2 Jan 09
Since 2007, the US State Department has issued all passports with embedded RFID (radio-frequency ID) chips. These hold a digital copy of your personal information, including your photograph. All newly-issued, or renewed, passports contain this RFID chip.
Be aware that these devices are designed to be read at non-contact distances, and foreign travelers carrying passports can thus be remotely identified as Americans, and targeted as such, defeating any attempt to blend with local scenery. Unintended consequences?
There is a company that sells security sleeves that blocks RFID access, info is here: http://www.idstronghold.com/content/products Probably a good idea!
You can also get a passport “card,” which can be used to re-enter CONUS from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. These passport cards also have an imbedded RFID, but it does not contain personal information. Instead, it merely accesses records in a secure database at the State Department. Adults who already have a passport may apply for the card.
Once again, I do not recommend travel outside CONUS right now. In fact, even most major metro areas within CONUS, particularly NYC, are good places to stay away from!
2 Jan 09
Brits just can’t win!
Fatal stabbings in the UK reached a record high last year. There were 277 knife murders between April 2007 and April 2008, or five every week! That is the highest rate since record-keeping began in the 1980s.
And, closer to home, in liberal Madison, WI, violent homicides are also setting records! Only two of which were the result of gunshot wounds. The balance of (unarmed) victims there were stabbed and/or beaten to death.
Conversely, violent homicide rates in US states and cities where gun-ownership levels are high, and where concealed-carry permits are easy to get, are consistently down from past years.
It looks as if gun-control, or, for that matter, knife-control, hasn’t achieved the (professed) desired result.
That is, unless helpless, dependant, cowering sheep, standing among heaps of dead/maimed victims (but, of course, no courageous, audacious, self-reliant heroes) is the real goal!
3 Jan 09
The Seldom-Articulated Agenda: From a friend in PA:
“A local woman, the parent of an elementary-school child who was playing soccer at a tournament, recently showed up at the game openly wearing a Glock pistol (in a belt holster). She had a valid, State-issued CCW Permit. This part of our State has experienced a recent spike in violent crime.
Upon seeing the pistol, another parent called police. Police arrived and interviewed the gun-carrying woman. They quickly determined that she did indeed have a valid CCW permit, was a home-owner in the Community of many years, and had no criminal record. She was neither arrested nor detained, but police did (illegally) seize her Glock pistol.
Shortly thereafter, the Sheriff arbitrarily revoked her CCW Permit, and refused to return her pistol.
At great personal expense and inconvenience, the woman appealed. At the hearing, a courageous District Judge took only a short time to side with the woman, ordering the Sheriff to return her pistol, and reinstate her CCW Permit, immediately. The judge went on to caustically scold the Sheriff, pointedly accusing him of abuse of office.
This Sheriff, like those in the UK, sees private arms possession as a ‘privilege,’ to be capriciously extended, or withdrawn, at his whim. He doubtless sees other individual rights in the same light!
Even today, protected, perfumed, insulated, pretentious, and utterly self-consumed, these privilege-seeking courtiers, unlike the rest of us, have little to personally fear from violent criminals.
On the other hand, what scares the snot out of them is armed rebellion on the part of an exasperated, taxed-to-death, and routinely mistreated citizenry. Small wonder they work tirelessly to create a disarmed, impoverished, helpless, dependant, and terrorized populace. Of course, citizens like that accomplish little, and such a system virtually guarantees the decline and eventual demise of the Nation, but despotic politicians don’t care, so long as they’re on top!”
Comment: It is obvious to me that the majority of elected American politicians at the Federal level, and also the vast majority of high-level bureaucrats, believe this Nation, over the next very few years, is destined to fall from its current status as a World Power, and will, shortly thereafter, cease to exist altogether, descending unceremoniously into the Dustbin of History. In fact, Bill Clinton, when President, said as much, with a straight face, and BHO is echoing the identical sentiment even now!
It is also obvious to me that, during our projected national decline, these politicians will make a sincere effort to guarantee they are personally spared all unpleasant consequences. For example, there is apparently no limit to the amount of our money they are willing to spend, in good times and bad, in an effort to protect/insulate themselves and maintain privileged lifestyles.
When this nation is thus successfully invaded, and those few among us who survive are subsequently enslaved, the privileged status of these politicians will remain unchanged (if they have anything to say about it). They will be only too happy to fully collaborate with new magnates, and, like Vichy French, drive on as if nothing had happened.
The difference is, there will be no United States to come to the rescue!
4 Jan 09
On international travel, from a friend in the Federal System who just returned to CONUS from the UK:
“… blades over three-inches are banned everywhere in the UK, and any species of serrated edge will cause their equivalent of TSA screeners to lapse into seizures!
Happily, my all-plastic Talon Computer Tool (‘This end is for a Dell. This for a Gateway’) traveled everywhere, including on my person, on the airplane, with nary a question.
Screeners there now ask if you have, ‘…anything that could be used a weapon?’ It took all my self-restraint not to reply, ‘Do you have anything that could be used to cause an orgasm?’
Needless to say, I instead replied, ‘Of course not!’
When dealing with bureaucrats everywhere, I’ve long-since learned to tell them only what they want to hear!
If the UK had a Pledge of Allegiance, it would include the phrase:
‘One Nation, Under CCTV…’”
Comment: I too fly both domestically and internationally with a Talon Tool (available from
www.stactionpro.com) My copy of Colt Steel’s “Sharkie” also goes on my person, and also is never noticed, nor asked about.
… improvise, adapt, overcome!
5 Jan 09
Quite Revolutions and Unsung Heroes:
Shallow, naive wishful-thinkers of the 1870s were persuaded that the just-concluded American Civil War was the last war in which America would ever be involved! So terrible were modern weapons, that only mad-men would be inclined to use then ever again, or so went the foolish thinking of the time.
In America, this idiotic self-delusion rears its ugly head at the end of every war!
By the 1800s, as always, the Army and Navy were allowed to atrophy to the point of impotence.
Thank God for Indians! Without them, America would have had no viable military force by the Turn of the Century.
