Saturday, November 27, 2010

Open Carry in the News

With 37 states being "Shall Issue" states, meaning their local laws force the state to issue concealed carry licenses to all residents who qualify and with several more being "May Issue"... the vast majority of the states in our country allow their citizens to carry firearms.  That coupled with the 2nd Amendment it's clear that we, as Americans, are legally able to carry firearms for personal protection.

Now, some states and municipalities within those states have more restrictive laws so things obviously aren't the same across the nation.  But in Allentown, PA citizens are guaranteed by their state constitution that they are able to carry a firearm either concealed or openly legally.  Section 21 of the Pennsylvania constitution clearly states "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

So why did officer Dale Stokes of the Allentown PD stop, search, detain and confiscate the firearm of gun owner Jerry Corliss who was legally carrying his Glock pistol openly while visiting a Home Depot on October 6th, 2008?

Only officer Dale Stokes knows.

But officer Stokes ignorance of the law cost the tax payers $23,500 when the city settled out of court for violating Jerry Corliss' rights.

It's time police departments stop harassing citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.  If it takes being sued to accomplish this, then I am all for suing these municipalities that violate our civil rights.  I'm not a litigious person by nature, but it seems all the government understands sometimes is being hit in the pocketbook.  It also gets the attention of the tax payers who also need to be educated.

I live in Indiana and we too may carry firearms openly if we hold a valid concealed carry permit.  I've often times carried my firearm openly around town in the summer when heading to the range to do some shooting and it's too warm for a cover garment.  Only once have I been approached by a LEO about my firearm being carried openly.  He asked if I would cover it up, and I smiled and said "I'll cover mine up if you cover yours up".  I know my rights and I knew I was within the law, and his request was unreasonable.  He was pleasant and said "it's not the same thing" to which I responded "I believe it is".  We went our separate ways without any further exchange.  Had I been detained, searched or had my firearm confiscated, you could be certain I would have filed a suit with the local PD as well to make my point.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Semi-Auto RPD's

The RPD (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova) was developed in the Soviet Union by Vasily Degtyaryov in the early 1940's.  By 1944 his design was accepted into service.  Vasily based the design of the RPD on the DP machinegun operating mechanism which was adopted by the Soviet Union in 1928.

The RPD uses a "long stroke" gas system and a locking system used in previous DP systems.  The locking system used two "flaps" which were pushed out and into recesses on either side of the receiver to achieve lock-up.  The original full-auto version fires from an open bolt, a system common to many light machinegun designs.  The gun fires from a reusable 100 round drum which contains two metal non-disintegrating belts of 50 rounds each (connected).  It is chambered for the 7.62x39 cartridge made popular my the AK-47 rifle.

Over the last few years custom gun makers and companies such as Vector Arms have offered small quantities of semi-auto converted rifles based on various demilled RPD kits which have been imported.  Egyptian and Polish made guns are the most common with the Polish kits being the most sought after.  The semi-auto rifles fire from the closed bolt position and use a simple striker assembly to fire the rifle.  The conversion is relatively unobtrusive and leaves the rifle looking identical to the full-auto military counterpart.  The disassembly is also nearly identical to the full-auto version, so much so DSA / Wise Lite actually supplies a reprint of a declassified U.S. military manual with their rifle.

Vector stopped making their semi-auto RPD about a year ago leaving the market void of manufactured semi-auto RPD rifles.  People were still buying the kits and having custom gun makers assemble them.

DS Arms recently announced they were be making semi-auto receivers for the RPD and contracted with Wise Lite Arms to manufacturer them.  DSA is currently selling these rifles on their website for $2,100.

I recently purchased one of the DSA guns and took it out to the range.  Unfortunately my copy suffered from failures to fire which I've documented in my video review (Part 1) below.

I've sent my rifle to DSA for warranty repair and hope to have it back soon so I can complete my review.

The RPD is an interesting piece of military history and it's great that we're able to buy semi-auto rifles based on this design.  The rifle has been used in wars ranging from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless wars in between fought on every major continent.  It is worth mentioning that the RPD was never a very popular MG in the Russian military.  It was viewed as unreliable and required too much maintenance to stay running, much like the U.S. M60 machinegun.

I'll keep everyone posted via my YouTube channel as to the status of my semi-auto DSA RPD.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So who designed the AK?

The most prolific weapon in the world was designed by a now famous Soviet era Senior Sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov who faced the fierce Nazi StG44 in battle and wanted to give his motherland a similarly formidable weapon.


Not exactly.

You see, the AK-47 was designed by a team, several teams really, which was headed up by Mr. Kalashnikov.  He didn't design the rifle at all, he just oversaw the team that did.  But that didn't make for a very propaganda worthy story, so the Soviet propaganda machine made him out to be the sole designer, giving him full credit.  They painted Mr. Kalashnikov as a tinkerer, a designer and a genius... the true patriotic hero who gave an incredible gift single handily to his country.

But in the end Mr. Kalashnikov is still a great man in my opinion.  They picked a great figurehead to be the namesake of the now famous rifle.

A Wired article can be found here that gives you a little more info on the story, despite the rather corny title of the article.