Not so offline as the Gestapo would like
Sep 21st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Court: Group’s 3D printer gun files must stay offline for now The federal civil suit originated three years ago when Cody Wilson and his group, Defense Distributed, published designs for the "Liberator," the world’s first 3D-printed handgun. Within months, Defense Distributed received a letter from the United States Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, stating that 10 files, including the designs of the Liberator, were in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This letter came despite the fact that these files had already been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and continue to circulate online. [Ars Technica]

This reminds me of the 1990s, when the Evil Empire tried to keep encryption technology away from people using the same tactics. It didn't work then, and it won't work now. Here's a BitTorrent link to download the files in question.

Tavor trigger review
May 11th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Since the stock trig­ger for my Tavor is extreme­ly heavy, I’ve been keep­ing an eye on the var­i­ous com­pa­nies devel­op­ing after-market trig­gers. The first of these to ship is made by Tim­ney Trig­gers, so I gave it a try. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it was so unre­li­able as to be useless–I expe­ri­enced many fail­ures to fire due to light primer strikes. With M855 ammo I got light primer strikes about 25% of the time, and with Black Hills match ammo (with soft­er com­mer­cial primers) I had one per 30-round mag­a­zine. Need­less to say, I don’t rec­om­mend this prod­uct. Tim­ney did hon­or their return pol­i­cy and gave me a full refund after I shipped the defec­tive trig­ger back.

There is a user mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the fac­to­ry trig­ger described in detail on the Mil­i­tary Arms Chan­nel blog. It’s easy enough to do, but since it involves remov­ing two very small parts which I would almost cer­tain­ly nev­er see again, I’ve been hold­ing off until such time as IWI starts sell­ing spare parts.

Tavor Initial Impressions
Jan 22nd, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Tavor and G3

IWI Tavor SAR rifle with PTR-91 clone of H&K G3.

I took my new Tavor rifle to the range yes­ter­day and put 230 rounds through it. Over­all, I’m quite pleased with it. The Tavor is a bullpup rifle, which means the action is behind the trig­ger, mak­ing it much short­er than a con­ven­tion­al rifle. To empha­size just how impor­tant that is, I’ve includ­ed a com­par­i­son pho­to with the Tavor on top and a con­ven­tion­al design from the 1950s (the G3) on the bot­tom. Notice that the length of pull is almost iden­ti­cal even though the Tavor is much short­er. Many words have been writ­ten about how bullpups are bet­ter in close quar­ters, and I’ve found that it’s quite pos­si­ble to quick­ly turn around in a cramped apart­ment hall­way with the Tavor shoul­dered. Less often men­tioned is that a rifle like the Tavor is much eas­i­er to fire accu­rate­ly off­hand because you aren’t try­ing to keep a long heavy met­al object steady while held way out in front of you.

Tavors are some­times described as ambidex­trous, but they’re real­ly not. Two of the major con­trols (the mag­a­zine and bolt releas­es) are ambidex­trous, but the rifle ejects to the right (at least, in the right-handed mod­el I bought) and has a safe­ty lever on the left side. When fir­ing left-handed, I found that the Tavor’s case deflec­tor does an accept­able but not per­fect job–I had brass graze my chin, but not hard enough to hurt or throw off my aim. I actu­al­ly found that the way the safe­ty lever dug into my left hand was more of a nui­sance. Still, the design works fine for occa­sion­al off-hand fire as might be need­ed when fir­ing from cov­er.

The Tavor trig­ger is extreme­ly heavy. It’s well beyond my trig­ger gauge’s abil­i­ty to mea­sure, but I’ve seen a weight of eleven pounds men­tioned in var­i­ous places and that seems about right. Oth­er than the weight, it’s actu­al­ly not a bad trigger–there’s a slight amount of creep, but it’s not espe­cial­ly notice­able. It’s quite pos­si­ble to shoot accu­rate­ly, although fatigue will soon set in–the tip of my trig­ger fin­ger is actu­al­ly still numb 24 hours lat­er! Sev­er­al dif­fer­ent respect­ed man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing on after-market trig­ger pack replace­ments for around $350, and I intend to buy one after they’ve been out long enough for some review­ers to test them.

