1 Dec 10
Ned Christianson’s famous 5.56 Chamber Reamer:
From a local riflesmith:
“I have one of Ned’s reamers, and also a copy of his 5.56×45 drop-gauge (when it drops all the way into the chamber, it passes the ‘5.56 test’)
Of ten, factory/AR carbon-steel barrels I regularly test, only Colt’s and BCM’s (Bravo Arms) consistently pass the ‘test,’ out of the box.
No stainless barrel, from any manufacturer, has ever passed!
It is hard to know what you have, without actually gauging it. External barrel markings have, as you noted, become undependable, outright fraudulent in some cases! I’ve called both barrel, and rifle, manufacturers, and pointedly asked them about chamber dimensions. Even on those rare occasions when you get to talk with someone who actually understands the question, they usually haven’t the foggiest idea! Many will flat decline to discuss the issue with you.
Alex Robinson of Robinson Arms, is a delightful exception! He cuts his own chambers and does all other machining, in house. Like Paul Buffoni at BCM, Alex will tell you directly, and proudly, that his barrels all have legitimate 5.56 dimensions, from the factory. I only wish the rest would be so candid!
Ned’s reamer will insure a neck diameter that is not too tight, nor too short, all without changing headspace. It does not cut the shoulder at all, nor anything behind it. You just open the upper receiver, remove the bolt group, drop in the reamer with some cutting-oil, and slowly turn it (clockwise only, never reversing it), using a lot of turns and very little pressure. The entire process rarely takes more than a minute or two. The handle centers itself in the upper receiver. When the reamer bottoms-out on the chamber’s shoulder it will spin freely. It has stopped cutting and you are done. You now have a chamber with correct 5.56 dimensions, particularly in the critical freebore (leade) and throat area.
When you shoot military ammunition, like XM193, Q3131 (all suffixes), Mk262 or anything else that is borderline over-pressure, Ned’s reamer is highly recommended.
And, I have had no issue using the reamer on chrome-lined barrels. The small area that has any chrome actually removed will have had most of it removed anyway, due to normal throat-erosion that will invariably occur within a few hundred rounds of serious training!
Concerns with regard to accuracy degradation are mostly delusional. From the chamber end, look at any AR barrel with one-thousand rounds through it, and you can plainly see throat erosion. 1k is the minimum round-count necessary to make you comfortable with your rifle anyway. Trust me: your rifle will still be far more inherently accurate than you can shoot, even on your best day, well past ten-thousand rounds!
Ream it, and a host of thorny issues will disappear, not the least of which is blown primers!”
Comment: Ned now also makes a 6.8mm SPC reamer! Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
When your life depends on your rifle, my vote is to ream out the chamber to legitimate 5.56 dimensions, when necessary
… and never look back!
5 Dec 10
This weekend, we just completed a Cold-Weather, Urban Rifle Course in IN. Four inches of snow on the ground, biting wind, and temperatures never getting above twenty-nine degrees. Spotty sunshine, but mostly overcast. A half-dozen gallant students, and four determined Instructors!
I used my Barrett REC7, which, with its NP3-treated bolt and bolt-carrier, ran fine for the duration. There were two Kalashnikovs (7.62×39). Both ran fine also.
Two M1 Carbines. Both had problems with sluggish operation. Grease became stiff, and short-cycles plagued both guns. We removed as much grease and oil as we could, and both rifles began to run normally.
One SIG 556, normally extremely reliable, started to short-cycle also, again due to stiffened grease. We performed the same treatment as with the M1 Carbines, and the SIG, too, began to run normally, and continued to do so for the duration.
Balky guns, heavy clothing, general discomfort all conspire to generate unwanted surprises during cold weather!
The point is that it is good to test your gear, and yourself, in a wide spectrum of conditions/circumstances, not just in pleasant and comfortable surroundings.
We have control over some things. Over most, we have none!
“Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, and want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The American Scholar”
7 Dec 10
Comments on rifles for serious domestic use, from a seasoned investigator:
“Since the time of Etruscans, virtually all genuine advances in individual weaponcraft have evolved from the private training community. We trainers and Operators continue to bear the burden of that charge.
