Gun Control Facts

Gun Control Facts

The information of this post is copied from this link at GOA, and contains more information if you click on the link below.

1. Highlights

* Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day.(1) This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.(2)

* Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of “Guns in America”—a study which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.(3)

* Concealed carry laws have reduced murder and crime rates in the states that have enacted them. According to a comprehensive study which reviewed crime statistics in every county in the United States from 1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%.(4)

* Anti-gun journal pronounces the failure of the Brady law. One of the nation’s leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the Brady registration law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August 2000, JAMA reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks did “not [experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”(5)

* Twice as many children are killed playing football in school than are murdered by guns. That’s right. Despite what media coverage might seem to indicate, there are more deaths related to high school football than guns. In a recent three year period, twice as many football players died from hits to the head, heat stroke, etc. (45), as compared with students who were murdered by firearms (22) during that same time period.(6)

* More guns, less crime. In the decade of the 1990s, the number of guns in this country increased by roughly 40 million—even while the murder rate decreased by almost 40% percent.7 Accidental gun deaths in the home decreased by almost 40 percent as well.(8)

* CDC admits there is no evidence that gun control reduces crime. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long been criticized for propagating questionable studies which gun control organizations have used in defense of their cause. But after analyzing 51 studies in 2003, the CDC concluded that the “evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these [firearms] laws.”(9)

* Gun shows are NOT a primary source of illegal guns for criminals. According to two government studies, the National Institute of Justice reported in 1997 that “less than two percent [of criminals] reported obtaining [firearms] from a gun show.”(10) And the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed in 2001 that less than one percent of firearm offenders acquired their weapons at gun shows.(11)

* Several polls show that Americans are very pro-gun. Several scientific polls indicate that the right to keep and bear arms is still revered—and gun control disdained—by a majority of Americans today. To mention just a few recent polls:

* In 2002, an ABC News poll found that almost three-fourths of the American public believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of “individuals” to own guns.(12)

* Zogby pollsters found that by a more than 3 to 1 margin, Americans support punishing “criminals who use a gun in the commission of a crime” over legislation to “ban handguns.”(13)

* A Research 2000 poll found that 85% of Americans would find it appropriate for a principal or teacher to use “a gun at school to defend the lives of students” to stop a school massacre.(14)

* A study claiming “guns are three times more likely to kill you than help you” is a total fraud. Even using the low figures from the Clinton Justice Department, firearms are used almost 50 times more often to save life than to take life.(15) More importantly, however, the figure claiming one is three times more likely to be killed by one’s own gun is a total lie:

* Researcher Don Kates reveals that all available data now indicates that the “home gun homicide victims [in the flawed study] were killed using guns not kept in the victim’s home.”(16)

* In other words, the victims were NOT murdered with their own guns! They were killed “by intruders who brought their own guns to the victim’s household.”(17)

* Gun-free England not such a utopia after all. According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997.(18) And according to a United Nations study, British citizens are more likely to become a victim of crime than are people in the United States. The 2000 report shows that the crime rate in England is higher than the crime rates of 16 other industrialized nations, including the United States.(19)

2. Self-defense

A. Guns save more lives than they take; prevent more injuries than they inflict

* Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day.(20) This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.(21)

* Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker.(22)

* As many as 200,000 women use a gun every year to defend themselves against sexual abuse.(23)

* Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of “Guns in America”—a study which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.(24)

* Armed citizens kill more crooks than do the police. Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606)(25). And readers of Newsweek learned that “only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The ‘error rate’ for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high.”(26)

* Handguns are the weapon of choice for self-defense. Citizens use handguns to protect themselves over 1.9 million times a year.(27) Many of these self-defense handguns could be labeled as “Saturday Night Specials.”

B. Concealed carry laws help reduce crime

* Nationwide: one-half million self-defense uses. Every year, as many as one-half million citizens defend themselves with a firearm away from home.(28)

* Concealed carry laws are dropping crime rates across the country. A comprehensive national study determined in 1996 that violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. The results of the study showed:

* States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%;(29) and

* If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and over 11,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.(30)

* Vermont: one of the safest five states in the country. In Vermont, citizens can carry a firearm without getting permission . . . without paying a fee . . . or without going through any kind of government-imposed waiting period. And yet for ten years in a row, Vermont has remained one of the top-five, safest states in the union—having three times received the “Safest State Award.”(31)

* Florida: concealed carry helps slash the murder rate in the state. In the fifteen years following the passage of Florida’s concealed carry law in 1987, over 800,000 permits to carry firearms were issued to people in the state.(32) FBI reports show that the homicide rate in Florida, which in 1987 was much higher than the national average, fell 52% during that 15-year period—thus putting the Florida rate below the national average.(33)

* Do firearms carry laws result in chaos? No. Consider the case of Florida. A citizen in the Sunshine State is far more likely to be attacked by an alligator than to be assaulted by a concealed carry holder.

