Category Archives: Weapons Education

Ghost Gunner Tips & Tricks #2: Setting up a GG Station

This is a follow-up to our previous post on this general subject, which was cleverly titled Ghost Gunner Tips & Tricks #1This post is the second in what we expect to be an ongoing series.

We have the GG sitting on a rolling tool cart. Here is what is good and bad about that.


  • Good: it’s easily rolled around, and plugged into the gunsmithing workshop computer, or disconnected and rolled out of the way, because the same computer is also used as the book scanning computer and station with the Fujitsu SV600 scanner. It provides a single location for the machine and its ancillary stuff from USB cable to jigs and fixtures and some manuals and instructions. We can even keep workpieces waiting to be run in one of the drawers.
  • Bad: The GG generates a good bit of force when its axes are running, and so it has a tendency to make the base move. But if you lock the locking casters of the tool cart, it actually walks on the rubber mat atop the cart. We’re thinking a thick pad from Tractor Supply will put this to a stop, but we fear the moving cart will have an effect on finish quality,

The cart itself is a WorkSmart model that we bought, on sale, from MSC Direct. We have tool boxes from Craftsman Professional, Snap-On, Craftsman (import), and other makers as well. You may have noticed that there is a wide range of prices for what superficially seem to be very similar boxes. In our experience, the difference between them comes down to several things, all of which favor the name-brand box over the cheap Chinese stuff.

  1. The better the box, ceteris paribus, the thicker gage the metal is.
  2. The better the box, the better the drawer slides are.
  3. The better the box, the more readily repairable it is and the more available spares are.
  4. The better the box, the better prepared the metal was before painting. This affects durability, but it also affects the comfort and safety of the user, as Chinese Slave Labor Factory Nº 76214 tends not to de-burr metal, and instead leaves sharp edges on everything.
  5. The better the box, the more likely you get extras like drawer liners.

However, if your budget only extends to cheap Chinese, there’s a few things you can do to get closer to the $4000-box experience. For example, being aggressive with abrasives and touch-up paper can keep rust from gaining a toehold on your toolbox. (So can dehumidifying the working environment). Likewise, patience, red ScotchBrite, and touch-up paint can correct for lack of deburring at the factory. Don’y hesitate to get a rubbery (and contrasting) drawer liner material; this will keep the bare insides of your el cheapo box from getting all beat up, and save your tools some scars along the way. And you can hunt for used or estate sale boxes. One day ours will be for sale this way!

Our intent is to have the Ghost Gunner related tools in the top drawer and the tooling (jigs/fixtures and fasteners) in the second drawer. Since we’re currently just using the factory AR-15 jigs, and the top drawer is full of cables and pulleys for another project, everything’s in the second drawer.


Clockwise from 12 o’clock, the tools are:

  • 12-3:00: The white tray is a separator we had handy, not our ideal one, and its contents are extra M4 fasteners. We keep duplicates of all the standard jig fasteners: M4-20, M4-45, and appropriate nuts and washers (it was pretty inexpensive to buy all of these). We also have some M4-50s that are used with a bunch of washers to create an M4-51 equivalent when the M4-45 doesn’t quite reach. The Fastenal bolts are made in Taiwan and the washers and nuts in China, and they come with lot numbers for tracking, which is not required for our purposes.
  • 3-4:00: We have some manuals tucked in here. And an extra box of M4-20s just for GPs.
  • 5:00: A Sharpie, a small magnetic wand, and a nut driver set up for the M4 nuts (that’s a 7mm socket).
  • 6:00: The bolts for the two standard setups on the AR-15 milling process.
  • 7:00: More jig bolts. One of these is the above-mentioned M4-50 with extra washers, and one has a small printed nubbin that shows that it is the bolt that goes through the pivot pin holes.
  • 8:00: Appropriate Allen keys (3mm) for the M4 bolts, drill bit and end mill, ER-11 collets.
  • 9-11:00: Mallet and assorted open end wrenches. The shop’s lousy with mallets and wrenches, so we probably didn’t need to put these in here, but it’s a timesaver to have extras in here, and it’s not like they’re our only ones.
  • 12:00 and Down to the Center: The three-component plastic jig for working on the AR lower receiver to the right of the simple rubber-headed mallet mentioned above. As they’re black on a black drawer liner they might be hard to see.

Stay tuned for further reporting on this remarkable tool. Happy building!

Note: the GhostGunner is a simple, compact CNC mill developed as an open-source project by Defense Distributed. The long-term plan is for it to be at the center of an ecosystem of technology, information, and shared files. That is currently suspended due to a legal attack by anti-gun appointees in the State Department.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: JSOU Press Publications

jsou_libraryHere is a fine example of Your Tax Dollars in Action (for our international readers, Some Other Guys’ Tax Dollars in Action), being returned to the public in the form of freely downloadable publications, all related in some way to Special Operations: The Joint Special Operations University Publications.

Is that whirring we hear the sound of hard drives spooling up? Be our guest. You’ve paid for the knowledge and expertise contained in these documents. They are yours to learn from.

In 2016 alone, JSOU published nine numbered Papers, a fistful of Occasional Papers, and some themed collections of articles. They’re all here. They cover subjects like: unconventional warfare doctrine, the history of how one 7th Group battalion task force took down an al-Qaeda underground/auxiliary network in Iraq, and an evaluation of how better to meet SOF language and human domain knowledge needs. Some of it is aimed more at the academic than the practitioner, but it’s all useful stuff.

For example, at this writing the most recent of them is The Evolution of the Global SOF Enterprise from a Partner Perspective, by Lieutenant Colonel Asbjørn Lysgård, Norwegian Army. (The .pdf is here, also). LTC Lysgård is a Norwegian Military Academy graduate and longtime veteran of an element we foreigners aggregate with all other Norwegian SOF as NORSOF, but that the Norwegian services know as NORASOC. In fact, each Norwegian SOF element has its own history and skillset, and each can reach back to earlier Norwegian SOF that were formed in close collaboration with British and American SO elements in World War II.

Norwegian SOF in training.

Norwegian SOF in training.

