Author Archives: Hognose

About Hognose

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

Why are Rock Island Auction Catalogs so Expensive?

It’s a lot of money for an auction catalog: one costs $60 in the USA and $75 overseas, and it’s $165 or $210 respectively for a subscription for three Premiere Auctions (which also gets the Regional Auction catalogs, containing pieces without such nosebleed prices as the one-of-a-kinds that fill the Premiere auctions). What chump would pay those prices, and why?

We do, and we’ll tell you. First, there’s getting a package that weighs something like 8 pounds, and that makes you take out your letter opener.

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Then, there’s what you see when you pop the lid.

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This catalog, for the Premiere Auction taking place from 09-11 September 2016, is actually three glossy, beautifully printed volumes. They are spiral bound to lie flat, and inside there are hundreds and hundreds of heirloom  and investment-quality guns. The photographs are made with a technician’s craft and an artist’s eye, and the page layout rivals the best work in coffee-table books. And it’s an auction catalog, for crying out loud!

The catalog cover above is a row of historic early semi-auto prototypes, of which any one could b the centerpiece of a million-dollar collection. They have enough of these that reading the catalog is an education in early semi-auto blind alleys and also rans.

Rare Walthers? This is one of two AP prototypes, more or less identical and consecutively marked, that are being offered individually and as a pair. Each is likely to

bring a six-figure sum.

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There are more rare and historic Colts and Winchesters than you can shake a peace pipe at:rock_island_catalog04

And Lugers. See what we mean about the photography and layout?

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Here’s a Luger to conjure with — marked with The Man’s own monogram, (GL), it’s an experimental designed to work with heavier loads. The toggle is “reversed,” with the finger-grip cocking pieces normally attached to the rear link of the toggle attached to the front one instead.

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Rock Island’s interest in getting the greatest possible amount for these firearms means they go all out to photograph them well and document their unique features and provenance.

There are a few lots in this auction that ran our Czech firearms gong. Along with a couple of ZH29s, an interwar semi rifle designed by the great Vaclav Holek and built in very small quantities for tests (including in England and  the USA), there were some great Czech and Bohemian pistols.

We’ve featured this very Bittner repeating pistol, built by the ethnic-German gunsmith Gustav Bittner in Weipert (Vejprty), Bohemia Province of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the late 19th Century. At the time (if we recall rightly) it was offered for sale by Horst Held. This strange early pistol fit into the same sort of niche as the Volcanic pistol, in the interstices between single-shot and semi-automatic pistols. The trigger ring worked like a lever-action’s lever to reload from a Mannlicher-style en bloc clip. These pistols in any condition are rare; this is the nicest one we’ve seen.

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Several Weipert gunsmiths worked on similar ideas. This next is a lesser-know Czechoslovak-related pistol:

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In the period between the wars, the Czechoslovak Republic required a difficult-to-get permit for small pistols, defined by barrel length. This produced a quantity of domestic and imported guns with longer barrels. Most of the interwar long-barreled pistols, whether of Czechoslovak, German, Austrian, Spanish or other manufacture, tend to sport Czech proof marks.  There’s no mention of whether this Walther Model 1 has the Czech proofs, but we’d bet the guys at Rock Island a beer that it does.

Of course, not all good stuff is Czech! There’s also a good offering of Class III firearms.

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Clockwise from upper left: Japanese aircraft MG; MP-40; German MG tripod; Madsen LMG with tripod and on bipod. There are actually a couple of MP-40s, including a DLO tube gun.

Yes, the catalog will make you lust after guns you can’t afford. C’est la guerre, Legionnaire! But as a wish book and reference it stands alone.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 33

This week’s Tour d’Horizon is where we dispose of a week’s worth of open tabs, or try to. It’s gun-light this week.

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Kalashnikov to Open Shop… in Moscow Airport

The shop at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport will offer Kalashnikov-branded souvenirs and chachkas… and even fake AKs.

The Russian gunmaking company announced Friday that it will soon open a souvenir shop at Sheremetyevo International Airport, where T-shirts, pens, umbrellas, and, yes, fake AK-47s will be available for purchase. There will also be “I Love AK” T-shirts for sale, because, hey, why not? Some 31 million people passed through the major airport last year.

In Russia, airport secures you.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. (Nothing this week, or this post’d be even later).

Sometimes the Right Thing is Not to Shoot

This guy, who is not named in Jennifer Cruz’s write-up at Guns.com, used his superior judgment so as not to have to make a vulgar display of his superior skills.

The argument restarted and Langley pulled out a revolver and opened fire on the ex-boyfriend. The ex, who was also carrying a gun, chose not to fire back at Langley for one simple reason – his child was in the car driven by Langley and Martin.

Instead of grabbing his gun, the ex-boyfriend grabbed his phone and dialed 911. As he was dialing, Langley fired off his last round from his revolver, then fled on foot, ditching his gun somewhere along the way.

Guess which of them had a license? Yep, the guy who didn’t start nothing, and who didn’t fire when he couldn’t be sure it was safe. The cops noticed:

“It does appear that he used a lot of good, common sense and wisdom by choosing not to fire,” said Evansville Police Captain Andy Chandler. “Even after the shots were fired and the suspect took off running, the [victim] that had a legal carry permit once again chose not to fire at the suspect because he felt like he was no longer in danger because the suspect was running from the scene.”

