Thursday, March 31, 2011
So, I sprung for a Marlin 1895 (from another store), complete with JM proof. I'm happy with how it handles. I think it will get taken into the shop for some custom work, and I'll throw a scout scope with Leupold quick-detachable rings on the rail.
Of course, now I have the "problem" of having two quick-handling brush guns (1895 and 1894). I think the 1894 will still be my go-to gun for appropriate game when a lot of walking is involved, as it will be 2-3 lbs lighter. But the 1895 will be ideal for stand hunting in the South East where weight isn't as big of a factor, and when you might do a bit of still hunting or stalking in the thick stuff on the way too or from the stand.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Also, go figure -- the attacker has an extensive criminal record:
Bostic has a lengthy criminal past, according to Assistant District Attorney Arne Soldwedel. His record includes convictions in California and Florida for a variety of crimes that include drug possession, assault, robbery, drunken driving and shooting at an occupied house. Soldwedel said Bostic has a previous assault conviction that includes the use of a knife.I have to kind of wonder why convicts with multiple violent crimes are wandering around.
He appears to have a more limited criminal record in Alaska. A defendant named Michael Bostick with the same birthdate was arrested on misdemeanor criminal mischief and drug charges in 2009, according to online court records.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
This blog has written with cautious support of Anchorage 2ATF in the past, based solely on their effectiveness in getting illegal and defunct signs on city buildings like Loussac banning firearms removed. However, I've also commented that his theatrics and other run ins with the law don't help the broader cause. I don't have any more comments right now on the most recent Cox thing other than to say that the charges are quite serious and that we'll see what happens; to say much more would be rank speculation. It will be interesting to see if this was just some folks BSing around an FBI informant wearing a wire, or if there were specific, credible threats and an actionable plan.
I found Anchorage Press' coverage interesting. This was a front-page feature for them. Anchorage Press hired David Holthouse, whose exploits we've discussed previously, to write their lead article. I suppose it is fitting, given that David Holthouse has a record of possessing handguns with illegal suppressors and plotting assassinations himself; maybe he is a good subject matter expert to see inside the mind of someone who plots a killing! Maybe it takes one to know one...
Of course, follow the money; Anchorage Press --> David Holthouse --> Media Matters --> Joyce Foundation. Funny how all roads lead back to Joyce!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Right now in the cabinet my hunting-appropriate rifles include a .308 win bolt gun wearing a 3-9 scope (a good "all around/mountain rifle") and a .357 lever gun. I'm basically looking at two courses of action.
PLAN A: .338
Under this plan, I'd buy a .338 win mag bolt gun for the Kodiak hunt. This would also be my elk rifle in the event I end up on a hunt out west. I would probably get a Weatherby Vanguard with the stainless barrel and classic wood stock, just so that there's something a little different from my Browning X-Bolt which is all synthetic and stainless for maximum durability in the weather. The Vanguard is heavier but that's ok for a heavy caliber like the .338. I'd top it with a 2.5-4X variable or a fixed scope of similar power. The .338 win mag is the caliber of choice for Alaskan guides so I can't go wrong with this setup for the Kodiak hunt.
This would only cost ~$700-800 out the door with glass, I think. That would give me a few hundred bucks to pour into my .357 lever rifle to make it an "ultimate brush gun." I've already had ghost ring sights put on it, but I could get a trigger job, have the lever action smoothed out, and maybe cut it down to 16". From what I've read, .357 is fine within 100 yards on both hogs and deer if you use premium ammo.
PLAN B: 45-70
Under this plan, I'd pick up a Marlin 1895 SBL, then toss a "scout" style 2.5X Leupold scope forward of the receiver and maybe have some action and trigger work done as well as bead blasting it. I think that would be ~$1100 out the door. I could use it for the Kodiak hunt within ~180-200 yards and I'm sure it would be highly effective on deer and pigs out to similar ranges.
This doesn't leave any money for a new bolt gun or for improvements on the .357, though. It also overlaps the niche I have with my .357 lever gun. I mean, do I really need two quick handling brush guns? It also leaves me with a gap for that elk rifle; the 308 win could probably handle it though.
Definitely something to think about, but I want to decide soon so that I can have work done at Wild West Guns in Anchorage. They specialize in lever guns and I've been happy with what they've done for me in the past.
The Iditarod features around 50 teams which each have 12-16 dogs. That's at least 800 dogs. Many mushers also have extensive kennels back home with more dogs that are breeding, in training, or retired. Let's just round it off and call it a thousand huskies, which is probably low-balling it. That means that the Iditarod race is apparently the same as running a luxury SUV for 10,000,000 miles, if this article is to be believed.
The race itself is 1,049 miles in length. That means that for the same carbon footprint our 50 dog teams produce, you could apparently make 9532 trips in a luxury SUV (assuming, of course, there were roads--which there are not).
