2 July 11

This info from a friend currently deployed overseas:

“‘Standard’ M4 PMags do not run in our HK 416s.

However, Magpul does make an ‘Emag’ specifically for the 416, and other Euro-spec rifles.

They run fine.

God forbid we’d standardize on anything!”

Comment: H&K’s 416 (gas-piston M4) got off to a fast start, but is currently getting only mediocre reviews.

Long-term suitability of any military small-arm is impossible to determine by computer simulation, even destruction-testing, alone. Only after thousands are manufactured and used in actual fighting, over many years, is the true story known.

In the interim, good men are betting their lives on them!



3 July 11

Comments on military equipment, from a long-serving veteran, now retired:

“For one, I grew weary of being looked upon as little more than a member of a herd of guinea-pigs, by hand-rubbing, bespectacled ‘social engineers’ who have been, for decades, given free reign to experiment upon us. They’ve been obsessed with everything from our ‘lack of sensitivity,’ to our ‘excessive patriotism,’ everything imaginable except our ability to fight and win wars!

Thank God for cynical and courageous officers and NCOs who look for what works, and can be relied upon to aggressively use it, while, of course, outwardly paying lip-service to pampered princes (and the current party-line) at foggy-bottom. They, at least, care more about their men and our Nation than they do about their next promotion!”


“When Rome collapsed in the Fifth Century, its enemies numbered only a fraction of those Rome decisively defeated during the Punic Wars, five hundred years earlier.

Decline is a choice.”

Victor Davis Hanson

Yes, a conscious choice, and who make it are without excuse!



9 July 11

Observations by an Instructor at an Urban Rifle Course here in CO last week:

“I had a chance to compare my Battle-Comp muzzle-brake with similar units from Smith Enterprise, Primary Weapon Systems (PWS), and Surefire

My test-gun was the lightest AR I own.

‘Flash-hiders’ typically do little to reduce recoil, but greatly reduce muzzle flash. Conversely, ‘muzzle-brakes’ reduce recoil and barrel lift, but trim muzzle flash only slightly. However, both provide protection from split barrels due to plugged muzzles. This last feature is more important than either flash-attenuation or recoil-reduction.

When you inadvertently auger your muzzle ten inches into the mud, and are then forced to fire immediately the instant it is withdrawn, most good muzzle-brakes, and flash-hiders, will allow jammed debris to be blown out to the side with no damage to the rifle. As noted above, this is a critical feature for serious rifles!

My Battle-Comp muzzle-brake eliminated muzzle rise and significantly reduced recoil. There is no doubt that a BC-equipped rifle is quick in recovery. BC’s muzzle-flash is also less than with the SureFire, Smith, and PWS. Flash was reduced to the point where it did not prevent me from making rapid, second hits in low-light.

Here is the problem: Side-ports on the BC are small, and the exit-hole in front is also small. When this device goes in the mud and subsequently picks up small rocks and associated debris, there is no easy, nor quick. way to clean it out. Debris will thus be trapped inside the device, at least in the short term. Conversely, the SureFire brake, as well as the PWS and Smith, have large ports in the side, so debris is easily cleaned out (or blasted out when shooting resumes).

In fact, side-blast with the SureFire, Smith, and PWS is annoying to bystanders, to say the least!”

Comment: In my experience, the best muzzle-brake, in terms of muzzle safety and recoil reduction is the one currently supplied on the NGA X7. It represents the best of both worlds. Even so, it still has significant side-blast and does little to reduce flash.

The best flash-suppressors are made by Vortex and FSG Halon. Both virtually eliminate flash, but neither has much effect on recoil and barrel-lift.

You can’t have it both ways!



10 July 11

Muzzles down!

At a recent Urban Rifle Course at an outdoor range, a student, with the muzzle of her AR elevated, had an ND, which put a single 5.56×45 bullet over the berm and off-property. The bullet in question subsequently impacted, at a high angle, into a lake a half-mile downrange. No injury nor property damage as a result, but several local fishermen reported the incident to the local SO, and I heard about it shortly thereafter!

Berm heights vary widely from range to range. Most are ten feet or higher. Even so, sending a bullet over the berm is still easily done, no matter the height. Some fancy ranges even have downrange, overhead “baffles,” designed to keep bullets, inadvertently launched at a high angle, from leaving the range. However, even at these facilities, bullets occasionally seem to find a way off-property. Additional efforts to contain them invariably convert the “outdoor range” into an indoor range!

