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A few days after Barack Obama’s re-election, I wrote a piece about how an assault weapons ban is a dumb idea. And specifically outlined in that was the fact that cosmetic features don’t make a weapon any more or less deadly. A 12 gauge slug is still a 12 gauge slug whether or not there’s a barrel shroud on the shotgun, and that’s still gunna suck when it hits you. But the Media Matters blog disagrees, and decided to take a writer to task for suggesting that their views on the matter were wrong

Daily Beast correspondent Megan McArdle attacked the concept of an assault weapons ban by falsely suggesting that there are no functional differences between such weapons and other firearms.

In her November 21 article, McArdle wrote that the differences between assault weapons and other firearms are “largely cosmetic rather than functional,” a claim also pushed by the National Rifle Association. In fact, assault weapons, like the military weapons on which they are based, have functional differences from other guns that increase their lethality.

First things first, see what they did there? That whole tying of the viewpoint to the NRA? Since the NRA is the Great Satan in the eyes of the gun control supporters, naturally anyone who takes a viewpoint similar to them must also be made of pure evil. At least, that’s the thought that they’re trying to plant in the reader’s minds. Its the editorial equivalent of calling someone an asshole.

The main point of the article, though, is to dispute the idea that cosmetic differences don’t change the lethal capabilities of a firearm. Or, put another way, that a barrel shroud makes a gun inherently more deadly. To do this, they use the above illustration of a shotgun in AWB compliant configuration and AWB-scoffing configuration.

In fact, the lower pictured weapon, a Mossberg 500 Tactical Persuader, has a number of features that increase its lethality compared to the top pictured shotgun. Contrary to what the graphic suggests, the only difference between the two weapons is not just the pistol grip featured on the Tactical Persuader. The Tactical Persuader also has an adjustable stock that can be removed from the firearm completely, which allows the gun length to be shortened for increased concealability. Furthermore, when combined with a pistol grip, the firearm can be more easily maneuvered, allowing the shooter to fire from the hip and more easily use the weapon from vehicles and in other close quarters situations.

Note to those who have never fired a gun: smaller guns are less capable of being controlled effectively. And not in the “gun control” sense, in the recoil mitigation sense.

There’s a saying among competition shooters that you can’t miss fast enough to make up for a hit. Accuracy is final, and guns are only lethal if you can actually hit your target. Firing from the hip or with a pistol grip shotgun might look cool and the image might make some involuntarily change the color of their underwear, but your ability to accurately hit targets is severely degraded.

I think one of the comments (from “displacer”) put it best though:

On top of that claims that you could use a pistol grip to better fire from the hip are not only unfounded (it would be just as easy if not easier to fire from the hip with a straight stock like on a “normal” shotgun since your hand naturally points downward with your arm at your side) but you would have no reason to do so at all. Firing from the hip doesn’t allow you to use the sights to actually aim, nor does it allow you to use your shoulder to control the rather substantial recoil generated by a 12ga shotgun. Claiming that a gun is more lethal when held in a way that makes it harder to control and prevents you from knowing where it’s pointed is like claiming people can drive better with their knees than their hands- there’s no practical, factual basis for it. Just like firing a pistol sideways it’s a product of action movies, no modern military or police doctrine encourages hip firing since it’s inaccurate and wasteful.

After a while, Media Matters tries to go for a summation paragraph to tie it all up:

The claim that assault weapons only have cosmetic differences from other firearms is trumpeted by the National Rifle Association, an opponent of assault weapons bans, but has little basis in reality.

See that whole “guilt by association” thing again? Indirectly attacking the credibility of the author instead of disputing the actual facts? I guess they have to, since their point of view is pretty darned flawed.

Let’s move off of the shotgun argument and switch to rifles, as that might make things a little more clear. Here’s my Texas legal AR-15 built around a Franklin Armory lower:

And here’s Franklin Armory’s California-legal “featureless” AR-15:

There’s an obvious cosmetic difference between the two rifles, but beyond that?

The two rifles have the same rate of fire.

The two rifles fire the same cartridge, with the same velocity and the same projectile that does the exact same amount of damage.

The magazines can be changed just as fast in one as the other.

