My Little Carbine
My newest carbine is a Chiappa takedown clone of the Winchester Model 1892 in .357 Magnum. Carbines are short barreled, rifled, arms intended for use and loading on horseback, in helicopters, by paratroops or in urban terrain (inside buildings). Our .30 Krag rifle had a thirty-inch barrel while the carbine version shot the same smokeless powder cartridge from a 22-inch barrel. Advancing to the spitzer (pointed) bullet cartridges of the .30-06, 7.92X57ISmm (8mm Mauser) and smokeless powder British .303 revealed problems with that concept.
All experiments with short barreled, full-power, carbines resulted in blinding muzzle flash and deafening blast. The British experienced poor accuracy with the black powder designed Lee-Metford carbines against the South African Boers armed with 30-inch barreled 7X57 Mauser 1895 rifles. These experiences convinced the United States, Great Britain and Germany to field 24-inch barrel short rifles for both infantry and cavalry in the Great War (World War One).
The United States introduced the reduced power M1 Carbine for World War Two. This 5.5-pound rifle was intended to replace the Colt 1911A1 semi-automatic pistol in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol for cooks, clerks, truck drivers and heavy weapon crewmen. Six million M1 Carbines were made, making it the most issued American long arm in WWII. The Carbine was popular with airborne troops, jungle fighters and the French Resistance to name a few. The main complaint was the cartridge propelling a 110-grain bullet at 1975 feet-per-second for a little less than 1000 foot pounds. In comparison, the .30-06 fired a 150-grain bullet at 2,700 fps with roughly three times the energy to punch through jungle and other barriers.
The Chiappa is chambered in .357 Magnum which can shoot a 110-grain bullet at 2,439 fps. A bit more power than the M1 Carbine but no competition for the .30-06. The .357 Magnum has a reputation as a fight stopper from revolvers and many have taken deer with it from both revolvers and carbines. I expect the effective range from the carbine to be longer due to the 200-300 fps greater velocity and longer sight radius. Stability is enhanced by both the greater weight and contact with both hands, cheek and shoulder.
While I have taken full-length long arms on hunting expeditions, only the takedown carbine and similar size Springfield M-6 have accompanied me on vacations with my wife, Nancy. The M-6 was very comforting when our camp garbage cans were inspected by a bear after nightfall. The .410 barrel was loaded with a 000 buckshot load.
I have become an advocate of takedown long guns for camp and hotel room defense from reading of two incidents. A trustworthy and considerate hunter borrowed a shotgun in Sacramento and carried it a few blocks to his apartment. At the apartment he donned stereo headphones so as not to disturb the neighbors. Nonetheless, some phoned the police about a 'man with a gun'. Our headphoned hunter did not hear the knocks on his door until they became quite violent. Fearing tumultuous entry, he answered with revolver in hand. Our understanding public servants arrested the considerate hunter for attempted murder of the responding officers, though no shots were fired (Thank God!). So the the considerate hunter spent some time in jail before released by trial jury and the 'crime' weapon was likely destroyed.
During the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, police confiscated obvious longarms from folks they observed evacuating. Police did not keep records for return and damp storage meant many firearms eventually returned were no longer usable.
Longarms are visible on the journey from home to auto and from auto to motel room or tent. When transporting non-takedown rifles or shotguns, I disguise the shape with folding camp chair covers.
The semi-automatic action has supplanted all others in the world's militaries. I live in California, which makes the semi-automatic onerous to own and transport. The lever action is fairly fast to operate as long as the user has two hands. The top ejection models are a good option for left-handers, which I have in the family. Your situation and vision of the future surely differ from mine. Good luck.
La Brea TV show on NBC
I was excited to catch the premier of the La Brea TV show TV Ratings: ‘La Brea’ Drags in 6.2 Million Viewers to Its Debut on NBC (yahoo.com)
A half-mile wide sink hole opens in Los Angeles, centered at the Page Museum of the La Brea Tar Pits. People, cars and buildings fall past 20,000-feet of strata and through an electric transition in the sky of La Brea. The four-miles of rock has miraculously disappeared and everything makes a soft landing on the surface.