The better solution to this issue is muzzle-discipline.

“Muzzle-down” is the by-word on all DTI Ranges. All rifle, pistol, and shotgun handling is with the muzzle no higher than horizontal. Elevating muzzles past horizontal during administrative processes, and during reloading and stoppage-reduction, is commonly taught in some quarters, but it is wrong- and dangerous!

In the incident described above, a rifle muzzle was inadvertently elevated during the loading process, as the student was relying on previous training. We corrected it, of course, but not before that single round departed range property.

When NDs occur with the muzzle down and angled toward the berm, the bullet hits the ground between the shooter and the berm and can still subsequently jump over to the other side. However, these ricochets are typically low energy and far less dangerous than direct launches.

“Muzzle-up” is bad practice for other reasons too. Handling guns with the muzzle up is an invitation to a disarm, and rifle barrels angled upward will reliably betray an Operator’s position and intentions, particularly when he is behind cover. And, a rifle slung with the muzzle up will invariably point in multiple, unsafe directions as it comes off the shoulder.

So, our students need to become accustomed to keeping all muzzles continually at a downward angle, coming up to horizontal only when aiming at a target. All administrative processes: loading, unloading, slinging, deploying from a slung carry, and performing a chamber-check can be (and must be) done with Operator facing in a relatively safe direction and with the muzzle angled downward.

When we have an ND with the muzzle down, we may still cause injury to feet, ankles, or lower legs. By contrast, when we have an ND with the muzzle up, injuries are usually to the head, neck, cervical spine. It’s a matter of competing harms! There is no risk-free procedure, but muzzle-down is still preferable to muzzle-up.

With escalating numbers of novice gun-owners, preventing gun-accidents is rapidly emerging as a critical priority. Gun-fear, trigger-locks, and the “empty-gun/never-ready” philosophy represents only a false and fraudulent myth. Genuine Operators, who carry and deal with loaded guns every day, need a legitimate and dependable gun-handling procedure that is adhered to without fail, and keeping muzzles down is an integral component.



11 July 11

“Stopping Power”

A new study of pistol, rifle, and shotgun “stopping power” has just been published by Ohioan, Greg Ellifritz. You can see it at http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866

This is a respectable study, and I like the way Greg describes his own data. No sweeping conclusions, just good, general advice.

“Incapacitation” is the hard point to pin down! We’re usually relying upon witness statements, and the prime witness is nearly always the one who did the shooting. Well documented perceptual errors/distortions are common, as are personal agendas. How fast one was actually “incapacitated” after being struck by bullet(s) varies widely with the pair of eyes involved in the description!

Although not listed, I’m confident that there is even a respectable stopping percentage emanating from situations where the criminal was shot at, not hit at all, but unilaterally elected to immediately disengage and run away anyway! Probably a significantly higher percentage with loud guns than with relatively muted “mouse-guns.”

Greg himself acknowledges that his study doesn’t factor in bullet type, nor brand. Hardball is lumped in with high-performance ammunition, such as Gold-Dot and DPX. As he points out, getting a credible handle on those details is nearly impossible, and, even when you do, the sampling of involvement of each bullet type/brand will be so small as to be statistically insignificant.

For the same reason, neither temperature, clothing, range to the target, type of gun used, size/weight of the suspect, suspect’s blood-alcohol/drug level, suspect disposition, penetration of intervening barriers, nor a thousand other legitimate variables that don’t readily lend themselves to quantification are factored in either, nor could they be.

For example, most actual self-defense shootings involving 40S&W and 357SIG probably involve high-performance ammunition, since neither is a “military caliber.” Conversely, a much higher percentage of 9mm shootings probably involve hardball ammunition, because there is so much of it around, and also because its use is mandated for military employment.

My conclusions:

When you’re forced to defend yourself with gunfire, using any combination of gun/ammunition, shoot with surgical precision, and even then, don’t expect any perceptible behavioral change on the felon’s part for at least several seconds, maybe longer! Be fully equipped, trained, and prepared to hit him in the torso/neck/head multiple times, move, re-evaluate, and then re-engage at once when necessary.

We carry pistols because they’re convenient, not because they’re “effective.” We carry pistols constantly as a means of dealing with “unexpected” threats. We carry rifles and shotguns on those occasions when we’re compelled to confront “expected” threats.

I hate talking about “typical” shootings!

