Sunday, February 03, 2013

QotD: Mindless Consumerism Edition

PDB on wisely selecting stuff on a rifle:
It’s tempting to get overly curmudgeonly about these things and shun all modern enhancements and go back to shooting a K-Frame, 870 and a Garand (although you’re certainly not totally unarmed if you choose to do so), but the new hotness will make your life easier if you fit your gear to your requirements and not the other way around. 
It's a good post and worth the read.

There are the people who hang every possible laser, phaser, and windspeed indicator off their rifle, and then there's the opposite extreme that seems to have taken hold, where light weight is pursued as an absolute virtue in and of itself*, and a lack of accessories, rather than a profusion of ditto, is seen as an indicator of seriousness and ninja-like proficiency.

There's a happy medium between the two, but it requires actually using the weapon to find out what works and what doesn't. And what works is going to be different in different environments: A long gun that is absolutely ideal for an NRA high power match is going to be sub-optimal in a dark hallway, and vice versa. The reason that the saying "the mission drives the gear train" has become such a tired old proverb is because it's absolutely true.


*You know what's really light? No gun at all: You just kill them with Zen mind bullets. ;)

50 comments:

Steve Skubinna said...

But such an idea would suggest that a person might perhaps have valid reasons to possess more than one type of firearm!

Won't somebody think of the chiiiiiildren?!?!!!??!!!

Anonymous said...

Some years back I built a trio of ARs for 3-gun, each based on what the match format was going to be from the local organizations running 3-gun matches; no matter what this month's format was, at which club, one of the three would probably fit.

I stopped doing that when I finally figured out the goal was skill building, not matching the gun to the match. Now it's one gun against whatever format, and I'm responsible for making all the accommodations. More work, but a lot more satisfaction.

Robert Langham said...

I'm thinking about drilling holes in my darkroom Garand stock to make it lighter.....

jed said...

> You just kill them with Zen mind bullets. ;)

We never did get to see whether River Tam could do that.

And I still want a Garand, just cuz.

Anonymous said...

I do remember the Carbon-15 felt nice and light but everyone I ever saw in a training class crashed and burned pretty quickly.

A SBR for a house gun would be nice, but the OMB here at home can't justify the price right now.

Garand + bayonet= impressive home defense.

Gerry

leaddog said...

Gerry,

For hallways and close order combat, may I suggest M1 Carbine w/bayonet. A little shorter and lighter and easier to maneuver in small spaces. I replaced the top hand guard with a picatinny (sp?) rail (manufactured by a company I cannot presently recall) and mounted an Eotech Halo on it. Very handy. Put one on my Garand too, with a long eye relief scope.

Devynsdad said...

You kids with your fancy doodads and your gizmos. I'll take steel sights like I used back in Pusan.

Well, that's what my Dad says. I like to keep it simple because all that high-speed stuff is expensive.

mostlycajun said...

"Simplicate, and add lightness" is a proverb in the aircraft industry and it has some application in the field of firearms.

MC

Tam said...

The M1 Carbine's safety & mag release is the opposite of intuitive and ergonomic.

John Stephens said...

CMP is still selling Garands.

Tam said...

"CMP is still selling Garands."

Already have one, no need. Have a Trapdoor Springfield, too! :)

Steve Skubinna said...

leaddog, I have an M1 Carbine (or did, until that tragic canoeing accident) but wouldn't modify it that way since it's a CMP (National Postal Meter) rifle. I would consider a Mini 14 however, which would have largely the same advantages plus a more lethal round (although I still don't buy the stories of the .30 Carbine round bouncing off ChiCom padded clothing).

Come to think of it, I do have a Mini 14 (or did until that same freak accident) with a red dot sight.

Not sure about the bayonet, though. My hunch is that a ill inclined prosecutor would jump all over a bayoneting while a straightforward shooting would be considered justified.

Tam said...

Anon 9:49,

"I stopped doing that when I finally figured out the goal was skill building, not matching the gun to the match. Now it's one gun against whatever format, and I'm responsible for making all the accommodations. More work, but a lot more satisfaction."

Good idea!

I'll ditch the white light and start eating more carrots. ;)

rickn8or said...

"Already have one, no need. Have a Trapdoor Springfield, too! :)"

So all you need is an '03 Sprungfield and one of each manufacturer's M1917.

