Category Archives: Weapons Education

Bleg: World War II Suppressors

Business end of typical Maxim silencer.

Business end of typical Maxim silencer.

We’re working on a technical post on the suppressors of World War II. We know of the following:

Germany: Pistole 27(t) late war suppressor, MP 40 suppressor (limited production) K.98k suppressor (ditto).

Great Britain: Welrod, High Standard .22, Luger, Maxim suppressors (SOE was disappointed), Mk IIS Sten. De Lisle carbine.

United States: M1911A1 .45, integral M3/M3A1 SMG, Colt .380, High-standard .22 (entirely different from the British development).


USSR: none (this does not seem right, given the Soviets’ extensive use of “diversionary” and special operations elements, and their broad conception of intelligence and reconnaissance operations).

Italy: none

Japan: none

Minor powers: none

Help a brother out here. What else is unknown out there? I expect the bulk of the article is going to be on the P.27(t), which is known from several surviving samples, and the British stuff, which is very well documented.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Partisan Rifles

partisanriflesThis is a site that deserves a lengthy write-up, but for now we’ll just hit the high points. We do promise you that, if you are interested in obscure European 20th-Century history, or in Mittel- and Eastern European firearms, spending time at Partisan Rifles will reward you handsomely.

The author of the site, who goes by the nickname — we are not making this up! — “Hairy Greek,”  expresses clearly what his site is all about:

This site is dedicated to rifles from the Balkans region – the former Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia), Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and also Italy, Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Turkey – especially those rifles with soldier graffiti on them.  I cover anything I can get my hands on, which is mainly WWI to WWII, though there are many examples from the earlier Balkan Wars, and recent Croatian and Bosnian Wars.  While not technically in the Balkans, I have found some fascinating rifles from the Spanish Civil War, and will include those also.

Balkans-region rifles from the 1800’s and earlier have shown me that decorating rifles was a common practice, possibly stemming from Turkish or Middle Eastern decorations.  This tradition has been carried on well into the 1990’s.  A number of the region’s rifles bear initials, names, cities, dates, kill counts, and political symbols on them.  Most of these markings were made by non-government irregular forces, or militia members.  These markings create a historical journey by showing who used the rifle, where and when.  For example, the above rifle was most likely captured from the Italians by Tito Partisans in WWII.

Every old firearm has a story to tell, and on some of these the story is carved right into the wood of the stock. Fascinating site.

PS — he’s got some really flashy Montenegrin Gassers, a revolver we discussed recently.

SVT-Inspired Italian Rifle: It’s Strange

Ian at Forgotten Weapons spent some time last month  touring sunny Italy, and turning up unusual weapons everywhere he went. This is one we found most interesting, and it resides in the Beretta collection:

Copy of Russian Semi Rifle 01

It looks like a Russian semi-auto rifle, but it doesn’t look exactly like any of them. The muzzle brake resembles that of a Simonov AVS, for example, while the metal forward handguard looks like it fell off a Tokarev SVT. The gun overall has a certain elegance to it. SVTs tend to be well-machined and -blued, but this Italian prototype puts them to shame.

From this angle it’s a near ringer for an SVT. One wonders if the chamber is fluted as the SVT’s is. (Tokarev found it necessary to assist extraction).

Copy of Russian Semi Rifle 02

Here’s what Ian says:

Through inspection, we know it is a mechanical copy of the Soviet SVT 38 or 40 – it shares the same exact bolt, locking system, and gas system. Even many aesthetic features like the metal front handguard, muzzle brake, and sights are remarkably similar to those of the SVT. The biggest difference is the magazine, which is a fixed design fed only be stripper clips. The rifle is chambered for the 8x59mm Breda cartridge, and magazine capacity is unknown – probably either 9 or 10 rounds.

The clue that this is a Pavesi rifle comes from the safety lever, which is identical to the safety lever on the Model 1942 Pavesi rifle. The only markings on this piece are two repetitions of the serial number (875), on the receiver and stock. This serial number suggests that a significant number of these rifles may have been made, although I have not seen any other examples, nor any recorded information on when or where they were made, tested, or fielded.

