Saturday, August 31, 2013

CMP: Sadness at the South Store

Yesterday morning, I heard about President Obama's executive order barring the re-importation of US military arms that were loaned to foreign countries during the cold war. There are two particular rifles that I am interested in that are on the list: the M1 Garand, and the M1 Carbine. Unfortunately, the largest lot – tens of thousands of Garands and even more carbines – are in storage in South Korea, and until the EO is overturned, they will not come back to their rightful home.

With the stroke of a pen, President Obama drove the price of Garands and carbines up. Demand for these fine pieces of history has been on the rise for a while, and now his actions have fixed the supply.

So, figuring that waiting would only cost me more money, I headed over to the CMP store in Anniston after finishing my work. I had not been there for a few years, but I expected to find rack grade Garands, field grade Garands, and service grade Garands, along with the totally overhauled CMP Special Grade, which have been retrofitted with new and military parts to bring them up to “new” condition.

Alas, it was not to be. The last time I was in Anniston, there were at least 1,000 Garands on the racks, along with some carbines, some 1903s, and even a few Enfields. This time, there were around 150 Garands. There were no rack grades, no field grades, and heck, there weren't even any service grades. What there were on the racks were M1C and M1D sniper rifles, a few ragged National Match rifles, and around 3 dozen Special Grades. The Specials were the most economical at $950, and the snipers started at $1,500 and went up to $3,000.

Also on the racks were about 2 dozen Garand drill rifles, which all had the barrels plugged, and many had cheap plastic stocks on them. There were the usual parts and barrels, and for someone who had the inclination, WWII barreled receivers with the period correct barrel and bolt for $350. The only other shootable rifles present were 20 “rusty” Kimber three-position .22 target rifles. At $450, these were probably the best deal going, and they come with bolts and sights. The rust on these rifles was a light sheen, and could be cleaned up in about 10 minutes with some automatic transmission fluid and some four ought steel wool.

I had originally planned to buy a rack grade and a field grade gun yesterday. I was planning on overhauling the rack grade to be a shooter, and refinishing the field grade. But since there were none, I purchased a Special. At the check out, I got another huge surprise. The state of Alabama has hiked its sales tax to 10%. This means that the sales tax on the Special would be close to $100. Since the shipping to my front door is only $24 (Fedex), I paid the shipping tariff, and sadly left the CMP South Store.

Gone are the days when you could spend hours browsing racks and racks of Garands. With the new EO, I expect the days of the CMP are numbered. Demographics being what they are, there is no hope of the United States electing a president that would rescind the EO.

I have witnessed the end of an era.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sabre Rattling Over Syria

Here we go again.  Another economic boost for the military industrial complex.

The chicken hawks are calling for war in Syria, ostensibly because of a chemical attack on unarmed civilians.  At least, they tell us they were unarmed.  Pictures were circulated of dead people, and especially of children and we were told they were killed by poison gas.  Unfortunately, there are a few problems.

  • We don't really know what the people in the pictures were killed by.
  • We don't actually know if chemical weapons were used.
  • If chemical weapons were used, we don't know which ones were used.
  • If chemical weapons were used, we don't know who used them.
However, there are US politicians on both sides of the aisle calling for war.  We don't need to go to war with Syria.  What is going on in Syria is no threat to us.  If Syria's neighbors want to intervene, I could probably live with that.  But for the US to spend its money, and potentially blood on punishing a country (with a popular government, by the way) on an incident where there is reasonable doubt that it even occurred at all is totally insane.

Insanity may be the rule of the day.  Independent journalist Niel Clark says:

"The UN team will go there, they may find chemical weapons traces or they may not. But if they do, the US said quite clearly that the Syrian government is the only party capable of using chemical weapons, so they have made their minds up. If they don’t, then the Syrian government will be accused of moving them. The Syrian government will be damned if they do, and will be damned if they don’t, whatever the UN inspection teams find. The decision has already been taken. "
I fear that Mr. Clark is correct. 

The other thing that bothers me is why is the West so up in arms over poison gas.  If the Assad regime did actually kill those people, would there be any difference if they had executed them by firing squad or run over them with tanks?  Would we be talking about intervention then?

Some people are worried about the US reputation since Obama made his "line in the sand" comment a year ago over the use of WMDs in Syria.  They say that President Obama may have a credibility problem.  Like he doesn't already have one.  The president's credibility is almost nonexistent when it comes to foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. 

