I am a competition shooter, age retired, can’t compete with the kids anymore, and over six decades spent a lot of time in the shooting clubs and supporting sporting organizations.  In age, I have also contracted arthritis and had I continued shooting Sporting Clays, TMJ will put an end for that. I’m guessing about 1/8 million rounds assorted hit paper or clay.

I am an advocate for the sports, recreation, competition end of shooting, and my time being on the front line of the NRA ended when they went from being “ Of the People”  to  “Of the Money and Political People with Distortions and Bribes.”   

Lately the Colt Sporter or AR-15 has unfortunately made the news, again and again.  It rose in popularity just as the GLOCK plastic shelled guns took gun lovers by storm, the Sporter became the next phenom.  

It shared some basics with the GLOCK, which offered less weight, higher capacity, low profile, reliable, low maintenance, and available in many calibers. 

The sporter is lighter, shoots faster than most battlefield rifles, very high up to 100 rd. capacity, non rusting components, highly reliable, tons of accessories to make you look like a badass, and accurate plus available in several calibers.  

Years ago I got to test fire and evaluate the prototype being evaluated for our Special Forces.  Because of work I have done for the Military, I have been on occasion invited to certain functions normally civilians don’t get invited to.  I am a contractor who does work on projects for the military, own an AR-15, competent to fire the weapon.  The test was for the new shorty something like twenty-five years ago, I had dark hair, lots of it, and fast reflexes.  I don’t own it any more, preferring hand guns in the wars fought in my condo.  So far so good,  I have not been attacked by anyone from building five or had to defend my parking space from illegal parking.

I was test firing the “shorty” version during it’s trials with bells and whistles, a compact version of the M-16.   Being evaluated by the Military for its special assignment troops, it was, lighter, faster, smaller, and more powerful due to ammo improvements. I found it easy to handle, worked great strong side, weak side and slighter built or female soldiers were very comfortable with.  It easily could fit anyone and for a short barrel, with it’s unique twist,  I was hitting anything I could see. When asked “How did I like It?,  “I replied, I want one”.

It was being certified before initial issuance to special forces, designated Prototype M-17 at that time and the new number became the M4A1.   At the special demonstration shown above at MacDill AFB,  I had the prototype (I believe adapted or modified built by Knight Arms) that had the Mil-Spec three shot burst (Auto) lever to single shot (Semi-Auto) and Safe plus a forward grip and a whole bunch of optical attachments on the picatinny rails.  During the course of that day, I was totally impressed with the product and voted a sound yes, and get them to our troops ASAP.  

The forward vertical grip allows more toys to be attached to the rails and a varied positional hold for certain conditions.  I was still using a conventional forward hold. I did get to shoot it with the hand grip and will change my forward grip to the picatinny rail to add the light and forward handle.

After approval it was the first builds of the shorties went to the Air Force security personnel as they had the oldest weaponry of the services some dating real far back like WWII.  I could relate to that.   While on flight status several decades and wars ago, I was issued a S&W Model 10 .38  Caliber handgun as a survival weapon in this ugly WWI rotten leather holster had we gone down somewhere near Russia.  I think the real reason we got the junk guns was if we did go down in arctic water we were dead in twenty minutes anyway,  and the two rounds were for you and your buddy if you wanted to end it that way.

It might hit something in Russia had I aimed it at the Ukraine.  Barns were safe, this .38 weapon could not hit them broadside, upside, downside, nor backside.  At the base range,  I determined throwing it at the enemy assured better odds and safer since it was spitting lead horribly.  I got permission to complain from the Aircraft Commander (Chain of Command) and two months later they issued me a .45 I called the rattler. It was so old and loose it rattled.  

It could shoot a four inch group if you were four inches from the target.  I actually purchased the barrel retainer from a gun store and that actually tightened it a bit, now I had a 3 inch group at 4 inches. The Air Force needed new guns period... end of conversation. I won’t even go into the M1 Jungle Carbine, basically a .357 Caliber power wise lightweight rifle.  Another WWII leftover.

One day at the range we had to qualify on the carbine, sort of a world war two era pistol round (.357 magnum) in rifle form unlike a Garand which I loved.  While all ten of us qualified, it helped to have a large pencil in your fatigues when you went to receive the paper target and end the day quicker.  

