Range Report: Ted Brown LRB M25, Part 1

I finally took the M25 to the range today. I had 100 round of 175 grain Sierra Matchking reloads, 40 rounds of Black Hills 175 grain BTHP Match, and about 18 rounds of Black Hills 168 grain Match. I used the 168 to get on to paper, then shot some groups at 200 with the 175 grain Black Hills for a baseline. Then I ran a couple of groups of the same ammunition through the 700 5R just to compare.

The best group out of the M25 was right at 2″ at 200 yards, strung vertically, about 1.5″ wide. The 700 5R did about as well, though its dispersion was more horizontal. I ran some of my handloads through the 5R to compare, and the group sizes shrank just a bit, but that rifle really prefers the 155 grain Lapua Scenar bullet.

Remember back in 2007 when I wrote that post on reloading? I said in it:

Once the case is sized and decapped, wipe it clean with a rag or a paper towel to get the lube off. Again, PUT THE FIRST CASE IN YOUR GUN TO MAKE SURE IT WILL CHAMBER. Either that, or buy a case gauge.

When I did these rounds I didn’t have the M25, and I don’t have a .308 case gauge.

Guess what? I didn’t size them enough. They fit in the 5R just fine. They stick in the M25 chamber just short of being in battery. And I mean they stick. I had to use my foot to operate the mechanism to get the cartridge out.

Guess what I’ll be ordering right after I finish this post?

I need new scope rings, too. I wrote LaRue Tactical about the rings I have, and was advised not to use them with the scope base that comes with the M25. That base, manufactured by Sadlak, has a groove down the center of the Picatinny rail to allow the shooter to use the iron sights, but the LaRue rings have an abbreviated engagement surface, and it only makes contact with the Sadlak base at its corners. I can already see where those tiny contact patches have worn from recoil. THAT can’t be conducive to accuracy.

I took the M25 over to Black Weapons Armory here in Tucson, Friday after work to see if I could find anything that would allow me to move the scope back another inch. They had a lot of options, but none of them would work. Everything commercially available has cross pieces spaced four, five, six, or seven slots apart, but the Sadlak base has slots eight, nine, and ten spaces apart. Right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m not taking it to the range again until I have new rings on it.

UPDATE: Solution found. It’s not optimal, but it’s acceptable. Sadlak’s extended rail for the M25 is (supposedly) available now, not in August as previously advertised. I’ll order one on Monday, and I have an order in for another set of Burris Xtreme rings now.

Advanced Warning – Tucson Bowling Pin Match

Sunday, June 13. Tucson Rifle Club, Action Range. Classifying starts at 0800 (8AM).

Pistols only, .38 Special caliber or heavier.

Course of fire:

Five standard bowling pins placed on a 4′ x 8′ table approximately 42″ high. For “Major” calibers (.40 S&W or higher) the pins are placed 12″ from the front edge of the table. For less powerful calibers, they are placed 18″ from the back edge. They are spaced 18″ apart across the 8′ width of the table.

The shooter starts from the “low ready” position, 25 feet from the front edge of the table. At the sound of the timer, shoot all five pins off the table.

Each shooter will have five timed solo runs to establish a handicap. After all shooters have been timed, shooters will be paired off in competition. Slower shooters will receive a handicap advantage. Two tables, two shooters. At the sound of the first beep, the slower shooter begins. At the sound of the second beep, the faster shooter begins. Whoever clears their table first, wins. Best three out of five determines the set winner. This way revolver shooters have a chance against semi-autos, stock guns have a chance against race guns. I determine the handicap delay. If I think you’re sandbagging, I’ll disqualify you or adjust your handicap to suit.

This is a double-elimination match. Losers from the first round will compete against each other, winners will compete against winners. Competition will continue until there is only one shooter left who hasn’t lost twice.

Cost to shoot is $10 for the first gun, $5 for each additional gun. A dollar from each entry goes into a pot. At the end of the match, a random drawing will occur. Out of those still present, someone will win the pot. The winner of the match just gets to be king of the hill for the month.

If you lose both sets in three games each, you’ll still have fired a minimum of 55 rounds. Trust me, you probably won’t be clearing a table with only five rounds, so bring enough ammo.

Hope to see you there!

Bad Gun Handling

I’ve been watching the BBC TV SciFi program Torchwood. Breda got me hooked with her video clip of one character, Gwen, getting trained with firearms (in Blighty!)

But in one episode I just watched, Gwen’s training seems, well, deficient:

As far as I could tell in that episode, Gwen hadn’t fired a shot, yet the slide on her pistol is locked back, and she seems completely unaware of it.


