Author Archives: Hognose

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Stormbringer

Stormbringer is the callsign of a former Special Forces NCO, who goes by the pseudonym Sean Linnane. (It’s a good choice of pseudonym; it suggests he’s of Irish ancestry, and you can’t throw a rock in a team house without hitting a couple such, so it doesn’t give much away). It’s also the name of his occasionally-updated, very high quality blog.

Linnane was a rough contemporary of ours, but stayed on active duty when we discovered the Reserve and Guard SF, and learned that it made far more sense as a hobby than it did as a living. Here’s what he says about himself:

Sean Linnane is the pseudonym of a retired Special Forces career NCO (1st SFG, 3d SFG, 10th SFG). I served with honor on five continents; I continue to serve in other capacities.

via Sean Linnane.

What we like about his blog is the same sort of reflective and even sentimental tales of SF lore and legend that we’ve been known to get up to ourselves. Linnane, of course, is intelligent and a clear writer — the first is mandatory, the second almost-so for an SF sergeant. (A few outstanding guys with abominable English skills have always been carried by the teams’ literati on grounds of their other contributions. In the very early days of SF, these non-English-speakers were often from SF areas of interest, like Hungary or the Sudetenland; today, they’re often from SF AOIs still, it’s just that the areas and languages are different. Plus, Hispanics have flocked to SF in throw-a-rock-you’ll-hit-one numbers, too).

His posts are interesting here, whether they’re on the curious history of Rolex POW watches (didn’t know there was a such thing before), or his own take on the warrior ethos:

Looking back, something drew me to it like a magnet, almost as if it was Fate. I was fortunate to make my way to America as an immigrant and to find my way into the greatest Army that ever marched across a battlefield. A series of good decisions and a lot of hard work got me into Special Forces where you don’t earn the Green Beret after graduation – you earn it every day, by deed and thought.

Now I’m no altruist – I’m not Mother Theresa and I’m no Boy Scout – and I know I was fortunate to fall into a profession that in many ways is a cause; I fight Evil. I got here almost by chance because growing up everybody I knew – to include my family – was against me joining the military. They made fun of my dreams and ambition to be a soldier, told me I was misguided and out of my mind.

It’s probably not for everybody, but then, neither is SF. Linnane, like many of us, was born just a little bit “off,” and when he finally “joined a minority group,” (an old SF recruiting slogan that is also a play on our fundamental theater-level organization, the Special Forces Group, about 1800 men that can overthrow a country in a month or less), he felt like he was finally at home.

We can relate.

Montana VA Flies the Rainbow Flag

Behold, what ascends the flagstaff of the Fort Harrison Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Helena, Montana these days (or at least back in June, GLBTQWERTY Pride Month):

060315 LGBT Flag at Fort Harrison PIC

Yep, that’s their flag: The United States of GLBTQWERTY.

Apparently it went up for the month of June, because June is National Buggery Month or something. According to a local veteran, the embattled Director of the center, Johnny Ginnity, denied any personal NAMBLA values and said, we are not making this up, that his Diversity Committee made him do it.

We blame the Gilberts (GLBT….etc).

That explains why the guys all say the care and the staff at the Fort Harrison, Montana, VAMC is so awful: they’ve been holding it back for the Bradley Mannings. If you didn’t fight under their flag, they got nothing for you, except maybe a complimentary proctoscoping.

We’re not making any of this up. Here’s some of the news stories about the crappy care, delays, and mistreatment that had then-VA Secretary, retired General Rick Shinseki, unable to offer anything but, we are not making this up, “my condolences,” to vets who had been neglected, sometimes fatally so — and their widows.

NBC News, 9 May 2014:

In 2012, the GAO studied patient care at VA hospitals in … Fort Harrison, Mont. The GAO determined that at those facilities “medical appointment wait times were unreliable” …”inadequate oversight … problems with scheduling timely medical appointments.” … poor training, inconsistent procedures, old software and employee turnover

Shorter NBC News: this place sucks. But hey, they fly the rainbow flag. That should be worth a few points to NBC.

Ravalli, MT, Republic, 8 Aug 14:

VA leaders… seeking a new director for the second time in less than two years.

After 16 months as director… Christine Gregory announced her retirement at the end of June. Her abrupt departure coincided with a federal investigation….

Within days of Gregory’s announcement, a national audit revealed that patients seeking care through the Fort Harrison Veterans Affairs Medical Center outside Helena are waiting an average of 48 days for their first appointment with a primary care doctor — more than three times longer than the department’s goal.

VA officials have repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether Gregory’s retirement was related to the federal investigation and she has refused to speak to the media.

Gregory was appointed director in February of 2013 to replace the long-embattled Robin Korogi, who was in August 2012 was reportedly reassigned to Denver after a protracted uproar about her inability to lead at the Helena-area hospital.