We do disagree with him about the muzzle brake; at least on our SVT-40, the thing on the end of the muzzle is more like a Cutts Compensator than this brake, which resembles the AVS-36 brake more.

It’s not that unusual that Western copies of early Russian semi-auto weapons would exist. One suspects that the early Simonov and Tokarev rifles were instrumental not only in the design of this rifle, but in Dieudonné Saive’s SAFN (Semi Automatic FN) rifle, which would become the SAFN 49 when development, interrupted by the German occupation of Belgium, was resumed after the war.

We don’t know all that much about Italian ordnance in World War II. Certainly Italian surplus was little respected here fifty and sixty years ago, but the idea that Italian ordnance officers weren’t capable of delivering quality weapons to their troops doesn’t really hold water. Ian is one of the few Anglophone researchers online who has delved into Italian MGs and it’s great to see him unearthing information about these unknown (to us) Italian semi-auto trials.

More information, a video, and many more photos, of this rare (unique?) probably-Pavesi at the link.

80% SIG P229 Frames and Jigs

Don’t know anything about these but we came across this video by Robert Germanelo, and it was interesting. It made us go look up the manufacturer’s website. Eight minutes.

It takes 16 or so passes to remove the right amount of material. Note his warning about breaking the carbide cutter inserts if you try to remove too much material in one pass. We don’t know if that’s the cause, but the guy whose homebuilt SIG 229 project videos feature after the jump did indeed break one of his inserts.

The manufacturer’s website is here. It has a comprehensive rig for doing 1911 and SIG frames without a milling machine (as seen in the video above). They sell the jigs, the cast 80% frames, and completion kits made from decommissioned 9mm German SIGs. (Parts interchange seems fine between German and USA made SIGs, FWIW).

Downside? It’s a lot more expensive to do a SIG this way than to do a Glock with the Polymer80 Spectre, much like SIGS cost about 2.x Glock in the real world. Indeed, this is not a way to save money on a pistol — you can buy a 229 or a G17 for less than you can build one for, whether you went SIG with Matrix or Glock with P80. But you can’t buy one you built yourself, which to us is the whole appeal of this thing.

However we won’t be doing this until we (1) catch up on other builds and (2) recover from some gun-related spending, eh.

If you want more information on how the Matrix jig works on the P229 frame, there is a whole series of videos after the jump.

Continue reading

Doc Takes Wing!

Yesterday morning, the number of flying B-29s in the world doubled when “Doc” lifted off from McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas. It was the culmination of a project that lasted 16 years in Wichita alone, led by former Spirit Aerosystems (the former Boeing Wichita plant, where 1,644 B-29s were built) and 13 years before that, led by former B-29 flight engineer Tony Mazzolini, who found the B-29 as an abandoned target on a bombing range at China Lake in the Mojave Desert. Over three hundred fifty thousand hours of volunteer labor rebuilt the historic bomber from the ground up.

Pilot Charlie Tilghman, CP David Oliver, a flight engineer (we think it was  TJ Norman) and two scanners  (whose mission is to watch the famously incendiary engines, which are hard for the pilots to keep an eye on from their position well ahead), and a small army of ground crew, started the big plane, overcame an unlatched bomb bay door that they had to shut the bird down to correct, and finally took it into the sky for a brief, seven-minute run around the pattern, in front of a throng of invited well-wishers and aviation buffs.

The planned flight was cut short by a powerplant warning light; the crew returned to the runway out of an abundance of caution. Initial information seems to be that it was not a serious problem but a sensor failure.

In an excellent report, the Wichita Eagle quoted Tilghman, the pilot:

It flew like a good B-29.

The airplane is going to be great. The engines are strong and smooth. Just the darn warning light.

He would know, as he’s the Designated Examiner who checks airmen out in Fifi.

The Eagle also quoted volunteer Connie Palacioz, who worked on the plane twice: as an 18-year-old riveter in 1943, and as a volunteer when the plane returned to Wichita as a pile of weatherbeaten parts in 2000.

