When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Smoothies

Meet Julia Gutierriez. This 53-year-old Illinois woman planned, and botched, a murder-suicide of her husband Eduardo and herself, using the prescription drug Temazepan in smoothies. She succeeded halfway: in the murder part. It was the suicide she botched, and now her lawyers are trying to get the courts to toss her confession.

After all, might as well let her go; it’s not like she’s any danger to her husband any more.

[Julia Gutierrez] gave Eduardo a smoothie spiked with the prescription drug Temazepam.

Geneva police conducting a well-being check at the couples Crissey Avenue home on Jan. 28, 2016, found Eduardo dead and Gutierrez unconscious on a bathroom floor, according to authorities and court documents.

The case will probably end in a plea bargain, so the judge (Tegeler) has tabled the defense attorney’s (Yetter’s) motion to suppress the confession for now:

With a resolution possible, Tegeler said a pending motion by Yetter seeking to suppress Gutierrezs statements to police would remain on hold. Yetter contends in the filing that Gutierrez was not told her rights before investigators questioned her at Delnor Community Hospital and that she was in no shape to be asked about what had happened.

That is one of the more creative suppression memos we’ve heard of. It might have worked; if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that what happens in courtrooms is closer to random than systematic, and only a very rough approximation of justice.

Yetters [sic] motion states Gutierrez was being treated for a drug overdose “that was thought to be a suicide attempt” when the questioning took place.

Prosecutors in their own court filings have indicated Gutierrez essentially acknowledged in a note to a friend she had planned a murder-suicide. Gutierrez is scheduled to return to court on April 27.

via Plea possible for Geneva woman accused of killing husband with drugged smoothie – Aurora Beacon-News.

Thank Heaven for small mercies, like not ever having been in a marriage like these two people’s.

Special Forces Losses in Southeast Asia This Week, 1957-75

We’re going to try to return to our former practice of posting this list once a week. The list was a life’s work for retired Special Forces Command Sergeant Major Reginald Manning. Reg was beloved for his sharp mind and sense of humor; among other tours he survived one at what was probably the most-bombarded SF A-Camp in the Republic of Vietnam, Katum. (“Ka-BOOM” to its inmates). As a medic, some of Reg’s duties in the camp were not a joking matter, and that’s all we’re going to say about that.

There is a key to some of the mysterious abbreviations and codes, after the list.

May God have mercy on their souls, and long may America honor their sacrifices and hold their names high in memory.

Year

Mo.

Day

Rank

First

Last

Unit

Code

Nation, Location, Circumstances

1967

02

20

WO-2

Max P.

Hanley

AATTV

KIA

SVN; A-113, Mobile Guerilla Force, 5 Km SE of A-104, Ha Thanh, at OP66, Quang Ngai Prov.

1967

02

20

E-6 SSG

John E.

McCarthy

11C4S

KIA, DSC

SVN; A-302, Mike Force, Phuoc Long Prov., near A-341, Bu Dop

1969

02

20

E-5 SP5

Alan C.

Burtness

11B4S

KIA

SVN; 4 MSFC, Can Tho, Phong Dinh Prov., by a mine

1967

02

21

E-7 SFC

Domingo R. S.

Borja

11C4S

KIA, BNR, DSC

Laos; CCN, w/ RT??, YD188011, 20k west of A Luoi

1967

02

21

E-7 SFC

Billy E.

Carrow

12B4S

DNH, accident w/ weapon

Thailand; 46th SF Co, A-4634, Trang (Camp Carrow near Trang named for him.)

1968

02

21

E-7 SFC

Robert N.

Baker

11C4S

KIA

SVN; CCN, FOB1, Quang Nam Prov.

1968

02

21

E-6 SSG

Paul M.

Douglas

11B4S

KIA

SVN; CCN, FOB3, RT Hawaii, Quang Tri Prov., killed by mortar round at Khe Sanh

1965

02

22

E-5 SP5

Gerald B.

Rose

12B2S

KIA

SVN; A5/214, Soui Doi, Pleiku Prov., at Mang Yang Pass

1967

02

22

E-7 SFC

George W.

Ovsak

11C4S

KIA

SVN; A-302, Mike Force, at A-301 Trang Sup, XT177554, unloading boobytrapped truck

1969

02

24

E-7 SFC

Charles E.

Carpenter

11C4S

KIA

SVN; 2 MSFC, B-20, 261 MSF Co, just outside A-244, Ben Het, Kontum Prov.

1968

02

25

E-7 SFC

Lawrence F.

Beals

11F4S

KIA

SVN; 1 MSFC, A-111, Quang Nam Prov., convoy between Da Nang and A-109, w/ Tomkins

1969

02

25

E-7 SFC

James K.

