Firearms!

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Firearms!

Postby somedaypilot » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:09 am UTC

So after several years of engineering college, I have noticed that geeks and firearms go well together. Is this a southern thing, or is it a general trend? What weapons do you own or want to own? I personally only have a .22 Remington target rifle, but after I save up some money I plan on getting a handgun or revolver for concealed carry, and a shotgun for home defense.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby OBrien » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:08 pm UTC

None, as I live in Britain where our laws are sensible about this sort of thing.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Spambot5546 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

None, as i live in Illinois where our laws are ridiculous about this sort of thing.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

None, but my friends have, as O'Brien would put it, "loads."

In general I think it's a country/south/military thing. Two of my friends from Nixa (with ancestry in Arkansas) had six guns in their college apartment alone, not counting all the ones at home. The difference between nerds with guns and everyone else with guns is that nerds will more often be pedantic about it and/or use them for their apocalyptic scenario discussions.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Kang » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:25 pm UTC

I think there is some sort of connection between firearms and being a geek. Not a very strong one, but there is one, and my theory is, that it's pretty much down to the simple fact that firearms are such a crucial part of movies, video games and other pastimes and geeks, being geeks after all, have a bit of a tendency of questioning the sometimes ridiculous employment of these tools in said media, which leads to technical research which in turn either leads to being banned from the local movie theatre for repeatedly pointing out gross mistakes in movies or relating stories about the weird things that can be done with the, admittedly, often technically quite interesting weaponry of today. That may be rubbish, though.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby OBrien » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:26 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:None, but my friends have, as O'Brien would put it, "loads."


Huh?
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Re: Firearms!

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:39 pm UTC

I'm making reference to ye olde British terminology.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Fat Zombie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

None. I too live in Britain. I do have an interest, but nothing enough to bother looking into target shooting or anything. I'll stick to videogames, thanks.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby OBrien » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I'm making reference to ye olde British terminology.

OIC. Strange, I'd always assumed that would be a phrase common to all Anglophone countries.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Xeio » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:54 pm UTC

somedaypilot wrote:So after several years of engineering college, I have noticed that geeks and firearms go well together. Is this a southern thing, or is it a general trend?
Sounds very much like a regional thing.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:39 pm UTC

I went from having no firearms (.. well, here in Louisville at least) to having.. uh.. six or seven rifles and shotguns and so on. Including one I ought not to talk about until I get the barrel replaced with something legal. Which I've been meaning to do for a couple of years now. And I only purchased one of them. Most of them are actually my wife's.

I'm also thinking of getting a CC.. not because I believe I need one, but because it's such a ridiculous thing to have.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Essah » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:03 pm UTC

somedaypilot wrote:So after several years of engineering college, I have noticed that geeks and firearms go well together. Is this a southern thing, or is it a general trend? What weapons do you own or want to own? I personally only have a .22 Remington target rifle, but after I save up some money I plan on getting a handgun or revolver for concealed carry, and a shotgun for home defense.


do you think everyone having a gun makes everybody more safe or everybody less safe?...yerp you guessed it. it makes everyone less safe... a revolver for concealed carry... thats just stupid

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Posthumane » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:11 pm UTC

I think there is some correlation between geekiness and enjoyment of firearms, or weapons in general. In fact, crossbows seem to be the weapon of choice for many. While I will not admit to owning any firearms at the moment, I plan to get a firearms license soon so that I am able to. The mechanical nuances of may repeating firearms interest me from an engineering point of view, as well as the technical challenges of target shooting. I don't think I will get a restricted license (Canada) so that I can own a handgun - rifles are much more interesting in my view. I really see no point in carrying a gun for "self defense" as it really doesn't make you any safer, but I still like guns, and am waiting for the day when Canada finally abolishes its long gun registry, which is a huge money pit and general pain in the rear end for legal gun owners.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Fat Zombie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:17 pm UTC

I'd also like to propose a correlation between gender and firearms. Speaking from personal experience, of the nerdy friends I have spoken to, the interest/obsession with guns is highly associated with the males. Although that might just be due to the disproportionate number of male nerds I know.

I do know one nerdy female friend who not only has an interest in firearms, she owns a shotgun and performs in target shooting. So maybe I was wrong! Still, I'd like to put the idea out there.

