Something Bad Comes Our Way

Readers Tom, Bruce, and Andy predict what they think is coming regarding federal gun regulations. Not an easy read. Reader Phil wants to talk about the ammo shortage, and Reader Cain jumps in.


Re “Downrange, President Joe Biden and Guns” March 2021

Something for gun owners to consider: The incoming administration has gun control near the forefront of their many agendas. How will this happen?

A trial balloon was sent out this past December when the ATF, in conjunction with some Biden supporters, said that AR pistols with a brace attached would be now considered a “short barreled rifle” and therefore require registration under the NFA. They even would make it easy and waive the normal $200 fee for doing so. After many negative comments about the proposal, it was withdrawn.

Here is what I see occurring in the near future: ATF will expand the definition of a short-barreled rifle, as proposed in the trial balloon, and begin immediately requiring registration of AR- and AK-style pistols that have a brace attached. [This could be enacted with] an administration executive action, with no legislation needed.

Legislation will quickly pass through Congress and be signed into law that will classify what they call “assault weapons” as NFA items that will require registration. The classification of “assault weapons” will be theirs, which likely will mean any magazine-fed semi-automatic firearm. This will obviously include AR- and AK-style actions, and also M1As, M1 Carbines, etc. The law may even include the ever-popular Ruger 10/22 as well as all pistol-caliber carbines.

They will allow a grandfathered ownership of these items if one fills out an appropriate ATF form and submits it for registration as an NFA item. Again, I’d guess they will waive the normal $200 fee — and build a national list of law-abiding citizens who own “assault weapons.”

Transferring or selling an “assault weapon” will be illegal unless it is registered as an NFA item, and the new owner is registered as well.

No confiscation yet — but they will patiently wait as more and more voluntarily register their “weapons.” There will be massive programs and incentives encouraging participation (carrots). When they are confident the majority of the “assault-weapon” owners have been identified, there will be an effort to identify the “holdbacks” and seize their guns as contraband and prosecute the owners as a gun criminals (sticks). Then an amnesty program for those who are slow to respond (more carrots). Finally, there will be a law change to classify “assault weapons” as illegal to possess and require a turn in of all “assault weapons” for destruction (the hammer).

Do you see yourself anywhere in this picture? How will you participate? — Tom

Hey Tom: Wow. Chilling.Todd Woodard

Smart guns, especially handguns, are a dumb idea. The user has no idea if it will work when needed due to battery, shock, or damage. The idea of smart guns was to protect police officers during a struggle. It has turned into a gun-control (prohibition) idea. I feel a better approach would be “smart holsters.” The holster has more room for the mechanism and battery, it is less subject to shock and damage, it would not require any change to existing firearms, and you can be confident the firearm would fire once drawn. The officer would charge the holster after every shift, just as they do with radios.

Level 3 retention holsters such as Sherpa and others have a locking mechanism activated by the finger, which could probably be adapted to this use. Just my thoughts on the matter. — Bruce

Dear Todd, I’ve been thinking about worst-case scenarios for the new administration’s gun policies. Like: what would I do if they ban private ownership of firearms going forward? Won’t happen, but worth considering as a thought experiment. One thing I wouldn’t do is cancel my subscription to Gun Tests. In the nearly 20 years I’ve subscribed, I’ve completely enjoyed reading every article, even though I’ve only had a few occasions to follow your recommendations. I like learning about guns and how they work (or don’t) and see no reason to not continue getting pleasure from that, whether I’m ever in the market again. — Andy

Hey Andy, thank you for staying with us. I’m like you — I’m an inveterate consumer of gun information. As part of the line-edit that I do for Gun Tests, I read the material very closely and check a lot of the material in the magazine as I go. That leads me down the rabbit hole for hours, and a lot of those hours I couldn’t really book as “professional” time. It’s just me pulling whatever thread I

Todd, I am not a subscriber to your magazine, but I do get to read a copy every month, courtesy of my next-door neighbor. They have already started, check out House Bill 127. This may be old news to those who watch these things closely, but the Dems are already taking advantage of their legislative superiority. One thing in the bill, among many, that jumped out at me was the licensing criteria, ease of revocation, and above all, the cost, $800 for a license! This is similar to conditions that I had to endure while owning a 12-gauge shotgun for shooting skeet and trap in England. The bill is worth a read, if you can decipher the government gobbledygook clauses and sub paragraphs. It also references other bills that this bill would strengthen. I remember Biden telling the factory worker in Michigan when he was campaigning that the guy was “full of s*it” and that Biden “was not interested in taking his guns away.” Maybe Biden isn’t, but his cohorts are, and he has plenty of ink in his pen for signing that kind of bill into law. — Kurt

Re “Value 9mm Semi-Automatics: Ruger, Taurus, KelTec, and S&W,” February 2021

In this article about value 9mms, you mentioned Two different browsers spit that back as a bad address. I did find, a Canadian company. Is that the correct site, and if so, do they ship to the USA? Thanks! — Paul

Must have been a typo or a senior moment — the correct website name is — Joe Woolley

Re “Whither Ammo, Firing Line,” September 2020

Todd, I would be interested in any words of wisdom you might have concerning the ongoing ammo shortage. I can only imagine what might be going on in D.C. now that disaster has struck. — Phil

Hey Phil: People are scared, and they’re buying whatever ammo they can find and afford. I think it’s a result of COVID-19 restrictions from last year and ongoing concerns about the disease. Things are just harder to accomplish in every facet of life. And that existential drag makes industry less effective, which cuts supply. Example: My wife and I had to buy a new refrigerator earlier this year, and we were shocked at the lack of availability for many styles. Many of the most popular styles were six to eight weeks away from delivery. Then, while researching what we wanted, I learned that refrigerators had been in short supply all through 2020. Who knew? I think the same thing is happening in ammunition: logistical problems and super-high demand. But read the letter below for another

I have subscribed for years to Gun Tests, finding the information useful and a great unbiased view of the market. Will someone there please help stop the insanity of ammunition hoarding? All it does is make prices rise and create shortages for all.