After more than forty years of direct investigation and study of disasters, mob-violence, serial-murders, shootouts between gangs, home-invasions, individual homicides, etc, I have concluded that there continues to be probable events where an autoloading, military rifle, in sleek, flat, compact configuration will be useful, indeed critical.
In fact, I have kept a serious rifle, in a high state of readiness and readily available, since the riots here of the 1960s. Those disturbances left a lasting impression on me, and there is no particular reason they could not resume tomorrow morning!
Unpleasant as it is to contemplate, John, you and I both began our police careers in the middle of another Century!
During domestic use, I have routinely found a need to get low, and behind cover, with my rifle. It is important that we are seldom even noticed, and, when we are, that we confront our attacker(s) with an inconvenient, and nearly impossible, target. Accordingly, awkward protrusions, particularly at right angles, represent a significant handicap. An endless array of current bolt-on, maladroit gadgetry will thus invariably conspire to compel the Practitioner to exhibit a significantly higher profile than he, at a distasteful moment, will find desirable.
Modern Practitioners need to practice engaging likely targets (momentarily exposed torsos, heads, elbows, feet, knees) at 25-100m, while, for example, firing from under a vehicle. Firing while using cover that replicates standard, street curbs, utility poles, vehicles, and decorative masonry ‘flower pots’ found in mall parking-lots, is also extremely relevant.
There is far less likelihood that any of us will be called upon to employ ‘suppressive fire’ while, as a member of a unit, repelling an invasion by hordes of Mulacan Terrorists, all while executing fire-and-maneuver, than there is that we will, acting as individuals, have to stealthily move about, assume low-profile, covered positions, and effectively engage individual threats, that will invariably be mixed in with a clueless throng of innocent bystanders.
With surpassing precision, and drawing from a limited reserve of ammunition, we must train for a high probability that each shot we launch will be a surgical, fight-ending, debilitating hit, so as to foreshorten risk-exposure to ourselves, while simultaneously reducing jeopardy to innocents.
While of course none of us can predict what form our Test will take, nor the exact moment it will select to manifest itself, we can equip and train for the most likely scenarios, spending less time on less-likely ones.”
“Situations can be ‘desperate’ or ‘critical.’ The former suggests panic. The later proposes one calmly and logically dealing with narrowing options.
Accordingly, ‘critical’ situations call for men of decision and action. “Desperate’ situations are unfailingly associated with men requiring burial!”
9 Dec 10
Conflict’s linguistic legacy, or “Winners get to decide, for all eternity, what players are called!”
Seminole, Sioux, Boxers, and Mau Mau
Searching mostly for gold, Spanish explorers in the 1500s encountered elements of the Creek Branch of the Muskogee Nation in present-day Florida. As is the usual case, even the terms “Creek” and “Muskogee” are gutturalized translations of original Indian pronunciations, all of which Europeans, accustomed to speaking with a rich mixture of consonants and vowels, found difficult to enunciate, at least in their original, spoken form.
So, after all these years, we really don’t know exactly what most Indians they called themselves. Indian names for their own tribe, however pronounced, usually translated to “The People” or “The Family.” But, Europeans had a written language, while locals didn’t, so it is not difficult to understand what happened next.
For the sake of convenience and brevity, the Spanish dubbed all local Indians in Florida “Cimarron,” which translated to “wild ones.” Indians, upon hearing their new title, tried to pronounce it in the same way they heard it from the lips of their Spanish friends. However, like all Asiatics, they had difficulty enunciating the “r” sound. So, “Cimarron,” among local Indians, quickly degenerated into “Seminole,” and they, along with everyone else, have called themselves by that name ever since! Prior to Europeans arriving in the New World, the term “Seminole” was unheard of.
Ojibwa Indians, residing in the upper American Midwest, developed active trade with British and French settlers in the 1700s. For centuries prior, Ojibwa had pressured the smaller Lakota and Dakota Nations to move west, out onto the plains. With the domestication of horses, the Lakota and Dakota gradually obliged. When asked by Europeans what the migrating Lakota and Dakota were called, Ojibwas replied, “Nadouessioux,” meaning simply, “enemies.” So, the now-nomadic Lakota and Dakota, and subsequently most other Plains Indians, became known to Europeans as “Sioux,” although they had heretofore (like the Seminole before them) never referred to themselves by that name. Again, the error is probably long past any chance of correction!