Evansville, huh. What’s up with Indiana these days? Is it aiming for a reputation as the version of Florida, for those who can’t live without lousy lake effect weather?

And Sometimes the Right Thing is To Shoot

When he ran out of other options, Robert Padgett shot the man attacking him, Gary Durham — and then tried to save him.

Padgett apparently warned Durham to back off. Durham, however, failed to heed the warning and as the argument escalated further, at some point, Padgett pulled a gun and shot Durham.

When police arrived on the scene, Padgett was administering CPR to Durham as he waited for first responders, but efforts to save him failed and Durham died.

It was only after Durham was pronounced dead that Padgett learned about Durham’s history of violent crime, including  the shocking fact that he beat a man to death in a similar road-rage incident in 2001, and had only just gotten out of the Florida prison system after doing 11 years for manslaughter.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

The Cop was a Crim, DEA & Secret Service Edition

handcuffs_1DEA guys are always coming up dirty — it’s a dirty business they’re in, and if an agent is morally weak, well, some of the folks they deal with are skilled at exploiting that. But this case is interesting, as a DEA Agent and a Secret Service Agent working on the same task force both appear to have been stealing from the target of the investigation, unknown to one another. Ars Technica has a fascinating and deep report on the crime and the investigation.

The Cop was Cleaned Out by the Crim

joseph-twifford-suttonPolice chief Kelly McMillin of the agricultural and recreational pharmaceutical city of Salinas, CA, locked his AR-15 with a “gun lock” in his unmarked g-ride. This ordinary looking cat, one Joseph Twiford Sutton, made off with the AR, gun lock and all. He also scored ammunition, and the cop chief’s protective vest.

Sutton was a no-go at the evasion and escape phase of the exercise, you might say. He will now spend the next few years experiencing a milder version of the Resistance Training Lab.

All in all, the hunt for McMillin’s missing AR yielded not only that AR but 19 further firearms, including one other Salinas PD firearm.

She Thought Her Sister Was Gonna Throw Her Out, So She…

…you know this is going to be good. First, Jennifer Lampe loaded up on multiple kinds of Judgment Juice™: whisky, amaretto, beer. Then, she got the munchies — enough to eat the heads of her sister’s two pet snakes, a boa constrictor and a “bull python” (sic).

“When her sister saw the defendant in her bedroom she had a boa constrictor under her top and was covered in blood.”

“About three-quarters of the snake could be seen. The defendant was hysterical.”

The defendant’s sister called the police, and officers found her with the headless – albeit still-moving – body of a boa constrictor around her neck.

Lampe had “vomited up” the heads and placed both in her trouser pockets as she “wanted to keep them”.

The snakes experienced “prolonged and painful” suffering, said Mr Price, adding that reptiles’ heads “can remain operable up to an hour after decapitation.”

OK, here, he’s selling snake oil — they’re reptiles, for Christ’s sake.

No word on whether her sister threw her out, but what do you think?

Minnesota Court Says No to Sharia, Women Remain People There

The brother of dead taxi driver Nadir Ombabi, Hosameldin Imbabi, was outraged that a wrongful-death settlement was paid to Ombabi’s widow, one Nariman Khalil. In Imbabi’s viewpoint, kufr law has no standing, and the money should be paid out according to sharia — that is, among other provisions, primarily to male heirs.

Alas for Imbabi, the panel of kafrs at the Minnesota Court of Appeals were unimpressed with his legal maneuvers — he acted as his own lawyer, the chump — and with his source of law. In Minnesota, at least, women are still human beings and not, as under sharia, half of one.

Eugene Volokh has the story, although the link to the appeal in his story didn’t work.

Secret Service: We’ve Got This, Sorta

After a stage-rusher approached Donald Trump (Trump looked like he was going to pop the guy!) the Secret Service was on CNN denying that they’re under any strain.

But that’s not what the USSS told other agencies when it was poor-mouthing its way into borrowing thousands of bodies for campaign support and the UN General Assembly — over a thousand of them from ICE alone. (Which is okay, because under this administration they just get in trouble if they do the job that’s the title of their agency). Moreover, the budget’s tight enough that the poor bastards supporting UNGA.. well, here’s how one of them put it:

Agents in NYC will not get lodging yet will be expected to show up on time for a 12+ hour shift and then have an hour or more drive to and from work in a city that is virtually shut down during that time.  

It’s not all making up the foursome behind the president, you know.

The agent notes that:

The media should be aware of this for sure.

If it doesn’t reflect luminously on their Supreme Personality of Godhead, don’t expect the media to notice it, pal.

 The Perils of Kathleen: Rubble Bouncing Edition

Here’s where we chronicle ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun now-former Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane. This week she was convicted by a lightning-fast jury on all counts, and finally reigned. We did previously post on that, and expect this to be our last regular update on Kane.

The Cop was a Gun Crim

In California, building an AR-15 is a felony — even, it turns out, when a cop does it. Officer Thomas Abrahamsen of the San Francisco PD may be the first one charged under Jerry Brown’s new “Gunpocalypse” gun bans signed on 1 July 2016. He has been under investigation for over a year, apparently, but his “bullet button” AR-15 wasn’t illegal until now.