Sutton

11B4S

KIA, DOW

SVN; C Co, 5th SFG, w/ ??, radio relay site w/ USMC at FSB Neville near DMZ, Quang Tri Prov.

1970

02

25

E-7 SFC

Bobbie R.

Baxter

12B4S

DNH, vehicle crash

SVN; B-53, Bien Hoa Prov., S-4 NCOIC

Here is the key to the status codes for the Causes of Death or Missing in Action, and also a decoder for some of the common abbreviations:

SVN SF KIA Status Codes:

BNR – Body Not Recovered. (Known to be dead, but his body was left behind).
DOW – Died of Wounds. (At some time subsequent to the wounding, days/weeks/months).
DNH – Died Non-Hostile. (Accident, disease. There’s a couple suicides among them).
DWM – Died While Missing. (Usually implies body recovered at a different time during the war).
KIA – Killed In Action.
MIA – Missing In Action.
PFD – Presumptive Finding of Death. (This was an administrative close-out of all remaining MIAs during the Carter Administration).

Common Abbreviations

A-XXX (digits). SF A-team and its associated A-camp and area.
AATTV – Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. Their soldiers integrated with SF in VN.
BSM, SS, DSC, MOH: Awards (Bronze Star, Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, Medal of Honor).
CCC, CCN, CCS. Command and Control (Center, North and South). Covernames for the three command and support elements of the Special Operations Group cross-border war.
MGF – Mobile Guerrilla Force, indigenous personnel led directly by US.
MSFC – Mobile Strike Force Command, indigenous personnel led directly by US. Aka Mike Force.

We’ll cheerfully answer most other questions to the best of our ability in the comments. Note that (1) it’s Reg’s list, and we can’t ask him any more, and (2) it was Reg’s war, not ours, and all our information about SF in the Vietnam war is second hand from old leaders and teammates, or completely out of secondary sources.

One Gun’s Creation Story

These days, and for most of the last century, most of the guns we know and love are the creation of a team, even when they’re generally shaped by the eye and hand of one designer. And the designer usually works for somebody — the concept is often given to the designer by non-design, non-engineer business people or representatives of end users.

Recently, we came across the Creation Story of the relatively common (about 650,000 made) CZ-27 pistol. We have known for a long time that it was a simplified version of the Josef Nickl-designed CZ-22/24 (again, fingering one designer is a simplification: remember, teams). And we knew that the main designer responsible for the changes to the firearm was František Myška (FRON-ti-shek MISH-ka). We believed the gun to be created to be a simpler, blowback pistol in 7.65mm (.32 ACP) for police use.

The story is told various ways by various credible writers. Here’s Max Popenker’s world.guns.ru:

The CZ-27 pistol was developed in around 1926 by Czech arms designer Frantisek Myska in an attempt to produce simplified version of the CZ Vz.24 pistol, chambered for less powerful 7.65×17 SR Browning ammunition (also known as .32 ACP) and suited for police and security use. It was put into production in 1927, at arms factory in Praha.

Max is generally correct there. (The pistol was made in Strakonice, not Praga (Prague), but the prewar ones are marked Praha and wartime ones, in German, Prag; that’s where corporate HQ was, even though the production line was in Strakonice, even though that wasn’t ever marked on a CZ-27 until after the war! Like in the example above. That is our one quibble with Max’s description, that, and the understated production figures. OK, two quibbles).

But Czech gunwriter Jiří Fencl, in a new-ish book on Great Czechoslovak Gun Designers, broke it down with much greater precision. Here’s a rough, on-the-fly translation of the story of the creation of the CZ-27 — as told by the designer himself!

František Myška later remembered, “In the course of the manufacture of the pistol vz. 24, one of the then-directors of the company names Beneš came to me (he was known for often happily engaging with the designers) and requested: ‘Mr. Myška, you’re a gunsmith. Could our ‘twenty-four’ be converted to the 7.65 mm cartridge?'”

“I immediately took paper and pencil, and began to draw. In recognition and consideration of the low-powered cartridge, the locking mechanism was not needed, and instead the barrel fixed in place with a pin below. The barrel chambered for 7.65mm. That also led to a smaller grip (smaller magazine). And the Pistol vzor 27 came into the world,” he concluded his tale.

Very well done.  And the workshops were able to produce the Pistol CZ model 17 continuously from the year 1927 until the year 1950.

Less well-known are the variants of this pistol adapted for a sound suppressor, and a small-caliber training version for the .22 LR cartridge.

