1 Aug 09
American in 2009, no good deed goes unpunished:
Last Wednesday, a teller working at a Seattle, WA bank was confronted by a robbery suspect.
The 29-year-old suspect, a slovenly, unkempt, perpetually-unemployed “transient” (what we used to call a “vagrant”), with a lengthily criminal record, and at the time under the supervision of Washington’s Department of Corrections, nervously walked into the bank and demanded money from the first teller he saw.
This teller, instead of timidly handing over a wad of cash, lunged at the startled suspect, knocking him backward. He then chased the suspect out of the bank and down the street, where he captured him and held him for police. The suspect was arrested at the scene a short time later.
The bank’s predictable response was to fire the heroic teller the following day! I’m sure they’re petrified that the robbery suspect will sue them for “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” so upside-down is our civilization.
What caught my attention were the absurd and demeaning statements made by the local PD, as well as the FBI:
Advice from SPD:
“When confronted by a violent criminal, it is best to comply, unless you feel your personal safety is in jeopardy.”
Now, when “confronted by a violent criminal,” when am I supposed to think my personal safety is NOT in jeopardy?
These guys need to listen to what they themselves are saying!
From the local FBI/SAC (Special Agent in charge):
“You want tellers to be proactive, but you want them to do it safely.”
Now, how it is possible to be “proactive” safely? How is it possible to take any positive action safely?
Once again, this “advice” is self-contradictory nonsense!
Translated into plain English, the message is clear:
(1) We want all American Citizens to think of themselves only as feeble, helpless victims. Being a “good victim” is your ultimate, civic duty.
(2) When violent criminals express a desire to rape, maim, and/or murder you, always wait until it is too late before deciding to defend yourself, and never do anything that has any chance of success!
(3) The use of force is the exclusive province of government and criminals. You peons exist only to serve the former, and entertain the latter.
(4) Don’t be a hero! We don’t like heroes. We want only timid, frightened, impoverished victims who think they need us.
The real truth is:
(1) You are on your own! “Protection” provided by police, and the FBI, is mostly illusion.
(2) Go armed. Train regularly.
(3) Act at the critical moment! Use force upon your own summary command and judgement, with enthusiasm, and without apology. We are Sovereign Citizens and thus entitled to unilaterally protect ourselves via any means necessary.
(4) Be a hero! This civilization was built by heroes. Frightened cowards never built anything!
2 Aug 09
Some say that they would “… rather be lucky than good,” preferring to avoid the hard work of training.
It has been my experience, however, that who train enthusiastically and regularly are most often the “lucky ones!”
There is often a shallow focus on objects, such as guns, to act as a talisman, but only the naive really believe in good-luck charms. Self-deception may represent a temporary refuge for some, but a fraudulent one that will predicably unravel when the Test comes.
Since last fall, there has been a mad rush among Americans to acquire firearms and ammunition. While diminished somewhat, the feeding-frenzy is still ongoing. However, when newly-armed, the untrained are still “unarmed,” just as a new piano-owner is not automatically a “musician.” Capable training provides skills necessary to run guns competently. Superior training provides a moral compass, correct mindset, and interactive skills. While physical skills are critical, they are incomplete without a practiced philosophical overlay that is true and right.
And, while superior training is expensive and requires serious commitment, when were you ever sorry that you had the best of anything?
My friend and esteemed colleague, Tom Givens, says superior training is always:
Realistic, Relevant, and Recent.
When was the last time that applied to you?
Come and train with us in Columbia, SC this 24-25 Oct, where Rich Wright and I will be offering a Force-on-Force, Scenario-Based training Program, a combination of live-fire and Airsoft.
Learn how to run your gun, but, more importantly, learn within the context that will enable you to emerge victorious from your next fight.
Get hold of Rich at email@example.com.
Other, similar Programs are scheduled for other places this fall. Get hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
2 Aug 09
“Unfit” in so many ways!
An accidentally declassified emergency memo from the UK’s military hierarchy reveals that a high percentage of British soldiers are so obese they cannot be deployed! Habitual unfitness is apparently epidemic within Britain’s military.
The un-fit are classified as “PUDs” (Personnel Unable to Deploy), and there are thousands. Many more thousands are classified at “LDs” (Limited Deployability), whatever that means (one would think a soldier is either “deployable,” or he is not).
The note concludes with the anguished plea that the Army must “…re-invigorate a Warrior Ethos.”