The rifles are just as accurate, just as reliable, and just as deadly as each other. In short, there is no difference between the two.

The only thing an assault weapons ban has done is made the lawmakers and gun control advocates feel better. They are, in fact, no more safe than before. And at the same time, they have inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of legal gun owners by making their rifles a pain in the ass to comfortably fire.

Because the only reason for those features is comfort, not to make them more deadly.

The article wraps up with an excerpt from a white paper (not a study) from the Violence Policy Center:

All assault weapons–military and civilian alike–incorporate specific features that were designed for laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone. This is sometimes known as “hosing down” an area. Civilian assault weapons feature the specific military design features that make spray-firing easy and distinguish assault weapons from traditional sporting firearms.

I reject the premise of that statement. The U.S. Military was obsessed with the idea of accuracy at distance when they developed the M-16, and that obsession shows through with the long barrel and the sighting system they chose. These guns were designed for combat on the fields of Europe, with enemies at 100+ yards, not for “hosing down” an area with inaccurate fire. In fact, they issued 20 round magazines to soldiers instead of 30 round magazines specifically to discourage this activity.

You’re thinking of an SMG, my friend. Not a rifle.

Here’s the thing though. Even if we accept the premise of that statement, the assault weapons ban as proposed and enacted in 1994 addressed none of the features that would actually enable this kind of usage. It addressed cosmetic features, not functional ones.

But Media Matters doesn’t realize that. The gun control groupthink is that an assault weapons ban is a good idea, and they go blindly along with it. Without applying a single lick of common sense.

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  1. Gun control: ignorance at its finest.

    It’s irrational fear leading to even more irrational legislation. Just because you’re scared of something doesn’t mean that it’s actually a problem.

    Besides, banning things doesn’t stop them from existing. *drugs cough cough*

    It’s funny… most hyper-lefties that I know that pro-AWB also smoke plenty of marijuana illegally. They don’t see the parallel. And it’s sad.

  2. An AWB= “We can’t ban everything right now,so we’ll settle for outlawing the scary looking guns until we can take the rest.”

    • That’s exactly right…

      If there were ever successful at passing a 10 round max capacity ban nationwide then it’s an obvious next step to ban them all when they can so easily report that obviously ten rounds is still too much… because there has been no change in the shootings. We better go for a complete ban of all semi auto guns.

    • That is the worst problem with this kind of legislation, that is totally, 100%, purely illogical and totally arbitrary. Really, what did they think when they decided 10 was the maximum number of rounds that any person needs? Presumably because our numbering system is based on 10. What stops them from later saying 5? Maybe Smith & Wesson 686 7 shot revolvers will be outlawed because they are “assault revolvers.” Maybe next all double action revolvers that allow you to rapidly fire without having to cock the hammer. The Empire State Building shooter used a 1911 and they used that shooting as a chance to talk about how evil semi-automatics are. But if you mention these ideas to them, they just scoff and say, “That’s a logical fallacy, using a slippery slope argument,” as if their proposed laws are logical at all.

  3. Media Matters is full of “true believers” and persuading them with facts is a waste of time, as they manufacture their own facts.

  4. it’s such a stupid idea, and it is sad to see parts of america are even considering this shit. new zealand allready has this joke instated. and if i were a madman, a free standing pistol grip isn’t going to change much. or sliding in some “MSSA only” 30 round mags. or a surpressor instead of a flash surpressor.

  5. The grabbers know there’s no difference between the 2. They’re not ignorent, they’re dishonest. They look for any excuse, no matter how absurd to get rid of any gun for any reason. Instead of banning them all at once they do it one make or model at a time. The end result is the same.

        • Uggghhhh!!! Not what I wanted to be thinking about at 4:30 in the morn at work!! Hey wait a minute, you may have uncovered their true plan!! They will keep putting up pics of those old gasbags on tv and in the papers, and Internet till all of us good law abiding gun owners jump off the nearest high drop high speed building to our doom!!
          Then they won’t have to justify/lie about any weapon. Ban them all and spend eternity in Utopia!! Those nefarious bastards!

