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Community => FQA Projects => Topic started by: Stormwarden on November 06, 2013, 01:31:57 am

Title: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 06, 2013, 01:31:57 am
(Special note: Anyone who wants to critique and add anything is welcome to. I'm shooting from the hip here!).

In the past, I have had to restate my views over and over on firearm safety and their presence in general. So, I'm writing this so I can finally, FINALLY, stop having to repeat myself. We begin with my golden rule on firearms,  the rule from which most of my other rules, if not all of them, stem from. It is simple:

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY BULLET THAT LEAVES YOUR FIREARM.

It goes off because of bad maintenance? You loan your gun to your drinking buddy and he goes postal with it? You leave your firearm unsupervised and your own dog shoots you with it? That's all on YOU. Just as you have the right to own the firearm, so too that such a freedom, like virtually all others, carries with it a responsibility to be smart with your firearms.

The following are rules that stem from this golden rule:

1a) Always assume the weapon is loaded unless you yourself unloaded it, and check again to be sure. Better to be overcautious, than having an accidental discharge.

1b) Store weapons and ammo separately, especially if you have kids. These should be locked away in a gunsafe when not in use. If you must use a pistol at your bedside, at least use a trigger guard unless it's just you or an adult

1c) Never point a gun, loaded or unloaded, at anything you don't intend to shoot.

1d) Never, EVER, leave the weapon unsupervised without rendering it safe first, under ANY circumstance.

1e) NATO doctrine works great on the battlefield. It doesn't work so well in home defense or law enforcement. Prioritize precision over volume. Too often, people will think they fired one shot, when they emptied the hogleg on someone. Don't let that happen to you, as moments like that mean hurt bystanders.

1f) ALWAYS know what's behind your target and what you're shooting at, no matter what Joe Biden tries to tell you.

I could go on about how good gun owners often get blamed for the stupidity of the idiots who play with them, or how I'm tired of seeing groupblame where there's no place for it, but instead, I'll point out that every person is someone's son or daughter, a nephew or a niece, grandson or granddaughter, and the consequences of bad decision making with firearms doesn't solely affect you or the victim.

So, respect the gun, or respect the courtroom (if you're lucky) or the morgue (if you're not).

Now, onto other rules.

2) Choose your firearms well. As any brief research will tell you, not all firearms are created equal. Avoid any "Ring of Fire" firearms at all costs (Google it), and do your homework. When at the gun shop, first, make sure it's a reputable vendor, and then make sure the firearm fits well. For personal defense, many prefer 9mm Parabellum, but even that varies. You'll want to go for comfort and ease of use  for a self-defense situation. Also, decide if you want to use a cliploader or a revolver. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Revolvers are easier to maintain and use, but have limited ammunition capacity (usually 5-9 rounds, depending on ammo caliber and the size of the revolver).  Semiautomatics tend to have increased capacity and tend to be lighter, but can be harder to clean or take apart, and are usually more expensive besides.

This brings in an addendum: Size isn't everything. Find a balance between stopping power and controllability. Just because you can get a .50AE round, doesn't mean you can use it in a home defense situation.

Newer models tend to vary this. Again, do your homework.

3) Choose your holster and storage well: Go for a holster that allows you to draw however you feel comfortable. And for pete's sake, get a gun safe, especially if you have kids. See the Golden Rule. Make sure it uses a combination if possible, or a key if you need to reach it in a hurry. If you can, get a gun safe that can be bolted down to the floor.

4) Learn to use and maintain the gun. Do target practice and know how to disassemble and clean the weapon. In target practice always wear hearing and eye protection, and make sure you know what you're shooting at and what's behind the target (The same is true in a self-defense situation).

5) Ammunition is not wine. It does not age gracefully. Check your ammo regularly for signs of corrosion or aging. When shooting, if you pull the trigger and nothing happens, DO NOT LOOK DOWN THE BARREL. It's a hangfire, and it may fire shortly or not at all. Stay where you are, keep your buddies behind you, and stay put with the weapon pointed away from everyone until the weapon either discharges or several minutes go by. Once it discharges, or that time goes by, render the weapon safe, and step away. Now,if it doesn't fire, odds are, there was a failure of the firing pin, or some other part of the mechanism. Clean the weapon and inspect the parts.

6) I call this the Adam Lanza Rule. If you suspect that someone in the household: A roomie, a lover, one of your kids, WHOEVER, is a danger to himself and others, GET THE GUNS AND AMMO OUT OF THE HOUSE, IMMEDIATELY. Leave them with a trusted friend or family member, or ask law enforcement to store them for you, and brief them on the situation. Has Adam Lanza's mother done this, the Newtown Massacre may have been prevented.

This is what I have for now. I'll update it and add more to it once I get this cold out of the way.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on November 06, 2013, 03:36:22 am
I'll suggest a couple of supplemental rules for basic ownership and handling and a few for knowing in case of an attack.

7: If your holster consists of your belt and the front of your pants you deserve it when you shoot yourself and make your happy place not so happy. Mexican carry is flat out dangerous and the only way you should do it is when you have a Mexican Carry Holster.

8: Any holster you get should provide trigger protection. If it doesn't cover the trigger, ditch it because it's an accident aimed at a body part.

9: Always remember: Joe Biden is wrong. If you feel threatened badly enough that discharging a firearm is the only option you have to avoid being attacked, you had better be damn sure of what you are shooting at. So, unlike what Shotgun Joe says, do NOT shoot through your door (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/28/biden-advises-shooting-shotgun-through-door) to keep someone away from your house. This is a great way to kill a visitor, a family member, a friend or the god damn mail man.

10: Always remember: Joe "Two Blasts (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/20/joe-biden-shotgun-advice-could-land-jill-biden-in-jail)" Biden is wrong. Remember the old saying, what goes up must come down. If you discharge a firearm into the air the projectile is not going to leave orbit and keep going until it hits Andromeda. It will return to earth, sometimes with lethal velocity. Now the chances might be remote that the round will actually strike a person, but it has been known to happen and there have been injuries and deaths attributed to it. Warning shots are good in theory but bad (and often illegal) in practice because of the danger associated with them. Your only warning shot should be "Stop, or I will shoot."

11: Always remember, Double-Barrel Biden IS WRONG! A load of buckshot WILL go through the wall and into the next room. So will .223, 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, .38 spl and many, many others. A projectile shot from a firearm is a heavy piece of metal flying through the air at high velocity and, as many of us know, Force = Mass x Acceleration. Always know your surroundings when discharging a firearm and this goes doubly if you're in your home. If you are using your firearm for home defense, purchase rounds designed for home defense. They are expensive, yes, but many are designed to reduce the risk of over penetration. And if it has less ability to go through a wall then get it.

12: Always maintain control of your firearm. If you have your firearm out, keep it with you. If you do not want it with you, lock it the fuck up. If you want it next to you at night, Stormwarden covered this pretty well, but they also make gun safes specially designed for keeping in your nightstand. They offer combination locks that open through the use of finger movements rather than keys or trigger locks, which helps in low-light or no-light conditions and they can run between $200 and $350 bucks.

13: Shotguns aren't I Win guns. If you fire off a shotgun then it won't make a brand new garage door in your garage door. The pellets spread in a fairly predictable pattern of about an inch per yard traveled so if you're shooting across the living room then the pellets may spread out to about the size of a clenched fist. This is important to remember because it could lead to carelessness and an inattention to what is behind the target.

15: Shotgun pellets go further than your think. Depending on the choke in your shotgun, they can travel anywhere between 25 and 40 yards. That is more than enough to hit the house across the street and, as has been said before, you are responsible for every round discharged from your firearm. Always, ALWAYS be sure of what is behind your target.

16: The magazine is not bottomless. If you squeeze the trigger and your firearm goes BANG! it will only do so as many times as there are rounds in your weapon. If you have a 17 round magazine, then barring malfunction or dud ammo, your firearm will fire 18 times (assuming you have a round chambered). If you're being attacked, once the hammer goes *click* you need to either replace the magazine or run the fuck away. Practice magazine changes. Practice them a lot. Run around the block and then start changing magazines when you're winded. Work yourself into a panic and start changing magazines. Stress yourself until your nerves are frayed and start changing magazines. Train yourself until you're hands and arms are doing it through muscle memory. If you have to think to do it, you've fucked something up.

17: Contrary to popular belief, it is not at all uncommon to be attacked by multiple assailants. This happened to my father during two different home invasions. If you feel the need to have a firearm for personal protection, then train yourself to use it and by the gods, carry extra magazines of good capacity. And don't ever assume that if you're attacked it will only be by a lone attacker.

18: You will miss. Some of us will miss a lot, others not so much, but none of us will have every round fired land on target. This is why it is so important to know what is behind your target and why you should have spare magazines on you. When people are stressed and hyped up on adrenaline they won't be able to hit their target all the time. But through training and practice you will be able to take in what is happening and what the background behind your target is.

19: An addendum to the Adam Lanza Rule: If you feel yourself slipping into a depression and have presence of mind to know what is happening, then get those firearms away from you. Hand them off to friends or family members or ask the police to take custody of them for a while, but don't put yourself in a position where you may act irrationally toward yourself or others. Some of us have bad days and then we're over it, some of us have much longer periods where we're not in our right minds. The best thing you can do to be a safe and responsible firearm owner is to know yourself. Know how you feel, know how you handle depression, know how you act when you feel like everything is going (or has gone) to shit. If you can take a good, hard look at yourself you will be able to tell whether owning firearms is the right thing for you to do.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 07, 2013, 12:35:32 am
I like every one of those rules, Damen, enough that I'll add your name to the credits as a cowriter.  Incidentally, do home defense rounds include glaser safety ammunition (not entirely solid, so it wouldn't even penetrate drywall or the back of an airplane seat? I heard they're illegal in some states). We should just do a special section just for Biden (BIDEN IS DEAD WRONG). I do respect the man to a point, but I wouldn't trust him with a cap pistol in my place.

 I do have a couple of additional rules and a kids' rules section that needs covered.

20) You will NOT fire "gangster style" (ie with the gun and trigger sideways). firearms are not built for that sort of shooting, and you wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn in that position. It may look cool to you, and let you talk some smack, but there's nothing cool about being dead because you decided looks are better than performance in a self-defense situation.

21) The second-most-important rule to firearms: CHECK YOUR STATE GUN LAWS. Check for Concealed carry permits, and which states will honor those permits. Be aware of certain limits to firearms in many states. NY State, for example, won't allow any firearm with more than seven rounds of ammunition per clip to be owned, and while they have grandfathered in existing sidearms of that type, they still will only allow seven rounds in them at any given time. So, if you're buying for home defense, you will want to consider revolvers more strongly than you would otherwise.

Also check for restrictions on hunting rifles and shotguns, and don't do illegal mods.

22) Don't drink and shoot, or shoot up and shoot. Drunken shooting has killed many an otherwise responsible gunowner. If you wouldn't drink and drive, then you should never drink and shoot. As said before, you're responsible for every round you discharge.


What follows now are some rules for those with children. All the above applies, and then some.

23) Maintain control of the firearm at all times. While stated earlier, this rule is doubly important here. I have read too many stories about kids killing themselves or someone else because the parent turned their back and let their kid take hold of the firearm, or worse yet, failed to control their weapons. Think accidental death would make you feel bad? Well, try living with killing your own child because you didn't take the gun from him. When you're not going over the facts with your kid, keep the guns and ammo locked up, and make sure your kid can't find the key by accident.

24) Educate your kids. Show them what a gun can do, but remind them that it can hurt or kill someone too. By all means, take them shooting when they're old enough (I started around 10, but only under supervision). Make sure they pay attention, make sure they understand that guns are not toys, and aren't to be readied lightly. If you can find one, get them enrolled in an Eddie Eagle program (one of the few things the NRA is getting right these days) and make sure to reinforce the lesson.

Lead by example, as more than almost anyone else, your kids will note your hypocrisy, and if they don't see you follow your own rules, they'll assume it won't apply to them.

