Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More quotes...

Spent a while tonight looking up the Battle for Thermopylae (as in the movie 300), read a lot about Spartans, and came across the term "Laconic". I had seen the word before, but really didn't understand it's meaning. Wiki defines it as "a very concise or terse statement". They go on to further define it with the word humor, as in "laconic humor" which together come out something like a very concise statement with an injection of dry wit.

Obviously the most famous of Laconic statements occurred at the Battle for Thermopylae, as the Persians asked for the Spartan's weapons, King Leonidas replied "Molon Labe" or "come and get them". But there are more laconic statements to be found, and some of them are quite memorable.

With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip II of Macedon turned his attention to Sparta and sent a message: "If I win this war, you will be slaves forever." In another version, Philip proclaims: "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." The Spartan ephors sent back a one word reply: "If." Subsequently, both Philip and Alexander would avoid Sparta entirely.

Spartan mothers or wives gave a departing warrior his shield with the words "With it or on it!", implying that he should return (victoriously) with his shield, or (his cremated body in an urn) upon it, but by no means after saving himself by throwing away his heavy shield and fleeing.

During the era of westward expansion in the United States of America a group of thieves, bandits and outlaws began terrorizing a small community in the state of Texas, killing several citizens. The townsmen quickly requested help from the Texas Rangers. When Ranger Pat Dooling arrived, the townsmen could not believe that only one man had been sent. In response to their question about the arrival of other Rangers, Dooling famously responded "You've only got one riot, haven't you?"

American President Calvin Coolidge had a reputation in private of being a man of few words and was nicknamed "Silent Cal." A possibly apocryphal story has it that Dorothy Parker, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His reply: "You lose."

And (perhaps due to indoctrination) my favorite: During the Korean War, U.S. Marine Chesty Puller made the remark, "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things."

and one that deserves honorable mention: During the French estrangement from NATO, Charles de Gaulle demanded that all American troops leave French soil. Lyndon B. Johnson is said to have responded, "Does that include the ones [buried] at Omaha Beach?"

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks to Wikipedia for the above quotes, and for allowing me to waste the better part of an evening reviewing 2500 year old history.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

M14 - WSHTF Rifle

OK. We have gone over the M14's development, the 7.62's performance, and briefly wandered through the various parts that make up a M14 rifle...Now for the reason all of that was important at all....When Sh*t Hits The Fan, I think that the M14 is, if not the best, one of the best firearms you can have in your arsenal (and more importantly in your hands).

The M14, with iron sights and a Rifleman behind them, can engage man sized targets out to 500 yards. At 500 yards, the 7.62x51mm FMJ round fired from a 22" barrel has more energy (*foot / pounds*) than a 5.56 (AR round, remember?) does at 100 yards... more than a 7.62x39 (AK round) does at 150 yards...That's a long range punch over both of the calibers you will likely see.

The idea here is that you can inflict casualties on your enemy farther out than he can on you. Not that I'm telling you to run out and form up shoulder to shoulder and fire on your enemies as they advance; what I am telling you is that you can hurt them before they can hurt you, as long as you see them first, and act upon it.

Penetration is another virtue of the 7.62x51mm FMJ round. Accuracy, another. The rifle itself is a sturdy piece of equipment - buttstroke a bad guy, and he breaks, not your rifle.

None of this is worth a hill of beans, though, if you have a defective or malfunctioning rifle. Hence the last two posts about quality of parts. A Chicom rifle for SHTF? Great, as long as you have had the necessary upgrades performed by a reputable gunsmith. SAI rifle that needs warranty work at SHTF +1 day ? Good luck getting your rifle to Illinois and back.

So what is my recommendation? Well there are a couple:

A) Pony up the cash, and get a LRB - either assembled at LRB or by one of a few gunsmiths. All USGI or better parts (as far as I am concerned, nothing SAI makes is better than USGI, ditto Chicom). A 22" chromelined barrel, FG stock, and (if you need it) a low power scope (1-2x).

B) Pony up the cash, and have your Chicom receiver inspected, and heat treated as necessary and then built by one of a few gunsmiths.