A Civil War veteran and noted Indian fighter, West Point drop-out General Anson Mills hit his stride during the “Peacock Era,” of the 1880s, so named because of Army field-grade and flag-grade officers’ proclivity for adorning themselves with glittering cords, braid, epaulets, and tassels, to the point of grotesque gaudiness, all in a vainglorious effort to justify their existence.
As a boy, Mills had worked in a textile mill, and, with all this cosmetic textile technology available, Mills, while fighting Indians, invented, the subsequently promoted, the woven cartridge belt. It was not for show, and far from glamorous, but it proved eminently practical, and instantly sparked a silent revolution! Gone was the awkward, cumbersome, user-hostile, fragile wooden cartridge box that infantrymen and cavalrymen alike had cursed and disparaged since the invention of firearms. The woven cartridge belt was, by comparison, slick, fast, conformable, easy-to-use, infinitely adaptable, and cheap to manufacture.
It was an instant hit! The US Army started issuing Mills’ woven cartridge belts in 1881, and the balance of the world’s armies quickly followed. To this very day, Mills’ woven cartridge belt, in one form or another, enjoys ecumenical service around the world.
The universal symbol, the outline of a cartridge with the word “Mills” in the center, so common on WWII-era web-gear, is what remains of the company Mills founded to produce his new invention.
Mills died quietly, of natural causes, in 1924.
As an infantry officer in Vietnam in 1968, I clearly remember seeing that distinctive “Mills” logo on our web-gear, never knowing what it represented. I know now!
Not all great songs win awards. Neither do all great men!
6 Jan 09
“1984” in London, from a current resident:
“Here, at least in theory, one can of carry an under-three-inch, non-locking folding knife, but its legality is subject to ‘interpretation’ by the arresting officer. You may ‘win’ your case, after hiring a good lawyer, spending a fortune and a few days in jail, or you may not! Our jails here are filled to overflowing with ordinary people who had to audacity to possess ‘offensive weapons,’ which, of course, are never precisely defined, providing bureaucrats with unlimited discretion to jail political opponents . Basically, when police here don’t like you, they will inevitably find something on you that qualifies as an ‘offensive weapon.’
In the UK, there is no such thing as ‘self-defense.’ When you so much as raise a hand to ward off blows from a VCA, you are considered a violent criminal yourself, and are treated as such. You better pray that the burglary suspect, who has broken into your home, doesn’t trip and hurt himself!
Stopping and searching minorities, even when they are arrayed in gang-colors, violates their rights, so police here have to stop and search an equivalent percentage of every other racial group, in order to maintain the myth of ‘fairness.’ Arrests and prosecutions must also be ‘racially balanced,’ so you may well find yourself arrested, for no other reason than the necessity of the local precinct to pad its statistics. Thus, even a perfectly-legal knife will get you pulled from the queue at the bus station and given ‘special attention’ because of your ‘sociopathic behavior,’ all by unsympathetic police, with a quota to fill!
School children no longer have lockers, where they might hide offensive weapons. Accordingly, students, even little ones, must carry a full load of books, athletic gear, et al with them throughout the school-day. Even winter coats must be carried, or worn, all day. Every morning, I see shivering school children standing at the bus stop, in short-sleeved school uniform shirts, even when it is below freezing. They don’t wear coats, because of the foregoing.
TV commercials here relentlessly urge people to turn in their neighbors, who may be thinking thoughts, or using language, that are not government-approved, or who are suspected of possessing ‘offensive weapons,’ and, as you noted, the UK is the most CCTV’ed nation on Earth. Serious conversations now take place only in whispers! Thoughts, words, and phrases, that are not government-approved, will get you into trouble, and everyone knows it. There are even proposals currently on the table that will require government TV monitors inside private homes!
National ID cards are coming shortly also, and it will be a serious, criminal offence to be caught without yours. With their imbedded chips, they will be expensive, and the expense will be born by the issuee. Like our ubiquitous, unattended speed-cameras, they represent a new and coveted revenue stream for the government, so their appearance is inevitable, for that reason alone.
Yes, our nanny-state is out of control, as you can see, and it is only going to get worse, as paranoid politicians and bureaucrats alike look for new ways of protecting us from ourselves.
Like the Japanese, we in the UK are dying from suffocation.”
Comment: When domestic politicians talk glowingly of modern, “European-Style” government “services,” the foregoing is what they really mean! Any government big and intrusive enough to “protect us from ourselves” to that degree is surely big enough to enslave us all!
Governments and politicians are all alike. Pay attention!
7 Jan 09
The full importance of last year’s Heller decision, from a friend in PA:
“While there are battles yet to be fought on the 2A-front, elements of the Heller Decision place Americans in a far different position than citizens of the UK and Western Europe, who yet suffer under the Franco-German Political Model, as you noted.
Heller conclusively re-affirms, not only the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT of American Citizens, it goes further:
It forever attaches that Right to the Right of Americans to Use Force, upon their own summary command and judgement, including deadly force, in the legitimate defense of themselves and their homes. More particularly, it inexorably connects those two Rights with the private ownership of handguns. The Decision makes it clear that the private ownership of handguns is specifically protected by law, because of the handgun’s essential and practical relationship to individual self-defense.
The American concept of the individual Right to self-defense has been long established and recognized. Heller has now firmly tied that Right to RKBA, and to handguns.
State legislatures, with a very few exceptions, have provided codified statutes that mostly follow the concept of ‘shall issue’ regarding CCW licenses. Unless a citizen is prohibited from owning a firearm because of a demonstrated lack of judgment, that citizen shall have a CCW Permit issued to him, upon demand. Subsequent reciprocity agreements between states have made it possible for a licensed citizen to legally engage in concealed carry for self-defense purposes in most other states.
We are Americans! And, as much as certain segments of our society would like to convert us away from our Anglo-American Political Model, back to the Franco-German Political Model, they are, and will continue to be, persistently hamstrung by repetitive, layered, and dove-tailed court decisions, as well as legislation at state level, that unwaveringly recognizes our Right to self-defense.
