Breaking: Another Chance for Martland

SFC Charles MartlandSFC Charles Martland, the Special Forces NCO who is being railroaded out of the Army for stopping an Afghan pedophile from continuing to inflict bacha bazi on a young slave boy, has been granted a reprieve to allow him to file another appeal. This news was released in a Friday night data dump, and some of the media are reporting as if Martland has won. According to SF soldiers who have seen the Army ruling, it’s just a temporary delay to let things blow over while a doomed appeal circulates, before pro-pedophile Pentagon personnel people get what they want.

While it’s impossible to put anything past the current leadership structure, the Fox News story indicated that the toxic “Army Values” determination has been removed from Martland’s records:

An Army spokesman said Thursday that Martland’s status has been changed, allowing him to stay in the Army in a statement to Fox News.

“In SFC Martland’s case, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records determination modified a portion of one of SFC Martland’s evaluation reports and removed him from the QMP list, which will allow him to remain in the Army,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk.

The final outcome is unknowable at the moment.

The history of the case is this: Martland got QMP’d out (that is, dropped by a reduction in force mechanism known by the Orwellian name “Qualitative Management Program”) because of a bad NCO Evaluation Report. The bad NCOER, in turn, came about because he objected to the Afghan sacrament of buggery (now on its way to full sacramental status in the Pentagon, as well). You would think that they’d give a medal to a guy who saved a kid from sex slavery, but not Martland: what they want to give him is two in the hat. And the whole NCOER thing is a uniformed bureaucrat’s way of doing it in such a way that there are no prints on the murder weapon. “Oh, no, we didn’t whack him; it was all just automatic after that old meanie gave him the toxic NCOER.”

You would think that speeches like this stemwinder from a Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas would make a difference:

You’d be wrong. In the mixed-up, tossed-up, never-come-down world of Army Values, buggery trumps integrity every time.

And the Great Buggernaut rolled on. But perhaps it will not roll over Charles Martland. Not yet..


This Ain’t Hell covered Martland’s situation based on the Fox News story linked above. Hondo and Jonn’s and his commenters appear to be more confident than we are, that this reversal is the real thing and Martland’s troubles are over, for now.

Administrative Note

We’ll be late with tonight’s Friday Tour d’Horizon. Meatworld pressures are upon us, everything from cat-sitting an ailing furball to trying to buy property to a non-life-threatening but vexatiously painful medical problem. Yes, that sounds like a lot of sniveling, because it is. There is a post set for 0600 tomorrow and we hope to catch up then, and backfill the missing piece. We regret the delay — Ed.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Utility Poles

The description of the accident is dry as dust. “Vehicle struck a pole.” Happens all the time, no?

A person was killed after a vehicle struck a utility pole in West Hollywood early Thursday morning, sheriff’s deputies said.

The crash was reported near Sunset Boulevard and Larrabee Street around 4:20 a.m. No other injuries were reported.

via 1 killed after vehicle hits utility pole in West Hollywood |

Here’s the picture.

vehicle hit a pole

This is not your everyday “vehicle struck a pole,” is it? There’s a story there that somehow didn’t make it into the news story; Lord knows what it was.

Of course, speculation can easily connect 4:20 AM, Judgment Juice® and “speed excessive for state of inebriation.” But it would only be speculation.

Not All Refugees Want to Blow You Up

suicide-bomber-schoolBut enough do that one wonders about the game of frog and scorpion Western leaders are playing. It’s as if virtue signalling to one’s peers is more important than small things such as survival. If these people were hosting these cuckoo’s eggs in their own nests — they are not going to New York or San Francisco — there would be a certain self-sacrificing nobility in it, but as we just noted, they are not, they are sending them to Manchester, NH or Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Indeed, the number 1 destination for islamist refugees and their embedded terrorist fraction is Texas, thanks to a Federal desire for disruption and the efforts of nihilistic “non-profits.”)

Consider Vox Day’s Three Laws of SJWotics from SJWs Always LieWhatever you think of Day, the book is a superior framework for understanding the Social Justice Warrior tactics of frame-and-shame shut-uppery that are in the forefront of modern discourse. The Three Laws are:

  1. SJWs always lie
  2. SJWs always double down
  3. SJWs always project.

And let’s add to that, the Law of Refugees from SFQC:

  • Experience teaches us that one in ten of refugees coming from an enemy or denied area is either working directly for, or at least reporting intelligence information to, the enemy.

