Friday, November 27, 2009

Give me Liberty

Or at least, give me a Liberty 100. The Liberty, produced by Calico Arms (California Instrument Company) is one fine carbine. Chambered in 9mm, and also offered in a 22LR rimfire, this is an above grade gun for military or police use. Calico first developed their fine line in the 1980's, before the insult weapons ban. No misspelling either, all it did was make a bunch of crap polyticks feel good. That congressional act almost ruined the company by eliminating the civilian market. The calico is revolutionary. It has a top mounted helical magazine in either 50 or 100 round versions. The mag is loaded, then charged by cranking the handle at the rear. It has bottom ejection for easy policing of brass, and also eliminates the pesky hot cartridge down the collar for left handed situations. Yes, I said left handed situations not shooters. I'll talk more about that later.

The Calico line of 9mm weapons uses a roller delayed block blowback system. Two links pivot out to secure the bolt in place while firing, then slip back once chamber pressure drops. It is an excellent system and is used on H&K submachine guns as well as others. It has a good ergo grip and is angled nicely like our AR-15 M-4 arms.

A nonmoving rear sight is built into the magazine, and all adjustments are made at the front sight which is at the front of the mag. This is a slight problem as it limits your sight radius, but it also protects the sight from potential damage when carried in a vehicle. A scope mount is also available which fits on top of the mag. It somewhat impedes mag changes, but with a 100 round mag, how often is that a problem?

The Calico has several advantages over most carbines and subs I have fired. The design limits muzzle climb. If you look at the lines of any standard rifle, you will note that the line of the barrel is well above the line of the shooters arm. With the calico, the barrel and wrist align so that kick is directed back at the wrist rather then over it. That reduces twisting of the hand and therefore muzzle climb. This is important in full auto situations. Many years ago I had the opportunity to fire a M-951A full auto. It was like having a supersoaker that spit lead instead of water. That day fueled my desire to eventually own a Calico. Today, I own two.

A kelly grip is also optional and gives it that gangster look so many crave. The Liberty comes with either a fixed stock, or a collapsing stock. I have one of each. The collapsing stock has an extra long setting for folks with long arms. Original Calico's had an optional flash supressor muzzle arrestor, the current crop are straight barrel post ban style weapons.

Calico also produces a pistol version, the M-950 as well as the their M-100 22 carbine and M-110 22 pistol. They are a good solid gun in my opinion.

The company was originally headquartered in California, but wise hands shifted their base of operations to Hillsboro Oregon. Fruits, nuts and guns don't mix very well, and Cali's horrid treatment of companies, means that desertion is the game of the day if you want to thrive.

Regarding left handed shooting, I'm left handed. I principally shoot right handed as I have no eye dominance. It gives me the advantage of using all common fire arms, plus the benefit of having my strong arm supporting the muzzle. Only on the range can you be assured of control of your shooting stance. Whether hunting elk In the mountains, or bad guys on the streets of Afghanistan, there are times when the south paw stance is preferable. You may not be able to get into any other position without compromising your position, or you may have a shot that is so off balance that a left hand position is the only option. I can and do shoot both ways. Practice practice practice.

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