Category Archives: Uncategorized

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 21

This Tour d’Horizon was built the way it’s supposed to be — gradually, throughout the week. So you might even see it on time!

This week’s installment includes: Guns, Usage & Employment, Cops-n-Crims, Unconventional and Current Warfare, Veterans’ Issues, and Lord Love a Duck.

Guns

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

He’s Got a Few Guns, Here

Lee Williams visited the Gun Point “Firepower Weekend”, and found it lived up to the billing.

Gun Point Firepower WeekendFor us, it’s great to see Felex Yukhtman doing well, still. We once bought something from him that was destroyed by UPS in transit. Dealing with Felex and GunPoint in what could have been a miserable deal from all possible directions made us realize that he is really a kindred soul, one of those Americans who wasn’t born here but got here as fast as he could.

You know, any businessman and any company can keep a customer happy when everything goes right. It’s when it all goes pear-shaped that you realize who you can count on.

How Did Suppressors Get Banned?

HiStandard Suppressed OSSAs you probably know, in some countries, suppressors are perfectly legal and sold without any licensing, like any other form of hearing protection; in others, they’re regulated like ordinary firearms. In the USA, they have been nearly forbidden by the cost and bureaucracy barriers imposed by the National Firearms Act for almost a century.

How did that come to pass? It turns out, as a draft law review article by Steven Halbrook explains, the ban was largely racist in origin.

William T. Hornaday published his Our Vanishing Wildlife (1913), which railed against both improved firearms and ethnic groups such as Italians and blacks. Hornaday saw catastrophe looming in the use of more accurate rifles and better binoculars, regretting also that “in Wyoming the Maxim silencer is now being used.” he first trained his wrath on disfavored ethnic groups. Because “all members of the lower classes of southern Europe are a dangerous menace to our wild life,” he proposed a law to “[p]rohibit the use of firearms in hunting by any naturalized alien from southern Europe until after a 10-years’ residence in America.” He denounced the blacks and “poor white trash” of the South for hunting doves and other birds for food… and harkened to the days “when the negroes were too poor to own guns.”

In 1924, Senator John K. Shields (a Democrat from Tennessee) introduced a bill to prohibit importation and restrict interstate commerce of pistols. He supported the bill in part with a report claiming that “we, the dominant race,” must suppress “the carrying by colored people of a concealed deadly weapon, most often a pistol.”

The initial NFA bill, H.R. 9066, would have defined “firearm” to mean “a pistol, revolver, shotgun having a barrel less than sixteen inches in length, or any other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, a muffler or silencer therefor, or a machine gun.”95 A muffler or silencer for a firearm not capable of being concealed on the person,such as a rifle or shotgun, was not included.
Attorney General Homer Cummings was the first witness in the hearings before the House Committee on Ways and Means, and he assured members that the bill would not affect “the ordinary shotgun or rifle.” But revolvers, pistols, “sawed-off” shotguns, and machine guns must be taken from “roving criminals” like John Dillinger.

In the extensive hearings up to this point, not one word was said about criminal misuse of mufflers or silencers….

But they wound up in the bill, anyway. Read The Whole Thing™, and you’ll come away convinced that our politicians today really aren’t a historically unprecedented set of creeps, cretins, and criminals. Yesterday’s pols were

Want a Winchester .30-30?

No? How ’bout a Makarov? Or a HAFDASA Ballester-Molina .45 from Argentina? Well, you can’t have ’em. The anti-gun Michigan State Police is sending them, and hundreds of other firearms, to be destroyed as deodands. (Hat tip, Dean Weingarten).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Brought a Machete to a Gun Fight

Machete Boy - Raheem Rogers

Machete Boy – Raheem Rogers

Not a recommended course of action. But there’s always some dumb cluck or two who’s gonna try it, and wind up with a few extra portholes for letting the air in and the blood out. Case in point:

Donald David Farrior Jr., 22, of 91 Barley Lane, Clinton, was detained for questioning, while the passenger, Raheem Christopher Rogers, 23, of 2033 Beulah Church Road, Turkey, was taken into the hospital for treatment.

Through investigation by Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities, it was determined that the suspects broke into a residence on Honeycutt Road. The homeowner, who was inside the residence at the time, encountered the suspects, one of which was carrying a machete. Armed himself, the homeowner fired at the subject holding the machete, striking him in the torso, authorities said. Both suspects then fled the residence.

Machete Boy's Buddy, Farrior

Machete Boy’s jailbird buddy, Farrior

Sheriff’s investigators have charged Farrior with breaking and entering and conspiracy to break and enter. Farrior was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $30,000 secured bond.

Rogers was airlifted to Wake Medical Center, where he was being treated Friday afternoon. Warrants have been issued on him for the same charges of breaking and entering and conspiracy to break and enter.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Rogers is a convicted felon and registered sex offender. He was convicted of felony breaking and entering, larceny and indecent liberties with a child on March 28, less than two months ago, stemming from incidents in October 2015 (break-in and larceny) and August 2014 (indecent liberties). His sentence was suspended and he was given three years’ probation for the convictions.

Hey, how about treating a felony like a felony? 10-20-Life for your 1st-2nd-3rd? This guy was convicted of at least three serious felonies less than two months ago. What does a career criminal have to do to go to prison in North Carolina?

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

ATF I: Bureau Armed Killers in at least 69 Murders

ATF BadgeThey’ve been lying about it, but apparently the DOJ has known all along that, as ATF and DOJ leaders intended, the walked guns have been used in numerous homicides and other violent crimes. Judicial Watch, using the courts and the Freedom of Information Act as a lever, has pried loose DOJ documents that trace 94 Fast and Furious firearms recovered in Mexico to 69 killings, including a police chief and his bodyguard.

Fast and Furious was only one of several gunwalking programs intended to arm Mexican cartels. The operation was aimed at changing US public opinion to favor gun control, and increase ATF power.

In related, and unfortunate, news, the end is nigh for one of the two bloggers who broke the Gunwalker scandal wide open, Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars. Mike, who has been written out of much of the history by spotlight-seekers who followed, knows what he did, and so do the rest of us. He is being crazily productive as the Big C begins to close his coffin lid. We haven’t always agreed with him, but we and all Americans owe him quite a debt. (Without him, ATF would still be shipping thousands of modern weapons a year to their Mexican partners).

Canuckistan I: Mounties Want Your Money

Meet the Eye of Providence, canuck surveillance camor at least, the Eye of Proceeds. This combination of a digital single-lens reflex camera and a spotting scope is in use by the RCMP to spot people who menace life and limb by texting whilst driving.

Except they don’t use it for traffic safety. They use it to shake down motorists who are safely stopped — for money.

RCMP isn’t saying where the spotting scopes are being set up for obvious reasons, but it has admitted they are primarily being used at intersections t which drivers are stopped at a red light or a stop sign—where it’s still illegal to use your phone. It’s also easier for officers to snap a sharp photo of the offense when a vehicle isn’t whizzing by.

Of course, when they’re not “whizzing by,” they’re not putting anyone at risk. The coppers considered actually using it for traffic safety, but that was hard. Dudley Doright was not available for comment.

ATF II: Road Rage Roils Roads

An undercover vehicle! That’s like, license to be the biggest sphincter muscle on the road, right?

A citizen called police last week to report that the white unmarked SUV, equipped with red and blue interior dash lights, had attempted to pull him over on the Glenn Highway at around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“As the motorist yielded, the driver sped past him, laughed, and flipped him the middle finger,” police wrote at the time. “The complainant observed this occur three other times with the same results.”

Police said they obtained a photo of the vehicle’s license plate but were unable to find any matches from a computer check. On Monday, the department announced that the incident had been investigated, and the vehicle was in fact assigned to a law enforcement agency.

“Concerns from the public have been forwarded to the agency,” APD said Monday.

Where the agency — which was, for the record, ATF — “laughed, and flipped him the middle finger,” no doubt.