VA-veterans-affairsShorter Republic: this place sucks. Now, stop us if you’ve heard this before, but the new top dog,  Johnny Ginnity, was the #2 during the ill-fated Korogi and Gregory regimes. Since taking over, all he’s done is put up the rainbow flag, although he modestly disclaims credit even for that.

Ben Krause in Disabled Veterans.org, 31 July 14:

VA’s new audit provides the number of manipulative and lying employees broken down by facility. These liars and fraudsters forced pion employees to do their dirty work while the managers collected bonuses and related perks for having good numbers.

Here is a table of each facility and the percentage of employees at each one who were encouraged to lie and swindle veterans by manipulating their medical appointments. I ranked the facilities by their tendency to falsify appointment data.

The fourth column tells you the percentage of employees aware of the falsification scheme. The fifth column tells you the percentage of employees aware of the secret wait list scam. The sixth column tells you the percentage of employees properly using the electronic wait list program.

Ranking Medical Center Location Told to Falsify Appt Data Track Appts Outside System Proper Use of Wait List
4 VA Montana Health Care System Fort Harrison, Mont. 42.30% 20.60% 47.10%

Shorter DisabledVeterans.org: this place sucks. Note that it wasn’t #1 (the worst), it was only the fourth worst, but that was out of 141 VA health facilities.

KTVH-TV, 9 April 15

About 1 in 20 patients at the Fort Harrison VA hospital in Helena must wait a month or longer to receive care. That’s nearly twice the national rate.

…there appears to have been little progress since last summer at Fort Harrison….

Shorter KTVH: this place sucks.

AP via Military Times, 31 Mar 15

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs needs to do more to make sure Montana veterans get the health care they need in a timely fashion

Says who?

VA Secretary Robert McDonald

Oh, him.

Well, who’s he waiting for? He’s supposed to be the MMFIC. What’s he doing?

…efforts are underway to hire health care providers

So you’re still shorthanded? Any results? No sane man is impressed by a bureaucrat’s efforts, to the extent bureaucrats even known the meaning of the word.

…a cardiology nurse was recently hired … and several urologists…

Hey, some actual results. Minimal, but something. (Maybe the urologist is more than “minimal” if you’re a vet trying to get an answer to, “Why does it hurt when I pee?” . But it’s not exactly big results). Wanna bet he goes back to talking about efforts and processes now?

…they’re working to recruit and hire primary care doctors and those specializing in mental health….

We bet you’re glad you didn’t take that bet, eh? OK, so he is shorthanded. Bet they’re 100% staffed with managerial bloat, though! Any more words about efforts, divorced from results?

Montana is the 20th state McDonald has visited…

But as we’ve seen, it’s got the 4th most screwed-up VAMC. So why so long to get out there? Well, for one, he isn’t going to do anything but give a stump speech full of platitudes, so who cares when he gets there? For another, Montana is a long way from DC and only has a few electoral votes, so why does anyone in DC give a rip? For a third, by holding off he could tag along on a campaign swing by Senator Jon Tester, D-MT, and thereby catch an Air Force Gulfstream instead of flying commercial like the proles. (The Air Force can barely generate 7 sorties a day against ISIL, but it can fly 100 in support of campaign season. Priorities!)

McDonald said the Montana VA is working to contract with more psychiatrists, in addition to building capability for outpatient surgery services, providing more telemedicine services and developing a service….

All process, no results. So, shorter AP, although it requires reading between the lines: this place sucks.

But hey, if it’s going to suck it might as well fly the GLBTQWERTY flag!

 

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Boats

BURNS, THOMAS 15397 08-26-15 001Well, there was the boat, and the drinking. we probably shouldn’t understate the drinking.

Thomas J. Burns, 54, Grand Forks, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center after being interviewed by investigators, according to a report from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.

Burns allegedly had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when the boat he was operating at about 2:45 a.m. Aug. 9 struck a tree sticking out of the lake, according to an arrest warrant issued Tuesday.

April Stenger, 26, of Detroit Lakes, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Burns and three others were transported to the hospital with injuries, two of them critically.

According to the complaint, Burns was operating the boat at a high rate of speed, estimated up to 38 mph, just 20 feet from shore, when the crash occurred.

Burns allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.178 approximately three hours after the crash, according to a blood test taken at Mercy Hospital, the complaint said.

After the collision, Kyle Everson, 26, and Joel Kurtz Jr., 26, both of Devils Lake, and Danielle Brommenschenkel, 40, of Halstad, Minn., were all airlifted with injuries to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

Everson remained in critical condition while Kurtz was listed in serious condition Thursday afternoon, according to an Altru spokeswoman. Brommenschenkel had been released from the hospital earlier.

Burns was charged with manslaughter, a Class B felony; three counts of reckless endangerment, all class C felonies, and boating under the influence, a class B misdemeanor.

via UPDATE: Bond set for driver in fatal Devils Lake boat crash | Grand Forks Herald.

