The Heartbreak Of False Advertising, Part Two

March 21st, 2016

d&d photo printing one

d&d photo printing two

Not only don’t they play Dungeons and Dragons, they don’t play any tabletop games at all!

The Charge Of The Rhino

March 20th, 2016

Bryan was kind enough to leave a question…

“What do you think about the Chiappa Rhino?”

Before we answer that, we have to explore which gun is at the heart of the question.

Chiappa Firearms is sort of an odd duck when it comes to firearms manufacturers.  Based in Italy, it started out by making replicas of famous guns, such as cowboy arms.  Most of those were chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

chiappa cowboy replica box

chiappa cowboy 22 replica

They also offer shotguns, air guns, blank firing guns, and a whole lot more.  But for our purposes today, we need to focus on what is probably their most famous gun.  That would be the Rhino, a really nifty and innovative revolver.

chiappa rhino chambered for the 357 magnum cartridge

There are a lot of interesting features about the Rhino, but the one thing that seems to surprise people the most is that the barrel is slung down low on the frame.  Instead of the top chamber in the cylinder firing, the bottom chamber is the one where all the bang happens.

(Picture source.)

The idea behind this is that the majority of the recoil will be pushed straight back in to the hand of the shooter, keeping muzzle flip to a minimum.  In theory, this should allow for faster follow up shots and greater accuracy.

But wait, there’s more!  The cylinder is squared off, though I’m not sure why.  Cutouts that function as mounting platforms similar to a picatinny rail allow one to mount a variety of accessories, the standard factory sights are highly visible, the gun can be had in a wide variety of configurations and finishes, and one can find models chambered for an interesting array of cartridges.  (9x21mm in a revolver?  Really?)

By all accounts, the good people at Chiappa have come out with an innovative, finely made revolver that functions very well indeed.  So what is my opinion on the gun?

Well, I really don’t have any opinion concerning the Rhino at all.  You see, I have never fired one.  In fact, I have never even seen one except for pictures on the Internet.

How can this possibly be?  Am I not an expert?  Did I not accrue a quarter century of experience in the shooting sports?  Have I not shot everything to be found under the sun?  (Am I not, Did I not, Have I not!  Not not not!)

Nope, haven’t.  Sorry to disappoint.

One of the major reasons why I never came across a Rhino is because we don’t run in the same circles.  My experience is with low income folks who are operating under extremely limited means.  As of this writing, a bargain basement Chiappa Rhino retails for about $750 USD (£520, or €665).  This is a bit more than twice the price of a no-frills revolver from Taurus.

taurus 605b2 revolver chambered for the 357 magnum cartridge

To put it another way, you can buy two self defense revolvers from Taurus, as well as a box or two of ammo.  Or you can buy one Chiappa Rhino and throw it at the bad guys because you can’t afford any gun food.

So where to go to find out about the Rhino?  I would start here.  The author seems to know his stuff, and he has actual hands-on time with the gun.  That certainly puts him head and shoulders above me!

That Hideous Weight!

March 9th, 2016

I previously discussed retiring my old defensive tool, a 9mm autoloader from the firm of Taurus called the PT111 Millennium Pro.

taurus millenium pro

Or maybe it was called the Millennium Pro PT111?  Can’t remember.

Well, doesn’t matter.  The guns aren’t made anymore, and the company that made them had to recall massive number of defective guns.  Looks like I was lucky to bail before having to use mine to defend life and limb, huh?

Anyhoo, I decided to switch things around a bit. Why not carry a revolver for a time instead of an autoloader?

This actually isn’t something new for me.  I prefer autoloaders because they usually have a greater ammo capacity than revolvers, and because they are easier and quicker for me to reload, but a number of my students like wheelguns over something fed from a magazine.  This is why I always make sure to carry revolvers for at least one month out of the year, so I can give advice based on experience.

The sixgun I usually carry is a pretty big Magnum.

model 686 357 magnum revolver

The size didn’t bother me all that much, mainly because I carry it in a shoulder holster.

357 magnum shoulder holster

But this time around I wanted to carry something smaller, mainly so I wouldn’t have to wear a jacket all the time to cover up the gear.  Lucky for me I have just the thing.

snub nosed 38 with six rounds

It is a snub-nosed revolver that was made back around 1952 or so.  All steel construction, and a standard sized frame so the grip and the guts are the same as a common duty gun of that era.  The only difference being that the barrel was two inches instead of four.  But, standard size or not, it was still a great deal smaller than the Magnum.

hard used 357 magnum and 38 snubby in seoia tones

So, hey, let’s do it up old school.  I had visions of off duty cops and G-men on the job as I strapped it on.  This is what those tough old birds used to rely on when the Cold War was in full swing!  Should do a good job for me!