Hey, at least he wasn’t shipping guns to murderers. Or maybe he was. Maybe that’s why he was in such a hurry.

New Jersey: You Are Leaving the American Sector

Leaving the American SectorArthur Vinogradsky was charged with several crimes, but the charges were dropped. So he’s not guilty and he gets his guns back, right? Nope. It’s New Jersey, and an appeals court ruled that even dropped charges mean lifetime loss of his gun rights.

We bet he’s sorry his ancestors emigrated (or at least, didn’t keep going to Texas).

He’s not the only one: the state will also prohibit a person over traffic offenses, and that’s just been upheld in appeals court, too.

Meanwhile, there were 375 homicides in New Jersey last year, 105 of them in Newark. In response the Mayor eliminated the position of police chief, merging it with fire chief.  Yeah, that’ll help.

Canuckistan II: It’s Because I’m Black, Isn’t It?

canuck-the-crow-with-a-knifeMeet Canuck the crow, here in a file photo pilfering a knife. He’s legendary in his native Vancouver for his fondness for shiny things, and has his own Facebook page.

Enter the local cops, processing a crime scene where a guy who set his car on fire then attacked the cops, in a possible Suicide By Cop bid. He was apparently saved by Vancouver PD marksmanship, reconsidered, and submitted to arrest. But then Canuck tried to make off with the evidence. CBC reports:

“The crow was persistent, but the knife was eventually gathered as evidence,” Const. Brian Montague said in an email.

The bird was also spotted sitting on the roof of the burned car and trying to get into a camera operator’s gear

Of course, there’s no way of knowing if this knife-stealing crow was knife-stealing Canuck, specifically. Perhaps he is running a school for charismatic Canadian crows.

Department of Pre-Crime

This is a shock to everyone, except anyone paying attention:

Created by the Chicago Police Department, the list uses data such as number of arrests, shootings and gang member affiliations to assign a score to individuals. The higher the score, the greater the chances of being involved in a violent altercation.

In 2016 thus far, more than 70 percent of the people shot in Chicago were on the list. Also on the list: more than 80 percent of those arrested in connection with shootings.

The police superintendent says that out of nearly 3 million Chicagoans, 1,400 men and boys account for most of the homicides and other violence.

The Perils of Kathleen: When A Crook is All You Got; +P for Paranoia

With most of the Keystone State’s politicians, media, and even prosecutors and judges rolling out the carronades to blast her to Kingdom Come, Korrupt Kathleen Kane needs to hang on to the few loyalists she has left. Like Peeping Patrick Reese.

Kane kept Reese on payroll despite objections from other staff and an office policy — which Kane signed herself in 2013 — stipulating that employees charged in relation to their employment be suspended without pay. According to the policy, the employee “shall be terminated” upon conviction.

Reese, a former police chief from the Lackawanna County borough of Dunmore, was charged last August, convicted in December and sentenced to three to six months in March.

Peeping Patrick is headed to the one of the state’s all-inclusive resorts for spying on other Attorney General’s Office workers’ emails for Kane. He’ll be the only guy in the County House drawing $99,658 salary and $62,000 other benefits! Who says crime doesn’t pay?

In a loosely related matter, interviews with many staffers reveal “Rampant paranoia” in Kane’s office.

Lawsuits from ex-staffers and court filings in the criminal case against Kane detail a culture of paranoia that took hold as she engaged in a protracted war with former prosecutors and then reacted to the consequences of those disputes.

“If I get taken out of here in handcuffs, what do you think my last act will be?” Kane reportedly told her first deputy, Bruce Beemer, according to court documents.

Of course, life inside the Attorney General’s Office is more complicated than the salacious details from case records can possibly convey.

Agents and prosecutors within the office, by their nature, tend to follow the strictures of the chain of command without question. For example, they continue to use Kane’s honorific — “General” — even as she faced criminal charges stemming from the alleged leak of secret grand jury materials, had her law license suspended and virtually disappeared from her Harrisburg office.

The general reportedly still communicates with her top deputies via email, but even those communiqués have grown sporadic. She also occasionally appears in Harrisburg, as she did last Tuesday, but there’s no apparent regularity to her comings and goings. No one in the office seems to know what she does on a day-to-day basis and Kane has not responded to PennLive’s requests for comment.

Paranoia? You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you. And maybe, just maybe, you deserve to have them out to get you.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

TSA Replaces Failure… Slings Him $90k in Bonuses

They made a big deal out of a public sacking of some drone named Kelly Hoggan. But not only did they sling him the money, but they structured it as a bunch of $10k payments to evade Congressional scrutiny. The Washington Post:

One of the practices that led to Kelly Hoggan’s removal as head of the TSA’s crucial security division is common enough to have a name: smurfing.

“Smurfing is breaking specific financial transactions into something below the reporting requirement, which is what happened here,” said John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security.

It was undercover agents from the inspector general’s office who last year were able to penetrate security checkpoints at U.S. airports while carrying illegal weapons or simulated bombs, 95 percent of the time.

Hoggan received bonuses of $10,000 on six different occasions, and three others just above or below that amount, over a 13-month period in 2013 and 2014, according to information collected by the DHS, which oversees the TSA.

The bonuses… were in ­addition to Hoggan’s $181,500 salary.

As you might expect for a scheme hatched by the Brain[dead] Trust at TSA, it didn’t work. No one good, decent, moral, ethical, competent or intelligent has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

It gets better though. That public firing? Uh, it didn’t actually happen. Yes, he was sent home, but he’s still drawing that $181,500 salary and benefits that roughly double the value of his pay package. They call it “paid administrative leave” but it looks a lot like bonus vacation.

Of course, the net effect of TSA on security is such that you improve security every time you pay one of these duds not to work.

Nice Work if You Can Get It

Two pointy-headed guys conceive a fruity scenario and then spin it to create an opportunity for one’s company.

Hot tip: if a firm is located in the National Capital Area, or does more than half its business with governments, it’s not an innovator, it’s a rent-seeker.

That site is a great source of armchair expertise, divorced from actual reality. Case in point. There is an occasionally interesting post, but most of them… sheesh.

Veterans’ Issues ALL NEW

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

All the Links you Need on the Disney Kerfuffle

Reporters at a press conference with current VA figurehead Bob McDonald asked — and if you know any reporters, this is nothing short of astonishing — a sensible question about the VA death queues. The New York Times:

At an event with reporters on Monday, Mr. McDonald was asked why the department did not publicly report the so-called create date when veterans first ask for medical care, which could be used to calculate how long they are waiting in lengthy backlogs for their appointments.

Instead of answering the question, McDonald proved he has been fully institutionalized in the VA by pushing back at the idea of any metric or accountability on wait times, possibly because he doesn’t seem to have been effective in reducing them. And then he fired the shot heard round the world:

The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring… When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?

Well, yes, actually, they do; unlike the VA, the Disney theme parks manage their wait times intensively — and imaginatively.

Deep in the bowels of Walt Disney World, inside an underground bunker called the Disney Operational Command Center, technicians know that you are standing in line and that you are most likely annoyed about it. Their clandestine mission: to get you to the fun faster.

And so [Disney] has spent the last year [2011-12] outfitting an underground, nerve center to address that most low-tech of problems, the wait. Located under Cinderella Castle, the new center uses video cameras, computer programs, digital park maps and other whiz-bang tools to spot gridlock before it forms and deploy countermeasures in real time.

Bad choice of example, Bob. Instead, he wants to measure satisfaction with soft-focus surveys and other tools that pretend management concern, rather than with hard data.

A million pointers-n-shriekers demanded McDonald’s head, or at least an apology, which won’t be forthcoming, unless it’s the “I’m sorry you’re such a sorehead over this” variety.

Instead, there’s a crony-capitalist deal with CVS Pharmacy to treat vets for pennies on the dollar at in-pharmacy Minute Clinics.

