18 March 2023

Gun Idea - Spanish 1916 Mauser Carbine Converted to 45 ACP

 There is a company called Rhineland Arms who is offering conversion kits to re-barrel German WWII surplus Mauser G98 rifles to 45 ACP. I love this idea but I don't have a 98. What I do have is a ragged, old Spanish 1916 carbine in 7x57. I wished I had gotten the .308 conversion option back when I had bought the gun but here we are. The bluing is pretty much gone and some parts are messed up but the action is still smooth and the wood seems okay enough. I toyed with the idea of just using it as a home gunsmithing project and see if I could re-blue it myself. I loosely toyed with the idea of having it sporterized for a classic hunting rifle but I'm less inclined to go that route. 

I love the idea of having an old, surplus military rifle but 7x57mm is very hard to get and expensive. Most of the options available are specifically for hunting and I'm not set up to reload for it. That said, I don't have a rifle in 45 ACP. I am setup to reload for it and ammo can be purchased cheaper. 

I've started doing the research to see what options I have with my old Spanish Mauser. I'm hoping that I can convert it to use my 1911 magazines and have it threaded for my Dead Air Primal. 

Stay tuned to see if I can sort out this idea. 

Update: Rhineland Arms responded to my email. The 1893 should be fine but will likely need some minor modifications. Sign me up! I'll see about getting with Moss Pawn about making the conversion. On a side note, if I had looked at the FAQ page, they say the Spanish Mausers do work. They even specify the ones from J&G Sales where I got mine. If you are interested, you need to use the "small ring" kit. I went ahead and ordered the kit for later. I have no idea when I'll get to this thing. 

Build Idea

I'm working on figuring out the build but I like the idea of reusing the original stocks without refinishing but Cerakoting the barrel and receiver Midnight Blue. I want it to have a certain classic military rifle aesthetic. I'm not looking for a sporterized layout. 

Lyman also makes a rear receiver sight for Mausers so I think I'll try to set it up with iron sights using their rear aperture but I'll have to have Moss Pawn attach a front sight somehow to the new barrel. Having a red dot would really make it fun so maybe find a way to mount up a SIG Romeo 5 or similar dot on a very low profile mount. I do have the old 336 mount for the Burris Fast Fire from the original configuration the Marlin 1894 CST. If I have them drill and tap the receiver, we can use it. 

For my usual leather goods, I'm hoping to use the side mount sling bands so I can keep a standard sling on it. You can still buy surplus Spanish slings. I'm toying with the idea of having someone make a custom stock pouch for storing a 1911 magazine in. 

JMAC Customs does make muzzle devices for the .578x28 thread pitch but they aren't that good looking. I may buy one and chop it down to a zero mount to use the Dead Air Primal on. I'm still waiting for the stamp on but it's been over a year since I paid for it. I'm hoping to get it before December of 2023.

04 March 2023

Constitutional Carry - 20 States! And That Makes 25

Of these United States, 20 have officially enacted laws that remove the requirement to have a permit to actively carry a firearm in public.

2021 has seen advancement of constitutional carry laws in several states with Iowa and Tennessee being successful in passing the laws off to their governors who signed them. They join the ranks of the several States such as Alaska, Kentucky and my home state of West Virginia who have chosen to return the power and control back to the people at large. These states still maintain permit systems so that residents may apply for a permit that is recognized by external states giving legal recognition to the People that travel outside of their resident state and exercise their natural right to self defense. I'll explain why this setup is important and a huge benefit to the free People at large. 

The process of applying for a permit can be time consuming and expensive. In Georgia, our carry permit application costs around $70 to $80 and takes several weeks (my original application took about 3 weeks before I had my permit). You are required to have a permit for both open and concealed carry. While the application in Georgia isn't difficult, you are still subordinate to the bureaucracy before you can defend yourself with a firearm in public legally. If you are one of the people who don't have a permit and your life is in danger, you probably want the permit NOW and not 3 weeks from now. Dying because you had to wait around is not ideal. With COVID creating havoc in 2020, it took my resident county 2 months to renew my permit and it technically expired even though I had applied weeks before the expiration date. I have friends whos process took longer. Do your rights end just because a printed date on a plastic card has passed? No. No they do not. 