The Spetsnaz Ballistic Knife

From the WeaponsMan.com collection: ballistic knife.

From the WeaponsMan.com collection: ballistic knife.

Here’s an item from the Cobwebbed Arms Locker here at Hog Manor. Acquired during the weapon’s brief flowering of legality in the USA in 1984, it was sold as a “Spetsnaz ballistic knife.” Recent research has convinced us what we believed at the time was true, that this knife was a US-made knife intending to capitalize on the “ballistic knife” craze. In this post, we’ll tell you what we’ve learned about these knives, and our still-unsatisfied search to see if Soviet Spetsnaz ever did issue such a toad-stabber.

And yes, we’ll tell you how it works.

The “ballistic knife” hit the weapons world like a cannon shot in 1983 or 1984. In 1978, a series of books by a Soviet defector to Great Britain appeared in the West. The officer, Viktor Belyayev, was a GRU man who had served in the Soviet Army, then in Spetsnaz reconnaissance, then finally as a GRU officer under official cover in Switzerland. He used the pen name “Viktor Suvorov,” the name of a great Tsarist era general and legend of Russian arms whose name honors a series of Russian military academies (including the one the defector graduated from). We get the impression that modesty is not among his traits. In any event, people in the West (especially the US and UK) were always curious about the Soviet Union and its secret organs, and “Suvorov’s” books were very successful. They were well written and, we know now, told both deep truths and fanciful tall tales about the Soviet services.

We were absolutely sure that the first story of the Spetsnaz “ballistic knife” came from Suvorov’s Spetsnaz, but recently reread the book in e-format and even searched for instances of knife with no joy. So where did it come from? We still like him as the source, but wonder if it was a Soldier of Fortune article or something that spawned the Ballistic Knife craze.

Florida Knife Company ballistic 2

Knife identical to ours, from a GunBroker auction.

And craze it was. In a matter of a couple years, the usual foes of liberty in Washington, led by Five Families associate and later-disgraced corrupt senator Alphonse D’Amato (R-NY), had drummed up enough hysteria to push through a bizarrely written Federal ban. Their handmaidens in many state legislatures followed suit, and there is a spotty and uneven ban in effect that has stopped the interstate manufacture and sales of these knives, although “parts kits” are intermittently available. In some states, manufacture for personal use is also banned, and you have to be leery of “constructive possession” statutes and case law. The Federal statute has some exceptions, including for military personnel.

Why any military person would want such a knife is another question. We wanted it because it was a “Spetsnaz knife,” a story which seems to have proven a total fabrication.

(Due to the length of this post — over 2600 words — it continues after the jump, with The History, The Ballistic Knife in Use, Auction Action, and Misinformation and Information subheadings).

Continue reading

HK Goes for Testimonials, Like a Viagra Ad

HK LogoThis may not be helping as much as they think, but what else are they going to do? Assailed on several fronts over the G36 overheating problem, HK has struggled to get its message out against the jeers of the press and the barrage of complaints, both official and leaked, from the Ministry of Defense.

For a long time, the HK response had two themes, both fundamentally true: It met the Bundeswehr’s standard, and  neither the Bundeswehr nor anybody else ever tested for the level of sustained automatic fire German troops wound up using in combat in Afghanistan. The HK managers felt that their G36 rifle, unique in all the world, was being held to an impossible standard: to sustain fire like a purpose-built machine gun.

In time, as German troops rallied to their rifle’s defense, a third theme presented itself to HK managers, a theme they finally warmed to: The guys using the rifle love the thing. That ought to count for something, so embattled H&K has taken to posting testimonials — some of them anonymous, like an online Viagra ad — to the company and its publicly-embattled G36 on its website, in what amounts to a PR counteroffensive against its key customer, the Bundeswehr and the MOD.

The G36 has its fans, and HK wants everyone to know it.

The G36 has its fans, and HK wants everyone to know it.

You have to read or click an X to close the testimonials before you get to the actual website. Here are most of them (our translation):

Mr. S. writes:

“I’d like to tell you from my point of view, that your G36 and also the other products of your house are far above average in use and handling. To you and to the rest of the branches it’s clear that about the G36, we’re not talking about “lack of precision,” but rather of normal overheating and the dispersion that follows from that. Everyone with combat experience and good training knows the “idiosyncrasies” of his equipment. Stay on the ball, don’t let them beat you down. Wishing you every success and thanks for your patience. You’re doing a wild job!

Master Sergeant G., in action in Kunduz, writes:

As in every action in Afghanistan, we’re proud to use your rifles and pistols, firing devices and machine guns. They function, like always, trouble-free and are extraordinarily reliable.