And yet, according to former UN ambassador John Bolton, we may cause ourselves more problems than will be solved by intervening in Syria.  A White House spokesperson claims that the President has incontrovertible evidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, and yet, that evidence is yet to be presented.  Where is it?

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Legacy of Barack Hussein Obama

In 2016, the United States will be electing a new president.  After the 2014 election in Congress, Barack Obama will be a lame duck president.  It's not too early to begin thinking about his legacy.

Here is what history will tell you:

  1. His economic policies bankrupted the largest economy in the world.
    I honestly believe that you could take the telephone directory of any of the major cities and pick a name at random from it and find a person who understands economics better that President Obama.  Not only has his administration failed to provide the leadership to Congress to pass a budget, he has allowed Congress to spend, spend, spend, so that when he retires, the United States will have over $18 trillion in debt.  That is a debt that cannot be repaid under the current financial system.  There are tricks to pay it off, but none of them bode well for the citizens of the United States. 

    Some of the things particular policies that have hurt the US economy:
    - Blocking drilling and pipelines that raise energy costs
    - Imposing $70 billion worth of new regulations on businesses causing massive unemployment
    - Higher costs of student loans so that more money can be funnelled to Obamacare
    - Amnesty for illegal aliens which drives down wages
    - Higher health care costs. Obamacare. 'Nuff said.
  2. His foreign policy was totally incoherent.
    President Obama gives much lip service to peace.  Heck, the guy won a Nobel Peace Prize.  And yet today, we have more soldiers fighting in more countries in any time since World War II.  During his presidency, there have been US troops conduction armed operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, Panama, Guatemala, and Honduras.

    The US still props up dictators under President Obama, dictators like Hosni Mubarak, that is, until there is a political advantage not to.  And the most stable country in the Middle East?  Well, Israel is pretty small.  In addition to supplying arms to Al Quaeda affiliates in Syria, President Obama "draws a line in the sand" over the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war, yet when there is evidence of the use of such weapons, he goes on a bus tour to tout his [doomed to fail] economic plan.  Consequently, the US inconsistency, incompetence, and ineptness has made the US irrelevant in the Middle East.
  3. His administration was one of the most corrupt, if not the most corrupt.
    The scandals associated with President Obama's administration are almost too numerous to list in a blog like this.  And these are the ones we know about.  Another site will give you more details, but I will list a few of them here:

    - IRS targets Obama’s enemies
    - Benghazi Coverup
    - Spying on AP reporter
    - The James Rosen affair
    - Attorney General Eric Holder's perjury regarding the Rosen Affair
    - The BATF “Fast and Furious” scheme
    - Attorney General Eric Holder's perjury regarding “Fast and Furious”
    - Sebelius demands payment donations from companies HHS might regulate
    - The Pigford scandal
    - The General Services Administration boondoggle of an $823,000 training conference in Las Vegas, featuring a clown and a mind readers.
    - Veterans Affairs in Disney World to the tune of $6,000,000
    - Sebelius violates the Hatch Act
    - Solyndra
    - Lisa Jackson using the name “Richard Windsor” when corresponding by email with other government officials
    - Refusing to investigate the New Black Panthers voter intimidation
    - Attacking Libya without Congressional approval 

    And on, and on, and on...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Racialists in America

Last Friday, two male Negro teenagers and a third teenage male who appears to be a mulatto, murdered an Australian jogger on the streets of Duncan, Oklahoma. The three teens said that they did it “because we were bored”.

Now, it has been five days since the incident, and only now is this becoming national news. Curiously, the usual cast of characters in interracial violence news coverage is absent. Where is Jesse Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton? Oh, wait! The victim is an innocent white person minding his own business! No problem!

There is a growing sense of outrage over the hypocrisy. Jackson and Sharpton were very quick to call for action in the case of the thug wannabe Trayvon Martin, who attacked George Zimmerman, an Hispanic man, and was killed in self defense for his trouble. Yet, in the case of Christopher Lane, they are strangely silent.

Alan Colmes explains it this way on Fox News this morning: “Blacks are underrepresented by the system, so they need people like Al Sharpton to bring attention to their issues.” Well, I have news for Mr. Colmes. If murder is an alternative for boredom among Negro teenagers, the Negro population in the US needs Mr. Sharpton to bring attention to that issue.

I have often thought to myself that the most racialist people in America in the 21st century are Negroes. My experience has been that in almost every interracial altercation where Negroes are involved, the Negroes automatically assume that race is a factor. And the mainstream media falls right in line. Unfortunately, they just don't get it, as pointed out in this post over on Vox Popoli.

