3 Mar 08

Our new contact in Iraq is Maj John M Moore. John tell me his guys need:

Leatherman tools

A more complete and specific list will follow, but these list should get us started. Let’s make sure these guys know they’re not forgotten!

Maj John M Moore
MWSS-272/Operations Officer
Unit 77151
FPO AE, 09509-7151



3 Mar 08


I’ve been carrying Springfield Armory’s XD pistol for several days now. My copy is the mid-sized model in 40S&W, and I’m carrying it in Comp-Tac’s “Minotaur” concealment holster. Both pistol and holster carry comfortably.

My XD is a thirteen-shooter, and it reliably feeds and fires all brands of ammunition, including DPX, which is my current carry load. I used it in a Course in TX last weekend, and it got a good workout, effortlessly digesting everything I could find to put through it, including some real garbage!

The grip-safety, which I thought would be an issue, wasn’t. Perhaps shooters with small, bony hands will find it a nuisance when unloading or performing a chamber check, but I didn’t. I don’t consider it an important feature, but at least it doesn’t get in my way.

The loaded-chamber indicator on top of the ejection port is not big enough to get in the way nor otherwise become an issue either. So, as with all “loaded-chamber” indicators, it is (and should be) ignored. Likewise the forward, slide serrations.

It took me a while to warm up to this pistol, but I’ve learned to like it! While not perfect, this pistol is rugged, eminently useable for serious purposes, comfortable, and reliable. Retailers tell me XDs rarely break and are starting to penetrate the police market. User-level maintenance is easily performed, as the XD field-strips similar to a SIG.

I can’t think of any after-market modification the XD needs. I am contemplating none on my copy. The pistol runs just fine, right out of the box. There is little not to like.




4 Mar 08

Sabre Defense

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to give my copy of Sabretech’s XR15 (M4) a thorough workout. I have it equipped with a forward-mounted Aimpoint Micro on a LaRue quick-detach mount. Sling is a two-point, Blue Force Gear/Vickers.

We shot a number of brands of ammunition through it, in different brands of magazines. Every one of my students had the opportunity to handle and use it.

As expected, it ran without a hiccup, but the one comment I got more than any other was about its lightness! It is light, short, and handy. Everyone noticed!

Excellent car-gun!



4 Mar 08

Surefire X300 Weapon-Light

Until now, I have not been a particular fan of flashlights that physically attach to pistols, as they were bulky, took too long to attach and detach, and required special holsters.

Last fall, a good friend from SIG showed me a Surefire X300 that he carries, separate from his pistol. Andy Stanford reiterated that lesson at the Polite Society Event in Memphis in February, and I now have a copy that I’m using on my carry guns. The X300 quickly goes on, and comes off, of any pistol with a rail. I’ve used my copy with my SIG 229, S&W M&P, G23, Beretta PX4, and SA/XD. Runs just fine on all of them, and I can quickly get rid of it when I don’t want it.

I find that I can carry the X300 in a vest pocket, then attach it to my pistol at night when the pistol lays on the floor, next to my bed. In the morning, I then take it off prior to holstering. With the light attached to the pistol, I can easily operate/coordinate both, using only one hand, and the light beam is always in precise alignment with the barrel of the pistol.

There is still the issue of inadvertently pointing the light and pistol in unsafe directions, simply because they are attached, but the X300 is a slick, rugged system that provides significant advantages, and I’ve found a way to fit it into my life, per the foregoing.




4 Mar 08

Good advice from a friend who is chief of security at a famous gentlemen’s club in TX:

“Sunday evening I was summoned to our ‘VIP lounge.’ Our floor-manager had gently informed a patron that he was in an area that required a special invitation, and, since the patron didn’t have one, that he would have to leave and return to some other part of the Club. The patron would have none of it!

Upon arrival, I observed a heated argument between the patron in question and the floor manager. Our manager was clearly losing control, as the patron was waving his arms and posturing menacingly as well as verbalizing violent threats. I knew I had to act quickly, before the affair became physical.

Moving forward briskly, I got between the patron and our beleaguered floor manager. I immediately seized the agenda by making unsmiling eye contact and saying, ‘House Security, sir. What seems to be the problem here?’ The patron spouted the usual ‘Do you have any idea how much money I spend in this joint…?’ My response was the standard, ‘Time to leave, sir. Perhaps we can discuss all this some other time, eh?’ As I spoke, a contingent of my security staff arrived and immediately deployed. However, we took great care to maintain an open exit for the patron, so that he did not get the impression that he was cornered. Our floor manager took the hint and stepped out of sight, so that the patron had no one to deal with except me

Seeing that his position was suddenly untenable, the patron’s countenance fell. He continued whining, but with diminishing energy. My requiem response was, ‘I understand completely, sir, but look around. Can’t you see that none of these people want you here? It’s clearly time for you to leave, sir.’ We escorted him out without further incident.

The ‘affair’ quickly ended, and the rest of the patrons, as well as the staff, went back to their respective activities as if nothing had happened!

In my business, taking immediate control of an incident, in a firm and confident manner, is all important if one intends to consistently de-escalate potentially violent confrontations. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of clear and judicious verbal commands, combined with strong, confident, ‘I-can-handle-whatever-you-throw-my-way’ posturing and bearing! Anything less will result in disaster. Ask me how I know this!

I deal with drunken idiots on a nightly basis. Most are harmless, but some are pernicious. Actually, all are pernicious under the right circumstances.”

Comment: There is an important lesson here, even for those of us who don’t work as bouncers! Being “invisible” is something we advise most of the time one is in public places. However, in order to insure consistent “de-selection” for victimization, we also need to know how to quietly project strength and icy resolve. We need to be “dangerous,” and it needs to show, however quietly!

“Weakness perceived is weakness exploited”

It applies to individuals as well as nations!



5 Mar 08

When opportunity meets unpreparedness! From a friend in WA:

“A local resident was brutally beaten here Saturday afternoon. He owns a house that he uses as an office. It is in the high-rent district!

Saturday, he was working alone when a man knocked on his front door. The moment he opened the door, the man pushed his way in and immediately starting striking the resident in the head and neck with a metal tool, probably a hammer or wrench, all the time screaming, ‘Where’s the money!’