25) The Columbine rule: If you see a firearm, ANY firearm on your kid's dresser, or anywhere else out in your place, notify the authorities IMMEDIATELY. Doubly so if you know that gun isn't yours, and/or was modded illegally. I name this the Columbine rule because one of the Columbine shooters' parents saw a sawed-off shotgun on his son's dresser, and failed to notify the authorities, or address the subject. His blind eye killed a lot of innocent high-school students. Had Harris and Klebold been caught before they could even start their plot, a lot more lives would have been saved.

If your kids are a danger to themselves and others, and you realize this, please see the Adam Lanza rule.

26) This one applies to kids and adults alike. LEAVE A FOUND FIREARM WHERE IT LIES. If you're on a fishing trip and you find a gun on the end of your line, or if you're on a hike and see it, or hell, if you find it while you're out getting groceries, call the authorities immediately, and leave it where it lies. If possible, stay at the scene and make sure no one else can pick it up either. Odds are, it's evidence of a larger crime, or otherwise illegal, and you don't know if it's loaded or not.

Now, if you find one in a storage locker you won in a bid, you need to notify the BATF right away if the firearm was made after 1896 (and odds are, it will be). They tend to get rather irritated if you delay in that decision. Especially seeing as it's federal law.

27) Make sure your kids don't try and take any firearms with them to school. Please. Bullets don't care what they hit once they're fired, and too often, we see stories of kids taking guns to deal with bullies to protect themselves, or to use on someone over the most trivial things. This can be curbed with community outreach.  In this particular situation, I find that the communities sometimes create their own problems by not putting an end to the circumstances that cause them. It does bring me to rule number 28.

28) Know when NOT to use the gun. You're not Rambo, you're not McClaine, and your enemies can likely shoot a lot better than your average Hollywood mook. Guns are a judgement call, and a lot of the time, = you're better off not firing it. The massacre at the theatre in Aurora, Colorado is a case in point. A lot of people yell at how "more guns would have stopped him." And that's rubbish. In that dark theatre, you wouldn't even see what is in front of the target, much less what's behind it. And a lot more people would have died in the exchange.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on November 07, 2013, 04:01:45 am
Just from a cursory glance, Glaser rounds would be some of the best for personal protection and use in the home. But there is a huge range of rounds for various firearms, from frangible rounds to less-than-lethal shotgun rounds.

29: The trigger is not a scratching post. One of the most basic rules in firearm safety is "Do not touch the trigger until you're ready to fire." There have been too many stories of people having accidental discharges because they were dicking around with a firearm and pulled the trigger. Until you're ready to fire, the trigger is a No No Button.

30: The barrel is not a telescope but it will let your brain see Mars. Stormwarden already touched on this but it is so important that it needs to have it's own rule. Granted, this seems like a "duh" moment, but you'd be amazed how many professional gunsmiths disregard this rule and end up with a brand new orifice. Do not look down the barrel of your firearm and this goes doubly and triply for a weapon you have not verified is unloaded beforehand. Sometimes, I will admit, it is a necessity but it is an action that should only be taken as a last resort. However, I feel it breeds complacency, so it is something best avoided if at all possible.

31: Verify that the barrel is unobstructed. How can you do that if you shouldn't look down it, I hear people wondering. Open the breach of the firearm and look at the light patterns that come through. There shouldn't be any shadows (aside from those cast by lands and grooves) and the light should be coming through freely. With a revolver, unlock and swing out the cylinder to see down the barrel. With a semi-auto pistol, open and lock back the slide and peer into the breech. With rifles and shotguns, open and lock back the bolt (or open the breach) and look at the shadows. And always, ALWAYS keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

32: Keep track of your firearm. This falls into the basic instruction of You are Responsible For Your Firearm, but I am afraid that it needs it's own rule. In your home or when carrying in public, it is not that hard to forget about your weapon because, with many people 'out of sight, out of mind.' And what you have to remember is that humans suffer from a genetic flaw called "being human." This does not change with any amount of training, practice or anything else, so don't for one second think I'm just talking about normal citizens who chose to carry a concealed firearm. There are a shocking number of incidents where body guards, security guards, police, sheriffs, federal agents and even former Prime Minister Tony Blair's bodyguard have forgotten about and left loaded firearms (http://www.examiner.com/article/and-now-for-a-little-bathroom-gun-humor-only-ones-style) in public bathrooms. Seriously, just Google "gun left in bathroom" and be amazed at how many results turn up involving trained professionals. If you are going to carry a firearm at home or in public, there are ways to help you remember not to forget your firearm after...nature calls. I would recommend starting here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6YOvYrzb3o) for tips.

33: Safe firearm handling is the same as how to get to Carnegie Hall; practice, practice, practice. Don't just learn about your firearm, learn how to use it. Practice handling, practice breathing, practice trigger control, practice sighting. Go to the range and put a box or four of ammo through your weapon on a regular basis. You need to know everything you can about how to handle your weapon and how it behaves when being fired. And remember, if you're using a semi-auto pistol and you have both thumbs overlapping behind your weapon, say good-bye to whichever thumb is on top. That slide will be coming back and will either break it or break it off.

34: Your children are not perfect and flawless and yes, they can and will hurt a fly. This ties in to the Adam Lanza and Columbine rules. If you are a firearm owner with children, be involved in your children's lives as much as you can without smothering them and educate yourself on what you can do to spot warning signs that things might not be all hunky dory. Sometimes warning signs are just kids being kids, but sometimes they are more serious. I can't tell you what to look for, but others can and please, find out what they are. And above all, accept that your kid might be a bully. Accept that your kid might not tell you if they're being bullied. Accept that kids have secrets they keep from their parents. Be a friend, but don't ever forget that first and foremost you are a parent and as such, you need to be alert for problems that would otherwise be overlooked.

35: Firearms are not battle armor. A lot of people get cocky when they're armed and some will start looking for a fight. A firearm gives you the means to better defend yourself; it does not give you carte blanche to instigate a fight. You have a brain, use it and remember that if you're acting like an asshole and it gets out of hand, you can still go to jail. And if you're acting like an asshole and get punched in the face, that does not give you free reign to start shooting.

36: Quoting SoA here: brains before bullets. Stormwarden already touched on this but a more accurate example would be the Tuscan shooting. There were CCW holders there that day but they had to make a judgement call. The shooter was right in the middle of a crowd and, as has been stated before, when handling a firearm you have to know what is behind your target. There were too many people in close proximity during that event to be able to safely discharge a weapon so they tackled him. They used their brains and made a judgement call. If you cannot be sure of where your round is going to go, do not fire your weapon. Carrying a firearm is all about making judgement calls and making heavy, hard choices in a very short amount of time. If you do not feel you can accept that responsibility, then don't carry a firearm. It is not something to be done lightly.

37: Humans are not bullet-stops. Watch enough movies and you'll think that humans are bullet sucking black holes and that you could fire a howitzer into a man's torso and it still won't go through a body. This is just not the case. Earlier I made mention of how bullets are small pieces of metal flying at high velocity. What I neglected to say is just how high a velocity they are traveling at.

WARNING! TECHNICAL DETAILS AHEAD!

A 9x19mm round can travel at a velocity of between 352 and 400 meters a second and hit with a force of between 461 and 596 joules. That is more than enough to travel through a body and still go for a ways longer at lethal velocity. A .45 ACP can travel between 275 and 347 meters a second and hit with a force of between 563 and 721 joules. With a rifle round like the 5.56x45mm round, it can travel in excess of 991 meters a second and still have around 1,750 joules of energy behind it. That will send it through two car doors and both seats and still kill the person behind them. For hunting and shotgun rounds, the numbers are even larger.

END OF TECHNICAL DETAILS

When you discharge a firearm you are releasing a huge amount of energy into your target so unless you are firing rounds designed specially to keep from over penetrating you have to know what is behind the object you are shooting at. This is why it is such a good thing the CCW holders at Tuscan should be commended; if they had taken out the shooter with the first shot they still could have hurt people behind him. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not assume that the round will stop in your target.

38: Never forget that you are carrying a weapon. A weapon can be used for good or evil depending on the intentions of the user, but they are always, always dangerous and should be respected at all times by everyone who handles it. The second you don't respect it, you'll end up killing or injuring yourself or someone you love.

39: If you are going to hand your weapon to another, always make sure they know the four cardinal rules of firearms:


Do not let the firearm out of your sight after you have handed it off to another and when it is returned to you, verify again that it is unloaded even if you're sure it already isn't and it doesn't matter a bit if your eyes never left the weapon the whole time the other person was holding it. Do not forget the golden rule: you are responsible for your weapon.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 08, 2013, 06:37:24 pm
Quote
With rifles and shotguns, open and lock back the bolt (or open the breach) and look at the shadows. And always, ALWAYS keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

This is why I like rifles like the Mosin-Nagant: you can remove the bolt in less than a second (hold the trigger and pull it out), which lets you look straight down the barrel from the rear without anything obstructing your view, as well as making the rifle 100% safe.

Quote
Avoid any "Ring of Fire" firearms at all costs

It actually seems like a lot of the criticism of cheap Bryco, Jennings, and Phoenix pistols seems to either be parroted or come from people who don't take care of their guns. I know a guy with a Raven Arms MP-25, often maligned for poor reliability, which works perfectly fine. This is because he gives the gun the exact same level of care and maintenance as all of his other guns and makes sure that it's well-oiled and has proper ammo. A lot of the people who purchase cheap pocket pistols like these aren't shooters, which means that they don't even know how to take care of their guns. They let them sit in a desk drawer for months or years, the ammo deteriorating and the parts growing dusty and possibly rusty, and then the gun fails to fire when they suddenly need it. Which they promptly blame on the gun itself being made poorly.

Actually, the one major problem with the MP-25 pattern of pistol is that the retainer on the rear (which you need to push in to disassemble the gun) is made of brittle pot metal, and it's very easy to break it.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 08, 2013, 10:40:12 pm
Chitoryu: My condemnation of Jiminez (what Bryco-Jennings is called these days, IIRC) hails from a major defect where in order to unload the weapon, you have to disengage the safety first. It's a defect that they haven't, to my knowledge, corrected yet. In fact, the whole reason they moved operations to Nevada from California was for that very reason. Not to mention that anyone can alter the weapon (from getting rid of serial numbers to even increasing the caliber of the barrel using, of all things, a DRILL) with relative ease.

Did have a few extra rules to add:

40) If you're going to use less-lethal ammunition or weapons, remember that it is called 'less-lethal' for a very good reason. It can still kill someone even if used properly. So please treat tasers, beanbag rounds, rubber bullets, etc just like you would any firearm and ammunition. All the above rules apply to them as well.

41) If the intruders flee your house, or are incapacitated by you, that is IT, the fight is over. You do not get to shoot at them as they run away (unless they're still taking potshots at you, and even then, look for what's behind them!), nor do you get to blow their brains out if they're lying helpless on the floor. You do that, and you're no better than they are.

You stop, you get their weapons away from them, and you call the cops if you haven't already.  If you have family members, evacuate them at once to the safest area you can. Render whatever first aid is safe,  given the situation (just like discharging a firearm, it's a judgement call) and wait for the cops and medics. Also, check everyone for injuries. As anyone who has seen footage of Reagan being shot can tell you, you don't always feel the bullet. Be sure to give the cops a full report and to fill out any and all necessary paperwork to press charges. And do NOT compromise the scene or your own safety if at all possible.

