The Black Rifle (Part One)


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: The Black Rifle (Part One)

  1. #1

    The Black Rifle (Part One)

    The following contains information regarding a sensitive subject. Readers are advised to consult the laws of their jurisdiction.
    Some coarse language and discussion of violence.



    “Does it make sense?”

    That’s the simplistic, clarifying filter that I run most of my actions through.
    I’m not a “It’ll feel good…”, or “…make me popular…” kind of guy. I’m not impulsive, and I definitely do not follow the crowd.

    That last point has been a constant source of conflict in my life. The path of least resistance always runs through The Crowd. Philosophically, much good can be said regarding group dynamics and cooperative problem solving. I just don’t roll that way. I try not to look down on folks that default to the group mentality, but I often do.

    There are a large number of us “gun nuts” out there. Please be aware, that even in the firearms community, there is a lot of diversity of thought. It’s human nature to put people in boxes, attributing a group with similar, inflexible traits. I get it. And while we would never consider such pre-judging in areas of race and gender, that tendency seems de jure in dealing with factors of lifestyle and politics.

    Honestly, what do you think when you see a red MAGA hat? Do you even think at all?
    Or, is it purely an emotional response?

    Now, what do you think when you see a “black rifle”?

    As a “gun nut”, you would think that I would be an irrational ‘clinger’, defending the AR rifle as the best thing since DoorDash and Alexa (that was for you Millennials).
    The reality is that I could never stand “The Black Rifle”. There are many rational reasons, but I’ll admit a main reason I could never like the AR was the lemming-like “fanboy” following it spawned.
    Regardless, to me it never passed the “Does it make sense?” standard.

    So, I did the only rational thing: I built one for myself.

    But before we can deconstruct what the AR rifle is, and is not, we must understand it’s history.

    Saint Eugene Stoner was a blessed aircraft engineer in California in the late 1940’s.
    The Holy Spirit descended on him, saying “Thou shall build rifles for my people!”
    So St. Stoner grabbed his calipers and lathe, and did the Lord’s bidding.
    First, he built a survival rifle for the US Air Force. Stoner worked at a subsidiary of Fairchild Airplane named Armalite. The rifle was named the AR (Armalite) 5. It was good.
    Then, the Holy Spirit commanded St. Stoner to build a full-sized rifle. It was called the AR-10, and it was good. Just not good enough for the Pharisees at the Pentagon.
    But the Spirit was strong in Stoner, and because The Lord saw favor in him, Stoner gave birth to the AR-15. And the machinists were fruitful and the multiplied the rifle until they were in every land, across the seas, forever and ever. Amen.

    Okay, mystique and emotional baggage aside, the AR-15 is just an ordinary rifle. It shoots a small caliber round that measures 5.56 millimeters across. The NATO 5.56 is a slightly modified .223 caliber round designed for use by farmers to dispatch small game. That’s right. The evil Black Rifle shoots bullets intended to kill wolves and coyotes.
    The US Army saw utility in this, as the soldier shooting this caliber could carry more of the smaller rounds. It had the further benefit of being easier to shoot than the previous standard 7.62mm (less recoil). The down side was the “varmint round” wasn’t as lethal against humans, but it excelled at injuring people. In combat, an injured enemy is preferable to a dead one. Casualties take more people away from fighting to care for the injured.

    So, the whole thing looked good on paper. Our wiz-kid McNamara bought them and foisted them upon the Army. It was like giving a teenager a bottle of Wild Turkey and car keys. The AR-15 (now modified and renamed M-16) was oversold in it’s abilities and it’s weaknesses were under rated.
    After a couple of years, they worked out the bugs, so to speak. But by midway through the Vietnam War, the black rifle had a soiled reputation. The ironic thing was, it wasn’t too bad of a rifle. But, in the hands of some 18 year old conscript, it wasn’t a Love Connection.

