1 Nov 01
From a friend at Glock:
“Of all new law enforcement orders:
85% are for pistols chambered for 40S&W
1% are for pistols chambered for 357SIG. High ammunition prices are retarding this round’s popularity- both in and out of law enforcement.
9mm and 45 ACP split the last 15%. 9mm is becoming less and less popular.
50% are ordered with NY Triggers (#1). Almost no request for #2 (extra heavy) NY Triggers
In the non-law enforcement market, request for NY Triggers is extremely low. Standard connector is five pounds.
NY Triggers are ordered mostly for G26, 27, 33s, as these small pistols are sometimes carried in fanny packs, handbags, and other ‘holsters’ which are not as ridged as duty holsters.”
1 Nov 01
Incident just occurred near Durban. From a friend in the area:
“A shooting incident involving an AIT (assets in transit) team (your students) took place last week in Pietermaritzburg, near Durban.
Our AIT guys (team of three) entered a client’s premises (KFC restaurant) to pick up receipts. Three men sitting at a table stood up and produced firearms as soon as our guys started to leave. One of our guys immediately drew his pistol and immediately shot all three before any of them could fire. All three were hit at once and disabled. None were able to return fire. They quickly decided to surrender. Our guy fired fifteen rounds from his CZ-75. All found their mark!
Our guys then went outside and were promptly confronted by three more armed attackers! One of our guys was shot in the pelvis as he tried to reach the safety of the armored vehicle. Another of our guys was hit in the arm (the same guy who had shot the three robbers on the inside of the restaurant). Despite his wounds, he fired at all three attackers, severely wounding two and killing the third.
During the exchange, the three robbers on the outside fired several dozen rounds at our officers. As noted above, two of our guys were hit. However, four bystanders were also shot, one fatally. Bystanders were all hit by rounds fired by the robbers. All rounds fired by our guys struck suspects. Adhering to their training, they used their sights!
The five remaining robbery suspects, now all wounded, surrendered. They were subsequently arrested.”
>Without a winning mindset, born of a firm foundation of competence and a personal commitment to victory, weapons skills by themselves are of little real use. Legitimate warriors are always looking for (and finding) a way to win. Grasseaters spend their time looking for an excuse to lose.
>DON’T RELAX TOO SOON! After shooting three suspects, many would consider the fight to be over. Our student, adhering to his training, reloaded at his first opportunity and stayed in fighting mode. His competence and alertness was rewarded. When confronted by three additional suspects just moments later, he was ready. He finished the fight! As we’ve seen before, “high morale,” when it has no legitimate foundation, is little more than groundless arrogance. It will fall apart when the first shot is fired.
5 Nov 01
During a defensive handgun training course in Memphis, TN last weekend, a student’s SIG P220 (old style) abruptly stopped feeding hardball ammunition. One minute it was working. The next, every third round refused to feed. From the top, It looked as if the round was nose-diving.
When we later field stripped the pistol and wiped off the soot from the feed ramp, it became obvious that there were two horizontal cracks that went completely through the ramp. First time I’ve ever seen a SIG ramp cracked like that.
The cracks were barely visible, but they were sufficient to take the pistol out of action. The P220 is a good piece, and I still recommend it, but I will watch feed ramps closer from now on.
7 Nov 01
We’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly test H&K’s new “LEM” trigger modification of the USP. I am now convinced this is definitely the way to go if one has one of these pistols for defensive purposes.
Our 9mm Compact USP was converted by H&K. It took one day. We had it back from the factory within four days.
By incorporating the decocking function into the trigger itself, this system insures that a shooter will never holster the gun while it is still cocked. Decocking is now passive and no longer a deliberate act on the part of the shooter. We must only teach correct trigger management, and the decocking function will take care of itself. It is, in essence, a Glock trigger on an exposed-hammer pistol.
If SIG, S&W, Beretta, and Kahr are smart, they will copy this trigger system immediately!
7 Nov 01
Several things are obvious to me now that the details of September’s events have become available:
1. Most of the terrorists aboard the hijacked airplanes were not told and did not suspect that theirs was a suicide mission. Evidence suggests that most members of the terrorist teams were told the planes would land somewhere and that the passengers would be held for ransom. I suspect only the pilots knew the real plan.