The resident, unarmed and untrained, put up no effective resistance and, as a direct result, suffered several severe cuts to his face and head and well as broken facial bones. The suspect ultimately threw him out of the house and onto the front lawn, closed the door, and then ransacked the house, apparently looking for valuables.

When the suspect came back out, he took the resident’s watch and wallet, and abruptly left. The resident had called the police via his cell phone, but they did not get there for over twenty minutes, and, even when first beat car arrived, he waited anther ten minuted for the second car to arrive, before either approached the bleeding resident, ultimately rendering aid and summoning an ambulance.

As of today, no arrests have been made. The resident did not know the suspect personally.

The resident sustained significant injury, but he is expected to recover, to the degree that he can.

Here is yet another example of a naive, clueless, unprepared VBC who could not bring himself to believe that anything like this could ever happen to him. He is lucky to have lived through it, but he is going to have to endure months of hospitalization and painful recovery and, in addition, is likely to suffer permanent disfigurement/disablement.”

Lesson: “Bad luck” is what happens when unpreparedness collides with opportunity!

Every police department in the nation puts out three patrol shifts every day (sometimes two). There are only so many police cars, and so many officers, available at any given moment, and we prioritize calls for police services as best we can. Even with the best-funded departments, the notion that a beat-car will routinely arrive at your doorstep within seconds, or even minutes, of being summoned, is largely delusional!

Bottom line: We’ll get there as soon as we can, but our “response-time” is always largely outside of our control. In the interim, you had better have some personal capacity for dealing effectively with threatening circumstances, or, like the self-deceptive VBC in the foregoing, accept “victim-status,” with all that that term implies!



7 Mar 08

Capt John Massey and 5th Battery, June 1918. When “ordinary men” become heroes:

By spring of 1918, the Allies had correctly concluded that the War was, at long last, winding down. Only the German High Command still desperately clung to the delusion that a “negotiated peace” with the intractable Allies was attainable. But, by that time, after millions of casualties (military and civilian), poison gas, and the precipitous sinking of the Lusitania, the Allies were in no mood for compromise!

The final, hopeless, German offensive, the “Second Battle of the Marne,” and backdrop for Erich Remarque’s 1929 anti-war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, ground to a painful halt near Paris at the beginning of June and was almost immediately driven back. Casualties were hideous! Germans shoved forward what remained of their best soldiers, the “Sturmabreilungen,” (Storm Troopers). Predictably, the vast majority became casualties, and there were none to replace them.

British Captain John Massey’s 5th Battery was one of the units overrun by the German offensive. With poison gas and high-explosive, Germans attacked Massey’s position in an concerted effort to knock out his guns. But, Massey’s guns continued firing through it all, including a direct assault by Storm Troopers. Fearlessly running from position to position, Massey directed his guns to fire straight into phalanxes of charging Germans, and succeeded in turning back the first assault, with heinous casualties. Wasting no time, Massey, Lewis Machinegun in hand and with his men following him, counter-charged straightaway. He was killed in the process, as were most of his Command. Massey’s position was eventually overrun, but at great cost, and what remained of his Command stubbornly stood their ground to the last, never entertaining any thought of retreating. Massey himself was posthumously awarded the Military Cross and, by the French, the Croix de Guerre.

German soldiers had dared to believe that the now discredited “Schlieffen Plan,” combined with their own appalling sacrifices, would ultimately bear the fruits of victory. But now, with this latest assault once-again rebuffed, freshly-arriving American divisions deployed on the front, and British tanks smashing through heretofore solid German defenses, all hope vanished, and demoralization, mixed with despondency, spread rapidly among the ranks as well as the entire German command structure. By August, it was the unsavory duty of German General Ludendorff to confront the Kaiser and reluctantly inform him that the War was lost! The “Great War” ended officially on 11 Nov 1918.

Comment: In the grand scheme of world history, the selfless gallantry of men like John Massey and his Command is promptly forgotten, except among those of us who study history and humbly wonder where we get such men. Audacious courage like his is surely contagious, as we see, but it can neither be ordered, nor legislated, nor fabricated. It resides quietly in the hearts of true warriors, those among us who are persuaded that there are ideals and principles worthy of being defended to the last.

When the challenge comes, they step forward without hesitation, never doubting, and never looking back. True to their duty. True to their charge. True… to the end.

These heroes make history interesting. Indeed, they make history worth studying!

Axes flash, broadsword swing,
Shining armour’s piercing ring
Horses run with polished shield,
Fight the bastards until they yield
Midnight mare and blood-red roan,
Fight to keep this land your own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die?

Follow orders as you’re told,
Make their yellow blood run cold
Fight until you die or drop,
A force like ours is hard to stop!
Close your mind to stress and pain,
Fight until you’re no longer sane
Let not one damn cur pass us by,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die?

Guard your women and children well,
Send these bastards back to hell
We’ll teach them the ways of war,
They won’t come here any more
Use your shield and use your head,
Fight till everyone is dead
Raise our flag up to the sky,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die?

Dawn has broke, the time has come,
Move your feet to the marching drum
We’ll win this war and pay the toll,
We’ll fight with one in heart and soul
Midnight mare and blood-red roan,
Fight to keep this land your own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die?

March of Cambreadth, by Heather Alexander



8 Mar 08


Taurus is currently marketing their M4510, “The Judge,” five-shot revolver. In their booth at the SHOT Show, Taurus showed us a video touting this gun as being designed specifically for use in preventing car-jackings. It is a big, heavy pistol, and reloading is slow. Comfortable, concealed carry is possible only for the biggest among us.

The revolver chambers and fires both 45 Colt (“Long-Colt”) and 410 shotgun cartridges, however 410 shotgun shells are limited to the shortest made, 2.5 inches. In the promotional video, 410 birdshot was, not surprisingly, demonstrated on a “Shoot-n-See” paper target that is designed to make each pellet impact look much bigger than it actually is. The pistol’s rifled bore aggravates the spread of the shot pattern. Even at a range of four feet, the birdshot pattern in the demonstration had already attained a diameter of eight inches.

