Monthly Archives: March 2013

Some details on Magpul’s Relocation out of Colorado

Magpul-LogoMagpul said what they meant and they meant what they said, and before the end of April the first Magpul magazine will be “Proudly Made by Americans” as the company’s advertising has always boasted, but not “…in Colorado.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has made it clear that he’s ashamed, not proud, of the company and its hundreds of direct and thousands of indirect jobs, so he should be celebrating their departur to points still unknown.

“Gateway Pundit” Jim Hoft, as he put it,”reached out to Duane Liptak, Director of Product Management and Marketing at Magpul Industries Corporation. ….  In our communications Liptak revealed the next steps for Magpul’s escape from Colorado.” Let’s see what Jim has to say; we’ve bolded a couple of revelations that were new to us:

In February Magpul announced the Democratic legislation that banned high capacity magazines would force them to leave the state taking along several hundred jobs with them.  Magpul warned they would leave the state “almost immediately” if the legislation passed.  Duane Liptak, Director of Product Management and Marketing, said the company has received official invitations from elected officials and/or the economic development activities in over two dozen states since they announced their plans to leave Colorado. Liptak says, “We’ve talked to some states, visited some, and we’ve got a lot more to get to. Some of the initial round of states that we’re looking at are Wyoming, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Montana, Idaho and Arizona but there are others in consideration.” Several more conservative states are hoping to lure the manufacturer to more friendly pastures.

Moving physical equipment and setting up products to run in new locations is an expensive venture. Lost opportunities due to disruption of production for the move could also be significant. Liptak says the company was getting ready to sign a lease on a new 125,000 square foot building for the headquarters in Colorado before Democrats introduced their legislation. So, the company held off on those plans. Magpul will now move forward with a new facility, just not in Colorado.

MagPul PMAG -- yes, they're that good.

MagPul PMAG — yes, they’re that good.

The move is already underway. Magpul chief operating officer Doug Smith told The Denver Post last week that the company will manufacture their first magazine outside the state of Colorado within thirty days. The company is moving some physical assets this month, but there are arrangements that need to be nailed down before Magpul can start moving major pieces of the operation.

And, it’s not just Magpul. Several parts dealers are also following Magpul’s lead. The company has received commitments from some of their largest suppliers that they will be leaving Colorado, as well. And, Magpul’s suppliers are even working with the company to help select new manufacturing locations.

via Breaking: Magpul Reveals Plans For Colorado Exodus | The Gateway Pundit.

This was a completely unnecessary “own goal” that not only sank Hickenlooper’s political ambitions for any larger office, but will do absolutely zero to deter criminals in Colorado.

Magpul is hoping that it’s new, higher profile will bring it new customers. We can say it already has: while we had access to PMAGs from time to time on duty, we have just received our first ten privately owned ones. And yes, they’re good. And no, they don’t fit in the 416. ‘S okay, we have HK mags for that one. It’s nice to have indestructible, OK-to-leave-loaded mags for the 6921 and other ARs.

Sunday… Easter Sunday

To Christians, this is a particularly holy and promising day. To you, a happy Easter.

To our other readers, please accept either the blessings of the season, or simply our best wishes for your health and well-being, whichever better suits you.

To all, many thanks for reading and commenting.

Police work around the world: Dateline Austria

Austrian_Police_CarSometimes you have to think what a Chicago or Detroit cop goes through, and then compare it to this:

VIENNA (AP) – Austrian police and firefighters have taken on the role of urban cowboys in a two-day round-up of a herd of cattle that broke out of a fenced-off pasture and decided to go into town.

A police statement says the 43 steers defied attempts by police and volunteer firefighters to recapture them after wandering off Thursday and heading toward the Upper Austrian town of Freistadt. After being chased away from the railway station, they endangered motorists by stampeding onto a two-lane highway before running into a town suburb.

via Austrian police chase herd of cattle through town – – Columbia, South Carolina |.

The Austrian cops chasing cows, unlike their American urban counterparts chasing felons, probably can count on the backing of their superiors….

But they still can improve their results. As of the time of the AP story, 18 of the cattle were still at large. The “round up the usual suspects” jokes write themselves!

Calling this ‘Defensive Gun Use’ is a stretch

Open wide!

Open wide!

