The Black Rifle (Part Five)

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Thread: The Black Rifle (Part Five)

  1. #1

    The Black Rifle (Part Five)

    Let’s address the elephant in the room. The AR seems to be the default weapon for mentally unstable people to commit acts of violence. We need to keep “weapons of war” out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them. Since, as a society, we’re too spineless to address and treat the mental health crisis in our nation, we’ll take the easy route and blame the inanimate object. Let’s get rid of the AR.

    As a thought experiment, let’s say there was enough political capital in the US to ban private ownership of all self-loading “semi-automatic assault rifles”. The immediate problem is forming a legal definition on what that mythical beast looks like. Because laws matter (at least to law-abiding citizens, not so much to criminals and the insane). The problem is everyone knows what an “assault rifle” looks like, but it’s real hard to list the features of one in a legal way that makes sense. Justice Potter Stewart said it best when he said “…I know it when I see it.”

    We’ll stipulate that somehow we have a workable definition of what an “assault rifle” looks like. People are rational actors. Before any confiscation / voluntary buy back takes place, people will buy and hoard these weapons like crazy. If for no other reason than to make a profit. Americans are good at that, as true devotees of Adam Smith. So the current estimate of 5 to 10 MILLION AR style weapons in the US would jump to perhaps fifteen million. Plus a few million AK-47 style weapons. We’ll leave self-loading pistols out of the discussion for now (funny how “assault pistol” never caught on). Anyway, that’s a lot of guns.

    So, we have a definition cobbled together by lawyers and politicians encompassing millions of items that have been turned into contraband by legislative fiat. Now what?
    Let’s explore the absurd idea of confiscation. Assuming everyone cooperated (right), it would take years and billions of dollars to even make a dent in the private ownership of self-loading rifles.
    Anticipating this, many in the gun community have moved from the “Come and Take Them!” philosophy to “Come and Find Them!”. Folks on-line exchange ideas regarding the burial and retrieval of weapons during a government confiscation. And if law-abiding citizens are doing this, you’d better bet that criminals are as well.

    The standard AR rifle is two parts (upper and lower receiver), which can be easily disassembled into a stowable package about 20” long (smaller for an AR 'pistol'). If The Goon Squad breaks in, tears apart a house, they can still easily miss a package that small. That is, if the rifle is even in the house. To be effective, every car, boat, storage unit would have to be searched at the same time as the house (otherwise, you just move the rifle from one to the other). Imagine doing this ten million times.

    Sure, some will be bribed into a government “buy-back” program. How many is hard to say. You can’t use any other country as a control for statistical comparison.
    Most Americans chafe at being bribed, cajoled and browbeaten into compliance. Especially gun owners.

    Keep in mind that there is no comprehensive data base with the names and addresses of all persons that ever bought an “assault rifle”. There would be a legal shit-show of subpoenas, writs and warrants demanding businesses divulge the private transactions between them and their customers. Transactions that were legal at the time. Push back there? You’d better believe it. And since the AR is modular, the only thing they have to keep a record on is sales of Lower Receivers. As I have demonstrated, even that can be subverted legally. And has been thousands and thousands of times.

    What would a successful “assault weapons ban” look like? Well, politicians would stand in front of huge piles of weapons (many not even ARs). They would be filmed watching said weapons fed into smelters, perhaps reforged into plowshares. Selected upward-climbing Chiefs of Police would make grandiose claims of how successful their campaign was to make “American streets and schools safe again”. Many non-gun owners would buy this PR crap.

    The reality would be about half of the 10-15 million weapons would be turned in and destroyed. Gang members and criminals would not be affected at all, as they have a steady pipeline of Soviet-bloc weapons flowing from Central and South America. The five to seven million private citizens still owing an “assault weapon” are now instant felons. The rifles could not legally see the light of day, and if used to defend their family, the owner would go to jail. Ayn Rand had something to say about that.

    Since the idea of gun confiscation is insane and unworkable, politicians and PACs have been focusing on other avenues. The first is to insist that modifications be made to the weapons that make them essentially unusable. These range from the inane things like limiting round capacity and detachable magazines to mandating how they look (ie no pistol grip). One failed attempt was the introduction of an ironically named “smart gun”. This would be a weapon that would read the biometric markers of the user, and only work for that user. This would increase the cost of the weapon, and reduce it’s reliability. Which is exactly what anti-gun advocates want.

