Wednesday, January 27, 2010
If you frequent any gun/gear/outdoors forums, websites, or even just banter at your local gun shop you likely have heard the name Nutnfancy. If you haven't, Nutnfancy is a gear reviewer of sorts that makes videos which he posts to YouTube. His name has come up even more recently as some other people that also do gear reviews have called his qualifications into question. Before we look at that I'll say this: YouTube is a cesspool, probably one of the worst places on the internet. Some may say certain anonymous imageboards are worse, but simply reading a few YouTube comments or watching a "reaction video" (essentially someone filming them self reading their comment) will give you an all new contempt for the human race, as well as lowering your IQ by a few points. That being said I avoid YouTube at all costs and up until last week I hadn't seen a Nutnfancy video, but with an unusual 2 weeks of rain banishing me indoors I set out to watch this guy and weigh in on the controversy.
A first glance at his account and I see this guy has made nearly 600 videos, and on a huge variety of subjects. The first one that caught my eye was his AK-47 vs AR-15 series, and since I weighed in on it recently I figured it would be interesting to see how his opinion differs. I open the video and it's 20 minutes, and there are 5 parts, essentially making this a full length feature film. I vowed to give it a chance though so I fought the urge to close it immediately and started watching. "Nutnfancy" is certainly accurate, I expected someone with 600 videos to be using at least a half decent HD flipcam and a copy of Premiere or Finalcut, but this looks closer to something you might see on America's Funniest Home Videos edited with two betamax decks. I suppose this isn't nearly as important as the content but if making these videos was my job I would put a little more in the production values. Luckily the camera stays on the tripod most of the time only 10% or so turns into the Blair Witch Project.
As the video rolls on, the first few minutes he starts telling the viewers not to argue in the comments on the page, and talks about why he doesn't frequent "the forums" anymore (I assume he means Arfcom, THR, and OpChan). How anyone could prefer the YouTube comments page is beyond me, Nutnfancy is starting to look like he is a full blown hysterical Youtuber.
The video continues and luckily he starts talking about the two rifles. I hear a few terms like WROL and Civilian Sheepdog which I note but really made no sense to me for a first time viewer (we'll look into those in a bit). When he gets to D.I. vs. Piston, the biggest part of the argument really, he says he isn't going to go into it as it would be boring. In fact at no point in this 105 minute video does he disassemble either rifle or go into any depth on their workings. The next was ballistics, which he explains to you by showing you some ballistics charts he has written with pen and highlighter, displayed beautifully by waving in front of the lens. This was really the only point of the video where he was incorrect. He says if the 5.56 fails to yaw or fragment the energy is not delivered, but you, my intelligent reader, know that no matter what the bullet does inside the body, as long as it doesn't exit, the same energy is transferred. He also says the 7.62x39 has much more "stopping power" and he prefers it under 200 yards, but once again if the bullet travels through the body the energy is wasted. He really should have focused his research into wounding potential rather than ballistic energy numbers, although as far as accuracy/bullet drop his numbers were good. After this the video kind of rambles around, he goes into 6.8 SPC for about 10 minutes, talks about a few certain models of AKs and ARs (which you get a good look at the outside of), and shows you a lot of the accessories. All in all the information was correct, but it's few and far between and doesn't really add anything to the argument.
I figured next I should watch some reviews as this seems to be what he is really focused on, so I picked one gun I was familiar with and one I wasn't, but was interested in. For the gun I was experienced with I went with his review of the Kimber Pro Carry, and again I am shocked at the length: 30 minutes over 3 parts. His description of the gun is decent and thorough, and you get a pretty good look at the gun. He even shows it next to a standard 1911 for a nice comparison. The problem I have again is he doesn't take the gun apart, fire it, or do anything but show it on a table and talk about it. This isn't really much of a review, it's just listening to general opinions on 1911 vs. Glock, steel vs. polymer, etc. which doesn't really make sense for a review of a specific model of a specific gun. Chances are you could drive to your local FFL, handle the gun, compare it to other guns, get similar advice, then drive home in around the time it would take you to watch a Nutnfancy video. His information about the gun was accurate though, and it's certainly possible to learn a few things. For the unfamiliar gun I watched his review of the Heckler and Koch P7, and although it was (thankfully) much shorter, it was essentially the same thing. Reading a Wikipedia article is going to give you a lot more knowledge in a lot shorter time, and he didn't really use the video format to show you why it makes a nice concealed carry gun or even draw, cock, and dry-fire it which to most people is the big appeal of the P7. He also compares both guns to a Glock (which I assumed he meant a G17 but he didn't specify) around 50 times in each video. I guess it's OK if you are a long time Glock owner, but if you aren't familiar with one it takes away a lot from the review.