    There really often is a connection between Man and Machine. These plastic, mass produced “toy-like” M-16s just didn’t have that “It” factor. The Army Private is just not that into you. Contrast this with the previous rifles that were heavier, with wood stocks, and fired a man-stopping round. While some soldiers developed a bond with their new M-16s, for most it was a marriage of convenience.

    The M-16 continued to be upgraded throughout the 70’s and 80’s, with the M-16A1 and A2 variants. I was a machine gunner in the US Marine Corps, but every Marine must be a proficient rifleman as well. When I shot the M-16A2, it felt solid, comfortable and reliable. But, as a machine gunner shooting the larger 7.62mm round, I could feel how weak the smaller rifle round was. Oh, I was confident and proficient with my rifle. But I would much rather carry my 23 pound M60. It was worth the weight.

    By the late 80’s, the AR rifle was making serious inroads into the civilian market. While designed as a “weapon of war”, the AR was functionally no different than many civilian rifles on the market. As such, there was (and is) no justification to regulate this class of self-loading rifles because of their history and how they look. I own a Finnish bolt-action rifle used in the 1940 Continuation War (against the USSR). It most likely served killing Bolsheviks, and did so quite effectively. Later, as the Nazis were driven out, that same rifle may have killed Fascists.
    The rifle had / has no ideology, morals or self-awareness. It does what the person holding it wants to do. No more, no less.

    This simple logic is overwhelmed by emotional responses the public has to violence committed by sick or evil people. Over the last few decades, various attempts have been made to regulate and even ban this weapon, and other similarly functioning weapons. In some ways, the AR rifle is a victim of it’s own success. It’s modular, inexpensive construction makes it easy to use, affordable and kind of evil looking. Instead of the smooth lines and soft brown wood of a traditional rifle, the AR rifle has sharp, angular lines, synthetic feel… and it’s black. Past attempts at regulating the AR even included such nonsensical things as the removal of bayonet lugs and pistol grips. People that have no idea how a weapon even works are mandating how it should look. And who should own one.

    Which brings us to today. I don’t like people telling me what to do. Especially idiots that have no knowledge of the subject matter that they are trying to regulate.
    I’m old enough to have seen the ebb and flow of the rifle banning zealots over the years.
    It never impacted me directly, because I never owned a self-loading Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR). Well, I do own a SKS, a self-loading rifle which predates the AK-47. But it’s not black, so we’re all good.

    Recently, the state I live in passed another one of these nonsensical laws that only limit the rights of those predisposed to follow the law. One of the provisions of this turd-cake of a law was that my son, when he turns 18, cannot legally own a self-loading rifle. Oh, the law is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will toss it quicker than a carton of spoiled milk… this time. But the march of Socialist state control over our lives will continue. I knew I had to act, sooner or later. So I bit the bullet, so to speak.

    I could never just “buy” an AR-15. It would have been a lot easier, and even a bit cheaper to order one on line, and have it shipped to my FFL dealer for transfer. But Stoner’s design just begs for a moderately-skilled tinkerer to build their own custom rifle. If you know anything about firearms, and have average mechanical skills, you can buy the parts to build your own AR style rifle online, and assemble it at home.

    GASP!

    Here’s the deal. The only Federally regulated part on a MSR is the receiver. It is stamped with serial number, so when the assembled rifle is transferred, there is a number that can be recorded. Every other part is (federally) unregulated. Now, there is a loophole to even having a serialized receiver. Many companies sell unfinished lower receivers that need minor machining to be a functional part. These are referred to as “80% Lowers”. The BATF and regs under the National Firearms Act state that any person may assemble, own and use an unserialized weapon. The only caveat is that since it has no serial numbers, it may never be transferred to another person.

    And even this limitation is trivial. While integral, the lower receiver of an AR / MSR only accounts of about 15% of the total cost. If I ever want to transfer the rifle, I just disassemble it and hand over the parts, sans receiver. It’s all legal, friends.

