4 May 10
Additional on batteries, from friends at Aimpoint:
“AA Lithium batteries, at low temperatures, render performance superior to all others.
I recommend to all military units deploying to cold climates, to include those operating at altitude in Afghanistan, to purchase USA-manufactured AA Lithiums. Our Aimpoint CompM4 and CompM4S will operate for ten years on a AA Lithium, eight years on a AA Alkaline.”
Comment: The battery issue is where Aimpoint really shines!
4 May 10
At a Pistol Course in UT last weekend, a student, during our low-light session, got out his Weapon-light and used it handheld until he had the opportunity to fit it to his G19’s rails. He then continued to shoot and move, with the light attached to the front of his pistol.
His plan worked fine, until he ran out of ammunition and was compelled to transition to his back-up pistol. Upon the fifth frustratingly unsuccessful try at reholstering, he finally, fitfully realized that his pistol will not fit back into his holster with the light attached!
He ultimately jettisoned his empty G19, with light still attached, drew his back-up, and resumed the drill, but much valuable time was squandered in the process.
This issue can, of course, be addressed in any number of ways, but the lesson here is that, when we develop a tactical plan, we have to (1) think it through, and (2) test it during rigorous training. With critical analysis, some flaws will reveal themselves. But, not all are foreseeable.
Everything still must be honestly, thoroughly tested, as we see!
4 May 10
The Forgotten Massacre, Island of Unguja, Zanzibar, East African Coast, 12-20 Jan 1964
Arabs, pushing south into the African Continent as early as the mid-1600s, and wrenching control of much of it from the Portuguese, established a lucrative spice trade on a string of islands off the coast of present-day Tanzania.
“Zangi-bar,” loosely translates to “Place of Blacks” Zanzibar was (and is) also known as the “Spice Islands.”
However, the real reason for Arab presence that far south was the even more lucrative slave trade. In fact, black slaves who found themselves in the United States were in relative paradise compared with the unfortunate majority who were “guests” of Arabs!
In a series of jerky steps, British took control of Zanzibar and administered it as a colony until granting it independence in 1963. Owing to its official anti-slave policy, the British slowly brought an end to at least overt slave-trave, but they still administered the islands through a cadre of despotic Arab, Asian, and Indian overlords (Sultans) and a minority, Arab population.
Heavily influenced by Communists, a covert insurrection quickly emerged the moment British troops pulled out.
Some saw it coming and got out, but most did not: Early on the morning of 12 January 1964 a local Communist revolutionary, John Okello, put together a gang of 500 on the main island of Unguja. They immediately set about raiding local police stations and acquiring small arms, mostly British. Some other weapons were surreptitiously supplied by East European Communists. Local police were straightaway overwhelmed, offering scant resistance. Most fled.
Then, systematic reprisals started! Indigenous Arabs, along with their entire families, were murdered on the spot, and in their homes and offices. Many others, including children and infants, were rounded up and marched to killing grounds where they were pitilessly shot, hacked, and bayoneted to death. Bodies were gathered up and dumped into hastily-dug pits. Many others were left where they were murdered.
American, British, and a handful of other foreign nationals were spared, but no Arabs were, regardless of their status.
Long lines of them, weeping and whaling, and guarded by revolutionaries armed with rifles, can be seen in videos shot by an Italian news crew from a helicopter, one of the few pieces of evidence of the massacre that exists today.
Since such organized massacres are a Communist speciality, few doubt their involvement.
Numbers are disputed, but the death toll probably topped 10,000.
Despite knowing full well what was going on, neither British, nor Americans, nor Italians interfered.
By 20 January 1964, the slaughter was mostly over, and a new government reluctantly came forth.
The region has been unstable, punctuated with organized violence, ever since.
Lesson: Anyone, any ethnic or economic group, any time, in any nation, can find themselves on the wrong side of the political fence. Politicians in general (not just Communists) make a speciality of fostering hatred and resentment among groups, for their own selfish political purposes.
Arab, Asian, and Indian residents of Zanzibar had been repeatedly assured by departing British that (1) hastily recruited (and virtually untrained) local police would protect them. Of course, the British cynically added (as they always do) that (2) individually-owned guns were unnecessary and contrary to good citizenship. British also assured all that (3) they would quickly come back in the event of widespread, criminal violence.
They lied, all three times!
Only (soon to be slaughtered) fools believed that then. Only fools believe it today!
When societal controls over criminal violence fail, as they failed these people (and countless others, in countless similar episodes), reverting to private use of force may represent the only way to survive, and you may not survive anyway. Still, for one, they’re not getting me without a fight.
Who are armed and trained may die fighting, but we are never massacred!
5 May 10
Mess on our southern border, and growing worse, from friends there:
“Here in El Paso, TX there is much violent, criminal activity, involving illegal aliens, every day and night. Across the ‘border,’ in Juarez, it is utter anarchy!