Besides gear reviews, a lot of Nutn's videos seem to be about his various ideas on life and planning for disasters, and the first one I watched was called "Urban Survival Kit." Seeing as I have been surviving in an urban environment for upwards of two decades, I thought this video may be topical for me. The first of this over 2 hour series begins with 3 minutes of shaking camera and 9/11 footage, then transitions into him talking. It's getting hard for me to watch at this point but I did pick up a few funny quotes, the first being "I've lived a lot of living in my life" (speaking to his expertise in survival) and then refers to a male friend, who he loves, but "in a cool way of course." After this he recommends that you get a Xootr, which is like a large Razor scooter, for transport after SHTF or WROL (which means Without Rule of Law I believe). He links to another video which is him riding this scooter around, and the second hand embarrassment was much too strong for me to make it more than 30 seconds in. The next few hours of the video are him going through a backpack packed full of survival gear and there was no way I could make it through that, so I skipped to another vid entitled "Serenity Actual."
This one is another near 3 hour piece consisting of him and his buddies (who all go by their YouTube names) running what I can only describe as an amateur gun-enthusiast carbine course. The guy running it actually seems to know what he is doing, and this video actually has some decent info and amazingly enough is actually entertaining. The first moment that really made my head nearly explode though is when the instructor is talking about shooting stances, and when he gets to the squat he says some people feel we lost the Vietnam war because the VC soldiers were able to shoot in the squat position while the US soldiers weren't. After that they do some exercises in which nearly everyone fails in basic weapon operation, a guy pulls the trigger and his mag falls out a la Mars Attacks, and one guys tactical vests breaks and he drops a pouch and his sidearm out of it. I didn't watch it all the way through but overall it was pretty funny and had a couple little pieces of info scattered throughout it.
The next vid I clicked on was called "Sorry Dude, Nice Try but You Still Suck" or something along the lines of that. In this, he essentially says he is the real deal, other "armchair elitists" aren't out "runnin and gunnin" like he is, and if you don't make YouTube videos then you have nothing to stand on. This is the kind of stuff that always spirals into a bottomless pit of butthurt, comment attacks, and more horrible vides on YouTube. From what I understand some other YouTuber from New Zealand found Nutnfancy's actual info (real name, address, etc.) and not only released the info but claimed Nutnfancy was not quite who he implied he was, and his military and police experience was actually the Utah National Air Guard and some kind of neighborhood watch. What does this mean to a normal person? Nothing, any smart person wouldn't be giving credit to someone who makes YouTube videos in the first place, as anyone who is actually experienced or involved with modern combat or any tactical environment IS NOT MAKING YOUTUBE VIDEOS.
As painful as I knew it may be, the last video I watched was "The Sheepdog Concept." He says the term "Civilian Sheepdog" many times in all his videos, so I had to watch this one to find out what he meant. At this point, it really goes from poorly made rambling reviews to outright lunacy. Knowing that people actually take what he says seriously, seeing his and their mindset explained is actually frightening. What Nutnfancy calls a civilian sheepdog is what a reader of this blog will identify as a sufferer of severe Red Dawn Complex. As the video progresses, he tells some different stories of "Local Here Saves the Day," and it ends up being essentially the manifesto of the small person waiting for his chance to do something big. He goes on to explain a sheepdog takes control when he sees danger, suffering, or "bad people" while a sheep will freeze and not know what to do because they haven't trained for this moment. He makes some examples including jumping in the water to avert a shark attack, risking hypothermia and death to pull people out of a freezing river, and then describes the plot of Black Hawk Down whilst tearing up. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, he begins talking about flight 93, and I will quote directly "When people hear that, you know the sheep will say 'I'm glad I wasn't on that plane, gosh I'm so glad.' What does a sheepdog say? He says I wish I WAS on that plane, so that I could have saved lives, so that I could have put an end to the suffering that was that day. Awww sheepdogs, I love you guys." This just elevates it to the frightening level, knowing that there are people watching these videos hanging on this guys every word, and dreaming of that day they will become a hero. These are the last people I would ever want to be concealed carrying (as Nutn goes on to advocate over and over) and are more likely to kill an innocent, hurt others or themselves, or generally escalate any situation they are involved in.