42) Educate thyself. Laws, new self-defense techniques, new developments, and in general, anything that makes self-defense easier without compromising the safety of anyone else. Be sure to know the wheat from the chaff. The internet can, and does, lie. Often.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on November 09, 2013, 01:40:54 am
Quote
With rifles and shotguns, open and lock back the bolt (or open the breach) and look at the shadows. And always, ALWAYS keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

This is why I like rifles like the Mosin-Nagant: you can remove the bolt in less than a second (hold the trigger and pull it out), which lets you look straight down the barrel from the rear without anything obstructing your view, as well as making the rifle 100% safe.
It works the same way with all the bolt action rifles I've seen so far and is pretty handy. Also makes cleaning the gun pretty easy.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: SpaceProg on November 09, 2013, 01:47:20 am
With most every gun I've used, there was absolutely ZERO reason to look into the business end to check for a blockage, debris, or what have you.  There were always other methods to look in and/or finagle from the other end.  I can't imagine ever voluntarily doing that (Looking right down the barrel of a gun).  The thought gives me the willies.  Almost like a catastrophe waiting to happen in my mind.  Like someone hands you some sweaty sticks of dynamite and tells you to juggle them.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on November 09, 2013, 01:59:40 am
Well with AK47 derived guns at least, unless you have a small mirror, the only way to check the barrel and actually see something is to look down in it from the business end. Of course this still means that the bolt and most other parts have been removed first, otherwise there would not be any light in the barrel, so I consider it to be safe as the gun cannot fire at that point. It is simply not functional.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: SpaceProg on November 09, 2013, 02:07:24 am
I see.  Well, on the ones I've used I've never had to look right down them, though I've never messed with any army-type guns.  Just your typical handguns and long guns like run of the mill rifles and shotguns.

I wonder how my aim would be now...  It's been a long time since I've shot last.  Meh, have to get a gun again first, and I've got more important things on which to spend what little money I have right now.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on November 09, 2013, 04:50:26 am
On AR-15 type rifles, you push out the rear take-down pin, drop open the upper receiver and then remove the bolt. Gives you a straight line-of-sight down the bore.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 09, 2013, 01:16:58 pm
It IS technically safe to look down the bore from the muzzle if you've removed the necessary parts. If the ammunition and bolt are removed, it's impossible for the gun to be loaded and fired and you have a clear view down the barrel because there's nothing but daylight at the other end. It's just a good habit to fully field strip the weapon before doing that kind of thing, rather than just pulling the bolt out and shoving the muzzle crown against your eyeball; you MIGHT forget an important step otherwise.

Quote
It works the same way with all the bolt action rifles I've seen so far and is pretty handy. Also makes cleaning the gun pretty easy.

Some of them take a little more effort, like needing to hit a switch somewhere on the side or removing another small part first.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 09, 2013, 06:36:34 pm
One addendum to this:

Quote
11: Always remember, Double-Barrel Biden IS WRONG! A load of buckshot WILL go through the wall and into the next room. So will .223, 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, .38 spl and many, many others. A projectile shot from a firearm is a heavy piece of metal flying through the air at high velocity and, as many of us know, Force = Mass x Acceleration. Always know your surroundings when discharging a firearm and this goes doubly if you're in your home. If you are using your firearm for home defense, purchase rounds designed for home defense. They are expensive, yes, but many are designed to reduce the risk of over penetration. And if it has less ability to go through a wall then get it.

Always be prepared for overpenetration. Yes, there are specialized rounds to mitigate this problem. Yes, less powerful rounds have less overpenetration. No, there is no magic bullet that will never overpenetrate. Tests have shown that even the .22 Long Rifle round, one of the most infamously "weak" cartridges, can still at least pass into the next room if fired in a typical house or apartment. Whenever you fire a gun in a house, especially a rifle or powerful pistol, always be prepared for that round to not only pass through the assailant, but also into the next room and maybe even the one after that. If that bullet goes out a window, God only knows where it'll end up.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Cerim Treascair on November 10, 2013, 02:45:03 am
I have to admit, I'm surprised (and learning all sorts of nifty stuff from this thread, for the record) that a 9mm round will go through a wall.  I was under the impression that 9mm rounds were so cheap because they had next to no real stopping power compared to .22 rounds and up.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on November 10, 2013, 02:52:38 am
I have to admit, I'm surprised (and learning all sorts of nifty stuff from this thread, for the record) that a 9mm round will go through a wall.  I was under the impression that 9mm rounds were so cheap because they had next to no real stopping power compared to .22 rounds and up.
9mm is cheap because it is so popular. It is used by most militaries and police forces and therefore it is made in such huge quantities that it is cheap. In fact people often buy a 9mm for action shooting or self defense purely because it is so cheap. (Which, again, helps keep the price down.)

If it had no real stopping power then it would not be used by police and soldiers, simple as that. And I know that the whole "9mm is weak get a .45" meme has been in existence ever since 9mm was first created back in 1910's but it really is a deadly round.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Shane for Wax on November 10, 2013, 10:47:20 am
I've got my own things (a lot have already been touched on but I'm also trying to add new information to make the rules better and more sweeping in knowledge) :

1a) Be aware that even if a gun is old, the laws may still affect it. There is indeed an antique law, but that fully auto machine gun from WW2 may still be affected by a different law in your area.

1b) Always always always check to see if you have to do something extra in order to own that antique gun. Always always always have a record of said gun. What type of gun it is, when it was manufactured. Get in touch with your local police department if you have to. They will be able to tell you the law or find someone else who can. It doesn't matter if nobody makes ammunition for the gun anymore or anything like that.

1c) Remember: antique laws are not universal. While your gun may have been legal in Georgia it may not be legal in California. If you plan on moving, check the laws where you will be moving to. I know it's hard to leave a possession behind, but you might as well learn beforehand instead of having it confiscated when you get to your destination. And no, do not think 'oh they will never check to make sure all of my firearms are legal'. That is a dangerous train of thought and you should rethink owning a firearm to begin with.

2a) Do not always trust buying a gun from a gun show. That is a recipe for disaster. If the seller is at all responsible, they will let you look over the gun from butt to business end. Make sure to ask about it. Where it came from, if they can name the manufacturer. If not, look for a manufacturer stamp and look up what it means. Nobody wants to spend $400 or more on a gun that is a piece of shit and/or a danger to themselves (such as it being poorly built).

2b) With that in mind, don't just buy a gun because it's a good deal. Stormwarden already somewhat touched on this but still, be aware of the gun you are buying. I don't care if that sexy gun is only $75, you check and double-check what the hell you are buying. You do not want to get home and realize you have no idea how to handle the gun, much less what ammo it takes and whether you can still get replacement parts for it if heaven forbid something breaks.

2c) Be wary of online sellers. There are a good handful of reputable dealers that are almost exclusively online. But that doesn't mean that they all are. Not to mention, you cannot look over the gun before purchase. Nor the ammo. Some online sellers have physical stores, however. If you find an absolutely great deal in an online gun store see if they have a physical store in your area. I'm not going to say never buy online but be wary of what you're doing and who is selling that gun.

3) There is no excuse for not having trigger discipline. I don't care if you've held the gun like that a thousand times. You keep that finger away from the trigger. Even if it's pointed in the air. Especially if it's pointed in the air.

4) If you insist on having a gun in your car while you're traveling, make sure you check the laws (local and the places you will be traveling to/through) and have a proper storage place for it. Tucking it up under your seat is a dumb thing to do. Always check to make sure the gun is still in the car when you come back from that bathroom break at the gas station or lunch at the Waffle House. Always keep your doors locked when you leave the car. You do not want to arrive at your destination and find someone has swiped your gun from your car. It doesn't matter if you don't believe it could happen. Safety is your number 1 priority.

5) Never tell your guests the combination unless you absolutely positively trust them. And even then tell them to get you if they want to see your collection. This falls under the keep track of your firearm rule.

6) Somewhat of an addendum to the above: Be wary of who you tell about your gun collection. Especially if they know where you live. Even if you always keep your guns locked away. If your gun is stolen because you shot your mouth off (no pun intended) it's on your head. Especially so if they then use the stolen gun for crime.

7a) Somewhat of an addendum to an earlier rule and something touched on already by others: There is no shame in having a gun you can easily carry and use. If you cannot handle the weight of something like a .45 and have to drop down to that .380, so what? Better a gun you can carry and use than one you might drop and end up shooting yourself because of it. Or getting yourself hurt by that intruder who knows you are now unarmed because you went and dropped your gun cause it was too heavy.

7b ) Which brings me to another thing: aesthetics. The color of a gun does not dictate whether it is usable or not. The color of a gun does not change its stopping power (go ahead and do a Google search of pink guns used in defense. The stories I found each had a successful defense using a pink gun). Do not buy a gun cause it's a cool metallic blue. Buy it because it fits your needs. You can always paint it later on down the line if you know how to (or have someone else do it. I'm sure there is a profession out there that does it. Similar to coloring bowling balls).

8 ) Somewhat repeating point 1b but: always have a record of both ammo and guns. Write down the ammo caliber and how much of it you have (editing it each time you use ammo for whatever reason). Write down the make and model of the gun along with year of manufacturer if possible. Keep that list as separate as possible from where you store the guns and ammo. If it makes you feel better you can also give a list of your weapons to your local police department. I know that some people who wouldn't feel comfortable at all doing that for a myriad of reasons (and I can even understand some of them). So it isn't a necessity but it's an option.

9) Do not copy something you see on tv. Do not try to fire your gun underwater to see if it will fire. Unless you are in a safe area and aren't just screwing around (such as doing an experiment).


I think that's all I have. Feel free to use or discard as you like.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 10, 2013, 12:41:49 pm
I have to admit, I'm surprised (and learning all sorts of nifty stuff from this thread, for the record) that a 9mm round will go through a wall.  I was under the impression that 9mm rounds were so cheap because they had next to no real stopping power compared to .22 rounds and up.

.22 and up? Just so you know, if someone refers to a ".22" they're almost definitely referring to .22 Long Rifle, which is an extremely cheap (as in $20 for 500 rounds) rimfire round that's generally the weakest commonplace cartridge you can buy; there are lower power ones, like .22 Short, but that round is almost totally obsolete and only gets bought if you want a very quiet gun that requires no hearing protection or if you bought the smallest available pocket pistol.

You might be confused by rounds like .223 Remington, the civilian version of the 5.56x45mm NATO round that's used in pretty much every assault rifle that doesn't have a name starting with AK. The difference between rifle rounds and pistol rounds is that rifle rounds usually have a longer, bottlenecked cartridge case (which lets them pack more powder for a higher velocity) and a pointed "Spitzer" bullet that has improved aerodynamics and allows for them to be effective at longer ranges. There's more than just bullet diameter for determining what your cartridge is going to do.

But yeah, 9mm has plenty of power. Especially if you load it with hollow points, soft points, or plain lead bullets that will expand upon impact. A 9mm looks a lot more deadly when it creates an 11mm hole in your body. 9mm (or more specifically, 9x19mm Parabellum) is so cheap because it's the most popular combat pistol cartridge in the world.

The debate between 9mm and .45, including all of the alternates people have like .40 S&W, .357 Magnum, .357 SIG, and so on, is a debate with no answer. The cartridges are both very different:

* 9x19mm is smaller in diameter, but has a much higher velocity that gives it a flatter trajectory and greater penetration.

* .45 ACP is slower and will usually have a lower effective range, but it has a larger bullet and thus will (theoretically) create a bigger hole on entry.

The problem is that people try to simplify the debate down to purely these points and ignore everything else. Sure, .45 creates a bigger hole than .358......if you're shooting standard FMJ ammo that won't expand on impact. If you fire a hollow point 9mm and a full metal jacketed .45, the 9mm will probably leave a bigger hole because it expands.

And "stopping power" is a nebulous concept that probably doesn't really exist. There are so many variables in wounding effects that any scientist who tried to actually create a theory around firearm effectiveness would throw up his hands and chug straight scotch after putting his hypothesis to the test in a real world scenario. People have been hit by the mythical .45 straight in the heart and kept on going until they killed the guy who shot them. People have been hit by the puny little 9mm in the same spot at the same range and instantly dropped to the ground and stayed there until they bled out. People have been hit by .22LR and bled out before they got to a hospital; some of them immediately fell and began twitching, others didn't notice they had been fatally wounded until they passed out.

Besides, most of the complaints about 9mm's "stopping power" come from the military; soldiers, by the Hague Convention, aren't allowed to use expanding bullets against human targets because it's "inhumane." The power they get from their guns depends more on larger diameter and the ability of the round to tumble. The 5.56mm round has been derided since its inception for being "underpowered", but that's just because it doesn't reliably tumble on impact within a certain range depending on your barrel length (and soldiers have been using shorter barreled guns for their convenience recently, which compounds the problem) and they can't use expanding rounds like civilians and police do.