* During the first fifteen years that the Florida law was in effect, alligator attacks outpaced the number of crimes committed by carry holders by a 229 to 155 margin.(34)

* And even the 155 “crimes” committed by concealed carry permit holders are somewhat misleading as most of these infractions resulted from Floridians who accidentally carried their firearms into restricted areas, such as an airport.(35)

* Concealed Carry v. Waiting Period Laws. In 1976, both Georgia and Wisconsin tried two different approaches to fighting crime. Georgia enacted legislation making it easier for citizens to carry guns for self-defense, while Wisconsin passed a law requiring a 48 hour waiting period before the purchase of a handgun. What resulted during the ensuing years? Georgia’s law served as a deterrent to criminals and helped drop its homicide rate by 21 percent. Wisconsin’s murder rate, however, rose 33 percent during the same period.(36)

C. Criminals avoid armed citizens

* Kennesaw, GA. In 1982, this suburb of Atlanta passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole.(37)

* Ten years later (1991), the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.(38)

* Nationwide. Statistical comparisons with other countries show that burglars in the United States are far less apt to enter an occupied home than their foreign counterparts who live in countries where fewer civilians own firearms. Consider the following rates showing how often a homeowner is present when a burglar strikes:

* Homeowner occupancy rate in the gun control countries of Great Britain, Canada and Netherlands: 45% (average of the three countries); and,

* Homeowner occupancy rate in the United States: 12.7%.(39)

Rapes averted when women carry or use firearms for protection

* Orlando, FL. In 1966-67, the media highly publicized a safety course which taught Orlando women how to use guns. The result: Orlando’s rape rate dropped 88% in 1967, whereas the rape rate remained constant in the rest of Florida and the nation.(40)

* Nationwide. In 1979, the Carter Justice Department found that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.(41)

Justice Department study:

* 3/5 of felons polled agreed that “a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun.”(42)

* 74% of felons polled agreed that “one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime.”(43)

* 57% of felons polled agreed that “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”(44)

D. Police cannot protect—and are not required to protect—every individual

* The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. D.C. the court stated “courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.”(45)

* Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only about 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities. Smith was asked why so many citizens in Dade County were buying guns and he said, “They damn well better, they’ve got to protect themselves.”(46)

* The Department of Justice found that in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.(47)

* The numbers clearly show that the police cannot protect every individual. In 1996, there were about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time to protect a population of more than 260 million Americans—or more than 1,700 citizens per officer.(48)

3. Failure of Gun Control

A. Poor track record

* Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and yet it is frequently the Murder Capital of the nation. In the 25 years following the DC gun ban, its murder rate INCREASED 51 percent, even while the national rate DECREASED 36 percent.(49)

* Objection: Critics claim criminals merely get their guns in Virginia where the laws are more relaxed. This, they argue, is why the D.C. gun ban is not working.

* Answer: Perhaps criminals do get their guns in Virginia, but this overlooks one point: If the availability of guns in Virginia is the root of D.C.’s problems, why does Virginia not have the same murder and crime rate as the District? Virginia is awash in guns and yet the murder rate is much, much lower. This holds true even for Virginia’s urban areas, as seen by the following comparison on the 25-year anniversary of the DC gun ban (in 2001):

Washington, DC 46.4 per 100,000(50)
Arlington, VA 2.1 per 100,000(51)
(Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)
Total VA metropolitan area 6.1 per 100,000(52)

* Guns are not the problem. On the contrary, lax criminal penalties and laws that disarm the law-abiding are responsible for giving criminals a safer working environment.

Assault Weapon bans, Hi-Cap Magazines, and the NRA

Assault Weapon bans, Hi-Cap Magazines, and the NRA

For starters, I don’t like to call them “hi-cap” or “High Capacity” magazines, because they are really just standard capacity or full capacity magazines for the most part.

