2 July 07
During a Course in WY last weekend, I had the opportunity to use a copy of Action Target’s new “ERPT” portable, steel target. “ERPT” stands for “Evil Roy’s Practice Target.” It seems “Evil Roy” is the pseudonym used by a well-known Cowboy Action shooter. Having no interest in Cowboy Action shooting, I never heard of him, but I saw this new target at the last Shot Show, and I immediately saw great potential.
An eight-inch disk sits on a collapsible tripod. The whole thing folds up flat for easy transport. It even features a carrying handle. One can deploy it anywhere. There is no necessity to drive stakes in the ground nor to assemble anything. It deploys, and folds back up, instantly!
The disk itself rings and jumps when hit. Very useful and inexpensive. Recommended!
Get hold of Chad Burdett at email@example.com
2 July 07
Rifles under heavy use:
At an Urban Rifle Course in WY last weekend we had, of course, a number of ARs, two Kalashnikovs, one SA/SOCOM (M14), one DSA/FAL, one Ruger Mini-14, and one Fulton Armory M1 Carbine.
Most of the ARs ran fine. However, one attached/coaxial flashlight fell off the first day. Not uncommon when rifles see heavy use.
One AR-user had his rifle equipped with an Aimpoint. Optic ran fine, but it was fitted with flip-up scope covers, front and back. Several times, he mounted his rifle only to see nothing, as the covers were down! Critical seconds were lost as he fumbled around trying to get them out of his life. Such scope-cover-engendered disasters are common. Scope covers all need to be unceremoniously thrown in the trash, before they get you killed!
The front sight on the SOCOM fractured and fell off within five-hundred rounds. The student defaulted to a DSA/FAL, which, as ever, ran fine for the duration.
Both Kalashnikovs were Eastern-European manufactured and ran fine, but both were equipped with stock, Soviet-style rear sights. Both students found the open sights difficult to use and extremely coarse, and, as a result, both had great difficulty passing our Proficiency Test. Soviet-style rifle sights are intended for youths with excellent eyes! Middle-aged shooters typically find them a good deal less satisfactory! On my Kalashnikovs, there have all been replaced with Western-style, peep sights.
The Fulton Armory M1 Carbine ran through the entire Course without a hiccup! Excellent weapon, but expensive. FA is not known for their discounts!
The Mini-14 ran poorly, experiencing all manner of feeding difficulties. Most were clearly magazine-related, as some magazines definitely worked better than others. All high-capacity magazines were after-market, and none worked well. Ruger needs to start making high-capacity magazines for this rifle and clean up this problem! The frustrated student eventually finished the Course with my DSA/AR, which, as always, ran fine.
Comment: Serious equipment must be selected with great care. With most after-market attachments and accessories, the “cure” is worse than the “disease!” When both equipment and shooter run hard and long, weaknesses eventually make themselves known. That’s why we do it!
4 July 07
A slug confidently slithers about, naively believing he has a “Divine Right” to exist and prosper, unmolested, and that this “right” will be respected by all the hungry, desperate, and wicked of the world, and that this callow illusion is all that is necessary to keep him from harm. Without warning, salt is casually poured upon him, and, even as he is irreversibly converted to little more than a dabble of foam, he stubbornly clings to this adolescent, delusional fantasy.
At the dawn of Year 232 of the American Republic, we need reminding that History does not deal kindly with perpetually helpless whiners. Only energetic nations who earnestly believe in their diachronic destiny will long endure and prosper. The chronically apologetic, rudderless, colorless, and indolent are, without fail, massacred and enslaved by cunning, knavish nations who seldom hesitate and never apologize!
“The political Left, in naive denial of history’s harsh realities, supposes we have only to roll over on our backs like puppies, dangling our paws engagingly in the air, to fend off attack.”
“I send you one thought, one sole idea that is written in red on every beach from Australia to Japan: There is no ‘substitute’ for victory!
“You ask, what is our policy? I say: To wage war… with all our might and with all the strength God will give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny… What is our aim? I answer with just one word: Victory!… absolute, final, immaculate… victory for which neither we nor our descendants will ever apologize!”
5 July 07
This heart-warming news from a friend in SA:
“Last week, an attendee at a birthday party in Kempton Park (Johannesburg) displayed extreme skill at arms, as well at the heart of a lion.
Two armed thugs broke into the home where the party was in session, pointing pistols at the homeowner and guests, threatening and demanding money. Over here, these kinds of armed robberies often deteriorate into massacres, multiple rapes, and torture episodes, and all there knew it!
