Category Archives: Administrivia

Easter Sunday

Once, a powerful nation raised this date — not this day – to a national holiday, celebrating the birth of its cruel dictator, and vowing millennial endurance. That nation is long gone; its treasured symbols have transited through a period in which they were objects of hate, deodands of a sort, to a new day in which they are the bloodless curiosities of collectors.

That nation expected to replace the worship of Jesus Christ, the nominal religion of most of its people, with the worship of a man. Today Christians worldwide celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and the enduring value of his message.

In the Sunday Telegraph, Daniel Hannan, the most gifted politician in the narrow field of oratory since the man who stood against the above-mentioned dictator, has an Easter message for all who would hear it:

A century on, we have inherited Kipling’s vocabulary, but not the world-view that sustained it. We still speak of the “sacrifice” of the fallen, but we use the word perfunctorily, doubting whether anything could have merited such slaughter. We find disquieting – even today, of all days – the explicitly Paschal terms in which the poet described the loss of a generation of sons:

“They bought us anew with their blood, forbearing to blame us.”

Well, perhaps it was because of Easter, or perhaps because of the centenary year but, coming back from Strasbourg last week after the final session of the current European Parliament, I decided finally to visit Thiepval, where my great-uncle, William James Hannan, is commemorated along with 73,000 other British and South African soldiers.

“It takes an effort,” Hannan says, “to recall that the patriotism of Kipling used to be much more common than Wilfrid Owen’s cynicism.” Hannan’s launch point for his Kipling reflections is the story The Gardenerwhich Kipling wrote after visiting Rouen Cemetery’s 11,000 Commonwealth dead, and being struck by “the shock of this Dead Sea of arrested lives.” The Gardener contains, bringing us full circle, a subtle and elegiac Christian message.

We are, here, imperfect exponents of our own religion, and have no wish to force ours upon you, whether yours is similar, different, or none whatsoever. That’s between you and, etc. May this day that means peace and renewal to us Christians bring that to all of you.

That Was The Week That Was: 2014 Week 16

That was the week that was TW3A day late, a dollar short, this is the Week 16 TW3, backdated.

It has been a slow blogging week, but while we’re a few posts down from our peaks, we think we held the line on quality pretty well and kept the focus on weapons and their culture.

This is likely to be a shorter than usual TW3.

The links to this week’s will all be live when the post goes live, or soon thereafter. Enjoy!

The Boring Statistics

Our article count was a low 23, barely up from last week’s lowest-to-date 22. At least we did exceed our minimum desired post count of 19. Despite publishing fewer articles, word count was almost 20,000, up from 16,000 or so. We had seven posts that broke the long-post threshold of 1,000 words, but none of them were over 2,000 (although we did have one of the seven that was exactly 2,000 words, and an eighth that was exactly 1,000. Weird). We had seven posts under 500, but none of them was under 100.

The mean and median post sizes were 882 and 804 respectively, suggesting that there were most posts were close to average.

We broke 400 blog posts for the year this week.  

Comments are a robust 144 at our 24-hour-delayed press time, up from last week’s 101; if there is a system to the points that get comments, we have not deduced what it is.

As ever, thanks for commenting!

Most Commented Post of the Week

Our most commented post was a jumble of miscellany: OT: Tax Day Junk, with 20 comments and the close runner-up was Hey, how come no one comments on the ATF threads?,  which brought out some amusing comments indeed, with 19. These two posts represent about 30% of the week’s comments, and several more posts got over 10 comments. These comment counts include our replies.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We hope you enjoyed this week’s content. We enjoyed bringing it to you!

Here’s how we did on last week’s promises:

We had the same promises as usual, the same ones we make for next week.

  1. We still owe the Bull and Greek posts. We did work on the Greek posts this week, and concluded, “they’re a mess. Call rewrite!”
  2. We promised, midweek we think, a post on the Sokolovsky Automaster. We’re still puzzling out the operating system. It’s pretty weird.
  3. We did make our minimum posting rules.
  4. We did well on tech posts. We need to link a couple of them on the Best Of page.
  5. We published a really interesting (we think) WWWW, and we did get the Matinee up on time. The TW3, a day late. Meh.

For Next Week

Our goals are unchanged:

  1. to catch up the long-festering back posts mentioned above, now back up to just two features (Gerald Bull, and the Greek Insurgencies). We wrote before that “We’re really serious about the two posts that finish the Greek series, but they’ve been harder than we expected.” Boy, that’s a fact.
  2. to post three times a day, six days a week, of which:
  3. one gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF, UW, or war-related post up daily. The other post and any extras are “free fire.”
  4. a WWWW, on Wednesday.
  5. a Saturday Matinee, and a TW3 before the week ends at midnight Saturday.

The draft queue is now right at 250…

See you with a TW3 on Saturday! And before then, several posts a day. Hope you enjoy them.

Hey, how come no one comments on the ATF threads?

Cat got your tongue?

Or are you worried about consequences?

We don’t think the ATF has it in for outspoken folks any more than it has it in for all of us. But there are two useful principles to remember when dealing with the ATF.