The next three are not translated; they are presented on the H&K German site in English. Note that the two Britons are not anonymous. This makes us wonder that the anonymity may not be H&K’s attempt to sound like a low-budget advertisement, but an artifact of German privacy law.

Colonel M. from V. [Possibly the USA, which is abbreviated V.S. in German] writes:

“Your commitment to excellence in your products and interest in customer satisfaction is well known and much appreciated. We look forward to further productive collaboration!”

Col (Ret’d) Peter Warden ex-Team Leader, Light Weapons, Ministry of Defence:

“As a key supplier to UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for over 20 years, Heckler & Koch has provided a highly dependable and technically innovative service in support of the UK small arms and light weapons fleets during a period of continual commitment and conflict for UK Forces. In particular, the solutions provided for the significant upgrade our rifles are examples of their commitment to meet their customers’ needs and the technical brilliance of their solutions. There is no doubt that these two capabilities added greatly to the confidence of UK soldiers in many extreme environments. The H&K management team have operated with integrity and proved themselves agile in responding to changing circumstances, and the openness and transparency of their approach has assisted the MOD on many occasions in getting the right capability into the hands of the troops at exactly the right time.”

Note that it was HK that stepped up and fixed the L85 service rifle after several botched attempts at fixes by the British defense establishment. Having largely given up on guns as a nation, the islanders have come, over the decades, to really stink at designing and manufacturing them.

Stephen Clarke, Ex-D/Superintendent, Operational & Technical Support, Specialist Operations Branch, Police Service of Northern Ireland:

“Whilst serving with the Police Service of Northern Ireland I was tasked with procuring a weapons system that rectified issues of concern raised by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. After extensive research, evaluation and testing the HK G36 weapons system was selected as closest to meeting our requirements. The system was extremely safe, accurate, reliable, easy to use and ideal for law enforcement. Our team then engaged with Heckler & Koch to seek specific modifications to the trigger shot selection mechanism and to magazines. Heckler & Koch personnel took on-board our specific requirements and quickly produced the required items for test and evaluation. The HK G36 was fully re-evaluated and tested with the modifications, again meeting our requirement before full procurement. I found all management and staff within Heckler & Koch with whom I had contact very professional and focused on producing quality products to their customers’ requirements.”

And zzen, vee are back to ze Cherrrmans.

Mr. H. from I. writes:

“From my personal experience with the G36 I can’t understand what the problem is supposed to be! That a rifle subjected to continuous automatic fire no longer maintains its accuracy, should be known to everyone. I am highly satisfied with the G36 and my comrades are, too! My comrades and I remain loyal to you, because we know, that the G36 is a super weapon.”

Mr. H. writes:

“As a soldier, I’ve used equipment made by you for years. Whether it was in Kosovo or Affghanistan, your products have, even under heat and dust and after several hours in combat, done their job.”

We’ll skip several from US police officers… you can read them, in English, on the H&K website; no cop is likely to fire a G36 enough to experience the heat-related accuracy problems, unless he has the poor fortune to be a cop in a state full of militarized organized crime, like Jamaica or Mexico.

OStGefr1 F. from R. writes:
“Far from all the current news out of the media, we’re absolutely delighted with your products and will continue further recommending them at all times.”

OSG2 F. in combat in Afghanistan:

“At that time we found ourselves in [our] third Afghan action, always accompanied by weapons and optronics from you. This year we finally got the G28 as well as the G36 A3 and G36K A3. Even the new observation devices are the hammer3! With this, I thank you for the [whole] company for easing our labors with these.”

Mr. B. from M. writes:

“I myself am a soldier and am proud and thankful to be allowed to use your weapons. They are accurate and effective. I hope you continue to do such good work.”

Mr. H. writes:

“I have followed with growing irritation the negative press reports about the G36 and Heckler & Koch. During my service in the Bundeswehr I carried the G36 weapons system and P8 [pistol] myself, and now as a Police Corrections Official the P30. I have been thakful many times that you have prepared and manufactured such qualitatively high-value systems for my “Brothers and sisters on the street,” our comrades overseas, and me. Many thanks!”

The testimonials are probably true messages HK is receiving from BW Landsers, because the troops are generally pleased with the G36, which is a quantum leap of accuracy, reliability and especially ergonomics over the elderly G3, which has its roots in the experimental World War II StG 45 and served the Bundeswehr for some 40 years from the 1950s on.

Our friends at The Firearms Blog, who are following this whole affair as closely as we are, are also trying to read the tea leaves beer coasters (we’re talking about Germany, after all) and determine what the German Ministry of Defense is going to do about their problem. In our opinion, their options are:

  1. To attempt to modify the G36 to increase its resistance to dispersion caused ambient and operational overtemps;
  2. To decide to live with the G36 as is and train the troops to avoid high rates of fire;
  3. To purchase a COTS rifle to replace the G36, which would probably give inside track to the HK416;
  4. To seek an interim rifle (perhaps in only small quantities for deployments and peacekeeping forces) whilst trying to develop and deploy a repair for the G36.