Norway, however, following the Second World War, disbanded all its SOF units to prioritize a larger conventional force structure to meet the Soviet threat. The legacy of OSS and SOE was still present though, especially in the reserves and the Norwegian Home Guard. Finally, almost a decade after the war, Norwegian Defense Forces started to reinvest in SOF. In 1953, the Navy established the first teams of Frogmen and, in 1962, the Army established Hærens Fallskjermjegerskole (HFJS), the Army’s Commando School, to train long-range reconnaissance units for parachute insertion behind enemy lines. During the Cold War, U.S. SOF worked closely with HFJS to shape the battlefield, fighting off a potential threat from the East. Throughout the Balkan wars and the Kosovo crisis, Norwegian SOF became an expeditionary strategic deployable force, which later developed into Hærens Jegerskole/Forsvarets Spesialkommando, the predecessor of the current strategic command.

The Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM) was established on 1 January 2014, when its first commander, Rear Admiral Nils Johan Holte, took command of the two tactical Norwegian SOF units, Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK), and the Navy SOF unit Marinejegerkommandoen. Since that time, the NORSOCOM commander and his staff have strengthened the long-established relations between the different SOF units around the world.

LTC Lysgård explains, from the point of view of an Allied officer, what it’s like to be one of the over two dozen partner nations in the Global SOF Network, a functional and technical means of coordination and cooperation.

In reading his paper, we learned a thing or three about the current status of interoperation among friendly SOF, and in fact it goes quite a bit further than we thought it did. If you’re interested in such things, it’s a thought-provoking read.

And if you’re not? Keep looking around the JSOU Library. You’ll find something that’s more to your taste.

Join a Minority (Pistol) Group

join-a-minority-groupOK, so “It’s Over. And Glock Won,” as we posted a while back. But as we never really warmed up to the G17, we went back to a CZ.

Like we did when we filled out the first of many sheaves of volunteer paperwork, we Joined a Minority Group.

When you join a minority group, you can find yourself, well, not fitting in. You’re different. People look at you funny. You might be feared, shunned, even hated. You tend to band together with people like yourself.

There’s probably something about it in the Bible, or maybe the Book of Mormon (in the Book of John Moses?), that says that the bearers of the 1911 shall cleave to one another, and not suffer the bearers of the unclean European wondernine to pass among them; and the Pharisees of the K-Frame and Python listened not to the gospel of the autopistol, but gathered among themselves and called for the stoning of the autopistoleros, especially those whose frames were cast of polymer, which is unclean.

Well, there’s a certain sense to that. With your only six rounds gone, aren’t fist-sized stones the handiest Plan B?

The cultural Siberia to which the odd-brand pistol-packer exiles himself is not the whole problem, or even the largest part. More practically, changing pistols is a royal pain in the part where Glock operators occasionally puncture themselves. If the pistol were the be-all and end-all of your self-defense, that’d be one thing, but think of all the other parts of the self-defense handgun ecosystem:

  1. ammunition;
  2. spare magazines;
  3. sights (factory sights peak at “fair,” and some are horrible. And they are usually day-only. Take a look at what side of the clock defensive gun units happen on);
  4. holsters, and magazine carriers.

beretta_m9_kyle_defoorThen, there’s training. Some trainers will expect you to run what you brung and will work to make you better with it (here’s Kyle Defoor discussing training a Beretta-using entity). Other trainers will use a training class as a platform to disparage your selection (or worse, your agency’s or service’s selection, as if you, a gravel-agitating bullet-launch technician, could influence it), and promote their own 99% solution.

(But we do agree with Defoor’s aside — if you’re going to carry the Beretta, or any safety-equipped DA/SA auto, carry it hammer down on a loaded chamber, safety off. We also agree that even better than the 92F/M9 is the decocker-only 92G).

Fortunately, most trainers can teach you something that will make your shooting better. If you’re already really good, there are specific trainers that specialize in wringing the last 4% of potential out of any given platform. (So maybe it’s necessary to change trainer when you change gat).

It’s wonderful that those guys can make a living, but the fact is, you probably don’t need that kind of specific training. You might still seek those trainers out — because they’re probably pretty darn good, overall. (If you’re going to do heavy maintenance on your pistol, of course, you’re well advised to attend the factory or importer armorer course, if you can. But operation, many experienced trainers can help you with).

Some of those things often aren’t that big a change. If your old and new guns are in the same caliber, and the new gun will feed your old ammo, there’s one change you don’t have to make or consider. Your mag carriers often will take any other mag in the same caliber. And sights? You’ll be at the mercy of the aftermarket, and your pistol’s standard or not-so-much sight dovetails.

With all that out of the way, the real thing that’s a problem is a holster. These don’t interchange among pistols, much. (Unless they’re crappy holsters that “fit” many pistols because they don’t actually fit anything). So we went to the holster maker that skinned our Glock, Raven Concealment, only to find out our CZ was not on their supported list.


The P-01 didn’t really fit in the concealment holsters we had for the old CZ-75 Pre-B. It has a squared off “chin” with a light rail, and a larger trigger guard.

We heard that Black Storm Defense in Tennessee made a decent holster, so we went on line and ordered one each of their Signature and Pancake holsters for the P-01.

And waited.

And waited.

D’oh. This is what happens when you join a minority group, kids. We could get forty-eleven holsters for a Glock 17 within twenty miles of Hog Manor, nearly as many for a SIG, and even a few for an M9. CZ-75 P-01? Not so much.

Welcome to the minority group. But then, in the process of rounding up some stray tax paperwork in the pile of untended paper on the breakfast table, we discovered (along with a pile of unread magazines, a $355 rebate check from our health insurer, apparently for not having another myocardial infarction in the last twelve moths, and a box of hollow points) a holster we’d bought on a whim on eBay of all places, for the old CZ, months or maybe years ago.

And never taken out of the bag, because were were rockin’ the Glock when it came.


It was a very inexpensive, an “Anatolia” brand from the Turkish company Anatolia Hunting & Nature Sports, Leather Products Company, which is quite a mouthful in English, and must be a remarkable jawbreaker in its native Turkish. The holster seems well-made, it’s made of solid leather and appears to be hand-stitched. Will it hold up?

And… will the P-01 fit? It just might, because the holster’s a simple slide-in job, with a free muzzle. It might not care about the P-01’s prognathous jaw, and it looks like it’s shaped to take a protruding or squared-off trigger guard, and not just the rounded one of the Pre-B.

And it did fit.


And with delight, we started carrying the P-01, finally.

The next day, we got an email from Black Storm that our holsters had shipped. The wait wasn’t even that bad (three weeks from order to ship) but we’d gotten impatient. Now the Black Storms will have to play King of the Hill with this $15 Turkish special — which starts out at the top of the hill.