C) Get an early SAI, those had almost all USGI parts anyway, and if you are worried about it, send it to one of those gunsmiths and have them inspect it.

D) With any of these choice, I recommend getting a second bolt headspaced to the rifle. It's a dollop of insurance. Small parts that I recommend upgrading to: Smith Enterprise bolt stop (works like an AR bolt stop), Sadlak Mag release (bigger = better), Sadlak Op Rod Spring Guide (smooths the action and increases inherent accuracy in the rifle), Wolff Op Rod Spring (ditto that last), and try out a Sadlak TiN piston (This gas piston does not get as cruddy as quickly as USGI ones do, but it can impact your accuracy, depending on the diameter of your gas cylinder to the gas piston)

Some general recomendations: Buy lots of magazines (this would have been easier a couple months ago...). Buy lots of ammo (7.62 surplus. And ditto the timeframe). Shoot the rifle - everyone makes mistakes, and your builder can too. Shooting will help you find any bugs that do exist in your rifle. Practice with your rifle, mag changes aren't like those with an AR, cheek weld isn't what it is on your .30/30 deer rifle, and to be sure the trigger is not the same as your Remington bolt action. Practice shooting away from the bench.

Ok, now extra credit - some of you are asking "Well why not my XXX - it's in 7.62x51mm, and it is / was a lot cheaper than your $2500.00 M14!?!" My answer is that the M14 is more expensive for the same reason that a Colt pistol costs more than a HiPoint pistol - quality costs. An off the shelf or slightly used newer SAI will set you back around 13-1700 dollars. FALs, G3s, CETMEs, Galils, AR-10s all are cheaper - I am a firm believer in the "motorcycle helmet analogy". If you have a head worth only $50, by all means, please purchase a $50 motorcycle helmet. However, if you value your head at more than $50, by all means, purchase a better helmet. As we discussed before, the M14 is still in the service of the best funded military in the world...

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed. For any links or information you might be looking for, I will recommend one place to go - The M14 Firing Line Forum. Or, feel free to ask me :)

Thanks, Mike

This blog is a thank-you to MBV III (over at Sipsey Street Irregulars) - who has this in his sidebar:

"The Fate of Unborn Millions. . ."

"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army-Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expect-We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die." -- George Washington to his troops before the Battle of Long Island.

"We will not go gently . . ."

This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can't be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won't be done. The Founders' Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.

-- Mike Vanderboegh, The Lessons of Mumbai:Death Cults, the "Socialism of Imbeciles" and Refusing to Submit, 1 December 2008

Both of these men spoke of something that we, as Americans, should know quite a bit about: freedom. But it seems that assumption is incorrect - Americans know less freedom than they knew during George Washington's campaign of resistance and eventual independence from England. After all, King George did not require his subjects to file paperwork to buy a firearm! And "taxation without representation"? Consider the immense outpouring of public sentiment against the bailout. Consider that it passed.

As I said about Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" quote a few days ago, "The tree is looking stunted too, needing of it's manure." This system of government is past self-correcting - the Second Amendment is the bottle, and we 3% are the correction fluid contained within the bottle...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Okay, on to Part III of the M14...Everything Else.

Last installment we referred to the receiver as the integral part of the M14 - most every other part of the rifle hangs off of it. In this portion, we will talk of that "every other part" - and the functions thereof.

Stock - Originally the M14 rifle had a wooden stock - much like the M1 Garand. Later in the sixties, barely before it was "phased out" by the poodle shooter, the M14 was upgraded to a fiberglass (or synthetic) stock. The wooden stocks didn't handle the constant humidity and rain of SE Asia, the FG stocks don't swell in the wet. Just FYI, the fiberglass stocks are about an ounce or two heavier than the wooden stocks - and their forends are a little weaker; you can move POI (point of impact) on a FG stock by slinging in really really tight.

There are many aftermarket stocks nowadays - from precision stocks to stocks with miles of piccatiny rails... Maybe another post will deal with a few of them, but we don't have the space today.