I got the Tavor hot enough to smoke, but the parts that the shoot­er is in con­tact with nev­er got more than slight­ly warm. I’d be com­fort­able using it in a train­ing class where I’d expect to be rapid fir­ing all day. I was feed­ing it with a vari­ety of magazines–mostly alu­minum STANAG mag­a­zines that I was rotat­ing from my plate car­ri­er, along three dif­fer­ent poly­mer mag­a­zines. One was the IWI-branded mag­a­zine that came with the rifle (actu­al­ly a CAA MAG17), the oth­ers being a Lancer L5AWM and a Mag­pul Gen3 PMAG. All mag­a­zines worked as expect­ed, although I liked the design of the Lancer mag­a­zine the best.

I was using an Aim­point CompM4s red dot sight, but I haven’t set­tled on this as the final optic for this Tavor. I have an order in for a Browe Com­bat Optic, but there’s no telling when it will actu­al­ly show up. I gen­er­al­ly pre­fer mag­ni­fied optics, but red dot sights like the Aim­point are much cheap­er to use with night vision–I just need to add a quick detach mount for my AN/PVS-14.

A good cop
Jun 8th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Flori­da Sher­iff Arrest­ed for Pro­tect­ing Citizen’s Right to Bear Arms.

Sub­mit­ted by William Kee­ley

In Feb­ru­ary of 2013, all 67 coun­ty sher­iffs in Flori­da signed a pledge declar­ing that they would uphold the 2nd Amend­ment and pro­tect peo­ples’ right to bear arms. Sher­iff Nicholas Finch of Lib­er­ty Coun­ty was such a sig­na­to­ry to the pledge.

Recent­ly, Sher­iff Finch, 50, was tak­en into cus­tody by the Flori­da Depart­ment of Law Enforce­ment and booked into the Lib­er­ty Coun­ty Jail on Tues­day evening for “offi­cial mis­con­duct.”

Reports state that in March, a Lib­er­ty Coun­ty Sheriff’s deputy arrest­ed a man for hav­ing a con­cealed firearm dur­ing a stop. The sher­iff said, “I believe in the sec­ond amend­ment and we’re not going to charge him.” He released the man and is accused of destroy­ing paper­work relat­ed to the arrest.

For doing his job and pro­tect­ing a citizen’s rights, the Flori­da Depart­ment of Law Enforce­ment arrest­ed Sher­iff Finch. Flori­da Repub­li­can gov­er­nor Rick Scott replaced the sher­iff with Carl Causey.

If you are so inclined, please call Gov­er­nor Rick Scott at (850) 488‑7146 and Pam Bon­di, Attor­ney Gen­er­al, at 850−414−3990 and tell them to drop all charges against Sher­iff Finch, and re-instate him to his elect­ed office.

If that doesn’t work, then we need to work to remove both Rick Scott and Pam Bon­di from office next year’s elec­tion. When police and sher­iff per­son­nel do the right thing, we need to pro­tect them.

When sys­tem pur­pose­ly breeds bad apples, and roots out the good ones, it’s no sur­prise that the polic­ing sys­tem has degrad­ed into what it is.

Flori­da Sher­iff Arrest­ed for Pro­tect­ing Citizen’s Right to Bear Arms is a post from Cop Block — Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights


It’s pret­ty rare, but every so often I do encounter a sto­ry about a good cop. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, those sto­ries inevitably have the cop being arrest­ed, fired, or both.

Springfield XD(M) first impression
May 7th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

I was at the range today to test some new defen­sive ammo in my CZ-75, and found that they had final­ly got in a fresh sup­ply of 9mm. I decid­ed to buy a box and try out a Spring­field XD(M)–the range had the 9mm com­pe­ti­tion mod­el avail­able for rent. I’ve fired numer­ous Glocks (of var­i­ous mod­els) over the years, and nev­er real­ly liked the feel, but I hadn’t tried any of the var­i­ous poly­mer frame striker-fired pis­tols that have come along in recent years to com­pete with them. The XD(M) is a deriv­a­tive of the Croa­t­ian HS2000.

As expect­ed of a polymer-framed pis­tol, the XD(M) was quite light­weight. It prob­a­bly weighs about as much emp­ty as my CZ-83, which seems strange in a much larg­er pis­tol. Of course, I’m used to all-steel pis­tols, so my weight expec­ta­tions are based on pis­tols which are actu­al­ly rather heavy by mod­ern stan­dards.