We expected, if these laws are truly laws, for the social-justice obsessed refugee savers to respond to the Paris massacre as follows:

  1. To assert that the refugees are no threat in the future, and indeed, have never been a threat in the past.
  2. To insist on even more refugees.
  3. To suggest that those who would exclude terrorists, not those who welcome them, are a threat to the institutions of the country;

And those things all have happened.

We would further expect:

  • To see more terrorist attacks committed by refugees.

The last, only time will tell, but the first three reactions can already be seen, adding a data point to the data set supporting Day’s theses.

We’re using a bad definition of refugees here

The usual usage of the word refugee suggests a temporarily displaced person longing to return home once the natural disaster or war has abated. No one seriously thinks these are that kind of refugee. These people are looking for permanent resettlement — and some non-zero subset of them are expecting to get permanent resettlement, on perpetual welfare. They are not looking for traditional resettlement, like, for example, the Free Poles that remained in Canada and Britain after World War II rather than return to their Russian-enslaved homeland in 1945. Those people ultimately became the parents of fully-assimilated Canadians and Britons, for whom the Old Country and its ways are little more than an ethnic surname and perhaps some ancestral comfort-food recipes.

Our new wave don’t see themselves going back to their third world hellholes. Yet they don’t feel at all grateful for resettlement — egged on by Western “inequality” preachers, they feel entitled. 

The most probable outcome of these camps or nests of hostile moslems and Arabs in our nation is to see permanent, hard-shelled cysts of unassimilated foreigners embedded in our society.

1. The Lie: “The Refugees Pose No Threat”

Yes, they’re already saying that. Want examples? Barack Obama, the President. David Miliband, former British Foreign Secretary. Hillary Clinton, the Heiress Apparent. Nancy Pelosi, from San Francisco, which is promised zero of the wave (Pelosi’s speech at the link also credits the French government for sending the revolutionary Lafayette to America. No, Louis XVI did not send him). Let’s not just pick on the Democrats. Here’s Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio. And why stick to politicians? For the Brookings Institution, armchair expert Dan Byman sneered days before the Paris attack that “ISIS Doesn’t work that way.” That was, of course, before they “worked that way” the living crap out of Paris, but don’t expect a change in position from Byman (he’ll follow the Third Law).

And yeah, we even have statements that they have never done it, based on the fact that only three of the ISIL attackers in Paris have been positively ID’d as refugees so far. And only two of the Boston Marathon bombers.

We even had the Associated Press run a report that one of the firearms in the Paris attacks came from the United States. (It didn’t. The reporter made it up. That’s what they do).

Indeed. Remember Flashbang and Speedbump? The two “refugees” who absorbed millions in welfare and then committed mass murder with TATP-filled pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon?

Another specious claim we hear is that the US has always welcomed refugees. You know, like this kid:

Elian Gonzalez Raid

OK, maybe he’s not a good example, illustrating as he does that (1) for some Americans, the Cuban government is more beloved than our own, and (2) most Federal Agents will do literally anything if given an order. Look at the guy in the picture. Would he put Jews on cattle cars or push them into gas chambers? Would he shoot Polish officers in the back of the head? You can see at a glance that he would. The character and humanity has been trained out of him, and anything that can be rationalized, he would do.

So, if Elián González is a bad example, how about this one:

Romeike Family

These unwanted refugees fled an otherwise friendly but functionally state-atheistic government that is so opposed to their homeschooling, that the parents will be stripped of their children on arrival back “home”. They have been ordered deported, but the deportation order has been stayed pending further legal proceedings (and Congressional intervention).

Yay! More room for future Flashbangs and Speedbumps.

2. The Double Down: Even More Refugees

After seeing what an open door to unassimilable jihadi refugees gets you, President of France François Hollande closed French borders. For a couple of days. Then he announced he would take 30,000 more refugees, ergo, 3,000 more terrortists. (What does this wright, in due course? President Le Pen, for one).

Im the article linked above, David Miliband says the US must accept 100,000 Syrians a year.

And he doubles down, suggesting that the US reduce its minimal (and, frankly, ineffective, but that would be another post)  screening of the “refugees” for terrorists, because

the current process is needlessly slow.

So the US should…

…eliminate unnecessary time lags and get desperate refugees to safety quicker…

Yeah, Dave. All our trains and planes are not gonna bomb themselves, damn it. We need the 10,000+ terrorists in that bunch, stat!

Miliband suggests we should trust the UN, which

… identifies the families most in need…. screens each family, painstakingly documents their family composition and history of flight from Syria, then refers those who best qualify for the U.S. resettlement program on to the federal government.

That’s the same UN that stored rocket launchers for Hamas? The same UN that prints grade school textbooks for Palestinian “refugees” in which they learn math by counting grenades and RPGs, and word problems about how-many-Jews-has-Abdul-got-to-kill? That UN?