Another point of interest with stocks is the fact that the M14 is not designed to use a free floating barrel - there is upward pressure exerted on the barrel from the stock. Rear Lugged receivers can compensate for this, but standard M14 receivers are not rear lugged. Another point of interest is bedding. Bedded stocks can improve accuracy, but at some cost: Both a cost in dollars and at the "cost" of not removing the stock for protracted periods of time... Every time a bedded M14 is removed from it's stock, the bedding suffers, generally loosening.

Hand guards are used on the M14 - they actually clip on to the barrel like a M1 Garand. Originally wood HGs were used, then FG slotted HGs, then solid FG HGs were introduced when it was found that the slots allowed too much heat to rise from the barrel and obstructed the front sight when the barrel was hot. Some scope mounts use special handguards, the SAI "scout" scope mount comes to mind.

Barrels - the standard USGI barrel on a M14 was a 22" chrome lined barrel. Chrome lined barrels are less subject to copper fouling and more corrosion resistant. Great for a battle rifle. Non-chrome lined barrels are supposedly more accurate, and stainless steel barrels are, well stainless steel, and therefore rust resistant. There are medium weight barrels (approx. 3/4 pound heavier than standard weight barrels), also, which can be had in stainless, standard, or chrome lined bore varieties. And then there are the heavy barrels (about 1.5 to 2 pounds heavier than a standard weight barrel), which generally use a standard, not stainless or chrome lined, bore.

The heavier the barrel, the more shots that can be fired before the barrel heats up; heating up causes changes in POI. Heavier barrels are generally more stable in a supported position, but can be very heavy when firing offhand, or simply when being carried around. Certain parts and accessories which mount to the barrel may or may not fit depending on the weight of the barrel, eg: generally heavy barrels use a different op rod guide (see below) than do standard or medium weight barrels.

Also, the "scout" length barrel (at 18" or 18.5" depending) is available in all the various combinations of weight and materials as the 22", and saves about 3-4 inches in length on the overall rifle, at the cost of some muzzle velocity and also sight radius (generally, the longer the sight radius, the more accurate the rifle..). SAI even makes a 16" barrel for their SOCOM models - originally this had a proprietary gas system, but current models are the same as a standard gas system, the only difference lying in the flash hider.. or lack thereof: The SOCOM uses a muzzle break only, although SEI has recently come out with an adapter which allows the use of a Vortex flash hider on a 16" SOCOM.

Flash Hider - Mounted directly to the end of the barrel, the flash hider provides less muzzle flash, saving the rifleman from being spotted as easily and from losing his own night vision while firing after dark. The standard (USGI) flash hider on a M14 is effective. The SEI Vortex is more effective at reducing the signature of the rifle at night, but the Vortex precludes the use of a bayonet on the rifle. There are muzzle breaks which can be used in place of a flash hider, reducing perceived recoil at the cost of vastly increased muzzle blast and noise. There are even "fake" flash hiders which appear at first glance to be standard flash hiders, but have no cut outs and do not function - these are generally used in places like the PRK (People's Republic of Kalifornia) which do not allow evil "Flash Hiders."

The standard flash hider (or muzzle break) is secured at the end of the barrel by a nut with a locking screw, but there are variations (notably the SEI Direct Connect Vortex - hereafter DC Vortex) that thread directly on to the barrel where that nut normally would thread on. This is to shorten the rifle, but the DC Vortex does not allow the use of a standard front sight mounted to the flash hider.

Sights - the standard rear sight on a M14 is mounted on the receiver, and is the exact same sight used on the M1 Garand. It is adjustable for windage and elevation. The front sight is mounted to the flash supressor, at the end of the barrel. The front sight is adjustable only for windage. Variations include National Match front sights (which is a more narrow blade), National Match rear sights (which is a hooded aperature and is adjusted in 1/2 minute clicks versus the standard 1 minute click), and aftermarket sights and adapters to include the SEI Gas Lock Front Sight (reduces the sight radius, allows the use of a DC Vortex, looks like a HK front sight, is not adjustable for windage) and Gas Lock Dovetail (which allows a standard windage adjustable front sight to be used with a DC Vortex, but mounts the front sight on a dovetail on the gas lock versus on the flash hider / muzzle break).