Billions for Bonuses, but Not One Cent for IT

ClippyThat seems to be the way the VA rolls. The big splash was the use of 8-nch floppies in nuclear missile silos — something that the USAF has mentioned repeatedly in recent years, so it shouldn’t have shocked us — but buried deep in this CNN report, we learn that other agencies, and, naturally…

…Veterans Affairs, “reported using 1980s and 1990s Microsoft operating systems that stopped being supported by the vendor more than a decade ago,” GAO said.

Hey, they’d never be able to process a claim without Clippy to help them.

This is Why Dead Guys Can’t Have Nice Things

In the tiny burg of Hiram, Georgia, one Christian-hating, soldier-hating militant atheist was chortling with glee at getting a memorial removed.

Many thought the crosses on Highway 92 were an appropriate Memorial Day display, but a short time after the crosses went up outside a city of Hiram building, they came down.

The handmade crosses were meant to represent the 79 Paulding Countians who died in America’s wars.

The abrupt disappearance of the display prompted some social media outrage, and many volunteered to put up the crosses on private property.

Others told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt this is political correctness run amok.

“People who are non-Christian shouldn’t be offended by that because they gave their lives for our country, and that’s the way I look at it.”

People who are “non-Christian” probably aren’t. People who are anti-Christian, and, just coincidentally, anti-veteran, on the other hand….

Lord Love a Duck!

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

This has nothing at all to do with the usual subjects of this blog, but the New York Times, which has supported the execrable Nick Denton and Gawker (perhaps because Gawker is the Times‘s id) in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, outed Silicon Valley venture cap Peter Thiel as the financier behind Hogan’s GDP-of-Malta (we exaggerate, but…) legal bills.

Why did the Times do it? There’s a clue in the article:

A libertarian, Mr. Thiel is a pledged delegate for Donald J. Trump for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

We understand not liking Trump; we don’t like him either (for many of the same reasons we don’t like Nick Denton, actually). We’re probably going to hold our nose and vote for him in November, on the 2nd Amendment issue alone, and may God have mercy on us and the nation. We can understand (although we feel pity) a person or group of them, in this case a newspaper, being  in the tank for one political party to such a depth that that they have to breathe heliox whilst mentioning the other. We can’t understand taking it to the degree where you stroke Denton, the Julius Streicher of the day, and kick Thiel, who seems to have lived a life of engaged productivity. His private life, in that, is of no consequence; he neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg, which is more than you can say for the Times’s usual political enthusiasms.

We came out of the profile liking Thiel (and Hogan!) all the more, and the Times and its reporters Herrman, Goldstein and Benner all the less. The ex-Gawker journalist Owen Thomas quoted in the article comes off even more crass than the Times trio. One suspects that many of these journalists support the commercial use of Hogan’s sex tape for the simple reason that they have no prospect of making one themselves.

There’s ‘posed to be a post…

We’re sure there is. The 1800 Friday post. It was right here a moment ago, and then, and then…

Well, it’s jolly well missing now, isn’t.

No it isn’t, this post is there.

This post? What, are we in a post?

I’m afraid so.

Isn’t that a bad thing? When posts become self-aware?

Not really. If you keep a proper sense of humility about yourself, and don’t go getting a swollen head.

So … we’re inside a computer? Like, a simulation? Like The Matrix?

Oh, lighten up, Francis. The Matrix seemed like a new idea in Hollywood, but that’s because those guys are all baked all the time. The old “we’re in a simulation, waaah,” shtick was old and a cliché when Joe Haldeman did it, and he’s dead.

Haldeman, wasn’t he one of Nixon’s…

Different Haldeman. Never mind. And actually, now that I think about it, he’s not dead. Nixon’s Haldeman is.

Anyway, if the computers are sentient….

Yes?

Bad things happen. All the time.

This is not Skynet, you know. It’s just a blog.

Thank you for clearing that up.

OT: The Butterfly and the Mower

The butterfly was small — maybe ¾ of an inch wingspan, if it stopped, which it didn’t. It appeared to be looking for something on the rich, long green lawn. It was a light blue with the sort of translucent sunglow that insects achieve effortlessly, and artists strive for a lifetime to get not-quite-right. Small it was, but its color and motion commanded one to look.

The nervous system of a butterfly is fairly rudimentary, so there’s really no way it could have conceived of the doom heading its way. It might have sensed — indeed, given its fragility and relationship with air pressure, it must have sensed — the staccato, rhythmic thunder of an engine, something it could not have conceived; or the sound of blade tips, at a high subsonic speed, shearing the grass to an unnatural, uniform level.

The butterfly could not imagine the lawnmower.

The mower, for its part, could not imagine the butterfly. Built on a production line in America with parts that seemed to come from half the world, it was a dumb machine. Perhaps it was smart for a lawnmower, given its electronic this and solid-state that, but that’s not saying much. The butterfly’s death was written in the swathes, in the next of which it unconsciously gamboled; it could no more know Death advanced than Death itself, Model 150Z Zero-Turn with the 42-inch deck, could know itself.

The death of a butterfly is an inevitability. Every living creature owes God, at the momentary flash of its conception, one death, sooner or later. For a butterfly, the delta between sooner and later is small. Most butterflies, in their adult stage, live only to reproduce — they can’t grow, and many of them don’t even feed. It’s all about the eggs.

It seemed, then, of no consequence that the mower was due to destroy the butterfly. It shouldn’t have mattered one way or another — not to the operator of the mower, who condemned higher animals for meals daily; who had visited all the woe that is war on other humans. After all, it wouldn’t have bothered him if he mowed the butterfly and didn’t know about it. And another time — in crass teenage, perhaps, and certainly Before War — he might have laughed about it.

But today, the operator stopped the mower. Dead in its tracks. The butterfly moved on, unaware that its precious, tiny, one-week life had ever been someone else’s to take. In a minute or so, when the little blue life was safe, the mower moved on as well.

Later, the operator discovered that the little life that he didn’t want on his conscience today was a Karner Blue Butterfly, an endangered species named by, we are not making this up, Nabokov. Yes, that Nabokov; while he’s remembered as a novelist, he was an avid amateur lepidopterist.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Camels

Ah, yes, exotic Indja. Seems like only yesterday…

Well, on to the meat, as it were, of the story, it seems we have an outlier of an ill-tempered beast, even among a species known for being ill-tempered beasts. And an owner who learned a one-time lesson (the kind taught by experience, that is, exam first) in humane treatment of animals.

JAISALMER: Left in the heat with its legs tied all day, a camel attacked its owner and severed his head in anger in Rajasthans Barmer district on Saturday. About 25 villagers struggled for 6 hours to calm the animal down.Urjaram of Mangta village was entertaining guests at his house on Saturday night when he suddenly realised that his camel had been out in the heat all day with its legs tied. He was attacked when he tried to untie the annoyed animal.

“The animal lifted him by the neck and threw him on to the ground, chewed the body and severed the head,” villager Thakara Ram said. Villagers revealed that the camel had attacked Urjaram in the past as well.

Areas in Rajasthan are witnessing some of the highest mercury levels in the country. Jawans patrolling the border with Pakistan, too, are facing a tough time dealing with camels in this heat. Recently, a camel attempted to get a jawan off its back while rushing to the shade.

via Tied in heat all day, angry camel severs owner’s head – Times of India.

A “jawan” is a soldier, if you didn’t pick it up from context.

Yeah, it is starting to look like Animal Planet around here. OK, after this we’ll lay off the critter stories, and our When Guns are Outlawed decedents will have to fall to bad luck, acts of God, or other humans for at least a week or so.

Now, in the instant case, camels are notoriously cranky and difficult beasts, the Eurasian/Middle Eastern ones more than their Andean camelid cousins. In Australia, they’re an invasive species; introduced to the American Southwest as military pack animals (the action officer was a young regular named Jefferson Davis), their advantages over horses and mules didn’t override their disadvantages relative to those same creatures. Abandoned to the desert, they mercifully died out.

