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Weird but not Wired

April 7th, 2010

Unleaded Starts my Day

I think I’m falling in love with decaffeinated coffee. I can get up and drink as much as I want while I start my morning routine, and nothing happens.

A while back, I started feeling I should give up caffeine abuse. I’m attention deficient, and I quit taking drugs about 14 years ago, and when I got to law school, caffeine helped me overcome the boredom and concentrate. It also helped in my practice. But lately it has been keeping me up nights, and I think it makes me crabby during the day.

For a while, I’ve felt like God has been cleaning me up. I had to quit smoking cigars because they kept me awake. Who ever heard of such a thing? But it happened. Now coffee is out. I am a man without vices. It is a strange sensation.

Drugs connect us with the spirit realm, somehow or other. Tobacco was a ritual herb smoked by pre-Columbian heathens. Peyote and psilocybin are used in worship. Hippies used to get high and say they had seen God.

I don’t think cigars and coffee are going to give me visions of demons, but there must be something about them that God doesn’t like, because I really had to quit. I had no choice. Something would not leave me alone, and I think it was God.

Maybe weak drugs are sharp tools Satan uses to open little holes in your temple. Search me.

I suppose this is undeniable: drugs that affect your mind are substitutes for things you should be getting from God. Maybe that’s the problem. God fixes people, better than caffeine ever could. Maybe caffeine was in the way.

I don’t have any reason to think other people should give up cigars or real coffee, but it seems to be true in my case.

Coffee is a comfort drink. If I can’t get up and have hot coffee when I first turn on the computer, my morning is damaged. Decaf solved that problem.

Coffee–even real coffee–is supposed to bring health benefits. So I suppose I’m still getting those.

I have been getting comments about the AR rifle. This has been bugging me lately. I don’t need any more rifles, and I don’t think an AR will change my life significantly, but I feel this nagging urge to get one.

I’ll tell you something weird. I think God is driving his people to arm themselves and prepare for hard times. Over and over, I see it. I’ve written about it before. I have a new friend who works for a religious charity, and she travels the country talking to Christian donors. She says lots of people–and this is not a tea party thing; they’re independently motivated–are getting guns and tools and rural land. She told me she met with two elderly sisters in northern Florida who inherited a ranch complete with a gun range. These women are retired missionaries! They can’t figure it out.

I do not believe God tells people to shoot at the FBI or the mailman or any other federal agent. I don’t think we’re going to have a last stand where we all go down fighting, while Janet Reno watches on cable news and claps her hands. I have no interest whatsoever in shooting people. In fact, I am not sure I’d shoot in self-defense, since a criminal is likely to need time to repent and turn to God, while I’m ready to go. I’d shoot to defend others; that’s a moral obligation. But I can’t swear I’d kill someone to protect myself. Still, I think God is somehow involved in the increasing interest Christians have in firearms.

If we are not intended to use these guns against others, I’m not sure what the purpose is. But I think that purpose exists. I suspect it, anyway.

Getting back to the AR, a commenter says a couple of interesting things.

1. I should get an AR15, because 5.56/.223 is sort of mandatory. I don’t really understand that, but there it is.

2. Good AR15s are “cheap” right now, so I should get a Rock River and then add a Grendel upper later.

I know almost nothing about the AR15. I know there are “uppers” and “lowers.” I think that means the lower is the part we think of as a gun, and the upper is the barrel and some other stuff. But I don’t know how interchangeable these things are, or whether combining parts from different companies is a good idea. And I don’t know what he means by “cheap.” Are prices about to shoot up? Have they been reduced recently? No clue here.

I don’t know why I need a 5.56. I’ve seen people call it a “poodle shooter.” For self-defense, I really like my Vz 58 in 7.62x39mm, which is fairly powerful yet easy to shoot. What are the advantages of the 5.56? Do they really exist, or is it one of those things, like a 1911 in .45 ACP or a .22 rifle, that you just have to have, no explanation needed?

I looked at my PSL last night, and sure enough, the hammer is in backwards. I think the same could be said of my brain. I’m going to reverse it and take the gun to the range, but I’ll need ammunition first. I’m not going to shoot the rest of my 7N1 until the Russians release more of it. I could sell the remaining rounds and buy a Corvette.

I don’t know where I can get cheap accurate ammunition for it now. There is lots of surplus out there, and Wolf is not too expensive, but I would really like something that will do 2 MOA out of an ideal gun. That way, I can work on my shooting without wondering if the ammunition is holding me back.

I guess I could drive over to Samco and see what they have.

The glass for the AR is a problem. The gun itself is not cheap, and I would want a scope which would work well at long ranges. Prairie dog range, in case I ever get off my butt and go varmint hunting. I assume such items are not cheap.