Despotic segments of our society have existed from the beginning. It is well to remember that, at the time of the Revolution, they were called ‘Loyalists,’ as they were enamored with the idea that certain people are, by virtue of their DNA, intrinsically ‘better’ than others, and thus all should stand aside as they seize their rightful power to ‘rule.’ Today, we call them Communists!
‘Patriots,’ on the other hand, believe in the Sovereign Citizen! Each citizen is born with inalienable, individual Rights, Rights that cannot be lawfully usurped, by any earthly power. The singular and elemental demonstration of those individual Rights is the Right to Resist, forcefully and unilaterally, violent actions of criminals, be they foreign or domestic, public or private.
With the exception of our wonderful American Experiment, denizens of typical political entities, even today, exist as ‘the ruled.’ Arbitrarily-selected groups are sometimes granted extremely -limited ‘privileges’ by rulers. However, rarely in history have those privileges included the Right, much less the ability, to defend oneself. Even today, the Right of self-defense does not exist in the vast majority of national entities, nor is their any Right to privately-owned weapons, much less effective ones!
Hence, the licit definition of a ‘Free Man’ was, and still is, One who has the Right to defend himself, and the Right to keep and bear arms, the means to legitimately, realistically exercise the Right of self-defense.
The UK, from which our Anglo-American Political Model is derivative, made the conscious decision to cast-aside that concept. They are damned, and deservedly so! They have gone that way, because they still cling to the mendacious notion that ‘Rights’ are really just ‘privileges,’, to be casually, capriciously parceled out by ‘rulers.’
By contrast, we believe that individual Rights are endowed upon each of us by our Creator, and thus can never be taken away, by any means, by any earthly potentate.
Accordingly, we audaciously claim our Rights. We don’t beg for them!
Heller re-affirms Americans as Free Men.”
Comment: Free Men bear arms, by God!
8 Jan 09
“Gun-Control” failing in Pakistan?
In Tuesday’s issue of The Wall Street Journal, an article points out that, in 2008, Pakistan officially recorded 12,000 murders, rivaling South Africa’s dubious first-place standing in violent-crime statistics! The actual number is at least three-times that, as “official” figures are only what the teetering, bungling government is willing to admit.
Kidnaping, as in Mexico and South America, is an aggressive growth-industry. Not just the wealthy, but now the middle-class, are daily targeted. Pakistanis have “…dwindling faith that their government can protect them,” and their lack of faith is copiously justified!
As with most countries, Pakistan’s “official” gun-licensing process is politicized, paranoid, and hopelessly bogged-down. Those not politically-connected have no chance (much as in New York City), as all of Pakistani officialdom runs on influence-peddling and bribes (much as in Chicago).
In the words of one curiously honest Pakistani official, “People buy weapons (legally and illegally), because they’re insecure. No need denying it!”
Really! Rational people do what is necessary to keep from getting hurt? Who would have imagined it?
All that “gun-control” benefits no one, except (1) violent criminals and (2) leftist politicians, the very ones who promote it. No surprise here!
The world’s personal-security situation is not going to improve, there nor here. You better understand that you are on your own! No “government” cares a whit about you, nor ever will, no matter where you live.
Take absolute responsibility for your own safety, while you still can. As middle-class Pakistanis are cheerlessly discovering, a “bad neighborhood” is coming to a place near you!
9 Jan 09
A patrolman with a suburban SO in the Midwest was recently greeted at his front door one evening by a pistol-waving VCA who fired at the officer as soon as the door was opened! Happily, the VCA was a poor shot and only wounded the officer in the arm. The officer was startled, of course, but he was carrying his own pistol, quickly recovered, and returned fire without hesitation. The VCA was hit multiple times in the torso. Unfortunately, he is currently hospitalized.
When interviewed by detectives, the VCA indicated that he “…just wanted to shoot a cop,” and that he knew one lived in this particular house! He did not know the officer personally, nor had the officer ever had any contact with him.
I’m not sure how common these incidents are, but, police officers, and all Operators for that matter, need to take precautions:
(1) Install an external intercom on your front door, so that you can talk with people coming to your home without unlocking, nor opening, the door. Itinerant door-knockers don’t need to see you, nor have personal contact with you, nor do they need to see inside your home. Door-to-door solicitors, like telemarketers, need to be politely, but abruptly, dismissed. Provide them with no information!
(2) Keep window coverings down as much of the time as you can, particularly at night. Make it difficult for someone snooping around your house to see inside.
(3) Electronic security! Don’t keep putting it off, and don’t buy a cheap system. It is going to cost several thousand dollars for a competent, monitored system. Once installed, use it! It needs to be armed every night and every time you leave the house. Make it personal policy!
(4) Gun safe! Guns not needed in a high state of readiness need to be securely locked up, all the time! Same with other high-density valuables.
(5) Leave your gun on! When returning home, don’t automatically disarm yourself the moment you cross the threshold. Who go armed, need to be armed at all times, except when in bed or taking a shower.
(6) Be hard to find! Un-list your home phone. Rent a private mail box and receive all mail and packages there, rather than at your home. Remove your home address from all lists, directories, and phone books! The vast majority of people you know, and with whom you do business, don’t need to know where you live!
(7) Keep your vehicles, particularly official vehicles, in the garage and keep the garage door closed. This prevents people from snooping around your car, copying down your vehicle license, et al.
(8) List your police department’s street address, or your private mail box address, on your driver’s license, and on all other forms of identification. There should be no link anywhere between your name and your residence address.
(9) Train relentlessly! When the “Test” comes, it will probably be at an inconvenient place and at an inconvenient time, and you’ll likely have only one opportunity, one fleeting moment, to save your own life. Don’t hesitate, and don’t blow it! Act with incisiveness, speed, precision, and ruthlessness.
You probably won’t get a second chance!
10 Jan 09
Leftists in the American news media have been wringing their pseudo-sanctimonious hands over Israel’s supposed lack of “proportional response” to years of Hamas rockets and mortar rounds whimsically landing on densely-populated Israeli sovereign territory.