Overall, Nutnfancy was much worse than I could have imagined before watching any of his videos. The only thing that is in any way watchable are his reviews and to some extent the carbine course videos, the reason being if you are doing something else and casually listen to it in the background, you will still hear what he has to say because he is likely to say it about 60 times over the course of 3 hours. His survival/WROL/Sheepdog videos are just downright dangerous, as they are likely to reach a demographic with the combination of low intelligence, poor social skills, mental disorders (especially RDC), and guns, which makes for a horrible combination. The controversy of his background is a null point, he consistently proves his ineptitude to the point there really is no question, and again, people qualified to give combat/tactical training aren't making videos of them self on YouTube. I won't tell you to not watch his videos, just make sure to not take them seriously, and also consider what else you could be doing in those 1000's of hours it takes to watch them. And finally Nutnfancy if you read this, anyone could make a YouTube video. I don't see you out here in the field running and gunning while making written blogs. Nice try anyways dude.
Lastly, Anonymous comments are enabled so let me hear what you really think in the comment field below.
Monday, January 25, 2010
But what if you need to concealed carry a .410 to defend you from muggers and rattlesnakes? Taurus also is offering a polymer model, the public defender. Seeing as they are sticking with the justice system names and going bigger and bigger, we likely can expect the Supreme Court Judge for 2011, chambered in 12 ga/.700 Nitro.
Kel-Tec always comes out with interesting stuff and this year is no different. The RFB is a .308/7.62x51 Bullpup with ambidextrous features including reversible charging handle, and a unique forward ejection system which seems to work very well, all coming in at around 8 pounds for the carbine length. The PMR-30 I mentioned in an earlier post is coming out this year as well. The demand for both will be extremely high and it will likely take a while to get if you want one, but they are definitely unique, decently priced, and most likely very fun to shoot.
Possibly the biggest shocker was the unveiling of the Bushmaster/Remington ACR. Over 8 pounds and standard 1:9 twist barrel is pretty questionable, and then a $3000 msrp? I think this video pretty much says it all.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
As long as the human race has grasped the concept of time it has been widely believed that it's just about to run out, typically sometime in the next 0-3 years. You will remember in your lifetime Y2k, Y2k again in 2001, Christ about to come back every few years or so then a re-translation saying it's actually going to be a few more years, etc. Now we are approaching 2012, and with global temperatures rising by tenths of degrees and currency values dropping whole percentage points it really seems as the apocalypse is indeed upon us. With the earthquake in Haiti this week, the message is becoming clearer and clearer: if you don't horde guns, ammo, and lots of tactical gear you will be destroyed. By what we don't know, but surely the only thing that could possibly save you will be your yugo SKS, some paracord, and those pants Bear Grylls wears.
This is the "SHTF" mentality, and once again it's sweeping all sorts of walks of life, but few embrace it as much as the gun enthusiast community. Before we look into the behavior and reasoning behind this, let's establish a few groups within the community itself. The first and usually most vocal are people suffering from what I call RDC or Red Dawn Complex. These people are normally brushed aside in their normal lives, often ignored or thought odd, but when SHTF these people will rise up to save the people who once looked down on them. They will see that girl who always snickered at them in high school being attacked by looters and save her, but no she can't come with your posse; that is reserved for your 2 also awkward friends and those 2 quiet girls who dressed conservatively but clean up to be incredibly hot, and also are deadly when it's called for. If S does HTF, there will be much fighting amongst RDC sufferers, mostly because there are too many of them and two few quiet but hot 16-25 year old female killing machines.
The second is the loner, similar to the RDCers, but instead of becoming the hero he will funnel his societal anger into villainy. He will see many opportunities to save the ones who weren't as smart and prepared as him, but not take them, he will just laugh. The loner and the RDCer will both have similar gear, most with an SKS or AK, a few survival knives, a tactical vest and lots of ACU camo. Some with wealthier parents may have an AR or even an R700 with lots of optics and toys, as their plan is typically to barricade the top of a building and shoot their enemies from a long range. This is sometimes categorized as a different affliction, DotDD, or Dawn of the Dead Disorder. Regardless of specifics, all of these groups will see a spending breakdown like this: 70% guns, 20% gun accessories and ammo, 10% tactical gear.