The title of the article is: Man who shot cop he found in bed with his wife indicted for attempted murder. Reading the headline, it sounds like a guy cuckolded by an unfaithful spouse (and a horny cop) is about to be subjected to the further abuse of an unfair prosecution.

But that’s just a tad misleading. The key word missing from the headline: estranged wife. Kind of changes the complexion of the story, that.

The Staten Island man accused of shooting an NYPD detective he found in his estranged wife’s home has been indicted in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

A grand jury hit Robert Dunbar, 35, with attempted murder charges for allegedly grabbing the off-duty cop’s service weapon and firing of several shots, including one that hit the cop, Louis Pepe, in the back.

via Man who shot cop he found in bed with his wife indicted for attempted murder –

We’d suggest there are several ways to avoid winding up like Detective Pepe. One of the more obvious is to stick to beds where you know there are no rivals, er, gunning for you. Another, assuming you’ve decided that you absolutely must cuddle with some other dude’s wife (estranged or not; some guys have decidedly idiosyncratic views of marital exclusivity), is to put your pistol somewhere that is not immediately obvious to someone who enters the room and sees you putting the moves on his woman (and the cuckold’s horns on his head).

There are also several ways to avoid winding up like Mr Dunbar. The most universally applicable: when the woman wants out, be a gentleman and open the door for her. Most of men’s troubles come from the persistent delusion that one woman is materially different from the next. And then, there is the good old standby: don’t just go around shooting people. Yeah, those are a bit on the “too obvious” side. But this guy didn’t see them, for all that. Now the entire trajectory of his life is in the hands of a jury and the random quasi-justice of American courts, and it’s all his own fault.

Targets of Opportunity

Elmer Fudd does it againTargets of Opportunity… are something generally more available to a military operator than, say, to a hunter. But both have a set of Rules of Engagement, and a rural Pennsylvania nimrod stands accused of blowing his — the Keystone State’s game laws — off, while blowing away a 10-point buck. His error? He opened up on Bambi’s dad in a Walmart parking lot.

Walmart generally has a positive view of hunting, but not like this:

BURRELL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – An Indiana County man is facing several charges, after wildlife officials say he went deer hunting in a Walmart parking lot.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 40-year-old Arcangelo Bianco, Jr., fired several rounds from a handgun at a 10-point white-tailed deer froMrm within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot, and then bagged the animal near Old William Penn Highway.

via Man Charged For Hunting In A Walmart Parking Lot « CBS Pittsburgh.

No word on whether the trophy — and venison — is in an evidence locker somewhere. (In our state, confiscated game meat winds up donated to charitable institutions, once it’s documented. No idea how they roll that back if the accused poacher is acquitted).

Update for 20:00

John Richardson at Only Guns and Money saw this, too, and he has a different (and amusing) spin. He also has video of the Walmart parking lot in question, and the explanation that Mr Bianco has been charged under Pennsylvania’s game statutes, as they have stiffer penalties than the applicable criminal laws.

The Second Amendment as an Expression of First Principles

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 9.35.08 AMWe’re going afield into politics again, for which we will shortly apologize. But we wanted to alert you to a rather serious academic article by Professor Edward J. Erler of Cal State San Bernardino (yes, the city that whelped the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, and that is now quite literally bankrupt, that San Berdoo of legend. Who knew it has a college?). It ran in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, and to our surprise hasn’t been picked up much in the 2A blogosphere, so we’re giving it a little push. Apologies to those of you who come here for the gun tech or the special ops stuff.

A very small taste of Erler’s article (adapted from a speech he delivered at Hillsdale):

Now it’s undeniable, Senator Dianne Feinstein to the contrary notwithstanding, that semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 are extremely well-adapted for home defense—especially against a crime that is becoming more and more popular among criminals, the home invasion. Over the past two decades, gun ownership has increased dramatically at the same time that crime rates have decreased. Combine this with the fact that most gun crimes are committed with stolen or illegally obtained weapons, and the formula to decrease crime is clear: Increase the number of responsible gun owners and prosecute to the greatest extent possible under the law those who commit gun-related crimes or possess weapons illegally.