So, in this case, we had unusual weather, plus, an especially cranky individual of an especially cranky species. Sounds like a recipe for caution, to us.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 20

Because this Tour d’Horizon is being posted ~12 hours late — it’s actually being written 12 hours late –it’s going to be shorter than usual. Those offended can queue at the Refund Desk where a customer support demon will be with you shortly.

]This week’s installment includes: Guns, Usage & Employment, Cops-n-Crims, Unconventional and Current Warfare, Veterans’ Issues, and we got nothin’ in Lord Love a Duck this week.

Guns

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

Is a Little Tom worth that much?

We won’t be bidding, because we still have a case of the Jaws at GunBroker, but two rare Little Toms have been on the site for a few weeks now. This is the first DA autopistol, so it’s historically significant; these are both Wiener Waffenfabrik produced guns (which are the bulk of Little Toms). They’re not drawing bids, but then, they’re not perfect, and they’re priced high. How high? An ultra-rare .32 proofed in 1929 is actually only a couple hundred high of the market at $1,400, but it includes a Bubbafied FN .32 magazine in place of the original. This is the .32:pix212947778Meanwhile, a slightly better than average .25, proofed in 1925 has a nosebleed buy-it-now of $1700. That’s almost triple what we bought one for this year. 

pix556782177

One suspects these sellers might be dangling inventory according to the Greater Fool Theory. We wish them the best of luck.

George Sold his Gun for a Cool Quarter Million

At this rate, we know how to simultaneously solve thorny problems of crime and economics. Al-Reuters reports, quoting two TV stations, that George Zimmerman has sold the world’s most famous Kel-Tec PF9, seen here in a government press handout from the period when DA Angela Corey was using George as a pole to vault to national prominence, and as a wedge to eliminate .

Handout photo of the handgun that was used in the shooting death of Trayvon MartinGeorge has pledged to use the money to defend gun rights and to fight the violence against police promoted by the Black Criminal Lives Matter movement.

Naturally, this hasn’t pleased supporters of black criminals. The Detroit Free Press, one of the newspapers that was there all along as a great city did a Hiroshima to itself, says, “George Zimmerman takes victory lap on dead boy’s grave.” The “boy” — a gang-tatted, drug-using, thieving, violent scumbag — is definitely dead, but whose fault is that? The cold hard fact is this: because of choices wannabe thug Trayvon Martin made, because of choices his crummy parents made, the world is a slightly better place — because George’s single shot stopped Trayvon’s life of violent and property crime. How many robbery, assault, and murder victims will not be victims, because Trayvon, a repulsive little crook, got himself canceled out?

To steal a line from science fiction, think of it as evolution in action.

Stealth Furniture Roundup

We’ve covered gun-concealing furniture before, but now it’s going mainstream with this report in Fox News. Here’s a couple of examples:

concealment credenza Stealth Furniture

Fox’s Perry Chiaramonte identifies several manufacturers:

The paradox of this type of stuff is, as we see it, that the more people that know about it, the less this kind of concealment protects you from burglars or home invaders, who will gradually get wise to it.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

The NYPD’s Marksmanship Improves, But…

Remember when the cops hit nine bystanders in an Empire State Building gunfight with a murderer a couple years ago? This time, a short walk away, they only hit one. Go, NYPD. The Post:

Another shot grazed the wrist of bystander Lauran Code, a 46-year-old lingerie designer from California.

It was not clear whether the shot was addressed to the felon du jour, a crazy threatening the Midtown Manhattan crowd with a knife, or was one of that NYPD tradition “to whom it may concern”. At this juncture, three rounds appear to be unaccounted for, and what must be a new record for NYPD, five out of nine actually hit the intended target, 46-year-old nut job Garry Conrad. But that still didn’t leave the public confident about the cops’ shooting skills.

Four of the bullets got lodged in Conrad’s Carhartt jacket, sources said, adding that he was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

The press managed to find a retired Deputy Inspector who said, “It sounds like a problem and should be looked into.” Gee, is he sure about that?

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

About Those Activists out to Help Troubled Youth

It seems like for every one that’s actually “out to help,” there’s a number of them who want to bang troubled youth. People who watched the movie Spotlight about how the Boston Globe took on teen-boy-buggering priest Paul Shanley didn’t get all the story, because, as you can see if you read between the lines of this story, the Globe’s gay reporters and editors relentlessly promoted Shanley’s various “ministries to troubled youth,” through the 60s, 70s and 80s, like his 1971 “retreat house for youth workers on a 95-acre farm.” With extra sodomy, free! The Globe turned on him for some reason in the early 2000s… probably because he got too old to appeal to their editors any more. But prior to that, as this book says (look inside and search for “Shanley”), “starting in 1969 and continuing into the 1980s, the Globe published approximately two dozen articles” lauding Shanley and his gay-youth ministry.

So if somebody says he wants to help troubled youth, advise youth to watch his you-know-what.

So here comes Charles Wade, “a Ferguson activist who is part of the “Black [Criminal] Lives Matter” movement,” according to KTVI-2 in St. Louis.

Wade runs Operation Help or Hush, a non-profit created during the Ferguson unrest. Last September he began crowd funding a center for children and youth near Ferguson and Dellwood.

So what’s he doing with “children and youth”?

According to court records, Charles Wade, was arrested in April for allegedly hiring out a 17 year old girl for sex in Maryland. The operation was discovered by undercover agents

Apparently he hauled her to St Louis and started pimpin’ her out. Wade is charged wit prostitution and human trafficking.

Paul Shanley. Now available in black!

Tales of Entitled Thieves

prolanciamugOne face of crime: Prolancia Aquila Turner, 26 (right). Turner, a career thief, was all bent out of shape over her latest theft, from the Indian River Mall in Vero Beach, Florida. Sheriff’s deputy reports:

Turner was crying and angry and spontaneously uttered, “everyone steals from this store, why are you picking on me?”

For some values of “everyone,” like Prolancia’s social circle, that just might be true.

The Perils of Kathleen: Win One, Lose One

Perils of Kathleen

“But wait! You’re my own lawyers!”

Korrupt Kathleen Kane’s attorneys and flunkies (feel the burn, PA taxpayers — that’s your wallet losing weight) won one, by getting her off the hook to testify in perv coach Jerry Sandusky’s quest for a new trial. So that’s one less legal burden to deal with, for the woman who considered her election a referendum on criminalizing gun ownership and use in the Keystone State.

Kane climbed to fame and office by alleging that the previous AG had not pursued Jerry Sandusky, the Nittany Kiddie Diddler, a winning coach who also was using his position, with the apparent awareness of Penn State leaders for forty years, to rape scores of young boys. (Penn State has, so far, paid almost $100 million to 32 Sandusky victims; and because of management complicity in, and cover-up of, Sandusky’s crimes, the college’s insurer is not paying PennState back, so the cash is coming straight outta endowment. So sad). Kane’s opportunism struck at just the right time, when Pennsylvanians were disgusted with Sandusky and his enablers in the Penn State administration and among college athletics supporters. Seeing her crop up in the Sandusky legal imbroglio, which promises to give Jarndyce v. Jarndyce a run for the record books, is a reminder of just how she conned Pennsylvanians into electing her.

And Kane’s attorneys and flunkies lost one with her longshot “Selective and Vindictive Prosecution” motion for dismissal. Even though the case is being heard by a Kane political fellow-traveler, Judge Wendy Demchik-Alloy, she couldn’t accept the dog’s breakfast of a motion, and it was so sloppy — despite all the taxpayer’s cash that Kane supplements further from her immense personal fortune — that she borked it on procedural grounds, with instructions to the lawyers on how to rewrite it for success next time. One hint: only one wild allegation per motion, please.

