Just got back from a bunch of days in the field up the Columbia, on the deserty side of the Cascades. Pretty country there but...spare. Sparse. Not much out there other than the grass, the rock, the wind, and the sky.
Mind you, that's not what I'm thinking about. I had some idle thoughts about the latest bang-bang-crazy, as Jim Wright likes to call it.
And, because I'm a callous sonofabitch and nobody got killed in Vegas or Texas who I know or remotely care about, my main idle thought was this:
What the fuck is it about these ammosexual gun-licking nuts and the Black Stick?
If I had a choice I can't imagine a less-fun rifle to own than an AR-15 or one of its clones. I mean, seriously? I was assigned an M-16 for many years. I was decent with it - a workman should know his craft, after all - but I never liked the goddamn thing.
The worst part about it was that it was chock-full of fucking irritatingly tiny little parts. Sure, it knocked down and went together easy, that comes with being a modern battle rifle. But when you had it knocked down the little fucking parts had an immensely irritating way of hiding or rolling away - don't get me started on the firing pin retaining pin! - unless you had a perfectly flat, well-lit, clean place to put them.
Then it was hard to clean. And you had to KEEP it clean; if it got fouled - and all those tiny little parts were easy to foul - it tended to malfunction, usually either in the form of a clogged gas tube and a short-recoiling bolt carrier, meaning either a failure to extract, a failure to eject, or a failure to feed. Double feeds, too, which were a stone bitch to clear, weren't uncommon in a dirty rifle.
My understanding is that the early 1960's issue models also suffered because the ammunition propellant burned dirty, gunking up the inside of the rifle with soot and crap and increasing the fouling problem. I can't imagine that cheap civilian 5.56mm ammo is all that much better.
Plus, frankly, what benefit is there to have a "hunting rifle" that can crank out a round every couple of seconds? Elk aren't going to shoot back. And a 5.56 round seems less optimal for knocking down something bigger-than-human-size. It's either going to tumble and tear up the meat, or its gonna break up and scatter nasty little lead bits into your venison.
I have a Short Magazine Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* that has served me perfectly well for years as both hunting and target rifle. It's fun to shoot and relatively accurate given it's long life and relatively hard use. I've debated several times whether or not to hang a rifle scope on the thing. It would make my shot group tighter, but I love the history of it and wouldn't want to just slap a modern scope on the centenarian. Yet the original Periscopic Prism Company scope and mount is an awful abortion, only 2x magnification and, worse, offset to the left of center which is the kiss of death for me, a left-handed firer.
But I've let myself get off the damn subject.
The point is, what gives? What the hell makes so many of these people crave the AR-15 in all its flawed avatars?
The impulse to kill people? I get that. Just thinking about the dumb fuckers who gave us the Fraudulency Administration makes me want to go all St. Bartholomew on their asses.
But to do that with a shoddy tool? One that makes it harder to do a decent job of work?
Who the hell needs that?
I swear. People are just weird.