1 Aug 01

My Kind of Woman!

The “Taliban” are a group of militant Islamic fundamentalists who effectively constitute the present government of Afghanistan. Their agents are noted for their anti-western activities and their harassment of all who do not subscribe to the party line. They are the ones who are currently hiding and protecting Usama bin Laden.

“Seven Taliban agents, attempting to take a lone female into custody, were shot and killed yesterday. According to witnesses, when the woman resisted their efforts to arrest her, they started to beat her (typical Taliban demeanor), at which time she produced a silenced pistol from her clothing and, in rapid succession, fatally wounded all seven agents.

Witnesses said she calmly reloaded her pistol and exited the area before reinforcements arrived. It is speculated that she is an assassin who has stalked key members of terrorist movements throughout Europe and the Middle East for the past decade.”




1 Aug 01

A question from a friend:

“I am more inspired than before to consider ‘alternative’ rifle and shotgun cases that attract minimal notice. It seems that conventional gun cases, and particularly “assault rifle” cases, always attract attention, none of it wanted! Share some of your case choices for systems like the Robinson/R-96 Carbine, SA/M1A Carbine, DSA/FAL Carbine, M1 Carbine, FDR, and the Steyr AUG.”


“Again, the ‘stealth existence’ is one’s best protection against unpleasantries, be their source the pubic or the private sector. That is why I like longarms that are short and handy, rather than those of ‘full length.’

For short rifles and shotguns, look at a lacrosse racket case or a double, tennis racket case. Both can be lined with foam pads which provide protection and retain the shape of the case. If both are too short, a golf bag works, but it’s a little clumsier to lug around. All such cases need to be in a subdued color.

Most military rifles can be broken down and concealed in a tennis racket case. This strategy, of course, requires reassembly before use, so it is not suited for emergencies, but at least you will have it with you. A rifle equipped with a folding stock, on the other hand, can be up and running immediately. Folding stocks, while uncomfortable to use, thus greatly enhance utility and concealability.

Most shotguns cannot be broken down in a way that significantly reduces overall length (unless they are equipped with a folding stock). Unfortunately, most autoloading shotguns cannot be fitted with folding stocks anyway. This is an advantage of pump guns over autoloaders.

No matter what you use to camouflage your long arms, but sure it is well worn and tattered, so potential larcenists will not be likely to steel it in an attempt to acquire ‘new’ sporting equipment. If you use a golf bag, include a partially exposed, but well beat-up, golf club or two in order to enhance the camouflage effect.

The first line of defense is, of course, to keep everything that might be suspicious continuously out of sight and locked up (if possible and appropriate). Even something as innocuous as a tennis racket case, when carried continuously, will eventually arouse suspicion.

Personal appearance should always be well groomed and personal demeanor always polite and courteous. However, it is to your advantage to wear clothing with neutral tones (no bright colors) and never any jewelry. Personal demeanor, while polite, should be dull and boring. All conversation with strangers needs to be brief and colorless. Disengagement is the prime goal and should be accomplished quickly. You should be the one that no one ever seems to remember!

There are no guarantees in this life! All we can do is try to stack the odds in our favor. It is usually the naive, careless, and inattentive who are selected for victimization. The prudent will quietly slip under the radar and be on their way.



4 Aug 01

Kasserine in northwestern Tunisia, North Africa, February 1943

The tedious world peace that followed the “War to end all Wars” lasted barely more than twenty years! As was the foolish habit of the United States, the moment World War I ended, the US military establishment was allowed to atrophy. Numbers of regular troops dwindled. Training was de-emphasized. Critical skills were forgotten. Equipment deteriorated and rapidly became obsolete. And, with the stock market crash of 1929, Americans had better things to worry about than the latest squabble in Europe.

There was a core of forward-thinking and dedicated warriors, like George Patton, who were interested in training and equipping for the next war, but they constituted a tiny minority. Most officers were content to think only about the last war, or not to think about war at all!