That, too, is life in a pistol minority group. The delights, as well as the sickeners, come in clusters.

When You Don’t Bubba a Mosin…

…You can actually hit stuff with it… if it’s a right one.

Bog standard 91/30. Good iron sights, approved by ordnance officers of late Tsar and Lenin and Stalin (who were, not to put too fine a point on it, the same ordnance officers). Field rest. The original poster of the video writes (we have only added paragraph breaks):

The M91/30 Mosin Nagant with 7N1 ammo is a formidable long range rifle system. In this video (made available to you by popular demand) Rex Reviews demonstrates just how effective an unmodified military rifle can be in experienced hands.

This rifle is in 100% original military configuration and had NOT been equipped with any optical sights, yet it slams steel at 944 yards as easy as anything else on the shelf.

Many assume these rifle like this (purchased for under $100) must need modification to shoot well… but what many fail to realize is that these rifles were not designed by sporting companies for recreational activities, they were designed by teams of engineers with massive government resources for life-and-death purposes.

These rifles were designed to be harmonically balanced and were inspected to meet serious military manufacturing and design specifications. In a nutshell, they are ready to roll off of the shelf! Ask Simo Häyhä (the White Death) if I’m telling the truth…

It rings the bell at more meters than you’d give it credit for (and more meters that lots of people can see a man-sized target without optical aids). Lots and lots of meters. (944 yd. is 893 meters).

Why did Russia and its Soviet successor empire stick with this 19th-Century bangstick for so very long? Because it was good, in all that word means in reference to a military arm: it was simple, dependable, low-maintenance, hard-hitting, and more accurate than any but a tiny percentage of the men who carried it.

Nothing that Bubba can do to a Mosin (except, we’ll grant, scope it, where the common Soviet solution was sub-optimal) will do anything much to improve the work of those long-dead Russian designers, engineers, and craftsmen.

A Rockin’ Mystery

Here’s a video Ian did over a year ago, about a gun that was up for auction at Rock Island Auctions. It beats us with a stick, but it also beat him with a stick, which takes a little more doing. And it beat his commenters with a stick. In the end, it didn’t sell at the auction.

He said this in the text area to the video:

There isn’t much I can say about this one, as I have no idea who made it or when. What I can tell is that it is a blowback action with a rather unique “rocking block” type of bolt and what appears to be a clock style coiled flat spring for the hammer.

And elaborates on that in the video. He does do a credible job of explaining its unique method of operation. He doesn’t comment at all on markings but it looks to us like it might have some kind of proofs up above the barrel. What do you think?

Rock Island also had limited information about it, and no provenance that might help out.

Description With no markings and a unique angled slide. The pistol appears to be almost entirely handmade with a smooth unrifled barrel, hand checkered grips, hand checkered cocking piece and a hand checkered trigger. The rounded spur hammer seems to work on a simple leaf spring mechanism and is vibrantly colored from what appears to be a rudimentary heat treating process. A very interesting piece with a “rolling block” style mechanism.
Condition Very good with traces of blue finish. The balance has a mottled gray/brown patina with some light spotting and minor pitting. Grips are fair. Mechanically needs adjustment. The leaf spring for the hammer appears broken or detached.

As we said, it failed to make reserve at the auction and so was a no-sale and returned to consignor.

And as far as we know (again), nobody’s ever figured out what it was, found a related patent, or anything.

Fun Facts about Boston SWAT and the “gun trucks.”

Mostly from Boston and area cops. Mostly second-hand. But this is some good context for this morning’s post on the cop shooting in East Boston.

You Gotta Ride

boston-police-motorcycle-patrolIf you get off active duty as a Seal Team Subzero assault team leader and join the Boston PD, you’re probably not going to be on Special Operations (the local flavor of SWAT). That’s not just because there’s an in-crowd that you’re probably not “in,” but also because it’s a love child of the motorcycle platoon. The official party line about the outfit glosses over that …

The Boston Police Special Operations Unit is a specialized unit within the Boston Police Department responsible for combined duties involving Highway Patrol and traffic enforcement, crowd control, and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) services within the city.

 One unique feature of the unit is that the Special Operations Unit primarily relies on the use of Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors and Harley-Davidsons in their daily patrols. The use of motorcycles allows the unit to perform routine traffic enforcement; accompany parades, crowds, and visiting dignitaries; and to quickly travel to situations wherein the unit’s SWAT skills are requested. Specialized trucks and support vehicles are also used to transport equipment and officers when needed.

 The Canine unit with twenty seven patrol/narcotics, and EOD dogs, and Bomb (EOD) squad are also under the Special Operations Division.

… but the deal is, you gotta ride if you want to kick doors with the nation’s oldest police department. You gotta check out in the motorcycle platoon, first.

And yes, you have a ticket… please don’t call it a quota… we believe the current term is objective.

It’s All on the Buddy System

Getting into a military special operations element usually requires some kind of selection, qualification or standards-setting rite of passage. Getting into Boston PD Motorcycle and Special Operations? If the unit’s managers think you’re a good guy, you’re in. It helps if you have other coppers in the family, or course. (Well, that’s everywhere. You’ll never stamp it out, and you might not want to, because for every nephew-they-wish-wasn’t, there’s usually three good cops in a cop family).

This has been a shock to some guys who come from military special operations, or from other departments that have high standards for their entry squads, like LAPD’s SWAT or NYPD’s ESD.

There is NO Physical Requirement or PT test

This guy isn't a Boston cop, but you could say he fits the profile.

This guy isn’t a Boston cop, but you could say he fits the profile.

Not for the PD, nor for Special Operations. The unions have fought any attempt to impose such a requirement so long and so vigorously that nobody even brings it up any more.

On the plus side, if you want to get in shape, nobody in the department leadership is going to stop you. More donuts for them!

It’s far from the only police department in this position. One of Boston’s many colleges has a large and generally switched-on police department, where they’re actually taking measures that may be effective should, God forbid, they face an active shooter some day. That department has a physical fitness test. It’s optional. If you opt to take it, and pass — it’s not a high standard — you receive a $2,000 cash bonus. If you fail? You get $150, to apply to a gym membership. An interesting way of motivating cops, to be sure. And more than BPD does.

The Whole City PD has 8 Carbines. Total.

What's in their gun rack? Less than you'd expect.

What’s in their gun rack? Less than you’d expect.