And I can't say I'm really settled on the "efficacy of guns for self-defense", or the other gun politic arguments. I just have an interest in the things.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby RandomString » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

I'm actually more afraid of pistols than anything. They're the sort of thing that can be hidden easily and they're the sort of thing that kids can (more easily) accidentally shoot themselves with in the case that some parent/adult doesn't keep their guns out of reach.

In terms of regulating guns, I'd go for a usage based system. You're a police officer: you get a gun because it is necessary for your job. You hunt regularly with some amount of frequency: you can have a rifle, but if you stop hunting, you don't get to keep it. I feel bad for those who would really like to have a collection of guns because they are interested in the history, or how they work, etc... but Guns are efficient killing machines and really shouldn't be commonplace. It's similar to how people don't get to have bombs.

I wish I had a nuclear arsenal. :(

OBrien wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:I'm making reference to ye olde British terminology.

OIC. Strange, I'd always assumed that would be a phrase common to all Anglophone countries.

I wouldn't call it a British term at all. I've heard "loads" used loads of times up here.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby llamanaru » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

I have a flintlock, does that count?

Overall though, of the nerds that I know that own guns, every one has right leaning political views.

RandomString wrote:In terms of regulating guns, I'd go for a usage based system.
Personally, I think that's a bad idea. I'm all for not killing people with guns, but I also don't think we should be interfering with what people do in their own homes, or on private property when it's not hurting others. Not to mention that it would be really hard to enforce, and I doubt it would really work. If you really want a gun, you'll be able to get one.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:43 pm UTC

Wouldn't know which end to hold a gun. Also, I dislike sharp noises, which hardly entices me to learn.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Briareos » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:54 pm UTC

Never shot one; never held one; never been in the same room as one unless it was strapped to some sort of public safety officer. I've always been rather anti-gun without much thinking about it, but I wonder if that will change now that I've taken to reading the writings of ESR and his ultra-libertarian hacker friends.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Ulc » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

llamanaru wrote: Personally, I think that's a bad idea. I'm all for not killing people with guns, but I also don't think we should be interfering with what people do in their own homes, or on private property when it's not hurting others. Not to mention that it would be really hard to enforce, and I doubt it would really work. If you really want a gun, you'll be able to get one.


Well, it works perfectly well here in Denmark.

yes, if you really want a gun, you can get one, but it's hard, and risky - since in most cases, having a gun gets you imprisoned for quite a while. Every time there is a shooting here, even if no one is hurt or killed, it's newspaper headlines.

Secondly, about the "don't mess with the privacy in private homes", yeah. I can understand that, in the cases where the behavior in private does not have the one single aim of killing people. I mean, I can understand certain groups having guns (police and a few others), and I can understand rifles for hunting, but guns in general does not make sense to me. And when it gets to repeating firearms, it's just pure nonsense, since these have one single purpose, to kill people.

I honestly don't see a reason to permit people to have equipment meant only for killing other people. And no, the self defense argument isn't very good, since allowing firearms also have the consequences of making criminals more paranoid, as in "why try to threaten him when I risk getting shot, when I have a gun too, and can just shoot him". And it also makes it much easier for the assaulter to have a firearm, and defense doesn't really rest on having a defense option, but to have a more effective defense, than the would-be assaulter have offense.

It should probably be said than I live in a very gun light country, so the fact that I've actually shot one multiple times are kinda rare (target shooting as a sport, I was even fairly good at it, until my eyes went all bad)
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

My dad and I (and some family friends) go shooting pretty frequently, so, he owns two 9mm Glocks and two shotguns. 12 gauge and 20 gauge.
I personally find shooting to be incredibly relaxing, as well as incredibly exhilarating. There aren't many things I can focus on for long periods of time, but I goto a shooting range, and lose 3-4 hours of time, and have to drag myself away.
Spambot5546 wrote:None, as i live in Illinois where our laws are ridiculous about this sort of thing.

My parents live in Illinois. Chicago, actually.
You, sir, name? wrote:Wouldn't know which end to hold a gun. Also, I dislike sharp noises, which hardly entices me to learn.

You do wear ear protection... And it's very neccesary.