So how did it stack up to my defunct autoloader?  What was the main difference?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Heartbreak Of False Advertising

February 18th, 2016

wings and donuts

There are no wings!!!

(An actual business in Odessa.  They have a Facebook page.)

I Have A New Job

February 4th, 2016

As previously mentioned here at The Handbasket, I recently left my home state of Ohio for the sun blasted plains of Texas.

desert and mountains in west Texas

This decision was not made lightly, nor without anxiety.  But more than half a century of northern dwelling didn’t pan out like I hoped.  Jobs were scarce, and employment with good wages were almost nonexistent unless one had an advanced college degree.  My lack of disposable income meant that I was forced to live in a craphole apartment complex, smack-dab in the middle of a high crime area.

chalk outline with caution tape

How bad are we talkin’?  I would have to reach for my gun about twice a year to fend off aggressive criminals, although I never had to draw when they realized I was armed.

old man with hatchet, musket, and pistol

Nothing ever came of it, because the vast majority of criminals are base cowards who will do almost anything to avoid going up against someone who has the legal means for defense.  Although, I must admit, I might just be a bit more prepared in the means department than most.

So I quit my job, which barely paid the bills, and relied on the kindness of some friends who put me up while I searched for employment.

It took six weeks to find my dream job.

So, better money?  On paper it is a bit less, but I take home more cash.  How is this possible?

Because I was beset with taxes in my old life.  My former home of Columbus, Ohio sports income taxes for both the state and city, both governments burrowing their mandibles deep to suck their fill on the sweetly flowing lifeblood of my labor.

bloated tick

Critics will point out that prices in Texas are inflated due to a statewide sales tax, but Ohio also has a sales tax.  At least now I only have to budget for one tax, instead of three.

So I’m enjoying small town life, the people are much friendlier and polite than at my old place of residence, and the entry level position at my new job pays more so far as dollars in the bank. What could be better?

Howsabout that I can carry my concealed self defense handgun when at the office?

Businessman With A Gun

Why in the world didn’t I move down here decades ago?

Geek Is As Geek Does

January 21st, 2016

I was reading this essay about Aragorn’s claim to the throne of Gondor.  (Hat tip to Sarah at Glenn’s.)

What is that?  You don’t know what or who Aragorn or Gondor is or are?  The two names come from the Lord of the Rings books, and you should probably just ignore the reference if you aren’t interested in really involved high fantasy novels.  After all, discussing whether or not a fictional character is entitled to rule other fictional people smacks of way too much inside baseball.

Still, I am hardly immune to such discussions myself.  In fact, one such geekout occurred way back in 2002 when I went to see The Two Towers, the second movie in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  I made the mistake of bringing along Ralph, a buddy of mine who is blessed with an extremely active imagination.  This means that he is rarely bored like the rest of us, but it also means he has never come across a work of fiction where he could resist putting himself in the middle of the action.  This was no exception.

A little background.  See, some Viking dudes who ride horses had a vast enemy army bearing down on them, so they bunkered up in an ancient fort.


Up on the wall were the good guys, hugely outnumbered and looking worried.


Down in the plain below the walls were these guys.

orc army at helm's deep

orc soldier at helms deep

Things went along well enough for me so far as the cinema experience is concerned, but then the defenders decide to thin out the invading army via some bow-and-arrow work.

archers on the wall at helms deep

That is when Ralph leaned over and started to voice his opinion as to what the guys on the wall were doing wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

Drop In The Bucket

January 14th, 2016

Couple of things came to my attention this morning.

The first is this oped which notes that European citizens are arming themselves in record numbers after the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015.  This makes perfect sense, as evil people hellbent on slaughtering innocent people always lay plans to attack where there are few or no police. No matter how tempting, they tend to avoid those places where there is a heavy police presence when contemplating mayhem at the point of a gun.

troops guard the eiffel tower

The cops usually show up to take down the terrorists only after the body count has risen.  Not their fault, they just weren’t there.

So what is the solution?

If I were a member of the European Union, I would introduce the following legislation: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Obviously not gonna happen, but a nice fantasy nonetheless.