Using the logic of this article, the Iron Dog is significantly more eco-friendly than the Iditarod. A snow machine is probably within the same magnitude of carbon footprint as a luxury SUV. You could run the Iron Dog for dozens of years before hitting the level of carbon impact that the dog teams do. Clearly, we should just switch to eco-friendly sports like snowmachine racing instead of dog mushing to solve global warming!
I don't think that's the answer the greenies would want you to come up with, though. If you haven't realized it yet, I'm pretty skeptical of this so-called news article. I'm kind of worried about what these people would do if given political power--I think their policies would be terrible for Alaska. As an outdoorsman, I honestly care about preservation of the environment and wild places. However, the carbon neutral people would want to shut down TAPS, eliminate snow machining, and make Lance Mackey be a vegetarian. Honestly, I don't know that there are many "greener" sports than dog mushing, and even that is apparently unacceptable to them.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Back over spring break, I packed up the car and headed out past Chickaloon to join a bunch of other women at the annual Winter BOW Workshop. BOW stands for Becoming an Outdoors Woman, and mostly women take the class (although men can, and we did have one man there). I took a class through this program in the fall, a one-day long field dressing course that let me learn how to break down an elk before we went out for big game.
In the weekend-long version, the classes are shorter, but you do four classes over the space of the weekend. Then, if you want to learn more, you can go to the longer classes like the field dressing one I took.
The classes cover a wide variety of skills in three broad categories - hunting, fishing, and other. Topics range from snow machining to outdoors survival to marksmanship to fly fishing. They're really great for getting people involved with things they might never have tried, in a low-stress environment. If you've got a BOW program in your state (many do!) I highly recommend checking it out.
I skipped the hunting and shooting classes this time around, despite being quite tempted by the shotgun course, in favor of Ice Fishing, Bait and Bobber, Fur Sewing, and Dog Mushing. They were all great fun - especially dog mushing. I even got to use a sled that had actually been used in last year's Iditarod! If I had unlimited money and didn't have to work, I'd become a musher, but it is an incredibly time-intensive and expensive hobby!
Fur sewing was also pretty nifty. I made a beaver headband, and now on my own I'm working on a cross-fox trapper's hat.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the program, as did all of the instructors. If you're looking for some volunteer work, or just wanting to learn something new, check it out.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I obviously agree with Heather, Tam, and the others that a .38 snubbie is not the way to go for any new shooter. But Ms. Brown's story shows that even a .38 snubbie is better than nothing...
Also, clearly compensating for the size of her penis.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
This makes me appreciate the impact that stupid laws like California's defunct AB 962. AB 962 is so broad that it might prohibit private transfers of ammo which would keep people from clearing out their old ammo stocks.
It also makes me appreciate how retarded the media is about "arsenals." Three cases of pistol ammo is not that much, but you better believe that the media would crow about it being a huge deal if someone had a few thousand rounds of pistol ammo at home. Heck, in some states, that's likely probable cause for... something! Actually, it is even worse... I sought out FMJ (aka "cop killer" bullets by gun grabbers) because it causes less leading in firearms and is easier to clean afterwords.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I approve of their choice. The 30.06 is the quintessential Alaskan hunting caliber, used on everything from Sitka deer to Kodiak bears. If you don't have a bolt-action 30.06 in your home, you aren't a real Alaskan, which is why we are remedying this problem in the near future. Heck, maybe I'll even get the Winchester model 70.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Based on an obvious inability to distinguish truth from falsity, I don't think most people who have Peterson Syndrome would be very good at this activity (PDF warning).
Here's a gang of teens that savagely beat a gay man. What exactly is one singleton -- perhaps a minority subject to discrimination, like a gay man -- supposed to do when a gang attacks and is out for blood?
I'm glad to know that New York City has solved all of these problems.
For bonus points: How many of the thugs have extensive criminal records?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tam and Breda have already done excellent jobs, but I figured as another women, why not throw my two cents in?
What gun for a woman?
THE SAME AS FOR A MAN.
Seriously. Bring up new shooters, casual shooters, people who just want a gun to throw in a pocket all you want. That's fine. But leave gender out of it, because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything.
Think women can't rack a slide? Then what makes you think they can handle a DA trigger on a revolver? I can rack slides all day, despite having had bi-lateral hand surgery, and there is nothing more I abhor than a DA trigger.
Magazines are too complex? You've got to be kidding me. How is seating a mag more complex than having to pop out a cylinder and reload that? News flash, women aren't stupid.
Yes, sometimes you will find women who do not like racking slides and prefer a revolver. Just as some men prefer revolvers. It is a matter of personal taste and choice, not man-bits or girl-bits. If you're trying to sell a gun to a woman, do both of you a favor and treat her like anyone else. Ask what she wants the gun for. Tell them the pros and cons of the different guns (WITHOUT using the word "women"), and let her decide.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I generally think its a reasonable decision. The teen who got shot had ability and opportunity to inflict serious bodily injury or death. The only question is whether or not a reasonable person would have perceived his intent to be criminal. I'd say that pointing a rifle at people in a parking lot late at night probably qualifies.