Indeed they are less well-known! We saw a silencer version (without its original silencer) cross the auction block last year, the only one in memory; and we’ve only even seen one .22 version.

Of the major variants, the most common are the German occupation guns, which are marked in the German language (naturally), and the least common the prewar pistol. The postwar pistol is also rare, but not so rare as the 1927-37 original. The postwar pistol seen here bears different markings from prewar guns; instead of CZ being “A.S.” (roughly, “incorporated”), it’s a “Narodní Podník” (“National Enterprise,” the Communist-era organization).

One collector’s website offers photos of some examples of this firearm from throughout its history: there are prewar and postwar Czechoslovak variants, and two different wartime German variants, all of which differ only in small details, finish, and especially markings. The example shown here is from our collection and is a postwar pistol, dated 1947 (by the “47” in front of the takedown catch above); it was replaced in 1950-51 by the vz. 50 pistol, which continued to be numbered in the same series.

Social Justice 1, Olympic Shooting Sports 0

Matthew Emmons has been hogging the medals. He and the other guys need to share more with the girls. (His wife is also an Olympic medalist — for another country!)

If you follow shooting sports, you know that  USA Shooting is powerfully competitive if not dominant in the international shooting sports, and brings home lots of medals. This is especially true at the Olympics. And you know that the gun-hating TV network — whichever one has overbid to bring viewers an increasingly politicized, commercialized, and dull quadrennial sports event — will do its level best to minimize or ignore these sports.

But now, the sports themselves are being reorganized from the top down — and not to enhance competition.

The official reason for reshuffling the sports is, and we are not making this up, because the International Olympic Committee’s “Agenda 2020” demands 100% equal participation of men and women.  It’s basically Title IX for a slower, weaker, duller, more political, Feminist Olympics. If the US Olympic Committee didn’t buy off on this, the IOC would threaten the US’s bid for the Olympics in LA. (Fine. Hold it in Lagos then, or Manila. Let them pay to feed 10,000 useless IOC bureaucrats: the ones who only eat lobster, so long as it has to be flown in by Learjet).

For reasons that should need no elaboration, but in this day of you-go-grrl infantrywomen being carried through training by the male peers, and resenting them for it, will have to be elaborated on in a future post, women and men do not compete directly against one another in almost all sports. This means male sports must go to make room, as they have done at colleges.

The three sports on the chopping block are men’s 50 meter rifle prone, men’s

The IOC is irretrievably opposed to men competing directly against women — in most sports, women would be rare on the podium, although several of the shooting sports might be exceptions — so male events are being eliminated to create female events, and individual events are being deprecated to create “mixed double” team events, turning everything into the yawnfest that is Tennis Mixed Doubles.

A Tee-Ball, Participation Trophy Olympics.

The US Olympic Committee’s honcho, Scott Blackmun, has put his thumb on the scale — against his own athletes, as a nod towards Social Justice. Chris Dolnack of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports:

Perhaps most alarming is that the USOC’s motivation seems to be securing the bid for Los Angeles as host of the 2024 games. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun has urged USA Shooting to not participate in the ISSF vote, citing that there are already enough votes to eliminate double trap and that USA Shooting’s participation in the vote could hurt the chances of Los Angeles being awarded the games.

Angelenos and Californians should be appealing to their gods — whatever santeria believes in, we suppose, because that’s about the only faith superstition left in Greater Aztlan — that they don’t get the Olympics. Every city that’s had one since Montreal is still paying for it, except for Sarajevo, which cleverly got out of the debt by destroying itself in civil war.

But it’s a great deal for Scott Blackmun, and all the other Olympicrats.

Anyway, for a critical take, read the above-linked story by Dolnack. (We’ll link it again). To read what the fully-SJW-converged International Shooting Sports Federation has to say about it, go here. We’ll just excerpt a bit of question-begging (emphasis theirs):

Gender equality is one of the key principles in Agenda 2020.  Gender equality means all Olympic sports must have 50-50 men’s and women’s events and participation quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Games.  There are concerns regarding the shooting events program because there were nine men’s events and only six women’s events in the 2016 Games.

And, of course, because Diversity is Our Vibrancy™, this will magically decant us all onto the bright sunlit uplands, as New Soviet Man Gender-Fluid Cog in Society!

The changes necessary to achieve gender equality in Olympic shooting have great potential to make shooting an even stronger Olympic sport.  Deciding the ISSF recommendations to the IOC is a past versus future decision….

We march forward in the Vanguard of the Proletariat, the winds of history at our back!

Gender equality is right and the ISSF fully supports this aim.

Translation: no discussion is wanted or will be heard. Shut up and follow.