According to the San Francisco ExaminerAbrahamsen was dimed out by brother(?) officers.

Thomas Abrahamsen, 50, surrendered himself Tuesday and was booked into San Francisco County Jail on one felony count of manufacture of an assault weapon and one felony count of possession of an assault weapon, police spokesperson Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

The investigation allegedly revealed that Abrahamsen, a Berkeley resident, had manufactured and possessed a prohibited AR-15 assault rifle and AR-15 components, Andraychak said.

Abrahamsen has entered a plea of Not Guilty.

It’s a good thing that this crackdown has eliminated homicide from the streets of San Francisco, and that the cops have solved — oh, wait. The red ones are the ones they haven’t solved. Not a priority. Damn it, man, there are guns at large!

The Crim was a Blockhead

handcuffs_1Some crook selling fake english-language certificates and other documents was spamming forums with stuff like:

Real and Novelty quality documents such as passports,drivers license,id cards,stamps,visas,diplomas of very high quality and other products for all countries:

USA, Australia,UK, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italian, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland,

Buy Passports,Drivers license,id cards,visas,counterfeit money.

Buy original travel documents passport,drivers license,visas.

(it goes on… that’s just a sample). And he chose to spam this forum.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields.

Uh, That’s a Definite No

whiteflagAsked whether, if he were Prime Minister and a NATO ally was attacked by Russia, he’d honor the treaty obligation, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “refused to say.”

That’s not a non-answer, Jer. That’s definitely an answer.

But what do you expect? He’s the only guy left that misses the USSR more than Bernie and Vladimir Vladimirovich. His hard left group, Momentum, are the Bolsheviks to Labor’s Mensheviks (or maybe Social Revolutionaries).

Interview with a Vampire

A three part article at Foreign Policy purports to be based on hundreds of hours of interviews with an ISIL fighter from Syria. Part 1 begins here.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

Oklahoma Veterans’ Affairs Investigator was a Fraud

This guy was hired as a criminal investigator. That was half true! The Tulsa (OK) World:

A former Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Department chief investigator who faked his credentials and was actually a convicted felon has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to get a psychological evaluation.

Steven Pancoast Jr., 43, was also sentenced to 10 years of probation on Tuesday, The Oklahoman reported. He had pleaded guilty in February to 24 criminal counts, including forgery and perjury.

Was any of his resume true? Apparently not:

Authorities said Pancoast carried a counterfeit badge and forged law enforcement credentials, business cards and diplomas from Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Wow. Turns out he was not a law enforcement officer at all, but a felon. And what was he a felon for?

Court records show Pancoast spent almost three years in prison in New Jersey after two arrests for larceny and a weapons offense.

And it turned out he made himself an investigator in the internal affairs bureau. One small problem: there is no IAB. The Oklahoman:

Pancoast was employed at the Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Department as a safety programs administrator. He had printed up business cards, though, identifying himself as a special agent in charge of the internal affairs bureau, which didn’t actually exist.

He ended up working alongside federal Homeland Security agents and investigators with the attorney general’s office. With them, he carried a gun and conducted searches and interviewed witnesses. He became known as a hard worker.

And it never occurred to anyone to check him out.

Among his lies was that he had been a New York City police officer. To further his ruse, he kept a photograph of himself in his office dressed in a New York City police officer’s uniform.

Pancoast pleaded guilty in February to 24 crimes, mostly perjury and forgery.

He admitted in his guilty plea that he had lied about his background repeatedly and that he had forged documents, including an Oklahoma State University diploma “in the furtherance” of his criminal wrongdoing.

Canadian County District Judge Gary Miller decided Pancoast’s punishment — five years in prison followed by 10 years on probation.

His “investigations” wound up helping one accused murderer get away with a wrist tap:

The judge noted that some criminal cases were damaged because of the wrongdoing.

In one of the most notable case, a former physician assistant at the Claremore Veterans Center was blamed for two veterans’ deaths. The former aide originally was charged, in 2013, with two counts of second-degree murder.

Because of problems in the case, including Pancoast’s involvement, the former aide pleaded guilty this year to misdemeanor assault offenses instead and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

This guy’s a knucklehead, but he’s a state employee (or was), and we can’t use him as a stick to beat the federal VA with.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. 

Is this a Crazy Cat Lady Record?

catlady_starter_kitDelores Marti, 78, had 55 cats in her home in Monroe, Indiana — and that’s just the live ones. There was also a freezer full of 35 dead kittens and six dead adult cats, and more dead cats lying around unshriven (and, er, unfrozen). Her home has been condemned.

Thing is: it’s not the first time. She lost a home in 2009 or 2010, and a second one in March, 2010. Both had to be gutted after her then-hoard of cats was removed. She’s been cited for too many cats — a city ordinance limits cat count to three — in her current home, too, at least twice.

If any of you Hoosiers out there want a cat, the Green County Humane Society has got a few — dozen — for adoption.

How Guns Caused Mideast Wars (per Amnesty)

Arms are loaded into a cargo Il-76 in Belgrade in January, bound somewhere south and east. BIRN photo.

Arms are loaded into a cargo Il-76 in Belgrade in January, bound somewhere south and east. BIRN photo.