The “Boxer Rebellion” took place in China between 1898 and 1901, and pitted local nationalist insurgents against European (mostly British) occupiers, including a contingent of American Marines. European and American Military presence was ostensibly to protect Christian missionaries, many of whom, along with thousands of their Chinese converts, were murdered during the uprising.
“Boxer” was the term conferred upon insurgents by the British, and has stuck ever since. What insurgents actually called themselves (loosely translated from Chinese) was “Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists.” Of course, in Chinese, that was all an unpronounceable mouthful, but the Chinese term for “fist” caught British attention. “If fists are involved, they must think of themselves as boxers,” went British logic.
The “Boxer Rebellion” was short-lived, and local insurgents, initially encouraged and supported by the Qing government, were ultimately double-crossed. Boxer ring-leaders, and many others, were, at long last, rounded up and publically executed. Historically, lives of “allies-of-convenience” are short and unhappy! Governments invariably regard them as “expendable,” as was the case here.
A century later, Chinese insurgents of the era are still known as “Boxers,” a term insurgents themselves never used. But, British wrote the history!
The 1952-1960 “Mau Mau Rebellion” in Kenya was an eerie replay!
Anti-colonial elements among the local Kikuyu Tribe actively revolted against occupying British military forces, and their local proxies. Many Europeans, but far more locals, were murdered in the process.
There has never been a “Mau Mau” tribe anywhere in Africa, nor anywhere else! The term was co-opted by the British and assigned to insurgents. Loosely translated, it means “Get out; get out,” but insurgents themselves never used the term, preferring instead the more dignified “KLFA” (Kenya Land and Freedom Army).
As with “Boxers” before them, the “Mau Mau’s” rebellion was short and anguished. Like Romans before them, the British have always had scant sympathy for failed revolutionaries!
And, once more, British wrote the history! Today, “KLFA” is an unheard-of term, while “Mau Mau” ever-describes the legendary “tribe” that openly (albeit briefly) challenged the British in Kenya.
Back in America, “Souix” Chief Red Cloud, at the time (1900) an old man, was asked to comment on the recently-completed Seventh Cavalry Museum in Ft Leavenworth, KS. The Chief indicated that it was all nicely done, but then added:
“… I think Indians would have faired far better, had Indians written the history”
11 Dec 10
Among trainers, there has been much discussion with regard to the definition of legitimate self-defense, as it applies to all weapons, not just guns.
An attorney, who has much experience in this area, makes these sage comments:
“In one case I reviewed, an Appellate Court observed that a woman, who used a knife in desperation to defend herself against a rapist, ‘… may have been negligent’ in inflicting wounds serious enough to cause her attacker to die.
Curiously, this same language is conspicuously absent in a nearly-identical case, and from the same jurisdiction, where another woman used a firearm to kill an attacking rapist!
Visceral, illogical reaction, even on the part of ‘objective and impartial’ judges. Apparently, you can shoot the miserable bastard with impunity, but shame on you for carving him up!
So, the real juice of the case is going to be whether the individual facing charges wielded the knife, cane, shovel, or whatever, in a way that applied only a ‘reasonable amount’ of force. And, an inescapable fact is that knives, in particular, are messy and repugnantly intimate. The average juror, judge, and police investigator, is going to be instinctively/impulsively repelled by even an innocent and desperately-fearful, knife-wielding citizen, who cuts and stabs a violent attacker.”
Comment: Don’t expect a great deal of “logic” from our criminal-justice system. Those less-than-honorable members, who care more about promoting themselves than promoting justice, will invariably misuse emotion as they hyper-dramatize the facts, all in an effort to prevent others from thinking clearly and logically.
One can accurately describe our System as “… the best of the worst.”
12 Dec 10
Profession of Arms?
An aging, former WWII German solider, during a recent History Channel interview, stated that his commanding general, Walther Kurt von Seydlitz, commander of the 12th Infantry Division on the infamous Eastern Front, regularly carried his own personal rifle, often catching subordinates (who invariably mistook him for an enlisted infantryman) off-guard. German film-footage shows him carrying a bolt-action Mauser. One gets the impression he is no stranger to it!
