Spurwink Rod & Gun Club courtesy bangordailynews.com

Yet another very old gun club in New England is being hassled by the folks who live around it, most of whom have moved there within the last decade and now complain about the noise and “safety concerns.” The Spurwink Rod & Gun Club has been in the same place on Sawyer Road for nearly 60 years, but is now having to deal with a new ordinance, passed unanimously by the city council, that will require shooting ranges (note the plural) to be licensed and develop safety procedures (with accompanying audits) and have a site plan in place that covers future expansion and mitigation to the surrounding community. There will also be noise standards and requirements that all shots be contained within in the range. The plural is noted because although ordinances cannot be targeted against specific businesses . . .

there is and always has been only one gun range in the tiny town of Cape Elizabeth, and no future ones are currently foreseen. The 57-year-old club is clearly on what used to be the outskirts of town, and while some of the houses around it date to the mid-80s, many if not most of the others have construction dates of 2005-2010. “Long-running noise and safety concerns” indeed. The gun club will now also be operated under the purview of a five-member committee, of which only one member will actually have to come from the gun club (though more can). This ordinance is the kind of NIMBY nonsense that can put a gun range out of business, due to the inability to meet the revenue threshold necessary to maintain compliance.

Your Lockdown of the Day™ isn’t actually a lockdown, but it’s close. A girl’s softball game double-header in Knoxville, Tennessee was cut short Friday night after “a gun was spotted near the game.” That’s all the detail we get, but when it happened the second game had just started, and the umpires ordered both teams into the dugouts. They explained the situation to both teams, and the girls left the field while the coaches packed up the equipment. Coach Jessica Henry said, “My first thought was to protect the girls. … The most important thing for me at the time was to get them safe.” I cannot find any more information about this story anywhere, and while absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, I’d think that if there was a major issue with police response, I’d have found something. Meanwhile, Pigeon Forge Athletic Director Jim Lethco said, “It’s just bizarre. Luckily nobody got hurt. Luckily we had level-headed coaches to get everybody out safe.” Got them out safe? Out of what? It wasn’t a building collapse… He went on to say that while this was rare, “things like this could happen. You hope and pray that they don’t. There’s a possibility of this type of behavior happening anywhere.”

Richard Ryan asks, “Can beer stop a .50 cal bullet?” My answer is, “Who cares? Blow some stuff up!”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day (a little early).

A thief snatched a handful of gold bracelets from a jewelry counter in front of a customer a few days ago, not knowing that the woman he’d interrupted was Wellington, New Zealand’s top cop. Superintendent Sandra Manderson, who was off-duty and wearing a pencil skirt [I’m told those are hard to run in], promptly threw down her handbag and chased him into the street while screaming, “Stop that man, he’s a thief.” A crowd followed the man to his car, where Ms. Manderson and another man flung open the passenger door. Sadly, the story doesn’t end with the apprehension of the thief, because upon opening the door, Ms. Manderson said the thief put his hand on a gun on the passenger seat and then “wordlessly looked her in the eye.” Putting safety first, she retreated and let him go. “I would have liked to have dragged him out and made the arrest, but I wasn’t going to take the risk with a firearm. If only he didn’t have the firearm, I think I would have got him.” If only.

A few days ago, Demolition Ranch attempted to show what it would sound like to get hit by a .50 BMG, but it was a little anti-climactic because the sound of the bullet hitting the meatsack was a small explosion all by itself. This week, they attempt to show what a near miss sounds like, by shooting past a camera about 300 yards away, aiming for a target 100 yards beyond that. They start with a .308 out of an AR-10, and then bring out the big boy .50 BMG.

Still a little less awesome than I’d hoped. I was hoping for the “zip” sound you hear in the movies, but I guess this is just one more thing that isn’t like what you see on the screen. The last couple shots were pretty awesome though… sounded like thunder. Bonus for how the backblast from the .50 brake made the camera rotate a little more after each shot.

The Yankee Marshal on Proper Firearms Cleaning Schedule. Now that the caliber war is firmly decided in favor of .40 S&W, and the manufacturer skirmishes have ended with the Springfield Armory XDm the victor, I suppose how often you clean your guns is the only thing we have left to argue about. So?

He said “lube.” Giggity.

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83 Responses to Weekend Digest: Liquid Sandpaper Edition

    • I don’t think stuff like this helps us. We’re not in Al Bundy’s basement. If there are some armed Intelligentsia here, let’s assume the first word and give the second some exercise.

      Imagine a reader who is mildly curious about guns comes to the site and what they see is a crude joke a joke about Shannon Watt’s looks and everyone else goes “haw haw haw”. Not good for our side.

      Yes there is a First Amendment (they even put it ahead of the 2nd). It says you can say what you want, no matter how injurious to your cause.

