Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass “Go”. Do not collect $1,000.

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Prosecutors said the detective, a 19-year veteran who works at Police Headquarters, forged another detective’s name, as well as the names of a supervising sergeant and a police inspector, on several forms after a November 2012 arrest in which a gun was seized. The arrest report did not include any associated tip, so the detective added one in order to collect $1,000, prosecutors said.

The detective in question, John Malloy, has been charged with six counts of “felony forgery” (is there “misdemeanor forgery”?), five counts of “offering a false instrument”, “attempted petit larceny”, and “official misconduct”.

Interesting note #1:

…the police have seized more than 3,350 illegal guns and arrested well over 5,500 people on gun charges. The program is viewed as a boon to officers, who get weapons off the streets, and easy money for the anonymous tipsters who collect a $1,000 reward. The foundation has paid out more than $2.1 million in rewards, which are financed by donations.

I wonder who donates to “Operation Gun Stop”. Do you suppose that’s a matter of public record?

Interesting note #2:

But the rate of tips coming into the program has declined over the last five years, according to department reports on the program. In 2008, the Gun Stop program received 731 tips, resulting in 319 guns seized. By 2013, the number of tips had fallen to 496, with 235 guns taken.

Hmmmmm. So in 2013, the NYPD got 261 more tips than guns. I wonder about those 261 other tips…

Random gun crankery.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Mike the Musicologist and I were talking about the moronic Rolling Stone list. So apparently “Derringers” are among the most dangerous guns in America? I can buy that; after all, no president has ever been shot with a machine gun, so clearly they are less dangerous than derringers.

(Would you trade a ban on derringers for legalized machine guns? I wouldn’t either, but I think it is an interesting question.)

Anyway, that, and the fact that I’ve been reading a lot about presidential assassinations and attempted assassinations recently, got me thinking. (As a side note, I owe my readers a longer discussion of the works of Candice Millard, but that’s for another time.)

So Oswald’s rifle may be the single best documented presidential assassination weapon we have. It is historically interesting, but we can set that to one side for the moment.

I am 99 44/100ths percent sure I have seen Booth’s derringer, but that was a long time ago in another country. I did briefly wonder how it was recovered: was it on Booth when he died? (No: Booth dropped it on the floor of Lincoln’s box when he pulled the knife and slashed Major Rathbone. Apparently, the New York Reload had not been invented in 1865.) And I was also not aware that there was a brief controversy about Booth’s derringer: there were claims that it was stolen and replaced with a replica. (I am also not sure that I trust the FBI’s police work 100% there, Lou, but that’s probably yet another discussion for another time.)

So that takes care of the two most famous assassinations. What of President McKinley, who, as you may recall, was shot by an anarchist with an unpronounceable name? Czolgsz’s weapon of choice was a .32 caliber Iver Johnson revolver; according to this site, that gun resides in the Buffalo History Museum. (Their website supports this.)

And that brings us to Garfield (the president, not the cartoon cat), who you may recall was shot by a “disgruntled office seeker”, which is a polite way of saying “a f–king nut”. When the Oneida Community thinks you’re weird, maybe that’s your sign.

Anyway. Guiteau shot Garfield with a “.44 Webley British Bulldog revolver“, which he purchased using money bummed from a friend. (Bumming money from friends and skipping out on his boarding bills was typical of Guiteau.) Supposedly, he bought one with ivory grips instead of wood because “he thought it would look good as a museum exhibit after the assassination”. (I’ve seen this cited elsewhere. On the other hand, the Wikipedia entry on the Bulldog says Guiteau didn’t want to spring for the extra $1 for ivory.)

The punchline to this: “The revolver was recovered and displayed by the Smithsonian in the early 20th century, but has since been lost.

Seriously. They lost the gun used to kill a president. Granted, it appears to have been “lost” long after Guiteau was tried and executed. But still; how do you “lose” a presidential assassination weapon? And can you imagine the discussion at the Smithsonian when they found out Guiteau’s gun was “lost”?

(And I think I have to give Oswald a slight edge on taste, as he was the only one to use a Smith and Wesson revolver. Granted, it was a Victory model, so it wasn’t one of the better looking ones, but it was still a Smith. And if you were wondering, Jack Ruby used a Colt.)

(I say “slight edge” because, for all of Guiteau’s numerous faults, at least he picked ivory. As we all know, only a pimp in a cheap New Orleans whorehouse carries pearl handled revolvers.)

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

This post over at the PJ Media site got me curious: can you purchase a Red Ryder BB gun from the Christmas Story House gift shop?

Yes. Yes, you can.


  • $65 is way high.
  • It does not have a compass in the stock.
  • While a 20 year old man can go down to his local gun shop and legally purchase an AK-47, AR-15, or Winchester Model 70 chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum, the Christmas Story House gift shop appears to want you to be 21 years old in order to purchase a Red Ryder BB gun from them.
  • “State statutes and/or local ordinances prohibit the sale and possession of bb guns/air guns in some areas. We are unable to ship bb guns/air guns into New Jersey; Chicago, IL; Morton Grove, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Buffalo, NY; New York City and its boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island City, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The NYC zip codes affected are: 100xx-104xx, 110xx, 112xx-114xx, 116xx. Orders with shipping addresses with in these areas will not be processed. An adult signature is required at delivery.”