  6. How does a Bayonet lug make a AR more deadly Nick????????? Im dumfounded that gun grabber now write editorials saying how gun need to be banned. Over Nick said this isnt going to happen so why bother writing? A AR-15 is more accurate than most AWB ok guns like the mini-14 and M-1 carbine. Thanks nick for telling the truth. Hope you write a editorial back at media matters.

  7. Man, that’s exactly what i’ve been saying. I laughed when Feinstein specifically stated she wanted to ban pistol grips. A mini-14 is no more or less deadly than an AR15. You can be just as fast and effective with it. It’s no different than being able to type faster on a standard keyboard vs a microsoft natural keyboard which has curves in it. I’m the same speed on both, but prefer the ergonomics of a natural keyboard.

    A red dot sight makes a weapon more deadly than a pistol grip. Diane Feinstein is simply trying to create a name for herself as a crusader for gun control. She’s trying to ban a look or idea of a weapon.

    • “She is trying to ban a look or idea”
      If that is the case, and it really is, then we should be able to introduce a bill that would ban any ugly, goat smelling ass, crackhead politician that resembles her or any of that bunch!
      My God think of the children! We have to preserve their sanity, not to mention their eyesight, now before they are ruined for life by these people!!

  8. The sustainable firing rate for a military configuration M4 is 15 rounds per minute. Unless you’re “hosing down” a shoebox, that’s not quite gonna be enough for suppression fire.

    • I think you are a bit off on the ROF. A trained WWII infantryman using an M-1 could sustain 20 well aimed rounds a minute till the cows came home.

        • So an AR-15 is has a lower sustained rate of fire than a service rifle officially introduced in 1936. Now that’s progress!

      • no.

        the m1 garand can maintain a sustained rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute.

        the m14? 15 rounds per minute.

        The M4? the same per SAMG blue book.

        dont let nostalgia get in the way. The M4 is a ideal weapon for infantry combat.

        • Really, I just finished reading September Hope about the American experience during Operation Market Garden. There were many actions where M-1s were fired at such a sustained ROF that the wood stock was charred but the weapon still functioned. There is specified engineering ROF and a practical rate.

          Back in the day we overdesigned weapons. For example, the maximum safe depth for fleet submarine was 2-3 times its specified maximum safe depth. A modern SSN has nowhere near that cushion. The M-1 has a lot more design margin than the AR family.

        • “The M4 is a ideal weapon for infantry combat.

          Unless that combat involves targets more than 300m away.
          Which is what we’re up against in Afghanistan & our opponents know this.

        • you also forgot to mention the M1s during that same war and theatre that were basically turned into single shot weapons because of conditions and lack of maintenance due to the high operations tempo.

          all weapons break. I just dont believe in appealing to novelty.

          and mike, the M4 is fine. the maximum effective range at a point target is 500 meters. the maximum effective area range is 600 meters. that is not even counting the other cartridges besides the green tip, which can kill up to the 7-800 meter range.

        • Those theoretical ranges are under ideal conditions & fail to take into account cover, concealment & use a suppressive fire – especially the latter.
          UK troops have found by experience that even fire from the L86 LSW with a 25.5 inch barrel is ineffective past 400m, despite a theoretical range of 1,000m.
          If you can’t disrupt your opponent’s actions then you’re in trouble – especially when what YOU are receiving in return is well aimed fire from 7.62x54R chambered weapons & RPG.

  9. I don’t know why everyone tries to change these ignorant peoples views.
    They will NEVER listen to logic. They’ve made up their minds. Just can’t reason with them. Gonna have to fight em. ( legislatively that is )

    • A lot of the purpose isn’t to change the minds of the true believers (nothing will do that). These articles are more for people on the fence who don’t have an opinion one way or the other, and to show them the ridiculous logic of the other side.

    • It’s worse than that. They are projecting their anxieties (usually form childhood) into the political process and onto society as a whole.

      You cannot reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

  10. Holy schnikes that Franklin Armory California-legal gun is ugly. Ugly as homemade sin. Actually, that works, because it looks like some Franken-rifle that some idjit dreamed up in his garage.

  11. In some cases it might work out in favor of pro-gun politicians and advocates that the gun grabbers usually have almost zero technical knowledge about guns during the negotiation process. Someone pointed out that the irony that few will want to conceal carry anything bigger than a .45 magnum which is the legal limit in Oklahoma.