Our range at the base was in an old quarry used as the base garbage dump and shooting range, it stunk.  It smelled really bad. No great scores since you stopped breathing when you got there and you were supposed to pull gently on the trigger, when you exhaled. 
No-one inhaled.   We fired fast , grabbed the pencil and left.   We had a problem with wild four legged scavengers there,  and when one crossed left to right, oblivious to the shooting, many fired shots at it and all fifty or so missed. The coyote wolf or fox, what ever it was,  just looked at us... Do coyotes laugh, I think he did.

Back to the trials:  The compact M-16 was  a dream,  like I said my hair was still black then, and I was 25 lbs. lighter.  Now before any critics want to comment on my lack of hearing and eye protection, bug off.  I have custom deep ear protection form fitted deep with noise abatement, in my ears with tiny velcro sponge overs and my glasses are my prescription shooting glasses (Oversize Orange Lexan) for sporting clays.  I fell in love with sporting clays, trap and skeet till TMJ stopped long gun shooting for me.

The Colt AR-15 “Sporter”

One common denominator behind these and other high-casualty mass shootings in recent years is the use of assault style rifles, capable of firing many rounds of ammunition in a relatively short period of time, with high accuracy. And their use in these types of shooting is becoming more common:  The customer favorite for mass killing is now the AR-15/M-16 series. This year it has surpassed the AK-47 because it is more accurate, lighter, faster, and does carnage better.

There have been eight high-profile public mass shootings since July of last year, according to a database compiled by Mother Jones magazine. Assault-style rifles were used in seven of those.  All AR-15’s because of the availability and the fact its a money maker for gun dealers practically killing the market for any other venue sales of firearms.   And money is the driver of the weapons market.  the problems is the more there is the more the body count rises.

•  Since this Saturday Night / Sunday AM  147 incidents involving shooting have occurred and 57 killed across the nation. 

•  November 4, 2017 - A Church in Sutherland Texas, 26 Parishioners killed, 12 in the hospitals

•  June 12, 2016 Orlando, a man armed with an assault-style rifle killed at least 49 people plus the shooter and wounded 53 others in a crowded nightclub.   

•  Six months ago, in San Bernardino, Calif., a man and woman armed with assault-style rifles killed 14 people and wounded 20 others at a holiday party.  

•  In 2012, in Aurora, Colo., a man armed with an assault-style rifle killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in a crowded movie theater.  

•  Also in 2012, in Newtown Conn., a man armed with an assault-style rifle killed 28 people (20 of them children) and wounded 2 others at an elementary school.

There was Bernardino, Orlando at the Pulse nightclub and now Las Vegas at the Mandalay.  When will the bribed,  bought off, corrupt, greedy, chiseling  SCUMBAGS of the Republican Party  who take NRA blood money in the millions care more about people dying than their own pocketbooks.

I really thought when one of their own got shot at baseball practice in Washington, things might change... the NRA bribe money is too powerful.   Since the article was written there are three more attacks using the same weapon.



The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is a United States military adaptation of the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle. The original M16 was a select-fire, 5.56×45mm rifle with a 20-round magazine.  In 1964, the M16 entered American military service and following year was deployed for jungle warfare operations during the Vietnam War.  In 1969, the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military's standard service rifle. The M16A1 improvements include a bolt-assist, chrome plated bore and a new 30-round magazine. 

In 1983, the USMC adopted the M16A2 rifle and the U.S. Army adopted it in 1986. The M16A2 fires the improved 5.56×45mm NATO (M855/SS109) cartridge and has a new adjustable rear sight, case deflector, heavy barrel, improved hand guard pistol grip and improved butt stock, as well as a semi-auto and three-round burst only fire selector. 

Adopted in 1998, the M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series. It is equipped with a removable carrying handle and Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other ancillary devices.

The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its 5.56 mm caliber. 

The US Army has largely replaced the M16 in combat units with the shorter and lighter M4 carbine,  and the U.S. Marine Corps approved a similar change in October 2015.  Placing an AR-15 side by side the average consumer will not be able to tell the difference from the M-16 tool of war and the AR-15 Colt “Sporter”.  The third from the top shorty is the most popular version and it reflects in the civilian market as the various, probably close to twenty companies have a version looking quit similar.

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16, rifle that has been produced in many different versions. The term AR-15 was chosen by Colt for the civilian models.  AR-15 rifles are Semi-automatic lightweight  gas-operated, magazine-fed, air-cooled, fire an intermediate size cartridge, and are manufactured with extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials. 


Primary function:  Infantry weapon

Manufacturer:  Colt Manufacturing and Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.

