Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Harleys, ARs, and 1911s

I have been asked why I don't ride a Harley.  I've never ridden one, can't even remember throwing a leg over one.  That's not because they are not great, classic bikes, and it's not even because I'm a Yamaha fanboi.  My answer is usually something along the lines of "I like to ride bikes, not work on them."  If you don't "wrench", you're not a real biker, according to some.  I did do some mechanical work on my old two-strokes back in the '70s, cleaning carburetors or whatever.  Don't really care about doing it anymore, but maybe that qualifies me.

Most people who own a Harley for very long start on the path of customization.  They are always adding some performance enhancement, appearance enhancement, comfort enhancement, coolness enhancement.  I admit to replacing the stock muffler on my V Star with a Cobra bolt-on -- and I confess, I just did it to get a better exhaust note.  I added a modest, transparent bug deflector, passenger boards and a passenger backrest because the stock bike lacked those things, and my occasional passenger needed the boards and backrest.  I'm done.  For the FJ-09, I've done nothing.

Again, I have no problem with Harleys or people that ride them and modify them, and enjoy themselves in doing so.  When I see them out or at bike shows, I admire both the bikes and the people.

The point here is that AR-type rifles have a lot in common with Harleys, I think.  There are all kinds of aftermarket equipment, enhancements, and gadgets available for both.  It's the same with 1911 pistols.  You can just do all kinds of things to them.  And Ruger 10/22s, that's another one.  My 10/22 is box stock except for a top rail I added in case I ever want to (or have to) add optic sights.

I've had this Ruger AR now for several months.  I have said before that, though I once had to qualify with an AR, my first impression was negative, but that was 30-some years ago.  Times change.  Everybody loves ARs.  Clinton was going to be elected, and they would be banned.  I'm glad I have one in the safe along with a bunch of 30-round magazines.

I still don't like it.  First, the trigger is just horrible.  I'm not one of those shooters who has to have a minimal trigger pull.  Heavier triggers don't bother me much.  I'm always a little skeptical of a trigger being really light.  But the trigger on that Ruger AR-556 is absolute crap.

Of course, I can easily buy an aftermarket trigger and install it myself.  That's the AR mentality, the Harley mentality, the 1911 mentality.  I have a Remington 700 mentality -- not the lightest trigger in the world, but clean and functional.  I have a Yamaha mentality and a Glock mentality.  Why not just have something that works more than adequately as is?  Again, I'm not criticizing anybody for making a bike, a weapon or anything else "perfect" for them.  I'm just lazy and too average to worry about it.

Given that, here are my thoughts on black rifles in general.  For most hunting and shooting at longer ranges, beyond 150 to 200 yards, I would rather have something other than a .223/5.56.  A .223 is more than adequate for whitetail deer at limited ranges, with proper projectiles and good shot placement.  It's a good varmint round and will humanely put down a coyote out to 250 yard, maybe, if the shooter does his part and, again, with the right projectiles.  I have a single-shot .223 which is a lot more fun to shoot than the AR if I want to do that.

Yes, I know that ARs "own the 600-yard line" in target shooting.  I saw a video of Jerry Miculek breaking an 8- or 10-inch diameter balloon at a 1000 yards with a pistol.  But Mr. Miculek is some sort of benevolent, superpowered mutant sent by God to humble the ordinary inhabitants of this planet.  Also it's a balloon, fragile and with no negative consequences for projectile failure.

At closer ranges, say, inside a house or in the event of a serious social encounter on my property, I would much, much rather have my Remington 870, with the 18.5 inch, rifle-sighted barrel on it (AKA, Geraldean).  My second choice would be this stupidly fun-to-shoot Glock 17, my Springfield XDM or even my 10/22.

Oh, I modified my Glock.  I put a Clipdraw on it in lieu of a holster.  The Glock users' group on Fakebook chimped out.
There no trigger guard, which is completely unsafe.  When I responded that I never carry a round in the chamber, I received the usual arguments that I might as well carry a brick.  Is this the OK Corral?  Faced with an attacker who is too close to allow me to safely draw and rack the slide, I'm not going to be shooting anyway.  That's why I have knives in every pocket.  Currently the Clipdraw is attached for small-of-the-back carry and a right-hand draw.  A few days after I joined the users' group, I unfollowed it.  I like my Glock the way it is, and they were all about changing stuff.  More power to them -- I'm just not interested.  

Which brings us back to the AR.  I put a nice 1.5-4x variable-power scope on it.  That's probably all I'm going to do.  I'll take it out now and then, shoot it, clean it, put it back.  I don't figure on ever shooting anything live with it or even punching much paper.  Like the Glock users' group, it just doesn't interest me, which is probably a sign of some personality defect on my part.

I understand the military people who essentially learned to shoot with an AR.  I think they are great for new shooters.  The recoil is mild.  They can be adjusted to fit smaller or larger shooters.  They are great platforms for building whatever kind of rifle a person needs.  The applications and adaptions are almost endless.  Hunting, self-defense, competition, or just having fun, anyone can build an AR that is perfect for him or her, and perfect for whatever it is a person wants to do with it.

Except me.  It doesn't intimidate me or impress me.  I can see why other people like them, and I can't quite explain why I don't -- but I don't.  The rest of you have fun.

1 comment:

  1. " Faced with an attacker who is too close to allow me to safely draw and rack the slide, I'm not going to be shooting anyway."

    Good point. I've carried my LCP in my pocket with a round in the chamber but, I dunno, I didn't feel safe enough.