  12. I keep saying it, we need pink duracoat and Hello Kitty graphics. The guns will stop acting evil and the antis will back off.

    • Thank you In Memphis!! You have found the solution to our problem. Lets all take our firearms, paint them pink with kitty graphics like In Memphis suggests.

      PRESTO!! Gun grabbers will admit our firearms are not “assault weapons”. We will be off the hook. (of course, I am relying on the collective intelligence of bloomberg and his buddies, but that is a pretty safe bet)

      • Ok, I will go with the pink but instead of Hello Kitty can I do some pretty little black skulls instead?? Please!! They show up better on pink than kitty would.

        • Thank You Thank You!!! (bowing graciously)!!!
          Hey do you know if they still make the huge ass pencils like we had in grade school in the ’60’s??
          Just had an idea(have to be careful with it, it’s in a strange place), could whittle them down a little and make up some .45acp 230gr vampire stakes. No more need for hand tools for the job, just aim, squeeze, rinse and repeat!!

    • Funny, but the response will be horror that these are being marketed to children, followed by the recitation one of many sad cases where a child with a toy gun was mistaken for having a real firearm and shot by police.

      It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to fit their narrative. Fitting narratives makes unbelievable things believable to people who buy the narrative.

  13. We can only change the fence sitters and hope the dedicated grabbers quietly fall off the edge of the world two days before they are needed!!!
    Maybe one day the great scientists and think tanks will invent a little pill to cure hoplophobia in just one dose!!!

  14. This isn’t really related to AWB, but a pistol grip on a mossberg is completely asinine. You have to remove your hand from the weapon to toggle the safety. I kinda regret not realizing this until after i bought my 590.

    • The first firearm I ever bought, and the only one I regret buying (in that configuration) is my Mossberg 500 Cruiser pistol-grip 12 gauge.

      I keep saying I’m going to put a real stock on it, but it’s been two years and I haven’t done it yet. It serves as an effective reminder to think real hard before laying my money down in the future.

      • Yesterday, I watched a youtube video presented by a man who owns two of those pump shotguns with pistol grips and no stocks. His story was about a friend of his who failed to hold the gun properly at the range while firing it which caused the end of the receiver to slam into his face. His friend has been in the hospital for the past 3-4 weeks, has a steel bar in his lower jaw, and needs more surgeries. His friend just missed knocking out many teeth. The gun owner and his wife seemed really guilt ridden. The man who presented the video now suggests a traditional shotgun (one that has a stock) for home defense.

    • Yup, a pistol grip on an 870 is logical, though unnecessary, on a 500 it’s silly and suggests ignorance of the purpose.

    • also see how quickly you can load a pistol grip or pistol grip + stock shotgun vs a traditional stock.
      it’s more difficult to rotate the firearm in the proper position with your hand under the action.

  15. I may be in big trouble. I bought a new shovel with a hand grip. Does that make it an “assault shovel” Jeez, now the Brady bunch will be after me.

    And what about my broom. I was thinking of getting one with a hand grip. Is that legal? Will they introduce a “Assault Broom Ban” next??

    Oh wait, I might be safe. The broom is white, not black!!! Whew, I was worried there for a minute.

    • Wow, just think of all the rail space on a broom…you could get a laser AND a bayonet AND a foregrip AND a bipod and night vision AND a scope AND a red dot for CQS (close quarters sweeping). And mounts for a three-point sling.

      Someone will do it, now that you’ve mentioned it. You’ve just created the Tactical Broom. I hope you’re happy, man. And in 18 months they’ll paint it day-glo green and call it the Zombie Broom.

  16. I had to take a test before I was issued a drivers licence which helped ensure that I had a basic understanding of the rules of the road.

    Is it too much to ask that people who propose legislation take a test demonstrating a minimum level of competency related to the subject they want to regulate?

    Can we at least agree that lawmakers should know about what they are legislating before they impose laws on everyone?

    Is that a controversial position?

    • What your suggesting would create PURE ANARCHY!!