Remember the “gun trucks?” If you built a gun truck, it would probably have rifle racks in it, an ammo locker, and maybe some trained officers, and you’d have them prepositioned for quick access to likely trouble spots.


The Boston Police Department runs two “gun trucks,” with two trained officers in each, per shift. And they just drive around, unless dispatched. And the guns? They have shotguns. And carbines — two each. And their sidearms. And that’s it.

The four carbines in the two gun trucks on the street are it for a city of about three quarters of a million (when the city’s many colleges are in session. The population drops in the summertime).

Four guns, four officers. That’s cosi fan tutte in a city where even the local FBI got turned by organized crime, the Irish Republican Army and its spinoff terrorists find their entire basis of logistical support, bank-armored-truck crews are practically the fifth pro sports team after the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox, and the Islamic Center of Boston is still preaching the gospel that energized the Tsarnaev brothers. Four guns.

Unless a truck is down for maintenance, or an officer is sick. Then you have one truck, and two guns. Thank both Gods that the IRA and the Islamic Center don’t coordinate much.

Bear in Mind

While Boston Police Department’s Special Operations may not be on the cutting edge of organizational effectiveness, and may not be armed and equipped like other major police departments are, bear in mind what happened when two fellow cops were down:

They hooked up and went in to the gunfire, beat the bad guy, and saved their own guys’ lives.

This all seems to have been spontaneous action from guys from the level of sergeant on down. Imagine what they could do with some better gear — and leadership.

Lessons From a Shooting: Boston PD UPDATED

Boston_Police_patchWe’re going to break every rule in the book and comment on a shooting based largely on early media reports, because it seems likely that some of these early lessons will be subsumed into the usual drum circles beating out The Usual Narrative™ in a matter of days.

We’ll start with what is known: Boston PD responded to a domestic. They were met by a man who said his roommate threatened him with a knife. They made entry,  and, in the basement of 136 Gladstone St in East Boston, encountered an armed man –who announced himself with gunfire. The two policemen were suddenly down, wounded. It was other officers from Special Operations who happened to be training nearby, that responded to their calls for help, and ultimately shot and killed the suspect.

[Boston Police Commissioner William B.] Evans said officers responding to a fight between roommates on Gladstone Street were fired upon by 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa, who shot and wounded Officer Richard Cintolo, a 28-year veteran of the department, and Officer Matt Morris, a 12-year veteran. Figueroa, of East Boston, was killed by police.

This is Why Wackers Weird You Out


Portrait of the doer, in what seems to have been a self-awarded uniform. He was not ever Airborne in his short military career, and that’s a foreign cap badge.

Figueroa was an oddball, the sort of cop wannabe that Massachusetts coppers call a “wacker.” (Maybe cops elsewhere use the term, too, but we’ve only heard it in the Bay State). You know the guy: he’s always trying to get a law enforcement job. He dresses in blue 5.11s. (For church!) He drives a Crown Vic with some of its cop lights still on it (often, one that the state troopers were glad to see the last of at 283,000 miles). Yeah, that guy.

Figueroa had served in the National Guard in a specialized MP correctional unit, a unit that trained to run a POW camp or other detainee or prison facility. (see UPDATE 1130 14 Oct 16 below).

Figueroa had worked as a corrections officer (briefly) but quit to become a bounty hunter in California (we are not making that up, but maybe the Boston Herald, where we saw it, did). He lived in several states pursuing law enforcement jobs. In MA, he became a “constable,” which probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. A Massachusetts constable does swear an oath, but has no arrest powers and no more firearms rights than any other MA subject (which is to say, practically none). His powers are constrained to service of civil process — that’s it.

It is a job often held as a stop-gap by youths dreaming of a police job, and held for longer periods by wackers who wish they were cops. Good luck sorting out whether a guy is a Figueroa or not beforehand.

The press is complaining that, even though he was a sworn constable, he didn’t have any Massachusetts gun license. (In MA you need a license even for long guns or BB guns). Obviously the lack of the license prevented this crime… oh, wait. There’s 125 or so murders a year in MA and the vast majority are committed with guns by people who did not have a license for them. It’s almost as if murderers don’t obey other laws, too!

Figueroa reportedly had a profile on a website called Elite Policing (if so, it had been removed by noon yesterday).

A roommate told police that Figueroa threatened him with a “big knife.”

He reportedly said to the roommate he was squabbling with and his other roommate, Diego Morello, “You’re going to read about me in the newspaper. Everyone is going to know my name.”

Yeah. We know your name, all right. We just can’t print it in this family-friendly blog.

Some things went well

Knowing the two cops were shot and down, at least seven more cops flooded the building, and raced towards the wounded men, Officers Richard Cintolo and Matt Morris. Cintolo was retirement-eligible with 28 years in; Morris had 12 on the force. Both were down hard with critical wounds; Cintolo was shot in the chest and face.



Morris had the more immediately threatening injury, a massive leg wound that left him bleeding from the femoral artery. When Special Operations hit the building, officers provided life-saving buddy-aid: even under the suspect’s fire, Officer Clifton Singletary put his hands in to Morris’s gaping wound to try to stop the bleeding, and called for an officer with a tourniquet. Sergeant Norberto Perez, a veteran of over 30 years, came up with the lifesaving device and emplaced it, while he, Singletary, and Morris all tried to stay prone and out of the line of fire. A third officer proned out and neutralized the suspect with a carbine.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a regional trauma center to which the wounded men were transported, told police that Morris would have bled out without the tourniquet.

Morris, who lives in the neighborhood he grew up in, a neighborhood full of cops, was one of two plainclothes cops decorated in 2005 for coaxing a gunman into surrender. His wife is a nurse.

These are things we have been told but cannot confirm

Figueroa’s weapon was reportedly a shotgun. (Some press have reported it as an AR-15, but they are the ones that report everything as an AR-15. The “shotgun” source is more reliable, but notes he is not certain of his information).

(Update: this story says “tactical shotgun” but quotes commissioner as saying “rifle.” )

The guy supposedly told his roommates, who he’d been squabbling with, that he was going to be famous and wouldn’t be taken alive. (The roommates have been interviewed by investigating officers).

When the scene was still a little confused, officers took “a couple” of suspects and treated them… firmly… only to find they were not connected to the crime, and their one suspect was on his way to ambient temperature.