Look, at the risk of this turning into another gun thread, everyone who has an opinion on the matter should do some reading first. Particularly, look at the incidence of gun violence as a function of the strictness of gun laws, as well as the incidence of gun violence as a function of gun ownership in an area. (This only applies to America)
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Re: Firearms!

Postby ++$_ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

I don't own one. I don't find target shooting very interesting, and I figure that if I had one for home defense, the odds that I would ever be the victim of a home invasion are low enough that I would be more likely to accidentally shoot someone who was innocent than I would be to prevent a crime.

EDIT:
Izawwlgood wrote:Particularly, look at the incidence of gun violence as a function of the strictness of gun laws
Those are confounded too badly to be of any use, sort of like looking at the incidence of bacterial infection among penicillin users compared to non-users. Let me propose to you that (at least in the US) there is a positive correlation. Do people taking penicillin make themselves susceptible to resistant strains, or wipe out non-pathogenic bacteria in their colons, which are replaced by less innocuous varieties? Or do are they taking penicillin because they got infected in the first place? Or both, to some degree?

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:25 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:the odds that I would ever be the victim of a home invasion are low enough that I would be more likely to accidentally shoot someone who was innocent than I would be to prevent a crime.

Freakonimics addressed this; apparently the rate of child death by unattended swimming pools is something on the order of 100,000 times higher than the rate of child death by shooting (either intentional [driveby] or accidental), yet you can imagine which of the two receives a larger share of media attention.

++$_ wrote:Those are confounded too badly to be of any use

I don't really follow your analogy. In places with high rates of gun violence, that is, people shooting one another, there are tighter gun laws, that is, less people own guns legally. In places with lax gun laws, that is, more people own guns legally, there are lower rates of gun violence. Obviously legal gun ownership isn't the sole indicator of gun possession, and getting criminals to report their gun ownership (legal or otherwise) isn't going to happen, but there's a pretty direct correlation between rates of gun ownership and legal ease of owning a gun. Englewood had the highest rate of gun violence in America, and, not surprisingly, the tightest gun regulation laws in America. Baltimore was a close second. Places with more guns per capita, and laxer gun laws have lower rates of gun violence, so, muddy statistics aside, I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby ++$_ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:36 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
++$_ wrote:the odds that I would ever be the victim of a home invasion are low enough that I would be more likely to accidentally shoot someone who was innocent than I would be to prevent a crime.

Freakonimics addressed this; apparently the rate of child death by unattended swimming pools is something on the order of 100,000 times higher than the rate of child death by shooting (either intentional [driveby] or accidental), yet you can imagine which of the two receives a larger share of media attention.
Uh, in the US, the rate of children being killed by guns is 175 per year. The rate of children being killed by swimming pools is 550 per year. That's about pi times higher, not 100,000 times. Oh, and if you look at the likelihood that a specific pool will kill a child, compared to the likelihood that a specific gun will, it's 100 times higher, not 100,000 times.

Figures from http://freakonomicsbook.com/freakonomics/chapter-excerpts/chapter-5/.

Anyway, I think you missed the point. I'm not saying anything about the rate of people being killed accidentally by guns relative to that people being killed by swimming pools or pertussis or car accidents or anything else like that. I'm talking about the rate of home invasions prevented by guns relative to the rate of accidental shootings of innocent people by those defending their homes. I don't actually have figures on this, but the rate of home invasions in my area is so low that I am pretty sure I would be more likely to shoot someone accidentally than I would be to prevent a home invasion.
I don't really follow your analogy. In places with high rates of gun violence, that is, people shooting one another, there are tighter gun laws, that is, less people own guns legally. In places with lax gun laws, that is, more people own guns legally, there are lower rates of gun violence. Obviously legal gun ownership isn't the sole indicator of gun possession, and getting criminals to report their gun ownership (legal or otherwise) isn't going to happen, but there's a pretty direct correlation between rates of gun ownership and legal ease of owning a gun. Englewood had the highest rate of gun violence in America, and, not surprisingly, the tightest gun regulation laws in America. Baltimore was a close second. Places with more guns per capita, and laxer gun laws have lower rates of gun violence, so, muddy statistics aside, I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
I'm suggesting that strict gun laws are caused by gun violence. You're suggesting that gun violence is caused by strict gun laws. I don't see any way to determine which is cause and which is effect from the statistics you've given.