The trig­ger was a pleas­ant surprise–it was much bet­ter than a Glock’s, and rough­ly on par with my CZ-75 (which has a stock trig­ger). It’s not near­ly as good as my M1911 trig­gers, but that’s to be expect­ed. The Glock trig­ger is one of the things I don’t like about that design (I can shoot it accu­rate­ly, but I don’t like the feel), so I was pleased to find that not all striker-fired pis­tols have mushy trig­gers.

Accu­ra­cy was good. I didn’t shoot quite as well with it as I did with my CZ-75, but then I’d nev­er laid hands on an XD(M) before while I’ve fired thou­sands of rounds through that CZ-75. With greater famil­iar­i­ty, I’d expect to shoot it just as well. In any case, it was more than suf­fi­cient­ly accu­rate for self defense use.

A mag­a­zine load­ing device (not sup­plied with the rental gun) is a neces­si­ty for load­ing the XD(M)‘s 19-round mag­a­zines. Even though a range rental’s mag­a­zine has no doubt seen con­sid­er­able use, I still found load­ing the last few rounds unaid­ed to be very dif­fi­cult (not to men­tion hard on my thumbs).

Over­all, I was impressed enough that I’d def­i­nite­ly con­sid­er buy­ing one at some point, albeit after some rifles I’m cur­rent­ly more inter­est­ed in.

Quote of the Day
Apr 21st, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Let’s get some­thing straight. Any­one who uses a CZ-75…in a shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion is basi­cal­ly a cheater. This thing is sim­ply too easy to shoot.


I’ve only entered one shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion, ever (I’m not at all com­pet­i­tive and was basi­cal­ly nagged into it), and I used my CZ-75B. Yes, I won.

Good Riddance
Mar 19th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

In recent years the amount of mon­ey the Cal­i­for­nia state gov­ern­ment steals direct­ly from my pay­check had gone up dra­mat­i­cal­ly, far in excess of what they claim for tax­es. They do send out tax refund checks, but this was effec­tive­ly a forced no-interest “loan” to peo­ple I loath. I just deposit­ed my last tax refund check from Cal­i­for­nia, and decid­ed to use the mon­ey to do some­thing to show what I think of the scum who rule that state. So, I bought 1,000 rounds of 5.56 NATO ammo–a type used by many rifles that they think only they and their enforcers should be allowed to own.

Good for Magpul
Feb 27th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Check out the Mag­pul on that one!.

Via Jerk­ing the Trig­ger, Mag­pul offers Col­orado law­mak­ers a part­ing shot…

Due to a bill cur­rent­ly mov­ing through the Col­orado leg­is­la­ture, there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Col­orado res­i­dents’ abil­i­ty to pur­chase stan­dard capac­i­ty mag­a­zines will soon be infringed. Before that hap­pens, and Mag­pul is forced to leave the state in order to keep to our prin­ci­ples, we will be doing our best to get stan­dard capac­i­ty PMAGs into the hands of any Col­orado res­i­dent that wants them.

Ver­i­fied Col­orado res­i­dents will be able to pur­chase up to ten (10) stan­dard capac­i­ty AR/M4 mag­a­zines direct­ly from Mag­pul, and will be giv­en imme­di­ate flat-rate $5 ship­ping, bypass­ing our cur­rent order queue.

Our cus­tomers out­side of Col­orado, please know that our PMAG pro­duc­tion will con­tin­ue at an ever-increasing rate until we do relo­cate, ship­ments to our dis­trib­u­tors in oth­er states will con­tin­ue, and that we do not expect relo­ca­tion to sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact PMAG pro­duc­tion. We are also aware that Col­orado is not the only state with exist­ing or pend­ing mag­a­zine capac­i­ty restric­tions; we are work­ing on pro­grams for oth­er affect­ed states as well.

Yeah! The best activism is the kind that’s in your own inter­est.

[The Ulti­mate Answer to Kings]

I’m always hap­py to see peo­ple defy­ing tyran­ny. I don’t own any rifles that will take PMAGs, but if that changes I’ll cer­tain­ly give them my busi­ness.

Adden­dum: One Source Tac­ti­cal is now mak­ing a sim­i­lar offer.

Judge admits the obvious
Mar 5th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Mary­land Hand­gun Per­mit Restric­tions Found Uncon­sti­tu­tion­al by Fed­er­al Judge.

details from the Asso­ci­at­ed Press

Maryland’s require­ment that res­i­dents show a “good and
sub­stan­tial rea­son” to get a hand­gun per­mit is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al,
accord­ing to a fed­er­al judge’s opin­ion filed Mon­day.