A Glock 17 with a standard magazine holds 17 rounds of 9mm, and can be carried with 17+1 (that is a full capacity, normal magazine that is made to work specifically for the Glock 17 from the manufacturer, without an arbitrary magazine restriction by law).
During the AWB (Federal Assault Weapons Ban) from 1994-2004, Glock 17’s sold brand new with two magazines to a normal civilian with two 10 round magaines. This gave the owner the ability to carry 10+1 (or 11 rounds) rounds of 9mm. Old “hi-cap” magazines made prior to the 1994 ban were completely legal to own and use in your pistol, but there was a finite number of them and the price of them was steep compared to the then limited 10 round magazines. It was illegal to alter the magazines to hold more than 10 rounds in the United States.
After September 2004, the 10 year ban of newly manufactured “hi-cap” magazines was lifted as the law sunset, along with the other effects of the law, which limited newly manufactured AR15’s (pre-ban) and other so called “assault rifles” from being able to have more than one of 4 arbitrarily determined “evil” features, which were (1)flash hider, (2)bayonet lug, (3)pistol grip, or (4)adjustable buttstock.
Most AR15’s maintained their pistol grip, as this was the most troublesome part to change on the weapon.
In the case of the “DC Sniper”, they used a “post-ban” AR15.
How they determined these features were bad and why they figured the lack of these features would deter crime or stop bad people from killing others is anyone’s guess, but it shows you how effective the government is (or isn’t) at fixing problems in our society. Imagine how many drive by bayonettings they prevented during the original AWB.
Above: an “evil” AR-15 with a flash hider, bayonet lug, pistol grip, and adjustable buttstock
Of course, politicians who prefer gun control urged fellow law makers to reinstate the AWB. Playing on the fears of the American people, gun control advocates suggested that the US would see a surge in crime. A surge in crime never occurred. In fact, violent crime went down and still is, 8 years later. To add insult to injury, FBI studies showed that the AWB had no effect on reducing crime.
What purpose did the 10 round arbitrary limit serve during those 10 years when they were illegal? Why 10 rounds? Why not 8? Why not 14? Once again, how they determine these things is anyone’s guess. The truth of the matter is this, owning a gun is a RIGHT granted in the US Constitution. It specifically states that the right “shall not be infringed”. A magazine limitation is an infringement on my rights to own guns.
Another simple fact is this, how do I know how many rounds I will need to defend my life? It could be simply pulling a gun out that ends the attack, but there are several reports of criminals taking multiple shots in order to be stopped, or multiple criminals for that matter. Take these examples for instance.
In one case, the subject attacked the officer with a knife. The officer shot the individual four times in the chest; then, his weapon malfunctioned. The offender continued to walk toward the officer. After the officer cleared his weapon, he fired again and struck the subject in the chest. Only then did the offender drop the knife. This individual was hit five times with 230-grain, .45-caliber hollow-point ammunition and never fell to the ground. The offender later stated, “The wounds felt like bee stings.”  
In another case, officers fired six .40-caliber, hollow-point rounds at a subject who pointed a gun at them. Each of the six rounds hit the individual with no visible effect. The seventh round severed his spinal cord, and the offender fell to the ground, dropping his weapon. This entire firefight was captured by several officers’ in-car video cameras.  
In a final case, the subject shot the victim officer in the chest with a handgun and fled. The officer, wearing a bullet-resistant vest, returned gunfire. The officer’s partner observed the incident and also fired at the offender. Subsequent investigation determined that the individual was hit 13 times and, yet, ran several blocks to a gang member’s house. He later said, “I was so scared by all those shots; it sounded like the Fourth of July.” Again, according to the subject, his wounds “only started to hurt when  I woke up in the hospital.” The officers had used 9-millimeter, department-issued ammunition. The surviving officers re ported that they felt vulnerable.
Of course, these LEO’s were not restricted to a limited number of rounds in their weapons. The reason I carry a gun is to be prepared for a deadly threat that I may face similar to the ones that these officers went through. I may need more than 10 rounds, you just never know.
Unfortunately, our politicians don’t seem to want to listen to reason. This is an opportunity for them to “Never let a crisis go to waste”. The bulk of the anti-gun talk is being led by the usual suspects like Feinstein and Obama. Feinstein has promised to introduce AWB 2.0 on the first day of the next session. Obama has formed a “commitee” of some sort to figure out what the best course of action would be, and there is always the threat of an “Executive Order”.
I don’t know what will happen from here. I am an optimist. There are some good things right now. Politicians know that passing gun legislation will cost them in the next election. Thankfully we have a Republican house, and many Democrats are somewhat afraid (or have been) to try and pass anti gun legislation.
I also know what the government is capable of, and we know there are plenty of gun grabbing idiots in power. If we can count on the government for one thing, it’s implementing poorly thought out knee jerk solutions.
We need to be proactive. Join the NRA if you are not already a member. If all of the people out there who owned guns and believed in our 2nd Amendment rights were members of the NRA, we would have power not only to deflect anti-gun legislation, but to set the agenda in DC about gun rights for Americans and give ourselves more freedom.

The Legendary AK-47

The Legendary AK-47

The AK-47 is arguably the most successful “Assault Rifle” in history. Some estimates put the AK at about an unprecedented 80 MILLION AK’s worldwide, making it quite ubiquitous. This design, created by a Russian Tank Commander, is robust, reliable, and quite simple. It has often used by the enemies of our great country in wars in the time since it’s invention, including but not limited to the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as many terrorists and enemy combatants.

It is commonly thought of as “the bad guy gun”.

Mikhail Kalashnikov began working on developing a rifle in the 40’s after he was injured in battle. The end result was the AK-47 (short for “Avtomat Kalashnikova model 47”), which went into service for the Russians in 1947 and has remained in service (at least in variations, including the AK-74 among others) since that time.

I intend to write about the AK-47 clones (primarily all semi-autos) that we see here in the US, none of which are “assault rifles” by definition. Many here though refer to the AK-47 clones out there as AK-47’s or simply AK’s, or even AKM’s. AK-47’s are chambered in the Russian cartridge 7.62×39, which is usually a 123gr bullet traveling at about 2300-2400fps.