“At least once, everyone should have to run for his life, so he will know that eggs don’t come from stores, that safety does not come from police, and that ‘news’ is not something that happens to other people.”

Robert Heinlein



12 July 11

Description of a recent shooting incident, from a friend and attorney in South Africa:

“Last year, I was compelled to defend myself with gunfire in my own law office. Three burglary suspects broke in while I was there. When they saw me, all three approached in a threatening manner.

Using my G23, I shot the first two, using Speer Gold-Dot ammunition. I hit each one time. Both rounds struck body mid-line, center of the torso. Both suspects dropped to the floor, I would describe as ‘instantaneously.’ Getting shot was clearly not what either expected! The third suspect (uninjured) ran away, but was arrested by police a short time later.

Both 40S&W bullets, fully expanded, ripped apart the descending aortas of both suspects. Both were comatose within seconds, and both DRT in less than a minute.

As you know, high-performance pistol ammunition, like Gold-Dot, DPX, et al, is expensive here and, even then, hard to get. I paid the price, and, in retrospect, glad I did! My G23 is currently loaded with the same round!

In court, the judge actually complemented me on my bravery and then warned the lawyer representing the third suspect not to waste the Court’s time! He was sentenced to a long prison term shortly thereafter.

I’m not sure how ‘brave’ I am, but I did what I had to do. Nor am I at all sure that the results I personally witnessed are ‘typical,’ but I am persuaded that I’m alive because of good guns, good training, and good ammunition.

I’ll never settle for less!”

Comment: The painful fact is, we’re never really going to know much about “stopping power,” at least in the predictive sense. Temperature, clothing, range to the target, type of gun used, size/weight of the suspect, suspect’s blood-alcohol/drug level, suspect’s disposition, penetration of intervening barriers, and a thousand other legitimate variables that don’t readily lend themselves to quantification, and are unlikely to ever be exactly duplicated, make such predictions dubious, to say the least!

The good news is that modern, high-performance pistol ammunition from reputable manufacturers, combined with accurate shooting from modern, reliable pistols, still represents your best insurance against crippling injury/death at the hands of violent criminals.

However, in the words of a good friend, it is a classic mistake to think only in terms of your attacker’s “intent,” at which you can only guess. Better to base action on the attacker’s capabilities. He can always change his mind! So, the best personal policy is to be fully prepared to fire multiple times, moving, reloading, and seeking cover as necessary, until additional offensive actions on your part appear to be no longer necessary. Put in less polite terms, in order to save a life, you have to be able, and willing, to end a life. Not everyone has that kind of decisiveness in them, but everyone does need to think about it- while they still can!

No guarantees! But, we can at least stack the odds in our favor. Why wouldn’t we?



12 July 11

Sign of the times?

This from a friend in the Chicago area:

“A dangerous confrontation occurred at my back door last night, after one AM.

Yesterday afternoon, in the North Chicago suburbs, we experienced an intense thunderstorm. It knocked out power in the entire North Shore and Lake County area. Power is not due to be completely restored for another day or two.

With power off, and everything black as the ace-of-spades (no street lights, and only occasional car headlights are visible), I heard suspicious noises coming from my back porch.

I responded with a 1911 in one hand, and my dog’s leash (along with a flashlight) in the other. After exiting my house via another door, I went around the corner and into my back yard. There, attempting to break in to my house through a locked back door, stood three youths.

I quietly approached them, and, from cover, turned my flashlight on them, yelling, ‘Can I help you gentlemen…?’ I simultaneously turned my dog loose, and covered them at gunpoint. Startled, they all fled straightaway, with my dog biting at their heels. My dog returned a few seconds later, none the worse for wear.

I remained in the back yard with him for another hour. No additional activity!

I am now even more convinced that this thin veneer we all laughingly call ‘civilization’ will predictably break down with the slightest encouragement. These three thugs were obviously emboldened by the power outage. They fled ths time. Lucky for them! Next time, they may not.

Our society has (I believe by design) produced a super-abundance of these sleazy, non-productive rodents, and there is precious little holding them in check. What little there is, is overwhelmed by something as mundane as a temporary power outage!

I have since discovered that there was a rash of similar break-in attempts throughout our suburb that same evening. Multiple sirens could be heard all night long.

Police simply cannot adequately protect citizenry under these circumstances. I know that now, first hand!”

Comment: Across the Atlantic, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Greece are all in what can only be described as “nationwide financial chaos.” Most other Western European Countries are not far behind, nor is the USA!