States can chan­nel the way their res­i­dents exer­cise their Sec­ond
Amend­ment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to
min­i­mize the num­ber of firearms car­ried out­side homes by lim­it­ing
the priv­i­lege to those who could demon­strate “good rea­son,” it had
turned into a rationing sys­tem, infring­ing upon res­i­dents’ rights,
U.S. Dis­trict Judge Ben­son Everett Legg wrote.

A cit­i­zen may not be required to offer a ‘good and sub­stan­tial
rea­son’ why he should be per­mit­ted to exer­cise his rights,” he
wrote. “The right’s exis­tence is all the rea­son he needs.”

Plain­tiff Ray­mond Wool­lard obtained a hand­gun per­mit after
fight­ing with an intrud­er in his Hamp­stead home in 2002, but was
denied a renew­al in 2009 because he could not show he had been
sub­ject to “threats occur­ring beyond his res­i­dence.”
Wool­lard appealed, but was reject­ed by the review board, which
found he hadn’t demon­strat­ed a “good and sub­stan­tial rea­son” to
car­ry a hand­gun as a rea­son­able pre­cau­tion. The suit filed in 2010
claimed that Mary­land didn’t have a rea­son to deny the renew­al and
wrong­ly put the bur­den on Wool­lard to show why he still need­ed to
car­ry a gun.

The Sec­ond Amend­ment Foun­da­tion
spon­sored the suit, and Woollard’s lawyer was Sec­ond Amend­ment
vin­di­ca­tor Alan Gura, who also won the 
suits at the Supreme Court that estab­lished our right to own
com­mon­ly used weapons for self-defense in the home, against both
fed­er­al and state encroach­ment. By mov­ing the Sec­ond Amend­ment
argu­ment here beyond the home, this case promis­es to help expand
Sec­ond Amend­ment rights even beyond the Heller and
McDon­ald stan­dard.

My July 2009 
inter­view with Gura
. My 2008 book on the Heller case,

Gun Con­trol on Tri­al

UPDATE: Thanks com­menter Chris Bren­nan:

The full deci­sion

[Hit and Run]

It will be inter­est­ing to see where this goes (if any­where) as Cal­i­for­nia has rough­ly the same law. In prac­tice, “good and sub­stan­tial rea­son” is a euphemism for “rich and/or pow­er­ful.” For exam­ple, some years ago I was told that I could get a con­cealed weapon per­mit in Orange Coun­ty for a $15,000 bribe “cam­paign contribution”–certainly not a sum that an ordi­nary per­son stuck liv­ing in a high-crime neigh­bor­hood could read­i­ly afford. Iron­i­cal­ly, that price was too low, and that sher­iff was eject­ed from office for it.

The good news for us peas­ants is that the gov­ern­ment seems to have final­ly caught on that they real­ly don’t need to wor­ry about an armed cit­i­zen­ry demon­strat­ing the pur­pose of the Sec­ond Amend­ment, for the rea­son I quot­ed a few years ago, but it is a good way to lose the next elec­tion. While elec­tions are mean­ing­less in terms of their impact on the gov­ern­ment, they do mat­ter to the indi­vid­ual politi­cian who loss­es his place on the gravy train.

Quote of the Day
Apr 26th, 2011 by Ken Hagler

The phi­los­o­phy of gun con­trol: Teenagers are roar­ing through town at 90 MPH, where the speed lim­it is 25. Your solu­tion is to low­er the speed lim­it to 20, out­law any vehi­cle that has a round hood orna­ment or that can car­ry more than 10 gal­lons of fuel, require sen­si­tiv­i­ty train­ing and manda­to­ry annu­al test­ing for all licensed dri­vers, require all vehi­cle pur­chas­es to be doc­u­ment­ed at a deal­er­ship (with a 10-day wait­ing peri­od), and spec­i­fy the locks on the garage where the vehi­cles are stored (with their wheels removed and stored in a locked con­tain­er on the oth­er side of the home). Mean­while the most dan­ger­ous inter­sec­tions are changed from stop­lights to yield signs, and res­i­den­tial and school zone reg­u­la­tions are tight­ened with ‘no-stop’ rules so strict that even police can­not stop to set up a speed trap, thus giv­ing the speed­ers free reign in the very areas they are like­ly to do the most dam­age.

Tony B.

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