What the heck is happening in Albuquerque? The Governor of New Mexico just outlawed carrying guns despite the U.S. and State Constitution, along with countless instances of case law. Has she lost her mind, or is this the precursor of things to come? The Gun Cranks dissect the end game of this unbelievable move.
Our resident Gun Cranks — Roy Huntington, Tom McHale, and Brent T. Wheat — take on one of the most contentious self-defense topics: Are laser sights a good or bad thing? Hear what the guys have to say about these high-tech shooting tools that, depending on who you ask, are the best things since sliced bread or a quick way to end up in a pine box!
Everybody is talking about climate change. Everybody's got an opinion, and some folks even believe it's the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.
As usual, the Gun Cranks have unique insights on the topic and ask some pointed questions that need to be discussed. Don't miss this sure-to-aggravate episode as The Cranks cuss and discuss whether climate change will get us all in the end!
If you own a gun for defensive use, you’re already in the category of folks who plan ahead for unknown eventualities. Just as owning a gun is one part of a comprehensive security strategy, thinking about emergency power is a piece of the overall strategy to plan for life’s little adventures. While North Korea may or may not knock out the power grid one day (that’s a whole new realm of preparedness planning), odds are one hundred percent your family will be faced with power loss from a natural or man-made disaster of some sort. It’s not only comforting but easier than ever to plan for some basic functionality when the lights go out.
It’s the bane of the range. We read articles about the latest, greatest gob of lead flinger and how it will shoot .0027″ groups from a quarter mile using leftover ammo from the War of 1812. Then we get our hands on one, and, well, the results don’t quite live up to the expectations.
Modern Accuracy Expectations
The only thing I did showing the faintest glimmer of foresight a couple of decades ago was to start logging the results of all guns and ammo I formally tested. Not to bore you with detail, but, never able to cauterize the OCD tech geek lobe from my brain. I spent some hours building my own custom database to log guns, ammo, group sizes, velocities and a few other tidbits. Long story short: I can now look back at most every combination of gun and ammo I’ve ever shot to see how it performed.
There are some interesting and perhaps surprising insights. Keep in mind I only use this database to track formal testing results. I don’t track my recreational shooting or practice, standing freehand, plinking away at targets. For this, I record testing conditions: known distance, formal groups, bench rests, caliper-measured groups, temperature, wind conditions (for rifle shooting) and the like.
Just in case you’re wondering, the average temperature on testing days was 74.6 degrees. I would have guessed higher, but apparently, I chicken out on range days when the “feels like” is the “interior of a lobster pot.”
In a twist of explosive irony, gunpowder was invented, at least in part, in a search for the secret to eternal life. You read that right. Ancient alchemists concocted the explosive compound while pondering things they could ingest or perhaps smoke and inhale (who knows what they were thinking?).
Sometimes, practical inventions come from ambitious yet unrelated undertakings. The space program brought us artificial limbs, the Dustbuster, LASIK surgery, memory foam, baby formula ingredients, solar power cells, water filtration, invisible braces, and, regrettably, freeze-dried foods.
Details are sketchy, but some accounts refer to a Chinese alchemist mixing three powders, leading to violent combustion as early as 147 AD. Over the next few hundred years, saltpeter experimentation and production continued with efforts to purify other substances and create gold. You know, that old make infinite wealth from junk lying around chestnut.
Arguably, potassium nitrate is the part of gunpowder that yields the bang, and surprisingly, that ingredient has been in the experimental pot forever. The Nuniya & Labana caste in ancient India (early hundreds AD) used it to create noxious smoke and, according to legend, weaponized the fumes in battle to poison, or at least discourage, the enemy. One thing many saltpeter producers had in common was their attention to poop. Whether by bat guano, animal, or even human doo-doo, saltpeter production often relied on, well, you get the idea.
By the 9th century (give or take, remember, the history is a bit fuzzy), alchemists of the Tang Dynasty were engaged in an ambitious project to concoct an elixir of life. The experiments involved continued tinkering with potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter. As the substance proved volatile, it may have had the effect of shortening one’s expected lifespan rather than leading to the immortality sought.
It’s really nice to see the famous Hi-Power design coming back. Arguably, depending on where you are in the world, it never really went away, but we haven’t seen much mainstream production and innovation until the last couple of years. A great design is a timeless design, and I, for one, welcome the tweaks and changes we’re seeing with modern versions. Who can argue with the many improvements made to the 1911 platform over the years?
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Reviewing guns is 38% objective, 54% subjective, and 93% opinion. Those of you who aced Trigonometry might have figured out we blew right past the 100% limit, but that just goes to show that evaluating a gun isn’t an entirely quantifiable exercise. Now that I think about it, there is a word for a perfectly objective gun review. Specifications.
You might have noticed we rarely regurgitate spec sheets around here. You’ll find few data tables or lists highlighting such obscura as the weight of a half-loaded magazine when affected by the gravitational influence of a shooting berm. Instead, we try to tell the story of a gun that fills in gaps not relatable by feature lists. How does it feel? Is it easy to shoot accurately? Does it work with a random collection of ammo recovered from the floorboards of your truck? But more than anything, our writers aim to convey the experience of their time spent with a given handgun. That’s the stuff you don’t get in factory brochures.
At the risk of tipping some sacred cows, I’m going to make a bold statement here.
Yes, you can.
I’m saying you can carry a larger gun concealed — every day even. To be clear, I’m not talking about one more powerful or in a larger caliber. I’m talking about a handgun physically bigger than the pocket micro mini subatomic ultra-compacts all the rage these days.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great we have choices of pocket-sized guns with double-stack 9mm or .380 ACP magazines packing round counts in the double digits. Those can be handy for sure. However, there are plenty of benefits to carrying a gun just a little more on the portly side.
Humans are naturally confident, bordering on arrogant. In our minds, we’ve got all the correct answers, and for those situations we haven’t yet experienced, we assume we’ll make the right choices on the fly. We’re awesome like that.
Gunfighting schools, on the other hand, are a force created by the universe to expose and counterbalance our genetic hubris. These diametrically opposed forces of nature are like gravity and orbital velocity — the reasons our hunk of rock topped with flawed humanity doesn’t crash into the sun or zoom past Pluto.
The parking garage was darker than normal. That light at the top of the stairwell was busted. No surprise, if the public bathroom on the ground floor is any indication, maintenance in the city’s public parking garages takes a distant second place to fixing that pothole at the end of 2nd Street. No reason to panic … yet. Nothing unusual about the light being smashed given the copious scrolls of graffiti on the walls.
This is one you can do at home. Ever wanted to test your reloaded or factory-bought ammunition? The Gun Cranks discuss a variety of ways to test your ammo at home while (maybe) making a big mess in the process.
So, is there really a great ammo conspiracy? Are companies hoarding ammo in secret warehouses in the caves of Tora Bora? Are a handful of individuals bent on establishing a new world order creating price gouging conditions to fund a new secret bunker underneath Denver International Airport?