One guest was carrying a concealed pistol. He reacted immediately; drawing, moving, and shooting. Both robbery suspects were struck in the head and neck. Neither got off a single shot! Both were DRT, unfired pistols still in their hands. I’m sure they died in amazement, wondering what had just happened!
Brand of pistol and ammunition used by the hero are not known”
Comment: In a crisis, we always balance (1) taking drastic action against (2) doing nothing. Great risk attaches to either course. This hero quickly sized up the situation, made a decision, then acted with profound boldness and precision. He probably saved his own life and the lives of all his friends, because he saw what had to be done and had the skill, confidence, and courage to do it without hesitation.
When, through competent instruction and adequate practice, you are highly skilled in arms and thus have an exceptional degree of confidence in your own ability, you are a formidable opponent indeed. These two, since deceased, thugs discovered that the hard way!
Good show, Bud!
5 July 07
On US passports, from a friend trying to get his:
“… if you don’t currently have a passport, start the paperwork now! I applied on 11 Apr 07, and I paid extra for the “expedited” process. I still don’t have it. The whole system is currently in global vapor-lock, and calling them is every bit as productive as calling the North Pole!”
Comment: Every American ought to have a passport! It is quite literally the only positive proof of citizenship. All other government-issued documents are trash! They prove nothing. They impress no one. Get a passport. Start the process now!
9 July 07
Here is an item you’ll never see on any American news medium: The Iraqi government has today publicly announced its suggestion that all Iraqi citizens arm themselves for their own protection. This, after we Americans, adhering to the British model, have spent the last four years doing our level best to disarm every one of them!
While Americans back home are being told incessantly by local, state, and federal governments that we are all too stupid to own guns and that personal protection is not a valid reason to arm oneself to begin with, because, of course, we’re not worth protecting, our Iraqi allies have, almost inadvertently, spoken the truth!
“We have met the enemy, and they are us!”
9 July 07
Among Operators, there has recently been a shift in thinking with regard to moving and shooting at the same time. Most now agree, in all situations save extremely close range, it is more effective to briefly halt and have a stable platform and sight picture when engaging your target than trying to move and shoot simultaneously.
Shooting while moving became all the rage some time ago, but, in my experience, those who claim to be able to do it cannot hit with any acceptable degree of accuracy, with rifle nor pistol, when asked to demonstrate it in front of impartial observers. In order to hit consistently, they must move so slowly, they may as well stand still!
Moving while shooting is arguable when the range is extremely close and indeed should be practiced as such. However, at all other times, I concur that one is best served by shooting from a stationary position and then moving briskly the rest of the time.
11 July 07
Latest from Robinson Arms:
Alex Robinson will be shipping his excellent XCR Rifle, now in 6.8mm caliber, this fall. The 7.62X39 and 308 Versions will be produced sometime in 2008. Alex is persuaded that the 6.8mm is a superior military cartridge, even if interest has (temporarily) gone cold at the Pentagon. Supply of 6.8mm ammunition, like all ammunition right now, is short, but several manufacturers are currently making it. The 6.8mm XCR takes a 25-rnd magazine. It is, in fact, just an AR-15 magazine with a different follower.
The 6.8mm is a genuine, 300-meter cartridge with excellent barrier penetration. By comparison, the current 5.56mm (223) is a 150-meter cartridge, with poor barrier penetration. Happily, Cor-Bon’s DPX round significantly improves the 223 in the penetration department, and that is my current first choice in that caliber, but effective range is still limited to 150M.
The folks at Jensen Arms, the largest and best gun retailer in Northern Colorado, tell me that the only 223 ammunition they can currently get in quantity is Serbian-manufactured, and the UN, with the enthusiastic participation of our cadre of liberal politicians, is doing its best to dry up even that supply. Quality is fair, at least for practice shooting. All this, while major, domestic manufacturers have all stopped taking orders indefinitely, even from police departments! What little 223 is available is high priced, but is being scooped up anyway. For the foreseeable future, we peons at the bottom of the food-chain will only get what slips through the cracks of huge, in-progress Pentagon orders.
Accordingly, all of us should currently be hoarding ammunition, 223 and 308 particularly, at every opportunity! No telling when the Iraq/Iran situation will wind down, and demand for small-arms ammunition will significantly exceed supply until then. An “adequate” personal cache may become critically important in the wake of the next “big event,” whenever it happens!
12 July 07
Bear story, from a friend in WY:
“While camping last week in WY, we returned from a fishing expedition only to find a black bear on our camper’s doorstep! We honked our horn and blinked the lights. The bear quickly got the hint and departed.