The next group is quite different from the first, and is the Weird Survivalist Guy. Though they are also quite interested in guns as well, they are also interested in everything else possibly related to survival, and their SHTF stash will be quite varied from one found in the first two groups. These people truly believe the world is ending and are not just kidding themselves into it as a way to allow themself to use their whole paycheck on ammo. In fact some of these people are so consumed by the idea they actually work very hard to afford a lot of their "needs," which range from mere 10 year supplies of MREs all the way to fortified bomb shelters with oxygen recirculation and water filtration systems. These people are easiest to spot at gun shows where they will be there at opening time with large carts, buying 20,000 rounds of 7.62x39 and bullet-proof vests sized for their whole family. A notable sub-group to the Weird Survivalist Guy is the Wildman, who plans on going into the mountains with only what he can carry on his back and some kind of folding rifle and living there for years. Instead of concentrating on massive caches these people will be more interested on the new lightest knife or compass, will talk to you for 2 hours about living "off-grid" and ALWAYS have a large beard.
The one thing that is apparent is all of these people are either a bit delusional, or can't find any other escape from a mundane life and need a fantasy to hold on to. Though people are quick to point out Haiti and Katrina, not only are gun caches not going to help in these kind of situations, there are many other better solutions to avoid these problems. The most obvious is not living in an area that is likely to become a problem. If you truly believe something bad will happen, you are probably going to be better off living in Montana than living in Los Angeles and planning on fending for yourself. Even with no choice, what are 5000 rounds of Mk 262 going to accomplish? The biggest concern in a natural disaster is going to be clean water, which you can't shoot. The next is food, which you can hunt for, but probably isn't going to be feasible unless you already live in an area where you hunt regularly now. Shelter is the last, but it's probably a better idea to own a cheap tent and sleeping bag and use those rather than shooting someone and taking their house.
Let's suppose a SHTF scenario actually is going to arise, one that leaves most of the world in disrepair, but leaves most people alive (not an asteroid, solar flare, etc.). What could do this I don't know but this is what would have to happen to fulfill most apocalypse fans fantasy, as an earthquake or hurricane affecting only part of a first world country is going to get cleaned up reasonably quickly. The main thing that would account for societal collapse would be the sudden disappearance of communication. So who will fare well? The best off will be well organized groups such as churches. Not only do these people know each other well they also have diverse skills and are used to meeting and communicating in an organized fashion, as well as having the added morale boost of their belief an invisible hand is helping them. Hospital staffs, police and fire stations will also be in a good position as they also spend a lot of time together and have helpful skills. The worst off will be the people who we discussed earlier, who don't work well in groups. Now not only are they those weird guys, they are those weird guys that are now dressed up and armed, and will likely be forced to give up their guns before the church or other group agrees to save them from starvation.
You may be thinking now "but what can I do to help prepare for impending doom that doesn't involve learning basic social skills?" Let's look at some things that actually can help you. For skills, the most valuable by far is medical. A single cut without care could become infected and kill you, and is 100x more of a threat than crazed looters. Another good thing to know if you want to maintain your health and be strong enough is how to make food and knowing at least a little nutritional information. Mechanical inclination is good, if you can get an old diesel generator or a car to run you will have power and heat, which will solve a lot of your problems. One thing that's often overlooked as it's not as fun as buying guns is fitness. Not only is it essential to your health, you can't offer much help to anyone or yourself if you are out of shape, making things hard on yourself and making you undesirable to any group.
You still have to buy SOMETHING to put in your basement, so what might you need? Some way to make clean water, you can boil it but it takes a while and there are some lightweight filters that should do you alright. Medicine is big, antibiotics, painkillers, anything you might normally take for whatever condition you have, this is always overlooked and will be hard to come by if supply lines are cut off. There's nothing wrong with stockpiling ammo, but you are much more likely to use it as currency than fending off waves of zombies or Russian invaders.