How do the rebels and the governments in Libya, Syria, and Iraq (not to mention Iran’s pawns in Lebanon) manage to continue arming themselves with modern weapons, mostly of Russian or older Soviet design, when most of them are under embargo?

Would you believe, systematic cheating on UN embargos and laughably gauzy international “control” regimes? We knew you could! Just like Iraq kept arming up during a decade of sanctions, thanks in part to the corruption of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and every other UN official or soi-disant “diplomat,” nowadays anyone who says he’s Sunni Moslem can get the Saudis to stand him an End User Certificate or three for the mayhem-makers of his choice; the UN is anybody’s for a few bribes; and the national intelligence services who might know enough about this traffic to disrupt it, would rather not do so. They’d rather exploit it.

The Soros-funded (-controlled?) Balkan Investigative Reporting Network is claiming that the arms in these post-“Arab Spring” conflicts are being provided by the USA and its allies. And they do have some evidence for it: Saudi EUCs, contracts let by American commands for “weapons to be employed outside the USA” (those contracts are probably for arms for Iraqi or Afghan military, actually).

Amnesty International, another NGO that seems to find error only in Western Democracies, is always good for some high dudgeon:

“The evidence points towards systematic diversion of weapons to armed groups accused of committing serious human rights violations. If this is the case, the transfers are illegal under the ATT (United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty) and other international law and should cease immediately,” said Patrick Wilcken, an arms-control researcher at Amnesty International who reviewed the evidence collected by reporters.

And how many divisions has Amnesty?

But with hundreds of millions of euros at stake and weapons factories working overtime, countries have a strong incentive to let the business flourish. Arms export licences, which are supposed to guarantee the final destination of the goods, have been granted despite ample evidence that weapons are being diverted to Syrian and other armed groups accused of widespread human rights abuses and atrocities.

Naturally, they can find a political-appointee AMEMB who fingers the USA as the bad guy. Nobody’s as post-American as the zeroes in charge of American diplomacy.

Robert Stephen Ford, US ambassador to Syria between 2011 and 2014, told BIRN and the OCCRP that the trade is coordinated by the US Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, Turkey and Gulf states through centres in Jordan and Turkey, although in practice weapon supplies often bypass this process.

Why, if someone were to send arms to the Middle East, those peace-lovers there might just be corrupted by them!

BIRN and the OCCRP examined arms export data, UN reports, flight records, and weapons contracts during a year-long investigation that reveals how thousands of assault rifles, mortar shells, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, and heavy machine guns are pouring into the troubled region, originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Romania,  Serbia and Slovakia.

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Since the escalation of the Syrian conflict in 2012, these eight countries have approved the shipment of weapons and ammunition worth at least 1.2 billion euros to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.

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While the number is scary-sounding, you don’t know what it means. A billion euros could be trillions of rounds of small arms ammunition… or it could be a few ships and aircraft.

According to a New York Times report from February 2013, a senior Croatian official offered the country’s stockpiles of old weapons for Syria during a visit to Washington in the summer of 2012. Zagreb was later put in touch with the Saudis, who bankrolled the purchases, while the CIA helped with logistics for an airlift that began late that year.

With the Saudis in it, you see why the islamist parties are the ones getting the arms. The same thing happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when we channeled aid through ISI and the guys who wound up with arms were ISI’s preferences — mostly, the hardcore islamists.

While Croatia’s government has consistently denied any role in shipping weapons to Syria, former US ambassador to Syria Ford confirmed to BIRN and the OCCRP the New York Times account from an anonymous source of how the deal was hatched. He said he was not at liberty to discuss it further.

Well, we guess that tells us who the confidential source of the Times article was.

And naturally, to the Amnesty drone for example, the weapons are the cause of the conflict:

“Proliferation of arms to the region has caused untold human suffering; huge numbers of people have been displaced and parties to the conflict have committed serious human rights violations including abductions, executions, enforced disappearances, torture and rape,” said Amnesty’s Wilcken.

Lord love a duck.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Poles

Not this pole. Especially not as accessorized.

Not this pole. Especially not as accessorized. Although the perp was partially unclothed!

And no, he wasn’t running around Denver with a buddy named Kowalski.

And just because it was a shirtless guy with a pole, it wasn’t a Chippendale Dancer, ladies. Sorry ’bout that.

A man was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of aggravated assault for chasing people around with a long pole on the 16th Street Mall.

Denver police received a call at 6:07 p.m. of a shirtless man chasing people and hitting them with a plastic pole, said Doug Schepman, a Denver Police spokesperson. Police arrived on scene three minutes later.

“We believe having more officers down there did help with having a very quick response,” Schepman said. He referenced the Denver Police Department’s plan to ramp up security on the mall.

via Man caught on video assaulting people on 16th Street Mall – The Denver Post.

Yeah, it’s from back in June… sometime we gotta weed these drafts out of the pole, we mean, pile.

Just goes to show that when humans haven’t got guns and knives, they have no problem falling back on their ancestral sticks and stones.

Out of sticks and stones? Then they fall back on good ol’ stranglin’ thumbs. Assault and homicide begins in the soul of the criminal, not in the instrument of the crime.

Chiappa Chiappa Bang kBANG!

Here’s a Chiappa Rhino 2000DS revolver that has more or less reverted to kit form, kinetically.