Until the lawyers get the motion into conformance with state criminal procedure (uh, isn’t that what you pay criminal lawyers to do? Too early in the season to blame the intern), the judge won’t get to the merits of the case (and have to consider the prosecution rebuttal, which, of course, can’t be written until Kane’s team absorbs this lesson in criminal procedure. (Can they get CLE credit for that?). More coverage: Allentown Morning Call; The Legal Intelligencer. Actually, let’s pull a paragraph from the Legal Intelligencer:

Demchick-Alloy’s order is not the first instance in which a judge has corrected Kane’s defense attorneys on a matter related to her criminal case. Ross Kramer of Winston & Strawn was admonished in an April court order by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Diana L. Anhalt.
Anhalt said Kramer made an “intentional misrepresentation” to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas when he wrote in an affidavit that Anhalt told him filing the “selective and vindictive” motion publicly could result in a contempt finding against Kane and her attorneys. The judge said she never made that statement, and that when Kramer called her in March, she said it would be inappropriate for her to give him an advisory opinion. As a result, she denied Kramer pro hac vice admission in the Philadelphia court.
The same day as Anhalt’s order, Gerald Shargel of Winston & Strawn, who has been leading Kane’s defense, was corrected by Demchick-Alloy in a pretrial motions hearing. When Shargel said he planned to appeal Demchick-Alloy’s denial of certain pretrial motions, he seemed unaware that the Common Pleas Court can choose whether to certify an order for interlocutory appeal.
“I just passed on to Mr. Steele and to your honor a copy of the interlocutory ­notice of appeal, and I think that’s the end of ­jurisdiction by this court, because I think that this vests jurisdiction in the Superior Court,” Shargel said to Demchick-Alloy in open court April 20.
Demchick-Alloy informed him that in Pennsylvania, the question of certification lies with the common pleas judge.
“So, respectfully, Mr. Shargel, I don’t know if this is a matter of a New York practitioner in Pennsylvania, it is what it is,” Demchick-Alloy said.
Shargel declined to comment on Demchick-Alloy’s order Tuesday.

She may not be getting the best legal support her money can buy.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

American who Joined ISIL: “Worst Decision I’ve Ever Made.”

Hoist high this Jolly Roger, and set yourself forth to roger with extreme jollity....

Hoist high this Jolly Roger, and set yourself forth to roger with extreme jollity….

“Mo” is cooperating with the FBI, and has already pled guilty to two serious felonies, providing material support to, and  receiving military training from, a terrorist organization. He knows he could be hammered with up to fifty years in prison, but hopes that his cooperation will buy him leniency. He was on NBC News, telling his story.

[H]e was seduced by promises of a utopian Islamic State only to find brutality and chaos when he got to Syria.

“At one point towards the end as things were getting more and more serious, I did see severed heads placed on spiked poles,”

Where did Mo learn to hate America enough to join the terrorist quasi-state?

Mo, who attended Columbia University…

That figures. Eat your hearts out, Harvard and Yale. More at the link; Read The Whole Thing™.

Does America Need a Foreign Legion?

Hotchkiss-legionnaireThis comes up from time to time. Currently, Sean McFate, whom you’ve probably never heard of, brings it up. McFate touts his military resume (8 years as an officer, branch elided but apparently not maneuver combat arms, apparently zero deployments), and speaks not of his Beltway think-tank inbreeding, which is evident in the bio provided by his — we are not making this up — Beverly Hills publicist [.pdf].

You should read his article and get the sense of his idea. It’s the sort of thing that comes out of these soft-handed masters of the universe, collegiate edition. Here’s taste:

It’s time for an American Foreign Legion. It would be a part of the Defense Department, but its enlisted members would be recruited globally.

This encompasses the best of option three (sending more troops to the Middle East) without the pitfalls of option four (relying on private contractors and mercenaries).

An American Foreign Legion would solve many problems that have plagued us in the past decade of war…

Lastly, it would help stem the growth of the mercenary industry worldwide. The United States is the biggest consumer of private military services, but we have limited control. When we no longer wish to pay military contractors, they will find someone who will.

We should stop outsourcing war. Nor should we have a Vietnam War-esque draft. An all-volunteer force is core to our values, so let’s extend that opportunity to the rest of the world.

Why does he want to “stem the growth of the mercenary industry worldwide” when he’s so proud of his time as a contractor? Maybe because he’s no longer employed there?

In fact, this is a crappy idea, not because the French do it badly but because they do things with it that the United States Army does not have the will or the leadership to do. Principally, they  imbue their troops with a love for la Legión Étrangère and la Belle France, and turn them into French patriots — if somewhat coarse and direct ones. Many of the rank and file in the Legion have been, for decades, French themselves, because they’ve seldom been able to fill it with foreigners, but that’s not the problem. The French believe, rightly or wrongly, that their citizens make better officers than enlisted men; we don’t have enough first-hand experience of French troops to say, but our impression of the US Army is that we have more quality problems and especially integrity problems in the commissioned echelon than in the rank and file.

But most of all, can the Army, whose single highest priority is a divisive, wedge-driving Diversity establishment, ever assimilate anybody? Our suspicion is that McFate threw this out there (maybe polished or suggested by his Beverly Hills publicist) to promote his next book, which is a novel coming out right about now with a protagonist who is not a Mary Sue version of McFate at all but is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful….

Uh, sorry, we were carried away there. Glimpse of the Red Queen and all that. But we have a counterproposal: let’s have a Beltway Legion. These people are far more foreign to American values than anyone we might recruit from Roma or the Yanomamo. And instead of using the French Foreign Legion as a model, let’s take our cue from the penal battalions of the 20th Century totalitarian states like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Surely, somewhere, there’s a minefield that needs clearing?

Veterans’ Issues

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

The Lawyer With the Sticky Fingers

Rolls RoyceDo look for something this week, on the SF wannabe lawyer who’s employed at VA and drives a Rolls-Royce.

Sure, being a .gov lawyer can be easy and rich work, but a Rolls? Yeah, because he’s scammed a fortune on the side, by setting up a bogus charity. We had to confirm that he was not assigned to SF in Vietnam as a 31542, and indeed, he wasn’t: he was a freakin’ staff judge advocate. This is just a teaser….

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. Nothing this week. Wait, there’s this:

Now that The “I Identify As…” Nut Jobs have Won the Bathroom Wars, It’s Time for the Species Barrier to Fall.

From the Daily Mail:

Secret life of the ‘human pups’: Weird world of the grown men who enjoy dressing up as DOGS in roleplay craze sweeping the nation
Around 10,000 people in the UK enjoy the pet play craze
Men tend to prefer dressing as dogs while women identify more as kittens
Channel 4 met and filmed some of the ‘human pups’ for its documentary
One of them, Tom, won the coveted Mr Puppy UK title as ‘Spot’

Can we get an eeewwww?

Impressions: SCAR 16, and NH’s 4-Star Range

Our Friday PM posts didn’t happen on time, because Friday happened instead. That’s the day when everybody catches up on the phone with the stuff they procrastinated with all week. While we had to do a bike ride (well, we suppose we could just have another coronary! But we’ll pass) and go see a dog in a pet shop. (Still undecided about the dog). We were due at 1800 in Hudson, NH for a range event, and at 1800 just started getting the bike-ride funk showered off. Door-to-door time is about 71 minutes, unless you drive like you’re from Massachusetts.

The East-West artery between Manchester (namesake of the latest Little Crappy Ship) and the Seacoast is, mostly, two lanes, which means sometimes it opens up enough in the right lane that you can pass the long strings of MA-plate SUVs tailgating one another in the left lane, while texting, applying makeup, or binge-watching Netflix on their phones.

stateoftheart

We’ll have a more thorough report on the range some time in the near future. The Granite State Indoor Range is a modern, NSSF 4-star facility with a VIP lounge, a modern, well-stocked gunshop, and an indoor 100-yard range using modern bullet trap and target management technology. We joined the Patriot Gun Club over a year ago, but seldom get out to this range (which is a pity). You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the range, although you do have to undergo a safety briefing process; the range is extremely safety conscious, and the RO’s certifications hang on the wall, like one’s cardiologist’s diplomas.