Here you can see the tapered case of the 7.62×39 round (bottom) compared to the 5.56 (top) which aids in the reliability of the rifle by making it easier to chamber and extract rounds (less friction).

It also adds to the extreme curvature of the magazines.

This is a pretty effective round at ranges inside of 400 yards. It also hits plenty of power and usually does a good job of turning “cover into concealment” as it will smash through mild or thin steel, glass, cinder blocks, wood, and many other common barriers. It’s drawback is that the round is fairly heavy to carry (compared to a 5.56) and experiences some decent amount of bullet drop after 300-400 yards.

A USMC Capt. models with an underfolder AK-47 in Afghanistan. Not my favorite stock for the AK. They look good, and they get the stock out of the way when they are folded, but they are uncomfortable for me. I prefer the fixed stock and the side folding stocks.

Here in the USA, the AK has a strong loyal following. That is not surprising, given the reliability, simplicity, and longevity of this design. They are fairly easy and inexpensive to mass manufacture. Most AK’s here in the US not surprisingly are imported as whole rifles or made from parts from AK’s of various origins including but not limited to Russia, China, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Eqypt, and a whole host of other communist and former communist states, Muslim, and third world countries.

Another upside to the AK is that they tend to be fairly inexpensive to buy for most people who are seeking a battle carbine for themselves, especially on a budget.

Magazines are plentiful and also fairly inexpensive.

The reliability of the AK is a result of it’s loose tolerances and large gas piston. However, these two factors also hurt the AK in the field of accuracy. Many think of it as no more than a “spray and pray” type weapon. Others have found that the accuracy claims are usually greatly exaggerated or can be helped by using quality ammunition and buying a higher quality AK.

This is my Hungarian SA-85.

There are other drawbacks to the design though, and they include it’s lack of modularity, lack of an easy, quality scope/optic mounting ability, bad iron sights, and lousy ergonomics.

Let me say that, of all of the battle carbines out there, the AK really does have the worst ergonomics I can think of, particularly when it comes to reloading.

For starters, the bolt handle is on the wrong side (if you are a right hander) because to manipulate the bolt, you must take your hand off of the pistol grip and pull the bolt all the way back and let it go. Your support hand should do this but trying this with your support hand as a right hander is awkward.

Secondly, there is no bolt hold open on the last round. Imagine shooting your last round in a firefight without knowing it only to pull the trigger and hear the dreaded “click” instead of “bang”. Not good. In addition, when reloading, you must cycle the action like I mentioned above, instead of just letting the bolt slam home on a loaded mag.

Lastly, and going along with the whole reloading aspect, the position of the magazine release and the way in which you remove and insert the magazine is strange and requires a rocking motion which takes practice to get right quickly. And even with practice, reloading takes about twice the time for a magazine change with an AK than with something like an AR15.

An upside about the magazines when compared with the AR15 is that the magazines, although heavy are rugged.

Many people make a big deal about the safety, but that aspect of the AK doesn’t bother me as much as it does to some critics of the AK. In fact, I have discovered a way to make the most of the placement of the safety, thanks to some folks online who have shared it.

Although the ergonomics are not very good and hurt you the most during reloading, I don’t think this a deal breaker.

The AK-74 is a variation now in use by the Russians that uses a 5.45 round as oppose to the 7.62×39. It may be a better round but finding ammo, magazines, and other replacement parts tends to be a little harder than for a 7.62×39 AK. If you are particularly fond of the 5.45 and have access to plenty of ammo, mags, and spare parts for it.

I do like the 5.45. Many people will point out that Kalashnikov himself did not like the 5.45 and opposed it’s adoption. However, I fail to see how that is very relevant. Kalashnikov was not a ballistics expert. He didn’t design the 7.62×39 cartridge. He likely designed the original AK in that caliber simply because that is what he was told to build it in.

Overall, I think the AK is a fantastic weapon. It’s not my first choice, but it is still an excellent choice regardless. There are good reasons that it has been mass produced on the scale that it has been and price is not the only reason. There is a lot to be said for it’s simple, inexpensive, reliable, robust design.

North American Arms .22 Revolver

North American Arms .22 Revolver

The North American Arms .22 revolver is not very powerful or accurate… but one thing it has going for itself, is size!

Here it is next to my Kel-Tec P32, which is my smallest CCW gun, and is extremely easy to carry. The NAA .22LR revolver could go into your pocket and you may even forget that it’s there.

They are kind of painstaking to reload, as you need to remove the cylinder from the gun and knock out each spent round individually and load individually.

This, combined with the size and the cocking of the hammer for each shot shot makes shooting it kind of a chore when compared to most guns. I just didn’t really enjoy shooting it. Although, it is not meant for range shooting.

These guns are very small. Easy to conceal, even in the palm of your hand. I see them as a last ditch BUG (back up gun) though.