The bottom line is it's incredibly unlikely something will happen in such a way where you are going to be alone against the world, and if you are your problems will be much greater than running out of ammo, as the will to go on, feeding yourself, etc. are going to be weighing a bit heavier on your mind. If you've watched so many zombie movies and history channel Nostradamus specials that you absolutely feel you have to prepare, start by getting yourself in good shape and reading as much as you can about anything you might need to know, rather than concentrating on saving your paychecks for an ACOG. And if anything is to happen, remember above all else not to come to my stronghold: the laser system will pick you up immediately and a quiet and awkward yet attractive 18 year old girl will pick you off with my .338 Lapua Mag.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Personally I like Magpul, it's clear they are having fun and a lot of the stuff they make is great quality, great looking, decently priced, as well as being unique to them. The 40 round Pmags stand out to me the most from this year, and I'm sure they will be wildly popular amongst competition shooters and beer drinking propane tank shooters alike. Even if their snowboarding apparel and marijuana-related paraphernalia scares away purists, I'm a fan and I'm interested to see what they come up with in the future.
Monday, January 18, 2010
It's probably not a huge secret that much of the gun enthusiast community, especially AR guys, are not the most "racially sensitive" or fond of "hip-hop culture." So what could be more exciting than a white, Los Angeles California based rap duo that is dedicated to fighting racism? How about one named after the rifle they hold so dearly? This is AR-15, and here is the bio from their site:
"What does it sound like when two white guys take a stand against racism? It sounds like AR-15. We are a spoken word and hip-hop group that rhymes for racial justice with a solid mix of club anthems and street chants.
We also host public forums that connect people with local racial justice organizations, and discuss action steps to create anti-racist culture in local communities, on campuses, and in popular culture. National lecturer and anti-racist activist, Tim Wise, calls AR-15 “…no bull, radical hip-hop: the kind that has the potential to redefine what it means to be white in the rap game.”
The name AR-15 stands for fifteen anti-racist principles that guide the rap group to “flip the system”- or use time and money to support anti-racist and racial justice organizing by white people and people of color. AR-15 is walking the talk in the hip-hop underground, earning tens of thousands of dollars in gigs through independent promotion since 2003 and donating 25% of our income to racial justice organizing.
Our goals include:
1) build culture and community around anti-racist and racial justice movements, 2) provide incentives for people to be involved in local and national anti-racist and racial justice organizing, and 3) raise money for campaigns for racially just social policy and practice, locally and globally.
Our principles and goals are inspired by the Challenging White Supremacy workshop, the Center for Third World Organizing, the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere – Los Angeles (AWARE-LA), and anti-racist and racial justice organizers past, present, and future."
Don't forget to cop that new album and check this hot new single at your own risk.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Ever since the dawn of man the human race has been in conflict, and although some historians may lead you to believe it is over land, resources, religion, or other hogwash, it actually boils down to one thing: some people believe the Russian AK-47 is superior while others believe the American M16 is the best assault rifle. Even an amateur gun enthusiast knows the rifles are drastically different in operation, but since they are the two most common assault rifles on the planet and they were both designed for the same thing, killing people, they certainly warrant comparison. We don't need to go too deep into dissecting the rifles, all the information is easily available as it is, but we will look at some of the two's largest and most contested differences.
The first is the chambering. Although both rifles have variants in many different calibers, the ones we will look at are the ones they were originally developed with and most commonly found; 7.62x39 for the AK, 5.56x45 for the M16. Both of the calibers were developed and ultimately chosen to fit the same bill, an intermediate cartridge between the larger battle rifle calibers used in the guns they replaced and pistol calibers. There were many reasons for this, the primary ones being both the US and the soviets found most firefights were happening in distances less than 300 yards, and a smaller cartridge meant less weight for the soldier to carry. Even with similar purpose in mind, the two rounds ended up being fairly different, which we will look at briefly.
7.62x39 bullets are typically in the 122-124 grain range for military cartridges while the 5.56 are generally 55-62g, less than half the weight. Muzzle velocity from the AK is roughly 2200 fp/s, the M16 around 3200 fps. With it's much higher speed and a lighter bullet, the 5.56 is more accurate at higher ranges, lethal up to 700 yards. The small bullet also has the characteristic of yawwing and fragmenting when it hits human tissue, causing devastating wounds. It's lower recoil also allows for faster and more accurate follow-up shots, as well as more accurate fully automatic fire. The 7.62's heavier weight gives it much better penetration, and is less likely to be affected by tree branches and brush. Many people believe the 7.62 is better for the penetration alone, as it is more likely to be lethal through concrete, car doors, etc. The 7.62 suffers much more bullet drop and is inaccurate past 400 yards or so, and the wounding on unarmored targets is generally considered less than the 5.56 as it often penetrates through the body, wasting the energy of the bullet. All in all they both have their strengths and weaknesses, but there is a reason many more guns are developed these days with the 5.56x45: it is more versatile and overall better for it's intended purpose.