We have listed the the four approaches in the order we think they are likely to appeal to the German government.

Notes

  1. An abbreviation for OberStabsGefreiter, most nearly “Senior staff lance corporal” but best understood as the highest non-NCO rank in the Bundeswehr. (Versions of the rank “Gefreiter” have been used in many European armies for 500 years).
  2. Another abbreviation for the same rank.
  3. A German idiom, equivalent to a US soldier or Marine saying some piece of equipment was “the heat,” or “the cat’s ass,” a 1990s American saying “that’s the bomb!” or a 1940s American saying, “that’s a lulu!”

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Hammers. Again!

dessagne desta mugDidn’t we just have a hammer homicide yesterday? Why, yes, we did. But let it never be said that the American criminal class has an unnatural fear of repetition: here’s another! Although to be sure, yesterday we had one murder carried out by at least two dudes, today we have two murders attempted (without complete success) by one dude. Squinty Dude here on the right has tried just about every strategy that has any hope of getting him to walk, his attorney having deployed just about everything except the Bitch Had It Coming® defense, including the ever-popular Despite My Client’s Efforts, The Victims Lived, So What’s The Big Deal?™ defense.

We’re not sure whether the greater moral leper is the creep swinging the hammer, or the creep trying to swing the judge into letting Hammer Boy walk. We leave that decision as an exercise for the reader.

Dessalegne F. Desta, 61, entered not guilty pleas in Nobles County District Court during his arraignment Monday afternoon. Desta is charged with five felonies, including two counts of first-degree attempted murder and three counts of first-degree assault causing great bodily harm, following an alleged attack on his wife and daughter in May.
According to court documents, Desta is accused of attacking both his wife and underage daughter with a hammer, striking both women in the head. Desta admitted to authorities he had struck both women. Desta allegedly attacked his wife following an argument over her decision to travel to Ethiopia without telling him.

Desta told officers he was upset with her because he thought she was having an extramarital affair although he had no evidence to support his assertion. Likewise, he told officers he attacked his daughter because she was defending her mother.

The daughter received multiple skull fractures and suffered a seizure, which resulted in loss of motor function in part of her body. Desta’s wife was also treated for a skull fracture.

At Monday’s hearing, the Nobles County Attorney’s office requested an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines due to the severe nature of the case. Desta’s counsel argued that a departure from guidelines would be inappropriate. The defense noted that in order to warrant an upward departure, it would need to be proven that the case is more serious than a typical assault case, stating, “Any assault by nature inflicts pain.”

So, like the man said, “What’s the big deal?”

It was also stated that Desta is remorseful for his actions.

In case you’re all out of Ethiopian translators today, we’re pretty sure that means, “He’s sorry he got caught.” Hey, no man is so sorry that a judge can’t make him sorrier.

via Man pleads not guilty to allegedly striking wife, daughter on their heads with a hammer | Grand Forks Herald.

That’ll BUFF Right Out!

The Air Force brings the FOOM with conventional precision delivery of dumb bombs on a tight island bombing range, from a 53 year old B-52 (B-52s still flying date to 1962).

This is what a smart plane can do with dumb bombs these days. It isn’t the (mythical) pickle barrel from 30,000 feet claimed by WWII bombers, but it’s accurate enough to drop dumb bombs danger close to US forces. (They don’t actually do that, but they can, and some day a JTAC will ask for it, and they will. And there will be DFCs for the crew if they hit in combat like this crew did in training).

Look at how loose-fitting the bomb bay doors are (and, for that matter, the bombs, which are dancing around the vibrating jet like Dervishes). Things like that really show you that this technology is half a century old.

Not enough FOOM for your room? Here’s a whole mission flown by the 96th Bomb Squadron from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana: preflight, takeoff, gas up at the tanker (provided by the Utah Air National Guard; you see both the B52 cockpit and KC-135 boomer views, plus a side view of another BUFF hitting the tanker), deliver 3 sticks of 9 dumb bombs to a range (which is, unfortunately, not shown), and then come back to land. Despite the copyright claim at the end, this appears to be 100% official USAF footage.

The old technology this video shows isn’t just the aluminum and aerodynamics of the B-52 itself, but also the primitive monochrome video screens and awkward interfaces of the defensive and offensive weapons operator stations. That awkwardness led to a B-52 dropping a JDAM on an SF element (parts of an ODA and ODB) in December, 2001; and that led to new and improved procedures.

The next time a B-52 dropped JDAMs for an SF team, in 2002, the first JDAM went wild and missed its target. The subsequent bombs were on target and allowed the team to break contact with warlord troops who were engaging the team.