(This is the kind of thing that irks my wife when I notice it.)

UPDATE: And in a related post, Mrs. Borepatch comments on why it takes an American to actually pull a trigger. EXCELLENT piece.

Do it again, only HARDER!

In the comments to yesterday’s post, “…only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public”, reader Richard wrote:

There are over 1/2 a million shotgun shooters here in the UK. Politically we are not going to be as easily oppressed as the 47,000 pistol shooters were. I live in hope that we will ride this out without any new legal idiocy despite the vileness of the left trading on peoples grief and loss.

Half a million! Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

Let’s check that number. According to Home Office statistics as reported by the Guardian, here are the numbers since 1995:

So, as of 2008/09 574,000 people have shotgun certificates, and 138,728 people have firearm certificates. What’s the difference between the two? As I understand it, a shotgun certificate will allow you to possess smoothbore long-guns capable of firing not more than two shells before reloading. A firearm certificate will allow you to possess both rifled and smoothbore long-guns capable of holding more than two rounds.

British subjects are forbidden from possessing centerfire and rimfire handguns, semi-automatic and pump-action centerfire rifles, and anything fully-automatic. Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are similarly verboten. However, suppressors (silencers) are readily available over there with little hassle. Go figure.

The data above is for England and Wales, excluding Scotland and Northern Ireland. The current population of England and Wales is estimated at about 54.5 million. Given this, approximately one person in a hundred holds a shotgun certificate there. Approximately one person in five hundred holds the more stringent firearm certificate. And there must be significant overlap between the two groups. I am reminded here of St. George Tucker’s 1803 commentary in his American Blackstone law text concerning our Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep,(sic) and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4.

This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty …. The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. In England, the people have been disarmed, generally, under the specious pretext of preserving the game: a never failing lure to bring over the landed aristocracy to support any measure, under that mask, though calculated for very different purposes. True it is, their bill of rights seems at first view to counteract this policy: but the right of bearing arms is confined to protestants, and the words suitable to their condition and degree, have been interpreted to authorise the prohibition of keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game, to any farmer, or inferior tradesman, or other person not qualified to kill game. So that not one man in five hundred can keep a gun in his house without being subject to a penalty.

Just barely over one percent of the population of England and Wales owns firearms. They’ve got just a bit farther to go to get to that one in five hundred number for all firearms. “Without being subject to a penalty,” that is.

Sorry, Richard, but 98% of the population can steamroller just over one percent like they aren’t even there. And it doesn’t take 98%. It takes less than 51%. A lot less, depending on voter turnout.

What happens when only one percent of the population possesses something? The majority of the rest of the population has no firsthand knowledge of it. All they know of it they learn from where? The media, generally. Or they don’t learn anything at all.

What do people fear? The unknown.

Here’s an admittedly biased sample of comments from that Guardian piece:

I am so angry by what has happened today in Cumbria that I think that it is time that we had a radical change in our approach to gun ownership in this country. I think this has to start with a referendum on whether the public should be allowed to own firearms at all. I know that this will rile the gun lobby in this country and those who believe that they have a right to bag the odd rabbit, grouse or even clay pigeon, but is one single life worth appeasing the minority who get a kick out of their double barrels? I’d rather see hunting with hounds come back than have guns available. I’ve heard it said earlier on the radio that these murders could have been done with any weapon, but surely not as fast and as lethally as this. You can’t wander around a county strangling and stabbing innocent people as quickly as this guy did with 2 guns!

Let’s get a majority opinion, once and for all, on whether such deadly devices should be so widely available. I don’t believe that most sensible people would believe that anyone other than the Police and armed forces should have access to them. It’s not ‘totalitarian’ to say that it should be the decision of the majority of people in the country whether individuals should be allowed to own leathal(sic) weapons. – “Sefidahjan”

I don’t know why someone who isn’t a hunter needs a gun at home. – “Summertimephantasy “

The gun lobby always say that the problem isn’t with them, the law abiding good folk who have licenses. They say the problem is illegal, inner city gun ownership. Sorry, but I’m just as afraid of a person who has a license as someone who doesn’t. For those of us who see no point in firearms, a gun is a gun! – “Sefidahjan” again.

Living in the British countryside where gun ownership is quite common.
Its too easy for licensed gun holders to obtain weapons and ammunition, when they flip. There are probably hundreds of mentally unstable gun owner who could potentially turn their guns on their families, others or themselves.
The police seem to have little interest in addressing the potential problems.