And… the presence of Special Operations and the “gun truck” that carries their hardware was somewhat providential, they happened to be a short drive away when the emergency call came. Normal Boston Police officers are not trained on carbines and not permitted to carry them in their vehicles. The BPD has grudgingly agreed to put carbines in patrol supervisors’ cars.

Lessons learned so far

  1. If somebody gets the drop on you, you’re probably going to get shot.
  2. Most cops can go a whole career without ever encountering an armed suspect, but you can still encounter two in a few years, like Morris did.
  3. What worked for one encounter with an armed suspect might not work next time.
  4. Tourniquets. If as many of us carried tourniquets as carry guns — not just cops, but all of us — we might do some real good. How about herd immunity to exsanguination?
  5. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between a guy who wants to be a cop and a cop wannabe.
  6. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between the guys getting locked up and the guys doing the locking. While it does seem like Figueroa is very different from the cops who nailed him, if this particular incident hadn’t blown up, who’s to say he wouldn’t have gotten hired somewhere, sooner or later?
  7. Our perception is that these kinds of domestics-turned-suicide-by-cop are becoming more frequent. Cops, prosecutors, defense attorneys, what do you guys think? Heck, everybody.
  8. While we’re asking, why not the big ask on these incidents? Why?
  9. This is purest speculation, but we wonder if the Lautenberg Amendment has an unintended consequence of producing these violent episodes. Wait, hear us out; it may be counterintuitive, but it’s not irrational. This guy Figueroa was intent on becoming a cop, and he had to know that his dream was gone forever once his roommate called the real cops on him. At that point, his life as he has conceived it is over. The one and only thing he wanted was yanked away from him. He’s a desperate man, operating on raw emotion, not logic.
  10. Gun licensing kind of stinks at keeping cops safe, doesn’t it?

UPDATE 1130 14 Oct 16

The unit Figueroa served in was an Army Reserve cage-kicker outfit, not a Guard one. We regret the error. The unit has wasted no time in distancing themselves from him, pointing out that he never attended basic training or AIT and didn’t even last half a year before quitting, ostensibly on hardship grounds. (That doesn’t mean what you think it means, that you are the sole caretaker of your dying mama or something. In the context of reserve component service, it usually means that you are moving a distance from the unit or that your work schedule conflicts with the drill schedule). The Army Times:

Figueroa, founder of Code Blue Protection Corp., claimed on his company’s website,, he served nearly a decade as an MP, but he served a mere five months, according to an Army spokesman.

“Mr. Figueroa never attended basic training or advanced individual training. He did enlist in the U.S. Army Reserve in February 2003, but received a hardship discharge five months later,” Wayne Hall said in a statement.

So he’s a wannabe. And have we not said before, over and over again, that it’s never just military impersonation with a wannabe? There’s usually considerable crime and other misconduct comorbid in these strange cases.

The shooter also touted his experience as a Boston constable, a law enforcement program that allows trained and sworn-in members to carry out arrests and serve legal documents. He also described himself as a West Virginia corrections officer, trained private investigator, and California bounty hunter.

As we have seen, that is a dishonest description of the Boston constable program (they have no arrest powers and do not receive any law enforcement training). His stint as a WV cage-kicker was shorter than his time as an Army Reservist — blink and you missed it. If he had any PI training, there’s been no sign of it yet. And “California bounty hunter?” We guess the bounties must have been meager in CA, or he wouldn’t be living with (and threatening) two roommates in a working-class and immigrant-heavy neighborhood in Boston!

UPDATE 1200 14 Oct 16

We’ve learned so many fun facts about the Boston PD SWAT Platoon and the remarkable “gun trucks” unique to the soi-disant Hub of the Universe, that that’s going to be a post of its own. Probably at 1800 today (which means this incident bumps two slots that could have had a gun technical or historical post — we regret, etc.) so stay tuned.

The Pushmi-Pullyu of Pistols

47-year-old Christopher Bechtler, his two sons Augustus and Charles, and his nephew, who came to be called Christopher, Jr., emigrated to the US from the Duchy of Baden (a German principality) in 1829 (without a word of English among them, apparently) and immediately took out naturalization papers. They moved on quickly from Philadelphia, where German craftsmen were in healthy supply, and settled by the summer of 1830 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, where there was just enough of a German community to serve as interpreters. And thereby we come to this bizarre image, from Lewis Winant’s classic Firearms Curiosa (published in five editions, all of which are textually identical as far as we know, from 1954 to 1961).


Of this pistol, Winant writes:

Some guns reveal at a glance their freakishness…. Illustration 237 is a reproduction of the frontispiece from the August, 1912, issue of Magazine of Antique Firearms. The caption for the frontispiece reads, “C. Bechtler’s Double Ender Pistol. A Southern made pistol of great rarity. Fisher collection.” An accompanying article by Dr. A. L. Fisher explains that the mainspring is the trigger guard and that this mainspring may be released by either trigger. Dr. Fisher notes that as the two hammers can not both be cocked at the same time, simultaneous murder and suicide can not be accomplished! The gun is some times known as the „Fore and Aft” and is assumed to have been made by Christopher Bechtler. Mr. Bechtler was a German gunsmith who settled in Rutherford, North Carolina, in 1829. Certainly a collector may need a second look to be sure his eyes have not deceived him, but not to decide that this is truly an oddity.

Here’s a forum post about what appears to be the same pistol, including a reprinted page from a 1955 Texas Gun Collector newsletter. The owner of that example, Harry B. Harmer of Philadelphia, thought he had the sole example (perhaps the same one Fisher described in 1912).

The gun quite caught our fancy. It’s the firearms version of the Pushmi-Pullyu, of which Hugh Lofting wrote:

Pushmi–pullyus are now extinct. That means, there aren’t any more. But long ago, when Doctor Dolittle was alive, there were some of them still left in the deepest jungles of Africa; and even then they were very, very scarce. They had no tail, but a head at each end, and sharp horns on each head. They were very shy and terribly hard to catch…. no matter which way you came towards him, he was always facing you.

Except, of course, the Pushmi-Pullyu was entirely fictional, and this pistol is entirely not. It’s two guns in one! It’s a New York Reload, 150 years before Jim Cirillo coined (or at least inspired) the term! It’s… an oddity. It’s the polar opposite of OSHA approved. We like it.