When America finally entered World War II, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941, the British had already been holding out on their own against Hitler’s Germany since September of 1939. Hitler had overrun the Lowlands, Poland, Norway, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and France and had cowed Czechoslovakia and Austria into submission. Spain avoided outright annexation, but was a willing collaborator, as was Switzerland. Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, and Greece were also threatened into submission. Italy joined the war on Germany’s side. Rapidly moving German mechanized forces blunted and then surrounded a lightly armed and floundering British Expeditionary force in May of 1940. British soldiers barely escaped with their lives at Dunkirk Beach in France but lost all their equipment and were effectively finished as a fighting force. An exuberant Hitler was already making plans for an amphibious assault on Britain itself (Operation “Sea Lion”) as well as a massive land assault on Stalin’s Russia (Operation “Barbarossa”).

The War’s first turning point, the “Battle of Britain,” took place between in the summer of 1940 and the summer of 1941, not on the ground, but in the air. Hitler, through his Air Force Chief, Hermann Goering, made the foolish decision of concentrating on British population centers instead of military installations, particularly airfields and radar sites. This discontinuity provided the British Air Force with the opportunity to successively repair and regroup and then spring back to successfully repel German aircraft. Hitler’s lack of a four-engine, heavy bomber would also prove a fatal shortcoming. His fleet of small, two-engine Junkers and Heinkel bombers lacked the range, durability, and payload capacity necessary to turn the tide in his favor. The tide, in fact, turned against him.

Owing to a grievous loss of German aircrews and aircraft at the hands of British pilots, Operation Sea Lion was postponed, first for several weeks, then for several months, and, by May of 1941, indefinitely. That same month, Germany’s vaunted battleship, Bismarck, was sunk by British naval forces. Thereafter, its sister ship, Tirpitz, never ventured out of its port in Norway. Operation Barbarossa got off to a fast start in June of 1941. However, what should have been a campaign of liberation from Communism turned into an embittered struggle of Russians against Germans, owing to Hitler’s irrational policy of wantonly slaughtering Russian civilians by the millions! Ultimately, an early and severe winter along with determined and brilliant resistance engineered by Russia’s own military genius, General Georgi Zhukov, caused Operation Barbarossa to bog down and stall by year’s end. Like Napoleon before him, Hitler was surly not defeated, but was no longer on a roll. He was now reluctantly compelled to engage in a struggle of indefinite duration.

Americans were eager to punish Japan as 1942 began, but Roosevelt was persuaded by Churchill that a “Europe First” strategy was the only one that made sense, and it did make a lot of sense- for Churchill. The British were bracing for an amphibious invasion (which, as it turns out, never happened). Churchill needed a distraction to divide Hitler’s attention. He calculated that he could use Americans for just such a purpose! Invading Europe directly with green, American troops was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the British had so unpleasantly discovered with the Dunkirk disaster. So, French North Africa was selected as the site for the War’s first major allied offensive, not because that is where the enemy was, but because that was where the enemy wasn’t! American forces were not ready for an opposed landing.

As a side effect, MacArthur and his entire command in the Philippines were abandoned by Roosevelt. They, all except for MacArthur himself (who escaped in a PT boat), were eventually captured and forced to endure brutal captivity under Japanese invasion forces. A significant number did not survive the Bataan Death March and subsequent years of captivity. The British Colony of Singapore and the entire Malay Peninsula suffered a similar fate. MacArthur, although arguably the most significant military intellect of the Twentieth Century, was unpopular, both in and out of military circles. He was regarded as overbearing and politically ambitious, and was thus feared by numerous politicians. Many, including Roosevelt, viewed the Philippine situation as an opportunity to get rid of this dangerous political rival.

In the hectic months of 1942, the US Army was hurriedly expanded from half a million, of which most were part time reservists and guardsmen, to what would eventually total over eleven million! Training was abbreviated, inadequate, and haphazard. Obsolete equipment, like Stewart Tanks, were hastily taken out of storage and pressed into service. Thus, when American troops landed in North Africa in November of 1942, few under the rank of colonel had been in active service more than a few months, and fewer yet had ever seen active combat. Lt General Eisenhower was selected by President Roosevelt as Supreme Allied Commander, because he was a meticulous planner. However, Eisenhower himself had been a mere Lt Colonel at late as 1939, had never commanded a unit larger than a battalion, and had never been involved in any kind of active combat. MacArthur referred to Eisenhower as, “…the best clerk I ever had.”