EDIT: A few studies that try to show causation. They're far from controlled experiments, and as such they reach widely varying results:

Pierce and Bowers, "The Bartley-Fox Gun Law's Short-Term Impact on Crime in Boston," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 455 (May 1981), 120-137 - The law seems to have reduced gun crime.
Britt, Kleck, and Bordua, "A Reassessment of the D.C. Gun Law: Some Cautionary Notes on the Use of Interrupted Time Series Designs for Policy Impact Assessment," Law & Society Review 30 (1996), 361-380 - DC gun law had no effect either way. Also points out that these studies can reach any desired result by using slightly different designs.
Vernick et al., "Effects of Maryland's law banning Saturday night special handguns on crime guns," Injury Prevention 1999, 259-263. - The types of guns that were banned were used less frequently in crimes, as measured by the frequency with which the police traced such guns in Baltimore compared to other parts of the country. No discussion about the overall firearm crime rate.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:07 am UTC

++$_ wrote:Oh, and if you look at the likelihood that a specific pool will kill a child, compared to the likelihood that a specific gun will, it's 100 times higher, not 100,000 times.

Yeah, that was a statistic recollection error on my part. Besides, I was never good at orders of magnitude. 100x = 1000x = 1billionx.

++$_ wrote:I'm talking about the rate of home invasions prevented by guns relative to the rate of accidental shootings of innocent people by those defending their homes.

I'm not sure that's a particularly pertinent point either however, as I'm under the impression most gun slayings don't actually occur via home invasion.

++$_ wrote:I'm suggesting that strict gun laws are caused by gun violence. You're suggesting that gun violence is caused by strict gun laws. I don't see any way to determine which is cause and which is effect from the statistics you've given.

I'm actually suggesting that the notion of gun laws as a means for reducing gun crime is politically biased, and divorced from reality. I agree, you can't determine cause and effect from the statistics given. I'm trying to nip at the bud the idea that we need tighter regulation of guns in America, or that guns = bad.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby ++$_ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:08 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure that's a particularly pertinent point either however, as I'm under the impression most gun slayings don't actually occur via home invasion.
It does happen to be pertinent when I'm deciding whether or not to get a gun for home defense, though :P

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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:11 am UTC

Would it be reasonable to split this discussion into two threads? One for political discussion, and one just for discussion of firearms without the political stuff. I'd love to have friendly discussions about whether people like lever actions or pump actions, whether they prefer single or double action, etc., but if there are politics involved (1) it's going to get very ugly and (2) i'm probably going to lose a lot of respect for certain people (gaining it for others, but still).
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Re: Firearms!

Postby meatyochre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:21 am UTC

There is a ton of polarization about peoples' opinion of gun laws, based on geography. I don't see why it needs a split, it's all really interesting to me. If you truly lose respect for someone based on their opinions regarding gun control, that's your problem. Nobody else's.

As an Amrrrcan, I was raised to believe that guns are a human right, dag nabbit! Also my dad was an avid hunter (<3 deer sticks), so yeah. Guns are great. I never actually fired one until I got to college and our (all girls) floor took a trip to the shooting range on campus. I won first place for accuracy! Must be genetic. ;)

As far as politics go, guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people. People can kill people with guns, knives, piano wire, or telekinesis in certain cases (heh heh, just a little joke). The method doesn't seem particularly relevant to me. Even if we outlawed guns, all the outlaws would still have guns.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Fat Zombie » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:30 am UTC

Meatyochre: I think SurgicalSteel's complaint (though I am in no way sure, feel free to correct me otherwise SS) is that unless there's a split, a good conversation on the merits of a bolt-action over a lever-action could be interrupted by groups of angry people yelling at each other about the politics. The subject of gun control has a tendency to get heated.

I don't know whether arguments about the difference between a magazine and a clip will be quite so civilised in comparison, though. :wink:
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:35 am UTC

I took a combat pistol training class a while back, one of the things that blew my mind was the notion that no matter what happens, keep going through your routine. At one point while halfway through my second clip, the magazine malfunctioned, it's spring dropping clean down followed by about 6 rounds. I paused, flustered and a little bemused that this happened, and was immediately yelled at by the instructor because I didn't simply place another clip in and keep firing. It was... eye opening.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:37 am UTC

I find firearms fascinating, they just seem to be so elegant and powerful at times. Some firearms can be crafted like works of art and machining marvels while other can seem like cheap plastic crap.