Tam said...

Have an '03, a Krag, and an Eddystone Enfield. Want an M1 carbine and some kinda M14 clone at some point... Just to kinda complete the set.

Anonymous said...

"Not sure about the bayonet, though. My hunch is that a ill inclined prosecutor would jump all over a bayoneting while a straightforward shooting would be considered justified"

I look at my copy of Cold Steel and realize that I'd probably high tail it away from guy running at me with at me with a fixed bayonet and his war face on.

My AR bayonet just doesn't have the same level of implied threat.

Gerry

Tam said...

Gerry,

"I look at my copy of Cold Steel and realize that I'd probably high tail it away from guy running at me with at me with a fixed bayonet and his war face on."

And if he was making a shotgun-racking sound while he was doing it, then the bad guys would REALLY run! :p

Old NFO said...

Always has, and always WILL be true. And why I own multiple rifles each has a specific use that it is 'optimized' for.

Steve Skubinna said...

And if he was making a shotgun-racking sound while he was doing it, then the bad guys would REALLY run! :p

No, no... you record the sound and play it on endless loop. Weatherproof speakers all around your property controlled by motion sensors.

Scott J said...

K-frame, 870 and Garand.

I resemble that remark often :-)

I was a gun owner for some 8 years before I ever made peace with any auto pistol aside from my Mark II.

The 1911 was the first bottom feeder I could manage to shoot as well as my revolvers. Hence the platform will always have a special place in my heart.

RevolverRob said...

So, I have to say, I don't get those ARs with more square footage of rail real-estate than my first apartment. Too much crap hanging off of them to remember how to use it all.

I'm building a couple right now, the plan is simple, but effective (as opposed to the Top Gear motto of ambitious but rubbish). With a secondary aim of having the rifle be under 6.5 pounds. Why is 6.5 pounds the magic number? It isn't. Just the goal.

What's my thought process? I like generalist middle-weights. They usually contain the toolkit to go up or down as necessary if one possesses the skills to utilize that toolkit. The best sports cars in history were generalist middle-weights (Cobra, Corvette, 911) among the best boxers are middle-weights (Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard), arguably the best calibers are middle-weights too (.30 caliber rifles, and .355-.357 caliber handguns, my favorite is still 16-gauge).

Just my thoughts...

-Rob

Tam said...

Revolver Rob,

"So, I have to say, I don't get those ARs with more square footage of rail real-estate than my first apartment. Too much crap hanging off of them to remember how to use it all. "

Just because there is a rail doesn't mean you need to hang something on it, it just means that if you need to, you can.

Although I like the newer lightweight setups like the VTAC, Noveske NSR, or DD that let you put rail segments ony where you need them.

My newest carbine uses a 12" LaRue rail, but that's because they were out of stock on a lot of stuff when I bought the upper at BCM. The LaRue isn't my first choice, but it's not overly-large in diameter nor overly heavy.

jed said...

> ... or DD that let you put rail segments ony where you need them.

Which is what I like about the YHM Customizable Forearm. Hope to buy one some day.

RevolverRob said...

Tam,

I've heard that argument before...Just because the car has 450 horsepower at the push of the skinny pedal, doesn't mean you have to use it...Uh huh, but it doesn't mean temptation doesn't exist. :)

No, I completely agree one does not have to use all that rail to hang gizmos from. From a purely aesthetic point of view 1913 rail is about as ugly as it gets and from a practical standpoint it's pretty damn sharp to have hanging around uncovered.

Hence, I like my weapons to have a minimum of rail for mounting the accessories I deem important to the way I run the gun and that is it.

My next carbine will run MOE handguards with only rail attached for a foregrip and a flashlight, an A4 receiver, for mounting the optic and BUIS, minimizes the sharp edges for me. I also, personally, prefer the pleasing aesthetic of MOE handguards, something about their smooth sides and shape. I admittedly, have always liked old school triangular M16 handguards to the ubiquitous carbine length handguards that are everywhere.

-Rob

Devynsdad said...

"And if he was making a shotgun-racking sound while he was doing it, then the bad guys would REALLY run! :p"

I prefer to set strobe lights and the intro to Pink Floyd's Time on a motion detector. Crank it up to 11 and the bad guys really freak out.