Both the analysis and policy recommendations are, in our view, on target. (Indeed, the AR-15 we described working on this morning is an airline pilot’s home defense gun). Personally, we’d differ slightly from Erler in the policy we recommended — criminals with guns will always commit gun crimes, so there’s no gain and much grief in malum in se possession prohibitions, and nothing lost requiring a demonstrated mens rea before we slam a cell door on some person. One of the depressing factors in the current Washington (and several States) debate about gun laws is the fixation by all sides on prosecuting non-violent possession of inert, unsentient objects as if it said possession were the equivalent of willful axe murder. Some of the new proposals seem designed to create as many unwitting felons as possible, to enable selective population of whomever a prosecutor has an animus towards.

It’s not whether Alice has a gun, it’s what she does to Bob with it that defines her as a criminal, in any sensibly moral environment. Shouldn’t our laws be a similarly moral environment? Nah. Not unless we want respect for the law breaking out all over. Who knows where that would lead?

At the end of Erler’s article, he makes some truly frightening suggestions for where an anti-gun, anti-liberty administration might go when its policy preferences are frustrated by a divided Congress. It is a very fortunate thing that Eric Holder, for example, almost certainly does not read Imprimis.

Who does, then? Imprimis is a very small but serious magazine for the intellectually freedom-minded conservative. It’s 2.6 million subscribers include a who’s who of today’s liberty-oriented thinkers and doers. We at may sometimes fall short of their expectations of a median reader, but we always feel smarter after we’ve read it. That’s true whether we agree, disagree, or — as in the case of Professor Erler’s thoughtful 2nd Amendment article — reach a split decision on any particular article. You can read it online, or subscribe and they’ll send you a short but high-idea-density paper copy every month.

A good day at the range

This M&P 15 Sport resembles the gun we had, but ours had an M4-cut barrel -- on a civilian gun that will never mount an M203, a styling affectation.

This M&P 15 Sport resembles the gun we we were sighting in, but ours had an M4-cut barrel — on a civilian gun that will never mount an M203, a styling affectation.

Spent a good day at the range yesterday. Well, the range was part of the day. It wasn’t a usual range or a familiar gun, and gettiing there was half the pleasure.

We’re far away from home precincts, and don’t have our own guns. But friends are here to help, and to beg help — particularly with an M&P 15 (a Smith and Wesson AR clone) that had resisted taking a zero on its optics. We’d handled, but never shot, the Smith AR before, and this gun’s optics were new to us.

This is the Burris AR-332. Secret to sighting it in? Mounting it tight.

This is the Burris AR-332. Secret to sighting it in? Mounting it tight. The Fastfire was attached to the top rail.

The main scope on the gun was a Burris Tactical AR-332 and the sight, too was new to us, as was the backup red-dot Fastfire (also a Burris product). The night before, we did our homework on the glass and tried to do the same on the Fastfire, but the Burris website only has product information on the newer Fastfire II and III, and no user manuals even for those. We didn’t care about what Burris marketing had to say about the silly thing, we wanted instructions for adjusting it. Was that too much to ask? Evidently. The Fastfire was mounted to the Picatinny rail that’s integral to the AR-332.

We also had a few other guns to shoot. Now, as a rule of thumb, you get more done at the range, and you get it done more elegantly, if you’re only trying to do one thing. This is time to be the hedgehog, not the fox.

The AR-332s reticle (ours was black). The ring gives you a CQB sight, but you still have the eye-relief-sight-time issue with any scope.

The AR-332s reticle (ours was black). The dots give you holdover. The ring gives you a CQB sight, but you still have the eye-relief-sight-time issue with any scope.

The problem sighting in the AR-332 was simple. It wasn’t firmly locked on the rail. The S&W AR turned out to be a real tack-driver, and we soon had groups adjusted right where we wanted them for a battlesight zero with 55-grain M193-equivalent ammo.

We didn’t like the AR-332’s reticle. It has a bullet drop compensator, but this particular one was black, apparently unlighted, and was easily lost against a black bull’s eye; it’s also not obvious from looking at the scope whether the compensator is for 62 or 55 grain ammo (they have different part numbers). We’re sure with more experience, we’d get better at using the scope, but the premium price of an ACOG is worth the money in our book.

This is actually a newer FastFire II. For some reason, it couldn't adjust below about 8-9 feet above point of aim at 25 yards.