Chiappa kB!

Now, you may have seen this before (about a quarter-million people have looked at the original post on Imgur as of now).

Poster saith (on Reddit):

This is a friend of a friend occurrence. This is what they told me: New gun and factory ammo at the range. They fired approximately 70 rounds when this happened. It blew the pad off his index finger. They just finished reconstructive surgery. I’m assuming it was caused by a squib. I’ll post more when I learn more.

And now the money shot…

We’ve got the missing finger for you, after the jump for the squeamish among ye.

Continue reading

Chinese J-15 Fighter

The Shenyang J-15 “Flying Shark,” a Chinese domestic version of the Sukhoi Su-33 jet, is China’s shipboard fighter. This extremely professional video from 2014 shows some J-15 ops from shore and from the carrier Liaoning. The airplane is generally in the F-15 or F-18 class.

The jet is back in the news lately; it’s had a gestation as long and complex as an American bird, and a prototype crashed in April, which was only announced recently.

The test pilot, Zhang Chao, did not survive. The South China Morning Post reported:

China National Radio reported yesterday that a top-class PLA J-15 pilot died after he lost control of his plane during a simulated deck landing exercise at a unspecified inland base.

“When Zhang Chao was flying a carrier-based jet fighter in a mock landing on an aircraft carrier on April 27, he encountered a breakdown with the fly-by-wire flight control system,” the report said.

“At the critical moment, Zhang tried his best to save the aircraft. When the pushrods failed, he ejected and died as a result of an injury on landing.”

Experts seem split on whether this will further delay the Chinese fighter program, but the fact is, unless and until the cause of the mishap is fully understood, the effect on the program can only be guessed at. It could be an error by the pilot, a software glitch, a matter of botched switchology, or a system failure — and if a system failure, it might have doomed Zhang, or his test-pilot inclination to troubleshoot the plane all the way to impact might have done so.

We just don’t know. It’s just a reminder that flying high-performance aircraft is a risky business, and it doesn’t matter what nation’s marking is emblazoned on the tail. Zhang has joined the global company of test pilots who have died in pursuit of the edges of an ever-larger performance envelope.

There are many things to be studied in the video. The rhythms of shipboard operation will look familiar to anyone who’s seen them on another nation’s carriers, from the FOD walkdown to the use of angle-deck touch-n-goes in working up and qualifying a new plane. It does seem like the Chinese have studied the USN in depth; there are things they do their own way, but a lot of what goes on looks just like the way the US Navy does things.

But you don’t have to study the video. You can just enjoy it.

Worried About “Printing?” Don’t.

Chris Baker set up this grossly obvious example of "printing" for an article at LuckyGunner that pretty much agrees with this article.

Chris Baker set up this grossly obvious example of “printing” for an article at LuckyGunner that pretty much agrees with this article.

The secret to not being obvious about carrying is to just do it and get used to it. Yes, cops nab gangbangers all the time because they can see the kid futzing with his holsterless appendix carried gun. Don’t be that guy and you’re OK.

Here’s the big secret: nobody cares that you carry. Only you, and whatever subset of “yours” that you tell. (Our advice: that subset should start at “nobody,” and only change if you have a really good reason to). Seriously. Cops don’t care, in most jurisdictions. They’re not looking for your gun — they’re looking for nervous patterns of behavior, yes, which are often seen in people carrying unlawfully. 

Cops are aware that a lot of people carry guns legally. Even in a place like Boston or LA where a mere citizen can’t get a permit, the streets teem with official carriers from over a hundred Federal agencies (even Amtrak), not to mention state and local fuzz, judges and prosecutors (some of whom carry because they really fear people they’ve put away, and some of whom have a Walter Mitty thing going).

Cop attitudes to lawful carriers range from “nobody should carry but the Thin Blue Line” (a smaller set than you think, but it exists) to “the more lawful carriers out there the better” (which is a common opinion in law enforcement, even in places like Massachusetts and California). Like the rest of society, cops disagree about these things, but the cop that’s going to hassle a lawful carrier is rare. (True, he’s more common in a place like those mentioned above, or New Jersey).

Criminal attitudes to lawful carriers are easier to explain; to the extent that they think of them at all, they’re frightened of them, but mostly they don’t even think of them. The average criminal expects the possibility of armed resistance if he jacks, say, a drug dealer or gang member, but it never occurs to him that he might meet it from a little old guy or a young lady.

The criminal that jacked an open carrier recently is illustrative. We can’t ask him, being as he’s dead, but it’s likely he never saw the compact Glock on the petite woman’s belt. We suppose you could say he felt its sting, before he ever saw it. We have observed that often, where someone is open carrying and the people around him or her are completely unaware of it. (OC has long been legal here, although it’s still very rare). We’ve also seen the knowledge cascade, where one person notices the firearm and nudges those nearby, until they’re staring at the carrier. After a while, when they see he’s not bent on bloodshed, they go back to what they were doing and more or less forget him or her.

Assuming that it’s lawful for you, carry now. Carry always; get used to it. Carry securely, and don’t draw the pistol unless you mean to use it — think of it like a Gurkha’s kukri: if the situation does not call for drawing blood, don’t take it out.