This was an opportunity of Patriot Gun Club members to fire some rounds out of an FN SCAR-16. As we’ve mentioned before, the SCAR — and the SCAR-17 at that — was just coming in as we were going out. Accordingly, we don’t have a ton of hands-on time with this firearm. This was a good opportunity to get to know a little bit — as much as you can with a couple mags of 5.56 and some coaching by ROs that had been playing with the rifle for a while. Here are our capsule impressions; bear in mind we were weighing this against scores of thousands of rounds launched from ARs over the years.

le_scar16_std_large

  • It’s ergonomically different. Some of these differences are clear superiority on the part of the SCAR. For example, SAFE to FIRE is a 45º rotation of the safety, and it’s another 45º to AUTO. The safety is fully ambidextrous, and designed in such a way that the off-side safety/selector is not able to interfere with your shooting hand at all (as a long offside safety can do on SEMI on the AR platform). Very nicely done, FN. On the other hand, while the ambidextrous mag release was a plus, the primary (on the right) mag release is definitely a touch further from the web of the hand than the release is on an AR. If you have short fingers this may not be the rifle for you. The charging handle reciprocates with the bolt carrier, so you want to keep your support hand clear of its path. That’s not hard to do. And the folding, adjustable stock works very well, it may help control the gun on automatic fire.
  • The trigger is really, really good. It’s light with a minimum reset. In fact, I assumed it was an aftermarket trigger, but the ROs swore on a stack of Gun Digests that the gun was, apart from the holographic sight, exactly the way it left FNH’s loading dock. It’s as light in AUTO as in FIRE. This makes a two-round burst elusive, especially in conjunction with…
  • The cyclic rate of fire, that is considerably faster than the M16.

There were no malfunctions during the short time we were there. It was easy to hold the SCAR on target while firing. A full-auto version is great fun to shoot, but nobody is unarmed with the civilian version. Unfortunately, it arrives in a market saturated with ARs, at a price point that will buy you three decent ARs. Doubly unfortunately, the full-auto version is only available to government, LE and Special Occupational Taxpayer dealers.

We have more details about the range, but we’re saving them for a future article.

That’s all for tonight. We may backfill the missing Friday Tour d’Horizon tomorrow, and we may not.

 

$$$ Alert: Hognose on Mother’s Brother Hour tonight

Tonight, Hognose will be on the Mother’s Brother Hour podcast with the voice of the vet, Jeff “Mother” Forker. (Yes, that’s his real name. Well, not the “Mother” bit. But you wouldn’t believe his real middle name). Mother is also an SF vet and an old friend, and this should be a blast.

Mothers

We may have a call-in by another SF vet of some renown. Won’t name and shame him ’cause he might not make it.

We’re going to run through a century of United States Army individual weapons, from the Springfield Rifle that was standard before World War One, up through today’s M4A1. How did we get here from there, when you can still shoot somebody cold graveyard dead with a 1903?

We may talk a little about how to get ARs to run.

Then, we’ll open it up to questions.

Mother’s Brother Hour comes on at 2100 Eastern time / 2000 Central / 1900 Mountain and 1800 Pacific time, for all you pacifists out in California. That means, unfortunately, it’s at midnight for those of you in London, and later for anyone at points East. If you get up at 0530 to listen to this in Afghanistan, well, God bless ya.

We hope to post more detailed info soon, but in the meantime, here are instructions.

http://warfighterup.net/

Go to Shows

Select Mother’s Brother Hour.

The Mother’s Brother Hour

Simple!

Update

Jeff sends:

Listeners go to the web site – Www.Warfighterup.net – and locate the show, Mother’s Brother Hour, and click to listen.

To call in and talk they call 888-517-3464. They then are on hold until the host introduces them. While waiting, on hold, you can still listen to the show.

Or they can send messages by text or email.

They send messages from that same web site page. There are fields for that lower on the page.

There is a Facebook page called Warfighter Up Radio. Anyone can also send messages from there. But most do it from the web site. And they cannot listen from the FB page, only from the web site.

 

From the Collection: An Unusual Bayonet: Czechoslovak Vz. 58

vz_58_layout_2One of the reasons we’re fascinated by all things Czech and Czechoslovak, apart from the happenstance of a language-school choice (from a shortlist) some decades ago, is that Czech stuff, firearms in particular, tend to be unconventional and clever. For instance, if we ever make a video, it’ll probably be on the weird and wonderful world of Czech and Czechoslovak pistol safeties, which are unconventional. (They used to be even more unconventional, but the popularity of the CZ-75 and its many clones have made SA/DA lockwork with a non-decocking safety more common).

vz_58_layoutEven Czechoslovak bayonets are a little… different. This one is a typical Samopal Vzor 58 bayonet. There are some pages and YouTubes about these out there, of which, the YouTubes range from worthless to approximate-but-rambling. Fortunately there’s an excellent book by Czech expert Zdeněk Beneš Kid, easily available from Czechoslovakia, but in the Czech language. The title is Bodák pro samopal vz. 58 (Bayonet for the Model 58 Assaullt Rifle) and it’s published by Edice Sběratel, which means Collector Editions, in Brno in 2008, in an edition of 1,500 (and the first printing still isn’t sold out. Yeah, kind of a specialized book). Kid really outdid himself with the research for this booklet: he contacted living members of the design team, who willingly shared their memories and documents with him; so did CZ-UB officials and edged-weapons collector and expert Jan Šmíd.

Twice, the Czechoslovak Army had found itself short of arms and definitely short of standardization: after both World Wars, when the Czech legions returned from fighting on two fronts, equipped by their Allied sponsors and by battlefield recovery. By the 1950s, when they were designing an indigenous assault rifle, to replace their interim semi-auto rifle, they wanted a bayonet to match.

You can see here how it slides on in the butt towards muzzle direction. Unique?

You can see here how it slides on in the butt towards muzzle direction. Unique?

The bayonet is only loosely based on previous Czechoslovak conventional bayonet practice, as on the prewar Mauser Vzor 24 bayonet, which is quite like its German counterpart. (The intervening Vzor 52 and 52/57 rifle had an even weirder attached, folding knife bayonet. That was an evolutionary dead end in the Czechlands, but gets a nod as the first entirely-Czechoslovak-designed bayonet; the vz. 24 design came bundled with the Mauser design, the factory, and engineers to set it up). The blade of the vz. 58 reverts to something resembling a Mauser bayonet, but its means of attachment is backwards — it slides on from the rear to the front, and is held on the firearm by the latch alone. This is, as far as we know, unique among modern bayonets. It seems dubious, but the lockup does appear to be strong enough for bayonet fighting, which, as far as we know, no one has ever done with a vz. 58.

In theory, the bayonet was also meant to be used as a combat knife, but the troops were never permitted to sharpen them. While the weapon can be sharpened on the lower edge and the false edge it would be quite a lot of work.  We have seen hundreds of these bayonets, and none that appeared to have been sharpened while in Czechoslovak hands.

Every vz. 58 and its bayonet were made at Českoslavenská Zbrojovka Uherský Brod, the well-known CZ-UB. The bayonets were serial numbered but quickly became separated from the rifles of the same number — if they were ever together in the first place — and we have never encountered a matching rifle/bayonet set in hundreds of vz. 58s. It could happen, but we haven’t seen it.

From Kid, translated into English. Finer details of his sketch seem to have perished in the scan.

From Kid, translated into English by your humble blogger. Finer details of his sketch seem to have perished in the scan, but this should be adequate for navigating the topography of a vz. 58 bayonet. The tang tip only protrudes in the fourth, and most common, variant of the bayonet.

The bayonet comprises an unsharpened blade, a largely integral hilt, a locking catch, and a handle or handles made of carved light-colored hardwood (for the first couple years) or molded of a material using wood chips in a resin bath that was developed by the Bučina firm in Zvolen, Slovakia. (The firm is still in business today, but makes household furniture out of wood and exports it throughout the EU).

