Topics: Concealed Carry Right to Carry Gun Control Books on Guns Gun Rights

Gun rights, Anti-media, Gun Culture, American Gun culture

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Colt New Agent 45 acp 1911: American Gun Review

Ok, so in recent years I have published in various places maybe a dozen reviews of books dealing in some way or another with American Gun Culture.  Maybe it's about time to start reviewing American Guns.  So here is the first of a series.

In all cases I will review guns having primarily social applications, mainly handguns.  My reviews will be practical and useful. I am not a shill for any company. No one pays me to advertise.  And I will not simply repeat the cant and truisms that one sees echoed in so many reviews of guns.   If I review it, this means that I have used it.

This was my Spring 2014 firearm purchase:

45 acp Colt New Agent, 3 inch barrel. (The guitar pick is for scale.) 

The pistol was equipped with two 7 rd. Colt magazines.  Its most interesting feature, beside small size and light weight, is perhaps its trench sight.   Never having before used such a sight, I was anxious to try it and did so more or less immediately.  

8 yards, one handed, fast shooting, WW ball ammo from Walmart

As you can see, it works.  It works well.

The shots to the lower left occurred when I jerked the trigger.  (Incidentally the target was posted upside down, so you are seeing it as I did.)   I found only one aspect of the New Agent distracting, although "odd" might be a better word. Opposed to my usual style/habit of sighting, by peering through the trench sight I had a tendency to see very clearly the X.  This is contrary to habit. I am used to focusing on the sights rather than the target. With the positive iron sight picture that I am used to, I always focus on the front sight, which at this close range essentially covers the X, and then print a group about the size of a half dollar with any 1911 that I own.  The New Agent may require some adjustment on my part.  And maybe I haven' yet properly learned how to use the trench sight.  Now, despite any need for adjustment on my part, the Colt New Agent shoots exactly where you aim it.  Some shooters perhaps won't like this feature because they won't be able to blame the gun or the ammunition for their inability to shoot.   

I am not one of those idiots who is compelled to completely disassemble a gun before shooting it.  My only preparation for shooting the New Agent consisted in putting a few drops of oil on the slide rails, the barrel shroud and the barrel bushing. That's it. If a gun won't shoot as it comes out the of the box from the factory, I have no use for it.  Also, I do not believe in unnecessarily messing with parts and springs.  Especially on social guns. (Target guns are different.) Most so-called gunsmiths in my experience are nothing of the sort and you should hesitate before you trust your social guns to them. One probably needs to be a machinist before one can become a gunsmith, and as these people are not machinists, so they are not gunsmiths, either.  To the contrary, the people at Colt and at Smith & Wesson know well their own business.  Only once or twice in the last 40 years have I encountered a factory handgun that did not shoot far better than virtually any human could hold. And I have fired hundreds. They work well. Even the most ancient Military and Police S&W 38 Special revolver will fire dime-sized groups at 8 to 10 yards with virtually any ammunition. Learn to use them properly. Blame yourself before you blame the gun. 

Right out of the box, I fired about 50 rds. of WW ball without hitch, including trying a full size Colt magazine, which extend below the grip, but which also functioned flawlessly.  I prefer ball and use it for all my social guns. This is partly a function of my"rules" of armed social engagement:
  1. Have a gun.
  2. Avoid gun fighting if at all possible. If this is not possible, call in an airstrike or otherwise evade. 
  3. If you must fire, take care: remember that you cannot call that bullet back. 
  4. The gun must go "Bang." 
  5. Fire one accurate Zen shot. More only if needed. 
  6. Call an attorney. 
Additionally, on a whim I tried some WW 230 grain hollow points in the New Agent and fired two magazines of 7 round each, with a stoppage near the end of the second magazine.  It was caused by the blunt end of the big open cavity coming up against the feed ramp. It cleared easily enough. But that was enough for me.  Ball, henceforth (See rule 4 above).   The hollow points seemed to have more "oomph" than the ball, judged by recoil. I don't care, however, and won't be using them.  If you cannot stop it with ball, then you probably shouldn't be messing with it.  Don't depend on high-priced fancy ammunition.  Depend on accuracy. 

