Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Updated: Tue Jun. 03 2008 6:52:45 PM
Gun enthusiasts voiced their displeasure on Tuesday over Toronto Mayor David Miller's plan to shut down the two gun clubs on city-owned facilities, while opponents and the police board threw their support behind the proposal.
In his latest bid to tackle the problem of illegal guns, Miller has proposed closing the clubs, including the 40-year-old Scarborough Rifle Club.
Some gun owners fired off at an executive meeting at city hall, saying closing the clubs won't reduce the number of gun crimes. They noted many Olympians and athletes train at the facilities.
"Closing us down would do absolutely nothing to solve the crime problem," said Peter Krause, vice-president of the Scarborough Rifle Club.
"We shoot target rifles, single-shot target rifles. There's no handguns in that club whatsoever."
However, the Toronto Police Services Board supports the mayor's push for better gun control measures.
"We need to take every possible action to clamp down on opportunities for the illegal circulation of firearms," said Alok Mukherjee.
Audette Sheppard's son Justin was 19 years old when he was shot to death in 2001. She formed UMOVE (United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere), and supports any move to get guns off the streets.
"The only people who need to have guns are the police and the army," she said. "I think they should get rid of guns. Let them find another sport."
Miller, who has been long been fighting for a national handgun ban, says closing the clubs will make communities safer.
The mayor reiterated his call for a national handgun ban after the fatal shooting of bystander John O'Keefe, who was killed while walking on Yonge Street in January by a legally registered weapon.
Closing the gun clubs is one part of a strategy to address gun violence. Other ideas include more support programs for youth and developing a system to track handgun use in the city.
Late Tuesday, a spokesperson for the mayor told CTV News the executive committee will likely vote to support the recommendations, but with an amendment that the gun clubs will be able to exist if they are relocated to private property.
Final approval must be made before city council as a whole."
Well isn't that cute. Actually, maybe it's not cute. It' s borderline criminal. If anyone should know who is really responsible for the killings in Toronto, it's the police. I am sure the rank and file officers who actually walk beats on the street have a different take though.
I would pay good to see Mayor McCheese and his cop buddies spend one night walking around Jane and Finch, and see what was left of them when the sun rises the next day. And then we'll hear what they think about me and my guns.
This whole thing is becoming more and more idiotic by the day and I hadn't thought that would even be possible. If this kind of time, effort and media attention were put into things like prevention programs, anti gang workers, youth counselling and helping people in these hard hit areas develop job skills, that would save a whole lot more lives than taking away registered handguns.
I mean, the ban on cocaine works so well, doesn't it? So does the ban on heroin. Small wonder the people who sell banned narcotics which aren't even made in this country have guns that were neither made nor sold in this country too!
There's no such thing as "gun crime" or "gun violence". There is only CRIME. Pure and simple. And crime, more often than not, comes with poverty.
So if Mayor Moron could wave a magic wand tomorrow and strip legal owners of all their guns, what is that going to improve when large sections of the city are still poor, still plagued by gangs and the criminals don't turn over their guns?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
You know, I've been to quite a few clubs and shot with plenty of Ontario boys...classy folk and skilled shooters.
But these weren't the people I was meeting. You would think these areas be the focus of a clean up, that the people who have to live in these low income, high crime neighbourhoods deserve to be safe, and not have their children preyed upon by gangs and violence, but you would think wrong.
They're not the target of any war right now. Only legal gun ownership. Miller and his cronies and bosses don't care WHAT goes on in these places.
And there are productive ways of dealing with them too, ways to make life cleaner and safer for those stuck living in at risk neighbourhoods. Prevention programs. Anti gang measures.
Imagine that this is where the money and effort was going...The kind of dividends it could pay.
A licensed Toronto gun owner got an early wake-up call today after police stormed through his Beach apartment, arrested him and seized about 125 guns.
