Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I would like to engage in a little... experiment. The concept involves firearms, but fortunately the only thing we actually need for this experiment is a little time and a little thought.

So, what is this scheme I am coming up with? I'll tell you, I would like to examine the practical elements of the 2nd amendment. But not in the day-in-day out aspect of it. Lets... go off the deep end for a few minutes and talk about a few extremes.

First of all, some ground rules.

The second amendment provides that the rights of the people to have firearms shall not be infringed. Now, the why of that is, well, it's up for some interpretation. One school of through is that at the time it was written, “the people” were the core of any likely army, so more or less they were keeping their military armed. Another school of thought says that because a nation has to have an army, our people should be armed so that the army doesn't have a cakewalk if the government decides to go dictatorial.

Lets go ahead and work with that second one for a few minutes. The idea is that an armed population could deter the government if the government got out of hand. The evidence of this was relatively certain, the founders had just fought and won the American revolution, a large portion of which was fought by farmers and reservists going against British regular infantry.

So, if we talk about governmental deterrence as a factor in gun ownership, the logical extent of that is to say that we need to be able to overthrow the government if things go too far.

Now, before you jump all over me, let me get a few things out of the way.
  1. I am not advocating that we violently overthrow the federal (or state) government.
  2. I really don't feel like arguing about how big the delta is between American civilians and the US military. The British were crack troops when they came to the US, and a bunch of farmers and peasants more or less made their lives a living hell until professional troops could be raised for a formal offensive. And in a more modern setting, how many troops did we put into Iraq and Afghanistan, and frankly, those were hardly shining examples of decisive military victories.
  3. I don't actually think the Federal government is going to go “King George” on us anytime soon, and frankly, I'm not interested in debating it here.

So, what is all this about?

Lets just suppose I wanted to prepare for the worst case scenario as an American; Something happens, some law is passed, and the next thing we know, we have a population that suddenly isn't so keen of taking Uncle Sam's word for it. It could be the whole country, it could be a state or two, (I can so see Texas doing something like this). The next thing we know, we have federal infantry taking local officials into custody, martial law is declared, and ATF swat teams are going door to door, telling people to turn in their guns, they are not going to need them anymore.

A formal, official, legally definable tyranny has officially been born, the US constitution has been broken in action, and the time has come for us to clean house back in DC. Either that, or tell DC they can kiss our freckled butts, we're setting out on our own.

So... what does all this have to do with me?

Well, I'm thinking about this, and going, “holy shit, I need to get ready for this NOW, so I'm not one of the helpless sheep caught with my proverbial pants around his ankles when all hell breaks loose.”

I need to get a gun!

What gun should I get?

Well, lets make a list of what it has to do.

  1. Proven technology
  2. Good range
  3. decent stopping power
  4. cost effective (hey, unlike congress, I'm actually only spending MY money)
And as some considerations:
  1. Something that has some historical precedence as a combat rifle.
  2. A credible self defense weapon. (I mean, no point in it just being a wall ornament in the mean time)
  3. Something that I can reasonably threaten a soldier with.

Okay, I like that list. Let assume I take it to heart and do some shopping. What am I going to get?

I've got some good options out there.

AR-15; Boxer and Finestine haven't illegalized them yet, high rate of fire, respectable power... not a bad option, but lets be real, its a bit... conspicuous.

AKM/AK-47/AK-74: hey, you want to talk about reliability, their isn't anything wrong with an AK, it's got more wars under it's belt than some modern armies, and let me tell you, it's earned the respect of more armies and more governments that I really care to count off. But... again, conspicuous, and the ammunition isn't the best, not the best in the range department either, and not as accurate as it could be. Good gun still, but not my first choice.

M-14: Oh hell yes... 20 round box magazine, hardwood stock, iron sights... NATO 7.62x51mm cartridge... I mean we're talking about the ultimate evolution of the twentieth century battle-rifle, with a legacy that dates right back to the old M-1 rifles of WWII. This gun is the rightful heir to weapon that kicked butt and took names on two continents.

But.... I think the $1700 price tag is a bit much. Hell, it's a LOT much, and it's more than I want to fork over. Hell, it's more than I have to fork over, in spades. I'm sure I could find one used, for a lot less, but then there is upkeep. The M-14 is a high performance rifle and some of those parts are just damned expensive. If I had the option of grabbing it after all hell broke loose, you can bet your bottom dollar I would, but right now... not so much.

So, what am I going to get? What can I use to help overthrow a tyrannical government with some of the best military weapons in existence at it's disposal without breaking my meager budget? In the mean time, this thing needs to be able to help me hold down the fort (so to speak) here a home, keep mobs as bay in times of crisis, and … well hell, it had better be fun to shoot too, because I need to practice on it and I don't want to dread going to the range.

OH! Wait, I've got it!

Remington Model 700 Rifle. 

Yeah, that's right, your looking at nothing more than a bolt action, 5 round, .30-06 rifle.

You think I'm off my my rocker?

Think again. Bolt action rifles were how the French resistance helped make Germany's life a living hell during the occupation, and some of own troops were using them on the front lines all the way into the end off the second world war.

I can easily double the range of an M-4 with it, and still out range an M-16, even on its best day.

Back on the home front; no, I won't be standing up on my roof scaring people with my wicked looking gun. But you can bet the first time I put a live .308 through an engine block, a lot of people might think twice before they try and Molotov my house.

At close quarters, yeah, I'll probably have my pistol. But then again, that stock isn't balsa wood, and I don't need a bayonet to smash something.

I'm not going to win any firepower contest with this thing, but then again, just by choosing a bolt action, .308 caliber rifle, I have just put myself in a range and reliability category that better than 90% of the US military current infantry arsenal  They can play their games, but I'll play mine.

Oh, and guess what, once all hell breaks look, that rifle is probably going to help me get all the M-4s I can carry. So it's not like I'm going to stick with this one option from start to finish.

Okay back to reality.

So, why am I writing this?

No, I don't think war is going to break out. And No, I don't think I will see the overthrow of the US government within my life time.

This little post is an bit of a reality check to all the people who are running around saying “They are going to take our semi-automatic rifles and 30-round magazines away and we won't be able to defend ourselves from the government when they come for the rest!” (paraphrase I know, but I think we all know there are people saying this very thing right now)

The United States, more than almost any other nation in the world, has some of the most resourceful, dedicated and innovative people in the world. We can do more with less than just about anyone else when we put our minds to it, but we have to want to do it.

Now, I'm not saying we don't need weapons like the AR pattern rifle. And more to the point, I'll be the first to say that limiting its use will likely do little to curb gun-related crime and death.

But there is this idea out there that says we NEED this type of weapon to protect ourselves, and I'm here to tell you, history shows that the most dangerous weapon is the person with their finger on the trigger, not the mechanism the trigger is attached to. 

Ask yourself this:
Do you really need an AR-15 or an AK? 

Or are you just using it as a crutch for the fact that you don't want to practice and get as proficient and skilled as you could be if you were using an older design?

I don't believe in “Gun control” for a second...

But let me tell you, I don't need space-aged technology or 90 rounds per minute to be a formidable opponent either.  

1 comment:

  1. if you are looking at a bolt action a Remington 700 is a fine choice. I do like my K98 WWII vintage 8mm Mauser and I believe theaction from the remington 700 is derived from the K98 Mauser. I also like the M1 carbine. it is a semi auto, accurate, light and fairly compact battle rifle.