Bumbling politicians dither as the crisis waxes worse by the day. Only the hyper-optimistic believe the situation is improving.

As the foregoing illustrates, anarchy is coming. Maybe in stages. Maybe all at once. Either way, this planet is (as always) piteously indifferent. In this world, civilizations come and go. The dustbin of history overflows with them, with names few remember.

Help is not on the way. We’re on our own!



13 July 11

Report from MN:

“Our indefinite state shut-down is generating an intolerable strain on local law enforcement!

State Trooper patrols have been cut in half. They’ll likely be cut in half again before long. Response time to wrecks, etc is increasing to the point of absurdity. State-Police dispatch centers are all closed. What few Troopers there still are depend on relays from local dispatch centers. Communication is haphazard. Local PDs are assisting by responding to highway calls, when they can, but rural areas are on their own!

Hazmat, Civil Disturbance, and WMD teams are all shut down.

We’re praying we don’t have power outages, as you described in the last Quip!”

Comment: Other states will follow. We all need to get used to it. This is just the beginning!



19 July 11

Gen 4

I’ve carried my Gen4/G23 for over a month, using and demonstrating with it at numerous Pistol Courses. In fact, it has logged quite a few air miles by now!

Never a hiccup!

I routinely carry Cor-Bon DPX for serious purposes and have run several dozen through the gun, but, during Courses, I usually run 180gr hardball.

Of course, my Gen3/G23 runs as well, but Gen4’s numerous internal improvements, particularly the recoil spring, represent, I believe, a genuine advancement.

There has been issues with the Gen4/G19, mostly short-cycling with feeble ammunition. As with any new product, I’m sure Glock is working on solutions as you read this.

In any event, there has been no issues with the Gen4/G23 that I’m aware of.

I recommend it!



19 July 11

Concealed Carry in WI!

I just completed a Pistol Course in Twin Cities last weekend. Several of my students were from WI, and were excited with WI’s new “shall-issue,” concealed-carry system, recently signed into law by Republican Gov Ron Walker.

The former governor, a gun-hating Democrat, had vetoed identical bills several times.

Permits will begin to be issued in November of this year, but, with the State broke (like nearly every other State), there is some question with regard to how fast the expected flood of applications can be processed.

The new law was, and still is, opposed by some big-city chiefs and mayors, who selfishly see it only as an erosion of their power-base (which is all they care about), but has received enthusiastic support from nearly every other quarter.

Businesses are permitted to post signs prohibiting carrying of guns on their premises. Of course, these signs will be, and should be, contemptuously ignored, as they are everywhere else.

IL is now one of the few hold-outs left, along with NJ, MD, NYC, and a few other places.

Americans are addicted to freedom!

All “collectivist reform,” pushed by Liberals, without fail, peremptorily supplants its purported goal of everlasting utopia with a sinister, but familiar, feudal system of “masters-and-slaves,” wherein owners remain few, and the masses are forced to accept “security” at the expense of perpetual servitude.

That is exactly what our courageous ancestors left Old World to escape. This is the New World! The American Dream isn’t dead yet!

Wisconsinites now get to provide their own security!

In London today there is a statue of a valiant Queen Boadicea, shown leading her army in 61AD. The inscription says,

“We are no one’s slaves.”

For one, I proudly claim that heritage!



20 July 11

As I sit and contemplate complex and tedious legalities endemic to a number of product-liability cases in which I’m currently involved, I am reminded of Voltaire:

“Animals have these advantages over man:

1) They never hear the clock strike
2) They die without any idea of death
3) They have no theologians to instruct them
4) Their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies
5) Their funerals cost nothing
6) No one starts lawsuits over their wills”

“Civilization” comes at a price, eh?



21 July 11

Advice to legal CCW license-holders:

Most states now issue CCW licenses to non-police citizens with no criminal record. In those states, CCW licenses cannot be arbitrarily denied. They’re not hard to get, for the most part. The CCW license itself does not require the holder to carry a concealed gun, nor, for that matter, to even own a gun! It simply gives him the option, at his discretion.

Some states, such as FL, have had their CCW statute in place for several decades now. In other states, such as WI, its passage and implementation is very recent.

A few states legally require all CCW License holders to “promptly inform” police officers with whom they come in close contact (such as in a traffic-stop) of their legally-armed status. Most states have no such requirement. Even where there is such a requirement in law, the manner in which it is to be actually carried out by the CCW licensee is not specifically described.