The changes necessary to achieve gender equality will probably include the loss of three beloved events that represent the past and no longer fulfil [sic] the highest standards for dynamic, growing Olympic events.

If we were one of those East German guys who got gelded to participate in female sports back in the nineties, and was DQ’d for it, we’d be pretty bitter.

The strange thing is for this to be happening in shooting sports, where women have always been much more competitive with the men than in any of the more physical, less cerebral sports.

When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have A Fair Shake

OK, maybe it was a fair-to-good shake. But whatever it was, a Queens, New York mother shook her baby to death.

Ashley Diaz, 31… initially told investigators her 2-year-old daughter, Kevasia Edwards, injured herself in a seizure-induced fall inside her home on Beach 56th Place on Feb. 3, 2014. An autopsy told a much different, violent story.

The toddler had two broken ribs, a bruised liver, scars, bruises all over her body and trauma to her head, officials said. She also had scarring on her right foot, which indicated there was a prior burn, according to the medical report.

Mom of the year candidate!

“As evidence by the multiple bruises, abrasions, scarring and lacerations that covered her tiny body, the victim’s short-lived life was one of unthinkable suffering and abuse that ultimately ended in her death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “The defendant will now have a lengthy time in prison to reflect on her heinous crime.”

via Queens mother gets 17 years for shaking, beating baby to death – NY Daily News.

But for all DA Brown’s posturing, this creepy mom will get 17 years, minus all the little time-offs and discounts in the system, and she’ll be out in plenty of time to have and kill more defenseless babies.

If you need to shake a baby to death, here’s a doctor explaining how to do it:

And here’s 3D imaging of what goes on intracranially when a mom like Diaz or some other horrible adult gets a shake on:

If you had a dog who did this to her puppies, you’d put her down. Or at the very least, get her spayed. New York courts send her to sit  in the corner for a while. And they wonder why there’s a thriving criminal underclass.

Make Army Uniforms Great Again

Army Times did a survey on uniforms recently, and either did it in cooperation with, or at least discussed the results with, the Sergeant Major of the Army.  Traditionally, the SMA is a very influential voice on uniforms, although it’s always the Chief of Staff — top general — whose decision is final. Several messages came through loud and clear, and they’re quite interesting, especially to old fossils who mostly wore other uniforms than the ones the boys and girls are rocking in 2017. (We’ve got bottle green service station attendant fatigues and Okinawa-made tiger stripes hanging up in a closet, not to mention other uniform styles of the sixties through the nineties. Perhaps some day we’ll actually fit into those ancient uniforms, maybe for burial).

Our take on the survey results:

  • Wow, the troops really despise the black beret.
  • The blue Army Service Unifom which replaced the dressier Army Blue uniform and the standard green service uniform worn (in a couple of variations) since 1957 is not quite as loathed, but there is no love for it.
  • There’s heavy nostalgia for great-granddad’s service uniforms of World War II, especially the tan khakis and the officers’ “pinks and greens” (tan trou and shirt with an OD jacket).
  • There seems to be a big difference between what men and women want in terms of uniforms, and there’s a schism between what young women and career female sergeants major want.

The Black Beret

SMA  Dailey has made it pretty clear that the beret, which is now worn as little as possible (due, naturally, to everybody hating it) is not going away. Having to be the adult in the room, he asks the reasonable question: if we get rid of it, what next? The previous hats worn with the service uniform were both hated, too: the bus driver’s saucer hat, and the overseas cap, known to all in the service by a female-anatomically explicit pejorative. (Women had different hats, which they hated, too). But the troops are quite clear in wanting to return to the status quo ante of berets being worn only by SF, Rangers, and Airborne soldiers. (This survey result is the same whether you survey those guys that would keep the berets — although a significant minority of them would gladly toss them, too — and the guys that would lose them under a reversion to pre-Shinseki rules).

No one seems to discuss one reason that the specialist forces prize their berets: the berets bear considerable unit personalization. Paratroopers wear the flash of their brigade or even battalion; Rangers have a flash that is their own (and the Ranger training establishment a different one); every Special Forces Group has its own flash with its own significance. For example, after a period in which the red and gold of the Free Vietnam flag was banished, 5th Special Forces Group recently reclaimed those colors on its black flash. Initially, when the black beret was inflicted on the Army as a whole, and the Rangers given a tan beret as a consolation prize, there was some talk that regular Army units would be permitted to develop their own flashes to accommodate their own unit pride, but this was quickly crib-smothered on cost and uniformity grounds, and every soldier wears the same blue flash with white stars. (There is a small pin-on crest, the Distinctive Unit Insignia, that is worn with every beret, but it’s often of a large unit rather than a natural nexus of unit pride. For example, all SF soldiers in all groups wear the same SF crest over their unit’s distinctive flash).