It turns out that La Brea has the same topography as Los Angeles and an ecosystem resembling that of 14,000 years ago. The California megafauna include mammoth, mastodon, giant and Shasta ground sloths, camels, horses, bison, giant beaver, glyptodonts (imagine an armadillo the size of a VW Beetle), and predators. Dire wolves are well depicted as is the smilodon saber tooth cat. The California lion, giant jaguar, giant short-face bear (weighing up to a ton), grizzly bear, black bear may all make an appearance in good time California Megafauna Map | Roman Jaster . We are shown other humans live in La Brea. Whether La Brea is an artifact of ancient Earth or an alternate version where the megafauna has not died out is yet to be revealed in this weekly serial.
Large teratorn scavenger birds fly up through the sink hole revealing to the surface that living things exist down below and can survive rising through the transition. On the other hand, an attempt to fly a military drone to the bottom fails at the transition when electronic communications are disrupted. It may be the sink hole is too narrow for fixed wing aircraft to navigate and there is no guarantee of a clear landing strip. It is not clear to me whether a helicopter could make the journey with a human pilot. An older model, such as the Queen Bee, with direct controls and analog instruments might better survive the electric transition.
Perhaps a hot air balloon could make a two-way trip. Ideally a blimp or dirigible with diesel engines might make the journey with minimal disruption.
Rescuers should arm themselves as they would for Africa to say the least. Vehicle mounted .50 Browning machine guns would not be excessive. If there is a shortage of elephant rifles, auto-loading 12-gauge shotguns loaded with slugs and buckshot would have to make do. What sidearms would you suggest?
I was puzzled by Joe Haldeman's prediction of United States troops in 1980's Lebanon when I read Forever War in Analog magazine circa 1970. I was impressed in 1982.
I was considering reasons to justify civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles and think the United States might face troops from Mexico, China or both on United States territory in our lifetime.
Argentina had a territorial claim on the Falkland Islands based on sightings by French and Spanish navigators. The British had the stronger claim of colonization dating back to 1840 and were a nuclear power when Argentina invaded in 1982.
Mexico has claim to California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas based on prior colonization. Mexican maps as late as 1947 show those states as temporarily ceded.
Italy had a claim to Libya dating to the Roman Empire. The Ottoman Empire permitted Italian agrarian colonists to farm in Libya. When the Italian colonists complained of abuse, Italy invaded with armored cars and airplanes (at least one) in 1911.
Millions of Mexicans reside in the United States. Not everyone thinks of them as a fifth column, but I saw a lot of Mexican flags flying in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential elections. A few years earlier California had a Lieutenant Governor who was a member of La Raza.
Great Britain made a fortune selling opium to the Chinese in return for tea. Britain fought a couple opium wars in China to maintain opium sales, after China banned opium imports.
Mexican cartels sell hundreds of millions of dollars in drugs to the United States. These sales could be threatened by effective border enforcement or an end to the drug war by the United States.
A Mexican 'Bismarck' would have to unify the cartels (perhaps with the elected government) to invade the United States.
The other possibility is an oil hungry United States re-invading the Tampico region of Mexico, as we did for several months in 1914. My vision from the 1970's had our cavalry riding Cadillac mopeds.
China doesn't have much of a territorial claim but they have an interest in both there legal exports to the United States and their export of drug precursors to South America and Mexico. The United States of overdose deaths is 90,000 a year. There is also the rivalry over the Pacific, beginning with Taiwan.
China has a larger navy than the United States and is a nuclear power. The Chinese merchant marine includes 1,200-foot container ships that can cross the Pacific in five days. The Chinese not only have a larger population (1,300 million to 300 million) but also have a surplus male population numbering in the tens of millions thanks to sex preferential abortions.
Lastly, a 1970's study found China to have enough water to feed 500 million people indefinitely. One possible answer would be to open up North America for Chinese colonization. Given Chinese infiltration of the United States political class, this could even begin peacefully.
I am not predicting these wars will happen but they are plausible concerns that justify civilian armament.
My first revolver
Rick Kester is a Viet Nam era veteran living in Northern California with his wife Nancy.