I'm not wild about police shooting open carriers willy nilly. However, there's a big difference between open carrying a handgun in a holster, a slung long gun, or even a long gun held at the low ready and a shouldered rifle pointed at people. Its all about knowing the appropriate time and place.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Prices were also much more reasonable. I saw used guns going for new retail price or even under the retail price. I don't know why; maybe it is the recession digging into wallets, or the post-Obama craze dying down, or something. The best deals I saw out there this year were a bunch of Enfields in 303 for ~$200. I just got an Ishapore otherwise I would have been tempted. I also saw a left handed .375 H&H for ~$650 that was tempting given Heather's bear tag.
I did pick up a youth-sized cut down long-action stock for a Remington 700 with decent aftermarket recoil pad already installed. Heather is in the market for a 30-06 and it is nearly impossible to find factory stocks in that caliber with a youth size. She may not end up with a Remington 700 but if she does, with a little work to carve out a spot for the lefty bolt it'll be good to go.
POTUS: "And that's something that gun-safety advocates need to accept." (In reference to gun control people)
I've also noticed Gwen, Baldr, and other anti-gun bigots using the term, too, as in, "I'm a gun safety advocate!" Probably because saying that you're a gun control advocate is politically and socially toxic once you get west of New York and east of Cali. The Joe Huffman strategy of making Brady Campaign & Gun Control as palatable as the KKK is apparently working...
Don't let them seize the term "gun safety" for themselves. Relentless ask how many safety classes they've taught, how many safe ranges they've designed, and how many instructors they have. The answer is zero: the most they've done for "gun safety" is post some pamphlets on web sites. If they're in favor of "gun safety," ask why they support laws that have not demonstrated any success in actually reducing accidental gun deaths.
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2011 at 8:58 am and is filed under Guns. Tagged: Alaska, Crime, Fairbanks, Firearms, Guns, Handguns, Hunter, NRA, Palin, Pistol, Republican, RickRydell, Robbery. You can feed this entry. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
My response -- not terribly creative, but it is late and I didn't feel like doing lots of research. This is a softball anyways.
I don’t see how it made this particular robbery any safer or easier.
Say we lived in your perfect world where no guns existed except for on-duty police that you sent to kill people for you at home and soldiers that you sent to go kill people for you in foreign lands.
In that world, I’d think it would be pretty darn safe to be a robber if you and a buddy armed with big sticks or kitchen knives got to pick the moment to attack a lone resident. Two men with improvised weapons vs. one lone person (maybe even a female, older person, or handicapped individual)? Great odds. In fact, it might even be safer, because you’d know for a fact that the law-abiding defender has no nasty surprises (like a concealed weapon) that might even the odds.
Criminals will choose the most effective tools at hand for the job. Guns are effective tools, but they aren’t the only option out there, and removing the guns won’t stop robberies.Of course, Gwen doesn't particularly care about those victims, even if they might be people who live alone, women, the elderly, or so on. She's a bigot, and those victims don't count for her if they get beaten, knifed, or assaulted by gangs.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Sorry to clutter your email with yet another training note, but I didn't want to let a "teachable moment" pass us by.... by now everyone has heard of the disastrous earthquake in Japan ( http://blog.fema.gov/2011/03/
japan-earthquake-tsunami-)! In such a disaster, it may be several days or even weeks before normal services are restored. Are you prepared if it happened here? As we approach hurricane season as well as the potential for tornadoes as Spring storms begin (remember Suffolk?), it's worth spending a few moments (or longer) with your family to assess your preparedness in the face of emergencies. And while you are at it, consider how you could use your EMT skills if we didn't have that truck full of stuff..... (http://www.jems.com/article/ update-1.html major-incidents/consider-) wilderness-medicine-t
Some references & resources:
For those who want to get your community involved, check out the CERT program: http://sites.google.com/site/
Finally, thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the earthquake and resulting tsunami, and the rescuers working hard to help!
I would recommend thinking on a longer time scale for Alaska. Even in Anchorage, substantial aid after an emergency may be longer than three days away. Think about how long it would take a major vessel to steam from Hawaii or Seattle, then add in at least 24 hours for reaction time for people to load it up and make decisions. While C-17s may start landing at Elmendorf and other airfields with supplies more quickly, you really need boats to move in substantial relief. While 72-hours is a good starting point, the state suggests having two weeks of essentials.
If nothing else, fill up some more water jugs and pick up another crate of MREs, Mountain House, or even noodles. If you camp, fish, or hunt like many Alaskans do, you can always use that food for an outdoor trip. If you don't, then give it away to a food bank before it expires. It won't go bad.
Friday, March 11, 2011
The Illinois Attorney General recently ruled that the names of Firearms Owner ID card holders must be made public in response to a FOIA request. Note that state law enforcement officials strongly opposed it, because it would endanger non-firearms owners as criminals would know which houses to hit. So much for firearms not being a deterrent to crime.
