Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 30 Luger

30 Luger used in article

30 Luger
The 1890’s saw some advancement in semi-auto handguns. The 30 Borchardt is considered the first successful semi though the 30 Mauser came out shortly afterwards and lasted a lot longer. The Borchardt was invented by Hugo Borchardt and improved by Georg Luger which became the famous Luger Pistol.

In 1900 the Swiss adopted in it the 30 Luger caliber beating the Germans by several years. Other countries adopted it including Brazil, Bulgaria and Portugal though none use it any longer. A few other pistols chambered this round including the SIG, Walther P-38, Ruger P 89 and the Browning High Power though the Luger was the main gun used for this cartridge. The military round uses a 93 grain FMJ bullet which feeds well but lacks stopping power. The small caliber and non expanding bullet just don’t cut it for self defense. Happily the gun feeds soft and hollow point bullets which enhance it utility considerably. With its good accuracy it should do well in harvesting small game. With hollow point bullets stopping power should be improved.

30 Luger cycling

The cartridge is a 30 caliber bottleneck affair resembling the 30 Mauser round but is shorter and less powerful. Factory bullet weight is usually 93 grains though other weights can be employed. Winchester ammo may be available however the empty cases made by them are usually available. With full metal jacket bullets it isn’t a very good stopper though soft and hollow points can be used. They would make it a decent small game round as accuracy is good and trajectory is fairly flat. Just for fun I decided to try some 86 grain SWC’s by Hornady. I swaged them to 308 diameter as they are originally .313 meant for a 32 revolver. I was pleasantly surprised as they fed without a hitch in the Luger which isn’t known for its ammo tolerance. They along with the 71 grain FMJ should make shooting the Luger less expensive. The 71 grain is also swaged down as it is intended for a 32 auto. I like to see how flexible I can make a gun so I utilized bullets weighting from 60 to 110 grains. The 60 grain is a Hornady HP that was swaged down from 312 to 308 and the 110 is a 30 carbine bullet. This is a small capacity case so you should work up loads very carefully. An amount of powder as small as ¼ grain might make a large difference.

6.5 X 231 60 grain HP 1466 nice
5.5 X 231 71 grain FMJ 1280 slow high es
6 X 231 71 grain FMJ 1591 much better
6 X 700 X 71 grain FMJ 1473 MAX !!!
5.5 X 231 77 grain cast 1474 nice
5 X Unique 86 grain FMJ 1270 consistent
5 X Unique 86 grain soft point 1271 good load
5 X 700 X 86 grain cast SWC 1177 good load & fed
5 X Unique 90 grain HP 1080 slow & consistent
5.5 X Unique 90 grain HP 1235 better
5.5 X Unique 93 grain soft point 1191 ok
4.5 X Unique 110 grain RN 857 too lite

Bullets from 60 to 110 grains can be used

Shooting the gun is easy as it is relatively light and well balanced. The recoil is entirely manageable while accuracy is good. The trigger pull isn’t too bad for such an old gun. The grip is set at an angle which aids in its point ability. As I usually do when reviewing a gun I get several other people to try it to get different opinions. Most shooters never have an opportunity to hold or shoot one so it is a novel experience as the balance is quite different then most modern guns. That is especially true with the 30 caliber as most Lugers are chambered for the 9 mm. Comments are generally favorable especially when they get used to its novel features. The recoil is mild enough so that we had a 10 year old shooting it with little difficulty.

The most distinctive feature of the Luger is undoubtedly the toggle-lock mechanism, which holds the breech closed by locking in a manner not unlike the human knee, which can sustain a heavy weight when straight, but once bent, is quite easy to continue to bend. This is one feature that was taken from the Borchardt pistol which it replaced. The toggle joint in its straight position resists the rearward force of the detonating cartridge, then "flexes" after enough time has passed. When a round is fired the entire breech, barrel and toggle move straight rearward, on rails, until the toggle begins to ride up on a pair of cams that "breaks" the toggle ,makes it bend at the joint similar to an elbow. Once the toggle joint is no longer straight, it bends freely, allowing the bolt to come rearward, and the striker to be cocked. The spent cartridge is extracted by a combination extractor/loaded chamber indicator on the top of the toggle, and is ejected as the toggle nears the end of its rearward travel, and a new round is stripped from the magazine and chambered as the toggle is driven back to the straight position by a spring. This happens very rapidly and it is difficult to get a picture of the action operating because of this. When there is a cartridge in the chamber the loaded cartridge indicator is slightly raised allowing the shooter to see that the chamber is loaded. The magazine spring is quite strong, requiring some effort to load several rounds. It has a projection sticking out which aids in loading the magazine. To load insert the magazine grasp the curled knobs pull back and release. That should put a round in the chamber. When the magazine is empty the action remains open so the shooter is aware of that fact. If you want to uncock the gun just hold the trigger down and let the action go forward. That saves you from dry firing the pistol though it probably doesn’t hurt to dry fire it occasionally. To me that is important as I never leave my guns cocked. The two position safety works well and is easy to use.