    So, the idiot pinhead politicians keep threatening law abiding citizens with stifling limitations.
    But, a gaping loophole exists to bypass these morons. How could I not be in?
    Game on.
    Last edited by Winston; March 25th, 2019 at 07:07 PM.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




  2. #2
    Actually, the teething issues with the M16 were caused by McNamara's whiz kids thinking they were smarter than Eugene Stoner.
    He told them to use a specific type of powder (ball vs stick powder) and he told them to chrome-line the bore.
    The army board decided to cut costs, and it got soldiers killed.
    In the end they corrected these issues.


    Good piece. What were you going to use it for?


    I never had an interest in the AR15/M16.
    Personally, I always thought the stamped receiver AKs were a much greater engineering feat.
    The gun is made out of trash, yet they never jam.
    The only way to make an AR fully reliable is to install a gas piston like the AK has.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Good piece. What were you going to use it for?
    First, thanks. Now, to answer your question, I think, therefore, I write.
    Just spitballing, with facts and opinion. It also has the added benefit of perhaps providing some useable info for writers that want to include real life facts, not the filtered BS that the media spoon feeds most of us.

    And yeah, I just chose not to include the reasons why the initial M-16 sucked. This is already wonky enough. Discussing ball vs stick powder makes most folks eyes roll back in their heads.
    I actually don't come down heavy on either the AR or the AK side. As I said, I own a SKS, and think the 7.62x39 is superior to the 5.56. But, as Chairman Mao said:
    "Let a thousand flowers bloom"

    I'll be posting Part Two shortly. Building a rifle: So easy, Winston can do it.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




  4. #4
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Probably on a boat in Puget Sound
    Posts
    1,016
    Blog Entries
    2
    Without commenting for or against the topic itself, I was not convinced by this piece. There was a lot of apples to oranges comparison, a couple red herrings, and an oddly familiar/casual writing style that did not sit well with how serious this topic is to those on either side of the argument. Military use of AR-based weapons has little to nothing to do with civilian use so I'm not sure why so much time was spent on the military development...that could have been a much smaller portion of the piece.

    I think the strongest argument is something that covers a lot of topics in the modern world- dumbass legislation that is so hacked up it makes no sense. Firearms legislation is far from the only part of life in the US governed by utterly ludicrous rules. I feel like this should have been the focus of the whole piece.
    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  5. #5
    ...an oddly familiar/casual writing style that did not sit well with how serious this topic is to those on either side of the argument..
    And that is the real problem. So much emotional investment. That's why I made sure to mention the "MAGA" hat reference. Also why I included the italicized disclaimer header.

    This is not an argumentative "piece". This is Part One of an exhibition looking at the rifle, hence the title "The Black Rifle". Not, "You Should Love (or Hate) The Black Rifle".
    I have not summarized anything yet, nor will I. The point I will eventually arrive at is that the AR is basically a "blank slate" that people project onto. Today's bipolar, binary, adversarial society herds people like cattle to be "for" or "against" everything. Pick-a-side hogwash. I choose to be as neutral as I can be, without being a soulless PBS Radio broadcaster.

    The 4 out of 23 paragraphs discussing the military background are about as relevant as relevant can be. It shows that the rifle was flawed, is adaptable and why it transitioned into civilian use.
    When talking about something that most folks are totally clueless about, finding the balance of adequate detail is challenging.

    I am sorry my irreverent, flippant attitude doesn't read well for you. But quite frankly, from my seat, too many people take things (and themselves) too seriously.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




  6. #6
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Probably on a boat in Puget Sound
    Posts
    1,016
    Blog Entries
    2
    Have you heard Alan Watts' 3 hour lecture on "The Joker?" (not the batman foe) If not, you might find it interesting.
    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  7. #7
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Probably on a boat in Puget Sound
    Posts
    1,016
    Blog Entries
    2
    I think I'll admit to a little bias here...every time I hear anything about guns it's someone trying to convince someone else that their way is the only way to think about the topic. I guess that's what I was expecting, an essay to convince me to "like" the AR-15.
    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  8. #8
    Media Manager sigmadog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Slightly west of Idaho
    Posts
    428
    Blog Entries
    1
    Perhaps I missed it, but did you mention the "full-auto" vs "semi-auto" differences between military and civilian versions? For an informational piece, that's a fairly important distinction that is often confused in the minds of the public (especially if all you know about the rifle is what you see in movies).