As noted, Churchill’s main aim in opening a new front in North Africa was to take Hitler’s attention away from England. The Allies also wanted to put forces in the vicinity of Tunisia, thus threatening Rommel’s supply line, which came across the Mediterranean from Italy, and also sandwiching Rommel’s remaining forces between Montgomery and the Americans. Finally, they wanted to eventually establish bomber bases in North Africa which could be used to attack German oil fields at Ploesti in Rumania and ultimately pave the way for an Allied invasion of southern Europe. Churchill was confident that French forces in the area would throw in with the Allies.

When they tried to move east, from Libya into Egypt, in September of 1940, Italian forces were badly mauled by the British. German forces, under Erwin Rommel, were then sent to North Africa to salvage the hash the Italians had made of things. Rommel was dazzling! Over the next year, his “Afrika Corps” garnered the grudging respect of the British who floundered until the arrival of General Bernard Montgomery. Montgomery galvanized his troops, and, on the forth of November 1942, decisively defeated Rommel’s forces at an obscure railroad crossing in Egypt called El Alamein.

Roosevelt wanted to land Allied troops directly in Tunisia, but American admirals warned of the danger of entering the Axis-controlled Mediterranean with capitol ships. Britain had already lost one aircraft carrier to German U-boats in the Mediterranean. Ultimately, the admirals agreed to sail as far east as Algiers, but no further. American invasion forces would have to land at Algiers and then march overland east to Tunisia. In addition, the march would have to be quick in order to beat both the Germans (who would head west for Tunisia from Lybia the moment they heard about the landing) and the winter rains.

The three American commanders in charge of the operation (under Eisenhower) were George Patton, Charles Ryder, and Lloyd Fredenhall. The British contingent was under the command of Kenneth Anderson. The landings on the eighth of November 1942 were met with only light and uninspired resistance from French troops. Within two days, they surrendered and opted for the Allied cause. Churchill had been right about the French! With Montgomery’s victory at El Alamein only four days earlier, air superiority restored over England, and the entire German eastern front not only at a standstill at Stalingrad but now surrounded by Zhukov, the war seemed all but over. As in World War I, the Americans arrive, and the Germans, seeing that their position is untenable, throw in the towel.

Unhappily, the Germans weren’t quite ready to give it up! After El Alamein, Rommel was thought to be on the ropes. Not so! His troops were beat up, but they had months of experience fighting together in the desert and still constituted a formidable fighting force. In fact, Hitler placed such importance on North Africa and on preserving Rommel’s reputation, that he rushed to the Africa Corps additional troops and three copies of the new “Tiger” tank, hot off the assembly line. The Tiger was huge and sported an 88mm main gun. The Allies had nothing like it and had little that could deter it.

In three weeks of pushing eastward, the Allied landing force was within twelve miles of the City of Tunis, having encountered no resistance along the way. The campaign seemed all but over. According to Montgomery, Rommel’s forces were still way east in Egypt. However, Rommel had secretly raced to Tunis and was waiting there for the Allied advance. In a surprise move on the first of December, led by his Tiger tanks, he attacked Anderson. Within a few hours, Anderson had lost fifty-five tanks and a great deal of his infantry. Stunned by a successful attack from an army that wasn’t even supposed to be there, Anderson retreated west with what was left of his command. He was reinforced by American armored units, but they faired no better! The old Stewart tanks and even the more recent Sherman tanks were no match for the Tigers. In fact, they were outmatched by virtually all German tanks. Anderson ordered a counterattack at the end of the month, but it failed too.

In Algiers, Eisenhower was surprised and worried. He decided to separate nationalities. The American contingent was all placed under Fredenhall. Fredenhall promptly announced that he would set up his headquarters in Algiers, 120 miles to the rear! Combat engineers, who were desperately needed elsewhere, were commandeered in order to build Fredenhall a headquarters bunker to rival the Pyramids! To him, the only relevance German forces had was that they threatened him personally. One ensconced within his bunker, Fredenhall was never seen outside it again. Meanwhile, Eisenhower’s most experienced armored unit commander, Patton, was consigned to a desk in Morocco.