If you’re going to make every soldier in the army wear the same hat, it should be a sharp-looking hat. This may mean different hats for men and women, which the men and women are cool with but the womyn and social justice warriors are not.

The field uniform hat, which basically is the old 1951 vintage field cap (and which the Rangers kept alive during the grim baseball-cap years), seems popular enough. It’s better than any of the WWII field hats, as long as there’s also a boonie hat for field use, too.

The Service Uniform and the WWII Tradition

The Army started down an unhappy path in 1957 when they began to phase out World War II era uniforms in favor of a new green uniform modeled in part on the open-collar version of the Wehrmacht uniform, and in part on the uniform issued to metropolitan bus drivers at the time. This Army Green uniform soldiered on for about 50 years (with some slight changes of hue and material) until its recent replacement, supplemented by a blue uniform for semiformal occasions, a variety of officers-only full formal rigs, and a service undress “class B” uniform that was a shortsleeved khaki nod to WWII until 1981 or so, and thereafter just the pants and shirt of the Class A greens.

Unkind commenters noted that the green uniform was picked in 1957 because it was better at hiding out of shape middle-aged generals’ and NCOs’ rotund physical condition, than the pinks and greens or Ike jackets of wartime. Kinder commenters noted that it was more like the suits won by businessmen; that was one of the official justifications for the change, at the time.

The green bus driver uniform was replaced by a similar sack suit, only in blue, so it’s more of a doorman suit, or perhaps a 1920s Officer-Paddy-McGillicuddy-of-the-NYPD suit. For daily service wear, it lost the soaring NCO stripes and other flourishes of the formal Army Blue uniform, which harkened back to the Civil War and Indian Wars.

Anybody who’s watched period documentaries or war movies set in the unpleasantness of 1941-45 has noted how much better looking those uniforms are that today’s formless, characterless bags. (Although it’s hard to untangle that from how much better looking the Hollywood stars playing soldiers are, than actual soldiers — except that we really were a stunningly handsome bunch in the 10th Special Forces Group, who could have been matinee idols if we hadn’t felt the call to service).

The old uniforms are approved both on tradition and on style grounds — on fit troops, they look great. We note the Marines cleverly played into this by still wearing their WWII vintage service uniform. And their troops are consistently the sharpest looking. Coincidence?

While some of the other changes are definitely not going to happen, we can definitely see SMA Dailey bringing in a recommendation for a return to WWII styles, perhaps pinks and greens (for all ranks this time) or Ike jackets (probably as an option). And for Pete’s sake, put patches and tabs back on the shoulders, and officers’ branch insignia in the collar area, of all uniforms. Rank in the center of the chest was created in order to have a place to pin rank on Gore-tex jackets without losing the waterproofing, but what started as an unwillingly-forced Least Bad Option has spread like ebola. You want your soldiers looking at each other’s face and head area for rank cues, not center of mass. And you want to know if the captain who corners you in the TOC is the battle captain (guy running things for the commander) or some inconsequential dweeb from MI or the Quartermaster Corps.

Women Trouble?

While male soldiers are all in favor of such changes, women are ambivalent. This is especially true of long-service NCOs, who are more likely than one-termers to be — how shall we put this delicately? — sexual minorities, and to enjoy dressing up just like men, in male or unisex clothing. (They’re the ones who go off duty in plaid flannel shirts and Herman Survivors. In August. At McDill). And during World War II, the relatively small percentage of women in the service generally hated their uniforms, which were designed in great haste, and which they considered crude and frumpy. The Marines and Navy have struggled to keep their women happy with their uniforms, and whoever’s going to tackle this problem for the Army had best get a lot of input, including from current soldiers and from people who lived through the controversies over in the sea services.

We don’t know what the perfect women’s uniform would look like, but it would have to:

  1. Please the women who wear it, unlike the frumpy WWII version;
  2. Clearly be the same service as the stuff the guys wear;
  3. Be of sufficiently practical style it can be worn every day by office workers and not put them at a disadvantage relative to women in other services and civilian co-workers.
  4. Be of sufficiently classic style so as not to look dated by 2022. Or 2077.
  5. Be clearly female in design; flatter the wide range of shapes that comprise our fit female soldiers. (Fat people looking fat in it is not a reason to reject a uniform. Sorry ’bout that, Chief. It’s a reason to reject the fat people. Trigglypuff, this means you).