This is actually a newer FastFire II. For some reason, it couldn’t adjust below about 8-9 feet above point of aim at 25 yards.

We never did get the Fastfire dot sorted out. It is boresighted about eight feet above the target and there isn’t enough adjustment to bring it on. Anybody have a manual for a first-generation Burris FastFire?

We did like the Smith AR. It’s a simple, DI AR with no forward assist (a dead weight, in our opinion). It worked fine, accepted PMAGs, and handled well. Even the Okeechobee range staff, who see lots of guns, liked it.

There was plenty of ammunition available for range members and guests, at (post-crisis) reasonable prices. We do think they gave us a military and police discount, but we paid $12.49 for 5.56 ammo.

The Seminole Inn, 1946. Only the cars have changed!

The Seminole Inn, 1946. Only the cars have changed!

Lunch stop enroute was the Seminole Inn, about the only interesting thing in Indiantown, FL. It was owned by the father of Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor, and contains one room where the Duke and Duchess once stayed (Palm Beach was more their style). It is quite venerable by Florida standards, built in 1926, and architecturally fascinating. The lunch was a dreadful, listless buffet, but the uniqueness of the setting made it enjoyable.

(This is a hastily published report, we hope to add some images later, although we shot no pictures at the range Done! -Ed.).

LWRC eyes Maryland exit

10x10_LWRC-Logo_V01OK, so Beretta is considering leaving Maryland, Magpul’s already bailing on Colorado (while, RUMINT says, preparing to pour resources into crushing its Colorado politician enemies at the polls, in hopes of reversing the Hickenlooper Ban, and saving their corporate HQ and many of their employees’ jobs), Colt’s hinting at dumping its 150-plus-year residence in Connecticut, so why not LWRCI?

Most civilian gun owners haven’t seen the products of the company based on the economically backward Delmarva Peninsula, but the company operates in the high-quality niche of the ever-growing AR market. LWRC has had a long and convoluted history (it has been the Leitner-Wise Rifle Company and the Land Warfare Resources Corporation before its current iteration)

LWRC's entry in the Marines' IAR competition. Open to show the proprietary short-stroke piston system.

LWRC’s entry in the Marines’ IAR competition. Open to show the firm’s proprietary short-stroke piston system.

Its customers include the government itself, friendly foreign governments (LWRC supplies Britain’s designated marksman rifle), local police agencies and discerning individuals who don’t mind getting in the queue behind, say, Saudi Arabia’s $100-million order. They’re perhaps best-known in the market as dedicated promoters of the CQB-optimized 6.8mm SPC round in the AR. But, while their executives might be able to retire rich as Croesus just on their US and foreign military orders, they want it known that that’s not how they roll. They sent a key EVP, Darren Mellors, to testify to that effect in the Maryland Legislature, and his testimony is posted on the company’s Facebook page:

The direct jobs that would be lost if LWRC was move out of state belong to the least of your Maryland brothers and sisters. These are people and communities that have access to very few resources, who can’t simply drive to another county to find another job.

LWRCI will bring in excess of $130 million dollars into Maryland this year. This money is put to work in Dorchester County, one the most economically distressed Counties in MD, and the money is spread throughout the state through subcontract work to Maryland businesses, the purchase of capital equipment and technical services, the rental of properties, contracting construction for expansion, employee’s payroll dollars and corporate taxes. The millions of dollars we bring from outside of MD into the state do more to stimulate the economy than any scheme legislators or members of the State and Federal executive branches ever could.

We have invested every dollar back into expansion and growth. We invest in our employees, training them in high tech skills like machining, programming, drafting and other skilled jobs. We use the Maryland institutes of higher education offering tuition reimbursement to our employees. Our goal from the first day of operations was to expand and build something of value, not take annual dividends. We have invested in Maryland, our communities, and its people.

This one where you really have to go to LWRC’s Facebook page, and — you know what we’re going to say — Read The Whole Thing™.

The testimony is quite lengthy and reveals, for example, that none of the 60,000 LWRCI rifles shipped to qualified buyers has ever turned up in an ATF crime trace. (Not surprising, really. Their market is not exactly the Chi-town gangbanger set, or the ATF’s own SInaloa Cartel Purchasing Authority). But the bottom line is in this question: “”

Mellors’s threat is not in the least veiled, unlike Colt’s or Beretta’s.

