1 Mar 05
This is from a friend who just returned from a trip to the UK:
“I was able to visit Parliament while in London. I carried a Surefire E1e and a Gerber EZOut for personal protection, both of which I transported in checked baggage without incident.
However, things got dicey at the Parliament building where I went to observe the British Parliament in session. I noticed metal detectors at the entry, manned by Bobbies (similar to TSA at airports in the USA). When asked if I had any metal objects to declare I promptly declared my Gerber ‘pocket knife.’ They were shocked by the Gerber, especially when they opened it and saw it’s imposing 3.5″ semi-serrated blade.
I knew knives were no longer in fashion in the UK, but thought if I simply stated it was a ‘pocket knife’ they would not get excited. I was wrong! However, the event did function as a diversion and allowed me to pass through subsequent metal detectors and frisking without them finding the other knife.
But, my problems had just begun:
The Bobby looked at the knife and told me all such things were illegal in the UK. He then asked me to close the knife, as he didn’t know how to manipulate a locking blade. I was surprised that he was so unfamiliar with knives, as well as saddened at the poor level of training they obviously receive. I casually stated that a large percentage of Americans commonly carry these types of knives. He was appalled and asked how I ever got such a thing into the UK. I replied that it traveled in my luggage.
Now really frustrated, he reiterated that they were illegal in the UK and that I had two options: (1) He and I could take the knife to the nearest London Metro Station and declare it, where they would then arrest me, or (2) I could simply fill out a form declaring my sincere desire to turn the knife over to him. In other words, he wanted to steal it. Anyway, I filled out the form and ‘gave’ him my knife. I can always get another.
Once finished, I proceeded to a room that overlooks Parliament, where I had to pass through yet another metal detector and frisking. My other knife was never detected. I sat down just in time to hear discussion about the legalization of drugs in the UK. The ultimate irony!
I caution everyone who travels to the UK to ‘live the stealth existence’ and understand inherent risks in entering certain buildings. Next time, like you, I’m going to develop knee problems and travel with a Cold Steel City Stick, as you seem to have been able to take that everywhere.
Sadly, our brethren across the Pond have been castrated by the Nanny State. I pray, for their sake, they’re never again invaded. We must be constantly vigilant that it does not happen here.”
Comment: Amen, Brother!
2 Mar 05
Kennedy, Castro, and Khrushchev
Upon entering office in 1960, young President Kennedy discovered he had inherited a covert Cuban Liberation Plan from the outgoing Eisenhower Administration. In 1959, zealous Cuban ex-patriots in Florida had persuaded the CIA, and ultimately President Eisenhower himself, that they could successfully invade their former homeland, fulminate a spontaneous, popular revolution, overwhelm Castro’s remaining defenses, and restore Cuba to its former state. Coming at the end of his administration, Eisenhower had allowed only tacit approval of the plan, mostly in an effort to consolidate a Republican voting base in Florida. It was only after winning the 1960 presidential election, narrowly defeating Nixon, that Kennedy was informed of “The Plan.”
However, by that time “The Plan” had already sprouted legs! Under covert, American direction, a Cuban invasion force was already training in Guatemala. The rumor circulated among Cuban ex-patriots everywhere was that their island nation would soon be liberated. They were ecstatic! Kennedy, never liking the plan, was nonetheless faced with the dilemma of poring cold water on such grand dreams.
The “spontaneous, popular revolution” aspect of the plan was based solely on a few interviews with recently arriving ex-patriots. The “invasion force” consisted of fewer than 1,500 volunteers, few of whom had any military experience. Castro’s known forces were twenty times that number, and he had a viable air force. It became obvious to Kennedy and his advisors that the entire “Plan” was little more than a pipe dream that had no chance of success, unless Americans intervened militarily, literally at the outset.
Not wanting to be associated with calamity, Kennedy was faced with a hard choice: (1) Scrap the whole thing and take a chance of losing Florida in the next presidential election, or (2) Go forward full speed and insure the success of the invasion with American military intervention, and then take the invariable heat on the international stage. In a startling display of weakness and indecision, Kennedy decided to do neither. He decided not to decide. In so doing, he allowed the project to wobble forward to its logical conclusion, with Kennedy spending most of his time trying to shift blame and avoid personal responsibility. Thus, hundreds of Cuban ex-patriots were sentenced to a pointless death, while the dreams and aspirations of millions of others were dashed.
Like the ill-fated Dieppe Invasion nineteen years earlier, as planning went forward, the Cuban Liberation Invasion began to show telltale signs of catastrophe. In order to maintain moral among ex-patriot Cubans, the CIA lied to them about American military assistance. At Kennedy’s insistence, none was coming, and none was planned, but Cubans were told, and believed, that American troops and air power would follow them in. Meanwhile, the Kennedy Administration was scurrying about, frantically wiping its fingerprints from every part of the operation.
On 17 April 1961, the doomed invasion took place. Ageing B-26 bombers, flying from clandestine bases in Nicaragua by Cuban ex-patriot crews (with some Americans), had attempted to destroy the Cuban Air Force on the ground. They had been largely unsuccessful. However, the bombing raids had tipped off Castro that a ground invasion was imminent. His reaction was to round up all dissidents, insuring the failure of any “popular uprising.” Sailing, also from Nicaragua, the invasion fleet reached the Bay of Pigs at dawn. The Cuban Air Force arrived shortly thereafter, displaying little degradation in strength, and crippled the invasion force on the beach as well as sinking a critical supply ship. Most of the obsolete B-26s that were supporting the invasion were easily shot down by more modern Cuban military aircraft.
Not surprisingly, the invasion precipitously collapsed. Surviving invaders were rounded up within three days. Castro had a publicity bonanza. Kennedy tried piteously to convince the press and a skeptical public he knew nothing about it. In a more candid moment many years later, Kennedy would say, “How could I have been so stupid as to let them go ahead?”
A direct result of the fiasco was the subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, now persuaded that this young American president was a weak, indecisive bungler, was emboldened and started shipping offensive, nuclear missiles to Cuba. Kennedy would soon have the an opportunity to exercise his leadership skills once more! The Bay of Pigs Invasion thus took its place, alongside of the Dieppe and Gallipoli Invasions, as an archetypical military and political debacle, born of personal vanity, weakness, and abulia.