The above is why I have and will always advocate for a system that, if you need the gun now to defend yourself, you have an option or method of carrying that gun that is legally recognized while you wait for your permit application to get through the system. Most people who get a permit don't do so preemptively. There is usually a trigger in their life that says "maybe I should do this." Thankfully for many people, they are able to get one before something bad happens. When I talk to new shooters who start down this path, I explain that they need to start the permit process right now before they even choose the gun because of the time involved. 

If you have ever thought about buying a gun for personal defense, you need to go apply RIGHT NOW for concealed carry permit because the time it takes you can take longer than you may have.

Even if you never buy a gun, you'll at least have the carry permit so that SHOULD you purchase the gun, you'll be able to carry it. In a constitutional carry state, you'll be able to carry your newly purchased gun immediately. You've already done a background check to buy the gun and the likely chance is that, the background check system used to buy the gun is the same system used to run your information for the carry permit. Why not just run them at the same time or just use the original check for your authorization.

BUT ISN'T THAT DANGEROUS?

Not really. Most people's idea of a carry permit is based on the idea that maybe you shouldn't be allowed to do so as if you are a dangerous person. If that's the case, you shouldn't have the gun in the first place. If you are barred from a carry permit for criminal reasons, then you're barred from ownership. 

Simply put, if you can own the gun, you can carry the gun. 

I know that many people like the idea of requiring a demonstration of competency before authorizing carry, however, learning to use a pistol correctly is time consuming and could take longer than the process of the application. Not every person has the time to go to the range every week for the next 2 months and take classes to learn. It also interferes with the concept of immediate need. If you are in danger now, NOW is the time to carry the gun. You can learn as you go. 

So in short, I am very excited to see that two fifths of our Free Nation have removed the control of the People's rights from the State's regulation under the control of bureaucrats and restored the power of choice back to the People. 

UPDATE June 2021 - 21 States thanks to Texas! 

UPDATE March 2022 - Several states are moving toward constitutional carry. Ohio just sent theirs to the Governor after clearing both chambers. Georgia's passed the Senate and has gone to the House committee for review and I'm hoping they get it done soon. Alabama just sent one to the Senate floor and Indiana has one but I haven't done any research about it. 

15 MAR 2022 Update: Ohio makes 23! On 14 March, the governor of Ohio signed their bill removing the need for a permit! Georgia has two competing bills currently. I'm hoping the Senate one gets passed by the House. 

24 MAR 2022 Update: Indiana signed theirs into law on the 21st which makes 24! 

01 APR 2022 Update: The Georgia House had been playing games with the SB 319 but the two chambers got a neutered-but-still-good bill passed and Georgia will send a Constitutional Carry bill to Governor Kemp soon.

08 APR 2022 Update: Kemp is expected to sign SB 319 into law as of next week. Additionally, Nebraska has sent their permitless carry bill to the Senate. If it clears, it'll go to their governor for signing which, if passed, would make it so more than half of the US states you can carry a pistol concealed with out permission from the State first. Huge retaking of freedoms going on!

18 APR 2022 Update: Louisiana is trying again and moved a bill out of their House committee. Here's hoping LA can get it done. I hear Florida is trying again as well. 

22 APR 2022 Update: Louisiana's attempt passed the House and it off to the Senate. The Senate tried in 2021 but their Governor doesn't like freedom so he vetoed it. The Senate didn't override. Here's hoping they get it right this time. No update on Florida. Mini update. I was wrong, the FL bill died in committee. Lame.

04 MAR 2023 Update: Florida is back at it along with Nebraska, South Carolina and North Dakota. So far, those states have active bills in play to make Constitutional Carry a thing. If all 4 get it this year, that would make 29 states where you don't need to ask permission to carry a pistol.