      First, none of our politicians could pass the test. So Congress would be empty. Then no one to pass thousands of useless laws. Also, without their $174.00 a year, plus benefits, and inflated staffs, the government would save money. Eliminating the national debt.

      With that much extra money floating around, would stimulate the economy, creating more jobs. Then the big companies would save all that money they spend bribing our Congressman. So, cost of goods would go down. More people buying stuff, stimulating the economy, creating more jobs.

      Also, without Congressman stirring up trouble in foreign countries, not so many wars. Soldiers come home to fill up some of the new jobs, instead of dying.

      Do not forget we would be releasing a sizable number of pedophiles, perverts, cheaters, and thieves back into the general population (535 from Congress alone!!) Helpful though, fill up some empty beds in your local prison. More jobs for guards, stimulating the economy.

      So, in summation. YOUR IDEA IS GREAT!!! Let the testing begin.

      • And on top of that the money, or a goodly portion thereof could go back into the Social Security fund so that by the time our kids get old enough maybe, just maybe, they can actually retire before the age of 80!!!
        Set the retirement age at 65 across the board!!

  17. Heh, I think I convinced my dad over Thanksgiving that the features that AWBs target are stupid. He’s gotten into handgunning recently (after being in the same gun-control boat I was), but he was still leery of the scary black rifles. I pointed out that, other than the bayonet lug, every feature made the rifle more convenient to use, more adjustable to different people, more ergonomic, hell, safer for the user in the case of burns from barrel shrouds. The upper/lower set-up allows for quick changes of calibers, barrel lengths, etc. etc. Hell, the use of polymer makes it lighter and far more resistant to environmental factors than wood stocks. It’s giving it modern conveniences. He took it in and said that he’d never thought of it that way before. Yay.

    Neither of us see much of a point to bayonet lugs on civilian rifles, but, speaking purely for myself, I suppose I can think of some balls-ass-crazy DGU in which it might matter, but more importantly, it’s the principle of “buzz off” that matters.

    One last point: the term “Modern Sporting Rifle” has always seemed a bit disingenuous to me. Yeah, it’s providing an alternative to “Assault Weapon” for use in everyday discourse, which does matter, but the “Sporting” part seems unnecessary. It’s a rifle with modern features, a “Modern Rifle”, you might even say. It can be used to knock over steel and punch paper, but it can also be used to defend one’s self and loved ones, to hunt (void where prohibited), or even go off to war to defend one’s country or freedom or whatever reason someone higher up the chain of command came up with *insert rant about lousy reasons to go to war here*… where was I? Oh yes… at the end of the day, it’s a modern version of a combustion-based lead accelerator. Adding “Sporting” may make it seem less threatening, but so would a rainbow colored lower with a Pinkie Pie rollmark. Neither actually DOES change its purpose or capabilities, but at least the My Little Pony lower is just a personal customization that doesn’t claim to make it fire cupcakes and organic green tea. “Sporting” is just marketing bullshit.

    P.S. I would totally buy a rainbow-colored lower with a Pinkie Pie rollmark that fires cupcakes and organic green tea.

    • I’m not sure about the “cosmetic features only” argument. Calling them cosmetic implies that they make no difference, but if it’s a useful component of the system, then by definition it *does* increase lethality, as it improves your ability to handle the gun and put bullets on target.

      So are they cosmetic or not?

      And if they’re only cosmetic features, why care so much if someone bans some superfluous furniture? Let the grabbers have their petty victory, then we’ll go on merrily slinging lead downrange and continue winning the war with or without the cosmetic tacticool doodads.

      Besides, if these modern rifles do in fact perform better with the accoutrements the anti-2A groups want to ban, then that’s the best equipment/function based argument you could have, because the easier it is to put a gun on target and keep it there, the safer it is. For everyone. The die-hard hoplophobes won’t buy that, of course, because the mere thought of people actually *aiming* guns makes them fudge their undies. They’re convinced that the evil is inherent in the object and will infect anyone who possesses it (one ring to rule them all…).

      I just think maybe we could be a little clearer about why these accessories are important enough to defend against a ban in the first place (if they are important).

