This week we take a look what to do AFTER you’ve defended yourself; paper really can stop bullets; Ian McCollum with another rare and unusual antique revolver; Massad Ayoob covers some court cases gun owners should be aware of; how a holster is made; the Ruger Mini-14 story; what delayed blowback looks like in action; and understanding why blunt trauma is a lethal threat.
If you only have time to read one article this week, make it this one.
Let’s say you’ve been forced to shoot an attacker to protect your life or the lives of your family. What do you do after the shots have been fired and your attacker is on the ground? There are a lot of opinions out there, but this article at Range365 gives some excellent advice that represents a consensus of opinion from a wide variety of experts and practitioners on the legal side of the self defense world. You can always find someone who will quibble with parts of it, but based on my own research and knowledge what’s in this article is as close to “ideal” as you’re likely to find. Definitely worth reading and sharing!
How much paper does it take to stop a bullet?
You might be surprised! In a couple of my books I suggested that a good safe backstop for dry fire or gun handling at home was a box of plain copy paper, with the reams arranged so that they were standing upright and facing the muzzle of the gun. I’ve actually tested such an arrangement with a variety of handgun cartridges and none of them passed through even two reams of paper, making the package a very effective bullet stop. So, what does it take to make it through a whole box of that paper? Well, as the nutcases at Demolition Ranch show us, something really big.
Can you double the firepower of a blackpowder revolver? Yes, you can — but there are “issues”.
Back in the days when “state of the art” meant muzzleloaders, a number of gun makers sought to increase the capacity of their weapons so that the user could fire more rounds before reloading. Some of the earliest attempts used what are called “superimposed charges”: a charge of powder and ball in front of another identical charge and separated by an insulating wad or disc. The idea was that you’d ignite the front charge first, and (assuming everything worked and the rear charge didn’t light off as a result) you could ignite the second charge. This didn’t catch on and was thankfully rendered obsolete by repeating guns such as the pepperbox and the revolver. One smart guy, however, decided to combine the superimposed charge with a revolver to double the cylinder’s capacity from five to ten rounds. Named after its inventor, the Walch revolver was made in small numbers during the Civil War but didn’t catch on. Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons found one to examine and describe, and it’s a fascinating little gun.
Gun owners need to understand the law, and that goes beyond reading the statutes!
Massad Ayoob is one of the few writers in the gun world who regularly covers the legal side of the gun world. In this article he covers six fairly recent court cases that should be of interest to all gun owners because they affect how the statues are applied in the real world.
Holster making is more complicated than it looks!
Ever wonder what goes into making a quality leather holster from scratch? Over at the Hank Strange blog is a very interesting video with Sam Andrews (Andrews Custom Leather) making one of his most popular models. There is a lot of work and a lot of skill involved in crafting a quality holster, and perhaps after watching this you’ll understand why a good one costs so much!
The history of the Ruger Mini-14.
The Ruger Mini-14 is one of the most popular centerfire rifles in the United States, eclipsed in popularity only by the various AR-15 models. That’s deceptive, though, because only Ruger makes the Mini; if you compared it to the AR-15 production of any single manufacturer, Ruger’s little rifle would probably easily vault to first place. In any case, Ruger sells a ton of Minis every year and its profile is certainly iconic. Where did the design come from? Who was responsible? This article on the Shooting Times site gives a great history of the Mini and its variants.
How does a delayed blowback action work?
You’ve probably heard the term “delayed blowback” — but do you really know what it means and how it’s implemented? There is a superb 3-D animation video over at The Firearm Blog which shows how delayed blowback is implemented in two very different firearms: the H&K MP-5 submachine gun, which uses a roller delayed system, and the French FAMAS rifle which uses a lever delay. Fascinating to watch!
Is blunt force really a threat which justifies lethal force? Let’s ask a doctor.
“He didn’t have a gun — why did he have to be shot just for punching someone?” You see that kind of statement again and again in cases where someone has used lethal force against an “unarmed” attacker. Whether it is justified depends on many factors, not the least of which is your knowledge of the danger you face. In the case of fists, elbows, knees and feet that danger can easily rise to crippling (“grave bodily harm”) or even lethal levels. In this terrific interview at the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Robert A. Margulies, MD, MPH, FACEP explains blunt force trauma, how it’s applied and what the dangers are. This is important information to know and be able to articulate!
– Grant Cunningham