      It’s not about hurting someone’s feelings, it’s about presenting yourself in the best possible light. Let’s keep that in mind.

        • The bottle may have been previously emptied and filled with tea. You know, like they drink in the movies and “as seen on TV.”

        • I’m glad you posted that. I meant to, but got distracted with something else, and forgot to come back to it. I had an awful Scotch “experience” many, many moons ago, and can’t stand it to this day. But Bourbon and Irish Whiskey I have zero problems with. Many experts today say the quality of small-batch Bourbons have surpassed any Scotch on the market.

          I’m never gonna set out to prove or disprove that, though.

    • agreed. a .40 XDm is about the last thing I’d want. the grip safety will always put me off.

      I prefer to carry a concealed Glock 19 with Winchester Ranger +P+ everyday.

      • Until your drawstring on your hoodie gets wrapped around the trigger and you end up shooting yourself in the leg.

        • “Why don’t you like grip safeties?”

          When the drawstring thing lifts the gun out of the holster by the trigger, whatever article of clothing it hits activates the grip safety, and ND ensues..

        • for the record, I have no bias. I can appreciate an XDm as much as any other plastic pistol. same goes for caliber.

          I don’t like grip safeties for two reasons. 1- if it’s disengaged by simply holding the gun safely, it’s redundant. 2- more components means more points of failure

          as for caliber wars, I don’t favor .40 due to excessive pressure, felt recoil, reduced longevity, reduced capacity, decibels, ect.. there’s is no bigger priority in a gunfight than SHOTS ON TARGET. 9mm plenty adequate for stopping a threat. and the extra firepower of the smaller round negates the stopping power of the bigger round if I have a slight advantage in accuracy and speed due to less recoil.

          I’ve gone to great lengths at my personal expense to own and shoot a variety of guns. for the sake of proficiency in any firearm placed in my hands, and to reveal my strengths and weaknesses when using them. regardless of price point, the Glock 19 Gen3 is what I have concluded to be the best (for me). it’s the ultimate compromise. an even balance of doing everything well, but nothing exceptional or terrible.

        • I have never heard of a grip safety failure. I am sure it has happened but it is so rare that it isn’t worth considering.

      • Matt, I’m a little disappointed this time…it was just too easy with the bait you used.

        Challenge yourself, man; go for style points!

        {I can’t believe how often that particular bait works for you in the digests…)

      • Matty, likewise….it’s funny how insecure you are about your weapon and caliber choice, given you have to bring it up at least once a week.

        Good luck on the job search, by the way.

        • I’m not at all insecure about it. As a matter of fact, I’ve said on multiple occasions that if I had it to do over again, I may very well have done it differently, because at the time I bought my .40, I bought into the “9mm isn’t enough gun” and “.45 is too much gun” myths. So my XDm might be a .45 if I was buying it today. Then again, it might not, because I like being different.

          I bring it up because it’s fun. Someone always takes the bait, and does so quite seriously. There’s at least one in this thread, and it’s not you.

          Thanks, I have a third interview with one place tomorrow, so that job is as close to a lock as it can be without the actual offer. Unfortunately it’s not exactly what I wanted to be doing and not quite as well-compensated as I’d like, but it’s a foot in the door with what seems like a good organization. That’s worth something, at least.

    • …and people wonder why there are so many little protestant sects?

      Well, in the gun world there is, for each caliber and pistol model, a sect to tell the others “the gun you bought is no good, and you’re holding it wrong.”

    • And most knowledgable folks I know swear by .40 and some even swear by it in a XD. It really comes down to the individual

    • So, knowledgeable folks supposedly “know” something about the .40 S&W round that the “uninformed” don’t? What might that be? Do you have anything to suggest that the .40 S&W round is a poor selection for a self-defense round?

      There are good options for all handgun calibers; “knowledgeable folks” know that. They also know that handguns are by their very nature, compromises. As such, each caliber/platform configuration will have certain things going in its favor, and certain detractors.

      For example, I carry a full size M&P40 loaded with Winchester Ranger 180gr bonded JHP. This happens to be a round that outperforms most commonly-procured .45ACP loads for both velocity (duh) and muzzle energy. Not to mention it holds more rounds than any .45 does (15+1). While it doesn’t hold as many rounds as a Glock 17 does, it absolutely outperforms the common 9mm loads.

      So… What would the “knowledgeable folks” have to say about that? A platform that I shoot exceptionally well, paired with a load that ballistically outperforms both the .45 and 9mm at conceivable self-defense ranges, and comes in 2nd as far as capacity? My money says that the “knowledgeable folks” would concede that I’ve got a pretty solid setup, for a compromise.

      My money is also telling me that you aren’t in that “knowledgeable folks” group.