(click to show/hide)

But anyways, there's too much to consider in terms of defensive rounds to simply write off any cartridge as "too weak." People have used .22 pistols effectively because they're skilled enough to use it, typically by immediately shooting the target in the brain. The most important part of choosing a defensive cartridge is that YOU can use it effectively; a .45 may be more powerful at close range on paper, but the heavier recoil (thanks to the heavier bullet; bullet weight affects recoil more than you'd think) means that some shooters can't easily recover between shots. A Walther PPK/S chambered in .380 ACP, as far as some shooters are concerned, is puny and wouldn't hurt a fly. But their opinion doesn't mean much when they have a .380 caliber hole drilled through their skull.

Proper shot placement and rapidly firing multiple rounds on target will drop anyone, regardless of the bullet.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 10, 2013, 12:49:12 pm
Wanting to put this in another post, since it's unrelated and that last one is hella long and dense.

Quote
9) Do not copy something you see on tv. Do not try to fire your gun underwater to see if it will fire. Unless you are in a safe area and aren't just screwing around (such as doing an experiment).

A lot of hullabaloo gets made about a gun's ability to fire underwater, but that's actually completely worthless in determining anything but reliability underwater. The effective range of a bullet when fired underwater is measured in feet; their shape causes them to rapidly slow to a stop. Contrary to what you see in films like Saving Private Ryan, most bullets won't lance underwater with deadly force and a trail of bubbles in their wake; even a .50 BMG round fired from point blank range into a pool will go a few yards before disintegrating. If you were to end up in a theoretical duel to the death in your pool, the only way either of you could use a gun effectively would be to press it against the other guy and pull the trigger.

In which case you'd be lucky if it even went off, as the water pressure may result in the firing pin not traveling fast enough to strike a hard primer. And if it DOES go off, said water pressure will probably cause it to jam and require some slide racking and smacking to get it to load the next round. Not exactly something you want to be doing in this theoretical underwater combat.

A bigger threat is the chance of the pressure being too high in the barrel and causing a "catastrophic failure"; in layman's terms, you just popped a hole in your gun.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Cerim Treascair on November 10, 2013, 04:42:33 pm
Chi:  Yeah, .22 LR rounds are what I'm thinking of.  My dad owned a great .22 bolt-action rifle growing up, and I had the assumption that it had actual stopping power (since he used it for hunting).
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 11, 2013, 12:28:23 am
Chi:  Yeah, .22 LR rounds are what I'm thinking of.  My dad owned a great .22 bolt-action rifle growing up, and I had the assumption that it had actual stopping power (since he used it for hunting).

Ironically, .22LR is one of the weakest commercial rounds you can get. Again, that doesn't mean that it's not deadly; the Reagan assassination attempt involved a .22 revolver. While Reagan didn't even notice that he had been hit by a ricochet until he was already speeding away from the scene (and he would have died had they not gotten immediately to a hospital), James Brady was left permanently paralyzed from a shot to the head and Thomas Delahanty was instantly dropped from one to the back of the neck. Nobody died, but that's related more to modern medicine and prompt response than any "weakness" on the part of the .22 revolver.

The reason you don't see .22s used for self-defense by anyone who's physically capable of using something else is because it's not especially likely to immediately STOP the attacker. Causing a wound that kills in an hour doesn't mean much when there's a person beating you in the head with a pipe right now. It's especially important if your attacker is hyped up on drugs, adrenaline, or both and won't notice or properly acknowledge pain or fear of death.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Cerim Treascair on November 12, 2013, 10:40:52 pm
Which is why I'm looking at paired .32's.  One as a secondary, one as a backup.  My main? I like to keep my distance.  Rifle for me.  Bolt action, preferably.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 12, 2013, 11:34:14 pm
Which is why I'm looking at paired .32's.  One as a secondary, one as a backup.  My main? I like to keep my distance.  Rifle for me.  Bolt action, preferably.

.32 ACP is perfectly acceptable as long as you remember your lack of raw power and practice enough to make up for it. James Bond did fine with a Walther PPK in .32 ACP for many decades, as did many other real life agents and assassins; they just have good aim.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Cerim Treascair on November 13, 2013, 08:57:18 pm
Yeah, I'm a natural crack shot, despite having bad eyes that were fixed once with surgery already.  Folks HATE me in online FPS games.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 23, 2013, 12:10:37 am
Cerim- Your remark about the .32s brings up a very relevant point. A rule that should be under "Always keep control of your weapon," but is important enough to have its own place:

"Don't buy more gun than you can control." - If you can't handle the recoil of a weapon, don't buy it. By the same token, if you can't hold the firearm with both hands, don't buy it. I read a Darwin Award "Honorable mention" about a pair of idiots who brought an IMI Desert Eagle to a rifle range (having gone there to test out a sawed-off shotgun, which in itself is illegal). He tried to fire it, by holding it improperly (in the Hollywood "45 degree" position), and knocked out several of his own teeth for his trouble.

If you're buying for home defense, bigger isn't always better. Controllable is better. A bullet doesn't help when it fails to hit its target, or worse, hits something you didn't intend it to (such as a bystander).

It also sums up my position on full-automatics. I personally consider them expensive wastes of money, but won't stop others from buying them, given the hoops people have to go through to buy them, and the sheer expense of the ammunition for the things, to say nothing of the firearms themselves being expensive as all get out.

There's a special gun license (a type III license) that has to be obtained before one can own machine guns legally. Now, some say (stig.jpg) that it permits them to sell machine guns to the law enforcement market and is basically a sort of gunstore license. Thing is, what I do know is that it basically allows the cops to come over at will to search your property and make sure said weapons were not being misused in any fashion, no warrant necessary. Now, I myself am not sure as to the truth of it, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Regardless, it is a very expensive thing.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 23, 2013, 12:29:24 am
You're mixing up some of your NFA laws. Under federal law, no special license is required to own an NFA item (machine guns are the most popularly known, as they got a special restriction in 1986 that's made no noticeable statistical impact on actual usage of machine guns by criminals, but this also includes sawed-off shotguns and short-barreled rifles, suppressors, explosives launchers and grenades, and weapons with bores greater than 0.50 inches in diameter, as well as the nebulous "Destructive Device" term which has been applied to everything from 20mm rifles to scary looking semi-automatic shotguns and the even more nebulous "Any Other Weapon"). You just need to fill out the appropriate paperwork while living in a state where you can legally own them, pay a $200 tax stamp, go through a thorough background check, and wait a while before you can make the purchase. In the case of machine guns, it's actually called a "transfer"; no machine guns manufactured past a certain date in May 1986 can be sold to civilians, so all machine guns on the market now are currently in private hands.

For dealing firearms, you require a Federal Firearms License (FFL). There are multiple "types" of FFL that allow for different items and weapons to be imported. They also have Special Occupational Tax classes. A Type 1 license allows for the dealer to sell Title II, or NFA devices. As you can see, it's all extremely complex and it gets even worse when you dip into specific laws for states, counties, and even cities and towns. A single trip across the state with a loaded pistol in your glovebox can result in you violating entirely different ordinances in 4 different areas.

Now, you may wonder why you see non-government private citizens with machine guns manufactured after the 1986 cutoff date. That's because these guys have a license to sell weapons to government agencies and whoever the government approves to purchase because it's beneficial to them, including the police and well-connected "private security companies." They often have dealer samples, which are modern weapons able to be taken out and demonstrated but cannot be sold to private citizens.

Now, I've actually been lucky enough to fire some machine guns myself (an Uzi with the original wood stock and an SP-89 converted with an MP5K foregrip, PDW stock, and full auto trigger group to make a faux-MP5K). They burn through ammo faster than you can imagine and even guns with relatively light recoil would have difficulty keeping more than half of your burst on target at 50 yards; an MP5K isn't suitable for anything except for very close range shooting, such as inside a house. I'd frankly be much more afraid of someone who's a good shot with a bolt-action rifle if he was out to kill me than a guy with an SMG.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 23, 2013, 01:50:41 am
Okay, thanks for clearing that up. I thought I was confused on the subject.

And a less confusing firearms code is something I've been advocating for a while. Eliminating unenforced and useless gun laws and streamlining into a code that would make more sense, and be easier to understand for all involved would solve a lot of problems in that respect. Sadly, as long as firearms are a political football, I don't see it happening.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on November 23, 2013, 02:11:45 am
Apart from the gun being controllable I'd like to add that you must also be able to afford the ammo.

If you get a gun for self defense you must be able to handle the gun and be proficient in its use. This means practise. A lot of practise, both live ammo and dry use. (On the other hand if the gun is for target shooting or collectors item or other use then this is not that vital. Go ahead and buy a gun you want to have, as long as you are not a threat to others, but for self defense choice get something you can use, a lot.) Certainly if the recoil is too much for you in your .44 magnum and you don't want to use it much it is not the optimal self defense gun for you but this also happens if the ammo is too expensive. .40, 10mm, .357SIG etc. some cartridges are quite expensive compared to the extremely popular 9mm, .38SPC and some other calibers. Even if you can handle the .50 desert eagle or .454Casull (which is rare) but can't buy enough ammo to regularly practise with it then you are placing yourself and others in danger if you use a gun you are not familiar with in a self defense situation.

And like I said, if you only do target practise or some shooting sport (and these would be the only reasons for me to get another gun) then it is not such an issue if you rarely shoot the gun, but AND I CANNOT OVERSTATE THIS if you carry a gun for self defense, OR as a duty (police, I'm looking at you, WHY AREN'T YOU TRAINING MORE OFTEN?) you need to be able to train with it often.

For this you need a gun that you can:
a) use comfortably
b) afford the ammo
c) be able to carry it comfortably (The Swedish police actually changed their carry gun simply because the older pistols were too cumbersome and heavy.)
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 23, 2013, 12:14:43 pm
Quote
If you get a gun for self defense you must be able to handle the gun and be proficient in its use. This means practise. A lot of practise, both live ammo and dry use. (On the other hand if the gun is for target shooting or collectors item or other use then this is not that vital. Go ahead and buy a gun you want to have, as long as you are not a threat to others, but for self defense choice get something you can use, a lot.) Certainly if the recoil is too much for you in your .44 magnum and you don't want to use it much it is not the optimal self defense gun for you but this also happens if the ammo is too expensive. .40, 10mm, .357SIG etc. some cartridges are quite expensive compared to the extremely popular 9mm, .38SPC and some other calibers. Even if you can handle the .50 desert eagle or .454Casull (which is rare) but can't buy enough ammo to regularly practise with it then you are placing yourself and others in danger if you use a gun you are not familiar with in a self defense situation.

The Box O' Truth (a wonderful site that covers firearms intensely, becoming most famous through the essentially "Firearms Mythbuster" section in their archive) tested some ExtremeShock 9mm ammo at the behest of some members of the HS2000/XDTalk forum. They were a very fancy and complex pair of fragmenting bullets that were meant to transfer maximum energy to the target while also fragmenting in such a way that they wouldn't easily penetrate walls AND wouldn't leave razor-sharp fragments behind in the body for EMTs to slice their fingers with.

After testing, they found that the rounds really weren't that great and were actually inferior to existing rounds like Glaser Blue Tip. But the worst part is that these cost $1.85 per round, or $73.97 for a total of 20 of each type. Exactly how is anyone supposed to effectively practice when it costs you $100 just for enough ammo for a decent practice session? Not to mention needing to be able to test your chosen load over and over again in the gun it's going to be used in to make sure that it works properly.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on November 23, 2013, 12:42:26 pm
What is stopping you from using cheap 9mm ammo for practise and carrying the expensive but better ammo for the real deal? Unless there is a huge difference in the power it should not matter what brand of ammo you use while practising.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 23, 2013, 02:48:33 pm
What is stopping you from using cheap 9mm ammo for practise and carrying the expensive but better ammo for the real deal? Unless there is a huge difference in the power it should not matter what brand of ammo you use while practising.

