Now In The Land Of Lincoln

When we crossed the Ohio River from Paducah, KY to Metropolis, Illinois this afternoon, I had to unload my Ruger LCR and lock it away. Unlike in the antebellum days when crossing the Ohio River meant going from a slave state to a free state, it has now been metaphorically reversed. We went from a free state to one that views personal freedom as an anathema.

I must say I felt a little naked driving with no self-protection.

One of these days, the people of Illinois will have the same freedoms as the rest of the 49 states. Until then, I will need to increase my level of situational awareness.

Happy Boxing Day

In Great Britain, December 26th is celebrated as a holiday and called Boxing Day. It is now an official “bank holiday” and, like the day after Christmas in the US, is a big shopping day. It is also traditionally a day for fox hunts as in riding to the hounds. While former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party may have banned fox hunting in the UK, it is still practiced in theory.

Investigating the origins of Boxing Day I came across a couple of potential explanations.

First, in England, Anglican Churches traditionally put out a box during Advent in which they collect donations of money (or alms) which are given to the poor on the day after Christmas. From an explanation in Time Magazine:

On the day after Christmas, the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day.

 A second explanation was that the lords and ladies of the manor would give boxes of Christmas leftovers to the peasants who worked on their estates. From an explanation by Woodlands Junior School in Kent:

Many poorly paid workers were required to work on Christmas Day and took the following day off to visit their families. As they prepared to leave, their employers would present them with Christmas boxes.

During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor would “box up” their leftover food, or sometimes gifts and distribute them the day after Christmas to tenants who lived and worked on their lands.

Given that the country formerly known as Great Britain has been transformed into Sarah Brady’s gun-free paradise by edict of Parliament – which as we all know leaves guns in the hands of only the government and the criminals – I have a modest proposal for an alternative Boxing Day tradition.

Gun buybacks are a favorite pastime of anti-gun politicians and their sycophantic big city police chiefs. These gun buybacks are feel-good exercises which have no impact on crime in the inner city much like the British Parliament’s gun edicts have had no impact on violent crime in the UK. Why not transform them into a new “alms/arms for the poor” program whereby unwanted firearms are collected and distributed to the good people of the UK (or the inner city). Thus, when Nigel, Trevor, and  Ali decide that Mr. and Mrs. Smythe’s row house is ripe for a home invasion, they are welcomed with something more than just harsh words when they burst into the front parlor.

There is precedent for this. Prior to our entry into WWII, there were collections of firearms to be sent to the people of Great Britain for the Home Guard in the dark days after Dunkirk. The NRA alone sent over 7,000 rifles to England and the American Committee for the Defense of British Homes sent another 25,000 rifles along with 2 million rounds of ammunition.

Unfortunately, while this would make a great (new) tradition, the governments of both the US and the UK would oppose it with great force and ferocity. The US government because they want to be the only gunrunners in town and the UK government because they have long ago lost their spine. More’s the pity.

My Black Friday Black Rifle

This year I took advantage of a variety of Black Friday sales to get the remaining parts needed to assemble a piston-driven M-4gery. I already had a stripped lower from Templar Custom thanks to Sean Sorrentino along with a DPMS lower parts kit I had purchased on sale a couple of years ago.

The heart of the rifle is a mid-length Adams Arms gas piston complete upper that I got on sale from MidwayUSA at the beginning of their week-long sale. It is chambered in 5.56 NATO and has a 1:7 right hand twist barrel. This will allow me to shoot the heavier 75 grain cartridge.

I got most of the other parts from Brownells using their discount code plus my dealer discount. I replaced the standard M-4 handguard and grip with a Magpul MOE mid-length handguard and a MOE+ pistol grip. The handguard did not need any fitting to work with the gas piston upper as can be seen in the picture below.

I did get the Magul BUIS but decided to go with a HK 416 sight set from RTG International Surplus Parts. These were about the only part that I used that I didn’t get on sale. Why the HK drum sight instead of a more traditional BUIS? I just liked them and I think that they are very rugged. I’ll use the Magpuls on another build down the road. You can also see the Magpul ASAP ambidextrous sling attachment point in the picture below.

I got the mil-spec extension tube, spring, and a Spike’s Tactical T-2 buffer tube from Brownells. The buttstock is a Rogers Super-Stoc which came from Wilson Combat. Colt will be offering it soon but has not released it as of yet. I like the cam-lock system as it does away with any slop or rattle in the collapsible stock. Once adjusted for length and with the cam locked, it is as solid as an A2 stock.

Thanks to my son-in-law’s dad Jeff, I got most of it assembled a couple of weeks ago. Jeff works as a machinist for a major airline and has assembled a number of lowers over the years. As this was my first lower that I had assembled from scratch, I was really glad to have his help and advice.

Sean had warned me that the Templar Custom lower was designed to be tight and might need some adjustment. He was correct and we had to do a little bit of fitting. However, this has made for a tight and solid fit between the upper and the lower. The magwell may need a little bit of light sanding to allow me to use Magpul PMAGs. GI mags fit just fine.