Gas System - the M14 uses a piston that is gas driven to push the op rod to cycle the action of the rifle. There are a few parts of the gas system: First the gas cylinder itself is mounted to the barrel. A gas lock tightens the cylinder to the barrel, keeping it in place under the gas port. There is a spindle valve on the gas cylinder, which allows the rifle to be fired single shot when the valve is shut off (this was originally for use with rifle grenades). There is a gas plug which holds the piston in the gas cylinder (adjustable models are available, standard gas plugs are not adjustable). There is a piston which is driven by the gas venting through the gas port in the bottom of the barrel into the op rod which cycles the action (standard USGI pistons are good, aftermarket pistons are made by SEI and Sadlak, perhaps others). The front band is held between the gas cylinder and the barrel, by friction or unitization (see below)

USGI Gas cylinders are available still, as are new ones made by SEI, SAI, and LRB. A gas cylinder can be unitized, which attaches the front band permanently to the gas cylinder as a method of improving accuracy. There are two methods of unitization, the welded method (USMC preferred) and the 'screw and glue' method(USA preferred). Both work, but the screw and glue method loses the ability of the spindle valve to shut off the gas system (a screw is run through the spindle valve, holding it open forever).

Trigger Groups - Trigger groups are similar to the M1 Garand trigger groups, in fact some parts are interchangeable between the two. USGI trigger groups are widely available, SAI manufactures their own. SEI has a couple tweaks they can do to a trigger group to prolong the life of the pivot areas (which are prone to fail after quite a few thousands of rounds) and to adjust the weight of the trigger. The trigger group is the part that locks the rest of the rifle (via the receiver) into the stock, therefore fitment of the TG into the receiver / stock combination is crucial.

Contained within the TG is the trigger, safety, hammer & spring, magazine release, etc. The trigger in stock form is a two stage trigger, trigger pulls can be safely reduced to around 3-4 pounds. Sadlak makes a larger 'tactical' mag release that is brand new (within the last 6 months) that has received very positive reviews. Many parts of the M14 TG can be interchanged with M1 Garand parts, with very little or NO modifications.

Bolt - The Bolt on the M14 is an improved M1 Garand bolt - it uses some identical parts from the M1 Garand, but adds a bolt roller which mates the bolt to the op rod. USGI bolts are forged, SAI bolts are made both by casting and by forging. For my dollar, TRW bolts are the cream of the crop in bolts.

A Chrome firing pin is a nice addition to the bolt, saves some crud from sticking to the firing pin, which can keep the rifle operational longer. SAI extractors are very suspect and should be replaced or at the very least a USGI spare should be purchased. Speaking of spares, a bolt is the one spare part that no M14 Rifleman should go into the field without - make sure that the spare is headspaced to the rifle, and should something go wrong with the first bolt or any of it's internals, it can be replaced quickly, without tools.

Op Rod (system) - the Op rod on the M14 is driven by the gas piston to the rear, driving the bolt to the rear, which clears the chamber, and then the op rod is driven by the op rod spring forward, dragging the bolt along with it, chambering a round and returning the bolt into battery, ready to fire again with the stroke of an index finger. The op rod rides in a track on the receiver in the rear, and in the op rod guide (attached to the barrel) on the front. The op rod spring is guided (oddly enough) by the op rod spring guide, which is also attached to the receiver, and functions as a contact point for the magazine.

USGI op rods are forged, either in one piece or two. Some demilled op rods were rewelded, and may not be "as good as new". SAI makes their own op rods, which seem to be a useable part. This year a Korean company started forging op rods, these are for sale by LRB among others, and they appear to be on par with USGI op rods, for a few dollars less than a USGI op rod.

The final major part on the M14 is the magazine. USGI magazines hold 20 rounds, but manufacturers have a whole range of capacities; from 5 round magazines to 30 round magazines, with sightings of higher capacities than that from independant (home workshop) manufacturers. I recommend only USGI 20 round magazines, which are still being made today by CheckMate Industries (CMI), and are available - or at least they were until the election of Barack Obama....

Next: More on the M14... stick around!

7.62 NATO US Rifle M14

Welcome to Part II of the M14 Rifle. In this installment we will take a look at various manufacturers of rifles and of parts, and try to compare them in cost and worth.

