February 2000

Bits and Pieces

Those of us who’ve toiled in the oil fields at least some of our lives know what it’s like to actually see inside a pipeline that will eventually carry oil or gas—and realize what incredible volumes of fluid these tubes can carry. But they are nothing like what the information pipeline, especially the Internet, can deliver. Like oil gushing out the end of a 36-inch trans-state pipe, news comes flooding into our homes and businesses, more than we could ever consume. But unlike oil, not all news is valuable, so finding interesting bits and pieces of it in the flood becomes quite a task.

Here are a few items we found and refined recently that might be interesting to gun owners:


Colt’s is making noises about buying Heckler & Koch from British Aerospace, according the Wall Street Journal and other sources. Our contacts at H&K say Colt’s entreaties, and Colt’s hard sell of the proposal, are overblown. However, the key to the deal, if it ever comes about, will be British Aerospace’s tolerance for lawsuit defense (or defence) in the United States.

What worries us about this turn of events are these points: Colt’s has an uneven financial track record of late, and the company isn’t turning out stellar products, in our view. Ask yourself: Which pistol brand has more cachet these days, H&K or Colt’s? Moreover, based on Colt’s recent releases about restricting its sales of consumer handguns, would this also affect H&K’s products? Likely it would. In our view, that’s not a good outcome, and unless conditions change, we would hope this marriage doesn’t come to pass.


As you’re likely aware, 28 cities across the U.S. have filed frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers to achieve gun control through the courts and bankrupt the industry.

To fight this trend, two groups are planning legal action against the cities themselves, the first being the Second Amendment Foundation, and the second, a group of Texas lawmakers.

Texas State Representatives Suzanna Hupp, Rick Green, and others are drafting a complaint that will be filed in a federal district court in Texas. They will sue on behalf of themselves and their constituents, alleging that the cities have conspired to violate their right to keep and bear arms by using the courts to impose gun control and threaten the gun industry with bankruptcy. In addition, several Texas gun stores will be plaintiffs in the lawsuit because of the cities’ attempt to interfere with the gun stores’ ability to participate in interstate commerce.

Reps. Hupp and Green believe that because of their status as public officials, they can garner more attention to the issue than SAF has been able to. Also, plaintiff-friendly Texas is a much better place to file the suit than Washington, D.C., which has never seen a judge give a pro-gun decision.

To contribute to a legal defense fund for this effort, or for more information, contact TreyBlocker@yahoo.com, or mail contributions to the Civil Liberties Defense Foundation, P.O. Box 163653, Austin, TX 78716.


Recent disclosures of the numbers of accidental deaths caused by physicians triggered someone to do some calculations comparing how deadly doctors are compared to guns. It would be amusing, if it weren’t so chilling. There are about 700,000 physicians in the U.S., who cause 120,000 accidental deaths a year. This calculates to a ratio of accidental deaths attributable to physicians of 0.171.

Conversely, there are 80,000,000 gun owners in the U.S., who cause 1,500 accidental gun deaths a year. That translates to a ratio of 0.0000188 accidental deaths per gun owner.

Therefore, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


On January 3, Reuters reported that U.S. handgun maker Smith & Wesson denied a British newspaper report that it is being put up for sale by its parent company, the British conglomerate Tomkins Plc.

“I am told that the people at Tomkins were very surprised at the story because we are not for sale,” said Ken Jorgensen, a spokesman for Smith & Wesson.

The Financial Mail newspaper reported that Tomkins had decided to sell Springfield, Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, for more than $160 million.

Jorgensen added, “Everything is for sale at a price, so to say that we would never, ever be sold would certainly not be a very smart statement. But it is not something that is in the works.”


In news closer to home, Gun Tests has been contacted by C. Kurt Canon, president of Glaser Safety Slugs, Inc., regarding the results of our October 1999 examination of .38 Special Defense Loads. In that article, Gun Tests reported chamber pressures of 25,200 psi for the Glaser 80-grain Blue (+P), which we considered excessive in a round purported to be suited for indoor defense use. Taking exception with this finding, Mr. Canon believes that lots of Glaser Safety Slugs will consistently fall within SAAMI specifications of a maximum average of 18,500 psi, a maximum probable lot mean of 19,100 psi, and a maximum probable sample mean of 19,900 psi.

Gun Tests will have a random sample of Glaser 80-grain Blue (+P) tested independently and report the results to our readers.

-Todd Woodard