As I watched, it occurred to me that, as a single-purpose “snake-gun,” this revolver would be second to none!

I know of no actual shootings with this revolver on human criminals. However, a friend in OK recently used his copy to dispatch a large skunk at a range of ten feet. He used #8 birdshot. The task required three hits, but the unimpressed skunk was far from DRT. He slowly waddled off, crawled into a bush, and eventually died.

I can’t imagine any size of birdshot, particularly from a short barrel, being an effective fight-stopper. However, loaded with 45 Colt, or 410 slugs or buckshot, I believe this revolver is at least arguable as a “car-gun.” 410 slugs are available, as is 410/000bk (three pellets). My personal choice would be 000bk!

In a real fight, that one can use this revolver, or any gun, effectively, via any species of unaimed, “spray” technique, is little more than self-deception. To be effective in a life-threatening circumstance, shots from any firearm must be aimed precisely by a competent Operator.

Just as cars that “drive themselves” are currently unavailable, guns that are effective in the hands of the untrained and willfully incompetent exist only in the minds of the naive.



8 Mar 08


The poem quoted in yesterday’s Quip is:

“March of Cambreadth,” by Heather Alexander

I didn’t know that until this morning! I was sent it long ago, but never knew the title, nor the author. This morning, one of my students updated me.

As with “Men of Harlech,” which I’ve also quoted, the origins of many battle themes of old England will probably never be known. The song, “Men of Harlech” was an unofficial anthem in Wales for centuries, and the tune is hummed and whistled by many Welsh, even today. The lyrics have been written and revised many times, the most recent being for the 1973 feature film, “Zulu,” starring a young Michael Caine and produced with the blessing of the then South African Government.

Not being clever, I am attracted to the poetry of Alexander, Kipling, and others, because it is written to inspire young men in frightening circumstances. Young soldiers, indeed all of us, need to be neither impressed, nor conned. More than anything else, we need to be inspired!

Quoting such poetry in an effort to inspire their men used to be the duty of young infantry officers. Unfortunately, the practice is not emphasized today.



10 Mar 08


When a rifle’s optical sight (usually 1X, or minimal magnification) and iron-sights simultaneously share the same sight line, the two a said to be “co-witnessed.” In an age of rails, precisely aligning two (or more) sighting systems on the same plane has become a simple task. Actually, the way “co-witnessing” is set up with most serious rifles is thus: Iron sights line up in the bottom third of the optic, so that the optic’s reticle, sitting in the middle, is just above them. Most of us find this the most satisfactory and useable arrangement.

I’m not sure “co-witnessing” is the most descriptive of terms, but at this point it appears we are stuck with it. Presumably, when two sighting systems use separate sight lines (one directly on top, and the other cast off at a forty-five-degree angle), they are “split-witnessed.”

Co-witnessing is a good thing!

(1) Operators can use virtually the same mount and cheek weld with either sighting system. Accordingly, effective use of both is readily available from nearly identical postures.

(1,a) Deliberately mounting an optic well above, or just above, iron-sights usually renders an unsatisfactory result. When an optic is mounted too low, its bottom edge will block the line of sight between front and rear iron-sights, and iron-sights are thus rendered useless until the optic can be removed. Mounting optics far enough above iron-sights to permit their utilization usually places the optic too high for effective employment. And, even then, iron-sights are only marginally useful, as the scope body still blocks out much of the downrange area.

(2) It facilitates, indeed encourages, continuous confirmation and re-confirmation that both sighting systems are adjusted correctly. Iron-sights can be easily compared with the aiming reticle of the optic, and visa-versa. Any time an Operator suspects a sight misadjustment, with either his optic or his iron-sights, one can be quickly compared with the other as the weapon is mounted normally. When both are aligned, he can be assured both are still adjusted correctly. When they are not aligned, one has obviously changed since the last confirmation. This confirmation technique is particularly useful when the rife or optic have been subjected to a blow, or the optic, or iron-sights, have been removed and subsequently reinstalled.

(2, a) Iron-sights, correctly sighted-in and verified through live-fire, can subsequently be used to adjust an optic that is mounted, and co-witnessed, on the same rail, and visa-versa. It is my preference to sight-in the optic first, then adjust iron-sights accordingly, but the process works just as well in reverse. Ultimately, of course, all sight adjustments need to be confirmed through live fire.

(3) It permits the Operator to default to iron-sights when the optic’s reticle is no longer visible, because of a battery, electronic, lighting, or contrast issue. Such a default can take place instantly when iron-sights are deployed continuously. The default process will require a second or two when iron-sights are normally folded down. A useful compromise is leaving the front iron-sight continuously deployed, and the rear one normally folded down.

(3, a) Unless the optic is frosted over or otherwise obscured, there is no need to remove it, even when it is non-functional, as co-witnessed iron-sights are altogether useable, through the optic. In fact, a crude, but effective, aiming technique can be accomplished via the front iron-sight and an Aimpoint with no reticle visible. The Aimpoint body itself can function as a large “ghost-ring,” rear sight. The further forward the optic is mounted, the more positive this sighting technique becomes.

Mark LaRue makes a wonderful quick-release mount for both Aimpoints and EOTechs. In addition, he makes mating risers, in various heights, that are designed to facilitate co-witnessing with nearly any railed rifle. In my opinion, there is no point in having a 1X optic on a rifle and not co-witnessing it with iron-sights, be they permanent or fold-down.

Marks’s system is what I use in order to successfully execute co-witnessing on all my serious rifles. Highly recommended!



11 Mar 08

Follow up on the subject of “co-witnessing:”

Mark LaRue (LaRue Tactical), Dave Lauek (D&L Sports), and others who manufacture mounts and mating risers for co-witnessing 1X rifle optics don’t make them so that iron-sights line up in the exact middle of the scope. Instead, they arrange for iron-sights to line up in the bottom-third of the scope. Most of us agree that this is the more satisfactory arrangement, as it gets the optic’s aiming reticle, isolated and uncongested, above the iron-sight line.

