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Morse carbine courtesy

A half dozen Civil War-era firearms will be up for auction this Friday in Carmel, Indiana, including a Morse carbine, a rare firearm that never made it into mass production. The .50-caliber breechloader was one of the most technologically advanced weapons of the Confederacy, but had one major flaw. The gun’s hammer, used to cock the weapon, also served as a catch to keep the trapdoor closed over the ammo chamber. But when the hammer was cocked, the trapdoor cover could pop open if the gun wasn’t held level. Tilt it 45 degrees or more, and the shell would fall right out. Also up for auction are percussion muskets from 1855 and 1861, and a flintlock musket from 1816. More photos are over at Read on . . .

The Fergus Falls Journal reports that gun carry permits in the adorably named Otter Tail County, Minnesota, more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, according to the annual report released last week by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A total of 963 permits were issued in Otter Tail County in 2013, compared with 418 the previous year. Ten years ago, in 2003, the number was only 294. Statewide, Minnesotans received 60,471 permits in 2013, nearly double the 31,657 issued in 2012. There are 165,295 valid gun carry permits in Minnesota as of February 28th. Permit-holders committed 1,023 crimes in 2013, significantly higher than in prior years, but more than half of those were DWIs or other traffic offenses. There’s no listed information about how many of the crimes were gun-related. Just another example of how the civilian disarmament movement propaganda that gun ownership is falling is just more lies and deceit from people that don’t seem to know how to do anything else.

The next time someone attempts to tout universal background checks to you as the cure to all the ills of the gun world, ask them what difference that would make in cases like this. Police have identified the suspect in the theft of a 9mm handgun from Dunham’s Sporting Goods in Chesterfield, Michigan on February 21st. Kevin Todd Gilbert is wanted on charges of larceny of a firearm, first-degree retail fraud and a felony firearm offense. He was seen on store surveillance video reaching into the back of the display case and removing a handgun while employees were busy elsewhere. He then placed the gun in the front of his jacket and left the store. If only he had bothered to fill out that 4473, they could have stopped him from stealing that gun, y’know?

Indiana appears to be about to pass a law that will allow guns on school campuses if they’re securely locked in a vehicle trunk. The rule was added as an amendment to a bill under consideration regarding police gun buyback programs. The school campus proposal was heard during three separate committee hearings at which the public could and did speak. Shannon Watts was there at the final one, speaking on behalf of MDAGSACSI:NYFBIBBQBRB, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week. According to, supporters of the bill characterized it as a “common-sense assertion of Second Amendment rights.” Way to use their language against them.

A bill that would allow military veterans and former LEOs to carry guns in Florida classrooms advanced out of a Senate committee on Monday. Those individuals would still have to undergo additional training and receive authorization from school leaders. The bill still has a ways to go, needing to pass three more committees before it makes it to a floor vote. The bill would require 40 hours of school safety training, eight hours per year of active shooter training and four hours per year of firearm proficiency training. The legislation was heard in its first House committee today. Even if the bill does eventually pass both houses and is signed into law, there may not be any visible changes, as the final say will still lie within the school districts, and many superintendents are not interested in anyone other than uniformed law enforcement carrying guns in their schools.

22plinkster and IraqVeteran8888 (Eric from Moss Pawn & Gun) got together to find out “How far is a .22LR accurate?”


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  1. “Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension”

    I initially read that as a department to keep criminals apprehensive. Disappointed myself on the reread. :-/

    • Ditto, but I think the longest range round here is only 300 yards. For 500 though I’d probably have to upgrade from my fixed 4x scope just to see the target. And I do love those Velocitors!

    • I lived on the southwestern-most edge of the Twin Cities, and opinions seemed evenly split while I was there. All of the vapid anti-2A legislation that was inspired by Sandy Hook was shot down, which is encouraging. The flip side is that “common sense” reforms like voter ID were nixed… I just don’t get it. In any event, Governor Dayton certainly fits the bill as a progressive panty twister.

    • I think they prefer to be called DFLers.

      You can use your imagination as to what DFL stands for.

  2. I’m going to stay away from the auction. I got seriously outbid on the Tom Knapp rifle(s) I wanted. I’m still bummed.

    That was some darn nice shooting. Going up in the hills for some long range play this weekend. Think I’ll take some .22’s along.

    • Agreed. The real Vikings would have played outside in the winter. I guess the Minnesota Girlyvikings will get to pretend they’re the real deal for the next two years though.

  3. Matt, I was looking for the lockdowm of the day last night!
    It was at Milcreek Elementary in SLC UT, about a block away from my house. The local PD actually stopped by to inform me of a “voluntary” evacuation, but I told them I was a-okay, thanks fer checkin.

    Since nobody actually, you know, got shot, it didn’t got much play.

    • Sorry. At 7 p.m. yesterday I still wasn’t home from the day’s job hunting, and I still had to go by my old apartment to do some final cleanup, so I emailed Dan and put the kibosh on last night’s Digest. With my PC down and staying at a buddy’s house, I’m competing for time on the computers there, either against him playing Minecraft or his girlfriend doing homework. Quality has suffered as a result.

      • As they say “$hit happens”. We’ll get over it. Find a job. Deal with life. After that, give us a daily digest. There are more important things to do than post…

      • “Quality has suffered as a result.”

        Not so. You’re doing a bang-up job on the digests. Almost always the most entertaining post of the day on TTAG, unless there happens to be a non-AR15 gun review that day (a rare day indeed).

        (Before anybody jumps me for the comment, I have nothing against the AR15, but after a while, reviews of the same rifle platform over and over stop being interesting to me personally.)