The 86 grain SWC fed flawlessly, go figure

Accuracy is very good in fact I had a new shooter try it and after a couple of close misses on the bullseye proceeded to put a bunch in the center. She said once she got used to the sights and balance hitting was no problem. A 12 year old youth shot it and once she got over her fear did ok. The light recoil and good trigger definitely contribute to the shoot ability of this pistol. The only problem I have with the gun is that the magazine is hard to load. The spring is stiff and after 3 or 4 cartridges are inserted it really gets to be hassle to load.
Ironically the downfall of the Luger was its quality and engineering. It is a complicated gun to make that demands tight tolerances making it difficult to manufacture. For WW ll the Walther replaced it as the front line pistol.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The 45-120 Rifle

Tony's buffalo shot with 45-120

The 45-120
One of the old cartridges that always fascinated me was the 45-120 Sharps. It came out about 1878 in the Sharps rifles. It is the biggest 45 with the case measuring 3 & ¼” in length. All the other 45 caliber rifles from the 45-60 to the 45-110 will chamber in it making it more versatile. It probably came out for buffalo hunting but Sharps went out of business so not many were made. Without a doubt it was chambered in other single shot rifles though not common. Buffalo hunting was done by 1884 after the herds were shot out. With the bison gone there wasn’t much use for such a powerful cartridge. In power it would be adequate for anything in North America and most African game especially with modern loads.

Sharps action 45-120

I finally got a model 73 Sharps from Taylor Company in Winchester Va. It has a 32 inch barrel and double set triggers. It is a heavy and cumbersome rifle but with such a cartridge the size is necessary. It’s a good looking rifle without being fancy. At first I had some trouble with the triggers but a trip to the gunsmith remedied that problem. Now the back trigger sets the front one. It takes a lot of effort to set the front trigger but once set it has a nice pull. The sights are flip up located on the barrel. My intention is to take it buffalo hunting with an old style load. I want to have an accurate load with a 500 grain plus bullet at about 1600 feet per second. That will take down anything I plan on hunting with it. With the strong Sharps action I can undoubtedly exceed the 458 Winchester and even the 458 Lott. The down side is the recoil would be vicious and would be defeating the purpose of the gun. At 1600 feet per second the 535 grain gives plenty of power and recoil. The proper brass can be found at various sources. Norma presently makes it. Good cast bullets can be found at many sources probably some in your local area.

90 X Cleanshot 535 grain cast 1634 consistent
42 X 5744 535 grain cast 1568 accurate
103 X FFG Goex 535 grain cast 1405 good load
72 X CTG Pyrodex 535 grain cast 1410 45-70 case
50 X 5744 350 grain Hornady 2007 mild
60 X Cleanshot 400 grain cast 1244 45-70 case
70 X Goex FFG 400 grain cast 1203 45-70 case
45 X 5744 520 grain cast 1622 good load
69 X Blackhorn 209 535 grain cast 1692 (ouch) very consistent