They told me it would be seven years (to restore Doc), but it was 16 years. When it came from the desert it looked terrible. I never thought I could see it like this, you know. It was just pieces, but lucky that we could do it. We did it.

The Eagle report is really good; do Read The Whole Thing™.

And if that video’s not enough for you, check out the webcast still avilable (although obviously not live any more) at the website:

First Flight – Live Webcast

You can use the timeline to skip around, because that’s the whole morning on there — engine start, taxi out, taxi back, bomb bay door check, engine start again, taxi out, flight, and all the way back around to the speeches at the end.

Now we’re all set if we ever need to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki again!

A Misleading-at-a-glance Krag

If you were to just see this Krag sporting rifle in a gun dealer’s rack, you might be forgiven for concluding it was one of the many Krag rifles sporterized in the 1940-75 or so heyday of the converted military bolt action.

Norsk Elgrifle 28414-01

You’d probably note it was well worn, as the stock marks show, but carefully cared for, and that the sporterization job had been done by someone other than Bubba — it was thoroughly professional. (look at the checkering on the stock, the rich dark blue, and the bright checkered bolt handle).

Norsk Elgrifle 28414-02It’s a craftsman’s piece:

Norsk Elgrifle 28414-05

If you looked at it closely, you’d note that it was a Norwegian  Krag, a Model 1912 originally produced at Kongsberg Arsenal in 1918. (We read the date in Joe’s photo as 1915, not 1918, but it’s a century old, near as dammit, either way).

Norsk Elgrifle 28414-10

Maybe you’d be bemused by its one-off rear sight, never seen on any other rifle to our knowledge. It looks strong and simple to use and manufacture, but as far as we know, it’s unique.

And you’d miss what it was. That’s where a knowledgable and connected dealer like Joe Salter comes in. Joe serves both the American and Canadian markets; while we found this rare Krag on his American website, he would know if (and how) it is available to Canuckistani collectors.

It is a Norsk Elgrifle, a Norwegian Moose Rifle, a Krag that was sporterized by the original factory 30 years after its original manufacture, one of a few hundred returned to the civilian market to support Norway’s robust hunting culture. After the success of this project Kongsberg simplified the rear sight and produced more rifles.

Here’s Salter’s description:

This 1918 dated rifle is one of only 500 of these sporting arms made at Kongsberg Arsenal by converting Model 1912 Krag carbines into “Elgrifle” (Moose Rifle) configuration just prior to 1950.

As you saw, this Krag is well used, and well cared for.

Norsk Elgrifle 28414-06 Norsk Elgrifle 28414-03

Serial #5743, 8 x 57mm “Moderat”, 23” barrel with a fine, bright bore that has traces of freckling within the grooves. The rifle 85-90% of the armory blue finish blending with a mellow plum-brown patina on the balance, and having fading and silvering at the muzzle and on the other high edges and projections. The bolt retains its correct armory bright finish with knurling on the flattened knob, and is nubered to the gun. The correct checkered pistol grip sporting length stock and handguard are in very good condition with some minor handling marks in the original armory oil finish and some mild flattening of the points. The rifle has its original front sight blade with white metal insert and the distinctive dial adjustable rear sight peculiar to these rifles (adjustable for 100 and 300 meters).t

Apart from one-off Kyhber workshop stuff, how many of us own a firearm that was made in only 500 copies, most of the survivors of which remain in their native land?

This model was quickly superseded by the M.51 variant that used a simpler two leaf rear sight instead. These are exceedingly rare rifles and are seldom seen in the U.S., and this example rates fine-near excellent condition overall.

One caution comes with the gun, one which requires (these days) hand-loaded ammunition).

Please Note: Although these rifles are chambered for the 8 x 57mm cartridge, the Krag action is not strong enough to handle full power loads. Because of this, a special low power loading was developed specifically for these rifles: the 8mm “Moderat” round which developed about 10% less pressure than standard 8mm sporting rounds. Consequently, full power 8mm Mauser cartridges should NEVER be fired in this rifle.

via Rare Norwegian Krag M.48 Moose Rifle by Kongsberg.

