Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Continuous Erosion of Firearms Rights in Australia

It’s all too predictable, after every criminal shooting or act of terror involving a firearm, within hours of the event, the emotionally driven anti-gun brigade with the full support of the mainstream TV and print media, dance on the graves of the poor souls that perished to push a misguided agenda.

Australia’s gun control experiment is often cited as “the model where gun control has worked” because of the lack of mass shootings since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement in 1996. The agreement restricted the ownership of self-loading rim fire and centrefire rifles, self-loading and pump action shotguns.  Only those persons that meet specific occupational purposes are allowed access to these restricted firearms.

 Our spineless former PM John Howard, wearing body armour whilst addressing a pro gun rally.
Click here to hear his "I hate guns" snippet on talkback radio

It is a fact that there has not been a mass shooting in Australia since the introduction of the NFA, however our friendly neighbours New Zealand, haven’t had a mass shooting in the same time period. New Zealander’s still have access to self-loading rifles and those with a collector’s license can still purchase fully functional machine guns.  Using the logic of the Australian gun control lobby, New Zealand should be an absolute bloodbath with mass shootings every week because of the evil “assault rifles, machine guns & machine pistols” that are still available to the licensed, law abiding citizens.

Notice the last four words of the previous sentence: licensed law abiding citizens. New Zealand has placed greater emphasis on vetting the individual before they are issued a license, rather than restricting the types of firearms people can own. A self-loading rifle is no more dangerous than a single shot 12 gauge whilst in the possession of a licensed, law abiding citizen. New Zealand tried the experiment with firearms registration in the 1980’s, however it was found there was no public safety benefit by keeping those records. Just recently, Canada has also scrapped their long arms registry.

It doesn’t matter how many laws are already in place, the gun control lobby will always push to restrict private gun ownership further until there is an outright ban.

Gun control activists like to use terms such as high power, rapid fire, assault, large capacity, killing machines etc to invoke an emotional reaction from their audience.  The media portrays them as saints that are saving the world, however they are nothing more than individuals that suffer from a terrible sickness.

They push their agenda under the misnomer of public health/safety. This raises a simple question that must be asked.
If private ownership of guns were made illegal, would the gun control lobby simply close up shop, or will they continue to lobby the government to make guns even more illegal because the criminals will continue to possess and use firearms? 

Over the last 19 years, there have been changes made to firearms legislation that have achieved nothing. We have had magazine capacity restrictions, caliber and barrel length restrictions for handguns, reclassification of firearms based on their appearance, rather than their function. We have had ridiculous policy changes from the police that issue the licenses and permits to purchase a firearm (yes, you read that correctly, in Australia we have to obtain a permit from the police to purchase a firearm, even an air rifle!). The goalposts are forever changing and there is zero uniformity between the states except for the classification regime.

On the 15th December 2014 in Sydney’s business district, an Islamic terrorist took hostages inside the Lindt Chocolate CafĂ©. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Sydney_hostage_crisis) During the inquest after the event, it was found that the terrorist, Man Monis was armed with an illegally obtained and illegally modified pump action shotgun.  Further investigation determined that the shotgun’s serial number was never recorded as being imported nor was it ever held by a licensed individual. As a result of the inquest, the following recommendation regarding firearms was made: The Commonwealth, States and Territories should simplify the regulation of the legal firearms market through an update of the technical elements of the National Firearms Agreement.

A lawful gun owner who reads the above statement from the inquest would think that life would be made easier for them to participate in their chosen lifestyle or pursuits, or so it would seem. The review is underway, and the preliminary document is expected to be presented to the Royal Crime Commission Safety Council on the 5th November. This will be followed by COAG (Council of Australian Governments) meeting on 27 November that will consider recommendations on amnesties etc, then the police ministers meeting on 13 Feb 2016 will consider changes to NFA. The police ministers meetings are attended by police commissioners (political appointees) and police ministers (our supposedly democratic representatives).

Some pro firearms rights activists have had meetings with their elected representatives that are privy to the preliminary document and have come to the conclusion that there will be changes made to the NFA that will not be good for firearms owners. As always, unelected bureaucrats that have little or no idea on firearms, with input from the anti-gun lobby will try again to place even tighter restrictions on lawful gun owners.

 We will vote you out of office if you restrict legal gun ownership any further!