How do you get to that end state? Why not hold a design competition, and invite the nation’s (or world’s) fashion designers to take a shot at it? Make a panel of judges, mostly women soldiers who will have to wear the things, mostly young women, but include some of the guys who will have to look at it for their whole career, a design professional or two, and a couple of reps from the veteran, purple heart and gold star family community. That’s the optimizing approach (and it gets the design community invested in their country. And you could get a highly rated reality show out of it).

If that’s too much work, start with the Marine women’s uniform, listen to Marine ladies’ objections and complaints, get a survey of the good-bad-and-ugly of WWII Army uniforms, and remodel them appropriately, in Army colors. That’s the satisficing approach (and you could execute it in six months. Find an ambitious woman officer who’s not afraid to look her best, and give her a free hand).

What to Do After The Change

So what do you do after you change uniforms, the gentlemen’s and the ladies’ alike, this time? The Army has, to the great mirth of our Marine peers, been through lots of hasty and ill-considered uniform changes. So don’t execute this one hastily or half-assed. And once it’s done, commit to it. Freeze it, in terms of design language, for fifty years. Sure, you’ll want to take advantage of material breakthroughs but don’t change the look for a half-century. By then, soldiers wearing these new uniforms will have added incredible new tales to Army lore, and brilliant new streamers to the Army colors.

By then, no one will want to change it. It will be the classic Army uniform.

For the Man who has Everything: RPG-7 Trainer

Ordnance.com offered this on GunBroker (it will either sell, expire or roll over to a new listing today). It’s a live RPG-7V trainer that shoots, not rocket-propelled grenades, but 7.62 x 39mm rounds. It’s regulated to shoot to the same point that the normal PG-7V grenade hits, with  tracer ammo, but it’s all-around a great procedures and marksmanship trainer for this ubiquitous AT weapon. (And anti-personnel weapon. And anti-helicopter weapon. And anti-anything-worth-shooting weapon. And we-Afghans-are-celebrating-a-wedding weapon. And… well, you get the point).

This one’s been modified a little to color within the lines of the National Firearms Act of 1934. First, it can’t load or fire a live PG-7V or other rocket-propelled grenade round, only the subcaliber device. Second, ATF interprets a subcaliber device as a “firearm,” not any specific kind of firearm… but installing it in an RPG-7V, even one that’s been modified so that it cannot fire live rounds, creates a “short barreled rifle.” (Hey, Congress writes the laws and the ATF has to work with them). This is not some experiment that they think will be approved by ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, but they have the FTB letter.

The shipping/handling case is also a creation of Ordnance.com. It’s an elegant set-up with laser-cut foam for the launcher, subcaliber round, ammo and accessories. The Russians and Soviet satellite forces used to ship these things in wooden crates, like everything else. Russia has plenty of lumber.

This RPG-762 kit contains the following items:

RPG-762 Rocket Launcher Training Kit

  1. Aluminum hard case, with wheels
  2. RPG-7 Rocket Launcher
  3. Optical Sight with soft case
  4. Bipod assembly
  5. Sling
  6. PG-7 7.62x39mm Subcaliber Firearm
  7. 7.62mm BoreSnake bore cleaner
  8. 15 rounds of 7.62x39mm Spotter/Tracer Ammunition
  9. 30 rounds of 7.62x39mm Tracer Ammunition
  10. Letter from the BATFE which states the launcher is not a destructive device

Overall, the kit is in museum quality condition. The Bulgarian RPG-7 rocket launcher started out as a demiled unit, and we painstakingly reactivated the fire control and have restored the launcher to like-new condition. External finish is not painted, but is a beautiful and very durable glossy powder-coated finish.

The launcher is only capable of firing the PG-7 subcaliber unit, and cannot fire live rockets. The unit was evaluated by the Firearms Technology Branch of the BATF, and it is not classified as a destructive device, but rather a trigger mechanism for the subcaliber firearm. A copy of the BATF’s determination letter will be included with the sale. The subcaliber firearm, which is chambered in 7.62x39mm, is classified as a “firearm only” by the BATF, so the subcal unit must be transferred/shipped to your FFL dealer. You will then go fill out a 4473 form and pick the subcal unit up……just as you would any other regular firearm. There is no special NFA paperwork involved in the purchase or transfer of this kit.

The subcal unit has been modified to work with the launcher, and is also approved by ATF. The subcal unit is not classified as a rifle or a pistol, but just as a “firearm”. The original barrel length was less than 16-inches, so it has been permanently lengthened, so ATF would not classify the subcal unit as a short-barreled rifle, when used in conjunction with the RPG-7 launcher.