Lesson: Don’t ever become part of a military sideshow! Lukewarm support is ever a sign of critical decisions being made based upon wishful thinking rather than hard facts. Inadequate funding, resources, planning, and commitment should always be a clue. Political leaders, in this country and most others, are typically self-centered weaklings who will predictably rank your safety at the very bottom of their list of concerns.
Who just “lets things happen,” because he is afraid of making a mistake, is almost certainly making one.
Who constantly “fears to fail” will, in the end, fail without even trying,
Never do your enemy a minor injury.
Vanity is the womb of monsters.
3 Mar 05
Simo Häyhä of Finland, in his early thirties when the 1939 Soviet Invasion of his country began, had grown up in a remote area on the far north Finnish frontier, just miles from the Russian border. Like most of his peers, Simo, of necessity, became an rugged outdoorsman and an accomplished rifleman at an early age, and, like most of his peers, he harbored deep fear and loathing for Russians, particularly Soviets. He had seen Lenin’s and Stalin’s abject cruelty close up, and he knew and understood what a Soviet takeover would mean to his nation, and he knew the rest of the world would turn their backs, as they always do.
By the fall of 1939, with Hitler firmly in control of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and most of Poland, Stalin frantically looked for matching conquests in order to knock Hitler off the front page. He turned his attention west to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Finland was the most sophisticated nation of the four and was the main objective of Stalin’s attention. Stalin demanded that Finns allow him to put air and navel bases on Finnish soil. Characteristically duplicitous, Stalin was, of course, planning an invasion whether they yielded to his demands or not.
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had offered no resistance. The Finns, on the other hand, not only refused to allow Russians on their soil, but had mobilized on a national scale. Stalin was furious, but, like all bullies who face the prospect of a real fight, he was startled and a little frightened! Massacring rear-echelon troops and defenseless civilians is one thing. Facing a well-armed, well organized, and determined army, even a small one, was something else. Stalin was fearful, but he had no choice. He could not afford to look “weak” on the world stage. Germans, British, and Americans were all watching. Tolerating an insolent snub from tiny Finland was out of the question, even with winter coming on.
The Finnish/Russian border was an immense, rugged forest with only a few roads and logging trails. It was late fall. The soil was slush. The full blast of winter would come in December, freezing everything solid and reducing daylight to only a few hours. Relentless darkness broken only by brief, timid, and cloudy twilight would go on until spring. Faced with this predicament, Meretsklov, the Russian general in charge, suggested to Stalin that the invasion be postponed until spring or at least until midwinter when frozen ground would support his tanks. He was contemptuously rebuffed and ordered to proceed without delay. So, the Russian invasion of Finland began on 30 Nov 1939, but bogged down almost immediately. By Christmas, the entire Russian offensive ground to a halt. Most units were out of fuel, out of food, out of ammunition, and freezing to death. Stalin angrily fired Meretsklov and replaced him with Timoshenko. Timoshenko, with no fewer than twenty-four fresh divisions, renewed the offensive, but fared no better. The war became an effective stalemate. The Finns were not strong enough to eject the Russians outright, but the Russians had sustained crippling losses and could no longer generate forward momentum, so a truce was negotiated.
Stalin knew he was not in a position of strength, but Finns knew the Soviet assault would begin anew in the spring, and British and American help was unlikely. In the end, Finland ceded several bases, but was not, as a whole, annexed into the Soviet Union. It’s citizens were spared the horrors that would have been inflicted by the NKVD (precursor to the KGB). Finland retained its independence. The invasion was (and is to this day) called “The Winter War.” One book about the campaign is entitled, “White Hell,” as that is the way invading Soviet forces viewed it. A Russian general was later heard to comment bitterly, “The amount of territory ceded was barely enough for us to bury our dead!”
During this conflict there emerged one man, a short, skinny Finnish infantryman, who arguably holds the title of the most deadly rifleman in history. The devastation this one man visited upon hapless Soviet troops has never been equaled, before or since. The Russians called him, “White Death.”
Simo never thought of himself as a “sniper.” He was just a humble infantryman doing his job. He used and liked the Mosin Nagant M28 (bolt action) rifle with open sights. The rifle was short and handy, particularly for this 5′ 2″ foot soldier, and it did not feature a detachable magazine. Simo struck his targets at twenty to five hundred meters. He preferred a sitting position, hunkered down in a fox hole. Nearly all of his shots were in low light. As his reputation grew, Simo probably could have come into the possession of a telescopic sight, but he had seen them before and had no interest. Years later, he stated that a scoped rifle would have forced him to raise his head more than he liked. Besides, in those days he had no access to sophisticated maintenance, and he thus considered scopes too delicate for this rugged, cold, and unforgiving environment. He had grown up using iron sights, and he had every confidence in his ability with them. He was a warrior, and, like all true warriors, would not allow himself to be defined by his equipment. He was not “equipment dependant.” He was dangerous with any weapon, even with no weapon!
His most famous exploits took place at the famous Battle on the Kollaa River, where a mere handful of brave Finns brought an entire Soviet army, twelve divisions, to an all-inclusive halt! In the end, the Russians were forced to withdraw with staggering losses. The Finnish stand at Kollaa is, even today, referred to as “The miracle at Kollaa,” and it set the pattern for the entire War. The Kollaa was, of course, frozen, but its steep banks provided Finns with a series of strong, defensive positions. They repeatedly channeled ponderous Soviet columns into ambush after ambush until they were forced to disengage and pull back. When the War ended, the Kollaa river was still in Finnish hands.
Simo was in continuous enemy contact for one-hundred days. During that famous one-hundred-day period, Simo killed five hundred Soviet soldiers, give or take a few, wounded many more, and literally terrified the entire Russian army! His tenure ended when a Soviet bullet struck his face. However, even while grievously wounded, he quickly located the sharpshooter who had shot him, mounted his rifle to his bloody face, and killed the Russian with a single shot, passing out himself seconds later. As a testimony to his toughness, Simo recovered from his wound and went on to outlive all his comrades and nearly everyone else who participated in the War, dying in his nineties in the year 2002.