The sooner you’re blasé about it, the sooner that small percentage who did notice you at first when you were nervous and kept touching it, tunes you out also.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Dishwashers.

(Evil dishwasher image lifted from this blog, where at least nobody was harmed by the dishwasher rampage).

(Evil dishwasher image lifted from this blog, where at least nobody was harmed by the dishwasher rampage).

Sometimes you get a job even the Maytag repairman can’t fix.

Police are investigating an “untimely death” in the McIntosh Condominium building Tuesday morning that may have resulted from an apparent electrocution.

Deputy Fire Chief Carl Roediger said his department responded to the building at 8:13 a.m. for a call about a man in cardiac arrest. He said the man was deceased and there are “indications” that he may have been electrocuted. The deceased was later identified as David Dufresne Jr., 52, of Rochester. 

“It looked like he was in the process of installing a dishwasher,” Roediger said. 

Dishwasher 1, Human 0.

The deputy fire chief said a state medical examiner was called to the scene and the man’s cause of death is inconclusive until that examiner makes a determination. 

Police Sgt. Rich Webb said the fatality is being investigated by police detectives and preliminary findings indicate that the death was accidental. 

Naturally, the .gov says it’s all because the guy didn’t have the right permit and licenses.

In an email to city councilors Tuesday morning, City Manager John Bohenko said the work being performed by the deceased, “may have involved replacement of an outlet.”

“No building permit was issued for this work, and had one been issued, the work would have been required to be performed by a licensed electrician,” Bohenko wrote.

Yeah, because only a licensed electrician can replace an outlet without frying himself. Riiiiight.

Let’s Tie Dissimilar News Stories Together, with Machiavelli

niccolo_machiavelli_statue-2We’re going to travel to different continents, where things are happening that are, to put it delicately, not what American foreign policy imagined would be the outcome.

The US global foreign policy, which we describe, fairly, we think, as “timid inaction,” is turning out… somewhat differently from the Garden of Eden its sheltered academic authors imagined.

And then we’ll ask you, what would Old Nick (not that Old Nick, but rather, his namesake: Niccolo Macchiavelli) do?

Dateline South Sudan

Nobody shows appreciation like an African, and on Monday, the Army of South Sudan and its leader, President Salva Kiir, displayed their appreciation for the US and the UN having midwifed their whole freaking country against an Arab campaign of extermination. They did this by going on a rampage of assault, rape, murder and even more rape against foreign (particularly white) aid workers. (We said “rape” twice. Yeah, they like rape).  A taste:

The soldier pointed his AK-47 at the female aid worker and gave her a choice.

“Either you have sex with me, or we make every man here rape you and then we shoot you in the head,” she remembers him saying.

She didn’t really have a choice. By the end of the evening, she had been raped by 15 South Sudanese soldiers.

A lot of Western aid workers — the ones who aren’t just all ate up with pat-the-little-Africans-on-the-head condescension — take these trips looking for the Mandingo experience. Curiosity satiated now, young lady?

Peter Grant: African immigrant, former soldier, pastor, and novelist, takes a dim view of the common sense of such do-gooders.

People, if you visit a part of the world – not just Africa, but anywhere – where human life is cheap, where torture and rape are everyday occurrences, where tribal and/or religious and/or ethnic divisions are excuses for savagery and bestiality of the worst kind, then the odds are pretty good that you’re going to experience those realities for yourself.  The locals don’t care that you’re there to help them.  They don’t care about your high-minded ideals, or your purity of vision of the new Utopia you’re trying to build for them.  To them, you’re “other”.  You’re “not one of us”.  You’re “an outsider”.  When what sensibilities the locals have are swamped by drugs, or alcohol, or emotional frenzy . . . that means you’re going to be a target, whether you like it or not.

Indeed. While this could happen “anywhere,” the actual anywheres where it seems to happen tend historically to be in subsaharan Africa.

One South Sudanese who had sought sanctuary among the aid workers was found by the South Sudanese soldiers, who were all members of one tribe. The man, a member of another tribe, was beaten and then shot twice in the head.

Then they shot him four more times, just to be sure. This is, after all, Africa, and this is how Africans honor diversity.

But hey, the aid workers could rely on the UN, right? After all, their compound was just about adjacent to the compound of the fabled Blue Berets.  Back to ABC News:

the U.N. peacekeeping force stationed less than a mile away refused to respond to desperate calls for help. …

The accounts highlight, in raw detail, the failure of the U.N. peacekeeping force to uphold its core mandate of protecting civilians, notably those just a few minutes’ drive away. The Associated Press previously reported that U.N. peacekeepers in Juba did not stop the rapes of local women by soldiers outside the U.N.’s main camp last month.

Hey, it’s the UN. They expect medals and bonuses for not participating in the rapes, or even initiating them, which is usually what the UN peacekeepers doThey’re not there to keep the peace: they’re security theater, and as individuals, they’re there for the money — a good percentage of which used to be ours, chump American taxpayers, before our lords and betters in Washington thought it was likely to be better spent by the UN Rape Circus.

“All of us were contacting whoever we could contact. The U.N., the U.S. embassy, contacting the specific battalions in the U.N., contacting specific departments,” said the woman raped by 15 men.

A member of the U.N.’s Joint Operations Center in Juba first received word of the attack at 3:37 p.m., minutes after the breach of the compound, according to an internal timeline compiled by a member of the operations center and seen by AP.