Krags are a love-’em-or-hate-’em kind of firearm. Nobody’s “meh” about the Krag in its military guise, ether its American or Scandinavian versions: they either thrill to its steampunk character, or find its form-follows-function aesthetic of-putting; it’s more asymmetrical than, and devoid of the clean lines of, a Mauser of most of its derivatives. (But hey, the Pattern 14 Enfield and its US 1917 offspring aren’t up for beauty prizes, either).

This is a Krag for the advanced Krag collector or the lover of beautiful and rare firearms. It is priced accordingly: $2,200. With numerous Czech pistols to examine to finish the book, we won’t be buying this Krag, but perhaps one of you will find it a new home.

Or, perhaps, you’ll find one in a gunshop in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where a Norwegian immigrant traded his for a Winchester 70 in a factory-load caliber. Stranger things have happened!

“I’m not dying today. Not today…. It’s not my time yet”

When this happens in movies, we don’t believe it. You know the deal: in a gunfight with masked mopes, the off-duty cop fires right down the barrel of the bad guy’s pistol, hopelessly jamming the breech.

Well, it really happened, this January, and here’s proof, from the Jefferson County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office:


That’s a .40 XDM with a face full of .45, self-swaged in the .40 barrel.

Here’s a video with some more details:

“I’m not dying today. Not today. Another day, maybe. It’s not my time yet,” is what Jeffco SO Deputy José Marquez told himself when the gunfight kicked off with two masked and hooded thugs attacking him. Did they want to kill him? Kill his girlfriend and her kids? Rob them?

What they wanted didn’t really matter. It was live or die for Marquez. Fortunately, according to the official report by the DA, he had a good background:

Deputy Marquez stated … is a Deputy Sheriff with Jefferson County Civil Unit. He has been a Deputy with JCSO for almost 11 years (hired 4-18-2005). Prior to JCSO, he was a Summit County Sheriff Office Deputy for almost 10 years, and a Frisco Police Department Officer for almost one year. He was on the SWAT Team while with SCSO, and received specialized training via the Denver Police Department SWAT School. He last served on SWAT in 2001. Prior to his law enforcement career, he served eight years in the United States Army Reserve as a Combat Engineer and Supply Sergeant. He is right-handed, but can shoot from both sides, with both hands.

Go, Army. Beat Gangland.

Deputy Marquez…

…arrived at Ms. R.’s at about 5:45p.m. Some daylight remained when he arrived. He was armed with his duty weapon, a silver and black XDM .45 ACP. He has owned that handgun for three or four years, and has qualified with it. He had no other guns on his person. He carried his pistol in an open-top manufacturer’s holster, on his right side. His pistol was fully loaded, with thirteen rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. His ammunition was duty-issued hollow-point ammunition. He had an extra magazine in his car, but did not have it on his person, as he “wasn’t ready for a fight.” His pistol was concealed under his jacket. He had no visible Police badge, as his badge was in his wallet. Deputy Marques said that he is farsighted, and wears Oakley Crosslink vision glasses. He was wearing them during this incident.

So it wound up being XDM versus XDM in this case.

Then he saw two guys, and something was off about them.

The first male was wearing something over his face – either a mask, bandana, or part of his hoodie. The male already had his face covered when Deputy Marquez first saw him. The first male said, “Hello brother,” as he approached Deputy Marquez. He was about 20-25 feet away from his car when the first male said, “Hello brother.” Deputy Marquez had not yet made it to the sidewalk on the west side of the parking lot. He could only see the eyes and nose of the male. He could not see the male’s mouth or jaw. Deputy Marquez said: “Right away I knew something was up, cause he had a, a, a facemask.”

