California Authorities Seize 500 Firearms From Convicted Felon
When you talk about states with the most strict gun control laws in the country, only a fool would exclude California from that conversation. The state prides itself on its gun control, and firearms are difficult for even the law-abiding citizen to obtain. There’s no way a felon could amass a pile of guns, right?
Oh, wait, that’s right. Criminals don’t follow any law they don’t want to obey. That includes gun laws, which is probably why this happened.
Authorities in California acting on a tip swept into a rural home and seized more than 500 guns from a convicted felon, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The tip indicated Manuel Fernandez, 60, was “in possession of a large arsenal of firearms,” the department said in a statement. On Thursday, a team of state and local officers raided the house in Agua Dulce, about 45 miles north of Los Angeles. Authorities immediately seized 432 guns, the department said.
The next day, another 91 guns were found hidden at the Fernandez’s home, authorities said. Detectives also seized computers, cellphones and hard drives believed to be involved in the illegal purchase of firearms, the department said.
Another 30 guns were found at the home of a female associate of Fernandez.
Needless to say, Fernandez was arrested. He’ll probably spend a whole lot of time behind bars.
While authorities believe Fernandez was involved in the illegal gun trade, it’s important to remember something. This one individual was able to get his hands on more than 500 firearms despite his status as a felon. This despite the numerous laws designed to prevent him from doing so.
In fact, it’s almost like the laws did precisely nothing to keep guns out of Fernandez’s hands.
Nothing at all.
This individual was able to amass a massive arsenal for whatever purpose in spite of the countless laws explicitly meant to prevent just that. But criminals, by their very nature, don’t obey laws. Fernandez went around the law in some way, shape, or form to obtain all those weapons. This should illustrate the fallacy of gun laws keeping firearms out of criminal hands.
However, anti-gunners are experts at ignoring the truth.
They’ll look at this as evidence that more laws are needed. They’ll see this and be absolutely convinced that at least one more law is required. One more measure to pass and all of this could have been prevented.
The thing is, even if we learn precisely how Fernandez got these weapons, there’s little that will stop a determined criminal from getting guns. As noted yesterday, there’s a gun in this country for every man, woman, child, and infant. We have more than enough guns already in circulation that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is a fool’s errand.
Yes, we should enforce the laws on the books. We should enforce them vigorously. But we should also make sure the law-abiding have the means to defend themselves from predators.
California sucks on that count.
Meanwhile, they can’t stop a felon from amassing a real arsenal of guns regardless of what the law says. Funny that.
My father was a big advocate of old cowboy guns. Hailing from Europe by birth and upbringing, his fascination with the old West and the cowboys who won it bordered on overzealous. Any gun good enough to be preferred by the old-time cowboys was good enough for him. He had a point. Thanks to companies like Uberti, people can capture and harness a little piece of the West.
Innovation is Born
The mid-1800s was a time of turmoil, heartache, and invention in America. The Civil war prompted an already imaginative congregate of firearm makers and designers to get even busier, and in a few short years, America left single shot muzzleloaders in the dust as it gave birth to the first truly effective high-capacity, breech-loading, repeating firearms. Arguably the most notable was Winchester’s model 1873, which swallowed a double handful of ammunition in one gulp, cycled and fired as fast as a man could run the lever, hit with passable authority, and was good medicine for bad bears and banditos.
An American Icon — The Winchester ’73
The Winchester ’73 left the challenges of earlier lever-action designs behind, proving itself to be almost entirely problem-free. Colt was quick to get an instrument in the band by chambering its Peacemaker revolvers for the same .44-40 cartridge (then the .44 WCF, or Winchester Center Fire). The round carried a .427-ish 200-plus grain slug pushed by 40 grains of black powder, and while not as authoritative as the larger cartridges of the day, still hit hard enough to do the job.
Suddenly, after a couple centuries of carrying a single-shot, front-stuffing longrifle and – if one was rich or lucky – a single-shot dueling pistol, frontiersmen and cowboys could pack a repeating rifle and matching pistol, both firing the same “bullet”. They were, in a sense, the AR-15 and Glock of the 19th century.
Guns of the West
As a youth, I developed my own passion for classic Old West firearms. I learned to use a cap & ball Colt 1860 Army long before I learned to use a semiauto weapon. One of my favorite guns in my father’s small collection was a reproduction Winchester ’73 made by Uberti, used, but in beautiful condition. When I was in my mid-teens, my father gave me the rifle. I carried that gun for years of cowboying and mountain wandering, and worn wood and bluing reflects the rough miles and time in my saddle scabbard.
It’s not as accurate as it once was – the years, miles, and several thousand rounds having taken their toll, but the old rifle still shoots fast, smooth, and reliably. In fact, I’ll stick my neck out and opine that at close range the old rifle and I could hold our own in a steel-target matchup against the average citizen with an AR-15 – at least for the first dozen or so rounds.