  4. I’d sure like to know what magic formula makes military veterans and former civilian law enforcement officers somehow more qualified to carry concealed weapons in a school zone than people who chose a different career path — all the more so because the law requires *training* for this extra bit of credentialling anyway.

    • Speaking for myself, getting shot at and still having the presence of mind (Thanks to that magic training) to shoot back. You?

      • This is actually a pretty fair point, but there are a few holes.

        (1) Not all military personnel have been shot at. Perhaps it should be “combat experience?”

        No, that will never work. The panty-twisters will call that too aggressive sounding. Though Heinlein did toy with this notion in the book “Starship Troopers” wherein he outlined a society that defined citizenship as those with combat experience, and only those citizens could vote.

        (2) Those are not the only two jobs that can demonstrate a person capable of thinking clearly in stressful, dangerous environments.

        Firefighting, for example, is a job that requires clear thinking while in danger and in physical discomfort.

        (3) The extra training the statute requires seems to imply that the military and law enforcement training is not enough for this specific application.

        Agree or not with that idea, but that said, there’s no reason why anyone else could not also obtain a sufficient degree of training.

        In other words, the metric should be on performance standards, not hours ticked off a box on a form.

        (4) Everyone has a first time to face “the test.” We hope that practical training weeds out those that cannot perform, but we never know for sure. So, that means that while SOME law enforcement officers and SOME military personnel have been thus tested, they were “unknowns” at one time, too.

        (5) I know some combat vets I would not trust with a butter knife. Sorry, but there it is. To make something like this the sole metric is as foolhardy as other over-generalized schemes.

        Ditto cops. I worked with some cops that I would NOT enter a dangerous situation with, no matter how many years on the job they had. And, I knew others that I would do so even when they were noobs.

        • Not all vets have been shot at. But they’ve all been put under great pressure and taught to think while the S is Hitting The Fan.

          Our trainers were not being paid by us and fearfull of losing their business if they mistreated us or hurt our feelings. makes a big difference in the level of training.

          Any non vets out there been rousted out of a sound sleep at 0dark30 by a rampaging nco and put on the road for days of training? Which included being under fire from live ammo and explosions? That was just a small part of the training.

        • I don’t disagree with either your point or the one above, so please consider this “Devil’s Advocate” more than anything else.

          All vets have received the training as you describe…but to what degree?

          Are you suggesting that a few weeks of Basic followed by a few year career as a 25M by itself suggests that that person is not only adequately equipped but better equipped to handle an active shooter than the person who invests his own time and money to develop tactical and shooting skills?

          Actually, the more I think about it, the more I want to disengage from this as an “us vs them” discussion. I think that was the whole point of wording the statute as it was worded, and it seems to be working. Do we have here a subset of PotG claiming to be a privileged class?

          (And PLEASE don’t misunderstand that I am categorizing 25M inferior in any way based on that alone, prima facia…but I think going the other way would be just as troublesome).

        • JR, agree with your point(s). My only real beef with citizens paying for training is that they’re not likely to get that 24/7 immersion that the military does and their trainers are not likely to push them as hard out of liability and business concerns.

          IMHO the most important training any citizen can get is safe gun handling. Having to engage an active shooter is an outlier. Handling your firearm in a safe manner is a daily thing and needs to be over stressed.

  5. Been to that Dunhams multiple times, since the ammo scare only thing they have had in stock has been 45 colt, 45 ACP and shotgun shells. They haven’t been selling handguns very long and a glass display with a simple lock only keeps honest people out.

  6. Hmmm… Minnesota has 75% more people than Iowa, but Iowa has more weapons carry permit holders.

    I always knew Minnesota sucked.

    • Wow, so enlightening. I am typing this in MN. I grew up here, 20+ years in the state. Despite its reputation for leftist politics there is strong support for the second amendment. Not sure why you think disparaging MN is productive.

      • I lived in the Twin Cities for a couple of years. The folks up north are a good lot, but due to the new flaming policy here I’ll have to keep my opinion of the south to ‘sucks’. (Like I never had to hear a disparaging comment about Iowa!) If Al Gore’s global warming ever actually kicks in I’d consider moving to Grand Marais or Bemidji, but I draw the line at -30F.

        BTW it is true, Iowa has more carry permit holders that Minnesota.

        • I know the Iowa permit stats are true. I fail to see why that matters so much to you. Other states have more permit holders than Iowa. Curious, what do you mean by South? I have been to Fairmont and Mankato many times and found their attitudes pretty similar to the northern Minnesotans.

        • Oddly enough I think Mankato is the one place in the state I’ve never been (although I’ve never been a Vikings fan). I knew some people in Albert Lea who seemed damn proud that they didn’t live another 13 miles south. I’m sure most of the people in the smaller towns are just fine, and to be honest there’s even a handful of decent people in the cities. And even the people in the cities aren’t as (in my experience) obnoxious as the people in Wisconsin, although the the Wisconsonians can drink them under the table, you’ve got to respect that. Anyway, yea by south I’m mostly referring to the land of unmoving traffic.

          Why does the number of permit holders matter to me? Seriously? I live in Iowa. Other than the fact that there are a lot fewer mosquitoes and it rarely dips below -20F here I might as well live in Minnesota. Why do you have such thin skin? Embrace the suck, you’ll feel better.

  7. Thats what the brady’s wanted for us awhile back, untill they begrudgingly ushered in that newfangled semi auto technology.

  8. “But when the hammer was cocked, the trapdoor cover could pop open if the gun wasn’t held level. Tilt it 45 degrees or more, and the shell would fall right out.”

    This must have been the reason it wasn’t used as anti aircraft gun.


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