The problem is that Britain’s “Warrior Ethos,” along with its once-proud Gun Culture, was expelled from the Island by the nanny-state decades ago.
They’re only just-now noticing some “unintended consequences!”
3 Aug 09
This telling commentary, from a friend with the Bureau:
“The sad reality is that the disturbingly absurd advice promulgated by the FBI/SAC you mentioned in your Quip is not limited to those outside the Bureau.
What those up the food-chain dearly want to tell us Grunts is, ‘Never shoot anyone under any circumstances.’ Lacking the courage to come out and say it, the chosen approach now is to make it so ponderous to comply with all ‘administrative rules’ involved in going after violent criminals, that it is rare indeed any more when we actually do.
A mere decade ago, I had a boss who regularly sent my partner and I out, on our own, to track-down, confront, and arrest dangerous, armed bank robbers. His only guidance was some variation on, ‘Arrest the son-of-a-bitch. If he resists violently, shoot him!’
Now, prior to even conducting an interview, let alone an arrest, we are saddled with the absurdly cumbersome requirement to complete a lengthy, written ‘arrest-plan’ that must then be approved at every level of management, a tedious, insufferable process which eliminates any species of spontaneity. In many divisions, now only the SWAT team is allowed to make felony arrests. Little trust, much less confidence, is conferred upon street-SAs any more.
The problem is not that we mere Grunts might get hurt. Far from it! The problem is that we might actually do our job, fire our weapons, killing some dirt-bags in the process, an event that will invariably have, God forbid, the anguished result of derailing someone’s career.
It is infinitely safer, from a career standpoint, to ‘encourage’ one’s subordinates to never fire their guns at all, under any circumstance, in fact, never to ‘do’ anything!
Many of us are trying hard to stand against this, but we do so while counting the days until the current ‘Director’ finds something else to do. Extremely unlikely under the current Administration!”
Comment: Owing to this flawed philosophy that has crept into the upper levels of law-enforcement, described in the foregoing, SAs, and police officers in general, are regularly exposing themselves to what can only be described as suicidal risks, in a desperate effort to avoid shooting, in cases where shooting is clearly indicated and justified.
Political support from violent criminals, and their families, is an openly coveted and sought-after commodity with many sleazy, shameless politicians. Simply put, they’re much happier with dead police officers than with dead criminals!
And, they get elected!
4 Aug 09
Well stated, from a long-time street-LEO, now retired:
“Your last Quip eloquently explains why I abruptly separated from my department after twenty-five years of passionate public service:
I wasn’t tired of the job, but I could no longer stand watching a chief who would far rather see his mug in the papers, and hear his name repeated, ad-nauseam, on the evening news for his supposed involvement with some ‘community project,’ than take a chance of seeing an arrest report that indicated we police officers had actually laid hands on a miscreant.
Police work is not always forceful, nor is it always a kind-and-gentle meeting-of-minds after tea and crumpets in the solarium. The V in VCA is not for ‘Vacillate!’
Violence on the part of criminals actors must be confronted, contained, and controlled, quickly, and via appropriate force. There certainly are times when a strong word or two, along with a stern expression, carry the day, but most often ‘appropriate force’ will be acutely, immediately necessary, and will inevitably involve pain, physical contact, physical custody, and inconvenience, maybe even ‘deadly-persuasion.’
What naive ‘administrators’ do not grasp is that the criminal actor, not responding LEOs, determine what level of force is reasonably necessary!
When officers are confronted with illegal force (violence), it is our sworn duty to respond, without delay, with superior force, until the situation is back under control. Too often, inexperienced officers respond to violent criminals with an inappropriately low level of force, far less than is reasonably required, and sometimes they get away with it.
‘Administrators’ then begin to falsely believe that their officer’s indecisiveness and timidity was all wonderful and reward him for his incorrect actions. When this same officer is subsequently murdered, because he didn’t ‘get-away-with-it’ a second time, there are myriad accolades for this ‘kind, gentle, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly’ officer, rather than the stark recognition that the officer, in fact, committed suicide-by-stupidity, and was aided and abetted by an ill-informed, naive, self-serving System which inappropriately hired him in the first place!
There is no ‘safe way’ to be a victim, intentionally or otherwise. Spineless shadows of men have no place in modern law enforcement, on the beat, nor in the office.”