From Left 45-120, 45-110,458 Lott, 458 Win,45-70 and 450 Marlin

All of the above loads demonstrated consistency giving low spreads between high and low velocity shots. To get an idea of the potential of the 45-120 I took a 458, 45-120 and a 460 Weatherby case. I filled them to the top with 571 ball powder. The idea was to get an idea of capacity as compared to the others. The 458 took 88 grains; the 45-120 allowed 118 grains while the monstrous 460 took 143. With that in mind I would think that it’s reasonable to load the 45-120 up to exceed the 458 and still keep pressures low. Since the rifle has a Sharps action one should be in safe territory doing so. Evan with 458 Lott loads it should be safe. The problem would be recoil. I am not recommending that you attempt this due to many various factors regarding rifle strength and loading techniques. Since I didn’t buy this rifle for killing my shoulder I will forgo those experiments for the time being in fact forever. Also in spite of daily checking there are no T Rexes in my back yard that I have seen. I know of a guy that bought a Ruger # 1 in45-70 and rechambered it for the 45-120 with the express purpose of shooting top loads. I’m glad it’s him and not me behind that particular gun. I wanted to get a 500 grain plus up to 1600 feet per second which I have done. Jacketed bullets from 300 to 400 grains should be practical in this rifle though not necessary. Jacketed bullets are more expensive and not necessary for hunting. If you want to use reduced loads the best way is to use a shorter case. Trying to use reduced loads in the full length case can be an exercise in futility. There is too much air space to deal with most powders. Excess airspace creates inconsistent and possibly dangerous loads. Use a 45-70 case for best results as it is more amendable for reduced loads. You might lose a little accuracy but it will be inconsequential. I have shot some loads utilizing the 45-70 case with complete satisfaction. Another good option would be using 45-90 cases as they are available from Starline and hold enough powder to take care of most tasks that you might encounter. They also sell 45-100 cases just for your info.

A good friend of mine had a chance to go buffalo hunting in Wyoming this fall. Since I was unable to go I talked him into using my rifle rather them a more modern chambering. We did some shooting with various bullets and settled on the 520 grain ahead of 45 X 5744 powder. It gave good accuracy and off he went. Anyway he shot an 1800 Lb bull at 50 yards through the shoulder. He said the bullet broke the near shoulder before going through the heart and breaking a rib on the other side lodging in the hide. He reported that the animal went down instantly and did not move. A modern chambering couldn’t have done any better and in fact most wouldn’t do as well. The recovered bullet weighed 503 grains and mushroomed to about twice its diameter. That’s a 94% weight retention not shabby for an old fashioned cast bullet that went clean through a bison.

45-120 left & 50-140

He said there were 12 bulls in the heard and after he shot his bull the rest tried to get it on its feet. After that they seemed to get angry with the hunters and surrounded them, The guide wisely advised everyone to get to the vehicles and get out of the area before things got real ugly. That had to be a weird and scary experience. Anyway it shows that a cartridge that has been around for 120 years can still do the job. It is a well known fact that a slow moving and heavy bullets make good large game rounds. They generally penetrate deeply and cause a lot of damage. After all those sort of rifles nearly decimated the buffalo over 120 years ago not to mention various other species of large game.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The 300 Savage

Remington model 722 in 300 Savage

Shooting the 300 Savage
Another old timer that has mostly fallen by the wayside being replaced by the 308 is the 300 Savage. It was introduced in 1920 by Savage Arms for the model 99 lever action. The original idea was to make it shoot a 150 grain bullet at the same velocity as the 30-06 as it was loaded at the time in a shorter action. If they accomplished that the pressures would be higher as it has a smaller capacity case. The thought was if you could pack 30-06 power in a more compact package the world would beat a path to your door. Back then as now the 30-06 is the standard that all other cartridges are measured by. Some things never change. Both Savage and Remington chambered their bolt action rifles for this cartridge. Remington also made a pump rifle chambered for it. Savage chambered their 99 lever action for it also. The Savage model 20 and 40 bolt action rifles also chambered it as well as the model 08 Remington semi auto rifle. The famous Winchester pre 64 model 70 was also chambered for the 300.

Remington 760 in 300 Savage

Basically it is a 308 Winchester with a short neck. In fact you can make 300 Savage cases by trimming the 308 to the proper length and sizing. Normally that would not be necessary as the brass is still available and inexpensive. I buy Winchester brass and seldom have a problem locating it. Loading dies are still made by all major manufacturers and of course standard 30 caliber bullets abound. Anyone who makes 30 caliber bullets will have something that is suitable for the Savage round. Factory ammo is still around though you may have to search for it. With all the new calibers coming out the 300 Savage is getting crowded off of the shelves. Plenty of rifles are available though they are used as no one as far as I know regularly chambers rifles for it. You can probably find one at a gun show or a used gun store as they are still fairly common. Your medium burning powders are the best suited for it with hunting weight bullets.