Rommel relentlessly pushed west. Fredenhall tried to orchestrate the entire defense from his bunker. He never once personally visited any of his units. Peering at outdated maps, he switched units around continuously with little regard to distances, chains of command, supply problems, or nationalities. On the ground, it was a hash! Perturbed, Eisenhower finally visited Fredenhall’s famous bunker on the twelfth of February. There he found Fredenhall and his staff nonchalantly basking about as if they were on vacation! Fredenhall dismissed Eisenhower’s concerns, insisting he had everything under control. Eisenhower later conceded that he should have fired Fredenhall on the spot. However, he was reluctant to issue unpleasant orders to officers who had, until recently, outranked him- always a hazard with armies which have been rapidly thrown together. Patton wrote privately, “I cannot see what Fredenhall did to justify his existence.”

During a raging sandstorm in the early hours of the fourteenth of February, Rommel made his move against the Americans near Sidi Bou Zid. No one expected an attack to be launched in the middle of a sandstorm! Once again, his forces appeared out of nowhere. American armor units responded by advancing. Employing obsolete tactics, American officers arrayed their tanks the same way cavalry horses used to be arrayed, in a “V” formation. This exposed their lightly armored sides to Rommel’s tanks and antitank guns which were cleverly concealed in gullies and bushes. Suddenly, the flanks erupted in fire. Most of the American tanks were destroyed within the first few minutes. Survivors ran for their lives, trying to say ahead of German infantry. By nightfall over a hundred American armored vehicles had been destroyed. Units everywhere were in disorganized retreat.

Eisenhower sent General Ernest Harmon to “assist” Fredenhall. When he arrived, he saw that most of Fredenhall’s staff had already fled. Fredenhall said to Harmon, “The party is yours,” and promptly fled himself!

Eisenhower ordered Americans to make a stand at the railroad pass at Kasserine. Fighting was fierce, but again, inferior American and British tanks were destroyed by the score! Only massed artillery slowed and eventually stopped the German advance. Not wanting to be victimized by over extension and counterattacks, Rommel called off the offensive.

American losses were heavy. Nearly nine hundred vehicles were destroyed, of which 350 were tanks. Ten thousand casualties. Such was “the Butcher’s Bill” for the American Army’s “shake down” cruise!

The Allies subsequently regrouped and completely restructured. Eisenhower stayed in charge. Fredenhall and Anderson were sent home in disgrace. Neither would ever command troops again. Patton replaced Fredenhall and, with a vengeance, set about mending his command. He sent home deadweight NCOs and officers “by the boatload!”

Thereafter, the Allies turned it around and steadily closed in on the Germans. With his supplies choked off, Rommel could not hold out. The last Axis forces in northern Africa surrendered in May of 1943, six months after the Allied landing. Rommel himself had already returned to Germany.


>Once again, “high moral,” when it has no legitimate foundation and is based on little more than flowery speeches, will spontaneously disintegrate when the first shots are fired.

>Shiny new equipment always looks great in the showroom. The truth is discovered when it is actually used. In warfare, the price of deficient, obsolete, an untested equipment is always paid in blood.

>Likewise, numbers of armed men is meaningless. Training, organization, equipment, and inspiration are far more important. Going to war with poorly trained, poorly led, and poorly equipped troops is always a recipe for disaster, regardless of their numbers. Hastily thrown-together armies, no matter their size, rarely hold up when put to the test.

>Doing the unexpected perpetually catches the enemy by surprise

>Commanders who try to “lead” from the rear seldom inspire confidence.

>With politicians, politics ALWAYS comes first!



6 Aug 01

“The best way to win a war is by reputation”

This is from a friend in the Midwest:

“This evening I was driving slowly in a residential neighborhood the next town over, looking for a street and residence address. A pickup truck going at high speed pulled right behind me, and the two male occupants started blowing their horn and shaking their fists out the window.