Derya TM22 LA - A European Lever Action with Threaded Barrel

 A while back I wrote a short bit about making a lever action 22 that I can put a can on. You can read that post here Dream Plinker

Apparently there is a European company I had never heard of called Derya out of Turkey. One of the products they featured at IWA 2023 is a lever action 22 that's feed from a box magazine but also has a threaded barrel. The rifle is called the TM22 LA. If you're wondering what IWA is, IWA is a Deutschland hosted gun show like SHOT Show. Derya appears to specialize in shotguns for the Turkish market but they do have a small selection of 22 LR semi auto rifles and a 9mm subgun that uses Glock magazines. Their lever action .410 looks like it's based on a Winchester design and could be fun. A cursory glance at my favorite gun price crawler Gun.deals shows Rock Island Armory is importing some of their products. 

The rifle looks like a traditional lever action 22 but it uses the same magazines their semi-auto 22 uses. The rifles do seem to have a tube under the barrel to give the rifle that old design look but I doubt it has any function. The spokesperson did say the threads on the barrel are 1/2x28 but looking at how they did the threads, I have concern a can will clear the faux magazine tube. 



My only down side for the rifle would be that it doesn't have the traditional looking wood stocks and blued steel aesthetic. They seemed to be making good use of newer materials and coatings to produce a modernized looking rifle and looking a little deeper, they do appear to have black on black models that could be fixed up with nice wood. I'd be very interested to see how this rifle plays out and if we'll even be able to get one here in these United States. 

I still think Browning needs to just make a lever action version of the SA-22 and give it 1/2x28 threads. The booty tube is perfect for using a silencer. 

01 March 2023

The H&K SFP9CC - The SIG P365XL Killer?

 Probably not and I like my P365XL but I'm very interested in H&K's new micro compact pistol. It basically does everything the P365 does but is German and probably very expensive for what it is. Right now they only have a base model they are showing but they have said they are doing a full lineup with it. I didn't think I was interested in a replacement for my SIG but maybe there's one.

I will be keeping my eye on this one VERY closely. 





28 February 2023

Short Barrel Firearms and Their Practical Application

 The National Firearms Act of 1934 set very stringent and prohibitive restrictions on firearms with specific features here in the US. Rifles with barrels under 16 inches are regulated via a $200 tax paid to the ATF as a Title II weapon. The currently accepted origins of the NFA 1934 was to regulate in such as way that no one would easily afford to purchase pretty much any firearm that isn't a firearm with a long barrel and prohibit machine guns as a reactionary action against sensationalized criminal activity. It turned out that handguns would have been regulated into oblivion which was unacceptable and handguns were removed from Title II regulations as handguns are a preferred weapon by many civilians. Incidentally, handguns would be considered a Constitutionally protected class in the 2008 Supreme Court Heler case. Additionally, handguns are by and large to be the preferred weapon of criminals. The sad part is that Congress never bothered to stop and think about other non-machine gun weapons like rifles and shotguns with short barrels and the efficacy of the law if handguns aren't prohibited. Why would you restrict rifles and shotguns with a pistol length barrel when you can still have pistols? It doesn't make any sense. 

Today, people have figured out how to navigate the bureaucratic non-sense that is NFA paperwork to buy or make their own short-barrel rifles and shotguns. A quick Google search can pull up the various weapons that have been configured in such a way. I suggest looking up "short barrel lever action" or "Winchester 1892 SBR" to show you some of the more historical rifles with barrels under 16 inches. I also recommend watching Iraqveteran8888's video on the Henry Mare's Leg lever action pistol they registered and made to a rifle. If I was going to register an SBR, that is close to what I would do though I'd like to have one in .22 LR and 44 Mag. I'd also have a bolt-action 300 Blackout Remington 700 an AR-15, probably in 9mm. Additionally, I would put a stock on my Remington 870 TAC-14 to make a short-barrel shotgun. I don't see anything crazy or nefarious about any of those. The video is imbedded below.



Back before Congress pursued the NFA 1934, guns with shorter barrels were factory options from brands such as Winchester. 14 inch and 15 inch "Trapper" models were available, today these weapons are extremely collectible. This link here shows a great example of one of these factory SBR's. 