The legislation as written seems to be window dressing for political gain by a few in the face of ineffective crime control. The real issues of public safety as they relate to gun violence go largely unanswered. The MD government is making it clear through its actions with this legislation that we, nor Beretta nor other firearms manufacturers are welcome in MD. It sends the message that this is not the State to expand in.

This legislation also sends a clear message to MD citizens that wish to exercise their rights under the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution; that they are no longer welcome in MD. For criminals, it will be business as usual. As such, if this unconstitutional ban passes as written, we will comply with your wishes and move our companies out of Maryland along with as many employees and their families that wish to go.

He signed off “Respectfully.” That seems to be the one insincere word in the whole thing, unless he’s referring to respect for constitutional state offices, not for the bozos that currently occupy them.

Reportedly, the de-facto one-party state legislature, and Governor Martin O’Malley, have told their supporters that “LWRC can’t leave because they depend on government contracts,” and they’re pulling in chits with the Obama administration to cancel LWRC’s USG and FMS orders if the company moves. That would be a blatant violation of the DOD’s arcane but toothy procurement regulations, and would lead to the mother of all contract-cancellation lawsuits. That’s even before the market reacts to pick up the government’s slack. The USG only uses about two to two-and-a-half million AR-type rifles, total, for all services and agencies, and that’s the fruit of 60 years of AR-buying. Civilian sales of ARs were running at a million a year before the re-election of the man with the ban on his mind.

If you strike LWRC down, you will only make them stronger.

Here’s a rarity from GunBroker: M16A1 Carbine cutaway

The M16A1 Carbine upper is cut away to show the workings of the gas system and locking mechanism.

The M16A1 Carbine upper is cut away to show the workings of the gas system and locking mechanism.

Long after the XM177s were gone, and before we got the first weapon called an M4 (which had a fixed, M16A2-style, carrying handle) there were “M16A1 Carbines” and “M16A2 Carbines.” These weapons were made for export and for very limited US military markets — mostly for special operations “mobs for jobs”. To see one today is pretty rare. To see one professionally cut away is rarer. So you can see one in this post, or at least, its upper.

Ever wonder what a gas port looks like inside? Or what you're actually pressing on when you adjust an AR-15's front sight? Here's your answer.

Ever wonder what a gas port looks like inside? Or what you’re actually pressing on when you adjust an AR-15’s front sight? Here’s your answer.

You can also go to the source: GunBroker, where you can actually buy it, if it’s worth $1,200 to you (or more if the bids get rolling).

For you cheapskates who won’t buy this, or impoverished taxpayers who can’t buy this, you can at least look at these pictures and perhaps use them when you instruct on this weapon. There are more pictures at the link, also.

The gun appears to have been of circa-1970 manufacture; one interesting feature is a 1960s-vintage C MP B marked barrel. That’s one of the early Chrome Bore barrels; the barrel marking was changed to C MP CHROME BORE in the early 1970s. A C MP B marked 14.5″ barrel is quite a rarity these days, compared to the later C MP CHROME BORE variety. (Even rarer is the mid-sixties C MP C marking, which indicates a chromed chamber, but a non-chromed bore).

Bolt Carrier Group cut away to show the internal gas chamber -- and charging handle cut away to expose the BCG.

Bolt Carrier Group cut away to show the internal gas chamber — and charging handle cut away to expose the BCG.

Ironically, the early M16 parts, once unloved orphans as Class III owners, police departments, and private collectors updated their arms, are now hunted by an obsessive legion of retro-heads. But they’re no good to anyone if they’re cut away.

Unless you’re one of the minority who has a use for a cutaway curiosity piece, new to you.


AR vs. Feral Hogs

From CNN, of all things. And played basically straight; Hal Shouse, who drives his “Hambulance” as part of the feral “Hog SWAT Team,” which is what he calls his one-man (plus paying customers) hog-eradication firm, explains that he could eradicate hogs with a single-shot rifle, but not nearly as effectively as he does with an AR. And CNN reports, with much less editorializing than we’ve come to expect from them.

It’s almost as if they want to start doing news again.

Hat tip: this week’s W4, The Captain’s Quarters.