They oh, so piously claim that Israel is only “entitled” to a “proportional” reaction to violent criminals doing their level-best to murder/maim as many Israeli civilians as they can. They shake self-righteous fingers in Israel’s face, contending that their “permitted” level of force has been exceeded.
This is typical Marxist propaganda, and we all had better be aware of what is really being said, as there is little doubt it will soon be applied on a personal level.
Naive Liberals would have us believe that the “appropriate” response to depraved, criminal violence is always a hair-splitting, equal one! A rocket for a rocket; a death for a death, ad nauseam. They always curiously neglect to mention who initiated these violent criminal actions, and who nonchalantly violates treaties and cease-fires with monotonous regularity.
Effective defense is impossible under this philosophy, which is, of course, exactly the reason Leftists are promoting it. Any decisive act of boldness, national or personal, represents a threat to their power. They love only losers!
Taken to the personal level, this iniquitous philosophy dictates that you could only defend yourself from a machete-wielding sociopath with a machete! A gun would be “disproportionate.” Their ultimate goal is for you to be legally able to respond to a lethal threat with deadly force, only after you’re dead!
We must relentlessly fight against this false doctrine! Individuals, and nations, must be permitted to defend themselves via all means at their disposal, and at whatever force level is necessary to end the conflict, once and for all!
Tit-for-tat wars go on forever! For the sake of all concerned, wars need to be won decisively and unconditionally. Anything less, and they’ll just keep reigniting, ad infinitum!
Proportionality? Where you stand depends on where you sit, Bud! I hope, for the sake of the anserine American Media, their Country is never invaded!
15 Jan 09
2009 SHOT Show, Orlando, FL
Yesterday, I attended the first “Range Day” the SHOT Show has ever put on. It was hosted by the Orange Co SO at their wonderful, and expansive, outdoor range complex. It provided an opportunity to actually handle and shoot many of the weapons that will be on display at the Convention Center.
Cor-Bon is now making a frangible training round in 223, 7.62X39, and 308, called MPG. It features a conventional-brass-jacketed, compressed-powder bullet. The problem with many “compressed powder” training bullets has been that they disintegrate before they’re ever used, often breaking in half in the magazine. MPG’s brass jacket addresses that problem. Several other ammunition manufacturers are now making something similar, as the durability of frangible training rounds has been a real issue.
Aimpoint was on hand at the Range, and I had a chance to shoot several rifles and shotguns equipped with the Micro T1, H1, and R1. I’ve been using Aimpoint’s military-grade T1 on several of my rifles, with great success, but Aimpoint now offers the H1 and R1. Both are identical to the T1, but one-hundred dollars less expensive. The only difference is that the T1 can be submerged to one-hundred meters and still function. The H1 and R1 are limited to five meters! So, for most non-military uses, the H1 and R1 will run just fine. The H1 is black. The R1 is silver.
Burris is making a small, open-screen optic, called the XTO. It is similar to the popular DR sight. They had several mounted on shotguns, and I tired my hand at shooting clay birds with a Beretta shotgun, so equipped. The mount is clever, in that is positions the sight low enough so that one can use an unmodified cheek-weld. With a little friendly coaching from a skeet-shooter, I found the System to work extremely well!
At the Sniper Range, I had the opportunity to shoot a Sako bolt-gun in 370 Sako (9.3X66) with Barnes-bulleted Federal Ammunition. I was effortlessly knocking down LaRue self-resetting steel targets at 200m. The 370 Sako is ballistically similar to a 375H&H, but with a shorter bolt-throw.
SIG was on hand, and I finally got a chance to shoot a copy of the P250, this one in 45ACP. It has a smooth trigger, with a deep reset. Excellent pistol! I’ll have my own copy shortly, so I can carry and use it in training.
At Ruger’s section, I got the chance to examine and shoot their new LCR. The LCR is a 38Spl, five-shot, snubby revolver. Frame is aluminum. Grip is polymer. Barrel and cylinder are steel. The cylinder is heavily skeletonized to reduce weight. It is light and extremely functional. Slightly bigger than a S&W snubby, but still very suitable to concealed carry. They will hit gun-shops in March.
Beretta’s PX4 compact pistol’s magazine has an extremely clever magazine-lip extension that extends as one grasps the pistol, and then can be pushed back into it’s “retracted” configuration as the pistol is carried.
Mark LaRue is now making the OSR, a 308 autoloading, military rifle with, naturally, an integrated rail. It uses the conventional, Stoner gas system. Most such “upscaled” Stoner rifles have been clunky and awkward. By contrast, Mark’s version is slick and elegant. Nice gun!
POF (Patriot Ordnance Factory) had their own candidate on display, the P308. All POF rifles feature a conventional gas-piston, and all are NP3’ed, complements of Robbie Baarkman at ROBAR. I may have to get a copy of the P308. It represents a nice set-up, and runs well.
A local manufacturer here in FL, Spike’s Tactical, had on display a drop-in upper for an AR-15 that converts the rifle to 22LR! I shot it, including full-auto, through several hundred rounds, and it ran fine. With the cost of 223 ammunition being what it is, devices like this will enjoy great popularity!
At the low-light event, I had a chance to shoot rifles equipped with Aimpoints, enhanced with night-vision optics. The two optics are mounted in tandem on the receiver. You dial the Aimpoint dot way down, but it, and the downrange area, then come into full view through the starlight-scope.
Another version is the “occluded-eye.” Here, a starlight-scope is suspended over one eye, via a bracket on the helmet you’re wearing. With the other eye, you look through the Aimpoint on your rifle. Your brain then merges the two images, so that you can see the downrange area, and the dot, at the same time. The Aimpoint dot is super-imposed over the target. This took some getting use to! I’m not sure my brain ever got the full hang of it, but, when it works, it represents some real capabilities.
A third version featured an IR “flashlight” mounted to the rifle. When the unit is turned on, you can’t see anything with the naked eye. But, through the night-vision optic, it looks as if a flashlight is shining downrange. When the IR flashlight is combined with a laser, you can plainly see the downrange area and the laser dot on the target.