Shortly after retiring for the evening, our alarm went off. It was the bear again, this time trying to pry the door open. The siren didn’t impress him, so we yelled and banged pots together. Once again, he went away, but not for long! He was back two more times during that same night. The last time, he got up on the roof of the camper. I went outside with flashlight but no gun. What a mistake! Around back, the bear was trying to break out the camper’s rear winder. My wife was still asleep inside. I had to go back inside, grab my revolver (357Mg w/140gr Cor-Bon JHP), and then re-exit and confront the bear.
I decided this bear was becoming too dangerous. I fired one shot, broadside, striking him just behind front shoulder. The bear dropped off the camper and started flopping on the ground. I then fired four more shots. All hits. Bear was DRT.
We contacted the F&G folks by phone, and they sent out a Ranger the next morning. The Ranger had no problem with what I did, saying the animal was a “nuisance-bear” and would have had to be destroyed anyway.
I had no idea “nuisance-bears” like this one were so common and so aggressive and unafraid of humans. Next time, I’ll be better prepared!”
(1) When in bear-country, don’t walk around unarmed! Guns in drawers in campers will be of no use when you find yourself in an unexpected confrontation (is there another kind?) with an aggressive bear.
(2) Bears are unlikely to be impressed with “people-guns,” like 9mm, 40S&W, even 45ACP/GAP. When in bear-country, one should be armed with a 41Mg, or larger, revolver and a slug-shooting shotgun or autoloading, military rifle in 308, like a DSA/FAL.
(3) As recent events have, once again, clearly illustrated, no unarmed human, no matter how big or well trained, is any match for a bear, even a small one. When unarmed, most any bear will make short work of you, and you have no chance of outrunning him!
(4) Be unprepared at your peril. This is Bear-Country, not Disneyland!
12 July 07
Of small arms and small-arms ammunition, from a friend in the Philippines:
“UN policies, which all member nations are supposed to enforce, prohibit exportation of arms and ammunition to countries with ‘human-rights violations.’ As with most things at the UN, the exact definition of ‘human-rights violations’ doesn’t seem to exist! In fact, a list of nations without such violations doesn’t seem to exist either!
For us here in the Philippines, pistols, shotguns, and military rifles, as well as ammunition in nearly any caliber, are increasingly difficult to import. Many importers routinely wait a year or more to get shipments in. Our domestic arms industry is microscopic and altogether inadequate to equip even our own military.
Any nation seriously thinking about its own preparedness must develop and nurture a vigorous and healthy domestic defense industry. Nations unable to arm themselves internally will become hopelessly dependant upon other, not so friendly, nations when they need to equip their own soldiers and police.
Interesting, while the arms and ammunition industry is the USA is increasingly under brutal attack via impossibly burdensome regulations imposed by petty government employees at all levels, the arms industry in China, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is thriving! They may want for many things, but rifles, pistols, shotguns, and ammunition are in ample supply!”
Comment: Yes, and when the USA’s arms and ammunition manufacturing capacity is destroyed completely, an often-stated goal of both our liberal politicians and the UN, this nation will be utterly dependant upon the tender mercy of Russians and Chinese, for the means we will desperately need to defend ourselves.
“We have met the enemy, and they are RIGHT!”
12 July 07
More on bears, from a friend in AK:
“You’re right about not going into bear-country without a suitable weapon, or two. When attacked by bears, nothing less will do!
With bears that have had previous exposure to people, yelling is generally ineffective. However, Black Bears respond well to ‘negative-conditioning’ via rubber slugs from a shotgun. Once they make the connection between that painful sting and humans, they typically stay away from people from then on. Some are incorrigible, however, and need to be destroyed. With these perpetual ‘nuisance-bears,’ there is no other viable alternative.
Conversely, Browns and Grizzlies typically do not respond well to negative-conditioning. When struck by a rubber slug, they may run away, but just as often they will become extremely aggressive with the perceived source of pain. They are accustomed to being ‘King-of-the-Forest,’ and are thus not easily intimidated.
Hunting bear and shooting a attacking bear are two entirely different circumstances. Some bear-hunters even come up here with the intent to hunt with pistols, so long as they have someone with a rifle backing them up. However, when an aggressive bear is menacing or even in the process of an attack, you must have the right equipment and the right strategy if you plan on living through it.
I recommend heavy rifles. Leave your 7mms and thirty-calibers at home! Good bear medicine is 458WM, 45-70, 375H&H, et al. Just as with Cape Buffalo hunting, I recommend solids, rather than hollow-points. Bears up here have thick, tough skin, and the rest is dense muscle and heavy gristle. Only solids will guarantee adequate penetration.