    Regulating ammunition sales has become a popular panacea to “controlling gun violence” (ie violence committed by criminals with guns). If they can’t ban the weapons outright, they can make them much more difficult to shoot. Tripling the price of ammo tends to do that.

    Another ingenious way to prevent “assault weapon” ownership is to simply prevent anyone from finding a place to shoot one. It is a Herculean task to find a range that is convenient and accessible for many folks. And anyone wanting to open a range must navigate a Byzantine pile of regulations from overlapping jurisdictions. For existing ranges, local governments (hungry for tax revenue) have literally squeezed residential housing right next to them. Then, the new residents complain about noise and safety concerns. The range has to fight both government regulators and citizen complaints.
    It’s a slow process of wearing down folks just trying to safely operate a public recreation facility. The attack is methodical, and Machiavellian.

    Then, there’s that “soft pressure” applied by groups that hide behind a thin veneer of unbiased care for society. It’s become pretty common for doctors to ask children if there is a “gun” in the house. It’s social activism masquerading as a “health care” issue. Schools have become partisan indoctrination centers, providing years of anecdotal incidents designed to make kids afraid of guns. Yet students have a ten times greater risk of dying from HPV than an “assault rifle”. The news “with it bleeds, it leads” focus always show violence committed by criminals, but never a responsible citizen using their weapon. But the exception becomes the rule in the world of manipulated perception.

    This leads to this spiral down the drain of vapid, feel-good legislation. A restrictive law is put in place, and found to be ineffective at curbing “gun violence” (which self-loading rifles account for 1% of). The law is not effectively or uniformly enforced, so another more restrictive law is passed. Then, if a mentally ill person (who shouldn’t have any weapons) commits a crime, every gun owner is subject to that standard as well. More laws, more restrictions. Same level of violence.

    So, is it any wonder the “black rifle” is popular? Think about your average, middle class blue-collar worker. It seems to them that everyone is trying to keep him away from this “thing”? Do they not trust the average citizen? How does that make him or her feel? The typical American is not stupid, or crazy, or incapable of following basic safety procedures. And they know it.
    For many, many people, it drives them to be more likely to buy a weapon that they probably didn’t even want in the first place. Americans chafe at being told what to do. And (for the most part) we’re not stupid. A bunch of overeducated elitists that live in safe, gated communities are telling Joe Sixpack he is incapable of safely owning a “tool”? A rifle that is basically a hopped-up nail gun?
    This line of persuasion by anti-gun advocates is ham-fisted, obvious and ineffective at swaying it’s core audience.

    But, gun owners are not the core audience. The idea behind this barrage of anti-gun imagery and anecdotal scare tactics is to convince those with no gun knowledge how “bad” guns are. Since non-gun owners are still a majority, if this group can be heavily swayed into a “ban mentality”, these people can pressure gun owners into a more and more restrictive environment. It’s a tactic that is cowardly because it relies on emotional appeals versus facts. But, the tactic is mildly effective. And devoid of real rhetorical “ammunition”, it’s all that anti-gunners have. “Think of the children…”

    So, once again, why is the AR so popular? For a large part, anti-gunners made it desirable. Some of it is the “forbidden fruit” philosophy. But, again, people are rational actors. A co-worker asked for my help picking a new AR to purchase precisely before a new Washington State law goes into effect. The more anti-gun zealots push, the harder the clingers cling. It becomes a philosophical trench, with each side staring across no-man’s land, taking occasional shots at one another. And as asinine as trench warfare was in WWI, this is almost as bad.

    Not only has this weapon from the 1950s thrived, the AR has a robust industry of parts and accessories. Sure, “bump-stocks” are now banned, but what’s next? All these people, with this many rifles, with all that money to spend… equals innovation. Whether you like it or not. And a bunch of anti-gun politicians are playing legislative whack-a-mole.

    Consider this: Not only can I build and own an unserialzed weapon legally, I can shoot a bunch of different caliber bullets out of it. The standard AR lower will accept upper receivers that shoot everything from a .22 caliber to a 7.62x39 (like an AK-47). Then there’s specialty rounds like the .300 Blackout, for folks that think a rifle is good for home defense. Or, the .458 SOCOM, a huge Special Forces round developed as a one-shot, one kill bullet. And a bunch of others. All of which I can buy without any government restriction.
    So, do you have the smart idea of banning the 5.56 NATO round?