Fortunately, some leaders in our country are asking the right questions. Former Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, hinted that there may be a racial double standard at play, given the lack of outrage from Mr. Obama and civil rights leaders. He tweeted:

Three black teens shoot white jogger. Who will POTUS identify w/ this time?

It is an interesting question. Our illustrious president, who campaigned on the platform that he will bring people together, has actually accomplished the opposite on several fronts, including the racial front.

Donald Trump (of whom I am not a big fan, but he has his moments) tweeted:

Why isnt mainstream media all over this like Trayvon Martin story?Will there be justice for Chris Lane?

Indeed. Where is the mainstream media? Where is Jesse Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton. Can Christopher Lane get justice in post-modern, politically correct America?


The US media is playing this incident down, I suspect because it does not fit their agenda.  For instance, Yahoo! News does not mention it at all, and Yahoo! is a major news outlet for the 15 - 25 year old demographic.

Here is what you are not hearing from the US major media:
  • The alleged trigger man was a member of the Crips gang.
  • The other two alleged accomplices were Crips wannabes.
  • Facebook pages of some of the alleged perps glorified in rap lyrics which included selections about murder and mayhem.
There is a feral subculture in America.  Many academics posit that gang behavior and rap music are the result of the more affluent turning their collective backs on the ghettos in American cities.  I am calling horse-puckey on that.  There are so many examples of subcultures in America that had the same thing happen, but instead of going feral, those groups took a higher road.
So, at this point, I am thinking that boredom was the icing on a very rotten cake.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Epitome of a Good .22

I like to shoot.  I got my first projectile launcher when I was 6 years old.  Like many first time experiences with guns, mine was with a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.  I got if for Christmas, and my dad would not let me do anything with it until (a) he had a long talk with me about safety and the consequences I would suffer if I violated the rules, and (b) he had taught me the rudiments of marksmanship.
I just about wore that Red Ryder out.  It served me well up until I started junior high school (now referred to as "middle school"), at which time, something internally broke, and while I was at school, my mom chose to dispose of it in the trash.
Long before the demise of my Red Ryder, upon my 10th birthday, I received a single shot .22 rifle of the Sears & Roebuck brand which was made by Savage Arms.  This diminutive rifle handled .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle, all of which were available back in the '60s.  This was the first real firearm I cut my teeth on. All of the rules associated with my BB gun applied, only on steroids.
As part of the birthday gift, I was informed that I was responsible for providing my own ammunition.  This was probably a wise move on the part of my parents, as they estimated I put close to 200,000 rounds through the Red Ryder. I mowed lawns, raked pine straw, and did general labor for my neighbors to feed that little .22.  Back then, a box of .22 Short was around $0.50, including tax.  I hunted squirrels and rabbits, and when hunting season was over, many of the neighborhood kids would hang out and have informal target matches with our .22 rifles.
As I got older, my dad reckoned that I was old enough for an autoloader, so, on Christmas of my fifteenth year, he presented me with a Remington Nylon 66 in Apache Black.  The 66 only shot long rifles, but that was OK, because by then I had a job at the local car wash, and I had plenty of money for a kid in those days.  The Nylon 66 was surprisingly accurate for a mass produced "cheap" .22 rifle. I think at the time, the MSRP on them was around $50.  I scoped it with a 4x Weaver K4, and the number of squirrels and rabbits I brought home was stupendous.
Time moves on. After college, I got interested in centerfire rifles, and did not touch my rimfires for literally decades.  I competed in NRA Highpower Match.  I took up big game hunting.  I started handloading and spent thousands of hours punching paper.  But, as my kids became of age, I heard the lowly .22 calling out to me.  My kids cut their teeth on shooting with .22 caliber rifles - the same ones I did.
After my children left home, I found myself wanting to spend more time on the range.  Even though I had a plethora of centerfire rifles of various chamberings at my disposal, I wanted a good quality .22 bolt action rifle to spend the majority of my range time with.  I still have the two .22 rifles I grew up with, but I wanted more of an "adult" rimfire.  I was down at my local gun store one day, and there was a really nice looking bolt gun on the rimfire rack.  I asked the clerk behind the counter if I could hold it.  He handed it to me.
It was a CZ 455 American.  I was very familiar with CZ firearms, owning several examples of their handguns and big game rifles.  CZ products are made in Uhersky Brod, Czech Republic.  CZ firearms are known for their rugged, no-nonsense reliability, and often times innovative designs.  The 455 is no exception.  It is a high quality, switch barrel rimfire rifle which can shoot .22 Long Rifle, .22 WMR, or .17 HMR, depending on which barrel is mounted.  This particular rifle had been bought as a present and brought back to the store 30 days later, unfired.  Qualified as a "used" gun, I obtained it at a significant discount.

