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23 July 2012


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John Minnerath

Purdy and some of the other fine gun makers in Europe have catalogs that have a major drool factor.
Now there are folks looking to a real ELITE clientele. :)
I recently went to the only big gun show we have here.
A most enjoyable day wandering around with assorted riff raff looking at some great stuff and talking with a lot of folks that appreciated what was there.
I managed to come away with only a fine old holster that fit one of my handguns and a set of hard to find dies for a wildcat cartridge I have.


The charts here are interesting (on assault deaths in the US and in other OECD countries; and in the US by state, by region and by race).



Half of my family is very British rooted, loves the Queen etc etc etc. I have been chastised more than a few times in my polite disrespect of the Queen at the dinner table.

When my Uncle is visiting I just love to turn on NHRA drag racing and point out how the British are unable to understand how important this endeavor is in the long run, and is a statement of how resourceful many Americans are. Then I love to turn on Sun's of Guns and show how commoners create and build guns.



I suppose you were going to point out that according to your chrts the murder by handgun rate across the country for blacks is three times that for whites. pl


b In the UK, only the rich may have guns.

I see you've got your tri-annual Let's Wind Up the Brits post.

I'm afraid I have several friends who can only be described as riff raff who are in possession of shot guns and other hardware - mostly legal, some illegal.

The man I knew who had the biggest arsenal was a kindly marxist professor who had been a colonel in a rather dashing tank unit during the war and used his guns to train up his children for when the revolution came. He used to take pot shots out of his dining room window while we were having lunch (at edible animals I should stress, not his fellow human beings).

The only time I've ever fired a gun in my life was when visiting relatives last year in Pennsylvania and several of them, being of the NRA/Rush Limbaugh persuasion, decided to take this feeble Euro-weenie to a shooting range where for two hours I blasted away with pistols, rifles, and semi-automatics, surprising myself with my accuracy. (I seem to remember a laser sort of thing attached to one of them).

Anyhow, all I can say is that I found the whole experience incredibly boring (and deafening). Apologies for my Euro-weeniness.


john F

Clearly you live in the right country for you. "the NRA/Rush Limbaugh persuasion, decided to take this feeble Euro-weenie to a shooting range where for two hours I blasted away with pistols, rifles, and semi-automatics,"

If you think NRA membership and being a "ditto-head" are linked conditions you are mistaken.

Rifles and pistols may or may not be semi-automatic. do you know the difference?

Do you seriously maintain the idea that British society is not openly "rigged" in favor of the well off? Ours is not so openly "rigged."


Has any Western gun control policy ever banned break action shotguns? Even Australia's insanely strict laws still allow possession single and double barrelled shotguns.

David Habakkuk

I don't think that the riff-raff over here are normally to be seen in Purdey's.

In my part of the world, a local dealer's starting shotgun seems to be the AYA Yeoman at £450. Secondhand they seem to go for around half that.

(See http://www.shootingschool.co.uk/gun-room-and-shop/guns-in-stock.php

http://clarkesgunshop.co.uk/used-gun-range )

As an ignoramus about firearms, I don't know whether they are accurate enough to hit anything.

Babak Makkinejad

That is also true in the rest of Europe.

A German technician once told me that he liked it in the United States; he could own rifles and go deer-hunting.

That was impossible in Germany for a person of his income.


As another Brit, I would say that no one sensible would argue that British society was not openly rigged in favour of the noblesse.

However I am a little surprised that you think the US is not its equal in this. If anything my impression is that there is more shame in the UK when some of the obvious "rigging" comes into view, than I have noticed here. Take the Libor non-scandal for example.

If the US is "class-less" it is because wealth is not considered the precise equivalent of class - yet. But give it time. Im sure gated communities are likely to rid you of any sense of egalitarianism in the fullness of time.



You are quite right. We may be classless in terms of titles of nobility but we are rapidly becoming two countries ruled by the erquivalent of your inherited and privileged classes. Oddly, wide spread gun ownership is a survining relic of a time when Jefferson's yeomen were more than a distant memory in most areas. IMO it is not an accident that the mayor of NY City should agitate against the ownership of guns by the peasants. pl


So America has seen the 'rate' drop like a rock since 1980, better get the rest of the OECD country's to do what we did, or does that constant rate of death by 'assult' seem okay? Or, to actually go to the next chart linked off the CT blog:

"Note that “assault” as a cause of death does not distinguish the mechanism of death (gunshot, stabbing, etc). " It also does not note that the legally required standard reporting deaths by 'assult' is not uniform in all countries listed. Neither are the demographics.