But Winant didn’t really have a handle on the maker of this gun that had the grips and barrels all confused. Well, in the 1950s, the well-respected Winant didn’t have the less-respected Intertubes. We do, which is why we know more about him than long-gone Winant (who passed away in 1963) ever did.

The Bechtler family were broadly skilled craftsmen, who were at one time or another (and often at the same time) clock and watch makers, jewelers, gold miners, operators of a private mint  that struck millions of dollars worth of gold coins, beginning almost two decades before the US Mint struck a gold $1 piece. (The Constitution bans the States from striking coins, but is silent on whether citizens can; several private mints operated in the 19th Century, and the Bechtlers’ was perhaps the most trusted).

And, of course, they were gunsmiths. About the men:

The only first-hand description of the Bechtlers comes from the journal of George W. Featherstonhaugh. He describes in some detail the Bechtlers’ mining and gun-making enterprises and the transactions between Bechtler and the customers who brought gold to him for assaying and coining. Featherstonhaugh had doubts that the mining he saw at Bechtler’s farm was likely to be productive, but he was most impressed by Bechtler’s ingenuity and honesty.

During the 1830s and 40s, they seemed to be ess known for the quantity than the ingenuity of their designs, which brings us one step closer to the pushmi-pullyu at the top of the page.

Signed Bechtler percussion pistol.

Bechtler percussion pistol. The Bechtlers customarily appear to have  marked their work “North Carolina” on the left and with the gunsmith’s name on the right. 

The Bechtlers were also known throughout North Carolina and neighboring states for manufacturing rifles and pistols. The family manufactured guns prior to coming to America and continued that trade for many years after taking up residence in North Carolina.

The quality and reliability of the Bechtlers’ guns so impressed the visiting geologist Featherstonhaugh that he purchased a rifle from the family and asked Bechtler to inlay his name with native gold. Featherstonhaugh wrote that as gunsmiths, Bechtler and his sons are “preeminent in their ingenuity: they had invented various ingenious modes of firing rifles eight times in a minute. One with a chain for sixty caps, revolving by a catch of the trigger, and was exceedingly curious. Young Bechtler fired it off several times at a target placed at a distance of one hundred and sixty-five yards, and with great success.”

In 1837, the Bechtlers took on the training of a 14-year-old apprentice to learn “the art of a gun smith,” possibly in expectation that the opening of the federal Mint in Charlotte would lead to a decline in the coining business and a renewed concentration on their gun-making business.

This fine pisrol, c.1840, is attributed to Augustus Bechtler. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Museum of History

This fine pisrol, c.1840, is attributed to Augustus Bechtler. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Museum of History

A wonderful site (especially for those with German-American connections), Immigrant Entrepreneurship, has a much more thorough bio of Christopher Bechtler, from which the following is excerpted:

On April 25, 1830, Bechtler purchased a tract of land in Rutherford County from John Bradley. Bechtler was not yet a citizen, so he could not hold title to the land. Instead, he conveyed the land to Martin Kibler, a German-American resident, to be held in trust for him until he became a citizen in July 1832. Rutherford County had a substantial number of German immigrants, and Bechtler frequently availed himself of their assistance as translators and witnesses of legal transactions. Bechtler never mastered the English language, although he could communicate tolerably well in broken English.

That is quite amazing, when you consider the Bechtlers’ success. No doubt his sons mastered English to a much greater degree, although after them we lose the trail of the family. Which is a pity, because if you’re on this site, you’re interested in the gun angle, and you wonder whether subsequent generations carried on with it.

Immigrant Entrepreneurship’s engaging bio is worth reading at length, but we’ll quote from it, about his and his sons’ gun manufacturing progress.

Bechtler did not aspire to be a mass market manufacturer. His products were high quality, finely crafted items, often custom made. The same vision guided his gunsmithing business, which evidently took place at his farm in the country. Known as a “first rate gunsmith” who produced “beautiful rifles and pistols” of innovative and sometimes curious design, Bechtler crafted repeating rifles capable of firing eight times a minute, and also made novelty items such as a “snuff box pistol,” a “walking stick rifle” and a twin-barrel pistol with the barrels facing in opposite directions. During his tour of Bechtler’s farm in 1837, Featherstonhaugh was so impressed with the firearms on display that he bought a rifle which Bechtler personally engraved with gold. Bechtler achieved local renown as a jeweler, watchmaker, and gunsmith, but the coining business he established would overshadow all of these other activities, becoming the most successful private mint in the eastern United States.

The Pushmi-Pullyu may, in fact, be that “twin-barrel pistol with the barrels facing in opposite directions” that is mentioned above. Or it may be this one, held in the Swedish Royal Armoury collection.

(sv) Slaglåsdubbelpistol, 1800-talets mitt, "Double-Ender" - (sv) Christopher Bechtler (Tillverkare, , ). Livrustkammaren. Public Domain -

(sv) Slaglåsdubbelpistol, 1800-talets mitt, “Double-Ender” – (sv) Christopher Bechtler (Tillverkare, , ). Livrustkammaren. Public Domain


The Swedish text of the Europeana page from which we drew this titles it (our meatball translation) as a “Percussion double pistol, mid-1800s, “Double-Ender”, made by Christopher Bechtler. and says:

Double gun in the form of two barrels counterposed at a 135º angle, sharply turned, smooth-bore barrels of steel, triple rings at the muzzles. One barrel forming the grip for the other. Deep pitting on both sides. Underneath each barrel is a dual-purpose hammer/hammer spring, fastened with screws at the muzzles of the barrels. Priming cap nipples screwed into the touchhole in the barrels. Between the springs, a round trigger is suspended, and catches the springs when they’re under tension.

(Some Swede will probably correct us on many errors). This gun is fascinating, because it’s the same concept but a very different form (and we think, an earlier one) than the gun in the Winant book. The Winant gun, too, though, appears to be at a 135º angle; it just has much more conventional lockwork, apart from the shared spring and interlock feature Winant describes.

But the mystery of “A Southern made pistol of great rarity,” seems to have been resolved over the last sixty years, although who knows what new facts about Christopher Bechtler and his sons and their gun enterprise will come to light next? In any event, now the restless shade of Lewis Winant can find peace — on this question, at least.

Come to WeaponsMan for the gun pictures, stay for the laying of the ghosts!

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Serbu Videos

Today we’re not calling out a website so much as one guy’s, and one company’s, YouTube channel. Mark Serbu’s Serbu Firearms is known for its .50 rifles and other innovative products, which manage to combine shade-tree mechanics with practical engineering. But his YouTube channel is something else entirely.

