Thursday, December 9, 2010

Leftist Gun "Experts" Redux: A PalinTwibe Exclusive posted a comment re: Suddenly Gun Haters are Gun Experts. Really? on PalinTwibe last night. My response is too long to print as a rebuttal, and warrants a formal blog post so this is a PalinTwibe exclusive post. The comment is in italic and indented.

"I think you have exposed yourself as not knowing very much about firearms.

I think you are full of BS. Now that we got the niceties out of the way…

1) .223 Remington and 5.56 Nato are not the same round, and it is dangerous to try to interchange them.

Partially correct, partially BS. A rifle that fires the NATO 5.56 x 45 will absolutely handle the .223. The NATO round is driven at higher pressure. What you cannot do is put the NATO round in a rifle that’s chambered for .223. The NATO round is a full metal jacket round, and as such would not be used for hunting. A FMJ round would drill through the animal and transfer insufficient energy to make the kill. Conversely, commercial .223 (any expanding round – soft point, hollow-point) is outlawed by the Geneva Convention for military use. Any AR made by any reputable manufacturer will be designated for the NATO round, thus handling the .223 with no issues. Civilians run commercial .223 through their ARs all the time. And those with .223 traditional hunting rifles are not to shoot the NATO round and should know not to shoot it.

The situation reverses with the NATO 7.62 x 51 and the .308. The commercial .308 round is driven at higher pressure, thus in this case, the rifle has to be designated as handling .308. You can fire the NATO 7.62 through a .308 rifle without issue. My DS Arms FAL and the Rock River LAR-8 are .308, and being battle rifles take the NATO round.

2) I seriously doubt anyone with half a brain would use a 50 grain projectile to hunt a 200-400 lb animal, and any responsible hunter would consider that inhumane. Hell, I've taken crap for suggesting hunting whitetail with a .22-250, and that kicks the crap out a .223.

The smallest grain head on a .223 is 55 grains. The .223 is legal for use in Alaska and many Alaskans use it. Alaskans have complete brains and they know how to hunt - I would say probably more so than most of the rest of the country, if not many parts of the world.

Also, I did not say Gov. Palin’s “varmint rifle" was .223. The episode never specified the caliber. We are told is that it is a “varmint rifle” and we see it’s a bolt-action with a wood stock. I personally would not use a “varmint” round to hunt caribou-sized game, but that’s my preference. If a “varmint rifle” is legal in Alaska to use, and people use it successfully on game, it’s not for me to sit and pass judgment on them from my nice climate-controlled perch 4,400 miles away. 

Whether you choose to believe it or not, Gov. Palin has been hunting since the ripe old age of 12. She is now 46, so she has been doing this 34 years, and US for Palin is one of numerous sources where pictorial evidence of her lifelong hunting is available. You can believe the evidence or cling to your Obama talking points. It's your choice.

3) A 7mm Magnum is substantially more powerful than a .308, with a lot more kick. Perhaps you are thinking of the 7mm-08?

The 7mm rifle was established as a 7-mm Mag (7mm Remington Mag to be precise) in the early minutes of Sarah Palin's Alaska, episode four. That round shoots flatter than the .308 but is more expensive. Yes, it has a few hundred foot pounds more energy at the muzzle than a .308. But, it is still a 7mm round which is .276 inches. In an 8-lb rifle, a .308 hits the shoulder with 15 lbs., a 7mm Mag with 19.6. It’s not a huge difference. See:

Recoil energy is a function of physics. A round produces a certain amount energy pushing a gun that weighs X pounds into your shoulder at Y speed. Perceived recoil is another matter and design has a lot to do with it. Using the same .308 round as an example (same grains, etc), it’s going straight back at you in a modern battle rifle. It’s coming back and up in a traditional hunting rifle. All other factors being equal the traditional hunting rifle will feel like it’s kicking harder even though the actual force might be the same.

4) Generally, a varmint gun isn't a style, like your .308, but rather a gun in a given range of light weight, high velocity calibers, to kill small animals at a long range.

If you read my post, I laid out the traditional definition of a “varmint rifle,” which coincides with yours. I also laid out what is marketing hype. Rock River designates a certain subset of their LAR-8s (and all their other ARs) as “varmint.” I made perfectly clear that I consider their “varmint” .308 to be a semi-auto sniper rifle, not an actual varmint gun. But to know that you have to actually read - everything, and that includes things like quotation marks.

Most people aren't taking out prairie dogs with 150 grain .308's.