Ultimately, this leads me to my conclusion. Use Australia as an example, not of how gun control has “made everyone safer” but as an example of how gun control fails! See it for what it really was and continues to be, a waste of taxpayer’s money, a huge loss of personal liberty and a system that once it starts, could take many lifetimes to stop. They will keep chipping away at you until there is nothing left to take. Don’t give them a single inch.

Stand and Fight

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Ruger American Rimfire 17HMR Compact

The minister for war and finance doesn't generally allow me to buy new scopes when I pick up a new rifle, but sometimes its best to not ask when you already know what the answer is going to be. I have used the old "It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask permission" in the past, and lets just say that it's not true in my household anymore.

For me, new toys mean re-configuring and swapping scopes around from rifle to rifle. But, I do get new toys. Everyone likes new toys!  

I recently removed the Leupold Mark 4 from the American Rimfire so I could fit it to my newest toy, the Ruger American Ranch 300AAC. I had to put something on the rimfire to replace it and take it to the range and zero. That means more range time. Everyone likes range time!

I fitted the trusty old Japanese made Bushnell onto the Ruger American Rimfire 17HMR. This scope looks very well worn, well, because it is. It has great glass and its very bright. I bought it second hand from my local for $80 bucks.  I wish I had another three of them!

Previously, I had only taken this rifle to the range once on a very windy day. On that particular day, the groups were ordinary due to the erratic wind gusts.

I started by bore sighting the rifle. First shot at 100 metres hit paper, that's always a good start. I continued to fire 2 more shots and I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw a really nice small group. I adjusted the scope and put another 3 downrange. Another tiny group. Some more adjustments were made until it was spot on the money. Both small groups were exactly the same size. I knew the rifle was good and the Hornady 17gr V-Max is quality ammo, but I wasn't expecting to see groups under .5 MOA. Both measured to be .420 MOA.

Id like to test some more ammunition types, specifically the CCI and Federal Premium brands. I do have some Winchester that is loaded with the 17gr V-Max projectiles that I am yet to test.

First group, camera angle does it no justice.

Second Group - Yes, .420 MOA from a rifle that retails for $475

Some more about the rifle itself. Its a fairly basic rifle bedded into the plastic stock in what Ruger call 'power blocks'.  Its a fancy name for metal "V" blocks that the action is mated to. After my first trip to the range, I disassembled the rifle and boy, did I find some factory oil between the action, bedding blocks and the stock.  Having oil in between the mating surfaces will definitely cause accuracy to suffer. Keep this in mind next time you feel like bathing your rifles in CLP! Needless to say, I de-greased these surfaces and re-assembled the rifle. The action screws were way too loose from the factory. I tightened them up to 60 in/lbf. Aesthetically, it looks like just another rifle in a plastic stock however the bluing on mine is very deep and it looks superb.

 Its compact alright, short butt, 18" barrel
Picture stolen from Nioa (Hi Rob!)

The trigger is quite nice, it has a better feel to it than most budget rifles. Its definitely on a par with the savage accutrigger and functions in the same manner. Mine has a light pull right from the get go and I have no need to adjust it at all. My precision trigger measuring tool called my finger reckons it's around 4lb. That's a pretty good weight for a sporting rifle.

The Ruger rotary box magazines are by far the best designed magazines I have ever used. It's easy to load and feeds the rounds beautifully. I remember using one in the first rifle I ever fired, my father's 10/22. The magazine capacity is 9 rounds and it's the same magazine as used in the 22WMR versions. I prefer to not call the rifle 9 + 1 because I never have a live round in the chamber until I am ready to shoot. I never, ever rely on a mechanical safety. The best safety is the one located between your ears, however the safety catch is on the tang and it's easy to use if you are into that kind of thing.

I didn't mount my scope using the dovetail, instead I purchased some #12 weaver bases. Ruger, you are a bunch of bloody tight arses, you should be supplying these with the rifle. Savage do it with their rimfires, you should too!
I do wish there was a rubber butt plate on the rifle, it just feels wrong having a plastic stock resting on the concrete when you rack your rifle during a cease fire. I don't mind taking a square of carpet to the range to protect the metal butt plates of my pristine muzzle loaders, but this is a day to day rifle. Maybe I'm expecting too much for my money!
I think I will end up fabricating my own rubber butt plate and fitting it should be easy. The butt plate & comb assembly are designed to be removed from the stock by unscrewing the sling swivel. Its an innovative design.  Ruger supplies two of them, one standard height that is flush with the rest of the stock for use with the standard open sights and the second has a raised comb for use with a scope.