In the native language, “Simo” translates to “fearlessness.” When asked, many years later, about his extraordinary contribution to the Finnish Resistance, Simo said humbly, “I was just doing my job.”
Comment: Like so many heroes, long forgotten by the mass of humanity, Simo can never be forgotten by us. HE CHOSE EXCELLENCE, DRIVEN BY HONOR OVER MEDIOCRITY, MOTIVATED BY FEAR. He set an example for all of us. Good show, comrade!
5 Mar 05
In training our young Marines, we are constantly confronting obsolete “range rules” and numerous other ossified training procedures which are long out-of-date. I am reminded of a conversation I had recently with friend Robbie Barrkman at ROBAR. Robbie, under contract, surface treats all kinds of military hardware. He has relentlessly petitioned his military clients to update to modern coatings and other treatments, as the processes they specify have been superceded decades ago by vastly superior methods. They display not the slightest interest! They don’t even want to discuss it. This is the nature of entrenched bureaucracies. It comes as no surprise that heroes like Billy Mitchell and John Boyd, who are today universally regarded as geniuses who were ahead of their time, suffered from savage prejudice and disgraceful treatment during their careers.
Of all military branches, Marines are, by far, the most innovative and most willing to take risks (and, when it comes to gadgets and gimmicks, all branches are “progressive”), but all bureaucracies behave predictably. When it come to the subject of guns, officers everywhere are petrified of career-ending training accidents. Any mishap involving a rifle, pistol, or shotgun will result in the effective termination someone’s career, and all know it only too well. Suffocatingly restrictive procedures and systems are the predictable result, and they have even taken on religious trappings, to the point where any species of personal initiative on the part of trainers and young officers is immediately suppressed.
When outside trainers, including me, introduce modern small-arms training concepts to Marines, such as the “hot range,” the only response I’ve ever received from students themselves is extreme enthusiasm! How many times students have come up to me and said how refreshing it was to come to a shooting range and actually be treated like an adult. “Why don’t we train this way all the time?” is a refrain I hear constantly. Thus, I naively thought that our brand of progressive small-arms training would catch on. Well, it has at the base level, but the going is slow the further up the food chain the idea goes. The fearfulness that always accompanies innovation soon rears its ugly head.
The point is this: The sin of “religion” is to attain conceptions so adequate and exact that we shall never have to change them. There is, and should be, a struggle within every mind between renovating and keeping unchanged. In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important as remembering. “Genius” is little more than the faculty for perceiving in an unhabitual way.
5 Mar 05
In April of 1994 a carefully planned genocidal attack of the minority, mostly Christian, Tutsi people of Rwanda was initiated by a sinister, French trained, MRND (Mouvement Revolutionnaire National pour Development) government. The entire MRND army was explicitly mobilized to slaughter the Tutsi minority. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people, even infants, were chopped to death with machetes and/or clubbed to death with bludgeons over the next few weeks. Massacres took place in homes, churches, and schools. In order to make the slaughter as complete as possible, the MRND government erected roadblocks, closed airports, and cut phone lines in order to prevent the Tutsi from organizing or escaping. Of course Tutsis were prevented, by law, from owning or keeping guns.
Liberal American news media falsely reported the matter as a “civil war,” with “everyone killing everyone.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. It was not a “war,” any more than there was a “war” at Auschwitz. Nor was it was “spontaneous.” The slaughter had been long in the planning, and it was as well coordinated as any ever carried out by Hitler or Stalin.
Camera crews were only willing to travel with international troops, whose only interest was evacuating foreigners. No one cared about the Tutsis. In one incident, 3,500 Tutsis were slaughtered, en masse, in a schoolyard, as UN “peacekeepers,” turned their backs and walked away, amid forlorn pleas for mercy, never looking back.
The liberal media, liberal church leaders, and the UN all collectively turned their backs that day. “Liberals” are, of course, Marxists, dressed up to mollify a naive public. A similar slaughter is going on right now in the Horn of Africa, and neither the liberal media, nor liberal church leaders, nor the UN seems to care much about that either.
The Rwandan Holocaust exposes the abject emptiness of the UN and all liberal rhetoric. It also exposes the ultimate and invariable results of “gun control,” the only purpose of which is to facilitate such vile massacres. To believe otherwise is to kid yourself, dangerously!
6 Mar 05
The “Black Gun Owners’ Association” of South Africa is making its voice heard! Headed by its eloquent president, Abios Khoele, BGOA is a rapidly growing organization that is garnering the grudging attention of South Africa’s ANC government. Black citizens, like white ones, Indian ones, “colored” ones, et al are upset at the way the government is currently making it nearly impossible for good people to own and bear guns legally. Violent crime in SA is vastly higher than in most other nations, and police have their hands full just protecting themselves.
The continued existence SA’s black middle class, probably more than any other group, is directly threatened by violent criminals. In fact, all members of SA’s middle class, regardless of race, are united on this issue. “Blacks speaking in favor of restrictive gun legislation are like chickens cheering for Colonel Sanders!” says Khoele. Good show, Abios!
Comment: There is no belief so false that blind faith can’t make it true, at least in the minds of the naive and willfully ignorant. When citizens open their eyes, they are instantly viewed as threats by despots.
“My plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred, if not proof that I am speaking the truth?”
9 Mar 05
On Quickclot, from an ER surgeon who is also one of my instructors:
“After viewing video of this product in use, my opinion is unchanged. I see no useful purpose for it in emergency medicine.
We sometimes use powdered fibrin to stop oozing during general surgery. We even use it in neurosurgery on rare occasions, but the tried-and-true moist, saline pledglett (a small, rectangular piece of cotton attached to a string) usually works much better. We coat cavities we made in the brain with the pledglett in order to stop oozing. Just let the pledglett lay there a while, then remove it. It applies the just enough gentle pressure to do the job, and we don’t have to worry about leaving apossible irritant (fibrin powder) there to serve as a focus for epileptic seizures.
We NEVER used any kind of powder in treating severe bleeding! In the OR, control of serious bleeding requires locating the artery and then tying it off or cauterizing it.
