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.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Rimfire Range Day Number 4

Amanda and I hit the range again yesterday. She shot her Savage Rascal and my 10/22, while this time I brought my Remington Apache Nylon 77. Here's an older pic of it with my Remington 550-1.

Amanda mostly shot Aguila Super Extra SV loads from the same brick we'd tapped into earlier. This time, however, she had several rounds that failed to go off the first time they were hit by the firing pin. This happened in both rifles she shot. All went off when loaded back into the gun but rotated so that a different part of the rim was hit. After blowing through a couple hundred of the Aguilas she shot some Federal Automatch, which didn't give her any problems.

In the Nylon 77 I mostly shot Remington Golden Bullets from a 550 count box that I bought several years ago. It functioned perfectly with them and accuracy was good. I also tried some Federal Automatch, which did not shoot as accurately as the GBs, and with which I had a couple stovepipes.

I have to admit that after shooting at least 500 Golden Bullets in a few different rifles this week, I am reassessing my opinion of it. I do know that my Ruger 22/45 Lite and Norinco ATD do not like it, and my Beretta Jaguar isn't as reliable with it as with CCI Mini Mags, but it does work well in a few other .22s I own. I'll keep buying it when I run across it at a reasonable price, since it's one type of .22 LR ammo that seems to be more available than CCIs, and generally cheaper.

On the other hand, I'm underwhelmed with Federal Automatch. It's one of the .22 LR loads that I've noticed becoming more available, but I get more malfunctions with it in several of my guns than other loads, and accuracy is nothing to get excited about. Also, the waxy lube gets gummy if it's over 90 degrees or the gun is hot. My daughter's Savage Rascal will start getting stuck cases if she shoots a lot of Automatch when it's hot. The remedy is a quick chamber cleaning using a Q-Tip with some gun oil on it, or running a Boresnake through the barrel.

.22s in general tend to be finicky as to what loads they shoot accurately, and semi autos often function better with some loads than others. The only way to find out what shoots and functions well in any given .22 firearm is to try a variety of loads in it.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Another Rimfire Range Day

I made it to the range again today, this time with my 11 year old in tow. This was her first chance to try shooting my Ruger 10/22 fitted with Tech Sights and a Choate M4-style stock.

She did well with the Ruger. With the stock fully collapsed, it is short enough for her to shoulder and get a proper sight picture.

We shot the Ruger with Aguila Super Extra standard velocity .22 LR. It runs well in the Ruger but the powder does have a funny smell, similar to that of a lot of Russian ammo that I've fired. We had a few failures to feed but I tracked them down to an old 10 round magazine we were using. It also caused FTFs with CCI Mini Mags. That particular mag dates to the late 1970s and belonged to my father. Considering how much my brother and I shot his old 10/22 when we were kids, G-d only knows how many rounds have been through it. I'll try taking it apart and cleaning it to see if that'll make a difference.

I also brought my Remington 550-1 again, and this time grabbed a half-full brick of Winchester Xpert .22 LRs to try in it. I bought the Xperts the year before my daughter was born. The reason it lasted so long is because it was the worst, gummiest, dirtiest .22 LR I'd ever tried. The last time I tried it in the 10/22 the rifle choked on it. I'd shot it in my Old Model Ruger Single Six and a S&W Model 18 (both revolvers) and it gummed them up.

However, the waxy lube seemed to have dried out a little over the years. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Remington 550 fed them with only a few hiccups. I did get a few stovepipe failures to eject, but for the most part it functioned OK with the XPerts, and shot them fairly well. I wanted to burn up the rest of XPerts so when I noticed the FTEs starting to increase I added some additional FP10 to the bolt and inside the action, and the rifle kept going.

That Remington 550-1 has become my favorite .22 semiauto rifle. It's accurate, reliable, and handles even .22 CB Shorts as a semiauto.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Williams Floating Chamber

Yesterday, I mentioned shooting some .22 CB Shorts in my Remington 550-1. The rifle is designed to feed .22 Shorts, Longs, and Long Rifles interchangeably. The mass of the bolt and the strength of the mainspring are balanced for .22 LR, so in order to feed .22 Shorts as a semi auto, they need a boost.

This is accomplished by the inclusion of a Williams floating chamber in the breech end of the barrel. When installed and shooting .22 Longs or LRs, the seam between the end of the floating chamber and the rest of the barrel is sealed by the cartridge case. However, it's uncovered when shooting Shorts, so some of the gas from the cartridge goes into the gap and floats the chamber, allowing it to recoil a short distance, giving additional impetus to the bolt. If you go over to Numrich Arms' website and look at their exploded diagram of a Remington 550-1, the floating chamber is part #50.

I thought it would be a good idea to give my Remington a thorough cleaning, since I'd never removed the floating chamber, and since I bought it about 2.5 years ago it's seen close to 1,000 rounds through it, including 60 or so CB Shorts yesterday. It was filthy inside. After I got the floating chamber out and cleaned up I took some pics, here are a couple that came out halfway decent.

There was a fair amount of lead buildup on the shoulder of the piece, which I was able to scrape off with a small screwdriver.

Before being used in the Remington 550, the Williams floating chamber was used in the Colt Ace and .22 conversion kits, which were designed to mimic the recoil of a M1911 in .45 ACP.

It's a really clever solution to a couple interesting engineering task: make a semi auto that can feed .22 S, L. or LR interchangeably, and make a .22 pistol recoil more like a .45.