Aaron Burr! Aaron Burr!

Friday, July 11th, 2014

This would have totally gotten past me if not for a retweet from the Popehat, but: today is the 210th anniversary of the Burr-Hamilton duel.

Mike the Musicologist and I talked about this briefly over the holiday weekend: if I ever make it back to NYC, one of the things I plan to do is to see the pistols.


Today’s update from the Department of You’re Not Helping, Idiots!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Geoffrey Hawk, 44, the owner of a gun business called “In Case of Emergency,” was showing a semiautomatic .380 handgun and accessories to Krysta Gearhart, local TV station WNEP reported.
But there was a round left in the weapon and during the demonstration the would-be customer took a slug in the thigh, raising the question, are gun shows safe?

Another article quotes the vendor as suggesting that someone chambered a live round while his back was turned, running background checks. Which raises some questions:

  • As the linked article points out, why not use a blue gun instead of a real one?
  • If you have to turn your back, why not slip the real gun into your waistband? Or under the table? Or someplace where you have control of it?

But it gets better.

Cedar Park police believe there was no criminal intent involved in the shooting death of a 59-year-old Jarrell man outside of the Austin Gun Show on Saturday.

[Redacted]‘s son-in-law [Redacted], a Euless resident, was handling a firearm that he had just reloaded when the gun fired, police said.

This took place in the parking lot, not inside the show itself, and took place late in the day. My guess is that Redacted #2 unloaded his gun before going into the show, and was reloading it as they were leaving. Count the Four Rules violations here.

Happy Gavrilo Princip Day!

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

(And a tip of the Hatlo hat to Guffaw.)

Some advice for those of you who choose to celebrate today:

  • Archdukes are somewhat of an endangered species these days. Make sure you have the proper permits and observe the bag limit of one.
  • Princip probably didn’t eat a sandwich (as we’ve discussed before) so if you want to maintain authenticity, find a place that serves Bosnian food. That might be hard if you’re not in a large metropolitan area; in Houston, there’s Cafe Pita. In Austin…well, if you’re going to deviate from authenticity, the Noble Pig is open until 5 PM.
  • Make sure your cyanide hasn’t expired.
  • Also, know the depth of your river before you attempt suicide by throwing yourself into it.
  • Consider how long or short your grenade fuse should be. I’m really not in a position to make specific recommendations, but a ten second fuse seems a bit long.
  • If you happen to be driving any archdukes on this day, make sure you know the route. (If Franz Ferdinand’s chauffeur had a GPS, or even a smartphone with Waze, would WWI have been avoided?)
  • Also, make sure your car is tuned up. There’s nothing worse than backing up and stalling in front of an assassin.
  • It may be a little late for this, but it looks like you can pick up a reasonably nice FN 1910 for short money on Gunbroker.

Old advertisements are fun!

Friday, June 27th, 2014

I didn’t just buy guns at the S&W Collectors Association convention. I also bought some old paper, which I’ve slowly been scanning in.

I thought I’d upload this one, since it touches on two of this blog’s fairly recent obsessions. This dates from 1944: I am not a lawyer, but based on my understanding of copyright law, it is in the public domain unless S&W renewed the copyright in 1972. I am doubtful that they did, but if I receive evidence to the contrary I will remove this.

S&W Handgun History.

I have some more in this series if this proves popular, and if I don’t get a DMCA challenge.

(And I apologize for the bleed-through; these were done on fairly thin newsprint. I did try putting some black construction paper behind the pages to see if that would cut the bleed, but it didn’t help as much as I thought it would.)


Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Headline in the LAT:

Elliot Rodger used knife, hammer, machete in killings, attorney says

But of course what we need are more gun control laws.

Gratuitous gun porn (#4 in a series)

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

For reasons I can’t fully explain, I’ve wanted a revolver chambered in .45 ACP.

When I went to my first S&WCA convention in Sturbridge, I was able to shoot one at the Smith and Wesson Shooting Sports Center. The gun I rented was a Model 625 JM. (The “JM” is for “Jerry Miculek”, who shoots for the Smith and Wesson factory team. The 625 is the gun he used to fire 12 shots in under three seconds, including a reload.) Model 625 revolvers show up used fairly frequently, and I’ve been tempted by them. But either I’ve not had the ready cash, or haven’t quite been able to overcome my bias against shiny guns. (Also, many of the used ones I’ve seen have these kind of pastel grips, for want of a better description, and those also turn me off.)