Tam said...

RevolverRob,

"From a purely aesthetic point of view 1913 rail is about as ugly as it gets and from a practical standpoint it's pretty damn sharp to have hanging around uncovered."

Don't care about the looks, and covers are cheap. ;)

That said, look into Noveske's NSR...

Jim in San Antonio said...

I created the perfect home defense weapon (patent pending) when I mounted an 870 slide to the bottom rail of my AR-15. Now it looks wicked and sounds wicked. The bad guys will run away in terror.

Paul said...

For the Shotgun racking fans out there, you DO know you can get bayonet mounts for 870s and Mossbergs right?

...best of both worlds, racking sound AND bayonet.

global village idiot said...

Lessee...
Garand w/bayonet...check
M870 (tube ext., sling and shellholder but no bayonet - yet)...check
K-frame (Mod 15-3)...check

My carry gun's a Hi-Power but I love the Model 15.

Gots me an M4 but it's really my daughter's. It's got a red dot, a light and a sling. The only other accessory it sports is a tiny Otis cleaning kit in the pistol grip.

It's got the Yankee Hill forend with the rubber thingamajigs for in-between the rails. Makes for a much pleasanter shooting experience.

ARs just don't seem to hold my interest. They're good for what they're good for.

I've got another AR but it's currently locked in an Arms Room in Illinois and I only get to shoot it twice a year. On the upside, the ammo's paid for.

gvi

jimbob86 said...

"Garand + bayonet= impressive home defense."

For those of us with more modest home dimensions, carbines are better, and handguns better yet.

And for the folks without a RTO/Comms Specialist (that'd be your spouse/SO on the phone to the Popo), any HD gun better have a pistol grip .... darn hard to operate a long gun and phone 911 at the same time .....

That's right: pistol grips are a safety feature!

As for rails ..... If it does not have anything in it at the time, it is just something to cut your hands up ..... IMO, there's way more BOPOS out there than can be justified by anything other than a herd of marketing firm sales dweebs....

What we (have been led to) want/
And what we need/
Has been confused/
Has be-en confused.....

Anonymous said...

I'm getting a bayonet for my WIn 97. A 20" barrel and a 16" bayonet. Now that's fearsome.

Rich

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

As I've said before in giving advice to folks, "how much can you hang onto a gun before you can't hang onto a gun"...

Don't over accessorize with stuff you'll never need or use...

Dann in Ohio

mustanger said...

I'm reminded of the "KISS principle"...

"Keep It Simple Stupid"

Myself, I'm not a fan of rails at all. They're fine if you need 'em, but I generaly don't.

I do figure a Mini-14 would be better with a ghost ring than with the narrower aperture it was equipped with in the '90's. That said, I detest the new version's sights.

Rob said...

That's telekinesis, Kyle...er, Tam.

Anonymous said...

Night time and a bad guy? Why my 1897 Norchester trenchgun. Six shot, two loaded with .450 lead round ball,two with .380 LRB ,two with O buck. I have the 17 inch bayonet off my winchester for the shotgun. A Mod.-19 S&W with 158gr Hp.and My Garand. The one wepon I DON'T own is an AR. I never wanted one. I do own a pre-64 870 wingmaster factory riot gun. Its nice and all,but I do love that trench gun. Nothing on earth makes a hole through a mutant like a 12 bore. 'Cept mabe a AT gun.

Blackwing1 said...

I'll leap into the fray as probably the only neo-Luddite around:

- I've never had the urge to hang anything battery-powered from a firearm.

We've got lots and lots of flashlights scattered around the house, next to the bed, and in the cars and truck. We've got plenty of batteries, and we keep them as refreshed as possible.

When I'm depending on a firearm for my life, I sure as heck don't need one more thing that's capable of failure during a time of stress. A bad battery, a failed switch, a burned-out bulb, an over-heated LED...enough can go toes-up as it is.

Bedside gun, bedside flashlight, and I don't want the second one attached to the first. Back-up gun, back-up flashlight, and the odds of complete systems failure drop to pretty low.

"cootifier/on" Kids these days! Hanging all that stuff from their carbines! Why, back in my day, we made do with full-size battle rifles with iron sights, and we were GLAD to have 'em! "cootifier/off"

Tam said...