Maybe the urge will go away.

Shooting poodles…isn’t that a public service? Is there some way we could train them to pop out of prairie dog burrows? Just a thought.


To clarify, I would like an AR in a good long-distance caliber, so whatever I get, I want it to work with a varmint barrel and a good scope. But if I also get a 5.56 upper for shorter ranges, do I have to worry that the original lower will not be appropriate for long-range shooting?

17 Responses to “Weird but not Wired”

  1. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “But I don’t know how interchangeable these things are, or whether combining parts from different companies is a good idea.”

    As long as they are in spec, combining parts isn’t a big deal. I built my AR out of a Doublestar lower, a RockRiver trigger kit, and a CMMG upper. The upper is the hard part to build. The lower is easy and requires minimal tools.

    “Are prices about to shoot up? Have they been reduced recently?”

    AR prices skyrocketed when Obama was elected. They went up by at least 50%. They have since come down again.

    “What are the advantages of the 5.56?”

    The ammo is lighter than even 7.62×39 so you can carry more or be weighed down less. It’s made in US plants so supply isn’t dependent on importation that could be curtailed with an executive order. It’s faster than 7.62 so it shoots flatter and is less effected by range estimation error.

    “do I have to worry that the original lower will not be appropriate for long-range shooting?”

    Depends on how much you specialize the lower. The biggest thing would be what buttstock you put on it. Adjustable buttstocks that are rock solid are also expensive, but you kind of want adjustable on a close in gun.

  2. pbird Says:

    The urge to shoot poodles is a hard one.

  3. Kyle Says:

    Consider an AR-10 in .308. Rock River Arms makes a good one. Start with a 20″ barrel. Flat-top with glass and back-up iron sights. It may be what you need.

  4. blindshooter Says:

    There might be an endless number of different configurations you could do with the AR15 platform. Maybe the biggest roadblock for interchangeability was Colts pin sizes. They made different pins for the civilian guns that did not match up with the mil-spec ones. I think aftermarket company’s even made adapters for that trouble. I have not messed with Colt stuff in years so that situation may have changed. Recently I have mixed up Bushmaster lowers and Rock River uppers without any problems. A good two stage trigger will make life with the AR much better. As for caliber selection, again the combo’s possible are many. The .556 will poke holes in paper very well and will mangle humans pretty good too. I have taken several deer with it with success but would not recommend it to new hunters as shot placement is more critical than a larger bullet. The complete uppers from Rock River with varmint weight barrels and no contact hand guards have worked well for me and I have the tools to build my own and have done so in the past. Get the best barrel you can, it will usually pay off in the accuracy dept.

    I have met a lot more folks that were never interested in shooting or owning firearms in the past that now feel the need to add them to the list of things that may be needed in the coming bad times.

    Sorry for the ramble, a mind is a terrible thing to waste and I have not utilized mine to its potential.

  5. Steve H. Says:

    The .308 has already been covered.

  6. Scott Says:

    I feel the major advantage of the .223/5.56 & AR platform is the ginormous number of the guns and ammo that are out there in the event of a scenario. Now, personally, I’m a .308/M1A man, but I recognize the fact that there are boatloads of AR shooters around, as well, and interchangability & repair might be easier with an AR. In the event of a scenario, you see.

    I also view it as a short-range caliber, vs. the .308/7.62 as a long-range caliber. Either one seems to do the other’s job, though, if you follow the Camp Perry stuff.

    Eh, get one…why not, if you’ve got the dough to feed it, too?

  7. Chris Says:

    At six firearms, I probably have more guns than I really need (seriously) if an apocalyptic-type societal-breakdown situation ever really did arise. However, between my Henry 22, my Mossberg 500, my SKS, and my Ruger GP100, I’ve got choices and a bugout bag ready to go, at the very least, if such a scenario really does happen.

  8. blindshooter Says:

    On the glass question, you already have a handle on the major issue, high power for the long shots on small targets or low for up close and personal? The good thing about the flat top AR or one of the hybrid type uppers is the ability to change optics with ease. The rails are strong as they are part of the receiver and there are lots of really strong mounts that you can use without too much worry about loss of zero. Also lots of fore and aft spots to park the scope for the right eye relief. The scope itself can be a compromise with something like a 4-12 variable or my favorite the 6-18 with parallax correction. I have no experience with the ACOG types and the regular dot types I never liked. I’m also partial to Leopold optics, not the rage sometimes but they will fix their products if you have trouble.
    Thanks for putting your thoughts out here like you do, I doubt I will ever study the bible(s) like you have and really like to see your take on certain passages versus what I get from preachers.