G36 Replacement: Not so Schnell, Sparky

The Firearm Blog is reporting that Germany has moved to purchase a limited quantity of HK417s and machine guns to replace 1200 G36s for troops rotating into combat zones, in light of the G36’s problematic performance when hot (either through firing or in ambient conditions of high heat). They provide what appears to be a machine translation of a German newspaper article. A number of people with weak reading comprehension have posted on places like HKPro that “Germany adoped the 417 to replace the G36.” Not so schnell, Sparky; what Germany did (and what TFB seems to have reported) is buy a small quantity of 417s (and a similar quantity of 5.56 light machine guns) to give its deployed troops some improved small arms capabilities. That’s all.

The 416 and 417 are already in service with the KSK special operations element, and the 417 has been tested as the G27; a variant based on the as-similar-as-it-can-be-under-German-laws US civilian HK MR762 is more generally issued as the G28, as a designated marksman’s rifle. That article doesn’t mention that half of the small buy (1200 weapons total) are for the 5.56mm MG4 light machine gun, already accepted by the Bund also.

We decided to check the German news magazines. Der Spiegel was a case of “Im Westen nichts neues1,”, as a search revealed that the last report they had on the G3 was on Lithuania throwing it over in early July.

Competitor Stern was all over this story, but all of its stories are variations on the same thing (we translate the most detailed below). And the official spin is not that the 417 (which is the 7.62 NATO version of the 416, really nothing magic — just a decent piston AR) is replacing the G36 but that it’s supplementing them to provide “optimization of the weapons mix.” Indeed, the 417s that are being acquired are 600 examples of the already-enroute-to-acceptance G27P designated marksman rifle; in addition, 600 MG4 light machine guns are on order from H&K.

27 August 2015: Bundeswehr Chooses Other Rifles After G36 Failures.

(Our translation follows) (Link to original German-language story).

After the failure of the G6 assault rifle, the Bundeswehr sent 1200 rifles of another type into action overseas. The G36 is back in the headlines again.

After all the trouble over the assault rifle G36 the Bundeswehr is sending 1200 rifles of other types into operations overseas. This comprises 600 each rifles of types G 27P and MG4, said a spokesman for the Defense Ministry to the news agency AFP.

The HK MG4 closely resembles the FN Minimi and its derivatives, but has some novel features, like downward ejection.

The HK MG4 closely resembles the FN Minimi and its derivatives, but has some novel features, like downward ejection.

The spokesman made these comments in a report in the Süddeutschen Zeitung. He said it was not about a replacement for the G36, rather much more an “optimization of the weapons mix.”

The Bundeswehr has approximately 170,000 examples of the G 36. After years of criticism and assorted,sometimes contradictory, reports, Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (of the CDU party) revealed at the end of March (2015) massive problems with the accuracy of the G36 in high ambient temperatures or with many shots fired rapidly.

G36 and G36K, the rifle in the eye of the media storm.

G36 and G36K, the rifle in the eye of the media storm.

The manufacturer, Heckler & Koch, disputes the deficiency. And, despite the dispute over the G36, the firm got the nod for the additional rifles for deployed forces. According to a press release from the Ministry, the purchase decision was made by State Secretary for Armament Katrin Suder.

The G27P and MG4 are already used in the Bundeswehr. According to a Ministry statement, the G27P is still still awaiting some precision tests, but it’s expected that the rifle will be able to be deployed by the second half of 2016.

The Ministry also has ordered 600 machine guns of type MG4. Acquisition of all these small arms should cost about €18 million. They’ll be paid for in “a regular annual financial authorization.”

Our conclusion: if the Bundeswehr was replacing the G36, they’d be buying a ton of weapons. Instead they bought 600 DMRs and 600 light machine guns — we think they’re doing just what they said, giving their guys some improved support weapons, since they’re over there mixing it up in Afghanistan.

In addition, more LMGs on hand mean less temptation to blaze away full-auto with service rifles. If they begin to overheat an MG4 barrel, it takes only a second to pop in a spare.

This doesn’t mean that the HK416 and 417 aren’t potential choices for the Bundeswehr; but so is some kind of rebuild to make the G36 more effective in internally or externally overheated conditions. All three of these are plausible, possible, defensible choices for the MOD. We’d bet a large quantity of the Deutschmarks that the Germans regret ever giving up, that replacing the G36 with the 417 alone is not going to happen. 416, maybe. (If they were giving up on 5.56 they wouldn’t be buying new light MGs in that caliber, nicht wahr?)

HK MR762

HK MR762, kissing cousin to the G27P rifles mentioned in the story.