Blackwing1,

"I'll leap into the fray as probably the only neo-Luddite around:"

Root around in thirteen-year-old posts at TheFiringLine.com and you'll find me saying the same thing.

Hands-on experience has shown me I was wrong.

RevolverRob said...

Tam,

I was going to originally write something about, "Life is too short to shoot an ugly gun." But then I reflected on how many ugly guns I've shot over the years and then how the AR...not matter how much lipstick you put on it, is never really pretty. It's more like runner-up for nomination to be the Homecoming Queen, than in the running.

That said, the Noveske NSR is definitely what I am all about, and thanks for that, because I hadn't seen it.

-Rob

Anonymous said...

I cleared rifles on the last day at a stage at Rockcastle Pro Am. The guns of the pros - Jerry, etc. were simpler and all were lighter than the next squad made up of joe-average. BUT, I assume the "joes" brought their "everything" gun. The pros have the luxury of a competition-only gun. Also, 3-Gun doesn't require a light, etc. for hallway work. Other interesting thing, all but one of the pros had metal mags, the "joes" had P-Mags, or other plastics. Very small sample, just what I saw from 24 shooters.

Woodman said...

I need to find out where all these canoe accidents are happening, I can get a waterproof metal detector pretty cheap, maybe even a wetsuit.

The AR15 made it to the Homecoming Royalty as Ms. Congeniality. She gets along with almost everyone and you can take her to a truck pull or a fancy dinner, like Sizzlers.

Anonymous said...

You can kill a yak with mind bullets, don't ya know.

(I see what you did there)

Woodman said...

Wait, are these George Clooney mind bullets, or Jack Black ones?

I think I'd rather have the Jack Black ones, they come with a better soundtrack.

Tam said...

Anon 10:06,

"I cleared rifles on the last day at a stage at Rockcastle Pro Am. The guns of the pros - Jerry, etc. were simpler and all were lighter than the next squad made up of joe-average. BUT, I assume the "joes" brought their "everything" gun. The pros have the luxury of a competition-only gun. Also, 3-Gun doesn't require a light, etc. for hallway work."

The last (and only, thus far ;) ) 3-Gun match I shot, Jerry was using a light on his gun, but it was after midnight at the time, so we all were. ;)

NotClauswitz said...

I put a scope on my rifle and still missed the target. The red-dot worked better at 100 yards than the scope at 200. I like my Garand fine without one and manage to hit the black thingy more often than not but if the scope needs some dial work I'm sure a laser would too!

global village idiot said...

jimbob...

You get 50 "Obscure R.E.M. song reference" points for your post.

Now I've got it stuck in my head - Origago, jimbobsan!

gvi

Sigivald said...

Jim said: "I created the perfect home defense weapon (patent pending) when I mounted an 870 slide to the bottom rail of my AR-15. Now it looks wicked and sounds wicked. The bad guys will run away in terror"

You know, with an SBS tax stamp, you can just mount a real, functioning pump gun under your AR barrel. Or a semi-auto.

(Knight's Armament sells a pump as a breaching system, and various people seem to have made Saiga conversions ...)

Anonymous said...

" Jerry was using a light on his gun"

Name dropper. :-)

dehakal said...

What with the short hallways at home, if it comes to an encounter in the hallway, I am looking at good American Hardwood to support the butt-stroke that is going to be delivered as there is no room to actually aim and shoot.
AR's are handy, generally light, and low recoil. But if it comes to up close and personal nothing clubs like a Garand, No1 MkII SMLE or Mosin 91/30.

Tam said...

"Name dropper. :-) "

:)

I was standing around in the tent where the food and stuff was at the end of the night talking with Michael Bane and Farmer Frank at, like 0mygawd30 in the morning, when this guy in a S&W jersey comes in and asks if there are leftovers.

MB points over at the tables in the corner and says "Yeah, Jerry, there's still food over there." I do a doubletake and squeak "omygodthat'sjerrymiculek!" in a voice near-breaking with fangirl squee... :D

Scott J said...

"I do a doubletake and squeak "omygodthat'sjerrymiculek!" in a voice near-breaking with fangirl squee."

I'm a 44 year old man who used to sing bass in a Barbershop chorus and I'd probably sound exactly the same were I to find myself breathing the same air as (six, reload, six in 2.99) Jerry.