Remington 722 rifle used in test
10 X Trail Boss 123 grain soft point 1329 high es
10 X Unique 123 grain soft point 1505 high es
20 X 5744 123 grain soft point 1859 ok
40 X 4197 123 grain soft point 3003 consistent
39 X AA 2520 150 grain 2338 fair
38 X 4064 165 grain Sierra hp 2390 ok
42 X 4895 165 grain Remington 2465 good load
41 X AA 2520 165 grain Remington 2526 consistent
42 X 748 165 grain Remington 2571 good load
40 X IMR 4895 180 grain Remington 2379 mild
37 X 4064 180 grain Remington 2261 slow
41 X 748 180 grain Remington 2415 ok
42 X 748 180 grain Remington 2619 MAX
Remington 760 Pump
39 X AA 2520 165 grain Sierra BT 2420 ok
36 X 4064 165 grain Sierra BT 2405 slow
37 X 4064 180 grain Remington rn 2252 slow
36 X 2520 180 grain Remington rn 2156 slow

308 Winchester L. and 300 Savage

Accuracy with a good gun is on par with any similar caliber. My gun shoots groups in the 1” area at 100 yards with good handloads. The 722 is the forerunner to the famous model 700 having many of the same features. It is a Plain Jane model with no frills or checkering on the wood. However the 722 was a great value in its day, giving good service at a low price. In 1950 the Remington 722 sold for $74.95 while the model 70 went for $110. Accuracy and strength were two of its strong suits. Back in the day when the 721 and 722’s were being made dollars were tight so a good quality rifle at a low price made sense. Still does today. Like most of the oldies I don’t spend time looking for factory ammo as it is no longer common. If I stumble across it fine if not that is also fine. Factory ammo might be found at gun shows if you really want it. If you have one then you have a great deer and black bear rifle. I do have a pump but it lacks camming power if you have a stubborn round in the chamber. It is however a light and handy rifle for the woods hunter. If you like pump rifles this would be a great choice. It comes up well and points nice. The nice thing about the 300 is you would seldom need high priced premium bullets as the velocities aren’t blistering such as the 300 mags are. Of course you can use them for larger game such as elk to good effect. Given the proper skill level and ammo you should be able to tag a deer at 300 yards or so but as always shots need to be properly placed. Keep in mind that most game is harvested within 200 yards. It seems that everyone today has magnum mania, especially the new short mags. While they perform as billed you hardly need one to shoot a deer at 100 yards. The most hunted game in the US is the whitetail deer and the 300 Savage is up to the task at any reasonable distance.

Rear sight on model 760

For hunting purposes the 300 Savage will do anything that the 308 will do given good loads. That means that deer and black bear are fair game. Larger game at moderate ranges will also fall to the 300 with proper bullets and shot placement. Due to its modest case capacity reduced loads are a cinch to work up for small game and pest hunting. Cast bullet loads can be used for small game to good effect without destroying excess meat. Bullets heavier then 180 grains can be used but velocity will drop off rather rapidly due to limited case capacity. There just isn’t much use for real heavy bullets in that chambering as anything up to 180 grains will do just fine. Recoil is entirely within reason for anyone with any experience shooting hunting rifles. A youngster with some tolerance to recoil will not have any difficulty handling it. Also it can be loaded down to 30-30 levels and still be an effective deer rifle. All in all if you have a 300 Savage or inherit one it is very worthwhile to get it shooting and take it hunting.

Friday, October 15, 2010

10 MM Delta Elite

Colt Delta Elite with Crimson Trace Laser Grips

Colt Delta Elite
Introduced in 1983 by Jeff Cooper who was looking for an effective round for self defense and some hunting possibilities the 10 mm was brought out. Norma produced the ammo and the pistol was a Bren Ten. The FBI tried it for a short period of time after the 9 mm let them down in some shootouts but determined that it has too much recoil and muzzle blast for some agents. They shortened the case and it became the 40 S & W which has become more popular then the more powerful 10 mm. Colt brought out the Original Delta Elite in 1987 but it didn’t catch on and after a few years was dropped. They are now prized collectors items fetching more now then when they were new. There are 10 mm autos that hold 15 rounds but if you can’t solve your problem with 9 then I doubt that the extra 6 will help. Also they have a larger grip which may be too big for someone with smaller hands.
I have a friend that has an original Delta Elite that he has had some custom work done to it. On the outside it looks like the re-introduced version by Colt. I have shot it a number of times and it is a joy to shoot.