Even so, illegals are not bothered by our Border Patrol once they get a few hundred meters inside the USA. And, when local police encounter them, as a matter of agency policy, BP officers will not come to their aid. All police here know they’ll likely be thrown into federal prison for so much as inconveniencing, much less shooting, an illegal alien!
Our ‘non-border’ policy had the blessing of the GWB Administration, and currently BHO has all but publically announced that he stands four-square with illegal aliens and other criminals, and solidly against all bona-fide, tax-paying Americans who might have to audacity not to vote for him.
Down here, we know only too well that we’re on our own. Our federal government has no intention of protecting us, nor our border. To them, we are just expendable cannon fodder, something to be casually sacrificed in order to keep them in power, forever.
As a side note: after a yet another inconclusive gunfight yesterday in AZ, between a local deputy and heavily-armed drug-smugglers, I was assured that ARs use ‘clips,’ while Glocks use ‘magazines.’ Amazing what you can learn by listening to the media!”
Comment: The contempt in the voice of my friends and colleagues is real and genuinely understandable. And, it has been well earned, but both the current and last administrations.
Nothing will improve any time soon. We all, not just LEOs, have to be alert, aware, and ready!
6 May 10
Glock customer service, from a student:
“My well-used, 22-year-old G17, that I sent back to Glock for repair, was returned to me yesterday. Turn-around was five weeks. There had been minor crack in the polymer grip, but it still ran fine.
Instead of a quick-fix, I received a complete, new Gen3 receiver/frame, including trigger group, and a new serial number.
It gets better!
While they did returned the same slide, everything on, and in, it was replaced, including the front and rear sights, guide rod & springs, extractor, firing pin, etc.
And, all of this was without any charge!
Can’t beat that kind of service.
Glock has friends here!”
Comment: The foregoing is the clear path to success for any gun company, and is the standard to which all manufacturers should aspire.
This is the way you make customers, not just “sales.”
6 May 10
NYC Car Bomb:
As our NYC mayor just about broke his own arm patting himself on the back, I didn’t notice the term “dumb luck” pass his lips even once!
And, the “amateurish device” he so piously demeaned was just about identical to the one that was apparently sophisticated enough to blow up the Murrah Building in OKC in 1995. Funny, but I don’t recall His Honor disdainfully criticizing that one!
It is obvious that our radical Islamic enemies have established the precipitation of yet another major event in NYC as their new goal. They may have deployed the wrong team for the job this time, but there is little doubt that they will be relentless in their attempts, aided, of course, by our “open-border” policy, which the BHO Administration adamantly refuses to even address.
NYPD, the FBI, and other agencies have again earned our respect and thanks, but few dispute that this time we, once more, dodged the bullet… through no fault of our own!
7 May 10
The problem is not confined to Greece!
A friend in CA just received this automatic e-mail from the CA Office of Traffic Safety:
“Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 8:55 AM
Subject: Out of Office
I am currently out of the office 05/06/10 until Tuesday 05/11/10.
Please note the Office of Traffic Safety is closed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Friday each month to alleviate the state’s present budget crisis in accordance with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s July 1, 2009 Executive Order.
Your communication is very important, and I will respond to your e-mails upon my return.”
Comment: The fat lady is nearing the end of her song in CA!
The situation there will not “stabilize.” It will continue to wax progressively worse. We’re never going “… back to the way it was.”
Who is going to bail them out? Who will save them from the logical consequences of their blind, narcissistic vanity?
Who will save the rest of us?
7 May 10
NYC comments, from a friend in the System:
“Elected officials who arrogantly sneer at the apparent oafishness of international terrorists are doing us all a certain and troubling disservice!
It is likely that the recent failed Times Square car-bomb was not even a solid attempt, but rather just a probe, designed to gauge our alertness and response model, and also delude the naive into believing that our terrorists enemies are bumbling doofuses.
These same people, on almost a daily basis, construct and detonate deadly-efficacious car-bombs in other parts of the world. “Importation” seems currently the only impediment here, and it is probably only temporary!
Now is not the time for overconfidence/condescension, nor is it the time to relax and congratulate ourselves!”
“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem, but whether it is the same problem you had last year!”
John Foster Dulles
7 May 10
Separation of Church and State?
The Mayor of Chicago has just sent a pointed letter to mayors of surrounding suburbs, encouraging them to pressure local clergy into delivering strong, anti-gun messages from their pulpits on Mother’s Day Sunday, 9 May 10. He wants them as an involuntary extension of his reelection campaign!
Curiously, Democrats are strong proponents for the “separation of church and state,” except, apparently, when merging the two benefits them.
Suddenly, their (oh, so pious) “morality” reverses!
Hypocrites like this are unfit to hold public office, and surely wouldn’t, were they not able to purchase elections with taxpayer dollars.
Once again, we promote the incompetent; baptize the unrepentant; elect the unemployable.
Only in America!
8 May 10
Sage comments, from a colleague in the Midwest:
“Yesterday, it was my privilege to be Master of Ceremonies at the annual presentation of the Medal of Valor at our state’s Military Hall of Fame. This group has been recognizing combat veterans since 2000, and always holds their annual induction ceremony on the east steps of our State Capitol.
