You asked in last month’s “Downrange” editorial, “Have you added guns and ammo to your safe during the current regime? I’d love to hear how much, and why.” I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I will add some observations about family and friends who don’t read gun magazines. Yes, I’ve added to my collection and beefed up my stock of ammunition since Obama looked to be winning the election in 2008. I’ve bought a dozen rifles and shotguns in the past three years, and the same number of pistols. I also keep about twice the number of ready-to-use rounds on hand that I used to. I’ve lately taken to stockpiling “universal caliber” ammo for my guns that shoot those calibers, plus buying 7.62x54R by the spam can for my Mosin Nagants.
To be fair, part of this is due to collector mania. But another part of it is due to the fact that I don’t trust the current mis-administration a nanometer. Since January 20, 2009, Obama has not made a single move in Congress of the kind American gun owners expected, given his lifelong anti-gun track record. But he has appointed a pair of anti-gun justices to the Supreme Court who would dearly love to reverse D.C. vs. Heller and McDonald vs Chicago. Also, his Attorney General is involved with Operation Fast and Furious up to his neck; and he has taken to governing by executive order and federal regulation instead of by the legislative process.
I’ll end by noting that an in-law who did not own a gun in his life before Obama was elected now owns three. My mother-in-law, who would not permit firearms in the house when my wife was a girl, recently bought herself a 38 Special revolver and has begun practicing with it. A dear friend of mine who never owned a gun before now owns a Mosin Nagant. And a fellow collector has added half a dozen rifles and pistols to his collection, and is teaching his girlfriend (whom I expect will receive a proposal soon) to shoot the AR-15 and a 9mm semi-auto pistol.
One does have to ask what prompted people who have never owned guns in their lives to buy them now. And based on the record number of NICS checks over the past year, I have to ask how many thousands of ordinary Americans bought themselves their first firearms for the same reasons my friends and relations have: that they now feel it necessary to own them because they have no confidence in the current administration and its policies.— Cyrano
First, in my opinion — for what that’s worth — using NICS checks understates sales. At least in Texas, a CHL holder purchasing a firearm does not cause a NICS check. This would seem to make a lot of sales uncounted. An example would be the answer to your editorial question. I have added seven new 45 ACP handguns, one 40 S&W, and gave another 22 LR to my grandson, plus one smallbore rifle. I also have added about 1200 rounds to my stock of factory ammunition. —Charles
You asked for feedback on adding guns and ammo during the current administration. My wife and I have added a DPMS LR-308 and currently have more than 1,000 rounds of 308 Win. ammo. I prefer the 308 because I can use that caliber hunting, and target ammo is plentiful and inexpensive. In addition, we have added a Glock 19 Gen 4 with a Crimson Trace laser for inside the house and have several hundred rounds of 9mm ammo. We have three pocket-carry pistols — two Sig Sauer P238 pistols and one Taurus 380 ACP. We have close to 1,000 rounds of 380 ammo. We both target shoot with all our pistols at least once per month and will probably add another Sig Sauer based on our experience with the P238 pistols.
The main reason we have built up an inventory is extreme distrust of our current administration. When Obama was running for president and talking about adding a civilian paramilitary force equal in strength to the U.S. military, we interpreted that as him wanting to build up a fascist paramilitary force answerable to him. The reason Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and other fascists were able to succeed was due to the disarming of the civilians, leaving only armed forces that answered to the fearless leader. We are prepared to fight such a scenario.
Hopefully, in the next election Obama will be sent packing, and his rhetoric about paramilitary forces will subside. Then we have the worry about the Supreme Court deciding that all civilians should be disarmed. We are prepared to resist that idea as well. If a sane person is elected president in the next election and throws support behind the 2nd Amendment, my wife and I will continue to enjoy target shooting, and I will continue to enjoy hunting. We will let our ammo supply draw down in that atmosphere, but we will remain alert to those who want to subvert our rights. — Cecil
Since Obama was elected, I have purchased a Glock 19 and 6000 rounds of ammo, shooting the first 5k in practice. I have about 50 rounds of Defensive HP ammo, which includes 20 of +P. Have also purchased a J-Frame S&W Model 60 357 Magnum and 2000 rounds of 38 Special as well as 50 rounds of 357 Magnum hollowpoints. The 357 is for my wife. We enjoy the practice. Self-protection was the motivation, and the enjoyment is a pleasant by-product. — Bernie
Since the Comrade Chairman weaseled his way into the Pink House, I have purchased one AK-47, one Kel-Tec Sub 2000, four Ruger handguns (Mark III Standard, LCP, LCR 38 and LC9), a Ruger 10-22 in tactical dress, a Walther P-1, a Beretta Bobcat and several hundred rounds of assorted ammunition in 7.62×39, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 9mm, 22 LR and 12 gauge. I’m not finished. Why do I do this? Because I can. I’m an American!
Prior to 2008, my collection wouldn’t have qualified me as even a run-of-the-mill hunter: A small, mostly empty, safe of well-worn shotguns and old bolt actions. Since then, it’s grown to include three M82A1s, twice as many SR-25s and FS2000s, a gaggle of black bolt-action precision rifles, and many P226s. The ammunition stack that’s accumulated since 2008 would leave SEAL Team 6 wondering if they could shoot it all before retirement. Somehow, my recently purchased hard assets seem more reliable than things traded on Wall Street and regulated by Washington D.C. Imagine — all that from a Harvard puke who used to wonder why anyone needed a 50 BMG. (Mea culpa, I studied engineering, not history.)