  9. Jim Says:

    Opt for a rifling twist rate of 1 in 8 for best compatablity with all bullet weights. 1 in 7 is necessary for the heaviest of rounds, and the old 1 in 9 rate works best with the old, original 55 gr rounds. None of them SUCK, and 1:8 is the hardest to find, but that’s my advice and I’m stickin’ to it.

    If you can find it, a 1 in 8 bbl with a Wylde chamber, which is a hybrid of the 5.56×45 NATO spec, and the .223 Remington spec. If you can’t find a Wylde chambered barrel, go with the NATO spec, not the Remington commercial spec.

    Stainless is best, chrome lined chamber & bbl. is right behind that.

    Get a flat-top A-3 type receiver. You can always mount an A-2 style carry handle on it, but the lower flat top is better suited to mount optics of all kinds.

    The big reason to get an AR patterned rifle in 5.56? Bazillions of spare parts, most all of which will fit. Thousands of distributers. Hundreds of manufacterers.

    And stashed away out there in numbers beyond description, are caches of ammo. It’ll never all be seized, not even the tenth of it.

    Having an AR pattern 5.56 is like the basic handtools in your kit. You gotta have ’em.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  10. TEB Says:

    here is a guide to the AR-15


  11. greg zywicki Says:

    “I don’t think cigars and coffee are going to give me visions of demons, but there must be something about them that God doesn’t like, because I really had to quit.”

    If you start getting cravings for green jell-o and feel the need for special underwear, you’re going to have to take back all those things you said about Romney back in 2008.

  12. Kyle Says:

    .308 = good because you can get .30-06 AP projectiles and handload them into .308 cases.

  13. Steve H. Says:

    I don’t need no steenking .308.

  14. Kyle Says:

    Well, you DO have a lathe, and you could make your own AP pills in whatever diameter you need.

    Whether you’d swage them or just acid-etch them and give them some moly coats, that’d be up to you….

  15. Aaron's cc: Says:

    Funny, I go to a monthly “cigar & single malt” lecture with a local orthodox rabbi. The difficulty is in moderation. These days, I find it a great month if I’ve had the opportunity for a single cigar and maybe a half dozen shots of scotch (not all shots in the same evening!).
    I used to drink 2 pots of coffee a day. Now I nurse a single Bodum Young french press http://tinyurl.com/y3fx67n, having poured off just under half of it for an office mate. De-caf for me is like Hershey bars for frogs. My body rebels against two things violently: de-caf and aspartame. About twice a month, if I’m working late, I might brew up another half-Bodum.
    I’m not sure that there are ANY significant mathematicians who did their most significant work in their 20’s and 30’s who weren’t caffeinated.
    An interesting thing about observant Judaism is that it’s pretty tough on habits, to ensure that there’s nothing held higher than God. I’m aware of Hasidic chain smokers who don’t smoke for 25 hours a week. The likelihood of their breaking the habit altogether is greater due to knowing that they can live w/o for 1/7 of the week. Orthodox vegans have to accept that when the Temple returns and the Passover offering is re-instituted, they will be required to eat a portion of meat. Find me an “ism” and I will show you a halacha that would negate it. There are teachings that God will ask us “Did you enjoy the world I gave you?” and those who think that cloistering oneself and refusing to enjoy things will have to answer for rejecting what was permitted as much as they will have to answer for partaking in that which was prohibited. In fact, the closest thing Judaism has to a monk is the temporary vows of a Nazirite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite After completing the term, the Nazirite is obligated to bring a sin offering! Asceticism is not Biblically encouraged as it is often used in addictive or manipulative manners.
    Yes, it’s much harder to stay on the balance beam. But, as I’ve stated before, the grammatically incorrect double-bet in the word “b’kol levavcha” (with all your heart[s]) in the Shema prayer is about harnessing both our good and bad inclinations in the service of God. A heavily-laden wagon pulled by one good horse may not make it to the destination. If one can successfully harness and direct a wild horse to also pull in the right direction, the good horse’s burden is lightened, the wagon can haul a little more and the driver gets to the destination easier and maybe faster.
    Want to test willpower? Give up pork for a year. My pork-free streak started in 1982. Yes, I know that this is crazy-talk.
    It’s worth introspecting on ALL our habitual behavior in order to own and appreciate the free will God gave us.

  16. Steve H. Says:

    I have no firm explanation for my need to give up cigars and caffeine, and no reason to suggest anyone else should do it. My use was already moderate before I quit, so moderation was not the answer for me.
    As for giving up pork, just shoot me now.
    To me, keeping kosher looks a lot like perpetual partial fasting. Perhaps that is one of the intended purposes.

  17. pbird Says:

    Yes, kosher is a type of fast. Don’t know what else to say about that.