First, complete rifles today are made by:

LRB Arms - Mostly USGI, very good rifles that are semi-custom, you can order whatever you like.

Springfield Armory, Inc, -SAI casts recivers, they use non-USGI (now) parts. Previously the rifles were mostly USGI parts. Off the shelf rifles in various configurations.

The Chicoms(Norinco and Polytech) - Non-USGI and suspect due to heat treatment / hardness of parts, particularly bolts. Most threads are metric pitch versus USGI and others which are SAE pitch. Currently only available new in Canada and abroad, thanks to wonderful US import laws of "assault weapons". Used rifles common in the US.

Smith Enterprises, Inc - SEI uses LRB receivers, they used to machine their own from billet. Semi custom, you can order what you like - but current government contracts due to the war limit their production.

By a handful of private armorers/gunsmiths/ etc (who use various receivers). Some of these are turnkey match rifles, but some are run of the mill simple. Quality varies tremendously.

Past M14 rifle manufacturers:

Armscorp - Cast receivers, most, if not all, USGI parts. Fairly common in used condition.

Enterprise Arms - very low production, I have not heard much about them.

Federal Ordnance - two kinds of receivers, one for USGI parts (good) and one for Chicom parts (not so good). The "Chicom parts" rifles had suspect components (the same suspect components on a Chicom rifle). Uncommon, but out there. Used condition.

Hahn Machine and Specialty Arms - rewelded USGI receivers. USGI parts. See below.

With the M14, the receiver is the integral part of the rifle. The barrel attaches to it, the trigger attaches to it, the rear sight attaches to it, the stock is locked on to the rifle via it, the magazine attaches to it, most scope mounts (the traditional ones) attach to it, and the bolt rides within it... Therefore we will begin our discussion there.

Originally, the M14 rifles built for the US military were forged. For most commercial ventures, the forging process is or was too expensive to handle, so rifles were built by casting or by machining steel billets (blocks) into receivers. Some firms (Hahn comes to mind, also Specialty Arms) actually rewelded USGI demilled receivers. LRB and the Chicom receivers are forged like the original USGI ones. Springfield Armory, Inc. and Armscorp (now defunct) are cast. SEI (Smith Enterprise, Incorporated) used machined billets (though they did forge a very few) when they did manufacture their own receivers, currently they use LRB receivers.

LRBs receivers are as close to a USGI receiver as can be bought. Their dimensions and hardness are a close duplicate of the original ones, the only thing lacking is the full auto lug - which is due to the Hughes amendment to the FOPA of 1986 - no more 'civilian use' full auto receivers can be made. The LRB receiver costs a premium, because it is a premium receiver. LRB also makes a "M25" receiver which has a picatinny style rail intergrated into the receiver, for a few dollars more.

Chicom receivers are suspended (indefinitely) from importation, but they are available as many of them were brought in before the ban. They are forged, reverse engineered from battlefield captured US M14s in Vietnam, but their heat treatment can be suspect. But they can be reheat treated and are truly excellent receivers when reworked. Fulton Armory and SEI are the two places that I know of who do a hardness inspection and can reheat treat the receivers.

Springfield Armory, Inc. receivers are cast, and are sometimes very suspect in their dimensional honesty. Sadlak (we'll get to them later) who makes scope mounts that mount on the receiver actually sells a gauge to check your SAI receiver for dimensional errors that might make their scope mount unmountable! On the other hand, SAI offers a lifetime warranty on their rifles... Which may not amount to a hill of beans when the S has HTF and a new ban is in place...

Armscorp (sadly out of business now) made cast receivers, and although they suffered from the same problems that SAI currently does, there is no warranty that exists.

The SEI billet receivers are said to be an excellent compromise, but are hideously expensive due to their being out of production for a time, and still highly regarded (and thus in demand). They have since changed their operation over to using LRB forged receivers.

The demilled rewelds (that is to say the government had the receiver cut in half to demilitarize the receiver and then someone took 2 parts (front and rear) usually from different rifles to get the overlap they needed and welded them back together) in my opinion are not worth having for two reasons - you are trusting the welds and there is a small problem legally with a "once full auto" recevier being "always" a full auto receiver, and if it was not registered before 1986, is can never be legal to own as a civilian.