Comment: As has been said before, when police confrontations get out of hand, it is invariably because first-responders failed to employ an appropriate level of force in the first place. The problem is not usually “excessive force,” but rather excessively repeated applications of conspicuously ineffective/inferior force! In the end, more people are hurt than would have been, if tough, decisive cops had arrived and taken charge immediately. Ultimately, indecision, hesitation, dithering, and timidity get far more officers hurt and killed than does the precise, appropriate, immediate, and unapologetic use of force.
We desperately need tough cops. We need tough sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and chiefs even more!
As if to make the point, a deputy chief with LAPD, who obviously needs to get out more, was recently quoted as saying, “You use it (the diminutive, impotent Fabrique National 57) on large lions, tigers and bears!”
5 Aug 09
Californians nervously brace for the onslaught:
A series of lawsuits against the State of California, some dating back more than a decade, finally came to a crescendo today:
A federal, three-judge panel has ruled that CA must release 43,000 of its 150,000 incarcerated criminals, nearly one-third of the state’s prison population! This represents the latest punch-line in the joke we call “modern government.”
How all these premature releases will be accomplished is currently up in the air, but the mandate is set, and the State, though utterly bankrupt, will have to comply.
If past experience is any guide, several eventualities are beyond doubt:
(1) Most discharged inmates will re-offend within weeks of release, creating a whole new generation of victims.
(2) As a result, most re-offending inmates will then be re-convicted and subsequently re-incarcerated, probably to the same prison from whence they came, resulting in the same overcrowding that generated the “problem” in the first place.
In the end, nothing will change, except that a bunch of new, innocent people will be harmed, robbed, raped, maimed, and murdered, who never would have been victimized otherwise!
As with most taxpayers, I don’t like the fact that millions are spent on building, staffing, and maintaining prisons. But, it is undeniably money well spent!
Every minute these criminals are locked up, they are not out committing more crimes, at least among the general public. Most are destined to die in prison, and that is probably the best that can be expected from their worthless lives. The only real purpose for prisons is to protect the public, not create a cushy life for convicts.
“Rehabilitation” is a term we’ve naively invented to describe a non-existent phenomenon. No such thing ever takes place, in prisons, nor anywhere else! Crime is a habit, and habitual criminals need to be locked up permanently. The instant they get out, they re-offend, without fail.
Again, neither federal judges, nor most other politicians, give a damn about public safety, insulated as they are behind an army of heavily-armed bodyguards. In fact, there is apparently no limit to the amount of our money they are willing to spend protecting/insulating themselves!
Meanwhile, we ordinary, law-abiding, taxpaying peons are on our own! We can expect nothing.
We are expendable pawns in political games, every bit as much as are all these newly-released inmates!
7 Aug 09
Force: “Reasonable,” “Superior,” “Effective,” “Equal,” “Optimal,” or “Minimal?”
In teaching Defensive Shooting, within our domestic environment, “use-of-force” issues always dominate the discussion. We can provide students with what we believe represents competent guidance. What we cannot provide is specific, nor perfect, solutions for every conceivable threat a student may encounter.
“Force,” in the legal sense, means “to compel via physical means.” We legitimately, lawfully use force, or the threat of force, to compel violent criminals to cease and desist harmful/threatening behavior, and/or to disengage and go away.
Deadly force (that degree or type of force that is intended, or likely, to cause death or serious bodily harm) is legitimately, lawfully employed as a last resort to what you reasonably believe to be an bona-fide, unlawful, imminent, deadly threat posed by a violent criminal. Understand that some weapons, like guns and blades, are considered inherently “deadly,” and thus cannot be employed in a “non-deadly” manner.
We all need to understand that many in the criminal justice system believe they have, and should have, a monopoly on the use of any kind of force. They are mistaken, but this false nation is common. Thus, any unilateral use of force on the part of a Sovereign Citizen will often be greeted with suspicion and condescension by investigators and prosecutors alike. Expect it. Don’t become a victim of it!
Judgments with regard to the appropriateness of a person’s use of force in self-defense require consideration of:
(1) The relationship between the amount and type of force actually used, and the apparent need presented,
(2) The relationship between the stated intent of the user of force, and the extent of injuries actually inflicted, and
(3) The presence, or absence, of a good-faith effort on the part of the person employing force in self-defense to adhere to, as dispassionately as possible, the singular goal of preserving his own safety and that of other innocent parties. That is, whatever type or amount of force is initially employed, one may not continue to apply it after the threat has clearly been eliminated or has voluntarily desisted/withdrawn. Such “unnecessary force” is uncalled for and serves no legitimate purpose.
When a fight is unavoidable, it is best to end it, on our terms, quickly! The longer the fight/confrontation goes on, the more my safety is compromised.