The same UN that sent a known foreign intelligence agent to collect against our base camp in Afghanistan? The UN that’s increasingly an arm of the Islamic Conference? The UN that has outlived its usefulness by decades? That UN?

The UN has been in the pocket of Arab and Islamic terrorists for fifty years, and no one with more than single digits of firing synapses should be willing to trust them to walk the dog, let alone sponsor terrorists into the USA. Frankly, UN sponsorship should be viewed with the deepest suspicion in the light of the wannabe world government’s rocky history with terrorism.

And Miliband goes on to make the false equivalency argument: the US resettled 320,000 Vietnamese in two years, where’s our appetite for Islamic terrorists in similar numbers? This is specious. The Vietnamese were the men who fought alongside ours, and their families, who fled their country under credible threat of death.  If any of these so-called refugees were fighters against ISIL, they ought to be back home, fighting against their enemy, who hasn’t won yet. Somebody’s back there fighting, and it’s not the teeming jihadis in the UN Camps, getting their three hots, a cot, and if UN refugee camps run true to form, instruction in marksmanship and bomb-making.

They don’t assimilate at all. In Belgium, the nation’s entire population of 640,000 moslems, who are mostly isolated from Belgian society, has produced 516 known terror jihadists, not counting the ones recently exposed by the Paris attacks. That’s a rate of 1/1260 or 0.079%, a small percentage, but that’s against a whole national population. Against the US moslem population of 6.2 million that the US immigration policy is expected to produce, that means about five thousand terrorists… if they’re as effective as the Paris attackers (exchange ratio 15.75:1), they could murder 77,500 Americans.

3. The Projection: “Wanting a Safe America is Un-American!”

You knew this was not long in coming. The same suspects are arguing that excluding these terrorists who claim to be refugees is somehow un-American, as if nothing is more American than laying your head down on the stump like Isaac and hoping to hell that the guy with the axe is Abraham.

Folks, many, many Americans, hundreds of thousands of us, have been to the sort of paradise produced by Islamism, and have engaged the sort of creatures this fanatical belief produces of humans. And by “engaged,” we don’t mean the Beltway style of having a no-consequences virtue signaling exchange of pleasantries: we mean exchanged fire with.

The nearest thing, in the popular culture, is the zombies of the Walking Dead, except with the ability to cooperate against the living. When someone chooses Islamism, he has chosen Death, for himself and anyone in range of his TATP onesie, and we can see no compelling reason to open the doors for him to try to make of this country the Mohammedan dystopia he has made of his own.

Counterargument: They’re Not All Terrorists

And you know what? We’ll concede that. They’re not all terrorists. They’re not even mostly terrorists, only a small minority, a percentage is (although what we’ve seen from polling and from studies of 2nd-Generation Refugees indicates that the SFQC Estimate was low).

But 10% of the 100,000 Syrians that Miliband and the UN insist we take per annum is 10,000 terrorists a year. If they are as effective as the Paris attackers, who managed an exchange rate of nearly 16 to 1 against French civilians and security forces, that means they will kill more than a million and a half Americans.

Other pressure cooker (and containing bag) remains of the bomb planted by "Refugee" Tamerlan Tsarnayev. FBI.

Pressure cooker (and containing bag) remains of the bomb planted by “Refugee” Tamerlan Tsarnayev. FBI photo.

The US Refugee policy has been extremely imbalanced, also, not accepting Kurdish and (until recently) Yazidi refugees, only Moslems, the most likely terrorists. Christians, who are subject to the same extermination threat as the Yazidis, remain excluded. A curious refugee program, that refuses the oppressed and welcomes their oppressors.

But then again, the US has always had a strain of irrationality in our politics. In 2016, it seems like Tip O’Neill’s aphorism needs to be updated, and all politics is irrational.

Finally, so what if they’re not terrorists? If every single one of them is the purest Enlightenment liberal, their kids revert to the ancestral religion — and the ancestral love of homicide — at the drop of a hat. Accepting these “refugees,” just like starting the various wars that spawned them, and just like fleeing from the consequences of starting those wars, is a voluntary, unforced error. However, unlike the war-starting and bug-out errors we’ve already made, it’s an error that can still be interrupted in the act of commission.

Before There Were Many 9MM Ultra Compacts, There Was One

Devel ASP 12Before there was the current rich supply of ultra compact 9 mm pistols, someone had to have the idea for the first time. In fact, the idea of a small 9 mm carry gun was widespread long before any factory produced one.

