NAGR presents the Four Rules of Gun Safety

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Freddy’s Note:  I was at the gun range today with my son and his friend.  There are two ranges at the range. One for members and one for the general public.  One of the benefits of the member range is that you almost never get shot.  At the public range, you see all 4 of these rules broken all the time.  There is one range officer and 9 lanes, so he can’t always get to all the offenders. At the public range, last year, someone accidentally shot the smoke detector and the sprinklers were turned on.  The smoke detector is 12 feet off the ground, approximately 15 feet behind the firing line.  That’s why I am a member. Members tend to be people who know what they are doing and don’t shoot the other people using the member range.

This is always worth watching for new people or a quick refresher.

From the National Association for Gun Rights NAFG

Gun of the week #5: Romanian SAR-3

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I have been using more historic guns in this weekly series, this week, I picked a more modern guy. This is a strange gun and I got it really cheap because potential buyers were confused by the stock and the caliber.  I bought this a year ago on the night that New Town shootings happened. I was already going to this giant new gun store that had just recently opened to pickup a Ar-15 stripped receiver that I had ordered and I saw this in the racks with the other guns for $399.  It had a FAL like folding stock and it said .5.56/.223 caliber on the side of the gun.

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I had never heard of a AK that used .556/.223caliber before and neither had the salesman, so I did some quick research on it and figured out that $399 was a good price.

The Romanian SAR series of rifles was imported in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Much like the MAK-90, they can take double stack mags, but do not have the threaded muzzle or bayonet lug. Imported by Century, SARs had a US pistol grip, US piston, and US trigger group installed to make them 922r compliant. They come in three calibers, 7.62×39, 5.45×39, and 5.56×45 in the SAR1, SAR2, and SAR3 respectively. These rifles are generally well thought of, and are often good shooters. They say that Fit and finish are often less than perfect as is common with Romanian guns, but this gun looks and shoots fine.

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The main issue with these guns, tends to be the magazines, which are usually modified from some other gun for use with this gun. The magazines are hard to find. You just can’t use a standard AK or AR mag.  I have two Bulgarian Circle 10 plastic mags which work most of the time, and I bought two German Weiger metal magazines, which tend to work 100% of the time.

The stock is aftermarket and just looks strange on the gun. I bought another type of stock but I have never got around to installing it.  The guns shoots really well and confuses people on the range when they ask me if it is  an Ak-47 or AK-74 and I tell them no, it’s a SAR-3.

I usually joke about this gun, telling people it is the most evil rifle out there, because it as a AK that shoot AR caliber bullets.  It’s been a year, and while I do like the gun, I am not sure if I am going to keep it. I waver back and forth about keeping it or selling it to fund a new purchase.

Gun of the Week #4: Iver Johnson Safety Hammer Automatic Double Action Revolver

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original box

Every Wednesday- it is time for the gun of the week

This week’s gun of the week is  is a antique Iver Johnson top break 5 shot revolver in .32 SW (short). It comes with the original Box (Box is flat and very fragile.) The gun is in great shape and shoots well. The action is tight but the ammo is somewhat hard to find right now.  I bought the last box of .32 short at a local gun store. And I was able to find a box at the last gun show for $50.  I was paying for antique ammo box.

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My Iver from the side

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Iver Opened

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Look at the chambers when open

I bought this gun at a local gun store for $125 this past summer.  This seems to be the same model that was used by Leon Czolgosz to shoot President William McKinley with in 1901. The gun is in nicer shape then the pictures show.  It also still shoots very well. I seem to have a fondness for these type of guns.  I have three similar models in .32 short and a larger one  in .38 short.

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Iver Johnson gun revolvers ad

The Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works (yes, makers of handguns and fine bicycles), was started back in 1871 by a 30-year old Norwegian born inventor of the same name. Truth be told, it started as the Johnson and Bye Company, but eventually Johnson bought out Bye and went at it alone. The Fitchburg, Massachusetts based factory concentrated more on its bicycles than its firearms and employed many Scandinavian immigrants.
Just before Iver died in 1895, his company began to produce a new revolver that the late engineer had perfected late in life known as the Safety Automatic.

Design of the Safety Automatic

The Iver Johnson Safety Automatic neither has a manual safety, nor is it automatic. It’s a revolver. Its a double-action top break revolver similar in layout to the Smith and Wesson hinge frames of the 1860s era. What made the Iver different from the Smiths was in the fact that it had an internal transfer bar safety. This safety consisted of a bar that rested between the hammer and the rear of the cartridge in the cylinder/chamber. The bar prevented the gun from discharging if dropped and only fell away when the trigger was depressed all the way.

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Iver Johnson Ad explaining the safety hammer

Designed by fellow Scandinavian immigrant Andrew Fyrberg while at Iver Johnson and patented in 1896 under #566,393, this ‘Hammer the Hammer’ action was positively revolutionary for handguns.  Up until then you risked an accidental discharge from a dropped revolver if the gun was carried with a hammer down on a loaded cylinder, which as you may imagine, was a real concern at the time.

These guns were sold in both a small frame version with a three to six inch barrel in 22LR (7-shot) or 32S&W (5-shot), and a large frame 38S&W version that came in barrel lengths as short as 2-inches. With so many options you could buy a small concealable revolver for discreet carry or hiding in a cash drawer, or a larger piece for home defense.