With EOTechs and Aimpoints, no matter how the Operator moves his head, the aiming reticle will correspondingly move around in scope, but always be on targets, so long as the Operator can see it. Thus, when the Operator lowers his head slightly, he will able to position the reticle and iron-sights (assuming they’re deployed) exactly on line. This exact alignment will always take place in the lower third of the scope.

When he subsequently lifts his head slightly, iron-sights will remain in the lower third of the scope, but the reticle will return to the middle, and iron-sights will then no longer be “in the way.”

So, when I use the term “co-witness,” I don’t mean that iron-sights and optic reticle are necessarily exactly superimposed over each other in the middle of the scope, although I’m sure you can have it that way if you wish! As I indicated, the “bottom-third” set-up is the one preferred by the majority of us.



11 Mar 08

They don’t get it. They don’t want to!

With the massacre of innocents that took place in a suburban Chicago shopping mall (Tinley Park) in February still fresh on their minds, residents recently attended a meeting with the local PD. Nervous attendees wanted guidance from their police with regard to surviving the next such incident. What they received was profoundly unhelpful! What they received was hollow, emasculate, let’s-all-be-good-little-victims, perfidiousness. It is all too typical!

Victims of the incident had been herded into a back room by a gun-wielding armed-robbery suspect and then coldly murdered, one-by-one. Attendees wanted to know what to do when another such active VCA starts precipitously murdering innocent people. They were told:

“We believe it is best to be compliant…” “Conformity is safest…” “If someone runs, it could make the robber madder…” “ Do exactly as they state…, and don’t be a hero.”

The political mood in Illinois is apparently so committed to the dogma of learned-helplessness and compulsory-victimhood, that police themselves are now actually advising citizens that it is their civic duty to passively allow themselves and their families to be murdered by violent criminals and take no action to prevent it! If recent events are any guide, this “be-a-willing-victim” strategy will play right into the hands of murderous sociopaths, but none of this seems to concern leftist bureaucrats. Even the concept of “being a hero” is now denigrated and mocked as somehow unpatriotic!

Amazing that American Citizens are being officially instructed that there is nothing worth fighting for, not even their own lives, not even the lives of their families! … and this “guidance” is being promulgated by public employees, who, paradoxically, are themselves bearing guns. Their deeds belie their vacuous rhetoric! Their lives are apparently worth protecting! Ours evidently aren’t.

“Find out just what the people will submit to, and you will have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted, with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Fred Douglass



12 Mar 08

About being willing victims, from an Instructor:

“In Leftist philosophy, there are only dead heroes. The ultimate goal of the Left is death. Always has been! Our philosophic enemy is the delusive belief that man is a pathetic, iniquitous, incapable, leechlike being, worthy only of enslavement for his own good; with dying his only worthwhile accomplishment!

The contrary: that each man is ‘a magnificent creation, capable of amazing feats, with the purpose of living his life to the fullest and accomplishing and contributing everything of which he is capable,’ is the most powerful message we can promulgate. Ultimately, if Western Civilization is to survive, this must be the essence of our moral code. At one time, it was!

Unhappily, in modern times, our society, and men in particular, has embraced the enslavement mentality. We have allowed politicians to disenfranchise us, bribing us with our own money!

“…But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future…”

Perhaps we all need to read the Declaration of Independence more often!”

Again, from Fred Douglas:

“Who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.”



12 Mar 08

Safariland RLS (Rapid Light System):

Competing directly with Surefire’s excellent X300 Weapon-Light, Safariland is now marketing their amazingly clever RLS!

The RLS fits on any under-rail-equipped pistol. However, when detached, the light is still eminently useable as a plain, hand-held flashlight. It clips on your belt and is low-profile enough to ride there. When mounted on the pistol, the light can be swung up nearly even with the barrel, on either the left or right side.

Rapid-on and rapid-off, the RLS has some real advantages, and I’m using a copy now as my main, carry light.

I have to hand it to Safariland! They’ve come up with a flashlight that solves a lot of problems at




14 Mar 08

Family affair in LA, from an LEO friend in the area:

“Wednesday evening, two of our gang-officers, on foot-patrol in our most ‘active’ housing project, spotted a known gang-member who was in direct violation of our City’s gang-injunction just by physically being there. Under this ordinance, any violation generates instant arrest.

Being obviously familiar with our ordinance, the suspect immediately took off on a bicycle. Both officers are on our Station’s running team and had no problem closing the distance. As they caught up with the suspect, he produced a pistol and, from under his arm (as he continued frantically peddling), started shooting backwards at our officers.

Our officers both stopped, took aim, and fired at the fleeing suspect with their G22s. Firing a total of four rounds, they struck the suspect in the torso with all four. None exited. He wobbled, stayed upright for another second or two, and then fell off the bicycle. By the time the ambulance crew arrived, he was DRT.

As other officers arrived, the dead kid’s ‘family,’ consisting of over a dozen ‘relatives’ showed up and, as expected, created the usual, contrived, emotional scene memorializing their ‘son-of-the-year.’

Eventually, the crowd disbursed except for one, who identified himself as the decedent’s father. He continued to create a one-man scene, cursing our officers and verbalizing threats. Our guys went about their duties, doing their best to ignore him. He was not arrested, because we were trying to be understanding by just letting let him blow off steam.

We won’t do that again! Without warning, ‘dad’ himself produced a pistol and began firing at our officers and detectives. Fortunately, our perimeter guys were alert and immediately gunned him down. This new suspect was subsequently transported and was last reported ‘critical’ by the hospital.

None of our guys were hurt. As you may know, our overall violence rate here is exhibiting a slight downward trend, but gang-related violence is rising dramatically. We don’t see it leveling off any time soon.”

Lessons: Don’t relax too soon! Don’t relax at all! Keep you head up and stay alert. “When it’s least expected, you’re elected!”

At any crime scene, or other police activity, routinely set up security-in-depth. This means layers of protection. Evidence-techs and detectives tend to get engrossed in the tedium of their tasks. Someone always needs to be “on watch.”

Never be part of, or anywhere near, any “protest,” rally, demonstration, nor any other emotional gathering. When people around you become outwardly emotional, get out of there without delay! The difference between a “demonstration” and a “mob” is only two seconds! Long before bullets start flying, arrange to be somewhere else!