2. There were as many as ten airliners originally targeted. They actually got only four into the air. Of the four, three hit their primary or secondary targets.
3. The unique shape of the pentagon building confused the terrorist pilot. The building looks the same no matter from which direction it is approached. The confusing nature of the building’s design is intentional, and it well may have prevented the terrorist pilot from striking the building where he wanted to.
4. No one thought the WTC buildings would collapse! Not the terrorists, the fire department, nor city officials. The best the terrorists could hope for was that the buildings would be so badly damaged that they would have to be condemned and eventually imploded. No one calculated that the heat would be so intense that it would eventually soften the building’s steel skeleton, leading to the spontaneous collapse that we all witnessed.
5. The personal initiative and heroism of the passengers aboard the airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania saved many lives. The lesson here for all of us is that we all need to worry less about what we’re “supposed to do” and more about what we need to do.
6. The “speed bump” solutions being implemented by government at all levels are as predictable as they are ineffective. The “speed bump” approach dictates that the guilty are never pursued nor punished. Instead, punishment is meted out, in the form of harassment, to everyone who didn’t commit a crime! Again, all of us non-sheep need to find creative ways to continue pursuing our personal goals while maneuvering around the speed bumps.
7 Nov 01
This year’s pig hunt in Southern Ohio was wonderful indeed. I shot a fine Barbarossa sheep and a Russian Boar, both the same day. I used a borrowed M1 Garand, stock with iron sights.
I was reminded again how wonderful a rifle the Garand is! The sheep was taken at one-hundred meters. The first shot struck the shoulder, and, after catching the link, the second followed a second later. The animal died on the spot.
I shot the pig at forty meters. He ran fifty meters before falling. He was slowly walking when hit. One shot did it.
Both animals were hit with Winchester 30-06,150gr soft tip. All three bullets exited and were not recovered.
A scope would have been helpful in making out detail, but iron sights work just fine, and one should never doubt their effectiveness and suitability to rapid and decisive target engagement. And, they don’t break, fog, frost, require batteries, come loose, or fall off.
A great hunt indeed! I am privileged to have such great friends who allow me to hunt with them. My grandchildren will eat this winter!
11 Nov 01
From a LEO friend in Detroit:
“I live only twenty minutes from the Canadian border. I’ve crossed over at least half dozen times since the events of September, all with no problems. The ‘increased security’ is all fluff. National guard troops at the bridge don’t actively participate in any searches. They just stand around their hummers. They are obviously bored to tears.
All troops assigned to local airport security (Wayne County) here carry firearms that are completely unloaded. As at LAX, there is no round in the chamber and no rounds in the magazine that is in the rifle. More fluff. They are worried about ‘weapon retention,’ with good reason. Early last week, a national guard troop left her M9 service pistol (Beretta 92F) on the floor of the bathroom. It was found by a janitor hours later. The incident was quickly covered up and never ran in the papers.”
Watch these experts!
15 Nov 01
I’ve been working with a police department in Illinois recently, and I’ve had the opportunity to test and use their inventory of less-lethal weapons.
They have pump shotguns dedicated to shooting beanbag projectiles. That also have several Sage break-open 37mm launchers which can fire hard rubber baton rounds as well as a number of other special munitions.
The 12ga “sock” beanbag rounds are superior to the “sewn” beanbags which are supposed to open up into a square after firing. Sock beanbags are extremely accurate and, via a pump shotgun, can be launched in rapid succession. This gives the officer the opportunity to stop at any point where the suspect decides he doesn’t want to fight any more.
The square “sewn” beanbag projectiles, once deployed, are extremely inaccurate and not recommended.
The 37mm rubber baton round is much bigger and strikes with significantly greater force than any 12ga beanbag round, so just one good impact is all that is usually necessary to get the suspect down and in “non-fighting” mode. However, they are not as accurate as the 12ga sock beanbag, and follow-up rounds are much slower, as the gun must be broken open and reloaded for each subsequent shot.
Rotary-magazine 37mm launchers are available also, but much gas pressure is lost at the juncture of the rotary magazine and the barrel, so their range and impact strength is considerably reduced form that of the break-open model.