I really look forward to taking it out to my farm as it will be one of my main go-to rifles to destroy small vermin. This rifle will be perfect for taking feral cats, one of the things I enjoy shooting the most. I get great satisfaction knowing that there is one less bastard of a killing machine out there destroying the precious native birds, reptiles and marsupials that we all wish to see prosper.  This is true conservation. I know this rifle is good enough to take foxes as well. Ive shot plenty of those stinking things dead with a single round from a .22lr.  Its all about shot placement.

So now the only rifle I have that doesn't have a scope is my Parker Hale 7.62 NATO. (Yes it has a NATO chamber) Maybe a 6-18x44 Redfield Battlezone would be a good choice. I'd love to do a long term review on one of those (hint hint Rob Nioa! < It probably wont happen but its nice to dream).

The next rifle I'll ramble on about will be the Ruger American Ranch 300AAC Blackout. I need to assemble a load that works first. Anyone feel like donating some factory ammo for the test? 

To find an authorized dealer near you, visit http://www.nioa.com.au/about/find-a-dealer

Don't forget to follow me on twitter @trumpychris


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Police Cant Protect You And They've Also Disarmed You

Speaks for itself

To me, one of the greatest travesties of our time is the belief that removing the means of self defence from the individual will create a safer society. 

The people that concocted these insane laws have effectively disarmed the citizens of Australia. They seem to be using a model of "what if" to create laws, rather than policy based on real word evidence.

Lets use pepper spray as an example.  As it now stands in Australia, it is highly illegal for a man or woman to carry a can of pepper spray for the purpose of self defence.  The reason why it is illegal? Because someone might misuse it on occasion.  No longer are we trusted to make decisions about our own personal security. We have been stripped of the ability to be in possession of a tool designed for self defence.

If you do decide to carry a knife, personal taser, pepper spray or mace for the purpose of self preservation, you are committing a criminal act, and you then become the criminal. Heaven help you. Self defence is not even classified as a genuine reason to be issued a firearms license because they don't want you to be able to protect the family home.

The question must be asked, is it acceptable to create paper criminals of normal law abiding citizens that wish to have the means to ensure one of their most fundamental human rights?

Article 12 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Is it a violation of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights if a government outlaws the appropriate means of self defence?
In the event of assault, rape, armed robbery or other type of violent crime, the only people we can call to help us are the police forces controlled by the State Governments.  

One piece of information that you may find interesting is that the police themselves have admitted that they cant protect us.  They are only a reactionary force that generally only appear after a violent crime has been committed.

So knowing all this information, lets go back to the question of "Who is it that writes these laws?"

The Police. Yes that's correct.  The same Police that can't protect us, have made us even more vulnerable.

The Police write the laws, present it to the politicians, then the lying so called "representatives" sell it to the general public as getting tough on crime. Its actually the opposite, it makes the life of criminals easier. 

Ive commonly heard people say "It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six." I tend to agree.

Why have we as citizens let it get this far? 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Family That Shoots Together, Stays Together

When you think of Mothers day, most people would conjure images of breakfast in bed, gifts of chocolate and flowers, perhaps a nice lunch or dinner fully prepared by others where mum doesn't have to cook or clean.

Well some mums are different and like gifts that are a little out of the ordinary, such as the reactive steel target I wrote about in this previous blog post. So when two smiling children present a flipping target to their mother, it means we are heading for a trip to the range to test it out. 

The best range where we are always made to feel welcome is  80 kilometres* from home. It is by far the most relaxed place where the rules are always adhered to, everyone shoots in a very safe manner, but doesn't have the idiots with attitudes and ego's that are sometimes found at other ranges.  Ladies especially don't like being spoken to as if they are second class citizens.

Mrs Shell really enjoys the Savage .22lr that I purchased recently, so much so that she chose to leave her FN Trombone pump action at home. (Its got an intermittent feed issue that needs to be sorted - I'll fix it for her soon).

The flipping target at 25 yards proved to be quite a test for her in the beginning, but the more she shot, the more regular her hits were becoming.

Mrs Shell showing us her fine (shooting) form

 With Mrs Shell occupied with her new gift, it gave me the chance to test my latest purchase, A Ruger American Rimfire Compact in .17hmr.  Conditions were ordinary to say the least with the wing gusting up and down throughout the whole day. I was able to sort out the correct elevation for the little .17 and that was as good as I could manage.  The wind really knocks the little .17 calibre around.