One guy rose to Internet infamy taking out prairie dogs with a .50 BMG. You obviously have not heard of “Prairie Dog Be Gone.” Do I advocate or endorse using a .50 BMG on prairie dogs? No. But, it’s being done (not by "most people" granted).

I hunt black bear with those.

And I would want a larger round for bear. We’re back to personal preference. If 150-grain .308s work for you with black bear, it’s not for me to judge your choice.

5) Palin, lifelong hunter and shooter, should know if a given rifle is going to kick. She shouldn't have to ask.

Gov. Palin was handed a rifle she had never used before, because her rifle was no longer usable. 

[Dec. 14, 2010 Update: Upon re-watching the conversation about "kick," we see that Gov. Palin did not initiate the conversation about recoil. As Becker puts his rifle in her hands, he tells Gov. Palin twice "it kicks." Her "asking" was more properly "read-back of instructions." The tone of her of voice clearly indicated the question was a rhetorical device to reinforce to her that she had better be prepared for recoil. It's like an instrument pilot calling out "1,000, 5,00, 200, 100, minimums" on the approach. The pilot knows where she is. The call-out is to prepare for minimums.]

The question may have been rhetorical (she’s known to do that in many settings) to jog her mind that yes it is going to kick, and she better dig in for it. It may have been a quick “brief me on this rifle I never shot” question. None of us were in her mind to know why she asked. It’s really not important. The result of her single shot out of the replacement rifle is all that matters: she took the caribou. She took it with one shot. The caribou went straight down. It was a humane, clean, ethical kill shot delivered with precision.

She took this rifle with a scope that was not set for her eye relief - a rifle she had never shot before in her life - and made a one-shot kill at 300 yards or more, filling her freezer with caribou meat. Gov. Palin asking about the recoil did not affect the outcome and the result. Her mission was accomplished.

6) Comparing the kick on the 12 ga using target loads is a misnomer. Shotgun kick varies wildly with the dram weight, and shooting clays is the lowest.

No kidding. I delineated that throughout my posts – again if you bothered to read them. A 2.75” shell hits the shoulder with between 25 – and 45 lbs of force depending on the load. By the time you get up to 3.5” shells, you’re dealing with 70 lbs. of force. When Gov. Palin fires the short-barreled shotgun in the Gosselin preview, the force on her 5’5” 120-lb body is visibly significant. And she handles it just fine thank you very much. 

[December 14, 2010 update: having watched the relevant segment of "Alaskan Hospitality,"  we see that far from being perturbed by heavy recoil, Gov. Palin takes delight in it! When she fires the buckshot shells, she says, "it feels different. It feels good," stretching out the "oo." She then gets off two slugs at the moving bear target. Both were kill shots delivered in 2.8 seconds from a pump action shotgun. The preview does not do the actual segment justice. The effect of the recoil on her body is pronounced. With the kind of loads she would use in the field, the shotgun is slamming her shoulder with between 40% and 60% of her 120-lb body weight. The shells appeared to be 3-inch magnums. That shotgun does not take 3.5-inch shells.]

She also, as a lifelong shooter, failed to pass that knowledge along to her daughter.

That’s pure, unadulterated BS. In the photo with Bristol, Gov. Palin demonstrates a correct and pronounced forward lean that you are supposed to use with large-caliber rifles and with shotguns. It’s a good habit even for a little .22LR, to stay consistent and reinforce the training and muscle memory.

Real dedication to the shooting sports there.

You Betcha. Gov. Palin won the NRA’s 2010 Sybil Ludington Award. It is the highest award bestowed upon women for dedication to the shooting sports. It’s one of numerous awards she won from the NRA and other organizations. Three people in the entire country nominated her for the Sybil Ludington. I was one of the three, and I have the nomination packet to prove it. Gov. Palin was presented with a Henry .44 Mag lever action this February by the manufacturer for her support of the Second Amendment. In 2009, Templar Consulting custom-built two .50 Beowulf AR-15s, one of which was for her, the second for auction. The auctioned one fetched over $11,000. Hers being the only one left is probably worth 10 times that. She received at least six awards in 2009.

How many awards have you won for your dedication to shooting and our Second Amendment rights? What have you done?

7) Fact is, I have always been unimpressed with the way Palin handles firearms, as she looks like someone shooting pool for the first time."

Fact is, you are reiterating an Alinsky talking point and have absolutely no basis to be “unimpressed” with the way Gov. Palin handles firearms other than your own unhinged hatred of her.

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