Because all guns are different and all ammo is different. While you're not dealing with something as stringent as special handloads messing up 100 yard accuracy, there's still very noticeable and important changes in reliability, power, and accuracy between cartridges. You need to be able to put at least a few dozen rounds of a particular ammo out of your gun to be able to tell how it feeds, as well as performing testing on the actual ballistics and power if possible; Old_Painless, the guy who runs Box O' Truth, found that a gallon jug of water roughly simulates penetration into ballistics gel at a 2:1 ratio (24 inches of water is roughly equal to 12 inches in ballistics gel), which allows him to see just how much penetration different rounds can be expected to make in the body. For instance, he found that you actually want to use FMJ ammo in "weak" calibers like .32 ACP because they have a better chance of fully penetrating to the vitals, especially if the bullet passes through the target's arms or hands on the way. If you just buy yourself a box of expensive "super" ammo and leave it untouched except for minimal function testing, you might find that it's not reliable in your gun or not as effective as the manufacturer claimed.

On a related note, you may hear that the FBI mandates 12 inches of penetration into ballistics gel as the minimum penetration required. You're probably thinking "That's excessive! Nobody has a whole foot of muscle and fat blocking their heart!" Well, it's not meant for just penetrating the torso. It's actually very likely for bullets to pass through the arms and hands, as well as thick clothing, before they reach the body, especially if you're shooting at someone who's shooting back and their arms naturally block their center of mass. 12 inches of penetration ensures that the bullet will be able to pass through that kind of resistance and still penetrate deep into the chest cavity where the vital organs are.

Box O' Truth also uses these tests to demonstrate why birdshot is utterly terrible as a defensive load: it doesn't have penetration power. Multiple anecdotal accounts are backed up by his tests, where birdshot consistently fails to achieve penetration that even a .22 pistol can manage. People mistakenly think that at close range, the sheer mass of the shot will allow for it to penetrate. But penetration is dependent on the individual weight of the projectiles, not a total mass. Birdshot leaves an ugly wound, but it's shallow and unlikely to kill someone even if they don't get immediate medical attention. If you try to use anything less than buckshot as a defensive load, you're not going to be very happy. Or alive, for that matter.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Old Viking on November 23, 2013, 04:15:10 pm
I always get someone else to look down the barrel.

Just kidding, just kidding.

Excellent thread!
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 24, 2013, 01:00:58 am
Thanks for the kudos, Viking. It feels nice to be able to talk shop and help establish what is really involved in owning a firearm in a responsible manner. It's hard to do that when it's become a political football for certain sorts in Washington. In fact, I learned more from this thread than I had been taught in my life.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on November 24, 2013, 01:57:29 am
It's my own hope that current and prospective firearm owners can read through this thread and take some of the advice from it to help keep themselves and others safe.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 24, 2013, 02:52:27 am
You said it, Damen. The gun is, above all, a tool, one that requires care in its use. No more good or evil than the hand that uses it. Nothing would please me more than this helping to save even just one life by responsible gun ownership.

Think anyone can sticky this thread to keep it easy to find?
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on November 24, 2013, 03:35:51 am
You said it, Damen. The gun is, above all, a tool, one that requires care in its use. No more good or evil than the hand that uses it. Nothing would please me more than this helping to save even just one life by responsible gun ownership.

Think anyone can sticky this thread to keep it easy to find?

Indeed.

Firearms are many things, from self-defense weapons to hunting implements to competition shooting to hobbies to collectibles. What they are not, however, is good or evil. A firearm will not jump up and shoot you on its own. However, no matter what application a person decides to employ them in, they must always be respected and not treated in a cavalier fashion.

I would love to know that the advice given in this thread had saved a life, but I'd be satisfied to know it made any difference at all even if it was just to make someone who's dicking around with a firearm stop and say to themselves "Oh, I shouldn't do that."

And yeah, I'll second the motion to sticky this thread.

What is stopping you from using cheap 9mm ammo for practise and carrying the expensive but better ammo for the real deal? Unless there is a huge difference in the power it should not matter what brand of ammo you use while practising.

Just wanted to throw in my two cents here.

As Chit said; all guns are not created equal and neither is ammo. I'll give you an example here and point at the M1911 semi-auto. The design has been in existence for 102 years and it is one of, if not the most, copied and reproduced firearms of all times and is by far the most copied and produced pistol. In over 100 years, the M1911 only had one significant redesign and that was in the '20's that gave us the M1911A1. The basic design, though, has remained the same, from the grip safety to the magazine to the locking barrel. However, even with all that time, the actual dimensions of the pistol can vary widely to the point that you won't be able to replace a part without some final fitting, usually done by a professional gunsmith. Because of that and the wide differences in barrels, barrel ramps and tolerances, different types of ammo will behave differently. Some 1911s will be extremely reliable but others won't. The Remington 1911, for example, is notoriously picky about what ammo you can put through it.

My own M1911A1 is an example of this. Mine is a Sistema Colt from around 1960. What this means, basically, is that while it was made in Argentina, it is a Colt design built on Colt machines by Colt trained workers. It has done everything I have wanted it to but sometimes it would have days where it was picky about what kind of ammo got run through it. Federal FMJ rounds would feed no problem, but sometimes it would jam with lead round nose. After examining it I discovered that the barrel feed ramp was cut narrow. On either side of the feed ramp, the chamber edge was cut vertically, so this made it really easy to catch any round but full metal jacket. This meant that I couldn't trust it to chamber my Federal Hydra-Shok hollow-points reliably because of the inherent flat tip on hollow-points. A while back I ended up swapping barrels to one with an extremely wide feed ramp (horizontal cuts) and I am now confident that it'll eat any round I want to feed it.

However, at the time I could not be sure how picky my old barrel would be with the Hydra-Shoks because it cost over $25 dollars for a box of 20. Compare that to a box of Federal American Eagle FMJ rounds and they (used to) run around $18 bucks for a standard box of 50.

The only reason I'm not blasting through box after box of Hydra-Shoks is a simple case of economics. I can't afford to drop over a dollar a round when a typical range session will leave me around 200 rounds lighter.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on November 27, 2013, 03:00:12 am
^And that's why you need to do homework, and understand the weapon you buy.

There has been one thing that has ticked me off lately (several actually, but there are other threads for most of those things. This one involves a matter of gun safety). A group of "open-carry activists" have been active in Texas and other states, and I am convinced someone is going to be hurt by their stupidity one of these days.

It's one thing to open-carry on a hunting trip or in a wilderness area.. Hard to take aim at that deer/turkey/elk/whathaveyou if you don't have the gun out of the case.  But open-carrying in an urban or suburban area is by and large a very bad idea, especially around restaurants, schools, malls, or almost anywhere large numbers of people gather in public if you aren't a LEO. Odds are, you aren't the only one packing, and if someone thinks you're a danger to the public, they may not bother with things like asking questions.  It seems to me that carrying a gun in the open without a DAMNED good reason is practically screaming "Will you please shoot me?"

My advice: Don't do it.

On Less-lethal ordinance: As much as I am all for the opportunity to subdue an opponent and leave them breathing, there are several things to keep in mind:

1) It's called "less-lethal" for a reason. While they are less likely to kill someone, they still can under certain circumstances. E.G: Tasers can still kill a person if left on too long, or if the person has certain health conditions. Beanbag rounds can also kill a person if the head is hit, or if there is massive soft-tissue damage. Even Pepper spray can do serious harm to those with respiratory conditions.

2) All standard rules for firearms also apply to less-lethal ordinance.

3) Know the limitations of the ordinance. Beanbag rounds are usually only available for shotguns, so odds are, you won't have them outside your home, you only get one shot with a taser without a reload, and not everyone will be phased by pepper spray. Rubber bullets can be used, but are seldom, if at all, available to the public.

4) Research your options for the product. Just like firearms, quality varies, and differences are abound in less-lethal ordinance. Be wary, for example, of oil-based pepper spray in combination with a taser.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on November 27, 2013, 09:06:31 pm
FPSRussia (as terrible as he is) actually did a video on his behind-the-scenes channel discussing open carry vs. concealed carry, and found that he could draw a concealed pistol about as fast as an openly carried one. I believe he also mentioned one very important problem: if someone is planning on committing violence, either to you specifically or to everyone in the area, they're going to acknowledge your gun as a threat. And shoot you first.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: dpareja on January 18, 2014, 08:18:12 pm
I was trying to think of where best to put this and this thread struck me as being as good as any...

Here's why to get a gun safe.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/girl-4-fatally-shoots-cousin-4-in-detroit-home-1.2501957

Quote
A 4-year-old girl accidentally shot her 4-year-old cousin to death with a loaded rifle that she found under a bed at their grandfather's Detroit home, police said Friday.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on January 18, 2014, 08:35:38 pm
I was trying to think of where best to put this and this thread struck me as being as good as any...

Here's why to get a gun safe.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/girl-4-fatally-shoots-cousin-4-in-detroit-home-1.2501957

Quote
A 4-year-old girl accidentally shot her 4-year-old cousin to death with a loaded rifle that she found under a bed at their grandfather's Detroit home, police said Friday.

A gun safe would be one way, yes. But the bigger problem is that the grandfather had the gun loaded, unlocked (many guns are supplied with a lock and key for the action) within reach of curious children, and presumably with the safety off. If any one of those had been changed, a child may not have died.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on February 27, 2014, 02:16:10 pm
I see this is an older thread, but it's sticky-ed and let's face it, it's never inappropriate to discuss rules of safety in any endeavor. Doubly so with firearms safety. So far this is a great thread but I have a couple cents hanging around so I'll add them here.
First sometimes local firing ranges might have guns available for "rent". For a nominal fee (> $20, plus ammo) you might be able to test fire a hand gun. Or if you know someone who has the gun that's been dancing around in your head. The fee or box of ammo is an investment. I would suggest doing it if you can. Make sure it "fits".
Second, local NRA chapters often hold classes on safety and proper techniques. If you (like me) can't bring yourself to give any money to the NRA, most states have a department that controls natural resources. And they do the licensing for fishing and hunting. Even if you never ever plan to hunt, those classes are a good idea to take. They cover a LOT of safety and they usually do a good job of going over laws specific to that state.
Last thing for now, and this has been touched on earlier. So you've had the opportunity to put a few rounds down range I  the gun you've been thinking about. You still like it. Time to buy. When you get to the store, someone there should be able and just as importantly willing to walk you through loading, unloading, cleaning, and simple operator level breaking down that specific gun. If it's not the first person you talk to them s/he should be willing to get someone. If they tell youthe guru for that gun won't be in till Thursday, come back. If they can't or won't answer any stupid question you have run, don't walk, away.
I know I said that one was last, sorry. But if you're looking at something for home or personal protection, know this. It's a hell of a thing to shoot at someone. As a veteran I've had to shoot at people in times of war. For personal protection. I'm not really a soft person, or so I thought. But there's nothing to prepare you for what comes after the bullets stop flying. So I want to stress make damn sure the reasons you draw your gun. Me personally, I can replace a television. That isn't really safety related, but worthy of bringing up nonetheless.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on February 27, 2014, 03:19:35 pm
I also want to add another rule to the list. Once again, I have to put this rule here for many of the same reasons I added the rule of Don't Look Down the Barrel: I'm appealing to the dumbest of the dumb.

Firearms and booze don't mix. Ever. Treat a firearm like a car; if you've been drinking, don't go near it. It seems like another No Shit rule, but remember the old stereotype of the rednecks getting completely wasted and YEE HAWing off a load of rounds into the air? Yeah, that stereotype is there for a reason. A lot of accidental deaths come from mixing booze and firearms and just recently a dumbass got shitfaced and decided to teach his girlfriend "gun safety" (yeah, the real kind, not the politician speak for Gun Control). Admirable intent, but that is the sort of thing you do sober. The aforementioned dumbass wanted to show his girlfriend that a firearm without bullets won't kill you. This is true enough. But to demonstrate this, he took his pistols, stuck them to his head and pulled the triggers. The first two pistols were empty. The third was not. As a reward for violating Shooter's Rule Number 1 (Do not point your firearm at anything you are not willing to kill) his girlfriend is now scarred for life and his booze buzzed brains are now orbiting Saturn.