Okay, short and sweet, Receivers are covered. Next installment soon!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

seven point six two millimeter full metal jacket

No, no, no...this is not a plug for the (most excellent) movie. This is a plug for the round (& rifle) that MADE the movie.

God's (and John Garand's) gift to the American rifleman, the M14 rifle. Chambered for the 7.62 NATO (or 7.62X51 or loosely the .308 Winchester). The LAST USGI Main Battle Rifle. The last (and best) of it's breed. The M14 is a Rifle, not a carbine or an intermediate rifle. It is designed to shoot distance, with power and accuracy.

The M14 is a product of the M1 Garand - it's posterity, next of kin, son, replacement. The Garand served the nation well in "the big one" (WWII) and in Korea. Some, though saw shortcomings with the design, and the M14 sought to overcome those shortcomings... The M14 was brought into service toward the beginning of the Vietnam war.

I'm not going to go into a lot of serious discussion of the M1 to M14 transition here, but I think that I prefer the 20 round magazine to an eight round en-bloc. The US military preferred the "one rifle to replace 4" economics of the M14 (the BAR, M1, M1 carbine, and the M3 grease gun). The M14 was itself torpedoed by Robert McNamara and his poodle shooter (the M16).

The M14 is still even in service, really it never went "out of service." It was merely regulated to a could specialized duties: Sniper rifle, designated marksman rifle (DMR) rifle, and Navy SEALs seem to like them too...

We will now begin speaking of the "civilian" or semiautomatic M14. I will not type M1A or M14S or M14SA or (LRB) M25 - they're all M14's to me. If you want to differentiate, fine, but for the purpose of this written piece, from here on out, the phrase "M14" refers to any of the semiautomatic "M14 clones."

The M14 is capable of shooting targets out to 1000 yards, and a good one can shoot Minute of Angle (MoA or about 1" per 100 yards) at that 1000 yards. Yes, a ten inch group would be MoA at 1000 yards. Smith Enterprises did it at Fort Benning earlier this year with a rifle they built. A non-bedded LRB receiver'd M14. Link here, maybe a fifth of the way down the page...

The M14 has significantly better stopping power than a poodle shooter (M16 / AR15 / M4). One way to look at this is the fact that in some states you cannot hunt deer with a .223 (5.56mm - M16 round) but in every state that hunting is allowed, you can hunt deer with a .308. If you can look at a deer and see that it is around two hundred pounds, an animal of some significant strength and will to live, and then compare that to a human - around two hundred pounds, strong, and generally a will to live - you can see that a cartridge that is minimal or marginal for a deer should likewise be minimal or marginal for humans.

What else can you ask for? Something lighter? Well, you can lighten a M14, but you are going to pay for that, depending on how you lighten it - if you cut down on weight in any fashion, you increase the recoil of the rifle. Something shorter? If you cut down on the barrel, you reduce the effective range of the rifle; if you were to make it into a bullpup, you cut down on the ability to share parts. Costs too much? Check out the current situation at Springfield Armory, Inc (makers of the M1A M14 clone) - their rifles of late (which are cheaper than a high end M14 like LRB or Smith Enterprises) have issues right out of the box. See also the Chicom rifles (which can really have problems with metallurgy). Sometimes cutting costs cuts deeper than the wallet.

Now I am not saying that a lighter, shorter, and cheaper M14 would be a piece of garbage, what I am saying is that there are trade offs for doing those things to a battle proven piece of equipment. I own a SAI M1A, and after replacing the bolt guts, it seems reliable - much more so than it was when I got it - it left about 2 of 3 empties in the chamber... I also own a Chicom receiver that I'm going to barrel with a "scout" 18" barrel - the receiver is awaiting me to send it out for heat treatment, and the rifle will likely not be as long-reaching as a 22". But, I do have a standard length, all USGI or better parts, forged receiver M14. It is the yardstick that I will measure the other two by.