In addition to the recent “replacement” kerfuffle, the G36 also appeared in a small way in a parliamentarians-hit-the-press squabble about armament exports. All German parties pay lip service to reducing armament exports for the same sort of emotional, rhetorical reasons that are often used for domestic gun control; but despite that, the Euro value of German arms exports has gone up, thanks to sales of refueling tanker aircraft to Great Britain and sales of components that went into French transport vehicles for Saudi Arabia. Challenged by the far-left opposition parties, the Greens and the Left (the former East German Communists, who dream of a return to the Stasi state and Russian slavery), the Socialist Party minister with the defense-export portfolio indignantly replied that, hey, they were serious about export controls too, they refused to sell the Saudis “tanks, G36s or other small arms!”

Sounds like the Saudis dodged a bullet, or rather, some dozens of them all traveling in random directions from G36s in the broiling desert. The Saudis are some very cagey desert Bedouins, however, and they try to spread their weapons purchases around the Free World so that they don’t get caught out by a single-nation embargo at some future date — not that they predict that might happen, but they like to manage their risks.

Meanwhile, embattled H&K has taken to posting anonymous testimonials to the G36 on its website, in a PR counteroffensive against its key customer, the Bundeswehr and the MOD. For example. We’ll follow up with a translation of some of these in the next day or so.

Bottom line, then: The Bundeswehr has bought a few HK designated-marksman rifles and MGs for delivery next year, for overseas-deployed forces. This does not telegraph anything about a general replacement of the G36 — yet.

Update

Nathaniel F at the Firearm Blog has an update linking back to this post. We note that he always goes the extra mile to put out good information! The initial article he had was confusing even in German, and did give the impression that this supplemental buy was the replacement for the G36. We’d comment over there, but TFB requires Discus or Facebook, etc., and those are verboten to us for work reasons. So it may sometimes look like we and they are yelling across the Internet at each other, when we’re actually on the same sheet of music (even if not always on the same measure).

Update II

We note that in the translated text both the 600 DMR rifles (G27P) and the 600 light MGs (MG4) are lumped together as “rifles.” That is because in German, they are both called rifles (as strange as that sounds), because both are a type of Gewehr, therefore the word Gewehr can mean both rifles and machine guns. Because German customarily forms neologisms by compounding, MGs have always been called Maschinengewehre (literally “machine rifles.”) This also serves to distinguish them from submachine guns, which auf Deutsch are “machine pistols.” Even though the term “machine rifle” long preceded the invention of the SMG, the two terms have a solid Teutonic logic, as the MG fires rifle rounds and the SMG pistol cartridges. We could have cleaned up the English by using a more generic term like “arms” or “small arms” but (1) that would have diverged more than we usually like from the original, and (2) this isn’t the kind of translation we take money for, it’s the kind we do in five minutes, dictating into the computer (usually with a few autodictation howlers).

Notes

  1. “In the West nothing new,” a German war-diary equivalent of the American “NSTR” (Nothing Significant to Report”), was the German title of Erich Marie Remarque’s World War I novel which is known in English as All Quiet on the Western Front. 

Gun Free Zones Arming MO Murderers

gun-free-sitting-duckThe AP missed the lede of a recent story: one of the biggest contributors to an explosion of homicides in Missouri is, indirectly, the state’s network of Victim Disarmament Zones, often misleadingly called Gun-Free Zones (the Zones are only “free” of legally carried gunsl; they don’t alter criminal behavior). Missouri’s robust criminal networks, formal and informal, have put the word out that the parking lot outside a school, court, stadium or other VDZ is an excellent place to go trolling for guns.

Auto burglary, even if a gun is stolen, is not taken seriously by the courts there, or almost anywhere else. Likewise, Felon in Possession charges are unlikely to be brought except against the Great White Defendant; violent felons usually get a bye on this charge from their enablers, prosecutors. The Associated Press’s Jim Salter (link is to US News version, which is illustrated with a picture of — guns in a legal gun shop, which are not the subject of the story):

More than 170,000 Missouri residents hold concealed-carry permits and many bring guns when they venture to high-crime areas like St. Louis. Numerous city-dwellers, too, own firearms. But once they arrive at their destination, they often have to leave their guns behind.

“When they go to a baseball game or an event at the convention center … they can’t take their weapons in with them and they leave them in cars,” Dotson said. “Criminals know there are guns in cars and they break into cars.”

More guns are around overall. Both sales and applications for concealed-carry permits have spiked in the St. Louis region in the past year, after unrest that followed the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown led to safety concerns. Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by a white officer last summer, leading to protests, some looting, fires and violence.

gun-free-zone-001

This is the usually dishonest Jim Salter from Associated Press, so he doesn’t mention that Brown, while unarmed, attacked the officer, nor that the riots (not “protests, some looting”) were fed by dishonest reporting and fabrications from reporters, like, for instance, the AP’s Jim Salter.

When a grand jury declined to indict the officer in November, violence sparked again.

Fed once again by false media reports by Jim Salter, who even today a year after the incident keeps preserving The Narrative™ of innocent “unarmed black man” murdered by a white (therefore, in AP world, evil, unless you’re one of AP’s almost all-white staff, like the fishbelly-white Jim Salter).