Unbeknownst to me, and just about everyone else, simultaneously on the south side of the capitol grounds, out of our view, was a Civil War re-enactor group, and they were discharging a black-powder cannon every half hour, as a part of their (unrelated) Program.
As I was attending to last-minute details at the podium, the cannon precipitously resounded, with a deafening, window-rattling boom!
The entire audience instantly fell silent. Voices were hushed, and hearts beat fast! I heard one or two whisper, ‘Was that a bomb?’ It wasn’t until a couple of seconds later that one of the Board Members smiled at me and pointed to my right side. I then realized that I’d automatically turned toward the sound, retracted my left hand, swept my suit-coat back with my right, and had a solid master-grip on my G23!
I looked around and saw no one else in a similar posture. We all then casually resumed our routines, as if nothing had happened!
It struck me all at once:
Most Americans will never seek out competent training, never carry a pistol concealed, never even own a pistol, nor any other kind of gun. And, when ‘The Test’ comes, they’ll be utterly unprepared, having never even thought about it.
They’ll all perish, of course, and the last emotions to go through their minds will be amazement and indignation! ‘This is so unfair,’ will be the final, naive thought to pass through their brains. Even in death, most will never take personal responsibility for their own destiny, never admit to themselves that they have been willingly duped and deceived by the false philosophy of ‘learned helplessness.’
Boldly, audaciously, and automatically facing a threat, and preparing to fight, may never be the leftist, ‘politically correct’ response, but it is always the right one!
Of course, who no longer even knows right from wrong, courage from cowardice, will never translate the foregoing, nor will any of it ever make much sense to him.
Not, at least, during this life!”
Comment: In view of world history, naively believing that you will never have to fight to protect your own life, and the lives of others you care about, is self-deception in just about its purest form!
And, in view of current world history, few of us will have to wait much longer to test that theory!
“Personal weapons (along with the skill to operate them proficiently, and the judgement and decisiveness to employ them at the critical moment) are a source of comfort when you’re not fighting, but essential when you are!”
8 May 10
We must be completely mad!
A British general, apparently with a straight face, has proposed a new “combat” medal for NATO troops:
The “Courageous Restraint” award! It is to be given to troops who “avoid deadly force at risk to themselves.”
This absurd notion, instead of being summarily laughed out of the Pentagon, as it should be, is receiving “serious consideration.” At least that is the story promulgated for public consumption.
This is parallel to the domestic police officer, who, instead of gunning down the machete-wielding serial-murderer who is attacking him, instead “wrestles the weapon from the hands of the suspect.” The media, of course, has wet dreams over stories like this, and makes the officer sound like a hero. In fact, that officer needs to fired immediately, for cowardice and extremely poor judgement that endangered his life and the lives of others.
Unfortunately, many chiefs of police foolishly allow themselves to be sucked into the media circus, and end up praising, instead of firing, the officer. The real crime here is that it sets up the next officer who finds himself in a similar situation, to be murdered!
Like the expectation that police officers “shoot the gun out of his hand,” instead of shooting the felon himself, these missteps by chiefs and others do us all a monstrous disservice!
Such unrealistic expectations endanger everyone. Careless second-guessing is already out of control!
What is being proposed should be called the “suicide medal!”
“The worm that destroys is the temptation to continuously seek approval from your critics.”
This “worm” is destroying our nation, and our civilization!
11 May 10
Maybe there is a place for stockless-rifles after all, at least for strictly political reasons.
This from a friend on the East Coast:
“In my state, once a loaded gun (pistol or rifle) is within the cab-portion of your car, our State Police interprets it as ‘… being carried concealed.’ And, there is definitely no provision in our state statutes for ‘rifles’ to be thus ‘carried concealed,’ even by CCW permit holders.
However, a ‘stockless-rifle’ (which is considered a ‘pistol’ by state and federal statute) is allowed, under my state-issued concealed-carry permit!
Thus, as a CCW permit holder, I am legally permitted, even as a matter of routine, to keep my stockless-rifle concealed within my car. And, I may legally have it fully-loaded and thus ready for instant deployment, just as is the case with any other pistol. Whereas, a ‘rifle’ under the same circumstances, concealed or not, would be extremely illegal!
I can also legally carry my stockless-rifle, loaded and concealed within a briefcase, while walking, to and from anywhere, any time.
Conversely, ‘rifles’ may be transported only within a locked trunk, unloaded, with ammunition separate, and only when I am transporting them to, or from, a hunting trip, shooting event, retail dealer, gunsmith’s shop, et al. I’m not allowed to habitually ‘… just keep one in my car.’
Little of the foregoing has, thus far, ended up in court, because most people, including most police, are unaware of it. And, I’m confident the moment some of our state politicians get wind of it, they’ll, in a state of panic, move to make it all illegal.