A note on the fully automatic M14 - if you have fifteen grand you can look around for a full auto M1A or if you're willing to part with twenty five grand for a real deal USGI M14, you might be in the ballpark. Check sturmgewehr, then pay for a tax stamp, deal with the ATF, and pray that when it's all over, you have a rifle... I am not telling you how to spend your money, but these things like to eat, and a 20 round magazine weighs over a pound, costs around $10 to fill... and you're going to have to carry quite a few of them to keep her fed!

Well, there's our primer on the M14. The next installment will go into some detail on manufacturers and parts; what's old (USGI) and whats new (better than USGI) and what's crap (Chicom bolts, for example!).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jefferson, my favorite US President

While Jefferson is remembered for a lot of things, there is one quote that I find myself looking at more and more....

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure."

Well, it has been over twenty years. I guess the late sixties would count as a sort of rebellion. The people (the vast majority of the people) are mostly uninformed. And lethargy has definitely set in (look at both the waistlines and the wastelines of America...)
The rulers need to be warned, much as MBV III has suggested, among others. And thank god that we still have a somewhat stunted right to keep and bear arms. The tree is looking stunted too, needing of it's manure.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Change we can belive in...

President (elect) Obama ran a campaign with the slogans "Change" and "Change" and more "Change"... Change is what he promised, numerous times. Well, lets take a look at what exactly "Change" means to him.

If Washington is to be Changed, I would think that the players would need to be Changed. Nominations are being made for his cabinet; I don't see much Change.

First and Foremost, the nomination of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Wife of former President Clinton, Presidential Candidate herself, and Senator from New York. I'd say there are a few things that tie her to business as usual in Washington.

Eric Holder for the position of Attorney General. Former U.S. Attorney (nominated by fmr. President Clinton), then Deputy Attorney General (under fmr. President Clinton, serving under the infamous AG Janet Reno). Again, ties to the most recent Democrat administration. Not to mention (as a side note), that while serving under AG Reno, he advocated a waiting period, limiting gun purchases to one per month, and "gun show loophole" legislation; He is definitely not a friend to the Second Amendment as written; he thinks that "The Second Amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia." , as he signed fmr. AG Reno's brief to the US Supreme Court in the Heller Case.)

Timothy Geithner, nominated for Secretary of the Treasury. Former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, and later Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (under fmr. President Clinton). After those billets, he joined the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations, a whole topic in itself), and the International Monetary Fund. Arranged the Bear Sterns rescue. Definitely tied to the NWO, the former Democrat administration, and the current economic woes facing our country.

Governor (of Arizona) Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Defense. She was nominated as US Attorney for Arizona (by fmr. President Clinton) and was on the list in '04 to be Kerry's runningmate (for VP). While she is from a border state (a hot topic in Homeland Security), and has taken actions that suggest she may actually care about securing the borders and stemming the tide of illegal aliens into the Country and it's workforce, she can't be much of a Change if she was on the list to be Kerry's VP and spoke at the 2000 and 20004 Democrat conventions, and was nominated to a post by fmr. President Clinton.

Rahm Emmanuel as White House Chief of Staff. Former campaign finance commite leader for (then Candidate for President) William Clinton, Advisor in the White House under fmr. President Clinton, member of the Board of Directors at Freddie Mac (appointed by fmr. President Clinton), Democratic Representative since 2002 (US House of Representatives). Again, not much Change with a guy who worked for the Clinton administration from pre-election.

And Last but not Least, Secretary Gates (serving since Donald Rumsfeld) to continue as Secretary of Defense. Not much Change, and I don't have much doubt that he'll be replaced within a year probably with much contempt as the "guy who lost the wars for President Obama"; I think he's being kept as a Sacrificial Lamb.

So, we see what "Change" means in Washington: Nominate a whole crop of cabinet members who were members (in some capacity) in the last Democrat Administration. I am reminded of a quote from Will Rogers:

If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.

My voice

New Blog, First Post. Yeah I know I lifted the title, but it's changed enough that if you didn't see the movie you wouldn't know. I think that the name fits anyway.

Just figured that I'd post some of the ramblings that I assault friends and family with; inflict them on the unsuspecting masses!

Expect to find things that might irritate those who have already sold their souls (and our Country) down the river, and expect to find things that might make those who aren't 3%ers wonder and think. And if they can be made to think, well there might just be hope for them after all.