Experts say that, inevitably, with more guns come more gun thefts. Remy Cross, a professor at Webster University in suburban St. Louis, said those who steal guns often sell them to other criminals.

“It’s easy to move them,” he said. “If you have a gun and don’t intend to use it yourself, because of the loopholes in laws around gun shows and resale, it’s relatively easy to get these guns into criminals’ hands.”

“Experts say” = “This reporter’s opinon is…” most of the time, but this time he has found an expert to agree with him. So Prof. Cross thinks St. Louis urban skells that steal guns take them to a gun show to sell them to their own social circle of urban skells? There are some ideas so retarded that an innocent retarded person couldn’t possibly form them: you need the advanced retardation that comes with a PhD.

Police say stolen and illegal guns are at the root of violence across the country.

Which leads us to another inference that Salter, in his adhesion to The Narrative™, will never make: restriction on legitimate owners can’t have a meaningful impact on criminal use, because the only intersection of the two groups is when the second (crims) victimize or try to victimize the first (legitimate, peaceable owners).

In San Francisco, the gun used to kill Kathryn Steinle, who was fatally shot in July as she walked with her father along a scenic pier, was stolen.

Salter here uses the passive voice, which the AP Stylebook these days apparently suggests that reporters use when lying about events. He makes “the gun” the subject of that sentence. And he never mentions the rather key data point that the unsecured gun was stolen from a Federal agent, who remains to this day lawyered up, uncooperative with the investigation, and who has gone (and will go) completely unpunished. But yeah, the gun did it. Preach it, Jim.

Chicago has already seized nearly 4,700 guns – nearly all of them stolen – this year.

That is, nearly none of them bought legally. At a gun show or otherwise.

chicago-gun-free-zone

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that’s seven times more guns seized than New York City, and three times the number in Los Angeles.

“They’re the engine of violence in Chicago,” Guglielmi said. “These are guns that are on the streets used to fuel the violence in Chicago.”

We submit that leniently-handled Chicago career criminals are the engine of violence in Chicago. Maybe the guns are the transmission, but they would commit no crimes, absent a criminal’s intent. (Even Bubba the Gunsmite knows how to apply Loc-tite to the loose nut behind the trigger. When will Chicongo learn?)

In Jacksonville, Florida, gun thefts from cars are so common that police have launched a social media campaign to persuade people to keep their weapons at home.

Yeah, ’cause criminals never steal guns in residential burglaries — which is what they would do if this idjit campaign was 100% successful and everybody left their guns at home. What, do they assume criminals do not react to incentives unlike every other known life form?

“It’s a big issue,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said. “Criminals are just going car-hopping, looking for unlocked doors and people who are leaving their guns in their cars.”

There is no updated national data on gun thefts, but a U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that 1.4 million firearms were stolen across the country from 2005 through 2010. It also found that the vast majority – at least 80 percent – were never recovered.

This is a case where an ATF master list of stolen guns could be a national benefit, but it would only work if ATF were a trusted broker; instead, ATF leadership is content to have their bureau be known as a politically partisan and untrustworthy (even to its own most courageous agents!) organization.

Suspects who authorities say were wielding stolen guns were shot by St. Louis-area police in two recent high-profile cases, worsening racial tensions that have simmered since Brown’s death. Both of the 18-year-olds shot this month by police also were black.

And, of course, the media has been all over the cops shot blacks version of the narrative, and has soft-pedaled the a couple black career criminals pointed or fired stolen guns at cops version, which is at least equally true (and a hell of a lot more complete).

During a protest in Ferguson on Aug. 9 marking the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death, Tyrone Harris Jr. shot at undercover officers using a semi-automatic 9 mm gun that was stolen last year from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, police said. Officers fired back, striking Harris several times. He was critically wounded.

Last week in north St. Louis, Mansur Ball-Bey ran out of a home during a raid and was fatally shot after pointing a gun at officers, Dotson said, though the attorney for Ball-Bey’s family claims that he was unarmed. Investigations by an internal police unit and the city’s Circuit Attorney’s office continue. Dotson said Ball-Bey’s handgun had been stolen in Rolla, Missouri, about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.

via Guns stolen from vehicles increasingly used in violent crime.

Gee, who are we gonna believe, the cops holding the dead skell’s stolen gun, or the ambulance chaser hired by the family to get some money out of their expired former member’s kamikaze assault?

And on a final tactical note, does the predictable snuffing out of these sub-geniuses have a knock-on effect of raising criminal mean IQ? We mean, most people are aware banzai charges didn’t even work for the Japanese, and they executed them with considerable numbers and unmatched verve. Guys like Tyrone Harris Jr. and Mansur Ball-Bey must have been the other kind of retarded from PhD retarded.