as manufactured and sold in the millions for about a century.Again, I'm afraid that what you said turns out not to be the case. Oh, sure, in a strictly accurate strictly mechanical way it is. However, there is a major difference between the more-or-less harmless carbine you picture first, and the evil black rifle with the pistol grip that you follow it with. The functional difference occurs in the perception of the viewer, between their ears. Obviously (to them), the first is more-or-less normal and harmless, while the second is ready to jump up and start murdering innocents, independently, irrespective of any user who might be miles away.

Of course, your point that there is nothing wrong with the evil black rifle is logical and true. So is my point that firearms which don't evoke the irrational fears of the ignorant, have some value.

Honestly, it's probably worth something to have a firearm which looks more-or-less harmless, more-or-less like grandpa's deer-rifle rather than like an evil murdering black rifle that will kill millions at the blink of an eye. Have an SKS or a lever-action rather than an AK; have a CMP M1 or an M14 or M1A rather than an FN SLR (which I've used, been issued, and which is a damned fine battle rifle). Not that there is any logical difference, but the opponents aren't logical but are powerful. Soothing their illogical fears may well be worth while, just to avoid the inconvenience they could otherwise cause.

Come to that, I've handled the Austeyr 5.56, although I haven't fired it. Same applies to the US firearms of the same calibre. If it came to it, I'd prefer the Austeyr for use, but I'd prefer the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle (now that they've sorted out the accuracy issues) for day-to-day possession, simply because it functions about the same, but it looks so dashed NORMAL.

So, that's the other side of the coin you present. There's nothing wrong with your pistol-gripped, folding-stocked, nasty evil Mattel rifle, from a logical viewpoint. However, it UPSETS people when they look at it. Probably better to assuage their poor offended sensibilities, since they all have votes just as valuable as yours,and let them continue to pretend that some firearms are harmless. After all, they know they need people who can use firearms, even if they aren't willing to voice the fact out loud.

Dave Markowitz said...

Using tradition-looking firearms like M1s or Marlin lever actions may assuage the fears of FUDDs, i.e., hunters willing to sell black rifle owners down the pike, but it will do nothing to calm the gun banners. They don't want us to be armed, period.

The first time that some lunatic shoots up a mall or a school with a wood stocked rifle, you'll hear cries of, "Why do you need that high powered sniper rifle?"