I pulled to the curb in order to let them pass. They roared around me but then screeched to a halt directly in front of me, swerving sideways and blocking both lanes. I stopped and then watched the red-faced driver jump out and walk back toward my car, shaking his fists in a threatening manner and yelling incoherently.

I stayed in my car but drew my pistol and held it in both hands high enough so that he could see it through the windshield. I then shook my head while looking at him, as if to say, “No No!”

I have never in my life seen anyone turn around so fast! He was back in his truck, and both were gone in a flash. I continued on to my destination, shaken but unmolested.”

Lesson: Carrying a concealed pistol all the time seems like such an inconvenience- until one has an experience like the foregoing. An assault was terminated, and an imprudent no-good learned an important lesson. He’ll live another day!



16 Aug 01

On frangible ammunition from a trainer in a major metro PD:

“Local politicians insist that we use “Clean-Fire” ammunition for training. It screws up our pistols (Glock 9mm) by the numbers! We hate it.”

My comment: That has pretty much been my experience with this stuff. There is no non-lead and/or frangible ammunition right now that I recommend.

… and, the latest from South Africa:

“Our Minister of Justice (equivalent of your Attorney General), Mr Steve Tswete, has just been sentenced to thirty days in jail! It seems he was supposed to be in court for a civil case, but failed to show up. The judge sentenced him for contempt of court! Here, even the person supposedly in charge pays no attention to the rules.”

I know a certain ex-president who would feel right at home there!



21 Aug 01

On “clean” ammunition, from a student and college professor:

“One of our perceived vulnerabilities in protecting what remains of our civil liberties is lead and other heavy metals. All heavy metals are now being portrayed as being as toxic as plutonium!

It is just a matter of time before political totalitarians use the convenient pretext of ‘toxicity’ to put a stop to all shooting, particularly on outdoor ranges. They will argue that there is no constitutional right to ‘poison your neighbor.’ EPA will replace ATF as the enforcer of choice. It is starting right now in the police community with the replacement of truly effective defensive ammunition with impotent bullets that are little better than compacted metal splinters and cartridges with primers that have uselessly short shelf lives and are unreliable even when fresh.”

The fact is, for genuinely effective pistol ammunition, there is no substitute for bullets made primarily of lead. No other metal or composite is even remotely eligible. Likewise, leadless primers have proven themselves to be unreliable and short lived.



22 Aug 01

On steel-case ammunition from a friend and fellow trainer:

“During a range training session last week, we tested Wolf, steel-case ammunition, manufactured in Russia. It worked fine in all pistols present. However, at the end of our session I discovered that the bottom corner of the extractor claw on my SIG 226 was chipped off.

Things like that happen of course, but that same afternoon two of the other pistols used in the exercise suffered similar breakages. I don’t know how much the steel case of the ammunition contributed, but I personally am no longer using Wolf or any other steel-case ammunition in any of my guns.”

Good plan! Modern firearms are designed to be used with brass-cased ammunition. Hard cases are a distinct invitation to parts breakage.



22 Aug 01

Follow-up on “clean” ammunition from a friend and trainer in Africa:

“At least your police are still issued effective pistol ammunition for duty use. Our guys are only allowed to use 9mm hardball, and wimpy hardball at that. It barely functions our CZs. Management, quoting the ammunition manufacturer’s own promotional material, calls this scrap ‘highly effective,’ but, of course, none of them even carry guns.

A short time ago in Capetown, a knife-wielding offender was shot four times by a local security guard and another seven times by a police officer, all within a minute or two. He still managed to walk away, after stabbing both officers. Their wounds were nearly fatal. He then stabbed several additional people before finally being physically subdued by other officers. The offender survived, is out of the hospital, and is doing fine!

Smart officers now go directly for their 223 R5 rifles when they are available.”

Lesson: The only one who cares about you is you. Be always prepared. When it’s least expected, you’re elected!



22 Aug 01

Follow-up on steel-case ammunition from a friend who is also the president of a large firearms manufacturing company:

“Steel-cased ammunition has been used by the (former) Soviets for two reasons:

(1) Brass is harder to come by there and is thus expensive

(2) Steel cases are stronger, and thus less likely to rupture, than are those made of brass. Head space is therefore less critical than with brass cases.

