Friday, February 23, 2018

9 vs 40 vs 45


As some of you may (or may not) know, I have been a member of the NRA since Moses was a pup - mostly because I get a free magazine every month for the measly price of just $25 a year ($35 now) and it is the admission price to belong to almost any membership-only gun club in Texas.  The one to which I belong right now is a 15-minute drive from home and has a 200-yard rifle range, falling plates, sight-in range, and, well, about six or seven ranges all total; some pistol-only, some rifle-only, some center-fire only, some rim-fire only and some mixed.  Great place but it is all outdoor and kind of cold and rainy right now.

Anyway, in the November 2017 NRA "American Rifleman" magazine, page 84, there is a chart on the H&K Tactical Trio of handguns.  They are all about the same except for caliber.  When reviewing the chart of "Shooting Results" I noticed something that really stood out: The energy (in ft-lbs) delivered at 25 yards (or maybe it was measured at the muzzle or at 12 feet; not really sure but it doesn't matter because it is a comparative value for me) I noticed something: The .40 cal delivers more energy than either the 9mm or the .45 cal.

So, then, why have I been carrying around a bulky, noisy, kicky .45 cal all these years when I could have had a slightly more friendly .40 cal that would be cheaper to shoot, easier on my hands and ears and much lighter on my hip?  I mean, most of the Fort Worth police carry a .40 cal - why didn't I take notice of them?  Surely, maybe they know something that I didn't?  Right!  A .40 is lighter and delivers more power for the payload.  Here is a small table of the (average) results on that page.

                 Bullet        Vel@12'       Energy
                 Wt Gr          f.p.s.           ft-lbs
9mm.        131             1068              330
.40cal       171             1085              442
.45            230               868             383

While the .40 cal is a lighter slug (payload) than the .45 cal, it travels much faster and delivers a heavier knockdown power.  On the other hand, it has a heavier slug than the 9mm and travels at a higher velocity and, ergo, delivers a higher payload than the 9mm.  So, all-in-all, what say ye Laertes? (Or was it Horatio?) Anyway, methinks that the conclusion is clear: The .40 cal will be my next choice for a CC pistol. But then, my 5.7mm FN is still working fine, is less than 2 pounds (unloaded) and has 20-round magazines so...


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

National Concealed Handgun License


OK - I live in Texas. Have been for, oh, a really long time now. Everyone over 21 that is a Republican and is a Conservative or Orthodox Jew has a CHL (Concealed Handgun License).  And most other Conservative Republicans over 21 in Texas have one as well. When that law went into effect the violet crime rate here in major cities dropped about 25% and went up in the the more liberal adjacent states up north. Meaning that the bad guys got the heck out of there and went up there. It never was very high out in the rural areas. Most every one out there carried openly anyway. :)

BUT, that did not stop the crazies and weirdos from getting guns because the Feds and Local Smokies could not get their act together and sync up their computers so that they could snag a crazy or weirdo at the gun shop when that person was shopping. Like that punk in Florida! DANG!! All of the flags went up and STILL they did not get him. Now the kids down there want more laws.  We have enough laws on the books if someone would just enforce what is already there.

BTW, the AR-15 started out as the AR-5 and was initially a bolt-action, survival rifle in .22 Hornet caliber that was packed with the Air Force pilots. Subsequently they came up with the AR-7 which was a .22 long rifle version which was the semi-auto version that had a 7-shot clip that they could still pack with the bomber crews.  The AR-10 was an upgrade to the 7.62mm semi-auto, version of the AR-5 but manufactured by Armalite and the AR-15  was an upgrade of the AR-10 but manufactured by Colt in a .223 mm caliber. Now, the AR-15 was NOT intended to be an assault rifle.  Period! End of discussion.  It was a survival and/or a hunting rifle that allows a hunter a quick second or third shot if the first on misses - which, believe it or not, usually happens in thick woods.  And a .223 is not much of a hunting rifle for big-game.  the 7.62mm (about a .308 caliber)  is a much better rifle for hunting deer or big game.

Anyway, this is not about a national background check not working nor about the AR series of rifles, it is about a national CHL permit not working.  It seems that there is a bill going through the House of Representative (that actually passed and has now gone to the Senate) that wants to allow anyone who has a CHL in one state to be allowed to carry in another state.  Horse Hockey!!  Yes, I want reciprocity when I go to Louisiana or Arizona BUT what I don't want is some Yah-hoo from a state that has absolutely NO restrictions on a CHL to come to Texas and have a CHL over here.  You see, there are some states that will give out a CHL and they do not have to know the law, do not have to show any kind of knowledge of pistol nor anything else and they will just hand over a CHL to them.