Another large difference between the rifles is their action, the AK using a long stoke piston and the M16 using direct impingement. Both of these accomplish the same thing, using the gas from a fired round to eject the spent casing, chambering a new one, and locking the action back ready for the next shot. The AK's gas is directed to a piston which is fixed to the bolt group, pushing it back for the rifle to cycle. The piston keeps the gas separated from the other operating parts, which is one of the reasons for the AK's incredible reliability. The downside is there are more moving parts and they are heavy, which causes the gun to lose a fair amount of accuracy, especially in full auto. The M16 directs the gas directly to the bolt carrier to push the action back, which is much lighter and simpler, and one of the reasons the M16 is so accurate. The problem is the bolt carrier is much more prone to fouling as the gas is directed into the operating parts.
The first thing a lot of people think of when the debate is brought up is "soldiers in Vietnam threw their M16s away and took AK-47s." This has given the M16 a reputation as an unreliable rifle, which it may have been when it was first introduced, but not for reasons of the rifles design. When M16s were first given to the troops, they were instructed that the rifles were self-cleaning, which was absolutely not true. On top of that, they came with no manuals and no training was given initially. To make things even worse, the ammo the US decided to use was not approved by the designers of the rifle and caused a lot more fouling than the approved powder.
Despite all the myths, people that use M16s nowadays don't tend to have reliability issues. They are very easy to field strip and very reliable when kept well-lubed. Several higher-end civilian models have even shown theirs to fire upwards of 10,000 rounds with just regular lubing alone. The AK-47s reliability is legendary. They require little to no maintenance and will continue to operate under any conditions, as they were especially designed with bad conditions and untrained conscripts in mind.
Overall for military use it's a pretty close race. Many countries use them in active service to this day, and new ones are still in production. The M16 is lighter, more accurate, and a better platform for adjusting to it's environment, but is also much more expensive to produce and a bit harder to train it's users.
But military use is only the half of it, as both are big in the civilian market, and since soldiers don't have much of a choice what they are issued the argument applies to civilians much more, as you really do have the choice of going and buying either (assuming you don't live in some nanny state). Most civilians are (hopefully) going to be using these guns at the range, so let's look at this application first. The AK-47 is not nearly as accurate as the AR15 (the civilian designation for the M16). It's fun to shoot, but it struggles outside of a few hundred yards. It's also less suited to mount optics, as your choices are either getting a side mount which is bulky and mounts your optic high, mounting to the dust cover which is prone to losing zero, or off of a railed foregrip which is also fairly awkward and doesn't work with a magnified scope. The AR, especially the A4 style with the railed upper as opposed to a carry handle, presents a perfect optics mounting platform. With the addition of a free floating barrel the AR is extremely accurate, one of the best semi-autos around, and is wildly popular in competitions. The AK is fun to plink around on, but the AR can do that, long range target shooting, and competition. Overall the AR is hands down a better gun for the range.
Another great thing about the AR is it's modular platform. In a matter of seconds you can change the barreled upper, allowing you to have a longer barrel for long ranges, a short one for maneuverability, or a different caliber altogether. Some such as the .468 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf even use the same mags, and are powerful enough to drop a bear or moose. There are even single shot .50 BMG uppers, which can drop something behind the cover of an engine block, as well as dislocate your girlfriends shoulder. Caliber conversions do exist for AKs but are much more involved and permanent, and only a few calibers are available. The aftermarket parts availability for both guns is huge, but much more development goes towards the AR as it's an easier platform to modify.
You may be thinking the AR is an obvious choice, but there's one big thing for the consumer we haven't considered: cost. A typical WASR-10 (Romanian AK) is available in the 400 dollar range, while a decent AR will start at 800 dollars to build your own, to well over two grand for a high end complete. So even if the AR is twice the gun the AK is, you may not be getting as much value. If for some reason I could only have one I would personally choose the AR as you can do so much more with it. But since you are a gun enthusiast and appreciate both rifles for what they are and what they have done, the choice is obvious: get both.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
There’s no denying the 5.7x28 is cool. In fact it is so cool it has even gained magical properties, penetrating armor better than 5.56x45 and causing larger wound channels while weighing half what a 9mm does. It’s all been proven too by infallible ballistics gel tests that somebody’s uncle who used to know someone who worked at FN Herstal once saw. All this has caused all the world’s militaries and law enforcement to cower in fear from this heat seeking 40 grain rocket of death. How does it do all this you ask? The simple answer is it doesn’t.