    On a personal note, I'm not a "gotta have it" guy when it comes to the AR-15, but like you, the fact that my "betters" in gubmint DON'T want me to have it pushes me closer to the "gotta have it" frame of mind, just out of spite. As a traditionalist, I do prefer the look of the Mini-14, however.

    I've gone back and forth on whether I want or would even use a semi-auto .223 rifle. I do live in the country, so pest control might be a factor, but having two +100 lb. dogs keeps the rabble out to a fair thee well (at least for the twenty years we've been out here). I would love to have a nice lever-action in .357 or .45LC (a gate-loader, so Henry's out).

    To be honest, as a non-hunter (not against it, just never caught the fever), I'm more of a plinker, so a nice .22LR is probably more to my liking. In the meantime, I'm loving my several 1911's for pistol practice and everyday carry (commander size).

    Like you I'm hoping 1639 is overturned as unconstitutional, but I may also hedge my bets by making some buys prior to July 1.

    Cheers from the east-side!

    Edit to add: Just noticed velo's location. It's an all-NW thread!


    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Graphic Design. Illustration. Happy Dogs.
    Hidden Content
    Love your pet forever. Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Actually, Sigma makes a good point about auto v semi.

    You could clear up the chronic error the press always makes by calling them assault weapons all the time.
    In truth, a civilian semi-auto AR15 is not an assault weapon...it is a military pattern weapon.

    A true assault weapon is portable, rifle class cartridge, and full auto.
    The definition was not invented by the NRA, but by the people who invented the assault weapon: The Nazis.
    It may sound like an insignificant difference...until someone is shooting a real assault weapon at you.
    Ask any vet if they noticed the difference between being shot at with auto versus semi-auto.


    I'm always telling liberal friends that they should actually take a weapons course because they are always saying things that are factually incorrect.
    But they get it from the press.
    Most non-shooters would be surprised to know that one of the first things they do in a weapons class is read you the Miranda...essentially you are warned about what will happen if you ever use that weapon, that you will likely go to jail, even if it was a justified shooting. They also talk at length about how to act while wearing a weapon, about how you need to avoid conflicts, walk away from fights because they can potentially turn deadly.
    Never seen the press mention that. They seem happy in their echo chamber.

  10. #10
    Yes gentlemen, gotta admit my bias on this one. The rifle I used in the Marines was the M16A2, with the 3 round burst limiter. Isn't that funny? "Trained killers" taught fire discipline. We almost never used the 3 round burst, and didn't have a full-auto rifle. I just never think automatic when I think of an M16 / AR15. Yet millions are brainwashed into thinking that is their default mode.
    Of course, we did have the Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), that no one could confuse with a civilian rifle.

    Despite the reputation of the US Marines as being thick-headed knuckle draggers, we knew our weapons. Any standard rifle is a poor choice to fire full-auto. First, you tend to melt, or at least damage the rifle barrel. Second, high cycle rates multiply the chances of a stoppage. And finally, you waste a lot of ammo not hitting anything, because a rifle is too light to control properly. That's why (IMHO), the M16A2 was the perfect modification. Heavier weight overall, with a thicker barrel. And that 3 round burst limit.

    People that know little to nothing about firearms tend to equate shooting more bullets quickly with being more deadly. During the heyday of the full-auto M16A1, the Pentagon did a study and found the average GI in Vietnam shot about 10,000 rounds in combat before hitting an enemy. I'll let that speak for itself.

    Again, "my bad" for not including this. It does further illustrate my point that the AR is not a "wunderweapon" capable of doing everything. Not only is a civilian AR incapable of full-auto, but if you modify it to fire auto, you made it worse overall.
    As I admit, it's a writer's dilemma to separate the wheat from the literary chaff.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.