I still have to mount an optic on this. For now, I may just go with my Eotech 512 that I have on another AR. I am open to suggestions for other optics especially holographic or red-dot.

The final thing I want to do is to highlight the logo and safe and semi-auto icons with a little bit of Testor’s enamel. I think it will add a finished touch to this rifle.

I am quite pleased with my first real build and am looking forward to sighting it in. With all the year-end business stuff and family stuff, I haven’t had a chance to do this yet. But as Scarlett O’Hara famously said in Gone with the Wind, “for tomorrow is another day”.

CalGuns/SAF Leave Lump Of Coal in California’s Stocking

The CalGuns Foundation along with the Second Amendment Foundation dropped off a little gift yesterday for Kamala Harris and the California Department of Justice. They filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California challenging the ten-day waiting that California imposes before an existing gun owner make take possession of an another individual firearm.

The individual plaintiffs in this suit are Jeff Sylvester, Michael Poeschl, and Brandon Combs. All three  are owners of handguns registered in California’s AFS Database. Mr. Sylvester also holds one of those rare things – a California Carry License – and Mr. Combs holds a California Certificate of Eligibility. Both of these licenses are subject to real-time and ongoing background checks.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Jason Davis and Don Kilmer (of Nordyke fame).

The release on the suit from CalGuns is below:

San Carlos, CA (December 23, 2011) – The Calguns Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Kamala Harris challenging the policy of requiring gun owners to wait at least 10 days before taking possession of an additional firearm. The case is entitled Jeff Silvester et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al.

The Calguns Foundation is joined in the lawsuit, filed today at the District of California Federal District Court in Fresno, by the Second Amendment Foundation and three individual plaintiffs.

“The State has absolutely no reason to infringe the rights of California gun owners who already possess firearms when they buy another one,” said Jason Davis who is the attorney for the plaintiffs. California currently requires the registration of handguns in California. And, beginning January 2014, it will also require the registration of all newly-purchased rifles and shotguns. Notably, California keeps a current database of all residents who are prohibited by state or federal law from owning or possessing firearms.

Individual plaintiffs Jeff Silvester, Michael Poeschl, and Brandon Combs each have firearms registered with the State of California. Mr. Combs and Mr. Silvester also have firearms licenses from the State that constitute ongoing background checks.

“In just about every other state in the U.S., I as a law-abiding gun owner could walk in and, after passing an instant national background check, walk out with a firearm to defend myself in my home,” said Michael Poeschl. “What’s really frustrating is that California is one of the very few states that forces gun owners to register all handguns that they buy. If the State’s database saying that I already lawfully own a gun isn’t proof that I don’t need a ‘cooling-off’ period, then what is?”

“I have a license to carry a loaded firearm across the State,” noted Jeff Silvester. “It is ridiculous that I have to wait another 10 days to pick up a new firearm when I’m standing there in the gun store lawfully carrying one the whole time.”

“As a collector, I submitted to a Live Scan background check and obtained a Certificate of Eligibility to Possess Firearms from the State of California at my own expense,” said Brandon Combs. “In the Internet era, where every California gun dealer has a computer connected directly to the State’s databases, there is no logical reason to force me to wait 10 days and make another trip simply because California doesn’t want to acknowledge the Certificate that it issued to me. I have registered guns, and I have the State telling me that I can possess guns, but for some reason I can’t exercise my constitutionally protected rights for another ten days? That’s insane.”

“Laws that infringe on the right to purchase arms have to be more than just merely rational and must directly serve important governmental interests,” added Hoffman. “Here, the law is not just irrational but actually contradictory. We filed this case right before Christmas in the hopes that, by next Christmas, gun owners will not suffer this continuing infringement on their right to acquire firearms.”

A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded at

First Impressions Of The Ruger LCR-22

I posted the announcement of the new Ruger LCR-22 last Friday. I had a chance to handle one in the flesh, so to speak, today at The Gun Rack in Kernersville, North Carolina.

While the MSRP of the LCR-22 is $524, The Gun Rack was selling it for $399. Having bought guns from them in the past, they tend to price their Rugers at the low range.

My first impression of the LCR-22 was that it was almost an exact clone of the LCR in .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The weight felt close to my .38 Special version and it felt very similar in my hand. The sights appeared to be the same as with the original LCR. I have changed mine long ago to the XS Sights Standard Dot tritium sights so I’m going on memory.

I did find the trigger pull felt heavier than that of its bigger brothers. This was a subjective evaluation and was not measured with a trigger pull scale. I didn’t feel any stacking of the trigger unlike in my Colt Detective Special.

If you are thinking of getting one as a training gun, I’d suggest renting one first to see how you like it. The heavier trigger pull was a bit of a negative for me but your experience might be different.

Sporadic Blogging

I will be blogging only sporadically for the next few days as we are visiting family out of town.

If I worked for Eric Holder and the Justice Department, I’d consider 4:30pm this afternoon as ideal for document dump – not that I want to encourage them.

If you aren’t on Twitter, you may want to think about it. You can catch a lot of breaking news that way. I try to retweet stuff that I don’t have time to make a full post about. You can follow me by clicking on the button in the sidebar.

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