The market answered, after a fashion: cut-down versions of pistols were produced. Some of them weren’t cut down much, like the P-38K and the Colt Commander. Others were not really practical, like Baby Lugers, and always appealed more to collectors than self-defense carriers.

SW-semi-model-chartBut the natural host for these first-generation pocket nines in the 1970s and 1980s was America’s first pistol designed for what was then a European cartridge, the 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 39. The M39 was a postwar design that sought to blend European and American design concepts, and not only did that but produced an attractive firearm at the same time. It combined a Browning-style tilting-barrel, and a Walther-like SA/DA operating system with a slide-mounted safety/decocker. Mag release and slide stop were also Browning style, and the barrel was positioned in the nose end of the slide by a collet bushing modeled on the one in the Colt Gold Cup.

The M39 was single-stack before single-stack was cool, and entered the market in 1954-55 after years of development. If you want to foray into the weeds of Smith auto pistol history, Chris Baker took a shot at decoding Smith’s nomenclature mess with the M39 and its legions of successors at Lucky Gunner Lounge last year, also producing the infographic on the right, which appears correct but incomplete.

But the reason that the M39 yielded those early conversions were (1) it was readily available, and (2) there was nothing vital and hard to relocate in the parts of the gun that a compact conversion hacked off. This picture from an S&W forum shows three cut-down 39s: from l-r, an Austin Behlert special on a Smith 59 (basically, a double-stack 39), a full Devel on a 39 with ambi safety, and a full devel (no ambi safety) on a 59.

Behlert Devel Devel

The first, and most exotic small Smith was the ASP, made beginning in 1970 by New York artist and espionage agency hang-around Paris Theodore, who partnered initially with George L. Nonte. This ASP picture comes from the same forum as the shot above, and illustrates the somewhat industrial finish on ASPs.


The magazine was patented, specifically for the unusual laid-back pinky rest. The open side made the transparent/translucent segment of the grips practical.

One of the ASP features that will never show in a side view is that about 40% of the width of the reshaped trigger guard was milled away on the strong side of the customer, to provide faster access to the trigger. Theodore claimed that an ASP had 212 modifications from the factory M39.

Theodore’s spy stories seem to have been cut from whole cloth, but he died young — here is an interesting, if credulous, obituary in the late, lamented New York Sun. A definitive ASP was trimmed in height and length, dehorned and softened in its angles, and fitted with a patented “Guttersnipe” trough sight and see-through grips to facilitate round counting.

The Devel was devel-oped (you may groan) by Charlie Kelsey. They tended to be better finished and often had fluted slides to reduce weight. Here are three Devels, a 59 and two 39s.

Three Devels

This is a Devel on a Smith 39-2 from a current GunBroker auction, but supplied with two ASP magazines.

Devel ASP 09

The seller says this about it:

Smith & Wesson Model 39-2 Devel Custom chambered in 9mm with a 3.5″ barrel. Used but in good shape! Frame and slide have some handling wear, couple scratches, and little bit of finish wear around the edges. Comes with two hard to find ASP magazines! Please look at the pictures for details.

Devel ASP 05

The cut-down for Devel and ASP alike was usually 3/4 of an inch to the barrel and slide, and about a half inch to the butt. The package usually included replacing the collet bushing with a plain bushing, on reliability grounds, and bobbing the hammer.

Devel ASP 06

As you can see, the gun is not only shortened but also “softened” or “dehorned,” but it’s not what Devel called a “full house” custom, as it lacks the squared-off trigger guard and lightening flutes in the slide.

Factory compacts like Smith’s own 3913 crippled the market for these niche firearms, and both ASP and Devel folded, victims of the success of their own product.

Like Paris Theodore, Charlie Kelsey died prematurely, but while Theodore lost a long and debilitating battle with disease, Kelsey was found shot and burned in a ditch in Georgetown, Texas. While there were indications he may have been suicidal, he certainly can not have set his own dead body on fire. His murder has never been solved.


Of course, true Dedicated Followers of Browning would not be caught dead with a 9mm flyswatter: their pistol-shrinker of choice was Detonics, or Behlert (who called his bobbed .45 the Bobcat). But that’s another story!


Didn’t Foom Right The First Time. Or the Second. Or Third….

Two apartment towers in Seaforth near Liverpool were scheduled to be demolished by explosives at 1000 BST Sunday, 24 April. Churchill House and Montgomery House were identical 15-story, 58-unit buildings and the demolitionist was a professional firm, J. Bryan (Victoria) Ltd of Widnes, England.

At the appointed hour the charges went off in sequence… and nothing else happened.