The .22LR round in this gun produces more recoil than one would expect from a .22LR. Not to mention that the .22LR is not exactly the most daunting man stopper. I think I would go with Stingers or something more than bulk .22LR for carry in this gun.

This picture is of the NAA .22LR revolver in it’s “Belt Buckle”. An interesting way to carry the gun openly. Frankly, it’s a bit silly to carry it that way in my opinion.

Now, I have been critical of this gun, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care for it. I think it serves a practical purpose, and I appreciate what it is capable of, despite it’s inadequacies.

It serves this point.

Photography by Oleg Volk

However, I wouldn’t expect it to do much outside of 5-10 yards, under stressful conditions…

This is a deep concealment revolver, and the price is not too bad at around $200 or less.

Dan Wesson CBOB 1911 – Range Report

Dan Wesson CBOB 1911 – Range Report

I was lucky enough to get to take my new 1911 .45ACP Commander Bobtail (CBOB) out shooting today. I had shot it in the past, but I didn’t have enough ammo to shoot it as much as I had wanted.

This 1911 is widely believed to be the best value Custom 1911 on the market right now. I paid less than $1K shipped to my FFL.

It is a series 70 Commander (4.25″ barrel) 1911 with a bobtail. It utilizes many Ed Brown components, a sure sign that they are trying to make a high quality weapon.

First impressions are, I LOVE THIS GUN! Recoil is manageable, and this 1911 is capable of some serious accuracy.

The trigger is clean and breaks very nicely. The Trijicon night sights are very nice as well. Considering that most gunfights take place in low light conditions, they will likely be very nice to have if you ever need to use this weapon to save lives.

I got a chance to run about 100 rounds through it and experienced no failures except for two that I can without a doubt blame on the Metalform magazines that failed to properly feed the final round in the magazine.

I feel pretty good about it so far though, considering that these require a little bit of a break in period. It may have helped that I had cycled the slide probably close to 1000 times since I bought it. I had also field stripped it and lubed it well.

Ammo used today was 230gr Federal FMJ that I bought at Wal-Mart for about $16/box. The few Speer Gold Dots I have tried so far worked fine on previous outings.

My stock Dan Wesson mags performed flawlessly to this point. I am going to be investing in some Wilson Combat magazines pretty soon though. I have been loading the mags to 7 rounds just because when I load a magazine with 8 rounds when the slide isn’t locked back, the top round in the magazine gets dinged up a little and the magazine doesn’t lock into place quite as easily. This might make tactical reloads difficult I am thinking.

This is a picture of my first 7 shot group from 7 yards. Those two shots in the lower left were all me. It was very windy and I just hadn’t settled down enough.

I wasn’t very happy about that group, so I tried 7 rounds again and had better results. It was one big hole in the target.

Interestingly enough, when I looked behind the particle board that we used to shoot that last group with, I was able to find 6 of the 7 rounds I had fired with ease. They were still quite warm when we excavated them out of the dirt where they couldn’t have penetrated more than an inch or so.

I was impressed with the accuracy. I could easily hit targets as far away as 20-25 yards away as long as I did my part.

Here is a picture of the fit between the slide and receiver. This attention to detail is one of the reasons that Dan Wesson (owned by CZ) is making such a good reputation for themselves.

I bought a leather OWB holster for it from Don Hume (The Colt Commander model they make) and have been pleased with it to this point. The bobtail makes carrying this gun more comfortable than I imagine it would be otherwise. It should also help with concealment as well.

I plan on shooting this gun quite a bit more. I have also found some good .45ACP defensive loads that I want to do some of my own personal testing with and will report on in this blog sometime in the future.

I am grateful to many of the members of various gun boards (namely 1911 Forums) that helped me discover the value of this 1911 as well as locate one for me to purchase.


CZ-82 Pistol Review

CZ-82 Pistol Review

I have had my eye on the CZ-82 pistols for some time now. Owning a Makarov and having plenty of 9×18 ammo already, the CZ-82 appealed to me very much. I am not in love with the round, it is a little on the weak side, but I do believe it is adequate. I do like it better than the .380 (which they make in a model known as the CZ-83).

They have been on the market for a few years, but it is believed that the last of these have mostly been imported.

Featuring a double stack high capacity 12 round magazine in a similar size to the Makarov was very enticing as well.

They were certainly priced right, at $229 and reviews on them around the web were very favorable. I convinced my brothers to get in on them as well, and even persuaded one of my brothers girlfriends to get one (it would be her first handgun). We ordered from AIM and paid an additional $10 for handpicked. Not sure if it is worth it but I wanted to feel like I got the nicest one and considering the price in the very first place, I wasn’t bothered too much.They came in a few weeks later and after cleaning off a light coating of oil/grease we took them out to shoot them. They functioned well, I only had 1 failure in 100 rounds and I am convinced it was simply because we had not been thorough enough in our cleaning. Accuracy was adequate.

It definitely looked used but not abused. Mine was made in 1986 (the year is stamped onto the firearm). It came with a pretty decent OWB black leather holster with a thumb break and two mags.