Off to the range.  The 455 American, scoped with an old Bushnell Banner I had laying around, shot everything well, but with CCI Standard Velocity and Wolf Match Target, I was getting sub-half-inch groups at 50 yards.  Needless to say, this became my go-to rimfire for all shooting chores that called for a rimfire, and has given me hours of paper punching pleasure.
More recently, I was in a very large, nationally known gun store in the next town over, just browsing one Saturday afternoon.  A CZ rimfire in the used rack caught my eye.  It was a CZ 455 Varmint with a short, heavy barrel.  While examining it, it was obvious that someone had put it through its paces, but the evidence consisted of brass drag marks on the magazine follower, and a little residue in the barrel.  This rifle cost me about the same as I paid for the sporter (American) version.  At the range, it did not disappoint. Like the sporter, it shot everything well, and CCI SV and Wolf MT the best.  In fact, if I put the targets in front of you, you would not be able to discern which target went with which rifle.

The 455 Varmint has the same barrel-swapping ability that the sporters do. You can get the Varmint with a single set trigger or not. Mine does not, so I will probably fit it with a Yo Dave trigger kit.  The standard trigger is distinctly two-stage, and a little heavy for consistent precision shooting.  It is a great hunting trigger, however.
On the rimfire forums, like, many shooters refer to the CZ rimfires as "the poor man's Anschutz".  Anschutz sporting rifles start in price about the same point that CZ rimfires top out.  Yet the CZ rifles shoot almost as good.  I say "almost" because there are a few shooters I know that own both brands and tell me that the Anschutz is ever so slightly better, but that it takes a superior shooter to tell the difference. I don't, and probably never will, own an Anschutz, so I will have to take their word for it.
If you can only have one .22 rifle, I highly recommend the CZ 455. It has become my absolute favorite rimfire, and one of my top 5 rifles of all time.  True, it is not a high-capacity autoloader, and it does not have a lot of gizmos, nor does it have Picatinney rails to hang a lot of crap from, but it gets the job done in a more accurate fashion than most everything else I have tried.  That is why I give it the title of "The Epitome of a Good .22".

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

UK Murder Rate Less Than US? I Don't Think So...

Turns out that the "official" figures released by the Home Office do not cover the vast majority of deaths of interest to the police in the UK.  In the USA, on the other hand, every death that is not readily related to natural causes is a homicide.  It's not an "apples to apples" comparison.

"As a result, murders that have not been solved are not included. If indications in the Telegraph are correct, that would substantially reduce the homicide rate in itself. Murders that have resulted in an arrest but no conviction are not counted. Convictions that have not been appealed are apparently not counted. And the number of minorities reported as murder victims is far below either the demographics or of reason.
If the media reports of a total of 4,760 “violent fatalities of interest to the police” from 1 January 2011 to 30 November 2012 are correct, the murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000 population, the same as our much more inclusive homicide rate, and substantially higher than the United States murder rate."

What is sad is that the mainstream media does not explain this, and about the only place you can find any information is in the alternative media, such as blogs like this one:

"Sorry about the long aside, back to murders. Remember that 657 number from the Home Office? The Coroners only called 229 of the cases they determined a cause of death on a homicide, and in 4400 cases they filed a "narrative verdict" describing the cause of death in a narrative manner without putting it in a category. If those 4400 cases are what we would normally call murders ... that would suggest that the correct number of "violent deaths of interest to the police" is on the order of 4700 for 2011, then the UK murder rate is 8.5 per 100,000 or about 177% of the US murder rate. Now, honestly, we don't know what conclusion as to cause the coroner would have reached if they weren't using  It's entirely possible that very few of them would have been classed as homicides. We don't know.  My point here isn't that the English death rates should be quoted from the highest available but rather, no matter which source I attempt to use, I can't actually get an apples to apples comparison.  The data simply isn't available."
"Note also that this is the MURDER rate, irrespective of the METHOD of the murder.  I utterly refuse to get into the discussion of 'gun violence.'  A death is a death."

So, next time someone tells you that the UK has less murders than the USA, ask them how they know. Chances are, they don't know, and they are parroting some drivel they heard on CNN (which is increasingly coming to be known as a news organization which does not check the facts).