S & W model 610 and Ruger Blackhawk both in 10 mm's

First impressions were positive of all the people that shot it. When I test guns I like to get as many opinions as possible for a fairer overview of the gun tested. My friends wife fell in love with it so after the testing is done it will be interesting on who ends up with it. Like most test guns Colt will either want the gun back or payment. I can tell you that it will never see the inside of a Colt building again. Some of the features include: It looks and feels like a standard 1911 in 45 auto which is one of my very favorite pistols. It is a good looking and well fitted piece such as you would expect from Colt. The 10 mm cartridge is quite powerful making it usable for some big game hunting as well as self defense. Most people who hunt with a handgun consider a 200 grain bullet launched at 1000 FPS to be about the minimum for consistent results. The 10 mm will easily achieve that with a good handload. Finding factory ammo can prove to be a challenge though not impossible. Brass availability can be spotty though some patient searching can produce results.
White Dot Sights
Aluminum Trigger
Combat Hammer
Original Roll markings
8 + 1 Capacity
Wrap Around Rubber Grips with Delta Medallions
Chambered in 10mm
80 Series Firing Pin Safety System
Bullet selection is pretty decent with weights from 135 to 200 grains from various makers. Cast bullets may also be an option. Even though it is a bit much for self defense there are some nifty 135 grain slugs available which can be driven at some impressive velocities. The 135 grainers should also be an awesome small game and pest load. There are some 180 grain full metal jacket bullets which might be good to carry in bear country. The 180 to 200 grain soft nose and hollow points should be effective on deer size animals at closer ranges. I used Starline brass in all of my shooting and as usual it performed in a flawless manner. Starline makes quite a few calibers and for more info go to Brass is available from other makers such as Winchester, Remington and Federal though supply may be spotty. All of your bullet makers make bullets for the 40 and 10 mm. Maximum loaded length is 1.27 though it might vary from gun to gun so I would recommend you check yours for length before you load too many rounds. Different bullets might also have different seating requirements. For self defense or hunting ammo I would suggest you manually work all of the rounds through the gun. That goes for any semi no just the Delta Elite. I obtained a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips which are not only comfortable but useful. I obtain these for most of the handguns I test because of their comfort and utility. I highly recommend them especially if you feel that you may have to shoot in low light. I have a set on my 44 mag because some places I go night hunting is legal. For more info go to

9.5 X Green Dot 125 grain X-Ploder 1348 mild
10 X Red Dot 125 grain X-Ploder 1428 ok
10.5 X Red Dot 125 grain X-Ploder 1512 nice
11 X AA 5 135 grain plated 1514 Max !
12 X Blue Dot 155 grain Speer GD 1240 consistent
12 X Blue Dot 155 grain Silvertip 1253 nice
8 X Herco 155 grain plated 1228 good load
8 X Herco 155 grain cast 1213 wouldn’t feed
7 X Green Dot 155 grain HP 1171 good load
7 X Green Dot 155 grain plated 1171 nice
8 X Herco 170 grain cast 1144 nice & fed
5 X 700 X 170 grain cast 969 mild *
11.5 X Blue Dot 170 grain Horn HP 1327 potent
10 X Blue DOT 180 grain Rem HP 1155 consistent
11 X Blue Dot 180 grain Rem HP 1275 max
Blazer factory 200 grain TMJ 1008 accurate