This third version can, of course, be detected from downrange. By contrast, the first two options are completely passive.
The main part of the SHOT Show opens today.
The 2010, 2011, and 2012 SHOT Shows will all be in Las Vegas, NV. More to come!
15 Jan 09
2009 SHOT Show
Today was the first day of the 2009 SHOT Show at the huge Orlando Convention Center.
Lynn Thompson at Cold Steel showed me his new all-aluminum Ti-Lite. I carry a Ti-Light daily, but I’m going to have to get a copy of this new one! Lynn’s knives are insanely strong, and no one is more passionate about excellence and personal competence. Lynn is a real force in this industry!
DSA’s TP9 is a technically a short-barreled rifle. It is in 45ACP, and, with its folding stock, it fits into a pistol case for air transport! Nice way to have a heavy arm with you when traveling, and it is light! Demand for FALs continues very strong.
In a joint project with Robinson Arms, Cor-Bon has introduced the 6X45 cartridge in DPX. The 6X45 is basically a 223 case, necked-up to 6mm (23.6 caliber). It features an 85gr DPX bullet at 2,800 f/s. As soon as Alex Robinson gets the XCR in this caliber into production, I’ll have a copy for testing. The 6X45 may breath new life into the 223 case!
STI had on display a thirteen-shooter, 1911 pistol in the new “7mm Pistol” caliber! It looks like a 30 Carbine cartridge, proportionally reduced in size. The 7mm Pistol cartridge is now being manufactured by Fiocchi. It features a 55gr bullet at 1,600 f/s. It I’ll be checking it out the Fiocchi booth tomorrow.
Kahr had on display their new P380 compact pistol in 380Auto. It is virtually the same size as the Kel-Tec 380 and the Ruger LCP, but thinner! This is a nice back-up pistol, and I need to get a copy!
I liked Earnie Emerson’s new CQB8. It is a heavy-duty, but thin, fighting folder, featuring the “Wave” opening system. The wave portion of the back of the blade conveniently hides itself when the blade is deployed. I like this knife, because if its generous scallop, designed to keep finger from sliding forward onto the blade itself. Earnie himself will be presenting a knife-fighting seminar tomorrow
EOTech showed its new XPS2 version of its well-known optic. This is the most compact one yet and is powered by a single 123 battery. Available in June. The Aimpoint-style, single-dot, which I prefer over the circle/dot, is available as an option.
Mag-Pul is marketing a one-point/two-point sling, called the MS2. I really like this system! It permits the sling to be used in either a one-point, or a two-point, configuration, and one can get in and out of it quickly.
16 Jan 09
2009 SHOT Show, Second Day:
I talked with friends at Action Target today. They have grown considerably, and are now involved in everything except video/simulation systems. Action Target specializes in steel targets and goes after the LE market with a passion!
Action Target’s main competitor, Meggitt, is now the largest manufacturer of range/training equipment in the world, having absorbed Caswell, Kory, Detroit Armor, and now FATS! So, they do everything, including video/simulation!
ATK, which includes Federal Ammunition, is now producing their own version of Simmunitions marking/pistol rounds. It’s called “Force-on-Force” ammunition. Nice to have more than one source!
Para-Ordnance is moving their operation from Canada to Georgia, to become an American company. Guess they grew weary of stupid Canadian gun laws! Para-Ordnance is now making an AR-like rifle, with the recoil spring in the receiver, so it can be equipped with a folding stock!
I talked with folks at Taurus. Their “Judge” pistol (five-shot revolver, chambered for 45LC/410 Shotgun) is wildly popular, more so than their infinitely more practical 24/7! They literally can’t make them fast enough. There is now even a three-inch version!
I talked with a number of USMC officers in attendance. They’re all getting out! The mass-exodus is System-wide. America’s best military minds are all bailing. No one wants to serve under BHO!
I was, once again, amazed at Advanced Training System’s “Dummy Dumper!” This is an animated, jointed, three-dimensional mannequin that “collapses” when hit. No one else offers anything like it!
Tango-Down is making a “plastic,” 30-rnd, AR magazine which is designed to be non-binding, going in and out, in any rifle. It also features a non-binding follower that is skeletonized to allow water to drain out. It is made of fiberglass-reinforced nylon! I’ll have a copy or two soon for testing.
Bruce Siddle, owner of Detonics, showed me a copy of his new CXT Pistol. A compact, 9mm, autoloader with a rakish, fifty-degree grip-angle. Frame is plastic. Trigger/rail system lifts out, much as with the SIG P250. This may be the next “Glock!”
I stopped in to see Mark LaRue at LaRue Tactical. I had an Aimpoint T1 (Micro) on a famous LaRue Quick-Release mount, with a riser designed to elevate the Aimpoint enough to facilitate co-witnessing with my Troy flip-up iron sights. However, the riser I had was too high when mounted on my Robinson Arms XCR in 7.62X39 (with which I’m currently traveling). Mark, of course, swapped it out for a lower riser, on the spot, and installed the Aimpoint on it. It is back on my XCR, as of this evening, and alignment with iron sights is now perfect. Customer service just doesn’t get any better! Good show, Mark.
I also stopped by to see John Ring, of Ring’s Inc, makers of plastic prop-guns. He had copies of nearly every pistol you would ever run into on display! Most are blue in color, in order to avoid confusion. I bought several for a Class I’m doing here in FL next weekend. I’ll pick them up Sunday. John, like Mark, is a stand-up guy!
17 Jan 09
SHOT Show, third day. Items of interest:
SIG had on display their new P238, 380Auto, 1911-style pistol. It is a seven-shooter. Smaller than their P232, but still bigger than Kahr’s P380. Addressing the small, concealed-carry market is popular this year!
SIG’s optional “Short-Trigger,” available on most of their autoloading pistols, including the new 250, is really just a “thin” trigger. The bulk of the trigger is reduced, with the effect that the distance from the trigger-face to the backstrap is reduced slightly. Recommended for medium to small hands!