People: if you want to drink, don't go near your fucking firearms.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on February 27, 2014, 04:19:54 pm
Were you thinking of various deer camps as well?
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on February 27, 2014, 04:32:31 pm
I wasn't thinking of any one thing, just Booze + Guns = Bad Things.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on February 27, 2014, 11:52:08 pm
Had something like that happen to me, but with fireworks. Family reunion around the 4th of July one year. Folks break out some highly illegal fireworks. One of them, in their drunken stupor, knocks over one of the launch boxes. I only got out unscathed because I pulled off a Neo-like dodge. Just glad that at least they didn't do it with a gun.

I'm with Damen: Nothing  good comes from mixing guns and booze.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: dpareja on March 04, 2014, 12:56:32 pm
I don't think this is deserving of its own thread, but merits a bit of discussion. Since it relates to guns (sort of), I'm putting it here.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ohio-student-who-pointed-finger-as-gun-suspended-for-3-days-1.2559249

Quote
A 10-year-old U.S. boy was suspended from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head, the principal said.

Yes, zero-tolerance strikes again!

But that aside, should such behaviour be punished in some way? Doing that with a real gun is unsafe--as noted by others in this thread, never point a gun at someone you're not willing to kill.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on March 04, 2014, 04:06:05 pm
I don't think this is deserving of its own thread, but merits a bit of discussion. Since it relates to guns (sort of), I'm putting it here.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ohio-student-who-pointed-finger-as-gun-suspended-for-3-days-1.2559249

Quote
A 10-year-old U.S. boy was suspended from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head, the principal said.

Yes, zero-tolerance strikes again!

But that aside, should such behaviour be punished in some way? Doing that with a real gun is unsafe--as noted by others in this thread, never point a gun at someone you're not willing to kill.

This strikes me less as being about guns and more as being about the stupidity of Zero Tolerance. By all means, make a thread about that issue; it's one that ought to be discussed.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on March 04, 2014, 11:18:56 pm
I don't think this is deserving of its own thread, but merits a bit of discussion. Since it relates to guns (sort of), I'm putting it here.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ohio-student-who-pointed-finger-as-gun-suspended-for-3-days-1.2559249

Quote
A 10-year-old U.S. boy was suspended from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head, the principal said.

Yes, zero-tolerance strikes again!

But that aside, should such behaviour be punished in some way? Doing that with a real gun is unsafe--as noted by others in this thread, never point a gun at someone you're not willing to kill.

There's a difference between a gun and a finger. Practice firearm safety all you want, but practice it with something that actually shoots a projectile. A toy gun or a finger? If you're so concerned about proper gun safety that you won't even point a finger gun at someone, you should probably rethink your life.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on March 22, 2014, 03:25:49 am
One thing that has been on my mind:

All freedoms have responsibilities attached to them. You're free to say what you want, so long as a) You accept that people can call bullshit on you, and b) It causes no harm to others (thus why libel and slander aren't covered, and neither is yelling "fire" at a crowded theater). Naturally, the greater the harm that can be inflicted, the greater the responsibility that is attached.

And it doesn't get much bigger than the responsibility attached to owning a firearm. THAT is what I espouse. When you draw that firearm, you must assume responsibility for what you do next. The moment that bullet leaves the barrel, it doesn't care what it hits. If you wish to own a gun, and are legally permitted to do so, by all means. But take good care in doing so. Because, by human nature, right or wrong, people will reflect your actions to other gun owners. Be wise in your actions.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on March 27, 2014, 12:38:08 pm
There's something else that came to me recently I think might relevant here. But let me do a bit of background first. Mrs. Rookie hasn't always been a huge fan of me having guns. I'd like to think I'm pretty responsible. The guns are unloaded in a safe and the bullets and shells are in a box in the top shelf of my closet under some very boring looking papers. And they only come out every six months when I clean them (at night one all the kids are in bed asleep). Anyways, lately (I'm guessing due to the fact that where I now live is a house of estrogen) she gave me the go ahead to get a hunting dog. I mentioned a chessie in my dog rescue thread. At some point she saw a YouTube video of a retriever and his owner having the time of their lives duck hunting. And she thought that kinda looks like fun. So she started talking about maybe getting her hunting license and maybe getting her own shotgun. That got me thinking about getting her one.

Ok. Here comes the relevant part. It's a big mistake for a few reasons to buy a gun for someone else. First is the obvious. It might not be exactly legal in your state to buy a gun for someone who isn't you. In Maryland it is anyways. Second, it's been mentioned not all guns are the same. In my example of a shotgun (what I have the most experience with)the differences between guns are huge. Different lengths, gages, weights, actions (pump, semi auto, et. al.), even where the safety is, and whatnot can make for a different comfort level.

For example, I have two shotguns I use for hunting. Both are the same gage (16 for anyone who's curious). Both are made for upland hunting. My Mossberg I use primarily for grouse. The barrel is a good two inches shorter which is good in heavy grouse cover. It's a bolt action, very slow shooting. But the way grouse fly in heavy cover it's rare to get that second shot anyways. It's heavy add hell which I like. Again, heavy cover. I can swing it up and the weight helps not get tangled in branches. And the thumb safety I like. It's more natural for me. My Winchester is my go to duck gun. It's a fast shooting pump action that holds double what the Mossberg does. It's lighter by a good three pounds. And it had an adjustable choke for longer shots. (In Rookie's perfect world the only two acceptable outcomes when you pull the trigger is a clean kill or a clean miss. I'd rather miss ten birds than cripple one. ) Of course the lighter weight means more kick, but I can live with that. The sights are a little different, I don't like them add much add I like the Mossberg's, but duck hunting I have more time to line them up. And because it's not add natural for more, like the safety, it makes me take my time and make each pull off the trigger better because of it.

So looking at these two very similar but very different guns, it makes me think I should no more buy her any gun than u should buy her a pair of shoes without her at least trying them on. This spring (if it ever gets to be spring in the mid Atlantic) we are going to shoot some skeet her and I. That'll give us a starting point in something she may be comfortable for her. Then to a few gun stores where she can hold some and practice swinging them up. She can feel the weight, see whAt her hands can comfortably grip for the trigger, see whAt length is good for her to tuck into get short.

Tl:dr version. A gun that isn't comfortable is dangerous to shoot in any situation, be it hunting or target shooting or self defence.

ETA: Oh yeah. Forgot to say this. Make sure you match your load (bullets) to what you want to kill. I said earlier I hate crippling birds. It's why I don't hunt geese, I don't have a gun big enough to kill then with one shot. It's the sane reason there is buck shot and there is small game shot. Even though my goal is to put meat on the table, I still want to avoid causing more pain than is necessary. For self defense I guess it would be to make sure the SOB is really down and can't cause me any more problems right then and there.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Svata on June 04, 2014, 04:19:37 pm
A crude but true piece of wisdom, straight from my dad-
"A gun is like a cock. Don't pull it out in public unless you have a damned good reason, and never start waving it around at people if you do." (If this is too distasteful, let me know so I can edit it, please.)
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on June 04, 2014, 04:51:48 pm
Perfect.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: chitoryu12 on June 04, 2014, 05:46:26 pm
A crude but true piece of wisdom, straight from my dad-
"A gun is like a cock. Don't pull it out in public unless you have a damned good reason, and never start waving it around at people if you do." (If this is too distasteful, let me know so I can edit it, please.)

"And make sure that you only point it at someone you really love."
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on June 05, 2014, 02:02:39 am
Well-spoken Svata, well-said.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Svata on June 05, 2014, 02:24:16 pm
Glad you all liked it.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on August 31, 2014, 08:58:04 pm
New rule in light of an event that happened at an Arizona gun range, in which a gun instructor bought it when he tried to teach a nine-year-old kid how to fire an Uzi on full auto.

Respect whatever firearm you use, and know the limits of both your guns and yourself. And above all, the only fully auto gun a kid should use is a paintball gun, and even then only with supervision.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: guizonde on September 01, 2014, 05:10:37 am
Hey, Stormwarden or Damen, I had a weird gun experience the other day. I work in a military surplus with a friend who collects old rifles for shows. We found an old-bolt action (probably an Enfield from WW1) but we had no way of seeing if the gun was hot, although it was seemingly unloaded. The lighting was bad, so what we did was use a flashlight aimed at the barrel (the light was on a counter, directly behind was a concrete support wall) and used a pocket mirror to check the breech. When we did not see any light, we closed the breech, threw the safety, locked it up with a post-it on the gun to ask if it was jammed or hot (the gun belongs to the boss), and put a warning note on the safe. Was this a good safety protocol? We were safe the entire time around, but I'm asking for a more experienced point of view.

Although my friend knows how to operate bolt-actions, I don't (I'm more used to shotguns, be they semi-auto or breakers), so I followed my gut who said:"I don't want a fist-sized homemade piercing, let's play it safe." All this despite my friend falling for the trap of the experienced:"don't worry, I got this." He still thanked me for my paranoia, because apparently, on the range, you have to be paranoid to avoid mistakes.

Great thread to the both of you, and many thanks.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on September 01, 2014, 08:10:42 am
If you pulled back the bolt (twist then pull and it goes back exposing the chamber and the top of the internal magazine) and there was no cartridge in there then it was safe. It is more likely that something is stuck inside the barrel which IS a risk and means that you should not fire the gun. (It could blow up in your face if you load the gun and fire it.)

It is possible that the gun has been "deactivated" by plugging the barrel which is done to firearms that are used as wallhangers, shown off in a museum or as theatre props (because you don't want to use a real gun in case someone steals it) but in that case the bolt has also been broken so that the gun will not fire. Another possibility is that there is just something stuck inside for whatever reason and it must be checked and removed.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: guizonde on September 01, 2014, 08:25:03 am
If you pulled back the bolt (twist then pull and it goes back exposing the chamber and the top of the internal magazine) and there was no cartridge in there then it was safe. It is more likely that something is stuck inside the barrel which IS a risk and means that you should not fire the gun. (It could blow up in your face if you load the gun and fire it.)

It is possible that the gun has been "deactivated" by plugging the barrel which is done to firearms that are used as wallhangers, shown off in a museum or as theatre props (because you don't want to use a real gun in case someone steals it) but in that case the bolt has also been broken so that the gun will not fire. Another possibility is that there is just something stuck inside for whatever reason and it must be checked and removed.

We didn't even think about that possibility, if only because it might have given us a false sense of security, but we'll check in that direction, thanks  :)
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on September 01, 2014, 08:50:00 am
If there is no cartridge inside it (and you should be able to see it because it would normally come out with the bolt or if the extractor is damaged it would be visible at the end of the barrel) then I can guarantee that a bolt action rifle will not explode on its own.

If the barrel really is plugged then certainly it should be checked and the obstruction removed if you are planning to use it. Basically, even a small obstruction that does not completely plug the barrel WILL raise the pressure in the barrel if the gun is fired which can make the barrel rupture or blow up the bolt.

If you remove the bolt then you can also look into the barrel from either end of the gun (through a mirror if you wish) but HOW to remove the bolt depends a bit on the particular type of rifle and I can give a few clues if you want but it is better if someone who knows rifles does it personally.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on September 01, 2014, 08:28:25 pm
Hey, Stormwarden or Damen, I had a weird gun experience the other day. I work in a military surplus with a friend who collects old rifles for shows. We found an old-bolt action (probably an Enfield from WW1) but we had no way of seeing if the gun was hot, although it was seemingly unloaded. The lighting was bad, so what we did was use a flashlight aimed at the barrel (the light was on a counter, directly behind was a concrete support wall) and used a pocket mirror to check the breech. When we did not see any light, we closed the breech, threw the safety, locked it up with a post-it on the gun to ask if it was jammed or hot (the gun belongs to the boss), and put a warning note on the safe. Was this a good safety protocol? We were safe the entire time around, but I'm asking for a more experienced point of view.

Although my friend knows how to operate bolt-actions, I don't (I'm more used to shotguns, be they semi-auto or breakers), so I followed my gut who said:"I don't want a fist-sized homemade piercing, let's play it safe." All this despite my friend falling for the trap of the experienced:"don't worry, I got this." He still thanked me for my paranoia, because apparently, on the range, you have to be paranoid to avoid mistakes.