In many parts of the Country, our civilization is descending into anarchy, as we see! No matter where you are, be alert, armed, ready, alert, and surefooted, particularly when you wear a uniform!

Train continuously! Expect the unexpected. Never be “surprised.”



17 Mar 08

Safe disposal of unserviceable/unwanted small-arms ammunition:

A friend asked recently about safely disposing of several hundred rounds of unwanted ammunition. He had inherited a quantity of 308 reloads from an undependable source, and he regarded them as unsafe to shoot. He thus wanted to simply dispose of them, rather than take the risk of running them through any of his guns.

After consulting with friends in the business, here is the advice I gave him:

When the Army is required to safely dispose of outdated small-arms ammunition, they use what amounts to armored, heated cement mixers. Ammunition is tumbled and heated until it all “pops.” What remains is a mass of inert, mangled brass and lead, which is then sold, by the ton, as scrap metal.

When one lives in a rural area, he can do something similar by simply digging a deep hole with a fence post digger and creating a large, hot fire at the bottom. When ammunition is then thrown in on top of it, individual rounds will likewise burn and eventually “pop” harmlessly. Of course, one needs to keep away from the opening!. What remains after the fire has cooled can be salvaged and disposed of as scrap metal, of simply buried.

When bullets are individually pulled from cases first, and powdered propellant subsequently recovered and collected, it can be safely disposed of by scattering it on your lawn. It is readily bio-degradeable and actually good fertilizer! Subsequent burning of the remaining empty cases will be far less spectacular, as only primers will remain to be popped. The pulled bullets can be readily sold or given away.

An alternative to burning primed, but empty, cases is chambering and “firing” each in a gun chambered for that caliber. Primers will “pop,” and the bore will become dirty, but you’ll be left with cases with no powder and only discharged primers. They can be sold or given away as such.

In urban areas, the County/City Bomb Squad will usually accept, and safely dispose of, small quantities of unwanted pistol or rifle ammunition at no charge, as a public service.

On many occasions, I’ve fired pistol and rifle ammunition that was over fifty years old, and (so long as it had been stored in a cool, dry place) it all functioned normally. So, there is usually no reason to be concerned about the safety or utility of “old” ammunition, unless it is corroded, of dubious manufacture or re-manufacture, improperly stored, exposed to solvents, or physically damaged.

New ammunition in factory boxes, that is simply unwanted, can nearly always be sold or given away. Particularly today, there will be plenty of takers!



19 Mar 08

Safe gun-handling in the midst of active fighting: This from a friend (contractor) currently working in Afghanistan:

“We carry mostly Kalashnikovs (7.62X39) and H&K MP5s here. All are old and badly worn. We do our best to keep them running. Our teams are composed of Nepalese Ghurkas. These folks are diligent and dedicated to the job. Good guys!

However, gun effectiveness and gun-handling skills are abysmal. When I arrived, muzzles were thoughtlessly, obliviously pointed in every unsafe direction imaginable. Accuracy and overall effectiveness were poor. No one ever seemed to know, nor care, whether their guns were loaded or not. NDs were common and were not regarded as “a problem.”

The first thing we did was get trigger-fingers in register! Then, we started educating our guys in the concept of “muzzle-consciousness.” Next came correct use/integration of sights and triggers in order to achieve an effective/acceptable level of accuracy. Finally, we’re enlightening them about weapons maintenance and the importance of keeping individual weapons clean and appropriately lubricated. Ultimately, we’re integrating all weapons skills into a comprehensive modus-operandi that will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and that they can pass on after they’ve separated from our direct influence. We’ve made good progress, at least in our little corner of the Theater!

What strikes me is that these folks, who have been warriors from birth, knew so precious little about the rifles and pistols that have surrounded them since childhood. There could not reliably put bullets on target, even at modest ranges. And, like primitive tribesmen who are unable to make the connection between sexual intercourse and pregnancy, they seemed unable to see the connection between careless gun-handling and gun-accidents. Like a child sitting in front of a piano, they could not fully appreciate what they had, nor could they distinguish between noise and music, nor could they, on demand, produce anything except the former.

Of course gun-ignorance is hardly confined to this group of people, but I have now come to realize how important to the continuance of Western Civilization is the monumental body of accumulated gun skills that, every day, serve us so well, and that we take for granted. When I saw the pitiable level of ignorance here, and its appalling consequences, I began to fully appreciate these skills, and the need to teach at every opportunity!”

Comment: The “secrets” of correct gun-handling upon which we rely nearly every day (and, of course, try our best to keep from “being secrets”) have been garnered at great cost! Countless deaths and injuries, over many centuries, have been necessary in order to establish our current repertoire of weapons skills and confirm to us that they are correct. It is our sacred duty to Civilization to continue to teach, indeed to continue to refine and advance this Art.

When we fail therein, a whole new generation of Americans will have to die all over again, re-learning what we already know!

Some worry about “dangerous knowledge.” I worry far more about “dangerous ignorance!”



19 Mar 08

SA infrastructure continues to deteriorate. This from a friend in Capetown.

“We have been warned that ‘load shedding’ (euphemism for long power outages that have now become a daily occurrence) will increase as we go into winter, and daylight diminishes. Since Saturday, our power has been off more than twelve hours. It comes and goes without warning. While all this is going on, ESCOM (Energy Supply Commission) has asked the government to approve a 53% rate increase, and this on top of an already-approved 14% increase in January.

We’re seeing chaos on our roads, with typically impatient SA drivers not wanting to give way at intersections, where traffic lights are now out much of the time.

Fuel prices here are up sharply, as they are in your Country, and, like you, we’re experiencing another harsh round of inflation. Our Rand has, once more, been aggressively devalued against just about all other currencies.

We’re at the stage right now, where an ongoing, permanent departure from our country of a virtual army of educated, skilled technicians is crippling our infrastructure. The power grid is only part of the problem. Everything, from bridges to sewers, is falling apart, and there is no one left who is qualified to fix them.

Anarchy is never far from any ‘civilized’ society, but we’re really flirting with it here!”