Here?  Hell!  We have to know the law and pass a course on handgun carry complete with how well can we shoot the damned thing.  If you can't hit a bull in the butt at 15 yards you don't get a license. (Think about it - 15 yards is 45 feet and nobody has a room that big.) OTOH, a bull's hinney is just about as big as the target at which we were shooting at that time which was the silhouette of a person. Short story about my first class taught by a retired military police Sgt who had then spent 20+ years with the Dallas Police Dept and retire there as well;

It seems that he had never been involved in a "shoot out" until he had been on the DPF for about 10 years or so and he had always carried his trusty 38-Special with "hot" loads and he could hit the 10-ring bulls-eye on the range 10-out-of-10 times; left-handed or right-handed, shoulder-high or hip-high.  Anyway, he got into a shoot-out at a 7-11 on Zangs Blvd in Dallas with some punk with him about half-way across the store and the punk at the other end, probably 20 or 25 feet (not yards) away.  He fired all six shots, reloaded, fired six more and finally hit the guy with the 12th shot. As he said in class, it's a LOT different when the other guy is shooting back. Somehow you just can't seem to get you aim just right. After that he traded in his trusty six-gun for a 16-round-magazine 9mm Glock semi-automatic where he could carry a few extra magazines on his belt.  Never can have too much ammo the next time.

Another thing that he pointed out; only about 5% of the police ever are ever involved in a "shoot-out" like that and of the 5% only about 5% of those (meaning a really small percentage) ever actually kill another person.  And of that small percentage, about 95% of those retire (or commit suicide) within the next 12 months. The people that the police departments hire are not the "Dirty Harry" kind of people.  They are usually caring, non-homicidal kind of cops who go home to the families at night. Much like the "Blue Bloods" kind of folks that you see on TV rather than the "Good Fellows" kind of cops and robbers.

Finally - bottom line: It used to cost almost $400 to get a four-year CHL permit in Texas.  Now it is down to about $75 but if you belong to a license NRA club and you are NRA member and have a DD-214 showing that you are a true Veteran then you can usually get it down to about $25 for a five-year license.  That is about right.  BUT, I still don't want any of those 1-D-10-T folks coming down here and screwing things up for the locals.  Now, if the folks in DC want to do things right they will set up a REAL commission that will follow the state laws of either Texas of Florida and make it a National law for getting a CHL that is valid in any state. Much like I used to get a International driver's license that was valid in France, the UK, Madagascar or in the USA.  It wasn't hard - I just needed to take a standard test in Madagascar, have a valid passport from the USA, a valid driver's license from the USA and they gave my my International license. Just a thought...


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

My Friend Charles


Well, more than a friend.  A best friend - not a "bestie" in the modern sense.  You see, Charles Raymond Isaacs, Jr.  was a "brother" in the older sense.  A very close friend, hunter, Viet Nam Vet, Marine, sharp shooter, avid-gun owner and willing to help anyone learn to shoot or re-load ammo, play golf (well, hack around the course) or just hang out. Helluva guy!  He was a rock to his wife, his children, his relatives and all of his friends. When anyone had a problem they called Charles.  (He had a nephew named "Charlie" and his dad was called "Chuck" so you didn't call him either of those names.)

Anyway, my friend died last night, 5 Feb 2018.  About two weeks ago while working on his rent house (that he kept in beautiful shape) he looked up and to the left and his neck "popped" and he felt extreme pain; much like I feel most every day but far worse. We had a short chat with him last Monday (29 Jan 2018) on our way home from the funeral services for my mom.  (Step-mom but we called her "Grandmother" most of the time.) Charles stood up, well, shakily because of the pain killers and muscle relaxers that he was taking at the time, and we chatted briefly because he was still in a lot of pain.  We were there for all of five minutes and then we left and went back to Fort Worth.

This past Sunday we got a call from Ashley Diane (his daughter) that he had gone to the hospital with pneumonia a few days earlier and they were having trouble determining what was the problem with the neck pain AND the pneumonia - or something like that.  From over here, all we could do was pray; after all, Charles was in excellent health and something like a neck cramp and pneumonia was not going to get to a Jar Head like him! 

But it did.  Ashley called us yesterday (Monday) afternoon and told us that Charles was on a respirator and no longer had any brain activity.  Again, all we could do was pray.  We waited all night and today she called about noon and gave us the word that late last night they had taken him off the ventilator and the drugs.  He passed away about ten minutes later; peacefully, without pain. 

Because he had been a Viet Nam Marine Vet, the local Vets came in and gave him a Red-White and Blue escort.  They draped his body with an American flag and walked him out of the hospital while the nurses and attendants stood at attention with their hands on their hearts (in respect for the flag) and anyone in uniform saluted.  Quite moving I understand.  And he deserved it.  He was a "real" Viet Nam Vet, not a drug store Vet like so many you hear about.  Later I will update this blog with his dates of service and decorations. 

So, to end this blog:  My Best Friend is gone.  I am going to really miss that big boy.  All 6'2", 220 pounds of him.  Now I have only my blood brother, my wife and my other friend in Pittsburgh.  I might have to move.  Or maybe one of those other two will move to Fort Worth.  Maybe...  Who knows?