I think my affection for the .45 ACP revolver has something to do with being drawn to the oddball and unusual. With most revolver cartridges – your .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Special/Magnum, etc. – the cartridge has a rim around the bottom. When you go to unload your revolver, there’s a little metal piece (“extractor star”) that catches the rim and pushes the cartridge out of the cylinder. With most automatic pistol cartridges – 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP – the cartridge doesn’t have a rim, so there’s nothing for that bit to catch on, and the cartridge remains stuck in the chamber until you push it out with something like a pencil or cleaning rod.

This wasn’t a big deal until World War I. The military couldn’t get 1911 automatic pistols fast enough to supply everyone who needed a sidearm. Their other choice was to issue revolvers, but they didn’t want to deal with the logistics of having both an automatic pistol and a revolver caliber. They wanted revolvers that could easily use the same .45 ACP cartridge that the 1911 used. One of S&W’s engineers invented something called the “moon clip”, which comes in “half” and “full” moon variants. Cartridges snap into cutouts in the clip (a half-moon clip has three cutouts, a full moon clip has six), and then the clip is loaded into the gun. When you go to unload, the extractor star catches the moon clip and pushes it, and the fired cases, out of the gun. Moon clips are basically a primitive form of speedloader. Not that it matters that much in a defensive gun, but they are also a lot cheaper than a speedloader. (Amazon will sell you an eight pack of full moon clips for $8.95 with prime shipping. A single Safariland speedloader will run you about $11 to $16.) And there’s very little that can go wrong with a moon clip; it’s just a piece of stamped metal with no moving parts.

(Side note: you can also get revolvers and moon clips in 9mm and .40 S&W. There’s also been a trend towards moon clips in some of S&W’s .357 Magnum revolvers.)

Here’s a video from YouTube that explains how moon clips work. And no, I’m not just dropping this here for my own reference.

After the jump, more words! More pictures! You can do anything with words and pictures!


Bonus gun porn.

Thursday, June 19th, 2014


Model 34-1 with 2″ barrel, next to pre-Model 34 Kit Gun for comparison purposes.

Gratuitous gun porn (#3 in a series)

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Before last week, I had not purchased a gun since July of 2012*.

There are reasons for that. One was that I went through a period of unemployment, where I wasn’t purchasing anything but essential items.

A second reason is that it has been hard to find things I’ve been interested in purchasing. My local gun shops have had very few used guns that I was interested in; it seems that people are mostly holding on to guns rather than trading them in. When Mike the Musicologist and I went down to San Antonio, I did find a few interesting used guns, but either the prices were out of line (in my opinion) or (at Nagel‘s) I didn’t have the ready cash available to make the purchase.

When I decided I was going to the Smith and Wesson Collectors Association symposium in Columbus, I thought there was a good chance that I’d break the drought. I don’t buy guns just for the sake of buying guns, but I generally have a mental list of “grail” guns at any given time. The S&WCA annual meetings are a good place to find at least some of those guns, since many of my “grail” guns are Smiths.

I was lucky enough to find two guns that I fell in love with, both at the table of noted dealer David Carroll. I was even luckier in that they were within price ranges I felt I could afford, and that Mr. Carroll was willing to work with me on payment and shipping. (Mr. Carroll is a swell guy. Go buy things from him. Please.)

(As a side note, it isn’t as easy to buy guns over the Internet or out of state as lying liars who lie would have you believe. The S&WCA meeting was in Ohio. I live in Texas. As a non-resident of Ohio who doesn’t have any type of Federal Firearms License (FFL), I couldn’t legally buy a gun in the state. Private sale or dealer, it wouldn’t make any difference; I’d be breaking the law, as would the person who sold it to me. I had to have my dealer in Texas send Mr. Carroll (who is a licensed dealer) a copy of his FFL, Mr. Carroll had to ship the guns to my FFL dealer, and then I had to go to my dealer, fill out a BATFE Form 4473, and provide my Texas concealed carry permit to my FFL dealer before I could take possession of the guns. If I didn’t have a Texas concealed carry permit, I still could have gone through with the purchase, but my dealer would have had to phone in a NICS check. The only thing my Texas concealed carry permit gets me is bypassing the phone call, since I’ve already been through a background check.)

(If I had a limited collectors license, what BATFE calls a “Curios and Relics” (or “C&R”) license, I probably could have brought one of the guns home with me. The “C&R” license is less expensive and less invasive than a full FFL, but it limits you (generally) to guns more than 50 years old. So I still would have had to have the second gun shipped to my FFL, plus there’s the whole “traveling with a gun on an airline” thing, which is kind of complicated.)

(And I’ll admit, it gave me more than a little thrill when I went to my FFL to pick up the guns, and the guy behind the counter said, “Oh, yeah. I saw those earlier. Those are pretty.” They especially admired the one I’m about to write about.)

(I’m sure many of my readers already know these things. The above is for the benefit of new readers, and people who may not be aware of the process. Remember: lying liars who lie, will lie.)

After the jump, photos and words and things.


Previews of coming attractions.

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Teaser photo for the two longer posts I said I was working on.


I used the iPhone for this one, but I plan to use the Nikon for the real posts. There’s something about the juxtaposition here that I like.