But, at least for now, ‘stockless-rifles’ have a place in my life, albeit artificially manufactured by nescient politics!”
Comment: Most of the foregoing was news to me when I first heard it. Those of us living in western states are naive with regard to everyday harassment, which passes as “law enforcement,” endured by those living in NY, NJ, RI, CT, DL, MD, IL, WI, and CA.
Thus, my habitual disparagement of “stockless-rifles,” which has been for strictly practical reasons, may be unfair and inaccurate, as it seems politicians have inadvertently manufactured a pragmatic reason to possess these weapons, at least in some jurisdictions.
Conversely, my habitual disparagement of political gas-bags, is, as always, richly deserved!
11 May 10
I saw a copy of the new PTR-32 (7.62X39) at the Shot Show earlier this year in Las Vegas. It outwardly resembles the PTR-91(308), but it is proportionally smaller and lighter. Plain-vanilla version starts at $1,300.00, and change. Fancy ones run higher.
In the interim, we’re had several in Courses, and some have experienced magazine problems. They’re designed to run on standard, AK magazines.
“Standard” is the problem!
The most common, and least expensive, AK magazines are steel, and, while most are reasonably well-made, dimensions can vary as much as 20/1000 of an inch, depending on where in the world they were manufactured!
PTR decided to standardize on Bulgarian-made plastic (steel lined) magazines, as they are dimensionally consistent, reasonably priced, and widely available. They can be had, in any quantity, directly from PTR.
Even all-steel magazines can usually be made to work, with a little tweaking, but, for my copy, I’m sticking with what the factory recommends.
The PTR-32 will digest all kinds of ammunition, including steel-cased. But, it does best with hot stuff. Some wimpy lots have lead to occasional short-cycles.
I will have my copy shortly, and, with all the Urban Rifle Programs we have scheduled this year, it will get a workout!
13 May 10
The most common accessory-mounting system for serious rifles is currently the “Picatinny Rail,” which has, by now, all but superceded the similar “Weaver Rail.”
After the 2004 SHOT Show, I “railed against rails,” seeing so many rifles with maladroit accessories heaped upon them to the point that it was difficult to actually see the rifle itself under all that junk!
In the interim, I’ve been compelled to admit I was wrong. Like anything else, rails can be misused, as noted above, but, for modern, serious rifles, they have turned out to be a great boon to mankind!
Top, side, and bottom Picatinny forend-rails provide a genuinely secure platform for mounting optics, weaponlights, and lasers, the three most applicative accessories for serious rifles. Heretofore, many accessories were glued, screwed, and pinned to guns. None of these attachment methods were sufficiently durable for serious weapons. Conversely, Picatinny rails are not only durable, but they are also positively “repeatable,” so that optics can go on, be subsequently sighted in, then come off and go back on, all with no necessity for re-zeroing.
However, one pesky downside lingers on:
Forend rails on the side and bottom will scuff hands, particularly in cold weather. They also snag on fabric.
One solution has been rubber “rail-covers,” but, until recently, they have been excessively bulky and difficult to adjust with regard to length.
Now, Surefire is marketing its skeletonized “Z70″ rail covers. They look like a rubber ladder, and fit onto Picatinny rails, filling in the slots, but adding no bulk! They come in five-and-a-half-inch lengths, but can be easily cut to fit any unoccupied portion of rail.
However, heat is still an issue, although railed forends are typically shielded. So, for maximum cooling, it is best to leave as much rail exposed and uncovered as possible.
The result is a good, non-snag gripping surface that doesn’t scuff hands.
I have them on all my railed rifles.
13 May 10
H&K Customer Service. From a friend with LASO.
“I’ve carried an H&K/USP/45 on duty for the last ten years. We train here extensively, and in that time I’ve put somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 rounds through it.
It has always run fine, until last week.
My copy has H&K’s ‘three-position’ safety/decocking lever. Per your recommendation, I carry the pistol decocked and use the lever only for manual decocking. During a range exercise, I noticed that my pistol had suddenly converted itself to DAO (self-decocking)! It still ran fine, but the hammer would not stay cocked after the slide reciprocated, so every shot was now via the trigger-cocking mode. Although it still appeared to be perfectly functional, I substituted a Glock in the interim, and called H&K.
The nice H&K folks instructed me to return the pistol to them, via FedEx, overnight. Forty-eight hours later, they returned it back to me, also via FedEx overnight. They covered shipping expenses, both ways.
In the short time they had my pistol, it was completely rebuilt! They replaced nearly all internal parts. There was no charge!
My pistol is now good as new, actually, better than new! And, I had it back from the factory within the week.
I call that ‘Customer Service!’”
Comment: When manufacturers take good care of their customers, I am happy to report it. When they don’t, I’m not happy about it, but I report that too.
I believe good customer service is actually more important than product quality.
As my father once told me, “‘Trends’ are as fickle as the weather, son. We’re not trying to make sales. We’re trying to make customers. Loyal customers will keep us in business, even when sales suck!”