But what's the point of having a gun like this? Ease of use and smaller platforms for more powerful cartridges than you would have with most handgun but more importantly, more accurate platforms than a handgun. Shorter firearms are easier to manipulate in tighter environments. If you live in an apartment, a handgun makes sense for maneuverability but if you observe how far out you push that pistol in front of you, you'll see that the muzzle ends up being around 26 inches away from you. If you have a firearm such as a B&T TP9 with the folding stock, the muzzle is a bit closer at around 20 inches. Reducing the reach but keeping that same capability makes for a better CQB weapon since you aren't banging a longer barrel into walls and door frames. Shotguns with 30 inch barrels make for terrible CQB guns in my experience. 

You'll see many CQB oriented weapons such as the P90, MP7 and MK18 in their natural form in many law enforcement and military applications. Self-defense is, as far as I'm concerned, an acceptable application but all the above weapons in their natural configuration are legally considered machine guns. However, while the MP7 isn't commercially available, both the MK18 and P90 have civilian, semi-auto versions that can be registered as SBRs. Both of these weapons are used in defensive applications and would be suitable for home defense as demonstrated by the Secret Service using weapons (though they don't implicitly use the MK18 that I've seen, I do know they are deploying AR-15 based guns which is what the MK18 is). 

But modern weapons are not the only SBR's that we are seeing. As stated above, IV8888 has their SBR lever gun and they aren't the only one out there. Clearly, sub-16 inch lever action rifles have been in existence for a number of years long before the NFA 1934 with that one example in the link having been manufactured in 1908. The ATF some years back posted a list of historic guns that were exempt from the NFA and that list was fairly long. I'm trying to find a link I can post here to the PDF I had read. 

Since, I've somewhat established that rifles having short barrels can be demonstrated long before the enactment of the NFA 1934, I think we should explore anecdotally the utility of these guns by comparing the utility of similar firearms. 

The Heart of The Gun

The heart of every gun is the barrel. Without the barrel, the weapon is useless. Depending on the cartridge, the barrel length can greatly impact the range and thus, utility of the weapon in question. A 4 inch barrel 9mm handgun seems to be generally considered useful as the Glock 19 with it's 4 inch barrel is, or was, one the most purchased handguns in the last few years. A pistol with a 4 inch barrel chambered in the 45-70 cartridge, however, seems to have limited usability as there may not be enough length to get the bullet up to speed for most practical applications such as hunting. That said, I see that many pistols with longer barrels, such as 10 inches, are available in 45-70 as hunting handguns. See the BFR hunting revolver from Magnum Research. The basis for this is due to the larger cartridge of 45-70 benefiting from the longer barrel length. Another popular rifle cartridge commonly found in large frame pistols is .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO. While shorter barrels do exist for commercial applications, the US DoD found that around 10 inches is the shortest length barrel while still allowing the bullets used in their ammunition to be useful for war fighting out to around 50 yards. That would indicate that a 4 inch barrel .223 Remington firearm wouldn't have much utility other than being loud. On a side note, according to BBTI, a .223 Remington firearm with a 4 inch barrel would drive a 45 gr bullet around 1700 fps. That's actually much faster than a .22 LR rifle with any barrel length firing a 40 gr bullet can ever hope to do and is about as fast as .22 mag is ever. That would, incidentally, make a firearm in .223 Remington with such as short barrel be potentially useful as a small game hunting rifle as the ballistics clearly beat a 40 or 45 grain .22 LR in every barrel length. It would be massively loud and the overpressure would suck so I would have to put a suppressor on it to make it usable. That said, Colt had short barrel AR-15s since the beginning, with guns like the Colt Commando, so the Navy's MK18 is nothing new. I also don't personally see the utility in a 4 inch barrel .223 Remington small game rifle and would stick with .22 Magnum or .22 LR for simplicity reasons but if all I had access to was .223 Remington then it would be all I could use. That said, I'm starting to think that a Thompson Center Contender in .223 Remington and a 6 inch barrel with my Dead Air Primal could be a really fun varmint gun project. If I build one, I'll post it. As an addition, the current US standard issue rifle for our Uniformed Services is the M4 which has 14.5 inch barrel and the Army's new rifle, the M5, uses a 13 inch barrel. The US Government sure finds short barrels useful. 

