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Rifle Vending Machine “Art” in Chicago

Seen over at GFZ (with sharp insight as usual):


I know they think this is clever and are probably feeling smug & superior right now but I’m just trying to figure a way to make it work.

Hypothetically, you would first have the client create an account and agree to a security deposit, liability waiver and background check. Each rifle would be fitted with redundant RFID chips similar to Toll Tags that would track location around town. Cost effective CavArms/GWACS lowers would be durable and lower the total amount of parts. Although some components would have to be ‘locked’ to prevent tampering (such as securing the upper and lower receivers together). Magazines could be single use (or return to get a deposit back) and extras sold separately in another vending machine.  To rent (or purchase) a client would insert a credit card, place a finger on a scanner for ID and sign on a touch screen.  Upon return, employees would check function, run a patch down the barrel and confirm basic zero with a laser boresight prior to it being rented again.

We have propane vending machines and let people have unrestricted access to gasoline so why not? I’m sure they wouldn’t be anymore dangerous than truck rentals…

If you really want a sense of accomplishment…

…successfully bathe a cat without bleeding.

Bringing One More to Our Side

Sometime this weekend I will have the honor of introducing another soul (a bonafide NASA engineer, no less) to the joys of shooting. All I had to do was offer and he accepted saying that he’s been interested in learning about firearms for a long time but hasn’t had someone to introduce him to the sport.

So, who have you offered to take to the range lately?

[Belated] Memorial Day 2013

[Apparently I fumbled the scheduling for this which should have posted yesterday]

A quote from Abraham Lincoln:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Freedom is most certainly not Free – eternal vigilance is but one price; the highest price was paid by those we honor today.

h/t Knife Rights

A tad busy at the moment…

Tune in tomorrow.

Musings on a Lightweight AR Build

A friend asked me about my opinions on building a lightweight AR so in blogger fashion I thought I’d blast my ramblings out on the intertoobz.

First off, lightweight AR-15’s are great fun to shoot.  Beyond that, there’s a renaissance going on as folks are embracing the rifle’s founding concept of ‘lighter is better’.  That really was the whole reason for using plastic and aluminum after all.

Having studied Tiger McKee’s excellent book ‘The Book of Two Guns’, I agree with his recommendation of keeping a fighting gun rugged and light.  His Katana rifle concept makes a lot of sense, coming in at 6 pounds with fixed sights and a lightweight A1 fixed stock.

The consumers’ desire for lighter rifles has other manufacturers answering the demand with such current options as the S&W M&P 15 Sport (6.45 lbs), Colt’s LE6900 (6.2 lbs) and DoubleStar’s C3 ‘Constant Carry Carbine’ (5.5 lbs w/o sights)

Some may want to discuss mil-spec pedigrees, but let’s save that for later and look at the features of the guns listed.  About the only common feature of these three guns is a 16” barrel with a carbine length gas system.  Otherwise their approaches to saving weight vary.  Variations are fixed vs. adjustable stocks, a fixed FSB vs. sights on a free-float handguard and lightweight barrel contour vs. M4 contour (Colt 6900).

After some consideration, here are the high points of my theoretical build list of components for the purpose of having a trustworthy ultra-light rifle.

[Now I just need to place a few backorders…]

There are a few other tricks [adapt an A1 buffer tube to carbine buffer and spring, lightweight bolt carrier, or drill a 9mm upper for a gas tube] to shave an ounce here and there but this is about as light as a standard rifle can be.  Of course, lightweight is good but it still has to work.  I think the above list would satisfy that requirement.

So what do you think?  If you have any suggestions or recommendations for going lighter or increasing reliability, let me know.

Hunkered Down; Range Trip Delayed

Well, my plans to wring out the new M&P trigger have been torpedoed by a Honest to God Texas Gully Washer (HTGTGW) here in the Bayou City.  It’s as dark as pitch out there and when the signal on my AM radio gets through the static of all the lightning strikes just about all I hear is the Emergency Broadcast System messages.

Which reminds me of this:

We’ve got flash flood warnings, tornado watches, etc.  I cleared my morning schedule so I could go shoot but even with the 4×4 standing by, I will heed the warnings and hunker down for a while. Because although I trust myself to navigate to the streets to an indoor range and back, it’s a sure thing my route will be blocked by the nimrods that will gladly try and ford a submerged intersection with a subcompact sporting low profile rims.

Instead, I think I’ll take a glass of fresh ice tea out to the porch and meditate to the constant roll of thunder and occasional transformer explosion.  Is it too early for a Margarita?

Until Monday, let me plant this groove in your head:

If that don’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you need a Margarita yourself.


NRA Convention 2013: Friday (bonus)

Per the request of a friend, I asked the reps at the Smith and Wesson booth if they would consider making a special run of their X-frame (.500 S&W/.460 S&W) revolver as a 10 shot .357 magnum.

Their reply was a solid, “No.”

Heh: Biden’s Loser Pout Reminds Me of… (.gif)

Separated at carving?

Don’t see it?  Click the image.

Concealed Carry Report from the State Fair of Texas

Last weekend I went to the State Fair of Texas and had a great time.  It’s the 126th year of the fair itself and Big Tex is celebrating his 60th birthday.  Of course, there were some new novelty fried foods (Fried Lemonade, Fried Frito Pie, Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Fried Nutter Butters) for sale.  I can tell you that the fried Nutter Butter cookies are darn worthwhile.

As for packing iron onsite, prior to the trip I went to the Fair’s official website FAQ page where I read this:

Concealed Handgun Policy
A person holding a valid Texas Concealed Handgun License (or valid CHL from a reciprocating state) is permitted to enter onto State Fair property with his/her concealed handgun; provided, however, that CHL holders will not be permitted to carry their concealed handgun inside the Cotton Bowl Stadium, a facility defined under Texas Penal Code 46.035 as “the premises where a high school, collegiate or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place.” Note that the Fair does not provide lockers for the storage or checking of weapons for CHL holders, so if you plan to attend a game or event in the Cotton Bowl, please secure your weapon at home or in your vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds. We want the Fair to be a fun and safe experience.

So properly armed with knowledge (and a pistol) I was a tad concerned when I saw that every patron entering was being ‘wanded’ by security guards.  I fell into a line at the gate but I had my permit in hand.  When it was my turn, I simply showed it to the guard and she smiled and said to show it to the policeman inside the gate as she waved me on.  The cop was sitting in an elevated box overlooking the gate.  I went ahead a did as I was told saying to him, “The guard said I should show this to you” as I handed him my permit and drivers license.  He looked at them for a moment and handed them back with a “Thank you”.   I went on and had a great day without giving it another thought.  In retrospect, I probably didn’t need to show the cop ‘my papers’.  It’s not like the security guard radioed him to let him know to look for me.  I didn’t feel hassled, everyone was polite and it didn’t take any extra time.

The only other bit that I’d pass on would be: the usual rules apply while at the fair so don’t partake of any adult beverages while carrying and some of the carnival rides can be rough [like the ‘porch swing in a giant slingshot’ and the ‘vertical centrifuge’; frankly I’m surprised the midway isn’t littered with empty shoes flung off of the riders] so maybe a retention holster is in order depending on how much you enjoy thrill rides.