Deputy Marquez described the first male as follows: About 17-21 years old, 5’7”-5’9”, 155 pounds, wearing all dark clothing. Deputy Marquez knew he was a male as he could see around the eyes, and from the top lip to the nose on the male’s face, but could not comment on the tone of the male’s skin. He described the second male as follows: About 17-21 years old, same height and weight as the first male, wearing all dark clothing, possibly blue jeans. Deputy Marquez believed this male was also wearing a mask, but could not be sure, as he was focused on the first male. The second male was about 12 inches to the left of the first male, as they both approached from the south. This second male never said anything to Deputy Marquez.

The DA’s office is a bit hinky about identifying suspects by race (indeed, they seem to scrub it even from witness descriptions) but with this case they appear to have a reason, in that Marquez did not know who was coming to kill him. In a later interview, he remembered that his assailants were black.

Deputy Marquez described the suspects as two African-American males, between 16 and 20, wearing dark clothing, including hoodies.

Back to the developing situation….

No one else was outside during this incident, besides the two males. As they passed each other, Deputy Marquez said that the first male “turned on me” and said, “Give it up.” At that time he knew something “bad” was about to happen, and he thought, “Oh shit, we’re getting into a shootout,” and he turned to face the first male. He took the phrase, “Give it up” to mean, “He’s trying to kill me.” Asked if he thought it could mean he was about to get robbed, Deputy Marquez said that was possible, but he had no idea at that point, because, “At that point, I’m fighting for my life.”

Bear in mind, that, as we have seen in many shooting videos, Deputy Jose Marquez is describing in minutes actions and impressions that passed in bare seconds.

The first male then pulled out a black handgun and racked the slide as if to chamber a round or press-check the gun. That was the first time he saw a gun in the first male’s hands. Deputy Marquez again thought, “Oh shit. We’re going to fight.” When the first male said, “Give it up,” Deputy Marquez began to draw his weapon. As he did so, the first male fired a round at him, striking Deputy Marquez in either the right shoulder or the abdomen – he could not remember where he was first hit. He said that he saw the muzzle flash from the gun. He said: “At this point I told myself, ‘Shit, I’m going to die’.” He was in fear for his life. However, despite being hit, he could still lift his hand to fire. He said to himself, “I’m not dying today. Not today. Any other day, maybe. It’s not my time yet.” He also thought, “Fuck you, and you’re not taking me down.” He also told himself, “You’re the bad guy. I’m the good guy.”

Getting beaten to the first shot is bad, but it did make the DA’s job of investigating your shooting easier. But Marquez was late to the gunfight, already wounded, and he still had to survive. Fortunately he came up with a warrior attitude when he needed it: “I’m not dying today. Not today. ….Fuck you, and you’re not taking me down.”

Deputy Marquez said that he drew his weapon and started shooting. He believed he fired two rounds. He was standing in place, in a shooter’s stance, as he was firing. He fired in a northeast direction. The first male continued firing, hitting Deputy Marquez in the shoulder, and left and right sides of his abdomen. (He also suffered a broken rib on the right side, but was unclear if that was a result of a gunshot or not.)

Deputy Marquez said: “He kept shooting at me, like he was going to kill me.” The first male “shot about four rounds toward me.” The first male was standing still as he fired. The first male fired in a west or northwest direction. Deputy Marquez and the males were about 25 feet apart when they were shooting at each other. He thought he hit one of the males (unknown which one) in the leg. Asked how he knew that, he said his friend of 20 years, David Lynes, a Cherry Hills Village Police Department Officer, told him that after the fact. Deputy Marquez felt, in his mind, that he hit one of the suspects, but was not sure where, and did not see either male flinch as if they had been hit.

Tough shootout, and by some measures, Marquez lost the gunfight. But he did well enough to survive, and he thwarted his assailants’ objective, whether it was to rob him or (as seems more likely) to murder him.

Deputy Marquez fell to the ground, and put his hand on his wounds, but resolved that it was not a good day to die. Some civilians came to him, including an African-American female who said, “I saw them shoot you.”

She was probably the witness identified as E.G. in the report. The witnesses are not identified by full names due to the circumstances of the shooting, and the fact that one of the shooters remains at large. (More on the investigation in a moment).