In the field, DIRECT PRESSURE is the warrior’s friend, and one of the few he has. When addressing serious bleeding in the field, I see no advantage in applying necessary pressure over an unnecessary (and potentially harmful) substance, such as Quickclot. Any ‘extra’ time should be spent neutralizing threats, scanning for others, and moving to a better position. As a wise man once told me, ‘PLUG THE HOLES.’ It’s still good advice!”
11 Mar 05
On the treatment of gunshot wounds, from a friend who just returned from a tour in Country:
“The ‘Israeli Battle Dressing’ is THE answer to treating gunshot wounds.
Built in pressure and tourniquet. Quick and slick. We used a bunch of them.”
Comment: I keep IBDs in my briefcase, range bag, cars, and office. All my children have them and know how to use them. Cheap insurance!
Come to one of our TTGSW (Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds)Courses and learn how to use the IBD.
12 Mar 05
I apologize for not including this in my last:
IBDs are available from:
888 737 7978
15 Mar 05
The events at the courthouse in Atlanta last Saturday, along with the predictable aftermath, prompted me to comment:
True to their bureaucratic heritage, grasseating analysts throughout the legal system in Atlanta have focused upon the insignificant and ignored the obvious. Loudly proclaiming their innocence, all players are insisting they are perfect, just as they did in the wake of the Columbine incident in CO. Given these circumstances, the shooting/escape episode of last Saturday was inevitable and will surely happen again, as no meaningful changes are likely to take place.
As if to confirm the foregoing, one prosecutor, during a news interview, arrogantly insisted that her office has not only never done anything wrong, but that she and her colleagues were indeed incapable of error! When, as in this case, it flies in the face of indisputable facts, such pitiable drivel is all the more unforgivable.
This VCA (Violent Criminal Actor) in question had already been caught trying to sneak a shank into the same courthouse, yet no additional precautions had been taken as he was escorted, unrestrained, by a single deputy, half his size, whom he effortlessly overpowered and disarmed.
As is the case in so many courthouses, police officers are not allowed to be armed anywhere in the building. That includes all LEOs, except the few who are actively escorting prisoners. LEOs providing testimony or who are there on other business are placed in the same unarmed “sheep” status as everyone else (reminds me of the “Green Zone” in Iraq). The VCA had nothing to worry about once he had his hands on a gun. He then easily and methodically committed several murders and then casually left the building, unmolested. A uniformed deputy, who was filmed placing one of his wounded colleagues on a stretcher, could be clearly seen to have an empty holster!
Grasseaters are already at it. The clarion call is not for better LEO training, stricter procedures for handling VCAs, or for more armed LEOs in courthouses, but rather for disarming even those deputies guarding prisoners. That will probably be the only change made!
Many more will have to die before the obvious becomes obvious. Good people with guns do not represent a threat to anyone. They are not the ones who need to be disarmed. Indeed, we need more of them, in more places! Unfortunately, sheep don’t trust sheepdogs any more than they trust wolves. Instead of confronting evil boldly and courageously, their only solution is to make everyone else as weak, helpless, and fearful as they are.
Ultimately, the problem is cowardice. Despicable cowards, throughout the system, who lack the courage and personal resolve to defend even their own lives. Our system breeds them!
17 Mar 05
Comments on the Atlanta incident:
“We had a similar incident here. One of our deputies was overpowered and disarmed by a suspect he was transporting to our courthouse. The suspect was not handcuffed, because the deputy had been told he was paralyzed from a gunshot would and was confined to wheelchair. VCAS ARE MALEVOLENT, CLEVER, AND COMPLETELY PRECIPITOUS!”
“Complacency breeds more complacency! You never know if those entrusted to provide security are even capable of protecting themselves, much less other people who are counting on them. Do you really want to bet your very life on their competence? In the Atlanta courthouse, an alarm had been triggered by the dead judge’s staff prior to the actual murders, but the alarm went unheeded. Watch these experts! Accordingly, I will take personal responsibility for my own safety; Thank you.”
“The temptation to accept too much risk, out of haste, impatience, self-glorification, or bad policy will, sooner or later, have fatal consequences, as we see.”
“As a federal agent, even I have to surrender my weapon when entering a federal court building. We are nothing but cannon fodder, just like everyone else. In fact, when I visited the FBI headquarters in Washington DC, I was also ordered to surrender my weapon. I was informed that only their agents were authorized to be armed inside their building. The rest of us just aren’t ‘good enough!’”
“Mayor Street of Philadelphia has suggested an indefinite moratorium on gun permits in his city, due to a recent spate of murders. All this in spite of the fact that none of said murders involved a registered gun or registered gun owner! That is the familiar Democrat refrain: Let’s punish everyone who hasn’t committed a crime, while doing nothing about those who have. Mayor Street needs to move to South Africa. He would feel right at home there. He has obviously forgotten what country he does live in!”
“Our entire civilization, if it wants to continue, needs to re-think the issue of personal responsibility. The only people who should be instructing fighting skills are those who have won some real fights! Similarly, THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO BELONG IN HARM’S WAY ARE THOSE CAPABLE OF DOING REAL HARM! People who plan on confronting VCAs had better be serious, hard, heavy hitters. Unless you can knock a big man down, and have done it a few times, you should not be wearing a uniform that falsely suggests you can.”
“Everybody has a ‘plan,’ until he gets hit in the face, or the first shot is fired! Experience runs a dear school. It often kills people the first time, but, if they survive, they know things that grasseaters cannot imagine!”
17 Mar 05
I now have a Glock 38. This is Glock’s concealment pistol in 45GAP caliber. The G37 is the full-sized pistol, and the G39 is the subcompact version, all in the same caliber.
Like all Glocks, this pistol is eminently functional. It is the same size as a G19/23/32, except that the slide is thicker, so it doesn’t fit my G32 holster. Gregg Garrett is making me a C-Tac IWB holster for my G38 as I write this. For daily, concealed carry, the G38 is just the right size. It is a nine-shooter, and I’m currently carrying Cor-Bon 160gr DPX, at 1,075 f/s. Hot stuff!
I, of course, need to shoot this pistol before rendering many more opinions, but, if one wants to carry a 45 caliber pistol, this may be a good way to go.