CZ-82 with the leather holster it came with

It only seems fair to compare this gun against the venerable Makarov, considering they were designed in Czechoslovakia after pressure from the Soviet Union to adopt the 9×18 round as the standard handgun caliber. Not wanting to adopt the Makarov, the Czech’s designed this weapon. I would say they made some obvious improvements.

Both have chrome lined fixed barrels.

The sights on the CZ-82 are much better and the trigger is pretty smooth. I prefer being able to carry cocked and locked with the CZ-82, as opposed to the Makarov which decocks when you flip the safety on. The polygonal rifling on the CZ-82 makes it look like there is no rifling, but it actually increases velocity slightly. The gun also feels much better in my hands than the Makarov, just the grip, etc… The magazine release and safety are both ambidextrous, and the placement of the mag release is in the more traditional spot but because it is ambidextrous, it can be manipulated with the thumb or the trigger finger (on the opposite side).

If you are left handed, the CZ-82 will be a rare exception to what you are likely used to dealing with. As an example, I convinced a left handed brother in law to buy a Makarov quite a while back. Recently, I showed him my CZ-82 and he was pleasantly surprised by how lefty friendly it was for him. He promptly went out and acquired two CZ-82’s. I think he plans to sell the Makarov.

The short of it is, if you are a lefty, the CZ-82 is easily the better of the two.

Makarov (top) vs. CZ-82 (bottom)

The downsides to it vs. a Makarov are that it is wider (in the grip, not the slide, because of the double stack magazine) making it slightly harder to conceal, but not too bad. Recoil also seemed a little sharper (however, I have a stronger recoil spring in my Makarov so that may be why the recoil is not as bad in it). The Makarov also has less parts, therefore making it theoretically more reliable.

The CZ-82 is known for having a lousy, painted on finish that chips off. Mine wasn’t too bad though, but still not as nice a finish as my Makarov. I had fully expected that I would need to Gun Kote this pistol but the finish on mine was good enough that I think I will just leave it be for now.

Overall, I still believe the value of this gun is very high. These are combat quality handguns at great prices and they will not last at that price if they are even still available.

I have better handguns, although they are much more expensive to buy. I think of this gun as a quality shooter, backup gun, a glove box gun, or even a loaner (for very good friends and relatives). It would make a very good CCW gun as well, one of it’s greatest attributes in my opinion.

Read more about guns chambered in 9×18, such as the Polish P-64.

SKS – Best Value Semi Auto

SKS – Best Value Semi Auto

Without a doubt, I have long felt that the SKS is the best bang for the buck in the semi-auto rifle world.

They can commonly be found in the $200-400 range depending on the country of origin, model, and condition.

The SKS was designed in Russia by Sergei Simonov in 1945. It’s service life as the primary service rifle in Russia was short with the development and adoption of the AK-47, but the SKS has still seen considerable combat and is well proven. It was used along with the AK-47 by our enemies in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. It is a design still seen around the world, although it’s use is often overshadowed by that of the AK.

We still see them being used by many militias, terror groups, and individuals in the Middle East and Africa.

There are a variety of different makes of SKS’s as Russia shared the design information freely with it’s allies during the cold war. Along with Russia, the SKS was produced by other countries such as Yugoslavia, Romania, E. Germany, China, Albania, Poland, Vietnam, and N. Korea.

Yugoslavian SKS, 10 round clips in a pouch

Chambered in the same caliber as the AK-47 (7.62X39), many people mistakenly believe that the designs were related, but they actually have little in common outside of the caliber. The caliber was developed to be useful in the most common of combat ranges with small arms, under 300 meters.

Ammo is fairly inexpensive compared to many rifle calibers due to the constant flow of foreign ammo (primarily from Russia) and the use of cheaper materials (steel cases, bi-metal jackets, berdan primers).

The SKS utilizes a 10 round fixed magazine fed by stripper clips, although there are exceptions. The SKS-M and SKS-D models made by Norinco (Chinese) use detachable 20 and 30 round AK mags and function reliably. These are highly sought after SKS’s, and rightly so.

To load an sks, pull the bolt handle back on an empty chamber (it will lock back), place the 10 round stripper clip in place, push the rounds down into the magazine, take out the clip and release the bolt handle. The SKS has a free floating firing pin, so be careful to point the weapon in a safe direction in the very rare case of a “slamfire”.

There are also other aftermarket parts that many people use with their SKS’s that allow the usage 20 and 30 round “duckbill” magazines. These magazines tend to cause reliability issues and can affect C&R status of specific rifles as well, so they are not recommended.

There are a variety of other aftermaket SKS parts that companies sell, most of them undesirable. However, it hasn’t stopped many SKS buyers from trying to turn their SKS into an AK.

If you want an AK, get one. Your SKS will never be one. Many have tried, all have failed.

I have seen some good ideas used by companies to make the SKS better. One that stood out to me in particular was the ASTEC.