A three-legged deer will run like the wind. Conversely, a three-legged bear will go nowhere and will be unable to run you down. Thus, when shooting bear, you need to break bones, specifically the heavy, structural bones that are necessary for the bear to stand and to run. Best place to hit a bear is the point of the shoulder. Smash his shoulder, and he is anchored! Then, you can finish him at your leisure.”
Comment: In 2008, I’ll be bear hunting in AK with my friend and, with any luck, get a chance to test these theories!
16 July 07
Another reason to dislike “compensated” pistols:
At a Pistol Course in WY last weekend, a young student brought a “compensated” SA/XD in 40S&W. Multiple holes are drilled in the barrel, and matching slots are in the slide. My friend and esteemed colleague, Henk Iverson, has banned all compensated pistols, as several students in his courses have been injured via gas cuts when firing such guns in a close/contact position. I am going to follow his lead!
This XD’s barrel vents bled off so much gas, the pistol consistently short-cycled. So egregious was the problem, that this student was forced to abandon it and switch to a G23, which, of course, ran fine for the duration.
We see many XDs in classes, and, in all fairness, most run fine. However, “compensating” holes and cuts in barrels and slides are bad news with any serious pistol, as we re-discovered last weekend. Highly NOT recommended, and, from now on, not permitted in our Courses!
20 July 07
G37/45GAP shooting in NY:
State Police in NY, as well as PA, GA, and soon SC have all converted to 45GAP as their service caliber. Most carry G37s. NY was the first, and their transition is now complete.
With most OIS incidents, several officers are involved, shooting several different guns. In these cases, the individual effectiveness of any particular round of ammunition is difficult to determine, as multiple wounds are usually inflicted. However, now and then a suspect is struck with a single bullet, fired by only one officer. We may then be able to say something about the potency of that particular brand/caliber.
In an extremely rural part of upstate NY last month, a single NY State Trooper responded to a domestic disturbance. She was armed with a G37, loaded with Speer 200gr Gold Dot. A man came out of the house in question with a shotgun (birdshot) and fired at the trooper, wounding her in the shoulder. She fell backwards into a flower bed.
The suspect then want back into the house but reemerged seconds later, again armed with a shotgun. By this time, the trooper, still on her back in the flower bed, had drawn her pistol. She fired a single round at the suspect, one-handed, striking him mid-chest. Range was six meters. The bullet, fully expanded, was later recovered from the suspect’s shirt on the back side. It had passed through-and-through and just barely exited.
Suspect dropped his shotgun and fell in place, DRT.
Our trooper is expected to recover fully from her shoulder wound.
Nominal velocity of the 45GAP/200gr Speer GD from the G37 is 1,020 f/s. Same round in 45ACP is 1,080 f/s. So, the two are essentially ballistically identical.
Comment: This is, of course, only one case, but the 45GAP is catching on, and incidents like the foregoing only serve to persuade police administrators that this new round is an authoritative fight-stopper. As it is involved in additional shootings, we’ll know more, but it is surely off to an auspicious start!
21 July 07
Shooting in NM, from an LEO friend there:
“Last week, a local armed-robbery suspect fled the scene via a car first, then on foot. Our officers gave chase. After negotiating several fences and walls, the lead officer and the suspect found themselves running along a shallow ditch. Before long, our officer overtook the suspect.
Our officer attempted to holster his pistol and go hands-on. The suspect took advantage and attempted to grab the officer’s pistol (SA 1911, 45ACP, loaded with Cor-Bon 230gr HP). Our officer responded by retracting his pistol. Then, from a close-engagement position, shooting with his strong hand only, he fired two rounds into the suspect’s mid-section.
Upon being hit, the suspect displayed scant reaction, and the fight continued. However, our officer was able to get away from the suspect’s grasp. When the suspect attempted to re-engage, our officer, now firing from a conventional, Weaver, two-handed grip and stance, shot him five additional times in rapid succession. As our officer moved laterally and simultaneously reloaded, the suspect tottered and dropped in place, DRT.
Autopsy confirmed that all seven rounds fired by our officer struck the suspect in the mid-chest to lower abdomen. Five bullets were recovered, all fully expanded, from the suspect’s body. Two exited and were not recovered, but the appearance of exit wounds confirmed that they had fully expanded also. Internal damage to the suspect’s body was massive! There was no possibility of recovery.
Neither of our officers were injured.”