Currently, Uberti offers fine reproduction Winchester ‘73s in seven iterations, ranging from the super-short 16.125 inch barreled Trapper up to their 24.25 inch Sporter, with available options including octagonal, round, or octagon-to-round barrels, pistol or straight grip, crescent or shotgun buttplate, blued or color casehardened buttplate, lever, and frame, and more. Three cartridge chamberings are offered, including the afore-mentioned .44-40, the .45 Colt, and .357 Mag.
I tested four currently available .44-40 factory loads through my old Uberti Winchester ’73 for accuracy, velocity, and reliability. Predictably, the rifle functioned perfectly without a single malfunction. Accuracy was less than stellar, but a younger rifle aimed by younger eyes would almost certainly shoot tighter groups. Results are posted below.
Testing was done at 50 yards over a bench, with the accuracy determined by averaging three, five shot groups. Velocity was measured at 10 feet from the muzzle using a Shooting Chrony chronograph.
|Ammunition||Velocity (FPS)||Accuracy (Inches)|
|Black Hills 200-gr. RNFP||1,141||2.06|
|Hornady 205-gr. Cowboy||995||2.57|
|Winchester 225-gr. Cowboy Action||902||2.94|
|Winchester 200-gr. Power-Point||1,069||2.01|
The Winchester 1873 handles and operates more gracefully than most modern rifles, including modern-designed lever actions. It was designed during a time when men carried their firearms as a matter of course while doing chores, riding to town, or tending cattle. It was made to be a friendly companion. In other words, it balances and carries well in the hand, slides in and out of a saddle scabbard with ease, and is as graceful as a ballroom dancer.
Crossbar safeties were an evil yet to be invented, the half-cock notch on the ‘73 acting as a handy, serviceable safety. A dust cover slides completely over the ejection port. This helps prevent dirt and debris from clogging the action, automatically pushing out of the way when the action is next cycled. The lever can be locked down if desired. Simply turn the lever lock at the rear of the lever loop. Cartridges are thumbed in via a handy loading gate on the right face of the frame. They’re swallowed one after another with enchanting volume.
Sights on my rifle include a simple but effective adjustable rear buckhorn and a moderately fine post front, both dovetailed into the top flat of the full octagon barrel. Capacity is 13 + 1, and weight is right around 8 pounds.
Nowadays, the currently manufactured “Sporting Rifle” made by Uberti is the twin to my lovely old rifle, is readily available through various gun shops across America, and sports an MSRP of $1,259. Street price would be a bit less.
The K31 was probably the last bolt-action rifle to be issued to an army. It was designed in 1930 at the Swiss Arsenal in Bern, and the first test guns were given to soldiers in 1931.
It was a replacement for the elderly, cumbersome Schmidt-Rubin straight pull, and is sometimes referred to as the Schmidt-Rubin K31, but that is erroneous, and neither of those gentlemen had anything to do with it, both being dead at the time.
The K31 was a vast improvement over the old Schmidt-Rubin. K stands for “karabiner,” and although it looks like a carbine alongside its predecessor, its barrel is actually 26 inches long, which is 2 inches longer than the Springfield 03.
Its receiver is shorter, and stronger than that of the Schmidt-Rubin, and the rifle weighs just under 9 pounds, unloaded, which for the time was relatively light.
The barrel was free-floating, and the trigger was excellent for a military arm. The K31 was issued with a single detachable six-round magazine, and soldiers were expected to reload it from stripper clips.
The cartridge for which the K31 was chambered was designated the GP11, or 7.5×55. It was a highly advanced round that was designed to work either through rifles or machine guns.
It fired a 174-grain bullet at 2560 fps, which makes it the identical twin of the U.S. M118 7.62mm sniper round, except that the current version of the M118 appeared in 1993, and causes you to wonder if maybe we shouldn’t hire the Swiss to design our weapons.
The new rifle was an immediate hit, and came into general issue in 1933. It would keep its place until 1958, when it was replaced by a powerful semi-auto assault rifle designated the PE-57.
Being a straight pull, the K31 was much faster to operate than a conventional bolt action.
You hauled back on a barrel-shaped handle on the right side of the action, slammed it forward, and you were all ready to shoot whoever was dumb enough to invade Switzerland.
The safety was a ring at the rear of the bolt, and it functioned both as a safety and as a cocker/decocker. The action could be disassembled in seconds, and without tools.
The Swiss have always placed a premium on precise shooting, and the K31 was true to that tradition. Its effective range is 540 yards, and it was/is exceptionally accurate for an issue military rifle of that period or this.
