Knitebane Manor Illos libenter devoramus qui nos opprimere velint


Happy Birthday John Moses Browning!

Posted by Knitebane

Born this day in 1855, he made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24. He is credited with a total of 128 firearm patents.

Thank you Mr. Browning for bringing us these:

U.S. M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun
FN Browning M1899/M1900
Colt Model 1900
Colt Model 1902
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless
Colt Model 1905
FN Model 1906 Vest Pocket
Remington Model 8
Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket
Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless
FN Model 1910
U.S. M1911 pistol
Colt Woodsman pistol
Winchester Model 1885 falling-block single shot rifle
Winchester Model 1886 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1887 lever-action repeating shotgun
Winchester Model 1890 slide-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1892 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1894 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1895 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1897 pump-action repeating shotgun
Browning Auto-5 long recoil semi-automatic shotgun
Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle
U.S. M1917 water-cooled machine gun
U.S. M1919 air-cooled machine gun
U.S. M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)
U.S. M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun
Remington Model 24 semi-auto rifle Also produced by Browning Firearms as the SA-22 and several others
Browning Hi-Power
The Browning Superposed over/under shotgun
Ithaca Model 37 pump-action repeating shotgun<

A number of them are still available as new in-the-box firearms.



Brevity is the soul of wit

Posted by Knitebane

Does that mean that a short post is supposed to be funny?

I'm working up a longer post about my trip to Ramseur, NC this weekend where me and the Mrs. attended a two-day Appleseed shooting event.  Also forthcoming are gear reviews on some of the items we took.  I've also got a movie review in the works and the Mrs. is planning a write up on her experience at Appleseed too.

In the mean time, feast your eyes on this:


The QDAQT requires a 210 to score "Expert" and receive a rifleman patch.

See the patch? Oh yes I did.


So somebody’s just gonna have to go out there and take one for the team.

Posted by Knitebane

Let me get this right on out there. I hate Starbucks. Their business model seems to include bumping up the price of a commodity in order to make it appear to be exclusive, then marketing that exclusivity to everyone.

Still, it seems to be working though I have no idea why. The brand appears to be extremely successful despite the fact their flagship product tastes like the dishwater used to clean a barbecue grill.

I have a Cuisinart K-cup brewer at home, a portable Keurig for the road and a Keurig B60 at work. I have probably 4 or 5 different kinds of coffee (in boxes of 24) on hand at any one time. I LIKE coffee and more to the point, I like coffee that tastes good.

Starbucks' coffee doesn't meet that criteria.

So when I tell you that I've pulled up to a Starbucks today and bought a cup of their wretched concoction as a symbol of solidarity with my fellow gunnies, you now know what that has cost me personally.

Here you go, gun community. I've taken one for the team.

This stuff really, really sucks.


Do it for the children

Posted by Knitebane

From No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money:

I'll let John say it in his own words:

The Complementary Spouse's nephew, Aaron Elam, is a freshman at the University of Kentucky. As part of a team project for an English class, he and his team submitted the video below arguing for concealed carry on campus. I think they not only did a good job but they understand just how defenseless they really are in so-called gun-free zones.

Congratulations to Aaron and the rest of his team for a job well done. Feel free to pass this video on as part of their assignment is to distribute it. Let's see if it can go viral.


Gear Review: The STI Spartan 9mm

Posted by Knitebane


UPDATE -- October 9th, 2012:

A few months after this post I finally managed to get over to my 1911 gunsmith and he found a tiny burr inside the magazine catch hole. A few minutes of sanding and ALL of the magazines I have for the Spartan now function flawlessly. It seems there was just enough drag on the magazine catch to keep from fully engaging the magazine. All fixed.

The only trouble I've since then had are almost certainly ammo related. I recently got some bulk UMC 9mm and it occassionally stovepipes. But then the UMC does it even more often in my FN FNX-9 so I'm pretty sure it's just crappy ammo as the other ammo I've fed the Spartan has worked perfectly.



A few months ago Sean invited a bunch of bloggers to meet up and attend a training class. The schedule included shooting about 500 rounds in a single day. Usually I'm a  .45ACP shooter so just thinking about it started to hurt. Not so much the actual shooting part but rather the cost. A thousand rounds of .45ACP runs about $350-$400. The same amount of 9mm is about $200. Ouchie.