The 3 inch barreled New Agent is slightly snappier recoil-wise than a full size 1911, and also more than the 4.25 inchers that I typically carry (I have S&W 1911-SCs and a Wiley Colt Commander, all excellent, accurate and TOTALLY reliable pistols, through which I have fired many many rounds.)  The New Agent's recoil is acceptable, and certainly not vicious or uncomfortable. Next time I teach a CPL class, I will ask some of the women shooters if they would care to try it and see what they think. 

I especially like the tang of the grip safety which extends perhaps 3/8 to 1/2 inch beyond the rear of the frame and which  is only maybe 1/4 in width, no wider than it needs to be.  This may seem small, but the projection helps it snuggle down into my rather meaty hand, and helps assure that the grip safety is properly depressed. It works quite well when trying to operate the pistol in a hurry. Occasionally I find a 1911 with one of those exaggerated grip safety configurations that seems to do the opposite of what was intended--namely keeping my hand away from the grip and requiring a conscious adjustment of my grip before I could fire the pistol. Not so with the New Agent.    

Also admirable is the simple so-called 1918 manual safety button.  Minimalism pays off in these matters. The manual safety is small and stays out of the way.  I distrust those elaborate ambidextrous, great winged safeties that appear on so many 1911s these days, because they are too easy to accidentally disengage. The only time I want that safety to click off. is when I push it down with the ball of my thumb when about to fire the pistol.  On a target pistol, this doesn't matter so much, because the only time, probably, that the pistol is even loaded is on the range when the range is hot. A social pistol is a different matter, however. A social 1911 is properly carried hot and locked concealed in a suitable holster. By a suitable holster I mean one that covers and protects the trigger.  The grip safety goes down when the pistol is grasped. The manual safety button is pushed off (down) by the thumb when the pistol is extended, and only after that does the trigger finger come into the trigger guard, when a shot is intended or imminent.  As a right-handed shooter I see no reason for an ambidextrous safety because, as I have verified, I can if need be, firing with my left hand, easily bring my left thumb around while the pistol is gripped in my left hand to disengage the safety, still keeping my left index-trigger finger out of the trigger guard and away from the trigger. Left-handers may view this matter differently and might prefer other accommodations.  But for the right-handed social pistol carrier, this minimalistic safety design is ideal. Less is more. 

The New Agent features the Colt 80 series trigger block to avoid inertia type accidental discharges if somehow the pistol is dropped.  In other words, the firing pin is blocked unless the trigger is pulled back to its rearward position in order to unblock it.   This is a good idea.  I like it. Safety rules.   Some purists complain about the 80 series trigger, claiming that it makes achieving a good crisp trigger pull difficult  I don't find this to be true,however, not with other Series 80 guns I have fired and not with the New Agent, either.  The New Agent trigger pull is about 3.5 to 4 pound range, better than any Glock. And it breaks clean. This is not a 50-yard bullseye slow fire gun, in any case. 

My sole reservation about the Series 80 design is that it somewhat complicates the mechanism.  How does it affect function?  I have another Colt Series 80 that I had fired many hundreds of rounds, many of them lead bullet reloads, without cleaning, at which point the gun would go into battery, but the trigger would not break/release. After this happened several times on the same day at the range I investigated. A bit of crud, powder residue it seemed, had interfered with the little lever that pushes the firing pin block out of the way. This little bit of crud defeated the whole system. The gun would not go BANG. I cleaned the gun and it has worked perfectly since.  The lesson here is don't carry or depend on a pistol that is dirty. Especially maybe a Series 80.  But I would never actually carry a gun that was so incredibly dirty. The 70 series, without the block, has the virtue of simplicity. But the 80 series seems safer. Remember Rule 3 above.          
I intend to shoot this gun more before I start to carry it to accustom myself to the sights --or their lack or difference.  But it works and works well.  Right out of the box. A small pistol with 7 + 1 rounds of hardball can be a good and true friend. It also has slim grips and a flat mainspring housing that fit well in the hand and reduce the width and print of the pistol.  
My plan is to order a Kramer holster for the New Agent and also to fire a few hundred rounds of ball through it at various ranges, even 25 yards or more.  While the pistol seems intended for typical ranges at which self defense encounters tend to occur, I will be very surprised if it does not shoot acceptably at longer ranges. I will even try 50 yards, although that is certainly stretching it with the no-profile trench sight. 