Or, words to that effect.
13 May 10
Jerry Ahern’s New Book: Survive, The Disaster, Crisis, and Emergency Handbook
My long-time friend, Jerry Ahern, has been writing a good deal longer than I have. He also headed up the Detonics Gun Company during its recent heyday. His involvement in our Industry goes back a long way. Jerry has been around the block a few times!
Jerry has written many gun-magazine articles, and a number of novels. But this, his latest book, is not fictional. It concerns itself with reasonable preparations we all need to make, in the category of “emergency planning.”
The book is filled with sage advice with regard to all species of emergencies, natural and man-made. Jerry’s advice is not agenda-driven, nor he doesn’t come off like an alarmist.
Everything is practical and strictly pragmatic. In reading it, I picked up a number of down-to-earth tips, things I’d never thought of before, like which websites to monitor, how, when, and whether to evacuate, what kinds of emergency supplies we should all have on hand, what kinds of communication equipment work best, et al
In today’s world, we all need to occasionally think about the unthinkable. When so doing, this is your handbook!
Call Krause Publications at 800 258 0929
15 May 10
More human sacrifices:
This from a friend working at a state mental hospital:
“We were recently ‘surveyed’ by Medicare/Medicaid. Officials ordered our Department to immediately stop using handcuffs, pepper spray, Tasers, and batons in ‘patient-care’ areas. We may not now even go into patient-care areas carrying any of these tools.
We counter-argued that this is a grievous employee-safety issue. Our LEOs judiciously use these items, but no patient has ever been thereby seriously injured here. In addition, we are sworn police officers, and the primary law-enforcement jurisdiction at the facility. We are “first-responders.”
They couldn’t care less!
They overtly, indeed casually, threatened us with cutting-off millions in federal dollars, which, of course, would force the immediate closure of the facility.
We reminded them that we house the most violent criminals in the state, most temporarily, but others more-or-less permanently. They are all extremely dangerous, and have so demonstrated, multiple times in most cases! We used to call them ‘criminally insane.’ Now, they are just ‘mentally ill,’ a term that is probably descriptive of all violent criminals!
Our nursing staff is profoundly frightened, as are the rest of us, as we’re no longer going to have tools necessary to subdue actively violent individuals housed in our units. We told them pointedly that it is reasonably foreseeable that our people, and patients, will be getting hurt, needlessly!
And again, Medicare/Medicaid, arrogant federal bureaucrats who can’t be fired, couldn’t care less. To them, as you say, we peons are just expendable cannon-fodder!”
Comment: This is what happens when sleazy politicians (is there another kind?) openly court the “criminal vote.”
Their utter lack of concern for the safety of nurses and police officers is astonishing, but no more so than their identical lack of concern for the safety, indeed the lives, of American citizens living near our southern “border.”
To most politicians, every one of us is similarly subject to “sacrifice.” They will cheerfully sell us all, by the pound, without the slightest hesitation, when doing so helps them stay in power!
I wish I didn’t have to say that, but we all know it is true!
We all have to be prepared, and ever-ready, to take unilateral action to protect ourselves and others in our care.
Heaven knows, no one else will!
16 May 10
When ordered to surrender….
On 6 Apr 94, while on their way to Rwanda, via aircraft, Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Bruundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira both died when their plane was shot down as it was preparing to land in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital and largest city.
Both were going there to salvage broken-down negotiations that had been taking place, under UN auspices, between local warring factions, mostly tribal.
They never made it, but their deaths served as the spark!
What happened over the next few weeks was the “Rwandan Holocaust,” wherein nearly a million people, of all ages, almost all non-combatants, were slaughtered. A few were shot, but most were beaten, stabbed, burned, drowned, buried alive in pits, and/or hacked to death. As we have now come to expect, Western European nations, the bumbling UN, other African nations, and the USA, all knowing full well what was happening, did nothing to intervene.
Rwanda’s Prime Minister at the time, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, along with her husband and their three children, were being guarded at their home in Kigali by ten Belgian Paratroopers from the crack Para-Commando Regiment, operating under UN supervision.
Sporadic gunfire could be heard all around, even before the plane was shot down. It took a quantum leap in intensity afterward, and everyone in the house knew they were all in extreme danger.
In fact, Uwilingiyimana, her husband, children, and all bodyguards were already targeted for extermination by the Rwandan Army, who had surrounded the house during the day.
Early the next day, 7 Apr 94, Thursday, an Army spokesman demanded that the Belgians lay down their arms and surrender their protectees, as well as themselves. The paratroopers proudly and defiantly declined, as they prepared to fight it out, supremely confident that rescue was already on the way.
Those ten brave Paratroopers had already been cynically written off as a “strategic sacrifice,” the Belgian government and the UN considering their deaths a “small price to pay” for the avoidance of an “international incident.” Of course, they may not have felt that way it had been they personally who had to pay “The Butcher’s Bill.”