Police were tipped off about "a quantity of firearms" in the Queen St. E. and Kingswood Ave. apartment, before Emergency Task Force and 55 Division officers arrived at the home around 1 a.m., Toronto Police Const. Wendy Drummond said.
Inside, officers found about 125 firearms, a "good portion" of which were registered, Drummond said. Peter Sedge, 56, faces one count of unsafe storage of a firearm.
A neighbour described Sedge, who has lived in the apartment for several years, as a harmless guy who simply liked to collect guns."He was a legitimate gun owner and he did have a licence and registration for the firearms, but safe storage is key in being a legitimate gun owner," Drummond said. "There are laws and regulations that you must abide by aside from having the right paperwork."
Here's the ugly front line of Toronto Mayor Miller's war on crime. As usual, he is striking lawful firearms owners.
When you look past the headlines, past the sensationalism and spin of it all, Mr. Sedge is being charged with one and only one count of a firearm being stored in an unlawful manner. As always, he is innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
We know Mr. Sedge is a clean guy, for he is permitted to own handguns. Obviously he has no past history of violence if this is the case.
Just as obviously, he owned more than ten firearms, and he was a collector whose inventory included handguns. Because of either of these facts, the police have the authority to visit him at their convenience to inspect his home and firearms.
But instead, they door kick him at 1 AM. What must that feel like, having a heavily armed SWAT team bust through your house, treating you like some drug dealing scumbag, and take all of your legally owned property with them?
How bad could Mr. Sedge have truly been, if the best they could do with him was one charge on one gun?
I have to assume Mr. Sedge fired his guns. If that is the case, I assume he had ammo. And probably enough of it. But no charges of unsafe storage of ammo. And no charges on 124 of the firearms!
The reason he was not simply visited courteously? Soemone confidentially dropped a dime on him. What was the tip off? A "quantity of firearms"...Not that he was selling guns on the black market. Not that he was dealing drugs. Not that he was dangerous to those around him or mentally unstable. Simply that he had more firearms than is considered politically correct to have. And that less than one percent of his inventory may or may not have been secured, which is very debatable since Mr. Sedge was actually home at the time of the raid! It's very difficult to make an unsafe storage charge stick if the man was actually present! Was he not supposed to have access to his own guns when he is physically there?
We may never even know who this person was, who called in to report this gross hazard to public safety. Take a second and think about that. Anyone can anonymously phone something in on you, and no matter how clean and upstanding a citizen you may be, they can kick your door in and bust you at 1 AM in the morning, and you may never even know who placed the call.
The real killers, the drug dealing scumbags, the ones who sell poision and illegal guns and prove themselves time and again to be the killers out there, they slept soundly that night. No one was kicking in their doors, taking away their murder weapons, or taking these jackals off the street.
They're still out there. They are doing their thing.
An innocent man with no criminal past was the target of the raid. Just as they have been more and more often as of late.
Further, if the city of Toronto is worried about the legally owned guns of citizens being stolen and used in crimes, they are doing a great job of advertising where those guns are and who owns them.
The timing of this raid is suspect at best. The average person cannot read through the spin doctoring and see what really took place. To know that this man was no danger or risk to anyone. And to realize that those who do wrong and choose to violate the rights of others were safe that night.
Mayor Miller's war is not against crime. It's not against gangsters, or murderers, or anyone who makes places like Jane and Finch, T.O. less safe for everyone.
It's against the gun owning citizens of Canada. Not just Toronto, but Canada.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
New addition to the collection here today, a model 1891/1941 Carcano long rifle!
For all those who may never have come upon one yet, the Model 1891 Carcano was Italy's standard service rifle from it's date of inception right up through both world wars! Naturally, they saw service in all kinds of trouble spots, like Italy's colonial ventures in Ethiopea, and in the hands of Finnish and Spanish soldiers in the Finn's "Winter war" against the Russians and the Spanish facist corps.
Along with their siblings like the infamous M38 Short rifle and Truppe Speciale carbines in various calibers, these rifles are a real piece of history.