My judgement?  Money well spent.  Colt New Agent is everything it needs to be and no more.   You remember what Goldilocks said..."Just right." 

John Moses Browning?  He's now my patron saint. And Colt is his Agent on Earth. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brian Anse Patrick: Misperceptions of Middleclasshood--the Cargo Cult of the American Dream

New Publication 

"Misperceptions of Middleclasshood: Socialization Propaganda and the Cargo Cult of the American Dream," is now available on Amazon/Kindle.  The paper explores the dimensions, causes and effects of the mass fantasy shared by most  Americans of somehow belonging to "the middle class," when in fact they are clearly members of the lower, working class, as measured by any reasonable set of historically accepted indicators.   The author suggests this erroneously held belief is responsible for a great deal of individual and social malaise because, like traditional cargo cults in colonial situations across the world, the holders of such belief systems stop working meaningfully programs of self development and education, and instead become victims of messianic movement type politics in which demagogic oligarchies exploit magical thinking.   

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns).


CHAPTER 7, ZOMBIES AND MEDIA ADDICTION: BRAIN PROBLEMS                                      







Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Zombiewerke: Call for Book Chapters

Call for Book Chapters: Zombiewerke
Editors David (Jim) Nemeth and Brian Anse Patrick issue a call for chapters for a refereed volume entitled Zombiewerke. The multidisciplinary volume approaches the zombie as a social and literary phenomenon. The editors will consider quality original works from single or multiple authors representing virtually any field of inquiry: legal, humanities, social sciences, historical, etc. Works may be scientific or literary in nature (even alliterative verse). Please send complete chapters or proposals to Professor Brian Anse Patrick, Department of Communication, University of Toledo, MS # 915, Toledo, OH  43606, or to for email submissions.    

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Book--Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns)

In Between Shots for Zomobology Cover

Zombology will be out soon.  The book advances the thesis that the current zombie phenomenon is the result of a disturbances in the Western collective unconscious concerning the perceived decline of Western civilization. 

It's very Jungian. 

The above photograph features cover girl Brooke Wagner, who has modeled for some of my previous book covers, who on the Zombology cover will appear as both a zombie and, suitably made up, a zombie slayer. She makes a fine zombie. 

The book also says much about the current spread of the gun rights movement and the huge increases in gun ownership and firearm training by so many Americans. 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seminar: the Informational War Over Guns

I am offering the seminar described below as an online class this summer at University of Toledo.  It will begin on July 24 and runs for six weeks.  Depending on the geographic proximity of participants, we may meet once each week in person, and the remainder of the class will be online.   Email me at fro more information.  The course this summer is intended as an undergraduate class, COMM 4900, but the content is essentially identical.  You are invited. 

Graduate Seminar in the Communication Certificate Program 
 COMM 6245 Syllabus and Course Description




Brian Anse Patrick
Department of Communication
4630 University Hall, University of Toledo
419 530 4670

American gun policy is a site where many lines of social influence converge. Symbolically speaking, it functions much like that fabled paradoxical location where irresistible forces meet up with immovable objects: e.g., the Million Moms March vs. the National Rifle Association; individual vs. collective rights; public health vs. individual autonomy; conservative vs. liberal values; local vs. federal authority; elite culture vs. egalitarian culture; propaganda vs. information; and the libertarians vs. everybody else. The list goes on. Accordingly, scholars and researchers have contributed to what has become a vigorous public and academic debate overlapping many disciplines: e.g., history, law, economics, public health, psychology, communication, criminology, sociology and others.

Ideologues abound in this area—and virtually everyone, academic, policy wonk, ideologue or not, has what they feel to be a well-justified opinion on guns and gun policy. But having taken a serious interest in the debate for more than two decades, my impression is that people in general believe more about guns and gun policy than they really know; their general tendency being to seek out, perceive and interpret information in ways that align with their predispositions. Further, advocates and “experts” for and against guns cite and brandish scientific statistics and studies as proofs, yet few advocates appear ever to have actually read or understood the studies that they claim back up their positions. Compounding matters even more, American journalists who quote these advocates in news stories are notorious for poor, inaccurate, lazy and some say biased, reporting on gun issues. 

