Friday, November 10, 2017

Wild, wild West

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.
I'd say that for me it was just a tool, like an axe or a hammer, except it wasn't nearly as useful at its trade as a hammer or an axe at theirs.

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.

1 comment:

Brian Train said...

You're left-handed, huh?

My main rifle (which I've had since high school, bought it from the shop teacher) is a No. 4 Mk I* 1942 SMLE Lee Enfield too, only it has a civilian stock and 4x32 scope added. Works great except that .303 British ammunition for it is harder to find and more expensive than it used to be.

My son is cycling through different weapons but is settling on an SKS. Russian-made but I can't remember what year. Quite cheap to feed but you have to be good about cleaning it because of the corrosive primers used.

When I was in the Canadian Army, we used the FNC1, which was a Canadian variant of the British SLR (Self-Loading Rifle). That thing looked and felt like a rifle, and fired the 7.62 NATO cartridge which would go through cinder blocks. About the time I got out they were changing over to the C7, which is a Canadian-manufactured copy of the M16A3. I agree with one writer I read once that the thing looks and handles like a giant black toothbrush.

But I've gotten off your point too. Why the Evil Black Rifle phenomenon? I think you answered it in your opening, they want a big black stick to lick and go bangity-bangity with. They don't know or care much about accuracy, only about rate of fire and noise. The Vegas Knobwipe apparently checked out a few sites/concerts before settling on a country music festival (Lollapalooza, Life is Beautiful) before unloading hundreds of rounds from 450 m into a fenced-in crowd of over 20,000 people. At that range, in the middle of the night, with the weapons he was using, it was just spraying into the crowd. Youtube is full of videos of these yahoos ejaculating ammunition into innocent gravel pits. Most of them have never served, not even as clerks-and-jerks, but they still want to play soldier... the part of soldiering where they imagine they can unload into a crowd of helpless people, that'll show them.