Norinco also made another highly sought after and desireable SKS design in their “paratrooper” model, which featured a 16″ barrel. These are great carbines!

16″ Norinco Paratrooper SKS

Most SKS’s are chrome lined, with the exception of the Yugoslavian SKS’s. That is one of the biggest downsides to the Yugo’s in my opinion. However, the Yugo SKS’s are still good weapons. A well built, high-quality variant. Many of the Yugo’s also feature grenade launchers on the end as well. Unfortunately for us, civilians cannot really take advantage of that feature.

Many people see the grenade launcher on the end of the Yugoslavian SKS’s as a negative thing because of the excessive weight and uneccesary extra barrel length. They tend to be fairly common though these days in the USA.

The SKS is often seen as a good first semi auto rifle, inexpensive plinker, great trunk gun, or even a respectable back up rifle. They are easy to field strip, clean, and maintain.

An SKS will do 90% of what an AR-15 or an AK-47 will do, and for much less money. Anyone on a severely restricted budget could have a battle proven semi auto rifle for a couple hundred dollars.

A well trained rifleman with an SKS makes a formidable opponent to anyone who would do him harm.

Keep in mind that the quality of the SKS’s is much better than the lower end AK’s that tend to be closer to the SKS’s price range. You’re also more likely to get better accuracy from an SKS. The only AK that challenges the SKS’s value and accuracy is the Saiga.

*Since this writing, the SKS has dropped in terms of “value” as the supply of surplus SKS’s has dried up substantially. Still a good rifle, but if you are looking for the best value out there, the Saiga’s and the less expensive AK’s out there, such as the Yugo PAP’s are now the best value in the rifle world. They cost more than the SKS did at the time of this writing, and still might cost slightly higher even now. However, the AK’s are more versatile and allow for more options with calibers and plentiful detachable magazines.

Clip vs. Magazine: A Lesson in Firearm Terminology

Clip vs. Magazine: A Lesson in Firearm Terminology

Many new shooters do not realize this, but there is a difference between a “clip” and a “magazine”.

I am not uptight over the issue, but I respect the need to use correct terms. Most professionals and weapons experts know the true definitions, so here’s my shot at helping to educate new shooters.

You can see the differences between clips and magazines in this picture (Click on picture to enlarge). I own this picture. Please feel free to use and share this picture as long as you state where you got it from with a link.
From left to right: AR15 magazine, .223/5.56 stripper clip, Glock 22 magazine, SKS stripper clip, Ruger 10/22 “banana” magazine, M1 Garand en bloc clip.

A magazine is what is used to feed the weapon itself, whereas a clip is used to feed the magazine. Clips make loading of magazines much easier and faster, and in some cases, a clip is required in order for the magazine to work (e.g. M1 Garand).

Some magazines are removable (like in the case of all of the magazines pictured above), and depending on the design of the gun, it can have a fixed magazine. Most SKS’s, bolt actions, shotguns, and Garands have fixed magazines.

In the case of “stripper clips”, you simply “strip” the rounds off of the clip and into the magazine. In the case of the “en bloc” clip used by the M1 Garand, you simply place the clip into the fixed magazine and the clip stays in the mag as the weapon fires.

It is speculated that the confusion and misuse of the terms came about in the world of guns when troops who used the M1 Garand in the US Military started using other firearms and continued to used the term “clip” when referring to what was actually a magazine.

Whatever the reason for the incorrect use of the term, it’s there and it is often misused by many new shooters, the media and also anti-gunners.

Another term that is often misused is the term “bullet”. Many people use that term to refer to the complete round/cartridge.

The bullet is simply the projectile that is fired from the weapon, and only 1 of 4 parts that a round of ammunition truly consists of (which includes the case, powder, and the primer).

Hopefully you found this information useful. People who misuse these terms come off as not having a very good understanding of firearms, how they work, and often times part are the anti-gun crowd.

full metal jacket boat-tail (FMJBT) bullets, copper jacket, cannelure, lead core.

Arcus-94, Browning Hi-Power Clone

Arcus-94, Browning Hi-Power Clone

I bought this gun from about 3-4 years ago for about $250-300 if I recall correctly. For what I paid for it, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I was right. This gun treated me well from start to end.

Arcus-94 with 115gr Winchester Jacketed Hollow Points

These Bulgarian made Browning Hi-Power clones are very similar to the real thing in feel, function, and even use many of the same parts and mags. These are noticeably more “blocky” than the original Browning Hi-Power and even weigh slightly more.

It was great for the money, but I still made some changes to it. The first thing I did was remove the magazine safety, which is one of my least favorite features of the BHP design. However, it was an easy fix.

The removal of the magazine safety left some play in the trigger, but this was easily remedied with the purchase and installing of a Wollf trigger spring for just a few dollars.

On top of that, the parkerizing on the slide was not very durable and I scratched it within the first day or so. I refinished it in black (the original color) with KG Gun-Kote (highly recommend) and it turned out great.

