Happy Buy a Gun day, everybody. Just a quick note: if you usually zone out after the Gun Pic of the Week, be sure to keep scrolling. There’s a fascinating bonus section about French gun laws by Matt, an American reader living in France.
GeekWithA45 has the latest on the delays in arming pilots. Two members of Congress have proposed a bill that would accelerate the process.
Jeff at Alphecca has the weekly check on anti-gun bias.
Happy Buy a Gun Day
Publicola has some suggestions for Buy a Gun Day.
A while back I responded to a query from another blogger about a first rifle, shotgun, and defensive handgun.
If you like U.S. military guns, but would rather roll your own, SayUncle tells you how to build an AR-15.
U.S. Military Weapons
Jeff and Boge Quinn of Gunblast traveled to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to try out the Barrett M468 and the Remington 6.8mm SPC cartridge, which has been proposed as a replacement for the 5.56mm NATO round.
John of Argghhh!!! has the third installment of his history of ammunition, and it’s the best one yet, bringing us up to the era of the percussion cap and paper cartridge. And yeah, there’s an emphasis on historical U.S. rifles.
PS I almost never mention blackpowder guns because I have zero experience with them. I hope to remedy that one day, but in the meantime I’d welcome anyone who wants to write up some blackpowder/muzzleloader links and news.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
– Helen Keller
This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
– John Steinbeck
Next Week: Guns in Movies and Television
This Week’s Gun Pic
If you skipped Jeff Quinn’s report on the Barrett M468 story above, don’t. Here’s a photo to whet your appetite. Note the similarities between the M468 and the current M16/M4 rifle.
French Gun Laws
An email from Matt (last name withheld at his request), an American living in France.
I live in France (long story) and the laws here about buying a firearm are particular.
I can buy a 22LR bolt action or 22LR lever action rifle or a black powder rifle or pistol with no hassles. In fact all gun club shooters here buy one of the above to get range time that will then allow them to get another weapon (6 months minimum) such as a handgun or a higher powered rifle. Then the bureaucracy steps in and police start getting involved.
The gun club that I can goto has two ranges : 25m and 50m (about 25 and 50 yards). Due to this most of the members are pistol shooters, the 50m range has always been empty when I have visited.
Right onto my question : I’m not sure whether to get a 22LR bolt action (Marlin 25N, CZ-452 etc.) or a black powder revolver (1858 New Army copy of some sort). I’m quite interested in the black powder side since there’s a bit of tinkering and getting hands dirty involved, but then again I’d like to have a really good foundation with a 22LR boltie to ensure that I re-learn the art of shooting correctly. Small bore rifle silhouette sounds interesting though although I’d
have to find a club with a 100m range – for the future.
For info : I’m over 30 and have been shooting about 10 times in my life (22LR mostly but one time with a .357 and another with a black powder revolver). Money isn’t a major issue although firearms over here tend to be more expensive than in the US (a Marlin 39AS is 713 euros, the 25N is 250 euros). Oh yeah, I’m not thinking in terms of a defensive sidearm and at the moment I have no plans to go hunting.
[I suggested the CZ 452 or Marlin 25, depending on budgets. - LJ]
After much reflection, I stumped up for the black powder revolver. It arrived today, a Pietta .44 replica of the Remington New Model Army 1858. I have already planned on getting the 22LR rifle next though, although the wife doesn’t know this yet!!
Also, thought that I’d fill you in on more aspects of French gun laws (just in case your readers may be interested).
There are 8 categories. The 8th is black powder weapons which can be bought by anyone over 18 years old. No restrictions in the number of these weapons either. No need to be a member of a gun club.
The 7th category is air rifles, blank firing guns, CO2 guns and 22LR rifles that aren’t semi-automatic. No need to be a member of a gun club as far as I know.
1st are semi auto handguns and military rifles (funny but bolties and semi-autos of the same calibre would come under this category) including 22LR. Prefectorial (sort of like county in the States) permission is required. Easy to get but still registration. Need to be a member of a gun club for at least 6 months. 9mm, 45ACP, 30-06, 303, 7.62, 5.56 and some others are in this category. Semi-auto (like a Glock) are on sale here with the large magazines though.
4th are any handguns that don’t fall into the 1st category. Revolvers like 38, 357, 44 etc. Also semi-auto rifles with more than 3 in a magazine that don’t fall into the 1st and manual repetition (lever or bolt or pump etc) that have magazines with more than 10 rounds.
5th are hunting rifles, non-military calibres, single shot, bolt action or semi auto (unless it falls into category 4 by having more than 10 rounds in the mag).
6th are certain knives swords bayonettes, crossbows etc. No restrictions as far as I know.
No idea what 2 and 3 are. Maybe fully automatic weapons or grenades or something.
Due to these laws and the paperwork involved I’m pretty sure that the next rifle will be a 22LR boltie. Then a 38/357 revolver of some sort and maybe a lever action that takes 38/357 afterwards. I haven’t managed to find a range close to work or home for higher powered rifles and I’m not a hunter so a shotgun for clays might round out my collection because (you’ll love this) one is limited to 5 weapons in France (except the 8th category weapons).
Hope you found that interesting and thanks for the advice,
Found some more info, that corrects some of what I had written previously. I’ve translated literally.
1st category : weapons of war : must have prefectorial authorisation. Only licensed sportsmen (women as well) satisfying various criteria can acquire such arms. 9mm, .45ACP, 7.62mm, .303 etc
4th category as for the 1st category except these seem to be 22LR handguns, .38/357, .44 – non-military calibres etc. The limit for 1st and 4th category weapons is 12 (if I’ve understood correctly 7 centrefire and 5 rimfire – but I’m not sure I’ve translated this right).
5th category : hunting rifles and shotguns : need a hunting license or to be a current member of a gun club. Need to tell the local police (except for under and over or side-by-side shotguns or rifles).
6th category : bayonettes, defensive sprays, electric guns and by extension all arms that can cause a danger for public security.
7th category : 22LR rifles with a ‘manual repetition’ (lever action, bolt action, slide action etc.), air rifles that pass a certain power limit, blank firing weapons. Only the 22LR rifles need to be declared with the local police.
8th category : arms and replicas of historical arms. Can be sold to anyone over 18.