Eight minutes later another message was sent to a different member of the operations center from a person inside Terrain saying that people were hiding there. At 4:22 p.m., that member received another message urging help.

Five minutes after that, the U.N. mission’s Department of Safety and Security and its military command wing were alerted. At 4:33 p.m., a Quick Reaction Force, meant to intervene in emergencies, was informed. One minute later, the timeline notes the last contact on Monday from someone trapped inside Terrain.

For the next hour and a half the timeline is blank. At 6:52, shortly before sunset, the timeline states that “DSS would not send a team.”

About 20 minutes later, a Quick Reaction Force of Ethiopians from the multinational U.N. mission was tasked to intervene, coordinating with South Sudan’s army chief of staff, Paul Malong, who was also sending soldiers.

Remember, it was Malong’s so-called “Army” that was doing this in the first place. What could he send another unit for? Sloppy seconds?

But the Ethiopian battalion stood down, according to the timeline. Malong’s troops eventually abandoned their intervention too because it took too long for the Quick Reaction Force to act.

The American who was released early in the assault and made it to the U.N. base said he also alerted U.N. staff. At around dusk, a U.N. worker he knew requested three different battalions to send a Quick Reaction Force.

“Everyone refused to go. Ethiopia, China, and Nepal. All refused to go,” he said.

And of course, the commanders of those soi-disant “peacekeepers” were relieved — oh, wait, we’re just kidding. Of course there were no consequences for mis-, mal- or non-feasance by the UN Peacekeepers. There are never any consequences for mis-, mal- or non-feasance by UN Peacekeepers.

Well, fortunately for the aid workers who were American, and who were singled out for that, the US Embassy and the State Department responded, right?

Sure they did. Just like they did in Benghazi.

The U.S. Embassy, which also received requests for help during the attack, “was not in a position to intervene,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters Monday. She said the U.S. ambassador instead contacted local government officials, and she noted that the Terrain area was controlled by South Sudanese government forces at the time.

Yes, we suppose “supine” is “not in a position to intervene.”

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that “during the fighting throughout the city, the U.S. Embassy in South Sudan responded to distress calls from the compound and urgently contacted South Sudanese government officials, who sent a response force to the site to stop the attack.”

But we know that the Embassy did not respond, except to have a tête-a-tête with the superiors of the very elements committing these outrages. And we know that nobody sent a response force. The attack stopped when South Sudan Army was all raped out. So Power is just lying, here.

Don’t be an innocent abroad.” That’s Peter Grant’s advice. It is the voice of experience, and wisdom.

The risks these aid workers face are not helped by the American policy of timid inaction.

Dateline, The Ruins of Syria

Here’s a snapshot:

It’s unclear which side is prevailing right now. All that’s clear is the destruction of Aleppo (quite possibly irreparable), the Assad-Hezbollah-Iran-Russia alliance on one side, and the prevalence of jihadists on the other.

What is President Obama’s response. The Washington Post (print edition) describes it as “Deplore. Wring hands. Repeat.”

Indeed, he has saddled our guys with restrictive ROE that give ISIL immunity if that have one civilian (fellow traveler, human shield, jihadi disguised as civilian, doesn’t matter) in their convoy.

This, the Post reminds us, is a far cry from Obama’s soaring rhetoric of 2012, in which he proclaimed that preventing mass atrocities “is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America.” At that time, he promised to “increas[e] the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime, so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet.”

And what happens in a vacuum, class?

When Obama first rejected the idea [of a no-fly zone], Russian air power was not a factor in Syria. The Russians filled the void Obama left, just as ISIS did in Iraq.

This void-filling, and the terrorism and devastation it has produced, is the most important legacy of the Obama presidency on the world stage.

If the United States even has a policy in Syria, can anyone articulate it? Or is it just one more outpost on a front line of timid reaction everywhere?

Dateline, Greece, Turkey and the Eastern Med

The US is rumored to be withdrawing its nukes from Turkey in the light of Erdogan’s Islamist countercoup and seeming realignment with Iran and Russia.

Meanwhile, Greece is angling towards China, after finding that the EU was not going to keep the spendthrift state on the equivalent of welfare forever.

Constance Douris at the Lexington Institute notes:

Athens and Ankara may side with Beijing and Moscow when it comes to NATO security concerns involving China, North Korea and Russia….

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has already made some worrying remarks about Turkey’s NATO membership. Cavusoglu has publicly justified Turkey’s growing relationship with Russia by stating, “Turkey wanted to cooperate with NATO members up to this point. But the results we got did not satisfy us. Therefore, it is natural to look for other options.”

…and….

Athens and Ankara have looked to Beijing and Moscow to further their interests.

Funny how something always fills a leadership vacuum, in the light of a US policy of timid inaction.

Dateline, Eastern Ukraine

Multiple sources are reporting a major buildup of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. These forces are ostensibly carrying out a massive exercise just on the Russian side of the disputed border.

They could as easily be used to launch an invasion, which may be their real purpose. Or, they could simply be meant to unsettle and intimidate the Ukrainians.