The kit is extremely fun to set-up and shoot, and is a fantastic training aid to practice firing the real RPG-7. It is also a stunning display piece, and would be a beautiful display in your office, gun store, firing range, or man cave! The rifling in the subcal unit is over-broached, which makes the grooves extra deep. This was to allow additional blow-by of the propellant gases, and gives the 7.62mm projectile the same trajectory as the real PG-7 rocket propelled grenade that the RPG-7 fires.

You have to admit, that is a solution that is at once ingenious and simple — a Russian solution an American engineer would never think of!

The optics are in beautiful condition, and the optical sight has been sighted in with the subcal unit, and is surprisingly accurate. If you click on the video link below, you can view a YouTube video of us setting up the kit and firing it…..this video will do a better job of explaining how the kit works, than our written description here, so please take a look at the video and the photos. As mentioned previously, the subcal unit will need to be shipped to your FFL dealer. The hard case, along with all of the contents will be shipped directly to you, via UPS Ground insured.

Here’s the video, that they mention above, of this exact system in action :

Just the thing for the advanced Russian small arms collector. The launcher works with the enclosed subcaliber device / dummy round exclusively, and it can be aimed with the optic (ISTR the nomenclature is RPO-7?) or with the back-up iron sights. Yes, every RPG-7 since they were introduced some 55 years ago has BUIS… Ivan had BUIS before BUIS was cool. (The prismatic optic is extremely robust, for what it’s worth).

We’re yuuuuge RPG-7 fans here. It’s a simple weapon, but a reliable, dependable, accurate and powerful one that the US still doesn’t have a real counterpart for, a half century later. We half considered just buying this thing, rather than blogging it and letting one of you guys grab it. But we’ve decided to sleep on it. (And, funny thing: this post was a hasty fill-in because the long, technical post we worked on all day yesterday was not coming together in time. Yet, we like it better than the one we worked on much longer).

President’s Day Sale on Precision Guided Rifles

Received from Tracking Point, and we thought we’d pass it on to all of you. The biggest single objection people have had to a Tracking Point Precision Guided Firearm has been cost — and that’s not going away; it’s the price of being an early adopter of future technology in any milieu. (People are still amazed to hear what a Mac IIcx cost us in 1987). Still, the cost has come down to much closer to the cost of a premium AR and a premium scope at these discounted prices… price-wise, they don’t bear comparison to a bottom-tier AR at $500 or less, but then, they offer a completely different capability you can’t just pluck off any LGS shelf.

Presidents Day Pricing on .300BLK, 5.56 and 7.62… Limited Time Only!

Call to Order: 512.354.2114

M400 XHDR

  • .300 BlackOut
  • 400-Yard Lock Range
  • 2-14x Zoom
  • 10 MPH Target Velocity
  • * Combat Tan + $495
  • * 50% off Ext. Warranty
  • Learn More Now

M600 SR

  • 5.56MM NATO
  • 600-Yard Lock Range
  • 2-14x Zoom
  • 15 MPH Target Velocity
  • * Combat Tan + $495
  • * 50% off Ext. Warranty
  • Learn More Now

M800 DMR

    • 7.62MM NATO
    • 800-Yard Lock Range
    • 3-21x Zoom
    • 20 MPH Target Velocity
    • * Combat Tan + $495
    • * 50% off Ext. Warranty
    • Learn More Now

Remember! Limited time offer  – Call Today!<
Line busy or want a call back at a later date?   Click Here

That’s TrackingPoint’s pitch, and as we said, we’re passing it on.

Obviously we’re fans of the technology and the company, so you might ask, why don’t we own one of these things? What, are we hypocrites?

We don’t think so, we have reasons for not buying, yet. First, it is a lot of money for a firearm. Second, you have to have a reason to shoot it to justify spending that money. (It also works best with Tracking Point;s own ammo, which is, to put it mildly, premium priced). Third, you have to have a place to shoot it.

If we were javelina assassins working the ranches and fields of Texas we would be all over this offer like ugly on a Womyn’s Studies convention. But as it is, we have a selection of 100-yard ranges to shoot at, and hunting around here tends to be a close-in sport, with a long shot being 200 yards, and most shots with a firearm taking place at a range where archery would do the job. However, there is a 1000-yard range complex fighting its way through zoning less than two hours away, in the southwestern corner of NH.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Wrenches

The beat goes on, even in England where guns are outlawed. Wait, make that, the beat down goes on. It’s the home of beat music, after all. Cue the Beeb:

A man who bludgeoned a former bomb disposal expert to death in a row over a debt before dumping his body has been convicted of manslaughter.

Colin Gale, 40, from Worthing, West Sussex, denied murdering Mark Manning, saying he had acted in self-defence.