Henry Repeating Arms does make a Mare's Leg lever action pistol in .22 LR and .22 Mag. I would be very interested in purchasing on of those and later replacing the grip with a proper rifle stock. This would make for a 12 inch barrel .22 rifle. Is that useful? I believe so. Hunters and woodsman have demonstrated the utility in small game harvesting of handguns such as the Heritage Rough Rider or the Colt Woodsman for decades. These guns have shorter barrels at 4 and 6 inch or similar. Since these pistols can be used successfully to harvest small game, then how would putting a stock on that pistol make it suddenly unusable? It doesn't but according to the ATF, and Congress, they become magically a gangster's gun and need to be regulated. I personally fail to see how a lever action or semi-auto rifle in .22 LR with a barrel under 16 inches is a gangster gun. If you take a Ruger 10/22 with a 16 inch barrel then cut it to 15.5 inches, does it make you a gangster and make you rob a bank like Bonnie and Clyde? I don't see how it would but making that cut does make you a felon if you didn't register and tax the gun first. I think that's just dumb. What about said lever action rifles? I have a 16 inch barrel 357 Magnum Marlin 1894. I also have a Taurus model 66 with a 4 inch barrel. Congress and the ATF doesn't think these are gangster guns but if I put a stock on the Taurus 66, it becomes an SBR and is now a gangster gun. If you think no one would ever put stocks on pistols feel free to look up "stocked pistols" in Google. There is a very long history of stocked pistols throughout the world. Moving back on topic, if I cut the Marlin's barrel down to 4 inches then its just as powerful as the Taurus revolver but it's now a Title II gun and needs registered? Absurd. Some people have made the claim about concealability but you can conceal the revolver just fine. Why do we care so much about if I could conceal the Marlin? 

Would that cut down Marlin still be useful though? Well, I know I wouldn't cut the Marlin down to 4 inches. I would, however, cut it down to the edge of the current handguard. By trimming down the magazine tube and barrel to match, I would cut the magazine capacity to around 5 rounds and give me about a 12 inch barrel. The 4 inch barrel revolver has utility for hunting and defensive applications, so having a barrel three times as long give me more powder burn and faster velocities. The stock would make it easier to be accurate too. If I can take a deer with the revolver at 50 yards, the rifle should give me enough reach out to say 100 yards with the correct ammunition at that range. I don't have any math to support it but I can say that I am comfortable with using the 16 inch barrel to take a deer at 125 yards with my current ammo and setup. I think it could go further but the red dot and my eyes limit my ability to make a good hit. If I changed to a magnified optic, we can talk about further distances. 

Let's summarize the above. If a 9mm pistol is acceptable for home defense, then why would a stocked version of that same pistol not be acceptable? There are stocked pistols in 9mm currently on the market as SBR's. Most of these guns are based on PDW type weapons designed literally for defensive applications. It's like saying, you can't have the stocked version of the gun because it's better than the non-stocked version. It would be better for you to have the stocked version because you'd more control over the gun with the stock than with a two-handed grip on the pistol. Historically, stocked pistols existed. Colt's black powder revolvers have provisions for stocks. The Browning Hi Power had provisions for stocks in the back strap. More modern guns like the B&T TP9 and USW have thin folding stocks that lock into the frame. They let you carry the gun like a pistol in a holster then draw and flip out the stock making for a more controllable gun. I see no issue with this. Three and four points of contact with the gun make for more control over the two-handed grip of a traditional pistol.

Some anecdotes: 

I came across an article on Outdoor Life in the OL+ section. The story was from an article ran in 1952 in the June edition of the printed magazine. The story is about a hunter tracking a cougar called Bloody-Foot. In the story he uses a 38 Special Colt revolver. I bring this up because the writer talked about shoving a stick under his arm along the revolver for stability. The quote from the article is "Or if I’m shooting up into a tree, I shove a good stout stick under my arm and along the side of the revolver. That helps a lot."  That would be an early brace or you could look at it as making a stock like device to help with aiming a pistol. Even the old timers found use in such devices. 