In so doing, von Seydlitz earned exceptional respect and affection from his troops.
Simultaneously, American General Joe W (“Vinegar Joe”) Stilwell, during the same War, but in a different Theater (China), never permitted himself to be photographed without his rifle. In all field photos, he can be seen carrying his M1 Carbine, just like the rest of his troopers.
Like von Seydlitz, Stilwell was known for his abiding concern for his troops.
Major General James (“Jumpin’ Jim”) Gavin, so nicknamed because he did back flips in front of his men during physical training, deeply honored and respected Commander of the 82d Airborne Division in the European Theater, later appointed Ambassador to France, did the same, lugging his personal M1 Garand everywhere. And he used it effectively, several times, in self-defense during combat operations!
Conversely, in our “modern”era, even in areas of active combat, the only “weapon” our generals are known to carry regularly is a laser pointer, acutely necessary for never-ending Power-Point briefings!
Who think they are “above” carrying personal firearms in active battle zones, so as to set a personal example if for no other reason, make me nervous, and cause me to doubt their commitment to the “Profession of Arms!”
17 Dec 10
Comments on gun-cleaning, from a local riflesmith:
“While cleaning the bore of one of my ARs, using ‘bore-guide,’ the portion of the guide that goes into the chamber broke off, just in front of the o-ring. This left a small, plastic cylinder wedged in the chamber.
Do we really need to use ‘bore-guides’ to clean serious guns? Probably not, but it does make the job easier, until it breaks!
It took thirty tedious minutes, and some bad language, for me to get broken piece out of the chamber.
Had I needed the gun immediately, I would have been SOL”
Comment: When performing maintenance on guns we keep for serious purposes, my suggestion is that we don’t do things that can render them inoperable!
In fact, don’t take any serious gun down for maintenance without first arranging for another to be close by and ready to use.
You’ll feel pretty silly when unhappily discovering that you suddenly, desperately need the very gun that sits, in pieces, in front of you!
18 Dec 10
User-level maintenance of ARs, from several Operators:
“How ‘clean’ does your AR really need to be for legitimate, functional reliability?
The answer is: They run fine when a lot dirtier than most think.
The goal with AR cleaning is always to get grit out of the gun. ARs don’t like grit! That is why we suggest keeping a magazine in the rifle and keeping the dust-cover closed, preventing as much grit from entering your rifle in the first place as is possible.
Wipe down bolt and bolt-carrier. Re-lube critical contacts, particularly camming races. Make sure gas-rings are wet. Wipe out the inside of the upper and use a chamber brush to loosen grit in locking recesses. Blast-out as much of it as you can.
Blast-out the trigger group and, using a flashlight, examine it carefully for loose, blown primers and other foreign objects. Get that junk out of there!
Remove the extractor from the bolt and check the claw (from the underside) for chipping, and the spring for breakage. Broken extractor springs are a real AR weak-point!
Install an MGI D-Ring (D-Fender) over your extractor spring when one isn’t there already. The D-Ring will keep your extractor spring from breaking.
Pull springs and followers out of your magazines and brush/blast-out the inside of magazine bodies. Just being carried, magazines accumulate an amazing amount of lint and grit!
In my experience, ARs like to be oily! However, we’ve seen that cold weather will stiffen some lubricants and subsequently cause sluggish operation. I recommend EWL by Slip2000 and Gibbs lubricant. Both work well and don’t stiffen in low temperatures.
There are those, equally experienced, who advocate the general policy of running ARs dry. They have their reasons. But, my experience favors running them oily.”
Comment: When you have a genuine battle-rifle, the foregoing will keep it running. Conversely, when you have a tight, temperamental, “target” rifle, nothing will keep it running, and my sincerest advice is “Don’t take it to a fight!”
“So carry your rifle (they don’t give a damn)
just pray you won’t need it
while you’re in Vietnam”
1/Lt Larry Rottmann, 1968
Forty years after that was written, we finally have ARs running! In my experience, the RA/XCR, REC7, SIG/556, DSA/FAL, Kalashnikov, and several other gas-piston guns are all inherently superior, but the AR will be in our lives, like it or not, long after we’re collecting Social Security Retirement Benefits.