The BBC has the best video of this at this linked story (we couldn’t figure out how to embed it…Britons are certainly getting complexity for their TV taxes, if nothing else).

Engineers checked the buildings and found them, structurally, still sound.

Two hours later, down came Churchill House, unbidden. So much for engineers!

A second attempt to blow Montgomery House on Monday also failed. A third attempt produced some serious structural damage, and one corner of the building came down, the rest of it still stood. We can imagine the shade of Monty, arms akimbo, laughing at the would-be demolitionists. Montgomery, of all generals, would have ensured the operation had been properly prepared for.

It makes one wonder whether demolitions as a practice is quite as scientific as its exponents try to make it sound. We do recall our 12Bs / 18Cs always muttering things that resembled Druidic incantations more than scientific calculations, and always including a factor P (for “Plenty.”) Not to get all up in the business of J. Bryan (Victoria) Ltd. but we’d take odds that their demolitionist is not a graduate of an Armed Forces demo school in which the fundamentality of the foundational P Factor is stressed.

The buildings were erected around 1960 (as seems obvious from the names; if they put them up now, they’d be named for pop singers, legendary sheikhs or imams, or maybe the Kray brothers). That means that entropy was already bringing them down day by day, without any needed assist from J. Bryan or Islamic terrorists. It has to have the would-be destroyers a bit red in the face.

Still, our prediction is that by the time you read this, J. Bryan and company will have gone back to the books and redone the demo, this time with the P factor prominent in their calculations.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Octopodes

Octopus: best not swallowed whole.

Octopus: best not swallowed whole.

(Yeah, we’re one of the holdouts for the original Greek plural. Most correct in English is likely Octopuses, but we got your attention, didn’t we?)

In any event, an octopus seems to have been used as a weapon in a homicidal assault in Wichita. (Octopus? Wichita? We’ll get to the culinary faux pas in a bit. Focus). The mom’s boyfriend — we note that these crumbs are hardly ever husbands, why is that? — stuffed the rubbery critter into Junior’s throat while mom was out, in an apparent attempt to solve Fermat’s Last Pesky Kid Problem, or something. Local TV:

A 2-year-old boy hospitalized after a small octopus became wedged in this throat showed signs of improvement Thursday as the investigation pressed on, Wichita police said.

The boy, who was brought in to the hospital on Tuesday night, has been upgraded to good condition, is in “a very delicate situation” and shows no immediate symptoms of long-term injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain, police Lt. James Espinoza told the Wichita Eagle

The kid has a chance. One’s ability to endure periods of oxygen deprivation declines with age, but is quite astounding in early childhood. It’s all down to how long the poor bastard was trying to breathe octopus instead of free air, a number that is unfortunately, from the standpoint of pure Science, unknowable.

The toddler’s mother told police she returned from work to find her boyfriend giving the child CPR. The boy was not breathing.

Well, having a rubbery stopper in your windpipe will do that, ten times out of ten. This appears to have been the time where he might have mentioned the octopus, if everything was on the up-and-up.

According to ABC affiliate, KAKE, EMS rushed the toddler to a hospital where doctors found and removed the dead octopus – its head about 2 inches in diameter – from the toddler’s throat.

It’s unclear whether the octopus was alive on it’s trip down the That’ll Shut Him Up hole, or whether this is a case of mollusc as well as child abuse.

Police said the octopus was not a family pet and likely was to be used for sushi.

As the old friend who sent this — a chef of some talent — asked in the following text exchange:


Seriously, when in Wichita, order the steak. You can’t go wrong.

Anyway, the hospital thought there was something fishy about the whole story of Junior swallowing Ock while home alone with the boyfriend, one Matthew Gallagher, and dropped a dime on Gallagher to the local flatfeet, who investigated, charged, and arrested the man.

The hospital notified police after the 36-year-old boyfriend’s account about how the boy swallowed the octopus and sustained minor injuries to his face were inconsistent with the evidence, Espinoza said.

via Octopus found lodged in boy’s throat in suspected child abuse case |

And they just lay that out there, “and sustained minor injuries to his face.” Sure, maybe the octopus did it.

One hopes for a speedy recovery for the kid. As for Gallagher, the revolving door courts have already set him free to hurt people again, while pending trial.

No word on whether he has been ordered not to possess aquatic mollusks while under arraignment; it’s probably not in the usual You Got Bail!™ boilerplate.

Weapons Training, Special Training School 103, SOE

Fairbairn's early techniques were codified in this book.

Fairbairn’s early techniques were codified in this book.