The 45GAP case is thicker than that of the 45ACP and is designed for higher pressures. It is a modern, high-performance round. The 45ACP is still a good round too, but ammunition manufacturers are disinclined to push the envelope on ammunition that will fit into ninety-year-old guns. With Glock behind the new cartridge, it is destined to become a major player.
A 45ACP round will not chamber in a 45GAP pistol, as the case is too long. In fact, 45ACP ammunition will not even fit into the G38 magazine, because the entire round is too long. However, the 45GAP round will fit into a 45ACP magazine and feed and chamber into a 45ACP pistol. It would probably fire normally, although I surely do not recommend the practice! When I mix up 45GAP and 45ACP ammunition on a table, I can readily distinguish them, but it remains to be seen how much of an issue develops with the ammunition mix-up question. For now, the best practice is to diligently keep the two calibers separated.
Glock deserves a lot of credit for taking such a substantial marketing risk. After I shoot a few hundred rounds through this new pistol, I’ll have additional opinions.
19 Mar 05
From a friend in SA on the Surefire X200 Weapon Light:
“I mounted the X200 on my G17 and fired two hundred rounds on a dark, rainy night last week. Neither the gun nor the light failed. By the way, every serious gunman who, like me, wears prescription glasses should unfailingly wear a cap when it rains, lest his eyewear get wet. Wet glasses are unusable!
I still carry a flashlight on my belt, but having a separate flashlight physically mounted on a handgun, coaxial with the barrel, eliminates a host of otherwise annoying challenges. Reloading, reducing stoppages, et al now require no new techniques.
I also mounted the light onto the rail on a LM6 (Galil). I fired three hundred rounds through it that same night. Again, no failures. I spent the next two hours shooting various other guns equipped with the X200. Same result, and batteries are still usable. Having a light like this, that easily and quickly attaches to and detaches from several different weapons, provides me with enormous flexibility.
When I finally take my pistol off in the evening, just prior to retiring, it is now immediately equipped with the X200. Nothing beats it for dealing with middle-of-the-night surprises, a genuine plague here in SA!
It is a pity that in SA good gear like this is either way too dear or unavailable at any price. You Americans don’t know how lucky you are!”
Comment: My opinion on the subject of attaching “accessories” to otherwise perfectly usable rifles, shotgun, and pistols is well known. However, this X200 Surefire may be an exception. It is developing an enthusiastic, and well earned, following, as we see.
21 Mar 05
Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of War, comes down to us from 300BC, but its admonition is timeless. Sun Tzu may not have even existed. No one really knows. Many say he is just a manufactured entity, a distillation, to whom all sorts of clever sayings have been ascribed. Some historians say the same thing of the biblical Solomon.
Sun Tzu is best known for his linear view of history. Many in his era fancifully viewed time as a vast circle, with history continually repeating itself. As a veteran of countless military campaigns, Sun Tzu knew better. He knew that history is inexorably one way and that some things, once done, can never be undone, He put it:
“Bitterness can become joy. Anger can revert to delight. But, a nation, once destroyed, cannot be restored to existence, and the dead cannot be restored to life.”
His message is a simple one: You’ll not have a second chance to make up for mistakes and lapses during this life. For better or worse, this is the time into which you have been pitched. Your scorecard will stand as written.
On a national level, Sun Tzu knew that only spilled blood persuades. Nothing less sufficiently frightens our enemies. Accordingly, he insisted we must, as individual warriors, be prepared to fight and win at the most basic level. As individuals, we must relentlessly prepare for the inevitable fight for our lives. The alternative is to delude ourselves with wishful thinking and, in the end, resign ourselves to hopelessness.
Success is always self-justifying. Criticism of successful people, even when well-founded, is quickly forgotten and amounts to nothing. Historians always say magnanimous things about winners. Failure, even when well-intentioned, is still failure.
It is an age-old lesson many in our time stubbornly refuse to learn.
22 Mar 05
The Boadicean Rebellion, England, 60-61AD
By 50AD, Rome was the dominant civilization in Europe. Throwing off challenges by Greeks and Celts, Romans (learning from the Greeks) brought precise organization to land warfare. Heretofore, most land battles had been disorganized brawls. Indeed, brawling was a Celtic speciality. So long as Roman Legions could preserve organization and internal discipline, they were unbeatable on open ground. The Great Period of Roman expansion had begun!
Julius Caesar had actually invaded Britain twice before, first in 55 BC, and a year later, with a larger force, in 54 BC. He was able to broker a deal with local Celtic tribes as a result of the second invasion. However, Romans established no permanent presence and would be conspicuously absent from England for the next ninety years, in spite of flourishing trade back and forth across the channel. In 43AD, Emperor Claudius, having replaced murdered Caligula, invaded England once more, this time permanently subjugating local tribes and pacifying most of the southern portion of the island. His legion’s fortunes grew bleaker the further north they went, and Scotland remained largely free of Roman influence. However, southern, Celtic tribes, chiefly the Iceni, due to long-established economic relations, actually probably invited the Romans or at least accommodated them with a minimum of squabbling. Romans never invaded Ireland, considering it of little economic nor military value. Claudius died in 54AD and was succeeded by his nephew, Nero.
Relations turned sour six years later. Roman influence greatly benefitted noble families among Celtic tribes. Many profited handsomely, lived in grand estates, and functioned fairly autonomously. However, others among their countrymen considered themselves little more than slaves and chafed under Roman occupation, with its characteristically heavy taxation. The Iceni were particularly adverse to what they considered slavery. Romans concluded that the Iceni were becoming too sophisticated and too accustomed to personal freedom and political autonomy. They were even minting their own coins. Most disturbing, Iceni were all armed, unapologetically exercising an age-old tradition.
The catalectic event was the death of Iceni King Prasutagus (“king” only by consent the Romans), He died, an elderly man, in 60AD, splitting his considerable estate. Half went to the Romans as assurance that his family would remain in Rome’s good graces, and half went to his beautiful young wife, Boadicea (in her thirties at the time), and their two teen-age daughters. In a surprise move, the local Procurator, Catus Decianus, arbitrarily appropriated the entire estate, on the flimsy pretext that a state of war existed. To cement his double-cross, he stormed into the royal house, arrested Boadicea, and had her stripped, pilloried, and publicly beaten in her own courtyard. Her two daughters were then raped, also in public, by Roman soldiers, in order to make them less attractive as brides. Even at her young age, Boadicea was extremely influential and politically astute, and, foolishly underestimating her, Decianus thought this public humiliation would diminish her influence and drive her into seclusion and out of his way. A costly miscalculation, as it turned out.