There have only been two guns I have had the pleasure of firing, both of them .22 rifles when I was at a camp a while back. I have been able to hold some other guns and really like older rifles on wood stock.

I would like to buy a gun but cant seeing how I currently live at home and my parents would prefer I do not get any while in this house, also they are expensive.

Can the politics part of this just go to SB to discuss that aspect of guns?
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:42 am UTC

Fat Zombie is absolutely right about what I tried to express. Yea, sometimes I want a heated political discussion, other times I just want to talk about the best way to stake a gas key.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Fat Zombie » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:45 am UTC

Indeed!

...I have no idea what that is what you just said.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Daojia » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:56 am UTC

Guns are full of Science! As a piece of engineering, a colossal amount of ingenuity and design goes into them; they have a great aesthetic. Living in Tasmania, which is restrictive by Australian standards, it takes a colossal amount of effort to legally own or use one, and I can't see myself owning one anytime soon. That said, I've been shooting on a couple of outings where I got to fire a rebuilt 1894 Winchester, a Beretta, a couple of .22 rifles, and on one memorable occasion an utterly magnificent Purdey.
Now I'm off to google 'Gas Key'.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby meatyochre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:13 am UTC

I saw this fire arm and got a chuckle:

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Fat Zombie » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:15 am UTC

I quite like this firearm:

Spoiler:
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Re: Firearms!

Postby ++$_ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:33 am UTC

Sigh.

I wasn't going to post my guide on the difference between a clip and a magazine, but I guess I have to now:
Spoiler:
clip-magazine.jpg
Left: Clip. Right: Magazine, with gun.

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Thesh
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:42 am UTC

This is what I have:

Ruger MarkIII .22 target pistol
Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum
Kel-Tec SU-16CA .223 rifle
Springfield XD 9mm semi-auto pistol

These are things I am planning on buying in the future:

HK USP .45 semi-auto pistol
Sig P226 with barrels for .40 S&W and .357 sig
An AK-47 variant in 7.62x39
Winchester Model 70 featherweight in .308 winchester
Mossberg 930 field/security combo 12 GA shotgun
Smith & Wesson 640 .357 magnum snub nose revolver
Springfield M1A .308 winchester
Glock 20 10mm semi-auto pistol
Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum revolver
Marlin Model 1894 Cowboy .44 magnum lever action rifle
Single Action Army in .45 LC
Custom built 1911's in .38 super, 10mm auto, .45 ACP, and possibly .45 super (I already reload my own ammo)
Carl Gustav 84mm recoiless rifle (those aren't illegal, are they?)

If I ever move out of california, I will buy a couple pre-1986 AR-15 full auto lowers, and put an AR-15 upper on one of them with a 20" barrel for 5.56x45, and a REC7 upper with a 16" barrel for 6.8 SPC on the other.
Honesty replaced by greed, they gave us the reason to fight and bleed
They try to torch our faith and hope, spit at our presence and detest our goals

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:59 am UTC

++$_ wrote:Sigh.

I wasn't going to post my guide on the difference between a clip and a magazine, but I guess I have to now:
Spoiler:
clip-magazine.jpg

Yawn. I call it whatever a retired Chicago police trainer calls it. So, Magazine and Clip are both legit terms.

Daojia wrote:As a piece of engineering, a colossal amount of ingenuity and design goes into them

I couldn't agree more! My attention is RIVETED to watches and guns alike.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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meatyochre
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Re: Firearms!

Postby meatyochre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:02 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
++$_ wrote:Sigh.

I wasn't going to post my guide on the difference between a clip and a magazine, but I guess I have to now:
Spoiler:
clip-magazine.jpg

Yawn. I call it whatever a retired Chicago police trainer calls it.

hehe, I hope you were joking back :v
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"yeah, but your poster sucks. F-"

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:09 am UTC

Not even a little. Mincing those terms is something only WW vets are going to have to complain about. A clip is a device that holds bullets in place for being loaded through a gun. A magazine is a device that forces bullets through the firing chamber of a gun. It's semantics.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.


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