On one hand, this is good for gun owners. Criminals don't like to mess with armed defenders, so smart criminals will do some research, see that you have guns, and knock off your neighbor's place instead. However, in this scenario, if you are a firearms owner and someone breaks into your home, there are two possible options:
1) The intruder is uninformed, intoxicated, impulsive or otherwise unable to do basic internet research to see if you have a gun.
2) The intruder is well aware that you have a gun and is hitting your house specifically because they want guns. Stolen guns are a hot commodity. That means they will likely be ready for a fight: armed, numerous, and even wearing body armor.
If I lived in Illinois in this scenario I'd consider immediately buying the closest thing to an "assault rifle" that the local laws allowed me to get. Specifically, I'd want a short, handy carbine usable inside the home that was chambered in an intermediate rifle caliber like an M1 carbine, SKS, AK-47 clone, or AR-15, because I'd want something that could punch through soft body armor and deal with multiple intruders. Speaking of that, I'd also want soft body armor. And I'd invest in some extra security, at least upgrading doors, windows, and so on.
Joe Huffman points out that this is basically the same as requiring, say, purchasers of Torahs to register as Jews (or Korans/Muslims, or Bibles/Xtians) and then outing the whole list. Don't you have a right to know if you neighbor is a Jew/Christian/Muslim?
People that live in Illinois: leave. Your state is imploding financially anyways. The taxes are bad and getting worse. Unemployment is high. Why stay?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The picture is just me still being super excited from the gorgeous display last night.
Onto the PSA!
Situational Awareness - Do you have it?
Today we were driving downtown. Approaching an intersection (green light) with a person waiting at the corner. I'm not sure what it was exactly, but alarm bells started going off in both of our heads, so Chris started to slow down. It turns out our reactions were justified. As we drove through the intersection, the woman literally LEAPED in front of our car. Fortunately, because we were paying attention, had noticed something "off" and slowed down, we were able to avoid a collision.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time something like this has happened to someone I know! Two years ago, a young woman with a history of suicide attempts did the exact same thing to a friend. The friend wasn't able to avoid the person. Fortunately, no injuries resulted, but there was a lot of mental anguish.
Just a lesson to pay attention to your surroundings, and to listen when your subconscious tells you that something is wrong.
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familesSomeone this must be the fault of the Tea Party. Why are leftists so violent?
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we've had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it's going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn't leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so "high" on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't
tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it's worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
Reply Reply to all Forward
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The survivor is being charged with Murder 2 as he provided the weapon, ammo, and encouraged the deceased to play, displaying deprived indifference.
Frankly, I'm not sure that Murder 2 is most appropriate. The survivor was junior in rank, younger, and played several rounds himself earlier in the evening. I find it unlikely that he pressured an NCO to play Russian Roulette. It is way too soon to assign blame, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this dropped to involuntary manslaughter.
The lessons learned might be:
- Intoxication and weapons don't mix.
- Multiple core four rules were violated: All Guns are Always Loaded (they treated this one like they "knew" where the loaded chamber was), Know Your Target and What is Beyond It, Keep Your Finger off the Trigger until Ready to Fire (definitely not followed), and Don't Point the Gun at Anything You Aren't Willing to Destroy (horsing around with the weapons taking photos earlier).
- Uniformed military/police are not necessarily immune to violating gun safety rules.
Unfortunate as the incident was , I doubt that the gun was the root cause of this incident. The soldiers were engaging in extremely risky, quasi-suicidal behavior. If private firearms weren't available, then maybe the behavior would have been racing fast cars, messing around with duty weapons, or extreme outdoor activities.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Gloria Moss has been contributing to a 401(k) since 1985, when she went back to work after having children. Especially after divorcing, she wasn't able to contribute as much as she wished and when her children finished college, she focused on repaying college loans. She says she lost more than half her savings in the recent financial crisis, then shifted heavily to bonds and missed the stock rebound.Mistake #1: Don't pay for kid's college over your own retirement, unless you plan on making those kids support you in your old age. The kids have plenty of time to pay down reasonable student loans, and there are scholarships available to offset the cost of school, as well as less expensive options (like two years of community college, then a transfer to a state school; or ROTC...). Mistake #2: Don't sell at the bottom in lock in your losses! She sold all her equities at the stock market crash's bottom. If she had a "buy and hold" strategy in simple "Lifecycle" style funds she'd have been much better off. For some reason, people will make snap, emotional, and uninformed decisions about the biggest asset they own (their retirement account) without actually doing any research.
Just 8% of households approaching retirement have the $636,673 or more in their 401(k)s that would be needed to generate $39,465 a year.That's probably because for some reason, people assumed they could contribute 5% of their income to retirement savings and then not work for 30 years. I mean, the idea that you can spend 20 years in school, work for 40 years, then retire for another 30 means that you'd be working less than half your life. To sustain your lifestyle in retirement, even with the magic of compound interest, you'd need to save significantly more than a 5% IRA contribution with employer match.