A sport for everyone regardless of gender

A view downrange

I'd better mention the children, it was Mothers Day after all. Well they were happily playing in the large paddock behind the firing line. Its great to see my kids growing up around rifle ranges just as I did. Once its in the family, it becomes a tradition.

* 50 Miles for my American friends 


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Keeping The Lovely Lady Happy

I must admit, I'm very lucky. My lady, Mrs Shell, isn't scared of firearms! For all you men that live with hoplophobes, I feel for you.  Nahh not really, you should have chosen more carefully!

The main reason Shell likes handgun day is that we are shooting the Metallic Silhouette Match, the kind of target that falls over when you hit it. For her, shooting groups into a paper target is on the boring side, especially when spectating/waiting for her turn.

Of course I am a perfect gentleman, I load her magazines and call her shots.  But I never would have guessed this, she likes shooting my 1911 .45acp better than any of my other pistols.  Its certainly snappier than the XD9, however she likes it more. She has still got some work to do on her stance and  shot release, but little steps! 

Women love pink shooting accessories & large capacity magazines!

So what kind of gift do you buy for (on behalf of the children) the one you love for Mothers Day? A reactive steel target of course! Its designed to take hits from a .22lr so this means I have to buy another handgun. It will get plenty of use at the range and at the farm (only shooting at it with rifles at the farm because Australia has the most ridiculous handgun restrictions). I found this unit online and as an added bonus, its made in Australia as well. With every hit, the target flips over so you can shoot it again. And again, and again! The more you shoot it, the further it gets and the difficulty increases. If we had 2, we could have a race with them. If I lost that race, I'd never be able to forget it as I'd be reminded constantly!

Flipping Jack Target - www.glowshottargets.com.au 

So it will sit on my desk at work for the next week and a half and if we are lucky enough to have fine weather, we might head out to the range as a family and plink away on Mothers Day. Sure beats sitting around in an overcrowded park eating sandwiches...

Monday, 20 April 2015

The right tool for the job: Savage MkII .22lr

I recently became endorsed by a Registered Training Organization & Qld Police to provide the mandatory firearm safety courses that are required for a new license applicant.
I received my shiny new license in the post that has a few more letters on it, however I didn't have a basic bolt action rifle to use for the training.  Its such a shame to have to go out and spend money on new firearms :)

I had a quick shop around and found a new Savage MKII stainless steel in .22lr.  These are a perfect rifle for training as they are light enough for a minor (11+ here in Qld), have zero recoil, and being stainless steel, will be more forgiving if I just put it away in the safe without cleaning it. I chose a synthetic stock as it will surely take a few knocks at the range by some new shooters.
I borrowed this picture of the rifle from NIOA. (Hello Rob!).

Savage MkII .22lr

Whenever I purchase a new bolt action, I'll spend the evening just working the action until the bolt slicks up into a nice, smooth and easy action with no binding. My daughter gets really mad at me whilst I'm doing this as it interrupts her TV viewing. "You're too noisy Dad!"

I took the Savage to the range to test for function and suitability.  It feeds from the 10 shot magazine extremely well and the bolt had slicked up beautifully, enough to glide back and forth within the action with very little effort required. I mounted my Leupold Mk4 4.5-14x40 scope to Weaver bases supplied with the rifle to see what kind of accuracy the rifle was capable of.  Bulk pack ammunition from both Federal and Winchester had me shooting 2" groups from the bench at 50 yards. This more than acceptable from an inexpensive, lightweight sporting rifle.

I'm certain the rifle would shoot smaller groups with premium match ammunition, however this rifle is all about teaching students the ins and outs, the do's and dont's of firearm safety, not how to shoot like a marksman.

An opportunity arose to field test the rifle when visiting relatives in NSW.  By this time I had taken off the MK4 Leupold and fitted my extremely old yet dependable Japanese made Bushnell Banner 3-9x40.  After the kids had all gone to bed, I grabbed my bright as hell Chinese made LED torch and took a casual stroll down the back paddock.  A quick scan revealed a nice set of glowing eyes crouched low in the grass. At first I thought it was the house cat, so I let out a little squeal and the eyes raised from the grass. Bang!  The fox took about 10 steps at breakneck speed before falling.

What does the fox say? Not much, but he was a little stiff the next morning!

I am happy with the rifle and it will be well suited to training new shooters for their A&B licenses.
I have purchased a few more rifles and I'll write some about those soon. Stay tuned!

To find an authorized Savage dealer near you, visit http://www.nioa.com.au/about/find-a-dealer