The following is a description of firearms instruction at STS 103, which author David Stafford describes as, “one of a network of SOE training schools, and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.” (Other schools were in North Africa, Haifa and elsewhere around the Med, and in Singapore for the Far East). It shows that even 75 years ago, even before the word “mindset” was coined, this abstraction was valued far above practical skills.

Weapons training for OSS and SOE would evolve, but it was based, and remained based, on the work of William Ewart Fairbairn, a man who studied fighting with singleminded intensity, and who along with E.A. Sykes trained the Shanghai colonial police, at a time when Shanghai was a arguably the global leader in applied interpersonal violence and a Shanghai cop had to be quick with hands, feet, knives, and firearms.

As well as being suitably trained for silent killing and on armed combat, the recruits might also have occasion to use weapons, so Camp X gave them weapons training. Sharing the language of the OK Corral, SOE was interested in gunfighting. Since an agent’s life might very well depend on how well he had been taught, instructors would not let a bad shot out of the camp. They instilled in the student mind the impression that he was actually killing the target and to shoot as though his life depended on it. “As with every sport, provided that the principles taught are sound, practice makes perfect.” The principles so diligently instilled in practiced had as their goal, within the constraints imposed by time and the supply of ammunition, “to turn out good, fast, plain shots”. Whether in the use of machine carbines like the Tommy gun or in action with a pistol, the principle was the same: “tremendous speed in an attack with sufficient accuracy to hit the vital parts of a man’s body, for killing at close quarters demands aggression and extreme concentration.”

There were certain obstacles in producing these good, fast, and plain shots. One was the recruits’ previous experience. Instructors presumed that many of their students had some “revolver training in the old style” and, while being careful not to denigrate such skills has might have already been acquired in skeet shooting, had to impart the innovative “instinctive method” of firing.

The first point was that a pistol was not a weapon of self-defence but of attack – it was a combat weapon. Armed with the weapon under consideration, usually a .22 Hi-Standard or .32 Colt, the instructor conjured up a dramatic encounter while on a mission:

Picture in your mind the circumstances under which you might be using the pistol. Take as an example a raid on an enemy occupied house in darkness. Firstly consider your approach. You will never walk boldly up to the house and stroll in as though you were paying a social call. On the contrary, your approach will be stealthy. You will be keyed up and excited, nervously alert for danger from whichever direction. You will find yourself instinctively crouching; your body balanced on the balls of your feet in a position from which you can move swiftly in any direction. You make your entry into the house and start searching for the enemy, moving along passages, perhaps up or down stairs, listening and feeling for any signs of danger. Suddenly on turning a corner, you come face-to-face with the enemy. Without a second’s hesitation you must fire and kill him before he has a chance to kill you.

This method of course meant that an agent would never fire standing straight up, nor in any of the “fancy stances” common to competition shooting, and never have time to use the sights. Since recruits under such conditions might be worried about the accuracy of their name game, they practiced “instinctive pointing”,”the natural way that any man points at an object when he is concentrating”. Students stoodt directly in front of each other and pointed, at the instructor’s commands, to such targets is the exact centre of each other’s stomach, or left foot or right eye. When doing so, no one actually looked down his finger. Rather, “instinctively”, the arm, with the finger extended, came in to the center of the body. Here the finger, and of course its extension the gun, was in position right down the line of eyesight. Such pointing gave the shooter a natural control over direction and elevation when firing.

Applegate shootingAfter demonstrations and practice in holding the pistol or crouching in the firing position, the recruits were ready for some of the more elaborate target exercises using live ammunition. For example, using the .22, students were to imagine that they were outside a German beer cellar, automatics loaded and drawn. In the old style of attack, in order to position themselves for firing, they would have to rely on a totally silent approach. This, of course, was not only dangerous but impossible. SOE felt their method was much superior: “you have reached the doorway of the cellar by a stealthy approach, making no sound whatever. Very quietly turn the handle of the door as far as it will go, And then, preparing yourself for the effort, you kick the door open and kill your targets before they have a chance to realize what has happened.”

If this all sounds rather like a B-grade movie, reads like a spy novel, or looks like a TV SWAT team in action, it’s because SLE instinctive firing was so successful that after the war this innovation swept through commando schools, boot camps, and police academies alike, replacing forever the older shooting style.

Indeed, Rex Applegate, an American instructor trained by Sykes and Fairbairn, would adapt his training notes and syllabi into a postwar book, Kill or Get Killed, that was extremely influential. (The picture above is of Applegate, and it is from this book, which stayed in print for decades).