Just want to say I love your magazine and believe it’s the only unbiased source out there for the consumer. In response to the question in your editorial on how Obama has affected our purchasing of guns, I must admit that I have doubled my firearms since 2008. I started buying when Obama was still campaigning against Clinton and Edwards because I knew one of these three would eventually beat the G.O.P. nominee. Currently, I am comfortable with what I have, but being a gun nut, I will never have enough… thanks to Gun Tests, which seems to always review a new one that I just have to have. Durn you Gun Tests.— Scott
Re: “Lightweight, Very High Capacity, Pistols
from Kel-Tec and FNH,” November 2011
I have never contacted you because I have agreed with you about 99.9% of the time. However, I have been stewing over the Kel-Tec PMR-30 vs. the FN FiveseveN. I totally disagree with your article on one major point: The Kel-Tec PMR-30 is next to impossible to purchase. I have been trying to purchase one for over a year and a half with no success in western PA. Since then, I have easily purchased three FN FiveSevens and can easily obtain the ammo just about anywhere nearby. The FiveseveNs run flawlessly. I have put thousands upon thousands of rounds through them with never a failure. They are incredible firearms. In my opinion, the Kel-Tec company has a long way to go to beat the production availability of FN. Also, on a side note, I have had a Kel-Tec RFB on order for over a year, and I still do not have one. I ordered a SCAR 17, and in three weeks I had it in my hands. I am incredibly impressed with its operation. — Dale Farland
We asked Derek Kellgren, director of marketing for Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc., to respond. He wrote, “The Kel-Tec PMR-30 has definitely been a hard-to-find pistol compared to the FN. To date we have shipped over 14,000 PMR-30s to distributors. Even these numbers have not really put a dent in the demand we are seeing. Since we deal strictly on the distributor level, we don’t really have control over which dealers receive them and which do not. Some dealers have had 15 or 20 come through their shop; some have not seen one since the weapon was released. It is a shame, really, because the pistol is just so much fun to shoot! We have been consistently producing 400 to 500 PMR-30s a week; however, due to the feedback we got from pretty much every dealer at SHOT, we plan to double production as soon as possible on the PMR-30, as well as the KSG and RFB.”
Kellgren continued, “The RFB is a completely different matter. On a good week we’re only producing 60 to 75 of them. It is definitely a hard rifle to find, and we are working on increasing the production on it. There are parts on the rifle that simply take a long time to machine, and with the demand for our other, arguably easier-to-produce items, the RFB has tended to take a backseat when new machines become available for additional production capacity. It is not uncommon for some customers to wait 18 months or more for an RFB to make it their way. We definitely want customers to be able to find our weapons in stores, because, honestly, if you can’t find the weapon, what’s the point? We understand this logic perfectly and are working tirelessly to get production where it needs to be on these items.”
Re “AK-47s: Fixed-Stock Romanian Versus
Folding-Stock Yugoslav,” December 2011
I have been a loyal Gun Tests subscriber since the early 1990s. The unbiased reviews have saved me lots of money over the years because I had the straight scoop on new guns and accessories. Thanks for your comparison of the WASR-10 and the M70 AB2 in the December issue. The Tapco muzzle brake tested on the Yugoslavian rifle is correctly made.
The brake is designed to deflect gas up and to the right during full-automatic fire. Many Warsaw Pact countries issued similar brakes on their AK’s. If you are considering the AK as a defensive or emergency rifle, it beats an AR hands down, in my opinion. Not only will the AK function when it is full of sand or water, but the 7.62×39 round hits harder and is a better stopper than the NATO 5.56×45. Many Vietnam vets will agree with me on that point.
Finally, I never liked the stamped magazines for the AK. The best available are the plastic “waffle pattern” mags of Bulgarian manufacture, easily identified by the two concentric circles with the number “10” molded into the mag body near the base plate. No rust, and strong enough to be run over by a truck and still work.
— Dr. Greg Vermeychuk
Re “30-Caliber Carbines: SSK’s 300 Whisper
Speaks Volumes,” November 2011
In the lineup of one 223 Rem., five 300 Whispers, and one “308” cartridge, the 308 Win. looks suspiciously more like a .243. But with my eyes approaching 70 years old, I could be wrong. Or not.
— Bill Luban
This is a good catch. Mike Pickett of Fountain Hills, Arizona, and Jeff G of DeForest, Wisconsin, also pointed this out. Aside from reading the headstamp, the shoulder is a dead giveaway, if not the girth of the bullet itself). Here is an additional lineup to compare to the 300 Whisper. Left to right they are the 6.8 SPC, 243 Win., 300 Whisper, 308 Win., and 30-30 Win. The 10-shot group was fired from support at a distance of 50 yards using Cor-Bon 150-grain JSP rounds in the SSK Industries 300 Whisper AR-15 that appeared in the November issue.
If you recall, our first box of this ammunition was slightly oversized and too difficult to chamber. Cor-Bon, located in Sturgis, South Dakota, took back the bad box of ammo and sent back a replacement, all in about 10 calendar days. The new ammo cycled smoothly, and, as shown, it proved accurate, too. We chronographed this round at 1898 fps, just 2 fps less than the claim on the box.
— Roger Eckstine