Deputy Marquez confirmed that he was not robbed, and they did not take anything from him. Asked if at any time he told the suspects he was a Police Officer, Deputy Marquez said, “No, I didn’t have time to even announce myself. At, at that point I’m just fighting for my life.”

So why would anybody want to kill him?

He has received no threats from anyone, and has had no recent issues with anyone, personally or professionally, that might be linked to this shooting. He had no road rage incidents, and had never seen the two males before. Personally, Ms. R. has been having problems with her ex-husband, David R., who sent her a suspicious package recently, but Deputy Marquez had no evidence that was linked to this shooting. And professionally, the only possible JCSO-related party he could think of that might have something against him was a suspect named Antonio Garcia who went to prison on March 28, 2015 for a stolen gun, but Garcia was still in prison to his knowledge. Deputy Marquez believed the incident could have been a robbery, or “it could be a hit,” but again had no evidence to support it being a hit.

On a later interview, Deputy Marquez remembered more:

Deputy Marquez said the male who did the talking is the male who shot first, and he saw two different muzzle flashes coming from two different guns. Deputy Marquez said only one person did the talking. Deputy Marquez said he could only guess in reference to the shots fired. Deputy Marquez believed that they had shot four (4) times and when they ran away they shot four (4) more times as they ran off east. Deputy Marquez said he thought he had only shot two (2) times, and when the males ran off they were shooting at him not aiming. Deputy Marquez then collapsed but did not lose consciousness.

Deputy Marquez said that one male was on the left and the other on the right approximately twelve (12’) inches apart from each other. Deputy Marquez was concentrating on the muzzle flashes, right then left, left then right, and described the shooting as an exchange between all three of them.

The Guns Involved

Both of the would-be hitmen carried .40 pistols, and Marquez a Springfield XDM in .45. Marquez:

The Cop’s Gun

He was armed with his duty weapon, a silver and black XDM .45 ACP. He has owned that handgun for three or four years, and has qualified with it.

…Deputy Marquez had gunshot wounds to his stomach and shoulder. Deputy Marquez’s gun was lying on the pavement. Mr. C. described how some of the gunshots sounded “different”, and thinks Deputy Marquez got off two shots because he carries a ‘big” pistol.

Prior to the interview a bullet count was conducted on the gun that Deputy Marquez fired on the 26th of January 2016. The gun had been in Aurora Police Department Crime Laboratory in a secured locker.

The firearm was identified as a Springfield Armory, XDM serial number of MG505244. The bullet count confirmed a total of 10 rounds remaining in the firearm, 9 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber. The firearm has a capacity of 14, 13 +1. The ammunition was identified as Speer 45 auto, and was issued to Deputy Marquez by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Marquez confirmed this was the only gun he had on his person the 26th of January 2016, and the only gun he fired that night.

Found at the Crime Scene

APD Officer Nicholas Muldoon arrived on the South Laredo scene and contacted a witness identified as R.W. Mr. W was parked in a van on South Laredo Street. Mr. W said that he arrived shortly before the police and observed a male walk away from the car– Chevrolet Equinox–parked in front of his van. The male who walked away from the van was later identified as Jahlil Meshesha.

APD Officer Ken Forrest conducted a general search of the area and located two black gloves and a .40 caliber XDM Springfield handgun in the backyard of a nearby house. Officer Forrest observed one glove was in a juniper tree and the other was on the ground below. A short distance away, Officer Forrest located the handgun. Officer Forrest contacted the homeowner, who was identified as S.G. Mr. G. allowed Officer Forrest to check his back yard. Mr. G confirmed he had no knowledge of the pistol or glove in his backyard.

On the front passenger seat of the Chevrolet Equinox in plain view, Officer Forrest also observed a dark colored facial mask, described as consistent with being used to cover the lower face.