The gunfighting style of 1942 does look extremely dated today. SOE (and later, OSS) training emphasized instinctive, point shooting, without reference to even the limited, low-profile sights of a wartime or prewar pistol. Nowadays much better sights are used much faster, and pistols are routinely shot two-handed. At the start of World War II, the Japanese alone trained for two-handed shooting; this picture shows that by 1944 Jedburgh teams were training to shoot two-handed, but even long after the war Applegate continued to train one-handed point shooting.

Jeds point shooting 1944

One suspects that William Ewart Fairbairn — by all accounts something of a drip while off duty, having no interests broader than instruction in impartial and immediate unchristian mayhem, and means of delivering same — would approve.


Stafford, David: Camp X: OSS, “Intrepid,” and the Allies’ North American Training Camp for Secret Agents, 1941-1945. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1987. (pp. 97-99).

A Pathetic Fake on GunBroker

We’ve seen some blatant fakes, but this one retires the trophy.

fake nazi holster

The auction title: “Nazi Scorpion VZ 61 Holster and Magazine Pouch.” Do you see the problem yet? Here’s the reverse of the holster and pouch:

fake nazi holster reverse

And here’s the proof of its Nazi bona fides, a gen-you-wine Waffenamt marking!

fake holster waffenamt 2

And here’s another Waffenamt. That Hitler SWAT sticker is way, way clearer on this one.

fake holster waffenamt 1

Have you figured out the problem yet?

The holster and pouch are not for any weapon the Nazis would, or could, have used. They are for the Czech Vz61 Škorpion submachine gun / personal defense weapon, a .32 ACP hybrid pistol/SMG used by some military elements but mostly by internal security elements of the Ministry of the Interior.

While some Czech guns were made and used by Nazis during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia 1938-45, the Nazis left after that (as did, at bayonet point, those ethnic Germans who had invited them in); with the exception of a few war criminals in pokey and a quantity of Nazis-made-good in the graveyards. So you will not find authentic Waffenamt markings on anything made after 1945.

(But you can, and these images suggest someone did, find not-so-authentic Waffenamt stamps on eBay).

The abbreviation Vz stands for the Czech (and Slovak, and a couple other Slavic languages) word Vzor, meaning, “model,” as in, “Model of –“, and of course, the Vz refers to a year.

Anyone daring enough to make a guess as to when a firearm called Vz 61 was adopted?

Next question, is 61 > 45? We may be dealing with someone who is not only a faker, but also suffering from bitchy resting face pre-terminal innumeracy.

Let’s look inside the holster and pouch and see what we can learn there. Hey, there’s a stamp inside the holster flap!

fake holster pouch dates 3

In this stamp, K6 is a manufacturer code, the crossed swords are a Czechoslovak Army marking, and 66 is the year of manufacture.

See, there was this one Nazi who refused to believe the war was over, and hid in the mountains… making holsters.

Next up, the marking inside the pouch for the Škorpion’s spare mags.

fake holster pouch dates 1 fake holster pouch dates 2

So to recap: the gun belonging in this holster was designed in 1961, the mag pouch was made in 1965, and the holster itself in 1966.

But the leatherwares somehow acquired marks from the Waffenamt, an inspectorate defunct for 16, 20, and 21 years respectively at the time. While simultaneously bearing the marks of the postwar Czechoslovak People’s Army.

Last interesting facts: He has this priced a lot higher than a generic Škorpion holster; and, a lot of the seller’s other sales are claimed Nazi stuff, mixed in with admitted replicas.

Don’t take any wooden nickels — or time-traveling Nazi holsters for future guns.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Max Velocity Tactical

max_velocity_tactical_webpageA long time ago a commenter recommended this site, Max Velocity Tactical, as a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week. And indeed, we’ve read it from time to time, and it seems to be a pretty good and sensible discussion of fitness, tactics, and so forth. It’s primarily a vehicle for tactical training, both by word and by promoting “Max’s” books and, especially, tactical training classes.

The training classes include people with all levels of training and experience, but they tend to look eerily like military training, because that’s what they are, essentially. Here we have shooting on the move, live-fire. (Note the high instructor-student ratio, a must with live fires, especially with people new to the group and each other).

Max Velocity-CTT-July-Square-Range

The word “tactical” is rather haphazardly strewn about, these days, but in the case of Max Velocity, it fits. If you attend a course, read a book, visit the forum or read the posts on the website you may indeed learn something about tactics — something of some practical use.

Here is another picture that, apart from the mismatched uniforms, might have been snapped at Dahlonega or Camp Mackall (actually, we had mismatched uniforms in Ranger Class 1-83, because Army students had to wear OD green fatigues or OD-107 jungle fatigues, and the other services could wear ERDL camo or the then-new BDUs).