A once grand noblewoman, Boadicea now found herself, literally overnight, impoverished, along with all other Iceni noble families. Their reduction to slave status was nearly complete. An angry and now dedicated Boadicea saw no alternative but to rise up in open rebellion. She wasted no time in putting together a coalition of Iceni and other tribes. She fully intended to take on Roman occupiers with force of arms. Her plan was far from foolhardy. Everyone knew the occupying Roman Army was depleted and stretched thin. She could easily put together a fighting force many times their size. However, there was no opportunity to train and fuse them into a disciplined, unified army. The chance was upon them, and they would have to fight as they were.
Displaying her astonishing persuasive ability and organizational acumen, Boadicea’s army, 100,000 strong, was on the march within a few weeks! This vast following, that sprang up in Boadicea’s support, took the Romans completely by surprise, and it came within a hair’s breadth of ending their occupation of Britain forever. Romans and their sympathizers everywhere were astounded, fearful, and running for cover.
“Boadicea.” The name means “victory.” Among the Iceni, women were the equals of men. They could own property and fight as warriors alongside their male counterparts. This elevated status for women was unknown in the rest of the world and came as a shock to the Romans. This woman rose from relative obscurity to be a notable military figure, the first of a number of English female sovereigns, a unique English custom. Boadicea had long, red hair and, by all accounts, was exceedingly attractive. Her countrymen, the Celtic Iceni, followed her to the end. Romans would regret inciting her wrath.
Before anyone knew it, Boadicea’s army was at the gates of Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester). In Colchester was a temple (built to honor the late Claudius) that had become a focal point of Iceni resentment. The Roman temple was put to use as a refuge, and it held out for two days, but was, in the end, overwhelmed and burned to the ground, with all the refugees inside. A Roman relief column was sent in and was also engaged and destroyed by the Britons. Its terrified commander fled across the canal to Gaul (France). Boadicea was unstoppable! The rest of the city’s hastily organized defensives were also quickly overwhelmed. Boadicea took no prisoners. All were killed or driven away. The entire town was burned to the ground.
On a roll, the next targets were Londinium (present-day London) and Verulamium (present-day St Albans). Both cities suffered the same fate. London was a thriving commercial hub, and its terrified people begged Paulinus Suetonius, Rome’s regional military commander/governor, to provide for their defense. But, Suetonius knew his small contingent could not begin to protect such a big, unwalled city. So, as local Romanized tribesmen cried and wailed for him to stay and protect them, he marched away. Catus Decianus, the foolish bully who started it all, fled his Londinium headquarters for Gaul (France), leaving the entire mess in Suetonius’ hands.
Only six months after it started, the Revolution was to see its final battle. Suetonius commanded the Fourteenth Legion, augmented by discharged veterans, who were not thrilled about having to fight again, but knew they had no choice. His force numbered fewer than ten thousand, and he faced Boadicea’s, which had now swollen to 200,000. But, he knew they were little more than disordered rabble, overconfident and vulnerable, particularly to a determined and well disciplined force such as his.
Suetonius picked his battleground well. To get to him, Boadicea’s army would have to attack uphill, along a narrow front. In fact, Suetonius cleverly bated Boadicea into his ambush. He knew Boadicea’s forces would be consumed with anger and impossible to control once they saw his legion neatly arrayed at the top of the hill.
Riding in a chariot, flanked by her daughters, Boadicea herself emboldened her troops, “On this spot, we must either conquer, or die with glory. There is no alternative. We are no one’s slaves!” Her fiery exultation worked too well! Suddenly, her line broke loose and charged, pell-mell, toward the Roman formation.
At the same time, Suetonius sternly commanded his men, “Steady, lads! Hold your position. Wait for my command. This mob of disjointed riff-raff is no match for us! Such rabble have fled from us in terror before, and the same fate awaits them today. They will change their fierce demeanor to cries of fright when faced with the cold iron and disciplined men. Faithfully execute our plan, lads, and victory will be ours!”
At Suetonius’ signal, his front ranks launched their javelins into the charging mass. An instant later, the second rank formed a saw-tooth front and charged down to meet the Britons, punching holes in their line and penetrating to the rear. Moments after that, Roman cavalry bore down from the flanks. And, in an instant, the tide turned! Fearful, disorganized Britons began to retreat, running into the second wave, which also broke and ran. Supply wagons blocked the exit and Boadicea’s entire army, now in total panic, began to pile up upon one another.
Eighty thousand Britons were killed that day, many clothed in their tartan plaids, with their skin pointed blue. Roman losses were fewer than four hundred. The Revolution had come to a disastrous end. Boadicea herself escaped but committed suicide, via poison, shortly thereafter. There is no record of the fate of her two daughters. The location of Boadicea’s grave is unknown. In fact, the exact location of the Battle also remains unknown to this day.
As a result of the short-lived insurrection, Suetonius was sacked and sent packing back to Rome. His brilliant military victory over Boadicea was noted, but the real issue was that it was necessary to begin with! Rome had a low tolerance for armed rebellion, and letting one get out of hand was considered a black mark on any governor/commander’s resume.
Serious cracks appeared in Roman-controlled England as early as 300AD, as Roman dominance started slipping in all her provinces. By the time the Empire split into Eastern and Western parts in 395AD, remaining Roman legions started to be withdrawn to oppose Huns and other invaders closer to Rome. By 450AD, all had departed, and not a few Romanized Celts went with them! England’s four-hundred-year period of Roman occupation had come to a permanent end. This was an veritable invitation for Saxons, Jutes, Angles, and Frisians (European Celtic tribes) to invade England, which they did with great ferocity, over the next hundred years. Frantic entreaties to the Empire to send fresh troops to repel these new invaders fell on deaf ears in Rome.
In London there is a statue of a valiant Boadicea, shown leading her army. The inscription says, “We are no one’s slaves.”