The firearm came with two factory 10 round magazines so I bought two 13 round Mec-Gar mags (they take regular BHP mags), all functioned fine.

The heavy steel frame combined with the 9mm round made for a very pleasant and easy gun to shoot. I found that women and new shooters usually benefited from this tremendously and shot it most accurately.

I only ever had one failure with it and that came after a piece of lint or debris got caught in between the hammer and the firing pin (one of the reasons I am paranoid about weapons with external hammers).

Although it was extremely reliable and fun to shoot I ran into some issues with it that I simply could not resolve.

Holsters were hard to find for it due to it’s unique blocky design as it would not work with most BHP holsters. I eventually found a holster for it, it was a cheap OWB nylon Uncle Mike’s. I never did like this holster.

Arcus-94 in Uncle Mike’s OWB holster

Another issue was the fact that I’d kept hearing that BHP’s do not handle +P ammo well and I wanted to make my defense load 124gr +P Speer Gold Dots. I didn’t want to put this to the test, so whether it is a fact or not with the BHP or even this clone I don’t know for sure.

Lastly, since I tend to see handguns as conceal carry weapons, I have a hard time with the larger heavier guns out there. It would make a good bedside stand gun, a decent open carry gun, and an excellent range shooter. However when I weighed it against a Glock 19(which is what I had my eyes on), it had no chance.

Glock 19 (left) vs. Arcus-94 (right)

The Glock was lighter, smaller, held 2 more rounds, had a huge selection of holsters, shot +P ammo with no problems, and didn’t have an external hammer (all positives in my book). I also shot the Glock very well and knew it would be reliable, so I saw no downside to getting rid of the Arcus-94.

I miss this gun at times, and I wish I could have kept it, if only as a range shooter and/or a gun to teach new shooters on. However, I was never quite satisfied with it as I always looked at real BHP’s and felt that they were much more desirable. So, I imagine that I may end up with a real BHP sometime in the future.

Also comforting, I feel I got the better end of the trade I made when I got rid of it. In exchange for the Arcus-94, 4 mags, 200 rounds, and the holster, I got a Hungarian SA-85 (AK), two mags and 500 rounds of 7.62×39.

Saiga AK Conversion

Saiga AK Conversion

The Saiga is made by Izhmash, the original AK-47 manufacturer in Russia, who still produces the real deal for the Russian military. They produce them in a variety of different calibers including (but not limited to) 5.56, 7.62×39, .308, and even shotgun calibers such as 12ga and 20ga (among others).

They are quality AK’s, some of the best on the market in my opinion, and very hard to beat at the prices they can be had at.

In order to qualify for importation, the Saiga AK is made in a “sporting” configuration without the signature pistol grip and to accept only 10 round magazines specifically designed for the Saiga. They even mark the 5.56 rifles in .223 to help pass them off as “sporting rifles” (some would say).

The basic AK design is still the same though, and the aforementioned differences can be overcome. Some companies will buy Saiga’s and do the work themselves and sell them as “Saiga Conversions” for an increased profit.

5.56 Converted Saiga AK


Individuals can buy them in the original configuration and either keep them that way or do the conversions on their own as well.

In the case of this particular Saiga, it was purchased for about $300 in the original configuration. The work was done later to convert it to legal status with a pistol grip.

Because of 922(r), the weapon must have less than 10 specific foreign parts, per the BATFE (in order to do the pistol grip conversion, add a flash hider, or use higher capacity mags). The changing out of certain parts so that the weapon consists of 10 or less foreign parts essentially makes the weapon a US made gun and therefore legal to own in the unsporting configuration.

Saiga rifles have 14 “foreign” parts in them, so changing out of at least 4 of these parts will get you within compliance.

Tapco sells a G2 trigger group and other parts necessary like a US made pistol grip and buttstock to do the conversion and be in compliance.

In order to convert the weapon to take regular 5.56 AK mags, the magazines needed to be altered and a bullet guide needed to be installed for them to feed correctly. You can also do a similar thing with the 7.62×39 versions.

The 30 round magazines used with this rifle were Bulgarian Waffle mags. The original 10 rounder was also altered in a similar manner in order to work with the converted rifle by filing down the front of the mag to be compatible with the newly installed feedramp.

Feedramp installed on the Saiga 5.56


The bullet guides can be purchased from Dinzag Arms.

It took some amount of trouble shooting, but we ended up getting it to function perfectly.

Cost came out to roughly $130-150 or so, plus the time and energy that was put into it.

The task to do the conversion work yourself may seem daunting to some. However, it is fairly easy. There is a lot of good info to be had out there for these kinds of projects from sites such as the Saiga-12 forum.


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be a certifiable source for information on laws regarding firearms. Always check the laws for yourself from a certified source to make sure that what you do is in compliance with the current laws in your part of the country. Some states, counties, and cities have their own restrictions you should be aware of and adhere to. I assume no responsibility for your actions.