In fact, the cost of .45ACP has been keeping me from shooting as much as I'd like. The Mrs. and I have a weekly range day every Tuesday at PDHSC and I've been trending more toward just shooting .22 because of the expense.

Being the kind of person that likes to have more than one reason for doing something I took this as an opportunity. I needed to buy a pistol chambered for 9mm.

But then another dilemma. I normally carry a 1911 in .45ACP. Do I buy some Tactical Tupperware? Or shell out for a Sig? I have rather small hands so I've never found the double-stack pistols to be comfortable to hold or shoot. Decisions, decisons....

I tried a Sig P226 and liked it okay and was leaning toward a Sig P239 when the Mrs. did some looking around and discovered that STI (yes, THAT STI) makes a single-stack 1911 in 9mm. And the price was pretty good too. So I called Dawson Precision and ordered an STI Spartan in 9mm. They were having a special and would mount a fiber optic front sight for free so I took them up on it.

While I was waiting for it to come in I ordered four 10 round Tripp Research magazines and three boxes of 9mm. I got some different brands of ammo in case it was picky but made sure I stuck with fairly major brands that I wouldn't have any trouble getting. I figured Federal, Remington and Sellier & Bellot were pretty safe choices.

About a week later PDHSC called me and said it had arrived. I headed over after work and picked it up.

The Spartan came with a single 9 round magazine, a pair of fired casings, the requisite lock and an instruction manual in an industry standard plastic case. I pulled it out and checked it for function then ran three magazines through it, one mag full of each brand.

During the first mag I noticed a disturbing problem. After about three shots the magazine would fall out of the gun. Considering that STI has a reputation for quality and as Tripp Research makes the factory mags for STI I was pretty puzzled. I popped out to the PDHSC front desk and checked to see if they had any single stack 9mm mags for a 1911. Lucky me, they had a bunch of Wilson Combat ETMs. I bought two and tried them in the STI. They worked fine leaving me to believe that the STI just didn't like the Tripps. I've had several guns that were picky about mags but generally not with quality mags. Very odd.

There was one thing that I didn't check and it popped up at TigerSwan to haunt me. But more on that later.

I wanted about a month between the receipt of the Spartan and the class and I timed it pretty well. I'd have four range days to break in the pistol before I attended the class and what I didn't want is to show up with a gun that didn't run. The point of a class is to learn and it helps if your stuff all works. The range days went pretty well. The Spartan ate up the S&B ammo in the ETM 10 round mags with almost no issues. I did notice that when the Spartan had just been cleaned it liked to stove-pipe on the second or third round of the first magazine but after that ran just fine. I suppose it doesn't like being clean.

Satisfied with the ETMs I bought four more. Sean had noted that at least five magazines were best unless you wanted to be stuck loading like a madman between drills. As it turns out six was just about perfect. I bought a Butler Creek Magazine Loader/Unloader from Amazon and it was extremely useful. Usually after 100 rounds my thumb is sore from loading mags. I don't want to think about what 500 rounds in one day was going to do to my thumb.

During the first parts of the class I noted no problems with the pistol. The drills were mostly 10 shot drills that would empty the gun and I'd just pop in a new magazine, drop the slide and go. Later, however, we started doing tactical reloads and drills that required more than 10 rounds.

I discovered that if I fired a few rounds dropped a mag with a round still in the chamber and slammed in a new, full mag the gun would fire once and then go click! An examination found that the mag had come unseated. I tried this several times and while it didn't always happen it happened enough to make me very unhappy.

Considering the earlier problem with the Tripp magazines I've pretty much decided to blame the magazine catch in the Spartan. Now remember when I said that I always like to have more than one reason to do something? And remember when I complained about having small hands?

The stock magazine release on a 1911 is just out of reach of my gun hand. If I shift my grip to where I can eject the magazine I'm no long in shooting position. I've generally just used my support hand to drop the magazine before I reach for a reload. This is not entirely satisfactory. It works, but it's kind of slow.