In fact, Russia has seldom had such a free hand in the Near Abroad as they have right now. The President’s focus is, as usual, on his golf game and on his next transformative speech, which is rumored to be partial unilateral nuclear disarment (no tests, no first use, no updating of the 1970s and 80s vintage systems).

If Putin doesn’t roll into Ukraine, he may miss his best opportunity.

He faces a US whose foreign policy is timid inaction.

What Would Old Nick Say

Does anyone remember his answer to the serious question: “Is it better for a prince to be loved, or to be feared?”

Welcome to a world where the prince has pursued being loved much like those aid workers have, which is to say, passionately and unwisely; and consequently is not the least bit feared by anyone.

nick loved and feared

 

What do you think the Father of Statecraft would have to say about a foreign policy of global timid inaction?

British Ammo Improvements

It isn’t just the USA that’s turned away from the 1970s-vintage SS109 round (which is what our 62-grain M855 was, essentially) in pursuit of more accurate ammunition with improved terminal ballistics. The UK has done so, also, although they’ve gone in a different direction from the US.

bae_systems_l31a1_556mm_diagram

BAE Radway Green, the Britsh military ammo monopoly contractor, has also improved the venerable 7.62mm round. The British tech ‘zine The Register visited Radway Green and has a rundown on the new ammo — heavy on The Reg’s patented juvie snark, but well-stuffed with technical details.

What’s changed? … It’s all down to penetration – or punching the same depth of hole in ever-better-protected targets.

While RG’s existing products, the 7.62mm L44A1 and the 5.56mm L17A2 cartridges, did that more than well enough when they were originally specified by the Ministry of Defence, modern battlefield technology and techniques mean the military are looking for something with a bit more oompf to fire down their rifles and machine guns.

RG has swapped all-lead bullets for steel in pursuit of better penetration against hard targets – though there’s a lot more to it below the surface.

The two new designs of cartridge, known as the Enhanced Performance (EP) round in 5.56mm and the High Performance (HP) round in 7.62mm, feature new – and, in the HP’s case, heavier – bullets. In addition, the HP round switches from single-base propellant powder to double-base, to give the heavier bullet the same flight characteristics as the old one. The EP also discards the age-old NATO SS109 bullet design, which incorporates a steel tip in front of a lead core, for an all-steel bullet, cased in the same gilding metal jacket as before. Its profile is similar, though.

The genesis for this seems to be the same as that for the US Army and USMC’s newer rounds — technology made better ammo possible. Unlike the Americans, though, the British Army didn’t have to sell the ammo as a “green” boondoggle to social-engineering obsessed Ministry of Defence.

Simon Parker, a project manager at BAE Systems Radway Green, spoke to The Register about the new rounds and the decisions behind the changes in their makeup.

“We wanted to see if we could improve performance against hardened targets. Having a solid hardened steel core improves performance above that of the steel tipped round,” he said. The new 5.56mm round, which will be known as the L31A1 in British service, retains a bullet weight of 62 grains (4g), meaning its ballistic performance will be very similar – an important similarity for soldiers firing it down their SA80 rifles.

bae_systems_l59a1_762mm_diagram

For the 7.62mm round, known as the L59A1 in British service, the biggest change is to the weight of the bullet, from 144 grains (9.3g) to 155gr (10g). This increased maximum weight allows the new bullet to incorporate a steel tip, similar to the 5.56mm NATO SS109 design, giving it more mass with which to punch through a light target. Graphs from BAE claim that the HP bullet can penetrate an 8mm steel sheet out to about 400m, whereas its predecessor could only manage it at half that distance.

“We have a standard ball round which is 144gr and a sniper round which is 155gr. The sniper round is manufactured under tighter tolerances and conditions. The 7.62mm High Performance round is not quite the same as the sniper [round] but it’s considerably improved over the standard 144gr bullet,” said Parker.

The propellant in the new 7.62mm round is the same as the 155gr L42A3 sniper rifle round, which is continuing in production. It is a double base propellant – so why the change from single base?

“It’s merely because it’s heavier,” said Parker. “Moving from the 144gr to the 155gr means you need a bit more energy in the propellant. We already use the double base propellant in the sniper round so it’s the same propellant as is used in the sniper round.”

It’s interesting to note that the 5.56 round is Boxer primed, and the 7.62 Berdan primed.

Yeah, but how does it work in the real world? Does it pop hadjis?

“The old Green Spot was just the best lot of ammunition that we manufactured, taken off and marked as Green Spot… but 7.62mm HP would outperform Green Spot,” said Parker.

“We’ve not designed it for a sniper rifle application – though the Special Forces use it as such and that’s fine – but it has been adopted in the sharpshooter rifle [the Army’s L129A1]. It was purchased as a UOR and subsequently adopted. We recommended the use of 7.62mm HP and the user really loves it. But it was originally designed, truth be told, for improved target performance through any weapon system. We made it and designed it so it can be functioned through the GPMG and it’s also being used by the Royal Navy in their Miniguns for defence of ships.”

Do Read The Whole Thing™. The section on the environmental testing that the ammunition endured on its way to acceptance — and that samples must continue to endure — is quite illuminating all on its own.

For more information, BAE Systems has a page on the new ammo, with a rather cool video we were unable to figure out how to embed — so go there to watch it. The ammo has been in production for the UK MOD since 2015, but is now being offered to other military forces.