For instance, he unearthed this video of a mid-2000s prototype .50 BMG semi-auto, the HyperDel, which seems to have vanished, since. It was a 5-round semi .50 with a tubular receiver and a Stoner-style direct-injection gas system. The barrel is screwed into the receiver with a racheting barrel nut à la Uzi. It looks like the trigger and hammer are AR-sourced, and the mag release resembles the M-14, Tokarev, AK style. It seems to have a cross-bolt safety on the receiver, but we might just be seeing that wrong.

The recoil-management and -measurement rig is pretty clever and straightforward. It looks like they went back to the drawing board after this video. Not only does the video have some possible gaps, the “design enhancements” suggest that the prototype had failures to fire, feed, and extract. According to Mark, this company did not advertise completed guns, only plans.

This thread on the Home Gunsmith forum suggests that Hyperdel (Hyper Delivery Systems) was selling the plans before they ever built the rifle, which seems a bit ass-backwards to us. A look at yielded these claims from 2006:

The Patented hyperDEL semiautomatic big bore rifle, chambered in either 50 BMG or 50 DTC Euro calibers, is now undergoing the second of four, live-fire, test phases. See News for more information.

Caliber: 50 BMG or 50 DTC Euro
Dual Caliber Rifle, Barrel Assy Interchangeability

Patented hyperDEL Gas Reciprocating Action
ON/OFF Gas Toggle for Bolt-Action-Like Touch-Offs
hyperBUFFER Adjustable Damping System
Free Floating 29 in. Kreiger Barrel, Chromed Chmbr
Dry Weight: 30 lb. (no scope, no ammo)
Overall Length: 60.1 in.
Four Lug Bolt and Barrel Extension
Alloy Steel Barrel/Action Construction
Aircraft Aluminum Receiver
Patented hyperTAME Recoil Brake
Patent Pending hyperTIGHT Group Size Reducer
Fixed Head Space
“AR15” Fire Control

Pistol Grip for Man-Sized Hands
hyperLIGHT Trigger Break
Patent Pending hyperPOD Bipod
Two 10 rnd., Dual-Stack, Parkerized Steel Mags
Ambidextrous Magazine Release
Magazine Accommodates Both Calibers

Finishes: Hardcoat, Parkerizing, DuraCoat®
Easily Breaks Down into Receiver & Barrel Assys

Field Strips w/o Tools
Rotatable Butt Pad To Fit Any Shoulder Pocket
Sorbothane II Shock Dissipating Butt Pad
MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny Rail, 50 MOA Declination
Closed-OFF Ejection Port While Bolt in Battery

By 2010, the site was occupied by domain squatters, cheating advertising networks with bogus searches and hits. It last resolved in DNS at all in 2015.

Recently, Mark has been engaging with the much reviled experimenting kid, Rick, whose YouTube persona is Royal Nonesuch… helping both to educate the boy and keep him from killing himself. We suspect that Mark sees in the tinkering youth a shade of his own young self, and his own tinkering keeps him young at heart.

Of greatest interest to readers, perhaps, is his series Gun Design 101 in which Mark originally intended to talk about conceptual and detail design (like some of the books on our Gun Design Books page linked at the top of but has wound up, instead, talking design of simple, almost improvised, firearms. So watch these three videos, and be Ready for Hillary.

December 2014: “The Making of the $7 12-Gauge Zip Gun Shotgun”

He calls it the ZG-12 for “Zip Gun 12,” heh, and doesn’t give dimensions directly as a “barrier to entry” — if you can’t figure it out, he says, you’re a “punk.” It’s not a terribly practical gun, but it exists “as a testament to what can be done,” with minimum costs, materials, and time.

The video is actually a good “Design 101” because it shows the conceptual design and engineering substantiation of the firearm, as well as its production. If you’ve been listening to Dyspeptic Gunsmith about the power of a file, you’ll be nodding along when Mark applies the unexpected combination of a massive industrial CNC turning center and a hand-held file together on the same operation!

Firing the gun lets him check his calculations.

Even in oppressive environments where guns are outlawed, the last ammunition to become unavailable is birdshot.

The next video in Gun Design 101 makes a slam-fire .22 pistol.

May 2016: Apocalypse Hardware Store Gun Build!

“We’re not talking a complete apocalypse, where you’re running around in a loincloth in the woods.” And “We used some pretty expensive equipment, but we didn’t have to.”

And the latest (and possibly ultimate?) version: the GB-22. The “22” in the name is obvious… the “GB” stands for “Gun Buyback,” which is one suitable deployment for such a firearm… used to convert doo-gooders’ cash into money to buy that Serbu .50 you’ve had your eye on.

October 2016: World’s simplest homemade pistol…the GB-22! Gun Buybacks beware!

“16 years ago I came up with the idea for this really simple gun to turn in on a buyback.”

World’s simplest homemade pistol…the GB-22! Gun Buybacks beware!Skills displayed here include making and heat treating a spring with improvised tools, including a toaster oven as a heat-treating oven (including a temperature botch that didn’t produce the desired temper)


Ghost Gunner Tips and Tricks #1

We have found a few tips to pass on to you. Mostly by a griefsome cycle of trial and error:

  1. As far as we can tell, the Windows and Mac apps work identically, with the exception noted immediately below in #2.ddcut00 As die-hard FOSS fans, they’d like to have a *n*x version and open-source it, but as you’ve probably noted, they’re up to their alligators in lawsuits, and the State Department’s gun control squad is trying to ban the dissemination of technical information. But right now, you can name your poison, so long as it’s Apple or Microsoft.
  2. We have had an inexplicable hang with the Mac version. It just reached one line of code and sat there stupidly spinning the spindle, not connected to anything. We waited ten minutes, it kept on spinning. We took the dog for a half hour walk, which wound up being a 20 minute walk because he wanted to run the leg back, and stooged around on Gun Broker not buying stuff for a few minutes, and the thing had been spinning for 45 minutes at least. We wound up having to nuke both the GG and the Mac (hard reset).

    Most of the time, it just made chips, happily.

    Most of the time, it just made chips, happily.