Most individual police officers and police executives have no objection to these “shall-issue” CCW laws, and have in fact, secured CCW licenses for their own spouses and other eligible family members. However, some officers, even entire departments, still exhibit a depraved anti-gun agenda that has led to unnecessarily disagreeable, even menacing, confrontations with legitimate CCW licensees.

Here is my advice to CCW licensees:

1) Be in bed by ten o’clock! Police regard those who are up and about late at night as less respectable, and more dangerous, than “normal” people, who sleep during the night and are active during daylight hours. A “nocturnal” life-style is fraught with peril and unhappiness!

2) Have a “normal” appearance. Police officers automatically focus on “unusual” things and circumstances. That’s their job! Simply looking “normal” goes as long way toward putting police officers at ease. Who insist on covering themselves with tattoos, dyeing their hair purple, and having a “face-by-Ace-Hardware” will discover that they garner a great deal of attention, most of it unwanted.

3) Keep your pistol discreetly concealed, and don’t talk about it. The vast majority of people with whom you associate should never know it is there.

4) Stay away from places where people are in a highly-emotional state. Emotionally-charged sporting events, political rallies, picket-lines, et al are good places not to be. When confronted by highly-emotional people, politely disengage and withdraw.

5) Don’t hang-out with boisterous, slatternly, rowdy people, nor with people who have been drinking excessively. They will have an unhappy evening. Don’t join them!

6) Be a courteous, cautious, conservative driver. Don’t speed and don’t show-off. Who do, had better get used to talking with police!

7) When pulled over in traffic by police, don’t voluntarily bring up the subject of guns, unless required by law. In that case, put it something like this, “Officer, I have a permit. Would you like to see it?” Drive a “normal-looking” car. Keep you hands in plain view. Be polite, but boring. Don’t “interrogate” police. Answer questions truthfully, but don’t be chatty. Don’t volunteer information. Don’t answer questions that weren’t asked! When around police, don’t verbalize the term, “gun.”

8) When berated, even threatened, by police, do not answer in kind. Remain calm and polite. Indicate to them that you want to talk with their supervisor. When bombarded with accusations and threats, indicate to them that you want your lawyer personally present before answering any further questions. Repeat as necessary.

9) Don’t fail the “attitude test!” Displaying a belligerent, arrogant, combative attitude around police will almost certainly lead to caustic confrontations and a cheerless evening. Be always even-tempered, polite, reasonable, and in-control, never loud and defensive.

Here is my advice to my brother police officers:

1) Get over it! It’s the law now. Your personal opinion is irrelevant. Besides, no class of citizens represents less of a threat to police officers than do legal CCW license-holders. They are the ones we should fear least!

2) Don’t ask legally-armed citizens why they own, and carry, guns. Frankly, it’s none of your business! They are merely exercising their rights as Americans and as citizens of your state. It is no different than attending the church of their choice or writing letters to their Congressman. None of those activities are immoral, nor illegal.

3) Don’t pointlessly humiliate and denigrate people legally carrying concealed guns. No legitimate purpose is served in stripping them of their dignity by disarming them in public and in front of their families and friends. Legally concealed guns need to stay in holsters, out of sight, and out of conversation. The last thing you want is a gun being waved around inside a car, because you indicated that you “wanted to see it!”

A little respect goes as long way, both ways!



25 July 11

Soft-Point 223

I just completed an Urban/Patrol Rifle Program with an East Coast State Police Agency. My students were extraordinarily enthusiastic as they extensively exercised a combination of personally-owned and company-owned ARs. One Trooper had a personally-owned SIG/556.

As is my habit, I suggested the installation of MGI “D-Rings” on all ARs. We accomplished that during the “User- Level Maintenance” portion of the Course.

Out of an erroneous concern for “over-penetration” of hardball ammunition, this department issues Federal 55gr soft-point 223 (“TRU” for “Tactical Rifle, Urban”) for duty use. The State was kind enough to supply us with a good quantity of it, along with some 55gr hardball (which is to be used only for “practice,” but not carried on duty)

During our Course, each student fired close to 1k rounds, a mixture of hardball and soft-point. Hardball ran fine in all rifles present, as it usually does. By contrast, “issue” soft-point generated endless stoppages, mostly failures to feed from metal, thirty-round magazines most students were using.