Safariland is marketing an ingenious holster system, the QLF/MLF, which allows holsters to be quickly attached to, and detached from, various mounts on belts, backbacks, et al. Blackhawk is simultaneously marketing a similar system. Both are extremely versatile and robust! Bill Mathes, of 21st Tactical was the first to introduce this concept, and it has obviously caught on!
Blackhawk also had on display a SERPA Holster for Tasers! We see SERPAs everywhere!
At ASP, I saw their new “Triad” flashlight, which features an ultraviolet bulb, so that officers can check driver’s licenses in the field. This is the brightest, small flashlight at the Show, featuring an honest 200 lumens. It is bright! Another ingenious ASP new product is training handcuffs! These cuffs work just like regular cuffs, except that they can be taken off quickly, without a key. So, in mechanics-of-arrest training, students can have increased iterations of handcuff application, because cycle time is greatly reduced. I can’t believe no one has thought of this before. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it! ASP’s regular handcuffs now feature split pawls, which makes picking them much more difficult, and unlikely to succeed, than with conventional cuffs.
Insight is now making a small flashlight, the HX150, that can be set to flash a continuous “SOS” signal. Again, I surprised no one has thought of that feature before, but it surely makes the HX150 a good travel companion!
The rest of this day I spent greeting old friends and meeting, in person, all the people I normally only talk with over the phone. That is why I attend the SHOT Show. Like all trade-shows, it’s hectic and overwhelming, but I have to be here if I claim to be in this business!
Last day tomorrow…
18 Jan 09
2009 SHOT show, last day:
Rohrbaugh is now producing the “ROBAR/Rohrbaugh” version of their little 9mm pistol. The entire pistol is NP3’ed! My two-year-old copy of the Rohrbaugh continues to run fine, and I carry it as a back-up regularly! Cor-Bon now makes a standard-pressure 80gr 9mm DPX round, and that is what the Rohrbaugh folks are now highly recommending for use in their little pistol.
Doug Green, at Amega Range, is making a barrel-mounted rail for the Remington 870 and 11-87 shotguns, and for the M1/M14 and Ruger Mini-14. It’s called the “Mini-Scout-Mount.” This permits one to forward-mount an optic on any of these guns. It is what I’ve been hoping for, as it requires no gunsmithing. You just plunk it on! I believe all police shotguns should be equipped with a forward-mounted Aimpoint T1/H1, as there is nothing not to like about such a set-up, and this device makes it easy. Good show, Doug!
New this year from Taurus is their M709 Series “Slim” 9mm pistol. It is a single-column seven-shooter that is thin, otherwise compact, and very light. It is obviously designed to appeal to the concealed-carry market. All Taurus autoloaders now have a trigger-tab, much like Glock’s, and also a two-position, manual safety. Trigger is smooth, and reset is short and crisp. You can carry it with the manual safety “on” or “off,” at your option. If I carried one, I’d leave it “off.”
One area of disappointment: at Ruger’s booth there were six LCP 380Auto pistols on display for physical examination by show-goers. Of course, at the SHOT Show, all such guns on display are sterilized, usually by removing the firing pin. LCPs at Ruger’s booth were thus rendered inert, per SHOT Show rules, and I don’t know if that was a factor. But, as I examined the same six on display today, all of which had been dry-fired many times over the past four days, the hammers on all six were broken! The LCP hammer consists of a hub and a striker, and it is the striker that was broken off on all of them. It is a MIM (Metal-Injection-Molding) part, and that may be the problem.
The constant murmur at the Show this year concerned the incoming Administration. There is some optimism, but BHO’s record as an IL politician doesn’t inspire much confidence!
Not many new guns this year, but the Industry is strong, and courageous, innovative manufacturers continue to service the market. I love this Country!
20 Jan 09
Update from SA:
“Those in America who naively think a nation’s wealth comes from a printing press, as they apparently do, can take a lesson from Zimbabwe, just to our north.
The Mugabe Administration has just released a new bank note. Its face value is ten-trillion Zimbabwean dollars! It is a number so large, most people there can’t even conceptualize it. Earlier this very month, its actual worth was three-hundred US dollars. Already, it is worth less than one hundred. Soon, it will be worth nothing, like all the rest of their currency, so exponential is inflation there.
In addition, Zimbabwe’s widespread cholera epidemic, a direct result of the ecumenical break-down/back-up of unmaintained sewage systems, is killing thousands and driving the rest south, into SA. We have the same problem with Zimbabwe that you have with Mexico! Illegal immigrants, mostly sick and infected, continue to flood into our country. Our health services, like yours, are overwhelmed.”
Comment: Unhappily, leftist politicians there, as here, literally thrive on human misery and hopelessness! They cynically view weak, helpless, impoverished people as a great political asset, because they can be shamelessly deceived and immutably manipulated into a pool of permanent political support.
That is why they want to keep the poor, ever poor (and unarmed), and ever-impoverish (and disarm) the non-poor!
20 Jan 09
“Statistical” arguments about weapons capability:
I recently got into an animated discussion about the Mini-14, and its suitability for serious purposes.
We see a lot of them in our Urban Rifle Courses, because they are relatively inexpensive, and, in all fairness, run fine. We have had few difficulties with them, except for that fact that, when they get hot from a heavy volume of shooting, they still run, but become difficult to handle, particularly owing to the hot forend.
Military-grade rifles are differentiated from commercial-grade rifles in two, major categories. (1) They have a military-specification manual safety that, when “on,” renders the rifle mechanically drop-safe, and (2) when hot from heavy shooting, still run, and can continue to be used normally, despite the heat.
Most commercial/recreational rifles fail on both counts, as they are not designed for high-volume fire, nor for other rough, challenging, military employment.
For use in domestic law-enforcement, it is often argued that such military standards are irrelevant and unnecessary, because, statistically, numbers of rounds fired by police, per incident, are far reduced from what is normally associated with military, battle usage. And, opportunities to maintain weapons between usages are normally plenteous.
However, following that same logic, one can persuasively argue that police should not be armed, nor trained, at all!