Lesson (for them and us): Incompetent, unqualified people, wrongly elected/appointed to high positions, in turn, invariably appoint equally incompetent friends and family to senior bureaucratic positions of high pay. The friends and family, of course, have no skills in doing their jobs, so they predictably appoint their idiot friends and family to protect them. Soon, the entire rotten system is infested with substandard, uncaring, dithering parasites, and “government” waxes corrupt and deficient at every level. Decent, honest, competent people see the handwriting on the wall and, in increasing numbers, self-deport. This foregoing accurately describes most third-world countries as well as most big cities in the USA!

“Democracy can never exist as a permanent form of government. It will only last until the electorate discovers that they can help themselves to the public treasury. From that moment, the indolent and willfully unproductive will vote themselves all manner of unearned benefits, at the expense of the diminishing few who actually generate wealth. The nonproductive, gradually becoming a majority, will invariably vote in candidates promising the most freebies. These elected frauds, in order to fulfill blatantly impossible promises, naturally institute loose fiscal policy. That unfailingly makes a dictatorship necessary, in order to keep swindled citizens at bay. Thus, the sequence is: from bondage, to faith, to courage, to liberty; to abundance, to complacency; to apathy, to dependence, to anarchy, and finally back into slavery.”

Never fails!



20 Mar 08

You can’t have it both ways! From a UK newspaper:

“The number of armed police officers accidentally shooting themselves, and colleagues, has soared in the past five years. Now, nearly half of all injuries caused by police shootings are the result of officers blasting themselves or a colleague, often during bungled training and demonstrations… these disturbing statistics call into question competence and training ”


Do they ever!

As British police are, of necessity, increasingly armed, they are also increasingly embarrassed with the arrogant criticism they’ve so self-righteously leveled at American police over the years for being likewise armed. It seems the chickens have now come home to roost!

Unfortunately, as UK police surreptitiously acquire rifles and pistols, they’ve discovered that there is no one to provide them with competent training, since UK’s once-proud Gun Culture, indeed their entire Warrior Culture, has been long-since suffocated by paranoid politicians who, like politicians everywhere, are frightened to death of armed citizens. The entire body of modern gun knowledge, that we take for granted in America, is unavailable to them. And, they are so apprehensive of it, and us, they’re too frightened, proud, and ashamed to ask for “dangerous enlightenment.” They are much more comfortable with “safe ignorance,” even while shooting themselves with embarrassing frequency!

Newly-armed cops, who heretofore knew little about guns, have as “instructors” only irrelevant, ossified target shooters, who also know little about guns, nothing about fighting, and absolutely nothing about safe gun-handling, concealed-carry, and living with guns.

In addition, UK politicians don’t trust cops any more than they trust citizens, so there is precious little live-fire training, and “armed” cops are only armed when working. Continuous concealed carrying is reserved for only an “elite” few. The rest have little opportunity to become familiar with their guns. They only get to be afraid of them.

There will be no improvement in the UK any time soon, because there is no political benefit associated with improving gun-competence. Although newspapers consider this ND epidemic a “problem,” politicians don’t, so long as they’re personally not endangered. A few injured officers and citizens are useful fodder for crocodile-tear speeches, but are otherwise of scant interest and no real concern.

As always, nothing will change, until citizens demand it.



21 Mar 08

Once again, the conspicuous impotence of surveillance cameras in preventing violent crime, is on display:

“At the Van Dyke Housing Project in Brooklyn, NY, there are over two-hundred surveillance cameras. Live video is displayed on thirty, tiny, B&W, outdated TV monitors. Not surprisingly, cameras and monitors are the cheapest, chintziest attainable. Each camera’s view is shown for only seven seconds, before the monitor automatically switches to another camera. Resolution is so poor, facial identification is seldom possible. The mind-numbing job of viewing these thirty monitors is dumped onto a handful of bored-to-tears police who are on medical leave, face disciplinary action, or, for some other reason, can’t carry a weapon. Predictably, the Department uses this assignment as a form of punishment.

Yesterday, a woman was raped in this project. She was assaulted as she exited an elevator, dragged into a staircase, and sexually victimized at knife-point by a single, male VCA.

The attack was partially filmed, but, as it was actually happening, none of the officers watching monitors noticed it. In fact, the crime was not discovered until the victim herself reported it. Due to inadequate resolution, no identification of the suspect was possible.

This crime, like most other violent crime in the projects, remains unsolved. No arrest has been made, nor is one likely.”

Comment: A sign at this project should read, “You’re on camera! Please smile when attacked.” Once again, none of those cameras, which were naively touted as the ultimate solution to violent crime, were of the slightest benefit to this latest victim.

As has been pointed out before, surveillance cameras are valuable only to media ghouls, because they provide valuable filler (masquerading as “news”) that the network can use (along with today’s car-chase in Los Angeles) to jam between ads for pills. Boosts their ratings, you know!

When a crime “solution,” like surveillance cameras, incontrovertibly proves itself, over and over, to be inefficacious, as this latest, unsolved, violent crime so copiously demonstrates, the typical government answer is predictable: “Let’s do more of it!”

The real answer, which is to allow, indeed encourage, good citizens to effectively defend themselves, via concealed guns, is, of course, unthinkable to nanny-state politicians, the only species you’ll find in New York! Violent crime generates a fearful electorate. Scared, dependent, hopeless, defenseless people are easily deceived and intimidated into voting for overbearing despots. It’s a principle not lost on aspiring tyrants, who thus look upon violent criminals as a critical resource and asset, and which is why they ever insist that VCAs be out, committing violent crimes, and not in jail.

Conversely, proud, independent, self-reliant citizens resent being smothered by inefficient, uncaring, ever-dithering, bloated bureaucracies (is there another kind?). These are the kind of people nanny-state politicians simultaneously hate and fear. They’re not an easy source of votes, and not easily conned. Accordingly, they are marginalized, punished, and suffocated at every opportunity.

“Our elections are extravagant farces; theatrical enterprises in which the great amalgam of gullible fools selects from the most pernicious among us, ego-maniacal charlatans with insatiable appetites for adulation and power, the reckless but persuasive, pandering parasites we all must suffer, engorge, and submit to for the next short while.”