The Czechoslovak services inherited the Austro-Hungarian joy of marking, and most weapons have thorough markings that make them easy to date. But unlike Czechoslovak firearms, the bayonets are not usually dated. The sheaths are, on the back side, near the tip, with a sort of rubber stamp featuring the Czechoslovak People’s Army crossed swords and a date (among other info).

vz_58_bayonet_sheath_clear

Typical vz. 58 bayonet sheath marking. From Brayley, p. 56.

On new-condition units this is crystal clear, one ones that have a lot of duty time behind them it can be completely illegible.

This is the one from our collection. It was impossible to recover usable markings from this sheath, but the crossed . are barely visible

This is the one from our collection. It was impossible to recover usable markings from this sheath, but the crossed swords. are barely visible.

Variations

Kid identifies four versions of the bayonet, with sub-versions depending on number and type of rivet and washer. In this image from his book, they are I to IV with the oldest on top.

4_types_of_vz_bayo_-_kid

  1. Wooden handle, minimal crossguard, short tang, two rivets. (The tang ends right behind the second rivet). There are large and small rivet variations. These were made for about two years; the wooden grips came from a woodworking factory in Litovel, Moravia.
  2. Synthetic wood-filled handle, minimal crossguard, short tang, no rivets. (Some were made or remade with rivets; the classifying factors are grips, tang length, and crossguard length).
  3. Synthetic wood-filled handle, extended crossguard, full-length tang. This one has one rivet, but two are also a possibility. The crossguard or finger guard was extended for safety, and the tang for durability… if you give a bayonet to an infantryman, he will hit things with it.
  4. The fourth version is like the third, but with with the tang extended a short distance beyond the end of the hilt, to protect the wood-filled resin grips from damage when the bayonet is used as a hammer. It can be found with two and even three rivets.

vz_58_bayonet_comparisonThe image on the right shows the difference between short and long tang bayonets (it’s from Brayley, p. 56): 4th version left, 2nd version right.

There are numerous smaller variations. The bayonet was in production for over 20 years, and there were constant efforts to improve quality and reduce costs. Many of the variations only show up when the bayonet is disassembled.

A new version arose in the 21st Century. With Czech troops deployed to the Middle East, one unit commissioned a “combat knife” (bojový nuž, or BON for short) version of the knife-bayonet. This had a one-side-sharpened clip-point blade that resembled a Finnish M62 bayonet’s, and an area of cutting teeth at the rear of the spine, just before the hilt.

2005 BON (B=ojovy Nuž)

2005 BON (Bojovy Nuž) Image source: this thread at CZfirearms.us.

At this time, the Czech Republic was using the vz. 2000, an update of the venerable vz. 58, while it developed a modern small-caliber assault rifle.

The BON was a private effort by the 121st Company, a reserve special forces unit, and only 100 were made with a serial number (1-100) and the crest of the unit laser engraved. They were presented to unit members and to honorary members with a certificate numbered to the knife. An additional run of 150 or so was made at the same time, without the markings. The synthetic grip is overmolded directly to the hilt of the knife.

Sources:

Physical examination of Vz. 58 bayonets.

Brayley, Martin J. Bayonets: An Illustrated History.  Iola, WI: KP Books, 2004.

CZFirearms.us (forum thread): VZ58 BON bayonet. Retrieved from: http://www.czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=73901.0

Kid, Zdeněk Beneš. Bodák pro samopal vz. 58. Brno, 2008: Edice Sběratel. (Czech language).

Uton.cz. BON-Boyový Nuž. Retrieved from: http://www.uton.cz/moderni-noze-acr/acr-bon/ (Czech language).

 

Friday the 13th Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 19

Well, the intention was for a timely Tour d’Horizon for a change. We know what road is paved with those things.

This week’s installment includes: Guns, Usage & Employment, Cops-n-Crims, Unconventional and Current Warfare, Veterans’ Issues, and we got nothin’ in Lord Love a Duck this week.

Guns

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

Bargain Buyers Beware Bubba

Jerry Paregien’s Decoding the FEG Hi-Power makes a good case for these Hungarian unlicensed clones and derivatives of the Browning pistol. But he notes a specific problem with these guns, much less expensive than their Belgian counterparts:

Personal Inspection. I would warn potential buyers of the FÉG Hi-Power and Hi-Power style pistols about one thing in particular: Be wary when buying them in used condition when personal inspection is not possible. Because of their low cost, home gunsmiths have had no reservations about plying their trade with abandon and sometimes with precious little talent. The result is butchered FÉG’s appear to be around in greater numbers than one will normally find in more expensive guns. I purchased one through an internet gun auction and found that a shade tree trigger job had destroyed the trigger. I found another one in a local gun shop that had been similarly “monkeyed-with.” Just be careful if you cannot personally inspect the gun yourself. Ask lots of questions.

That’s likely in any low-cost, high-quality firearm. For some reason, Bubba disdains the idea of honing his talent on Jennings or Bryco products.

Source: Paregien, Jerry (2013-06-22). DECODING THE FÉG HI-POWER (Kindle Locations 536-541). G. M. Frazier. Kindle Edition.

Just in Time to Start Training for Next Season

Those of you with two working legs and a desire for a sport that will smoke you and will make you get better at both fitness and shooting ought to check out the International Biathlon Union competition at Biathlon World. There’s also military biathlon competitions, but we’re not aware of any on the East Coast (a retired SF officer we know competes in the Pacific Northwest). You’ve got all summer to hit the NordicTrak and the range….

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

He Hit a Low Point With his Hi-Point

When he pointed it at a swarm of cops. Last thing he ever did. Naturally, the press makes him look as sympathetic as possible:

The father of five was standing outside a friend’s double-parked Ford SUV holding an open bottle of booze when plainclothes officers in an unmarked car approached him at 116th Ave. and 135th St., police said.

[32-year-old George] Tillman had been at a nearby party with his wife and friends, according to sources.

The officers noticed a gun in Tillman’s waistband and, when they tried to engage him, he fled.

We think by “engage” here they mean “talk to.” He was going to get the other kind of “engage” soon enough.

Tillman bolted for about a block before running into three other plainclothes cops on an anti-crime patrol, sources said.

“Anti-crime patrol” is NYPD speak for “this particular area is rife with violent crims. Go see what you can find.”

Tillman ignored cops’ orders to drop the weapon before he pulled out the gun, according to officials. He did not fire any shots.

Four of the five officers — identified as Sgt. Thomas Sorrentino and Officers Michael Renna, Mateusz Krzeminski and Kenneth Stallone — shot Tillman multiple times in his midsection, cops said.

In New York, anything is possible, but those names all sound like white guys, which may be why the usual suspects and Rev’rends are all saying that Tillmann Dindu Nuffin and that Black Lives Matter.

If black criminals thought their lives really mattered, they wouldn’t pull guns on cops. We’re among the first to beat up NYPD when they spray rounds all over hell and creation, but this looks like a good shoot with a criminal down — funny, three newspaper reporters never pulled Tillman’s criminal history — and no innocent bystander or cop wounded, and that’s with the cops involved being two separate groups of plainclothes guys. (If your PD tends to do stuff like that, think about far recognition signals. That’s all we’re going to say about that in public). Bravo Zulu to NYPD.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

The Amazing English Jewel Thieves

You may remember the amazing Hatton Gardens burglary, where a bunch of British jewel thieves snuck in to a jewelers’ building and then used a massive concrete drill to bore through the vault walls. The full story is even better — the guys were old and making a last score worthy of a George Clooney caper flick. Except, all but one of them got caught. Two stories here and especially here will spin you up on the mechanics and personalities of a quite amazing (and non-violent) crime.

Two Tale of Police Work in Canuckistan

maple_leaf_1964ITEM: The following police takedown of a motoring desperado was recorded by CBC. 