It should be noted that ill-conceived hate-crime legislation makes “wrong” intentions a crime in and of itself, even when the person’s actions were otherwise lawful and appropriate. In other words, when using force, one may only think government-approved thoughts!
The advice I give to students as the discussion progresses is that the key word here is “reasonable.” Under the totality of circumstances existing at the time, was your use of force an example of what a reasonable person would do? You are not required to be a saint, nor come up with the “perfect” solution, but your actions need to be within the “reasonable” range. However, any force used that is ineffective in abrogating the threat cannot be “reasonable.” By definition, “reasonable” force is “effective” force.
And, to be truly effective in quickly ending the threat, “effective” force is “superior” force. Again, merely prolonging a potentially-deadly confrontation can hardly be considered a “reasonable” option!
So, “reasonable” force is both “superior” and “effective,” or there is no point. When in a fight for my very life, “inferior,” “ineffective” force surely has no appeal!
Thus, fraudulent doctrines such as “equal force” and “minimal force” undermine the principle of legitimate self-defense:
When I am only authorized to employ “equal” force against a VCA threatening me with a gun, must I only use a gun “equal” to his? When he shoots at me and misses, must I miss also, in order to maintain equality? As you can see, “equal-force” is an unworkable can or worms.
The problem with “minimal-force” is with the definition! Whatever type or amount of force you use, someone can always claim that, had you used less force, things would have worked out just fine! Well, we’ll never know. Will we? “Minimal” does not equate with “effective”
Finally, when facing deadly, unlawful threats, you don’t need to be thinking about any of the foregoing! You need to ask yourself only one question:
“What can I do to keep from getting hurt?”
When whatever you do, or decide not to do, is even half-way reasonable, you’re probably going to be okay in the legal sense, assuming you’re still alive to worry about it.
But, there are no guarantees!
9 Aug 09
On aftermarket pistol barrels, from my Pistolsmith:
“One of the few articulable reasons for purchasing an aftermarket barrel for your Glock pistol is so that you’ll have a barrel with traditional, cut rifling. That will make shooting unjacketed, lead bullets slightly less messy!
Storm Lake, Wilson, Bar-Sto, Jarvis, Lone Wolf, et al all make these barrels. I’ve found accuracy is almost always compromised, relative to Glock’s OEM barrel, but not in any practical sense.
I don’t recommend shooting any species of unjacketed bullets through any pistol, particularly autoloaders, and particularly Glocks. In short order, you’ll end up with a greasy, gummy mess! However, in light of current shortages and looming anti-gun/anti-ammunition legislation, we may all be melting wheel weights and lead pipe before long!
Storm Lake offers the widest variety of replacement barrels for Glocks. They make extended, threaded, ported and even conversion barrels, that allow you to shoot 9mm ammo out of 40S&W guns. Their barrels do, however, have ‘fully-supported’ chambers. There is not much of a feed-ramp, a ‘feature’ which may generate feeding issues with some ammunition.
By contrast, OEM Glock barrels have an ample feed-ramp, which makes for reliable feeding, but sometimes they eject bulged cases, particularly in 40S&W and 357SIG. This, however, is of scant concern to all but hobby-reloaders.”
Comment: I love this Country!
When an OEM manufacturer declines to make a particular accessory, you can bet someone else will, for better or worse!
Ultimately, most quality guns run fine, as they come from the factory. Think long and hard before “accessorizing!” Most after-market accessories, even well-made ones, do little to extend the life-span or their owners!
9 Aug 09
Two things move under this night sky:
that Thing that came to murder, and I
He, released from prison to roam,
and I, peaceably headed home
He carries a knife and drug-addled sense,
seeing prey, without defense
I detect movement, intuitive fear
and put my hand to pistol near
Worried, alone in that gloomy blight
above the fear, I prepare to fight
He sees my pistol and makes no sound,
fleeing to hunt less risky ground
No predator dares go hunting for me
for I am armed, and that makes me free
I holster my pistol and slowly stand down
heading, once-again, towards home in my dark, sleeping town
For there are two things that, this night, shall not die:
my Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and I!
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of ravenous wolves, cynically masquerading as ‘shepherds!'”
10 Apr 09
How many shots?
This from a LEO in CA:
“Last week, during a sweep, two of our tactical officers confronted a well-known, local VCA and gang-member. He was armed and, without hesitation, went for his concealed pistol.
He never made it!