    Back to the question: What do I do with my rifle? I was considering buying a separate upper receiver in a caliber called “6.5 Grendel”. It’s classified as a “boutique” limited production round. But, the ballistics on it are excellent. It’s general accuracy is better than the 5.56, with the stopping power of a 7.62. A perfect compromise. The ammo isn’t cheap, and not easy to find, but at least it would be fun to shoot (and large enough to hunt deer, should I choose to).
    But, that’s not why I built my rifle. I built it because I can. I built it because a bunch of preening liberals don’t think I should own one. I don’t think everyone should own a Black Rifle. But, I don’t think I have the right, or anyone has the right to tell adult citizens of good character what they can or cannot do.

    But, that’s just the way I roll. And that’s why I own a Black Rifle.
    Get over it.

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

  2. #2
    Two points

    The Second Amendment was designed to protect weapons of war, not hunting rifles or ones that were deemed safe enough but those with enough power to stop an army

    Second you should take a look at the 6.5 Creedmoor I recently did the same type of search looking for a new long range caliber. I already have an arsenal of .308 and 5.6mm The ballistics of the 6.5 in the 140 or 147 grain bullet is tough to beat, and shines in ranges of over 600 yards. The other plus is that ammo and mags are easier to find than the Grendel

    A good read comparing the two
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  3. #3 should take a look at the 6.5 Creedmoor...
    Thanks for the read, and the reminder about the Creedmoor. I was actually going to include this in the last section (regarding flexibility and compatibility).
    You probably know that the magwell on the 5.56 AR15 lower receiver has a limited length. I would have to own a lower built for the 7.62 AR10 to accommodate the longer Creedmoor case.
    And I'm not doing that... yet.
    Yes, the Creedmoor is superior to just about every large rifle caliber (other than .338 Lapua). The Grendel is a compromise. But a boat-load better performing than the NATO 5.56.

    And that first point? Don't worry PW, I roll old school but I have that "enough power to stop an army" thing covered. At least Belize or Costa Rica.

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

  4. #4
    But the 243 fits in the AR, and it can be loaded for ballistics close to the 6.5.
    It's a flat shooting round, the only limiting factor is 105-110 grain max bullet weight.
    But it will also tone down to an 80gr bullet, which to me, gives it a notch over the 6.5: versatility.

    I gotta say, I do object to your continual use of the term assault weapon when referring to the AR15 and variants. It is both inprecise, and plays into the hands of gun-banners. A semi auto AR15, in any caliber, is a military-pattern weapon.

    A true assault weapon is:
    1) Full auto or selective fire
    2) Rifle class cartridge.

    Whenever you use the term erroneously, it draws a parallel between an AR15 and an M16. It's bad enough that Hollywood constantly abuses gun facts (when will they stop cocking Glocks!!!) Half of the millennials seem to get all their information on guns from movies. It's up to those of us in the know to keep the facts straight.

  5. #5
    I gotta say, I do object to your continual use of the term assault weapon when referring to the AR15 and variants.
    Sorry Ralph. I tried to use the quotes around that imprecise and ignorant term every time I used it. The sarcasm of it's incorrectness was implied, but not strongly enough, it seems.
    I do forget that many folks actually do take that term as legitimate and serious.
    Thanks again for the read, and the heads-up.
    (BTW, you can squeeze a .243 caliber through a .223 bore? I'll look that up some time.)

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

  6. #6
    Naw, there was a company a while ago that was offering modular kits that let you switch calibers, and one of them was .243. Being a 6mm fan, I immediately got wood when I read that.

    Here is one link on it. You essentially swap out the upper. There was another company that was also building units like this, but can;t find the link right now. I think DPMS is doing it too.

  7. #7
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    I am a fan of the .243 as well. My Ruger, Nikon scope, 2 inch groups at 300 yards. My furthest shot 620 yards on woodchuck with range finder, wind gauge and off a portable shooting bench. 89 grain Hornady V-max at 3210 fps. I am looking to get out to 900 yards with the 6.5 or at least have fun trying.

    I have mixed feelings about any semi in any caliber being accurate. I spend a ton of time reloading and getting rid of all of the variables. A gas gun seems to be one more thing to bring one more variable into the mix.

    I weigh each case, check each case for volume. trim necks, measure each powder charge. have expensive dies, check for concentricity. My using a chrono most of my shots vary less than 30 fps. I know I have work really hard to get anything to shoot well past 500 yards.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"


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