10 mm 200 grain ammo used during test

When shooting the Delta Elite I want to test the flexibility as well as the maximum safe loads. For general shooting cast and plated slugs will save you some bucks plus they are generally as accurate as jacketed bullets. The 125 grain X-Ploders are bullets that I designed some years ago with the purpose of self defense without endangering targets not involved. They easily come unglued at those high velocities as well as causing massive tissue destruction. They also reduce recoil somewhat because of their light weight. The 10 with a good 180 grain bullet should suffice for deer and similar size game. If I was in bear country the 10 would get the nod over the 45 ACP because a 200 grain bullet will out penetrate a 230 in the 45 ACP given same construction. . Extended shooting will cause the beavertail to take a little skin off of your thumb webbing. Keep in mind that this isn’t a kinder gentler handgun but a full performance weapon that is capable of harvesting big game. The energies for some of the max performance loads will be in the 650 Ft Lbs area which is nothing to sneeze at. The recommended working pressure, from SAAMI, for the 10 is 37,500 PSI which is pretty hot slightly exceeding the 357 Mag. The case is not a large capacity type so if you are working with max loads work up very carefully. A half grain of powder can make a very large difference in pressure. I used Winchester large pistol primers for all of my loads. The loads that I have listed as max should be approached with caution. I suggest that you start 10% below and carefully work up. We had a case rupture using a max load with the 125 grain X-Ploder. I ruined the magazine and left a powder burn on the shooter’s hand. Thankfully he was wearing shooting glasses. The 5 X 700 X load was nice but it didn’t always function the slide so I would add another half grain of powder. The purpose is to have a mild target load for a recoil conscious shooter. Cast and plated bullets are great for target shooting and will reduce the cost of ammo.

A couple of the available bullets for the 10 mm

Some years ago I obtained a Ruger Blackhawk that has a 38/40 and a 10 mm cylinder which should make for some interesting comparisons between the two. It was a special run offered and happily I had the sense to buy one. For this test I also made some custom bullets to see how the 10 would react to them. The 38-40 is a 10 mm revolver probably the first one ever brought out. With this modern revolver some impressive ballistics can be obtained.

Shooting the gun showed that the recoil was fairly heavy but manageable to anyone with some handgun experience. I received a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips and they fit on with no problems. As usual they were comfortable to shoot and worked well. For some who anticipates shooting in low light these grips should be installed on your handgun.

S & W model 610 using rimmed 10 mm ammo

A client of mine has a S & W model 610 in 10 mm auto with a 6 &1/2” barrel. Not a common gun by any means. Anyway he doesn’t like using moon clips which would be necessary to prevent the rimless case from going too far in the chamber. He wanted me to make a rimmed shell for the gun. As far as I know there is no such cartridge as a 10 mm rimmed so I started from scratch. The 41 mag case was swaged down to 10 mm which at that stage would make it a 401 Herter’s Power mag. I then shortened to 10 mm length and sized it as normal. They shot fine and ejected perfectly. I did find that if the rim was a bit thin it would misfire. A vast majority worked fine and you can discard the thin rimmed cases. I chronographed a few keeping in mind that it isn’t my gun so I kept them mild.
6 X 231 135 grain plated 1254 good load
8 X Herco 135 grain plated 1137 accurate
7 X Herco 155 grain Plated 936 mild
6 X Herco 170 grain cast 920 nice

I could have easily exceeded these loads but I will let the owner decide how he wants to feed the gun. You can use 10 mm loads but you have to keep in mind that the 41 mag cases might be thicker at the bottom so you might want to start mild and work up. I have used hotter loads in my 10 mm Blackhawk with no problems using the 10 mm auto cases.

Accuracy with the Delta Elite at 25 yards was quite good with most loads. Careful shooting produced groups of 1 &1/2” or so from an informal rest. Keep in mind that we used full power loads for our accuracy testing which makes it more realistic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stupid Gun Laws

It's ok to use shot loads in this gun as long as the barrel is rifled

Stupid Gun Laws
In the US there are about 20,000 gun laws at all levels of government including Federal, state and local. Guns are probably the most regulated commodity there is. I hear that it is easier to get a job at a nuclear plant then to give a pilot permission to bring a gun aboard a plane even after they are trained. Pilots are trusted with a plane full of jet fuel and passengers but the line is drawn when they are to be trusted with a gun. If pilots had guns in the cockpit 9/11 probably wouldn’t have happened. Most of the laws are useless in the purpose that they are intended which is to make the public safer. Some of them are downright oppressive that were brought about by politicians that don’t like guns or trust gun owners. It’s amazing how the ruling class has no problem imposing their values, such as they are, upon us. Some laws are just plain stupid and useless, like the people who make them, and those are the ones that we will look at here.