Both our officer fired simultaneously, and both rounds hit. VCA was 10-X’ed, twice. He went right down and was DRT at the scene. All of which is wonderful, of course, but both officers attempted to fire their pistol multiple times, and both unhappily discovered they were, unbeknownst to them, carrying one-shooters!
As it turns out, additional rounds were probably unnecessary, but both officers were astonished to discover that their pistols had failed to cycle normally after the first round.
It was subsequently diagnosed, in both cases, to be a feed-ramp problem. Easily corrected. However, these guys are all high-speed, and this kind of misstep is not supposed to happen!”
(1) Test your gear before you carry it! More than once I’ve failed to adequately test, with the high-performance ammunition I carry for serious purposes, a pistol I just got back from my favorite gunsmith, only to discover (on the range, fortunately) that my new pistol didn’t like the ammunition I was feeding it. How unfair!
In this business we don’t like “surprises.” Accordingly, don’t set yourself up to be “surprised!” Make sure you’re not “beta-testing” in the field!
(2) When carrying an autoloading pistol, you’re pretty-much guaranteed the first shot. There are no guarantees after that. Your gun may run normally, and it may not!
Accordingly, never forget that the most important shot you’ll ever fire, and maybe the only one you’ll get to fire, is your first one!
The naive foolishly believe that they can afford to pitch their first few rounds, because they have a “high-capacity” magazine. Never allow yourself to be seduced by that false line of thinking.
Treat every round as if it were your only round, and you’ll live through many fights, as these two officers so expertly demonstrated!
11 Aug 09
More comments from gunsmiths:
“Who insist on pounding lead bullets down pistol’s bores will experience lead build-up. It’s unavoidable! However, who shoot lead bullets exclusively, will experience a progressive, and significant, degradation in accuracy, and, as you mentioned, a greasy, gummy, disgusting mess, but there will probably be no safety issue associated with the practice. Most lead build-up is just ahead of the chamber, and that is also where it is most difficult to remove.
The real problem comes when you subsequently shoot high-performance, jacketed ammunition through a barrel with appreciable lead build-up. Catastrophic bulging, even bursting, of the barrel is likely. In the latter case, the frame may well be ripped asunder also. When the dust settles, pray you still have a hand!
There was a time when this routine was common with 38Spl revolvers. FMJ ammunition was fired through the revolver now and then in order to ‘clean out the lead.’ Actually, precious little lead is actually thus removed, but the procedure was common. A few revolvers blew-up, but not many, due to the relatively low pressure of the round, and the fact that the cylinder/barrel gap functioned as a safety-valve, bleeding off excessive pressure, and, of course, most lead bullets were cold-formed and thus dead-soft.
Continuing that same practice today, with relatively high-pressure rounds (40S&W, 357SIG, 45GAP), and autoloading pistols where the chamber is continuous with the barrel, and lead bullets that are hard/cast, is tantamount to begging the question!
“OEM Glock parts are relatively loose-fitting, in order to promote reliable functioning under a wide variety of circumstances. However, tolerances on those same parts are so precise as to come close to being exact. Impressive!
Everything Glock does is by design. Nothing is left to chance!”
>From friend and colleague, Irv Stone, owner of Bar-Sto. Irv is not only a good friend, but a shooter and manufacturer for whom I have immense respect. I personally have Bar-Sto barrels on several of my carry-guns. If it were otherwise, he would not have a voice in this Forum:
“There is no ‘compromised accuracy’ with my barrels! I have never seen any factory barrel shoot close to ours, with regard to accuracy, nor durability for that matter. We make barrels for Glocks, and just about every other main-stream auto-pistol.”
11 Aug 09
Training comments, from a retired USN commander, and one of our Instructors:
“After years of running emergency drills on US Naval vessels, I learned (mostly the hard way) a few vital Principles of Training.
In a real emergency, our students will invariably rise to the level of their training- not their, nor our, expectations! So, the more painful, relevant, hard, and emotional our training, the better we respond when bad things happen.
As an example, when fire breaks out inside a submerged submarine (something that happens a lot more often than is ever reported) visibility degrades to near-zero, usually in less than a minute. Yet, we routinely trained in bright light, and could not turn off the lights, due to the need to operate the reactor-plant safely.
One of my sharp, young sailors suggested stuffing the inside of our emergency air-breathing apparatus with black trash-can liners, in order to simulate low visibility, and bad air. We did it that way, and quickly, unhappily discovered that our previous training had been utterly inadequate. Our first drill, thus encumbered, was a fair imitation of a Three-Stooges movie!