Length:  39.63 inches (100.66 centimeters)

Weight, with 30 round magazine:  8.79 pounds (3.99 kilograms)

Bore diameter:  5.56mm (.233 inches)

Maximum range: 3,600 meters 

Maximum effective range:

Area target:  2,624.8 feet (800 meters)

Point target: 1,804.5 feet (550 meters)

Muzzle velocity:  2,800 feet (853 meters) per second

Rate of fire:

Cyclic:  800 rounds per minute

Sustained:  12-15 rounds per minute

Semiautomatic:  45 rounds per minute

Burst:  90 rounds per minute

Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

Unit Replacement Cost : $586

There are literally tons of accessories you can fit to the AR-15 for your personal imaging though most are for intimidation, the deer or hog won’t know the difference.  You can certainly impress your friends with some of these accessories and you might have other friends who will start to avoid you for being a nut.

Semi-automatic AR-15s for sale to civilians are internally different from the full automatic M16, although nearly identical in external appearance. The hammer and trigger mechanisms are of a different design. 

The bolt carrier and internal lower receiver of semi-automatic versions are milled differently, so that the firing mechanisms are not interchangeable. The design changes were done to satisfy United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requirements that civilian weapons may not be easily convertible to full-automatic.  Even so, the full automatic M16 bolt carrier is now the most popular type, and is approved by ATF under grandfathering.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, items such as the “ Drop In Auto Sear" or "Lightning link," made conversion to full automatic straightforward. In some cases such conversion did require machining the lower receiver with use of a mill, as well as the substitution of a M16 bolt carrier group.

Such modifications, unless made using registered and transferable parts prior to May 19, 1986, are illegal. The Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986 has redefined a machine gun to include individual components with which a semi-automatic firearm can be converted to full-automatic, based on a 1981 ATF ruling on machine gun parts. 

Since 1993, the bolt carrier groups used in AR-15 type rifles for civilians have employed additional measures to prevent modification to full auto. Colt AR-15's use a metal alloy wall separating the fire control group from the sear, preventing use of full automatic parts.



Twenty-three people died inside the church, which has a small sanctuary with wooden pews and red carpeting. Two died outside the church and one at the hospital.  Twenty-six in all, so far and one family lost eight people.  One shooter, one AR-15 and a massacre.

"We don't know names of any of the victims at this time," said Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt in a news conference Sunday evening. As victims are identified, next of kin will be notified, he said.

The wounded are being treated at three hospitals in the region including the Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville, University Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.


CHRONOLOGICAL - The shooter was first spotted at a Valero gas station, located across the street from the church at about 11:20 a.m. local time.  The suspect left the gas station, crossed the street and exited his vehicle, Martin said during Sunday's news conference.   He began firing before he entered the church, Martin said. He moved to the right side of the building and continued to fire as he entered.

David Flores’s father saw the shooter - “My dad saw the gunman run into the church building and then he heard shots and saw people running," Flores told CNN. "People covered in blood and screaming. It was pandemonium everywhere." 

As the shooter left the church, a local resident used their own rifle to engage him, Martin said. The gunman dropped his weapon and then fled, while that citizen pursued him.  It turned into a brief chase into the neighboring Guadalupe County. 

Johnnie Langendorff said he was driving to his girlfriend's house when he saw gunfire between the shooter and the armed resident.  "I never got a look at him. I never really saw him," Langendorff told CNN affiliate KSAT about the shooter, except that he was wearing all black.   The shooter was taking off in a Ford Explorer outside the church, he said. 

The armed resident who had a rifle "briefed me quickly on what had just happened and said we had to get him, and so that's what I did," Langendorff said.  They gave chase in his truck and called police to tell them where they were and what direction they were headed.

"The vehicle was in sight and I was picking up, getting closer and closer to it. We hit about 95 [mph] ... trying to catch this guy until he eventually lost control on his own and went off into the ditch," Langendorff told the station.

"The gentleman that was with me got out and rested his rifle on my hood and kept it aimed at him [shooter], telling him to get out. There was no movement, there was none of that. I just know his brake lights were going on and off, so he might've been unconscious from the crash or something like that. I’m not sure."  Langendorff said he and the resident didn’t say much because "he was shaken up." 

Law enforcement later found the suspect dead of a gunshot wound inside his vehicle.  "At this time, we don't know if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by the local resident," Martin said.

A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said multiple weapons were found in the shooter's car. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are involved in the investigation. 