We all need to know how to keep them running.
“The pervasive expansiveness of the (Roman) Empire which we see today did not come about as a result of accident nor precipitous good fortune. These (Roman) Legionaries do not sit around congratulating themselves in the wake of every victory, nor are they idle in peacetime. Rather, they are constantly training and refining their warrior skills, so as to be ready at a moment’s notice. Indeed, they seem to have been born with weapons in their hands!”
Josephus Flavius, circa 90AD
18 Dec 10
Campus shootings, from a colleague who works at one:
“I used the recent Florida School-Board shooting as an example during yesterday’s confrontation with my Vice President here at the College.
We were discussing our ill-advised ‘gun-free campus policy.’ While our policy prohibits those with CCW permits from carrying concealed on our campus, our State’s Constitution has been interpreted so that anyone can openly carry a firearm on any campus. So, our college policy bars employees, faculty, and students from carrying concealed on campus, but apparently not strangers who wander in with a weapon openly displayed!
So, I asked my VP is she had seen the video of the FL school board-shooting, and she answered in the affirmative. I asked her if there was any reason something similar couldn’t happen here. No response! I then asked her if she noticed how many tense minutes transpired before police arrived. I also painfully reminded her that our own ‘campus police’ are all unarmed!
I then reminded her that hundreds of people come onto our campus every day, and not a single one is ever screened. Therefore, our so-called ‘prohibition’ against concealed guns depends entirely upon voluntary compliance. I suggested to her that there are many people walking around campus at any given minute who are carrying concealed guns, in conspicuous and contemptuous defiance of her ‘rules,’ and that there is nothing being done to stop the practice, nor even address it. Said another way, our ‘prohibition’ is an unenforced, and unenforceable, joke!
So, to students, visitors, faculty, and employees, who naively choose to be unarmed, we laughingly offer only a ‘good-faith attempt’ to dial 911, AFTER bullets start flying! In so doing we’ve guaranteed many innocents will die.
I insisted, for me at least, that’s not good enough!”
Comment: Of course, what would one expect from a gaggle of pompous, liberal buffoons, who are all ‘veterans’ only of university faculty lounges?
Like my friend, I will not allow shallow, naive, self-righteous, liberal clowns to dictate my fate when it comes to a critical incident, and I don’t care where I am!
21 Dec 10
Excellent analysis of “justification,” paraphrased from a seasoned Investigator:
“The core legal construct in verifying ‘justification’ is ‘restraint.’ Restraint in action, with the appearance that you have made a good-faith effort to inflict no more harm than necessary, is imperative in establishing justification in the minds of both investigators and jurists.
Hence, finders of fact, who look at the actions of a professing ‘defender,’ and sense a lack of restraint may well decide to apply sanctions.
There is a critical difference between mere ‘case facts’ and the texture of an actual event. The law presumes that a person who played no conscious role in attracting, nor causing, criminal violence to be thrust upon him, may ‘justifiably’ employ necessary force to repel that violence, with the intent only of keeping himself and other innocents from harm. Conversely, when the defender’s actions appear ‘vengeful,’ ‘excessive,’ ‘hateful,’ ‘wanton,’ ‘out-of-control,’ or ‘unrestrained,’ and appear to go beyond legitimate self-protection and turn into ‘punishment,’ the defender’s subsequent claim of self-defense will be weakened considerably.
Over the decades, I have heard a lot of ‘case fact’ horror-stories. You have too, and Heaven knows our Criminal Justice System is far from perfect! However, a careful examination of the details in the vast majority of these cases reveal ‘unrestrained conduct’ indigenous with the defender’s response.
And, I promise you that the familiar refrain of, ‘I was just following my training,’ does not automatically represent a persuasive defense to criminal charges. Techniques may indeed be ‘effective,’ but, when they don’t render the appearance of at least some ‘restraint,’ in the end they have served you poorly!
We Students of the Art select our tools, techniques, and teachers, using whatever criterion appear sound and correct. After the fact, don’t whine and snivel when your choices are confronted by sober, even naive, finders-of-fact who don’t find them nearly as ‘cool,’ ‘sexy,’ ‘cutting-edge,’ nor ‘flashy’ as you once did!”