I began to realize precisely what you emphasize in Classes: Good training is ever scary, demanding, and makes you feel inadequate and stupid. When you finish and ‘feel good about it,’ you probably weren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Learning takes place when you fail, not when you succeed!
Thus, any training worthy of the name is going to be both frustrating and ‘dangerous,’ no matter what safety procedures are in place. But, failing to train is even more dangerous, and the consequences ever appalling and irrevocable. Ask any commander who has lost a battle!
And, failing to train because those in charge are more worried about their next promotion than the lives of their crew-members, is criminal!”
Comment: Naive “administrators” about whom we’re talking fully expect a chocolate cake to emerge when they dump together vinegar and baking soda, and are astonished when it doesn’t happen!
“We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears.”
François de La Rochefoucauld
13 Aug 09
Winners and Losers:
I have a copy of a painting, commissioned years ago by Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn, called “Winners and Losers.” It depicts a smokey 1880s gambling hall filled with poker players. Some are obviously fearful and frustrated. Others are cheerful and confident. It is a masterpiece!
In our line of work, we could probably teach chimpanzees how to operate a pistol, or play poker for that matter, but they still wouldn’t have a clue with regard to how either activity properly fits into their lives.
Among our human students, we typically have “nice” people who are personally honest and generally successful in our civilization, but many still display what we call “loser-traits” which will predictably sabotage an otherwise sincere effort to master our Art.
Winners are unafraid! They spend their time finding a way to win, rather than looking for an excuse to lose. Winners fear neither victory nor failure.
Losers are deathly afraid of both!
Yes, losers are afraid! Fear ever haunts the base of their being and prevents them from ever walking upright, confidently, proudly.
Losers mumble! They don’t speak clearly, nor with conviction. They can’t even speak in complete sentences, because their thought processes are confused and perverse. They are afraid of truth, afraid of reality in all forms. They doubt their ability to handle life, so they hide their faces from the light of day.
Losers are bitter and resentful! They are angry with everyone. They can’t handle correction. They savagely defend their every mistake, every blunder, every crime like a lioness her young! Their elaborate rationalizations are sadly comical.
Losers are afraid of growing up! They prefer to be “taken care of.” Accepting full, personal responsibility for anything is unthinkable.
Losers snivel, whine, and make excuses! They take personal responsibility for nothing, always blaming others and “bad luck” for every gloomy hand they’re dealt. Losers are best described as “professional victims.”
Losers surround themselves with enablers and coddlers who never challenge them! Losers associate only with other losers!
Losers are chronically unproductive! They run their mouths continuously, but habitually shun productive work.
Losers know right from wrong, but conduct their lives as if they didn’t! They’re into “situation ethics,” offering up endless excuses for chronic lying and other misdeeds.
Most of all, losers are ashamed, and should be! They cheerlessly watch themselves missing out on all the best life has to offer, but personal vanity and cowardice ever prevent them from sincerely repenting, and then boldly claiming their own magnificence.
As Instructors, these loser traits, some of which, to some degree, are displayed by nearly everyone, are our constant adversary.
Again, merely teaching a set of mechanical skills is just the beginning, and indeed, almost a side-show!
17 Aug 09
“A nation can survive fools, even ambitious ones. But, it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gate is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banners openly. The traitor moves freely among those within our gates. His sly whispers rustling through galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself, for the traitor appears as a friend. He speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and garments. He appeals to the despicability that lies deep in the hearts of all men and thus rots the soul of a nation. He works secretly to undermine the pillars of the City. He contaminates the body politic, so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”
Cicero, 42 BC
“I have little interest in ‘streamlining’ government, nor in making it ‘more efficient,’ for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to ‘promote welfare,’ for I propose to extend Freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is Constitutionally permissible. And, when attacked for ‘neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is Liberty, and in that cause I am doing the best I can.”
Barry Goldwater, 1960
“It is often said that power corrupts. But, it is equally important to realize that weakness corrupts too! Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are faults of the weak. Resentment on the part of the weak springs not from injustice done to them, but from their own sense of inadequacy and impotence.”
Eric Hoffer, 1980
19 Aug 09
At an Urban Rifle Course in MN last weekend, we had the usual assortment of ARs in 223, plus one “AR-10” in 308. All ran fine, except the AR-10! It choked periodically during the entire weekend, but would not run at all during our close-range exercises, when the stock was not fully supported. In addition, the aluminum forend became too hot to even touch, much less hold, within a very few rounds. Silly!