Significant injury is likely when beanbags or batons strike the head, groin, knee joints, etc. Therefore, and extensive training program where all officers have the opportunity to launch actual rounds at targets is essential. The best impact point is the abdomen. That predictably knocks the wind out of the suspect and sends him to the ground gasping for breath. However, he will recover, usually within a minute, so, once disabled, he must be approached and cuffed rapidly. Otherwise, he may have to be knocked down a second time.
All officers armed with less-lethal guns must be accompanied by other officers armed with conventional guns, so that a lethal response is always rapidly available.
Giving officers multiple force options necessitates extensive training, lest officers become confused with and by all their options. Confusion and hesitation is a real problem when adequate training is not provided.
16 Nov 01
Some comments from knowledgeable friends and colleagues:
“Just had training in less-lethal weapons from BATF. For most law enforcement situations, the amount of time is often so short between employing pepper spray and batons and employing firearms (as violence escalates), that less-lethal, projectile weapons are difficult to bring into action soon enough to matter.”
“A sewn (square) “beanie,” fired from fifteen yards, struck the suspect’s left chest and penetrated several inches. Suspect was DRT (Dead Right There). Local ME determined that the bean bag had turned sideways in flight (“frizzbied”) and slipped between the suspect’s ribs upon impact. The death was, of course, unintentional”
“I disagree with your comments about accuracy. Sock shaped beanbags are better, and are my preference. But, the square ones (CTS, current, DefTec, or MK Ballistics) are certainly accurate enough to hit a man in the thigh or lower abdomen to fifteen yards.”
“I fired and hit her with a 37mm baton round in the rear of the leg. She did not immediately go down but hesitated. After several seconds, she finally went to the ground. I would have liked to have had the ability to hit her again immediately.
We have therefore decided to purchase a rotary, 37mm launcher. We will supplement this with current 12ga Mossbergs using CTS Super Sock Rounds. At fifteen yards, our officers are able to put CTS rounds into a three-inch circle consistently.
We have 223 CAR-15’s for deadly-force response. Using in-car, Big Sky racks, officers have immediate access to the rifle. These racks keep the carbines out of public view. Access is still very quick.”
“Here in Denver, an officer mixed up rounds (it was dark) and unintentionally hit a suspect with a charge of 00 buck, instead of a beanbag. Suspect was DRT. Oops!
Having a single gun doing two different things is always going to be a hazard”
18 Nov 01
I just completed four days of Simunitions/Roll-playing exercises with a local police department in Illinois. We had an opportunity to observe many officers firing handguns, MP5s, shotguns, and 37mm launchers. The handguns were Glock FXs, specifically dedicated Simunition guns.
It was reminded of the often-heard refrain that, while shooting handguns, we all “automatically revert” to the isosceles stance any time the stress level is high. I surely did NOT observe any such thing among these officers!
My officers (male and female), while under substantial stress of realistic drills, all fired their Glocks, with great accuracy, from the tight, Weaver stance in which they have been trained. All also used the high-thumb grip with which they have been trained.
I regard to “automatic isosceles” theory just another myth, and last week’s experience confirmed that, in spades.
19 Nov 01
This excellent summary from a colleague in Oklahoma:
“There is no ‘instinctual reversion’ to any pistol technique, Weaver or otherwise. Poor results are always the direct result of ‘learned helplessness,’ a willful refusal to adequately prepare for well identified threats, refusal to train because it just takes too much effort.
Does the Weaver stance and grip involve motor techniques that are too precise? The ability to use one’s hands and fingers to carry out delicate operations involving precise control, under stress; one cannot get away from it! God forbid we start teaching ‘Hacking 101′ in place of ‘Fencing 105.’ And, don’t you think it’s a little absurd to ask a concert pianist to slam away at his piano instead of executing independent patterns of movement in each hand, while simultaneously using them in dialogue to produce a cumulative effect? In the act of combating, with a pistol, a deadly assailant, the grip, presentation, trigger finger, and front sight must all be in harmony. This is the essence of Weaver. It’s an enabler! It puts one head and shoulders above the bumbling amateur.