        • I don’t. My point was simply that, contrary to what the original commenter suggested, people who are truly “knowledgeable” on the subject of firearms and caliber potency do not simply dismiss the .40 S&W cartridge because it is in fact a formidable choice in its own right, much like the 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Sig, etc.

        • Exactly. While I’m not endeared particularly to the forty, and haven’t shot it much at all, I think I like it better than 9mm. I don’t like that much velocity in a round, because the recoil is so sudden and sharp.

          I love the .45 ACP recoil because, although a bit heavy, it’s nice and slow, and very controllable, for that very reason.

          I’m not that conversant with the particulars of comparative terminal velocity and such like; I just enjoy shooting the .45 ACP a lot more.

  1. Build your house next to an airport and complain of the noise of planes. That makes as muchsense as building next to a shooting range and being bothered by the noise.

    • Yet that is exactly happened when people moved next to the fence line at O’Hare Field. You know the “world’s busiest airport.” And the were successful in getting the FAA to change the flight patterns too.

    • Noisy gun range? Get the ATF out of the suppressor business, and then ask that all rifle shooters at this range use suppressors. Problem solved. It’s just commonsens. forthchildrn.

      • Yeah, I’ve seen the you tube vids of silenced shotguns in England. England, of all places. And we can’t have cans here in CA.

  2. “I was hoping for the “zip” sound you hear in the movies, but I guess this is just one more thing that isn’t like what you see on the screen. ”

    Use subsonic ammo. What we’re hearing here is the shock wave, sort of a tiny sonic boom. Of course, with subsonic ammo, the report of the rifle will beat the bullet to the mic, so you’d have to use a suppressed rifle.

      • I know from personl experience that that zip noise can freak you out pretty quick. I was tubing down a river with my family one day when somebody opened up in their backyard. I had rounds coming over the top of me at about 3 feet over my head. Needless to say, I flipped that tube and dove pretty quick.

  3. I see the BS regarding the gun club happen all over. Entity X has existed for as long as said community or thereabouts. Transplants from the big city move in nearby with FULL KNOWLEDGE that Entity X is there and has been there for some time and are told “it’s (noisy, smelly, draws traffic, etc). They say “no problem!” Then the first chance they get complain about the noise and try to get the place shut down. Gun clubs, farms, airports (I’m not joking). Seriously. You KNEW it was there, you KNEW there was going to be noise. If that was going to be such a problem, why in the name of God did you move there?!

    • It’s known as denial. “Aw, it’s just a gun club. Shucks, it’s just the busiest airport ’round everywhere.”

      I had a fried who live just beneath the penthouse under the final approach to what’s now call Reagan International. Every freakin’ 90 seconds, from 6 am to 1 am. And nobody’s moved that airport yet.

      It reminds me of women who say, “I love you just the way you are; I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

      Not until just after the wedding, anyway.

    • In Cape Elizabeth, most of the transplants are from Mass.
      Many of them use southern Maine as a suburb of Boston.
      They come up to escape the crushing insanity that they
      created; instead of fixing it. Unfortunately, most Massholes
      still bring their own special kind of stupid with them.

    • Reminds me off all the rich entitled folk who want to live in trendy downtown Austin, and then have the stones to complain about the live music everywhere.

  4. One wonders if maybe the folks selling these houses tried to get people to come see them when the range wasn’t operating.

  5. Morons moving in next to a long-standing racetrack and then complaining about the noise has been the downfall of many, many racetracks around the country, as well.

    • At good old RIR, too. Never worked though. But I must say, when they had the truck races (Busch Series? Racing fans can clue me in), I could hear them LOUD AND PLENTY, and it was probably 6 miles away! Basically, across the entire city, and that noise…

  6. +.40. And +1 Alaskan Patriot. I still don’t know why people can’t handle .40 recoil or follow up shots.

  7. Shot the fifty a bunch today. As it grew darker, the flash from the impact of API rounds on steel was absolutely bitchen. The ring back and echo off the mountains was sheer pleasure.
    Even at 500 yards, API’s still go through a 1 inch plate.
    Getting to go long at 12 and 15 hundred yards gave us perma-grin.
    .308 tracers ignite at about 250 yards and burn out at about 1,000.

    • Damn, 1 inch plate, thats pretty sweet. My shooting outing this morning got cancelled for range repair, at least I have TTAG ha. We dont normally get to shoot past anything further than 300y though.

  8. Caliber wars are akin to Redheads or Blondes???? As long as they serve as designed and meet the intended purpose while performing without fail, who cares?

  9. The gun club I belong to here in Missouri, Arnold Rifle and Pistol Club, somewhat regularly has to field complaints from people who move into the new developments around the club and in spite of the fact that they sign acknowledgments that they may hear gun fire every single day of the year from 8:30 a.m. until sunset, they will still complain about the noise, etc. So far, so good, no complaints have ever gone any further.