Comment: All of us need to be mentally prepared to confront VCAs who will find your pistol, in whatever caliber, only mildly amusing! Multiple, rapid impacts may be necessary to get his full attention. We cannot stop inflicting blows until his will to fight is destroyed. It may take longer and involve more shooting than many of us believe it possibly could!
21 July 07
Another Bear Story:
“My family and I just returned from a camping vacation in UT. We camped within a mile of
a recent fatal, bear/human incident. In the process, we were exposed to no end of bear-literature, posted USFS billboards, and contained within handout literature.
The most obtrusive and amusing part was the ‘What to do when attacked by bear(s)’ paragraph. It recommended fighting back against bears with anything available, so long as it is utterly ineffectual! There was, naturally, no mention of firearms.
Like all sane people, we ignored their ‘advice’ and appropriately armed ourselves.”
Comment: In all government literature, defending oneself with the only instrumentality that has any chance of success (guns), is “subject-non-grata.” Being continuously prepared for violent, personal attack by going armed is also a conspicuous “unmentionable.” The only exception is the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but that paragraph resides, it seems, only within the “repressed memories” of the vast majority of politicians and bureaucrats.
“They love us when we lose, but they hate us when we win!”
23 July 07
Operator, the antithesis of Grasseater.
Tomorrow morning, seventy million Americans will get into their cars and drive to work. Some, a minuscule fraction of one-percent, will never make it! They’ll die, or be injured, in wrecks. The rest of us, while saddened when these things happen in our high-speed world, still need to face to the front and get where we’re going!
Modern, Western Civilization is chock-full of dangerous things, like cars, airplanes, electricity, rat-poison, and guns. And, while an extremely small percentage of people, through carelessness, stupidity, or evil intent, will hurt themselves and others when misusing these things, the rest of us realize that, in order to take full advantage of what our Civilization has to offer, these things are going to be an unavoidable part of our daily lives. We fully realize that we need to be careful, but we are determined to live a full and rewarding life, and that such a life is inexorably going to bring us into contact with hazardous things and dangerous circumstances. Risk attaches to everything. Who dare, prevail!
Again, while we wish everyone would be careful and have only honorable intentions, we still insist of being able to get out, travel at high speeds, have electrical power at our fingertips, be free from rodent infestation, and be able to unilaterally, efficaciously defend ourselves, when necessary, from violent criminals. Yes, with all the unhappiness, pain, and evil in the world, THE REST OF US STILL NEED TO GET WHERE WE’RE GOING!
In a world without losers, there can’t be winners either. There is just enforced, dull, drab mediocrity, heavy-handedly imposed by powerful churches and nanny-state governments, the Sangria-La of Leftists! This is precisely what my ancestors, and yours, came to this Continent to escape!
Independent Operators, dashing and daring, are necessary to make any civilization grow and prosper. Instead, the current crop of political candidates cater exclusively to losers, grasseaters, and criminals. In fact, they propose viciously punishing everyone who doesn’t commit crimes, doesn’t do stupid things, conducts his affairs with integrity and honesty, and prospers boldly and courageously. Personally, I’d rather they’d just say “Thank You,” and leave it at that!
The Great Barrier Reef, stretches 1,800 miles from New Guinea to Australia. Tour guides regularly take visitors to view the Reef. On one tour, the guide was asked, “I notice the lagoon-side of the reef is pale and lifeless, while the ocean-side is vibrant and colorful. Why?”
The guide responded, “The coral on the lagoon-side dies early because the water is stagnant, offering no challenge for its survival. However, the coral on the ocean-side is constantly being tested by wind, waves, and storms. It has to fight for survival every day. As it is challenged and tested, it changes and adapts. It grows healthy, strong; reproducing, and thriving.”
It is the same with people. When we are challenged and tested, we come alive. Like coral pounded by the sea, we grow. Demands cause us to grow strong. Stress produces tough-mindedness and resiliency. Testing produces strength of character, faith, gratitude, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. We become Operators! Why would anyone ever want to be anything less?
Nanny-state governments, while assuring naive grasseaters that they have the power to legislate all uncertainties out of life, will simultaneously try to suffocate the rest of us, but they will ever fail, even as they’re failing now, despite their best efforts!
They’re afraid of us. We shouldn’t be surprised!
24 July 07
The term, “grasseater” first came, as near as I can tell, from an obscure science-fiction novel about a race of intelligent, cat-like creatures who disdainfully referred to all other, less-aggressive, beings on their planet by that title. However, a friend, who is a practicing vegetarian by medical necessity, suggested this:
“I delivered an impassioned speech many years ago. Afterward, a local farmer came up to me and said, ‘I loved your speech, son, but referring to us as ‘rednecks’ is not helpful. Many of us who farm get sun-burned necks, but that does not mean we are against you.’