The court heard that Gale had hit Mr Manning, who bought and sold cars, with a wrench at his garage in Lancing during a row over money he owed him.

Does anybody else find this writer’s pronoun use hard to follow? Who owed whom the money?

Wait, they said “wrench”! Isn’t the term in, well, English, English, a “spanner”? (Here in the breakaway colonies, a “spanner” is a very particular kind of wrench). We’ll be waiting for the answer from the Old Country – we find the uncertainty wrenching.

We could have told the guy how far a self-defense claim would get him — all the way to HM Prisons.

He was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of manslaughter, having admitted preventing the lawful burial of Mr Manning’s body.

Stewart Robertson, 50, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial.

Mr Manning, 54, a father of two who used to work for a charity that helped clear mines in some of the world’s poorest countries, had been reported missing in April 2014 after failing to meet his son, as arranged.

Det Ch Insp Mike Ashcroft, who led the investigation into his disappearance, said after the verdicts that Gale had concocted a story about dropping his former friend at a railway station.

“He has put Mark’s family through a living nightmare,” he said. “He not only killed Mark but destroyed his family’s lives as a result.”

Gale, of Offington Lane, Worthing, was arrested on suspicion of murder in May 2015 and formally charged in January 2016.

Stewart Robertson was found guilty of helping dispose of the body

It was only after his associate, Robertson, was rearrested in May 2016 that police discovered where Mr Manning had been buried.

Robertson, of St Aubyns Road, Portslade, took police to the woodland site in Slaugham, West Sussex, where his remains were recovered.

Pronouns again. Yes, this one’s susceptible to being figured out, but it’s still careless.

He claimed he was protecting himself.

A very hard claim to sell, a year after you kill the guy and hide his body. Generally, people with nothing to hide stay on scene and meet the police. Coppers are sight hounds — you run, they’ll chase. Their heuristic is a runner is Sumdood with mischief afoot.

Gale and Robertson will be sentenced later this month.

So much for their perfect crime. Still, are Britons an indoor race? We ask, because there are not many woods left in Britain’s home counties, but a body in the vast American forests seems much more likely than its British cousin to be found by a passing hunter, hiker, or bird-watcher. The number of “perfect crimes” undone by half-assed body disposal is really staggering. (But then, the number of criminal masterminds who are not fictional characters on TV is vanishingly small).

Well, no passing hunters in West Sussex, right? That takes one mechanism of body discovery off the table.

The Long Journey of U-534

Of all the hundreds of U-boats that were built, very few survive. One is the U-534, sunken only to be raised, displayed, abandoned again, and finally being repurposed as a sliced-and-diced tourist attraction on the Mersey River in the northwest of England.

This approximately 20 minute promotional video tells U-534’s story, from its last mission, to its last desperate fight with two Liberator bombers, to its recovery from the bottom of the sea, it’s abandonment to the elements, and finally, to its survival in Liverpool. The boat sank into a fissure deep in the Kattegat, yet all but two of the crew lived — the five or six of them who didn’t get out in time still managed to escape, like a handful of the survivors of the American sub Wahoo, from a torpedo-room escape trunk. A young radio operator was among the escapees, but did not exhale to equalize pressure as he rose, and died horribly as a result.

The attacking Liberators didn’t fare as well — one did sink the U-boat with depth charges, but not until after the gunners on U-534 had shot the other bomber down with the loss of its entire crew.

There is a great deal of information about this ill-fated submarine on the net. For instance, this page is the first of several that show some of the materials recovered from the boat, including documents that were readily restored to legibility. Here’s a report of what it was like to visit the boat during its near-abandonment on a quay in nearby Birkenhead. U-595’s armament was interesting, with lots of rapid-firing AA guns and three new homing torpedoes.

U-595 is one of only four U-Boats to survive. The others include sister Type VIIC/40 U-505 at the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology, which was captured during the war; near-sister Type VIIC/41 U-995, taken by Norway postwar and later acquired by German veterans as a memorial, on the water’s edge at Laboe; and the advanced Type XXI U-2540, which was raised a dozen years post-war (it had been scuttled) and served the Bundesmarine as Wilhelm Bauer.  U-2540 has been restored to WWII condition as a museum ship, and is the only U-Boat still afloat.

There is one mystery remaining: why did U-534 fight? Despite the survival of most of the crew, this remains unclear. You see, the fight took place after Admiral Dönitz had surrendered to the Allies, and instructed all boats at see to fly white flags of surrender and to give themselves over to Allied forces. The captain committed suicide shortly after the end of the war. The most probable reason is prosaic: the boat hadn’t received Dönitz’s message.