A lacquer coating is usually added to insure reliable extraction and also to camouflage the case once it is ejected and on the ground.

Steel-cased ammunition should only be used in (mostly Russian made) arms designed for it. The steel case, being harder and less pliable than brass, can easily damage extractors, bolts, and feed ramps on Western-made guns, as you noted. You may save three cents per round, but you run a significant chance of serious parts breakage. If you use enough of it, parts breakage is a virtual certainty.

The moral of the story: Use steel-cased ammunition only in the guns it was made for. If any ammunition is damaged, rusted, has the bullet set back, etc, don’t use it at all.”

Sage advice!



22 Aug 01

We conducted an Urban Rifle/Shotgun Course last weekend in Michigan. One student used an AR-15 equipped with an EO Optics sighting device. It looks like a miniature TV screen mounted on the top of the receiver. My student had the “militarized” model which was, in all fairness, very rugged.

The shooter looks through the screen as the weapon is mounted. He sees a lighted, red circle and concentric dot superimposed on the downrange image. There is no magnification and thus no light-gathering ability. The unit does require batteries.

My student had used the device before and was very good with it, achieving good hits on a regular basis. All went well until it started raining! As we were all out in a heavy rain continuing to shoot, he started to complain that he couldn’t see the targets (steel rifle targets at forty-five meters distance against a green grass background, manufactured by Tactical Specialties of Addison, IL). When I looked through it, accumulated water droplets and fogging on both sides of the screen made it nearly impossible to make out anything downrange, although the red circle was still visible. When it got dark, the utility of the device continued to deteriorate. The red circle, even on its lowest setting, was too bright.

We all, including the shooter, concluded that rain and/or low light renders this device unusable. He is now back to iron sights!



23 Aug 01

Latest from LAPD:

“In response to an article in yesterday’s LA times about the alarming rate of resignations that is plaguing the department, our chief has now said that people who are leaving are ‘problem’ officers. I can tell you that, at least in my division, not even one was a ‘problem’ officer. As a matter of fact, I wrote a commendation for one, just two weeks before he left.

In spite of the fact that the department is now getting rid of all these ‘problem’ officers, our assault and murder rates are both way up. Gang activity is out of control. Traffic citations are way down, and traffic collisions are way up. We can no longer field even our minimum number of patrol units on any shift! All watches are now under the minimum.

But, our chief insists there is nothing wrong.

The LA Times also reported that our new, fifty-million-dollar, digital radio system doesn’t work. They’re right. From personal experience, I can assure you that it doesn’t! Technical problems render the entire system useless a large percentage of the time. We’ve had any number of close calls because of it. The chief’s response: ‘Officers do not know how to use these radios.’

I don’t know how we are supposed to do our jobs.

The real losers are, of course, the citizens of LA, who are paying through the nose for professional police services they are not receiving.”



23 Aug 01

The end of hollowpoint pistol ammunition?

I’ve now had a chance to test both Cor-Bon Powerball and Federal EFMJ (Expanding Full-Metal Jacket) pistol ammunition in 45ACP. Both perform as advertised! The 165gr Cor-Bon round looks like a softpoint, but the tip is actually plastic, not exposed lead. The bullet profile duplicates hardball. The 200gr Federal round looks like hardball with a truncated nose. If one didn’t look closely, he would easily mistake it for standard hardball.

Cor-Bon uses a hard plastic ball imbedded in the hollow cavity to initiate expansion. Federal uses a blob of soft plastic. Upon impact, Powerball opens up like a standard hollowpoint. EFMJ collapses internally, pushing out a segmented skirt.

Both these two rounds combine all the feeding reliability of hardball with terminal expansion worthy of any modern hollowpoint. The concept really brings together the best of both worlds. In addition, neither round will plug up on clothing as conventional hollowpoints sometimes do.

As this ammunition catches on, I predict open-mouth hollowpoint pistol ammunition will gradually disappear. Within ten years, it will all be displaced by this new technology. It’s what I’m carrying now.



