17 January 2005

An Ode to Gunfever.

Yes, every now and again I become interested again in expanding my arsenal. Until recently, I was mostly interested in either large caliber single action revolvers (either 45 Long Colt or 44 Magnum) or the Lee-Enfield Jungle Carbine, of late, in homage to the glorious expiration of the "assault weapons" ban, I am gravitating towards the military rifles of the latter half of the century. So far, here are the ones I am interested in:

Dragunov Sniper Rifle
A beautiful, wonderful looking weapon. Semi-auto, based on the Kalashnikov (loosely) it is not a true sniper rifle and cannot compare in accuracy to a proper bolt action, but it was designed to add a longer reach to Soviet infantry squads with a marksman. I love the extended barrel and cutout wood stock...it's a beautiful weapon no doubt. I'd take this beauty over an AK anyday. Although shooting Russian ammo could potentially be expensive...I'd have to check.

A Spanish version of the HK91 assault rifle. I had the pleasure of shooting an HK91 last year, belonging to a friend of my father-in-law. Absolutely menacing...what a powerful weapon. It is a heavy gun, though...have to start working out a bit if I wanted to shoot it regularly (without a gun rest or bipod). I prefer the wood stock version, and I'd probably get a scope for it as well.

The classic and widely successful Belgian assault rifle. Beautiful and elegant, nice long barrel, holds 20 NATO 7.62 rounds. Very nice looking rifle.

I also was interested in the bullpup British rifle, the SA80, but I've read everywhere that this was an atrociously bad gun, and it seems to be unavailable for civilians. I'm leaning most towards the CETME, currently, which has great firepower, a shorter length, a bayonet, and probably the best price. It would replace my 1918 Enfield as my home defense weapon (outside of Debra's 38 snubnose). Would-be intruders would be well-advised to avoid my house as much firepower can and will be brought to bear on unwelcome guests! ;) The Enfield admittedly isn't the perfect home defense weapon, being very long, and with a relatively slow bolt action. With a modern semi-auto assault rifle, I get the advantages of a rifle (hard hitting high velocity shell, good accuracy, and bayonet in the event of someone charging at me) with the rapid fire of a pistol and slightly more manageable length.

Ironically, I watched an unsurprisingly liberal piece on 60 Minutes about the Barrett 50 caliber rifle. What a beautiful, powerful gun. The piece was obviously designed to ruffle the feathers of liberals and frighten the weak-kneed into thinking these guns pose a threat to them. It had the exact opposite intended effect...I knew of the Barrett, but viewing it again prompted much curiousity and I shopped around online and visited them online. Hopefully it will generate interest among others as well (especially those who can afford one, unlike me). I could write in defense of gun rights but I feel no need. The irony is liberals and gun control Nazis want to outlaw these specialty weapons that are rare, expensive, and specialized. For a criminal or a terrorist, the Barrett has a vast array of disadvantages. Why would anyone choose to use it? The Beltway sniper attacks were using the common, low-calibre .223/5.56 shell. The Barrett is a giant rifle akin to the old anti-tank rifles of the 30s. It shoots slowly, it is unwieldy, and it is harldy easy to conceal. It is of use on the battlefield where ranges are very long and the soldiers are well trained, but most US snipers use the M40 bolt action anyway...a superior gun for most scenarios. The fact is almost any criminal or terrorist could do more damage with a pistol than with a 50 caliber rifle.

And a ban is not going to keep them from acquiring one.


Moving on....a word of advice...stay away from unpasteurized, unfiltered Normandy cider. I had a 2000 vintage bottle and it was atrociously bad, like liquid rot. Into the sink it went. Don't waste your money! The Frogs need to distill their cider...not bottle it. It is ironic that the regions with the best distilled spirits have substandard wines/beers, usually. Cognac and Armagnac produce very weak, thin wines. Normandy produces crappy cider, as mentioned above. Kentucky certainly isn't known as a brewing state. Scotland isn't particularly revered for its ales, but I for one am quite fond of them...so maybe that analogy breaks down. Well, look at the reverse...the breweries of Belgium, Germany, and England are second to none, but aside from some sparse schnapps distillation in Germany, none of those nations do much distilling at all. When you've got such a fine product already, why distill it?

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