The Paratroopers’ downfall was their radio. Unfortunately, it worked! They received orders from their battalion commander (who was nowhere near the action) to immediately give up their weapons and surrender themselves to Rwandan troops, leaving the Uwilingiyimanas unprotected.
They never fired a shot. They obeyed orders!
The Paratroopers were immediately captured, beaten severely, and stripped naked. Then, their Achilles tendons were all severed, so they couldn’t run away. They were subsequently hung up by their arms, castrated, their genitalia stuffed into their mouths, as they were simultaneously disemboweled.
The Uwilingiyimanas fled and took refuge in a nearby UN volunteer compound. Rwandan soldiers surrounded the building, but Agathe and her husband quickly emerged, unarmed, with their hands held high. No sooner had they stepped out, when they were both, without a word being said, shot to death where they stood. The identical fate would doubtless have befallen their children also, but they had been secreted away at another location and miraculously lived through the holocaust, eventually being smuggled out of the country.
A local was quoted as saying, “There are no devils in hell. They are all here in Rwanda!”
In the sixteen years since, little has improved in Rwanda, and it remains today an extremely dangerous place.
Families of the ten Paratroopers never received an apology, either from Rwanda, nor the UN, nor Belgian government!
Never surrender, no matter who orders it!
Fight it out then and there, if that is your fate. In our age, when you surrender, you’ll be murdered anyway. For one, I’d rather die fighting, even against heavy odds!
With politicians, no matter where they are, there is no loyalty. Lives means nothing. Never expect to be “rescued”.
Find a way to win on your own.
Don’t look back
… and, don’t expect to be thanked.
18 May 10
Comment on pistol chamber dimensions, from a colleague:
“My SIG P250 has no problem digesting 9mm hardball, but, when I run high-performance ammunition through it, like Cor-Bon DPX, I occasionally experienced ‘soft-extraction.’ That is, when the slide moved back upon firing, the extractor let go of the fired case too soon, leaving it laying there, instead of ejecting it. Of course, that instantly generated a stoppage!
Replacing the extractor didn’t solve the problem.
The SIG folks suggested confining myself to ammunition with nickel-plated cases. However, I believe my 9mm pistol should cycle normally with any ammunition labeled ‘9X19,’ as I’m not sure what I’ll be able to get my hands on when I find myself far from home.
I had my local gunsmith run a chamber-reamer into the barrel. An infinitesimal amount of metal was removed. I could barely see shavings, so I suspect we removed less than a half-thousandth from the chamber surface. In fact, all metal removed was toward the front of the chamber.
In any event, it made all the difference! My pistol now runs DPX, and all other high-performance ammunition, nickel-placed or not, normally.
If there has been a decrease in accuracy, I can’t detect it!”
Comment: It is common knowledge among manufacturers that tight chambers and a high-degree of accuracy go hand-in-hand. Who brag about the accuracy of their pistols usually achieve it through tight chambers.
However, tight chambers also go hand-in-hand with unreliable operation, only a peripheral matter to non-serious owners, but a critical concern to those of us who regularly carry guns for important purposes.
‘Accuracy’ is a relative term. Extreme accuracy from a pistol is largely irrelevant for most practical purposes. It provides scant advantage to legitimate Operators.
I carry many different pistols, including the 250. All are reliable, or I wouldn’t carry them! Accuracy from any of them is no better than mediocre, and I’m comfortable with that.
I try not to have unrealistic expectations! Given the choice between a pistol that is (1) too accurate, and one that is (2) too reliable, I’ll error in the direction of the latter… every time!
22 May 10
From friends in Israel:
“Us Jerusalem guys have American-made M1s ‘signed-out’ of the Jerusalem Police Armory, and we have been allowed to keep them at home for the past fifteen years. They are old, but a few of us have replaced springs, cleaned our weapons, and fired them regularly, at least as regularly as we can.
We spent this afternoon shooting. Mine was the only rifle that neither jammed nor had anything fall off of it, and my Aimpoint easily gave me Top-Gun honors!
We are told that police are going to phase-in the Israeli-designed and built Tavor rifle, and simultaneously phase-out American-made M16s.
The 223 bullpup Tavor ‘sprays’ (more like slaps you in the face with) vented gases. In addition, the area where the operator puts his cheek gets uncomfortably hot, but the rifle has virtually no muzzle-rise.”
Comment: The Israeli Tavor joins similar military bullpups bursting upon the world scene relatively recently, like the excellent French FAMAS, Steyr’s AUG, the eternally troublesome British SA80, and the Chinese QBZ-95. Only the AUG has seen the light of day in the USA.
I’m not a fan of bullpups, but their compactness is an attractive feature among international military planners.
I personally hope bullpup rifles do not represent a trend, but they may!
24 May 10
More lessons from scenario-based training.
At yet another Airsoft, scenario-based training session in Chicago, IL last weekend, we had several local police officers join us.