APD collected firearms related evidence from the scene. APD collected 12 expended .40 caliber shell casings, in two groups fairly close together. They also collected one fired bullet. They also collected four .45 caliber shell casings, which was the caliber of Deputy Marquez’s gun.

As previously stated, APD also recovered a .40 caliber Springfield Armory handgun associated with Jahlil Meshesha. Per APD firearms analyst Alan Hammond, this gun was a match for three of the .40 caliber shell casings found at the scene. Police also recovered a .45 projectile from Meshesha’s clothing, specifically his pants, which was a match for Deputy Marquez’s gun.

Meshesha’s Gun

The weapon associated with Meshesha was examined. Of note, it was determined that one of the shots that Deputy Marquez fired from his .45 caliber handgun actually hit Meshesha’s .40 caliber handgun and traveled down the barrel, colliding with a cartridge that was in the chamber of the gun. Detective Ingui described this as a “one in a billion thing” in a personal conversation with the undersigned. This collision rendered the .40 caliber pistol temporarily inoperable. Thus, we can conclude that Meshesha fired three shots before this happened, based on the shell casings found at the scene, and that he was pointing his gun at Deputy Marquez when Deputy Marquez fired the shot that hit the gun, otherwise the shot from Deputy Marquez would not have gone down the barrel. Here is a photograph showing the results of this collision.


Unfortunately we don’t have Meshesha’s side of the story.

Jahlil Meshesha invoked his Miranda rights and did not make a statement.

A healthy society would have hanged him already.

The 26 January shooting is back in the news because the investigation is over and they wanted to announce to the public that Marquez is not going to face ay criminal charges. (Well, duh). His assailant went to hospital, then to jail.

He does have a long road to recovery ahead. As for the injuries to the assailant Jahlil Meshesha, all we can do is quote Marquez: F him.


The Denver Post:

Apologies for not posting the link to the DA’s report:

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Shipwreckology

shipwreckologyAnd now for something completely different!

Who doesn’t love a shipwreck? The ships, the crews, the wars and the weather — every wreck has a story to tell, and at Shipwreckology they make an effort to tell that story. It’s seldom updated these days (a book review posted last week was the first sign of life since February) but there’s a mountain of old posts to explore.

One post we’d recommend as a fair sample is 2014’s Cleopatra’s Needle. Saw this artifact in London, but it would have meant something had we known this story at the time.


Two Training Firms Accused of Stiffing Instructors

burning-wasting-moneyOver the weekend, an interesting situation began to develop in the training community. It was kicked off by a message from Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, breaking off his longstanding relationship with Alias Training & Security due to longstanding nonpayment and bad communication. Soon, several other top-level trainers had joined Jeff, including Pat McNamara, Mike Pannone and Larry Vickers. Jeff wrote:

As many of you are aware we have been utilizing the services of Alias Training and Security (ATS) over the last 20 months. Recently, we have experienced some major problems forcing us to reconsider our association with ATS. They have been delinquent on paying us for the last several classes and more than likely will not be paying us for our CQB class in Alliance, OH I am currently getting ready for this coming week.

I am not the only one who has experienced these problems, good friends and fellow trainers Mike Pannone, Pat McNamara and Craig Douglas have all had similar experience both in delinquency of revenue owed as well as lack of communications with ATS. I feel and I know I echo the others my level of frustration has reached a point where I have exhausted all avenues and the benefit of the doubt has reached the reasonable limit.

Alias was slow to respond (which, if you’ve ever had any dealings with them, is par for the course) but finally stopped taking deposits on all open courses, marking them “sold out.”

Finally they posted this to their Facebook page:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that as of Monday July 13, 1016 Alias Training & Security Services, LLC will be closing its doors. An ongoing dispute with our merchant services financial company has made things untenable. Our apologies to all affected students, instructors, etc. To all students of upcoming classes please expect an email early this week to explain the situation in more detail.

Again our most sincere apologies,

Alias Staff

What makes this interesting is the claim that “an ongoing dispute with our merchant services financial company” is the root of their problem. That certainly sounds like a Choke Point attack, the kind the DOJ, IRS and banking regulators have used in the past against the Administration’s political “enemies.”