I understand that it’s common for K31s to shoot minute-of-angle groups with iron sights and standard military ammo. I can’t think of anything else that will match it.
K31 stocks were made of either walnut or beech, and beneath their buttplates sometimes lurks a surprise for the person who comes to own one.
The Swiss had a practice of slipping ID tags there. These little pieces of paper contained the name and birth date of the soldier who had been issued the rifle, his unit, and the town in which he lived.
The K31 carries with it two great ironies: It was not only the last military bolt-action to be designed, but it was quite likely the best.
I can’t think of anything better, and probably the only rifle that could match it in World War II was the M1 Garand. Second, and even stranger, it’s quite probable that the K31 never fired a shot in anger.
The Swiss remained neutral through World War II, as even Der Adolf was not crazy enough to invade them.
Because the Swiss have a comparatively small army, only 528,000 were made, which is piddling for a military rifle. The United States produced 5.5 million M1 rifles during World War II.
Today, the sterling qualities of the K31 are finally being recognized. You can find one fairly easily.
A rifle in good condition will run around $400. Something really nice will go for twice that, and a veritable jewel can cost well over $1,000. This is fair. The K31 is built to a standard that you no longer see in military small arms, or in much of anything else for that matter.
It’s an eminently useful rifle that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. And if you find an ID tag under the buttplate, leave it. The soldier who put it there would want it that way.
Here are the 3 basic barrel lengths of 4,6 & 8 inches
Somebody messed up with this one! Maybe too hot a round?
Just another reason on why I do NOT reload myself!
.44 Magnum Colt Anaconda in three barrel lengths
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Colt’s Manufacturing Company|
|Feed system||Six round cylinder|
|Sights||Adjustable open iron sights|
Introduced in 1990, the Colt Anaconda is a large frame double-action revolver featuring a full length under-barrel ejection-rod lug and six round cylinder, designed and produced by the Colt’s Manufacturing Company. Chambered for the powerful .44 Magnum and .45 Colt centerfire ammunition cartridges.
The Anaconda marked the Hartford, Connecticut firm’s first foray into the popular large-boreMagnum pistol market.
Built on a new and heavier ‘AA’ frame, the Anaconda was brought out to compete with .44 Magnum contemporaries such as the Smith & Wesson Model 29, the Sturm, Ruger & Co. Redhawk and Blackhawk, and the Dan Wesson Firearms Model 44.
Considering that many of these models had been marketed and sold for fully 35 years upon its introduction, the Anaconda was a very late entry into the large-bore handgun market.
Unlike most other pistols introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, the Anaconda was never offered with a carbon steelblued finish, but was available only in stainless steel.
When originally introduced Anacondas were plagued with poor accuracy, but changes to the barrels quickly corrected the problems to the point that Colt billed its new pistol as among the most accurate .44 Magnum revolvers in production.
Anaconda revolvers were primarily marketed for sport enthusiast shooters and hunters, as they are too large for law enforcement general duty use or concealed-carry, although made-to-order limited production versions of the gun continued to be available from the Colt custom gun shop until approximately 2003.
Originally chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge, in 1993 the Anaconda began to be offered in .45 Colt cartridge as well. Its fit and finish resembled an upsized King Cobra married to a ventilated-rib barrel reminiscent of the Python’s.
Initially marketed with a satin brushed stainless finish, a highly polished mirror-like option known as “Ultimate Stainless” was cataloged for a time through the Colt Custom Shop.
Anacondas came equipped with four, six, or eight inch barrels, neoprene synthetic rubber finger-grooved combat-style grips with nickel colored ‘Rampant Colt’ medallions, large target type hammers and triggers, as well as open iron sightswith a red insert front and fully adjustable white outline rear.
Some models were factory drilled and tapped for telescopic sight mounting, while others shipped with recoil reducing Mag-na-ported barrels.
The trigger actions on these guns are rated as very high-quality, and the heavy-duty solid construction and weight tends to absorb recoil, making the Anaconda relatively easy to shoot with heavy loads.
Introduced in 1993, the Kodiak was similar to the Anaconda in that it was constructed entirely of stainless steel, but offered the additional features of a recoil-reducing factory magna-ported barrel and unfluted cylinder.
There were 2000 Kodiaks made as a special run of Anacondas, breaking away from their long history of naming revolvers after snakes.
A special run of 1000 King Cobras was made about the same time, having the same Magna-Ported barrel and unfluted cylinder and were called the Grizzly.
There was an uncataloged 5″ barrel version of the Anaconda, with reportedly less than 150 made. These 5″ versions command very high prices when they are encountered. Additionally, Colt made an extremely low number of 4″ barrel Anacondas chambered in .45 Colt. This ultra-rare variation commands a premium price when encountered as well.
I still maintain that Duct Tape can fix almost any problem! Grumpy