Cylinder & Slide makes an ambidextrous magazine release for the 1911 that doesn't appear to require a trip to the gunsmith. As the Spartan is going to be a range queen ( I still carry the 1911 in .45ACP) having the extra stuff hanging off of it really isn't an issue and since I'm pretty sure that the magazine release is faulty anyway here's an opportunity to fix both problems.

If it works and doesn't hang up or expose itself to random magazine ejections I'll consider putting one on my carry gun too.

I'm a little disappointed in the Spartan for the magazine problem but considering that I paid less than $700 for a gun that eats any ammo I put in it, ran through 473 rounds at Tigerswan without any issues other than the magazine drop problem and it duplicates my carry gun so I don't have to re-learn grip or sight picture or function I'm generally happy with it.

I bought some other stuff for the class too so I'll be doing some more gear reviews soon.
*** Dear Federal Trade Commision, I paid for everything in this review and have received no compensation.  So there. ***

Tagged as: , , 8 Comments

The average teacher explains complexity; the gifted teacher reveals simplicity.

Posted by Knitebane

Last Saturday I spent the day at the TigerSwan Training Collaboration Center with several other gun bloggers from North Carolina.

We started with introductions and the requisite safety instructions.  Our instructor was Brian Searcy, a 23 year Army Special Operations veteran and past member of Delta Force as that unit's Operations Sergeant Major.  

Brian Searcy

Attending as students were Paul of  Arms are the Mark of a Free Man,  Sean of An NC Gun Blog,  Larry of Last Refuge of a Scoundrel,  George of Newbie Shooter, and John of No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money and a few other folks that helped fill in the minimum number for the class.

Brian started us out at 25 meters and those targets looked pretty far away!

25 meters

TigerSwan's basic pistol instruction centers on perfect execution of basic skills. The quote from the TigerSwan website is:

There is no such thing as "advanced tactical skills" - there is only perfect execution of the fundamentals under stress.

To this end we started with the most basic elements and added an element at each step.  Stance, grip, presentation, sight picture, trigger control, sight we progressed from stage to stage Brian kept adding more elements.  At some point during the "Ball and Dummy" drill something clicked and I started regularly hitting inside the 9 ring.  At 25 meters.

If you had suggested that when we first started I would have laughed.

For me the key seemed to be mostly grip.  TigerSwan teaches a grip that pushes the thumb of the support hand WAY forward ...

Forward grip


... relaxes the gun hand to something like a firm handshake, and requires the support hand to then grip the gun with as much force as necessary to get control of recoil.  They eschew the concept double taps (which is something that I've been having considerable problems with) and instead focus on putting two aimed shots on target.  In fact, that's the primary skill that the Intro Pistol course strives to teach.  While some other fundamentals were presented, the "two aimed shots" was the primary focus.  The additional skills were working tools to get to that goal.  Granted, it took 473 rounds for me to get there, but get there I did.

The following Tuesday I ran another 100 rounds through my STI Spartan at my weekly range trip.  I'm not as fast or as accurate as I want to be but I'm much faster and more accurate than I was and I can see the places where I need to practice.  My shortcomings are not instinctively using the forward grip and not following through after each shot.  I'm afraid I've developed some bad habits while working on speed for the Ruger Steel Challenge - Rimfire competitions, like coming off the target too soon.   Both of these are a matter of correct practice and I'll be doing that every week.

I plan on taking this course again in the spring and dragging Mrs. Knitebane along too.  The 1-Day Introductory Pistol Course at TigerSwan is an excellent place to start.


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Posted by Knitebane

But I won't have to play hooky to go to this school.

Sean of An NC Gun Blog has coordinated a gun blogger shooting class at TigerSwan this weekend.

I'll be doing things like this:


I'll post an after action report when I get back.

Stay tuned.


Governor Perdue signs HB650

Posted by Knitebane

Sean has a fantastic breakdown of the entire bill over at NC Gun Blog and I won’t duplicate his effort. Suffice it to say that for the most part, HB650 gives North Carolinians the Castle Doctrine and the bill also cleans up a bunch of other antique and misguided gun laws.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a major improvement. There was some question as to whether New Bern Bevvie would sign it, but it apparently the staffers flipped over the Magic Eight Ball and it said “SIGN IT, YOU FOOL!” so she did.