One of them is if you buy a receiver or a frame with no parts it has to be treated the same as an operating weapon. The receiver has no moving parts, barrel or stock, hence it will not fire. It is a piece of metal period! It takes some knowledge, skill and proper tools to assemble such a piece into a gun and I submit that criminals are not going to take the time to assemble such weapons. Also most of them are too stupid and lazy to do that. I suppose you could put it in a sock and use it for a weapon. Hmm you could do that with a stone. That law should be re-examined and repealed.

Another hair brain law is the sawed off shotgun law. It was originally passed to stop criminals from concealing a short barreled shotgun under their coat. Fine and dandy though I doubt many outlaws worried about the length of their shotgun prior to robbing a store. An offshoot of that law is you can’t have a handgun with a smooth bore barrel or it is considered a sawed off shotgun. Why would you want a smooth bore handgun? The only reason is you might want to make it more efficient to dispatch snakes though the benefit would be minimal. Also it would not stabilize a bullet any longer. So if you have a handgun and you run something down the barrel to erase the rifling you are facing some jail time so don’t do it. You can possess a sawed off shotgun after going through the ATF system and getting cleared. Gun laws are kind of like locks, they only affect honest people.

Some of the older military pistols came with a shoulder stock as part of the package. The Broomhandle Mauser and some Lugers among others are examples. If you have an original shoulder stock it is ok to attach it for use or display. However if you have a replica which looks exactly like the original that is a no no! You can get a felony rap for having a sawed off rifle. Now I would like for some one to explain to me how that will keep the public safe. Don’t even think about attaching a shoulder stock to a modern handgun unless you go through the ATF and obtain a $200 stamp. Another bright idea is that if you rebuild some military rifles you have to use parts made in the US as opposed to imported parts. I want someone to explain to me how that makes society safer. I want to emphasize that no matter how laughable these laws are the penalties aren’t. If you get convicted for violating any of these laws you face severe penalties including jail time as these are felonies. I do not in any way advise breaking these laws though they definitely need to be changed. If you plan on modifying a gun and are in doubt of the legality then I suggest that you contact the ATF for advice. It would not be a bad idea to have a letter explaining the legal ramifications of what you are doing.

A shoulder stock is legal as long as it is an original and not a reproduction

As for states California leads the parade in stupidity though it has some stiff competition. First of all they have enacted a micro stamping law which will do nothing but inconvenience everyone. Not being satisfied with that they banned 50 caliber rifles though none have ever been used in a crime. They also have a system where ever gun has to be cleared by a board before it is allowed to be sold. You can have 2 guns that are almost identical and while one is ok the other is banned. I saw an advertisement for 45 autos, there different brands though they were identical otherwise. Two were banned. To keep the stupidity going they have a 15 day waiting period on handguns, after you get cleared by the NICS check. There is also a one gun a month limit on handguns. Ca FFL dealers have to jump through extra hoops in order to receive guns from out of state. A shipper has to go through the DOJ in Ca in order to ship guns to dealers. Mind you these are dealers not the public. They sent me the paperwork which I promptly put in the round file. Let’s face it Ca and other states don’t like law abiding citizens to possess firearms and they will do everything they can to stifle gun owners. New Jersey for example bans hollow point ammo. Their laws are designed to harass not to keep folks safe. It seems that Ca, NJ and a couple of other states are in a contest to see who can abuse law abiding gun owners the most. No wonder Ca and some of these other states are in the hole financially.

Probably the most idiotic idea though it would have stiff competition is the gun free zones. When criminals see such signs they know that they can ply their trade with little or no risk to themselves. Years ago guns were routinely taken to schools and there were no shootings. Maybe someone should blame bad behavior rather then inanimate objects. What a concept! Gun buy back programs rank right up there in the stupid column. That is where some do gooder group gets the bright idea to give folks cash or gift certificates for guns. The problem is that grannies may bring in a gun that wasn’t used anyway or some folks bring in stolen or broken guns for a little cash. In any event it does nothing to make society safer. Like many of those hair brain schemes it resolves nothing but makes someone feel good. Laws that regulate or prohibit law abiding citizens from carrying guns are also high on the do nothing list. No only do they prevent citizens from protecting themselves and their families but the criminal doesn’t follow them very closely. How many crooks worry about a permit prior to robbing a bank. If you have the misfortune to live in NYC and you get caught with a handgun, go to jail do not pass goal or collect $200. I imagine more then a few good folks went to the pokey for a mere handgun possession charge.