Friday, March 24, 2017

Brigham Young's .31 Cal

In May of 2016 on behalf of the direct descendants of Brigham Young and in association with Michael Simens a personal friend of the Young Family, Brigham Young’s Colt pistol was put up for auction. It was said to have sold for between $550,000 and $850,000.
This is a factory engraved Colt Model 1849 Pocket percussion revolver manufactured in 1854 and presented to Brigham Young, by H.E. Dimick & Co., a major St. Louis firearms dealer. Brigham Young was Prophet at the martyrdom of Joseph Smith from 1844 until his death in 1877. This revolver was presented to the Prophet by H.E. Dimick & Company while he served as Governor of the Utah Territory (1851-1858).
It sold to an anonymous buyer in May of 2016 for $632,500.
There are some who wonder why the Church has not come out against what is commonly called “gun violence”. I think that followers of Christ are against ALL violence, not just that which comes from a gun. I believe there are some Mormon Liberals that like to think they hold the moral high ground and that guns could not possibly be any good. My feeling is that they feel that way until a criminal attacker/terrorist/madman starts shooting at them. Then they call 911 for someone to save them…with a gun.
Brigham Young knew the importance of self-defense.
“…do as I do—keep some person awake in your house all night long, and be ready, at the least tap of the foot, to offer a stout resistance, if it is required. Be ready at any moment to kill twenty of your enemies at least. Let every house be a fort. … I am my own policeman, and have slept, scores of nights, with my gun and sword by my side, that is, if I slept at all. I am still a policeman. Now is the day to watch. It is as important for me to watch now, as well as pray, as it ever has been since I came into this kingdom. It requires watching, as well as praying men; take turns at it, let some watch while others pray, and then change round, but never let any time pass without a watcher, lest you be overtaken in an hour when you think not;”
Brigham Young -JD 1:171-172
Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales said: “You gonna pull those pistols or whistle ‘Dixie?’”
This gunslinger famously brushed off a group of Union soldiers with those sneering words—just before he shot all four of them dead. The line was more than a bit reminiscent of the oft-misquoted line Eastwood said in the 1971 movie that catapulted him to fame: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?,” his Dirty Harry character asked the bad guy at the mercy of his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.
When Eastwood’s character ruthlessly killed those soldiers in 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, he chose as his weapons of death the 1847 Colt Walkers from his belt holsters. It’s not surprising that Hollywood would have him draw Colt’s first six-shooter, as much of the credit for taming the Wild West is usually assigned to six-shooters and big-bore rifles. But had he met those soldiers at a poker table, Josey might have reached into his vest pocket for the little five-shot pocket revolver that played its own part in the saga of the American frontier.
That hideout revolver, the 1849 Pocket Colt, was the most produced of all Colt percussion arms. It also became the best-selling handgun in the world during the entire 19th century.
During the 1840s, people had a myriad of single shot pistols to choose from for personal portable protection. These guns varied from huge and cumbersome large-bored horse pistols to miniscule, largely ineffective “coat pocket” handguns. As insurance against malfunctions, some of these pistols were actually designed with auxiliary weapons such as affixed knives or heavy club-like handles.
One of the few repeating pistols offered at the time, the multi-barrelled “pepperbox,” was a popular, but somewhat unreliable gun. (The pepperbox was the gun Joseph Smith emptied while being attacked in Carthage jail) Named for condiment canisters, a host of these single-action and double-action pepperbox pistols were produced by manufacturers including Allen & Thurber, Blunt & Syms and the English firm Manton. While some considered the pepperbox pistol one of the best pistols of its time, others saw it as unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous for its possessor. In his classic work Roughing It, Mark Twain claimed that the safest place to be when such a contraption fired was in front of it. A justice of the peace in Mariposa, California, agreed with Twain and actually ruled in an 1852 assault case that an Allen’s pepperbox could not be considered a dangerous weapon. This was not so for the Colt.

Brigham Young was pretty clear about how he felt about guns and defense.

"Keep your guns to yourselves. Trust no one; and when you shoot, take a good aim."
(Brigham Young, CDBY, 17 Sept. 1845.)

Semper Paratus
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Civilian Response To Active Shooter Event (600th Post)

I have two good friends. We are like brothers in many ways. One has extensive military and law enforcement background, the other extensive military experience. The three of us have been having an e-mail discussion on a civilian response to an active shooter incident. We’ve discussed several scenarios and the legal and social ramifications. All three of us have a military and instructor background in weapons so we are toying with what to teach. We have come up with a list that may, or may not, be used to train civilians in dealing with an active shooter if put in the situation where you cannot get away safely from the incident. We’ve seen many discussions on forums online to answer the civilian response to active shooters. Many of them are dangerous and obviously discussed by some individuals who have never had to defend themselves in a firefight of any kind. This list is given only as a starting point for someone interested in the information or an instructor searching for direction in teaching defensive shooting. Use this information with great caution and under the advice and direction of an instructor.