In 2008, when he was 59, John Mastej figured he was on track to retire in his early 60s. He and his wife both were working, with 401(k) plans. Counting all their savings, they had close to $200,000. Mr. Mastej was putting 20% of his salary into his 401(k)... They buy some food at discounted prices through their church, but are proud they have remained current on their mortgage, home-equity loan, insurance and property taxes.This man is justifiably proud of contributing 20% of his salary to a 401K, but apparently didn't have his house paid off. I have a sneaking suspicion that at some point, he used his home equity like an ATM and cashed in on a paper gain in housing prices. At retirement age, there's no reason why you can't have a paid off property. You can't cash out the equity in your house, then be proud of contributing 20% to an IRA. That's like being proud of saving for a Vegas trip before you leave, but running up a huge credit card bill in the meantime.
Carol Dailey is continuing to work at age 71. Ms. Dailey spent 10 years as an executive assistant at America Online and had stock options she figures were once worth $1.7 million. The options' value collapsed with the company's stock.Diversify. Anyone who has all their eggs in one basket is at risk of making an omelette. If she had cashed out her options and put them in a simple Lifecycle fund she'd be fine.
You can look at a simple retirement calculator to see what sort of savings are needed. If you are truly of modest means, and sock away $2K each year to maximize your Federal Saver's Tax Credit (basically a 50% match by Uncle Sam), then at 8% you'll have about a million dollars (a quarter of a million after inflation) after 42 years of work. That's not much, but if you also own your house outright, and you live in a low cost part of the region, that might be doable.
If you max out your ROTH IRAs every year ($5K), you'll have $1.5M ($423K after inflation). Those are pretty healthy numbers, significantly healthier than the average balance in people's 401Ks. If you max your IRA every year and own your home outright (i.e., you've been paying the mortgage instead of treating it like an ATM), then you should be around the ~$650K target number. And that's for a single wage earner! Obviously, a two-income couple would be able to sock away much more.
This tells me that most Boomers have been using their houses as ATMs, didn't start saving until late in life, and when they did start saving, didn't max out the tax advantaged vehicles available to them. That is, they preferred to spend lots of money on nice toys and the good life than to sock away money religiously for the future, and now, they'll be counting on social security and medicare--only to find that politicians have been no more responsible than they have in funding retirement obligations. It is cruel but apparently true.
The other factor I haven't hit on is inflation and taxes. If you mess around with the calculator, you'll find that increasing taxes by a bit (say, state taxes) has a major impact on savings. So does inflation, which effectively adjusts your rate of return up or down.
The biggest hurdles are to (A) start early and (B) save regularly. If you aren't investment savvy, max your IRAs, dump it in a Vanguard target retirement age account and forget about it. Then save a little more, too! Otherwise, you can worry about minimizing taxes and expenses, too, and get into asset allocation.
"FPPN Penetrator:" 405 gr @ 1600 FPS = 2302 ft lbs at muzzle / 1568 ft lbs and -5.6" at 150 yards
"Hard Cast:" 460 gr @ 1650 FPS = 2780 ft lbs at muzzle / 1942 ft lbs and -5.1" at 150 yards
"DPX Hunter:" 300 gr @ 1900 FPS = 2404 ft lbs at muzzle / 1496 ft lbs and +4.9" at 150 yards (zeroed for 200 yards, MPBR valid to 225 yards)
"8A LBT-LFN:" 430 gr @ 1925 FPS = 3446 ft lbs at muzzle / 1826 ft lbs and -5" at 150 yards
"8B JFN:" 405 gr @ 2000 FPS = 3596 ft lbs at muzzle / 2066.8 ft lbs and -4" at 150 yards
"8C JFN:" 350 gr @ 2100 FPS = 3426 ft lbs at muzzle / 2062 ft lbs and -3.5" at 150 yards
"Hammerhead +P:" 420 gr @ 1850 FPS = 3200 ft lbs at muzzle / UNK ft lbs and +3" at 100 yds (claimed effective to 225 w/ -10" drop)
"FTX:" 325 gr @ 2050 FPS = 3032 ft lbs at muzzle / 2158 ft lbs and +3" at 100 yds (ballistics good out to 200+ yards!)
Those are all pretty impressive numbers, at least up close. The Hornaday Leverolution clearly takes the prize for ballistics, reaching all the way out to ~2225 yards. Garrett is not far behind, and the DPX hunter from CORBON also performs out to >200 yards. However, the DPX does not retain much energy out even at 100 yds. I'm also a bit leery of the FTX bullet used by Hornaday, which is definitely not going to penetrate as much as the hardcast Garrett. The Buffalo Bore cartridges all pack a solid whallop, but drop a bit faster (maybe different BCs?).