22 Mar 08

I just received this warm note from Marine Maj John Moore, deployed in Iraq. He is our current contact in Country:

“Mr Farnam,

WOW! We are receiving some outstanding and helpful tools of the trade. Your friends are more than generous. As I think I stated, we will return back to CONUS before the end of the year (obviously, I can’t get any more specific than that). When my replacement arrives, I will provide his email and shipping addresses to all your “Great Americans.”

Oh, that’s what the Marines call you and your friends. As in, “Hey were did you get the flashlight?” “From the Great Americans!”

The Marines are so thankful. God Bless!

John Moore

US Marines”

Comment: My heart soars like an eagle!

The still need:

Leatherman tools

Maj John M Moore
MWSS-272/Operations Officer
Unit 77151
FPO AE, 09509-7151



22 March 08

The most deadly police scandal: “Malicious Competence”

In South Africa, the nation’s most aggressive and successful police unit, the vaunted Scorpions, has now been disbanded! The Scorpions were SA’s version of our FBI. We’ve provided weapons training the Scorpions in Pretoria as recently as last year, and their record of success in uncovering official corruption and investigating other major crimes has been spectacular indeed!

The Scorpions were, in fact, created precisely to root out the official corruption for which SA is so well known. Unfortunately, they did a little too good a job! They prosecuted rampant corruption so successfully, that sleazy politicians who were, and are, personally affected, have lobbied heavily to get the Scorpions to go away. They’ve ultimately achieved their goal! South African citizens will no longer enjoy the protection our beloved Scorpions so competently provided.

Closer to home, it appears LAPD’s famous SWAT Unit has been shooting way too many of the violent criminals Leftist politicians count on for political support! The result?

Under heavy political pressure, the Chief has knuckled under to demands that LAPD’s SWAT Team be neutered. Standards for acceptance are to be lowered, and that the Team itself is to get more involved in “negotiation” and “understanding” than in forceful, conclusive action. Funny, I thought the SWAT Team were the very ones you called in after “negotiations” failed!

As in SA, the safety of innocent citizens is positively the last thing any politician ever thinks about. “Staying in power” is, of course, the first!

NYPD’s famous Robbery/Stakeout Unit of the late 60s and early 70s, headed by legendary gunman, Jimmy Cirillo, went the same route, and for the same reason. The unit was responsible for stopping hundreds of armed robberies in progress, shooting over two-hundred VCAs who were in the act of threatening with weapons. The Unit never hit an innocent person. However, the Administration decided the Unit was too effective and abruptly disbanded it, not surprisingly caving in to pressure from crooked politicians who were seeing their political support literally being shot out from under them! Apparently, significant reductions in armed-robberies directly credited to the Unit didn’t matter.

Politicians ever claim to want police performing their sworn duty, but, in their presence, they want us to walk softly. They want the law “enforced” on everyone else (particularly political opponents), but, when their own misdeeds are hastily, amateurishly covered up, as they always are, we’re supposed to pretend we didn’t see them and “go find something else to do.”

The so-called pluralistic democracies/republics of the world, including ours, have foolishly allowed politicians to amass so much power, at the expense of our individual rights as citizens, that they have gradually forgotten who is working for whom! They no longer think of themselves as “public servants.”

When facts are embarrassing, they covered them up. When abject failure is undeniable, they simply redefine “success.” And, most disturbing, when they, themselves, are shown to be far from perfect, they simply redefine “perfection,” with the all-too-willing complicity of the media, and simultaneously demand that sworn Guardians of Truth, the police, violate our oath by joining their devoted team of blind enablers.

Heaven forbid, we would be guilty of “malicious competence!”

As we see, they are largely successful!



24 Mar 08

News from DSA and Krebs:

I’m in the Chicago area, and I visited my friends at DSA and Krebs this morning.

DSA’s pistol-cartridge-firing, compact SMG/rifle, the TP9, is now available in 45ACP! I shot both the 9mm and the 45ACP versions today at DSA’s factory range. Both fire from a closed bolt, and both are reminiscent of the H&K/MP5. These weapons are designed mostly for bodyguards, but, with the current high cost of 223 and 308 ammunition, they may become popular simply as a means of doing relatively inexpensive shooting with a longarm!

Robbie Barrkman’s NP3 coating on working parts of DSA’s “Spartan” series of AR-15s and FALs makes for smooth operation and simplified maintenance, since soot and crud will not stick to it! When you buy a rifle from DSA, my recommendation is that you get the Spartan upgrade. DSA makes a better FAL than FN ever did!

DAS’s “mid-length” AR-15 is the same size as an M4, and DSA is still the only AR-15 manufacturer whose rifles come with a D-Ring, already installed.

Krebs is marketing the Saiga/Kalashnikov in 308 with FRMG plastic magazines. However, with 308 ammunition so expensive right now, demand for the rifle is down.

What is hot right now is the Krebs/Kalashnikov in 5.45X39, simply because there are still cheap sources of ammunition in this Russian caliber. Conversely, 223, 7.62X39, and 308 are much more expensive, with no end of price increases in sight. In addition, the 5.45X39 cartridge was designed, from the beginning, for military purposes. Like the 7.62X39, its case is tapered and is designed to make feeding and extraction, to and from hot chambers, reliable. On the other hand, the American 223 started as a sporting cartridge, and its straight-wall case feeds and extracts much less dependably.

Another popular item is the Saiga/Kalashnikov 12ga autoloading shotgun, which uses a ten-round, box magazine. I’ve had these in courses, and they’ve all run fine!

These two heroic American manufacturers continue to produce quality guns, despite the rabid, anti-gun attitude of many of Illinois’ politicians. It is indeed ironic that so many American gunmakers are located is anti-gun states, like IL, CT, and MA.

We may get relief in June!



27 Mar 08

Good news, for a change:

I just completed an Instructor Clinic at a suburban, Chicago police department. We were at their indoor range where we shot handguns and AR-15s. Company duty guns were SIG 220s, and 226s, G21s and 22s, Kimber 1911s, S&W M&Ps, and SA/XDs. Backup pistols were G26s.