Great thread to the both of you, and many thanks.

There's paranoid and properly paranoid. In this case you were being properly paranoid. My experience lies mostly in semi-auto rifles and pump-action shotguns. Mostly post-1960's firearms and so forth. I've shot bolt-actions before, but my knowledge is limited for them beyond squeezing the trigger and giggling at the boom. Askold seems to have covered your question pretty well already, though.

If there is a round in the chamber that isn't being extracted when you open the bolt then it's likely either a bad ejector or the round has swollen up. Either way, you ought to be able to see a shell in it. If you don't know how to remove the bolt, then you can shine a light down the muzzle and see if it lights up the breech. If it does, you're good to go, if not, you've got trouble. And, as askold said, there are a number of things to be careful about. The rifle might have been demilled and a plug stuck in the barrel. The last time it was fired it might have had a bad round that failed to exit and got stuck. There might just be some dirt down it which can be as bad as putting cement in the barrel considering the kinds of pressures a rifle can see on a regular basis.

See what happens when you don't remember to remove the bore sight laser from your rifle before you test fire it?

(http://www.snopes.com/photos/hunting/graphics/bore4.jpg)

Now, if you want to, one way you can check to see if the barrel is clear is very simple: run a ramrod through it. They're cheap and can be picked up from about any gun store on the planet. Or, you can, as a last resort, straighten a coat hanger and run it down the barrel. Just wrap the end with electrical tape or something so you don't screw up the rifling. Just be careful when you're handling any firearm you're unsure of.

And somewhat off topic...

Also, please remember, firearms are designed to handle hellacious amounts of pressure, but they handle it in a certain way. A lot of people don't realize that gunpowder burns, it doesn't explode. Because it burns the pressure build-up and release is gradual. But, once in a great while, a round won't ignite. It'll detonate. And when that happens, well...

(http://www.thegunzone.com/m1akb/762d15.jpg)

(http://www.thegunzone.com/m1akb/762d6a.jpg)

That's a .308 that detonated. There's really little advice that can be given with regards to this sort of thing beyond always make sure of your ammo. Make sure it has been stored properly and make sure there are no defects in the case, especially around the neck. And always wear eye and ear protection.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on September 02, 2014, 02:04:17 am
A good cautionary tale, and a valuable lesson about being careful with the conditions of the firearm.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on September 02, 2014, 02:36:50 am
Father of a friend of mine once got some snow into his shotgun's barrel... The barrel blew up.

He hadn't even noticed that the barrel had accidentally touched the snow as he was walking and then he saw a rabbit and tried to shoot it: BOOM!

No injuries luckily since the barrel split open at the mouth rather than the rear end.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on December 15, 2014, 02:08:33 pm
Father of a friend of mine once got some snow into his shotgun's barrel... The barrel blew up.

He hadn't even noticed that the barrel had accidentally touched the snow as he was walking and then he saw a rabbit and tried to shoot it: BOOM!

No injuries luckily since the barrel split open at the mouth rather than the rear end.

Condoms, my friend. The ones without spermacide over the barrel do a wonderful job of keeping out water, mud, and anything else you might encounter on a day of hunting. After you pull the trigger, slap another one on.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on December 15, 2014, 03:11:00 pm
I've used a piece of tape on the barrel occasionally to stop water from getting in.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on December 17, 2014, 11:18:04 pm
I sometimes use a wool sock and a rubber band. I'll be sure to use the condoms. In a survival situation, the ones without spermicide can also be used as water containers.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on December 18, 2014, 02:15:01 am
Also, condoms can be used to prevent STDs which is good even if there is no SHTF situation, but much more important then because medicine and medical help may be harder to find.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on December 18, 2014, 10:06:52 am
Also, condoms can be used to prevent STDs which is good even if there is no SHTF situation, but much more important then because medicine and medical help may be harder to find.

I've heard they're also good at preventing pregnancy.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on December 18, 2014, 11:13:26 am
Also, condoms can be used to prevent STDs which is good even if there is no SHTF situation, but much more important then because medicine and medical help may be harder to find.

I've heard they're also good at preventing pregnancy.

Good point! I thought that it would not need to be mentioned but particularly in a SHTF situation pregnancies should be planned because pregnancy at wrong time can reduce critical work force and medical complications from pregnancy that could be easily handled with modern technology might cause problems when that technology is less available.

(It is becoming clear that condoms should not be wasted on guns in SHTF situations and tape or something should be used instead.)
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on December 18, 2014, 11:35:38 am
Muzzle covers (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009PSZJ8Q), dear friends. Shoot them off if you forget about them on your rifle or if you need to and you won't have to worry about scraping melted latex off the barrel if it heats up.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on December 18, 2014, 11:57:13 am
Why would I pay 3 dollars for something when I can take a piece of painters tape (and the roll will probably cost less than 3$) that does the job at least as well?
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on December 18, 2014, 12:41:50 pm
Because when "blundering around in the woods looking for innocent animals to massacre" (vegan speak for hunting) condoms are way less bulky in a pocket. And the gas station you stop at for coffee usually has them.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on January 19, 2016, 04:43:20 pm
This is what happens when gun safety is ignored:
http://crimefeed.com/2015/10/someone-gotten-shot-toddler-every-week-2015-washington-post-reports/

WHAT THE HECK USA? Who leaves out guns so that TODDLERS can get to them?!
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on January 21, 2016, 12:17:43 pm
^

"You don't leave your tools out for any grabby kid or adult to get their hands on. Guns are tools, ergo, you wouldn't leave them out either."
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on January 21, 2016, 01:31:52 pm
^

"You don't leave your tools out for any grabby kid or adult to get their hands on. Guns are tools, ergo, you wouldn't leave them out either."

That's the biggest reason to keep your tools away, including guns. But also, you take care of them and they'll last a couple lifetimes. And step one of taking care of anything is to not leave it out!
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Katsuro on February 28, 2016, 05:14:42 am
...You loan your gun to your drinking buddy and he goes postal with it? You leave your firearm unsupervised...

The following are rules that stem from this golden rule:

1a) Always assume the weapon is loaded unless you yourself unloaded it, and check again to be sure. Better to be overcautious, than having an accidental discharge.

1b) Store weapons and ammo separately, especially if you have kids. These should be locked away in a gunsafe when not in use. If you must use a pistol at your bedside, at least use a trigger guard unless it's just you or an adult

1d) Never, EVER, leave the weapon unsupervised without rendering it safe first, under ANY circumstance.


3) ...get a gun safe...



Just wondering, are those things not covered by law in the US (or does it vary from state to state)?

I think I'm right in saying that in the UK it's illegal to let someone borrow your gun (although I'm sure it happens) but I could be wrong about that but I am fairly certain that you MUST keep you gun unloaded and dissembled in a gun safe, which must comply with certain specifications, when it's not in use.  Also, if you are going to be away from home for longer than a certain amount of time (like say if you're going on holiday) the gun must be handed in to the police for the duration of that period.  Plus if you apply for a gun license the police will send someone round to your house to make sure your gun safe complies with the law and also to check to see if you are an obvious nutter who shouldn't be let near a soft cushion never mind a firearm (obviously nutters do still get licenses, they aren't sending psychiatrists to your house, but maybe they should).

Are none of those things also law and part of the application process in the US?  If so that seems like MASSIVE oversight that should be addressed...none of those things imo would go against the right to bear arms, at least not in any unreasonable way.  I mean there's already some restrictions on that right in the US - for example it's pretty damn difficult to get hold of stuff like miniguns legally, and civilians aren't allowed to own nuclear bombs.  So clearly people are ok with some level of control.

Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on February 29, 2016, 12:38:33 am
I'll try and answer these as best as I can.


Just wondering, are those things not covered by law in the US (or does it vary from state to state)?

It varies from state to state. There are very few federal regulations regulating the storage of firearms. The only one I am aware of, and it's been so long I can't even be totally sure if its a federal or state law, is that if you are living with a person who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, then it must be kept inaccessible to the prohibited party.

There have been movements pushing for safe storage laws, but I am, frankly, skeptical about them. If you're curious as to why, I will be happy to explain later but for now I want to try and answer some of the differences between the US and the UK, at least from a Yank perspective, as objectively as I can.

I think I'm right in saying that in the UK it's illegal to let someone borrow your gun (although I'm sure it happens) but I could be wrong about that

Likely, but I can't say with any degree of certainty as to United Kingdom regulations regarding the loaning of firearms.

but I am fairly certain that you MUST keep you gun unloaded and dissembled in a gun safe, which must comply with certain specifications, when it's not in use.

Some states have that regulation, the above mentioned "Safe Storage Laws." California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, I believe, are the only states that have them. All new firearms sold are required to come with a locking device and these locking devices can also be obtained at local police departments and through the National Shooting Sports Foundation cheap or, in some cases, free.

Also, if you are going to be away from home for longer than a certain amount of time (like say if you're going on holiday) the gun must be handed in to the police for the duration of that period.

We don't have have those requirements here, but I'd love it if that service was available on a voluntary bases.

Plus if you apply for a gun license the police will send someone round to your house to make sure your gun safe complies with the law

We don't have that here, no, and that would also be a very sticky legal situation if they tried to institute it.

and also to check to see if you are an obvious nutter who shouldn't be let near a soft cushion never mind a firearm (obviously nutters do still get licenses, they aren't sending psychiatrists to your house, but maybe they should).

When purchasing a firearm from a dealer anywhere in the United States, you are required to fill out paperwork to run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This is known as an ATF Form 4473. After you fill this out, the dealer calls the FBI and they run a check on your background for any disqualifying factors, such as felonies, disbarring misdemeanors, and whether or not you've been adjudicated mentally incompetent or defective. It usually takes approximately five minutes for them to find out whether or not you're a prohibited possessor. The feds will then either send back to the dealer a Go, No Go, or a Hold. Go and No Go are pretty well self-explanatory. A Hold means that something pinged which, while it wouldn't outright disqualify you, it does warrant further investigation. A Hold can only be effective for between four and five days while the FBI investigates further. If the investigation isn't complete within that time, then it falls to the dealer to decide whether or not to go ahead with the transfer. If the transfer goes through, but the investigation later turns up something that would disqualify you, then they will send law enforcement around to your home to take possession of the firearm.

Are none of those things also law and part of the application process in the US?

Some are, some aren't.

If so that seems like MASSIVE oversight that should be addressed...none of those things imo would go against the right to bear arms, at least not in any unreasonable way.

Mmm...yes and no. Because firearm ownership is a protected constitutional right, you have to be able to have laws that would not violate that or your other rights. For example, earlier I said police inspections of your home would be a sticky thing legally. That's because choosing to exercise one right, your Second Amendment right, cannot exclude you from protections provided by another right, your Fourth Amendment right. The Fourth Amendment protects you from searches without a warrant for probable cause that a crime has been, or is about to be, committed. Treating the desire to own a firearm as grounds for a search constitutes a presumption of guilt and that is something that doesn't (often) fly in our criminal justice system. Some might try to argue that an inspection isn't a search, but it would be a requirement that we don't have when exercising any of our other rights and that, in itself, would render the law illegal.

I mean there's already some restrictions on that right in the US - for example it's pretty damn difficult to get hold of stuff like miniguns legally,

This is actually a fairly common misconception; it is actually fairly easy to get a hold of a minigun, it's just fuck all expensive. For this, I'll use your example of a minigun, which, I presume, you're talking about a GE M134 Minigun.

The first thing you'd need to do is actually locate one that was made prior to 1986. After that, you have to take it, fingerprint cards and two passport photos to a Class 3 dealer and fill out an ATF Form 4 and, if you're registering the firearm as an individual, a Form 5330.20 to prove you are a United States citizen. The dealer will then hold the weapon for you while the paperwork is processed.

The dealer will submit the paperwork and if all is clear, you'll then have to go get your Chief Law Enforcement Officer's signature stating that having the firearm won't violate any laws. This is largely a hold over from when the NFA was passed in 1934 and hadn't been updated after the introduction of the NICS system; and some CLEOs will refuse to sign off on the paperwork, even if having the firearm is legal just because they, personally, don't like them.

