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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.


Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 by Mas | 18 Comments »

Ah, November. Depending where you are, it’s either deer season already, or it’s about to commence.

Have you scouted out where you’re going to hunt yet?

Are you sighted in yet? Be reminded, “It was sighted in when I put it away last season” is not enough.  Consider:

Guns get bumped and dropped. That can alter point of aim/point of impact.

We traditionalists who like walnut or other wood stocks on our rifles have to remember that wood absorbs moisture. When it expands and bears on the barrel, point of aim/point of impact can be altered by that, too.  The mount screws on our telescopic sights can loosen with time and use, and that changes POA/POI coordinates as well.  Are we absolutely SURE that the ammo we set out for THIS season is EXACTLY the same as what we used last season, and are sighted in for?  Same concerns.

Hunters’ ethics:  We owe the animal a swift, clean kill.  It’s what makes our harvesting the creature more humane than the miserable death a wild animal can expect from old age out there in the wilderness.  If anything has happened to make the shot go somewhere other than where we aimed, the humane demise can turn into hours or even days of the animal slowly dying in agony, not to mention that all that meat for the table is lost.

Take the time to verify POA/POI coordinates, preferably off the bench at the distances from which you are most likely to take a shot in the field.  Then, verify from field shooting positions (kneeling, standing, whatever) that you and your deer rifle are still in tune with one another in that respect.

I suspect there are readers of this blog who can share stories of where the whole point of aim/point of impact thing went well, and where it went wrong.  Those comments are, as always, invited.

Good luck, and safe and happy hunting.


Saturday, November 12th, 2016 by Mas | 14 Comments »

The same week the most anti-gun Presidential candidate in history lost her White House bid, we in the gun culture lost two more greats.

Mike Dillon has passed.  Mike was the man who made progressive ammunition reloading machines available cheaply to the general public. The availability of affordable centerfire ammo in volume has created great strides in improving shooting skills nationwide, and has made it possible for countless more good people to become active in the shooting sports.

Mike was a gentleman in every respect.  I will always appreciate how kind and friendly he was when he took my significant other on a tour of his plant in Arizona a few years ago.

Dillon Precision set a high-water mark for customer service, not just in the firearms industry but in American industry, period.

Phil Shave, former head of police firearms training in Washington state and now working with a major gun owners’ civil rights group there, informs me that John Lawson passed away early in November.  John and I followed parallel paths in some respects. He and I were both columnists for American Handgunner magazine in its formative years going back to the 1970s.  If memory serves, Lawson and I both got our gun-writing starts with the late, lamented GUNsport magazine edited by the great Ken Warner, me in 1971 and John earlier than that.

Lawson 1911

John Lawson did this first “Ayoob Special.” Colt Combat Commander .45 auto has an early Jim Hoag grip safety, 5″ Bar-Sto match barrel ported on exposed portion, S&W adjustable revolver sights, and an exquisite Lawson trigger job. RIP, Brother John.

John’s niche was gunsmithing.  A master at the trade himself, his specialty was showing readers how to safely and effectively work on their own firearms.  Perhaps his most famous series was on a rifle he built for his little niece.  I have the privilege of owning two John Lawson custom .45s. The first was a Colt Combat Commander he built for me in the ‘70s, its extended barrel ported on the exposed part to reduce muzzle jump, and one of the first beavertail grip safeties by Jim Hoag. I won a gold medal with it at an IPSC match overseas in ’79.  When I was shooting for Team HK under Team Captain John Bressem in the early ‘80s, John built a pin gun out of a Heckler & Koch P9S Target model with a heavy barrel weight, Mag-na-Ported.  That sweet pistol won multiple guns for me at the Second Chance bowling pin shoots in Michigan. I am glad I have those two Lawson Custom .45s to remember him by, and will cherish them all the more now.

Vaya con Dios, brothers. Each of you were sterling examples of the character of the people in the real Gun Culture.


Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 by Mas | 58 Comments »


To all who contributed to heading off a Hillary Clinton Presidency…thank you.
We’ve dodged some political bullets that were potentially lethal to our rights. The election results have prevented the predictable vitiating of the Supreme Court.
In celebration, I think I’ll wear a couple of stag-gripped Smith & Wessons today.
The shorter, less powerful .38 Special on the left and the .357 Magnum on the right seems appropriately symbolic…election03web

The mainstream media, which went so blatantly propagandistic for the Clinton campaign, literally created its own monster. In giving Trump so much more play than the other Republicans, thinking that if the clown they portrayed him to be was nominated the Democrats would be unbeatable, they unwittingly awakened a vast swath of ordinary middle class Americans with classic American values to the belief that Trump was their only hope. If Trump was as stupid as they portrayed him to be, he wouldn’t have outsmarted them at their own game.
We’ve won the battle, but not the war. Among other things, there will be some respite for this blog to go back to talking about using guns, and not just keeping them.
When you start seeing t-shirts like this, you know Americans are getting fed up with mainstream media that sounds like Pravda during the Cold War years.


Sunday, November 6th, 2016 by Mas | 27 Comments »

Yesterday, Saturday morning, I went by the post office before they closed to pick up my mail. There was a nice lady there in a pink “Women For Trump” tee-shirt.  She was getting compliments from the other weekend postal service customers.  She got a thumbs-up from me.

On the way home, there was a gentleman on a street corner waving a handful of Trump bumper stickers, and holding an array of Trump lawn signs along his other arm. Folks were stopping to take some of them off his hands.  I gave him a thumbs-up, too.

I did early voting, and have already cast my ballot: “For Donald Trump” or “AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON,” however you want to read it, though the way I wrote it pretty much shows how I felt about it. The rest of my ballot, in local municipal and county races, was pretty much split between Democrats and Republicans, as it usually is.  I go with the individual and their stance, not their party.

As “October surprises” flowed into November, they’ve hit the Clinton machine pretty hard, though they don’t seem to have hit the mainstream media so much, giving credence to the growing public perception that the media is in Hillary’s pocket.  Sad thing to watch.

There’s still time to do what the lady in the post office and the gentleman on the corner (and me, here) are doing: SPREAD THE WORD TO THE VOTERS!

Feel free, while there’s time, to share this from Ann Coulter. Love her or hate her, Ms. Coulter has largely nailed the matter here.



Friday, November 4th, 2016 by Mas | 11 Comments »

I just learned that Professor Don Kates passed away on the first of the month. Don was a personal and family friend, my student in some things but my teacher in more, and one of the deans of the gun owners’ civil rights movement.

A classic example of the thinking liberal who realized restricting gun ownership caused more bad than good, Don rode with the Freedom Riders as a young man, and clerked with William Kunstler.  Don stood alongside other famous liberal thinkers and doers who had come to the same realization: Marc Benenson, for example, and Carol Ruth Silver.

Mutual friend Eugene Volokh, another stalwart of the movement, offers his remembrance here.

Goodbye, my friend, and a heartfelt thanks for all you have done.


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