Max encourages students to review and critique training, and these reviews are available on site. There’s also a discussion forum of value.

You never know what gems will show up. For a single current example, this recent report from one of the site’s associates deals with one of the most necessary and, especially when starting out, unpleasant fundamental skills: rucksack marching. Here’s the briefest taste:

[S]tart some run/walks with some added weight.  Don’t start with a full load out.  Just like any other progressive training program, start with 15 lbs and maybe 2-3 miles.  Work up to a goal weight of say 35 lbs.  I would take 4 weeks on this.  Then get off the pavement onto the trails.  This will really start to condition your feet and ankles and lots of other stuff.  At this point you would also switch to your trail runners/light hiking boots (duh) and regular hiking clothes.  Another 4 weeks here.  Then you take it up hill.  This will be  real eye-opener.  You thought you were in shape.  Hell you are in decent shape.  But this is a whole ‘nother level.  Hard to believe you can be breathing hard, close to red-lining when you are just walking up a hill.  But you will.  Another hard 4 weeks (this is based on fitness level, see below).

At each stage, drop the weight, and lower the distance again, and work your way back up to goal load and distance targets.  Speed becomes a relative thing now, because you are moving as fast as you can sustain, for whatever the terrain allows.

I can’t think of any other physical activity that is directly applicable to what we may have to be doing in the future. It is a hell of a lot of work, but it is also immensely satisfying. So get out there and get in touch with your inner Mohican.

The author also makes the point that you should be running. That hits hard here, because Your Humble Bloghost can’t run, and doesn’t even walk so great (when they said don’t turn the MC1-1C below 200 feet, they weren’t just whistling Dixie). Here’s his point:

[M]y running base made a huge difference in being able to switch gears and do serious ruck marching. Your feet, ankles, knees, and other body parts take a serious pounding in this activity. What this tells me is every one who is serious about preparing for uncertain times needs to get out and establish a running-based fitness program. Along with calisthenics, this will prepare you body for the rigors of field work.

If you don’t do this, when it’s go-time, the fitness curve is so steep that your body will inevitably break down, leaving you combat ineffective at the moment you need to be at your best. It’s not just about cardio or muscle strength; it’s also about all that connective tissue being conditioned to take the pounding. Feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back. This goes double for older folks. All that shit is not as supple as it was before so you have to work harder to make sure you stretch it out and strengthen it to take the load.

Now, that’s all from one post, and that by a guest author (but it got us to figure out where the ALICE is… under a bunch of books in the library… and shake it out and take out some of the weight that was in it for an initial shakedown).

Here’s another guest post: a one-post history of the German invasion of Russia, 1941-44, and its consequences for Germany, which along with the crushing of the Japanese Empire constituted the most complete and thorough defeats of nations since the national exterminations of ancient warfare. (Had Stalin, and some Americans such as Baruch had their way, Germany might have gone the rest of the way to the fate of Carthage and Troy).

Many of the real gems that MVT has to deliver you will have to pay for, like the courses and the training plans. This is how he, and his assistant instructors, pay the bills. It is not very expensive for training that can save your life and that of your family (consider this post on the recurring problem of shooting friendlies, and how to avoid it, complete with video of a real puckerful moment where the camera-equipped shooter ceases fire just for an instant because a teammate runs in front of him, oblivious). Even the free parts of the site are very worthwhile, and that would make their dollar value infinite, wouldn’t it?

There are no great mysteries to combat tactics, now “jaw-dropping shortcut” or “One weird trick,” to use the argot of clickbait. There are fundamental principles, which the tactical training programs of every professional armed service in the world follow, and tactics, techniques and procedures, which are variable so long as they preserve the inviolable principles. If your “militia” shoots now and then on a flat range but can’t organize and conduct a patrol, establish a defensive position, or advance by fire and maneuver, it’s not a militia but a mob. (Call it a “nilitia.”) Max and his guys have been working to close this gap, and they deserve recognition and attention.

Number Five Freakin’ Thousand

This is the five thousandth post to go live on this blog since the first test posts, a few weeks before the go-live date of 1 January 2012.

During that time we’ve had some highs and lows, broken a couple of stories, a couple of guns, and a couple of computers.

Other things that there have been 5,000 of include Lamborghini Aventadors, a milestone passed last month…


… and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms, a milestone passed many, many years ago.

5000th Phantom

Some curious facts about the number 5,000 are available at Number Empire.

And here’s another fact (albeit a disputed one) about the number 5,000: according to scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia, it’s the number of living adults a species requires for long-term viability.

We guess that means the blog will be around a while.