But the problem with that is this: while Choke Point could keep you from paying Gonzales, Pannone or Vickers what you owed ’em, it can’t stop you from telling them about it. If that was the case, would Jeff really be talking about

…lack of communications with ATS…

…the rest of the group and I went above and beyond trying to remedy this situation. I take this matter very seriously and I’m sure you will all see how the group and I have acted in the most professional manner, but now it is time to move forward…

instead of criticizing the regulator?

By the way, it looks like Jeff is planning to go forward with the Alliance class even though he has not received and doesn’t expect to receive the money the students paid (through Alias’s web site).

Meanwhile, Paul Howe has been fighting his own battle with Pantaeo Productions. In his July newsletter (.pdf), he writes:

It is with regret that I ask CSAT followers not to purchase or stream any CSAT content at Panteao at this time. This is reference to not receiving compensation for my work.

Life is a people business and I try to give everyone chances and support them until I see things go in the wrong direction. Even then I still try to correct issues give positive advice. At some point I must step in and do what I think is right.

Pantaeo has made some dynamic videos and has an excellent e-commerce website. However, its principal, Fernando Coelho, is a convicted felon, and what’s more, what he was convicted for was, specifically, financial fraud. This was in relation to the long and drama-rich collapse of an ammunition firm, Triton Cartridge Corporation, he once owned in upstate New York. (The newspaper headline called him, “Swindler,” not an epithet we’d want to wear). He got five years’ probation and was ordered to repay $328k he had essentially embezzled from a creditor and/or stolen from his own employees by not paying them. We’re unaware of whether he ever paid that money back, or any of it. Maybe he did.

Unlike Alias, as far as we know Pantaeo hasn’t even tried telling a story about why they’re stiffing Howe.

So — are Pantaeo and Alias being squeezed by Operation Choke Point or some nameless, more deniable successor? Or are they themselves doing the squeezing, to the instructors they haven’t paid?


This story continues to develop. Soldier-Systems has a story with comment from both Mike Pannone and Larry Vickers (LAV is actually in the comments, not the story). Do read the comments — some of the background on Alias is, well, let’s just say it’s no wonder they called it “Alias.” They seemed to be planning on needing one.


“Say Hello to My Little Friend!”

You too can greet people like Al Pacino, improbably cast as a youthful Marielito thug in Brian de Palma’s Scarface, did, if you drop a bit of coin on this. Actually, you can do it more quietly, because this M16A1/M203 is suppressed.“Tony Montana, political ref-oo-gee from Cuba” was many things, but quiet wasn’t one of ’em.

Jackson M16A1 01Flip side:

Jackson M16A1 02Just the thing, for when your betrayed Colombian partner wants to hold you to his interpretation of “free trade.” Along with the registered and transferable Colt M16A1 lower:

Jackson M16A1 05Which has a later Colt M4 upper on it (note the forged-in “C” below the rear sight and behind the forge’s keyhole trade mark):

Jackson M16A1 04…you also get a Colt M203, in what looks like the full-house 12″ barrel:

Jackson M16A1 06Jackson M16A1 03…but with the circa-1990s dual-purpose mount for A2 and M4. (If you buy this and just want the M16, drop us a line about the 203. Seriously). And yes, you can use the KAC SOPMOD I rail kit with this (not the bottom rail, obviously). We know ’cause that’s what we did.

But, now for the bad news. We might have been fibbing a mite about the “bit of coin” part. The stinging three $200 transfer taxes (which gives ATF three shots at delaying your transfer!) are pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things: thanks to anti-gun politicians William Hughes and Charles Rangel, who jammed through the Hughes Amendment on a bogus voice vote in the middle of the night, it’s got an asking price of forty freaking thousand dollars.

If we pay that for anything that does’t come with a deed, the lawyer and the court need to assure us that the paperwork is final and she really is out of our life for good, and has no further comebacks on us. In writing.

Jackson M16A1 07Still, it’s kind of a nice gun.