A public list of licenced gun owners would be useful so mental problems and other character issues could be notified to the authorities to alert them of potential problems and misuse. – “Sleaseball”

How do you find out if there’s a gun-nut in your community? Are license addresses available? I think I want to know. – “Danceswithcats”

You put your finger on the problem, though, which is that the ‘vetting’ obviously isn’t working. At the moment renewals occur every five years and they seem to be fairly standard criminal record checks. What’s needed is an annual psychological assessment of the individuals (at their own expense). – “DonutHingeParty”

I said in my earlier piece that I expected there to be legislation presented very shortly to ban shotguns and .22 rifles, but on further consideration I don’t believe that will be the case. They’ve already done that with full-autos, semi-autos, pump-actions, and all handguns. It’s time for a change in tactics, and “DonutHingeParty” has the answer: Make getting and keeping a firearm or shotgun certificate even more difficult, expensive, tedious and insulting than it already is.

Look at what the UK’s current death-by-a-thousand-cuts strategy has accomplished so far. Here’s a graph of homicide in England and Wales from 1898 through the 2007/2008 recording period. Bear in mind that the way they keep statistics over there has changed more than once during this period, and there is no data for 1939 as they were a bit busy at that time.

And another for “Violence against the person,” as it is kept by the police statisticians:

This data comes from Police Recorded Crime data available from the UK Home Office in Excel spreadsheet form. Obviously something changed between 1997 and 1999/2000 in their record keeping, but Britain has been declared the most violent country in Europe. As you cans see from the graphs above, the Brits have never been much into killing each other, but banning firearms hasn’t lowered their homicide rates, nor has it lowered their other violent crime rates.

In short, it hasn’t made them safer, even though that’s what they’ve been promised each and every time the laws have been ratcheted tighter. And the public hasn’t learned any better, either, because in the majority they still support ever more restrictive gun laws.

After all, the philosophy cannot be wrong! Do it again, only HARDER!

“…only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.”

Well, now the Brits will probably lose their .22 rifles and shotguns.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird got into his cab with a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and went on a shooting spree in Cumbria, England. He killed twelve and wounded another 25.

His rampage lasted three and a half hours.

It was ended, as most of these are, by a man with a gun. In this case, himself, once he’d decided he was done preying on a defenseless victim pool.

England has been on a long death-by-a-thousand-cuts path to complete disarmament since the 1930’s. The last two “turn ’em all in” bans came in 1987 after Michael Ryan took an AK-47 clone, an M1 Carbine and a semi-automatic pistol on a shooting spree in Hungerford, killing sixteen before he offed himself. The result of that was a ban on all semi-automatic and pump-action rifles larger than .22 rimfire caliber.

The British public was told it would make them safer.

In 1996 Thomas Hamilton took four handguns into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed sixteen students and a teacher before, again ending the shooting spree at the time of his own choosing by killing himself.

The response by the government? A ban on all centerfire handguns, followed by an expansion to include all .22 rimfire handguns as well.

The British public was told it would make them safer.

Since the 1987 semi-automatic and pump-action long-gun ban, gun crime in Great Britain has increased. Since the handgun ban of 1997, it has continued to increase. Even handgun crime has continued to increase.

Now someone has taken a .22 rifle and a shotgun and gone on a rampage. The predictable result? I have no doubt that a bill is sitting on a desk somewhere, pre-written and just waiting for the proper incident to drag out and dust off, that will ban .22 rifles and shotguns.

And the British public will be told it will make them safer.

After all, in 1997 Home Office Minister Alun Michael said:

Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. We recognize that only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.

Sure it will.

It’s doing a bang-up job. I’m sure James Kelly will be at the forefront of the effort.

My condolences to the victims and their families. Perhaps now the Brits will start insisting on restoring their right to the tools of self-defense, because once again it has been proven that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.


First, the good news: The FedEx truck showed up at my house today at about 10 AM. (Click on image for super-size.)

Now the bad news. See the scope rings?

They don’t work. The scope needs to come back about another inch, inch-and-a-half. Those are LaRue Tactical LT719 30mm QD rings. I paid $195 plus $9.95 shipping, and they don’t work. (I mean, they do work, just not on this rifle.) I think I’m going to have to get a GG&G QD rail mount instead. Whatever I get has to be quick-detach if I want to be able to use the iron sights (and I do). This time, however, I’m going to have to check the dimensions very carefully to make sure whatever I get is actually going to work.

So, anybody need a set of LaRue 30mm QD rings at a discount?