Likewise, casually disaffecting warriors and future warriors is probably not helpful. The Second Amendment is a stand-alone issue, not a meat-eater/vegetarian issue, nor a Republican/Democrat issue, nor a tree-hugger/oil-driller issue, nor even a pro-war/anti-war issue. Our goal, I believe, is to persuade as many as possible to see the Second Amendment our way. We need as many converts as we can get!”
My friend is right! Of course, someone will be offended by anything we say. At the same time, we need to reach out to converts everywhere.
So, I will be using the term “grasseater” less and replace it with VBC (“Victim-by-Choice”), which is probably more descriptive anyway.
Yes, I am a “work in progress!”
25 July 07
Never inclined to leave well-enough alone, my ever-imaginative colleagues had submitted, in order to supplement “VBC” (Victim by Choice), the following, colorful suggestions:
“VBB” (Victim by Belief) Those whose faulty personal belief systems enable predators to effortlessly, continuously take advantage of them.
“VBS” (Victim by Stupidity) They never consider the consequences of (1) going to stupid places, (2) associating with stupid people, (3) doing stupid things
“PSV” (Premium Select Victim) They make such a lucrative, irresistible target, they fairly invite victimization.
“EOV” (Equal Opportunity Victim) “I’m not selective. Any predator will do!”
Finally, with regard to the term “Redneck,” it needs to be replaced with “Agro-American,” I’m sure we’ll all agree.
26 July 07
A Failure of Government:
In the wake of the savage, nauseating torture/murders of the Petit family in their upscale CT neighborhood last week by two career VCAs, both on parole at the time, both of whom had already been convicted of multiple home-invasions and other violent crimes and had been in and out of CT’s discredited, revolving-door criminal-justice system countless times, there are trends in the area that are curiously not being reported by the media. (1) Gun sales in CT and the entire area are way up! (2) Demand for installation of residential electronic security is also way up.
The state’s parole board, currently hiding under their desks, emerged only long enough to insist that they’re all perfect and absolutely incapable of error. The public apparently disagrees! It has been graphically, nauseatingly demonstrated, once more, that CT’s lumbering, fossilized parole system exists only to promote and protect itself and preserve cushy jobs for its custodians. Protecting the public is conspicuously at the bottom of its list of priorities.
CT citizens are waking up to confront the fact that the State really doesn’t care about them and that they really are “on their own.” Vicious, depraved VCAs are being released from confinement every day, and, to no one’s surprise, quickly, inevitably revert to type. Criminal-coddling politicians predictably throw up their hands and cynically claim there is nothing they can do, and still have the nerve to beg for your vote, and, of course, simultaneously insist on heavily-armed bodyguard staffs to protect themselves, at taxpayer expense.
VCAs have little fear from the “System,” a system with which they have developed a comfy, symbiotic relationship. VCAs do have well-founded fear of armed police, and they are scared witless of armed householders. In fact, armed citizens, not any part of state government, are the real deterrent to violent crime.
Dramatic presentations like “Law and Order,” and other media sewage, are designed to persuade the public that violent crimes are all committed by upscale doctors, lawyers, and successful business people. It’s a lie! Violent crimes, such as the one here, are committed by low-life, career VCAs with a seamless pattern of criminal behavior; violent crimes they commit and recommit, over and over, with the apparent blessing of the state. Autocratic politicians obviously consider them a important resource, as they keep the citizenry frightened. Frightened citizens, they are convinced, are easily manipulated and deceived. In fact, local PDs are already releasing helpful “suggestions” with regard what one should do during a home invasion, emphasizing, of course, that guns are not a recommended option… ad nauseum.
As an individual, the sooner you come to terms with the foregoing, the more likely it is that you’ll live through your next encounter with VCAs. As the Pedits discovered, “A bad neighborhood is coming to a place near you”
In the end, it will come down to you, personally, and no one will help you. Today is a bad time
to be unprepared!
27 July 07
I now have a copy of Aimpoint’s “Micro” optic. I saw it at the SHOT Show in January, but I am, once again, astonished at the small size and light weight. The whole thing weighs less than four ounces, and it is a mere two inches long and scarcely more than an inch in diameter. It is fast and crisp, and works fine at any eye relief. Of, course, my preference is to forward-mount it, in order to get it out of my face.
I currently have my copy mounted on a Remington 11-87, 20ga shotgun, and I’m going to zero it with Foster slugs at twenty-five meters the first chance I get. Considerably less bulky and lighter and an EOTech, I am puzzled why Aimpoint bothers with any other model!