"My heart is broken," said Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. "We never think where it can happen, and it does happen. It doesn't matter where you're at. In a small community, real quiet and everything, and look at this, what can happen."

What we know about Texas church shooting suspect -  Devin Patrick Kelley
The suspected shooter has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, according to two law enforcement sources who have been briefed on the investigation.  
Police have not officially identified Kelley as the shooter, but described the suspect as a white man in his 20s. Authorities have not said what may have motivated him. 

Kelley was a member of the US Air Force and served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.  Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for assault on his spouse and assault on their child, served a year in confinement and received a bad conduct discharge,according to Stefanek. Kelley  the spokeswoman said. His rank was also reduced, she said.  At least two of these counts should have prevented him from owning a firearm.  This requires a federal investigation.

In April 2016, Kelley purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle he allegedly used in the shooting from Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio, Texas, a law enforcement official said. There was no disqualifying information in the background check that was done when he was trying to buy the rifle, a law enforcement official told CNN. Kelley listed a Colorado Springs, Colorado, address when he bought the gun.


The 26-year-old man who walked into a Sutherland Springs church and opened fire did so with a variant of the AR-15, a popular rifle that is based on the military’s M-16, police said Sunday.  The rifle used by Devin Kelley was the Ruger AR-556, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said in a news conference. 

The AR-15 is known for being customizable, with hundreds of variants, each with its own characteristics. Ruger’s AR-15 variant, the AR-556, comes with a suggested retail price of $849 and weighs 6.5 pounds.  Yet can be bought for under 500 dollars on suggested sites.   Gun owners are able to mix and match elements such as barrels, grips and stocks. Some variants are able to fire pistol rounds and even can be modified to fire shotgun rounds. 

The AR-15, like its military cousin the M-16, is a magazine-fed, gas-operated, air-cooled weapon. While the maximum range of an AR-15 variant depends on its setup, the M-16 has a maximum effective range of 600 to 800 yards. 

Mass murderers have used AR-15 variants in the past.  Rifles based on the AR-15 were used in mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and San Bernardino, California. The Orlando shooter used a Sig Sauer MCX, which is a weapon with different characteristics but based on similar concepts to the AR-15. 

Sales of the gun traditionally have spiked after each mass shooting.   It is unknown how many AR-15 variants are owned in the United States, but estimates range from 5 million to 8 million. The weapon did not reach its current levels of popularity until the expiration of the nation’s federal assault weapons ban in 2004.

Groups such as the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have attacked critics of AR-15 variants in the past. “While these rifles may cosmetically look like military rifles, they do not function the same way,” a post on the National Shooting Sports Foundation site reads.

A database of 143 mass shootings compiled by Mother Jones, going back to 1984, found 20 attacks that used guns that would have been illegal under the assault weapons ban that was in place from its passage in 1994 to its expiration. The AR-15 was specifically named in that ban.  A history of the AR-15 by the Washington Post noted the weapon is typically loaded with a 30-round magazine obviously enough to take out a church with unarmed occupants.

Community grieves - Hours after the shooting, residents of Sutherland Springs hugged one another, held candles and sang hymns in a candlelight vigil Sunday night. Gov. Abbott attended the event, in which faith leaders offered words of solace and prayers.   Sutherland Springs, is a small town east of San Antonio, is the kind of place where “ Everybody knows everybody,” said Gloria Rodriguez Ximenez, who attended the vigil and knew the First Baptist Church’s pastor and his family, including their daughter who died.

"This is a small, Christian town, a very small community," she said. “Everybody's united. Everybody is so close to everybody.” "I can feel the pain everybody's going through. There's so much hurt for a small town," Ximenez said.   Others echoed the feeling of shock and heartache. 

“My heart is broken," Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez, Jr. told CNN. "We never think where it can happen, and it does happen. It doesn't matter where you're at. In a small community, real quiet and everything, and look at this.

Another twitter from the Fake President in the 
White House who 
sucks up to protect the NRA on the Sutherland Springs shooting.

The Fake President should know,  he is a mental health issue!
Note:  This is the identical message from T-RUMP issued
on twitter about Parkland Florida

The Fake President is obviously trying to turn the 
tide and make this a mental health issue.

You might even say it comes from the horse shits mouth...

The .223 BULLET

The .223 round is a maiming round, on impact it tumbles and rips flesh as it was designed to do.  Even a poorly aimed hit can be dangerous and require the best in trauma room trained gunshot staff to treat.   The doctors at the hospitals that serviced the dying and wounded at San Bernardino, and the staff at Orlando Regional Medical Center will testify to that.