Sadly, the ability to lock your firearm in your car while at work can still be punished by stupid or misguided employers. Most Demonrats and several really stupid Republicans (my own representative, Leo Daughtry, included) voted for the McGrady Amendment. Rumor has it that the stupid Republicans that voted for this asinine amendment did so at the behest of that gun-grabber-in-sheeps-clothing Rephensative Paul Stam for the spurious reasoning of protecting the property rights of businesses.

He doesn’t mention the property rights of automobile owners. Somehow he thinks that the inside of my car is subject to no property rights while the pavement it’s sitting on is. What’s next Stam? Going to authorize firing people because they have a Bible in their car? Or a newspaper? How about a bumper sticker?

There are two other bills out there that this bunch is going to have to vote on next session. HB111 is restaurant carry and HB63 is another parking lot carry bill. That next session will come up right before the next election.


Gunwalker scandal goes primetime

Posted by Knitebane

Representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Justice have given weapons to Mexican drug cartels and caused the deaths of at least two American law enforcement agents and countless Mexican citizens.  This operation, called Fast and Furious by the BATFE, has been dubbed Operation Gunwalker by those that uncovered this insane program.

In short, in order to drum up support for new gun control laws they killed people.

Tonight Greta Van Susteren did an interview with one of the whistleblower BATFE agents involved in shipping weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Today, the Wall Street Journal did a piece on it:

Tomorrow night Bill O’Reilly will be doing a segment on the scandal.

Since December two blogs have been running down the actions of the BATFE, the Department of Justice and the White House as relates to arming the drug cartels:

David Codrea at The War On Guns


Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars

The issue has induced Congress to hold hearings last week. The outcome of the hearings caused the New York Times to report:

Top Agency Officials Knew of Disputed Gun Program

This morning David and Mike’s own whistleblower contacts inside the BATFE said that the Acting Director of the BATFE, Ken Melson, will resign any day now.  CNN confirms:

ATF acting director may resign over Fast and Furious program

Primary documentation of the entire affair is at Codrea’s site. On the left is a three-part primer on all Gunwalker activities to date.

At Mike’s site on the right is “The Gunwalker Scandal Made Simple”:

There are five key accusations against ATF and DOJ made by ATF whistleblowers and other sources within FedGov:
1. That they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners.
2. That they allowed or even assisted in those guns crossing the U.S. border into Mexico to “boost the numbers” of American civilian market firearms seized in Mexico and thereby provide the justification for more firearm restrictions on American citizens and more power and money for ATF.
3. That they intentionally kept Mexican authorities in the dark about the operation, even over objections of their own agents.
4. That weapons that the ATF let “walk” to Mexico were involved in the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, as well as at least hundreds of Mexican citizens.
5. That at least since the death of Brian Terry on 14 December, the Obama administration is engaged in a full-press cover-up of the facts behind what has come to be known as the “Gunwalker Scandal.”

Call your Congresscritters. Tell your friends. Tell your friends to call their Congresscritters. Demand justice for Border Patrol Agent Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata. Demand a special prosecutor be named to investigate the BATFE and the DOJ. Demand that the responsible parties be uncovered, fired, tried and convicted.



Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel

Posted by Knitebane

And I responded thusly:

Chairman Mims,

I don't have a problem with what you suggesting that I read the whole thing but rather with the way you suggested it along with the remarks you made earlier at the working group.  I guess an apology is not forthcoming.

Very well.

G.S. 14-409.40 puts limits on the power of local authorities to put restrictions on firearms.  This is not in dispute.

The rest of the section includes certain exceptions.  It appears in the referral to G.S. 153A-129 that you do have the authority to regulate some restrictions.  I think there's plenty of room to argue that constitutionally, you don't.  Those exceptions were put in quite a while ago.  The national trend is against allowing local authorities to trump civil rights.

The real question is this:  Why are you so determined to find out?

Wouldn't it be better for everyone if you just fixed the problem at hand, namely negligent gunfire, rather than trying to turn all of Johnston County into Cary?



CC: The Usual Suspects