27 Aug 01

On trigger “stops” from a friend and trainer in Georgia:

“A student (private investigator) brought his Springfield 1911 to our qualification day. Midway through the session, his trigger could no longer be depressed, and, as a result, his pistol could not be made to fire. He explained that a ‘friend,’ who was a target shooter, had installed a target trigger which featured a trigger-stop screw. The screw had worked itself further into the trigger as we were shooting, effectively sterilizing the pistol.

I dissembled the pistol, removed the screw from the trigger, and, with great flair, pitched it into the nearest garbage can, all the while lecturing this student that his pistol was emergency, safety equipment- not a piece of furniture.

Trigger stops are definitely NOT an appropriate accessory for a carry gun. Fortunately, we removed this one before it cost this kid his life.”

Lesson: Many professing “gunsmiths” need to go back to sharpening lawnmower blades and keep their hands off of guns upon which a life might depend.



30 Aug 01

From a student on the subject OC:

“I recently bought some Fox OC. I also bought an inert training unit of the same size and nozzle type. I purchased the ‘heavy stream’ nozzle which shoots a relatively narrow, dense stream, much like a squirt gun.

Trying the inert unit rendered quite a revelation! The stream is narrow and it takes a good deal of practice to hit a face-sized target. It can be done, but without using the training unit first, it is difficult.

While law enforcement trains with OC (even on the receiving end), we non-LE types rarely do. I conclude that buying a matching inert unit (same physical size and nozzle) to practice with is essential.”

I would add that the “fogger” nozzle is a much better choice for personal defense. I requires less precision than does the “stream” nozzle.



30 Aug 01

From an instructor and friend in South Africa on Chinese pistols:

“Yesterday, I tried to repair a student’s Norinco NZ 75, which is a Chinese copy of the CZ-75. The safety/decocking lever had jammed solid. Our department bought a number of these last year, and, in one of those rare moments where management actually listened to us, they were withdrawn. There are still a few in officers’ hands.

You probably don’t see too many of these over there. If you do, I sincerely suggest you have nothing to do with them. They are trash! The metal is so soft that the safety/decocker cuts a groove. That is what caused the one mentioned above to jam up. The ‘repair’ I effected will probably last all of five minutes at the range.”

Lesson: The world is full of people who want your money a lot more than they want their product. Let the buyer beware!



31 Aug 01

NJSP Update:

“New holsters had to be ordered for our worn-out H&K P-7 pistols. They only have to last a year, as new pistols will be provided in 2002. Glocks or SIGs we are told. Of course, we’ve heard this sorry song and dance for six years now. Interestingly enough, they found enough money to equip all our beat cars with video cameras, but it seems there is just no money for new pistols to replace the ones which were declared unsafe and in need of replacement in 1996.

The ill-fated S&W P-99 project is now in federal court. We’ve been told we’ll never see that pistol again. None of us want to see it again.

Yet another moral booster occurred last Saturday. Our lame-duck Colonel, Dunbar, was clocked on radar by one of his own troopers at eighty-eight miles per hour in a fifty-five zone. The trooper, a good friend, had no idea whom he was pulling over. Dunbar chewed out and threatened the trooper, then insisted he had not been speeding. In an interview the next day, he indicated that his traffic incident was an example of ‘racial profiling.” It got into the local papers. He has since made no comment.

This is our current ‘leadership.’ ”



31 Aug 01

Comment from a colleague on defensive handgun training:

“During a recent class at the S&W Academy, I noticed a number of students compulsively relax their support hand and then regrasp between shots. Often the fingers on their support hand would completely extend forward before the pistol’s grip was again regrasped just prior to the next shot being fired.

The students who had this habit were consistently the poorest shots in the class, and, to a man, they were unaware they were doing it.”

My reply:

“Yes, compulsive regrasping between shots is a common defect in shooting technique. We see it all the time and correct it immediately, as it again and again leads to missed shots. I’m not sure that I’m ready to theorize with regard to what causes this compulsive, nervous habit, but it is always associated with poor performance, both in accuracy and speed.