I’ve yet to see a Stoner-System (pressurized receiver) rifle run well in any caliber but 223! Last weekend was no exception. When you must have a 308, both the M14 (SA/M1A), FAL (DSA/SA58), and HK91 (PTR91) run just fine, and those three top the List of military rifles in that caliber. All three are battle-weary systems that have be tested and re-tested in real war!
Again, there are (1) “commercial-grade” rifles and (2) “military-grade” rifles. No serious Operator wants anything to do with the former category! The two used to be easy to distinguish from each other via external profile, but today there are a number of frail, commercial-grade “target” rifles masquerading as serious rifles, so that their vainglorious owners can gain an (mostly imaginary) advantage at some trivial target competition. Such otiose toys will predictably break-down under sustained fire and rugged environments.
Any time a manufacturer offers “target-upgrades,” like “special” triggers and barrels, avoid them like the plague! For serious purposes, you are going to need a plain-vanilla, utility, military-grade, battle-rifle, with a NATO-specification chamber that is intended only for serious, military purposes.
The last thing your need is a temperamental, breakage-prone prima-donna designed to “impress,” rather than perform. Such faineant playthings are of interest only to the shallow and self-centered.
19 Aug 09
News from Krebs
Ever-innovating Mark Krebs at Krebs Custom showed me two new products today:
His new “Speed-Loader” feature for his standard Kalashnikov Rifle has an angled flange to guide the magazine into place and well as a release button that can be easily accessed by either hand. It makes reloading the Kalashnikov a good deal easier, smoother, and faster than before. I’ll have a copy for testing shortly!
Mark showed me another Kalashnikov in 223 that takes standard, AR magazines! He is going to see a significant demand for this feature!
I like seeing genuine innovations in this industry, and Mark can always be depended upon to deliver.
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20 Aug 09
Report from a friend in-Country (Afghanistan):
“Big gun-battle here yesterday!
I experienced a failure-to-extract with my M4. I couldn’t clear it, so I had to default to my M9 (Beretta 92F). Insurgents tried to shoot me as I performed immediate-action/transition, but I was moving so fast they were unsuccessful. M9 ran fine.
My experience is not unusual. Lots of extraction issues here with the M4. “Ammunition-problems” is the current party-line, but it strikes me that the real problem is soft-extraction, due to worn extractors. Many are chipped and otherwise badly haggard.”
Comment: It is well-known that the bolt, particularly the extractor, is a weak-point with the Stoner System. The extractor and extractor-spring must be perpetually looked after.
MGI’s “D-Ring” is an interim fix that is enormously helpful. Highly recommended for all ARs.
26 Aug 09
Airport notes, from a student who just completed our Pistol Course in MI:
“When I went through TSA Security at DTW (Detroit), TSA was swabbing each traveler’s hands. Swabs were then run through an analyzer that is supposed to detect explosives residue. I passed! No residue was detected. I asked the TSA screener if their machine detected residue from recent firing of guns. He naively (and incorrectly) answered in the affirmative.
Comment: Only rarely do I encounter this screening method at airports, but it is still good advice to shower and change cloths before reporting to TSA screening, no matter where you’ve been!
26 Aug 09
Physically checking Cabela’s store in Omaha, NE on Monday revealed plenty of 223 (both hardball and high-performance), as well as modist quantities of high-performance 9mm and 40S&W, including Cor-Bon DPX.
The only brand of 380Auto on display was high-performance (jacketed/lead HP) ammunition from a Montana-based company called Buffalo Bore. They are relatively new in the pistol-cartridge business, but have been making rifle cartridges for a decade or so.
On Tuesday, I stopped in Cabela’s store in Sidney, NE. There, I found several hundred rounds of 380Auto DPX on display, at $28.00/box (of 20), or $1.40/round. This is the round I currently carry, and recommend, in my Kahr P380.
Again, plenty of 223, 9mm, and 40S&W.
I conclude the only calibers that are currently still in short supply are 380Auto and 410 Buckshot. The later I found at neither store!
Several progressive police departments in IL have now adopted Cor-Bon DPX exclusively, for both pistols and 223 and 308 rifles. Nothing matches it, but it is expensive, owing to the phenomenal Barnes bullets. Most all competent instructors I know (including me) routinely carry it in their personal pistols and rifles.