While making its way up the magazine, exposed lead on the tip of soft-point bullets predictably deformed. By the time the deformed bullet reached the top of the magazine, it frequently refused to feed and instead hung-up on the front of the magazine. In several cases, the bullet actually pushed back into the case, ending any possibility of normal feeding, and creating a hash that could not be fixed quickly.

In any event, Troopers were less than pleased with this ammunition, particularly in light of the fact that “research” that went into its selection consisted solely of those up the food-chain one afternoon watching Federal’s own promotional video on the subject!

My recommendation was that the Department immediately stop issuing soft-point and start testing other rounds, particularly Federal’s bonded-core “Tactical” round, Black Hills V/Max, and Cor-Bon DPX. Any of those will prove superior, in every way!

In my experience, soft-point ammunition has never run well in high-capacity magazines. Last weekend’s training Course confirmed it, in spades!

It is definitely not recommended for any serious purpose.



27 July 11

The Olso Incident:

In the wake of Norway’s recent mass-murder, frantic calls for universal arming of local police, and for the freedom of citizens to own guns, are being heeded only by politicians, who are busily (and quietly) bolstering their own bodyguard staffs! Everywhere else, there is firm, self-righteous resistance to all such improvements. “Ordinary” citizens continue to be casually regarded as dispensable, and will be treated accordingly, as they are in the rest of Western Europe.

Performance of police in Norway was reminiscent of the performance of Indian police during 2008’s Mumbai Incident! No effective nor significant intervention until the slaughter was long over. Indeed, news-media helicopters were arriving at the crime-scene well before any species of police response was evident!

I have every confidence Norway’s political class will carefully consider all options for improving their own, personal security. But, the pervading national anti-gun agenda (in place only for naive, public consumption) will remain unmodified.

This brand of terrorism is easily exportable to any place occupied by unarmed sheep. We’ll likely see more of it in various other corners of callow Western Europe, and even in the USA, at least in places where terrorists don’t have to endure the inconvenience of dodging hot lead!

“Beauty, purity, respectability, religion, morality, patriotism, bravery, and the rest are nothing but words, which I, or anyone else, can turn inside-out, like a glove!

… mere words, but useful for duping barbarians into adopting ‘civilization,’ or the civilized into submitting to being robbed and enslaved.

The foregoing is the ‘family secret’ of the governing caste.”

Bernard Shaw

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”




28 July 11

Ready, or Not!

This from a student, by proxy:

“This week, I’ve been teaching Vacation Bible School at my church. Last night, we had a new kid, a little boy, age seven, run into a garbage dumpster outside. He sliced a sizeable gash in the top of his head.

The pastor’s wife took him into the bathroom. He was bleeding profusely. I ran to my car and retrieved the single IBD (Israeli Battle Dressing) that I took home from your TTGSW Class (Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds) just one week ago. By the time I got to the bathroom, the boy’s face, arms, hands, shirt, pants, the floor, the toilet topper, and the sink were all dripping with blood! The pastor’s wife was trying to be helpful, but she had no idea of what to do and was verging on panic, as she was unable to get the bleeding stopped.

I straightaway took over, brushing her aside and quickly applying the IBD to the boy’s head, exactly as I was shown in your Class. Bleeding stopped immediately, but it was obvious that we would have to get to boy to an ER for stitches.

The church building had no trauma kit anywhere, nor did I have one in my car. I only had the single IBD, but it probably saved the kid’s life.

I was asked by several other parents there, ‘… where did you learn this?’ ‘… where did that come from (referring to the IBD)?’ ‘Wow! You’re prepared for anything.’ Actually, I was only marginally prepared, but relatively well-prepared, compared with everyone else there!

The boy is fine. The ER doctor also asked where I got the IBD. He had never seen one either!

I now have a complete trauma kit in my car, and another in our home, along with a case of IBDs. We’re also putting one together for the church building. Several members of our church will be attending your next Class!”


1. Never assume others will be prepared, for anything, even the most minor emergency. Be adequately, personally prepared, all the time! It is always a “come-as-you-are” war!

2. Reasonably foreseeable security and medical emergencies need to be anticipated beforehand and planned for. Every adult in your family needs to be competently equipped, supplied, and trained.

3. Days of “inter-dependance” are long-gone. You are always the “first-responder!” Take your responsibilities seriously. Lives depend on it… including yours!



