|Watching the evening news, thinking "I need to order a couple more cases of ammo."|
|Would you buy a used car from this man?|
Before the reign of William the Leecher circa 1993- 2001, you could buy Chinese produced weapons. Clinton banned the importation of Chinese produced arms and ammunition in 1993, ostensibly because the SKS was being used by Hispanic gangs to wreck havoc in California. In reality, it was just another Democratic subterfuge to keep arms out of the hands of citizens. Clinton's ban should have gone away (it was part of a 10 year larger gun ban) in 2004. But Bush the Bumbler banned Chinese arms and ammunition by executive order as soon as the Clinton ban expired. Again, the reason given was bogus. The press was told this was because China had sold Silk Worm missiles to the Iranians. The Iranians had possessed the Silk Worm for some time, which rather detracted from the credibility of the rationale put forward, but it kept Bush the Bumbler out of the NRA limelight.
The late 1980's and early part of the 1990's was the hayday of Chinese imports. The Chinese products were good, despite a lot of rumors floating around the gun community at the time, largely promulgated by people who mixed up the "Great Leap Forward" with Chinese industry of the day. I had people tell me, with straight faces, that the Chinese were producing SKS rifles in mud furnaces in their back yards. In reality, Poly Tech and Norinco, both owned by the Chinese Army, were turning out high quality firearms in modern factories, as well as excellent ammunition. These same factories supplied the Chinese Army, and since the punishment for fobbing off bad gear on the People's Army was and is a bullet in the back of the head, the quality of the goods was excellent.
I went through several cases of Norinco 7.62X39, 1200 rounds per case, myself and never had the first problem.
I bought a Chinese M-14 . This was the rifle I used to shoot in NRA high power matches. I enjoyed the tournaments. At the time, if you wanted to get a rifle or ammo from the CMP ( Civilian Marksmanship Program) you had to go through all sorts of hoops and wickets, and shooting in at least one high power match was one of those. (Now veterans don't have to do all that, it's a lot simpler.)
I would estimate I put about 2000 rounds of 7.62X 51 through this rifle in the late 1980's and through the 1990's. People would see me with it at the range and say "Oh My God! Don't you know that rifle has a soft metal bolt.!" Maybe so, but it functioned without a hitch. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I noticed that the doom and gloom sayers never owned one of these themselves, but they all knew somebody who knew somebody who heard that somebody else had been told........
The only problem I ever had with my Chinese M-14 was that I took it apart so often to clean it, the trigger guard started coming unlocked if the rifle got very, very hot. I fixed that by bending the tang on the trigger guard a fraction with a pair of pliers, and that was that.
The reason this came to mind, is that magazines for the M-14 rifle are not that easy to find. As always, they come in two variations, actual U.S. military surplus, and "after market." "After market" just means they were not U.S. government property and may or may not have been made to stringent government specifications. The general consensus, which I subscribe to, is that real government surplus is the most desirable. There are exceptions. The initial run of magazines for the Beretta M9 have a bad reputation. But I bought some of these and they worked fine for me. Maybe because there's no sand blowing here.
"After market" magazines run the gamut from as good as the original, (Meg-Gar) comes to mind, to really "execrable, get yourself killed using them, bad." For instance, just before the Clinton / Feinstein Gun Ban of '94, there was a huge rush on full capacity mags. I bought a bunch of magazine for different guns from USA Mags (now defunct, I think.) Some of them worked fine, but those for the Browning High Power were not so hot. They would function well in one High Power, but not at all in another. I wound up marking the individual magazine to an individual pistol with an electro-pencil. Not ideal.
Back to the M-14. Today, an unissued government surplus M-14 magazine runs about $30.00.
But Lo! Sportsman's Guide is offering an aftermarket mag for $9.00 right now.
Remember the old saw, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?"
I ordered several of these magazines, and I've now tested them with my Chinese M-14. I used Russian 7.62X51 steel cased, copper washed, berdan primed ammo that I bought a case of 20 years ago. The magazines (3) all fit in the magazine well of the rifle no problem. They all locked and unlocked no problem. They all cycled the ammo no problem and the weapon fired as expected.
note: I did not try the magazines out in my Springfield M1 (which is the civilian version of the M14, not the M1 Garand.) I didn't see the point in cleaning two rifles, but I thought I'd caveat this post with that fact.
I ordered 8 more this morning. I have found, over the years, that when a good deal comes up on ammo, guns, or accessories, you need to buy a hell of a lot of whatever it is. Because it will all be out of stock before long, and you'll probably never see it again.
Back a few years ago, when the television show "Doom's Day Preppers" was all the rage, I saw a similar program on National Geographic. It was about Preppers in England. You will remember that "Doomsday Preppers" was a reality show, and they looked for the weirdest, most bizarre people they could find. They also rigged the show. If you remember the episode about the young woman who would go out at night in a city and practice her bug out route, the producer of that episode offered her $10,000 to kill and eat her cat on screen. She declined, but that was the kind of show it was.
Sometimes, though, there were some straight shooters on the program, so I watched it.
I saw a two episode spin off from England during the same period. The situation for the folks over there was grim.
First, they were a lot further along the Islamization process even then than we are now. The first rule of the survivalist is that it doesn't matter what you have, if someone else takes it away from you. The situation in the United Kingdom on personal ownership of firearms is dire, so bad that the Dims (or Democrats and their ilk) hold up the UK as the very model of where they want to take us. So, if the fewmets hit the windmill on a global scale, the British are going to have a large, violent, and organized horde out taking whatever they want in the name of Allah. Not a very happy situation.
The two guys I remember best were out in the countryside practicing with crossbows. They were really pretty good, but I remember thinking how strange it was that they were reduced to using medieval weapons to defend their families. They had swords, and were learning to use those. I think, though I'm not certain, that swords are banned in the UK now as well, but I wouldn't swear to it.
There was a really good post apocalyptic science fiction series called "Survivors" that came from the UK. In one episode, the bad guys are fighting the good guys. The best weapon the good guys have is an over and under 20 gauge skeet gun. The bad guys have some kind of single shot thing I don't recall the details on. I remember thinking , "good luck with that" when the horde is pouring over the barricade shouting "Allah Akbar!" But you do what you can, with what you have. To be honest, I haven't seen a lot of concern about self defense in the European blogs I read, but maybe they can't talk about it.