  1. To the limited extent a problem is of ATF’s creation, it probably was created entirely by managers, over the strenuous objections of line agents or inspectors; and,
  2. A lot of the beefs people have with “the ATF” result not from anything the bureau did, but with the internally contradictory laws that they are commanded to enforce.

Almost all the dumbest stuff in the US Code relative to firearms emanated not ex cathedra from the Throne of Elliot Ness, but from the kindergarten we call a legislature.

ATF’s eForms — paws up for now

If you use the ATF’s eForms program, you probably know this already, and you’d been expecting it for some time: the eForms system that is used by many businesses is hors de combat.

While some may see this as part of the normal slow-walking that ATF does with forms when their preferred politicians are in power and they can, it’s more likely something much more routine: a Government IT project run without clarity, competence, and finally, consequences (for failure), breaking down as those projects always do.

But in any event, if you’re a business, SOT, Trust “responsible person,” or other e-filer, for the time being, you e-cain’t. Or as the Bureau puts it:

Due to maintenance, the eForms system is unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience.

In the interim, all imports forms (Forms 6 Part I and 6A), NFA forms (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10), and AFMER reports (Form 5300.11) must be submitted via paper, including any eForms in draft status.

The ATF has struggled with recent changes to the eForms system, and SOTs and Trustees have been complaining about delays, glacial page loads, lost forms, and a panoply of other problems.

From time to time the Bureau has shut down the system. For example, in October of last year it was shut down with many other government services in an attempt to wring more money out of Congress. As David Goldman wrote at the time, in an inadvertent slip, “there is surly a cost.”

Spring at Last Sunday

Here in the Granite State we’re having a late spring this season. We’ve still got a little snow on the ground (it will be gone before the temperatures get cold again later this week). Nothing’s up but crocuses yet. The trees and bushes are barely budding, and we’re still dealing with the tons of oak leaves (not an exaggeration, “tons”) that dropped after last year’s early snows made it impossible to pick them up.

But when the sun is shining and it’s bicycle weather one’s attitude has nowhere to go but up. Hope you’re having a great Sunday, too. See you on the blog tomorrow.

That Was the Week that Was: 2014 Week 15

That was the week that was TW3It’s 15 of 14, and we missed 14 of 14 but hope to fill it back in. We also want to be younger, slimmer, and able to run again, but we might actually succeed in posting last week’s TW3 this time. But we wouldn’t hold our breath if we were you. On the other hand, we did post on time this week. There is that.

This week has a 1-day blog micro-hiatus on Wednesday, and a 1-day real hiatus as we spent a day in a 3D Printing seminar Friday. It was worthwhile and we learned a new technique which we hadn’t known was possible, printing dies for hydroforming (we’re presuming sheet aluminum, but we’re not sure). We got some hands on with a close cousin of the 3D Systems printer one might use for printing wax-casting patterns, which might have some real-world applications to bringing some obsolete parts back to life around here. We already knew you could do lost-PLA casting with printed parts, and make molds for short-run injection molding. Still, the parts that were manufacturable by some of the best-developed technologies like SLS (selective laser sintering) and SLA (stereolithography) really impressed us.

We think there’s nothing less than a new age of customization coming. After centuries of mass production going back

We have two AK builds and more AR builds than we can count on the shelves and workbench, and then we need the workbenches clear for airplane parts.

The links to this week’s will all be live when the post goes live. Enjoy!

The Boring Statistics

Our article count was a very low 22, the lowest to date this year. Word count was also a low-ish 16,000 or so (with over 4,500 of them going up on the last day of the week, Saturday). We had only five posts that broke the long-post threshold of 1,000 words, but none of them were over 2,000. (indeed, except for this recap which barely does, none of them hit 1,500).

The mean and median post sizes were 709 and 694 respectively, suggesting that there were most posts were closer to average than usual. There was one sub-100-word post, which is usual; and seven total sub-500-word posts. We did exceed our minimum desired post count of 19. So far this year we’ve almost 400 blog posts (392, to quibble), and this week we went over over 2000 comments for the year.  

Comments are low at 101, as of press time, much lower than last week’s 121; this is perhaps accounted for by the fewer posts this week. The barrage of Facebook-launched spam seems to have followed Facebook stock this week, and tailed off.

Thanks for commenting! We always say this and we always mean it.

Most Commented Post of the Week

Our most commented post was the story on the last five major shootings at military bases, and the military’s counterproductive approach to these events: Five Years (+), Five Shootings, Five Findings (which we just noticed doesn’t really have five findings), with 20 comments and runner-up was A Lieutenant’s Advice, a young academy grad’s heartfelt heads-up to his following cohorts, with 13. These two posts represent about a third of the week’s comments, and another 11% or so went to Saburo Sakai’s Wounds, and Lew Jones, a post inspired by comments last week; conversely, some posts had no comments at all. (We’ve stopped reading too much into that, and actively resist posting things for their comment-bait value. Usually).

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We hope you enjoyed this week’s content. We enjoyed bringing it to you!

Here’s how we did on last week’s promises:

We had the same promises as usual, the same ones we make for next week.