  3. Keep the work area clear at all times. In addition to the Lord-knows-why system hang described above, at one point, a book fell upon our keyboard, causing DDcut to hang in mid-operation. We waited for ten minutes while it sat there, spindle spinning. Then, we found that the Emergency Stop button did not work. (Pulling the USB cable produced an emergency stop).. In this case, we didn’t have to reset the Mac.
  4. If it does shut down, the workpiece can usually be saved, at some cost in time. One hopes you will never need the rest of Instruction #4, but just in case, here’s what you have to do:
    1. Depower the unit. There’s no switch; just pull the plug.
    2. Remove the workpiece. (This is a good chance to deal with the collected aluminum chips. A tiny cube of 7075 forging becomes a spectacular volume of chips). You may have to ease the workpiece carefully off the tool.
    3. Loosen the collet cap and remove the tool. You have to do this or you will crash the tool into the base when the machine goes to find zero early in the .dd, before the tool is supposed to be installed. You do not have to remove the collet, because you’ll be returning to the same tool that the system hung on last time. (Two collets are provided because the drill and end mill have different shaft diameters).
    4. Restart the whole operation on DDCut from the beginning. Let DDCut walk you through the reinstallation of the part and tool. Don’t worry about the workpiece going back to the exact same place — the mill will automagically touch off again to locate it. Although you have to start from the beginning, and although DDCut will process every line of code again, it will not take as long to get to where things went sideways last time, because on the parts that are already cut, nothing will slow down the tool. On each cut, DDCut waits for the machine to tell it it has completed the movement before it sends the next line of code (you can see these OKs pass in the code window).
  5. Before you get to any possible shut down, of course, you have to run DDCut for the first time. At first, it’s not very obvious what to do when the application window opens. You have to have the GG plugged in to power and to your computer via USB. It will announce itself cryptically, based on the Arduino board inside it. ddcut01It’s probably a good idea to have a minimum amount of weird stuff plugged into your computer at this point.
  6. Next, you have to pick a file. When you’ve selected the GG and the file, the screen looks like the image above, and you can click, “next.” The files include a GG2 version of the AR lower, an original GG version, and a version that drills the holes. Two setups are needed: one for the milling, and one for the holes.
  7. As far as we can tell, it doesn’t matter whether you mill first or drill first, as each operation’s file and process is self-contained. However, you must follow the process through to the end and remove the last process’s tool and collet.
  8. While the provided open-end wrenches work, tool changing would be faster if we had a ratcheting box wrench that fits the 17mm collet cap. Our set of ratcheting box wrenches skips from 15mm to 18mm, but maybe you have the right one.
  9. A narrow- or small-diameter magnetic wand is a great thing to have when (not if) you drop a small fastener inside the rig. Since the bottom is open, it’s always easy to get the dropped washer or screw out, but it’s easier if you have magnetism on your side. Same goes for tools and collets.
  10. The furnished molded plastic jig really doesn’t want to go on a mil spec-forged lower. A healthy thwack with a rubber mallet resolves this.ghost03
  11. Note the takedown pin well has been pre-milled on that lower above. That’s the only kind of lower that works. Nothing like the lowers shown below will work with the factory jig and setup (raw forging, early-AR retro w/o takedown pin well, HK416 w/o well). The documentation warns of this.ghost05
  12. It was difficult to tie down the jig with the provided M4-45 bolts in all positions, especially after we buggered the very tip of one of the threads.We wound up running out to Fastenal for extra M4-45s and some M4-50s, and a whacking great bag of M4 washers. (If you look closely at the top photo with chips flying, you might be able to see that the lower left tie-down bolt is an M4-50 with a 4mm stack of washers!) Also, a generic  AR-15/M16 grip screw is required, but not provided. Most AR builders have them kicking around, but if you don’t, the part you want at Fastenal is: 1/4-28×1″. These are available with various heads. Original Stoner design used a flathead screw. We recommend a socket head cap screw, just because a socket head is always easier to remove and replace (and less likely to screw up) than a flathead. The factory AR screw needs a really big flathead blade, the very biggest blade in a Wheeler gunsmithing kit fits. The benefit of the flathead is that it’s always easier to find any size flathead screwdriver than a hex driver, and you can, albeit at the expense of the screw, use a somewhat undersized flathead driver in it, if you haven’t got the right one.
  13. Lining up the t-slot nuts can be a challenge. Another small wand, this one with a mirror, helped, but we also found the a long 3mm Allen key worked OK as an alignment pin.
  14. You’ll want more tie-down hardware, even before you start designing your own operations and jigs.
  15. Never skip a step in setup. Be sure! Some steps, you can back out of with a Previous button, and some steps you can’t.
  16. Take the directions as literally as an Aspie. When they say tighten something as much as you can, do that. When they say don’t over-tighten, do that. When they say put the screw in finger-tight, don’t decide that you can go ahead and tighten it the rest of the way — at one time, they tell you to finger right the jig screws down, and after that is done, clicking “next” tells you to slide the whole jig-and-lower assembly in the tracks, which you can’t do if it’s tightened down. Like most of these tips, don’t ask how we learned this.
  17. It wants you to adjust the jig and lower, on installation, so that the end mill (which is inside the mag well) is 1-3mm from contact with the after surface of the maxwell. This is a good time to remember that the Allen key you used to tighten the M4-45 (or -50, with extra washers) bolts is 3mm across the flats. It makes a serviceable feeler gage. (Precision doesn’t count that much here. The mill will touch off against the receiver automagically to locate the part in all three axes).
  18. It’s pretty loud when roughing (60-80 dB by uncalibrated measurement). Not hearing-threatening, and you can converse over it without shouting, but not pleasant. So you might want to think about where you put it, and step out while it’s graunching away. If you’ve got to have it in an office or a quiet shop, you’ll need a silencing enclosure as are sometimes used for server farms.
  19. It keeps its chips pretty contained and is easily tidied up. A Dustbuster lets you collect all the little shavings (fireworks, thermite, anyone?)ghost07
  20. If you multitask while you work, don’t come back into the application and click the Emergency Stop button. On the other hand, the Emergency Stop button works when the system’s not hanging.
  21. If you Emergency Stop, or head crash, the tool might be left in a place where it can’t be removed by the two-wrenches technique that you used to install it, because the collet is behind the face plate. Don’t despair. Unplug the unit for safety, flip it on its left side, and go in through the bottom.
  22. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, have a few extra 80% lowers, any time you’re experimenting with the unit. Don’t decide to learn it on the one you already had engraved….

ghost01And finally, don’t take the above the wrong way: the thing is a blast to use and learn.