Comment: We all, at least everyone reading this, consider ourselves ‘good’ and ‘decent’ people. And, I don’t believe good people do evil things. I believe it takes an evil person to do an evil thing.
However, sometimes good people do stupid things, usually out of ignorance and (temporary) foolishness. As trainers, we educate and train our students to avoid these pernicious missteps, particularly when our students have made the personal decision to go armed.
Everyone wants to be the recipient of accolades. But, only one who is good and honorable takes personal responsibility and confirms that he alone is in charge of his actions and is thus solely responsible for everything he does, and everything he refrains from doing.
“Though defensive force will always be a ‘sad necessity’ in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.”
22 Dec 10
When I fly, as part of my standard strip-tease, I remove my belt, as the metal buckle sets-off the metal detector. On the other side, of course, I have to put it back on and then re-attach my suspenders.
Now, my friends at CCC (Concealed Carry Clothiers) are producing an “Airport Belt,” which eliminates several steps!
The CCC Airport Belt is a heavy, leather gunbelt, with no metal. There is no buckle, just a velcro closure that is quite secure. Now, I can leave my belt on, with suspenders in place, and pass through the metal detector. My “re-dressing routine” on the other side is much simpler!
Everything CCC makes is top-drawer. For air-travel, this new belt is hard to beat.
PO Box 237
Saunderstown, RI 02874
888 959 4500
25 Dec 10
Violent Crime Prevented! From an Instructor in TX:
“One of our DTI graduates was involved in an ‘incident’ here in south Texas yesterday, Christmas Eve. Relying on his training, he engineered a good result! Our student is a forty-ish male. As with all our students down here, he has a current TX CHL, and carries regularly.
Yesterday morning, he was fueling-up at a local convenience store. We’ve both been to this same store many times. Nice part of town. Bright sunlight. Lots of traffic.
A car-full of youths pulled into the parking area, very fast, and then came to a sudden, screeching halt. They did not pull up to a gas-pump, nor into a marked, parking place. Our student noticed and immediately alerted.
One of the vehicle’s slovenly occupants leaned out an open window, made eye-contact with our student, and said, in broken English, ‘… hey mister, give us some money.’
Adhering to his training, our student turned to face them, briefly glanced back over his shoulder, and replied, ‘I’m sorry, Sir. I can’t help you.’ Another youth then exited the vehicle, slammed the door, and said in a loud, gruff, and threatening tone, ‘… you don’t understand. You ARE going to give us your money!’
Our student gracefully assumed a classic Interview Stance, side-stepped, threw back his CCC cover-garment, and obtained a master-grip on his G23, although the pistol was not visible to the suspect doing the talking. Pointing at the suspect with his support-hand index and middle-fingers, he said, clearly, and in perfect English, “No! YOU don’t understand, Sir. I can’t help you!”
The suspect, who, moments before, had been so intimidating and cocksure, glanced away, drooped his shoulders, mumbled incoherently, and then quickly turned and re-entered the vehicle, which precipitously departed as quickly as it had arrived.
No license plates on the suspect vehicle.
Our student then experienced an adrenaline dump, and noticed that his heart was racing. However, he knew from his training, that this was all perfectly normal He took a few deep breaths, and soon regained normal composure.
Police were not involved, and our student finished fueling his car and then went his way, in peace.”
Comment: A violent crime was probably prevented, due to competent training, alertness, and adequate preparation. In this threatening situation, my student knew what to do, stayed in control, didn’t panic, and was fully prepared to go “all the way,” when necessary.
The hoodlum got the distinct, and correct, impression that he wasn’t kidding!
Like all bullies, when his bluff was called, this sleazy punk promptly “folded his hand” and slunk away. They usually do!
This “happy ending” will never be reflected in any statistic, nor will it be part of any news story. Nonetheless, training, alertness, and preparation, once again, combined to keep a good person from being harmed by evil ones.
And, that’s what it come down to: Good and Evil. Good people need to be armed, aware, competently trained, and prepared to successfully confront evil, when necessary. This world does not deal kindly with people, even “good” ones, who are clueless, naive, and willfully unprepared
“Second-place doesn’t exist”!
Merry Christmas to all!