I see the 450 pound 12 gauge. Is this the survival of the middle class shotgun? I note that the other AYA shotguns on that page are quite a bit dearer. No matter, thanks. Have you looked at the registration requirements? pl


Colonel, thank you for your robust retort.

No, I happily admit to not having the faintest idea about the differences between whether rifles and pistols are semi-automatic or not. If I am called up for a war I will presumably find out, but until that time I am completely disinterested. I also happily admit that the rich in Britain openly rig society, whereas the American rich are subtler at rigging the system. (I think Harry might have misread your meaning there).

Finally, let me say that just as there might have been the tiniest amount of wind-up in your original post and title, so there was the tiniest amount in my reply. Yes I am aware that not all NRA members are ditto heads. (I once hunted in Britain but I used dogs, at night (its known as poaching and is generally illegal)). When I went to the shooting range in Pennsylvania I went with a father and his two sons. The two sons (who I am very fond of) are signed up ditto heads and full blooded red necks. The father is rather different. He boasts of being the only member of the shooting club who is also a registered Democrat.

Blast away.



That's too bad about the sons. I hope they don't find themselv4es committed in Ruritania or some other patch of slums and sand by the likes of Limbaugh. I am slowly coming around to a belief that we should return to the draft in order to raise the price of foreign adventurism for the general public.

Yes, i wound you up. It was fun. My friend David Habakkuk rightly called my "hand" with the "offer" of that used(?) Spanish shotgun for a reasonable price. I have never heard of that maker, but I am not a shotgun owner. As you may know I have not hunted for forty years. but I do love to shoot.The US is, and has always been inhabited by large numbers of people who are not really republican in sentiment. Traditional values are largely gone. Commerce has triumphed here as in your country. We are all just commodities. The NRA resists that. It is a gun owners association, not a trade group.

On the subject of the destruction of Jefferson and Jackson's America see Chris Hedges' "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012)." pl


Purdey is nice, but I lust after something from this company after seeing one at the range a few months ago.


As for hunting in England, when a farmer friend near Chichester complained about foxes getting at the lambs, I flippantly suggested we get out a spotlight or a whistle and a .223 and fix the problem as we would here. The guests looked at me with horror. They had the hunt in instead. I was not invited back.


Col. Lang,

Did you end up buying a .17 HMR?



I bought a Henry single shot cheapy. I like the cartridge, the gun? Not so much.

Hunting in England? In the last ten years I went along on grouse and stag expeditions in Scotland. This was on some laird's land. I did not shoot, but I enjoyed walking around in the Highlands with the dogs and people. This was very much the Purdey crowd, most were new rich and loving it.

I don't understand the English anymore. Their dramatic work is superb but their society seems dominated by the "shark tank" crowd and the insipid upper class. Where did the savages who ruled the world and devastated France in the Hundred Years War disappear to? Some of my ancestors were among the savages in France. Did the world wars kill them off and emigration eliminate the survivors? pl


I get by with one of these all for less than £200!

John Minnerath

For a 17HMR you should look at some rifles from CZ. I have a 453 American, very classic looks with such niceties as a well fitted stock of a nicely grained Turkish walnut with cut checkering.
Full floated barrel with a crowned muzzle and a very good adjustable single set trigger.
And more accurate than many shooters can live up to.
The detachable box magazine and trigger guard can't be called handsome, but don't detract too much.




Did the war ruin them? One of my professors had a memorable Dulles annecdote from one of his trips to London. Dulles was outraged at Englands latest unilateral draw down in Asia; he exclaimed angrily in the midst of a meeting "You're trading empire for Aspirin!"

Tony Judt gets at that in "Post War" writing about the generation that came back from the war and who justly wanted their due. The cost of the war had been appalling and the goverment was forced to pick between rebuilding and re-arming. Then again, the elites also decided that a social welfare net was the only way to hold of the Reds and prevent another war. If they could co-opt the socialist, then they would have a chance at peace. The costs of that net made the idea of maintaining the old system impossible. So to did the rise of consumer culture, consumer goods and the desire for mass consumption supplanted old ideas about service and empire.

SAC Brat

I am hoping you report back from the show that the zombie nonsense is fading. The marketing is as classy as the folks who said "load up the injection hopper with pink plastic".

This could make a good Lewis Black rant.


I have always hungered for an L C Smith double gun but they long ago outran my price range. They're right up there with the Purdeys.


Hank Foresman

Pat, I too shall join you at Dulles. An interesting gathering of humanity.

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