The incontrovertible fact is, the vast majority of domestic police contacts involve no use of physical force whatever. Of the tiny minority that do, only a minuscule fraction involve deadly force. Of the incidents that do involve even brandishing of police guns, in only an even-more minuscule minority are police guns actually fired. So, why do we spend time and money training police to fire guns at all, when, statistically, on-duty shootings are so rare?
The answer is, “… for the same reason we have fire-drills” “Rare” doesn’t translate to “never!”
All Operators, police or not, need to have wide-ranging capabilities, always on tap. We don’t get to know what challenges are in store for us, nor when, nor what ones, though currently unforseen, may suddenly rear their ugly heads!
For one, I want as much capability as I can get! Though a protracted gun-battle, involving me firing dozens of rounds at multiple VCAs, while rolling around in the mud, blood, and beer for a prolonged time, in a cold, muddy ditch, in the rain, at night, is, at least statistically, unlikely, those statistics will be of scant consolation when it actually happens, and I discover, to my unhappiness, that I’m neither adequately equipped, nor prepared!
Yes, police (and all Operators) need robust, heavy-duty, military rifles, as well as thorough, rigorous, regular training in their use, under all conditions! Anything less, and we’re dangerously unprepared, even for “one-in-a-million” events that always seem to happen at the most unlikely times, and in the most unexpected places!
Here is one statistic upon which you can depend: “You only get to die once!”
Prepare for the future. Don’t try to predict it! That is: Dress for the spill, not the ride!
“There are things that you cannot imagine, but there is nothing that may not happen!”
21 Jan 09
More UK, nanny-state “Snooper-vision,” coming our way soon:
UK homeowners are all to be “visited” soon by government officials from the “Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP).”
You just can’t make this stuff up!
This is a door-to-door campaign involving a new army of “Food-Nazis-” erstwhile unemployed “private contractors,” who have received an entire day of training. With that one day under their belt, they intend to barge into people’s homes, unannounced, and then proceed to push them around in their own kitchen, telling them what they will prepare, what they will eat, and what they will like and dislike. Most of the people to whom they are providing this unsolicited, unwanted, threat-laden “advice” have forgotten more about preparing meals than these twerps are ever likely to know!
In addition, home-owners will be deluged with intelligence-insulting government leaflets insisting, as always, that they never question authority, and, of course, that they turn in their neighbors, who may.
All this in the midst of a severe recession, where tax money must be wisely spent!
There is no answer to the question of what a home-owner is supposed to do when he doesn’t want these government punks snooping around his house, doesn’t want their advice, and doesn’t want to answer their questions. Presumably, anyone who tells the food-gestapo to go screw themselves will be thrown in prison.
Again, when we hear about “modern, European-style government programs,” this kind of nanny-state, rights-destroying, harassment-for-harassment’s sake, snooper-vision that they’re really talking about!
Jefferson reminds us:
“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of ‘taking care’ of them.
“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
The UK could really use a Jefferson today.
For that matter, so could we!
22 Jan 09
Confirmation, from a friend in Lancashire, UK:
In response to my last Quip, I’ve received a number of notes, assuring me that none of what I said is possible. “Can’t be true!” I was told.
The is from a friend who lives there:
“That’s not the half of it!
I can no longer keep count of acheronian government agencies whose officials are authorized, by law, to enter our homes, without warning, and without what you call a ‘warrant.’ They don’t need anything like that. Yes, they just barge in!
What you failed to mention is that they are also taking photos of our homes, and each dustbin (garbage can) is now assigned a number, and will soon bear a built-in micro chip that automatically weighs the bin, before and after emptying, and simultaneously registers your house number. Come next year, we are to be automatically charged extra for every pound ‘overweight,’ whatever the government decides that figure is. All this is in addition to the exorbitant fees we are already paying.
The not-so-subtle message is that you had better only eat what the Food-Police dictate, or pay the price in ‘excess-garbage fees!’
We are currently expected to assiduously sort trash into five categories, to be expanded to seven later this year. What they don’t trumpet is the blatant hypocrisy! All such categories are then immediately re-amalgamated, after collection, and subsequently buried together in the same landfill, en-masse. So much for ‘recycling’ It’s a cruel joke!”
Comment: While all this is going on, overstuffed politicians in London heap praise upon themselves for “saving the world.”
They’re “saving the world,” by enslaving all who live in it!
26 Jan 09
Incident description, from a friend in Belgium:
“Last Friday, a twenty-year-old man, whose face was painted like ‘The Joker,’ from Batman, casually walked into a local day-care center, armed with several knives, an axe, and a ‘pistol,’ (which turned out to be fake), and started brutally slashing and stabbing infants!
Two babies, and one of the nursery staff who tried to stop him, were murdered immediately. Other adults, who also tried to stop the man, were seriously wounded. Several other babies were then grievously wounded, and all the wounded required extensive surgery.
In total, three were dead and thirteen injured, most seriously.
After the attack, the suspect walked nonchalantly out of the building. An hour later, he was arrested, without incident, in a nearby grocery store. He has not provided police with any motive for the attack.
In 2006, when an eighteen-year-old used a rifle to murder three people in Antwerp, our knee-jerk Parliament passed a new, extremely restrictive, gun law. Over the next two years, the new law demonstrated its inefficiency, and had to be amended. Our safety was not enhanced! And, last Friday, the abject failure of this law has shown its full extent.”
Comment: Of course, when politicians discover something that demonstrably doesn’t work, their jubilant response is always the same: do more of it!
“The decent into hell is always preceded by a celebration!”
29 Jan 09
Pig-hunting in FL:
Yesterday, while pig-hunting with friends in south FL, I shot a large, wild pig at a range of two meters, as a part of a culling operation. He was ensconced in a thicket, facing me (turned slightly to the left), and he was coming out directly toward me! I had only a two-second window to engage him. He was a big, plump male, with three-inch tusks, weighing in at 250 pounds. He is the biggest pig I’ve ever shot!
I used my RA/XCR in 7.62X39, equipped with a forward-mounted Aimpoint T1, Laser Devices co-axial flashlight, Vickers two-point sling, and loaded with Cor-Bon/123gr/DPX.