As the "41" in the model number denotes, this one was made to meet a 1941 revision in the design, and saw service in the second world war.
A couple interesting things about the Carcano...First and foremost how maligned they are. You'll hear rumours abound concering how they are poorly made, unsafe, etc. Let me tell ya, it ain't so. This is a finely made rifle. Italians generally don't muck about when it comes to craftsmanship, ad this rifle is definately proof. For starters, the steel is actually of Czech origins and very hard. I am sure drilling and tapping it would be a lot of fun to do. Secondly, the action has two front locking lugs that lock up good and tight, and the bolt is rather well engineered and safely laid out.
Another rumour is that they are wildly inaccurate. The root of this one might lay in the caliber. This one here is the most common variety, 6.5x52mm. Unlike our common 6.5mm bullets, which would be .264" the 6.5mm Carcano is .268" which probably doesn't help if you are shooting North American bullets for groups.
As is kinda obvious from the pictures, the 6.5x52mm round looks rather strange. It's a small casing with a very long bullet, which turned out to be both a good and a bad thing. The good thing is, the 160 grain round nosed bullet is very heavy for caliber, and very long which makes it both accurate and incredibly stable in flight, and also wonderful in terms of penetration. The bad thing is, it's incredibly stable in flight, leading to a small caliber round which produces ice pick like wound tracks unless it (very rarely) tumbles, which supposedly caused devastation to whatever it passed through. I am sure a lot of people over the years were relatively lucky the round passed through them in good humour, which is why after highlighted by failures in the Ethiopian campaign, the Italians decided to upgrade to a more powerful 7.35mm round. Unfortunately, WW2 broke out right after that, and the logistics of making the change became impossible.
One other nice thing about the round though, it is very mild and pleasant to shoot. Low recoil, and easily controlled.
Here's a picture of it compared to a few of it's European contemporaries, at left a 303 British and at right an 8x57mm Mauser
One other unique feature of the Carcano is the rear sights. For one, they are about the roomiest V notch I have ever seen. Very deeply and widely cut. It lets a lot of light through, and I suppose it would be great for older shooters who might not still enjoy as fine eyesight they used to have. Secondly, it is set to 300 meters at it's lowest setting, but the whole rear sight leaf can be flipped all the way over 180 degrees to expose a fixed 200 meter battle setting notch. Check it out, here it is closed and opened.
And a look down the wide V-notch sight...At Barns! I have no idea how he wandered into this frame, but like me he cannot turn down a chance to play with new guns.
In terms of shooting the Carcano, it was a good and bad experience. Good because it's a light kicking, seemingly accurate rifle and bad because I don't have any charger clips yet. The Carcano is fed by 6 shot en bloc sheet steel clips, and it is very difficult to single load the rifle. In fact, I don't recommend it. Secondly, the sights are not properly set for new commercial ammo it seems, and I didn't have tools with me at the range so I won't be able to post a group for you just yet, however it seems promisingly accurate. The trigger is also surprisingly light and crisp, although it is on the sluggish side once it breaks.
Overall, I am very happy with the Carcano. For the prices an example in good shape sells for, say the $120-$150 range, they are a fine collector's item.
The downside is, if you are not a serious shooter or reloader, get ready to pay a lot for ammo. A box of Norma 156 grain Alaskan set me back $41. Of course I can reuse the brass many times. But for a non handloader, not so attractive. Also, make sure you have the clips!
All in all, a handy, accurate and well built rifle that is going to be as much of a joy on the range as it will be in the deer fields. Kept to 100 meters or so like a 30-30, th 6.5x52mm Carcano will be quite capable of taking medium sized game, and I look forward to trying it out.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Our volunteer was a 2.8L Sunny Delight bottle stuffed tight with newspaper soaking in water, and lit up at 100 meters. At that range, the 110 grain round must be doing about 3100 fps and it looks like it really comes apart.
This is one I have to film on impact for y'all one of these days! In the meantime, I have the aftermath here.