San Bernardino clearly shows what two terrorists can do, and the .223 or 5.56 round they used killed 14 and sent 21 to the ER.  It has at  has no business being on the streets except for the police and military.  It is not a home defense weapon, most likely you’ll do more harm than good as it can rip through drywall and into another room almost as lethal. 

Its major role like the AK47 and clones is people count and wounding.  In war a severely wounded soldier needs five stretcher corpsmen to get him to a MASH facility.  That takes six to eight out of action.  35 innocents with less than 65-75  rounds fired. Imagine what they could of done had the police not stopped them. They had 1400 rounds with them and 5000 rounds total in their garage.

And let the police have the tools they need Mr. President.  Don’t disarm the cops for political points, as was discussed after Ferguson, and let the bad guys get any more leverage.  And San Bernardino proved the need for those “Bearcats” and protected  “HUM VEES”.    

The two weapons, AR-15 that might have been modified were, retrieved from the deceased killers in San Bernardino were both (according to one source) illegally converted to full auto which basically is nothing more than a change of a few sear parts, or reworking the sear and against the laws by the ATF.  If so, they were purchased in 2007/8 and possibly converted…or read on.

They are keeping quiet about this, nothing confirmed but the straw purchase by the buyer make have implications.  Who sold them the sear parts or converted the parts.   A good practiced shooter can use the semi-auto mode with deadly results. Regardless it is a severe felony based on classification.  

Fully Automatic weapons require a class three license.  But this is yet to be confirmed buy the FBI and if so who did it,  was it a gunsmith, a hack job, and how much more was the buyer or the terrorists involved. They did not have a license.  Thats the real question or was  a bump device used.  Several are on the market.


LAS VEGAS - Now a company by the name of Slide Fire has a stock a ten year old can fit to an AR-15, and AK-47s, Ruger’s and others which automatically converts the weapon to firepower equalling maybe surpassing a  Full Auto Weapon.  Very impressive and totally legal so far.  If the shooter in the following paragraphs had access to it, it is possible he could have killed a lot more. Especially with the 100 round drum.  

Based on the NRA assumption these devices are for enthusiasts and hunters, I can surmise the deer won’t stand a fracking chance.  Be fair, arm the deer. And the gun enthusiast, the NRA and especially the Congressmen who have been bought off by the NRA with BRIBES need to put sanity into the equation.

Those in Congress who protect the NRA, because of the vote by their constituents should really attend the all of the 58 funerals from the Concert in Las Vegas.  You are not supporting the rights of the masses, you are supporting gun nuts and the NRA. The NRA is also pushing for open carry and the acceptance of silencers as legal devices.

“Bump fire stocks,” devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to be fired as if they are fully automatic, were allegedly used by the gunman who killed almost 60 people at a Las Vegas concert Sunday. The question now being asked is why such items, which are being scooped up by gun buyers fearing new regulations, are so easily purchased when an automatic firearm is so hard to get?

More than 500 people were injured in the attack on the Route 91 Harvest festival when Stephen Craig Paddock allegedly opened fire from a 32nd floor room in the Mandalay Bay Resort. Among several weapons found at the scene were the devices that allowed him to fire more rapidly, killing and injuring more concertgoers than would be possible with a semi-automatic rifle alone.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is tasked with deciding whether bump fire stocks are legal under existing federal statute. The classification depends on whether “they mechanically alter the function of the firearm to fire fully automatic,” said Jill A. Snyder, ATF special agent in charge, during a press conference on Tuesday evening. “Bump fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law.” 

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat, decried the use of bump fire stocks as a “loophole,” saying Tuesday that she would look into introducing legislation aimed at banning the devices. “The sale and manufacture of automatic weapons have been illegal since 1986. Automatic weapons produced before 1986 are highly regulated and tracked by the ATF,”  Feinstein said in a statement. “A ban on bump fire stocks was included in my 2013 assault weapons bill, and I’m looking at how best to proceed with legislation to finally close this loophole. This is the least we should do in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. It should be our highest priority.”