As with EOTech, my personal policy is to never turn the optic off. That way, the dot is always there and ready to use. EOTech automatically turns itself off after several hours, in order to conserve battery life, but it is a moot point with the Aimpoint Micro, as, even when left on, the battery will supply adequate power to the unit continuously for between five and six years. You just don’t need to worry about it!
I’ll report back after I’ve had a chance to use the Micro, but I really like it so far. It is something that will critically enhance many serious rifles and shotguns.
27 July 07
Fiocchi 77gr 223!
Manufactured at their facility in Missouri, Fiocchi is now making 77gr 223 hardball. The only other manufacturer making it is Black Hills, and nearly all their production is currently going to the Pentagon.
This is the round that is slowly and quietly displacing the discredited 62gr “Penetrator,” which is still officially in the System.
Currently, Jensen’s in Longmont, CO has a good supply, but they probably won’t for long. Call them at 970 663 5994.
The only other 223 I’ve seen that is available in quantity for less that $0.50/round is Serbian-manufactured. Jensen’s has that also. Get it while it’s hot!
29 July 07
27-28 Oct 07, DTI is conducting a Vehicle Defense and Deployment Course in Rochester, IN. This unique event will be co-instructed by John Farnam, Henk Iverson, Jeff Chudwin, Chuck Soltys, Frank Sharpe, and Doc Gunn. We’re covering defensive aspects of vehicle operations, as well as medical and trauma issues involved when operating in, and around, vehicles.
Open to all who have a DTI pistol and rifle course, or equivalent. We will be deploying with both handguns and long guns. Ideal training for law enforcement officers and security contractors, and anyone else who may see a use for such training in our ever-changing world.
Contact Frank Sharpe, Jr., at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708 362 0786 for information and sign-up.
29 July 07
The French Foreign Legion at El Camerone, the Mini-Alamo, 30 Apr 1863
France in the 1830s was (as ever) anything but stable. The post-Bonaparte era brought with it social upheaval as well as political intrigue and treachery on a grand scale. Weak sovereigns came and went, incessantly dabbling in political and military adventurism. Riots were nearly a daily occurrence in Paris and other cities, and bands of disenfranchised soldiers and mercenaries, unemployed and bored, routinely engaged in robbery, extortion, and murder-for-hire.
In 1831, an exasperated Minister of War, Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, sarcastically suggested, “They want to fight? Let the shovel and bleed in North Africa!” With that casual muse, the French Foreign Legion was born!
Conceived as a semi-nationalized, semi-autonomous, mostly clandestine force that would do the dirtiest of jobs, but only outside French borders, the Legion quickly acquired a life and agenda of its own. Actively recruiting resident foreigners but also those fleeing estranged wives, estranged families, angry creditors, and police, the Legion offered a new life, a new name (Nomme de Guerre), and complete anonymity. It provided an attractive disappearing act for many who needed a new start, but also appealed to the usual “users, boozers, and losers.”
The only thing the Legion guaranteed was brutal discipline, right from the start, and hard-bitten, dirty, gritty, dangerous assignments in far-away, disease-ridden, bug-infested, forgotten places, and scarcely even a “thank-you” from an unappreciative nation who would prefer to forget they even existed! Not surprisingly, the Legion’s unauthorized, but familiar, slogan became, “Legio Patria Nostra,” (The Legion IS our Nationality!)
Hollywood has traditionally dramatized only the Legion’s exploits in North Africa, specifically Algeria, and they were surely there as well as the Crimea and other places in Europe. But, their most famous battle, the one that is revered above all others, even today, yet is largely unknown outside the Legion itself, took place in, of all places, Mexico!
The Legion’s very existence was such an embarrassment to (first he called himself “President,” although he was never elected, subsequently brushing aside all remaining pretenses, he conferred the title, “Emperor” upon himself) Louis Napoleon, worthless nephew of Bonaparte, that he looked for an opportunity to get them all as far away from France as he could. His chance came in 1861 when he found it necessary to send an expeditionary force to Mexico in order to collect overdue debts and, of course, extend his influence into the Western Hemisphere. The Lincoln Administration in the United States, openly unhappy with this French incursion, still could do little more than politely protest, as the War Between the States currently occupied all its attention.