Here's the loaded rounds, and bullets
This load started with 51 grains of H4895 powder and its been worked up carefully to 54.5 as of now, the target being 57 with a speed of over 34oo feet per second at the muzzle.
Now, our victim!
On impact, the bottle flew 7 feet to the left, and I could see the explosion of water and paper in the scope. As the pics show, at least half the contents was blown out, and I measured 30 feet from the impact to the farthest bits of wet newspaper.
It really shows that th V-max is performing as designed, giving rapid and devastating transfer of energy, and expanding without needing to penetrate that far first.
The exit was rather oblong and I wonder what remained of the bullet to make that hole. The bottle is blown nearly in half.
I really, really have to film this impact!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Well, you can see where they cut a corner or two...They don't finish the machining inside all that well, but you never see it until the pistol is taken apart. The sights could be a little bigger. And the grips are plastic.
But none of it affects the function of the pistol, and the pistol does work. Don't expect it to feel like a McCormick trigger, but for $330 it is very usable.
I had gunsmith Gunnar Christensen do a prep job on this one, including a trigger tune and a lapping to fit the frame to the slide, going over the ejector and extractor, etc.
This is the softest recoiling automatic pistol I have fired yet. Shot lots of 9mms that have kicked harder. The weight helps. It really impresses you as a solid chunk of tough steel. A small plastic recoil buffer also cushions the blow of the slide reaching the end of it's rearward travel. The result is more of a slow shove than a fast crack. Great for keeping you on target when snapping off rounds quickly, and shaving time off in a comp I would reckon.
The sights are not adjustible for elevation, but at 21 feet were right on the money for 230 grain FMJ ball, which is the classic .45 ACP load.
Overall I have to say I am very impressed. I'll try to post some groups soon.
24" barrel, fantastic cut of walnut for the stock, you have to see it to be able to make out the good looking shades and grains in the wood. Great bluing job, very satiny black finish and it's wearing a Bushnell 3-9x50mm 3200 Elite scope in Leupold rings.
Here's the trouble. When I chambered the rounds, some chambered just fine and others offered a degree of resistance.
Now, there are several possible explainations with that. One could be the bullets being seated too far forward, so that on chambering, the bullet is being driven against the rifling. It should not be encountering rifling, as this will affect your pressure, jacking it up and possibly causing bad results.
But I checked the round. They measured the 3.170" I wanted, and factory rounds with different bullets are much longer. So that's not it.
Maybe the shoulder was not set back far enough? When you use a reloading press to force fired brass into a full length sizing die, it compacts it by squeezing it back to what should be factory dimensions. If your die is not screwed into the press to the proper depth though, the casing won't be pushed in far enough to be properly resized.
But no, comparing the length to drawing and schematics, and to a factory round. Shoulders were fine.
After talking to some friends online who forget more about reloading than I will ever know, I narrowed down the cause. It took coating the bullets in black magic marker to become apparent. On chambering, whichever part of the round is making the friction, it will have the magic marker scraped off and you can immediately see your bugbear.
You can see my problem right off, starting a quarter inch up from the bottom of the case. The case head is too large.
Turns out the explaination is really simple.
This brass came from my M1 Garand and was mixed into my other 30-06 casings. The Garand (as do most military rifles) has a larger chamber, so the casings are coming out with a funny shape. If I cannot load a bullet quickly, it is at worst an inconvenience. For a US soldier or Marine in 1944, it was a matter of life and death. Their ammo was sometimes gritty and dirty, and sometimes not all made to the exact same specs. To feed easier, chambers were slightly larger than those in civilian rifles.
My RCBS full length die doesn't have the horsepower to cram the Garand brass case heads back to proper shape. There's two possible remedies. The first is buying a small base die, a special die made just for this problem, or switching to a Lee die set. I like my Lees and they seem to form a little tighter. I think I'll try the Lee.
The good news is, I can still shoot this ammo for now. It's just a little stiff to chamber.
Hope this helps someone someday!