    • If I worked in that office, I’d keep the residents’ signed acknowledgements on file in alphabetical order, that way when they came in to complain (or called), I could show (or mail) them a copy of the form. “Thanks for your concern.”

    • Dear Sir and/or Madam –

      Your comments are most important to us. Now please STFU and go away.

      Sincerely,
      etc. etc.

  10. I have been a member of three ranges in northern New Jersey that have been closed down when previously undeveloped land around the range was developed and the new homeowners complained about noise and stray rounds. I think it is unfair to criticize the neighboring property owners. Since the range did not buy their property, it has no right to impose excessive noise on them or to use the adjoining property as a worst case backstop. The moral of the story is if you have a high power rifle shooting range to buy enough property. The NRA says 150 acres is the minimum. The surviving outdoor high power rifle ranges in northern NJ (Cherry Ridge and Central Jersey) are 1000 acres, plus or minus.

    • ” I think it is unfair to criticize the neighboring property owners. Since the range did not buy their property, it has no right to impose excessive noise on them or to use the adjoining property as a worst case backstop. ”

      I’m calling BS on this. Make the same claim about an airport. See how silly it sounds? Are gun ranges and airports supposed to just keep moving further out, just to please some punk-*ss “come latelies”?

      Eventually they will move closer to another populated area. THOSE are the people who have a right to complain, NOT the ones who knowingly moved into an established noisy area!

      • An airport is a bad example because it is a public nuisance. I think we all agree that the government can impose costs on neighboring properties in the public interest, such as the noise and pollution from a highway. I private range does not have the same privilege. The last range that I was member of which closed down owned 12 1/2 acres. The neighboring property was sold for new development and the houses were clearly visible maybe 300 yards slightly to the right of the berm. Some idiot used steel targets on out range and bullets ended up in neighboring houses. End of range. I do not think you can say that someone who bought adjoining property assumed this risk.

        • You quoted a specific instance and tried to make it work across the board. Please try again.

          And if you asked a city manager is the airport was a “nuisance” or an “asset”, he’s gonna say the latter. It means jobs, no long drives for air travel. Your “civic nuisance” notion is a non-starter.

        • ” I think we all agree that the government can impose costs on neighboring properties in the public interest,”

          Well, then, you’d be wrong:
          “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” — Amendment V, Constitution of the United States.

    • I think the term carpetbagger applies.

      Let’s see. So, someone moves into an area knowing it’s noisy (let’s say it is an industrial process, not shooting) and THEN tries to impose their demand for silence on the private property owner there before them, and you are justifying that?

      It boggles the mind.

      Why does the second property owner have a greater right to control how the range owner uses their land on the basis that the range owner is someone imposing an inconvenience on the second property owner?

      Just wow.

    • “Since the range did not buy their property, it has no right to impose excessive noise on them”

      Was the range making noise at the time that they bought the property? If so, then they have de facto agreed to let the sound continue. The time to bitch about the sound would have been before closing the sale. The preexisting property owner should not be punished for the buyer’s negligent due diligence.

  11. No true Irishman would waste whisky or beer that way. A pencil skirted top cop..how titillating..should have been thigh carrying.

    • You’ll never catch THIS true Irishman wasting good aqua vitae like that! How’s about doing it with some Milwaukee’s “Best”, if you must?

      Some of my ancestors likely were Celts who dwelt in Burgos (in what is now Spain); the name “Burke” was originally “de Burgos”. So I take that as license to self-identify as both Irish AND Hispanic.

      Works for me! Didja follow that?

  12. Why am I being told “I do not have permission” to edit a comment I made seconds before? This happened a couple days ago, too.

    • I think that happened to me once: I was still in the edit textbox when the “you have xx minutes to edit” timer had timed out, so by the time I hit “submit,” the software rejected the post. Or so I’m speculating.

  13. May I be the first to call BS on Coach Jessica Henry and Pigeon Forge Athletic Director Jim Lethco. Maybe Coach Jessica’s team couldn’t afford to take a forfeit?

  14. Alaskan Patriot, I was responding to another commentator, by “knowledgable” I meant that it’s a relative term. In all honesty, we all need to stop buying into, “jimmy boo carries this gun in this caliber, and he says anything is is crap, so i won’t use it.” It really does no good to buy Chris Costa signaure 1911s and LaRues because it was “built to thier specifications.” My needs are different from your, yours are different from mine, and Costas are different from a young mothers. At the same time if you want a signature series costa gun then get one. Now I’m off to Rambo kick a panda bear.

  15. Also, I like .40, 9×19 is good when I’m abroad as it’s a more common round, and I do own my share of .45s. If I want something with more velocity I take 9 or .40, but if I want a slow moving chunk of metal then .45 is my lover

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