In a similar vein, we get this from the BBC.  It seems that the London Metropolitan Police are going to add 600 armed officers to their ranks in order to boost their anti-terrorism response.

met armed police officer

(Picture source.)

Just one city, and they already have plenty of armed officers.  Not a bad idea, I think, but allowing law abiding citizens to arm themselves would be way cheaper.

(Hat tip to Glenn.)

Crime Pays!

January 13th, 2016

The Trace presents itself as an actual news website, when it is actually a rabidly anti-gun organization funded by the rabidly anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  Just like all propaganda sources which religiously pursue an agenda without thought to the facts, any claims made on the site should be assumed to be twisted to fit the narrative.

That having been said, I came across an article which claims to have parsed the police reports in Chicago to find the types of guns seized from criminals.  I found the results to be a bit surprising.


(Picture source, and please click on the pic for a larger version.)

Long time readers know that I worked as a fingerprint technician back in the early 1990’s for the police in Columbus, Ohio.  At the time, the officers I worked alongside mentioned cheap .25 autoloaders as being the gun of choice for criminals.  Although extremely small and concealable, the makes and models of the guns seized were shoddily made as well as being extremely cheap and inexpensive.  There were a few quality firearms found, but not many.

According to the chart above, the world has turned a lot since I last inked some prints.  The crappy guns are dead last, while the vast majority of criminals seem to be able to afford the good stuff.

One exception are handguns produced by Hi Point, which are in fifth place on the chart.  That particular manufacturer produces reliable guns that are certainly as capable as more expensive designs, but which are priced at the lower end of the spectrum.  I would have expected them to have been more numerous, but whatever.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, in the past quarter century,  the criminals have upgraded their illegal arsenals so far as lethality is concerned.  Very few small caliber guns, and a great many that chamber the same potent ammunition used by the police.

Crime has been on the decline over that same period, which is a very good thing indeed.  But while the odds of encountering a violent criminal has fallen, it seems that the bad guys have looked to more deadly means to carry out their vile intentions.  And law abiding citizens should disarm to counter this increased threat?

I don’t think that is very reasonable.

What Kind Of Sewer Was It?

January 10th, 2016

El Chapo Guzman, the head of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, has been captured once more.

el chapo captured

The Mexican government sent in the Marines to storm the suburban compound where the drug lord was hiding out.  Leaving his men to shoot it out with the troops, he grabbed an assault rifle and hoofed it through the sewers.  He emerged some distance away, where he commandeered a vehicle.  It didn’t do him any good, as he was captured soon after.

I’ve heard some reports that the tunnels where he played rat was a “drainage sewer”, but below is a picture that supposedly shows the gun Guzman abandoned when he popped out onto the street.

el chapo abandoned gun

I can almost smell it from here!

What Is The Big Deal?

December 26th, 2015

A long as I have been alive, it has been legal in my home state of Ohio to “open carry.”  This phrase means nothing more than it is not against the law to carry a loaded gun around in public, as long as it is neither concealed from view nor brandished about in a threatening manner.

That means one could do this ….

hip holster

But one could not do this …


It has been this way for my entire half century, even before licenses to carry concealed firearms were issued.

Oh, there are other restrictions.  You couldn’t drive around with a loaded gun in the car, couldn’t try to enter courthouses or certain places of business, etc etc.  Stuff like that.  But the main point is that it never caused a problem, and I’m somewhat at a loss as to how it could cause any sort of crises.

Now that I have moved to Texas, I was a bit surprised to find that the Lone Star State does not have legal open carry.  This is going to change in a week or so as soon as 2016 starts, but news articles like this are a bit of a surprise.  As the author states, …

“… the prospect of seeing armed citizens walking down the sidewalk, driving in their cars, eating at restaurants, or even depositing a check at the bank has some Texans—including police—on edge.”

So the good people of Texas are far more criminal and violent than those in Ohio?  Have I relocated to a savage land populated by a savage people?

Um, no, probably not.  I’m thinkin’ that the author of the news report was just trying to be a bit dramatic in order to add interest to the story.

In fact, it would appear that Texas has a few more restrictions on carrying firearms than Ohio.   According to Wikipedia, only those with concealed carry permits are allowed to carry openly.  Seems odd to me, but there you go.

well dressed man with dual shoulder holsters carrying 1911 handguns

Anyway, I’m not at all concerned by this development.  I think that concealed carry provides a greater societal benefit, as criminals tend to be warier when they don’t know if someone can resist their violent attentions, but I also don’t see why there would be any problems with open carry.