As I nervously approached the thicket, I used my mounted LD flashlight to peer into the darkness. I finally saw the pig’s tusks, and it was only then that I figured out what I was looking at. It was actually identifying the tusks that enabled me to see the rest of the animal.
Allowing for optical-offset, I put the Aimpoint dot on the base of the pig’s right ear. I fired two shots in rapid succession. Both struck the pig just under his right eye and ranged on into his neck and chest. Neither exited.
The pig’s reaction was to take one step backward and then fall on his side. He was DRT within seconds! His charge was truncated in an instant.
I was delighted, once more, with the performance of DPX. In 7.62X39, it makes a more-than-adequate hog-killer!
Had I been relying on iron sights, my shot would have been more difficult, as we were under a heavy canopy, having just come in from bright, afternoon sunlight. Once under the canopy, it was dim indeed! My Aimpoint dot was actually too bright for the environment, as I had not had the opportunity to dial it down as we closed in on the pig, but it was still useable, and I could see around it sufficiently to located and identify my target.
My XCR ran perfectly, and, combined with the Aimpoint T1, and DPX, it makes a formidable patrol rifle- and hog-gun.
Co-axial flashlights are indispensable!
31 Jan 09
Glamorous, European-Style, socialism? From a friend in Eastern Europe:
“I just read your 10 Jan 09 Quip, and I felt the necessity of confirming your assessment.
Here in Eastern European, where I live, they have taken ‘proportional self-defense’ to the absurd extreme. Defending yourself with gunfire is out of the question, unless you’re a politician, bureaucrat, or well-to-do enough to bribe appropriate officials. For us peons, legal firearm ownership is impossible. So, the average person here will never own a firearm, but that doesn’t mean we are allowed to defend ourselves with something less effective either!
When violently attacked, you may only use an object ‘similar to, or less dangerous than’ the weapon the attacker is using to murder you. When they attack you with a stick, you may only use a lesser stick for defense, regardless of your age or ability. So, when attacked, please ask the VCAs for time to procure the ‘appropriate defensive instrumentality!’ As stupid as it sounds, that is what our ‘government’ tells us.
As a result of this arrogant disregard for the safety of citizens, break-ins are common here, even when you’re home. Violent ethnic criminals gangs have little to fear from cowed citizens, nor, for that matter, from police, who are not local and couldn’t care less!
Meanwhile, we endlessly-harassed non-criminals must, at all times, carry at least three forms of ID, five other required documents, and must display, upon demand, an interminable assemblage of equipment the government thinks we should have in our car. When anything is missing, out of date, or not exactly pure, huge fines are imposed. But, of course, our nationalized police are ever willing to take a reduced, ‘on-the-spot’ payment.
Violent criminal gangs, ethnic and religious (like AQ), have illegally invaded and are belligerently taking over, in all of Europe. Meanwhile, our ‘government’ does naught to preserve our culture, language, institutions, values, nor our personal safety. We mean less than nothing to them!
We’ve been sold down the river. God save us!”
Comment: When violent criminal gangs become powerful enough, governments, even churches and other institutions, predictably seek to ingratiate themselves with evil, rather than defend the People from it. Among politicians, cowardice is always more convenient than is courage! Catering to criminal gangs, even siding with them against guiltless citizens, is less dangerous than is standing up to them! Indeed, a “War Against Decency” is erupting in the UK and in all of Europe, and Governments have typically allied themselves with the criminals!
On this side of the Atlantic, for the beleaguered American Citizen, who tries to uphold decency; who watches helplessly as illegal criminals invade our land, with scant interference from cowardly politicians (who shamelessly seek their political support); and who, by happenstance, ends up the object of affection of these gangs of VCAs, the problem is immediate and all-too real. You must understand the sudden and overwhelming violence involved. We, and our scant possessions, are little more than currency used to bribe violent gangs. We have become lunch!
Accordingly, you have to be prepared. You are on your own. You have few allies in DC!
31 Jan 09
At a recent Urban Rifle Course I, naturally, had students shooting from various prone positions. We were using an outdoor range, and our shooting position was a grass-covered mound. However, while shooting with the muzzle close to the ground, a good deal of dust was invariably stirred up by muzzle turbulence.
A student, using an AR-15 in 223, had a Safariland Rapid-Light affixed to the right side, on a portion of rail near the front of the forend. The light worked perfectly, but, after our prone exercises, the lens was heavily coated of with multiple layers of dust.
Subsequently, during our low-light exercise, we all noticed how dim the light was! Neither my student, nor I, noticed the dusty lens, and we both mistakenly concluded that the batteries were weak!
When we finally saw the real problem and wiped off the lens, normal brightness was restored. It is amazing to me how much a flashlight beam is dulled by even a light coating a dust on the lens!
Something about which to think after you’ve been shooting with the muzzle close to the deck!
Another AR-15 had an aftermarket, add-on rail clamped into the top of the carrying-handle. It was held in place, only finger-tight, by a single screw. Even when tightened as much as we could, there was still noticeable horizontal play in the rail. The shooter had an Aimpoint T1 mounted as far forward on the rail as he could get it.
Two difficulties reared their ugly heads:
(1) The optic was so high above the boreline (nearly five inches), the shooter had to add an after-market, clamp-on cheek-piece to the stock in order to get any kind of cheek-weld. The cheek-piece adamantly refused to stay put, and, in addition, interfered with normal operation of the charging-handle!
(2) Thus set up, the rifle would not hold zero! We were compelled to re-zero it several times during the day, but it still drifted off within a few dozen rounds. A unacceptable arrangement!
My conclusion is that clamp-on rails, on top of AR-15 carrying-handles, upon which optics are subsequently mounted, are invariably too high, and too unsubstantial, to render satisfactory service.
When a rifleman has dubious confidence in his zero, both he, and his rifle, are close to useless, except at pistol ranges. Icy sureness of the continuous legitimacy of one’s zero is an absolute necessity for any rifleman.
Accordingly, flimsy mounts for optics and/or iron-sights are a death-trap. Not recommended on any rifle used for serious purposes!