      Wasn’t intended as a reply to Gyufygy, but oh, well…. And I totally would buy a rainbow-colored My Little Pony AR that shot green tea and cupcakes. I could bring it to meetings, and all the old hippie granola-munchers I work with would really appreciate the green tea.

    • How about we call them” Modern multi caliber multi projectile controlled fire launching devices”!!
      Organic green tea?! Nah!! Chocolate cupcakes and hot black coffee, or if you are an urbanite LEO then Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee!!! 😉

        • Starbucks on a cops salary?? Damn they must be making good money nowadays. In 97 I was offered a job with the local LEO bunch here in Ar and they thought I was crazy for turning down $17500 a year and the chance to use my own personal vehicle to go on stings and raids.
          Oh and I would have to buy and carry something besides my 1911. Not allowed for duty use!!!

        • Speedeacer,

          Cops drink Starbucks, but mostly the single guys and those who work a lot of OT (like me). I’be been cutting down since I got married, and after our salary reduction.

        • Yea marriage tends to do that to you doesn’t it!! Luckily am single again but the extra taxes that come along with that status take up almost as much as a wife did!! LOL!!
          Last time I had Starbucks I think it was like $4.50 or $5 and tasted like it had burned and been recooked.

  18. I love how the article talked about the collapsible stock for concealabilty of the shotgun. Really, how is someone going to conceal a shotgun? The guy has obviously never handled a firearm before.

    • Easy! Just collapse the stock and stick the shotgun up their…..oh never mind, their head is in the way. Oh well, thought I had a good idea for them to conceal it and clean up the gene pool at the same time.
      Would have given a whole new meaning to farting your brains out after eating good Mexican food!!

  19. I love my pistol grip 12g 500 Cruiser, it’s extreme fun to shoot and an excellent home defender that is easily handled within the confines of small spaces. I also have a 410 500 with a pistol grip which is what I would start with, the 12g is in case things get outta control. I would prefer not to do too much damage to my home. I can hold my 12g up and use the sights just fine without a stock on it. The Hogue Grips are fabulous, wish they made one for the 410 size, they don’t; but you can use the 12g size on the 20g 500. ATI also makes a nice stock and grip set-up (Talon/Scorpion system) that can be used on Mossbergs and Saiga in addition to others. It’s nice because you do not have to do a trigger mod. on the Saiga to have a nice adjustable stock or just a pistol grip without stock.

  20. Same crap happens up here in Canada. Non gun using civil servants or bureaucrats determine what’s non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited based on how “scary” it looks.

  21. Is it just me, or does that “California-legal” AR remind anyone else of Cartman trying to be “special” for the Special Olympics?

  22. Rule #1
    Never refer to a firearm, a group or class of firearms as a “weapon” unless they have been deemed by a court of law to have been individually used in an assault or murder.
    Never call a firearm a “Gun”. Guns are bolted to the decks of naval vessels.
    Never use the same terminology as the antigun crowd.
    Always refer to firearm restrictions as a lead-up to outright confiscation and as a first step towards Marxist Dictatorship, the enslavement of children, persecution of believers in God, and genocide.
    Always insert God and children into the argument. “Are you saying God would not want me to protect your children from a Godless serial killer?”

  23. Undoubtedly the “features” banned by AWB are truely irrelevant to the lethality equation. But the point never really was about lethality anyway. Instead it was an intent to ban high capacity semi-automatic rifles, Seantor Yee, one of he sponsors of the original California AWB and most reently the author of a bill desined to outlaw the “bulet button”, has admitted that the real purpose behind the original law was not to ban features, but to eliminate the “evil black rifle” from the state. After the defeat of the bullet button ban, he vowed that he would come back this next year with an even stronger and more inclusive bill that will reflect (his) orignial intent with respect to the AWB. The fact is that these folks equate lethality with round count, but faced numerous practical dificulties in banning AR and AK style firearms. At first they tried it by name/model designation, which was a complete failure, so they then made up the most comprehensive list they could think of that described the features of an “EBR” and banned those. (Which is why so many of these rules are stupid–the purpose was not to outlaw particular features but a particular class of weapon.) Those efforts, as reflected in the MM article, continue unabated.

  24. These people don’t really care about the specific differences of these firearms that you so correctly pointed out. They just want a disarmed population – period.