The Era of Pistol Caliber Carbines - The Smith and Wesson FPC

 Apparently, Smith and Wesson has developed their own semi-auto rifle in pistol calibers. The FPC takes the same path as guns such as the Keltec SUB2000 and Ruger LC Carbine using a system that feeds from existing pistol magazines that feed into the grip. In this case, the rifle uses the same magazines as the full size M&P 9mm pistols that have been around for years now. Those pistols work just fine in my experience has I had all the first generation 9mm M&Ps with the exception of the CORE model. I ended up getting rid of the full size and subcompact 9c versions but kept the shield. I also have a first generation M&P45 full size. I use it as 45 ACP suppressor host.

What's most striking about the rifle is that it folds sideways. The SUB2000 folded before folding was cool but it does it over the top. That made having an optic tricky business since the optic would get in the way of the fold. Companies have created products to help with the SUB2000. The FPC won't have that issue since it folds to the left. If you want to mount a light on the left side, you won't be able to do it easy. Just mount on top or on the right and use a tape switch.

The price is pretty good at under $700. It might be good enough as a travel rifle at that price and given the way it folds. I also appreciate that it has a threaded barrel. At this point, modern rifles that don't have threaded barrel's just don't make sense. Even older designs need to start offering SKUs with threaded barrels. 



 

Looking at products released by Smith and Wesson over the last few years, I keep getting the feeling like they aren't exactly innovating in the last few years. They just take a look at products being made and make their own version of it. The first generation Shield was a great gun but it took the P365 to push S&W to make the Plus version. I don't know how long it was in the works but the Plus didn't come out until well after the P365 was introduced. S&W does have an odd-ball shotgun but it's not that different than a KSG but it does have M&P grips and aesthetic. On flip side, their M&P15-22 has been very well received and I liked mine enough that I regret selling it. I consider that pretty innovative but that came out years ago.

All that said, I like what the FPC has to offer on paper but I don't see it displacing the Henry Homesteader in my applications. However, as I said in the beginning, I do still have my M&P45 and the several magazines for it. Were Smith and Wesson to offer a 45 ACP version, I would seriously consider that.

20 February 2023

GoldenEye 007 is Back - Exciting News!

 I stopped playing console games but I did pre-order the Nintendo Switch a long time ago for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I have a few other games for the Switch like Farming Simulator, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 and Animal Crossing. After the wife and I got pretty far in Animal Crossing, the Switch has pretty much just set on our mantle and done nothing. I may occasionally take it on trips with me but that's about it. I stopped paying for the Nintendo Online service last year.

I found out that Nintendo finally got the authorization to put the classic Nintendo 64 game onto the Switch. That is a complete story in and of itself given the complicated nature of the game's history involving Rareware, Nintendo, Microsoft and the owners of the 007 francize. The sad part is it's behind a paywall. Normally, the Switch Online service is about $20 for a full year but to access the free Nintendo 64 app on the Switch you need the Expansion Pack membership which adds an extra $30 a year for the service. The perk is that you get access to libraries for old platforms like the N64, SEGA Genesis and Game Boy Advance. 

The current title list for the N64 app is pretty meager at 22 titles from what I can see. There are several Mario and Pok√©mon games with both N64 Legend of Zelda games, Star Fox 64 and F-Zero X all of which I have memories of as a kid. The GBA app has even less. The SEGA Genesis app does the best with 36 titles listed. All the titles listed come from the site and I don't have access to the apps to confirm the actual numbers. 

The only update to the title I am aware of is that the game can be played full screen instead of the 4:3 ratio the game was originally. 

The N64 app has been out for a while and it looks like they keep adding more games. If you're wondering if it's worth your time, that's up to you. I have a near mint condition N64 and LoZ: OoT and GE007 and it's all I need to fill that fix.