Training
First and foremost, know the laws where you live and where you carry. Learn what the deadly force laws are to avoid legal, criminal, and civil problems. Know how to deal with law enforcement and what to say or not say in the event you are involved in a shooting. Don’t end up in prison defending someone all because you opened your big mouth. With all due respect to my law enforcement friends, this is what I have told my family members regarding the police: “Talking to the police can never turn out good. Exercise your 5th amendment rights.”
Understand what the police will do when they show up at an active shooter event. They will secure the area and make sure the shooting is done. If you did the shooting last, this means you! You must survive so make sure you comply and are not perceived as the threat.

To become the sheepdog in a situation like this you must have a certain kind of mindset. It will be aggressive with a capacity for violence. If you do not have this capacity, do not train to fight an active shooter. Don’t get me wrong. If there are no other options, anyone must fight for their life. But to be sufficiently trained for this specific event you must have a different mindset than most. You will be moving toward to shooting not away. If you fire at a criminal shooter you invite him to return fire. You become a target. The idea of shooting and possibly killing another human being must be dealt with ahead of time not when the lead is flying. You cannot hesitate. The saying “He who hesitates is lost” applies here in reality. If you carry a gun you have probably gone through this thought process but it is imperative before a firefight. Envision yourself in this firefight situation. Go through it in your mind. It’s too late when you hear the crack of a bullet going by your ear. Go through these scenarios in your mind and go through your response and actions. Be real about it. Think about shooting from true cover and knowing what is beyond or around your target. We can imagine a perfect situation but make sure your imagination factors in not so perfect conditions. If you will do this, when presented with the actual event, you’ll have “done” this in your head and will have an idea of what to do. With this mindset you will be able to act with appropriate violence needed without hesitation. It’s kind of like muscle memory but with your mind.
Tactics are the difference between a reaction and a response. Everyone has a reaction when they hear gun shots. Most do not have a response. If you’ve ever seen a fight, a shooting in public, even a car accident, the bystanders that witness this usually stare for a while. Their response is usually shock to see violence played out in front of them. Even those who are entertained by violence freeze in the face of real violence. Tactics teach us cover and concealment, position and angle, movement, response when the lead is incoming and more.
To get into the fight you only need a reliable gun that goes bang when you want it to, and the courage to go toward the gunfire.
Shooting at the range is nothing like a gunfight. Learning to shoot well in a variety of positions is important. You never know what a fight will bring and how you will have to shoot. Combat accuracy is a little different than paper groups. Stopping the threat is the goal. As you go through the heart stopping process of having bullets whiz by you, you will see a large disparity in your shooting. Hits count when shooting at a criminal, but stopping the threat is still the goal. You need to be able to hit what you intend to. Many of these so-called “shooters” wimp out and give up or better for us, shoot themselves. So getting rounds down range can stop the spree.

How often should you train?
When I was competing I would practice every other day. Defense is a different matter. I would like to train 6 hours a day to be the best defender I can be. Most of us are lucky to get to the range once a week! But what is at stake? How prepared would you be if a mugger made an appointment with you for a mugging next Friday at 6 PM? You would train like crazy! You will more than likely never encounter an active shooter event. But if you did, would you be ready? Most of us have to plan and schedule our lives to exercise. Exercise is an important health issue so we make time for it. As things stand right now, I can train once or twice a week. Training requires time and ammunition. Training courses can be expensive and require our time. You must decide how important this is to you. But know that shooting is a very perishable skill. You may learn the basics and never forget them, but if you don’t practice it won’t be there when you need it. I’ve heard the excuse that you shoot the same every time you go to the range whether it’s weekly or monthly. I think you are fooling yourself. I’ve shot for over 30 years and know that when I miss a week, I have to force myself to go back to basics and can get back to where I was in a short time. But if I trained only once a month, when the pressure was on, I’d not do that well. You do not rise to your skills, but you revert to your practicing. How you practice is how you will perform under pressure. Fine motor skills go out the window in combat.
It’s not a bad idea to look at past active shooter events and see what you can learn from them. Study what exactly you should do to stop a killer. You might ask yourself how you can change your own training program, or that of your students if you are an instructor, to better reflect what is actually stopping these crazies.
We came to the conclusion between the three of us that of all the training we ever received and practiced was a bi-annual CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) warfare course. It was frequent enough, and because of its frequency it was a smaller course, in terms of information. We retained this information better because it was small bites, more often. In talking to that instructor in the past he told me that he updated the information but it didn’t change that often. He tried to make his course intense to plant the information in his student’s minds. He was right because I still remember what he taught after several years of being away from it. The military gave him 8 hours to teach this subject but he actually only taught a 4 hour class. He would review actual cases of this warfare and their results. He did extra things that were not really part of the class but were good information. He said that any longer than 4 hours of information would be a waste. So our breaks were long and lunch was long. I’ve thought a lot about that instructor and what I learned about teaching from him.
This is our suggestion for learning how to deal with an active shooter event as a civilian.