The round made a lot of sense for its original application, the P90. A bottlenecked cartridge the size of a .22 firing at 900 rounds per minute at well over 2000 fps is devastating, and there wasn’t much like it at the time and there still isn’t. But you, civilian, are never going to have a select fire p90 with its intended barrel length, which leaves the PS90 and the FiveseveN for armchair operators, and they surely have (especially the latter) been embraced by the community. I have heard many different justifications as to why these people “need” one, but let’s look at their applications one by one.
The first application, also the one nearly all guns are and should be used for the majority of the time for is target shooting. I’ll take the FiveseveN and P90 into account separately as they have vastly different applications at the range. The FiveseveN is beautiful as is most stuff that FN makes, and ergonomics, quality, etc. are all high up there. It’s a fine range pistol, but what separates it from the rest? Nothing really. The ammo is fairly expensive and the cost of the gun is higher than an equal quality version of a 9mm. It’s hard to really take advantage of the calibers flat trajectory in a pistol format, especially at the distances you will be shooting it at 99% of the time. It’s certainly a nice gun to shoot, but it doesn’t stand out enough to justify the cost. Personally I would hold out for the Kel-Tec PMR30, a gun that has all the “cool” aspects of the FiveseveN at a drastically reduced price with slightly cheaper ammo.
The PS90 to me is an atrocity as two of the biggest things that make the P90 what it is, the extremely high rate of fire and maneuverability, are taken away with semi-auto only and a ridiculous looking 16” barrel. One good thing about it is some indoor pistol only ranges MAY allow you to shoot them there , but I can’t think of too much beyond that. For short range plinking a .22 caliber GSG-5 will serve you better for a fraction of the price, and if you need a higher capacity get a semi-auto calico, twice the capacity of the p90 in .22LR or 9mm. I haven’t shot a civ version personally but I haven’t heard of anyone that shoots one that seriously, it’s a gun designed for short range and if you want to go long get a carbine in a rifle cartridge. Both the FiveseveN and PS90 are the kind of guns you have just to have, absolutely nothing wrong with that, but let’s not exaggerate their practicality on the range.
The other application is defense. We’ll start with concealed carry and the FiveseveN (not too many people CC’ing a PS90, at least I hope not). It’s a pretty large pistol for this application but people manage to do it with all sorts of double stack full size guns so it’s certainly viable. For defense the main argument I hear is the 5.7s excellent penetration, which is a horrible argument for a few reasons. First of all with the ammo you can buy as Joe Operator, its penetration is going to be equal to if not worse than your everyday 9mm, .40 or .45. Second of all, if you are firing a gun in public it’s probably best it NOT penetrate any more than it has to, added with its high capacity, 25 tiny bullets flying past that guy who just pulled his Hi Point on you into the crowded Popeye’s behind may not be as good as a few good ol’ 230 grain .45s lobbed towards the offender. Thirdly, what position has anyone been in where they have to defend themselves from someone wearing body armor? It would likely either be a cop (tip: it’s bad to shoot cops) or some crazed militia member, either way they will also be well armed and if you are paranoid to this degree you should probably be carrying a .44mag or a .600 nitro revolver in case an armored bear attacks. All in all it gets the job done but I fail to see its advantage over any CZ, Sig or even another FN in a “normal caliber” for a lower price.
As far as home defense goes pistols and small caliber semi-auto smgs are bad choices no matter what, but once again extra penetration is the last thing you want in your own home. Just do yourself a favor and get a cheap
shotgun CARBINE, it’s better than any handgun for every situation you may encounter in your home, and if you are considering one of the 5.7 guns you can buy a nice Mossberg BCM for the price of a week’s worth of ammo for your PS90.
For every application it basically comes down to the same thing, it’s not a practical caliber for the civilian market. If having these guns makes you feel like James Bond more power to you, the “fun to own” aspect is big in guns, especially if you already have a nice collection of all the basics. But no amount of gel tests or video game cameos will make them a truly practical gun that no one should go without, they will remain cool range toys and conversation pieces. Next week: AK47 vs AR15 settled once and for all, until then, stay frosty.