80% is Zero Percent

So it turns out that Sierra Nevada Arms, the Rockethub project I supported a year and a half ago (!) is no more. Their phone has been disconnected, their website is “down for maintenance” and Facebook page is pretty much Tango Uniform.

Gone Daddy Gone Sierra Nevada Disarmed

Not happy. I completely understand that I was funding a business, not buying a product, but I invested my money based on good faith, and that faith was betrayed. As I said a year ago,

“At this point, unless you’re wanting the thrill(?) of building it yourself or want to get a firearm without the .gov on your back, just go buy a lower and spare yourself a lot of trouble.”

Well, now that finished lowers are going for just $45, there’s even fewer reasons to get an unfinished, incomplete, DIY lower.

Caveat emptor, as always.

Burying the lede

You would think that an anti-gun Governor would be popular in the town where Sandy Hook happened. You would think that the people closest to such a horror would realize that it is the means that caused this tragedy, not the motive or the opportunity, and therefore vigorously support an gun-banner like Daniel Malloy. 

And you’d be wrong

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy prevailed in hard-fought contests, urban areas in those states delivering the margins needed for narrow victories.

Malloy did not win the popular vote in NSSF’s headquarters community of Newtown.

The parents of Sandy Hook know what stops crime, and what doesn’t. 

Ghost With A Machine


There’s now a $1200 mill that allows you to mill out an 80% lower at home with zero machining knowledge

Questions for the audience:

  1. How long before a major manufacturer sells an 80% lower and a milling machine rather than a completed AR lower? 
  2. People are using these to mill out AR-15 lowers and 1911 frames: How long before a company sells a package deal of an 80% frame/lower that can ONLY be made on a milling machine such as this, along with the parts needed to turn it into a firearm on your kitchen table?

Gun control laws are a product of mass production: It’s easy to legislate something that is produced en masse and can be easily tracked from factory floor to the sales counter. It’s not so easy to track something that can be handcrafted in a small shop, be it the blacksmith’s forge of 200 years ago or today’s desktop CNC mill. It looks like the future of gun ownership looks a lot like that past of gun ownership.

Nick Leghorn Doesn’t Read This Blog

Nick LeghornFor the record, I like Nick. He’s a nice guy and unlike the other alleged people writing for TTAG, he’s a heck of a shooter and knows what he’s talking about when it comes to guns. I take his opinions on guns seriously because of his experience. 


An expertise in guns does not translate into a bully pulpit to attack other gun writers by name.

At this point, he’s pretty much burned his bridges with the rest of outdoor industry media outside of TTAG.

If only he had read this post from last week, he might have avoided himself a world of trouble.

…there’s probably somebody in this world who has the power to hire you for your dream job, open some door for you, make some extraordinary opportunity happen. Let’s call that person your “empowering person.”

You don’t know who this empowering person knows. You probably don’t know who all of their friends are, who all of their relatives are, who their spouse’s friends are. If one of those people knew you, liked you, and thought well of you, you would be much closer to getting that empowering person to help you achieve your dream. This is even better than references; these are endorsements.

As the Second-Greatest Philosopher of the 20th Century once said, “Always be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.”

Some lessons are easier to learn than others.

Today Is Armed Forces Day


By Rudyard Kipling, 1892

I went into a public- ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls behind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play-

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you Mr Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian roo, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,

But when it comes to fighting’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide-

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll-

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes,” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy fall be’ind,”

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind-

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck ‘im out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

The naming of parts

One of my favorite poems, and it just so happens to be about the Lee-Enfield


To Alan Michell

Vixi duellis nuper idoneus
Et militavi non sine gloria


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
          For to-day we have naming of parts.

Ban the gun, ban the fun.

Kids with guns

This is such a dumb idea, I don’t know where to start

Nevertheless, when my son’s fascination with military hardware, soldiers and guns developed, I worried. The idea of letting war toys (no matter how well-dressed) into the family home and into his innocent little psyche felt wrong. 

“innocent little psyche”? Dude, you are aware you have a four year old boy in your house, right? It’s not a question of IF he breaks your rules, it’s only a question of when and how often he does so as he learns how to be an adult. (BTW, this is why I keep my guns locked up).

Beyond that fallacy about what is driving a child’s actions, banning guns pretty much insures your kid will not be able to safely interact with guns when they grow up, because we are not afraid of (nor are we unusually attracted to) the things we see every day: The familiar things of live are, well, FAMILIAR. To me, safely carrying a firearm is not an unusual event because I’ve made it a part of my daily routine, to others who have no experience with such things, it’s an act of a maddened killer or a raving paranoiac. 

That last thought could not be further from the truth, but because people who have no experience with guns have no way to relate to carrying a gun as a part of life, they react out of fear. I’ve jumped out of airplanes and ridden a mountain bike through the Amazon. Was that scary at first? Yes, because shockingly, the opportunities to experience the rain forest are quite limited here in Arizona. 

Go figure. 

But once I did those activities and got used to them and understood how to do them safely, they weren’t scary anymore. My oldest son grew up around guns, and while he’s not interested in the shooting sports, he knows how to safely handle them (win). My youngest son IS interested in the shooting sports, and that’s also a win. They are not scared nor are they unusually fascinated by guns because we’ve taught them that guns are serious, but they’re also seriously fun.

My wife and I grew up near guns,and as such, we were immunized against hoplophobia at an early age. It’s a shame that the Dad in this story hasn’t learned that there are vaccinations out there to help himself and his family deal with the very real and very scary dangers of everyday life.