  1. We did get the Volkssturm Carbine follow-up posted, but we still owe the Bull and Greek posts.
  2. We did make our minimum posting rules.
  3. We could have had more tech posts.
  4. We did drop the ball on a WWWW. We actually started two, and neither was really good enough, so we didn’t finish ‘em.
  5. And we did get the Matinee and the TW3 up on time.

For Next Week

Our goals are unchanged:

  1. to catch up the long-festering back posts mentioned above, now back up to just two features (Gerald Bull, and the Greek Insurgencies). We also have some other stuff that has sat way to0 long in the draft queue, which is up to 247 posts at this writing (some of which ought to just be deleted). We’re really serious about the two posts that finish the Greek series, but they’ve been harder than we expected.
  2. to post three times a day, six days a week, of which:
  3. one gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF, UW, or war-related post up daily. The other post and any extras are “free fire.”
  4. a WWWW, on Wednesday.
  5. a Saturday Matinee, and a TW3 before the week ends at midnight Saturday.

The draft queue is approaching 250, so it’s time to dynamite some of that stuff out and entertain you guys.

See you with a TW3 on Saturday! (Again!)

Travel Note

Ye Olde Hognose is in Lakeland, Florida with the Hogbrother today and tomorrow, mixing business and pleasure whilst attending the Sun n Fun airshow. Drop a note in comments if any of you are there. We’ll be at a hotel just off-site this evening.

Static Sunday

For a change, nobody is going anywhere big this Sunday. (That’s coming Wednesday, so we’ll try to preload the blog with stuff for while we’re off pursuing other amusements).

To tease this week, here’s substantive stuff we want to put up:

  • Two of the rarest and most desirable US cartridge handguns ever happen to be for sale right now.
  • There are some awesome auctions coming up.
  • Want to own an M60 machine gun? How about a Hollywood star M60 — the gun that gave Chuck Norris his first big break?
  • Want to sit in on a one hour Squad Designated Marksman classroom lecture?
  • The Guerrillas of Greece, Part 3, the Greek Civil War, and Part 4, the Cyprus Insurgency.
  • Volkssturm carbines, Part 2 of 2.
  • 1st Quarter WeaponsMan statistics. How are we doing on our goal of 1,000,000 hits this year without compromising quality?

And of course, we’ll stick up a bunch of non-substantive stuff, too. That’s the price you pay to read the good stuff around here. Hey, it could be worse. We could have ads.

That Was the Week that Was: 2014 Week 13

That was the week that was TW3Ah, lucky Week 13. And posted on time on the last day of the week. Will wonders never cease? Not around here, they won’t.

This was a good week spent mostly in the home office. On the phone. Much was accomplished.

In the gun world, our AR prototype receivers came in and are at the FFL for pickup tomorrow. All is proceeding as we have foreseen.

The links to this week’s will all be live when the post goes live. Enjoy!

The Boring Statistics

Our article count was 28, a great rebound from last week’s weak 23. Word count likewise rebounded (or maybe regressed towards the mean), at 19,000 words up from a mere 13,000-odd. We had six posts that broke the long-post threshold of 1,000 words, but none of them were over 2,000. (That’s twice as many long posts as last week, though).

The mean and median post sizes were 679 and 610 respectively, suggesting that there were some unusually short posts. There is usually at least one sub-100-word post, but this time there were three; and 11 total sub-500-word posts. We widely exceeded our minimum desired post count of 19. So far this year we’ve almost 350 blog posts, and over 1800 comments.  

Comments are more or less normal at 118, as of press time; this is significantly higher than the previous week’s comment count, which was 96. This doesn’t include about 1,000 facebook-sourced spam comments. Don’t know why we got those, but they come in waves, and we shoot them down in waves.

Thanks for commenting! We always say this and we always mean it.

Most Commented Post of the Week

Our most commented post was the incredible Yee story: Gun-banning, murderer-releasing pol charged with gun trafficking, with 14 comments and runner-up was Tour d’Horizon — French for “too many links”,  with 9. These two posts represent only about 20% of the week’s comments; overall, this week, the comments were more evenly distributed across the posts.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We hope you enjoyed this week’s content. We enjoyed bringing it to you!

Here’s how we did on last week’s promises:

We had the same promises as usual, the same ones we make for next week.

  1. We didn’t catch up on much, and we still owe the Bull and Greek posts.
  2. We did make our minimum posting rules (and then some).
  3. We could have had more tech posts.
  4. We did get the WWWW up on time.
  5. And we did get the Matinee and the TW3 up on time.

For Next Week

Our goals are unchanged:

  1. to catch up the long-festering back posts mentioned above, now back up to just two features (Gerald Bull, and the Greek Insurgencies). We also have some other stuff that has sat way to long in the draft queue (there are 240-odd posts there right now, so we’re not curating it very well). We’re really serious about the two posts that finish the Greek series, and the second post of two on the Volkssturm Carbines.
  2. to post three times a day, six days a week, of which:
  3. one gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF, UW, or war-related post up daily.
  4. a WWWW, on Wednesday.
  5. a Saturday Matinee, and a TW3 before the week ends at midnight Saturday.

The draft queue is approaching 250, so it’s time to dynamite some of that stuff out and entertain you guys.

See you with a TW3 on Saturday! (Again!)