Learning Weaver, as with anything else worthwhile, is a matter of commitment. One must spend time with it. A quick quarter-pounder or a nine-course meal? Tough choice. Yes, the nine course meal costs more! There is always a price. Either way, you get what you pay for. Either way, you’re right!
‘Instinct’ is an easy out, a convenient excuse to lose. Those who train enthusiastically to use the Weaver will use it well. Those who haven’t trained always revert to the only thing they do know: HOW TO LOSE! We call it incompetence.”
20 Nov 01
I had an opportunity to handle a Beretta 9000S today, in both 9mm and 40S&W. This is Beretta’s polymer-framed, compact pistol, designed for concealed carry.
The pistol is short in both dimensions. In fact, the grip is too short for me, and the magazine doesn’t have a finger shelf. However, it is very wide. Reminds me of a G30!
The biggest problem, however, is the operator system. The pistol “features” a two-position, safety/decocking lever, much like the one found of Beretta’s larger models and on some S&W pistols. However, this one works in reverse! One pushed it UP to decock and DOWN to reenable. I might be able to get used to that, but the decocking lever is so stiff I was unable to decock the pistol with my right thumb, despite considerable effort. I would have to use my left hand to decock if I carried this pistol.
If Beretta were smart, they would fit this pistol with an LEM set up, such as is now offered on the H&K USP. As it is, it is close to unusable. It will not go on the “recommended” list.
23 Nov 01
When US Marines stormed ashore at Inchon on the west coast of Korea on 15 Sept 1950 and later at Wosan on 26 Oct, stunned NKPA (North Korean Peoples’ Army) soldiers, never believing such amphibious landings to be possible, quickly disintegrated into a disorganized retreat back across the North Korean border. Trucks, small arms, artillery, supplies, and tanks were all hastily abandoned. The NKPA suffered staggering losses in the process. Congruent with the now-familiar Communist model, evidence of mass atrocities were discovered everywhere the NKPA had been.
Alarmed, Communist China’s premier, Chou En-lai, warned the US and the UN not to cross the border into North Korea. However, aerial reconnaissance revealed no significant troop concentrations or movements along the Chinese border with North Korea (the Yalu River), so Chou’s warnings were regarded as mostly just saber rattling and were ignored. MacArthur was therefore ordered to pursue retreating NKPA troops across the North Korean border without delay.
On a roll and smelling victory, MacArthur was only too happy to oblige. US Army troops and Marines marched relentlessly into North Korea as winter approached. Fifty miles of rugged, snowy mountains lay between them and the Yalu River. Unfortunately, aerial reconnaissance was relied upon almost to the exclusion of every other form of intelligence gathering. Such overdependance upon technology was unwise in the extreme, and MacArthur should have known better.
Self-assured, MacArthur confidently promised American troops that they would all be “home by Christmas.” MacArthur’s boldness was due, in no small part, to his assumption that the atomic bomb, possessed at the time only by America, could be used to rescue any campaign that went bad. However, he and President Truman had no effective communication on the subject, and Truman, under the influence of the British and other allies, had already decided that the atomic bomb was out of the question. This miscommunication between MacArthur and Truman would lead to disaster. MacArthur’s fronts were spread dangerously thin. Flanks were exposed, but no one seemed to be concerned, now that we had “the bomb.” The American invasion of North Korea was starting to resemble the Italian invasion of Greece in 1940, and it was to end in similar fashion!
Chou En-lai and his deputy, Mao Zhe-dung, having just driven Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist troops out of the mainland and onto the tiny island of Taiwan, were concerned that US troops would not stop at the Yalu. Both knew that a land invasion of China by the US would probably be successful and would mean a return to power of Chiang and an abrupt end to their own political careers and probably their lives as well. They had a lot to lose! In their minds, they had little choice but to challenge MacArthur before he reached the Yalu.
In an amazing infiltration operation, thirty-three divisions of CCF (Communist Chinese Forces) infantry, complete with artillery, quietly filtered south and slipped in behind American and ROK units, all without being detected via aerial reconnaissance. All this in spite of the fact that CCF divisions had to cross rivers and snowy hillsides. American units started taking CCF prisoners. This was immediately reported, but, since it didn’t fit the “grand plan,” the information was disregarded.