Here are some comments:
During potentially dangerous encounters, that involve confronting a suspect at gunpoint, the best strategy is almost always for you to persuade the suspect to run away, rather than attempting to hold him for police. For the sake of your own safety, disengaging and separating from such threats, as quickly as possible, usually represents the best tactic. Conversely, attempting to hold VCAs, at gunpoint, while waiting for uniformed police to arrive is precarious, extremely dangerous, and tenders few benefits. The foregoing applies to off-duty police, as well as non-police.
When tempted to insert yourself into a dangerous situation, in which you are not otherwise involved, think twice! When going in too fast, and too soon, in an attempt to take control “before things get out of hand,” you will often discover you’re in over your head before you know it. Uniformed officers have radios and backup. You have neither! There is surely a time and place for overt aggressiveness, but, when by yourself, it is all too easy to paint yourself into a corner. Be extremely cautious with irreversible commitments!
When interacting with strangers, particularly potential panhandlers, there is usually no cause to be cold and non-communicative. You can smile and say “hello.” However, be ever-prepared to disengage immediately. Do not answer questions nor allow yourself to be drawn in a conversation. For sure, do not respond to uppish challenges. In order to get a reaction from you, panhandlers will often cast about for “hot-buttons” sexual, racial, territorial, religious, et al.
Don’t fall for it! Politely dismiss them as you move on.
For one, I’m extremely poor at “multi-tasking,” but we have to train ourselves to stay in motion as we talk, as we gesture, as we investigate. Standing on the “X” too long plays into the plans of those who mean you harm.
Don’t mumble! Soft-spoken mumblers and routinely selected for victimization by VCAs. Confused, indecisive, hesitant mumbling always projects weakness and confusion of purpose.
Speak clearly, and in complete, coherent, English sentences!
Finally, don’t spend a lot of time standing in the open. Always be aware of nearby objects that represent good cover, and have a plan to move toward them when necessary. When the situation starts getting dicey, get moving toward cover. Get something between you and the threat.
I’ll be at the 2010 NTI shortly, and I’m sure they’ll be more!
24 May 10
You can’t choose relatives, but you can choose friends!
From an LEO friend in LA:
“Today, in Los Angeles, a fifteen-year-old girl was shot and killed via a single bullet, fired by a sixteen-year-old boy, in what is probably best described as a ‘negligent homicide.’
The boy, who was ‘troubled’ and living in an upscale neighborhood with well-meaning (but pathetically naive) relatives, was playing with a revolver in his upstairs bedroom, alternately loading and unloading it, while ‘discussing Russian roulette’ with two teenaged ‘female friends.’
No one seems to know where this revolver came from, nor does anyone seem to know what the two girls were doing in the boy’s bedroom!
One of the girls, who apparently had at least two brain-cells to rub together, decided to get out of there.
She didn’t get far!
As she walked toward the bedroom door, the boy pointed his revolver at her and pressed the trigger. The revolver functioned normally, and a single bullet struck her low in the back of her neck. She was DOA at the hospital.
The boy is reported by witnesses to have subsequently run around the bedroom, repeatedly bleating, ‘… the gun just went off!’
The man and woman, who live together in the home in question (not married of course- it’s CA after all), had ‘taken the boy in,’ in an effort to ‘straighten him out.’ The couple was obviously setting a stellar example!
When police arrived, they intercepted the boy as he was attempting to run away. He is currently being held without bail.”
Comment: Great risks always attach to “associating with stupid people!”
“Troubled youth” is a polite term for “trash.” Who feel a need to “help” these punks need to do so anonymously. Bringing these no-goods into your home, and allowing them into your life, is dangerous in the extreme, far more dangerous than most realize, as these naive people belatedly discovered.
Here is the sad truth: Trash is trash, and will predictably act like trash. Behavioral patterns are set for life and are unlikely to ever change. Ask anyone who works in a jail or prison!
Don’t allow trash into your life, no matter what age, even “relatives.” Have nothing to do with them! You will be gratuitously exposing yourself, and your family, to great peril, as we see.
26 May 10
Comments from a colleague who just returned from Urban Rifle Training with another colleague:
“… a blown-out primer lodged under my AR trigger, rendering the fire-control group (and thus the entire rifle) useless until I removed the hammer and pin, which allowed sufficient trigger-clearance to allow the wedged primer fall out.
At the Course there were also ARs with ‘anti-rotation’ trigger/hammer pins. Since these employ small screws (with Loctite), what was, for me, a two-minute gun-fix, becomes a tedious, convoluted, exasperating process, involving tiny wrenches and tiny parts.
Several other ARs had ‘packaged-triggers.’ These are self-contained, sealed, and in one drop-in unit. I don’t know if a stray primer or anvil can make their way into such a mechanism, but when they do, it will be all but impossible to get them out, at least in the field.
Thus, I recommend only standard, military, plain-vanilla triggers on all serious ARs! The trigger that came with your AR is probably just fine and should be left alone!”
Comment: Me too!