What struck me as the Course progressed was the competence of these young officers! There was not a bumbler among them. Most were range officers and SWAT Team members, and every one was an accomplished shooter and proficient gun handler in his own right. They carry all the time, and most carry more than one gun, plus blades. I may have shown them a few things, but they came to me as competent Operators!

Among my students were four Chicago PD officers, carrying S&W M&Ps and SA/XDs, and these guys were top-drawer! CPD’s new chief is himself a shooter and aggressively pro-training. Refreshing to see a big city have these proficient trainers on their staff.

I am encouraged that, even in a state known for vile, anti-gun politics, we have police trainers who are on top of their Craft, are unapologetically unafraid of guns, and indeed consider themselves professional gunmen.

Things are looking up!



29 Mar 08

The “Habit” of Excellence!

Next week, Vicki and I will be attending, and participating in, the 2008 ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association) Conference in Wheeling, IL.

This quotation from Aristotle sums up ILEETA’s mission:

“Excellence is an Art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue and excellence, but rather we have those, because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

No amount nor type of training can substitute for personal experience, but training can provide a level of ability that will allow you to live through your first “experience,” However, you must bring your own courage and determination, which you either have or don’t.

A modern LEO has the individual responsibility to acquire and maintain personal competence. When one takes public money to do a job, he must be able to perform adequately. It is a point of honor! This has nothing to do with “departmental training.” It is an ethical responsibility, a matter of personal integrity and character. The legal power OF arrest requires the competence TO arrest. Bottom line: become truly competent, with your weapons and yourself, or find other work.

When, during Roman times, one carried the title of “Legionnaire,” he bore upon his shoulders his family’s name and the reputation of his Regiment. It was a profound burden! Legionnaires knew and understood their place in history, and they characteristically went about their duty with a fierce pride. Threats to the Empire were seldom distant and theoretical. They were real and immediate. It is thus with all empires!

“The pervasive expansiveness of the Empire which we see today did not come about as a result of some accident nor precipitous good fortune. Legionnaires do not sit around congratulating themselves in the wake of every victory, nor are they idle in peacetime. Rather, they are constantly training and refining their warrior skills, so as to be ready to act at a moment’s notice. Indeed, they seem to have been born with weapons in their hands!”

Josephus Flavius, circa 90AD

We’re looking forward to this year’s Conference and getting together with my brother Legionnaires!



30 Mar 08

This sage advice from a friend currently working as a contractor in the Mideast:

“Options are open to you only so long as you are alive. I know that sounds obvious, but you need to remind yourself that, when you’re dead, you don’t get to do anything! Where do dead people go? I really don’t know. That is a curtain science cannot lift, and I frankly know nothing of that world. I do know something about this one, and I know enough to be persuaded that I want to stay in it, rotten as it is, for as long as I can!

DON’T OUT-SOURCE YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY. It’s a fatal mistake! Depending upon others to keep you from getting hurt, kidnapped, or lost has been the foolish choice of many of the ‘frequent-deceased’ over here. Just last week, several Dutch Contractors, retained to perform electronic maintenance, were kidnapped. The next day, they were all murdered, shot in the head, one-by-one. They were being ‘adequately protected’ by local, ‘contract’ security. Someone apparently forgot to ask for a definition of ‘adequate.’ Scant consolation!

DON’T TRUST ANYONE. When you want a faithful friend, get a dog! Don’t naively expect others to care about you more than you care about yourself. You better understand that individual contractors over here are just so much cannon-fodder. With the money they’re offering, they know they an always recruit more to replace dead ones. And, there is no ‘VA’ to care for ex-contractors who find themselves blind, amputees, or saddled with a host of other permanent disabilities.

THE WORLD IS FULL OF ‘RULES’ REGARDING PERSONAL WEAPONS. IGNORE THEM! Over here, one dare not be unarmed, at any time. You must be fully prepared to defend yourself with gunfire at every moment. There are no ‘safe’ times, nor are there any ‘safe’ places, not one! And, you don’t get to know whom you’ll have to fight. It can be anyone, even those who are supposed to be on our ‘side!’ I carry guns, blades, and plenty of ammunition on my person constantly, and I don’t concern myself for a moment with technical legalities, political protocols, nor company ‘rules.’

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! You can only deal effectively with threats that you see in time to form an effective plan of action. Amazing how many people over here, who should know better, don’t pay attention. You need to be alert, without pause!

STAY IN MOTION. Keep them guessing. Don’t be predictable. Don’t set patterns. And, most of all, don’t dither. When you’re a perpetual, unpredictable, lethal whirlwind of motion, they’ll never get you!

DON’T HESITATE. I don’t know how else to put it, but you have to become accustomed to shooting people! You must ruthlessly seize the initiative and take decisive action against all threats, the instant they make themselves known. You need to squarely confront the fact that it really can’t be any other way! We don’t go around shooting everyone, but, those who threaten us with any kind of weapon are immediately engaged with gunfire. Sometimes, we’re mistaken. It’s a harsh world! We console ourselves with the fact that we’re alive to be sorry!

GET OVER IT. The one time you’re most likely to be compelled to shoot someone is the next instant after you shot the last guy! There is no time to gawk, nor congratulate yourself. When the first shots are fired, understand that the fight is probably not over. In fact, it may be just beginning!

HIT HARD. HIT FAST. HIT OFTEN. Once the fight is joined, don’t let them breath! That’s the advice Admiral Halsey gave his commanders during WWII’s Pacific Campaign. He was victorious! We can make short work of bad guys, only so long as we are heads-and-shoulders above them in competence. They’re amateurs. We’re professionals. We train constantly in order to keep it so!

YOU DON’T GET TO RELAX, NOT FOR A MOMENT, NOT EVER. This job is neither ‘fun,’ entertaining, nor relaxing! We don’t party, nor get drunk, nor, for an instant, forget whom we are and what we’re here to do. We are fully devoted to accomplishing our mission and getting back to the States, dying only from old age many years hence. There is no time for anything else!

It’s a tough Country. Is’s a tough world! I plan on living through it. Others may not.”