Lessons: “There can be no proper relation between one who is armed and one who is not; nor is it reasonable to expect that one who is armed will voluntarily obey one who is not, nor that the latter will ever feel secure among servants who are armed.”
“A wise man never tries to warm himself in front of a picture of a fire”
Men of Harlech, march to glory,
Victory is hov’ring o’er ye,
Bright-eyed freedom stands before ye,
Hear ye not her call?
At your sloth she seems to wonder,
Rend your sluggish bonds asunder,
Let your war cry’s deaf’ning thunder,
Ev’ry foe appall.
Your foes on ev’ry side assailing,
Forward press with heart unfailing, Till invaders learn with quailing,
Cambria ne’er can yield.
Thou who noble Cambria wrongest,
Know that freedom’s cause is strongest
Freedom’s courage lasts the longest,
Ending but with death!
Freedom countless hosts can scatter,
Freedom stoutest mail can shatter,
Freedom thickest walls can batter,
Fate is in her breath.
See they now are flying!
Dead are heaped with dying!
Over might has triumphed right,
Our land to foes denying;
Upon their soil we never sought them,
Love of conquest hither brought them,
But this lesson we have taught them,
Cambria ne’er can yield.
Welch Battle Song
23 Mar 05
Your new M4 Case:
On a tip from a friend in GA, I just purchased, at a local Wal-Mart, a soft, padded electric guitar case, made by FirstAct. Fits my M4 perfectly, even with the stock extended into its normal, firing position, and with a magazine locked into the magazine well. Three additional 30-round magazines fit in the zipper, side pouch. Price is $20.00. Fits short shotguns too!
My folding-stock RA-96 fits nicely into a hard, viola case, but the M-4, even with the stock all the way in, is still too long. Happily, this guitar case fits nearly any short rifle or shotgun, and it is relatively inexpensive. Makes for convenient, low-profile transport.
Most Wall-Marts have them. Web Site is www.firstact.com. Phone is 888 551 1115.
23 Mar 05
A friend just completed a 10-hour multi-agency, first responder, terrorism drill. He functioned as one of the offenders. He learned good lessons. Most infantrymen currently in Iraq could probably remind us of all this, but it needs repeating:
“Military rifles, even modern ones, are heavy. The M16 still weighs ten pounds when ready to go. Hanging ‘accessories’ on a railed forend makes it unwieldy and even heavier. Over several hours, I was forced to hold the rifle in various ready positions, low ready, high ready, and to switch to and from the support hand, in order to rest fatigued muscles. I believe that this muscular fatigue is generally unappreciated. It surely was for me. If you can’t hold your gun up, you can’t control it, and you can’t shoot it successfully. SHORT, LIGHT GUNS ARE BETTER FOR SERIOUS FIGHTING THAN ARE LONG, HEAVY ONES.
Training and practice are critical. When a door suddenly opened and the forward swivel on my rifle fouled on a chair, I instantly defaulted to my pistol, while retaining my rifle muzzle-down at my support side. I didn’t even realize I’d done it until I recognized a pistol sight picture on the chest of scenario director, who was coming in to coach us in adjustments to the role-play.
CONDITION RED CANNOT BE MAINTAINED FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES. Even in the intense portions of the exercise, I found my attention drifting as fatigue overtook me. I consciously had to force myself to relax and to drop to Condition Orange. I was constantly ratcheting up again, until my senses overloaded. After seven hours, a pack of determined children probably could have overwhelmed me.
At the onset of the exercise, several deputies ran directly toward me from the outside. They didn’t know exactly where I was, and I easily shot them all, because they were running right into my front sight. Had they run forward while weaving side to side, hitting them would have been much more difficult. The lesson here is, WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING DIRECTLY TOWARD A THREAT, FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE, YOU’RE STANDING STILL!
You need to handle loaded guns a lot, even if you don’t do a lot of five fire. Handling empty guns is much less beneficial. In their ‘harmless’ status, they become little more than furniture, and bad habits creep in. WHEN WELL PRACTICED, INGRAINED MOVEMENTS AND PROCEDURES WILL SURFACE WHEN YOU NEED THEM. It is better, by far, to do limited work correctly, under supervision, with a competent trainer than any amount uncoached work.
You’re better off alone than with incompetent partners! You are at the mercy of the least competent person in your group. INCOMPETENT PARTNERS ARE AS LIKELY TO SHOOT YOU OR THEMSELVES AS THEY ARE THE ENEMY.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Make yourself stop and figure out tactical issues first. No matter how desperate the situation, YOU CAN’T FIX IT IF YOU’RE DEAD OR TOO BADLY INJURED TO FULFILL YOUR MISSION.”
24 Mar 05
Situational Awareness, from one of our instructors in WA:
“I spent last weekend at a resort hotel in Canada, on a company junket. My G32 stayed home, but I took my Fox OC and several blades. Friday evening, my date and I found a friendly, neighborhood, Irish bar and settled down to a relaxing evening of listening to great Irish music.
As is my habit, I was sitting facing the door. I saw a man come in and walk around the bar, obviously looking for someone. He caught my attention right away. Apparently not finding the person for whom he was looking, he took a position at the bar, directly behind my companion. He kept looking at the front entrance and was obviously not listening to the music. He continued to garner my attention, then my concern. While dressed in ski attire (blending in, at least superficially), his body language was all wrong. He was not there to have a good time. He was on a mission.
I got my date’s attention and whispered in her ear that the person behind her was making me nervous and that we were moving. She giggled and said ‘Oooh, your Ninja sense is acting up. Do you think we’re going to be attacked?’ ‘Just humor me,’ I replied sternly. ‘We’re moving now!’ She rolled her eyes and slowly got up. We moved to a booth near the emergency exit, across the room from the suspect.
Sure enough, twenty minutes later a large group of skiers came in. As they passed the suspect, he reached out and grabbed one of the women by the arm, nearly jerking her off her feet. There followed much yelling and a brief scuffle, during which the table at which my date and I had been sitting was knocked over and broken. The bartender and several other employees stepped in, separated the suspect from the others, and escorted him to the door.
‘That’s amazing,’ said my date, ‘You totally called that!” (Great body, but what a dip!).”