    They just want to “put it to you”, control you, like they do with all the other liberal issues of the day. And they have to start somewhere because they are smart enough to realize that doing it all at once is not going to work. Their strategy is to nibble away at gun ownership, making it such a pain to own one that most people wont even bother.

    For example, 1911s are on the illegal “roster” in California. To own one you have to have a 1911 modified (temporarily) and then wait months for someone in government to look at it and OK the mods before you can take possession:


      • They don’t ban 1911s. The roster is an approved list. To be on the list, a manufacturer has to submit two sample weapons (that it does not get back) for extensive firing and drop testing–testing that is pretty expensive. To make it onerous, the State requires submission of each model of a firearm, even if the changes are only cosmetic. For example, a blued 1911 and a stainless 1911 of the same model from the same manufacturer have to be separately submitted and tested. Many manufacturers are not willing to shoulder the burden for every little change or feature, so these guns are simply not on the “approved” list. That said, there are plenty of 1911s here, but not a lot of the custom guns.
        There are ways to get them, either by being a LEO (who can buy anything) or through what is called a “single shot conversion”, the details of which are too complicated for this space. It adds a hundred bucks to the cost of a gun, plus a guns shop willing to do the work to make a special barrel and a mag sled to reduce capacity to one bullet. (The buyer can change it all back after delivery, but someone has to pay the expenses involved in the conversion.)

  25. Hypothetical. I’m a criminal and the AWB is in effect again. I do one of two things, I buy the Mossberg pictured below from my criminal connections who have the gun illegally, or I buy the Mossberg pictured above and saw the stock off creating a make-shift pistol grip and making it more concealable.

    Do you know why I do that? Because I’m a criminal and don’t care about the law.

  26. I’m confused by this and the photo above… did I miss something? Did someone else already point out that neither of those shotguns would be banned under the old, or even California’s AWB? They’re pump action; both bans affect only semi-auto firearms.

    Other than that excellent points all around. We need to fight this tooth and nail.

  27. Better yet contrast a 22 AR, or one of the many Ruger 10/22 aftermarket stock kits, with a Cali legal AR in 5.56 or 7.62. Under an AWB the 22 is illegal but the far more lethal 5.56/7.62 illegal.

  28. “they have inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of legal gun owners by making their rifles a pain in the ass to comfortably fire.”

    Well, that’s the rub, then, isn’t it. A rifle that is uncomftable to fire may not be less lethal from a strictly ballistic perpective. However, if being less comfortable results in making it harder to shoot accurately, then it may in fact be said to be less deadly.

    It is disingeneous to claim that there is no difference between the two shotguns depicted, or between the two AR depicted, beyond simple cosmetic changes. Ask yourself: does the military seek/make tactical changes to the weapons only for cosmetic reasons? Of course not. We make changes to firearms to gain an advantage or an edge, to increase capability (the firearm’s or the user’s).

    Anything that makes the rifle easier to handle (no matter how misguided the reporter’s examples), more comfortable to shoot, or generally gives the user an advantage sought (either of the previous, or something else like weight reduction) is done to either increase the lethality of the user, or his comfort and survivability.

    I think a better approach is not to ridicule the pro-bans on the basis that the changes they want only affect a firearm’s cosmetic appearance. It’s a red herring, an no anti is buying.

    A better basis is to point out that the tactical features give warfighters certain advantages in combat situations, but that removing them does not cause a civilian users a disdadvantage directly proportional to the advantage gained by the warfighter. What do I mean: it may give the warfighter a sizeable advantage to have a lighter, more manoeverable collapsible stock with pistol grip that he can adjust to fit to his LBV and ballistic vest, and that he may have to hump with for 20 miles, pull out of a vehicle in a hurry, etc. However, that advantage (or the loss of it) means little to nothing to the homegrown criminal, Sunday afternoon plinker, hunter or such.

    High cap mags: which would you rather carry: 3 30-rounds mags, or 9 ten round mags? You can argue all day that you can reload the rifle pretty quickly, it won’t change the fact that not having to reload to shoot 30 rounds is better than reloading twice with 10 rounds mags, since reloading introduces a margin of error from weapon manipulations. Again, that’s why we don’t carry 10 round mags. Still, not a cosmetic change.

