Friday, September 05, 2003

More bad news from California:

"BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence today heralded passage of SB 489 (Scott), which will make California the first state in the nation to require chamber load indicators and magazine disconnect devices on all newly designed semiautomatic handguns. The modifications could prevent as much as 24 percent of all unintentional shootings."

Following 4 basic safety rules could prevent 99% of accidental shootings even with firearms with no external or internal safety features, but that'd require widespread education about firearms handling.

No, what this will do is up the price of firearms & to a certain degree compromise the design of certain firearms as well as lowering the overall number of firearms available for sale in California.

A loaded chamber indicator is not a big deal. They're typically on semi-automatic handguns allready. They're called extractors. AN extractor is a piece of metal that fits into a slot in the slide. It has an end with some sort of angle on it that captures the rim or base of the cartridge between it & the slide & more or less holds it close to the breech face while the cartridge is being chambered. After the cartridge is fired the extractor pulls the case out of the chamber as the slide moves back, Hence the name: extractor. But the extractor protrudes from the slide when it has a cartridge in its grip. When there is no cartridge in its grip it fits more or less flush against the slide.

Wanna turn it into a loaded chamber indicator? Paint the part of the extractor that fits into the slot in the slide at the breech face red. That's it. If you have some fingernail polish then you too can make a loaded chamber indicator.

I am unaware of any semi-automatic handgun that does not use an extractor in such a manner that it cannot be used to confirm or refute the presence of a cartridge in the chamber.

But magazine cut offs are another matter. It typically uses a firing pin block, which prevents the firing pin from being struck by the hammer. It is actuated by a button inside the magazine well that is depressed when the magazine is inserted. So with a magazine inserted the button is depressed & the firing pin block is moved out of the way so the hammer can strike the firing pin whcih in turns strikes the primer & fires the cartridge. when the magazine is not inserted the firing pin block is in place & the hammer cannot strike the firing pin. On striker fired firearms I assume it works to disconnect the trigger mechanism itself, but I admit I'm not too certain about the mechanics of magazine disconnect safety's in regards to the specifics.

The reason for that is the only use I will ever have for knowing how a magazine disconnect feature operates in a specific pistol is so I can disable it as soon as possible. They are useless to me as I practice very safe handling of firearms & choose to rely on the safety betwixt my ears (as the folks back home say) rather than pieces of metal &/or plastic that give a false sense of security.

There is another reason. I want to be able to fire my pistols if the magazine is not inserted all the way. Pistols are a last ditch defensive tool. You use them at fairly close ranges. & when you use them a lot of things can & will happen. Accidentally hitting the magazine release as a home invader or 3 approaches is not good. It's even worse when the sound of that magazine on the floor means that the cartridge in the chamber is useless to you. So I am not a fan of magazine disconnect safety's & if I can help it I will not have them on any pistols which I may one day have to use for defense.

But because of the extra mechanisms involved in magazine disconnect safety's it complicates the internal working of a firearm. Unless a pistol was designed with that feature then it's going to take some re-designing to accomodate it. In some cases I would asume that it simply cannot accomodate it. Therefore the supply of new pistols in California will become scarcer. which I have no doubt is seen as a plus to those that voted for the bill.

So California is one step closer to a disarmed populace. No, not a big step. But California seems t be using every strategy they can think of to make purchasing arms more difficult. Limiting the type of arms that can be purchased is merely a gradual way of enacting prohibition. they're just doing it certain features at a time rather than banning everything outright.

If you're in California I'd advise getting out, unless you're busy setting up the groundwork for the Resistance.

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