This morning at the range, in violation of my custom of shooting in silence except for emitting an occasional scream of rage, I fell into a conversation with the only other guy there, who happened to be shooting an AR. It was an Obama purchase, and because he didn’t want it sitting in a closet, he bought one in 6.8 so he could hunt deer with it, and because it was a direct impingement gun, and that is not trendy, he installed a piston.

Now the rifle won’t cycle; it short-strokes, and he’s tinkering with it until it works. This is like sneaking up behind Lucifer and giving him a sharp pinch on the ass. Lucifer does not like having his ass pinched, and is going to want payback. Rifles, and most guns, do not like having their guts tinkered with. They were designed as they were because if you made them some other way they wouldn’t work.

If you see a Model 1911 fail to cycle, odds are that someone has meddled with it. When I shot trap with a Remington Model 1100, I insisted on using a fast-lock-time aftermarket trigger that would seize in the cocked position whenever I was about to shoot a really good score. The factory trigger always worked. And, of course, the mischief that has been worked on the Model 700 trigger by the dimwits of the world has enriched lawyers for many years now.

Some modifications do work. These are invariably performed by gunsmiths who know what they’re doing, and will throw you out of their shop if you suggest something that won’t.

I can guarantee to the gentleman with the 6.8 that his rifle will stab him in the back the first chance it gets—and that he will have had it coming.