29 July 11

In response to many requests for a source for IBDs (Israeli Battle Dressing), mentioned in yesterday’s Quip, they are available from any number of distributors and retailers, but Frank Sharpe at Fortress Defense has a good supply at good prices and can ship immediately.


Frank N Sharpe
Fortress Defense
PO Bx 385
Crete, IL 60417
708 522 8060



31 July 11

The Centralia, MO Massacre, 27 Sept 1864 (Tuesday):

The ultimate outcome of the American Civil War was never really in doubt, although it was far bloodier, and took far longer, than even the most pessimistic had predicted in 1860. The War had been brewing since the early 1800s, and had it started in the 1830s (which it nearly did, several times), the South would have had some chance for a negotiated settlement which would have probably led to some form of recognized autonomy, at least temporarily, perhaps even a re-amalgamation with England!

But, by 1860, the North had far too much of a head-start on industrialization for the mostly agrarian South to have much of a chance. And, of course, President Lincoln was stubbornly determined to keep the Union together.

Running against him in the 1864 Presidential Election was twice-fired (former) General George B McCellan, who during his campaign advocated an immediate cease-fire and subsequent negotiations. To the surprise of many, even Lincoln himself, McCellan was soundly defeated, in spite of the Army of the Potomac’s less-than-stellar, often bumbling, performance. After four, weary years of war, and unending casualties, the North was in no mood for any kind of half-victory!

One reason for the hardened attitude of most Northerners was interminable atrocities committed by guerilla raiders, loosely associated with the Confederate Cause, operating mostly in Missouri and Kansas. Raiders like the James Brothers, William C Quantrill, and, worst of all, William “Bloody Bill” Anderson attacked, at will, settlements of suspected Union sympathizers. So sickening was their conspicuous thuggery and depredations, that they became a steadily-increasing embarrassment to the Confederacy!

Anderson himself, seeking revenge for what he considered unjust aggression against his part of the Country and upon his family in particular, had no compunction with regard to murdering northern sympathizers in relatively isolated, lightly defended areas. His men routinely scalped, and otherwise mutilated, their victims.

By the fall of 1864, the War was winding down. It would be over by April of 1865. A train was blocked and intercepted in Centralia, MO by Anderson’s Raiders. Aboard the train were an assortment of passengers, including twenty-four Union Soldiers, in full uniform, but unarmed, all on furlough.

Civilian passengers were robbed, but Union Soldiers were separated and ordered to take their uniforms off. They were then all gunned-down where they stood. They were then scalped and their bodies additionally mutilated. One sergeant was taken prisoner, alive, probably as a subsequent bargaining-chip, but escaped several days later. He became the sole survivor of the incident.

Anderson and his band were immediately pursued by a Union cavalry detachment under Major AVE Johnson. However, Johnson was lured into an ambush. Most of his unit (120) were killed. Only a few escaped. Johnson himself was not among them.

Anderson had become far more notorious than he probably ever wanted to be! And, as fate would have it, soon became a victim of his own tactics. He and his raiders were themselves lured into an ambush a month later by Union Colonel Samuel P Cox. Anderson and his men charged headlong into Cox’s trap, as was their style, clamping reins between their teeth, and holding a revolver in each hand! Anderson himself, and most of his men, were shot off their mounts as they rode, or were gunned down as they attempted to extricate themselves from their fallen horses. The few who survived were taken prisoner and (correctly) charged as war criminals. Most were subsequently hanged, but it was everything Cox could do to protect them from local townspeople, who wanted to hang them all on the spot!

In war, passions understandably run high among those who were there and were affected directly. I, for one, am personally influenced by my wartime experiences, even today. Historians, much later, exercise the luxury of viewing events from a more disinterested perspective.

Again, “where you stand depends on where you sit!”

An important lesson here is the issue, with which we struggle today, of unarmed soldiers!

Union soldiers who were ultimately murdered that Tuesday had been instructed to proudly wear their uniforms as they traveled back home from the Battle of Atlanta, but, in the same breath, were admonished not to take any weapons with them, even though they would be traveling through contested territory!

Those up the food-chain obviously didn’t give a damn about those men, just as they don’t today! If some of those soldiers ignored such stupid orders and did carry personal weapons, concealed, it is not evident from any historical record. I suspect none did. They were just good, albeit naive, soldiers, following orders.

I’m confident, in retrospect, all of them would have preferred fighting it out to being murdered in cold blood!

Personal readiness should be taught to all soldiers, but it is not, then, nor now.

“Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”

ML King