It looks like these modern 45-70 loads are actually starting to be able to reach out a bit past the 150 yards I expected with a lever-gun! Of course, all these numbers are based on nice, long barrels. A guide gun with 18.5" barrel is going to lose ~50 FPS, with commensurate loss of energy and even range.
By comparison, here are some "large, heavy game" 308 loads from Federal:
FEDERAL NOSLER PARTITION: 180 gr @ 2570 FPS = 2640 ft lbs at muzzle / 2278 ft lbs and +3" at 100 yds
BARNES TRIPLE SHOCK: 165 gr @ 2650 FPS = 2573 ft lbs at muzzle / 2145 ft lbs and +0.9" at 100 yds
And from CORBON...
DPX: 165 gr @ 2600 FPS = 2521 ft lbs at muzzle / 2217 ft lbs and +2.2 at 100 yds
And Winchester's top of the line...
XP3: 150 gr @ 2825 FPS = 2658 ft lbs at muzzle / 2279 ft lbs and +0" at 100 yds
The 45-70 definitely has a significant edge in energy, especially up close.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Of course, this is a huge issue for Gwen:
Seems some lousy hungry runaways down in Anchor Point needed food, so they began a burglary spree which netted them food, jewelry and whaddya know, GUNS! It’s weird, because gun owners are always talking about how their guns will never be used in a crime because they keep them locked up. Well, if they’re locked up, you won’t be able to use them, and if you use them, you’re likely making things worse for everyone. So why own any? A crazy story made all the crazier because of our nation’s backwards thinking on gun ownership.
First, the quick kill: Anchor Point is not in Wasilla. Anchor Point is on the Kenai, which is the opposite direction from Anchorage that Wasilla is. Sometimes I wonder if Gwen actually lives in Anchorage as she claims, because her knowledge of Alaska geography seems spotty at best. Her tags are nonsense.
Next, her narrative is a bit messed up. Let's look at things a bit more closely.
The Perps: Raven Rainwater (15) and Chaunce Hoxie (20). Chaunce is a charming fellow, apparently. If you look at his criminal record, he's got a few offenses under his belt at the young age of 20. First, there's substance abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (a fairly serious Class A Misdemeanor). Then, more importantly, last year he was charged with two Class C felonies: Burglary 2 and Theft of a Firearm. Again, I have to wonder why a felon was on the streets to commit more crimes less than a year later, especially given his criminal history. Here we have a person who has a record of stealing firearms on the streets to steal more.
Raven doesn't have any charges filed against her (yet). These two individuals launched a crime spree in Anchor Point. They stole food, but they also stole $20K in jewelry and multiple firearms. Taking food may be understandable under certain limited circumstances, but I don't know how Gwen condones stealing twenty grand worth of jewelry. That's grand larceny, a serious felony. Moreoever, stealing firearms implies an intent to commit armed robbery, crimes against the person, or even worse.
The Vigilantes: Glen Showalter and Mark Cocke. Mark Cocke allegedly lost the jewelry and a 44 magnum. He has a fairly long record of minor offenses. However, one includes DV charges, which might make him a prohibited person who perhaps couldn't have legally owned a firearm to be stolen. The others are minor traffic offenses except for some fish & game charges, including wanton waste, which I take pretty seriously as a sportsman. Glen doesn't have any charges in the system against him.
The Bystander: Richard Bolton. He's an older gentleman who is a longtime friend of Hoxie since childhood. Bolton apparently secured the firearms from the youngsters. He claims he was detained by Showalter and Cocke, who suspected him as he was friends with Hoxie and had a bag of coins. Bolton has a long record himself, primarily traffic violations, fish and game violations, and most seriously, misconduct involving weapons three in 1992.
At this blog, we've discussed Alaska law as pertains to citizen's arrests before. The statute states:
(a) A private person or a peace officer without a warrant may arrest a person...
This is exceedingly broad for a citizen's arrest statute, probably because of the remote nature of much of Alaska. However, it isn't license to detain people willy-nilly, even if you have "reasonable cause" for believing a person to have committed a felony. For example, if our vigilantes actual did detain Richard Bolton -- who probably committed no felony, unless one says that he was harboring fugitives or committing conspiracy, which I think would be a stretch -- then they could be liable for false arrest. Moreover, private citizens have little protection against allegations of excessive force, false arrest, etc.
- (1) for a crime committed or attempted in the presence of the person making the arrest;
- (2) when the person has committed a felony, although not in the presence of the person making the arrest;
- (3) when a felony has in fact been committed, and the person making the arrest has reasonable cause for believing the person to have committed it.
I haven't lived in a remote community. However, Anchor Point is on the road system and has full time troopers. While I fully support the use of force -- including lethal force -- in self defense when there is reasonable cause to believe that death or serious injury is imminent, I am more wary before supporting armed neighborhood watches by what is effectively the unorganized militia. I'm not philosophically opposed to such, but the circumstances should be dire indeed to warrant such action.