Remember when I said it was fuck you expensive? For every Class 3 item you purchase, it requires a $200 dollar tax stamp on top of the cost of the firearm. The last transferable GE 134 Minigun I saw would set you back $215,000 dollars, so if you can swing that, I think you can find the $200 dollars somewhere in the couch.

(NFA process: http://blog.adamsarms.net/blog/how-do-i-get-an-nfa-tax-stamp (http://blog.adamsarms.net/blog/how-do-i-get-an-nfa-tax-stamp))

and civilians aren't allowed to own nuclear bombs.

This is hyperbole and makes baby Jesus weep tears of semen.

So clearly people are ok with some level of control.

Some people yes, some people no. And the level of control varies person to person. For example, on this board regarding this topic, I am probably one of those that would land somewhere on the right (conservative) side of the bell curve while, I presume, most of the rest of the board would land somewhere on the left (liberal) side, and yet I am probably one of the most overall left-leaning people here, at least I was the last time I saw everyone posting their political compasses, so I try not to paint with too broad a brush when regarding firearm ownership.

I hope I've helped answer some of your questions.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on February 29, 2016, 01:56:04 am
People should really stop claiming that getting automatic weapons in USA is expensive. 200 dollar tax stamp is not that much of money and there are cheaper automatic weapons than the Miniguns. For example, a lot of fully automatic MAC-10s are still available (and due to the way it has been built modifying it greatly is easy AND legal so you can, for example, find MAC-10 carbines that accept drum magazines from M/31 or PPSh.)

Same thing with the suppressors, people think those are illegal but actually in most states in USA you can own one as long as you pay another 200 dollars to ATF.

...And let's be honest, if you really use the gun a lot 200 bucks is not much. Bullets cost as well and people are willing to pay five times as much for scopes and other accessories. In fact the gun it self may cost more than 2000 dollars so another 10% to get a similar one that is fully automatic or has a suppressor ain't gonna matter much.

All that restriction does is stop people who can just barely afford a basic gun from legally buying suppressors or fully automatic guns.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Katsuro on February 29, 2016, 04:27:30 am
Yep, you answered those pretty damn well.  Regarding miniguns/gattling guns I was under the impression (and I think that impression came from an American "factual" TV show) that they required special licenses that were hard for individuals to get.  Apparently a TV show was wrong, who'd have thought it huh.

As for hyperbole, yeah it's hyperbole to illustrate a point in as clear and obvious a fashion as possible so that people don't miss that point...you know, like a lot of satire and parody does.  Remember the original Robocop?  Or Starship Troopers?  Or think of old newspaper political cartoons.  Just because something is hyperbole does not mean it's automatically wrong and can just be dismissed which is what you did by not actually addressing the point of it - the fact that restrictions do exist on what kind of weapons civilians are allowed to own and where/how is the line drawn with certain people, or the government as a whole (and we all know the government certainly is a hole, thank you I'll be here all week...or at least until I finish typing this).

If you want a less exaggerated example, aren't full auto guns banned or at least more heavily restricted in a handful of states?  I'm 99% sure suppressors are banned in some states (yes they're not a weapon in of themselves but still), and I think some ammo types are illegal/restricted too aren't they?  Strictly speaking one could even argue that background checks (speaking of which, I'm sure the UK does background checks too but it was just that I know for certain that the fuzz do have a face-to-face meeting with you) and denying certain people a license is an infringement on the right to bear arms according to how the amendment is worded; I don't think it has any exemptions listed.

Obviously none of that means it should be an all or nothing situation, that's just the old false dichotomy fallacy, but all I'm saying is certain people bang on about the 2nd amendment anytime the gun debate crops up, like it's the word of God himself or something, and infringing on that right/amendment etc etc.  But it's already been infringed to varying degrees in some shape or form for years and most people seem to accept it (I'm sure some don't mind you) and are ok with it as they understand it can't be a free for all where anything goes.  I just don't understand where the cut-off point is in their mind when they start so feverishly ranting about the constitution.

But anyway this post is more than long enough already.  Cheers for your explanations and just a final thought: does anyone else think maybe all gun laws should be federal and not up to each individual state?  Having them be different from state to state seems like there'd be some obvious ways round your own state's laws.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Katsuro on February 29, 2016, 04:57:46 am
Oh, didn't read the last post properly about suppressors not being illegal in some states.  But putting an extra tax on them is still arguably a restriction and possibly even an infringement on the 2nd amendment depending on how you look at it so I don't think my mentioning them is 100% irrelevant.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Askold on February 29, 2016, 05:18:04 am
The thing is that all the silly gun laws in USA boil down to one point: 2nd Amendment.

It stops the Fed and the states from making any really restrictive gun laws OR from making the kinds of effective laws that would restrict who gets a gun and who doesn't. For all the complaints about the "Assault weapon ban" it is one of the few kinds of restrictions USA can make. Same goes for "California legal" rifles:

(http://rowelab.com/DU/riflesfull.jpg)

Does that stock look silly? That's because California managed to pass a law that restricted some features in guns and the companies simply made awkward guns that bypass the restrictions.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on February 29, 2016, 12:40:47 pm
... does anyone else think maybe all gun laws should be federal and not up to each individual state?  Having them be different from state to state seems like there'd be some obvious ways round your own state's laws.

I've given it some thought and I'd have to answer a qualified no.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Stormwarden on February 29, 2016, 01:13:59 pm
^Actually, federal lawa do limit miniguns and their ilk. That, and the cost. A ten-second burst from a minigun costs thousands of dollars in ammo.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: Damen on February 29, 2016, 05:07:20 pm
Yep, you answered those pretty damn well.  Regarding miniguns/gattling guns I was under the impression (and I think that impression came from an American "factual" TV show) that they required special licenses that were hard for individuals to get.  Apparently a TV show was wrong, who'd have thought it huh.

Glad to have helped.

As for hyperbole, yeah it's hyperbole to illustrate a point in as clear and obvious a fashion as possible so that people don't miss that point...you know, like a lot of satire and parody does.  Remember the original Robocop?  Or Starship Troopers?  Or think of old newspaper political cartoons.  Just because something is hyperbole does not mean it's automatically wrong and can just be dismissed which is what you did by not actually addressing the point of it - the fact that restrictions do exist on what kind of weapons civilians are allowed to own and where/how is the line drawn with certain people, or the government as a whole (and we all know the government certainly is a hole, thank you I'll be here all week...or at least until I finish typing this).

The reason I dismissed the nuclear weapon analogy is because I've heard it so many times that if I had been paid a quarter per encounter, I could fund my own presidential campaign. My gripe with it is that it misses the basic idea for why the Second Amendment was adopted.

Judging from your questions and comments, I am working on the presumption that you were born and live within the United Kingdom so I'm not sure how much school history classes touch on the war between the United States and the United Kingdom from 1775 to 1783. But over here, it is an extremely romanticized period of our history and was the birth of our nation. One of the leading factors that contributed to it was what became known as the Powder Alarm in which British forces seized black powder from a colonial magazine. Rumors spread that people had been killed during that incident, and not long afterward came the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

After that, the Second Amendment was adopted to help ensure that Americans have the proper means of defending themselves against a foreign power or, as President James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers No. 46, their own standing army or government should that need arise. This meant ensuring that the citizens could bring to bear force of arms equal to that of their own army, including cannons and privately owned merchant vessels that would often carry roughly equal armament as naval vessels. Privateers, for example, were legal pirates sailing heavily armed vessels that were meant to attack merchant and naval vessels of other nations.

Nuclear weapons, on the other hand, would not fall under the category of "arms" as understood pertaining to the Second Amendment because they are not made with the intention of defense against an aggressive nation. They are kept as a deterrent, the effectiveness of which is at best debatable, and to utterly destroy a nation's ability to make war and their will to fight. They are weapons of mass destruction, not arms bearable by individuals.

A more fitting question would be to ask about ownership of a tank.

The answer to that is...it is, in fact, legal for a private citizen to own a tank in the United States. You can even drive it around town, provided it has been modified to be street legal (http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/01/what-makes-a-car-street-legal/). You can even have the main cannon be functional, provided it is registered and you go through the steps to obtain your Destructive Device permit and can afford a $200 dollar tax stamp per round.

As for your joke, I lol'd.

If you want a less exaggerated example, aren't full auto guns banned or at least more heavily restricted in a handful of states?

Yes, they are. In some states by law, and in some counties they are de facto banned due to Chief Law Enforcement Officers refusing to sign off on the paperwork. You also have to notify the ATF if you want to transport a Title 2 (AKA Class 3) item out of state.

I'm 99% sure suppressors are banned in some states (yes they're not a weapon in of themselves but still),

No, that's a fair assessment. Suppressors are banned in, I believe, 9 or 10 states and some others have further restrictions on their use. To be able to get one, you have to go through the same processes as you would to purchase a machine gun, including the $200 dollar tax stamp.

and I think some ammo types are illegal/restricted too aren't they?

Depending on the state, yes, they are. For example, New Jersey has a ban on expanding ammunition (hollow points) because they call them "cop killer" rounds. The irony to that, actually, is that hollow point and expanding ammunition is actually much safer to use in a defensive situation because it is less likely to penetrate barriers or go through your attacker and hit a bystander. And they're also far less likely to be able to penetrate through police issue body armor.

Strictly speaking one could even argue that background checks (speaking of which, I'm sure the UK does background checks too but it was just that I know for certain that the fuzz do have a face-to-face meeting with you) and denying certain people a license is an infringement on the right to bear arms according to how the amendment is worded; I don't think it has any exemptions listed.

Fun fact, the Second Amendment is the only one in the constitution that explicitly has the words "shall not be infringed" in it.

Obviously none of that means it should be an all or nothing situation, that's just the old false dichotomy fallacy, but all I'm saying is certain people bang on about the 2nd amendment anytime the gun debate crops up, like it's the word of God himself or something, and infringing on that right/amendment etc etc.  But it's already been infringed to varying degrees in some shape or form for years and most people seem to accept it (I'm sure some don't mind you) and are ok with it as they understand it can't be a free for all where anything goes.

[cynic]You'd be amazed what people would accept as long as they get to watch the Super Bowl. Horray for bread and circuses. [/cynic]

I just don't understand where the cut-off point is in their mind when they start so feverishly ranting about the constitution.

Again, I believe it all depends on the person, even those of us at the extreme end vary. Some will go foam-at-mouth-Alex-Jones on the subject while others can say "I don't believe there should be restrictions on the Second Amendment because..." It really just depends on who you ask, I suppose.

But anyway this post is more than long enough already.  Cheers for your explanations

You're welcome.

But I also want to apologize for neglecting to mention that, when purchasing or transferring a firearm from a private citizen, you are not required on a federal level to have a background check performed for the transaction. However, if the seller has reasonable cause to believe that the buyer would be barred from owning a firearm, they are prohibited from completing the sale. There are other laws regarding this, which I will be happy to explain if you would like.

and just a final thought: does anyone else think maybe all gun laws should be federal and not up to each individual state?  Having them be different from state to state seems like there'd be some obvious ways round your own state's laws.

The idea has an appeal on some level but to a limited degree. The only thing I would like to see at the federal level would be a uniform standard for obtaining a concealed carry license as well as laws regulating the concealed carry of weapons and ensuring that all states recognize as valid the licenses of other states in the same manner as they would a drivers license. What we have currently is a Frankenstein's monster of a lurching, lumbering mass of stitched together laws that have served to trap otherwise innocent, if ignorant, people because what was perfectly legal in one city/county/state can suddenly become illegal the second you cross an invisible line in the dirt.

But, aside from the CCW issue, I'm not sure if much else should be handled at that level.
Title: Re: The Warden's Guide to Firearm safety and views (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Post by: rookie on March 01, 2016, 12:14:42 am
I'm not sure what else could be handled at the federal level. You have states of varying size with varying population densities and to be honest varying cultures. To try and adopt a one size fits all policy would be doomed.