Lesson: Violent encounters seldom “come out of nowhere”. There are usually warning signs aplenty, but we’ve become too polite, too concerned about appearances, and to worried about being mocked. Be sure your spouse, or whoever else you spend time with, knows that, when you say “We need to leave now!” there is no argument and nor hesitation.
Old Chinese Proverb: “Stupid friends are dangerous.”
26 Mar 05
Atlanta incident details, from a friend and lawyer in the area:
“Video cameras, monitored at the local sheriff department, clearly displayed the entire courthouse attack on the single, hapless deputy guarding the unhandcuffed prisoner. At the time of the incident, there were no fewer than three other deputies assigned to duty in the SO’s command center who were, among other things, supposed to be monitoring the video:
One deputy had been sent to assist in a courtroom, leaving two in the command center.
Another deputy was sent away by the captain to fetch the captain’s breakfast.
Only one officer remained to both monitor the video and perform the other duties. He was apparently distracted when the attack took place and neither saw nor reported it.
I surely hope the captain enjoyed her breakfast!
It gets worse. The prisoner responsible for the murders was found with a shank on him two days earlier. What additional precautions were taken with respect to this prisoner? Apparently none! They did not even search his cell. When they finally did, AFTER all the murders, they discovered detailed plans of his escape route and a ‘hit list’ of individuals, that included the judge who was murdered.
This elevates negligence to an art form. Anyone familiar with Atlanta knows nothing substantive will be done, and our idiot sheriff will remain in office, unless, of course, we can get him to take over at the UN! You’re on your own down here.”
27 Mar 05
More comments on Atlanta, from a friend and student, who is a sitting district judge:
“We are finishing a construction project at our courthouse. The county, in their infinite wisdom, is installing surveillance cameras and metal detectors. In their lack of infinite wisdom, they decided that cannot afford to hire anyone to staff metal detectors nor watch the video monitors. So, most of the time, metal detectors will be inoperable and video monitors will gather dust somewhere. More expensive, feel-good nonsense that accomplishes nothing.
As you might imagine, I take scant comfort in these bogus ‘security enhancements.’ The SO’s response time to my courtroom, even if they get an alarm, is a full minute; plenty of time for someone to shoot up the place, reload, and do it several more times. As far as I can see, the only purpose for video cameras is to provide an excellent videotape record of the carnage, so it can be shown on CNN that evening. Great for their ratings. No so good for us.
Bottom line: I decided a long time ago that we in the courtroom are on our own, and we must plan accordingly. I do.”
Comment: Truth can overcome fiction any time somebody, such as my friend here, wants to insist.
There is an inescapable falseness associated with putting weak, incompetent people in harm’s way. This is without reference to popular illusions associated with liberal social goals, which I do not support anyway, because they are based on lies. Sometimes, those lies kill people, as we saw in Atlanta. The prisoner in Atlanta obviously didn’t subscribe to the social goals of affirmative action, or he would have pretended that the deputy could control him, just as she, and others, were also pretending that she could.
Our civilization wallows in leftist prevarication to the point where we are all expected to pretend it is truth, even when facts clearly demonstrate it isn’t. Anyone who believes facts and thus rejects this far-left rubbish is immediately marginalized with all manner of unflattering titles. Those of us who live in the real world have grown accustomed to it, but, curiously, it is always us to whom these delusional grasseaters flock for protection when calamity strikes, and their own house of cards comes tumbling down.
31 Mar 05
News from SA on their current, national “Gun Amnesty” program:
“So far, 30 000 firearms have been ‘handed in’ to the government, only 6,772 of which were actually ‘illegally possessed.’ The government has been running spots on TV threatening gun owners and indicating all privately-owned firearms should be surrendered to them, regardless of the gun’s status.
‘Gun-Free South Africa,’ a leftist lobby group, has launched their own TV appeal, telling gun owners that surrendering their firearms to the government will lead to:
A. ‘Inner peace.’ (I have lots of that when I know I have an effective means of protecting myself from violent criminals!)
B. A peaceful South Africa (SA is anything but peaceful, and there is no prospect that violent crime here will decrease any time soon.)
C. A ‘better universe.’ (They don’t specify: better than what?)
One can almost see grass dangling from their mouths when they speak!”
31 Mar 05
A note from USMC Capt Anderson, currently deployed to Iraq, and to whom we’ve been sending needed items for his guys; items that are hard to get otherwise:
“We have plenty of white socks. No more needed right now. However, you can add these two items to the list:
1. Air fresheners. The porta-johns here can be exciting in the summer!
2. Sunscreen. For some reason, there is none is the supply line right now.
Cold Steel, Emerson knives, fixed and folding
Dry lube, Hoppe’s, Outer’s, Remington
9mm and 223 Boresnake
Beretta OEM 92F normal-capacity magazines
Leatherman tools, “Wave” and “Crunch”
LED “soft” lights (Map lights)
still in short supply and always appreciated. Thanks to all!”
His mailing address is:
Captain Ryan L Anderson, USMC
MWSS 371 Engineer Operations Company
FPO AP 96426-3041
31 Mar 05
From an LEO friend in WI:
“The Wisconsin State Patrol converted to the G22 last year, finally abandoning the Ruger autopistol, which they had for a number of years, but with which they were never happy. Since, they have had three negligent discharges caused by operators failing to unload the Glock properly prior to taking the slide off the frame. The first two only involved property damage.
Last Wednesday, a trooper shot his little finger off.”
Lesson: The “Keep you muzzle continuously pointed in a safe direction” rule applies to ALL gun handling, not just gun handling on the range!
31 Mar 05
I had the opportunity to run rounds through my G38 (45GAP) over the last two days. I shot Cor-Bon 160gr DPX as well as WW generic 200gr hardball. All functioned without a hitch.
The pistol carries similar to a G19/23/32. Recoil is similar to that of 40S&W. It is a hard-hitting package in a nine-shooter, a high-pressure forty-five caliber round with plenty of power. For those who like forty-five caliber, it may be a good way to go.
There is no current data base of actual shootings that I know of, as the round is new. However, I am comfortable enough with it to carry it around for my own protection. My current carry round is Cor-Bon 160gr DPX. I’ll have many more opportunities to shoot it over the next few months.
Like all Glocks, it works just fine!”