A driver going 50 km/h over the speed limit at 3 a.m. Tuesday had his licence seized and his vehicle towed and impounded for a week, Hamilton Police say.

A 30-year-old man was charged with stunt driving after the officer measured his speed at 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

“Stunt driving.” For 60 mph in a 30 zone. At three o’clock in the freaking morning. And he lost his license and car over it.

In Downtown Ontario, where there’s damn-all to hit at high noon, let alone at 0300. We understand stopping a guy to make sure he’s not tripe-faced, but throwing the book at him seems rather chicken guano.

In the States, that would get you a $200 ticket and twenty minutes sitting waiting for Officer Yawnsome to run your plate and license — if he was the cop whose fellow cops know him as that guy.

We guess we really are a bunch of criminal scofflaws down here.

But wait…. 

reemo-romanoITEM: Also from CBC, you have the case of Reemo Romano. (Hey, don’t look at us. We didn’t name him). Apparently they don’t have mall cops in the Great White North, so Reemo, a constable with the York Regional Police, and a team of five were chasing a suspected perfume shoplifter through the mean streets of Toronto when some inconvenient 18-year-old girl stepped off a city bus as if she had the right to interfere with such life-or-death police work.

Well, for her, it was life or death. She was killed instantly, and Romano, who was running his unmarked F150 without lights at almost double the ~35 mph speed limit on bus, has been charged with “dangerous driving causing death.”

Unlike the guy speeding at 0300, who didn’t hit anybody, he hasn’t had to spend a night in jail. (Or is it gaol up there?) Patents of nobility!

The Perils of Kathleen: NSTR

Nothing significant to report on the Korrupt Kathleen Kane front this week. We did, however, find an amusing letter to the Allentown Morning Call that we’d missed before.

Enough is enough! Subscribers to your newspaper are much too familiar with Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s looks.

Every other day it seems you feature a picture of her, and the March 30 edition had three pictures of her on the first six pages. I am tired of reading about and looking at this woman

Hey, some guys think buck teeth and botox is attractive, and one of them is the Morning Call’s photo editor — the paper illustrated the letter with yet another photo of Kane’s creepy rictus.

Oops, we lied, there is this bizarre story about one of her off-the-books hires as special prosecutor and the machinations her office is going through to avoid ethics charges taking them all down with Korrupt Kathleen. We couldn’t make hide nor hair of it, and think you’d have to be not just an attorney but a PA state contracts attorney to even follow it. But hey, they promise not to spend more than $2 million on a contract required because the AG is a crook, so there is that.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

Germans Tighten Up their Export Shot Group

So far, they’ve liked the money from selling stuff to Saudi Arabia. But the Commerce Minister in the currently ruling Grand Coalition is from the increasingly anti-military SPD (usually rendered in English as Social Democratic Party, but there’s no “Democratic” in the German), and wants to deny the Saudis even defensive weapons. (German-language link).

The Saudis supposedly were looking for tanks and G36 rifles. Why G36s, in the world’s most inhospitable desert? Maybe they don’t want to hit anything they shoot at. The existing German weapons-export ban to Middle Eastern nations has been responsible for H&Ks earnings taking a substantial hit from 2013 (€60 million) to 2014 (€25M). (Again, German language link)

Commerce Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s beef is not, apparently, with anything else the Saudis do, but that they still have the death penalty.

Germany’s HK just won an Army contract (more on this Monday, probably) but the guns — which are entirely copied from American technology! — will be made in the United States.

The world has come a long way when Germans are threatening anybody for not executing people, and insisting on keeping their guns and Panzers at home.

The Iran “Deal” Was Sold with Lies and Propaganda

And the guy who did it is proud of it. By the way, he’s the Administration’s top mind on foreign policy, and he has an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, a credential normally only found in the hands of waiters and busboys.

Click on through to the original NYT article to see what this guy — former campaign van driver, and silver-spoon Establishment baby Ben Rhodes — really thinks of the reporters who mumble their stories from around his boss’s reproductive tackle, from their broad view of His short-n-curlies.

Navy Moves to Unisex Uniforms

It’s official, it says here. Well, apart from the NSW guys and nasal radiators, who can tell if the swabbies are boys or girls (or Ash Carter’s and Ray Mabus’s new favorite, “other”) anyway?

Because if boys want to look like girls and girls want to look like boys, or someone is genuinely confused about how his (hir? ze’s? we’re so confunded) last pair of chromosomes line up, we can’t imagine a better place to sort those issues out than inside a bunch of steel with other confused people and nuclear weapons. (Or on a useless pretend-ship LCS with its typical fitment, no weapons).

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?.  (We’re taking a week off from this).

VA Chaplain hates Military, Hates Troops…

… and belongs to an atheist/agnostic “church” that worships left-wing politics, the Unitarian Universalists, who believe everything and nothing about everything and nothing.

As a military chaplain, Chris Antal’s message to the troops was, literally, “F— the Army.” He collected the rare GOMR award. However, he didn’t resign until his student loan payoff was secure, because when you don’t believe in anything, principle means Looking Out For Number One. So he’s out of the Army, and bad cess to him. But hey, the VA hired him in a flash. Hate veterans? That’s their kind of people!

You would think that since the VA works so hard to separate your soul from your body, they could at least find a guy interested in your soul. Apparently not.

Signed, one of those veteran “false idols” you preach about, Chris, you self-serving little *^&$^%#@%.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. Nothing this week. We’re all discombobulated by discovering the Cat Café phenomenon. Maybe we need a new furball around here. 

Entropy and Remembrance

entropyOrder has two enemies, Satan and Entropy; a rational scientist might think that the former is nought by the latter personified, and a clever enough believer could make the case that the latter is nothing but an impersonal manifestation of the former.

In any event, things fall apart; the center does not hold.

Yes, we’re talking about guns. Sooner or later, a carefully themed and assembled collection comes under the auctioneer’s hammer; a museum outlives its endowment, or sinks under the weight of free-spending or off-topic managers; or things that depend on public appropriations are weighed against paying hush money to the idle, and found wanting. Each of these, when it happens, can leave the sphere of knowledge and research — what would we call this, this some-thing-sphere? — somehow impoverished, like a Victorian novel character whose parent or guardian.invested in the wrong consols.

All of those things have happened in the last few years and decades. We’ve recently mentioned Bolodin’s book, published in English by the Champlin Fighter Museum, immediately before that museum pulled a split-S into the cumulo-granite. That information in the book is now locked up and inaccessible to those who want it. Consider the fate of the Pawlas Archive, scattered to the four winds, but at least that archive’s individual documents survive. The usual fate of the archives of a bankrupt firearms maker, and there have been quite a few of them, is to be thrown into dumpsters. The Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, was arguably the world’s best collection of historic personal armor, in a building expressly built to house it; it was merged into a local art museum that kept the decorative pieces and dumped, and is dumping, the technically interesting pieces for cash. Even the Imperial War Museum had, in 2014-15, a near-death experience not for the overall museum, but for several vital elements — it was going to close the library, with its 600,000 items, and research rooms, and missed it by that much (Maxwell Smart hand signal). Instead, the IWM saved these facilities in the eleventh hour. They  just slashed the budget, the staff, and the  hours in which researchers can visit the library, and its remarkable holdings, some of which exist nowhere else on the planet.

Then, you have what’s going on in the mohammedan world, where several kinds of human pathologies feed good old Entropy, his ownself. There is the well-known belief that the only book needed is the Koran, which leads to the burning of libraries: if what’s in there is in the Koran, well, it’s redundant; and if what’s in there is not in the Koran, it’s blasphemy. Burn it! Just in the last few years, we’ve seen iconoclasm raised to a commandment by unlettered savages set afire the libraries of Timbuktu and dynamite the ruins of Palmyra.

As humans, we collect and save things that we may need later, but we’re kind of lousy at it. At least digital knowledge is relatively easy and cheap to acquire and store, but every year more stuff is being erased.