27 Aug 09
More ammunition news, from friends across the Country:
In most parts of the Country, 223 is back in good supply. Many police departments are, at long last, receiving orders dating back from the first of the year. 7.62X39 is also currently plentiful.
The only rifle calibers still scarce are 308 and 30M1 Carbine.
There is also no current shortage of 9mm and 40S&W, al least in hardball configuration.
380Auto, in any form, continues to be unavailable nearly everywhere!
The supply pipeline is slowly filling back up, but there continues to be much private hoarding. Small-arms ammunition, in unprecedented quantities, is cramming millions of basements and garages!
In addition, the Pentagon, deprived of its once-impressive archipelago of Army Ammunition Plants, continues to rely heavily on the private sector for small-arms ammunition. A sizeable percentage of American production capacity is permanently dedicated to ongoing military orders.
So, “normal” may have to wait a few more months.
However, between then and now, a major “incident” anywhere in the world, even (yet another) thoughtless word from the White House, and a whole new layer of formally-naive Americans will suddenly wake up, smell the coffee, and enthusiastically re-fuel the demand. Within days, we’ll be right back where we were last spring, maybe worse!
Those of us who started smelling coffee long ago need to see to it that we have adequate supplies on hand, both for serious purposes and for training.
Maybe those Mormons aren’t so dumb after all, eh?
28 Aug 09
Wise, albeit sarcastic, comments from a student in NY:
“The wisdom of Plaxco Burris’ School-of-Gun-Handling!
Burris told reporters that he was (illegally) carrying his Glock pistol inside the waistband of his jeans, Mexican-style (no holster). As he ascended a stairway in the seedy NYC ‘club’ he frequented, he felt the pistol slipping down his leg, grabbed for it, and ‘touched the trigger.’ It is unclear if he grabbed from outside his jeans or from inside.
He claims he neither felt nor heard the single discharge, and was aware ‘something was wrong’ only when he saw blood on his trousers and shoes.
When asked why he didn’t wear a holster, we are treated to the classic understatement: ‘… uh, that was a mistake.’ ”
Comment: Why is it that rich people, no matter how they acquired their wealth, naively believe they must be geniuses and therefore natural laws, from economics to physics, just don’t apply to them?
Rich people become accustomed to a state of affairs where they can have whatever they think they want, whenever they want it, and, as a result, often fail to think things through and make careful choices. In addition, those who make a career of associating with rich people are forever indulgent, not because of any species of genuine affection, but because the association brings with it perks they are only able to enjoy so long as the association, however artificial and contrived, is maintained. Thus, any behavior that jeopardizes the association is meticulously avoided. The classic definition of a “yes-man!”
However, as Burris dolefully discovered, shallow yes-men and glib bimbos may be impressed his status and interminably forgiving of his blunders.
Ammunition, Glocks, and gravity are not!
31 Aug 09
This update from a friend in the Federal System:
“Airport ‘sniffers’ are designed to detect explosives, not propellants. Note that black powder is an example of the former, smokeless powder the later. Propellents associated with shooting modern firearms are thus normally not flagged.
However, there are always ‘false-positives.’ Most are generated by commercial fertilizers.
Asking TSA baggage police what their technology is capable of is predictably an exercise in humor! In fact, I was tempted to enlighten two screeners at BWI last week, but I remembered your warning about no good deed going unpunished, so I left them there, cluelessly waving it around like a magic wand!
When any of our colleagues attend a Course in door-breaching, or something similar, where explosives are used, they need to be aware that both ‘puffer’ and ‘wipe-test’ instruments will alarm on vapors lingering in clothing, shoes, and hair. So, advise them to shower and change clothes and shoes before going to the airport. Even then, it is best to carry paperwork that you were attending training under the auspices of your department.”
Remember, as with all bureaucracies, TSA is wholly dedicated to promoting itself. Don’t give them an opportunity to justify their existence!
31 Aug 09
Aftermarket magazine floor-plate testing, from an Instructor:
“Here are results from our testing of aftermarket Glock ‘Plus-One’ and ‘Plus-Two’ magazine floor-plates:
Fully-charged G22 magazines were dropped from a height of seven feet onto a rubber mat over a concrete floor. We used all angles possible. All magazines equipped with aftermarket/replacement floor-plates precipitously exploded by the tenth impact, sending loose rounds, springs, followers, and floor-plates in all directions!
We’ve concluded that we will stick with what comes with the Glock!”
Comment: OEM Glock magazine floor-plates are the way to go! This is one area where aftermarket “enhancements” create more problems than they solve!