On the first of November, CCF units started their offensive. Hoards of Chinese, in human-wave attacks, assaulted astonished American and ROK units who had been told the “police action” was all but over. Close air support, combined with massed artillery, stopped the Chinese momentarily, and permitted many American units to retreat in good order and regroup. However, despite absorbing hideous casualties, the Chinese pressed on with nary a blink.
A stunned and embarrassed MacArthur now confronted the unhappy truth. The entire US/UN front was in bloody, freezing, and dispirited retreat. Somehow, an entire Chinese army group has slipped in behind him without anyone noticing! Many units, including an entire US Marine brigade at the Chosin Reservoir, were cut off. Everyone who could was funneling through Pyongyang and on to the South, along with hoards of refugees. Ever the politician, MacArthur announced that it was “an entirely new war,” sheepishly conceded that troops would not be home by Christmas or any time soon, and authorized retreats anywhere they were possible.
The cutoff Marines, commanded by General Chesty Puller, were ordered to fight their way to Hungnam harbor on Korea’s east coast for evacuation by sea. Thanks to close air support and aerial resupply, they made it, but in the two weeks it took, frost bight, along with enemy contact, took a frightful toll. It was a heroic accomplishment, however comparisons with Dunkirk were unavoidable.
With North Korea rescued from Americans, CCF commanders saw no need to go further south, but the war would go on for nearly three more years before ending in stalemate, and an uneasy “peace,” with which we still live today. MacArthur was relieved of command, never to return to military service or politics again. Truman was a one-term president.
Fresh from WWII, Americans believed that wars do and should end in unconditional surrender. Actually, that is almost never the case. The ending of most wars is far from neat and tidy. Most wars fizzle out inconclusively, ending in muddled and unworkable “treaties” or “understandings” where the parties simply agree to stop fighting. Fighting usually flares up anew within a few years, only to end once more with a new, and equally unworkable, “treaty.”
The Korean War fit the usual orientation, as would the Vietnam War two decades later. Fifty years later, the two Koreas, still divided, still bitter enemies, stare at each other across a manufactured “demilitarized zone,” and thousands of American troops, at untold cost, have been stationed in South Korea ever since. They remain there today.
This was the first time since 1814 that America’s attempt to invade another country had failed! So embarrassing was America’s failure in Korea that it was forty-two years before any kind of memorial was erected, and it was only America’s ignominious defeat in Vietnam that made Korea look respectable by comparison.
“Poor communication destroys all good intentions!” When commanders are operating on mistaken beliefs, disaster cannot be far behind. People who are afraid to talk frankly, who regard some subjects as too sensitive to mention, will predictably manufacture misunderstandings that will come back and bite them in the butt!
As Wellington put it, “The business of war is to find out what you don’t know.” An overdependance on technology to accomplish this is always dangerous and ill-advised. There is much that can’t be seen or detected in any other way but personal contact. Imperial Rome discovered many centuries ago that, in order to win wars, a country must be willing to put its young men in the mud. Bad news is as valuable as good news! Unfortunately, bad news is often ignored, because someone may not want to hear it. “Danger signs” are almost always present, if we will only see them and them believe what we are seeing!
Patton once said, “The enemy is only impressed when being shot at!” Spreading forces so thin that fires cannot be massed upon an enemy that suddenly appears will likely produce an unimpressed enemy.
“The same sun that melts wax, hardens clay!” Some men are wax. Some are clay.
25 Nov 01
Latest from South Africa:
“You may have heard this already, but a belief has started among the black population here that having sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure aids, as well as a host of other ills. No one knows where this belief got its start, but it is widely held, even though it is patently illogical. As you doubtless know, aids has reached epidemic status in the entire African Continent, particularly in the poorest of areas (many of which are in South Africa). Our ‘government’ is still in denial.
This belief has led to a number of horrendous sexual assaults on young girls, even babies, some as young as six months! Babies are typically kidnaped, gang raped, then abandoned. Public outcry has been tremendous, but the kidnappings continue, some even on a commercial basis!”
As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, the success of any democracy is based on the assumption of a moral population. Among amoral populations, any “democratic” system will proceed, via a short route, to chaos!