28 Dec 10
From a friend in the Philippines:
“Police Brass here have directed that all police pistols be ‘taped,’ in order to cut down on traditional celebratory gunfire on New Years’s Eve.
This practice has been ‘policy’ for the last few years.
Muzzles and slides are taped, making it difficult to fire the pistol, and degrading reliability when the pistol (finally) can be fired. After application, tape seals are signed by supervisors.
Tape seals are to be subsequently removed on 3 Jan 11
When our police brass prepare and police our own ranks properly, we won’t see cops drunk on duty, nor issues, such as the foregoing, with unsafe gun-handling. Correct training and a competent Provost-Marshal System represent real solutions to this problem. The policy of ‘taping pistols, is, in effect, an embarrassing admission that we can’t get our Act together!”
Comment: I wonder how this “policy” is interpreted by dedicated and competent individual officers. Their personal lives and safety are obviously way down the list of concerns of police and government executives.
And, if the safety of their own police officers is apparently of scant concern to politicians, it makes one wonder how concerned any of them are with the safety of individual citizens.
It will come as no surprise that bodyguards protecting government officials are exempt from adhering to this “policy,” a fact curiously absent from media “news” reports.
Politicians are the same everywhere. Laws are for “little people,” never for them!
30 Dec 10
Hugo Schmeisser and his “Sturmgewehr” (Storm Rifle):
Hugo Schmeisser is best known for the famous WWII German submachine gun (MP40), with its well-known profile, that carries his name. However, one can make a persuasive argument that it was Schmeisser, even more than Kalashnikov, who introduced to the world the concept of the mid-power “assault-rifle” as the basic fighting implement of modern armies, eventually displacing both submachine guns, and full-power, battle rifles.
Even in the 1930s, John Garand saw the advantage of a battle-rifle of reduced size and weight, that was chambered for a mid-sized, rifle round. In fact, Garand selected the 276 Pedersen Round for his new gas-operated battle rifle, that eventually became the famous American M1. However, that selection was vetoed by Doug MacArthur who insisted the new rifle be up-sized and chambered for the traditional, full-sized 30-06 cartridge. MacArthur got his way!
Likewise, Hitler was at first opposed to devoting resources toward developing a welded, stamped-metal, gas-operated, mid-power bullet-squirter, being influenced by his WW1 experience and thus inclined toward full-power cartridges, like the 8×57 Mauser (Germany’s version of the 30-06), and bolt-action rifles with wooden stocks. So, Schmeisser’s work on his “Storm Rifle” continued, but under the radar. Eventually, and too late to influence the outcome of the War, Hitler was converted to an enthusiastic protagonist for Schmeisser’s creation, eventually designated the MP44, or STG, or Sturmgewehr!
It was chambered for the 7.92×33 or 7.92 Kurz (“short”) cartridge, which was similar to the 276 Pedersen, the 7.62×39 Soviet, and the current American 6.8mmSPC. Several thousand MP44s were produced, quickly gained a reputation for suburb reliability and saw significant action on the Eastern Front. The rifle earned profound respect from the Red Army, but remained virtually unknown to the British and Americans.
After the War, Schmeisser was at first interrogated by British and American intelligence officers. Neither displayed much interest in his MP44, nor his MP40. Later, he was captured by the Red Army and spirited off to the Soviet Union, where Kalashnikov, and his team, displayed a great deal of interest!
Schmeisser died in 1953, in relative obscurity, never saying much about his experience in the USSR. Kalashnikov once even admitted Schmeisser had been “helpful,” but otherwise gave him no credit for any part in the development of the AK47.
However, it was indeed Hugo Schmeisser who first pushed into production an “assault rifle,” “assault carbine,” or whatever term you prefer, not as an obscure instrument for “special operations,” but as a general-issue, main-battle implement for infantry soldiers.
Today, all the world’s armies are following his lead, issuing short, light-weight rifles, firing medium-power cartridges from high-capacity magazines. It does not look as if this trend will reverse any time soon!
Like so many design geniuses, Hugo Schmeisser never received much credit, nor profited much from his handiwork. As far as anyone knows, Kalashnikov never even said “Thank you.”
“Expecting the world to treat you fairly, because you’re ‘good,’ is like expecting a bull not to charge, because you are a vegetarian.”