In the aftermath of the famous Battle of Belleau Wood in Europe in 1918, Germans described US Marines as “… vigorous, self-confident, … remarkable marksmen!” US General Pershing, went even further, noting “The deadliest weapon in the world is a US Marine and his rifle!”
Rifles used by Marines in 1918 were simple, even primitive, by today’s standards, yet they made history. German soldiers were terrified!
Marines in 1918 didn’t obsess about “target triggers.” They had a good rifle, and it worked.
They made it work!
28 May 10
… of blown primers, tight chambers, hot loads, and the old saying:
“The enemy of “good” is “better!”
From friends and colleagues:
“Indeed, we find ARs that chronically ‘pop’ primers will nearly always be found to have tight, commercial, SAAMI-spec chambers. Reaming them out to 5.56mm specs has proven to essentially eliminate the problem.
Leade (unrifled bore) is reduced in a 223 chamber by fifty percent, compared with a legitimate 5.56mm chamber. This naturally generates over-pressure upon ignition, which inordinately expands the case-head. The primer then literally falls out of the primer pocket upon extraction, and subsequently causes much mischief, as you noted. Military-style crimped primers, designed to resist such blowing-out, will often blow-out anyway in these tight chambers.
Such disembodied primers and anvils have made their way into all kinds of unexpected/inconvenient places. Under the trigger is common, disabling the fire-control group, as you mentioned. They also wedge between the carrier and receiver wall, or get stuck in the barrel extension. I’ve even seen primer anvils jammed into the carrier-key spigot!
We’ve seen many ARs fraudulently marked ‘5.56 NATO’ that weren’t! This blatant mislabeling is a real problem in our Industry. Consumers don’t know what they’re getting!”
Comment: Friend and colleague, Ned Christiansen of Michiguns, has developed a chamber-check tool and reamer, designed to fix this problem. Once chamber-dimension issues are corrected, the blown-primer issue goes away.
Mac Gwinn’s D-Ring also helps.
Both are highly recommended!
Gun and barrel manufacturers, in a misguided effort to appeal to competitive shooters, have become careless, indeed fraudulent, about labeling barrels and chambers on ARs, as we see.
I’m sure they delude themselves into thinking it is all harmless. It isn’t!
“When you sleep with dogs, you’re going to get fleas!”
28 May 10
“When shopping for a serious rifle, upon which you may have to wager your life, your legitimate choices are confined to military-specification equipment, designed and built strictly for serious use.
Kiddy-guns and play-guns consistently fall short of the foregoing standard!
During the Katrina Disaster in 2005, a number of us domestic LEOs were recruited for emergency duty in New Orleans. Many brought their own ARs. Many of those were ‘competition guns’ with, of course, tight, SAAMI chambers. Their naive owners unhappily/belatedly discovered that most of them would not chamber military ammunition (5.56×45) supplied by the National Guard. Bolts would not go into battery, and the rifles thus would not fire! These folks had to subsequently grovel about in a panicked effort to find commercial ammunition that their rifles would actually chamber and fire, or find a mil-spec rifle!
In ancient Japan, a Ronin would starve before parting with tools of his Craft. The best steel was, without fail, ‘simple and unadorned,’ forged by Masters for a single purpose. As we practice our Craft, we honor our Art, and we need a similar mindset.”
“When your sword is always sheathed, it will become rusty and dull, and people will think as much of its owner.”
Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
Train hard and long, and lay in an ample supply of quality magazines and ammunition.
When asked about his rifle, a young Marine answered, “I’d bet my life on it!” His captain replied,
Your Test is coming, even at the gate!
30 May 10
From friend and colleague, Pat Sweeney:
“The alleged reason for 223 (SAAMI) leade/chambers in an AR is to ‘improve accuracy.’ However, we’ve found that any such accuracy enhancement, if present, is un-observable.
Like you, I’ll gladly sacrifice a theoretical quarter-MOA, for greatly improved reliability, any day!”
And these sage comments from a friend in the Phillippines.
“Being a WWII infantry veteran, he added, ‘… and nothing issued to me in those days ever required ‘breaking-in.’ Our small-arms always worked, from the very first round we ran through them, Garands, M1 Carbines, 1911s, and Grease Guns’
Looking back, he is profoundly right. We see many WWII-era weapons on ranges here, and while most are well-worn, and few have much original finish left, all still run, nearly seventy years later! Even our 1911s run, though they all rattle like castanets when shaken. Not one has tight clearances, nor looks pretty. But, they are sufficiently accurate for authentic gunmen, and most have been actually used, more than once, to abruptly end the careers of local miscreants!
Such engineered clearances, built into these military weapons, were not coincidental, nor were they wartime manufacturing shortcuts. They served a serious purpose for those who carried guns in dangerous places.
Comment: In the wake of most 911 calls, two vehicles will arrive: (1) a beat-car and (2) an ambulance.
Your gun will permit you to decide which one you leave in!
For one, I conclude that such a situation is no place for a temperamental kiddy-gun with tight clearances, designed only to impress the naive, rather than go about its deadly business with utter dependability!