The original report did not disclose a body count, the crime scene was still active, then later approximately 49 people have died and 52 wounded in an attack on a LGBT gay nightclub called Pulse in Downtown Orlando.  A very popular place and it was themed Latin night, a common event quite popular with the LGBT community which is very well accepted in the Orlando area. The shooting started at the door  2:02 AM when 320 people were having a good time either at the bar, the tables or the dance floor.  It suddenly turned to horror when shots rang out , police say the suspect took hostages for three hours and died in a gunfight with SWAT officers after they breached the building with a Bearcat.   The Bearcat, the do-gooders don’t want the police to have. This one estimated saved thirty lives and was a giant leap of faith by the police chief to breach the wall.

The shooter was armed with an assault rifle, now confirmed and described as an SIG SAUER MCX a derivative greatly upgraded from the AR-15 and a Glock handgun, and had some “type of device” which was negligible, and the FBI says shooting is ‘act of terrorism’.  There are suggestions suspect had leanings towards radical Islam, FBI says more will be forthcoming.

Days later six are still critical the 5.56 (.223) round the AER-15 shoots is a military round and goes haywire after impact. It actually can and did take off legs causing the wounded literally to bleed to death. 

The man being investigated for the gun attack at the Orlando nightclub is 29-year-old Omar Mateen.  It is believed the US citizen was not on the terrorism watch list, though he was currently being investigated for a previous unrelated act the FBI deemed insignificant, no proof.  

It is also unclear why he was investigated by the FBI for hate crimes (verbal) and dropped in rating.  Now it turns out others came forward including an ex-wife about his demeanor.  He was equipped with an AR-15, and a Glock handgun purchased a two weeks prior and he passed the background test since he was a security guard and had a permit.


THE 79.95 TO 329.95 KILLER

A gunman acted alone when he shot and wounded a top House Republican and four other people on a northern Virginia baseball field, the FBI said Wednesday.  Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI's Washington field office, also said during a news conference that James T. Hodgkinson did not have any ties to terrorism.

Rep. Steve Scalise, 51, the House majority whip, was gravely wounded in the shooting June 14. He has undergone several surgeries and remains hospitalized. His condition has been upgraded to serious. He has since recovered and returned partially to work.  

Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats when the gunman started shooting. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed Hogdkinson, an unemployed home inspector with a deep animus toward President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville, Illinois, and had volunteered for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. For months before the shooting, he had been living out of his van in the Washington area, with more than 200 rounds of ammunition among the belongings he kept in a storage unit, Slater said.

Hodgkinson had a list of six members of Congress on him, Slater said, but there was no indication that he intended to target them. He declined to say whether the people on the list were Republicans or at the baseball practice. Hodgkinson had been in email contact with the two Democratic senators from Illinois, he said.

Both the rifle and handgun Hodgkinson was carrying were purchased legally through federal firearms licenses, the FBI said. The rifle was modified to accept a detachable magazine and the original stock was replaced with a folding stock.Solid conventional plastic stocks are also available. (see photos)  

Hodgkinson bought the guns in April, after Trump was elected, Slater said.The rifle used in the attack that left a congressman and four other people wounded on a baseball field is a Soviet-era relic that is widely available in the United States and was used in another mass shooting last year.

The gunman, James Hodgkinson, who was shot dead by law enforcement, is believed to have used an SKS 7.62-millimeter caliber rifle in the attack, a law enforcement source told CNN. 

The SKS is a semiautomatic rifle developed by the Soviet Union in 1945, according to the National Rifle Association gun museum, which has one in its collection.

It was the model used by Micah Xavier Johnson, who killed five police officers in Dallas last year before he was killed by a bomb squad robot.

The SKS was mass-produced by the Soviet Union, and later in China and various Soviet satellite countries, and many are readily available in the United States, still in working order. 

They can be purchased online for as little as $400.  In their heyday, they were sold at GunShows for as little as $79.95 from three different countries.

US soldiers went into combat against Chinese soldiers and Viet Cong guerrillas armed with SKS rifles in the Korean and Vietnam wars, according to the NRA.

The older SKS has a wooden stock and a non-detachable magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds of 7.62-millimeter caliber, the same caliber ammunition used in the AK-47s that eventually replaced the SKS.  

But they can also be easily retro outfitted with detachable magazines with larger ammunition capacities of 40 rounds made by American companies like ProMag.

Another significant difference: The AR-15 and AK-47 have pistol grips, while the SKS does not.   

This is a model customized by refinishing in industrial matte Chrome, conversion to clip magazines with up to forty rounds, improved sights by either scope or Day-Glo iron sights, and  a trigger job to remove slack in the pull and reduce it to under four pounds.  The poor mans killing machine passed off as a cheap deer rifle.