There’s ammunition hoarding going on right now. Just because you have 5000 rounds of ammunition does not mean you are John Wick. In a gunfight against more than one attacker, you are likely to be, at the very least, seriously wounded. FBI statistics suggest that fewer than ten rounds will be fired, and the winner is usually the one who shoots first. Your ability to spot a threat and react before your assailant can begin is statistically quite low. Of course you want to defend your family. Of course you intend to defend your home. But think about it in the light of reality.

Against multiple attackers, your chances of survival become significantly slimmer with each additional adversary. In a single combatant exchange, your chances are just 50%, unless you have some significant advantage. Home turf is good, but not a guarantee. In a home-invasion scenario, you will need to be armed and ready when the perpetrators enter your house, and you will need to be carrying enough ammunition on your person to do the job.

Do you really think all that ammo in your gun safe will have any bearing on your skills? If you are lucky, a single shot might send the miscreants into flight. Then again, maybe not.

Maybe you are John Wick, or John Wayne, or John McLean, or John Connor. Maybe you are the fastest hand, the best shot, and the biggest gun in the whole neighborhood. You’re betting your life on it, so you’d better be right. Go on, test yourself. Set up five targets the size of a human head/heart kill zone. Pick your favorite gun. Now see how long it takes to engage those targets and score good hits on all.

Chances are you’ll need several seconds to do it unless your name is Jerry Miculek. Now consider that those targets can shoot back. If you cannot kill those five targets before the first three seconds are up, you’re dead. If you manage to get two in two seconds, you will probably be shot by number three, number four, and number five as well. It will not matter that you have 25 military-surplus ammo cans filled with bullets. It does not matter how many loaded magazines you have for your AR-15.

Any combat veteran can tell you that if you need more than two, you should have brought friends.

Stop buying ammunition you don’t need. Train. Plan. Get your head out of your a$$ and find the best spots in your home to make a stand. Stop wasting resources on making guns go bang and put some of it into sighting systems and performance upgrades. You only need two guns for yourself. One autoloading rifle and one sidearm.

Soldiers are not issued three rifles and six different pistols. They are not issued 4000 rounds of ammunition. The reasoning…  if they need more than their issued equipment, they are in deep s*it and will not survive without the assistance of more soldiers.

If you have one AR-15 and you bought 6000 rounds for it, you have enough already, and likely more than you will ever need. Stop driving up prices for us all!

And for Pete’s sake, will someone tell them to stop posting their stash on Facebook! — Cain

We’ve had shortages before, but this one is very bad, and hoarding is part of it. — tw

Todd, regarding ammo shortages: For grins, I went to the Canadian site of Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shop to look for  “winchester-usa-9mm-nato-centerfire-pistol-ammunition.” Imagine my surprise to find Winchester 9mm ammunition in-stock for $17.99 Canadian. I ran it through a currency converter and saw it was an affordable $14.08 in U.S. dollars. This ammunition is NATO compliant and made in the USA. Course, there was one small problem. It apparently is a restricted item and can’t be exported to the U.S., the country of origin. It read, “PAL Required: Requires a valid PAL to purchase. Export-Restricted: Cannot ship outside of Canada.” I sent a note to Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops asking them to explain why the ammunition was available in Canada, but not the country of manufacture. No answer as yet. — Art

Re “10mm Stompers: SIG, Colt, S&W, and Springfield Armory,” September 2020

Mr. Woodard: I had to chuckle at the cover of the September issue showing the S&W 10mm N-Frame revolver. I remember the Ruger Blackhawk 357 Magnum that came with a separate cylinder for 9mm. Then, too, S&W offered its Model 25 45 Long Colt, which could shoot 45 ACP with moon clips. Maybe there were a couple of others chambered for semi-automatic pistol calibers, all of which lost air, went flat, and disappeared. I remember a guy at the range struggling to load 45 ACP cartridges into moon clips. He told me he had just as much difficulty removing the empties as inserting them. For the life of me, I do not understand the logic in shooting a rimless cartridge in a revolver engineered for rimmed cases! Versatility? Yeah, right. If one can live with “pain-in-the-a$$” load/unload efforts, I guess. If someone wanted more oomph in a revolver… Scuuuuuze me, how about the venerable 357 Magnum or 41 Magnum? Both can be downloaded to pleasant velocities and recoil, right? Both can be pumped up to be blazing thumpers, right? Seems to me, if I were going into bear or wolf country, I’d surely carry Big Medicine starting with a “.4” or larger. Hunting with the 10mm, yeah, it could work on smaller deer, maybe groundhogs/woodchucks at close range, but 75, 100, 150 yards? Right. Tell you what, think you need big whompers for small game? I used my Ruger 77-22 Hornet to take out five woodchucks in the last two years at 75 to 95 yards. It shoots a 40-grain hollow-point bullet at 2700 fps. One shot each.

I’ve been a happy subscriber for several years now, and at almost 80 years of age, I’m not buying any more. Selling with tears. I still maintain my subscription out of curiosity. — William


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