So Easy a Soviet Infantryman Can Do It*

November 16, 2008

*Or, John Galt Field-Strips an SKS.

Some background: I didn’t get into the gun thing until about 7 years ago–my family didn’t hunt or keep firearms for self-defense. Since then, I’ve grown to really enjoy shooting, and I acquired a nice little battery of boomsticks. After Mr. Obama’s election, I decided to get something that shot 7.62 x 39 in anticipation of either a foreign-ammunition ban or an “assault weapons” ban. At the gun show I attended, the AK-47s were crap, but I saw a nice 1952 Russian Tula Arsenal SKS with a 1 on the front sight. I got a good deal on it.

Here’s the problem–I knew Jack about Commie guns. Today when I was out shopping I picked up a maintenance guide and was able to field-strip the weapon with no real difficulty. I’ve started cleaning it (there goes my dream that it was unfired), and I can’t believe the schmutz in it, but it’s cleaning up easily, so I think the weapon’s been well-maintained. Firing pin moves easily in the bolt, which as far as I’ve read is the only real problem people ever have with this weapon–when they were prepared for export they were coated in Cosmoline, which sometimes caused the firing pin to stick, causing the SKS to slamfire–fire all 10 rounds in quick succession.

It’s an attractive weapon–sort of a red lacquered wooden stock with Red Star, bayonet, very basic looking. It’s constructed out of equal parts of Win and Commie. I’ve seen pictures of SKSs that have been rendered tacticool, and even though it’s heavy, I don’t think I’ll go that route. It just doesn’t look like the sort of weapon that should have a composite stock and a 5000-round mag with a huge scope and Surefire light mounted on it. It is what it is. I’m looking forward to firing it, but I still have a couple of hours of cleaning left to do. I know, without pictures it didn’t happen, but I do not yet have a digital camera, a situation I hope to remedy at Christmas. 🙂

Is there any doubt now that there would have been riots had Mr. Obama lost? Just witness the behavior of the “No on California Proposition C” idiots. Proposition C was a ballot question asking whether the California Constitution should be amended to ban gay “marriage.” The people voted, and they voted for the ban. Ever since then, opponents of the ban have been protesting in California, especially against LDS churches, and now the protests are spreading–they had one in St. Louis today even though Missouri has had a gay marriage ban for 4 years. If a small minority is this incensed at the will of the people, imagine what would have happened if Mr. Obama had lost.

I do not care what gay people choose to do. I believe they should have the same rights as co-habitating straight couples–they should be able to have inheritance rights, be able to get power of attorney, visit each other in the hospital, etc. That is only just. But they are not married. Marriage is between a man and a woman–any other definition leads to a slippery slope. The behavior of the protesters toward the Mormons has been reprehensible. Fact is, the Mormon Church is not big enough in California to have made a difference. A large cross-section of people voted for the ban–the protesters know the Mormons are peace-loving and will not fight back as they are smeared. I’m usually not a huge fan of amending constitutions, but when pressure groups do an end-run around the will of the people by going to the courts, or when rogue mayors like San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom decide to ignore the will of the people, that’s the only recourse left to them. It says a lot about the protesters that they cannot respect the will of the people.

Disaster preparedness tip of the day:If you have friends and relatives who wouldn’t be totally freaked out about it, consider buying or building them a basic “go bag” for Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, or Festivus. Take a small bag, like a bike messenger bag. Put in a small knife, some portable food like nuts or jerky, a small first aid kit, a bunch of lighters and some candles, a gallon of water and some iodine tabs for purifying more, a flashlight, an emergency space blanket, some basic fishing equipment, baby wipes, and whatever other small items you can think of. Tell them to add some cash to the bag and keep it in the trunk of the car or in the front closet. It may save a life someday. If you think your gift recipients will look at you like Joe Survivalist if you do that, be a little more subtle. Buy people hand crank radios and flashlights, car emergency kits, warm sweaters, and other useful things built to last. They’ll thank you for it.

Vital stats: None, because it’s a weekend, but we got our first flurries of the fall. May be a hard winter…

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