    Not that criminals would be affected by the ban, of course… but that’s a different angle altogether.

    • I don’t agree with that at all. Ergonomics and performance are 2 different categories. Not all ergonomical features affect performance, or only affect them to a miniscule degree. The gun control advocates are strictly trying to ban performance characteristics, but we are all arguing that they are merely ergonomic. A pistol grip has little bearing on how fast you can swing the muzzle, that is something controlled far more by the opposite hand. A foregrip controls the muzzle far more than a pistol grip does.

      The only real test is in a mass shooting situation, which can be replicated at any standard gun range with multiple targets. Simply using a timer, you can quantify how fast it takes someone to shoot a Mini-14 at several targets vs an AR15 at the same targets. Or you can do the same drill with the above mossberg 500 shotguns. I doubt you’ll find very much difference in time, if at all.

      • Having owned both, I would say that if I had to do a dastardly deed, I would prefer the Ar15 to the Mini 14 precisely because the AR15 ergonomics lend themselves to better performance (shouldering, aiming, etc). That’s my subjective opinion. We will agree to disagree.

        In fact, one of the first things I did with my Mini 14 was get a butler creek floding stock with pistol grip. The second thing I did was get a Muzzlelite pullpup stock, but it ended up being complete shite (in particular the trigger transfer bar)

        • Yes i disagree. I just did a test pointing at several targets in my garage. I used a ruger gunsite scout with a 16″ barrel and an ar15 with a 16″ barrel.

          I don’t find either one to be faster than the other. My right hand on the trigger is mostly along for the ride, while my hips, torso, legs, and let hand control how i point the weapon. In a mass shooting situation as Diane Feinstein wants to minimize, i don’t believe a pistol grip would increase performance, and if it does it would be negligible at best.

          I’m not going to great lengths of running a full test at a gun range, but a good reporter or the NRA should do a full demonstration to discredit Ms. Feinstein and her lack of gun knowledge.

  29. Just in case I would like to conceal a Mossberg 12GA shotgun lol; I manage to conceal a double stack .45 but I think that would be a little difficult.

  30. I’d love to see one of the pogues from Media Matters fire a 12 gauge from the hip. I suspect they’d have a much harder time writing their ignorant editorials with a separated shoulder.

  31. Alright, I may sound like a heretic here, but I kinda like the look of the California-legal version, too. Of course, I also like Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers, so maybe my standards of beauty are a bit off.

  32. Just a sidenote: Putting a “dangerous super assault mass killing” pistol grip on that 500 is a horrible idea in my eyes being it has a tang safety(top mounted for you non-gun people). the pistol grip actually makes it harder to access the safety and i wont be subject to your mandatory pistol grip “save the children” laws!

    • depends on how often you intend to shoot with it. the recoil on a straight wrist while holding a pistol grip vs recoil on a traditional stock that requires you to shift your thumb away from your arm which puts a bend at the wrist to adsorb the entire recoil with a wrist that is not locked..

      I meet a man who’s wrists are all messed up, from frequent shooting, of 12ga with traditional stock. Where all the recoil over time damaged his wrists. being they were out of the neutral locked position. The wrist that holds the stock is much larger than the other due to injury over time..

      I view the pistol grip as a safety feature from injury of frequent shooting. Kind of like the anti-vibration posts built into chain saws. reduces long term permanent damage to body.

  33. Actually they made things more dangerous. By doing feel good policy, that does not curb violence. They had come to falsely believe things are safer and as a result are less vigilant of situational awareness. and are more prone to being a victim of violence, due to not paying attention to their surroundings.

    like the pedestrians walking across a busy intersect without bother to see if traffic is giving them the right away or not. all because the light says walk and they are between the designated lines. Where cross walk safety advocates insisted on a cross walk light and stripes, to stop all cars from running the pedestrians over.
    really I very rarely witness a pedestrian watching for traffic at marked and lighted cross walk.

    When I cross I ALWAYS LOOK both ways I know just because its marked does not mean a driver won’t ignore the law and violated the pedestrian right-away space.


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