Active Shooter Response For The Legally Armed Citizen
(prerequisite: Basic Handgun Safety and Marksmanship)

Laws and Your Protection. (2 hours)
Local, state, and federal laws covering lethal force and stand your ground laws if applicable. Dealing with law enforcement and everything that may follow a legal shooting.

Tactics (2 hours)
Tactical theory and the practical uses of movement and angle. What constitutes true cover and what is concealment and the use of both. Target acquisition and collateral damage mitigation. Situational awareness and overcoming auditory exclusion and tunnel vision would be included.

Three Live-fire Range Sessions (2 hours each)
Shooting 500 to 700 rounds of practice ammunition. 50 rounds of defensive ammunition is also used to know what it does and that it works as needed. Distances are point blank to 20 yards. Emphasis on marksmanship and unconventional shooting will be made. This is NOT preparation for a firefight but only a familiarization of weapon, ammunition, and marksmanship.

Schedule:
Laws & Your Protection 0700-0900
Legal discussion and scenarios 0915-1000
1st Live fire 1030-1230
Lunch 1230-1330
Tactics 1330-1530
2nd Live fire 1600-1800
3rd Live fire (shooting tactics and low light) 1800-2000

This is a one day course but we believe it should be repeated. Maybe it could be offered in a package of 3 days (repeating each day) over a 3 week period.
This may not be as sexy as some tactical classes offered out there but this is a real life course that could make a real difference in the case of a mass shooting. When someone is doe with this course they should be confident enough and hopefully competent enough to make a difference.
After almost 40 hours of training and practice, 1650 to 2250 rounds, you would approach being better prepared for an active shooter event. At any rate, remember that leaving the scene as soon as is safe is the best choice if possible. Police departments have been training this for a while now and are pretty good at their response. A civilian needing to call upon this training is pretty farfetched, but we have evidence of it happening with good and bad results. Being prepared is always better than trying to wing it.
These are just the musings of three over-aged, has-beens. None of this is legal or moral advice and I’m not sure anyone would consider us “experts”. So take it as it was given, suggestions for more training.

Semper Paratus
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Mossberg Family Gunmakers

Oscar Frederick Mossberg at the age of 20 immigrated to the United States in 1866 and settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He was known as a tinkerer and in a small boiler factory shortly after arriving here. In 1892, Oscar became employed with Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works and his mechanical ingenuity was put to work. During the year 1900, Oscar left Iver Johnson and moved to Hatfield, Ma where he was superintendent of production with C.S. Shattuck Arms Co until 1902. At this point in time, he left C.S. Shattuck and became a moved to Chicopee where he became a gun designer for the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company. While employed with Stevens, Oscar designed his four barrel pocket pistol known as the Novelty and during many evenings, on weekends and holidays, he would produce this pistol with the help of his two sons in their barn. Approximately 500 pieces were manufactured from 1907 to 1909. Oscar finished his career with Stevens in 1916 and moved to New Haven, Connecticut and went to work for Marlin-Rockwell. There, he was involved heavily in Military contracts for machine guns and when World War I had ended in 1919, Oscar left the company at the age of 53 and started his own business with his two sons. Their first firearm was the four shot Brownie handgun which was a success. In 1922, a hammerless 22 rifle was added to production known as the model K. A bolt action 22 rifle known as the model B was added in 1928 and lever action rifles in 1929. A wide variety of rifles and shotguns continue to be produced today by this major firearms manufacturing company with the motto of “More Gun for the Money”.
In more modern times O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg’s popular products. As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, “Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”
Mossberg has instead expanded its Maverick Arms, Inc. facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, with 116,000 new square-feet of factory space. Mossberg is not a small gun manufacturer. According to records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mossberg made 475,364 guns in America in 2011. Of those guns, a total of 423,570 were shotguns made for sportsmen, for shotgun sports enthusiasts, for law-enforcement and for people who want a shotgun to protect their homes and families.
More than 90 percent of Mossberg’s guns are now made in Texas. Some of its Connecticut jobs went there, too. Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons' senior vice president, sales & marketing, said, “We’re moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines—like our modern sporting rifles—might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We’ve outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand.”
Mossberg is America’s oldest family owned and operated firearms manufacturer. It’s also the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world.
Oscar was born on September 1st, 1866 and died in 1937. The business is still family owned and operated. I love my Mossberg 500 shotguns and will pass that love on to my children.
Semper Paratus
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