When introduced Safety Automatics retailed for $6, which in today’s money is about $150. A nice, safe, and (for the time) relatively powerful handgun with a fast reload for a price that almost anyone could afford made it a hit for the company. In short, they were the Kahr of the 1900s.

Some 250,000 First Model Iver Johnson Safety Automatics were made from 1894-96, a significant and brief production life if there ever was one. These guns use a single top latch to hold the revolver together, a simple design which boasts four patent dates listed on the barrel with the last one being ’93.  The first run of guns were all designed and built for low-pressure black powder cartridges. On the top of the barrel rib there is a serial number, which usually doesn’t begins with a letter code but sometimes does.

The Second Model was made 1897-1908 and these were (generally) black powder only. They are identified easily due to the fact that they have a double top latch, a patent date that ends in ’96, and serial numbers that start with letters A through F. Some 950,000 of these were produced.  It was one of these; serial number 463344 bought for $4.50, that anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot President William McKinley with in 1901.

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Leon Czolgosz gun

A ‘hammerless’ version with a distinctive humpbacked shrouded frame was also made in this version. These Second Model Hammerless variants have a manual safety on the trigger, which makes them easy to spot .

The Third Model used coil springs rather than the flat springs of the first two models. The serial number ranges don’t go lower than a ‘G’, and all of these guns were beefed up to take smokeless powder rounds. These guns and a corresponding hammerless were produced as late as the start of WWII.

The distinctive monogram on the grips gives these guns the nickname of ‘Owl Head’ revolvers. The owl looks at the barrel but it is under these grips that you can find a date letter code that can help identify when your revolver was made. Late Third Model guns are usually found with wooden grips rather than the plastic and, in addition, on the First and Second Model guns, the cylinder freewheels when at rest, while the Third Model does not.

Sometimes these guns were called “Bicycle Guns”. Either because of the safety hammer, they would not accidentally fire if you fell off your bicycle. Or because they were made by a company that also made bicycles.

Congressional Study: Murder Rate Plummets as Gun Ownership Soars

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Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fell—and fell sharply.

According to the report, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.

This rate rose from 2004 to 2005 and got as high as 3.9 in 2006 and 2007, but it then resumed falling in 2008, the year the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individual firearm possession is Constitutionally protected—particularly for self-defense. This figure fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.

In other words, as the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was more than halved.

Additionally, the overall murder rate dropped from 9.0 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 in 2011. The overall number of estimated murder victims fell from 23,326 in 1994 to 14,612 in 2011. For estimated firearms-related murder victims, those numbers are 16,333 in 1994 and 9,903 in 2011.

The firearm category that led the way from 1994 through 2009 was handguns. And these were “mostly pistols, revolvers, and derringers,” the most concealable types of guns.

So after after all the pro-gun control grandstanding and the relentless focus on how the so-called easy availability of guns drives up crime, the CRS report shows that more guns—especially more concealable guns—has actually correlated with less crime.
Source:

Visit to GunSmoke in Denver Colorado. The shop from American Guns TV program

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Recently, I was in Denver Colorado for a week, and I traveled to the gunstore Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke was featured in two seasons of the show American Guns on the Discovery Channel. It was unfortunately canceled by Discover in the wake of the Newtown Shootings.

The store is located in Wheat Ridge, a suburb of Denver on a busy secondary road.
The retail store is relatively small. They have two large glass counters filled with guns. Guns on the walls, and a room filled with collectable guns.  The selection was good. The prices were good. One thing they did not carry was Ar-15s or gunparts.  The gunsmiths sections are located in the basement and other parts of the building that were off limits to the public.  They also had tons of Gunsmoke Labled items for tourists who were fans of the TV show.  I bought a hat for myself and a Gunsmoke Teeshirt and Mouse pad for my son.

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Inside

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Cannon they built during one of the American Gun Episodes

All the people I met at Gunsmoke were very friendly and helpful. At first, the only person I recognized from the American Guns show was Rich Wyatt — Founder/Owner, Firearms Instructor. He is amazingly tall around 6′ 6″ and literately stands above the crowd.

Unlike other people on TV, I have met, Rich was very friendly and would pose for photos with anyone and also autograph anything.  I bought a American Gun’s mouse pad and he autographed it for son.  He later posed for a picture with me.  And then he and several of the gunsmiths from the show, actually recorded a Merry Christmas Video message for my son, who loves the program. Actually calling my son my name in the video.

I met and hung out with Brian Meidal – Head Gunsmith and Gary — Gunsmith and Builder.During the course of the two episodes, the TV show made it seem like another gunsmith Scott was the biggest jerk in the universe. Brian told me that the TV show was not completey real. The show played up tension between Scott and the other gunsmiths. In fact many of the builds portrayed in the show, were not really for customers.  They had customers come in and ask for a rifle to be built or customized and many times for the build that was to be featured during that week. Also the pricing for the builds were made up and ad-libed, so money was not really exchanged for some of the builds. And Gunsmoke kept the result of the build. There was a cannon that they supposed build for a customer, in the corner of the showroom.

They were still open when I was there, but they have had some issues recently. There was a breakin where guns where stolen. And owner Rich and GunSmoke were audited recently by the IRS, It seems that Rich and GunSmoke had not paid taxes for some time.   And they always flashed huge sums of cash on the TV show when they were buying guns.  Whoops. Rich and Guns were really nice people, and I wish them luck with the IRS.

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Since I am an semi-international Man of Mystery, I have blocked my face in the above photo.

Freddy