GWEN THE BIGOT: BLAME THE VICTIMS
Gwen thinks that this is all the fault of the victims who had their firearms stolen. First off, she doesn't understand that given enough time -- for example, at a remote cabin -- any safe can be cracked or just physically hauled off. There are quick access safes which allow rapid access by lawful owners, but prevent casual access; if bolted to the frame or furniture then such safes might even be fairly secure as well as safe. Next, Gwen is blaming victims of crime like Mrs. Shanna Roderick. This is like blaming rape victims for causing crime because they dared to live in Alaska. Mrs. Roderick is a victim here, not a perp. Gwen is a bigot who is unable to discern truth from falsity, however, so that distinction is apparently lost on her.
Gwen also doesn't consider what kind of world this would be if there were no firearms, as she suggests. If we lived in Gwen's world, the two thieves would be free to arm themselves with improvised weapons and rob houses in the dead of night when lawful owners would be asleep--two on one. Gwen doesn't even trust off-duty police officers with firearms, so the state troopers asleep in their beds would be potential victims. Firearms weren't common in the Middle Ages but there were no shortages of highwaymen or outlaws, after all.
What sort of solutions might have had an effect?
First off, locking up felons in jail might have helped. Mr. Hoxie has multiple misdemeanors, and was charged with two felonies less than a year ago. Yet he was out on the streets, free to woo underage girls, steal more guns, and commit grand larceny. In what world does that make sense?
Next, the State Troopers had clearly failed to maintain the confidence of the community. The AK State Troopers are a really unique organization with a tough mission. However, when people who are skeptical of the vigilantes -- like Mrs. Roderick -- feel that the police have been totally unresponsive, it hints that the police have failed to forge a strong relationship with the community that they protect. The perception of police inaction apparently led to community meetings -- and action -- on the subject. If the police maintain the confidence of the community, then there is no need for vigilantes. Indeed, it seems that the police might have been coordinating with the neighborhood watch efforts.
Frankly, there's still a lot of question marks here. Not everyone is lily white. It seems premature to rush to judgment on anyone, except for perhaps Hoxie, who seems to be a repeat offender of serious crimes (although of course--he's innocent until proven guilty). Firearms didn't appear to make anything in this situation worse. They may have even made things better. And certainly, the guns that Hoxie stole didn't whisper in his ear, urging him on to greater and greater crimes. Hoxie is responsible alone for his actions.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. It sounds like these were difficult circumstances to evaluate on the fly.
The fact that the gun ended up being a pellet gun is immaterial. It looked like a real firearm, giving him ability to inflict death or serious bodily injury. He was pointing it near people, opportunity. The only question is whether a reasonable person would have discerned jeopardy, or intent to cause harm.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The "problem" is that I think I need a new gun. As you can recall, last summer I settled on a Browning Xbolt in 308 for my "all around" all-weather hunting rifle. I really could not be more satisfied with this rifle. It handles well, has little recoil, is extremely weather resistant, and shoots as well as I can. It will work without fail after multiple days of wet Alaskan weather. I've carried it on a few trips now and have confidence in it. The short bolt lift is great for situations when fast follow up shots might be required.
I don't have a lot of confidence in the 308 for this hunt, though. Sure, brown bears have been killed with less. In fact, the 30-06 has been a caliber of choice for killing bears for decades, and I think a modern controlled expansion bullet in 308 probably stacks up pretty well against a 30-06 round from 1970, despite the difference in terminal energy. It will almost certainly kill a bear -- if everything goes right. If the range is too long, the field of fire too small, the shot not dead on, etc then the 308 does not give me much room for error.
Give that Heather will be my backup, and I think she'll have a 30-06 -- not a .338 win mag or .375 H&H guide gun like a professional guide might carry, I'm leery of just bringing a 308. I do not want to wound a bear and have to chase it into the alders, I don't want to wound and lose game (not ethical), and I certainly don't want to tickle it with a 308, piss it off, and have to stop a charge.
That said, I'm looking at a few options. The qualities I'm looking for are:
- Weather resistant. Has to tolerate a 10-day hunt in wet, cold, conditions.
- Reliable. Needs to work every time.
- Value. I don't want to drop more than a grand, all told. Even that I'm hesitant about.
- Future use options. I'm going to hunt one brown bear. I don't want to buy an expensive gun that gets used once. However, I don't necessarily want to sell the gun that I used to kill a brown bear with. That seems like a nice heirloom and conversation piece that I'll have a lot of pride of ownership in. So I want something that will have future use.
- Effective stopper. I want something that will put down a brown bear with more authority than the 308. At least a 30-06, minimum.
Last year when I was looking at rifles, I was actually quite impressed with the Marlin XL7 line. They are "entry level" rifles that are actually a pretty good value. For entry level guns they have a nice feature set and get the job done. A Marlin XL7S would run <$400, be chambered in 30-06, and is stainless. For an entry level rifle I think you're hard put to do much better. 30-06 is a versatile caliber, but it really is pretty close to the 308. It also doesn't offer quite the same stopping authority as some of the other cartridges. Honestly, I don't know when I'd prefer to use a 30-06 over a 308 except for big bears. But it would be a decent back up rifle in the safe I suppose.