Description: The main purpose/goal of this seminar, therefore, is to provide a systematic overview of Informational Sociology of American gun policy, an overview informed by what is known—or alleged to be known—about guns by researchers and scholars.  The seminar reviews informational nodes and the methods by which information is assembled and brought to bear on policy and public opinion. 

The seminar will proceed mainly by means of (1) readings, presentations and discussions of primary source materials, e.g., research articles from scientific journals, book chapters, blogs, websites and papers presented at national conferences; (2) invited presentations and discussions with pro and anti-gun advocates and politicians who have played important parts in the debate and policy formation in Ohio and Michigan (and perhaps nationally if we can schedule visits or video-conferencing), and; (3) an occasional “talk” or overview of what I know (or think that I know) on particular areas of gun policy. Additionally, I have a number of video-recordings of panels on gun policy at national forums along with propaganda/educational pieces by various gun/antigun groups; we can select those that interest us most.  The seminar is interdisciplinary by its nature.  No prerequisite or background is required except an interest in the subject and willingness to read and thoughtfully participate. 

Many of the scholarly works that we will visit are controversial.  Some works have made and unmade professional reputations. A sample of works includes:

Excerpts from historian Michael Bellesiles’ book, based on data from colonial era wills and other documents, challenging assumptions about the central role and prevalence of guns in the original U.S. colonies. Bellesiles won a Bancroft Prize form Columbia University for this work, however, the prize was withdrawn after critics attacked him for being unable to provide the documentary evidence he claimed to have. After a disciplinary inquiry, he resigned from Emory University. 

Work by University of Chicago economist John Lott, based on data from state uniform crime reports, that equates more guns with less crime, specifically that violent crime decreases in the many states that have recently licensed average citizens to carry concealed weapons. Lott, who has also been attacked over the validity of his data and methods, routinely appears before legislative committee hearings in state houses concerning liberalization of concealed weapon carry laws. Lott now works for a conservative think tank.  

Work by legal historian Robert Cottrell reviewing the origins of uniform state laws restricting concealed carry of firearms. Cottrell concludes such laws were aimed mainly at minorities (Blacks and Italians especially) and recent immigrants whom cultural elites of the progressive era distrusted. 

The often-cited work from the New England Journal of Medicine by public health researcher A. Kellerman that concludes homicide risk to household members is increased by the mere presence of a firearm. 

We will also read selections from my books dealing with American gun culture, Rise of the Anti-Media: Informing America’s Concealed Weapon Carry Movement; The National Rifle Association and the Media: the Motivating Force of Negative Coverage; and Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns).       

Required Texts. None.  They will be made available online to you online.

A number of articles and book chapters will be posted on the Carlson Library e-reserves for this seminar and your “My Courses” function at MyUT (in the “files” for this course.) Some are available online directly from their sources, e.g., the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment decision, DC v. Heller, and McDonald v Chicago.

Lastly, in the final weeks of the seminar we will select and discuss some readings based on seminar participants’ developing views on the subject of gun policy.   

Notes on Schedule.  Below is rough schedule that will provide structure. We will revise the schedule when we have had time to meet and discuss, because (1) I do not want to lock us into an unsuitable format and (2) Your ideas, interests and reactions to the readings will be worth pursuing. There are many readings in the field—and some may serve us (or you) better than others. In any case, whatever the “final” schedule, it will be subject to revision in accordance to discussions in the seminar. Some details and dates will have to be filled in dependent on who is available for conferencing and guest visits (and when), and availability of some new works that are in press, although I may have access to drafts for some of these. 

Other Requirements. Depending on your tastes, you are required to join an association active in the area of gun policy.  The purpose of this is to attach you to a social information node. In some cases joining may be no more than being added to a mailing list; in others it may cost you a few bucks. Also you will be expected to attend and report on a gun show and/or other gun culture events. 

Grading.  Your grade will be based on an equal weighting of (1) series of weekly papers and presentations in response to the “charges’” given to you in class concerning the readings and other areas of investigation (2) participation in the seminar, e.g., attendance, knowledge, depth of demonstrated understanding, informed discussion (3) your final presentations. If you will miss class, and I know many of you have interviews at graduate schools, etc, just let me know. 