Landing at Vera Cruz (“True Cross,” so named by Cortez three-hundred years earlier), the expedition’s plan was to march directly to Mexico City and unceremoniously oust tottering President Benito Juarez. However, it got inland only as far as the town of Puebla, where it was stopped and turned back, complements of the floundering Juarez Administration and a host of hastily-recruited, local irregulars. A convoy was eventually organized for the purpose of bringing cannon from Vera Cruz to Puebla to pound the resistance and restore the expedition’s offensive. Word of the convoy and its importance soon reached Mexican forces, and the Mexican high command immediately dispatched a calvary unit, under Colonel Francisco Milan, to intercept it.
French Legionaries, who had been tasked with protecting the supply route from Vera Cruz to Puebla, learned of the Mexicans’ planned interception of the convoy, but had scant additional intelligence. Moreover, tropical diseases had taken their toll on French soldiers, including Legionaries. With half of a company, Captain Jean Danjou fearlessly set out to intercept the interceptors, or find the convoy, whichever came first! His force numbered only sixty-two.
Milan’s calvary numbered over one thousand, and Danjou’s small force of Legionaries soon found themselves surrounded at an abandoned, isolated hacienda, called El Camerone. There, like the defenders of Rorke’s Drift just a few years later in South Africa, like the defenders of the Alamo in Texas just a few years before, despite tormenting thirst and dwindling ammunition, they held out for a day, in the process inflicting hideous casualties upon the Mexicans.
Danjou and his Legionnaires knew they couldn’t hold out long, and they knew, as at the Alamo, there was no escape, but they also knew that so long as they commanded Milan’s total attention, the convoy would be safe. When asked by Milan for an honorable surrender, Danjou politely and graciously declined. Danjou was killed shortly thereafter, but his successors, in turn, declined surrender also. Milan was heard to say, “These are demons, not men!” in much the same way the German commander at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France during WWI would refer to American Marines as, “Devil Dogs.” In retrospect, Milan should have simply abandoned the siege of Camerone and attended to his original objective, but he became so entangled in a do-or-die struggle with these exceptional fighters, he just couldn’t leave it unfinished.
When only six Legionaries remained, all out of ammunition, all six conducted a daring, coordinated bayonet charge into a solid wall of Mexican infantry. When only the last three Legionaries remained upright, all wounded, but still defiantly waving bayonets in the enemy’s face, a Mexican officer asked for the last time, “Gentleman, will you surrender now?”
The three tentatively agreed, but insisted on keeping their weapons, and their flag, and that their captors provide medical care for wounded comrades. The Mexican officer was said to have replied, “For soldiers such as these, no request is unreasonable.” Sixteen Legionaries, all wounded, ultimately lived through the Siege at Camerone and all were repatriated shortly thereafter. Milan was good to his word.
The convoy made it to Puebla, and resistance there was quickly broken up. The French Expeditionary Force proceeded on to Mexico City, brushed aside all remaining resistance, and installed a puppet governor, Maximilian.
But, the tide quickly turned. The American Civil War ended, and the United States, now under the Johnson Administration, threatened to intervene militarily unless all French forces withdrew from Mexico. Louis took the threat seriously and pulled his forces out. In 1867, an abandoned Maximilian fled Mexico City, but was quickly captured and summarily executed. European military adventurism in Mexico thus came to an end.
During fighting in Algeria in 1853, then Second Lieutenant Danjou was wounded in his left hand. The wound was so destructive, the hand had to be amputated. Months later, his left arm was fitted with a sophisticated, articulated, wooden prosthesis, which he wore the rest of his life including at the Battle of El Camerone.
Years after the Battle, a local farmer inadvertently unearthed Capt Danjou’s wooden hand. The rest of his remains were never found. The wooden hand eventually made its way back into French custody and is today the only relic from the Camerone Battlefield known to exist. The French Foreign Legion displays it proudly, and every new recruit sees it and learns of the heroic holdout at Camerone and the standard to which he is expected to aspire..
A small memorial was erected at the site. The inscriptions reads:
“They were here fewer than sixty, opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life, rather than honor, gave up these French soldiers at El Camerone on 30 April 1863. In memory of them, the Fatherland has erected this monument.”
Somewhere nearby, Danjou’s remains, and those of most of his command, lie forever in unmarked graves.
30 Apr 1863 is religiously celebrated, to this day, by Legionaries, no matter where they are. As an tragicomic example, the Legion performed exceptional acts of valor in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu’s drop zones (already overrun by the Viet Minh) in search of Vin-O-Gel (a French synthetic, dehydrated wine), so the April holiday could be celebrated properly. The fortress fell a week later.
Comment: “In this business, you find the enemy, then go after and destroy him. Everything else is rubbish!”
Eddie Rickenbacker, WWI Flying Ace
“Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow, and of the man who leads, that gains victory.”
George Patton Jr