WEATHERBY VANGUARD SYNTHETIC (300 or 338 win mag)
I was also impressed with the value of the Vanguard line. You get quite a bit of rifle for a fair price. The only downside is that they don't come in stainless. These also come in right around $400. This is the best way to get into a larger magnum cartridge for a good price, I think. I don't know what else I'd ever use a 338 win mag for, though. I cannot think of any other situations where I'd bring a 338 into the field over a 308. I can't even imagine plinking with it at the range.
MARLIN 1895 SSBL (45-70 gov't)
First off, even though this is advertised as a "guide gun" for the North country, Alaskan guides do not commonly use 45-70s. Guides need to be able to make follow up shots on game out to whatever range the client is shooting at, and they tend to favor 338 win mags and 375 H&Hs. That said, however, within its performance envelope (150 yards or so) the 45-70 certainly delivers excellent stopping power. I also like the features on the SBL; it basically adds most of the things that I would pay a smith to put on anyways (express sights, extended magazine, short barrel, big loop lever). I don't love the pistol grip stock (prefer straight stocks) but I can live with it.
I also really like lever guns. I have two Marlin levers now and really enjoy both of them. I have a lot of confidence handling them, which I think might be important on this kind of hunt. There would certainly also be pride of ownership, and at least it fills a different role in my gun safe than the 308. Plus, with Cowboy Action Shooting loads, it can actually be affordable and fun to shoot, unlike a big heavy recoiling magnum. The 45-70 would be my "go to" brush gun or defensive gun for bear country, and the 308 would remain the open country, longer shooting rifle.
The downside is price. These rifles cost about $700. I'd think about topping it with a 2.5X scout scope as well which will run another $200 on detachable Leupold rings. Bead blasting the stainless finish -- optional -- would run another hundred bucks. That means I'm running at a grand or so, which is almost twice as much what a Marlin XL7 or Vanguard will cost even with glass.
Another downside is range. The max effective range of a 45-70 will be around 150 yards due to loss of energy with that big bore bullet and the ballistic bullet drop. A 338 win mag will be effective out to 300 yards. A bear can cover 10 yards in a second. So that means that with a 45-70 I think you need to take shots at around 100 yards so that you can get in a follow up shot if he runs straight away from you. However, I don't think that means I'd be taking 250 yard shots with a 338 win mag. Most of the terrain in Kodiak doesn't allow that, first off, and second I'd want to get closer to get a good, high accuracy, high energy first shot. Most bears are shot around 100 yards anyways, and it is possible to do a good stalk that gets you in close.
Luckily, I have lots of time to decide! I still haven't totally written off the 308. It might be an option. But I am leaning towards the 45-70 right now.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
It’s great that guns were used to commit crime. Isn’t that great? Soooo great. It’s also great that guns didn’t prevent the crime but actually helped make the crime easier. That’s how guns work—they make crime easier. But the NRA and gun owners don’t enjoy admitting that. They’d rather fill you you with fear so they can take your fundraising dollars to elect politicians who make a mint building prisons to house criminals. See how that works? It’s soooo great!
Apparently, even though the investigation is ongoing, Gwen knows that handguns were used (its tagged), that Palin's thought control rays made the criminals do it, and that Republicans are responsible. Is her bias showing?
Even if the intruders weren't armed with firearms, don't you think three masked men attacking by surprise while hopped up on at least adrenaline wielding, say, knives and clubs, would have an excellent chance of overpowering a groggy man and his girlfriend?
Note that neither victim could lawfully possess a defensive weapon themselves. Christopher Kendricks has a domestic violence record. The female victim also looks like she had two charges of stalking/DV and restraining orders filed against her, and one that she filed against someone else, so I believe she would also be a prohibited person. Not to blame the victims, but this does fit the pattern of murders I found when looking at the 2010 Anchorage murders -- most of the perps and the victims had a record in substance abuse, DV, or felonies.
I have a feeling that if the three masked intruders are ever found then we'll find that they have long rap sheets involving DV, drugs, and/or felonies, making them prohibited persons as well.
You'd find that a lot of gun owners are actually upset at prison policies. We lock up non-violent drug offenders who had too much weed in possession for a decade, but then violent criminals are paroled early to roam the streets. In some states, the average sentence for attempted murder is less than a decade. I'd prefer that we empty the jails of non-violent criminals, get rid of stupid non-violent felonies (like packing lobsters in the wrong type of bag, or mailing exotic flowers without a license), and lock up actual violent criminals behind bars.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Meanwhile, I found this interesting article about the clash between federal and state laws on prohibited persons while searching for the above story. An interesting viewpoint that highlights the problem with making all sorts of non-violent offenses felonies, the incompetence of ATF, and how federal "one size fits all" laws don't always work everywhere.