Presentations.  Note this class has a strong presentational component.  This is because I believe you tend to function at your best when you must presenting organized information to an audience if your peers.  Your presentations are expected to be organized in the Aristotelian format, Thesis + a set of proofs, and be supported by facts, arguments, examples and visual aids and other evidence from websites, films, etc.  I will hand out additional information on presentations.   

 Week #1—Overview of American Gun Policy: Players and Context
Introductions.  Course Business.  The Cast of Players 
Korwin, After You Shoot

Peruse and comment on the websites on the list to be handed out.
Also find the rest of the Chairman Mao quote at the head of this document.  
Week #2—The Second Amendment Under Construction: Origins & Interpretations
Primer on the Second Amendment Joyce Malcolm 
George Will
Find and read Second Amendment in context

Kates—Handgun Prohibition
 and The Meaning of the Second Amendment (ereserves)
Wendy Kaminar. 
Read “The Debate” between S. Cornell and Joyce Malcolm at Second Amendment Center website if it is still functioning.

Week #3—Constructing/Deconstructing American Gun Culture
  History and Culture Patrick (ereserves), M. Belli-
siles; Nesbitt and Dov. 
Gary Kleck;  Tonso.
Reiss & Roth, Zimring & Hawkins 

Week #4—Effects of Guns: Social Scientific and Public Health Research  

Applying etiological models Kellerman et al;  

                                Sociology of gun culture Kopel, Chapters from The Samurai, The Moun-  tie and the Cowboy. On ereserves.
Week #5—Presentations by Advocates Part I
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence? Lott and Mustard

Week #6—Public Opinion, Mobilization and Guns: Battles of the Pollsters  
The gun control paradox Kleck excerpts on ereserves 
Buckeye Firearms?

Week #7—The American Concealed Carry Movement  
Disarmed: the Missing American Movement for Gun Control. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press. Also read my review of the above from Journal of Popular Culture  

Chapter 1 & 2 from Kohn, Abigail (2004). Shooters:  Myths and Realities of America’s Gun Cultures.  New York: Oxford University Press. 
Also read my book review of the above, also for JPC.  Above readings on ereserve. 

Week #8—Firearms Manufacturer Lawsuits and other Legalistic Strategies
Patrick, B.A. (2002). The National Rifle Association and the Media.
Review a book of your choosing on gun culture. ).  600 words—just like JPC requires of me when I review a book☺.  

Week # 9—break  

Week #10—Guns, Women, Childrens, Minorities, Majorities  
Excerpt from Gun Women by M.Z. Stange & C. K. Oyster. 
Bowling for Columbine, Moore.

Week #11—Presentations and Views of Advocates Part II
Reading by J. Jacobs, ereserves, from Can Gun Control Work?

Week #12---Trends and Future Policy Directions
Excerpt from Cramer’s new book, Armed America, ereserves 
The above is a response to Bellesiles’ Arming America. Also my review of Kramer. 
Vernick, J.S., Hepburn, L.M. (2003). State and Federal Gun Laws: Trends for 1970-99. In J. Ludwig and P. J. Cook (Eds.), Evaluating Gun Policy; Effects on Crime and Violence. Washington, DC:  Brookings Institution Press, pp. 345-411.  This will be on ereserves.
Zombies and Guns

Week #13—Guns and Mass Media
NRA spokesperson?

Week #14: Presentations by Seminar Participants/Advocates 
Attend a Gun Show Assignment 
Field trip to range? 

Week #15: 
Rep from Ohio’s Buckeye Firearms Association and I will try to arrange for a rep. from a national antigun organization to speak. 

Week #16:   Final project/papers and presentations due

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cartouche of Brian Anse Patrick

Above is my personal cartouche.  It has magical powers, and holds personal magic, so I am told.  Ancient Egyptians posted their cartouches on doors and thresholds and such as a sign of power and warding.   The symbols represent things that have figured importantly in my life.  It has power.

Copy right 2013 by Brian Anse Patrick and Goatpower Publishing.  Thank you to Corynn Myers for design work.